GMO Food

Meet the Cosmovores

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don't be a black sheep, eat one!

God knows, the last thing the world needs is another batch of annoying yuppies with a clever name for their fiddly list of food rules. But I sort of didn't hate a recent story in Foreign Policy, which coins such a term after taking on some myths about ethical eating.

(Reason has covered similar territory, such as the carbon cutting power of New Zealand lamb and the pesticide-intensiveness of some organic crops compared with the tweaked chemical counterparts.)

Plain old naysaying is no fun when your dinner companions start comparing their lists of dos and don'ts. So join in the fun: Become a cosmovore—a cosmopolitan consumer of the world's food—for ethical reasons and then sit back and enjoy dropping lines like this into the chatter:

Why shouldn't developing countries strive to be the world's breadbasket? Again, there may be transport costs in flying fresh produce from southern Africa to Europe or the United States, but you save all of the heating, lighting, and construction costs associated with hothouse produce grown in the gloom of a European or North American winter. It is good news that Gambia managed to increase its fruit and vegetable exports to the European Union by 25 percent over the past 10 years—to 123,000 tons. We shouldn't be kicking the legs out from under such efforts in a misguided attempt to build an Arcadia under glass.

Read the whole thing for lots more good stuff, including a wrap-up laundry list of what it means to really eat like a responsible global citizen.

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  1. Read the whole thing

    No! No no no no no no no!

    If these people want clean air I want to start a fire in a pile of used tires! If they want clean water I’m going to drop a deuce in the reservoir that supplies their drinking water!

    Fuck you and your rules for responsible dining….continue your hectoring at your own peril!

    1. You laugh, but I bet many organic eaters believe their untreated deuces pose no health risk to the drinking supply because they are organic deuces.

  2. Who gives a shit about Gambia? *smirk*

    1. and to quote pj orourke… whither gambia

    2. You’re a narrow minded judgemental left wing nazi!

      1. a screeching weasel reference?

  3. Here is a great article from the LvMI about imported fish:

    http://mises.org/daily/5340/Up…..se-Catfish

  4. Cosmovore? Do I count?

  5. Technically, no.

  6. God knows, the last thing the world needs is another batch of annoying yuppies with a clever name for their fiddly list of food rules eating disorder.

    1. God knows, the last thing the world needs is another batch of annoying yuppies with a clever name for their fiddly list of food rules eating disorder religion.

      What is it that most often has complex rules regarding what is allowed to be eaten, and how, that are based on lack of knowledge and faith?

      1. Why can’t it be both?

        EATING RELIGION!

        1. You say “kosher”, I say “halal”.

          1. That’s me on The Corner
            That’s me on the blogspot, I’m
            Eating my religion
            Trying to keep up with you
            And I don’t know if I can do it

            1. So you’re a Theologovore?

              1. Blasphemous noms FTW.

            2. Oh no I’m fed too much,
              Locally-sourced isn’t enough
              I thought I heard a farmer’s market,
              I thought I said artisanal greens
              I think I’ll pay the organic price

              1. I think I thought I saw you pay too much.

      2. God knows, the last thing the world needs is another batch of annoying yuppies.

        Full stop.

  7. “And why shouldn’t developing countries strive to be the world’s breadbasket?”

    Because if they become self sufficient they won’t be as dependent upon the U.S. Government’s bribes – excuse me, I mean “foreign aid”.

    1. Wait – do you mean the Gambians, or US farmers?

  8. Mmm – leftover, reheated KFC, a slice of bread, a Snickers and a Mountain Dew.

    That’s not Cosmo at all, is it….

    1. Compared to my stale PBJ sandwich and store brand soda it is.

  9. 99% of human history: “There’s not enough to eat”

    Our 1% of History : “Eating is bad”.

  10. “Consume less meat and oppose Western farm-subsidy programs — especially if they focus on livestock. Campaign against U.S. biofuel programs, which divert corn into grossly inefficient energy production. Embrace further testing and analysis of GM crops. Encourage public funding of research and intellectual property laws that ensure that poor farmers are not priced out of the potential benefits of GM seeds. Spend only on organic food that is as energy- and land-efficient as conventional production. And be a smart consumer: Local produce grown out of season and meat raised on imported feed isn’t friendly to you, the environment, or the developing world.”

    Most of this is OK but I do have a few bones to pick.

    “Consume less meat”

    WTF? Our ancesters were hunter-gathers. The human body is not substantially different from an upper-paleolithic hunter gatherer. We were built to eat meats and fruits and nuts. Those early humans didn’t eat much in the way of grasses.

