Posts Tagged Turkey
by: Tyler Durden
July 10, 2012
by: Tania Melkonian
When Vancouver couple Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon began their experiment – to eat only foods grown and produced within 100 miles of their home – they reported dubiety. This doubt was reflected in the first chapter of their book, The 100 Mile Diet (now among the locavore’s principal reference manuals) when Smith asks MacKinnon, “Is this even possible?”1.
Is it even possible, indeed. Is it even worth it? What is the true value of eating locally? Why do we so instantly accept the bumper sticker worthy message. Is it about taste, social justice, or ecology?
James McWilliams articulates beautifully in Just Food that we are homesick for a time when our food supply was pure, unmitigated and pastoral. He also believes that this epoch never existed but in our nostalgic reminiscence. ‘For 10,000 years humans have systematically manipulated nature to our advantage by making plants and animals do our bidding’2, he says. It would be impossible then, to return to this simple time just by undoing what agribusiness has done to our food production, proffers McWilliams, as this era never really was.
Without this template of the past upon which to navigate our food future, we are left with a mission that is decidedly contemporary. As such, it should be pursued with the objective of resolving contemporary issues. Eating locally: Is the true benefit to the individual living in the world now; to the current global community; or to the planet earth of today …or to none of the above?
Having grown up in Istanbul, Turkey in the 40s and 50s, immigrants to the west tell stories of food superstitions that guided their local eating. “When we were kids, nobody ate grapes before the 5th of August” says Rose, one such immigrant. This is, of course, a superstition borne of (as they all are) the truth: that grapes did not ripen before the climatic conditions allowed. Typically, those conditions did not exist in that region until probably around the first week of August. Eating them before that time, would mean sour grapes – in the literal sense.
So, folklore turned a generality into a derivative absolute and the Covenant of the Grape was born. A generation later, improved transport and transnationalism allows grapes from a region where the climatic conditions do exist before August, to come to us. The Covenant perishes (just as those verboten grapes would have on August 4th according to grape lore). Septuagenarians from the ‘old country’ may scoff, but we are laughing all the way to the buffet as we enjoy our Thanksgiving day grape platter. The idea that eating certain foods should be flagged on the calendar, while charming, is unimaginable to us in the West today. What’s more, eating seasonally has become suggestive of paucity and limitation.
Globalization has made the allure of eating tomatoes in the middle of a hailstorm, not only possible, but a glamorous sign of prosperity in the developed world. Do we forgo this privilege of contemporary life? If the objective is to deliver a superior product to the individual; and if that superior product is available to us from somewhere else, then procuring of local food does nothing to benefit the individual’s delight, particularly if that individual is from a place where the growing season – and therefore the period of availability of any local produce- lasts about as long as a mosquito in a thunderstorm.
What about purported benefits to individual’s health? Research is beginning to uncover the health benefits of resistant starch which is more prevalent in unripe fruits. Resistant starch is not digested to glucose and in fact remains in the intestine aiding in the creation of anti-cancerous fatty acids3. It’s official: unripe peaches trucked from 2000 miles away to a distribution centre where they will finish (perhaps, perhaps not) getting ready for our palates have more resistant starch and are therefore healthier than local peaches that are available for one afternoon in mid-July. Yes, it’s a stretch. Besides, consider that in a previous article ‘Eat Food You Love, Not Too Much of It By Yourself…‘ I suggest that healthy eating is about more than the nutritional reductionism that we most often apply when talking about our food.4
June 30, 2012
by: Tony Cartalucci
June 27, 2012
Once again the Western press preys on the ignorance of the population as a whole, freely admitting that a Turkish jet entered Syrian airspace (later confirmed here) but was “a mile into international waters” by the time it was shot down.
The F-4 fighter jet, the newest of which are already around 30 years old, has a top speed of mach 2.2, or 1,600 mph/2,500 kph. That means in one minute it can travel 26 miles – or nearly one mile ever 2 seconds.
Any anti-aircraft weapon fired against Turkey’s admittedly “off course” fighter aircraft would have certainly been fired while the aircraft was well within Syrian airspace with the fired ordnance airborne and on course to intercepting the aircraft before the aircraft traveled back over international waters. Turkey’s claim of being “a mile” within international airspace may seem reasonable to the average reader accustomed to traveling at speeds where a mile is relatively far, but in terms of air combat, a mile equates to seconds.
Turkey, acutely aware of the immense tensions it itself has cultivated with neighboring Syria, exercised reckless abandon by traveling so closely to Syrian airspace. What readers may also be unaware of is the role US-built F-4’s play in scouting out and neutralizing air defense systems. Designated “wild weasels,” F-4’s had been extensively used in the opening phases of war against Iraq in 1991, flying 2,596 sorties, firing more than 1,000 air-to-ground missiles, and destroying more than 200 targets in a campaign aimed at destroying Iraqi air defenses.
Perhaps hoping the average reader is profoundly ignorant to how speeds, trajectories, and weapons of modern warfare work, the press has attempted to portray the downing of the F-4 as a provocative act carried out entirely over international waters.
In reality, Turkey’s jet was fired upon in Syrian airspace, by its own account, as it was supposedly in “international space” for only one or two seconds before finally being struck. Syria claims the entire event took place over Syrian waters – a claim NATO has been unable to refute with anything more substantial than mere rhetoric.