Mon, 29 March 2010
Deconstructing Dinner has long been at the forefront of covering anything and everything to do with the presence of genetically engineered (GE) foods.
The latest on the issue from Canada's capital is Bill C-474 - a bill introduced by Member of Paliament Alex Atamanenko. The bill was debated in the House of Commons for one-hour on March 17 and is calling for a change in the way GE seeds are approved in Canada. Back in 2009, Canada's primary market for flax - the European Union, blocked all shipments of Canadian flax after tests there discovered the presence of a GE flax that was once cultivated in Canada but de-registered in 2001. The proposed Bill C-474 was developed with the hope of preventing any future scenario like this unfolding again by requiring that all approvals of GE seeds go through an economic impact assessment in addition to the already-in-place health and environmental assessments. In other words, had such an assessment been in place in 1996 when the flax was first permitted, an economic impact assessment might have prevented the 2009 setback to Canada's flax industry from ever happening. Proponents of the bill hope it will prevent the future release of GE alfalfa and wheat into Canadian soil.
On today's episode we'll listen to Members of Parliament debate the issue in the House of Commons. Deconstructing Dinner also followed up with Liberal MP Francis Valeriote who supports the bill being sent to committee, but nevertheless shared many critical remarks in the House that are requiring some... deconstructing.
Alex Atamanenko, member of parliament, BC Southern Interior, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Castlegar, BC) - Atamanenko is the NDP's critic on Agriculture & Agri-Food and Food Security. He sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food.
Francis Valeriote, member of parliament, Guelph, Liberal Party of Canada (Guelph, ON) - Valeriote sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food.
David Anderson, member of parliament, Cypress-Hills Grassland, Conservative Party of Canada (Frontier, SK) - Anderson is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Agriculture & Agri-Food for the Canadian Wheat Board.
Pierre Lemieux, member of parliament, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Conservative Party of Canada (Casselman, ON) - Lemieux is Canada's Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. He sits on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Larry Miller, member of parliament, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, Conservative Party of Canada (Wiarton, ON) - Miller is the Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture & Agri-Food.
Jim Maloway, member of parliament, Elmwood Transcona, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Winnipeg, MB)
Mon, 22 March 2010
We examine the latest setback in the ongoing struggle to maintain healthy honey bee populations around the world. Every winter honeybee farmers hope that come spring, their colonies will have survived so that their businesses can remain economically viable. And with Vancouver Island receiving Spring the earliest of any location in Canada, farmers there are reporting catastrophic results from the winter with some farmers having lost up to 90% of their colonies. Yet while populations elsewhere in Canada have also been hit in recent years, it appears (at least at this point), that Vancouver Island's significant losses are an isolated incident. Nevertheless these recurring losses to beekeepers have become an increasingly critical issue of concern around the world for both honey producers and other farmers who rely on honey bee colonies to pollinate their crops. We speak with British Columbia's Provincial Apiculturist who shares his thoughts on the most recent collapse of colonies on Vancouver Island and he shares insights into what measures beekeepers are taking in response. And just as the most common and immediate responses to these types of threats are often simple band-aid solutions, we'll also examine whether the collapse of honey bees around the world is the 'canary in the coal mine' - signalling to us that our practices of agriculture and land-use management are in desperate need of a foundational rethink.
And we'll also travel to Vancouver Island to meet Bob Liptrot of Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery. Bob was one of the many foodies and farmers who Deconstructing Dinner visited in the community of Sooke back in February. Tugwell Creek has in no way been immune to the collapse of colonies on the Island, with their operation having suffered an estimated loss of at least 65% of their bees. But regardless of the grim challenges facing Tugwell Creek, we'll receive some enjoyment with a tasty and fascinating introduction into mead, also known as honey wine - a product that Tugwell Creek specializes in producing. In fact, their meadery was the first in Western Canada.
Paul van Westendorp, provincial apiculturist, ministry of agriculture & lands, Province of British Columbia (Abbotsford, BC) - Paul has acted as the Provincial Apiculturist for the Province of British Columbia's Ministry of Agriculture and Lands for over 20 years. Previous to his role in BC, Paul worked in the same capacity for the Province of Alberta. He's worked on beekeeping programs in Uganda and has also worked for Canada's Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food's apiculture research station in Beaverlodge, Alberta.
Bob Liptrot, co-owner, Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery (Sooke, BC) - Bob and his wife Dana LeComte have operated Tugwell Creek Honey Farm for 11 years and the meadery for 7 years.
Sun, 14 March 2010
Conscientious Cooks VII (Sooke Harbour House)
Carlo Petrini & Slow Food Canada
Sinclair Philip, co-owner, Sooke Harbour House (Sooke, BC) - Since 1979, Sinclair and his wife Frederique have owned and operated the Sooke Harbour House - a 28-room inn and restaurant. Sinclair grew up in Ontario and has spent considerable time in France. He is the past-president of Slow Food Canada and is currently a member of Slow Food Vancouver Island and is Canada's international representative to Slow Food International.
Byron Cook, head gardener, Sooke Harbour House (Sooke, BC) - Byron is an organic gardener who has worked for many years leading a dedicated team at the Sooke Harbour House.
Mary Alice Johnson, farmer, ALM Organic Farm (Sooke, BC) - Mary Alice is an experienced farmer, seed-saver and educator in the southern Vancouver Island food community. Along with Marika Nagasaka, Mary Alice operates ALM Organic Farm. From the farm they also operate Full Circle Seeds - a producer of certified organic seeds for farmers and gardeners. Mary Alice is also involved in a number of unique educational programs including apprenticeship programs such as S.O.I.L (aka Stewards Of Irreplaceable Land).
Amy Rubidge, farmer, Barefoot Farm (Sooke, BC) - Amy's farm is focused solely on egg production and she is the primary egg supplier to the Sooke Harbour House.
Carlo Petrini, international president / founder, Slow Food (Italy) - Carlo is from the the Italian region of Bra and developed the Slow Food organization in the 1980s after taking part in a campaign against fast-food giant McDonald's who was at the time opening a restaurant in Rome.
Mon, 8 March 2010
Author Marc David lends his voice to the show and together we explore a new way of seeing nutrition where our body's ability to digest and metabolize food is not just determined by the scientific breakdown of the food itself but by our level of relaxation, the quality of the food, our awareness when we're eating, the rhythms with which we eat throughout the day, the pleasure we find in our meals, the thought that's put into the food, the story behind the food and the sanctity that we bring to the table.
Marc is the author of The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss. The book effectively demonstrates a common-sense approach to eating - yet the ideas found within challenge many of the systems of belief that our food system and it's accompanying diet programs are founded upon.
In The Slow Down Diet, Marc David dispels four fundamental myths: 1. The best way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. 2. The reason you eat too much is lack of willpower. 3. As long as you eat the right foods in the right amounts, you'll ensure good health and lose weight. 4. The experts are your ultimate source of reliable and scientifically accurate nutrition information.
Instead, Marc's approach to eating involves what he calls the 8 Universal Metabolizers: Relaxation, Quality, Awareness, Rhythm, Pleasure, Thought, Story and the Sacred.
Marc David, author, The Slow Down Diet (Boulder, CO) - Marc David is the Founder and Director of The Institute for the Psychology of Eating and the author of The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss, and Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well Being. Marc earned his M.A. at Sonoma State University specializing in the Psychology of Eating and trained at the Harvard Mind Body Medical Institute and the State University of New York's Upstate Medical School. He also serves on the editorial staff of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a peer reviewed journal for complimentary and alternative medicine.