Page 3.14

Hungry, Hot & Crowded

On Casaubon’s Book, Sharon Astyk asks if we can stomach a new kind of cuisine— in case, you know, a massive volcanic eruption wipes out all our staple grains. Instead of wheat, corn and rice, “we probably would begin getting comfortable with acorn pancakes and turnip stew with taro dumplings.” But Sharon says that even barring catastrophe, “something *is* happening, something disastrous. The wheat is being grown often on dry prairie soils that should never be plowed at all. The corn and soybeans are being grown continuously in the midwest at a high cost to both topsoil and the ability of soils to hold carbon.” Sharon suggests we dig into that cassava now—not only will we get used to it, but we’ll help keep bread on the menu as well. James Hrynyshyn also looks to the future on Class M, saying that when it comes to predicting population growth and carbon emissions, “the uncertainty matters almost as much as the trends themselves.” The question is, what can we do now to make our way of life more sustainable?

Comments

  1. #1 The Phytophactor
    October 12, 2011

    Cassava is rather like a fairly dry, flavorless potato, and it is a tropical crop, and the best thing that you can say about it is that it grows well intercropped with other crops. But hey,why not go for our own high yielding, native starchy staple, cattails?

  2. #2 JuliaL
    October 13, 2011

    I had a friend who made some acorn muffins: they were really tasty. Unfortunately, it took her most of the day to peel the acorns for a single tray of muffins. But as long as somebody invents an acorn peeler (if it doesn’t already exist), I’ll look forward to the acorn pancakes.

  3. #3 Mary
    October 13, 2011

    Cassava? No thanks. I’m not a big fan of cyanide and I really don’t think we need to go that way.

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