Sunday, May 13, 2007

Do you really care?

What is the main producer of carbon dioxide - the poison that will make the Earth into Mercury by next Tuesday? The hydrocarbon combustion engine, of course, pushed tyrannically and cynically by the oil companies. So in the supermarket one should look around and see what is being transported more by oil and what less and buy the less-transported. Right? One immediate obvious villain is water from the Fiji Islands. People spend megabucks to have water put in bottles ten thousand miles away and shipped all the way to your local market when they have pure water coming out of their faucets at home and water fountains at work and school. How Gaia shrieks! Why are there no pickets with photos of dead baby seals in the bottled water aisle?

Of course, almost all liquids sold as food contain water. Take milk, for instance, which supermarkets pump out in vast quantities in liquid form. The distance it is transported varies, depending on if the supermarket is surrounded by a dairy farm or not. But right there in the spices aisle is another product that contains no water at all. You take it home, put it in a bottle and fill the bottle with water and shake. Voila! Milk! And no water has been transported anywhere except out of your faucet. Think how the polar bears will love you. Juice is another product which offers tremendous carbon reduction value. Buying juice in liquid form should be a crime, because it is a crime against the Earth. How much diesel fuel is pumped into the air to bring bottles of orange juice from the Indian River to you? Even "reconstituted" juice is transported. But the "real, whole, undiluted, pure" juice should, nay, indeed, must be banned immediately lest we turn into glowing red sparks in a desert wasteland. Frozen concentrated juice is not quite so carbon-expensive, but we can do better, if we really care. In the beverage aisle, you will find little packets of fruit flavor, which weigh almost nothing and produce, when mixed with a little sugar and a half-gallon of untransported water, many drinks. And if you haven't tried Kool-Aid lately, I guarantee you will be surprised at the improvement in the flavor. I mean, if you're not willing to make that small sacrifice to take trucks off the road, what credibility is left to you in urging others to stop driving their gas-mobiles?

Fruits and vegetables also waste enormous amounts of transport energy if bought whole and "fresh". Compare the carbon cost of ten or more fresh tomatoes with that of a can of tomato paste, which gives almost the same tomato flavor. Aren't you ashamed of buying real fruits and vegetables? What do you think, you deserve luscious fresh produce and the penguins can just dry up and blow away? I'm sure, if they weren't bribed by the oil companies our chemists could produce a crystalline powder, that, when mixed with your water, would produce tomato paste analog, at an even greater carbon savings.

And that brings up the whole idea of refrigerating or freezing food. What a waste! Think how much electricity is wasted on those foods that have already cost mega-carbon being transported around the world. What is in your fridge that you couldn't get out of a can, anyway? Or reconstitute from a powder? Nothing! You'll just have to buy a cow for fresh milk and have fresh tomatoes once a year for a couple of weeks and real orange juice when you take a (walking, of course) vacation to Florida. You do care, don't you?