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Why Miles Don't Matter: The 'New Local'

Why Miles Don't Matter: The 'New Local'


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While the rest of the world might be touting the pros of buying local and sustainable foods, one conference might just redefine everything you thought you knew.

Farmer Lee Jones, of well-regarded farm The Chef's Garden, is hosting the first Roots Conference, a gathering of several key members in the food scene to discuss issues like ethical farming, the role of photography in food, and the foods of America before Columbus set sail. For two days, Sept. 8 and 9, food notables like Curtis Duffy, Claus Henriksen (formerly at Noma, now Dragsholm Slot), and photographers Evan Sung and Kristin Teig will discuss all these issues at The Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio.

"We’ve been intrigued by the dialogue that’s happening at MAD and over at Oxford and we think that it’s an amazing conversation," Jones told The Daily Meal over the phone. "We felt that there was a real void in the States."

One of the most notable of the discussions involves the "new definition of local," where Henriksen and Søren Wiuff (a Denmark farmer who supplies Noma, etc.), plan to redefine "sustainable," focusing more on ethics instead of miles. "Local doesn't always define quality," Jones said. "I think people mean well [with the local movement], but if we were just doing business in a 200-mile radius on our farm, we wouldn't be sustainable."

Instead of thinking about miles, Jones says, think about quality, like small-batch makers who are creating products that are unique and worth the money. "Thomas Keller, he works with a woman who has 10 cows in Vermont and makes the most amazing butter," Jones said. "He has the butter shipped to him at French Laundry and Per Se, and the reality is she's not sustainable without his support." And while shipping butter across the United States might not be "local," exactly, the support given to small-batch artisans is necessary. And Jones hopes that eventually, the demand for these products will increase the supply.

"When they stay unique and specialty they become only for the elite," he said. "The more commonplace that we can make them, and create an expectancy of nutritious, healthy quality products, I think we would have a great venue for a healthier nation."

Of course, most local farmers are smaller than, say, Monsanto, but Jones hopes that eventually the spotlight will focus on farmers who are reviving regional specialties and rediscovering the real roots of America. "The reality is, frankly, there's some shame in our history that hasn't been discussed," Jones said, "and there's dialogue that needs to get out on the table," dialogue about the lost foods that were native to the soil, and what the culinary traditions of America really are. And it's that sort of discussion that's driving the re-definition of "local," "regional," and "sustainable," as culinary traditions of Native American tribes start to play a larger role in American produce.

"We dig in the earth, and we find Indian artifacts and arrowheads, as we work so intimately with the soil," Jones said. "It always made us wonder what more could we learn about who was here before, and what they grew, and what the roots of our culinary cuisine really were."


AT&T Just Killed Off DirecTV For Good

Like it or not, it appears that DirecTV is being shown the door. Last week, AT&T, the parent of the once-popular satellite TV provider, confessed that it would no longer actively market the service and focus more on pay-TV strategies.

Like it or not, it appears that DirecTV is being shown the door. Last week, AT&T, the parent of the once-popular satellite TV provider, confessed that it would no longer actively market the service and focus more on pay-TV strategies.

Since purchasing DirecTV for $49 billion in 2015, the satellite TV provider has been hemorrhaging subscribers -- now already down 4 million from the initial headcount of 20 million, as all of its past marketing efforts failed to stanch the bleeding from cord-cutting.

All told, about 6 million abandoned satellite and cable in 2019, according to Wall Street analyst firm MoffettNathanson.

Apparently, DirecTV will still be available in more rural areas, but AT&T has decided to emphasize the marketing of its brand-new AT&T TV, which questionably does not do away with longer-term contracts and equipment rentals. Moreover, it’s missing key programming like Hulu and the ever-popular NFL package. For the thousands of customers out there who are dissatisfied with DirecTV, AT&T’s newest venture likely isn’t a solid fallback option.

Much like the bland initial reviews for AT&T TV, the simmering frustration among DirecTV customers largely stems from rigid contracts and equipment rentals. These days, the younger generation is used to no-contract agreements that offer flexibility in their buying habits, and who really wants to deal with the hassle of installing a heavy satellite dish on the roof or outside the home?

