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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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Joined: 13 Dec 2002
Posts: 61
Fast Food Nation readers...  Reply with quote  

Anybody else got insipred into growing their own fruit and vegetables? Compared to the stress my grow-op mates have, it is a piece of piss. I have to give props to my other half, as my role has mainly been watering, and composting garden refuse. So far this summer, our garden has given us...

Long beans
Aubergines (Egglant)
Courgettes (Zucchini)
Welsh Onions (like spring onions)
Cooking apples (our neighbour's tree overhangs our garden)

Seriously, even compared to premium organic store bought stuff, the difference is amazing. Our potatoes taste buttery WITHOUT butter. I presume that over and above the environmental damage that the transportation and storage does, it cannot be good news for the produce itself.

We don't have the space, or time to get to the stage where we could grow enough not to have to buy stuff in, but what we've grown make a wicked extra, and has inspire a handful of my mates to rent allotments.
Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 6:02 am
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Joined: 18 Apr 2003
Posts: 2396
Location: FTOWN
yes  Reply with quote  

Wow quite the victory Garden you have going there. Are you growing your own Jack O Laterns as well for Halloween?
Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:01 am
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Jesus Frank

Joined: 12 Jul 2002
Posts: 2319
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Very cool, very good idea.

My parents are also into that. But from what I can remember they are mostly growing their own strawberries, chives, currants, rhubarbs... you know, little treats like that. But nothing big like potatoes, as far as I know. I would love to have my own garden of fruits and stuff someday.
Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 7:46 am
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Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Posts: 76
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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How big is your garden???

That's cool though. My girlfriend's been growing lettuce and ruccola leaves and a few other things now for a little while, and a few square yards' worth of space (you could do it in a window box) has meant we don't have to buy them anymore. And you're of course right - everything tastes different, much better.

The influence of that book is quite amazing. I was a vegetarian for about 8 years, then lapsed for about 2 or 3, but went right back when I read FFN last year. Helps that I'm a much better cook now than I was 4 years ago! And I'm not the only person I know to have reacted in that way.

I'm reading 'Fat Land' by Greg Critser at the moment - all about fat-ass Americans! He's not as engaging a writer as Schlosser by any means, but its interesting stuff. I certainly think a LOT more now about what I'm prepared to eat than I did a few years ago. Food production is a Modern Horror in our societies.
Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 8:04 am
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Joined: 13 Dec 2002
Posts: 61
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My garden is 35ft by 20 ft. Most of our veg are grown down a 3ft border on one side, and in a 15ft by 8ft raised bed (to keep out the slugs), which we dug out of the lawn. The courgettes, aubergines, gooseberries (ugh) and tomatoes are in pots on a patio. It's all pretty tightly packed, and looks kind of messy.

Seriously, I reckon anyone can do it, so long as they remember to water the plants regularly. Potatoes and cabbage were the easiest, we didn't have to do much*. Our long beans got kinda messed up, as we did the poles wrong, and we should have picked the courgettes and peas earlier.

*Last year slugs wrecked our cabbage, and our potatoes got scab 'cos we didn't water enough. This year we built a raised bed, and put beer traps down outside it. We also remembered to water regularly. I figure it took a couple of afternoons to sow all the stuff (I didn't do much, mainly supplied teas, and changed records), and then maybe 20 minutes a night with a watering can when it doesn't rain. We really ought to get a hosepipe.
Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 8:29 am
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 2764
Location: Chicopee & Springfield, MA
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give me some highlights from this book

Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 8:38 am
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Joined: 13 Dec 2002
Posts: 61
Guardian Review  Reply with quote  


Fast Food Nation: What the All-American Meal is Doing to the World
Eric Schlosser
(Penguin, 6.99)

If you read this book, I defy you to eat a mass-produced hamburger again. This column had a soft spot for the Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburger (memo to BK: send money to home address this time. We don't want any repeat of that Scruton business, do we?), but now...well, if the ethical side-effects of mass production do not put you off, how about these words, which appear on page 197: "There is shit in the meat."

The ethical side-effects should bother you, though. Mass production has made the business of meatpacking more dangerous and worse-paid than it ever has been. Noteworthy among offenders are IBP, or Iowa Beef Packers, who supply an amazing amount of cow meat to the fast food industry. Look at their index entry. "Deceptive practices of, 166, 179-81, 206; emissions violations of, 164-65; lawsuits against, 182-83; and meat contamination, 203, 213-14;...and organized crime, 154-55..." It goes on. Those are just some of the highlights.

My favourite IBP story concerns the waivers that employees in Texas are asked to sign the instant they're injured (which is relatively often). Signing the waiver means you can never sue IBP for any reason. Not signing the waiver means you might not receive any medical care from the company. You might also be fired on the spot for good measure. Remember, you don't have medical insurance because your wages are rubbish. You also risk losing all medical benefits from the company if you seek independent help.

"The pressure [to sign] is immense," Schlosser writes. "An IBP medical case manager will literally bring the waiver to a hospital emergency room in order to obtain an injured worker's signature...When Duane Mullin had both hands crushed in a hammer IBP representative persuaded him to sign the waiver with a pen held in his mouth."

As for what happens to the food once it arrives at the burger chains - well, what would you do if you were a bored teenager working for a bit less than the minimum wage? Speaking of which, if you fancy a laugh, try starting a union drive at a McDonald's in America. There are 15,000 franchises in the States. Number of workers in them represented by a union: none. Over the Canadian border, a franchise in a Montreal suburb almost managed to become unionised, but was closed down just in time.

Schlosser's sober, industrious yet mind-boggling book has become a best-seller. This is very good news. It turns out that thanks to an extraordinarily corrupt relationship between every single arm of the fast-food market and the Republican Party, the market is anything but free. The principles of uniformity turn out to be not only bad for the soul, a seedy Orwellian nightmare, but bad for people. Ray Kroc, one of the founders of McDonald's, once memorably said of independent-minded franchisees: "We will make conformists out of them in a hurry...The organization cannot trust the individual; the individual must trust the organization." Let's hope that he gets to eat those words.
Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 8:53 am
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 3885
Location: San Francisco
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yeah home gardens are the shit....since I was in 1st grade my dad has always had one, we grew lettuce, watermelons, a shit load of corn, zuccini, onions, tomatoes, radishes, and recently he start growing some grapes....the first garden was started in a dirt lot behind our apartment shit was like 5x5 space, and now its about 50ftx30ft

I'd like to start one but living in downtown san francisco doesn't help
Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 10:00 am
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Clark Nova

Joined: 03 Feb 2003
Posts: 118
Location: Arcturus
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I was really feeling the story about Kenny, but the whole book was fantastic. I recommend buying a copy to lend out when you are done.

Wheat grass and all kinds of sprouts are easy to grow, don't take up much space and are packed with energy (young, live food.)
Post Fri Aug 01, 2003 11:59 am
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 975
Location: Albany
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I'm almost halfway through this book right now. It's a really good read and I highly recommend it. Fast food is some nasty shit.
Post Sat Aug 02, 2003 6:00 am
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Joined: 04 Jul 2002
Posts: 808
Location: Rochester New York
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i just stole that book from barnes and noble last week
im gonna start it when i get a chance
Post Sat Aug 02, 2003 8:15 am
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the Wiper

Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 523
Location: Kent State University
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went to the library 2 days ago, but all of their copies (2) were out...
Post Sat Aug 02, 2003 9:17 am
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