food issues

Stories that Sizzle

Nearly-naked cyclists zoom by in Albany, NY

The World Naked Bike Ride is celebrated in many different cities, as Halifax organizer Ben Caplan tells us on this week’s show

The dog days of summer are upon us, and in keeping with the climate, this week’s show is sizzling. From naked cyclists to incendiary writers, and fiery film to free range eggs.

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Food or Friend?

This week, we’ve been wondering: how do people decide when an animal is food and when it’s a friend? We will be talking to a wildlife biologist who’s also a hunter, and to two Edmonton-area farmers who raise pigs for very different reasons. And one more tasty morsel for you: George Stroumboulopoulos, host of CBC’s The Hour, talks about tiny ways Canadians can live a little greener.

Food or Friend?

Micro pigs from Angela Hardy’s farm in Sherwood Park, Alberta. This week we’re asking how we decide when animals are food, and when they’re friends.

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When is an animal a friend and when is it food? Kieran O’Donovan straddles an interesting an interesting line that gives him a pretty unique perspective on when an animal is a friend, and when it’s dinner. He’s a wildlife biologist and documentary filmmaker, but when he goes home to the Yukon, he’s also a hunter. Terra Informa’s Natalee Rawat sat down with Kieran to talk about how he sees our relationships with other animals.

Pets vs. Food

Remember Wilbur the pig from Charlotte’s Web? He was the runt of the litter, turned pet, threatened to be food, only to be saved by a spider. Terra Informa’s Nicole Wiart talked to Alberta Micro Pigs’ Angela Hardy and Irvings Farm Fresh’s Nicola Irving. The two of them both raise and breed pigs in the Edmonton area, one for food… the other for pets. Throughout the interviews, Nicole noticed strange similarities between both women and the way they viewed the pigs, despite raising, breeding, and feeding them for incredibly different purposes.

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Strombo and One Million Acts of Green

George Stroumboulopoulos, the host of the Hour on CBC, was at Grant MacEwan University here in Edmonton to speak about activism. Kyle Muzyka was at the speech, and in addition to speaking about activism, Stroumboulopoulos also spoke about a program generated to help Canadians become a little more green. As one of the many forces driving the “One Million Acts of Green” program, Strombo talks about how it started as a plan doomed to fail, and became something truly special.

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What’s Happening

Geological Wonders of British Columbia Lecture in Kamloops, BC
Over in BC, the Kamloops Exploration Group is hosting a talk on Geological Wonders of British Columbia this month. Bruce Madu will be speaking at the TRU Mountain Room as part of the group’s 2013 Lecture Series. Bruce is a geologist and the Director of the British Columbia Mineral Development Office in Vancouver. They provide resources on coal and mineral mining for government and industry, so it should be a fascinating opportunity to get to hear from someone who lives in the mining world, and ask some questions. That’s March 28 in the TRU Mountain Room in Kamloops, at 7 PM, and the talk is free. The lecture series continues April 4, when Ann Cheeptham will be talking about cave microbialites.

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Women in Science Lunch in Sydney, Nova Scotia
Over on the east coast, this April 6, Cape Breton University is hosting its Third Annual Women in Science Event. Meet fellow female scientists, learning about careers in science, and pick up some cool swag. They say last year’s Women in Science “Lunch and Learn” brought over 100 young women out from all over Cape Breton Island. This year, they’re hosting another Lunch event and a daylong Women in Science Retreat, filled with activities, giveaways, food, and learning. The event is aimed at young women in junior high, high-school, and just starting out in university. That’s at the Vershuren Centre on Cape Breton University Campus on April 6. It starts at 11 am, with lunch at 12, followed by a full afternoon of events. The cost is $10 per person.

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Wolf Skinning Workshop in Whitehorse, Yukon

Since we’ve been talking so much about hunting this week, we figured we’d shoot for a wild event coming up. On April 13th, the Yukon Trappers Association is hosting a Wolf Skinning Workshop at the Beaver Creek Community Club in Whitehorse. They’re a volunteer-run group, and this time they’ve rounded up Robert Stitt to run the workshop. It starts at 9:30 in the morning, and goes until, well, until you’re done. Call 667-7091 or email for more info.

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George Monbiot & Petropolis Review

This week show is hosted by Jade Gregg is your host and Jason Melnychuk has the news.

Green Building Activity Sustains Impressive Growth During 2009, Says New Market Assessment By Rob Watson

Ingersoll GM plant gets $90M retooling By CBC NEWS

David Prodan has a review of the Greenpeace film Petropolis by Peter Mettler , a new film about the Alberta tar sands.

Set to a haunting minimal score, Petropolis is a stark portrayal of man versus nature.  The power of this film comes from its blunt and uncensored nakedness.  Despite a lack of characters or plot, it manages to tell the difficult story of a land scarred by corporate greed and disregard for consequence.  There are periodic factoids captioning the film, detailing some of the basic facts around the tar sands. Introducing the film’s premise, all of the captions are set against footage of pristine landscapes, underscoring the travesty before its own elements are portrayed in million-colour clarity.  Like his previous work, most notably portraying Edward Burtynsky’s artistic vision in Manufactured Landscapes, Mettler has constructed a sweeping illustration of the effects of industry on the environment.  Shot mostly from a helicopter, we get a bird’s eye view of some absolutely lush Athabascan waterways and gorgeous expansive northern boreal forest, juxtaposed against the adjacent industrial wasteland that surrounds the boom of Fort McMurray.  The billow of smokestacks and aerial cityscapes all get their fair screen time, but the most effecting imagery comes from three evenly explored sequences, each titled ominously by their simple descriptors, each of these sequences span from distant to nearby perspectives, showing the immense organized scabs of extraction from afar, the thick bubbling boils of each pit and pond real close up, parades of antlike extractors and the labyrinthine twists of refinery. Films like Petropolis have an important place in our current drought of ethical media, bringing an untainted, realistic perspective to the public oversaturated by a glut of biased news stories.  There is much to be said for the film’s simple vernacular – straight up facts and bold, untouched imagery without any spectrum leaning commentary.  If seeing is believing, this kind of filmmaking comes as close to the truth as it gets.  And whatever you take from it being the truth, there is little doubt Petropolis exposes the tar sands project as a man-made blight on a once untouched landscape, and as an ethical dilemma pitting our thirst for oil against a rich natural history of untouched wilderness.

Rebekah Rooney brings us excerpts from a fantastic talk by author and activist George Monbiot. In it he draws ties between food shortages in the developing world and over-consumption in the West, as well as biofuels production and food colonialism.

Next weeks show is on local food and urban environmental issues and we are also launching our editorial blog so be sure to listen in at 5:00pm on CJSR 88.5FM and then check back here for lots of cool links and extra features.