Dec 24, 2011

10 reasons for Local Food

Select Nova Scotia gives relevant & concise 10 reasons for Local Food although some are more controversial. If you ask me, it's a no-brainer to pick up #1. Delicious as the best benefit, which is absolutely related to our well-being.

However, what should be paid attention to in the list is that a half of them are socio-cultural reasons: #4. Be Social, #5. Get in Touch with the Seasons, #6. Explore Your Own Backyard, #7. Try Something New and #9. Create Family Memories.

In spite of, probably because of, this digital era, we still need and put much value on physical connection and experience. Of course, I will also keep interested in how agriculture can become more environmentally friendly. However, to be effective, local food discussion should be done in the taste & socio-cultural contexts, which are already aiming at huge ambition.

Dec 20, 2011

A Smell of Communism

Although I'm an advocate of Local food and believe it as a better distribution of fresh produces than others, I can't help doubting CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is the system to implement it.

According to Wikipedia, CSA aims at "the production of high quality foods for a local community". This is absolutely great, which makes two of us. However, it is structured with a common-pricing system and ‘shared risk and reward’ agreement, with which I feel uncomfortable. It just reminds me of the failure of communism: hopelessly little innovation and faulty justification of misfortune.

Simply, why doesn't it just stick to a basic free market system? What can give agriculture such a special position in the whole economy? Especially under the predominant trend of getting more health- & environment-conscious, the original aim "the production of high quality foods for a local community" could just work better with a simple but very strong competitive advantage - vicinity.

Dec 19, 2011

Local Food is in the Vicinity

Local food and sustainable agriculture tend to be discussed together in a same context. However, they are different in a number of ways. Local food is, in essence, about physical distance between producers & consumers while sustainability is a broader concept and often cares about the natural environment as well as animal welfare and economical viability.

Food is one of the most fundamental, complicated and controversial issues; therefore, let's make it simple in order to avoid unnecessary misleading. If you ask me, I'm happy to begin with 'distance'. The closer the fresher & tastier most of the time. It's that simple.

Of course, I hope to work on other food & environmental issues too in the future. But, so far, this is a good starting point for me to tackle them. We want to enjoy tastier vegetable & fruits with righteousness and less hassle, don't we?

Oct 7, 2011

The Sound of Silence

Why on earth can we be so saddened by the death of others? This is the question hurled at me by the passing of Steve Jobs, who was, in any practical sense, “others”. I knew it was different from sadness caused by a very personal loss, like mother or wife. However, it wasn’t clear where the boundary lay; moreover, as I came up with various types of loss, it became blurrier.

I’m more than happy to praise individualism, especially in regard to our mind. “No two alike” is the very best feature of us human beings. But, at the same time, it’s impossible to deny the fact that our personality is, more or less, shaped by the society we belong to – we all are parts of the world.

Imagine what if considerable proportion of the world were out of order. What if a significant constituent were lost. We would be most likely to become fearful, at least insecure. That part has turned out to be Steve Jobs. He no doubt reshaped the world again and again, in which most of us have been happy. He had been leading technology, which is one of the most fundamental component now and for decades to come, to where it should be. We’ve lost such a true leader. And this is the reason why so many people and I on the planet feel sad by the loss of “others”.

This conclusion reminded me of “The Sound of Silence”. Apparently, Paul Simon wrote it inspired by the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Now I can imagine slightly more how Americans felt at that time. It was obviously tragic and lonesome, but probably fearful too when they got thrown into the dark where it seemed like something wrong happening or being led in the wrong direction.

I have been fond of technology regardless of Steve Jobs. He simply showed me brilliant, sometimes dazzling aspects of it, which were just exciting outcomes and potentials – the world got better and could be further better. If he hadn’t done what he did, it would have been a far more miserable world full of convenient but tasteless technology. As a member of the world, without an incredible visionary, I sincerely wish it to keep going in the right direction, and I sure will endeavor to contribute a little bit.


Thank you and R.I.P. Steve,
Yuji

Sep 5, 2011

麗らかな春の日にちと困る



理想的に暖かく、美しく、静かで、平和な日に僕という存在はその完璧さの中に融けてしまいそうになる。暴力的にバラバラになるのでなければ、理想に逃げ込むわけでもなく、ただ気づけば僕と外の世界との境目が消えていくのです。一生懸命生きるために日々せっせと補強していっている「僕」という容れ物が、圧倒的な真実によって陳腐化されその必要性を失ってしまうのです。現象としてはとても素敵なSexと近いものがあるかもしれない。ただ一つ決定的に違うのは、僕は独りで、何もしないということです。ただ完璧な日和のもと公園のベンチで本を開いていると、少しずつ楽になっていく自分に気づくのです。昔だと「死にたくなるとき」と表現したかもしれない。でもそれは正しくなく、その瞬間に僕は何かをしたくなるのではなく、然るべきところに納まっていっているという感じなのです。

僕はまずまずしっかり生きていると思う。少し前にはとても難しかった、ambitionというようなものも獲得できたような気がする。 I’ve been striving to reclaim myself for this period. As a result, I guess now I’m successfully in between want-to-live and should-live; at least, no longer want to die after countless back & forth. だからこそ、この「死」というものに包容される瞬間に恍惚としつつも困ってしまうのです。