This page was created for three reasons:
- To share the videos/ message that Joel shared at TEDxToronto in 2013.
- Bloggers and other writers – we want to make it easy to write about and share: We are trying to get the word out and know how much work it is to blog/ write about such things. instead of making you do the hard work (like trying to type a quote as a video plays), we’ve created this cheat sheet to give you easy quotes to copy, facts to support them, links to the videos and even pictures you can use in your posts.
- Fact Checkers – we want to make it easy to verify my claims: I made some pretty grand claims in the speech. I believe one should have to back up their words; this post also serves as a partial source of some of the articles I used to make the speech/ back up my claims.
There are two videos related to my TEDxToronto experience. The first was my bio, the second is the actual speech.
What we’re Asking
We’re trying to spread the word. We really need your help in doing so. Please consider:
- Watching the video.
- Sharing the video on any outlet you have – and asking others to share when you do.
- Commenting on the video/ sharing an article.
Links to share
- Link to the speech WordPress shortcode:
- My 100-second TEDxToronto bio played just before I took the stage. You can see the video bio here (wordpress shortcode: )
You can reach me via our comment form or email (joel at wellpreserved.ca) and I will do my best to make myself available for an interview.
The Description from TEDxToronto
Joel MacCharles: We live in a time and culture in which dialogue about food is more complex than ever before; food is at once accessible, disposable, commoditized, and fetishized. Watch as Joel MacCharles dispels myths about canning and preserving, helping us to understand how the traditional techniques of our forebears can be easier than we think as well as a time and money saver. At the same time, he exposes some unpleasant truths about the ingredients lists on the backs of food products at the supermarket. Steel yourself: you’re about to find out what “cochineal” and “castoreum” mean.
Things to know
- When my bio/ trailer was shot, we were still deciding the topic. It was a very close call between hunting (which fit the conference theme, “The Choices We Make”) and preserving.
- The speech was September 26, 2013 at TEDxToronto
- It was my fourth year applying to be a speaker.
- The speech took more than 3 months to write – I destroyed the original version of the speech less than 2 weeks from giving this one and started from scratch.
- I’ve never had to memorize a speech before. I had no notes or prompts to help me through
- The rehearsal (the day before) was a disaster. I blanked for more than a minute. Twice.
- The first time I gave the speech without needing my notes was less than 2 hours before taking the stage.
- Every claim in the speech was researched and supported by multiple articles.
- The TEDxToronto team was amazing; I had a main speaker coach and coordinator but there were countless volunteers which supported, encouraged and made this possible. I am beyond words of thanks for them.
Contact – Where to find us:
- Here (the blog). www.wellpreserved.ca
- Twitter: wellpreserved
- Facebook: Facebook.com/WeAreWellPreserved
- Instagram: Wellpreserved
Quotes and footnotes
I know what it’s like to try to blog and handwrite notes. So we’ve chosen a bunch of the quotes we think you might want to use and also given additional sources/ facts/ perspective that might help you expand if you wished.
- “Castoreum – Beaver Anal Gland Juice. It tastes like vanilla and, sometimes raspberry. In fairness, it’s not used very often in food anymore; but it is a natural flavour and it is used.”
- source: U.S. National Library of Medicine, National institute of Health states, It has been used extensively in perfumery and has been added to food as a flavor ingredient for at least 80 years. Both the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regard castoreum extract as generally recognized as safe (GRAS).”
- source: National Geographic published an article after our speech that verified, “Because of its FDA label, in some cases, manufacturers don’t have to list castoreum on the ingredient list and may instead refer to it as ‘natural flavoring.’ Yum.”
- “Cochineal – an extract made from an insect indigenous to Latin America” “Cochineal is produced by crushing the dried bodies of South American Insects. It is often used to dye food. It made International Headlines in 2012 when a giant coffee chain admitted to using it in their Iced Strawberry Frapacinos. They aren’t the only food company to use it either.”
- note: I still prefer either ingredient over chemicals such as Red-Dye 40 (who’s proper name is “6-hydroxy-5-[(2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo]-2-naphthalenesulfonic acid”) and other dyes. NPR reported that the “FDA Probes Link Between Food Dyes and Kids Behaviour.”
- “In addition to selling food-like product, many grocery stores are selling endangered species, some animals that have been so poorly treated that many consider it abusive and food (including vegetarian options) that is harming our planet.”
- Endangered species:
- Bluefin Tuna are endangered (World Wildlife Fund, OceanWise, SeaChoice, The Star) yet it’s sold at restaurants, high-end grocery stores and fish markets). There is a sushi restaurant within a mile of my house that sells it.
- Orange Roughy (also known as ‘slimehead’) is on the verge of extinction (OceanWise, SeaChoice). They can live up to 130 years and don’t fully mature until age 30 (and can’t breed for the first 17 or 18 years) and are caught by large nets (which captures even young fish).
