Well, I suppose it’s good in a way, that the last experiment ended when it did because my mom and little brother came to visit today. I just couldn’t imagine serving them the same food I had been eating. They deserve better. We went out to eat at the New Moon Cafe. I kept it local by eating a Northwest Omelette which had cream cheese, spinach and smoked salmon in it. But I was craving something a little more exotic so I added avocado. I wonder what the chances are the avocado came from California instead of Mexico. On the side I got some impossibly fresh fruit (oranges, melons, etc.) and a biscuit. To wash it all down there was coffee. 

I suppose this is the point at which I acknowledge that a closed loop food system is one thing, but there will always be some foods worth importing. The question becomes, what foods are worth importing and how should they be transported? I would hope it would be obvious that we should not be importing foods that can be grown locally. Screw interstate commerce! Southern raised chickens should not be allowed to be sold in the Pacific Northwest! Spices I think should be the obvious other end of the spectrum in that they offer lots of flavor for a small weight and they travel well. Generally speaking, I think the item being shipped should be processed so that it can survive the travel. Like rum or peanut butter. 

This experiment has also made me wonder why there aren’t more greenhouses around here. Can’t you grow almost anything in a greenhouse? I know there are tons of greenhouses in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia where they grow tomatoes year round. I have read that Amory Lovins of Rocky Mountain Institute and Hypercar fame grows bananas in Colorado. If I had a greenhouse I would grow fruit earlier and later, but probably nothing very exotic. 

By now, many people have read the article about how sheep raised in England have a high carbon footprint than sheep raised in New Zealand and shipped to England. Here is a response to that article that suggests what appears to be too good to be true might just be too good to be true. Michael Shuman attempts to unfold the question of local vs. global a little further. It should be clear that the original article is not an excuse to buy meat and produce from far away but that it is a call to arms to work toward making our local systems as clean and efficient as possible. 

 

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This evening I bartended a Marine wedding at the beautiful Thornwood Castle in Lakewood. That’s where I had my meal of chicken, ham, potatoes, and Caesar salad. I really should find out where the catering company gets their food. I can find that out the next time I work. I’m also curious where we send the food scraps when they get composted. I am really frustrated that composting is not available at my apartment. It feels very strange to sort food scraps from other garbage at work and then try to be conscious at home, only to toss food into the garbage.

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