We watched The Social Network the other night and it got me thinking about a lot of things; namely, Mark Zuckerberg. Before watching the movie, I'd heard a statement that Zuckerberg's goal for the year is to eat only things he kills with his own hands. Huh?
Now we all know by now that I'm a little idealistic when it comes to trying to live locally and sustainably. I love the idea of cracking open a can of my own locally grown canned goods or pulling some local cut of meat out of the freezer. I feel that if we all ate a little closer to home, the world just might be a slightly better place.
But I also live in northern Minnesota, where eating locally means some wild rice, a lot of blueberries, and a bit of meat when you can get it. And there's just only so much venison with blueberry sauce that a 21st century palate can take. While we eat a fair amount of meat which Andy has shot, the majority of the meat we consume at the cabin isn't even organic.
Why? Well, it takes a lot of food to feed two people for an entire year.
The venison Andy got last Novemeber was all gone by April and we only used about a pound of the meat a week. During grouse season, Andy and I went out hunting nearly every night and while we managed to get enough poultry to provide one or two weekly dinners, we never even stockpiled enough grouse to have any in the freezer for "later." Believe it or not, all that's left of last year's blueberries is less than a cup of berries, rattling around in a gallon bag in the back of the freezer. Even what, at the time, can appear to be massive amounts of food can disappear quickly.
Then there's the price issue. In a world where time is money, we can't afford to spend every waking moment scrounging for food. And much as I'd like to eat only organic, that ideology is a little rough on my pocketbook.
Just yesterday I came back from the grocery store with a nominal amount of food in my (reusable) bags and one honking total on my receipt. "That's it," I declared. "No more fresh produce for us." Forget the yummy red strawberries at $3.65 a pound; next week I'm just going to pick up some cans of Flavorite fruit cocktail in lieu of all the (expensive) fresh fruit salad ingredients I picked up yesterday.
Now, I'm not sure what Zuckerberg means when he says he's only eating food he shot with his own hands. Is he counting produce too? Because let me tell you, as Andy and I ran around last night covering up the gardens to protect them from the latest frost advisory, I realized even a little garden can demand more of you than you ever expected.
With his unlimited funds, maybe Zuckerberg is in a better position to succeed at this "with your own hands" eating game. But while I may consistently cry "busy", I have a feeling Zuckerberg has a couple more obligations and commitments than I do.
Mark, if you figure out how to do this: 1) You're a better man than me and 2) Let me know how you did it.