January 3rd, 2008

perverse incentives (no beans)

In contemplating (and reading the blog of) the 100 mile diet, and their arguments against air freighting food around in particular, I am reminded of a quote I'm having a little trouble nailing down. I went something like "n% would pull money from the moon". I think it was JP Morgan, and googling makes it seem n = 5, but I'm not sure. (If so, funny, hunh? But that was in deflationary days of "hard" money, so very, very not comparable to interest rates of today.)

There is a real price premium for organic food. That's good -- that's demand telling supply they want more. But in a global economy with still-cheap transportation (not for much longer, and not cheap if you count greenhouse gases and unsustainability of fossil fuels), local organic growers are stuck competing with overseas organic growers which is clearly not what the community originally intended. Yes, it's nice to get stuff that doesn't have pesticides, and isn't GM/E. The 100 mile diet-ers and others are contending that a good local food network trumps all.

But I do wonder. I'd love to see some research on the subject. Particularly since I'm probably _really_ subject to the perverse incentive, having Prime. :(

In mildly unrelated news, I think I've found the book for the eating pattern I'm aiming for: Dean Ornish's latest, _The Spectrum_. I'm sure I'll be posting about it more once I've received and read it.

Learning about Local Food Networks

R. agrees that this whole 100 mile thing can be reasonably treated as a consciousness raising exercise. Today's consciousness raising may make you laugh and laugh and laugh. VitaSoy USA is based in Ayer. Yes, Ayer, MA, which is at the other end of the bike trail. Which is to say, I have bicycled from my home here in Brookline, to Ayer.


The soybeans are not GM and are organic and are domestic, but are not locally sourced. There are actually some local soybean growers; I may try to pursue that later in the year, but for right now, my English Muffins (from Lowell, MA, where we got married) and tofu fall within the locally produced from non-local ingredients category.