    “Encourage public funding of research and intellectual property laws that ensure that poor farmers are not priced out of the potential benefits of GM seeds.”

    This part is just convoluted. If IP is the problem why not just say “oppose IP laws for plants”? We don’t need public funding for something that has an actual market.

    But all it all it is a pretty good article.

    1. “Consume less meat”

      This is either the retarded legacy of the food pyramid, or they are trying to conserve water usage, as one of the big vegetarian/ecological arguments against meat is that it uses a shit-ton of water for the animals (especially cows).

      1. The water argument itself is absurd. Water is naturally reused in any ecosystem. It is recycling in the most true sense of the word. If I give a cow some water it is not dissipated into another dimension when the cow is finished using it. It goes back into the ground or evaporates. It is reused. This really isn’t an argument at all.

        1. I’m not saying it’s valid, I’m saying that’s probably what they’re thinking.

          1. Could be – I could hear some of them making that argument. I do here the PSA’s about “conserving water” all the time.

            1. The “Conserving water” deal is actually legitimate, if you live in or near a large city that is not in an area with historically large reserves of water. Phoenix, Los Angeles and Denver, that I know of, do not have easy access to water. But that’s more of a “It would be a lot easier on everyone around here if you would temper your water usage so that we don’t all have to pay out the ass to bring in millions of gallons from elsewhere” than an existential threat.

      2. Raising meat and dairy animals is usually a much more efficient use of marginal land than planting the eco-crop du jour.

        1. Quite true.

          Pssst … accai berries they taste like blueberries but they are from the Amazon so they must have mystical powers that normal blueberries do not have ….

          1. Goji berries taste like a bag of assholes soaked in gasoline.

            1. Dingleberries taste like ass too. I wonder if they are related?

            2. Thanks for the warning.

            3. You know what else can crawl back into the cesspool from whence it came? Fucking kombucha. Nasty as hell.

              1. I do love my yerba mate, though. Tastes like shit, but the xanthine mix is great.

              2. Dagny, I looked kombuchaup in Wikipedia and found this fact amusing “The Kombucha SCOBY can be used to make an artificial leather, though currently it is very water absorbent.”

              3. “Hey, I think this tea has gone bad. We should throw it out.”

                “We can sell it hippies.”

                “It tastes like shit.”

                “Perfect.”

                “What do you mean “perfect”? It’s got bits of crap floating in it.”

                “We’ll tell them it’s probiotic or something. They’ll guzzle it.”

                1. Goji berries taste like a bag of assholes soaked in gasoline.

                  Tastes like shit, but the xanthine mix is great.

                  Dingleberries taste like ass too.

                  I like anal just as much as the next guy. But seriously, you guys need a better diet.

          2. Remember when amaranth and quinoa were magical super-grains from the Mayans and Incans that were going to change the world?

            1. Quinoa tastes like dirt. But you can pop amaranth in a skillet to make tiny popcorn. Tiny popcorn that also sort of tastes like dirt.

            2. I remember something about that when I was in college. Yea, they didn’t quite have the world-changing powers that some (marketers) had hoped. At one time algae was going to feed the world.

              I also remember something about a plant called the “Wingbean”. Supposedly every part of the plant was edible. I haven’t heard much about the wingbean lately.

              1. I worked, as a teenager, in a health food store when they came out, and holy shit they were supposed to feed the world because (insert stupid, incorrect reason about being able to grow special places here), and because (insert stupid, incorrect reason about being vastly more nutritious here). Very hyped, and disappeared fast.

                Never have unsweetened Amaranth Flakes for breakfast. Just…don’t do it.

                1. How do you know what Warty’s penis looks like? He said he was faithful to me!

                  1. You emailed me a picture. You really were superdrunk that night,

                    1. I thought you emailed that to me. Man, I have got to keep my mutated penis pictures better organized.

              2. “I also remember something about a plant called the “Wingbean”. Supposedly every part of the plant was edible. I haven’t heard much about the wingbean lately.”

                Because every last wingbean, and it’s leaves, stems and roots were eaten. Oh tragedy of the commons, why did you disappear the wingbean? WHY???

                1. Prof. Farnsworth: I’m sorry, Fry, but the anchovy has been extinct since the 2200’s.

                  Fry: What?

                  Prof. Farnsworth: Oh, my, yes. Fished to death. Just about the time your people arrived on Earth wasn’t it, Zoidberg?

                  Zoidberg: I’m not on trial here!

