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.

Whole Foods Market Targeted by Organic Advocates
The U.S.-based Organic Consumers Association is the largest of its kind in the United States – representing thousands of supporters of organic food. Over the past year, the organization has taken a strong stance against grocery giant Whole Foods Market, calling upon them to “walk their talk” and increase their support for organic products, which, as Executive Director Ronnie Cummins describes, exists in the shadows of the majority of the company’s products, which are conventionally produced and disguised as “natural” foods. This segment courtesy of Vancouver Co-op Radio’s (CFRO) Redeye.

Local Food System Development Spotlight
The National Farmers Union Local 316 alongside like-minded organizations and residents of the region in and around Kingston, Ontario have been successfully building a strong local food movement. In November 2008, farmer, entrepreneur and member of the NFU Kim Perry shared the successes to date and the actions taken within the region to generate support for a resilient local food system.

Carnivore Chic (encore)
A revisiting of our July 2008 interview with Toronto author Susan Bourette of “Carnivore Chic – From Pasture to Plate, The Search for the Perfect Meat”. While working for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine, Susan went undercover at the largest slaughterhouse for hogs in Canada located in Brandon, Manitoba and owned by Maple Leaf Foods. Susan’s subsequent article for the magazine, her eventual book Carnivore Chic and this interview, all aired before the nation-wide listeria contamination of Maple Leaf food products occurred and which led to the death of 22 people and left many more ill. While working inside the plant, Susan became disturbed at the state in which animals and workers are treated within the industry, leading her to wonder if meat had completely lost its cultural significance.


Ronnie Cummins – executive directorOrganic Consumers Association (Finland, ME) – The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), formed in 1998, is an online and grassroots non-profit public interest organization campaigning for “health, justice, and sustainability”. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. They are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation’s estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers. The OCA represents over 850,000 members, subscribers and volunteers, including several thousand businesses in the natural foods and organic marketplace.

Kim PerrydirectorNational Farmers Union Local 316 (Harrowsmith, ON) – Kim was born and raised in New Brunswick and in 2001 became a member of the National Farmers Union and their Local 316. Her and her husband Dave operate Perry Maine-Anjou Farms in the community of Harrowsmith, Ontario, and they own a small local food store called Local Family Farms in the community of Verona. Kim is actively involved in encouraging local food system development in the area in and around Kingston, Ontario.

Susan BouretteauthorCarnivore Chic (Toronto, ON) – Susan is an award-winning writer with a reputation for investigative journalism. Formerly a reporter for The Globe and Mail, she is now a freelance writer.

Direct download: DD052010.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

On May 8, 2010, Deconstructing Dinner descended upon the grounds of the Legislature of British Columbia in Victoria where one of the largest rallies of its kind was taking place. The rally was organized as part of the 2.5 week long "Get Out Migration" calling for the removal of open-net salmon farms along the B.C. coast. Between April 21 and May 8, biologist Alexandra Morton travelled from the community of Echo Bay in the Broughton Archipelago and proceeded on foot down Vancouver Island where hundreds of supporters joined her as they approached the BC Legislature. An estimated 4,000 people attended the rally.


Alexandra Morton - biologist, 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.

Bob Chamberlin, chairman, Musgamagw Tsawataineuk (Gilford Island, BC) - Chief Bob Chamberlin is from the the Kwicksutaineuk-Ah-Kwaw-Ah-Mish First Nation on Gilford Island, BC. He is the chairman of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk Tribal Council and has been actively involved in efforts that oppose open-net salmon farms.

Stewart Phillip, president, BC Union of Indian Chiefs (Penticton, BC) - Grand Chief Stewart Phillip is from the Penticton Indian Band and is the Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance. Stewart is serving is fourth three-year term as the president of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs.

Darren Blaney, former chief, Homalco First Nation (near Campbell River, BC) - The Homalco First Nation is a member of the Naut'sa mawt Tribal Council.

Rafe Mair, commentator, Rafe Mair (Lions Bay, BC) - Between 1975 and 1981, Rafe served as an MLA for the riding of Kamloops and later became a popular radio talk-show host until 2005. Since then, Rafe has been a vocal opponent of the privatation of BC's rivers and creeks and of open-net salmon farms.

