Deconstructing Dinner
Deconstructing Dinner is a podcast/radio show that broadcast between 2006 through 2011 with a brief return of a handful of episodes in 2014. Almost 200 episodes are available on topics ranging from corporate consolidation, animal welfare, urban food production and the local and good food movements. With host Jon Steinman.
Growing Hope

In the last 50 years, Canada's food system has come to be all about efficiency, quantity, and economy - not health, employment, environment, and self-reliance. The response of our communities to this threat, while admirable, is wholly unequal to its magnitude.

As a special food system issue of the Centre for Community Enterprise's (CCE's) quarterly Making Waves, Canada's community economic development publication invites readers to identify the real issues, the real opportunities, the real difficulties - and to start building a real food system.

The edition is titled Growing Hope, and will act as a resource to stimulate discussion on the National Practitioners Dialogue - a web board "discussion" designed to gather input from now until March 2007. This discussion will be melded into a draft agri-food policy document to be distributed for comment to web-board participants, Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) members and members of allied community networks across Canada. From this feedback, a polished draft will be debated at the CCEDNet conference in April 2007 in St. John's Newfoundland with other national stakeholders in attendance. The final version will be promoted by CCEDNet and partner organizations in the national dialogue process to take place in Canada in 2007 running up to new Agricultural Policy Framework legislation expected in 2008.

This project represents the future of sustainable agriculture and food policy in Canada.


Frank Moreland and Sandra Mark - Edible Strategies Enterprises Ltd. (ESEL) (Fanny Bay, BC) - ESEL is a consultancy specializing in the application of community economic development to issues of local food sustainability. Both Frank and Sandra appeared as guests on the inaugural broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner in January, 2006.

Herb Barbolet - Associate, Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) (Vancouver, BC) - The CSCD is a teaching and research unit of Simon Fraser University, established in 1989. The Centre uses the resources and talents of the University to teach and encourage accountable and sustainable community development. As Associate since 2003, Herb has co-authored food assessment studies for provincial health authorities and a guide to food assessments for the provincial health services authority. Herb farmed organically for ten years and was co-founder of FarmFolk/CityFolk, a nonprofit that works to create local, sustainable food systems. He appears frequently on radio, in print, and on television. He remains an active food consultant.

Colleen Ross - Women's President, National Farmers' Union (NFU) (Iroquois, Ontario) - Members of the NFU believe that the problems facing farmers are common problems, and that farmers producing diverse products must work together to advance effective solutions. The NFU works toward the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary food-producing unit in Canada. Colleen farms near Iroquois, Ontario.

Michael Heasman - Founder/Editor, Food for Good (Winnipeg, Manitoba) - Michael Heasman is a researcher and communicator on food policy specializing in food and health, social responsibility, and corporate activity. He is the founder and editor of Food for Good, a business newsletter that tracks and promotes a critical understanding of corporate citizenship and sustainable food business. In addition to Food Wars, he is co-author of The Functional Foods Revolution: Healthy People, Healthy Profits? and Consumption in the Age of Affluence: the World of Food.

Direct download: DD110906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Chemical Food II

An ongoing series on Deconstructing Dinner that looks at the chemicals in food. From pesticides to food additives, chemicals are both intentionally and unintentionally entering into food, and into our bodies.

In this second part of the Chemical Food Series, we attempt to better understand the chemical pesticides that are sprayed on the vast majority of the foods available to us. How are they regulated? Are safety standards adequate? What are the health risks of the pesticide residues found in our food?

One particular pesticide Sulfuryl Fluoride, has recently become a controversial issue since tolerance levels for the chemical have been raised. There is now said to be an increasing presence of fluoride in the environment and in our diet. Approximately 40% of Canadians live in cities with fluoridated water supplies, and in the United States; 67% of the population. The total exposure to fluoride is now steadily increasing, and we will look closely at fluoridated drinking water to introduce these risks posed by Sulfuryl Fluoride. While most British Columbians do not receive fluoridated drinking water, our industrial food system sees foods and beverages being shipped from cities that do.

One of the world's largest pesticide manufacturers is The Dow Chemical Company. We will put the spotlight on Dow, a company that has close ties to the issues covered on this broadcast.


Charles Benbrook - Chief Scientist, The Organic Center (Oregon) - The Organic Center foresees the conversion of agriculture to organic methods improving health for the earth and its inhabitants. They aim to generate credible, peer reviewed scientific information and communicate the verifiable benefits of organic farming and products to society. Dr. Charles Benbrook worked in Washington, D.C. on agricultural policy, science and regulatory issues from 1979 through 1997. He served for 1.5 years as the agricultural staff expert on the Council for Environmental Quality at the end of the Carter Administration. In early 1981, he was the Executive Director of the Subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture with jurisdiction over pesticide regulation, research, trade and foreign agricultural issues. In 1984 Benbrook was recruited to the job of Executive Director, Board on Agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences, a position he held for seven years.

Richard Wiles - Senior Vice-President, Environmental Working Group (EWG) (Washington D.C.) - EWG has been at the forefront of the debate on PCBs in farmed salmon, benzene in soft drinks and fluoride in city drinking water. Richard Wiles directs EWG's programs. He is a former senior staff officer at the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Agriculture, where he directed scientific studies, including two that resulted in landmark reports: Regulating Pesticides in Food: The Delaney Paradox and Alternative Agriculture. Wiles is a leading expert in environmental risks to children, and under his direction, EWG has become one of the most respected environmental research organizations in the country.

Additional Audio

Twenty Years Without Justice: The Bhopal Chemical Disaster, Sanford Lewis, Strategic Video Productions - The official 20th anniversary film of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

Direct download: DD110206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Food for Fuel, Fuel for Food

On the date of this broadcast, the community of Nelson, British Columbia celebrates Fossil-Fuel-Free week. While efforts are made to eliminate motorized transportation and turn down the thermostat, to be truly fossil-fuel-free, there would need to be a cessation of eating!

Food relies predominantly on oil as raw material and energy in the manufacturing of fertilizers and pesticides. It is used as cheap and readily available energy for planting, irrigation, feeding and harvesting, processing, distribution and packaging. Fossil fuels are essential in the construction and the repair of equipment and infrastructure needed to facilitate this industry, including farm machinery, processing facilities, storage, ships, trucks and roads. Food processors rely on the just-in-time delivery of fresh or refrigerated food, food additives, including vitamins and minerals, emulsifiers, preservatives, and colouring agents. They rely on the production and delivery of boxes, metal cans, printed paper labels, plastic trays, cellophane for microwave/convenience foods, glass jars, plastic and metal lids with sealing compounds. There is of course the daily just-in-time shipment of food to grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, schools. And at the end of it all, we use fuel to drive to the grocery store and purchase that food! 

Julian Darley of the Vancouver-based Post Carbon Institute uses overwhelming data that forecasts a bleak future our reliance on fuel may lead us into. The energy crisis he points to is one that will force significant political, cultural, and social changes. The Institute suggests Global Relocalization, where communities take on a much greater role in sustaining local food systems, and ultimately, sustaining people.

Darley is the author of High Noon for Natural Gas: the New Energy Crisis (2004) and the forthcoming Relocalize Now! Getting Ready for Climate Change and the End of Cheap Oil (forthcoming in 2007) in collaboration with Celine Rich, Dave Room and Richard Heinberg.

Julian Darley spoke in Vancouver in February 2006, and the Vancouver-based Necessary Voices Society was on hand to record his presentation.

Direct download: DD102606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Bridging Borders Highlights

Between October 7-11, 2006, participants from across North America gathered together in Vancouver for the Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference. Hosted by the Vancouver Food Policy Council, the conference was organized by the California-based Community Food Security Coalition and Food Secure Canada, a new Canadian organization.

Participants at the conference met to discuss strategies for improving access to affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food, and explored opportunities to build sustainable food systems.

Hunger, childhood obesity, urban agriculture, and development on our limited prime agricultural land were just a few of the many issues raised during the conference. As the Vancouver Food Policy Council's Devorah Kahn indicated prior to the conference, "We are meeting to discuss how to work towards viable solutions at the policy and grassroots levels."

