Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There's Starving Men In Canada

Some people get their literary fill from Shakespeare, Gore (Al or Vidal), Chaucer, Dostoyevsky or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Not me. I'm a bottom feeder. I get enlightened by reading bumper stickers, though not while tailgating.

As I was ambling along the sidewalks of Bar harbor (Maine) the other day, I happened upon the bumper sticker above. It was 6:30 a.m., a time when my so-called intellect is at its sharpest. On this particular morning, I must have been sleep deprived because, at first glance, I didn't get it. It took about twenty seconds before I saw the light. I spent the first nineteen seconds wondering if kids in India had a drinking problem. Duh.

I remembered the 'starving kiddies in Africa' line that my mom used to use to guilt me into finishing my scrumptious liver. I ate my liver and the starving kiddies in Africa were okay, except they couldn't find any liver in their sub-Saharan supermarkets. I'm amazed how the logic of the starving kids jumped continents to help beer drinkers justify that last mouthful of heavenly hop juice.

Food has been on my mind lately, since tomorrow I start the hundred mile diet. This 'diet' is not about getting skinny (no need, you saw my thin arms, legs and face in yesterday's post), it's about eating food grown locally. I've got a lot of food currently in my fridge, but it doesn't qualify for the hundred mile diet, though the food is a mere thirty feet away. The food has to be grown entirely within one hundred miles of where I live, and it can't have hidden ingredients, from afar, tainting it's purity. To give an example, Moosehead beer is made from hops and yeast which aren't grown locally, therefore no beer for Ian despite the fact that it's made in Saint John.

For 'fun', I surveyed my fridge's contents this morning to see what was produced locally; here's what's not going to be in my stomach starting tomorrow (feel free not to read the list, but look at the size of the list compared to what will follow it):

grapes, apples, lemons, limes, carrots, parsnips, peppers, broccoli, harvarti cheese, cheddar, regular mustard, relish, crisco, dijon mustard, oishi sauce, flax seed, green olives, capers, preserved lemons, worcestershire sauce, some other type of mustard, black olives, tonic water, chili sauce, char sin sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, ketchup, salsa, more salsa, even more salsa, peanut butter, mayo, salad dressing, yogurt, bbq sauce, white wine, veggie ground chicken, veggie meat slices, two beer, lemon juice, lime cordial, chicken slices, almond butter, marmalade, more peanut butter, old style mustard, crab apple jelly, more relish, pickles, spaghetti sauce, strawberry jam, coriander chutney, bread, cucumber and some lettuce.

Now, here's the things in my fridge that came from within one hundred miles of home:

butter, honey, milk, maple syrup, Motts Landing Vineyard wine, eggs, more honey, parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil.

This was just my fridge contents. I'm pretty sure that there's not a single item in my cupboards that qualifies for my soon-to-be adopted diet.

Do you now understand why I've titled this blog post 'there's starving men in Canada'?

Of course I won't starve, but clearly I need to go shopping for some locally grown items to supplement my meager reserves. I may put my Berkenstocks on and check out the health food store in Fredericton. I'll be curious to see how much of what they offer is actually locally grown. I'm not sure that the health food store granolas (the owners) are going to be granola-ish enough for me. I'm hard core, at least for July.

I wonder if on August 1 I'll be driving madly to Fredericton for a Whopper, Big Mac or Beaver Tail? I doubt it. I predict that the hundred mile diet is going to have a lasting effect on me. I think that it's going to make me a better global citizen, and healthier. I might even stop reading bumper stickers and take a leap up the literary ladder. I'm not ready for Chaucer or either Gore, but I'd give the Swimsuit Edition a try.

Now, before you think I'm some sort of perv, I want you to know that I'm currently shopping for a new swimsuit. Sadly, the spandex in my tummy control swim dress has failed, and I can't find my Pennington's catalogue anywhere.

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