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.

The Seaweed Lady
In mid-February, Deconstructing Dinner visited southern Vancouver Island, and in particular the community of Sooke, which is home to an active and well-connected food community. One of those foodies is Diane Bernard who is more commonly known as "The Seaweed Lady". Diane is the founder of Outer Coast Seaweeds - a producer of seaweed-based skin care products, but Diane is also active in using and supplying seaweeds for culinary use.

Deconstructing Dinner in Our Schools V

Edward Milne Community School
Also located in Sooke is a unique culinary arts program offered at Edward Milne Community School - the area's local high-school. While the culinary program itself is unique among Canadian high schools, also exciting is the program's very own vegetable and herb garden and fruit trees that the students are also engaged with throughout their classes.

Campus Action on Food - Dalhousie University
Through the work of CKDU's Asaf Rashid, we examine a series of recent demonstrations staged at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The demonstrations are organized by Campus Action on Food who have been seeking to raise awareness of the exclusive foodservice contracts, which, similar to many institutions, often restrict students to purchasing food from only one foodservice company.


Diane Bernard, owner, Outer Coast Seaweeds (Sooke, BC) - Diane Bernard has harvested wild seaweeds for the past 12 years. Her passion for seaweeds has landed her with the title of Seaweed Lady and she operates Outer Coast Seaweeds - a business whose primary focus is the Seaflora brand of seaweed-based skin-care products. Diane is also an avid culinary user of seaweeds and also supplies chefs throughout British Columbia with freshly harvested varieties. Diane has a commercial license to harvest seaweeds along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island between the communities of Sooke and Port Renfrew.

Pia Carroll & Marion French, culinary arts instructors, Edward Milne Community School (Sooke, BC) - Pia has worked at Edward Milne Community School for 14 years and Marion for 2. Both are passionate about empowering students with the knowledge/skills to work in commercial kitchens and ensure students are well aware of where the food comes from and how it's grown.


Direct download: DD022510.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:30pm EST

For regular listeners of Deconstructing Dinner, the connections between the food we eat and our rapidly changing climate are clear and well understood. But beyond the many stories covered on the show that address the connections, has been a relatively slow uptake among the general public, the media, and policy-makers of this new reality... a reality where every food we consume carries either a positive or negative impact on our local and global climate and ecosystems.

In October 2008, Anna Blythe Lappé of the Small Planet Institute spoke to an audience in Stockbridge, Massachussets. Her talk was titled "Food and Climate Change - Making the Links".


Anna Blythe Lappé co-founder, Small Planet Institute (New York, NY) - Anna is the daughter of well-known food security and human rights advocate Frances Moore Lappé - perhaps most well known for her seminal book 'Diet for a Small Planet'. In 2002, Anna and Frances collaborated to author a follow-up to that book titled 'Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet'. Just prior to the launch of the book, the mother-daughter team founded The Small Planet Institute - an international network for research and popular education about the root causes of hunger and poverty. Anna's second book, published in 2006 was titled 'Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen' and and her third and forthcoming release is titled 'Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It'.


Direct download: DD021810.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:40pm EST

Farming in the City XIII (Backyard Chickens X)
In November 2009, a panel discussion on urban agriculture was hosted by Backyard Bounty and the University of Guelph. The event was called Opportunities for Action: An Urban Agriculture Symposium and Deconstructing Dinner partner station CFRU recorded the panel. This episode hears from two of the panelists who both share innovative urban agriculture projects: the Carrot City exhibition - a collection of conceptual and realized ideas for sustainable urban food production, and the Diggable Communities Collaborative - a community garden initiative that demonstrates the importance of partnerships and the ways in which regional health authorities and local governments can support and implement local food system and urban agriculture planning. Rounding off the show - regular contributor Bucky Buckaw and his Backyard Chicken Broadcast. Bucky dispels the myth that backyard chickens attract rats and he shares insights on raising roosters - an often prohibited presence even within municipalities that do allow backyard chickens.

Updates on 'Norway, British Columbia' & 'A Dinner Date With the Olympics'
Much has transpired since our previous episodes of our Norway, British Columbia series on BC salmon farms. Updates include news of the transfer of regulatory power between the Province and the federal government; criminal charges filed against Marine Harvest and upcoming rallies/events in Vancouver. Also updates on the Coca-Cola torch relay which passed through Deconstructing Dinner's hometown of Nelson, BC shortly after our January Olympic broadcast.


Mark Gorgolewski co-curator, Carrot City (Toronto, ON) - Mark is a Professor and Program Director for the graduate program in building science in the Department of Architectural Science at Toronto's Ryerson University. He is a Director of the Canada Green Building Council and has worked for many years as an educator, architect, researcher and environmental consultant to the construction industry in Canada and Europe. Recently he was co-curator of the exhibition Carrot City � Design for Urban Agriculture. He has also coordinated one of the winning teams in the CMHC Equilibrium Housing Competition to design a sustainable, net zero energy housing development, and is co-recipient of the 2007-2008 ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award.

