Saturday, 1 August 2009

Houyhnhnms and food miles

Excuse my literary ignorance but having finally started to read a little book from 1725 (yes I should have read Gulliver's Travels 30 years ago, but better late than never). The book was written as a satire on life in England, but some of it is so relevant to today. I wanted to share this exert from A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms:

"Whereupon I enumerated as many sorts [of meat] as came into my head, with the various methods of dressing them, which could not be done without sending vessels by sea to every part of the world, as well for liquors to drink, as for sauces, and innumerable other conveniences. I assured him that this whole globe of earth must be at least three times gone round, before one of our better female Yahoos could get her breakfast or a cup to put it in. He said that must needs be a miserable country which cannot furnish food for its own inhabitants."

So a discussion on food miles from 1725. The text preceding this talks about inequality, the forces of production and the commons of the earth. More from Mr Swift later!

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