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Deconstructing Dinner: Reconstructing Our Food System
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Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman is in increasing demand from organizations, universities/colleges/schools, and government to speak on the subjects of food security, food sovereignty and food systems.

Having now spoken with over 60 such groups across Canada and the United States, Jon continues to offer a number of timely and dynamic presentations that inspire communities, students and/or organizations to become active participants within our local and global food system.

Below are four of the presentations currently being offered. Other subjects of interest not listed below can also be requested.

Should your group be interested in booking Jon for your event/class/conference, please contact Jon directly at

North American communities have become considerably dependent on an unreliable and unsustainable food system that appears to extract more from communities than it does contribute to them. Jon Steinman deconstructs a standard North American meal only to reveal shocking insights into the state of our food system. With the layers peeled away, Jon shares a number of inspiring examples of how the Kootenay region of British Columbia is fostering a more resilient food secure community. Examples of Canada's largest independent member-owned cooperative grocery store, Canada's first community supported agriculture project for grain, and many more stories of innovative and passionate farmers who are enhancing the local economy, increasing food security, strengthening community well-being, and providing residents with a strong sense of place.

In the Summer of 2010, Deconstructing Dinner received a couple of anonymous tips about a food-based business that was alleged to be fraudulently marketing their eggs as the product of their own farm and as a "local" product. Upon going undercover, Jon Steinman discovered that this was indeed the case, and the business operated no farm at all! The outcomes of this investigation sent shockwaves through the local food and farming community. Learn the details of the case and what fundamental lessons advocates of local food systems might learn from this shocking story.

In 2007, Canada's first community supported agriculture (CSA) project for grain was conceived in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. Jon Steinman has been documenting the evolution of the project and he shares the inspiring tale of how 450 families and a dozen businesses began eating local grains and receiving some of those grains via sailboat!

With its distance from major food distribution centres being greater than most Canadian communities, the West Kootenay region of British Columbia has become an inspiring example of how people, organizations and businesses are fostering a more resilient local food system. Examples of Canada's largest independent member-owned cooperative grocery store, Canada's first community supported agriculture project for grain, and many more stories of innovative and passionate farmers who are enhancing the local economy, increasing food security, strengthening community well-being, and providing residents with a strong sense of place.

03/13 - Resilient Food Secure Communities, Wildsight (Kimberley, BC)

02/13 - Deconstructing Dinner: Hopeful or Harmful Ham?, College of Sustainability, Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS)

10/12 - Deconstructing Dinner, Salmo Valley Farmers' Market (Salmo, BC)

08/12 - Deconstructing Dinner, Vancity (Vancouver, BC)

05/12 - Resilient Food Secure Communities, Building Resilient Communities Conference - BC NDP Kootenays (Cranbrook, BC)

04/12 - Deconstructing Dinner, East and West Kootenays Environmental Justice Conference (Nelson, BC)

04/12 - Resilient Food Secure Communities, Kootenay Permaculture Institute (Nelson, BC)

03/12 - Food Sovereignty panel, MP Alex Atamanenko & the National Farmers Union (NFU) (Nelson, BC)

02/12 - Resilient Food Secure Communities - West Kootenay B.C., Seedy Saturday - James Bay Market Society (Victoria, BC)

02/12 - Genetically Engineered Food and G.E. Free Zones, GMO Symposium - Cowichan Green Community (Cowichan Station, BC)

02/12 - Deconstructing Dinner, Kettle Valley Food Co-op (Grand Forks, BC)

10/11 - Let's Talk Food (Moderator - Keynote Panel); The Local Grain Revolution, and; Local Food Systems and Media panel, @ Bring Food Home conference, Sustain Ontario and others (Peterborough, ON)

09/11 - Genetic Modification and the Future of Food, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, G.E. Free BC, MP Alex Atamanenko (Nelson, BC)

09/11 - Deconstructing Dinner, O.U.R. Ecovillage (Shawnigan Lake, BC)

09/11 - Insight into GMOs Symposium, O.U.R. Ecovillage (Shawnigan Lake, BC)

05/11 - Deconstructing Dinner, Simon Fraser University - Centre for Sustainable Community Development (High River, AB)

