My New Sustainable Life

- the sequel to whatever the hell my last post was titled, it was so long ago that I don't remember.

Anyway, it is really really hard to make your life sustainable. I don't just mean eating local, buying smart, recycling--I mean not fucking over the environment every single time you do anything. Because if there's one thing that's intuitive about our lives, it's that everything has a cost. Raw materials don't assemble themselves, yaknow?

And yes, manufacturers have done their best to hide this truth from us: maybe this is some kind of legacy from the old days, when we really were paying mostly for the actual item rather than what had been done to it...but no more today.

Take, for instance, fertilizer. It's atmospheric nitrogen fixed as ammonia into that wonderful blend of weird-smelling crap...but how do you think it got there? Ammonia plants need lots of cheap energy. Which, right now, is petroleum power. Even growing healthier plants feeds back into the fossil system.

Long story short, it's so very impossible to get rid of plastics. And you might be tempted to ask, why should I? Why worry about chemical products that are being synthesized in bulk, if you're already doing everything else you can to protect the environment from danger (and don't get this wrong: mass-produced organics are still mass-produced)?

I do biology. So here's the biological perspective: if you've ever used, for instance, chemical-free soap after decades of using the chemical party.... You can tell the difference. I know this because I can tell the difference.

And why would we be able to tell the difference if our bodies didn't somehow need to differentiate? Maybe the effects aren't immediate, but all of this stuff is poison. Some of it, only in absurdly high doses; some of it, also in teeny tiny doses that are just enough to fuck the endocrine system over.... I have proudly avoided aspartame and other diet bullshit since I discovered their existence, too.

So...natural. Go natural. Because avoiding chemicals entirely is much harder: that really puts most preservatives off the table. Should you eat your all-natural shampoo? Um, no; Socrates could tell you all about natural poisons, but...

Fuck organic. Fuck it up the ass with a curly straw. I don't care how goddamn self righteous you get to be if you buy something that's got the proud label of organic--well, it's exactly like buying from Hot Topic and trying to spit in the face of the Average Man. (Hot Topic is owned by The GAP). The organics movement started in the 1940s, which was plenty of time for corporations to realize that they could make a ton of money selling overpriced goods to pretentious yuppies. (Go see who owns Burt's Bees. Here's a hint: it's not Burt, and he sure as hell is not getting a giant cut of the profits.)

And if you want to start bitching about GMO--well, when it comes to corn and soy I'm right there with you because Monsanto is the treasure trove of evil...but go look at the original banana, or corn, or whatever. Humans have six millennia of breeding crops for optimal output; the modern process is just a high-tech way of doing what we've always done.

That is, making room for more of us.

Pt.3 on food coming as soon as I finish my book.

No comments: