For Food or Fuel

May 7th, 2007


One of the most interesting food stories that I’ve heard in recent weeks relates to the cost of milk in New York state. Milk here went up 60 cents from the beginning of the year to $3.54. The rising dairy farming costs are being blamed on competition for cattle feed from ethanol producers. It foreshadows a nightmare scenario: the world’s poor versus the rich world’s cars.

My short stay in Ireland a year ago was especially eye-opening. People there were talking very seriously about carbon footprints, organic foods, local production, plastic taxes, and food miles. Here, we have a different discourse. Academics get smeared as “cultural relativists,” especially those where I sit in anthropology. However, the real relativism is in a media that covers every event, except US military policy, with the same some-say-yes-others-say-no logic. Only very recently, and in the face of popular criticism have the media dropped the form in discussion of global warming to acknowledge that this is scientific fact. Still, a tacit hierarchy of priorities makes the 60 cent hike in milk a lot less interesting to the media than the same increase in petroleum. I can’t help thinking that this is a very weird moment in the United States, and how we all might look back on 2007 a decade hence.

For Earth Day, Lets Go Back to the Caves.

April 22nd, 2007

Fat, Fatter, Fattest

February 11th, 2007

Cheese Plate

January 28th, 2007

After a long pause…

January 14th, 2007

Riot Police

April 30th, 2006

Listen Hard

March 24th, 2006

Meat and Great

March 19th, 2006

Where am I?

February 27th, 2006

Where I’m Going with CookingFire

January 19th, 2006