As food safety scares grip North Americans, working towards more localized food systems is perhaps more timely now than ever before. With our rapidly changing climate being a result, among others, of our industrialized food systems, climatic changes will also be greatly influencing where food can be grown and how. The subject matter of Bridging Borders Toward Food Security encompasses some of the most pressing issues of our time.

Deconstructing Dinner was on hand to record hours upon hours of the conference, and over the next few months we will be featuring these exclusive recordings. This particular broadcast will provide a collage of the passion that individuals and organizations across the continent are showing for food.

Voices Heard...

Direct download: DD101906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Chemical Food I

A new ongoing series on Deconstructing Dinner that will look at the chemicals in food. From pesticides to food additives, chemicals are both intentionally and unintentionally entering into food, and into our bodies.

Recent studies have demonstrated how Canadians are chock full of toxic chemicals. The most startling findings have been that children, are more toxic than their parents. But while many of these chemicals found in our bodies come from environmental pollutants, both industrial and commercial, there are a number of chemicals being added to food. One of the most controversial chemical additives is Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal). The sweetener has once again entered into the media radar since the published results of the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the sugar substitute. The results have indicated that Aspartame, is indeed, carcinogenic. But how have health authorities responded? Do these recent findings perhaps illustrate the power of corporations in influencing food, policy, and health?


Kathryn Knowles - Director of Resource Development, European Ramazzini Foundation (Italy) - The mission of the European Foundation of Oncology and Environmental Sciences "B. Ramazzini" is to prevent cancer by identifying its causes and studying new strategies for early diagnosis and intensive therapies. The Foundation is a non-profit, private institution with official governmental recognition. Located in Bentivoglio, in the province of Bologna, Italy, its facilities include a Cancer Research Center (CRC) with more than 10,000 square meters of laboratories and archives and an Epidemiological Research Center. The Foundation recently released their findings of the â??First Demonstration of the Multipotential Carcinogenic Effects of Aspartame Administered in the Feed to Sprague-Dawley Rats". The results were published in the March issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP).

Sarah Winterton - Program Director, Environmental Defence (Toronto) - Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. They research. They educate. They go to court when they have to. All in order to ensure clean air, safe food and thriving ecosystems. Nationwide. The organization released their Toxic Nation report in 2005. The study saw 11 adults from across Canada tested for 88 chemicals. Their most recent study released in 2006, titled Polluted Children, tested children, parents and grandparents from five Canadian families for 68 chemicals. Pollution in Canada is getting worse. While some countries step up to tackle toxic pollution, Canada straggles behind. Fortunately, the opportunity exists now to bring the regulation of toxic chemicals up to international standards.

Direct download: DD101206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

The GMO Trilogy - Hidden Dangers in Kids Meals

Launched in April 2006, a new DVD and CD set produced by bestselling author Jeffrey Smith (Seeds of Deception) shows that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) put our health and environment at risk. The release of The GMO Trilogy was in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22) and International GMOpposition Day (April 8)- a coordinated 30-nation campaign to raise awareness about genetically modified (GM) food.

Organizations will be asking hundreds of thousands of their members to buy the Trilogy to show at house parties and several manufacturers have sponsored the 3-disc set to keep it affordable.

Deconstructing Dinner will be featuring the 3-part series in audio format.

Part 3 - Hidden Dangers in Kids Meals: Genetically Modifed Foods

Shocking research results, inadequate regulations and warnings from eminent scientists explain why GM foods are dangerous and should be removed from kids' meals. The dramatic story of how student behavior in a Wisconsin school was transformed with a healthy diet provides added motivation to make a change. It features Jeffrey Smith and more than a dozen scientists and experts.

"Hidden Dangers pierces the myth that our government is protecting our food supply"
- John Robbins, Diet for a New America

"It will change the way you look at food forever."
- Howard Lyman, Mad Cowboy

"The revelations in Hidden Dangers make our choice clear - take needless risks with genetically engineered food or just say no to this madness."
- Frances Moore Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet

"Watch this video and start educating yourself."
- Candace Pert, PhD, Molecules of Emotion

"Play this video for parents! It's powerful, moving, and will shake people awake to how crazy it is to feed genetically engineered foods to children. It will change what parents and schools buy, which will change what manufacturers use in their products."
- Ronnie Cummins, National Director, Organic Consumers Association

"When parents watch scientist after scientist describe the dangers of GM foods, I wouldn't want to be a stubborn food service director trying to stand in their way."
- Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism

Direct download: DD092806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Reclaiming our Food

The BC Food Systems Network was formed to work with groups around the province to eliminate hunger and create sustainable food systems for all residents. The Network encourages initiatives to reclaim local ownership of community food systems and develop food self-reliance by sharing information, skills, and resources.

Between September 14-17, the Network gathered in Sorrento as has now been done for seven years. The theme of the conference was "Reclaiming Our Local Food Systems".

Deconstructing Dinner was invited to record the conference, and this broadcast marks the first of many more that will feature these recordings. Featured on this broadcast is the first panel of speakers who introduced the theme of the conference.


Cathleen Kneen - Founder, BC Food Systems Network (Sorrento) - Passionate about food, justice and sustainable agriculture. With her husband Brewster, Cathleen publishes The Ram's Horn, a monthly newsletter of food system analysis (since 1980). Currently sits on the executive of Food Secure Canada.

Dawn Morrison - Community Development Facilitator, Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation (Chase)- Dawn most recently coordinated the first annual BC Interior Indigenous Food Sovereignty Conference held in Penticton. She promotes ecologically and culturally sustainable land use projects.

Brewster Kneen - Author/Publisher, The Ram's Horn (Sorrento) - Brewster's first involvement with food issues was in writing "The Economy of Sugar" in 1971, and then farming for 15 years. He has written other notable titles such as "From Land to Mouth" and "Farmageddon". His current focus is on genetic engineering of food, and privatization of the public domain. Along with his wife Cathleen, Brewster publishes The Ram's Horn, a monthly newsletter of food systems analysis.

Patrick Steiner - Farmer, Stellar Seeds (Sorrento) - Stellar Seeds provides certified organic seeds grown in British Columbia. They grow the majority of seeds at their own farm, and also sell seeds grown by other local organic farmers. They specialize in interesting and unique varieties, many of them heirlooms.

Direct download: DD092106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Conscientious Cooks II

A periodic series that will explore the foodservice industry and those who are making unique efforts to create more sustainable interactions between the field and the table.

On part two of this series, we visit with two chefs who approach food preparation in very different ways, yet both retain a common bond that sees a respect for food that is often void in many restaurant environments.


Chantale Roy - Raw Food Chef, Instructor and Consultant, raw - Cuisine Plenitude (Nelson) - Raw food is one of many new diets being introduced to our North American culture. On the other hand, a raw food diet was the only diet prior to the advent of fire. In this sense, "raw foodists" see such a diet as being a more natural and healthful approach to eating. Through her work, Chantale Roy lives her passion for gourmet cuisine, optimum health and divine respect for humanity and the earth. She has practiced Permaculture and Community Supported Agriculture in Quebec. Chantale has studied at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in California and has just recently arrived in BC where she operates a business offering prepared raw foods to those in the Nelson area. Chantale additionally offers educational classes that assist participants in making the transition to a raw food diet.

Daveq - Manager, Chef, Farmer, Preserved Seed Cafe and Mate Factor Teahouse (Nelson) - Not many restaurants source a portion of their food from their own farm! The Preserved Seed is a shining example of a restaurant looking to foster a more sustainable approach to sourcing and preparing food. Located in Nelson, the Preserved Seed is an extension of Mount Sentinel Farm - an "Intentional Community" located just outside of the city. The common North American definition of community is often distorted within a culture that encourages individual gains. While the Preserved Seed's approach to food is unique unto itself, the community that supports the restaurant is also one to look to when addressing how both food and community are integral to each other.

Direct download: DD091406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Bioneers II

Bioneers was conceived to conduct educational and economic development programs in the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, traditional farming practices, and environmental restoration. Their radio programs are heard in over 200 cities.

