Friday, January 26, 2007

thanks, Arnie.

Austria's contributions to the world are noteworthy - consider the bleakness of a Red Bull, Arnold Shwarzenegger-free world.
Mozart was influential as well, and a festival called "New Found Hope" was recently held in honor of his membership in the Freemason organization, the Masonic Lodge. Held in Vienna, it was "a month-long, one-of-a-kind, genre-spanning event linking agriculture and culture, with food at its heart."
The event included niche discussions about local and international food issues, especially "feeding children healthy food, creating networks between organic farmers and school cafeterias, and weaving food into the curriculum."
The discussions were organized by food activist, Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse Foundation. The decade-old, California based group is creating programs to battle childhood obesity by introducing healthy food into schools. Her concerns are clear:
Not only are children eating unhealthy food, they are absorbing the values that go with it: the notions that food should be fast, cheap and easy; that abundance is permanent; that it doesn't matter where food comes from; and that it's ok to waste.

Other discussions gathered 150 concerned gourmands, organic farmers and restaurant owners to form local distribution networks and environmentalists, politicians, chefs and farmers addressed "the future of food."
Austria is the biggest contributer to organic farming in Europe and strongly advocates the use of organic food in public institutions like hospitals. 30% of the food served in school cafeterias is organic.
It's an important discussion and a good example of countries becoming more self-sufficient. Check out Austria's hunting regulations too - no wonder California's so progressive.


jason said...

I'm a little confused.

Doesn't organic food production require more land than food grown with synthetic fertilizers? For example, thanks to fertilizers world prodution of cereals increased by 50% with only a 10% increase in land use between 1950 and 2000. If organic methods had been used, land use would have tripled from 1950 levels according to Norman Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner. Therefore, the sudden popularity of organic farming puts the world's forests, an intrinsic carbon sink, at risk.

This is my dilemma: How can we promote organic food when it is actually more carbon intensive than traditionally grown foods?

As the 'green revolution' triggers a new awareness of our anthropogenic connection to the environment, dilemmas like the one will cause unnecessary divisions within an already unstable movement.

The Organic Life's advice would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin said...

We can also thank Austria for the Pinzgauer, a true artistic and engineering marvel.