Food for thought…
July 10, 2012
After poking around a bit on the Internet this morning at my office, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see where my essay “Energy, Economy and the Impending Rite of Passage” has ended up. Hopefully people are following links back to this website, and getting to know me a bit.
My next essay is in progress and will focus on our food system, and will blend science-talk with a bit of nature writing for a mix that will hopefully both inform and inspire. I admit I’m becoming something of a “foodie”, and am getting involved not only with the local food movement here in Vermont but also my local chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I’ll also be teaching a course entitled Energy Use in the U.S. Food System at the University of Vermont this fall, through Continuing Education. Normal graduate and undergraduate students can certainly sign up, but non-degree-seeking people who are interested in food systems can take the course as well. I’m currently reaching out to several small, local farmers in hopes of getting them on board to have students in the class do full-on life cycle energy assessments of some of their food products to assess the energy costs of delivering local food and the energy balances that different types of local food can deliver. The importance of doing this might seem like it’s coming out of left field, but when you read my next essay (which will be required reading for the students in the class) you’ll have a better understanding of why I’m focusing on life cycle energy assessment as a tool.
With some luck my food system essay will be finished and ready to post in a couple weeks. Until then, I hope folks are enjoying the heat wave, the high (but moderated by another economic downturn) oil prices, the stock market volatility, and the show going on throughout Europe as bankers and political figures vainly attempt to “sustain the unsustainable”, as James Howard Kunstler so often says. Makes for great entertainment. I say that cynically, of course, as our dose of the same here in America isn’t too far off.