It’s easy to see that DirecTV is less cost-effective as well. Its service starts at $49.99 for one TV, but you only need to add on $10 to get service for two TVs if you use Dish, DirecTV’s direct competitor. Furthermore, DirecTV is missing popular sports and cooking channels. If you need the NFL Sunday Ticket, it will cost you plenty, as it starts at $66.99 a month, but only for the first year. It skyrockets to $122.99 a month after that.

With DirecTV and Dish offering such similar services, it is feasible that these two companies will one day merge. Dish owner Charlie Ergen and Wall Street insiders have said that this union is “inevitable.”

These days, there are dozens of streaming packages to take advantage of, and customers don't have to deal with equipment rentals or soul-killing contracts. Even today’s high-tech antennas could be a great option for the more frugal customers. Many come with built-in tuners and can easily pick up signals as far away as 50 miles. Don’t forget about cheap streaming players like Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick, which sell for about $25 and make the need for equipment rentals a thing of the past.

DirecTV’s final nail in the coffin could be the rise of streaming cable alternatives. For about the same price, YouTube TV, Hulu and Sling are great options. Internet reliability and speed are improving every day, and they will only get better. The days of shoddy Internet connections are over, and that fact bodes well for streaming cable services in offering their popular content hiccup-free.

More importantly, the younger generation knows these services well and they have already been ingrained into today’s culture. Ask any teen, and they are viewed as cool and modern, a type of branding that’s hard to come by for an ancient player like DirecTV. With AT&T pulling the plug on its future marketing of DirecTV, this product will likely fade into the past along with the baby boomers who once popularized the service.


Why Miles Don't Matter: The 'New Local' - Recipes

She’s seen it all the Great Depression, wholesome families, go-go boots, sky-rocking interest rates. She’s been evacuated by a chlorine gas leak from a train derailment in Mississauga.

She’s traveled the world, even going to Russia, by herself!! She’s packed up her home, kids and life every time my Dad was transferred with Massey Ferguson… so many times in fact, I’m not even sure where my sister and I grew up, because it was everywhere… and it was great! Mom always made it great. She did the best she could do with what she had. She always liked the new place we were living at best. Never looking back at the friends she had to leave. She still has most of those friends in her life today. Miles don’t matter. Making an effort does.

Mom makes the effort in everything she does.Everyone who meets my Mom eventually drags me to one side and says something like “Are you ever lucky to have such a great Mom!” or “I wish I had a Mom like that” or “She’s so adorable! I think she’s terrific, I want to take her home!”
I think she’s terrific too.

I was always in a rush! If I mixed a can of something with a box of something, we were living high on the hog that night. If one of the kids said they were coming for a visit I went into panic mode. What would I make? I had no go to recipe that actually tasted good, that I could make with any level of success or confidence. I limped along like that for 15 years!

I think it was October 2017 I bought a Pioneer Woman cook book. One of her recipes showed her making it in cast iron. I went right back to Walmart and bought a 12″ cast iron frying pan, then a 10″, then to Canadian Tire for a Logostina grill pan, on to Bed, Bath and Beyond for a 6″ and so on!

I haven’t stopped buying Cast Iron, but I’ve stopped buying it in stores and now, mom and I head out on weekend to our favourite thrift stores and antique stores to find Vintage Cast Iron!! Finding a great piece, a gem to me, has become my passion. I strip it to bare metal, clean it up, re-season it, display it and cook in it.

What fun and a lasting treasure to hand down and keep in our family.

Update: September 9th 2018 I’m making her Boeuf a la Bourguignonne today, I found this quote I will now cook by!!

Her quest for knowledge and personal growth has kept her a life-long student and attracted her to work in the human services field.

Throughout her career, Shannyn has been responsible for developing, managing, facilitating and coordinating programs within the non-profit sector. She has managed projects such as events organizing, managing fundraising campaigns, and hosting trade shows. Shannyn also appeared as co-host on a local Shaw TV program.

Shannyn has contributed countless hours to local volunteer work and, in 2014, received a certificate of recognition as a 2014 Star of Alberta from Alberta Culture and Tourism.


Race-Morning Breakfast

A carb-rich quick bread from first-time marathoner Patricia Wells
To find a recipe that provided plenty of carbs without too much fat or protein, cookbook author and instructor Patricia Wells went back to her childhood. &ldquoThis recipe was my mother&rsquos,&rdquo says the Milwaukee native, who splits her time between Paris and Provence. Wells eliminated the butter and switched the vegetable oil to walnut oil because &ldquojust a spoonful adds loads of flavor.&rdquo The result is a dense and delicious quick bread that provides the energy a runner needs before a marathon. Plus, it can be easily packed into a race bag for a snack on the bus to the starting line, says Wells.