Series III, PART 10: PLANTS AND PEOPLE – WHO'S CULTIVATING WHOM? Award-winning journalist for the New York Times Magazine, Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World, and The Omnivore's Dilemma, takes a fresh perspective on the co-evolution of people and plants.

Series I, PART 12: WISDOM AT THE END OF THE HOE – FARMING AS IF BIOLOGY MATTERED What is it like living at a plant's pace? Is the gardener growing the garden or is the garden transforming the gardener? John Jeavons, Starhawk, Cathrine Sneed, Bob Cannard and Penny Livingston point to the genuine solutions for farming in harmony with the Earth. They are restoring soils and restoring souls.

Direct download: DD090706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Farming in the City I

Many forms of urban agriculture have existed for thousands of years. As a matter of fact, for city dwellers growing food in their own backyards or even on their window sill, they are essentially, farming in the city.

As practical and environmentally friendly as growing food within a city can be, the art of gardening has seemingly disappeared in many urban settings. As current farming practices are proving to be unsustainable in the long-term, urban agriculture is looked upon by many as being a critical shift that needs to take place if we are to ensure a level of food security in the near and distant future.

This broadcast marks the first of an ongoing series that will explore urban agriculture in British Columbia, Canada, and around the world.


Wally Satzewich - Farmer, Wally's Urban Market Garden / SPIN Farming (Saskatoon) - Gail Vandersteen and Wally Satzewich are both long-time residents of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They operate an urban market garden. One unique feature of the market garden is that it is located within the confines of a city. Their produce is grown on a number of residential garden plots scattered throughout the city. This allows them to practice an eco-friendly form of agriculture, one that puts less pressure on rural habitats, and fosters self-reliance in an urban setting. This form of agriculture makes it more feasible to utilise organic household kitchen wastes because much of this material can be composted and used for growing crops. Gail and Wally are also the co-creators of SPIN Farming - a business that assists others wishing to adopt a similar business model based on small-plot intensive farming.

Beth Sobieszczyk - Program and Social Enterprise Coordinator, Fruit Tree Project, LifeCycles Project Society (Victoria) - The Victoria Fruit Tree Project of the LifeCycles Project Society sees volunteers and a couple a ladders turning backyard fruit trees into a valuable source of food for the community. The project harvests fruit from private trees that would otherwise go to waste. The fruit is then distributed among homeowners, volunteers, food banks and community organisations within Victoria.

Jac Smit - President and CEO, The Urban Agriculture Network (TUAN) (Washington D.C.) - This information and consulting organization was founded in 1992. It has visited over 30 countries in its advocacy. The urban agriculture book they wrote for the United Nations is the 2nd best selling book ever published by the UNDP. TUAN operates in all media. It is engaged frequently in workshops and conferences. Jac is a regular contributor to the Vancouver based City Farmer web site - an extensive Canadian resource for urban agriculture information.

Direct download: DD083106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

The GMO Trilogy - You're Eating What?

Launched in April 2006, a new DVD and CD set produced by bestselling author Jeffrey Smith (Seeds of Deception) shows that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) put our health and environment at risk. The release of The GMO Trilogy was in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22) and International GMOpposition Day (April 8)- a coordinated 30-nation campaign to raise awareness about genetically modified (GM) food.

Organizations will be asking hundreds of thousands of their members to buy the Trilogy to show at house parties and several manufacturers have sponsored the 3-disc set to keep it affordable.

Deconstructing Dinner will be featuring the 3-part series in audio format.

Part 1 - You're Eating What?

Jeffrey Smith, author of the world's bestselling book on GM foods, Seeds of Deception, describes how biotech companies rigged research, hid health dangers and pressured government regulators to approve food that even FDA scientists said was unsafe.

Direct download: DD062206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:43am EST

The Solidarity of Others is Our Own Defense - Defining Food Security and Food Sovereignty

What is Food Security and how is it defined globally? Food Security is often perceived as the ability of a community to respond to poverty by feeding the hungry. But Food Security is far more than just the number of food banks operating within a community. This perception has additionally fostered the belief that the remainder of the population is "food-secure".

This broadcast will look to define Food Security and Food Sovereignty. To do so, the causes of hunger will be discussed and how nations and communities respond; we will look at examples of citizen movements taking action to defend their right to food; and ultimately, we will attempt to connect the struggles and efforts of others to our North American relationship to food. Are those of us who readily have access to food really food-secure? Are the food struggles and solidarity of others a glimpse into where our own food system has gone wrong? Can we look to these struggles as an illustration of how we as North Americans have lost our connection to food?


Anuradha Mittal - Executive Director, The Oakland Institute. A native of India, Anuradha is an internationally renowned expert on trade, development, human rights and agriculture issues. She worked for ten years as the policy director and then the co-director at the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First). In 2004, she established The Oakland Institute - a policy think tank located in Oakland, California. This footage is courtesy of RadioActive at WERU Community Radio in Blue Hill/Bangor, Maine.

Refugio Gregorio - Mixteca Elder, Representative of the Indigenous Women's Cooperative - Margarita Magón (Oaxaca, Mexico). In 2002 protests succeeded in keeping a McDonald's out of the central square of Oaxaca. McDonald's was seen as a threat to the cultural heritage of the indigenous people in and around Oaxaca. Refugio participated in this protest and continues to found her resistance in the celebration of food and tradition.

Antonio Villanueva Feliciano - Zapotec Migrant Indigenous Leader, Youth Representative, Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca (CIPO-RFM) - CIPO-RFM is an organization representing 24 indigenous communities. They use non-violent resistance to exercise autonomy and direct action, and defend their human, territorial, economic, social, political and cultural rights, as communities and as individuals.

Emilie Smith - The Ecumenical Task Force for Justice in the Americas (Vancouver) - Emilie worked for 22 years in Mexico and Guatemala helping to improve conditions of indigenous people. She represents the Popular Indigenous Council of Oaxaca (CIPO-RFM), and is currently supporting CIPO-RFM leader, Raul Gatica Bautista, who is now a refugee in exile in Vancouver. Emilie acted as the translator in the studio for Antonio Feliciano and Refugio Gregorio.

Charles Levkoe - SunRoot Farm (Nova Scotia). Charles was most recently the Urban Agriculture Coordinator at The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto. Charles received a Masters degree in Food Security and Popular Education from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. He sits on the board of the American Community Gardening Association. As of July 2006, Charles is now part of SunRoot Farm - a community-supported agriculture co-operative in Kennetcook, Nova Scotia.

South Central Farmers (Los Angeles) - Since 1992, 14 acres of property located in the middle of Los Angeles has been used as a community garden or farm. The land has been divided into 360 plots and is believed to be one of the largest urban gardens in the country. On June 14, 2006, an eviction notice was carried out by hundreds of LA riot police.

Direct download: DD081006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

The GMO Trilogy - Unnatural Selection

Launched in April 2006, a new DVD and CD set produced by bestselling author Jeffrey Smith (Seeds of Deception) shows that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) put our health and environment at risk. The release of The GMO Trilogy was in conjunction with Earth Day (April 22) and International GMOpposition Day (April 8)- a coordinated 30-nation campaign to raise awareness about genetically modified (GM) food.

Organizations will be asking hundreds of thousands of their members to buy the Trilogy to show at house parties and several manufacturers have sponsored the 3-disc set to keep it affordable.

Deconstructing Dinner will be featuring the 3-part series in audio format between June and September.

Part 2 - Unnatural Selection

Produced by Bertram Verhaag and Gabrielle Kroeber. This stunning European documentary made available for the first time in North America, reveals several harsh consequences of genetic engineering worldwide.


  • A failed GM cotton crop prompts farmer suicides in India.
  • Windborne GM canola contaminates organic and conventional farms in Canada. One farmer fights Monsanto in the Supreme Court.
  • A company seeks approval for giant GM salmon that may threaten the survival of the natural species.
  • GM pigs are born with ghastly mutations.
  • And experts reveal how inadequate testing and regulations put us at risk.


