CBC Digital Archives

Marketplace: Hotdog lowdown

Shoddy products and shady businesses: these were the enemies of CBC-TV's Marketplace, a half-hour program that stood up for the Canadian consumer. Beginning in 1972, Stompin' Tom Connors sang the theme as hosts Joan Watson and George Finstad presented a lively parade of product tests, safety alerts and money advice. CBC Digital Archives presents full episodes from 1974 and 1975, a period when Marketplace regularly drew over 1.7 million weekly viewers.

How about sitting down to a tasty lunch of ... filler? In Canada, there's a legal limit to how much filler - usually oatmeal or flour - can go into hotdogs. Of 27 brands tested in this 1974 episode of CBC-TV's Marketplace, 17 have too much of it. The program also has tips for canning tomatoes safely, a look at catalytic converters and an assessment of the recent rotten-eggs scandal. To sum up, Stompin' Tom Connors has a beef against instant mashed potatoes.
• For more on the rotten-eggs scandal, see the CBC Digital Archives clip 28 million rotten eggs.

• The catalytic converter is a device designed to make cars emit less pollution. Its invention was a response to tighter emissions standards in North America, and it became standard equipment on all new cars for the 1975 model year.

• In 2008 thieves began targeting catalytic converters because of the skyrocketing value of the rare metals they contained, such as platinum, palladium and rhodium. Armed with a power saw, thieves can slice off the converter under the car and sell it to a recycler or scrapyard for up to $200.  

• Stompin' Tom Connors wrote and performed The Consumer, the theme song for Marketplace in the 1970s. 

Medium: Television
Program: Marketplace
Broadcast Date: Oct. 6, 1974
Guest(s): Harvey Dowker, Owen Elliot, Nadine Levin, Alan McPhee, Roger Schwass, Orest Ulan
Commentator: Stompin' Tom Connors
Host: George Finstad, Joan Watson
Duration: 25:50

Last updated: October 11, 2013

Page consulted on December 5, 2013

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