Making recipes healthier is Wells&rsquos trademark and one reason her class, A Food Lover&rsquos Guide to Fitness, fills up fast. &ldquoMost people are looking for ways to reduce fat and calories without losing flavor,&rdquo says Wells, who won the 1997 James Beard Award for Best International Cookbook for Patricia Wells at Home in Provence. Wells hikes and swims with her student during her classes, but she&rsquos been a runner since 1968. &ldquoI ran in boy&rsquos high-top basketball shoes,&rdquo she says. &ldquoIt was pre-Nike days.&rdquo At the marathon in November, Wells, who is raising funds for the American Liver Foundation as part of her training, will be wearing Asics GT-2100&mdashthe women&rsquos model.

Eat and Run
Midrace fuel: &ldquoI&rsquom totally addicted to roasted pumpkin seeds. I lightly coat the seeds in tamari, roll them in sea salt, bake, and carry them with me.&rdquo
Freak-out moment: &ldquoAfter a half-marathon during training, I thought &lsquoI can&rsquot imagine doing it twice!&rsquo&rdquo
Postrace Indulgence: &ldquoA piece of memorable jewelry.&rdquo
Why NYC?: &ldquoBecause it&rsquos on my 60th birthday. And if there&rsquos one marathon to run, it has to be New York.&rdquo
Where to find her: Provence and Paris class schedules at www.patriciawells.com

Date and Walnut Bread

Ingredients
1 teaspoon walnut oil
1 ½ cups dates, pitted and cubed
½ cup walnut halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup hottest possible tap water
½ cup honey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a nonstick one-quart rectangular bread pan with the walnut oil. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine dates, walnuts, baking soda, salt, and honey. Add hot water and stir to blend. Add eggs and vanilla to the date mixture and blend thoroughly. Slowly add flour, blend well. The batter will be fairly thick. Pour batter into pan, evening out the top with a spatula. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool for at least an hour. Bread can be stored for up to three days, tightly wrapped in plastic. One loaf makes 12 slices.

Nutrition Information
Calories per slice: 200
Fat: 4 g (18%)
Protein: 3 g (6%)
Carbs: 38 g (76%)

*Percentages are of total calories


13 Michigan things that don't make any sense

If you are a lifelong Michigander, you are more than aware of all of our state's little quirks. You might not even realize how confusing some of our seemingly ordinary Michigan-isms are to those who aren't from the Great Lakes State.

Let's take a look at some of the Michigan things that simply don't make sense. We'll try to lessen the confusion for our out-of-state friends,

Know of another Michigan thing that makes no sense? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Mike Clark | MLive.com

A Mackinaw among Mackinacs

You want some Mackinac Island Fudge, so you are going to head north on I-75 toward the Mackinac Bridge and take the ferry over to Mackinac Island. Perhaps you'll check out Fort Mackinac. But, wait, what is the name of the place from which your ferry departs? Is that a typo? Mackinaw City? What's with the "w" at the end?

It can be very confusing for outsiders to figure out this whole Mackinac thing. We have to explain the pronunciation, which is made more confusing by the presence of a "Mackinaw" mixed into the bunch.

Apparently, the difference comes from French and British settlers trying to spell Native American words. Couldn't they just form a spelling committee and come to an agreement?

Where is West Michigan?

If you showed an outsider this map of Michigan and told them to point to the western portion of the state, it would only make sense that they would gesture toward the portion resting atop Wisconsin and pointing at Minnesota. That part of the Upper Peninsula is clearly the western area of Michigan.

Somehow, though, Michiganders get all hung up on their own peninsulas and the Lower Peninsula decided at some point to take the term "West Michigan" and apply it to the western portion of the state's southern land mass. It's very narcissistic, fellow trolls.

Photo by Katie Bailey | MLive.com

What does "up north" mean?

Anyone with a compass can tell you which way is north. If you grab a helium-filled balloon and let it go, you will find out all about "up." (Also, don't do that thing with the balloon. It's bad for the environment.)

Taking into account the compass and the (fake) balloon, how could these two things join together? They just do, if you are in our state.