The film features... Vandana Shiva - Navdanya, New Delhi, India Andrew Kimbrell - Centre for Food Safety, (Washington, D.C.) Percy Schmeiser - Saskatchewan Farmer Marc Loiselle - Saskatchewan Farmer, Saskatchewan Organic Directorate Martin Pratchler - Saskatchewan Farmer Larry Bain - Nextcourse, Acme Chophouse (San Francisco) Joseph McGonigle - Aqua Bounty Technologies - (Boston/Newfoundland/PEI) Terje Traavik - Norwegian Institute of Gene Ecology Richard D. Howard - Purdue University and others...

Music by Salt-Spring Island musician Phil Vernon will be featured on this broadcast, including an exclusive live recording prepared by Deconstructing Dinner correspondent Andrea Langlois.


Direct download: DD080306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Packaged Foods Exposed II (Nestlé)

The second of an ongoing series that will take a look behind the world's largest packaged food and beverage producers. In the first episode, we took a look at global giant PepsiCo.

The Packaged Foods Exposed series places corporations in a critical light, hoping to provide a more balanced image to the advertising and PR campaigns launched by some of the most influential food corporations on the planet.

In this second episode of the Packaged Foods Exposed series, we take a look at the largest food manufacturer in the world - Nestlé. What products fall under their banner; how has their influence  shaped economic policy, society and culture; how have they affected the environments they operate in; and what relationships do they foster within the countries they are located?


Karl Flecker - Education Coordinator / Director of the Water Program, Polaris Institute - Polaris is designed to enable citizen movements to re-skill and re-tool themselves to fight for democratic social change in an age of corporate driven globalization. Essentially, the Institute works with citizen movements in developing the kinds of strategies and tactics required to unmask and challenge the corporate power that is the driving force behind governments concerning public policy making on economic, social and environmental issues. Karl Flecker has worked with the institute for 5 years.

Direct download: DD072706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Shocking Sugar

Sugar is close to becoming a cultural institution here in North America and is found in a countless number of foods that we consume daily. The media looks to sugar on a rather frequent basis to satisfy the "declining population health" segments of the nightly news. While these segments could arguably not be frequent enough, there is a whole side to sugar rarely touched on.

Like with many crops, fruits and vegetables, sugar production comes with hidden costs. Sugarcane represents the primary crop from which refined sugar originates, and its current methods of cultivation and production are taking a toll on the environment and on the human beings who are part of the process.

Join us as we look past the health concerns of our sugar-driven food system, and look to solutions and alternatives to a commodity that seems to present very little choice for the general public.


Dr. Jason Clay - Vice-President, Center for Conservation Innovation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - Jason has spent more than 20 years working with human rights and environmental organizations. More recently, Jason has been engaged in detailed examinations of the social and environmental impacts of commodity production. Clay was founder and editor of the award-winning Cultural Survival Quarterly, the largest circulation anthropology and human rights publication in the world. Jason studied anthropology and Latin American studies at Harvard University, economics and geography at the London School of Economics, and anthropology and international agriculture at Cornell University where he received his Ph.D. in 1979. Jason sits on the Board of Protected Harvest and is the author of "World Agriculture and the Environment".

Adony Melathopoulos - Research Technician, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada - Working out of the Beaverlodge Research Farm in Beaverlodge, Alberta, Adony studies ways to manage pests and diseases on Honey Bee farms. Adony graduated from Burnaby's Simon Fraser University and sits on the Communications committee for the Canadian Assocation of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA). Adony recently compiled an article for the Canadian Honey Council's web site titled "Honey as Canada's Sustainable and Ethical Sweetener."

Reykia Fick - Public Education & Outreach, TransFair Canada - TransFair Canada is a national non-profit certification and public education organization promoting Fair Trade Certified to improve the livelihood of developing world farmers and workers.

David Richard - Publisher, Vital Health Publishing - Vital Health publishes authors who can expose health-related problems accurately and with integrity, clarify the issues, and provide workable solutions. David first authored the book "Stevia Rebaudiana: Nature's Sweet Secret" in 1996. David was featured in a New York Times headline story on the food disparagement laws (June 1, 1999), and he also made national news in 1998 when his Stevia book was nearly burned by the FDA in the warehouse of one of his Texas distributors.

Direct download: DD072006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Vegan Cattle Ranchers & Oprah

Howard Lyman (aka The Mad Cowboy) is a figure to pay attention to. If converting from a Montana cattle rancher to a strict vegan is not enough of a reason to raise an eyebrow, Lyman has since devoted his life to educating the public on the dangers of animal-based diets.

Lyman has been a fourth-generation family farmer in Montana for almost 40 years. Using personal experience, he denounces chemically based agricultural production methods, calling them unsustainable and ecologically disastrous. His experiences range from working in a large organic dairy to raising registered beef cattle to owning a large factory feedlot. He has farmed thousands of acres of grain and reproduced a herd of over one thousand commercial beef cows. Lyman has raised chickens, pigs, and turkeys, and grown crops such as wheat, barley, oats, corn, alfalfa, and grass.

Howard Lyman was farming at the time when it was either get big or get out. Educated on the modern industrial methods of agriculture, Lyman saw his organic soil go from a living, productive base to a sterile, chemically-saturated, mono-cultural ground.

In 1979, a tumor on his spinal cord caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down. Realizing that the farming methods he used were the problem, he decided to become a voice for the family farmer and the land. That led him to work for the Montana Farmers Union and from there to Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union.

Lyman has made many trips to British Columbia, and this broadcast will feature his speech given at the Taste of Health event hosted by EarthSave Canada in 2002. The recording is courtesy of the Necessary Voices Society.

"The question we must ask ourselves as a culture is whether we want to embrace the change that must come, or resist it. Are we so attached to the dietary fallacies with which we were raised, so afraid to counter the arbitrary laws of eating taught to us in childhood by our misinformed parents, that we cannot alter the course they set us on, even if it leads to our own ruin? Does the prospect of standing apart or encountering ridicule scare us even from saving ourselves?" - Howard Lyman

Direct download: DD070606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Grocery Store Alternatives

What alternatives exist to the standard grocery store excursion? Farmers' Markets are certainly one option, but how about food delivered right to your door! While many home grocery delivery services have failed miserably, the most successful operations seem to be those fostering more sustainable food systems. Let's explore some of these options.

Also to explore is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA); yet another form of sourcing fruits and vegetables from a location other than the inanimate grocery store shelves. The CSA movement sees customers sharing the costs and benefitis of farming by investing in the growing season of a local farm.


David Van Seters - Founder and CEO, SPUD (Small Potoates Urban Delivery Inc.) - In business since 1998, SPUD is Canada's largest organic grocery home delivery service. The business serves over 5000 customers in the Lower Mainland, Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island, Calgary and Seattle. SPUD is committed to protecting the environment by buying local, organic, minimally packaged, and eco-friendly products. They build community by creating more direct connections between food producers and consumers; reduce traffic congestion and pollution by delivering groceries on a set route; and ensure their customers know where their food is coming from.

Mark Bomford - Program Coordinator, UBC Farm at the University of British Columbia - The UBC Farm is a 24- hectare teaching, research and community farm located on the UBC campus in Vancouver. As a new project launched in the summer of 2005, the UBC Farm now offers a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box program. The initiative acts as a working example of the benefits of sustainable food systems.

Velvet Kavanagh - Organic Goddess, Endless Harvest Organic Food Delivery - Launched in 1998 just outside Nelson, British Columbia, Endless Harvest is an example of a small-town organic grocery delivery service that looks to foster sustainability through its business practices. Endless Harvest was started to provide people with an easy, affordable way to eat organic and locally grown food; to help people make informed decisions about food; and to help local farmers reach new markets.

Direct download: DD062906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Is There a Table Reserved for BC Farms? - The Agricultural Land Reserve

Some of British Columbia's most productive agricultural land could turn into highways and parking lots in the coming years unless changes are made to the Province's Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), says a new report by the David Suzuki Foundation.

