This article examines a dim sum ticket from the My Lai Garden, a prominent 1970s Edmonton restaurant, arguing that this traditional Cantonese assortment of snacks and tea acted as a transplanted cultural space for a transplanted people. As Edmonton’s Chinese population exploded in the 1970s, dim sum worked as an ethnic performance and a social space, a cultural metaphor and a practical occasion for families to bond, friends to meet, and business to be transacted. At the same time, dim sum at the My Lai Garden offered opportunities for inclusion and exchange, attracting Euro-Canadian diners intrigued by its worldly connotations. The restaurant, however, did not simply dish up a commoditized ethnicity: the ritual’s defining Chineseness and subtle cultural meanings remained elusive to non-Chinese outsiders. Dim sum, prepared principally by and for the Chinese community, exists and persists with or without Euro-Canadians, complicating questions of cultural hegemony and suggesting a more complex history of ethnic life in Edmonton.
The Ontario Christian Gleaners (OCG) gathers, dries, and distributes produce destined to be waste and creates value by processing dried soup mixes and fruit snacks using volunteer labour. This case study examines the roles of relationships in the OCGs strategy, operations, and management using a strategic management framework that incorporates value creation and trading. Data was collected from secondary sources, site visits, and interviews. The case examines how relationships with primary and secondary stakeholders are managed to create value. Primary stakeholders are individuals, groups, and organizations with formal, regular, contractual or transactional relationships with an organization. At OCG they include donors of vegetables and fruit, supplies like pails, and services like free waste tipping; communities that receive the dried soups, fruits, shipping barrels, and pails; mission and relief organizations that raise funding and distribute the food and the volunteers who donate their time. Secondary stakeholders do not have regular relationships with an organization but may be affected by its actions or affect its actions indirectly through their activities in the market or society. At OCG secondary stakeholders include those who receive soup; interest groups such as food businesses, consumer or environmental organizations; the earth that supplies the agricultural and food resources; the media; the government that oversees the charitable status requirements and food safety legislation; food banks and others who have similar missions to feed the hungry; and finally educational, social, and health institutions who have goals that intersect with those of the OCG.
Populating grocery store aisles with its easily recognizable green containers, Activia (a probiotic yogurt) claims to help regulate the digestive system in fourteen days. The commercial success of this functional food product reveals intersections among discourses of digestion, gendered eating, ideal bodies, nutrition, health, and food pharmaceuticals, as eaters navigate an increasingly medicalized foodscape. This paper draws from print and online advertisements, product packaging, press coverage, and industry reports, as well as a variety of secondary sources that analyze digestion as a cultural act. From the naked, flat stomachs prominently featured in advertisements to the heart-shaped icons used to navigate its website, this paper also demonstrates how Activia constructs digestion and freedom from constipation as components of an idealized, white, middle to upper class, female identity.
Iconic Canadian Foods
/ Des produits alimentaires canadiens emblématiques