If you’re going to San Francisco,
don’t put flowers in your hair because they will wilt.
With California’s racy pool parties withering on the vine for about 4 years and change now and on the cusp of runnin’ dry, I’m committed more than ever to steadfastly avoid buying produce & agricultural products from the freak state, more so considering the resources and environmental consequences of having them shipped on crumbling roads & bridges from 3000 miles away.
Before the asphalt epiphany of easy cross-country commerce, folks of generations past ate more seasonally, and seasonal often meant canned, frozen or dinners of the TV variety before the permafrost had thawed. Supermarkets are riddled with California produce and the statistics of what California grows is absolutely stupefying.
Somehow, despite our craven war-room committee meetings that strategize red-blooded energy independence and frantic USA #1 cheerleading, America has succeeded in consolidating the majority of its food production (#1 producer of milk & dairy, garlic, celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, strawberries, artichokes, etc…) to a state that does not have enough irrigation to wet it’s own pants and is thousands of miles away from the most populated areas of the country. During a “know your enemy” surveillance exercise at the P street Whole Frauds in the nation’s capital, a humiliating and thoroughly dispiriting outing, the reality of the Mid-Atlantic’s (at least) absolute dependence on California was wholly startling and, seen through Rowdy Roddy Piper’s Ray-Bans, revealing of targeted consumers’ willful blindness or ignorance. Despite the cleansing allure of the Whole-Food, a vast majority of the produce at that location was factory farmed, with pesticides and fertilizers that compromise everyone and everything downstream and downwind.
One could make the conjecture that Whole Foods caters to a conscientious, Obama sympathetic shopper who are willing to pay a premium for equality-brewing free-trade coffee and canned goods with 10% more “organic” something reads newspapers or hyperbolic news flavored websites and has heard the rumor of California’s drought –though whether the drought is caused by humans, not enough dams to retain nonexistent water or volcanoes has yet to be settled unanimously.
What’s more, rice production (a crop that demands lots of water; lots) is subsidized in dry California to the tune of $170,000,000 a year. Rice should apologize. Rather than growing produce and concentrating in fertile states along the Mississippi river, we subsidize and grow crops for animal feed. That, in a nutshell (CA leads the country in almond and walnut production) is how fucked up the food system is in the United States. We have lost track of seasonality and where food comes from or when and accustomed to all foods available all year-round. It will be our downfall, when crop prices rise and the ripple is felt throughout the food system from 7-11’s & Olive Gardens to the fancy temples of bullshit that preach quality & seasonality but pounce on 1st of the season ingredients from very, very far away. Maybe they’ll just pave Los Angeles County and put up solar panels, like they should ISIS strongholds.