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.

Margaret Atwood Joins Prison Farms Campaign
As part of our ongoing coverage on the future of Canada's prison farms, we check in on the campaign where well-known Canadian author Margaret Atwood has now joined the fight. We'll listen in on the June 6 rally in Kingston, Ontario and the subsequent rally in Ottawa one week later. Updates on the campaign include the recently put in place 24-hour citizen watch - set up across the street from Kingston, Ontario's Frontenac Institution, where residents there are keeping a close eye on the prison farm, ensuring that the 300 animal dairy herd does not get trucked off the property to auction.

Vancouver's Backyard Chickens I (Backyard Chickens XII)
The first of a two-part feature on the City of Vancouver's multi-year process to approve backyard chickens. On June 8, it became official... Vancouver residents are now permitted to raise 4 chickens per household. Because of the many similar debates underway within city councils across the country, we'll launch this first of a two-part feature on Vancouver's efforts by looking back over the past few years to track just how this process first began. Perhaps other hopeful or illegal backyard chickeners can glean some pointers from Vancouver's efforts.


The Future of Prison Farms

Andrew McCann Urban Agriculture Kingston (Kingston, ON)

Margaret Atwood author Margaret Atwood (Toronto, ON)

Jeff Peters farmer / director National Farmers Union Local 316 (Inverary, ON)

William Commanda spiritual & hereditary chief Algonquin Nation

Sister Pauline Lally Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul (Kingston, ON)

Aric McBay farmer Root Radical Community Shared Agriculture (Howe Island, ON)

Wayne Easter member of parliament, Malpeque, Liberal Party of Canada

Mark Holland, member of parliament, Ajax-Pickering, Liberal Party of Canada

Alex Atamanenko member of parliament, BC Southern Interior NDP

Maria Mourani member of parliament, Ahuntsic Bloc QuebeƧois

Vancouver's Backyard Chickens I

Barbara Joughin, past member, Vancouver Food Policy Council (Vancouver, BC)

Carol Christopher, member Vancouver Food Policy Council (Vancouver, BC)

Andrea Reimer, councillor City of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)

David Cadman, councillor City of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)

and others...


Direct download: DD061710.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:45pm EST

Over the past year, Deconstructing Dinner has spent an increasing amount of time focusing on the discussions that take place on food and farming within Canada's parliamentary committees. Today, we visit with a previously unexplored committee on the show - the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, where, in the past few months, the subject of salmon farming has been a focus of attention.

Among the many issues addressed within the Committee, host Jon Steinman deconstructs dialogue that took place on resistance among sea lice to the anti-parasitic drug - SLICE. The drug is an open-net cage salmon farmer's primary and most effective control to keep lice levels down and reduce their threat to juvenile wild salmon. Sea lice experts around the world believe it's only a matter of time when sea lice in British Columbia will develop resistance to the drug. Despite a graph released by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands that is suggestive to some biologists of possible drug resistance, government officials have exhibited their own resistance to these said warning signs.

On another front, Steinman also deconstructs the federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) - a government body who receives a lot of criticism among marine conservation groups for what they and the Attorney General of Canada believe of the Department's dual mandate is a conflict of interest - a mandate to protect wild salmon and promote salmon aquaculture. Deconstructing Dinner uncovers some glaring mis and disinformation on a DFO web page that lends a more tangible example of these seemingly confusing and conflicting roles of the DFO.


Craig Orr - executive director, Watershed Watch Salmon Society (Coquitlam, BC) - Craig Orr has been a professional ecologist for more than 30 years and helps Watershed Watch in its efforts to conserve water and salmon habitat, and to minimize impacts to wild salmon from mixed-stock interception fisheries, aquaculture practices, and climate change. Craig also currently serves as Chair of the Pacific Marine Conservation Caucus, Science Coordinator of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform, and as an environmental advisor to Kwikwetlem First Nation. He recently served as Associate Director of Simon Fraser University's Centre for Coastal Studies, Chair of BC Hydro's Bridge Coastal Restoration Program, Vice-Chair of the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, a member of the Vancouver Foundation's environment committee, and as a director of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.

Mark Sheppard - senior aquatic animal health veterinarian, British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture & Lands (Courtenay, BC) - The B.C. government supports the development of the aquaculture industry. While the B.C. government has overseen the industry since the federal government allocated responsibility in 1988, that regulatory regime is now in a transition to federal authority following the B.C. Supreme Court case Alexandra Morton et al vs the A.G. of British Columbia and Marine Harvest Canada.

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.

Lawrence Dill - professor emeritus, department of biological sciences, Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC) - Dill's major research interests are in the development and testing of cost-benefit models of behaviour, and experimental studies of the decision rules used by animals to ensure adaptive behaviour in various contexts. The emphasis is on understanding how behaviours maximize individual fitness; this is achieved by experimental analyses of the benefits and costs of the various behavioural alternatives available to the animal. Dill studies marine invertebrates, fishes (marine and freshwater) and cetaceans (whales and dolphins).

Fin Donnelly - member of parliament, new westminster - coquitlam, port moody, New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP) (Coquitlam, BC)

Gerry Byrne - member of parliament, humber - st. barbe - baie-verte, Liberal Party of Canada (Corner Brook, NL)

Scott Andrews - member of parliament, avalon, Liberal Party of Canada (Conception Bay South, NL)

Direct download: DD061010.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:56am EST

As people throughout the Western world are increasingly seeking to reconnect with their food, there's a lot to be learned from the many peoples who have long maintained these dynamic relationships between their sustenance and the earth. Ethnobiologists research these very relationships through a scientific lens and it's a field of study bringing together many disciplines like anthropology, ecology and conservation to name just a few.

Deconstructing Dinner believes ethnobiology is a subject deserving close attention for anyone interested in food security, food sovereignty and local food system conservation and development.

In May 2010, Jon Steinman travelled to Vancouver Island to attend two gatherings on the subject in Victoria and Tofino. In this multi-part series, we'll explore what the Society of Ethnobiology describes is the "search for valid, reliable answers to two 'defining' questions: "How and in what ways do human societies use nature, and how and in what ways do human societies view nature?"

Part I
As is now commonly found among many indigenous communities worldwide, many youth have become significantly if not entirely disconnected from the traditional ways of their ancestors. One of the responses to this threat that some of those youth have employed is found among the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples whose territory stretches 300km along the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island. Nuu-chah-nulth (which translates to "all along the mountains and sea") are a family of 15 First Nations. Connecting some of their youth has been the Nashuk Youth Council - a project of Uu-a-thluk - the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council's Aquatic Management Board. The Youth Council has been seeking out stories and knowledge from their elders about their people's traditional foodways. Those stories and knowledge are in turn being shared digitally through short videos.

The Nashuk Youth Council took to the podium at the 12th International Congress of Ethnobiology hosted in Tofino, B.C.


Nickie Watts, Keenan Jules, Waylon Andrews, John Rampanen, Belinda Lucas, Damon Vann-Tarrant Rampanen, Letitia Rampanen, James Dakota Smith, Tseeqwatin Rampanen, Leonita Jimmy, Maui Solomon

Direct download: DD060310.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00am EST