August 23, 2010
via New York Times and Chris Blattman:
The local food movement now threatens to devolve into another one of those self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas. Arbitrary rules, without any real scientific basis, are repeated as gospel by “locavores,” celebrity chefs and mainstream environmental organizations.
…The real energy hog, it turns out, is not industrial agriculture at all, but you and me. Home preparation and storage account for 32 percent of all energy use in our food system, the largest component by far.
Just a good reminder for the cool foodsters.
Now – locavores don’t try and eat local for purely environmental reasons. They are also interested in decentralized agriculture, “food security“, and supporting their local economy. They also may be environmentally righteous when science isn’t always on their side.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for all of these things, but unfounded bourgeois dogma without a good foundation in “full cost accounting” gets dangerous.
August 16, 2010
Eating insects. The U.N. recommends it this week:
The raising of livestock such as cows, pigs and sheep occupies two-thirds of the world’s farmland and generates 20% of all the greenhouse gases driving global warming. As a result, the United Nations and senior figures want to reduce the amount of meat we eat and the search is on for alternatives.
[Read the Guardian article here]
It’s definitely becoming a buzz topic in western food culture, mainly laced with the well-intentioned allegory of “Let the West catch up to the rest of the world and no longer be in the anti-insect eating global minority”.
A good source of protein and other nutrients, fast reproduction, easy/cheap to produce, low carbon/water footprints. Definitely a matter of when, especially when looking at the demand for meat across all newly industrializing nations. I just hope things stay crunchy – gooey may be too tough for me at first.
August 16, 2010
American firm Choi + Shine Architects designed these conceptual electricity pylons shaped like human figures to march across the Icelandic landscape.
Go to dezeen for more info.