Also confusing is where to draw the line for what is "up north." Some people define it as anything north of metro Detroit, while others say only the U.P. is truly "up north." There are nearly as many definitions of "up north" as there are residents of Michigan.

Photo by Fritz Klug | MLive.com

Eagles, elk and moose? Oh no.

There are three animals on the Michigan flag. You'll spot the bald eagle, an elk and a moose depicted on a blue background when admiring our state's flag. But this combination makes little sense. If you were to pick animals to represent our state, maybe you should pick some animals you will actually spot here. There are less than a thousand bald eagles, likely fewer than 500 moose and and a whopping 1,300 elk in Michigan. Basically, there is one elk for every 7,700 people living in our state.


Replies

He's right - the only time it matters is when the contract ends, and you hand the car back.

And they won't check when you buy the car for the balloon, whether you buy it to keep or whether you PX it elsewhere (which is effectively the same thing, as far as the financier is concerned).

So unless you pay the balloon, you end the contract by handing the car back. End of term, VT, px within the same finance scheme. And then it does matter.

Look, if it REALLY didn't matter, why would a higher mileage PCP cost more? Why would there be a figure for excess mileage?

He's not actually directly lying, but he's certainly failing the "truth, whole truth, nothing but the truth" test.

The salesman is wrong. The only time the mileage will not matter is if you pay the balloon and own the car. Otherwise, at the end of the contract, you will be billed for the excess mileage either directly if you simply give them the car or indirectly if you part exchange since the value of the car will be lower. They can usually hide this charge if you do part exchange since the two deals will be lumped together.

Ask whether the salesman can write this statement into your finance current and he will quickly back down.

Thank you all for the comprehensive replies.

I totally see where people are coming from and it's easy to be 'lured' in with the idea you could save yourself unto £15 a month really (which is a considerable amount when the car is £150/60 a month).

It's a tricky grey area I think, something which I can see why a lot of people fall for.

The salesman is wrong. The only time the mileage will not matter is if you pay the balloon and own the car. Otherwise, at the end of the contract, you will be billed for the excess mileage either directly if you simply give them the car or indirectly if you part exchange since the value of the car will be lower. They can usually hide this charge if you do part exchange since the two deals will be lumped together.

Ask whether the salesman can write this statement into your finance current and he will quickly back down.

And yes, the car will have a lower trade in value with higher miles, but the mileage clause itself is irrelevant unless you VT / hand the car back.

All of those links are to a VT scenario so not typically relevant to someone running the car for say 3 years then trading in

Here is the thing, the 'Guaranteed Future Value' of the car (the balloon payment) is calculated partly based on how many miles the car will have on the clock when you get to the end of your deal. Therefore, if you set your mileage allowance at say 18,000 miles over a 36 month term but then in fact do 36,000, you will find yourself in a situation where the car is worth quite a lot less than what you still owe to settle the finance at the end of your term. IE. you will be in a fair amount of negative equity.

This only doesn't matter if you pay off the balloon payment to own the car. Otherwise, if you don't have the money to pay the balloon payment the dealer has you over a barrel because handing the car back and walking away will incur you a whopping big excess mileage bill. The only good option will be to take out another finance agreement on a new car (which is what they want), however that negative equity in your old car will get rolled into the new deal ultimately costing you more.

Insist the mileage is set accurately, unless of course you don't mind getting stuck forever in the PCP trap.

Of course they matter, he is treating you like an idiot. Ask him to put it in writing backed up by the dealer principal.

  • Part exchange the car in advance of the final payment being due
  • Part exchange the car when the final payment is due

Here is the thing, the 'Guaranteed Future Value' of the car (the balloon payment) is calculated partly based on how many miles the car will have on the clock when you get to the end of your deal. Therefore, if you set your mileage allowance at say 18,000 miles over a 36 month term but then in fact do 36,000, you will find yourself in a situation where the car is worth quite a lot less than what you still owe to settle the finance at the end of your term. IE. you will be in a fair amount of negative equity.

This only doesn't matter if you pay off the balloon payment to own the car. Otherwise, if you don't have the money to pay the balloon payment the dealer has you over a barrel because handing the car back and walking away will incur you a whopping big excess mileage bill. The only good option will be to take out another finance agreement on a new car (which is what they want), however that negative equity in your old car will get rolled into the new deal ultimately costing you more.

Insist the mileage is set accurately, unless of course you don't mind getting stuck forever in the PCP trap.

