A new book reveals how longhaired radicals reinvented American cuisine.
• Plant-based protein. ‘Whether with pulses – shoots – grains – seeds – soy or even algae – everyone from tiny start-up companies to big brands is looking for clever new ways to add a protein punch’ declares the UK supermarket chain Waitrose in its 2018 trend report.
Ya don’t say.
Hippies have been fixated on plant proteins since Frances Moore Lappé published Diet for a Small Planet way back in 1971.
The book was an alt-food landmark – Kauffman notes – inspiring generations to go vegetarian.
It provided a critique of meat production that holds up today: Why waste grains and beans by feeding them to cows when we can just eat them ourselves?
An activist’s lament.
When it comes to dystopian futures I’ve got plenty more where that came from – all playing in a loop on the big screen in the multiplex of my mind as I try to imagine my kids as adults – parents – grandparents.
Please tell me I’m not the only one in America right now plagued in this fashion.
I’m not fixated on passing our modest family house down to my three kids or making sure that our ragtag ‘heirlooms’ survive their childhood.
What preoccupies me is the bleak – violent – unstable future I fear as their only inheritance.
1816 is famous for being the year that Mary Shelley began to write Frankenstein.
But it’s also infamous for being ‘The Year Without A Summer’.
One of the hugest volcanic eruptions in recorded history emitted a sun-obscuring ash cloud and temperatures worldwide plummeted — destroying crops and ushering in several years of brutal famine.
It provoked massive social disorder.
So while Shelley was writing her novel she may have had her mind on the hordes of starving Europeans desperately migrating across the nearby countryside in search of food and being utterly rejected by the elites well-off enough to feed themselves.
In a terrific essay Gillen D’Arcy Wood argues that we could read Frankenstein as an allegory not just of technology run amok, but a climate spun out of control:
Other items that are churned out and chucked away by the hundreds of millions present much bigger problems than coffee cups for recycling plants says Mountain.
Wet wipes – sandwich boxes – drinking straws and pet food pouches are among the top offenders.
Pouches used for soups – pet food and Capri-sun use two types of plastic with a foil layer inside making them ‘completely unrecyclable’ unless they are entirely segregated out from other items and then put through a complex process using microwaves to cook off all of the different materials at their respective boiling temperatures.
Needless to say that’s expensive and uses up a lot of energy.
Top recycling offenders
The everyday items that cause the biggest problems
- Crisp packets
- Wet wipes
- Sandwich boxes
- Sauce sachets
- Ready meal trays
- Pet food pouches
- Ear buds
- Plant pots
- Plastic drinking straws
- “Foilised” wrapping paper
While they may be convenient pouches have replaced something altogether easier to recycle.
The humble food tin and aluminium can are both easy to process.
They can be picked out with magnets – melted down and reused an almost unlimited number of times.