Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Going green?

I will admit to being a little slow with the think tank once in awhile or possibly just too stubborn to accept things as they really are but it only took me about ten years to totally understand what it means to go green. It simply means that it is going to cost more dinero, cash, greenbacks, mullah or just more jack. The funny thing is that it only took the ignorance of the Democratic National Party in bringing their annual convention to Denver this August for me to finally see the light. They have decided to have a totally green nominating convention August 25-28, 2008. Reports are that caterers are scratching their heads in disbelief.

Fried foods are forbidden at the committee's 22 or so events, as is liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, like china, recyclable or compostable. The food should be local, organic or both. Organizers are attempting to explain that if they plan to follow this protocol for 50,000 attendees it will certainly more than double the price of the meals.

The good news is, I would think, that they consider Greeley local to Denver and there is an ample supply of beef standing there waiting to be respectfully harvested. But, of course, this is the same misguided mind set that recently promoted the notion that reducing beef consumption by 20% would be as beneficial to the environment as every American driving a hybrid car. I have a feeling Denver won’t see a rush on beef demand during these three days.

I would hope that public stupidity at this level would serve as a great learning opportunity. If we continue to make these utopian, unrealistic demands on our food system, the system will be forced to move to other soils. Have they no realization of the fact that central Colorado is not really the salad bowl of American organic food production? No, I don’t think they have the first clue.

The great irony is that this could be the largest gathering of food finicky eaters in the country. I believe the average attendee to be one who considers it fashionable NOT to clean their plate. That on the heels of an EPA report out this week that suggests that 27% of all food available for sale in the United States actually ends up in the landfill. Yes, the third largest component flowing into our nation’s landfills is food. Image the methane contribution that food waste contributes to greenhouse gases. And that is not to suggest that I believe greenhouse gases produced today are contributing even one percent to climate change, but the “Green consumers” have certainly been duped into believing that.

I have no problem with anyone choosing to eat organic food. I have a huge problem when elected officials and food marketing companies position the food production technologies we used in the 1950’s as somehow being better for the environment. The truth of the matter is that we have increased food production efficiency beyond what most thought could have been accomplished even 20 years ago. Today, fewer resources are utilized to feed, clothe, medicate and fuel more consumers and that is thanks to the implementation of technology.

The continual ignorance and rejection by elected officials of how science and technology have improved our food system will result in nothing other than our nation becoming dependent on imported food as we have done with energy. Rejecting technology contributes to what the USDA tabulates as a rapid growth in food insecurity in our own country. 34 million Americans are considered food insecure and instead of trying to find ways to create a better availability of safe, healthy, domestic food production, we pile ridiculous regulation on top of regulation. The ironic is that if we in livestock agriculture pile too much effluent in one spot, they call it pollution but they do it with laws and regulations and they call it protection. I project that the effluent will hit the fan come August in Denver. Of course if you are familiar with the concept of spring grass, that brings to mind a whole different image of “going green”. Hey, that motto might just be fitting for the Democratic Convention after all.

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