I love reading book acknowledgements. They give another layer of information as to how the author went about creating the book and who helped along the way. Even though it is possible to download 30 percent of my new book for free, you won’t be able to see the Acknowledgements page. So I have decided to publish them here so that everyone will know who helped me and how grateful I am, regardless of whether or not you are able to buy the book.
This book was written over the span of a decade or so and there are countless people who helped bring it to life. I will try to express my gratitude to as many as I can here. But if I have left you out, please forgive me.
First thank you to Michael Levenston, the original City Farmer, who gave me such a wonderful grounding in urban agriculture and helped me to venture beyond the compost bin. Merci beaucoup to the late Wes Barrett, who taught me how to garden without me even knowing it, and influenced my political life in subtle ways. And to all my wonderful, former companions at the Vancouver Compost Garden, the gang who inspired the original episode of the animated film version of Something’s Rotten out of which grew this new book.
Thank you to all farmers, urban and rural who grow our food. Specific thanks for interviews and inspiration to Ray Barker; Claus Beckmann; Mark Bomford and all the farmers and gardeners at UBC Farm; Craig Heighway; Risa Lin; Jordan Maynard; Patrick Murphy; Fred Reid; Ward Teulon; and Ting Wu.
Thanks to the many “characters” in these lines who indulged my penchant for storytelling: Sylvia Holland; Greg Hook; Dan Jason; Catherine Kerr; André LaRivière; Naufus Ramirez-Figueroa; Sally Shivers; and my ever so tolerant traveling companions Hallie Moore and Anne Gates. And for the interviews, many thanks to: Herb Barbolet; Nancy Clark; Mike Evans; Clemencia Gomez; Rhonda Alvarez Licona; Rose Mancini; Zarko Torbica; Larry (Tristan) Trotter and Yoka Van Den Berg.
There are many wonderful organizations fighting for farmland, farmers’ rights and for healthy and equitable food access, some of their work is showcased in these lines. Full praise and admiration to my local heroes Michael Ableman; Corky Evans; Arzeena Hamir; Dan Jason; and Harold Steves. Kudos also to the community gardeners and the neighborhood food networks including my own Westside Food Collaborative and all its valiant members. There are many other equivalent groups working hard throughout the lower mainland and around the province.
I leaned heavily on the work and websites of many national and international groups as well. Thank you to Banana Link; EarthSave; Environmental Working Group; ETC Group; Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO); FoodShare Toronto; Global Exchange; GRAIN; Greenpeace; Oakland Institute; Oxfam; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA); Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA); Slow Food International; Small Planet Institute; Stop Community Food Center; UN Habitat. On my rock star list are the late Rachel Carson; Herman Daly; Derrick Jensen; Frances Moore Lappé; George Monbiot; Michael Pollan; Percy Schmeiser; Dr. Vandana Shiva; and Dr. David Suzuki.
Great help on the research front, in random order: Vicky Baker; Kay Rumsey, the librarian at Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides; Dr. Charles Benbrook, Chief Scientist at The Organic Center; Ken Hayter at Linden Gardens; at the University of BC: Doug Kilburn, Professor emeritus, Michael Smith Laboratories and Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Joerg Bohlmann, plant molecular biologist and Hennie Van Vuuren, Head of the Wine Research Institute; Dr. Christiana Miewald; Nathan Edelson; Heather Pottery; Adrienne Jinkerson; Olivio Argenti at the Food and Agriculture Organization; Patrick Condon, UBC Design Center for Sustainability; Pauline Dole and Isabelle Bourgeault-Tasse, International Development Research Center (IDRC); Mark Sweeney and other staff at the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and the Agriculture and Land Commission; Hope Shand, then at ETC Group and Charlie Shymko after she left; Sharron Tulk, BC Restaurant & Food Services Association; Ben Milne, EarthSave Canada; Alex Arnaud Assanvo, Global Product Manager, Cocoa, at FLO; Adrienne Fitch-Frankel at Global Exchange; Devlin Kuyek at GRAIN; Miriam Palacios at Oxfam Canada; Anna Lappé at Small Planet Institute.
I took two research trips, the first one to Guatemala, which would have been much harder without the planning help of Steve Stewart at Co-Development Canada and the tour guiding and translation skills of Kirsten Daub, now at Café Etico. Muchas gracias to all the staff at the Campesino Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) for their generous hospitality. And thanks Mike Roberts and Fernando for the great coffee and chats. Make sure you go to their cafés if you’re ever in Guatemala.