Vicky Husband, environmentalist (Victoria, BC) - Vicky is one of British Columbia's best known environmentalists. Past Conservation Chair for the Sierra Club of B.C., she is tireless in her drive to protect her province's natural heritage, especially the coastal rainforest and marine ecosystems and their inhabitants. She has been a leader in numerous conservation debates, including working for the protection of the ancient rainforests of Clayoquot Sound, and establishing Canada's first grizzly bear sanctuary, on B.C.'s north coast. For the past five years, Vicky has also focused on salmon and other fisheries- management. She is a member in the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada.

Billy Proctor, fisherman (Echo Bay, BC) - Billy Proctor was a commerical fisherman for 60 years and has been a resident of the Broughton Archipelago for 74 years.

Fin Donnelly, member of parliament New Westminster-Coquitlam, Port Moody, NDP (Coquitlam, BC) - Fin is the NDP Critic on Fisheries and Oceans. He has introduced legislation to ban tanker traffic along BC�s sensitive northern coast and transition all fish farms to closed containment. Prior to being elected, Fin played a key role in calling for and securing the Cohen Inquiry into the collapse of the Fraser Sockeye Salmon. He served on Coquitlam City Council for 7 years and was the Executive Director of Rivershed Society of B.C. for 13 years. Fin twice swam the Fraser River (1400km) to promote sustainable living.


Direct download: DD051310.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST

Over the past month, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (the CFIA) has embarked on a concentrated effort in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, threatening area businesses with fines unless they remove their ungraded farm-fresh eggs from store shelves. Close to a dozen businesses that Deconstructing Dinner is aware of have received such a visit This episode hears from a number of those businesses including comments on the issue from the BC Egg Marketing Board, the CFIA and the regional health authority Interior Health.

While the availability of eggs from local farms in the region has been significantly curtailed following this "crack" down on local eggs, the increasingly popular alternative to store-bought eggs (backyard eggs) is too being met with a crack down of its own. In December 2009, Nelson B.C. resident Monica Nissen was paid a visit by a local bylaw enforcement officer who demanded that Nissen remove her chickens from her backyard, or too face a fine and the possible confiscation of her birds. The City's bylaw enforcement officer was acting on two supposed complaints... and we say "supposed" because according to all of Nissen's immediate neighbours, none of them took issue with the chickens... leaving Nissen and Deconstructing Dinner wondering just what constitutes a valid complaint if it clearly didn't come from an immediate neighbour? We'll also be joined by Nelson city councillor Kim Charlesworth, who recounts the past year's efforts to revise the local bylaw that prohibits backyard chickens within city limits and we'll hear from Ian Fraser - a senior animal control officer for Victoria Animal Control Services - a city that does permit backyard chickens and hence, backyard eggs.

Join us for this important broadcast as we explore what Kootenay businesses and residents are calling an afront to food sovereignty following these latest efforts by local and federal authorities who appear determined to ensure that the only eggs easily accessible to Canadians are the factory-farmed options.


Kevin Smith, farmer/baker, Old World Bakery (Balfour, BC) - The Old World Bakery produces a line of baked goods for their own retail customers and many local businesses. Kevin Smith and his wife Darla also farm in the community of Ainsworth.

Bonny Kavalov, co-owner, Nature's Den (Rossland, BC) - Bonny and her husband Sid operate this small health store in Rossland, BC.

Wayne Popoff, owner, Kootenay Liquidators (Castlegar, BC) - Wayne is a hobby farmer just outside of Castlegar and operates a store that sells feed products and farm-fresh eggs among other things.

Amyn Alibhai, board member, BC Egg Marketing Board (Kamloops, BC) - Since its inception in 1967 as the first egg marketing board in Canada with quota, the British Columbia Egg Marketing Board (BCEMB) serves as a non-profit, producer organization financed solely by its Registered Producers through a levy system. The BCEMB is one of eleven provincial and territorial egg marketing boards that meet under the umbrella of the Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) to address industry issues of regional, national and international importance. Amyn owns Sunshine Eggs - a large producer of graded eggs.

Deanna Zgrablic, food processing specialist inspector , Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) (Abbotsford, BC) - The CFIA is Canada's government agency which seeks to "safeguard food, animals and plants, which enhance the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy".

Ron Popoff, environmental health team leader, Interior Health (Cranbrook, BC) - IH is one of five geographically-based health authorities created in 2001 by the Government of British Columbia. It is responsible for ensuring publicly funded health services are provided to the people of the Southern Interior.

Monica Nissen, former backyard chickener (Nelson, BC)

Kim Charlesworth, city councillor, City of Nelson (Nelson, BC)

Ian Fraser, senior animal control officer, Victoria Animal Control Services (Victoria, BC)

Direct download: DD050610.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00pm EST