Category Archives: Food
Micro-Management Rarely Works
Fish – Catching, Canning, Eating… The Chain of Supply is Broken
The canneries and fish processing plants have help from the Canadian government. They need people to catch the fish that they process.
Canneries & fish processing plants need (incomplete list of real needs!):
Let’s take this a bit further
– To commercially catch a fish one needs (incomplete list of real needs!):
- a Boat
- a Fishing License
- Fishing Gear
- Communication Equipment
- Nets or Tackle
- a Crew
– To build a Boat one needs (incomplete list of real needs!):
- Space, preferably Light Industrial
- Material – Aluminum, Steel, Wood, Fiberglass, Engine, Doors, Door Knobs, Windows, Windshield Wipers, Steering Wheels, Hydraulics, Electronics…
- a Crew – Welders, Carpenters, Fiberglass Specialists, Machinists, Mechanics, Electricians, Plumbers (only sometimes)…
- Sales People and Office Staff
- a Customer
- old boats need the same thing at their beginnings
– that ‘Space’ thing (incomplete list of real needs!):
- Light Industrial or Commercial Space
- a place large enough to build that boat in
- 30′ depth for a small boat
- under cover or inside a building for those smaller boats – a shipyard works for both smaller and larger boats
- doors or gates wide enough to allow the finished or partially finished boat to be pulled out
- property large enough for a semi with a trailer to maneuver in
The Lists of needs to get a can of fish into a grocery store. Areas needing support that have been missed in these lists?
- Power Generation
- Water Systems
- Hospitals and Clinics
- Smelters and Foundries
- Pulp & Paper Mills
- Plastics Producers
- Chemical Producers
- Schools, Trades Schools, Colleges, Universities
- Government Apprenticeship Programs
- Wholesalers & Distributors
- Clothing Manufacturers
- Medical Professionals
- Lawyers and Accounts
Not an exhaustive list by any standard.
An exhaustive list would include every industry and every large, medium and small business, run by a Canadian. An exhaustive list would include every person in Canada, every person around the world. We can connect every one if the list is exhaustive enough. Consilience cannot be either ignored or done away with. The chain of supply is consilience. The chain of supply, is broken.
Mr. Trudeau, with all due respect… What do you suppose your patch for the Fish Processing Plants is going to do without the necessary support for all of the other small and independent businesses (Fishers, Farmers, Truck Drivers) that you have cut out of this chain? All those businesses that the fish processing plants and canneries depend on. All those, mostly small, businesses and individuals that do not qualify for any of your handouts?
We can talk about the Meat Processing Plants another day. I am certain that you really will be getting to the individuals that you have been seeming to ignore. It is just that those individuals who are without support are just not nearly as needy as the multi-million dollar grossing corporations that own the fish and meat processing plants. Or, maybe we should just follow your money offshore?
I, Pencil by Leonard E. Read. Introduction by Milton Friedman
… of things relative
There are dozens of tiny green tomatoes on this plant. Even more exciting, there are dozens more bright yellow flowers….
Currently Reading: The A B C of Atoms, by Bertrand Russell. E.P. Dutton & Company, New York, 1923. Date of first issue, 1908.
“But even if the size of an electron should ultimately prove… to be related to the size of the universe, that would leave a number of unexplained brute facts, notably the quantum itself, which has so far defied all attempts to make it seem anything but accidental. It is possible that the desire for rational explanation may be carried too far. This is suggested by some remarks… by Eddington, in his book, Space, Time and Gravitation… The theory of relativity has shown that most of the traditional dynamics, which was supposed to contain scientific laws, really consisted of conventions as to measurement, and was strictly analogous to the “great law” that there are always three feet to a yard. In particular, this applies to the conservation of energy. This makes it plausible to suppose that every apparent law of nature which strikes us as reasonable is not really a law of nature, but a concealed convention, plastered on to nature by our love of what we, in our arrogance, choose to consider rational. Eddington hints that a real law of nature is likely to stand out by the fact that it appears to us irrational, since in that case it is less likely that we have invented it to satisfy our intellectual taste. And from this point of view he inclines to the belief that the quantum-principle is the first real law of nature that has been discovered in physics.
