This week on The Grapevine

October 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

This week on the radio show we talked to Justin Bothwell of Bluewater Organic Farms in Owen Sound. Justin is a student at McMaster University with his own mission to promote local, sustainable meat that is affordable.

Here’s a taste of what we talked about on the show:

GV: You identify meat such as yours as an alternative to industrial meat production, part of that global system you just mentioned. What do you see as some of the biggest problems or concerns with that?

Justin: “With large scale, industrial food production, I’d say accountability is a huge thing. When I sell you something if you’re not happy with it, you know where I am and you can talk to me and understand what’s going on. Whereas if I buy a bad cut from Fortinos I can go talk to the manager and he’ll say I don’t really know, basically… If you go to you local Fortinos… you can see them in the back cutting up sides, you just ask them where it comes from and they don’t really know. There’s a big disconnect there in terms of [how you] can’t see what you’re supporting. I don’t think that’s a good thing. A very large percentage of North American beef comes in from Argentina which people don’t know. Argentina’s one of the biggest beef producers in the world… I think local food production makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels.”

“I think it’s good thing to be able to talk to the people who are growing your food. You don’t run into people misusing or abusing food production when the people who are consuming it are right there. Nobody who deals firsthand with their customers is going to turn out anything less than a prime product because it’s just shooting themselves in the foot. Whereas a large industrial operation doesn’t suffer from those same restraints. Maple Leaf is a good example with the Listerosis. I heard a talk, right after that happened, the CEO was at Mac and gave a talk to the business students about how they rebuilt they’re brand image. I didn’t hear anything about how they were concerned about how people got sick off their product. It was all about how to [economically recover from it]. It took them less than a quarter, they just had some snazzy new ads and people swallowed it.”

You can listen to or download the show at cfmu.msumcmaster.ca.
You can find out more about Justin’s farm at bluewaterorganicfarms.ca
And Justin is taking meat orders at his email address: justin.bothwell@gmail.com

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