Monday, March 27, 2006

Long Fasts Are Biblical

Chad Heeter in the San Francisco Chronicle can no longer enjoy his breakfast.

The oil in your oatmeal
A lot of fossil fuel goes into producing, packaging and shipping our breakfast

"Please join me for breakfast. It's time to fuel up again."

"On the table in my small Berkeley apartment this morning is a healthy-looking little meal -- a bowl of imported McCann's Irish oatmeal topped with Cascadian Farms organic frozen raspberries, and a cup of Peet's Fair Trade Blend coffee. Like most of us, I prepare my breakfast at home, and the ingredients for this one probably cost me about $1.25. (If I went to a cafe in downtown Berkeley, I'd probably have to add $6 more, plus tip, for the same.)"

"My breakfast fuels me up with about 400 calories, and it satisfies me. So for just over a buck and half and an hour spent reading the morning paper in my own kitchen, I'm energized for the next few hours. But before I put spoon to cereal, what if I consider this bowl of oatmeal porridge (to which I've just added a little butter, milk and a shake of salt) from a different perspective. Say, a Saudi Arabian one."...

..."What they've discovered is astonishing. According to researchers at the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Agriculture, an average of more than 7 calories of fossil fuel is burned up for every calorie of energy we get from our food. This means that in eating my 400-calorie breakfast, I will, in effect, have consumed 2,800 calories of fossil fuel energy. (Some researchers claim the ratio is as high as 10 to 1.)"...

Among Chad's typical solutions:

"But if there was truth in packaging, where my oatmeal box now tells me how many calories I get from each serving, it would also tell me how many calories of fossil fuels went into the product."

400 Calories? I'd bet that Lance expends more energy than that every time he 'cuts the cheese'!

(H.T. Jerry, the older grumpier one.)

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