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Saturday, January 11, 2020

AREAL and the legal avocado

There is a legal approach in the USA that was used by several who sought to have personal gain and tread the edge of illegality. That is to say to see the edge of legal where criminal arrest would tip in court to to numerous flaws in evidence.
I heard this conversation while still attending Ithaca College and running AREAL back in the mid to late 1990's.

Back then, many were pro-hemp activists and also growing personal amounts of cannibis (quantities that a medical marijuana card covers in some states). It was a known fact and viewed as a more responsible approach to preserving the USA. Those who purchased marajuana, a "gateway" drug, from gangs and maffia on the street were shunned. That cartel & maffia industry that dominates US cities and towns was viewed as a decay of the fabric of the United States. And, many made the argument that the only way to fight it is to legalize marajuana.
The phrase "grown your own" was the slogan that ran along side AREAL that is and was focused on veganism and animal rights issues. "Grow your own" also meant that we helped low income community members establish normal vegtable gardens. And after 1996 we advocated for a more bioregional (buy local) approach to eating fruits and veggies. Especially due to the cost of perishable produce. Additionally, the avocado trend that took off after the "California roll" gained popularity wasn't in our normal shopping cart. In the mid 90's, we weren't focused on depleting the rainforests in South America through avocado purchases. 
Even I, yours truly was scolded for just one or two avocados by my very traditionally minded Japanese, immigrant mother. So, I didn't buy many avocados, California grown, or eat guacamole much before 2009 after I unexpectedly had to relocate to Hawaii. Even then, the coffee is local and avocados are local in Oahu. 
Both Japanese and European  culture focuses on bioregional concepts of food choices. Staying with the seasons, keeping long distance and international food shopping to a minimum.  However, even US culture views micro and macrobiotic as Japanese concepts to contort.  These eating styles were for regionally made and produced foods. And, to date, I have never seen a rice farm above the Mason Dixon line. Despite returning to my Japanese roots and rural hometown near the 40° latitude line with hectares of rice fields there is no equivalent in USA's Northeast. 
And sadly, due to the global genetically modified food issue USA's Monsanto created;- there are few unaltered and heirloom grains left for the climate. 
Sadly, due to the diversity of the USA there is a dichotomy;- that everyone tries diverse foods of other nations. This is basically USA (and now other nations) taking advantage of Low income economies. Its turned into a profitable US markup while depleting the resources of other people and nations. It does effect entire ecosystems. And, it has not created a greater acceptance of people who are from these nations. There is a big contrast that is dripping with human rights offenses, as well as destroying species of animals.
Times have changed. We need new solutions to the supply chain.

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