I read this article about economic patriotism with interest and look forward to seeing the documentary when it is broadcast, if I can find it. I had not heard the term before, and like it a lot. I have tried to shop locally all my life, and it has become a bigger and bigger job as the years have passed.
One of the points the article makes is that people have lost touch with the seasonal nature of food production. I’ve always respected local and seasonal availability of food, which reflects my farming background. Another point being made in the article is that many consumer goods are being made in China, well, what other choices do any of us regular people have? Canada’s last company that made refrigerators closed down some years ago, Woods, and now China made appliances are the only option. The initial cost of these appliances is relatively inexpensive, in the short term. But they are poorly made and need to be replaced relatively often, which makes them extremely expensive in terms of purchase price, and environmental impact.
Regardless of how little influence the individual has, it seems to me it is worth making an effort. You just never know when the wings of butterfly will change the course of history.
I had a lovely chat with my Sister, who just returned from Europe, and is celebrating a birthday around this time of year. She and my Mom had a great time! She told me how much it cost, and it seemed quite reasonable to me. Money well spent, in my opinion. My Mom and my Sister are very compatible people, which makes travelling together a pleasure for both of them. They both arrived home tired and happy. My sister said her most cherished experience was eating lunch outdoors, in the parks of Paris. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it!
Tomorrow is the last day of September! The leaves are really turning colour, and are drifting down to mother earth in ever greater numbers. Attila and I had a quiet day, doing errands and getting ready to work on drywall at the country house.
I am contemplating a lone trip to the little house in the city, for a week or two, to get things organized. Attila has decided that he would like to attempt to build the front deck before the snow flies. His only available time for the project are the two weekends we have left for this year, and overnight visits.
The front porch is important, because at the little house in the city, that is the only direct entry into the house. It would be very nice to be able to walk in the front door!
The to-do list for this visit to the little house in the city gets longer and longer. I will be a busy woman on this visit.
Date: 7:09 PM EDT Sunday 29 September 2013
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.6 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Wind: SSE 17 km/h
“Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists.”
John Kenneth Galbraith
In Mr. Galbraith’s book, The Scotch, he describes growing up on a farm that raised Aberdeen Angus beef cattle, in Ontario, Canada. He describes being out for a walk, as a young man, with a young woman, both stopping at a fence by a field, watching the cattle. They observe a bull servicing a cow, and the following conversation ensues:
“He: “I think I would like to try something like that.”
She: “Well, it IS your cow.”
The Scotch, John Kenneth Galbraith
1908 – 2006
I have never liked the subject of “economics”, but I have always liked John Kenneth Galbraith, because he made me laugh.
The other day I was browsing a mail-order catalog for the Vermont Country Store. It’s all Americana at its best in that catalog… old time remedies, red-white-and-blue everything…USA all the way… Mom and apple pie…etc. Until you start reading the small print under a lot of the items they sell. Once I caught on to this, I found that almost everything in there was listed as “import” at the end of the description. So even in the most American stores of all, the Vermont Country Store, it’s hard to find anything made right here at home. The consumers don’t stand a chance if we want to practice “economic patriotism” – oh, yes, things like fruits and vegetables can be bought locally but not in all places, not in big inner cities where the nearest grassy garden land is many miles away. It’s a nice thought, in theory, but in reality, the current state of importing almost everything we use has made it almost impossible to do. What a conundrum!
Bex, what a conundrum is right! In Canada quite a movement is growing, to purchase food locally. The term “slow food” has been around for some time, and of course the 100 Mile Diet, which originated in the USA. These types of entities are gaining ground, thank goodness. Living in a city presents special challenges, and I haven’t heard from any of my city friends about how they manage to find local food. I know our grocery chains in Ontario are beginning to offer Canadian produce in season, which is a good sign. But in Canada we only have a small land mass of prime farm land, which will grow tender fruits and the like, and increasingly it is being destroyed for estates, winerys (wine is not food in my opinion),subdivisions and industrial parks. Our governments seem to be representing somebody else, not us!