Sunday, March 15, 2009

60 Minutes Covers Sustainable Food and Health

I hope everyone saw 60 Minutes tonight with their interview of Alice Waters. If not, here is the link

She clearly described the need for sustainable food economies, benefit of locally grown food and the need to promote this via our schools.


Rita Riherd said...

I really enjoyed the Waters' segment. Watching her cook an egg over an open fire for breakfast - WOW - I'd love to know the type of implement she used to do it so perfectly. At the end of the piece, she talked about a movement to establish a garden on the White House lawn. It's 18 acres, three-tenths would be a great start. If anyone knows of a petition drive to advocate for a White House garden please post it. The Obamas are very open to public suggestions and I can just see "Peaches and Cream" growing there, maybe a "potatoe" or two in honor of you know who.

John's Custom Meats said...

Did anyone happen to notice the majority of the comments left for the story were not favorable? Some were down right angry. We can learn something from this. I enjoyed the basis and bones of the piece, however….. While I am a huge proponent of all things local, I do feel that the price must be reachable to all classes and incomes. The piece appears to make local products look unreachable to much of Americans in the tough economic times we are in. I personally would not ever pay $4 lb for grapes. Obviously, some may. But, we live in a very agricultural rich area and having a grape vine in our backyards is nothing unusual. I personally was a “lucky” child. I could step out my backyard and feast on apples, grapes, peaches, plums, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc...right off the vine/tree. This was one of my favorite features to our very own yard as I was growing up in rural Grayson County. So the thought of paying seriously high prices for something that can be grown in your own backyard may not be very appealing to a great number of local people. While prices may not be an issue for some, it is issue number one for many others just trying to feed their families nutritious food. I would like to see the push for local products continue to gain strength to all income classes. This requires a hard look at prices and how to keep them attainable.

Billy Ray said...

The price argument is always going to raise its head and cause disagreement, but it is coming to energy in an even bigger way than food.

With respect to food, I remain unconvinced that truly local food has to be dramatically more expensive. I am not talking about shopping at Whole Foods, which is a thinly disguised Wal Mart that gets its foods in much the same way as Wal Mart. I am talking about truly local vendors being able to sell directly to consumers in such a fashion that they keep virtually all of the food dollars. Cut out all of the middle men and all of the transportation, then tell me it has to be more expensive. I simply am not convinced. Even if it is still slightly more expensive, when one accounts for the health benefits and reduced spending on health care, it is likely still cheaper over all.

The same comparison is coming relative to electric power. Burning coal is still so cheap. But, when one considers the costs of climate change, poisoning of our air and water, and the coming end of fossil fuels, it too is only less expensive with the most limited, tier one, examination of the costs. It is not possible to only look at the cost of a tomato or a kWh, without pondering the cost of that cheap tomato or kWh in the larger scheme of things.