"B.C.'s farmland is facing death by a thousand cuts," says Ann Rowan, director of the sustainability program at the David Suzuki Foundation. "We need decisive leadership from the province to ensure our best farmland doesn't get paved over."

The report Forever Farmland shows how in recent years farmland that is nestled along the edge of towns and cities has fallen prey to regional development. Between 2001 and 2006, thousands of hectares from Courtenay to Invermere have been eliminated from the ALR and converted into subdivisions. The pressure to remove land from the ALR is greatest near the major population centres where the most productive farmland is predominantly located.

While supporting local farming may seem to be the first step in creating a sustainable food system, local farming can only be supported if there is adequate land on which to farm.


Ann Rowan - Director of Sustainability, David Suzuki Foundation - Since 1990, the David Suzuki Foundation has worked to find ways for society to live in balance with the natural world that sustains us. Given our rich natural assets and the strong environmental values, Canada should be a world leader in sustainability. However, in a recent study comparing the environmental performance of Canada to other developed countries, we finished 29th out of 30.

Erik Karlsen - Chair, Provincial Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Erik Karlsen is a professional land use planner with over 35 years experience in advisory through management level positions in federal, provincial, regional and local levels of government and private sector. Mr. Karlsen worked for the BC Provincial Government for 29 years leaving in April 2002. Since then he has been a consultant, a member of advisory committees and taught at Royal Roads University in the Masters of Environment and Management Program. Erik Karlsen has been awarded several awards of distinction for his contribution to sustainable development planning and management in BC and Canada.

Heather Stretch - Northbrook Farm / Saanich Organics - Located in Central Saanich, Heather has been growing fruits and vegetables at Northbrook for 6 years. Heather is a co-owner of Saanich Organics - a collection of small-scale farmers selling their produce through a home-delivery service and at local restaurants and grocery stores.

Robin Tunnicliffe - Feisty Field Organic Farm / Saanich Organics - Feisty Field grows a variety of fruits and vegetables near Prospect Lake within the city limits of Victoria. Robin is also a co-owner of Saanich Organics.

Direct download: DD060806.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:57pm EST

Deconstructing Dinner in our Schools I

How do food issues make their way into our public schools. As Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman recalls, "I remember graduating from high school not knowing the first thing about growing food and having very little idea how the food I consumed impacted the planet on which we live." With schools being the building blocks of our society and culture, how does our government-funded education system incorporate into curriculums the most important issue facing all humans - food.

Part I
Host Jon Steinman takes a ride with the Nelson-based group Earth Matters as they introduce their Food-to-Table program in local public schools. As a component of the country-wide One-Tonne Challenge, the program involved in-class presentations on how our food choices influence climate change, and even saw students visit local grocery stores where food was discussed in-depth.


Colleen Matte and Su Donovaro - Earth Matters - Colleen and Su were the coordinators of the One-Tonne Challenge Food-to-Table program. Earth Matters is a youth-driven environmental organization based in Nelson BC. They focus on developing and running innovative experiential education programs and community development programs.

Karl Machado - Teacher, L.V. Rogers Secondary School - Karl teaches a unique environmental science class for Grade 12 students. Karl has hosted the Food-to-Table program for two years in a row.

Marilyn Lawrence - Teacher, A.I. Collinson Elementary School - Marilyn is the grade 4/5 teacher. Her class participated in the Food-to-Table program.

Sarah Miles and Amber Johnson - Students, L.V. Rogers Secondary School

Grade 4/5 Students - A.I. Collinson Elementary School

Direct download: DD041306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:03pm EST

“Permaculture” or “permanent agriculture” was originally conceived almost 30 years ago by Australian ecologist Bill Mollison. Observing aboriginal culture and forest ecosystems, he conlcuded that we could deliberately design agriculturally productive ecosystems, echoing diversity, stability, and resillience of natural ecosystems.

Permaculture designs provide food, energy, and shelter for people and animal inhabitants while linking the needs and outputs of each element.

Permaculture is a holistic approach to land use, which works with nature’s rhythm and patterns, weaving together the elements of microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animal, water and soil management, and human needs into intricately connected and productive communities.


Gregoire Lamoureux – Kootenay Permaculture Institute/Spiral Farm – The Kootenay Permaculture Institute is located just outside of Winlaw in the Slocan Valley of British Columbia. Gregoire is a permaculture designer, consultant, and teacher. He has worked with permaculture systems for over 15 years and taught courses in many parts of Canada. He taught the permaculture design course as a Summer Session at the University of Manitoba in 2005. Gregoire is on the Board of Directors of the Slocan River Streamkeepers and has served on the Board of Seeds of Diversity Canada for seven years. He is a founding member of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society. He has written for Natural Life Magazine. He has been a guest lecturer at the BC Organic Agriculture Conference, and the Guelph Organic Agriculture Conference.

Peter Bane – PublisherThe Permaculture Activist – North America’s leading (and the world’s oldest) permaculture periodical. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, since 1985 the publication has informed on permaculture design, edible landscaping, bioregionalism, cooperative action, aquaculture, natural building, earthworks, renewable energy and more.

Audio Clips

David Holmgren – “Permaculture Strategies in a World of Declining Fossil Fuels” – recorded on September 10, 2005 by the Necessary Voices Society. David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of “Permaculture One” in 1978. Since then he has written several more books, developed three properties using permaculture principles, conducted workshops and courses in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, USA, Israel, Italy, France, Britain, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. He has consulted and supervised on urban and rural projects in Australia and New Zealand. Within the growing and international permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependant consumerism. At home (Melliodora in Hepburn, Central Victoria), David is the vegetable gardener, silviculturalist and builder. The Fryers Forest Eco-village, also in central Victoria, has been a major project in recent years, where he performed many roles including planner and project manager. As well as constant involvement in the practical side of permaculture, David is passionate about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability, the focus of his seminal book Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability.

Direct download: DD060106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am EST

Best of Deconstructing Dinner, Jan-May '06

Host Jon Steinman chooses some of the most memorable interviews and segments from the 18 shows produced between January and May, 2006. Segments are played to a compilation of music from the Kootenay Co-op Radio musical library and Jon's own personal collection.

Direct download: DD052506.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Norway, British Columbia I (Farming Atlantic Salmon in the Pacific)

The BC salmon aquaculture industry has been one of the most criticized in the province. Nevertheless , the industry continues to expand and both the provincial and federal government continue to promote it. The opposition is led by The Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform (CAAR) - a 9-member organization composed of First Nations groups, the fishing community and the conservation community. Key topics to discuss - The recent "Framework for Dialogue" that has been initiated between CAAR and Marine Harvest Canada - one of the three major players in the industry. A recent report was also released accusing the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans of using an ineffective system to measure the health effects of sea-lice on juvenile wild salmon.


Alexandra Morton - Raincoast Research. Co-author of Stain Upon the Sea - West Coast Salmon Farming. Originally from Conneticut, Alexandra moved to BC in 1980. After the arrival of salmon farms around her home in the Broughton Archipelago, her research focus shifted in the early 90s from killer whales to salmon.

Jay Ritchlin - Marine Campaign Strategist, David Suzuki Foundation - Vancouver. He has been involved in Environmental Science and Advocacy for 15 years.

Corey Peet - graduate student in Marine Ecology at the University of Victoria who is finishing up his research on the interactions between sea lice and young pink + chum salmon. He has recently joined the Raincoast Conservation Society as a science advisor for their Salmon Aquaculture campaign.

Catherine Stewart - Chairperson, Living Oceans Society - a non-profit research and public education organization that promotes the need for a healthy ocean and healthy communities on Canada's Pacific Coast. Catherine has been involved in the environmental movement for 20 years, and for 17 of those years Catherine has also been involved with Greenpeace Canada.

Clare Backman - Spokesperson, Marine Harvest Canada. Marine Harvest is the largest producer of farmed salmon in the world. The company is headquartered in both Norway and the Netherlands - a result from the recent merger between Stolt Sea Farms and Nutreco Holdings. The company has operations in 8 different countries around the world and their products can be found in over 70 countries. Marine Harvest's Canadian operation is headquartered in Campbell River, British Columbia.

