The Emperor Has No Clothes

Podcast: 'Deconstructing Dinner' looks at food politics in BC.

By Jon Steinman 4 Apr 2008 |

Jon Steinman is producer and host of Kootenay Co-op Radio's program Deconstructing Dinner. A new podcast with notes is posted here every Friday afternoon. All Deconstructing Dinner podcasts can be found here.

image atom

In March 2008, B.C. NDP Opposition Critic of Agriculture and Lands Corky Evans toured throughout the province to hear from farmers. Deconstructing Dinner recorded his stop in Nelson, where he delivered a passionate and highly-informative primer on the failures of the B.C. government in recent decades to allocate financial support to food production within the province. Of greatest interest was his reference to B.C. maintaining the lowest level of support for food production of any province. He presented a number of opportunities that farmers, eaters and political parties must take advantage of now, in order to preserve a viable system of food production into the future.

While the content of his presentation was focused on B.C., his message is important to all provinces and states throughout North America, as the scenario that has played out in B.C. can be seen as an extreme version of what is playing out across the continent.

We round off the show with a recording from the March 2008 conference of the Certified Organic Associations of B.C., hosted in Sidney. Presented at the conference were the winners of the COABC's Fresh Voices contest. The contest solicited submissions from those wishing to share their vision of how "sustainable organic production and marketing systems could improve profitability, stewardship of the land and water, and quality of life for farmers, ranchers and their communities." The winner of that contest was Jordan Marr, who has been embarking on a path towards becoming a farmer. He presented his winning essay to those in attendance at the conference.


Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston/NDP Opposition critic for agriculture and lands (Winlaw, B.C.) -- Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has 10 years' experience as an MLA, during which time he served in many cabinet portfolios, including minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He now serves as Opposition critic for agriculture and lands.

Jordan Marr, wannabe farmer (Sooke, B.C.) -- Jordan is a 26-year-old self-titled "wannabe farmer" who has been visiting farms throughout B.C., hoping to learn more about the practical and political aspects of farming. In the span of five years, Jordan has, as he says, gone from being a suburban kid completely clueless about food, to a smug university student convinced he knew everything about food, to a humbled farm apprentice who realized he knew very little about it. In 2006, Jordan graduated from a bachelor's program in the faculty of land and food systems at the University of British Columbia, and then apprenticed for seven months on an organic farm in Nova Scotia. Today, Jordan is considering farming as a career.

Related Tyee stories:


Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Get The Tyee in your inbox


The Barometer

Are there other plastic words that pollute our world? If so, what are they?

Take this week's poll