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Food Production: Can It Inform the Understanding of Political Ideologies?

Corn Rules - at least for the present
Corn Rules - at least for the present
Kate Mulligan

American Party Politics are cooking up a super sized perfect storm for Election day 2012.

Since all we are hearing from the opposing sides is who and what is not working, it's time to look back to a point in history when our country was working – or at least consuming productively. By that, I mean not accepting as normal the increasing portion sizes and their inherent problems – but by eating/drinking our way back to a healthier America.I think we should start by examining food production BMP: before meat and potatoes took over in the 50's.

I began thinking about parallels between the economy and how we create food, when at the same time Mark Buchanan's article entitled Living Cells Show How to Fix the Financial System popped up on my screen. I draw the connection because all foodies ultimately do promote cellular activity.

Though I am not a theoretical physicist, I am a woman of many theories, and I do like to fix things (not just food recipes). Let's explore one by reviewing some general models of food preparation and production. Anyone inspired with input is welcome to comment: Look at other food production parallels, other political parties, and please join in the dialogue!

Can you guess which party is more aligned to bread making and which is more aligned with milking? No puns - or buns - intended here!

The bread making model: Not that we created it in America, but Artisan bread is currently one of our more recent success stories. And who knows what the Settlers coming west would have done without. The yeast (read 'culture') rises, and needs to be punched back down a few times in order to redistribute the 'weight' of the bread so that it can be baked to perfection.

And let's not forget that loafing story of mythic proportions: the breaking of bread, where one loaf distributed returns 40. If you are a believer, the figures speak for themselves. Caleb Warnock has an interesting blog page on yeast for anyone interested in furthering their knowledge base on this subject. He also has given a natural starter yeast away for free, and that says a lot about the bread baking model.

Milk making on the other hand, requires a bit of animal husbandry (could call it slavery), followed by patience. Once 'milked' the solution must sit - (read 'do nothing, count your blessings') then skim off the cream from the top... leaving the rest to be homogenized and pasteurized for consumption by the general populace. Now, you could churn it up a bit, add sugar and flavor and serve it cold - Call it The Ice Cream Party - seems to be working for Ben and Jerry!

Onto the veggie model: My friend Joel Siegfried, Airlines/Airport Examinerand National Desk - News Analysis Examiner thinks the whole victory garden model would suit any Libertarian. Urban vegetable gardens are related to the breakdown of the economic system, says Rebecca Fisher of Though she is referring to the recent development of urban gardens in Spain, perhaps we can take advance note, especially since Monterey County's agriculture sector is among the most productive in the world. In fact, for every acre of buildings and pavement in Monterey County there are four acres of strawberries, lettuce, grapes, or other crops. Monterey County produces 59% of our Nation’s lettuce! Just think what the new vertical planting space will do to this kind of food production (though that's a much larger subject for further exploration).

And last but certainly one of my favorite models offered for your review from Ray McMakin, a foodie, counselor, and educator. Hailing from Texas and currently informing himself on neuro-nutrition for his counseling work, he recommends we look to the founding fathers who were brewers. "After all, beer making began the farming of crops and devalued the nomadic culture in favor of the love of a brew in a pub."

Ray figures that perhaps here is the birthplace of modern civilization. (at least of politicking) Revere, Jefferson etc., were all brewers... "the drinkers and the dreamers were responsible for creating the foundation of our American culture." Ray calls it passionate rabble-rousing, “The Tea Party? Let's make it a Keg Party and throw all the bums overboard. Let's get the GMO's out of our bread and milk and get back to the patriotic basics.”

Now that suits my heritage as well as my desire to get back to our American roots and seeds. One thing we can do is eat and drink our way back to a healthy American economy, we just have to put our money where our mouth should be, not where it is now, because that is definitely not working!

I look forward to continuing this conversation with your input. Please stay tuned.

Contact Kate.


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