Monday, January 15, 2007

Defining a just society


We'd all eat real food, not attractively-packaged industrial waste. I'm all for recycling, using every possible bit of a resource, but do you really need to eat all that high-fructose corn-syrup? No, you do not. Let's turn it all into ethanol to run our cars. Fructose? Here, have an orange. Corn? Corn on the cob, roasted on the grill, beats granola bars any day of the week. Syrup? Mmmmmm, maple trees.

Food would be locally grown and consumed as much as possible.

Not shipping food long distances means that we use less fuel and emit less pollution bringing it to market. Not that I want to discourage trade. Trade is good. Apple trees, maple trees, grapes, wheat: these don't grow happily down here in the subtropics. I'll happily trade you some oranges, mangoes, papayas, and avocadoes for some apples, maple syrup, a jug of wine, and the makings of a loaf of good French bread.

Small local farms are one form of small business. Small businesses are good for the communities they serve and good for the people who run them. More on businesses in another section.

Food would be organically produced as much as possible. The regular and profligate us of pesticides and herbicides hasn't cut down on crop losses enough to justify that much use. Fertilizers have significantly increased the yield per acre for a lot of crops, but the micronutrient content [vitamins and minerals] of much of our produce is about half what it was 50 years ago. Now you need to eat twice as much food to get the same amount of nutrition. No wonder we're all so fat.

Food animals would be grown humanely. Like your bacon and eggs? With a glass of milk, maybe? Read about factory farms. Visit one. More on factory farming in another post on another day.


TenaciousK said...

It's also an issue of national security, as we're losing our capacity for farming over time. But yeah, I'm all for it.

bztispn: Byzantian spellings.

Keifus said...

Well, I think you know my position here, a pet subject. (Yup, the local model is a better one, where viable.)

I was thinking though, I really like getting better quality food. And even if it means local whenever feasible, I'm not too shy about my hefty consumption of California produce. If it came down to no fresh cilantro, I'd consider vacating my beloved New England and helping to overrun the Golden State.

Uh, I realize that's what you said.

Trade is great, but there's an economic advantage for growers to conentrate in favorable climes, even without subsidies etc....

Anyway, gotta work. THanks for the excuse to be fat.

K (givsxme: you have a dirty mind)

hipparchia said...

tk: national security is right. that was slated to come up when i get around to expounding on farm subsidies.

keifus: have to agree with you on all of it, including the cilantro.