Tue, 21 September 2010
Packaged Foods Exposed V
When Deconstructing Dinner last aired this series, we featured a two-part exposé of Unilever. With three years having now transpired since those episodes, it appears that the company is in much need of some more deconstructing! Needing particular attention are Unilever's questionable marketing strategies. Following our research that has gone into this episode, four complaints were filed with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Deconstructing Dinner now awaits their response.
Nicole Shaw, publisher/editor Synergy Magazine (Lantzville, BC) - Nicole Shaw launched Synergy Magazine in March of 2004 after receiving much encouragement and support from members of the community. Nicole's background includes ten years in the computer industry, four years of freelance graphic design, ad layout with the Link Newspaper, four years of PR work and much interest in personal growth and energy healing work. Nicole is the co-host of Heart and Mind: Tools for Change - a radio talk show on CHLY Nanaimo. She and partner Dirk Becker farm organic vegetables.
Kami Desilets & Brent Hirose, actors Unequal Harvest (Winnipeg, MB) - Winnipeg playwright Geoff Hughes has brought food injustice to the stage. In 2008, three non-profit organizations; The Canadian Foodgrains Bank, the Manitoba Food Charter and Winnipeg Harvest resolved to draw attention to the Global Food Crisis by commissioning Geoff to write and direct the original work Unequal Harvest. Debuting in Winnipeg on World Food Day in 2008, the play continues to be performed across Canada including its latest stop at the 2010 Victoria Fringe Festival.
Mon, 13 September 2010
Exploring Ethnobiology III
On this part III of the series, we listen to two presentations that share research into the relationships between indigenous peoples and marine life in what is now called British Columbia and Alaska.
Investigating Eggs Update
Severn Cullis-Suzuki, masters in ethnobotany, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria (Haida Gwaii, BC) - Similar to her father David Suzuki, Severn has devoted herself to increasing awareness on fundamental ecological concerns. Born and raised in Vancouver, at the age of 9, Severn founded the Environmental Childrens Organization. In 1992 at the age of 12, she attended the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro where she received praise for a speech she delivered. She went on to graduate from Yale Univeristy in 2002, hosted a television series on Discovery Channel, and was eventually led to study ethnobotany under Nancy Turner. Her focus of research led her to Northern Vancouver Island - home to the Kwakwaka-wakw people. It was there that Severn studied the keystone species Zostera marina - also known as eelgrass - or to the Kwakwaka-wakw (ts'ats'ayem).
Josh Wisniewski, PhD candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks (Fairbanks, AK) - Josh received his BA and MA in anthropology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His research explores the complex sets of relations between Iñupiaq and Yup'ik societies and marine mammals through time and the ontological premises shaping local and traditional ecological knowledge. Josh's research has recently been focused in Shishmaref, Alaska, where he has worked with Iñupiaq hunters and elders exploring and documenting ecological knowledge of bearded seals and historic and contemporary hunting practices.
Nancy Turner, distinguished professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria (Victoria, BC) - Born in Berkeley, California, Nancy moved to Victoria at the age of 5 and she lives there today as a Distinguished Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She earned a PhD in Ethnobotany in 1974 from the University of British Columbia when she studied three contemporary indigenous groups of the Pacific Northwest (the Haida, Bella Coola and Lillooet). Nancy's major research has demonstrated the role of plant resources in past and present aboriginal cultures and languages as being an integral component of traditional knowledge systems. Nancy has also played an important role in helping demonstrate how traditional management of plant resources has shaped the landscapes and habitats of western Canada. In 1999 Nancy received the Order of British Columbia and in 2009 received the Order of Canada. She's authored numerous books including, among others, Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, Food Plants of Interior First Peoples, Plants of Haida Gwaii and The Earth's Blanket - Traditional Teachings for Sustainable Living.
James Rogowsky, specialist, egg products, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) (Winnipeg, MB) - The CFIA is the arm of Health Canada in charge of safeguarding food, animals and plants.
Fri, 3 September 2010
An exclusive behind-the-scenes investigative report taking an in-depth look into alleged local food fraud.
With the rapid rise in interest among North Americans to support locally produced food and with the premium people are willing to pay for that food, it leaves open an attractive opportunity for food-based businesses to take advantage of this new and growing lucrative market, either honestly or not.
In May 2010, Deconstructing Dinner received a tip from a farmer in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia who alleged that a local business who sells eggs to 18 retailers and restaurants and who was marketing their product as being predominantly from their own farm, was not true. According to the tip, the "farm" was not a farm at all, and housed no chickens on the property!
The business has also been marketing their product as originating from neighbouring farms in the Creston Valley, however, Deconstructing Dinner received yet another and very strong tip, this one in July 2010, alleging that that too might also not be true.
As luck would have it, the property on which the business operates was up for sale, and on August 23, 2010, Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman scheduled an appointment!
Jeremy Lack, farmer/chairman, Mad Dog Farm / Kootenay Local Agricultural Society (Tarrys, BC) - Mad Dog Farm is a small farm of 28 acres in Tarrys, not far from the City of Castlegar. Run by Jeremy and Nette Lack, and aided by their daughters, two dogs and three cats, the Lacks have a passion for growing, local agriculture and preserving heritage varieties of vegetables and other food crops. The Kootenay Local Agricultural Society is non-profit organization dedicated to the production and promotion of local agriculture and products. They are the owner and certifier of the Kootenay Mountain Grown label.
Heide Stang, co-owner, Eggs R Uz (Wynndel, BC) - Eggs R Uz has been operating for many years as a registered egg grading station and supplier of eggs to 18 businesses in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia.
Bonny Kavaloff, co-owner, Nature's Den (Rossland, BC) - Bonny and her husband Sid operate this small health store in Rossland, BC.
Cindy King, warehouse manager, Kootenay Country Store Co-operative (Nelson, BC) - The Kootenay Co-op is the largest independent member-owned co-operative grocery store in Canada. In business for 35 years, the store prides itself on supporting local producers whenever possible.
Matt Lowe, busted backyard chicken enthusiast (Nelson, BC) - In the summer of 2009, Matt Lowe began raising four chickens in his urban backyard. The City of Nelson does not permit such a practice, and in June of 2010, Matt's household received a visit from a Bylaw Enforcement Officer!
Other voices of people wishing to remain anonymous...