Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Kitchen

I grew up with gardens -- for a while my mom had a whole acre of a garden in Maine and we would pick the corn and eat it right of the stalk -- sweet and crisp it didn't need to be cooked. Fresh food is like that. It tastes better -- sweeter -- as if the essence of food were remembered. I also worked for a time on an avocado farm -- I couldn't eat them for a long time after that. Food that goes through our system tastes institutionalized...

Time is a little short this week -- so an idea that I would usually spend an hour looking into will have to survive for the time being as a question...

An article in the Times today covers a little movement of "kitchen gardeners" -- and an organization, "Kitchen Gardeners International" that promotes the idea that we would save a lot of oil and money while promoting health and taste if we grew all our own food at home.

“We’re trying to reframe the backyard in terms of global sustainability, without losing any of the fun,” said Mr. Doiron, who manages to make a living from donations to his nonprofit and a fellowship from the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute. He sees his audience as “people out there who are concerned about peak oil, or the gardening gastronomes who want the freshest food possible,” he said. “Or the people who joined a C.S.A.” — a community-supported agriculture project — “last year, and this year are thinking, you know what? I can do some of this myself.”

It's really bloody hard -- just for the record. My mother spent hours a day gardening. picking off bugs and pulling up weeds... the cycles of the seasons and the taming of the root cellar...
I went to the Kitchen Gardeners International website and this:

"What few people grasp is the connection between oil and the food supply. Put simply, the food and farm economies of industrialized countries run on the stuff. Oil and its derivatives are used to power farm equipment, to create synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, to run food processing equipment, and to transport food from field to fork, a journey of 1500 miles for the average forkful.

It has been estimated that our highly-industrialized food system in the US requires 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to create 1 calorie of food energy. Needless to say, that equation just doesn't compute in the long run."

At this moment I'm most interested in the idea that pesticides are made with oil. While there are lots of things of interest to follow up on, I guess I have been thinking about this. I don't wash my food well enough -- I often cheap out when it comes to organic -- not because I don't believe it's important; simply because of the expense.

A quick search found an entire website dedicated to disputing claims made about oil and the use of oil in pesticides is one of the things they dispute. They don't seem to have anything more behind them by anything else.

I will start here tomorrow.

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