The actual value of the car with excess miles on it may be only slightly less than [or equal to, or more than for that matter] than the GFV of the car - which is always set at the worst of the worst case scenarios.

So if someone is feeling lucky, they can opt for a lower miles PCP deal and save on the payments, and hope that the impact later is nil or negligable when the trade value of the car is set against the settlement figure / GFV of the car (depending on when they deal)


Review: Think you know ‘Get Shorty’? Well-made and beautifully played Epix series goes its own way with the story

There is a moment about halfway through the 10-episode run of “Get Shorty,” a new series premiering Sunday on Epix, when a guard wishes good morning to a “Mr. Palmer” as he drives through the gate of a Hollywood studio. It’s a quick, rare nod to the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel on which the television show is “based in part,” and Barry Sonnenfeld’s popular 1995 film version with John Travolta as loan shark Chili Palmer.

As created for television by Davey Holmes (“Shameless”) and written and directed by a variety of expert hands, the series preserves its predecessors’ basic premise of a hoodlum mixed up with the film business and a down-on-his-luck producer of B movies. A gambling debt and a film script are central to the story.

But the characters are new in their particulars, their goals and their relationships. Tonally too, it departs from the Sonnenfeld film in different ways. On the one hand, as a comedy, it’s sweeter, less sardonic and warmer toward Hollywood than even many films not involving gangsters on the other, the parts that involve just the gangsters are dark and violent and not funny at all.

Chris O’Dowd plays Miles, a fixer working alongside best and only friend Louis (Sean Bridgers) for southern Nevada crime queenpin Amara (Lidia Porto) in the dustbin town of Pahrump. As we meet him, Miles, who is separated from his wife and yearning to have his family back, has grown critically dissatisfied with his station and occupation, work he was sure would be “temporary” but from which he has not been able to extricate himself.

Miles wants to “make something that lasts,” rather than just bury the bodies that are a byproduct of his business. (He is not himself a killer or even temperamentally violent — though a back catalog of popular culture antiheroes leads us to fear he might be — that is crucial to his standing with the viewer.)

“Now, maybe in a movie, digging in a hole would be exciting,” he says to Louis, as they’re digging a hole (Miles is a fan of the movies, especially old ones). “There’d be a soundtrack, and actors, and a plot it would lead somewhere. But in real life digging a hole is unpleasant and boring and a pain.”

Miles and Louis are sent to Los Angeles, a city they don’t know, to collect a debt from a screenwriter. The writer doesn’t have the money, but he has an unsold screenplay, a period romance called “The Admiral’s Mistress.” With one thing and another, Miles leaves with the script and a vision of his future. This leads him to producer Rick (Ray Romano), a maker of cinematic schlock whose life is also in crisis. Rick had ambition once, but a passion project flopped and he has sworn off art.

“You want to make your money back,” he tells Miles. “Don’t get hung up on that quality thing.”

But Miles has the ambition Rick lacks. A tale of a man who goes to war and comes back changed, “The Admiral’s Mistress” feels personal to him: “It’s about how we all carry around this image of a better person, you know, and we think if I could be that person I’d be happy. But all it does is … drive us crazy.” Amara, who will also become involved with his project, sees herself there as well.

It’s pat in a way, and yet at the same time it gets to the heart of the matter, to what moves us in the movies, those slivers of ourselves we find there. Indeed, the power of storytelling is the series’ underlying incidental theme. Amara actually has her right hand Eddie (Isaac Keys, making an impression in a part notable for its stillness) read Miles’ script aloud to her.

“That’s the beauty of a story like this,” says Miles. “Even if you’re a psychopath, it touches your heart.”

Romano, a stand-up comic turned sitcom star, has ripened into a fine actor he is highly likable in a slightly depressive way. But this is O’Dowd’s show more than anyone s — all the major characters connect to him — Rick, Louis, Amara, Amara’s loose-cannon nephew Yago (Goya Robles), skeptical wife Katie (Lucy Walters), affectionate daughter Emma (Carolyn Dodd) and film executive April (Megan Stevenson).

“What’s an executive?” Miles asks when he meets her.

I’ve got nothing negative to say about “Get Shorty” that doesn’t feel like nit-picking as I start to write it. (A side plot about Nevada turf wars feels beside the point and out of joint with the main story, but who knows if it may prove otherwise in the end?) It’s well-made and beautifully played, and one welcomes, for a change, the story of a person attempting to pull himself out of a life of crime instead of one sliding into it. We have had quite enough of those.


