Friday, December 7, 2007

Her Comment Resonated 24 Hours Later.

Maybe it was the drugs.
You see, I woke up with one of my headaches. Took medicine, got halfway to work and, realizing it hadn't even peaked yet, and soon it would be dangerous to drive, I headed back home. After sleeping, I pondered what I could do, still in a drug-induced stupor, and additionally numb from the brain pain...sort of like a toothache of the head.

I ran the warm water, and washed a stack of white dishes in bubbly white foam. But, as the water ran, I was hit with the guilt of what I was wasting. My friend in Atlanta recent told me of the crack in her backyard, a crack in the ground from the drought. It was long. She didn't know how deep - she poured a glass of water down it and didn't hear it hit bottom. She didn't have the courage to stick a yardstick down the crack.

And, there I was - washing dishes in running water.

I continued and I remembered a comment someone said in passing in a computer meeting yesterday. "We are such consumers." (Or, something like that. Bear in mind, I'm still on meds as I type this.) She was addressing the fact that sometimes we get an estimate for repair of $100 and a new device might be $120. So, of course we buy the new one. Who wouldn't? I mean, for 20 more, you can get all new parts, possibly better, faster, sleeker. And, that's good, right?

Makes sense from a business perspective.
After all, if we repair the device for 100 today, who's to say that another part of the aging device might not fail tomorrow? For $20 more, we get all new parts and a guarantee that it will be repaired for free for a year if it fails.

But, as I washed the white dish in the white bubbles, while the water flowed down the drain, her comment resonated. She only said one sentence. "We are such consumers."

That used device will go through our designated disposal channels, and will head to a landfill. Fossil fuel will be spent in the truck to pick it up from office. The truck will use more fuel to bring it to the landfill. The device will take up space - land - possibly for years. It will not decompose. Granted, the disposal company that I use might sell it for parts or scrap, and it might get reused. But, there's no assurance once it leaves my hands.

Things were easier before I cooked.
Alton Brown, my gastronomic guru, associated with Cable in the Classroom, once said in an interview something to the effect that food and cooking can help to teach every subject in school. When asked how he "taught" his daughter, then about 5 - what examples did he use - he responded that there are lessons in everything. What makes water boil? Heck, what makes bread mold? Apparently, he had little science projects growing in the kitchen. Smelly, but good examples nonetheless.

For me, food and cooking is now shaping my view on life. I hope to never be a PETA wacko, or a "green" nazi, but things are changing. I'm aware. And, those following my blog can see it, I'm sure.

It started with the pork left too long in the fridge, the waste of pig. Then, I wondered about the pig's life. And, it's death. I had heard the stories. But, I'm not giving up meat - God gave me incisors to tear. So, I wondered, "Are there small local farms I can support who treat the animal fairly?" Then, I started reading the Omnivore's Dilemma. I'm only half through the book, but my view of energy and resources is changing faster than I'm reading.


Water ran down the drain while I washed the silverware and pondered the comment.

"We are such consumers."

It appears that my world view is changing.
Or, perhaps it's just the drugs. Pin It


Unknown said...

2 things to put in your fannypack on the road of enlightement.

1. Life is not a zero sum game.

2. Earth is a closed system. You cannot take from it or add to it. You can only change it.

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

Hi Bryan S,
Very good reminders. Much appreciated.

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