Direct download: DD020206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:39am EST

The Food Revolution

Californian John Robbins is the author of the international bestseller "DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA - How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness, and the Future of Life on Earth". In 2001 he released " THE FOOD REVOLUTION - How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and the World". Before moving to his current home in California, John spent 10 years living on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

Widely considered to be one of the world's leading experts on the dietary link with the environment and health, John's work has been the subject of cover stories and feature articles and many of the nation's other major newspapers and magazines.

The only son of the founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream empire, John Robbins was groomed to follow in his father's footsteps, but chose to walk away from Baskin-Robbins and the immense wealth it represented.

He is the founder and Board Chair Emeritus of EarthSave International, an organization dedicated to healthy food choices, preservation of the environment, and a more compassionate world. John is also the active Board Chair of Youth For Environmental Sanity (YES!).

In June of 2002, John spoke at an event in Vancouver that was recorded by the Necessary Voices Society. This broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner features segments from this speech.

Direct download: DD051106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Slaughterhouses on the Butcher Block?

In September 2004, the province of British Columbia enacted new meat inspection regulations that were set to come into effect by September 2006. That deadline has since been pushed to September 2007. Regulations will see all slaughterhouse operations fall under provincial and federal liceneses (about 5% of operations in BC are unlicensed). The province declares that these regulations will "strengthen public safety" and "provide new opporutnities for the marketing and sale of BC produced meat." Critics argue that the new Meat Inspection Regulations fail to address safety concerns such as Mad Cow (BSE) and Avian Flu, and threaten vital local agricultural economies and jobs.


Faye Street - General Manager, Kootenay Livestock Association, Cranbrook, BC - The KLA is a registered society whose members are livestock producers in the East and West Kootenay region of BC. They promote the beef cattle industry in the Kootenays as a viable and valuable resource. Faye also sits on the Regional Subcommittee for the Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy of the British Columbia Food Processors Association (BCFPA). Faye was also joined by Wayne McNamar - Project Coordinator for the Kootenay Livestock Association.

Dave Anderson - Legendary Meats, Slocan Park, BC - Serving a vast area throughout the Central Kootenay region of British Columbia, the slaughtering operation of Legendary Meats has now closed due to these new regulations.

Eric Boulton - Somerset Farm, Gabriola Island, BC - Operating their farm since 1948, Eric has operated one of the only facilities on Gabriola that slaughters animals for food. He awaits approval as to whether costly changes to his operation will grant him a license.

Richard Yntema - North Okanagan Game Meats, Enderby, BC - Richard's business specializes in raising specialty meats such as Deer (Venison), Wild Boar and Lamb. He is currently in the process of restructuring his operation to meet new regulations.

Michael McBane - National Coordinator, Canadian Health Coalition, Ottawa, ON - The Canadian Health Coalition is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting and expanding Canadaâ??s public health system for the benefit of all Canadians. The CHC was founded in 1979.

Direct download: DD050406.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Packaged Foods Exposed I (PepsiCo)

The first of a periodic series that will take a look behind the world's largest packaged food and beverage producers. What products fall under their banner, and how has their influence shaped economic policy, society and culture; how have they affected the environments they operate in; and what relationships do they foster within the countries they are located?

Part I - Pepsico
New York-based PepsiCo, is far more than just Coca-Cola's main competitor, and based on revenues, sits at about the 4th largest food and beverage producer in the world.


Richard Girard, Researcher, Polaris Institute - Polaris is designed to enable citizen movements to re-skill and re-tool themselves to fight for democratic social change in an age of corporate driven globalization. Essentially, the Institute works with citizen movements in developing the kinds of strategies and tactics required to unmask and challenge the corporate power that is the driving force behind governments concerning public policy making on economic, social and environmental issues.

Direct download: DD042706.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

GE-Free Canada (Genetically-Engineered Free Canada)

The genetic modification of our food is a new experiment that has only been underway in Canada since 1994. A campaign was launched in June of 2005 calling for a GE-Free Canada - a Canada free of genetically modified plants. The campaign was launched in Vancouver where a selection of speakers were invited to speak on the genetic modification of our food supply, and the methods through which GE-Free zones could be created. The event was recorded by the Vancouver-based Necessary Voices Society.


Percy Schmeiser - Farmer - Saskatchewan-based farmer who was taken to court by agri-giant Monsanto after his fields of non-genetically modified canola were contaminated with a modified version from a neighbouring field. Monsanto claimed Schmeiser was unlawfully planting the company's patented products and subsequently took Schmeiser to court. Percy speaks of why we need a GE-Free Canada.

Arran Stephens - Founder and President, Nature's Path Foods - Richmond-based Nature's Path Foods produces a line of organic products and specializes in certified organic cereals. Arran Stephens is a published author. and sits on the Vancouver Food Policy Council.

Colin Palmer - Chair, Powell River Regional District - Colin has also served as Mayor of Powell River and as a municipal Councillor. He and his wife Ann have lived in the area for 35 years. Colin owns and operates a local printing business. He speaks of the role municipal governments have in securing a GE-Free Canada. Powell River is one of the first Canadian communities to become a GE-Free zone.

Direct download: DD042006.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Deconstructing Dinner in our Schools I

How do food issues make their way into our public schools? As Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman recalls, "I remember graduating from high school not knowing the first thing about growing food and having very little idea how the food I consumed impacted the planet on which we live." With schools being the building blocks of our society and culture, how does our publicly-funded education system incorporate into curriculum this all important subject - food.

Part I
Host Jon Steinman takes a ride with Nelson-based Earth Matters as they introduce their Food-to-Table program in local public schools. As a component of the countrywide One-Tonne Challenge, the program involved in-class presentations on how our food choices influence climate change, and saw students visit local grocery stores where food was discussed in-depth.


Colleen Matte and Su Donovaro - Earth Matters (Nelson, BC) - Colleen and Su were the coordinators of the One-Tonne Challenge Food-to-Table program. Earth Matters is a youth-driven environmental organization focusing on the development and implementation of innovative experiential education and community development programs.

Karl Machado - Teacher, L.V. Rogers Secondary School (Nelson, BC) - Karl teaches a unique environmental science class for Grade 12 students. His class particpated in the Food-to-Table program.

Marilyn Lawrence - Teacher, A.I. Collinson Elementary School (Nelson, BC) - Marilyn is the grade 4/5 teacher. Her class participated in the Food-to-Table program.

Sarah Miles and Amber Johnson - Students, L.V. Rogers Secondary School (Nelson, BC)

Grade 4/5 Students - A.I. Collinson Elementary School (Nelson, BC)

Direct download: DD021408.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Conscientious Cooks I

The first of a periodic series that will explore the foodservice industry and those who are making unique efforts to create more sustainable interactions between the field and the table.


Michael Allemeier - Winery Chef, Mission Hill Family Estate (Westbank, BC): Located in the fertile Okanagan Valley, Michael Allemeier has taken food service to a new level. On the other hand, it can be said that Allemeier has returned the operation of a restaurant back to the way they have more traditionally functioned. Before joining Mission Hill in 2003, Michael saw his time spent at Bishop's Restaurant in Vancouver, Wildflower Restaurant in Whistler, and Teatro in Calgary. He is most visually recognized as having been one of the hosts of the Food Network's "Cook Like a Chef" - an internationally syndicated television program.

Andrea Carlson - Chef de Cuisine, Raincity Grill (Vancouver, BC): In 1998 Carlson joined Vancouver's C Restaurant where she stayed for two years as Executive Sous Chef before embarking on a jaunt across Eastern Europe and Turkey. Upon returning Andrea created a bakery on Savoury Island and later spent a season at Sooke Harbour House in 2002. In May 2003, Andrea returned to C and assumed the position of Pastry Chef and is now back at Raincity Grill as Chef de Cuisine. Carlson maintains a commitment to all things seasonal; evident in her recent launch of the 100-mile Tasting Menu - inspired by James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith's 100-Mile Diet. "100-miles" refers to the limit at which ingredients can be sourced: creating a truly local and seasonal menu.

