Friday, September 17, 2010

Keeping things in Perspective

Fall is upon us - okay, maybe not in Phoenix, but in the rest of the country - and with fall comes elections and a lot statistics and propaganda. Something I have heard and try to remember is to keep all statistics within their context. The same is true of speeches and quotes - politicians and many others are oft quoted out of context. 'Tis the season, though, right? All is fair in American politics.

Anyway, that wasn't just a rabbit trail off into the randomness of my mind, rather it is my segue into tonight's post. Often times buzz words and phrases become trendy, and suddenly we find masses of Americans claiming to do what is best, right or most healthy. Take for example the locavore movement. Take for example buying a tomato in New York City; it is practically a sin to buy the juicy fruit if it came from California and those who buy local heirloom varieties are applauded for their contribution towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced from transportation and eating healthier. Truth is, the biggest energy hog is actually the home consumer not the 18-wheelers moving across America. Home preparation and storage account for 32 percent of all energy use in the food system.

A single 10-mile round trip to the local farmer's market can easily consumer 14,000 calories of fossil fuel energy. Running your refrigerator can consumer up to 9,000 calories; that number will double if it is not one of the energy efficient models. Cooking and running a dishwasher also add to that bottom line. Local households make up 22 percent of all energy expenditures in the United States.

Interesting, huh? I'd say we need a bit more context around these claims. Just some food for thought as you head into the weekend. Oh, and in case you're wondering, I love a good farmer's market. I have nothing against locally produced agriculture; I simply want to promote fairness among the various sectors of agricultural production. Conventional versus organic. Locally produced versus imported produced, whether domestically or internationally. Agriculturists need to stop the infighting and promote ourselves as a group; we only damage our own chances of survival when we start picking on those that have pursued different avenues of production or marketing methods.


Anna said...

I love you.

crystal.cattle said...

Wonderful article. You are exactly right more things need to be put into context.