This raises a somewhat important question: Is the world “rational,” i.e., such as to conform to our intellectual habits? Or is it “irrational,” i.e., not such as we should have made it if we had been in the position of the Creator? I do not propose to suggest an answer to this question.”
I LOVE skipping to the end of a book!
In The Beginning (of this blog)…
There was a tomato plant….
Several years later, there is another tomato plant! It is gaining momentum!
No need for a chain of command to appear here or, is there?
Sir! Do we have enough tomatoes yet? Do we need a discussion on this matter? What about the aphids? Sir! Sir? There are aphids!
Aphids? This is not the Middle Ages! We have to ask for permission. This isn’t something we can just ‘handle.’ We need a committee!
Stick around kid, I’m calling parliament — I’m on hold…. Be with you in a minute! Do we have a call-back number?
Time, Through the Eyes of a Child and, William Faulkner…
I have been reading lately. I have been reading a lot, lately….
The Sound and the Fury. Written by William Faulkner. First published in 1929. Free to read online. Free and available at most public libraries. Inexpensive at book sales. Available in used book stores…
I have not actually finished this novel. It is a very difficult work to read. I think I could just skim through it and I would know a few names, a few characters. I can’t do that to this book.
There are no chapters. There is simply an awareness of others and the unspoken thoughts of one. It took me a long time to realize this even though the difference between the two modes of communication are visibly apparent (unspoken thought is in italics). Neither the past nor the future seems to hold any relevance as the present unravels with painful awareness.
The book begins with the unspoken thoughts of a pre-verbal child. A slow child. A child not like the others. Faulkner gave me the opportunity to listen in to this child’s impressions of the world. To the unspoken needs and desires of one.
About halfway through the book, possibly this is about halfway through a young man’s life, a watch crystal is purposefully broken and the hands are removed. Time is still running but the ability to count the seconds into minutes, the minutes into hours…. using that watch, has been stilled. Does time have meaning if you can no longer measure it?
This book has grown difficult again. I am putting it down, again. I have not read any of the hundreds of discussions on this book. I would like to wait until I finish it and come to my own conclusions. For this reason, Faulker and his boys will have to wait on me. Time, for the written word may be almost endless. These words will wait for me….
I found this book, and many more, in a library book sale. I had purchased other books the day before and was given a paper bag with $5 written on it. If I came back the next day I could fill my paper bag with paperbacks. As many as the bag would hold. They would all be mine for that $5. I did. I have found some wonderful books this way.
Library book sales are often run by groups called “Friends of the Library” or a similar name. Your local library may hold these sales several times a year. There are many charitable organizations that also hold book drives and book sales. These are fun events and great places to begin building a library of real books or, adding to your existing collection, with real friends….
Solving for Pattern or, an Economy of Size
I have been reading lately. I have been reading a lot, lately…. I could not sleep last night. An old article by Wendell Berry gave me thoughts to consider and apply to my own small business.
Solving for Pattern. Written by Wendell Berry. Chapter 9 in The Gift of the Land: Further Essays Cultural & Agricultural. North Point Press, 1981. Originally published in the Rodale Press periodical The New Farm.
Wendell Berry is a farmer and an author. His writing is thought provoking and disturbing, well written, easy to read and difficult to walk away from…
Wendell Berry has been on my reading list for a long time. It is time for us to get to know him, now! Solving for Pattern is a short article that poses questions and discusses the long term meaning of economy. Not of economics. Economy. Economy of size. Small businesses. Small farms.
Questions… I went back to university several years ago. I thought I just wanted to take a few courses, make my evenings a little more interesting. I discovered that I was learning to read in a way that I had not even considered possible. I am still learning about reading but now, I am also reading to learn to ask questions. Wendell Berry has been asking these questions for a long time. His questions about patterns, economy, conservation, and healthy living are worth considering.
Further Readings (I have already started reading The Unsettling of America):
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture. 1977. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1977. This book is available in most libraries. Read a review of this book here.
James George Frazer, The Golden Bough. First published in 1890. My edition was published in 1994 by Oxford University Press. Available online, free, here.
