Sunday, December 28, 2008

Am I the last person to discover this blog?

I'm labeling this "politics" though it probably ought to be "politics, silly."

I'm heartened though, by the fact that the president-elect offered to buy shave ice for the reporters following him around Oahu.

If you only read one article about global food

this is a good place to start:

I like Lang's (member of the newly formed UK Food Council) list of four things to address:

1) an oil-based food system in the face of declining oil supplies

2) water scarcity - we need to know the water cost of our food, and not import food from countries experiencing water shortages (undermining those countries food sovereignty further)

3) biodiversity - doing agriculture in a way that enhances it "how can food systems work with the planet and biodiversity, rather than raiding and pillaging it?"

4) getting real about urbanization

The article also notes that while global food prices have dropped a bit since earlier this year (see item 1 above - and consider the current unnaturally low price of oil) 40 million more people around the world have been pushed into hunger in 2008.

Here is Tim Lang in a sentence:
"The 21st Century is going to have to produce a new diet for people, more sustainably, and in a way that feeds more people more equitably using less land."

Are we up to it?

Christmas feasting all year?

French gastronome Raymond Blanc wrote an opinion piece for the BBC's Green Room (12/23) in which he asked people to think about the little extra they spend on quality food for holiday feasting, and consider doing that throughout the year.

the punchlines:

"We don't need cheap food any more than we need junk food. We need good, wholesome, nutritious, interesting food, sold at a realistic price, and grown in a way that does not damage the environment but enhances it.
And if that means saving a bit of money by spending less on the tinsel, why, what better time than Christmas to learn that lesson and teach it to our children?

Bon appetit et Joyeux Noel!"


Thursday, December 25, 2008

What to do while you wait for Santa

And I thought messing with cut out cookies was too fussy. Check out this Oaxacan creche.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pollan Fan Club episode # 973

Probably everybody else has already seen this - certainly a few have told me about it -

A little new material, much recycled - but for a different audience - probably ones who can identify with Moyers taking the grandchildren to MacDonald's so they can cheat on their diet.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

We all should have voted for Cynthia McKinney

In spite of all the lobbying by organic, sustainable ag, and related consumer groups, Obama is about to appoint the dreaded Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, Secretary of Agriculture. The little lip service the president elect has given to agricultural issues has been just that, apparently. Vilsack is reportedly a fan of GMOs and a friend to Monsanto. Just what we need. GRRRRRRR.

Monday, December 15, 2008

NPR Sunday - my radio fare during my early morning travels - is featuring a series on economical holidays. Yesterday's item was about saving money on novelty cupcakes using cake mix and canned frosting purchased at the supermarket and 7-11. It was appalling, and I notice there are no positive comments on the web site, where I left my remarks, too - much tempered from the cussing I was doing in the car yesterday...

Here they are, for those who don't want to click through

There's nothing environmentally friendly about cake mix and the 7-11 - unless it's that one can walk instead of drive to the neighborhood convenience store. Local, seasonal ingredients - and where local isn't an option, organic - prepared in energy efficient ways would be the best choice. Haven't you been reading Michael Pollan or Barbara Kingsolver? Canning what I can grow and gather in summer and fall as jams, chutneys and salsas is my choice.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Still waiting to see what the food and politics message is

I've been overwhelmed lately with just too many volunteer bits and pieces added to high demands in both part-time jobs. I've got a stack of things to blog about, and can't see much time to do so until next week.

But right this very minute I am so annoyed I had to say something.

I'm sure glad I haven't been holding my breath waiting for Obama's nomination of an agriculture secretary.

But I'm also annoyed with the press and with the sustainable/organic ag advocates.

First the press - why is agriculture not seen as an environmental appointment? Few things have more impact on air and water quality, conservation of land, soils, diversity. And, for heavens' sake - forestry is part of agriculture.

Then the lobbyists - a visionary journalist can not necessarily run a government department. In order to get reform there must be someone in the role who can deal with all the parties involved. We don't need a GMO advocate in Monsanto's pocket; but neither do we need a "crunchy granola" type.

I just had to get that last one in there. Yesterday someone I interviewed - in the rust belt - said she was not a "crunchy granola environmentalist". I let her know that I make my own and eat it almost daily. I still have no idea what she was talking about. Perhaps someone privileged enough to be an idealist about environmental activism? without regard to economic justice implications? If so, I'll borrow her phrase.