For the India trip, first of all thanks to the Lappés for providing a great trip plan in their book Hope’s Edge (Tarcher Putnam, 2002). Thank you so much Janet and Richard McPhee for the bonus points and Anne Gates for the masterful travel planning! Namaste to Dr. Shiva and her warm staff at Navdanya, both in Delhi and Dehradun; to Nancy’s friend Susie for some hotel advice in Delhi; and to Arshad B. and friend for touring us around.
Dr. Mark Roseland, Director at Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Center for Sustainable Community Development deserves recognition for first funding my exploration into sustainability tours, then encouraging me to continue. The regional tours I was developing evolved into the course I now co-facilitate at SFU.
In no particular order, bits and pieces of vital help, information and resources were filled in by: Brent Mansfield at Grandview Elementary; Devorah Kahn; Randy Hooper, Discovery Organics; Eve Johnson; Mari Fujita at global studio Vancouver; Herb Barbolet; Peter G. Prontzos, Department of Political Science, Langara College; Tara McDonald at Your Local Farmers Market Society; Zoe Campbell then at GLOBE Foundation for WUF; Joe Foy and Andrea Reimer at the Western Canada Wilderness Committee; Asseffa Kebede; Donna Passmore; Wendy Mendes, City of Vancouver; Olga Schwartzkopf, the Soil and Water Conservation Society; Robert Butler, BC Potato and Vegetable Growers Association; Robert Chernomas at the University of Manitoba; Cathleen Kneen and Brewster Kneen at the Ram’s Horn; Wayne Roberts, now retired Toronto Food Policy Coordinator; Doug Aason at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank; Karen Rideout; Sharon Rempel; Rick Balfour and Rex Weyler from Vancouver Peak Oil; Terry Dixon; Fin Donnelly, Rivershed Society of BC; Lisa McIntosh at Urban Harvest; Ramona Scott, then at TLC BC; Heather Pritchard, Bonita Magee and Jeff Nield from Farm Folk City Folk; Deb Foote and Rochelle Eisen at COABC; Jan Nimmo; James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith.
I so appreciate my chapter reviewers: Abra Brynne then at BC Food Security Network (Dream Job); Kirsten Daub, Café Etico (Good to the Last Drop); Rochelle Eisen, then at Certified Organic Association of BC (Farming the Middle Path); Lisa Gue at the David Suzuki Foundation (Silence Spring!); Anuradha Mittal, Oakland Institute (The Myth Stakes); Timothy Newman, International Labor Rights Forum (Drowning in the Ganges); Alistair Smith at Banana Link (Bananeras). Any remaining errors or omissions are mine.
Some of the chapter sections were originally written for CBC Radio’s North by Northwest (thank you Sheryl MacKay and Sheila Peacock!); Shared Vision Magazine; and the Georgia Straight newspaper, both print and on line. Thanks to them for the opportunity, editing help and the deadlines.
Many thanks to those who gave me advice or lent a hand with the publishing end of things: Cathy Barrett; Carol Flinders; my brother Don Gillard at Triggerfish Design for the cover and blog hosting and maintenance; Patsy Ludwick, trusted editor from my last book who worked with me on several drafts of this manuscript; David Tracey for formatting tips; Robert Ouimet at Big Snit, the original wiz behind my blog; and the talented and helpful crew at Smashwords.
I am blessed to have such amazing friends who allowed me to test out new material, helped with punch lines, attended my talks and willingly gave me their list of favorite wineries. An extra big hug to Nancy Clark (for chapter advice and contacts in India) and to Suzette Meyers, for hiring me to do some research work for a film (Hijacked Future) that coincided with research I needed, and especially for sending me the brilliant Jensen article from Orion. And love, so much love, to my dearest duo, who have seen me through darkness and light: Kath Poole, for so many refreshing times and the Bananeras statue; and Joan Bennett for the always optimistic forecasts.
I am eternally grateful to my supportive parents and family who were subjected to years of my healthier-than-thou attitude and conversion attempts. They never protest when I editorialize their lives and expose family secrets. They have hung in there with me through thick and thin, patiently bearing with me, until I finally understood that it was me who needed converting.
My deepest gratitude to Eknath Easwaran, it was his wise books that first planted the seeds of my passion for food issues. He also taught me that if something smells rotten out there, the first place you should look is in your own backyard.