Thursday, September 18, 2008

100 mile diet for America!

In the not too distant past, energy conservation and renewable power sources were just the concern of tree huggers and "cocaine sniffing sierra club yuppies." I think it was 5 years ago, I first read something arguing that energy conservation should also be the concern of hawkish conservatives. This was the first time I saw the term "energy independence". Now, with the addition of religious groups who see humans as the stewards of God's creation, there is some momentum to take on climate change.

However, as I've complained before, global warming is just one of many bad things caused by unsustainable practices. The reckless burning of fossil fuels is just one of many bad things we are doing to the planet and ourselves in the name of short-term profit. There are very few regulations on what can be dumped into landfills and waste water. Nor are there enough controls on what goes into food and consumer goods. This is a problem both for the planet because chemicals and antibiotics that we are dumping both commercially and from our homes will do bad things to ecosystems. It's also bad for people, because there has been no testing for what these chemicals do to people in small doses. This is just one more of many things that is going to come down harder on those without the resources or education to speak up for themselves.

Anyway all this is why we decided earlier this week to try to reduce the amount of prepared and mass-produced food in our diet. It's not the 100 mile diet, but it's more small producers and locally grown stuff. Not long after we made this decision, it came out that something else was contaminated in China. While the tainted Chinese milk likely was not a terrorist act, it underscored to us just how easy it would be to sicken and kill a whole lot of people by putting something in the food supply. The chain is so long with mass produced food that it'd be pretty easy to do.

In addition to making me a little uneasy, it got me thinking that, like energy independence before it, food security will be the next formerly eco-friendly idea to get taken up by the right in the name of national security.

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