                  Fry: So none of you has ever had anchovies? Oh, man! You don’t know what you’re missing. They were all salty and oily and they melted in your mouth and-

                  Zoidberg: Stop! Stop! I admit it! My people ate them all! We kept saying “One more can’t hurt” and then they were gone. We’re sorry!

  11. Shorter article: Comparative advantage works, and subsidies suck. Well, DUH!

  12. Consume less meat . . .

    OK, I’m done.

    Lemme guess, though – the rest of it was soft-headed folderol about sustainability and social responsibility.

    1. I disagreed with that part as well but I will say that compared to your average eco-slanted article it was actually quite well thought out.

    2. Consume less meat . . . = Having sex with Sugarfree.

  13. OT: More AGW quackery.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ear…..sheet.html

    1. “Ok, w’all know we overreported the ice loss by, oh about 15 times, but that should not be used to deny the existence of ice-melting AGW, m’kay?”

  14. “COSMOVORE”: If every week you bought this $2 bag of peanuts from Gambia instead of the $35 Raw Organic Portland Hothouse ones you usually buy, .0001 fewer Africans would die in squalor. You could even spend the same amount of money on peanuts you always do, and take home just as many?while donating sixty pounds a week to the food bank!

    PURITAN SHOPPER: …You don’t understand me.

  15. Don’t cosmovores eat cosmotarians?

  16. “Ethical eating”?

    Fuck anybody who buys into such a bullshit concept.

  17. I was at an Indian restaurant last week, and I overheard an Indian guy at the table behind me telling his date that killing plants to eat is as unethical as killing animals. I was curious about what he was eating, if anything. Maybe just plant byproducts?

    1. Many plants do not have to be killed to harvest whatever part of them we eat (think of orchards, for instance). That doesn’t make what he said any less retarded, however.

      1. Hmmmm……. What about oranges? Do they have to wait until the oranges (or apples, PeArs, etc) drop?

        1. Picking the fruit doesn’t kill the plant, so…no.

          No asparagus for that guy, though.

          1. Yeah, but it’s like plant abortion.

            I say no seeds. If you take the fruit where it fell, remove the seeds and place them on the ground in various locations, that might be okay.

            If byproducts are okay, then milk and unfertilized eggs should be okay, too, right?

            Seriously, why aren’t these people pushing for totally synthetic food? Wouldn’t that solve all of their moral qualms about existing in this universe?

            1. No, because then they’d just invent a new moral qualm. This is why it’s best to ignore them utterly.

            2. What if the tree is attached to the oranges the same way I am attached to my balls? They both have seeds. and i am quite emotionally attached to my balls.

              1. I think that’s a fair point. No fruit.

          2. Picking asparagus doesn’t kill it. It comes back year aftr year.

            1. It kills the original stalk when you pick it, cook it, and eat it. Or would it not matter if we killed you, cooked you, and ate you if there were a Gibby clone?

              We’re only going to be moral living beings when we’re solar powered. Assuming that’s not unethical, to steal the sun’s rays for our own, selfish purposes.

              1. Oh, so you want to live Pro L, is that it? You selfish asshole.

              2. Fusion powered, ProL. We’ll all be our own suns.

                1. That seems like a fair solution. We should stop spending money on anything other than converting ourselves into stars.

    2. You don’t have to kill plants to eat fruits, nuts, or seeds, so maybe that’s what he was talking about.

      1. You could always just carve a filet out of a living cow. Doesn’t have to kill it.

        1. A traveling salesman stays overnight with a farm family. When the family gathers to eat there’s a pig seated at the table. And the pig has three medals hanging around his neck and a peg leg. The salesman says, “Um, I see you have a pig having dinner with you.”

          “Yes,” says the farmer. “That’s because he’s a very special pig. You see those medals around his neck? Well, the first medal is from when our youngest son fell in the pond, and he was drowning, and that pig swam out and saved his life. The second medal, that’s from when the barn caught fire and our little daughter was trapped in there and the pig ran inside, carried her out and saved her life. And the third medal, that’s from when our oldest boy was cornered in the stock yard by a mean bull, and that pig ran under the fence and bit the bull on the tail and saved the boy’s life.”

          “Yes,” says the salesman, “I can see why you let that pig sit right at the table and have dinner with you. And I can see why you awarded him the medals. But how did he get the peg leg?”

          “Well,” says, the farmer, “a pig like that–you don’t eat him all at once.”

        2. Actually, there are African tribesmen who will “bleed” their cattle, and let the blood coagulate in a small container and then eat it as a solid food. Or they’ll mix it (still liquid) with fresh milk from the cow and drink that.

