Almonds, almonds, the non-musical fruit.
Almonds are yummy. Almonds have vitamins and stuff. Almonds are (horribly abused to be) made into almond milk.
Almonds are actually kind of shitty for anything resembling sustainable agriculture. Not just kind of shitty. I mean really totally crappy shitty disgusting ick how-did-that-happen.
San Joaquin – soon to be NOT known for agriculture
A recent batch of blog posts by Tom Philpott, Alex Jones and Julia Lurie in Mother Jones highlights this issue as well as other water-sucking crops like grapes, pistachios, and more.
Tom’s almond article delves into some disturbing statistics:
Why? Why the f why??? Because we (the US and Asia) love almonds. And when we love almonds, it keeps their prices high. It’s a 4.8 BILLION dollar crop. Almond milk consumption is going freaking insane.
California is potentially in a drought bigger than any in 500 years, and any rains that fall are too little, too late.
I like this Tom Philpott guy. Basically, he read about this stuff, he wrote about this stuff, and then he got pissed off enough that he started really DOING things with his knowledge, like start Maverick Farms and become a living advocate for sustainability.
Yeah, this is a little bit of a chicken little kind of post. BUT. There are things we can do. There are things we SHOULD do. Treat almonds like a treat. Stop fucking drinking almond milk. Drink pasteured kefir – it’s (so far) more sustainable and has no lactose.
And tell people. Passion is what reaches those that are interested.
Make a promise, right, now, that the next time you eat at a restaurant, you’ll throw one more question into the pile of “what’s the special today?” and “can I get a side of fries?”. Ask where the restaurant gets their meat.
You can do it gently, a simple add-on, “Ooh, that burger sounds good – is the meat from New Mexico?”
You can do it more directly, “I’m learning more about restaurant ingredients – can you tell me where your meat comes from?”
It will be kind of awkward, and I bet that a lot won’t answer at all, or they’ll deflect. That’s OK. In the Mission District, a writer asked for two years, learning both much and little.
You see, even if they don’t answer, even if they mumble something noncomittally, even if they pretend you didn’t even ask, just hearing the question will make them think about it for one second. Hearing it from multiple diners will make them pay attention. It will trickle up to the managers of these restaurants that their customers want to know. That influences how they choose suppliers and what questions THEY ask when buying meat. Even if the question has to start with, “what country did this meat come from?”
You will help start a revolution.
It is going to be a snowball effect, and I’m asking you to contribute your own snowflake.
I will. Promise you’ll do it, too.
Roadkill: quite possibly the only ethical meat if you are squeamish about animals raised with the express purpose of ending up on your plate.
I suppose hunting and fishing would also fall into this category, but then YOU actually have to kill the thing and for some folks that apparently steps over some line of culpability.
But roadkill? That’s like the dollar-bag of wilting produce at your favorite hoity-toity grocery store where local carrots with the dirt still attached are like $9.89/lb and the cashiers have dreadlocks AND mustaches.
In some states it’s legal, in others it’s just . . . tolerated. Usually.
As to the actual culinary merits, that’s up to you. Get some recipes ready and your butchery skills honed.
On Eating Roadkill, the Most Ethical Meat