Friday, March 28, 2008

Eating Fossil Fuels

For Leo, in case you are reading this.

I first blogged about the book here. Author's note/intro (pdf). The book was written to show the dependence of industrial agriculture on petroleum.

"The miracle of the Green Revolution was made possible by cheap fossil fuels to supply crops with artificial fertilizer, pesticides, and irrigation."

Mud City Press review of the book

A conversation with Dale Allen Pfeiffer
, Part 1, Part 2
[transcripts: pt 1, 2]

Plus an oldie by Richard Manning, "The Oil We Eat"

It began with the industrialization of Victorian England. The empire was then flush with sugar from plantations in the colonies. Meantime the cities were flush with factory workers. There was no good way to feed them. And thus was born the afternoon tea break, the tea consisting primarily of warm water and sugar. If the workers were well off, they could also afford bread with heavily sugared jam—sugar-powered industrialization. There was a 500 percent increase in per capita sugar consumption in Britain between 1860 and 1890, around the time when the life expectancy of a male factory worker was seventeen years. By the end of the century the average Brit was getting about one sixth of his total nutrition from sugar, exactly the same percentage Americans get today—double what nutritionists recommend.
Is this the true origin of afternoon tea?

Tea (meal) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Victorian Tea Parties - the History of the Tea Tradition!
Misconceptions about Afternoon Tea
High Tea, Low Tea, The Rituals of Tea
English Tea - Origin of a Winning Tradition

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