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After reading Suzanne’s blog the other day about the price of gas and how it makes sense to bike or walk short distances, I was struck as to how this will soon become a reality of sorts and how this reality might change how and what we eat.
I read somewhere that after WW2, there were factories that produced explosives using nitrogen. The nitrogen was extracted from the air by using large amounts of oil and gas. When the bombs stopped falling, so did the need to produce them so we were stuck with these factories until someone figured out you could make artificial fertilizer from nitrogen which would make crops grow abundantly (but make the quality of our soil diminish) It brought about our mechanized agriculture and the abundance of cheap food since the fuel was cheap as well. The cost of transporting food afar was also very cost effective.
Cheap gas was also one of the main causes (along with the building of highways, suburbs and the emergence of the middle class after the war) of the growth of fast food industry on this continent. You could get in your car and drive for miles on our open highways because it was inexpensive to do so but you needed to get from point A to B in the least amount of time…so we needed places to eat that were fast and convenient (and tasty). Hence you had McDonald’s popping up near highway off ramps everywhere and the whole emergence of the fast food movement began (if you want a detailed explanation of the phenomena...read Fast Food Nation)
Shifting out attention to present day, with the price of gas rising, the cost of producing nitrogen and fertilizer will make mass food production costly (unless of course they find a different way of doing it). Soon you will have industrial farmers asking organic farmers how they can grow food abundantly using nature’s way…(ultimately better for you and I). The rising cost of transporting food far away may also give rise to buying locally grown and probably organic food only. This may mean you will be preparing more of your own food at home with fresh ingredients (could see the emergence of a ‘slow’ food movement?) Ultimately…obesity rates may start to trend downward as well.
Mix all this with the BTD and you’ll find yourself eating fresh food that will less likely set off little bombs in your intestinal highways hence decreasing the production of intestinal gas…making our world a much better place to live.