Heritage Foods: Preserving Diversity II – Gardens of Destiny

heritageindexThe diversity in the varieties of crops being grown in Canada has dwindled significantly. Virtually all of the fruits, vegetables, grains, livestock and pretty much every ingredient found on grocery store shelves, is of a variety that has purely been bred for profit. At no time has the importance of maintaining diversity or flavour and nutrition ever been a concern for the powerful industrial food system that has taken hold of the North American diet.

This series will explore what risks accompany the loss of such diversity and will expose the many farmers and organizations who are preserving Canada’s heritage varieties of food and protecting our food supply from the exclusive control of multinational interests.

Part II – Gardens of Destiny

On Part II, we meet with heritage seed saver Dan Jason of Salt Spring Seeds. Jason is exalted as a Canadian food security hero and icon in Gardens of Destiny – the recently released film by Vancouver filmmaker Jocelyn Demers.

Gardens of Destiny investigates many important issues related to pollution and health. These include genetic engineering, Terminator seeds and the pitfalls of industrial agriculture. Additionally, it examines how organic food has proven to be protective against cancer. The film weaves the viewer through Jason’s seed sanctuary on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, and sprinkled throughout the film are interviews with well-known food security and organic advocates. This episode features a selection of audio segments from the film.

To help introduce the importance of Jason’s work, Host Jon Steinman provides commentary on the role of the media in covering the recent global food crisis.


Jocelyn Demers – Producer/DirectorGardens of Destiny, (Vancouver, BC) – Jocelyn is a radio journalist-turned-filmmaker who, after becoming exhausted with the lack of interest by his employer to accomodate critical environmental pieces, embarked on a journey into independent filmmaking.

Dan JasonSeed SaverSalt Spring Seeds (Salt Spring Island, BC) – Dan is an organic gardener with a fantastic selection of seeds, vegetables, grains, medicinal plants and flowers. He is also the head of the grassroots organization the Seed and Plant Sanctuary for Canada, a network of Canadian gardeners who are preserving as much plant diversity as is possible. Dan has been a long time critic of the non-organic food system in North America.

Herb Barbolet – AssociateSimon Fraser University’s Centre for Sustainable Community Development (CSCD) (Vancouver, BC) – The CSCD is a teaching and research unit of Simon Fraser University, established in 1989. The Centre uses the resources and talents of the University to teach and encourage accountable and sustainable community development. As Associate since 2003, Herb has co-authored food assessment studies for provincial health authorities and a guide to food assessments for the provincial health services authority. Herb farmed organically for ten years and was co-founder of FarmFolk/CityFolk, a nonprofit that works to create local, sustainable foor systems. He appears frequently on radio, in print, and on television. He remains an active food consultant.

Guy Dauncey – Speaker/Author/OrganizerEarth Future (Victoria, BC) Guy Dauncey is a speaker, author, and organizer who works to develop a positive vision of a sustainable future, and to translate that vision into action. He is author of the award-winning book Stormy Weather: 101 Solutions to Global Climate Change; Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic, and 9 other titles. He is President of the BC Sustainable Energy Association, Co-chair of Prevent Cancer Now; Executive Director of The Solutions Project; and Publisher of EcoNews, a monthly newsletter that promotes the vision of a sustainable Vancouver Island.

Musical Selection (name/title/album/label)
Theme/Soundclips: – Adham Shaikh, Infusion, Fusion, Sonic Turtle (CDN)