Sunday, May 03, 2009

Filthy Materialist

There are only 3 good things about Northern Virginia--Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and the NRA.
The rest, barring a few aikido schools, I could do without.

Clare and I visited the first two today, and purchased enough of our staple items from those stores for a couple of months and then some.

I am more of a Trader Joe's fan than a Whole Foods fan these days, because Trader Joes is a way better deal. $2.50 for bath gel, $3.29 for wine, $1.69 for the best salsa, etc. Their prices are stellar. Whole Foods is THE Food Shrine of Food Shrines bar none, but the wallet can only handle so much. Their produce is the best, and their knock off brand, 365, knocks it out of the park more often than not. Still, the main reason we go to Whole Foods is their Olive Oil, Baguette, and Cheese. And the occasional canoli, of course.

Rod Dreher opines in "Crunchy Cons" that he feels like the only conservative in the whole damn store in places like Whole Foods (just look at all the Obamaphile bumperstickers in the parking lot) but argues that it is a conservative virtue to support organic food and sustainable agriculture. In Genesis--a book the liberal statist so often happily forsakes--one of the first commandments given to man is to cultivate the Earth. No matter how it's packaged, whether a countryfried market or shiny retail food store, man's destiny is that never far away from the ground. We can't forget that.

That being said, I choose my battles and visit said food shrines selectively. I go on occasion. Because afterwards, I always feel the need to detox myself from the taint of Fairfax and the liberal oracles of gluttony.

But a case of Charles Shaw is worth it.

Peace Out,



jpbenney said...

Dreher is right that it is a conservative value to support organic food and sustainable agriculture. What modern technology allowed for the first time and the free market greatly encourages is the cultivation of lands with ecologies fundamentally completely different from any region farmed before 1700. Such regions allow much more labour-efficient food production and via enormous grazing properties eliminate protein deficiencies previously endemic in civilised communities.

However, the result of supporting the cultivation of Australia - the main and quintessential region of this sort - is catastrophic climate change and a culture that is a laggard in terms of innovation. Melbourne has lost 70 percent of its water supply since 1997, yet the only thing that is proposed is desalination that will make global warming much worse.

Instead Australia should be thinking of creating large areas of protected native flora to protect the large numbers of unique species the continent has - and to illustrate how the Earth's ecology has historically functioned.

The lesson for those abroad is that by supporting farmers outside Australia one is doing a great ecological service - and a sociological one too by giving what would otherwise be resource-free countries something to build a human society on.

Nick-dog said...

How would desalination increase "global warming?" Half the world's scientists vehemently disagree with that phenomenon.
Just asking...

I am no expert on Australia's eco-systems, but I support organic food and sustainable agriculture for it's own sake. For example, I don't think seeds should be genetically modified to support big business.

After tasting my first heirloom tomato last year, I became a believer in organic-heirloom gardening. What a bloody shame it is that most people will settle for the corporate-sponsored version because they will have never tasted the difference.

The other side of gardening is that I am a proponent of self-suffiency, where possible, to the extent possible. To rely on the grid for all your needs, well that's just a catastrophe waiting to happen. But it's the way we live.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by. Feel free to do so anytime. I hope things are kicking ass in Australia for you.

Peace Out,