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Mangos, papayas, and other secret loves


Imagine this. It is March 7, 2008 in the heart of the tall grass prairie region—what was once the greatest expanse of grassland in the world. It is winter, 13 degrees below zero. I am feeding my children a treat-- mangos (from Peru) and papayas from some other very warm place. I bought them in Ortonville, Minnesota. A modern miracle of food supply.

As I stand over my warm stove, I’m listening to American jazz, also from somewhere other than this cold prairie. I have a sense of appreciation for the warmth that the sweet tropical fruit and the music bring to my life here on a winters evening at the 46th parallel.

I’m reading Plan B 2.0 by Lester Brown (click on this link—the entire book is available on line). Brown lays out the environmental and economic situation we find ourselves in today and lays out a plan for a much better tomorrow—much better than if we try to stay on our current path.

What struck me, while eating my mango (at least metaphorically) is that humankind tipped the balance of over using our resources (water, soil, natural resources) around 1980. This means instead of living off the “interest? provided by the earth’s bounty, we started eating into the “principle? of our natural resources. The same study estimates that “global demands in 1999 exceeded that capacity by 20 percent. The gap, growing by 1 percent or so a year, is now much wider. We are meeting current demands by consuming the earth’s natural assets, setting the stage for decline and collapse.?

We can’t keep going on this way and expect to have a happy ending.

Somehow, it makes the mangos taste even sweeter knowing that perhaps we are living in this blip of time (let’s say a 70 year period) when life is easy and sweet.


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Bill Boyne, a former editor and publisher of the Roch PB, writes a weekly column in the paper..on Wednesday wrote a short piece on "Plan B 3.0 etc", gave a brief summary of the dangers and promises to write about the solutions next week. (I'd download the book but I am out of ink) How do you get to your "story"?

Yes-- I knew some smart person would remind me that I'm behind a Plan!! Brown has written Plan B 3.0 and I'm still on Plan B 2.0. You can find Plan 3.0 at the same website and it is pretty similar to the one I'm reading.

I wouldn't print off the whole book. You can have my copy in about a week.

Oh-- and I took the short story off. I may put them into a series of 8 blog entries.

Back to the subject of eggs.....While shopping this past Friday at HyVee, I noted the price of eggs has really gone UP? What's the deal with that? Also, a sale's pitch on one of the egg cartons was,"Vegetarian Fed Only"! I got a chuckle of the that! Why is that so special? As far as I can recall, this is the only way our laying hens ever ate. NO meat in their diets!!, only grains, grasses etc. Mother had a grain mix called Sucatash, not sure of the spelling...I guess they were also Range Free, as they had the run of the farmyard. Oh for the 'Good Ole Days.' On second thought, maybe they did eat a Angle worm or two....BD

I mean, I could see all this fuss over the guy if he'd led Jersey to the Finals

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