Cattle producers sue Ottawa over the 2003 BSE crisis / The search for authentic Maritime foods / Phone-in: Jim Merkel, author of Radical Simplicity - your ideas for a more sustainable lifeMarch 26, 2010 2:42 PM
- Author Jim Merkel, author of "Radical Simplicity" acknowledges how hard it can be to turn our appetite for more material goods into an appetite for more valuable qualities in life
See You In Court: On May 20th, 2003, at the height of the BSE scare, the US closed its borders to Canadian beef. The action threw this country's cattle industry into crisis.
The public feared that bovine spongiform encephalopathy could be transmitted to humans through the food chain. BSE was linked to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal brain disorder.
But now, the Canadian cattle industry has launched a class action lawsuit against the federal government, accusing Ottawa of mishandling the crisis and demanding compensation for the huge losses that farmers sustained.
The case, which will still take years to get to trial, involves anyone who was raising cattle when the border closed. That's about 135,000 farm families.
CBC reporter Rob North spoke with the lead counsel Cameron Pallet, about the case.
Not Just Any Seaweed, Fish or Sauerkraut Gets On This Ark : When is the last time you ate some crispy, midnight-purple dulse ? Its crunchy texture and salty kick might be an acquired taste, but it's a genuine Maritime delicacy.
Dulse is one of several foods that Peter Jackson believes should make it on to the Ark of Taste - an organization related to the Slow Food movement. The Ark's mission is to rediscover and publicize authentic flavours from around the world. For many years, the Halifax- raised Jackson ran a high profile restaurant called Jack's Grill in Edmonton. But he's recently moved to a farm in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, where he's busy tending his grape vines & getting reacquainted with the region's most distinctive foods.
Chef Peter Jackson is involved in the Slow Food movement.
No Guilt Trips, Just Smart Tips: The choices we make every day - what we eat, what we wear, how we get to where we want to go - can either reduce or increase the amount of damage we do to the planet. And all those individual decisions add up to huge collective decisions.
Jim Merkel used to be as materialistic as the next guy. But he's taken a long and interesting path to a more simple, sustainable way of life. He had an epiphany of sorts after watching the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster unfold on the shores of Alaska. He quit his job as a U.S military engineer, and ever since, has worked to develop tools to help people - and organizations - become more sustainable. His 2003 book Radical Simplicity: Small Footprints on a Finite Earth is a practical guide to a less materialistic life.
These days, Mr Merkel lives as simply as he can at his home in Belfast, Maine. But he's not a recluse - far from it; he founded the Global Living Project and conducts workshops around North America on sustainable living.
Jim Merkel shared his experiences, and we asked for your ideas on making the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle or for the story of how you decided to turn good intentions into action.
Podcast - requires flash to listen