05/11 - Resilient Food Secure Communities - West Kootenay, B.C., Redfish School of Change (Slocan, BC)

04/11 - Deconstructing Dinner, Fleming College (Lindsay, ON)

03/11 - Resilient Food Secure Communities - West Kootenay, B.C., Kootenay Permaculture Institute (Nelson, BC)

02/11 - Protecting Local Food Systems from the Industrial Food System 'Box', College of Sustainability, Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS)

02/11 - Protecting Local Food Systems from the Industrial Food System 'Box', Fundy Biosphere Reserve, ACORN, NB Food Security Action Network, Really Local Harvest, United Way, Post Carbon Greater Moncton, Conservation Council of NB (Moncton/Dieppe, NB)

01/11 - Deconstructing Dinner, McGill University - Food & Dining Services / Office of Sustainability / Food Systems Project (Montreal, QC)

01/11 - The Local Grain Revolution, Food Theory Applied (Toronto, ON)

01/11 - Deconstructing Dinner, Niagara College (Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON)

01/11 - The Local Grain Revolution, Canadian Organic Growers (Perth-Waterloo-Wellington) / Ecological Farmers of Ontario (Guelph, ON)

01/11 - Deconstructing Dinner, Waterloo Region Food Systems Roundtable (Waterloo, ON)

01/11 - Deconstructing Dinner, Wilfred Laurier University (Kitchener, ON)

01/11 - Protecting Local Food Systems from the Industrial Food System 'Box', Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG) (Waterloo, ON)

10/10 - The Local Grain Revolution, Orcas Island Public Library (Orcas Island, WA)

10/10 - The Local Grain Revolution, Lopez Community Land Trust (Lopez Island, WA)

10/10 - Deconstructing Dinner, Environmental Research & Studies Centre, University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)

10/10 - Food Sovereignty, MP Alex Atamanenko & Development and Peace (Castlegar, BC)

09/10 - Deconstructing Dinner, Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-op (Castlegar, BC)

05/10 - It Takes All Kinds, Redfish School of Change (Nelson, BC)

05/10 - Why Local Food Matters Speaker Series. Nanaimo Foodshare Society (Nanaimo, BC)

04/10 - An incrEDIBLE Evening with Jon Steinman. North Columbia Environmental Society (Revelstoke, BC)

03/10 - Deconstructing Dinner. Development and Peace, Cathedral of Mary Immaculate (Nelson, BC)

03/10 - Deconstructing Dinner. Learning Beyond Retirement (Nelson, BC)

02/10 - Deconstructing Dinner. Camosun College Culinary Arts (Victoria, BC)

02/10 - Deconstructing Dinner. North Saanich Food for the Future Society (North Saanich, BC)

10/09 - Thursday Evening Lecture Series. Dalhousie University's College of Sustainability (Halifax, NS)

09/09 - Deconstructing Dinner. BALLE / Acadia Community Farm / Friends of Agriculture Nova Scotia (Wolfville, NS)

09/09 - Deconstructing Dinner. Fundy Biosphere Reserve / NB Food Security Action Network / Dieppe Market / Post Carbon Greater Moncton (Moncton/Dieppe, NB)

09/09 - Deconstructing Dinner. Fundy Biosphere Reserve / CHMA / Mount Allison University / ACORN / Renaissance Sackville (Sackville, NB)

09/09 - Deconstructing Dinner. Conservation Council of New Brunswick / Landless Gardeners / Renaissance College (UNB) (Fredericton, NB)

09/09 - Deconstructing Dinner. Taymouth Community Association (Taymouth, NB)

09/09 - Celebrating Communities. Province of Nova Scotia (Truro, NS)

06/09 - The Local Grain Revolution. Just Food (Ottawa, ON)

06/09 - The Local Grain Revolution. Urban Agriculture Kingston (Kingston, ON)

05/09 - Redfish School of Change, GreenLearning Canada (New Denver, BC)

05/09 - 100-Mile Ideas Diet, Centre for Innovative & Entrepreneurial Leadership (CIEL) (Nelson, BC)

04/09 - Kootenay Earth Day, Nelson CARES Society (Nelson, BC)

02/09 - Annual Policy Conference, Dairy Farmers of Canada (Ottawa, ON)

