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Deconstructing Dinner: Joel Salatin and Judy Rebick on building new food systems


Virginia farmer Joel Salatin has become one of the most well known names in the world of alternative farming after his notable presence in Michael Pollan's best-selling book The Omnivore's Dilemma and an important role as part of the popular documentary Food Inc.

Joel Salatin

In February 2010, Joel was interviewed by Lauren Berlekamp of the Erie Wire. Joel spoke to Lauren about his unique and seemingly common-sense approach to farming, but more specifically, they spoke of the nutritional comparisons of his grass-finished beef vs. the more common grain-finished beef; they spoke of the politics and regulations surrounding the livestock sector in the United States and their impacts on smaller-scale producers; and they spoke of how Salatin's model of success, including his new relationship with a large American fast-food chain, is a replicable and financially rewarding model for farmers who seek to produce more responsible food.

Also featured on the episode, a great talk delivered by Toronto's Judy Rebick. Rebick is the Canadian Auto Workers-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University and helped launch rabble.ca - an independent multi-media portal for Canadian and global perspectives. In November 2008, Rebick spoke at the annual convention of Canada's National Farmers Union and encouraged farmers there to take advantage of what she referred to as the 'perfect storm', whereby the dominant top-down social and economic models are collapsing - clearing the way, as she believes, for a bottom-up and community-centred approach to begin better serving our needs.

Guests/Voices

Joel Salatin, farmer/author, Polyface Farm (Swoope, Virginia) -

Joel is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include You Can Farm and Salad Bar Beef. Joel raises livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free of potentially harmful chemicals. He believes that Polyface Farm arguably represents America's premier non-industrial food production oasis. The Salatins strive to develop emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises and facilitate their duplication throughout the world.

Judy Rebick, Canadian Auto Wrkers - Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy, Ryerson Unviersity (Toronto, ON) -

Between 1990 and 1993 Judy Rebick was the president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. She later became the co-host of CBC Newsworld's prime time show Face Off and then worked on the show Straght from the Hip. She became a regular contributor to CBC TV's Sunday Report and CBC Radio and in 2001 helped launch rabble.ca - an independent multi-media news and discussion web site.

Download the audio for this episode here.

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