Direct download: DD040606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Bacon and Marshmallows

Pork is literally being produced behind closed doors. For those of us living in cities, all that can be witnessed is that final product of vacuum-packed bacon or tightly-sealed marshmallows. For those living in the rural areas, the story is much different. Communities are faced with the odour that emanates from massive hog factories; they are subject to the tonnes of liquid manure that ends up in nearby lagoons and is sprayed on neighbouring fields; and many are concerned about the cleanliness of their water sources and air. A large percentage of antibiotics produced in this country end up in the bellies of farm animals; where do the antibiotics go, and what implications does this incredible use of drugs have on human and animal health? Much concern has also been raised as to the well-being of sows (breeder pigs) that spend almost their entire lives in stalls almost no larger than themselves.

Join Deconstructing Dinner as we take a closer look into industrial hog production and discover whether viable alternatives exist.


Shiv Chopra - was the Senior Veterinary Drug Evaluator in Health Canada's Therapeutic Products and Food Division. Chopra was fired in 2004 along with 2 other colleagues after serving 28 years with the department. Chopra had raised issues such as the safety of a bovine growth hormone proposed for use in dairy herds to boost milk production, the influence of corporations in government drug approvals, and the need to keep animal parts out of the feed supply to keep animals safe.

Vicki Burns - Executive Director, Winnipeg Humane Society - The WHS coordinates the Quit Stalling Campaign - designed to end the use of sow stalls in Canada by 2013. Sows are breeder pigs, which, in hog factories, are kept in metal stalls barely larger than themselves.

Elaine Hughes - Stop the Hogs Coalition - is a group of concerned ratepayers of the Regional Municipalities of Barrier Valley and Ponass Lake, Saskatchewan, that are concerned about the environmental and social implications of the 'factory' production of hogs. Elaine is on the Steering Committee of the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition.

Barbara Schellenberg - Rafter 25 Ranch - Located on the ranch in Alexis Creek, BC is Pasture-to-Plate - raising pork, beef and lamb using biodynamic principles of farming. These principles ensure a mutual respect with the land, and the farm undertakes a number of conservation projects. Animals are allowed to practice instinctive practices with little restriction.

Direct download: DD032306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Peak Oil & Food

Our food system has been built on a foundation of oil (gasoline, pesticides, fertilizers). As we reach the highest use of oil-dependent practices ever, we are also reaching a critical point in the availability of this finite resource. Peak Oil has been the term used to describe the point in time when extraction of oil from the earth reaches its highest point and then begins to decline. We won't be able to say with certainty when we have reached peak oil until after the fact. Many experts say we have already reached the peak.

How can the world's population be fed without the extensive use of fossil fuels in the production, processing and distribution of food? What changes can we make to implement food security at the local level, while promoting popular education, public health and community control?

Guests/Pre-Recorded Presentation

Wayne Roberts - Project Coordinator for the Toronto Food Policy Council, and regular contributor to Toronto's NOW Magazine. In a recent presentation hosted by the Vancouver Public Library and the Necessary Voices Society, Dr. Wayne Roberts helped tackle the question, "What will we eat when the oil runs out?" We hear clips from this presentation

Charles Levkoe - Urban Agriculture Coordinator The Stop Community Food Centre. The Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto, strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds community and challenges inequality. A fixture in Toronto for over 30 years, The Stop believes that food access and security are basic human rights. Charles received a Masters degree in Food Security and Popular Education from the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Charles is also on the board of the American Community Gardening Association.

Direct download: DD031606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Local Producer Spotlight I - Nelson

The first of a multi-part series that focuses on small-scale growers and food processors. The series will travel to communities throughout British Columbia and explore the intricacies of operating a small food-based business within a food system dominated by giants.

This first broadcast starts its journey in Nelson and interviews 4 local businesses that rely on local support to remain viable. While localized in content, the issues discussed are those encountered by ALL small-scale growers/producers throughout North America


Jeff Mock - Silverking Soya Foods (Nelson) - Nelson is fortunate to have its very own tofu shop! Owned by Jeff Mock since 1994, Silverking is located in the Old Brewery building, next to Oso Negro Coffee roastery. Jeff "provides wholesome tofu and soymilk at a reasonable price with the least environmental impact." He uses certified organic soybeans, pure, un-chlorinated water, and locally grown organic herbs. Jeff makes fresh, delicious tofu every week in a variety of flavours and textures.

George and Maurgo Wilson - Meadowbrook Farm and Kootenay Sprouts (Salmo) - Eight years of year-round growing in their 3000 square foot greenhouse. You can expect a fresh variety of greens throughout the year, including arugula, spicy greens, mesclun lettuce mix, spinach and spring basil. Kootenay Sprouts is housed in a separate building, and has recently been certified organic. The crop of alfalfa, clover, onion, broccoli, salad crunch and savory deli sprouts are grown fresh on a weekly basis, and are sold in bulk trays and in individual packs.

Silvio Lettrari - Kaslo Sourdough Bakery (Kaslo) - Baking thirteen different kinds of bread using ancient recipes and traditional and modern techniques. Silvio began selling his breads in 1994. He believes that the bread that swamps the modern market lacks the vital essence that is so necessary for our successful survival in the future. He believes this vital essence to be the bacterial culture (microorganisms), which can only be had in a truly traditional sourdough bread.

Amy Robillard - Little Miss Gelato (Nelson) - New producer of Italian-style gelatos, available in local retail outlets, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Direct download: DD030906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Bioneers I

Bioneers was conceived to conduct educational and economic development programs in the conservation of biological and cultural diversity, traditional farming practices, and environmental restoration. Their radio programs are heard in over 200 cities.

Series IV, PART 4: ORGANIC AND BEYOND – TOWARD THE DE-INDUSTRIALIZATION OF AGRICULTURE. The biology of farming is complex and requires attentiveness to nature’s own ways of doing things, characterized by interdependence of relationships. Author and attorney Andrew Kimbrell is leading the Organic and Beyond Movement—a food revolution that offers health and food security for future generations and rejects the destructive industrial food production model. Andrew is the Executive Director of the Washington, DC-based Centre for Food Safety.

Series III, PART 6: SOIL AND SOUL – THE FUTURE OF FARMING. What are the hidden costs of agribusiness, with its chemical dependent mega farms? Poor nutrition and physical and mental illness, connected to poor nutrition, are on the rise in North America. Farmers Michael Ableman and Joel Salatin express the soul that is returning to farming the land. Michael Ableman is the founder and executive director of the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens. Michael farms in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. Joel Salatin is a fulltime farmer in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.

Direct download: DD030206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

A Dinner Date With the Olympics

Take a closer look at the Olympic rings. Located in the yellow ring are the McDonald's arches, and in the red ring, a bottle of Coca-Cola. These companies represent two of the 11 Worldwide Olympic Partners who have forked out incredible sums of money to fund the games and market their products alongside.

After the announcement of the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Premier Gordon Campbell announced that British Columbia will be the healthiest jurisdiction to ever host the Olympic Games. Numerous initiatives have now been launched that encourage healthier living for all British Columbians. How does the influence of these two major Olympic sponsors affect the progress of these intiatives: initiatives that many argue have been designed to combat the unhealthy influence of these very companies.

Join us as we discuss how the products of McDonald's and Coca-Cola represent sport, nutrition and the active lifestlyes that the Olympics promote.

We will look into the effects of advertising on children, and how parents and teachers can help young Canadians better interpret the powerful messages that the Olympics emit.


Jennifer Gibson - Sport Dietitian - SportMedBC - a not-for-profit society, whose focal point is sport medicine and science within the provincial sport system. SportMedBC is committed to identifying, developing and promoting Best Practices in Sport Health, Sport Safety and Sport Training. We aim to coordinate access to a network of practitioners and to be the ultimate resources for all active British Columbians interested in sport activities.

Warren Nightingale - Education Content Developer - Media Awareness Network - is a Canadian non-profit organization that has been pioneering the development of media literacy programs since its incorporation in 1996. Members of our team have backgrounds in education, journalism, mass communications, and cultural policy. Working out of offices in Ottawa and Montreal, they promote media and Internet education by producing online programs and resources, working in partnership with Canadian and international organizations, and speaking to audiences across Canada and around the world.

