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Call to resurrect 'Deconstructing Dinner' podcast as multimedia TV series

The creator of a popular podcast which ran on The Tyee from 2008 to 2009 has launched a fundraising campaign to resurrect it as an online-accessible multimedia television series.

Jon Steinman's "Deconstructing Dinner" ran as a radio show and podcast from 2006 to 2010, and it focused on educating listeners about local food systems and encouraging them to have a more participatory relationship with food.

Video breaks down the fundraising campaign for a TV version of Deconstructing Dinner.

While the radio show was an hour long, the television series will only run about 24 minutes per episode, which means some difference in content, according to Steinman. Each episode will focus on a specific food -- pork, eggs, wheat, tomatoes, garlic, or honey, to name a few.

Another significant difference between the radio show and the new series is that greater attention will be paid to how individuals can impact their local food systems.

"How we basically insert ourselves in the food system is kind of the ultimate goal of the show," Steinman said. "Whether it be rolling grain, or rolling oats, or making yogurt, or making sausage, doing these types of steps within the food chain that are otherwise taken up right now by the food system."

Seeing what farmers are doing to prepare food is going to be "incredibly powerful," according to Steinman. "Being able to use both media with audio and video, I think is only going to amplify the subject of Deconstructing Dinner."

The fundraising initiative is being run through Kickstarter, a website that showcases projects and allows users to pledge a donation to projects they find worthwhile. Part of the Kickstarter agreement is an all-or-nothing setup. If Deconstructing Dinner fails to make its goal of $60,000 pledged by July 20, they won't get any of the pledged money.

So far, the project has raised almost $10,000. Steinman says it is "vital" to reach out to the public for help funding the project.

"Most of the television shows out there today are very entertainment based, and what we're trying to offer is something that's very educational and very inspiring and empowering. And that's pretty difficult to fund," Steinman said. "Because it was an independent production, we felt like it was appropriate to reach out to the public for their support, the same way that Deconstructing Dinner the radio show had operated as well."

Steinman is optimistic about reaching his goal. "All we need is 2,000 people to donate $25 each between now and July 20 and we'll meet our goal."

If you are interested in making a pledge, please visit the Kickstarter project page here.

Hanah Redman is completing a practicum at The Tyee.

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