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Whole Foods and fossil fuels March 20, 2006 10:11 PM

Failing to charge for greenhouse emissions is even leading Whole Foods to adopt questionable practices:

http://www.slate.com/id/2138176?nav=nw

Fair enough. But here's another technical point that Whole Foods fails to mention and that highlights what has gone wrong with the organic-food movement in the last couple of decades. Let's say you live in New York City and want to buy a pound of tomatoes in season. Say you can choose between conventionally grown New Jersey tomatoes or organic ones grown in Chile. Of course, the New Jersey tomatoes will be cheaper. They will also almost certainly be fresher, having traveled a fraction of the distance. But which is the more eco-conscious choice? In terms of energy savings, there's no contest: Just think of the fossil fuels expended getting those organic tomatoes from Chile. Which brings us to the question: Setting aside freshness, price, and energy conservation, should a New Yorker just instinctively choose organic, even if the produce comes from Chile? A tough decision, but you can make a self-interested case for the social and economic benefit of going Jersey, especially if you prefer passing fields of tomatoes to fields of condominiums when you tour the Garden State.

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oil in your oatmeal March 29, 2006 12:33 AM

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/26/ING3PHRU681.DTL

But before I put spoon to cereal, what if I consider this bowl of oatmeal porridge (to which I've just added a little butter, milk and a shake of salt) from a different perspective. Say, a Saudi Arabian one.

Then what you'd be likely to see -- what's really there, just hidden from our view (not to say our taste buds) -- is about 4 ounces of crude oil. Throw in those luscious red raspberries and that cup of java (an additional 3 ounces of crude), and don't forget those modest additions of butter, milk and salt (1 more ounce), and you've got a tiny bit of the Middle East right here in my kitchen.

Now, let's drill a little deeper into this breakfast. Just where does this tiny gusher of oil actually come from?

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hidden costs March 29, 2006 7:30 PM

Great, informative article in that link. Puts us all in the "First World" (as opposed to "Third World") to shame, to look at ourselves & the hidden costs of our selfishness & gluttony.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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