Food, Wine

Thoughts on biodiversity, organic and local produce

When I was young, our Christmas stockings would inevitably be weighed down by a handful of oranges and, too heavy for our faux-mantle, laid carefully beneath the tree. Though nearly irrelevant in the contemporary First World, this tradition heralds from a time and place when oranges were both rare and expensive.

Somehow, beyond my comprehension of shipping logistics, this is no longer the case. Oranges can be found in grocery stores around the world alongside even rarer, more tropical fruit for prices even a pauper couldĀ finagle nearly year-round.

So let me just climb up on my soapbox and ask: Is this a convenience of modern society or a needless frivolity that takes for granted the future of our planet? It seems impossible (in my primitive logistic mind) that these prices account for the carbon footprint left behind, nevermind the questionable ethics involved at every stage of production. I’m not a zealot, but perhaps we should just pause and think for a nanosecond as we stumble through our luxurious, ignorant lives. (Too harsh? Chalk it up to shock value…)

Anyway, as I’mĀ living in one of the world’s most diverse biospheres (Sicily), I thought I might share some realities from my current perspective. Experiencing these truths makes me feel rich and lucky. And it makes me promise myself I will strive to live differently upon my departure. Continue reading “Thoughts on biodiversity, organic and local produce”


A Winemaker’s Perspective: Organic Vineyards

Last night I was privileged to attend a dinner that featured a number of interesting people. Among the things I have learned in my short time of intellectual awareness is this: sometimes you can learn a lot by eavesdropping. Being especially true when surrounded by intelligent people, on this particular occasion I chose to say very little and listen carefully. What I overheard was the following conversation regarding organic vineyards. Continue reading “A Winemaker’s Perspective: Organic Vineyards”