Water Rights & Environmental Damage
I have been reading lately. I have been reading a lot, lately…. I finished reading this article last night, on the bus on my way home from work. Yes, I use public transit. I gave up my personal gas pedal almost 3 years ago.
Water Rights and Environmental Damage: An Enquiry into Stewardship in the Context of Abstraction Licensing Reform in England and Wales. Written by Donald McGillivary. Published by Environmental Law Review, Volume 15, 2013. Pages 205-224.
Donald McGillivray, Professor of Environmental Law, University of Sussex, has a current publication list here.
I found this article doing a random search on water rights. I was looking more towards Western Canada, where I live, but all information is good and this article is full of definitions that will probably help me in further reading. And, bonus marks, Professor McGillivray’s writing is concise and clear.
Probably the most important things that I realized while reading this article was that the environment is not protected by stewardship rights or laws. That the only time we really protect the environment is when there is an overlap of needs between someone holding water (or land) rights and the environment. In other words, when it benefits someone to protect something, the environment is looked after. Not something that I had not realized before but, seeing it in a published article is different.
A couple of ‘Further Readings’ (from the footnotes) that I made note of:
E.D. Elliot, ‘The Tragi-Comedy of the Commons: Evolutionary Biology, Economics and Environmental Law‘ (2001) 20 Viriginia Environmental Law Journal 17, pages 17-18.
C.P. Rodgers. ‘Nature’s Place? Property Rights, Property Rules and Environmental Stewardship‘ (2009), Volume 68(3) Cambridge Law Journal 550.
The cherry trees lining the street where I work now are in bloom. I have the privilege of walking by them several days a week. Many of the buds have opened.
This afternoon, there are more blossoms open. Tomorrow the show of pink against blue should be stunning.
Tuesday Blossoms and the sky is even bluer….
I have been privileged to stand watch as a four hour sunset turned into a four hour sunrise. That was many July’s ago during a 12 hour graveyard shift on the roof of a coker at Syncrude.
I do not have a photograph, only memories… Inside the plant, personal cameras are not allowed to be carried by employees.
Today is February 23, 2014.
The photos of the cherry blossoms were taken in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada where in February’s past we have huddled under umbrellas, pulling our jackets close as the cold winds blew in off of the water. I grew up here. The cold winds and wet weather of winter are what is necessary to keep the rain forests green.
Climate change is real.
I have recently read Naomi Klein’s newest book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate. I do not believe that she exaggerates any point.
Every small thing we do (or don’t do) to stop the change helps.
Do Animals ‘Drink’ Intentionally?
A link to the following article was in my mail yesterday. The article is interesting however, I don’t think it really gets at what might be underlying causes of birds imbibing a little too much or a little too frequently….
James MacDonald. 2014. When Birds Drink Too Much. JSTOR Daily, January 1,4 2015.
There are two articles cited by the above mini-article. I think that they are important and can be read online without any extra cost.
Frank Wiens, Annette Zitzmann, Marc-Andre Lachance, Michel Yegles, Fritz Pragst, Friedrich M. Wurst, Dietrich von Holst, Saw Leng Guan, and Rainer Spanagel. 2008. Chronic intake of fermented floral nectar by wild treeshrews. PNAS, Volume 105, No. 30, pages 10426-10431.
S.D. Fitzgerald, J.M. Sullivan and R.J. Everson. 1990. Suspected Ethanol Toxicosis in Two Wild Cedar Waxwings. Avian Diseases, Volume 34, No. 2, (Apr. – Jun., 1990), pages 488-490.
Eberhard Fuchs and Silke Cobach-Sohle. 2010. Tree shrews in The UFAW handbook on the care and management of laboratory and other research animals, 8th ed. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, pages 262-275.
Loren S. Putnam. 1949. The Life History of the Cedar Waxwing. The Wilson Bulletin, pages 141-182.
My thoughts on this are going towards the caloric intake in fruits and berries that are fermented or are in the process of fermenting. It seems to me that it might be higher than when the fruits and berries have just freshly ripened.
Eva M. Sehub,Alan C. Logan, and Alison C. Bested. 2014. Fermented foods, microbiota, and mental health: ancient practice meets nutritional psychiatry. Journal of Physiological Anthropology. Article 332.