02/09 - International Week, University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)

02/09 - The 10-Mile Diet, Wildsight (Creston, BC)

10/08 - Growing Beyond the Ordinary, Canadian Farm Writers Federation CFWF (Courtenay, BC)

10/08 - Fair Change, College of the Rockies, (Cranbrook, BC)

09/08 - Kootenay Harvest Revival, Creston Grain CSA (Nelson, BC)

07/08 - Percy Schmeiser, Genetically Engineered (G.E.) Free Kootenays (Castlegar, BC)

06/08 - Climate Change Film Series, Sierra Club of BC (Vancouver, BC)

06/08 - Society of Vocational Instructors of BC, Selkirk College (Nelson, BC)

Jon Steinman
Jon Steinman

Behind the creation of Deconstructing Dinner is Nelson, British Columbia's Jon Steinman. Jon grew up in Southern Ontario and arrived in B.C. in 2004. Before his western migration, Jon studied food systems at the University of Guelph, leading him to work within restaurants that were fostering more personal relationships with their suppliers (farmers)! These experiences played an important role in Jon's eventual interest to 'deconstruct' where our food comes from and advocate for more resilient regional food systems.

Upon arriving in the city of Nelson, Kootenay Co-op Radio (CJLY) was a young but established member-owned community station who welcomed Jon as part of their award-winning morning news programme, Nelson Before Nine. Having been no stranger at the time to sharing his views through his weekly food & beverage columns in PULSE Niagara and Off-Centre Magazine, Jon became inspired by the potential of radio as a medium to communicate information about our food that the mainstream media was not. The groundwork was laid for what would become the weekly one hour radio show Deconstructing Dinner, airing on radio stations across North America between 2006-2011 and was distributed weekly as a podcast.

Jon has been involved in and coordinated many food initiatives including G.E. Free Kootenays, Community Food Matters, and the Kootenay Grain CSA. He's a Board Director of the Kootenay Country Store Co-operative - Canada's largest independent consumer food co-op. Jon most recently authored a report which has been intended to help build capacity in the West Kootenay region of B.C. to develop a regional food system alliance.

Jon is an established writer, having been published in Orion Magazine, Briarpatch Magazine, Small Farm Canada, and Synergy Magazine among others. He's also in increasing demand as a public speaker and he speaks at many food security and agricultural conferences and events.

"Your presentation started me on this path when it comes to food. Since then I have been a member of a CSA, become a regular customer at farmers' markets, now get a regular fruit and veg bin from our organic food store, have mostly given up processed food, started growing microgreens at home, and started a worm compost. After that evening, I walked away with the thought that I no longer wanted to consume food that was made in a factory and I wanted to spend my food dollars supporting local food producers. It continues to be a wonderful journey. Thanks for that." - Golden, BC

"This was an eye-opening talk (Deconstructing Dinner for Resilient Food Secure Communities)... I have definitely changed my food buying since listening to this talk." - Grand Forks, BC

"It was awesome to have Jon here in Kingston - lots of great feedback on the talk, which may have been the beginning of a grain CSA for our region." - Andrew McCann, Urban Agriculture Kingston (and now of the Village Co-op Bread CSA!)

"I'm really glad you stopped in Fredericton. Your talk gave our gardening group some motivation to start planning for next year." - Landless Gardeners

"It was such a unique opportunity and so wonderful to have you come to Taymouth [NB] ~ my personal highlight walking away from it is the spark our local beef farmer got after listening to your presentation. She is still talking about it! They have been very seriously considering getting out of farming and she really felt supported and re-energized by the importance of their efforts! The most positive feedback we've received has been from the farmers in the room!" - Taymouth Community Association

"The talk last night was great, and I'd like to think we can make you a regular contributor to the College." - College of Sustainability, Dalhousie University

"Thanks so much for coming to International Week. I heard your session on Deconstructing Dinner and really, really enjoyed it. I don't know that I can think of eating food now without wondering how much profit I'm putting into the hands of the Cargill family. One of the things I really liked about this year's event was that I walked away from sessions feeling energized to make changes in my personal life that would have an impact - and feeling that I knew what those changes should be. Your session, in particular, made me feel that way." - Director, Global Education Program, University of Alberta


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