Katherine Pigott manager, healthy communities & policy team, Region of Waterloo Public Health (Kitchener, ON) - Katherine has worked at Region of Waterloo Public Health since March 2000. A key part of her role has been the development of a comprehensive local food systems planning approach in Waterloo Region as Manager of the Healthy Communities and Policy Team. Katherine has over twenty years experience in community based program development, planning, and systems change that has spanned economic development, health promotion and environmental planning. She serves of the Board of Directors of the Association of Health Centres of Ontario and on the Steering Committee of Food Secure Canada.

Bucky Buckaw - host, Bucky Buckaw's Backyard Chicken Broadcast (New York, NY) - Bucky Buckaw gives advice on raising backyard chickens as just one example of how a locally based economy can work. Through this segment, he informs listeners about the downside of factory farming and what kinds of toxic chemicals you can expect to find in the resultant livestock. He promotes organic gardening and composting, and supporting local farmers.

Alexandra Morton - scientist/researcher, Raincoast Research Society (Echo Bay, BC) - While studying orca whales up until the 1990s, Alexandra watched as the salmon farming industry appeared in the Broughton Archipelago where she calls home. As she observed the arrival of industrial salmon farms, the whales she studied disappeared. She believed the cause was salmon farms, and when 10,000 pages of letters to all levels of government failed to elicit meaningful response, Alexandra realized that she would have to scientifically prove that salmon farming had driven out the whales and caused epidemic outbreaks of bacteria, viral and parasitic infections in wild salmon. By partnering with international scientists and in some cases commercial fishermen, Alexandra has documented the loss of the whales, thousands of escaped farm salmon, lethal outbreaks of sea lice, and antibiotic resistance near salmon farms.


Direct download: DD021110.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:38pm EST

In July 2009, Deconstructing Dinner aired a one-hour feature on the now in-process closure of Canada's prison farm system. That episode came only months after it was discovered in February 2009 that Corrections Service Canada alongside Public Safety Canada had already planned the closure of the 150-year old program. With six farms having been operated in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the discovery of the news sparked an ongoing and active campaign of opposition seeking to halt the closures.

On this part II of our coverage we listen to audio from the February 1, 2010 democratic dialogue hosted in Steinbach, Manitoba where Members of Parliament were invited to debate the prison farm closures. The event was strategically hosted in the political riding of the recently appointed Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews. The episode also examines a rather feisty exchange within Canada's Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food. On November 17, 2009, Liberal Member of Parliament Wayne Easter tabled a motion requesting that the Committee explore the closure of the prison farm system.


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 the Liberal Party's Opposition Critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food. Wayne was National President and CEO of the National Farmers Union for 11 years.

James Bezan member of parliament, Selkirk-Interlake, Conservative Party of Canada (Teulon, MB) - In 2004, James was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Conservative MP. Bezan attended Olds College in Alberta where he majored in livestock technology and received a degree in Agricultural Production. Bezan worked in the livestock and cattle industries in the 1980s and 1990s, and started his own company in 1996. He served as Chief Executive Officer of the Manitoba Cattle Producer's Association and has sat on numerous boards in the fields of cattle and food production. He operates a farm near Teulon, Manitoba.

Carol Hughes member of parliament, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Elliot Lake, ON) - Carol was elected to represent the electoral district of Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing in the 2008 Canadian federal election. Carol was formerly employed with Probation and Parole Services at Elliot Lake and Youth Justice Services in Sudbury.

Pierre Lemieux member of parliament, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Conservative Party of Canada (Casselman, ON) - Pierre was elected to represent the riding of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell in 2006, narrowly defeating his Liberal opponent. Pierre is the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food.

André Bellavance member of parliament, Richmond-Arthabaska, Bloc-Quebeçois (Victoriaville, QC) - André has representing the riding of Richmond-Arthabaska since 2004. André has served as the party's critic on Agriculture and Agri-Food since 2006 and has been a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food since 2004.

Andrew McCann spokesperson, Save Our Prison Farms Coalition (Kingston, ON) - Among his active role with the Save Our Prison Farms coalition, Andrew represents Urban Agriculture Kingston and has worked on many food security initiatives including the Sustainable Local Food Certificate offered at St. Lawrence College.

John Hutton director, John Howard Society of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB) - The John Howard Society works with men in conflict with the law, before, during and after incarceration. They also look at ways to repair harm and restore relationships damaged by crime.

Mark Holland member of parliament, Ajax-Pickering, Liberal Party of Canada (Pickering, ON) - As one of the youngest members of the Liberal Caucas, Mark Holland was first elected in 2004 and has represented the riding of Ajax-Pickering ever since. As a Member of Parliament, Holland serves as the Liberal party's critic for Public Safety and National Security and is Vice Chair of the Public Safety and National Security Committee.

Niki Ashton member of parliament, Churchill, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Thompson, MB) - Niki has represented the Churchill riding since 2008 and serves as the NDP's critic on Rural and Community Development.


Direct download: DD020410.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:42pm EST