Direct download: DD022306.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Agricultural Change and the Struggle to Keep Up

We take a rare glimpse into some of the issues facing British Columbia's small-scale farmers and producers. With the rapid pace at which agricultural and production methods have evolved, two distinct food-producing frameworks now exist: the small scale farmer/producer, and the commodity-based ones hooked into industrial methods of production.

How does the small operation survive in this world of giants? British Columbia's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries' - Brent Warner, speaks to members of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society on how change affects them, and how they should best adapt to this change.

This is an opportunity to look behind the scenes into the very issues that face the people growing and producing our food.

Brent Warner - Industry Specialist - Agritourism/Direct Marketing - BRITISH COLUMBIA MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND FISHERIES. Brent is a horticulturalist who has worked with the Ministry since 1980. Brent is the Secretary of the North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association. He authored "Marketing on the Edge" - a guide for farmers/producers to assist in diversification and marketing of their products directly to the public.

Brent spoke on 02/11/06 at a Nelson-based meeting of the Kootenay Organic Growers Society. This broadcast contains audio recordings from his presentation.

Direct download: DD021606.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Sterile Seeds

(originally broadcast February 9, 2006)

Seeds are the foundation of our food supply and the building blocks of culture, community and well-being. Seeds also represent an industry of which 50% of global sales are controlled by 10 companies. The patenting and control of seeds is already a reality, but the push is now on to introduce Terminator technology - plants that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds at harvest. This technology will prevent farmers from saving their seeds for the following season and help protect the global seed industry. We will discuss the importance of seeds, Terminator technology, and the Canadian-based worldwide campaign "Ban Terminator".


Lucy Sharratt - coordinator of the Ottawa-based Ban Terminator international campaign, an initiative of the ETC Group. Lucy has been involved with the Polaris Institute and the Sierra Club of Canada.

Terry Boehm - Vice-President, National Farmers Union (NFU) - Saskatchewan. Terry is a canola farmer in Allan, Saskatchewan.

Devlin Kuyek - Montreal-based staff member of GRAIN - an international non-governmental organisation which promotes the sustainable management and use of agricultural biodiversity based on people's control over genetic resources and local knowledge. Coordinator of the Forum on the Patenting of Life (Canada), member of the Groupe de recherche: technosciences du vivant et soci�©t�© at the University of Quebec at Montreal.

Harry Collins - Vice-President of Technology Transfer, Delta & Pine Land Company - headquartered in Scott, Mississippi, has offices in eight states and facilities in several foreign countries. Holds three patents jointly with the United States Department of Agriculture. These were the first patents on Terminator. Delta & Pine Land is conducting greenhouse tests of Terminator; is the 11th largest seed company in the world; is the largest cotton seed company in the world and produces and sells conventional and GM soy and cotton seed.

Direct download: DD020906.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Paying the Costs of Not Paying Attention to Eating

This broadcasts looks to address how the attention we pay to the specific moment of eating, affects the attention we pay to what food we purchase and why? By reconnecting ourselves to the act of eating, can we reconnect ourselves to food itself?


Victoria Stanton - Artist, ESSEN, (Montreal, QC) - Montreal-based performance artist producing solo and collaborative creative work since 1992. Her project entitled ESSEN, takes a look at our relationship with eating by hosting meals where participants feed each other instead of themselves. These events help expose our relationship with food by disrupting the daily routine of feeding.

Carl Honoré, Author, In Praise of Slow (London, UK) - Author of "IN PRAISE OF SLOW - How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed" (Vintage Canada). Carl is a Canadian journalist based in London, England. He has written for The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Houston Chronicle, Miami Herald, and the National Post.

Paul Rozin - Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, (Philadelphia, PA). Earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and masters and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. He has been a member of the department of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania since 1963. Former editor of the journal Appetite. Research - Cultural Psychology. Acquisition of likes and dislikes for foods, nature and development of the magical belief in contagion, cultural evolution of disgust, ambivalence to animal foods, lay conception of risk of infection and toxic effects of foods, interaction of moral and health factors in concerns about risks, relation between people's desires to have desires and their actual desires (including the problem of internalization), acquisition of culture, nature of cuisine, cultural evolution. Research carried out in USA, France, Japan and India.

Direct download: DD111507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

How does food and agriculture make its way into party platforms? What are the main concerns of BC farmers and producers? How do politicians shop for food?

We discuss how our country’s major political parties attempt to tackle the issues of Factory Farming, Declining Farmer Incomes, Regulations and more.


Alex Atamanenko – NDP candidate, British Columbia Southern Interior. Alex ran in the 2004 election and lost to Conservative incumbent Jim Gouk by 680 votes.

Andrew Lewis – Deputy Leader of the Green Party, and candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands. Andrew received the highest percentage of votes for a green party candidate in the 2004 federal election, and 2001 provincial election.

Stewart Wells – National President, National Farmer’s Union (NFU). Farmer in Swift Current, SK.

Cathy Holtslander – Project Organizer, Beyond Factory Farming Coaltion (Council of Canadians).

Andrea Gunner – Agricultural consultant, Manager – BC Organic Milling Co-op (Armstrong)

Direct download: DD011906.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST


How are 98% of eggs in British Columbia produced, and what other methods compose the remaining 2%. We discuss the state of the egg industry in this province and investigate into the methods of education the industry utilizes to inform the consumer.


Bruce Passmore - Farm Animal Welfare Coordinator for the Vancouver Humane Society, Coordinator of the Chicken Out Campaign, a joint effort between the Humane Society and the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals.

Fred Reid - Olera Farm in Abbotsford. Member of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia, and you may recognize the name as a key opponent in the heated debates that took place in this province only a few years ago between organic egg producers and the BC Egg Marketing Board

Karl Hann - Biota Farm in Abbotsford, biodynamic farmer and egg producer. Green Party candidate in the Abbotsford riding during the 2004 federal election. Karl was born and raised in Romania and has been living and farming in Canada for 20 years.

Maria Castro - Quennell Lake Poultry, a small family farm in the community of Cedar on Vancouver Island. Steering Committee of the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition (a campaign of the Council of Canadians). A director of Rare Breeds Canada. Steering Committee of the Agriculture Caucus of the Canadian Environmental Network. Food Link Nanaimo.

Peter Whitlock - Operations Manager BC Egg Producers (BC Egg Marketing Board).

Direct download: DD011206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

For the inaugural broadcast of Deconstructing Dinner, the question of “why should we be deconstructing our dinner” was posed to 7 British Columbians who are concerned about the state of our food system.


Abra Brynne – Chair of the certification committee for the Kootenay Organic Growers Society. She sits on the board of Nelson’s Kootenay Co-op grocery store and was instrumental in helping form the BC Food Systems Network .

Kim Stansfield – Kim operates a 10-acre farm in Summerland where she grows grapes and creates value-added products from her crop. Kim also sits on the board for the Small Scale Food Processors Association.

Cathleen Kneen – Along with her husband Brewster, Cathleen publishes the monthly food systems newsletter The Ram’s Horn. Cathleen is helped found the BC Food Systems Network and she is the editor of BC Organic Grower – a quarterly magazine of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia.

Barbara Seed – Barbara is a Public Health Nutritionist and PhD student in Food Policy at City University in London, England, where her advisor Dr. Tim Lang is internationally renowned in food policy issues. Barbara is a registered dietitian and was also a member of the Vancouver Food Policy Council.

Gwen Chapman – Gwen is an Associate Professor in nutritional sciences at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Some of Gwen’s research involves exploring how our everyday food practices are shaped by socially-constructed notions of food, health, bodies, and roles.

Frank Moreland and Sandra Mark – Since meeting in 1998, Frank and Sandra have worked together in food related community economic development and co-operative development initiatives. Both are passionate about arming communities with the necessary tools to become economically viable. Sandra teaches community development at the University of Victoria’s School of Social Work.

Direct download: DD010506.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST