For Your Fat Brain
Airlines Start Charging A "Weight Fee"?Sudoku causes mistrial in a million dollar case.Experts unveil 'cloak of silence'.Harnessing the weather.Do We Really Need a Few Billion Locavores?
Interesting article about growing locally or making things yourself. I think the reason "less efficient" farming can be greener is because most of the high-output farms (especially for cereals and feedstock) are harvested in an unsustainable manner. They may at the moment require less joules per pound of food than organic or gardening, but because of pesticides and monocultures and all those things environmentalists get up in arms about, they won't be able to have the same results in 30 years. Another reason for large-scale cheapness is government subsidies. And, as you reported in another week's interesting articles, which foods end up cheap is highly subjective.And finally, I think people need to think about what they're going to make at home. Just like in breweries, there's a reason ice cream factories have hundreds of tons of expensive equipment. On the other hand, I can make 3 supermarket-sized-boxes worth of granola with nothing more than my oven for $7, so it is slightly cheaper, I can put in precisely what I want, and it's sweetened with actual honey, and not high-fructose corn syrup.
Rebelfish,You bring up some good points.I just linked to that article because I think the "food miles" argument isn't a sound one and for many people that is the whole basis of their reason to buy local.They may at the moment require less joules per pound of food than organic or gardening, but because of pesticides and monocultures and all those things environmentalists get up in arms about, they won't be able to have the same results in 30 years.That is true, but to me that is a different argument than buy local. If I purchase products that do not use pesticides and are not monocultures, but they come from more than 100 miles away, then this isn't being a locavore. I also wonder whether there will be more technological breakthroughs that allow the "traditional" farming to maintain its high yields beyond 30 years. Another reason for large-scale cheapness is government subsidiesThat is a good point. I would be curious what would happen to the economics of large scale producers if the subsidies went away. My gut tells me that they would still be able to produce food cheaper than smaller producers, but I have nothing to back that up.Mmmm, homemade granola sounds tasty. Just to play devils advocate though, I wonder if everyone firing up their own stoves to make it would be less efficient than just having one industrial size oven. This research on baking bread shows that the large oven is actually more efficient then everyone baking their own.
I would certainly believe the large oven theory if for no other reason than the surface-area-to-volume-ratio: as the oven gets larger, the room for bread increases as the cube, while the surface area for heat loss increases only with the square. And since bakeries and bread factories use their ovens so much, it's worth it for them to have nice efficient insulated ones, rather than our little home ranges that we use a couple times a week at most.And also...Nathan's Mom's Granola4 cups old fashioned oats1/3 cup honey (I suppose other liquid sweeteners like fruit syrup ormaple syrup would work)1/3 cup vegi oil1/2 cup wheat germ1/4 cup sesame seeds1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds1/2 cup chopped cashews1/2 cup shredded coconut (or up to 1 cup of chopped coconut pulp)1 cup dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, sliced apricots.All quantities are approximate, and all ingredients (except firstthree) are optional.Mix all ingredients (except fruit) together in a big bowl, and thenspread out on an oiled baking sheet/pan so it's less than an inchthick. Bake at 350degF for 10 minutes or so. Add fruit and stir.Return for oven and bake until "just before it starts burning" (another 5 to 10 minutes).
That recipe does sound good, thanks!
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.