i'm on my third attempt at brewing a pot of coffee this morning.
i put in the grounds, the filter, turned on the light and upon returning to pour a cup...i had forgotten the water.
so i turned it off, put in the water, gave it a minute...never turned it back on.
now it's on, there's water, and i'm still waiting. let's hope the third time really is the charm.
i tell you this in warning. if it was that hard to get a pot of coffee going this morning then, well, i'm really not sure what might come of this rambling post.
okay, here goes:
i am not a foodie. i count this as a blessing. i am not a person who tastes the gradations of good in food. once it's good, i'm set. i don't taste the subtleties beyond that. i realized this upon a visit to tom colecchio's restuarant craft. i sat with five friends around a massive wooden table and watched and listened as they made sounds and faces usually reserved for the bedroom. this is soooo goooooood they crooned. and i sat there thinking, yeah it's good. it's good, but...hmmmm. tell you the truth? i was far more interested in the rustic decor and the simplicity of the dishes--the fine, local ingredients that had been sourced.
i've been a vegetarian for coming on two years now. few things can i say with such pride. (though i must admit that every once and again someone i live with throws bacon on the stove and the smell infiltrates every crevice of our apartment and i can barely contain myself. i'd give it all up for just one slice of that stuff, i think. but i haven't--not yet, anyway).
food is fun again. for me, it is fun. after so many years of it being anything but, it is suddenly fun again. there is a challenge to the art of eating locally. to eating well and wholly. to reducing the amount of oil used in getting the food to our table. we are a nation of gas guzzlers. i think we can all agree on that. so we talk about riding bikes and commuting together and taking public transport and we pass judgement on those with unnecessary suv's (oh, you don't do that, it's just me when i'm home in texas? hmm. well, okay). and all of those things are good and right. but i don't hear too many people talking about all the oil that we guzzle in getting our perfectly packaged, hermetically sealed foods. consider the following:
americans put almost as much fossil fuel into our refrigerators as our cars. synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides use oil an natural gas as their starting materials, and in their manufacturing. but getting the crop from seed to harvest takes only one-fifth of the total oil used for our food. the lion's share is consumed during the trip from the farm to your plate. each food item in a typical u.s. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles. in addition to direct transport, other fuel-thirsty steps include processing (drying, milling, cutting, sorting, baking), packaging, warehousing, and refrigeration. energy calories consumed by production, packaging, and shipping far outweigh the energy calories we receive from the food. if every u.s. citizen at just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country's oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. (animal, vegetable, miracle...page 5)
when i was really sick, really in the throws of an eating disorder i was accused by more than once of being terribly selfish. and i was. it made me into an entirely different person--a terribly, unbelievably selfish human being and that is something i have to reconcile myself with day after day.
but we americans, we're not doing much better, are we? we want it and we want it now and we're entitled to it. forget the impact on oil consumption and those multitudinous political ramifications, forget the impact on the environment--in fact, why think about those things at all?
we cast off environmentalist as radicals or tree-huggers and we blame big-oil for much of the world's problems, all the while demanding more of it, more oil.
before the catastrophic bp oil spill, does everyone remember the exxon valdez spill? of course you do, it's been a watchword for years, a warning, a catch-all for the harm the oil industry rails against the environment day after day. but in 1995 smithfield (america's leading pork producer) spilled more than twenty million gallons of lagoon waste [pig shit] into the new river in north carolina. the spill is twice as big as the iconic exxon valdez spill six years earlier... smithfield was fined $12.6 million, which at first sounds like a victory against the factory farm. at the time, $12.6 million was the largest civil-penalty pollution fine in US history, but this is a pathetically small amount to a company that now grosses $12.6 million every ten hours. (eating animals...pages 178-179).
every ten hours. wow.
why am i blogging about this this morning? i'm not sure. i guess because i feel like not enough people are. children are getting fat. and people are dying from obesity related illnesses. and all the while we're depleting the environment at a terrifying rate. so shouldn't we all be talking about this? shouldn't this be what the 2012 election is about? shouldn't this be the hot-topic issue?
one meal. one organic, locally grown meal a week and we'd reduce the united states oil consumption by 1.1 million barrels per week. that's easy. one meal? that's nothing. there are things we can do. steps we can take. we just have to get off our fat asses (literally) and do them. and demand the government make it possible.