Why Can't You Buy a Starbucks on the Interstate?

If you're like me, you may have had an experience like this. You're driving after dark on an Interstate highway and you need a good cup of coffee. If you're on the Florida Turnpike or the Indiana Toll Road, you could stop at the next service plaza and take your choice at an array of retail outlets. But on 95 percent of the Interstate highways, your only option is to wait for an offramp with signs pointing in either direction to gas stations and fast-food places up to several miles away. Some may be closed, and some may be hidden away in shopping plazas.

If your travels have included toll roads, you may wonder why 95 percent of all Interstate miles don't have service plazas like the turnpikes. The answer is that it's against federal law. Back in 1960, when the first Interstates were being built, gas station and restaurant owners along the old highways––like U.S. 66 and U.S. 41, which went right through towns and cities—feared bankruptcy because the Interstates bypassed all those towns. So they lobbied Congress to forbid service plazas on the new Interstates. This gave them the chance to stay in business by building new gas stations and fast-food outlets clustered around Interstate offramps. The fledgling truck stop industry allied itself with the small-town merchants, and built their truck stops as near as they could to Interstate offramps.

Today, 61 years later, a lot of things have changed. There's a huge national shortage of safe overnight truck parking spaces, due to commercial trucking growing faster than land-constrained truck stops. It's also the result of long-overdue federal enforcement of driver hours-of-service regulations, which drivers can no longer evade thanks to electronic (rather than paper) logbooks.

Second, there's a growing need for electric vehicle (E.V.) charging stations, which have been built mostly in urban areas for commuters and service trucks, but hardly exist on major long-distance highways. The most convenient location for range-anxious E.V. motorists would be at Interstate rest areas. But unless the electricity were given away, that's a commercial service and hence against the law.

A new Reason Foundation study says it's time for the federal ban to be junked. It discusses both the truck parking shortage and the need for convenient E.V. charging stations as the rationale, and it's part of the Foundation's vision of a second-generation Interstate highway system, run mostly as toll roads with first-class commercial service plazas. But before we can even get to the question of toll-financing the rebuilt Interstates, the 61-year-old ban has to go.

The study envisions a coalition of strange bedfellows to lead the way: portions of the trucking industry and the large environmental movement that seeks faster electrification of cars and trucks. Last year, the E.V. crowd managed to get into legislation an exemption from the commercial-services ban specifically for E.V. charging stations. The bill passed the House on a party-line vote but was not taken up by the Senate. The Biden administration's $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan includes subsidies for E.V. charging, but is so far silent on whether they could be installed on the Interstates.

Fighting back will be the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO), which has successfully defeated previous bills to repeal the ban. Those bills have been desired by state transportation agencies that have no revenue source to maintain their rest areas (which provide only restrooms, vending machines, and a modest amount of parking). Historically, most of the trucking organizations have sided with NATSO, but the owners/operators are already on board for repeal.

Commercialization could actually turn out to be a win-win for truck stops, since they would be in a good position to bid for public-private partnerships offered by state departments of transportation to develop and operate new service plazas, some of which might be truck-only. And 2021 is finally the year when Congress will enact some kind of infrastructure bill. Opening the door for real service plazas on the Interstates has a fighting chance of being included.


Top Posts

At supermarkets today we can get most fruits and vegetables all-year round no matter what the season. Convenient, yes, but what are we really getting when we choose to buy out-of-season fruit and veg?

Buying produce that would normally be out of season in our country means that it has either been imported from another country or grown in heated greenhouses. Both processes create carbon emissions, which is bad news for the environment.

Extra Food Miles

In the 1990s the term ‘Food Miles’ was coined by Dr Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at London’s City University. Food Miles refers to the distance a foodstuff has travelled from the farm to our plate, which is then calculated in terms of impact on the environment.

Food Miles don’t take in to account all the energy and materials used in growing, processing and packaging the food, but it does give us environmental food for thought.

For example, planes that import food generate 177 times more emissions than ships, but whichever way food arrives in our country it is then transported by HGV to the depot and then to the store. The final trip is the one you take to and from the supermarket.

In the UK, the transportation of food alone is responsible for 25% of the distance clocked up by HGVs. Buying food grown in your local area can cut this down dramatically, however this may not always be the case if you buy your local food from a supermarket.

