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Contributing Writers

Kristeva Dowling

Kristeva Dowling

Kristeva Dowling was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1997 she moved to New Zealand, where she earned her Masters Degree in Social Science from the University of Waikato. While in New Zealand she discovered “Permaculture” (an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecologies), immediately recognized the system as a sensible way of developing human settlements, received her Certificate of Permacultural Design, and grew her first garden. Back in Canada, she developed her British Columbia farm in keeping with permaculture principles, and raises animals for meat, milk and eggs in an ethical manner. She has a passion for the politics of food, which she sees as the key to rural revification, a process she believes is essential to the future health of Canada in particularly and humanity in general. With her background in rural community development, she helped to found two not-for-profit societies and served as a board director for several other non-profit organizations in her community. She has experience researching and writing for a variety of media journals and on topics as varied as Aboriginal issues, farming, politics of food, health and wellness, living in rural/remote locations, community events, and medical issues, and is published in her academic field of research. She was a regular contributor to a collaborative blog called “Not Dabbling In Normal” in which she was invited to participate based on the writings on her own popular blog, “Howling Duck Ranch”. She has just completed her first non-fiction book manuscript entitled, “Achieving Personal Food Security: In which a naivee consumer becomes a subversive farmer.” The book chronicles her experiences of becoming a serious food provisioner, a process that involved a steep learning curve and taking on many a daunting task. For example, raising and butchering animals for meat, milk, and eggs with no agricultural background, fishing in fast frigid rivers and preserving the catch in a variety of ways, hunting in sometimes treacherous mountain conditions and eating moose heart and liver as an initiation ritual of the ‘wolf pack’, arguing with a grizzly bear over the pear harvest, and generally persevering when the going got rough. Her dream is to run an economically viable ethical farm a la Joel Salatin that supports, and is supported by, her community. Thanks to increasingly prohibitive legislation, she is not sure that can be achieved legally.

Articles Written by Kristeva Dowling

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On Bears and Food Security Part V: The Solution

The solution: “Lasting success requires both HUMANS and BEARS to change their behaviors otherwise bears will continually get into trouble.” –Southwest Alberta Bear Management Program I began this series because of a discussion the British Columbia Food Security Network was having about how to make bears and fruit trees get along. Members in Powell River,… Continue Reading

Agencies Under Fire for GMO Approvals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are under scrutiny after a succession of federal court hearings which found the organizations have acted illegally or carelessly when approving certain biotechnological crops. Despite the fact these regulatory bodies are responsible for ensuring the safety of… Continue Reading

Bears and Food Security Part III

False belief #3: We can live in harmony with wildlife This belief is held by people who are insulated from the essential biological condition of all animals, including the human one. The commonalities are: people refuse to hear facts from local people who know, preferring instead to will their own believed reality into existence; people… Continue Reading

On Food Security and Bears Part II

Because of what I do and where I live, I am often talking with people about the human-wildlife conflict, and am continually surprised by what I hear. There are many misconceptions about our relationship with nature in general and with wildlife in particular. During these discussions, I notice there are several persistent themes (false beliefs)… Continue Reading

On Food Security and Bears

I’ve recently been involved in a discussion with the BC Food Systems Network about the relationship between bears and food security. In terms of food security, this issue is an extremely important one for anyone living where large predators exist. I plan to write about it over several articles in order to dispel some common misconceptions… Continue Reading

Juice Box Case Highlights Safety Issues

A saga began in May 2008 when the DeGroot children became ill with ongoing diarrhea. Their parents, justifiably concerned, immediately began looking for the culprit. What they found was surprising:  strawberry-kiwi Dole fruit juice boxes that they had bought for their children’s lunches seemed to be the source of illness.  At the time their children… Continue Reading

Canada to Fund Organics

Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced March 6 that the Canadian government would invest $170,000 into Canada’s organic sector at the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) conference and trade show in Charlottetown. Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, spoke on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz in announcing a partnership with the Organic Trade… Continue Reading

Canada: Is Unsafe Meat Crossing Lax Border?

Canadians are wondering if meat from the United States is safe after learning 70 truckloads have evaded border inspections since January.  That’s how many truckloads the Windsor Star newspaper said had risked fines to cross the border before inspectors from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) showed up for their new 8 a.m. to 6… Continue Reading

Looking at Raw Milk Regulation in Canada

Ontario made pasteurization of milk mandatory in 1938, but Health Canada did not make it mandatory until 1991. Canada bans the sale of raw milk but not its consumption. Although it is illegal to sell raw milk in Canada, consumers can own a share in the ‘source’ cow, which is what dairy farmer Michael Schmidt’s… Continue Reading