Monday, November 21, 2011

Leaves and all

Three words for nutrition: fruits and vegetables.   In fact, if you want to use one word, that will do: vegetables.  

I often think about our present dependency on oil: we get fertilizer to our fields using oil.  (I'm not sure how much we use oil to make the fertilizer.  I do know that the people who make it get to their workplace using oil.)  We use oil to tend the growing plants.  We use oil to harvest them, transport them.  

But humans did without such oil use for nearly all of the time there have been humans.  They have not ever done without plants.  I read that the Icelandic-American explorer Stefansson proved he could subsist on 90% meats by living in a New York apartment and doing just that.  There was doubt that he could but he knew from experience that Inuit hunters did that for long periods at a time.  However, I note that 90% is not 100%.  I know that scurvy was a lethal problem during the age of exploration by sails.  And I know that all animals, including me, need plants to live or animals that themselves live on plants.

So, those leaves and roots and seeds and stems and flowers are pretty important.  We celebrate our nation, our labor, our gods, our mothers and fathers.  We have our Sundays celebrating the source of the energy that enables plants.  But those leaves deserve an occasional salute, too.  Maybe the best way to celebrate is to eat our vegetables.

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