Is it just the birds or do other creatures like a little drink now and then too?
Cheryl D. Knott. 1998. Changes in Orangutan Caloric Intake, Energy Balance, and Ketones in Response to Fluctuating Fruit Availability. International Journal of Primatology. Volume 19, No. 6, pages 1061
Reading a bit further and another thought occurred to me! Higher caloric intake for wildlife, just before winter sets in, would be useful for survival. Putting on a little weight to get through the cold dark nights. Can the fermentation of fruits provide other contributions to survival?
James O. Vafidis, Ian P. Vaughan, T. Hefin Jones, Richard J. Facey, Rob Parry, Robert J. Thomas. 2014. Habitat Use and Body Mass Regulation among Warblers in the Sahel Region during the Non-Breeding Season. PLOS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0113665
Mark C. Witmer. 1996. Annual Diet of Cedar Waxwings Based on U.S. Biological Survey Records (1885-1950) Compared to Diet of American Robins: Contrasts in Dietary Patterns and Natural History. The Auk. Volume 113, No. 2, Pages 414-430.
So, if the intoxicating fruits and berries are a good thing, why are some birds overdoing it? Now? Could it be that there is less competition for these yummy morsels? Fewer birds equals more party favours?
Jennifer A. Howard. 2014. The Lesser Coverts of Game Birds. Booth, Volume 6, No. 2, Page 1-2.
Probably not the best answer to my question but, a very good short story! One that has me thinking a bit further off-track than usual. I will come back to this story for another post.
And then, there are people….
Laren Cordain, S. Boyd Eaton, Anthony Sebastian, Neil Mann, Staffan Lindeberg, Bruce A Watkins, James H. O’Keefe, and Janette Brand-Miller. 2005. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Volume 81, pages 341-354.
Manas Ranjan Swain, Marimuthu Anandharaj, Ramesh Chandra Ray, and Rizwana parveen Rani. 2014. Fermented Fruits and Vegetables of Asia: A Potential Source of Probiotics. Hindawi Publishing Corporation Biotechnology Research International. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/250424
And, because we can think of other things to do with ethanol products…
Veeranjaneya Reddy Lebaka, Hwa-Won Ryu, and Young-Jung Wee. 2014. Effect of fruit pulp supplementation on rapid and enhanced ethanol production in very high gravity (VHG) fermentation. SpringerLink. doi: 10.1186/s40643-014-0022-8
And thinking along these lines… maybe we need to look at chronic diseases that may have some beginning in the foods that are available to us now as well as those that we choose to eat a lot of and, without competition, possibly eat a little too regularly – much like the small woodland creatures and birds in the first few articles.
Your thoughts are important to me and to continuing this as a discussion. Please comment….
I just found a wonderful and interactive site! Well, this isn’t just a site, this is a database and, it is worth a visit….
Now, I tried to put the following into my own words but, it is so perfectly written that I have copied and pasted it here for you:
“A Case for Mangroves
The approximately 70 distinct species of mangroves in the world cover roughly 17,000,000 hectares globally (Valiela et al. 2001) – only 0.12 percent of the Earth’s surface (Sullivan 2005, Ellison 2008). The greatest diversity is in Southeast Asia (36-46 species); the lowest diversity is in the United States and the Middle East (1-3 species) (Polidoro et al. 2010). Mangroves are being cut down or otherwise destroyed at such a high rate that they may be functionally extinct by 2100 (Duke et al. 2007). In just the last 50 years, 30-50 percent of the global acreage has been lost. (Alongi 2002, Duke et al. 2007) Mangroves are among the most valuable and most threatened ecosystems on Earth. The ecosystems services they provide—e.g., buffering coastal communities against flooding and storms, fiber production, habitat for thousands of species of birds, mammals and marine species—are estimated to be worth US $1.6 billion dollars/year (Polidoro et al. 2010). In addition, recent evidence suggests that mangroves sequester carbon more effectively than any other tropical forest (Donato et al. 2011).”
This is important!
There are 65 of the most influential papers on mangroves and mangrove forests listed on this site. All are worth reading but, we don’t all have that much time….
If there is a paper that you feel is missing, please add it in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.