Tue, 26 January 2010
The Speerville Flour Mill is a locally-owned and operated business in New Brunswick that has for over 25 years been supplying the Atlantic Provinces of Canada with local, organically grown grains and foods. The mill supports dozens of organic grain farmers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. One of those farmers is Andrew Kernohan of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. In September 2009, Deconstructing Dinner visited Speerville and Andrew's farm while touring throughout the provinces.
Similar to the efforts that Deconstructing Dinner has documented on our Local Grain Revolution series, developing and maintaining local organic grain economies is no easy task in light of the vast majority of grains consumed in North America coming from areas where grain growing has for over the past 100 years become very centralized. While the Speerville Flour Mill has not operated without enduring many challenges, the business is a great example of the role that small-scale food processors can play in supporting regional farmers and economies. Speerville also demonstrates the power with which demand from the eating public for local organic products can generate some necessary muscle to get those products onto the shelves of national grocery retailers.
Todd & Tony Grant - Speerville Flour Mill (Speerville, NB) - Todd is the President of the Speerville Flour Mill and joined the businesses in 1990. Tony works alongside Todd in a managerial role and joined the mill in 2003. Both are passionate about being able to provide fresh, healthy, organic food to the Atlantic Provinces.
Andrew Kernohan - farmer - Ballymena Farm (Parrsboro, NS) - Andrew Kernohan is an organic farmer in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia where he grows grains for Speerville Flour Mill. Andrew is also the Board President of ACORN - the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network.
Mon, 18 January 2010
On February 23, 2006, Deconstructing Dinner aired a one-hour feature titled "A Dinner Date With the Olympics". The episode was produced alongside the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. The show focused its attention on two of the Games major sponsors (Coca-Cola and McDonald's). When we think of the Olympic Games, the athletes, the events, we think of human beings at the peak of performance, in optimal physical and psychological states. Sports do after all evoke images of health and well-being. So when two of the Games major sponsors are Coca-Cola and McDonald's (perhaps the two most targeted food companies in the world for their unhealthy food and their environmental, social and animal welfare practices), it sparked that 2006 episode which deconstructed this seeming hypocrisy. On this 2010 Version of that original broadcast, we revisit with the episode and add some much-needed 2010 updates.
Jennifer Gibson - ex sport dietitian - SportMedBC (Vancouver, BC) - SportMedBC is 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.
Warren Nightingale - ex education content developer - Media Awareness Network (Ottawa, ON) - The 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 the group 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.
Nicole Manuel - Neskonlith Indian Band, Secwepemc Nation (Neskonlith, BC) - Nicole spoke to an audience in October 2006 at the Bridging Borders Toward Food Security Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia. Nicole was at the forefront of the demonstrations that took place in 2001 on the land that is now Sun Peaks Resort north of Kamloops, British Columbia. The land was an important location upon which the Secwepemc Nation gathered and hunted their traditional foods.
Billie Pierre, Nlaka'Pamux Nation (Vancouver, BC) - Billie is a Nlaka-Pamux/Saulteaux woman who has been part of the Native Youth Movement and is a founding member of Redwire magazine and engaged in other Native struggles on Coast Salish Territories.
Tue, 12 January 2010
Campaign for New Farmers
Farmers and the Global Food Crisis w/Paul Nicholson
Kalissa Regier, youth president National Farmers Union (NFU) (Laird, SK) - Kalissa farms organic mixed grains and oilseeds north of Saskatoon in Laird, Saskatchewan. She also farms hemp seed and flax, legumes, pulse crops -- lentils and peas.
Hilary Moore, farmer Teamwork CSA (Almonte, ON) - After graduating from Environmental Studies at Ottawa's Carleton University, Kalissa gained valuable experience on farms in New York and Massachusetts to later return six years ago to Ontario and launch the Teamwork Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) program at Dunbrae Farms in Almonte, Ontario.
Paul Nicholson, Euskal Herriko Nekazarien Elkartasuna (EHNE) (Spain) - Paul is a member of EHNE (Euskal Herriko Nekazarien Elkartasuna), the Basque Farmers Union in the Basque Country of Spain and a member of the International Coordinating Committee of La Via Campesina. EHNE is part of the Spanish COAG (Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos), which is part of the European Coordination-Via Campesina, a Via Campesina organization in Europe. La Via Campesina is an organization of organizations, part of a global movement of peasants, family farmers, indigenous and landless people.
Sat, 2 January 2010
On today's final broadcast of 2009 (or first of 2010 depending when you listen!), Deconstructing Dinner shares audio recordings from the National Farmers Union's (NFU) recent annual convention hosted in Ottawa - November 25-27. The NFU has lent their voice to Deconstructing Dinner on well over a dozen occasions and we've always appreciated their passion and commitment to defending and promoting the Canadian family farm. This year's convention marks the NFU's 40th.
Launching the show is a feisty welcome from Member of Parliament and Liberal Party Agriculture Critic Wayne Easter. We then hear from outgoing NFU President Stewart Wells who reflects and projects on the state of Canada's farms and farmers, and rounding off the show, Dr. Shiv Chopra - the former Health Canada scientist who was fired from his job in 2004 for alleged insubordination. Chopra's case is still in process and in the meantime he has authored Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower. Chopra was last interviewed for Deconstructing Dinner in March 2006.
Shiv Chopra, author Corrupt to the Core: Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower (Ottawa, ON) - Shiv Chopra's name has become synonymous with food safety. He and fellow scientists have waged many battles over 4 decades against a succession of Canadian federal ministries of health and helped to protect the food supply worldwide. With support of his union, Dr Chopra and his colleagues refused to approve various harmful drugs intended for meat and milk production. He endured disciplinary actions, spoke out publicly, testified at Senate committees, and won federal court cases against Health Canada. Due to Dr. Chopra's work, Bovine Growth Hormone was barred in Canada in 1999 and in the EU. He has spoken out on BGH, dangerous antibiotics like Revalor-H Baytril, and the true causes of mad cow disease. Originally from India, he has lived in Canada since 1960. He is the author of numerous publications on science, society and religion. His academic qualifications include graduation in veterinary medicine and M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Microbiology. He is the recipient of numerous academic awards, including a Fellowship of the World Health Organization. His latest release is "Corrupt to the Core" which details a full account of how government corruption endagers the public food supply. This book contains a blueprint for the establishment of food safety and security: Dr. Chopra's "Five Pillars of Food Safety," which was presented in April 2008 to the Canadian Parliament by MP (NDP) Paul Dewar.
Wayne Easter, member of parliament Malpeque Liberal Party of Canada (North Wiltshire, PEI) - Wayne was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and was raised on the family farm in North Wiltshire. Wayne entered politics in 1993 when he was officially elected as the Member of Parliament for the riding of Malpeque, P.E.I. He was re-elected in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008. In Parliament, Wayne has served as Solicitor General of Canada, Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries and Oceans, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food with special responsibilities for the Rural Secretariat, and is currently Agriculture Critic. Wayne was National President and CEO of the National Farmers Union for 11 years.
Stewart Wells, former president National Farmers Union (NFU) (Swift Current, SK) - Stewart was President of the NFU between 2001-2009. He farms in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.