- Swordfish (OceanWise, SeaChoice); although some are harvested by hook and line, I know of some boats that catch swordish ‘sustainably’ via harpoon at the front of the boat and use unsustainable methods such as gilnets at the back). Gilnetted swordfish was for sale at a local retailer for $9.95 a pound in Newmarket, Ontario in September, 2013
- Abusive treatment of animals:
- source: According to a CBC investigation, “The video, filmed by an investigator working with the group Mercy for Animals Canada, appears to show agitated pigs with open sores in tiny cages, adult animals being euthanized using bolt guns in the head and piglets being euthanized by slamming them against the floor.” later in the article, “An Animal Care Review Panel, made up of a University of Manitoba animal sciences professor, an Ontario Veterinary College professor and a research scientist, said the images can be disturbing to watch, particularly the scenes with the piglets, but they said it’s a humane way to euthanize them.”
- gestation crates are banned in Sweeden, UK, Denmark (as of 2014), Florida, Arizona and California. They are being phased out in 6 further states. Some grocers are leading a battle against them in Canada (Winnipeg Free Press) but gestation crates are still legal here.
- …food, including vegetarian options, that is harming our planet:
- source: Union of Concerned Sicentists “At the core of industrial food production is monoculture—the practice of growing single crops intensively on a very large scale. Corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton and rice are all commonly grown this way in the United States. Monoculture farming relies heavily on chemical inputs such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The fertilizers are needed because growing the same plant (and nothing else) in the same place year after year quickly depletew the nutrients that the plant relies on, and these nutrients have to be replenished somehow. The pesticides are needed because monoculture fields are highly attractive to certain weeds and insect pests.”
- Note: I’m not anti-grocery store. We need them. Some are making good progress; we need to continue to ask for better options for our health and our planet to see them continue to make change and progress.
- “Additionally, grocery stores won’t sell ugly vegetables; they blame consumers for wanting ‘pretty food’ and 30% of the food produced in this country rots because it’s deemed too ugly to sell.”
- source: David Suzuki Foundation.” Close to half of all food produced worldwide is wasted — discarded in processing, transport, supermarkets and kitchens.” “”Over 30 percent of fruits and vegetables in North America don’t even make it onto store shelves because they’re not pretty enough for picky consumers.”
- “I still shop at grocery stores from time-time. Not all of my food choices are ethical, sustainable or healthy. I’m not judging others for their choices; but I think we can do better.”
- “By the following Christmas we lived with 600 jars of preserves…”
- There’s a pic of our pantry on our about page
- “I once thought of preserving as a way to make jam and pickles. And while we continue to make both, we’ve found at least 8 different ways to preserve food that extend the harvest and allow us to eat great food at cheaper prices. I’ve discovered that preserving goes far beyond condiments and we preserve many ingredients that make into the centre of our plates!”
- Preserving is easy: “For example, many people will preserve herbs in the fall by cutting them from the garden and hanging upside down them to dry inside their kitchens.”
- Preserving saves me time: “I don’t preserve food because I have lot’s of free time – I do it because it saves me time.”
- “$48 Billion dollars of food is thrown away in the United States each year. The average single-family home in Toronto will waste more than 600 pounds of food in the next 12 months.”
- source: David Suzuki Foundation. “As much as 30 per cent of food, worth about $48 billion, is thrown away in the US each year. (The average household there throws out about 215 kilograms of food each year — around $600 dollars worth.)” and “In Toronto, single-family households discard about 275 kilos of food waste each year (although that city’s expanding composting program captures about 75 per cent of that). That means one in four food purchases still ends up in the garbage. (Toronto taxpayers spend nearly $10 million a year getting rid of food waste that’s not composted.)”
- “A bushel of red peppers can be purchased for less than $1 a pound in the fall; we roast them on the BBQ, remove their skins and seeds and freeze them for use in the winter. This takes about an hour; and saves my family more than $100 per year. And that’s just peppers!”
- Source: we posted this as a recipe a few years back, you can see that here. We turned them into a puree but that is optional.
- Blueberry Gin (infusion)
- I had planned to do the demo on-stage but we had some last-minute adjustments. We have a ‘recipe’ here to show you how to infuse gin with blueberries (though the speech covers it in full)
Bloggers can use these photos as stills – though some are spoliers and give away some of my better material… 🙂 if you use them, please credit Lana Khakam and Sara Stankiewicz – Parasol Photo. They were amazing to take and share these.
We posted an entire series of posts leading up to the speech if you want to learn more about the journey, click here.
Finally, a giant thank you to each and every one of you that helps us spread the word or took the time to watch or help in any way. I can’t say enough on how thankful I (and we) are.