Rising from the Ashes: My Journey to Quit Smoking

By Sarah Torgerson Nestled in the heart of Vancouver Island University's Nanaimo campus is one of about a dozen designated smoking areas, where you are likely to come across a handful of generally unhappy-looking smokers wreathed in plumes of grey. I’m often among them. This mecca for the stressed-out and nicotine-addicted is where I take my own study-and-smoke breaks. I started smoking on a beautifully humid evening in November, 2009, while I was living in Perth, Australia. I thought I … [Read more...]

Out to Lunch

By Diane Bolt Dirk Becker’s farmhouse in the seaside village of Lantzville on Vancouver Island is warm and rustic, with weathered wooden furniture and a crackling fire in the background. It’s early November and the kitchen floor is covered in patches of squash being readied for distribution. The scene reminds me of the classic British sitcom “The Good Life,” starring Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as Tom and Barbara Good, a suburban couple who, having paid off the mortgage on their home, … [Read more...]

Out to Lunch (Part Two)

In the recently released documentary Genetic Roulette, Jeffrey M. Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, an organization that educates policy makers and the public about genetically modified foods, says that GM crops in the US amount to 94% of all soy, 90% of cotton, 90% of canola, 95% of sugar beets, 88% of corn, more than 50% of Hawaiian papaya, and over 24,000 acres of zucchini and yellow squash. This means that approximately 70% of the foods available in North American … [Read more...]