Can You Spare a Lime?
Tuesday, October 05, 2010 at 8:04PM
Food production is something taken for granted in developed nations. Costs and availability of grains are truly becoming a concern after 2008 riots in Egypt and Indonesia over rice, and now in 2010 Russia has prohibited the export of wheat. After many years of stable prices, climatic change, a dearth of rational forward thinking and misallocation of global resources, has led to a scary predicament.
After WWII there were "Victory Gardens" in the United States to supply what was unavailable from a pre-agro-business era. Even Stalin permitted small-scale capitalism in the growing of gardens vegetables to provide food for the table. Humans, given the opportunity to be sensible, in spite of intermittent periods of amnesia, are returning to local farmers’ markets and a rediscovery of self-sufficiency and confidence in providing a portion of their own survival needs.
It is time to become reacquainted with a connection to nature. Bill and Barbara Spencer at Windrose Farms in Paso Robles, raise vegetables for farmer’s markets and tony restaurants, but also organic lambs. Perhaps, we would eat meat only intermittently, if we were to see them slaughtered. This is a natural process, according to my Iranian neighbor Nathan Lavian, who tells me even the wealthy in the old country forty years ago were moderate in their consumption.
We have been living through the abstraction of “money uber alles”. A financial collapse is still reverberating with trillions of dollars of debauchery. Oliver Stone said on Bill Maher’s program “Real Time” in early 2010, “…the biggest heist since the pyramids.” Then on the war front, according to an article by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes in The Sunday Times (UK) of February 23, 2008, the projected total cost of the Iraq and Afganistan Wars is to be $3,000,000,000,000….Yep, that’s three Trillion dollars. The same money could have supplied the 77 neediest nations with a century of this year’s seasonal cereal-import cost of about $27.8 billion according to an amount noted in a Wall Street Journal article on food costs September 27, 2010.
It’s time to start making sense! Remember the Dylan Thomas line. “Don’t go gentle into that good night.” We can do our part in providing a smoother transition towards local enduring “life-cells” in those parts of our society which are devolving from unsustainable mega-structures. I remember feeding ten pigs in a trough on Murch Lake in Prince George, British Colombia in 1974. We tricked them by pouring a bit in one side, and then avoided the rush by emptying the majority of the food in the other. Can you image controlling germs and excrement of 90,000 pigs on a super-farm! It is a miracle that we are feeding over 300,000,000 people and can still export. “Hey Buddy, Have you got a lime.”
Lewis Perkins lives in Santa Monica, nestled in a semi-tropical paradise, growing exotic edibles in Southern California. When not working with Tara in the garden, Lewis is a Certified Financial Planning Professional® spending time with clients as a real estate, insurance, and securities broker. His websites are InspiringProperties.net and ComprehensiveFinancial.net.