Whole Foods Markets Targeted by Organic Advocates
The U.S.-based Organic Consumers Association is the largest of its kind in the United States – representing thousands of supporters of organic food. Over the past year, the organization has taken a strong stance against grocery giant Whole Foods Markets, calling upon them to “walk their talk” and increase their support for organic products, which, as Executive Director Ronnie Cummins describes, exists in the shadows of the majority of the company’s products, which are conventionally produced and disguised as “natural” foods. This segment courtesy of Vancouver Co-op Radio’s (CFRO) Redeye.
Local Food System Development Spotlight
The National Farmers Union Local 316 alongside like-minded organizations and residents of the region in and around Kingston, Ontario have been successfully building a strong local food movement. In November 2008, farmer, entrepreneur and member of the NFU Kim Perry shared the successes to date and the actions taken within the region to generate support for a resilient local food system.
Carnivore Chic (encore)
A revisiting of our July 2008 interview with Toronto author Susan Bourette of “Carnivore Chic – From Pasture to Plate, The Search for the Perfect Meat”. While working for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business magazine, Susan went undercover at the largest slaughterhouse for hogs in Canada located in Brandon, Manitoba and owned by Maple Leaf Foods. Susan’s subsequent article for the magazine, her eventual book Carnivore Chic and this interview, all aired before the nation-wide listeria contamination of Maple Leaf food products occured and which led to the death of 22 people and left many more ill. While working inside the plant, Susan became disturbed at the state in which animals and workers are treated within the industry, leading her to wonder if meat had completely lost its cultural significance.
Ronnie Cummins – executive director, Organic Consumers Association (Finland, ME) –
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), formed in 1998, is an online and grassroots non-profit public interest organization campaigning for “health, justice, and sustainability”. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. They are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation’s estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers. The OCA represents over 850,000 members, subscribers and volunteers, including several thousand businesses in the natural foods and organic marketplace.
Kim Perry, director, National Farmers Union Local 316 (Harrowsmith, ON) –
Kim was born and raised in New Brunswick and in 2001 became a member of the National Farmers Union and their Local 316. Her and her husband Dave operate Perry Maine-Anjou Farms in the community of Harrowsmith, Ontario, and they own a small local food store called Local Family Farms in the community of Verona. Kim is actively involved in encouraging local food system development in the area in and around Kingston, Ontario.
Susan Bourette, author, Carnivore Chic (Toronto, ON) –
Susan is an award-winning writer with a reputation for investigative journalism. Formerly a reporter for The Globe and Mail, she is now a freelance writer.