Future of Food in the Kootenays Conference I: Overcoming Denial

futureoffoodIn November 2007, Deconstructing Dinner attended one of the first regional food security conferences ever held in Canada. With a population of less than 10,000 people, the City of Nelson, British Columbia, hosted over 250 people for the first evening of keynote speakers. With an equally impressive 170 in attendance on the second day of speakers and workshops, the conference acts as an example for other Canadian communities wishing to begin organizing themselves to take greater control over the food available to them.

Deconstructing Dinner hopes the raw recordings, episodes, and resources presented on the Conference Page will assist groups across the country who are looking to ensure the presence of a socially and environmentally responsible local food system.

Part I
On Part I we hear from two keynote speakers who spoke on the threats facing regional food systems with a focus on energy resources. We hear predictions as to how communities will need to redesign and redefine themselves in light of such threats, and we hear from the two elected officials representing the region both provincially and federally.


Justin RollerFuel Cell EngineerInstitute for Fuel Cell Innovation, National Research Council Canada (Vancouver, BC) – Justin’s presentation was titled “Canada and the Coming Energy Transition”. Justin introduced the conference by outlining the current balance between global energy supplies and demand. He is currently a Masters candidate in Mechanical Engineering at the University of British Columbia.
Richard BalfourArchitect / DirectorMetro Vancouver Planning Coalition (Vancouver, BC) – Richard is a Vancouver-based architect who also acts as a director with both the Metro Vancouver Planning Coalition and the New City Institute. He recently published the book “Strategic Sustainable Planning, A Civil Defense Manual for Cultural Survival“. Richard recognizes the many threats facing our current way of life, and as part of his research accessed a report that the provincial government had witheld from releasing to the public. Through a freedom of information request, Richard was responsible for the release of the report titled, “ BC’s Food Self Reliance: Can BC farmers feed our growing population.” The report was funded by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. The final conclusion of the report was that BC currently produces only 48% of the food consumed within the province.
Alex AtamanenkoMP BC Southern Interior / NDP Agriculture CriticNew Democratic Party of Canada (Ottawa, ON / Castlegar, BC) – Elected the Member of Parliament for British Columbia Southern Interior in 2006. Alex is the critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Canadian Wheat Board. Atamanenko was born in New Westminster, and was educated at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.

Corky EvansMLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and LandsNew Democratic Party of British Columbia (Victoria, BC / Winlaw, BC) – 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 served as Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

Musical Selection (name/title/album/label)
Theme/Soundclip – Adham Shaikh, Infusion, Fusion, Sonic Turtle (CDN)
Music – Bob Marley, Revolution, Natty Dread, Island Records