Monday, November 24, 2008

This Thursday, You Can Shove Your Carbon Footprint Up Your Ass

Did you know that stuffing with sausage generates 4x the carbon of vegetarian stuffing? That pie a la mode is not environmentally correct?

Thanksgiving is, generally, not an environmentally friendly holiday. But it can be.

Hey, at least I can drink wine from Europe and not feel bad about it. So I'm going to make sure I do the wrong thing and drink wine from Australia - wine that has to come here by ship and then drive across country. Oh, and screw the environmentally friendly Thanksgiving. I want to eat a shitload, drink, watch football, and pass gas. You know, that methane stuff all the cows are already making from feeding them the corn that they are not genetically designed to eat.

But seriously, this article makes me think...

The modern industrial food chain seems ridiculously unsustainable. From both the production and consumption side. Each calorie of food produced (non-organic, though "big market" organic isn't a whole lot better!) consumes 10 calories in petroleum energy - in fertilizer, in transportation, in packaging, you name it. That's a lot of energy if everyone in America was just consuming the average daily requirements posted in the article. But since when has America done that? The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows that Americans consumed nearly 4000 calories a day on average in 2000-2002. Think that number's gone down in the last six years? Now I'm not pointing fingers or being holier than thou - I will readily admit that I can consume with the best of them - but that is simply ridiculous.

I'm not even thinking about carbon footprint here, just the total amount of petroleum energy that gets used producing 4000 x 300,000,000 = 300 BILLION calories of food a day (by my very presumptive swag) or more, considering how much gets thrown out. And I'm thinking about the known health impacts of over-consumption on the average individual, given that America is a mostly sedentary nation.

We're turning fossil fuel into heart disease - the number one killer in this country. We're killing ourselves with the stuff and it has nothing to do with carbon footprints or air quality. And we are most likely going to continue down this path of production (sorry folks, alternative energy right now probably will NOT be able to sustain food levels needed to feed the country). So, we'll pay more and more for oil (just wait, when the economy starts to recover, these nice sub-$2 gas prices will disappear faster than a drunk co-ed's virginity at spring break) and then we are going to collectively pay huge sums to insure everyone against the ill effects of all the oil we're feeding them.


It's so freaking obvious, but it had never really smacked me in the face that our costs for health care - insofar as paying for treatment for all the obesity-related illnesses that come from over consumption - are tied to petroleum consumption. We eat more and more and more food, sustaining demand for food and driving petroleum prices up (again, assume recovered economy), and at the same time increasing our own financial burden to treat the ill effects.

It would seem to me that the most important part of national health care would be national health. It's going to take more than a federal program to create that. It's going to take a complete shift in the way we think as a people; we do not have a preventive mentality. Some of us do. If we did as a country, we wouldn't be eating 4000 calories a day, we'd be exercising more, we wouldn't need so much goddam gas just to feed ourselves, and we'd be in the hospital less often, not paying as much for health care, and the cost for a basic "national health care" might not be such a big concern.

Just sayin'.

Still...screw yourselves, WaPo. Interesting article, but don't crap all over my thanksgiving. At least one or two days a year, I want sausage in my stuffing and ice cream on my pie.

Gobble, gobble.

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