Even food grown down the road from you may have had to travel to the supermarket’s central distribution depot before it comes back again to be put on the shelves in your store.

I am only scratching the surface of the environmental impact of out-of-season foods here, but if you want to know more, the article ‘Food Miles’ by Caroline Stacey on the BBCs Food pages expands on the issue.

Ever-Decreasing Nutrients

Other factors of importing fruit and veg, are the time it takes and the handling and storage that is involved. These can all affect the nutritional content of the food.

From the moment fruit and vegetables are harvested they begin to lose nutrients and taste. You’ll know this yourself if you’ve ever ‘grown your own’.

A carrot eaten minutes after being pulled from the ground is vibrant in colour, smells amazing, is crisp, juicy and full of taste. Each day that that carrot sits in a fridge, box or shelf, affects its quality. Its colour becomes dull as it begins to dry out, it loses its smell and taste, and eventually it becomes bendy. The invisible side-effect of this is the loss of nutrients.

Fruit and veg that has been imported can sit in storage containers, trucks or on supermarket pallets for days and weeks. During this time it can be exposed to oxygen, light and heat, all of which will rob nutrients.

Modified for Transport

Because food can spoil in the transportation process, through bruising from handling and packing, many fruits and vegetables have been modified to help them better survive the journey.

These modification have included thicker skins (which doesn’t do any favours for the taste) and changes to shape and size so they can fit more uniformly into their boxes.

Is it Really so Convenient?

So, yes, supermarkets are convenient, but when it comes to shopping for fruit and vegetables, it’s easy to see how these days more and more of us are stepping back and really starting to think about our choices.


An antigravity treadmill helped me fix my running form

You may need to adjust your form. “A lot of treadmill runners tend to be heel strikers because the treadmill is basically running you, you’re not running the treadmill,” says Conlon. “So when coming off, it’s good to work on a more efficient foot strike, where you’re landing more in your midfoot or forefoot. You can also do things with cadence: every mile, count how many times your right foot strikes the ground to get an idea of what your cadence is. The ideal cadence is 90 steps per minute.”

Go for time instead of distance. “I am a big advocate for running for time versus miles,” says Conlon. “A body knows time it doesn’t really understand what a mile is. Mentally, it’s also easier. You tell someone to run 3 miles it’s can be overwhelming. You may run a 6-minute pace, I may run a 12-minute pace, so to say 3 miles, that’s a lot more volume for me than it is for you, that’s going to take me 36 minutes versus taking you 18 minutes. Running [for time] keeps everyone on the same stress level. If we’re both running 30 minutes it doesn’t really matter what pace we’re running, we’re still both running for the same amount of time.”

Changing things from workout to workout elongates tissues and helps incorporates other muscle groups that can absorb some of the impact.

Switch up your variables. We all get into the habit of running certain loops around the neighborhood or heading to the same trail at the park. But Conlon urges athletes to switch up the variables often. “Think about Central Park, if I’m going around that counter clockwise direction, which is what the majority of the runners do, because of the slight slant in the road that goes inward, my right foot is always over pronating, my left foot is under pronating, so it’s nice to change that direction.” He also encourages runners to change surfaces (trade the hiking trail for a track once a week) and change speeds. “Do some sort of speed workout it takes runners out of the repetitive gait, so their knees are bending a little more and their hips are going deeper into their range of motion. Changing things from workout to workout elongates tissues and helps incorporates other muscle groups that can absorb some of the impact.”

Continue to cross train. Now that you can run outdoors, it may be your workout of choice, but it’s important to still incorporate other types of exercise into your routine. “Other forms of cardiovascular exercise and workouts like yoga and Pilates are good so people can work on mobility and strength,” says Conlon. “And going through a few strength exercises is nice for runners on an easy day: Do a dynamic warm-up, go for a run, and then in your cool down incorporate some body-weight type strength exercises. Throwing in some strength training allows runners to get stronger and helps them on the road.”

Consider hopping back on the treadmill once in a while. Especially if you are having pain or something feels off. “It’s harder to work on your form outside a treadmill is situated in front of a mirror so people tend to stay a little more upright. You’re not looking down at the ground so much. Anytime that you can work on form, that’s a positive thing.”

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Watch the video: Why miles DONT matter on a sport bikeMUST SEE!!! (May 2022).