Here comes a feeling you thought you’d forgotten…

Anyone else obsessed with that song? (Vampire Weekend – Horchata). To me it has a summery feeling to it. But I don’t know if that was the intention, since it references winter a lot. Lately I have been listening to a lot more Guster and Dispatch and all those bands that remind me of my high school summers, making mischief in my hometown on Cape Cod. Ahh to be young again. But I guess I still feel young. It’s a feeling that comes and goes and when the summer sun starts poking through, it comes much more often than it goes.

Last Friday was my last “official” day of my spring internship. It was sad in many ways, but I am excited to have more free time in these coming weeks leading up to graduation (which is MAY 8th!). They have invited me to stay on as a summer intern so it looks as if that’s what I shall be doing at the moment and I’m excited for that. It will let me sink my teeth into things a bit more than I have been able to so far.

OK. Before I get off track, here is the purpose of this post: to center and focus myself back to the task at hand, which is to answer as many of the questions as possible that I set out with my professor to answer. Because, although this blog has evolved over the last few months, the underlying purpose is still to explore and study our food system. I started out intending for this blog to be a place to chronicle my thoughts and learnings, and it has evolved into a way to hold me accountable for practicing what I preach, and trying to show others that doesn’t have to be hard to buy and eat locally. Now it’s time to bring my studies full-circle. My professor and I started out with a very rigorous set of questions and I don’t think either of us really thought I would be able to answer all of them 100 percent. However, in the last few months, many of my posts have addressed the issues in different ways.

Here are the questions we laid out in the syllabus three months ago:

  1. What is the current state of food production? Is it sustainable, why or why not and in which ways?
  2. What are three to five of the central impediments to sustainable food production?
  3. What is being done now to make food production sustainable? Who is doing this work?
  4. What are some proposed solutions? What are some new, creative solutions? How can we hope to implement these new solutions and make them a reality in food production?
  5. How can the public benefit from sustainable food production (health, social, economic reasons)?

I feel that many of my posts (the one on corn in our industrial food system, problems with foodborne illness in food which make the industrial food system not sustainable for the long term, the work Joel Salatin is doing on his farm and ranch) have addressed the first and third question. In the next three weeks, my goal is to dive more into questions 2, 4, and 5. I have addressed the #5 quite a bit with regard to health benefits, but haven’t really talked about economic or social benefits. I have, of course, a lot to say about this. My critics will be happy to know that I plan to use research from people other than filmmakers like Robert Kenner, “journalists” like Michael Pollan and TV show hosts like Oprah. I have a stack of books that are waiting to get some action in that regard.

OK. So I’m a little nervous this beautiful weather will keep me from being able to do that. But I am pushing through the self-doubt.

And I shall leave you with this little diddy, inspired by roomie Jen’s Facebook status. It’s from The Great Gatsby, and it has nothing to do with sustainability. But I like it, still.

“And as I walked on, I was lonely no longer. I was a guide, a pathfinder, an original settler…And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees — just as things grow in fast movies — I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

5 responses to this post.

  1. I’m right there with ya- I’ve got an assload of work in the next two weeks (why why why do professors back-load everything in the last month of the semester?) and the weather does nothing to increase my focus. You can do it! Just remember, time DOES past at the same rate no matter how much or how little you have to get done.

    LOVE that Great Gatsby quote- that rings so true with me. Spring/early summer is when I feel the biggest internal shift, and I’m pretty sure this year will be no different.

    Sidenote- you’re from the Cape? I live in Plymouth!


  2. Posted by Susan on April 11, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    all this food stuff–I just got thru 5 tivoed shows, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
    I am so pissed off at our dept of agriculture and who is setting all these standards
    for these school kids?! OBVIOUSLY it is not working as they are all getting processed,
    high fat, high calorie foods and most are obese. why isn’t Michelle on the band wagon
    to force them to do something about it? this seems like more than a movement, this
    is something that needs to happen along with the new healthcare plan.


  3. Industrial corn production? Many think that describes me writing jokes! Thanks again for teaching me about Final Cut Pro today, and introducing me to Tweetdeck… I should also confess that I always thought Horchata was a thick New England stew made from clams and prostitutes. Turns out, that is horchowda. HA! See what I mean about industrial corn production?


    • HAHA.

      also–thanks for pointing that out. I definitely meant to add more there and links as well…not just leave an ellipse hanging for no reason. Clearly I didn’t proofread this post before it went up.


  4. What is a sustainable food system. That is a question I would like answered. Many are giving their opinion of what is sustainable, but there are so many conflicting ideas. As long as we have abundant oil our current system is sustainable, but take out the current fuel of choice and where are we. Organic and local food are sustainable until all of the east coast has to eat that way. Then you find that there is not enoug land to feed them all. We still need to get food from areas of excess to areas of need.


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