December 7, 2011
★ “On the impracticality of a cheeseburger.”

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Waldo Jaquith:

There’s some fundamental good in eating honestly, I think. Of knowing where your food comes from—raising it yourself, when you can—and trying to eat foods that could theoretically have existed a century ago. But you can’t take that but so far, or else the whole thing breaks down. As Carl Sagan wrote inCosmos, “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

Well written and so true to reality. I still indulge in cheeseburgers but I attempt to not just eat locally but eat food that can be prepared today only. I try to avoid buying things out of season and it’s a big challenge. It’s hard to avoid the realization that dairy requires a cow and bread requires wheat. This is where the Co-Op way of living comes in. I live in a small town…actually, it’s more of a village. There are people who grow one crop and we meet 12 weeks out of the year to swap our crops. Grain is available dried and preserved for whatever people want to use it for. It comes out of a big barrel and you bring your own bags to tote it home. There are exchanges of cattle and poultry and milk sold out of the back of trucks. It’s not really a farmers market because it’s an exchange of goods from people who use their hands and trading / bartering happens far more than the exchange of money.

I think Waldo is on the right path but making a cheeseburger is maybe the most catchy but poorest example of this way of life. I get that the lettuce and tomato schedules don’t sync up and that’s fine. YOu don’t have to make THE cheeseburger and you can forgo a few things in order to make it work. What’s more important is that you don’t need to own a cow or grow wheat. You can specialize in tomatoes and barter for the things you need at a Co-Op. That’s what I do and it’s wonderful.