          No killing, just harvesting.

          1. “Or they’ll mix it (still liquid) with fresh milk from the cow and drink that.”

            AAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!

            1. Not exactly kosher, is it.

              Steve-O and Pontius drank some on Wildboyz once, and puked, but Steve-O pukes after ingesting anything. It actually sounds pretty good to me.

    3. Annoying Vegan Chick: “I don’t eat living things.”

      Mensan: “Neither do I; they’re dead before I eat them.”

      AVC: “No, I mean I don’t eat anything that was ever alive.”

      M: “Really? I’d have expected you to be green.”

      AVC: “Like, I recycle?”

      M: “No, I mean from the chlorophyll.”

      AVC: “I still don’t know what you’re talking about.”

      M: “I’m not surprised”

      Worst blind date ever.

      1. Annoying Vegan Chick

        Isn’t that redundant?

  18. When I saw the word Cosmovore, I instantly thought of all those hot chicks on the cover of Cosmo whom I became familiar with from my multi year subscription. And because I am an expert cunnilinguist, I am a Cosmovore.

    1. That’s Cosmowhore. Big difference.

      1. If you’re not careful about which ones you bang, you may end up with Cosmosores.

        1. This is why we love you so much.

  19. That picture is making me so fucking horny I’m gonna beat someone to death if I don’t get me some.

    1. On that note, scroll up a few posts on the main thread for an update…

  20. I have friends and family that eat “health” food, or won’t eat red meat, but will eat chicken, etc. Whatever. Self-hynosis is the human condition. I’m probably not perfect. I said, probably.

    1. Chickens are descent people.

  21. Oh man, have we reached the point now where the heartless ones are the locavores and the charitable, kind-hearted ones are the exploiters of African farmers?

  22. That article, while broadly okay, makes mention of the “dollar a day” poor, which drives me nuts. It’s not a dollar a day, people! It’s $1.25 a day in 2005 dollars, purchasing power parity, so about $1.40 a day now.

    If the same point can be made without understating the amount of money by about a third, then make it with the real value. If you don’t think that a 40% increase is significant, I’d be happy to take your next 40% worth of raises.

    (This is, of course, not to suggest that $1.40 a day isn’t very, very, very poor. And, to be clear, it’s $1.40 of purchasing power parity, not $1.40 on the exchange rate, which would be much better to most of the world’s poor.)

  23. And all this misguided, parochial Luddism is having a real effect on the ability of producers in low-income countries to climb out of poverty in an environmentally sustainable manner.

    Unexpected consequences from well-meaning feel-good hippie shit? I’ve never heard of such a thing.

    1. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

      That’s because you can’t hear very well when you are bent over all the time with a pillow over your head.

  24. The ideal growing method depends on the crop. Some crops lend themselves to mechanized planting and harvesting in fields. We should keep growing them outside. Other crops are labor intensive, because they are too delicate for robotic picking. Growing these crops in pick-your-own vertical farms can be economical.

    1. Growing these crops in pick-your-own vertical farms can be economical.

      I have a hard time envisioning any crop that would be worth my time to pick. Given the opportunity costs for my time, anyway.

      OK, I can think of one crop. But that one’s not for eatin’, anyway.

      1. But you can eat it.

    2. “Other crops are labor intensive, because they are too delicate for robotic picking. Growing these crops in pick-your-own vertical farms can be economical.”
      OK, let’s see land costs, transportation costs, growing costs compared to income for the ‘grower’.
      Does this take Alice Waters’ $5/ea tomatoes to work?

    3. I was factoring the entertainment value of a pick-your-own farm. I guess it depends on the region. Bergen County, NJ is full of people with high paying office jobs who think that being a field hand is a fun way to spend an afternoon, because they’ve never had to make a living as a field hand. Pick-your-own apple orchards are common here. A carton of strawberries is $4 in the grocery store and the cheapest movie tickets are $4. If customers can make a day out of picking strawberries, that carton is now worth P to 0 more. Granted, this business model probably wouldn’t work in other parts of the country.

    1. Ug, the percent sign got read as a tag. That should be 50 to 100 percent.

  25. Just an interesting note about the prospect of Africa or elsewhere in the developing world becoming a global breadbasket: Before Mugabe got his hands on it, I believe Zimbabwe was doing fairly well in agriculture. It always frustrates me to see important industries like food and transport get railroaded in the name of ‘national pride’ or some other dictatorial nonsense.

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