Monthly Archives: July 2012

Fallacies Everywhere

The thing that has got me motivated enough to write this as a post is this article on the BBC website. It’s got a provocative title, “Green food report favours home-grown curry,” so of course I checked it out. The real meat of the story is that a commission in the UK has just turned in their report on the food production infrastructure in that country and they’ve made some recommendations. Well done, good work, I’m sure the Department of Agriculture (or whatever it’s called in the UK) will be pleased and start publishing tracts and faxing flyers to farms all over England and Wales. But here’s an interesting line, down in the middle of the story:

The project consisted of five subgroups to look at particular areas within the food system – wheat, dairy, bread, curry and geographical areas [emphasis mine] – with the goal of consider ways to “reconcile how we will achieve our goals of improving the environment and increasing good production”.

A few ideas occurred to me when I read this:

  1. That’s a heck of a food pyramid. “I think I’ll only have one helping of Kent, I’m trying to stay slim.” “Oh, go on, you know it’s the midlands that have all the calories.”
  2. Wait a second, we’re gonna look at five different things, two of which are grain? No, I get it, bread is different from grain because bread is processed grain so we need to look at the whole supply and production chain. It’s not a boondoggle to get the commission to pay for junkets to France to look at “bakeries” there.
  3. Curry? Are we sure this wasn’t put in there to justify the lunch tab at every commission meeting?
  4. So, a commission starts out investigating how to increase production of curry (and by the way, are we talking hing, chiles, pepper, ginger, fenugreek, turmeric, and on and on? Really? That’s some amazing climate change y’all are expecting in England.) comes to the surprising conclusion that increasing production of curry would be a good thing! And this is so surprising that the Beeb makes that the headline!

It should be no surprise to anyone who’s ever eaten at a hotel or restaurant in the UK that fresh vegetables and fruits are not on that list. Oh hey, this is like in those Stieg Larsson books where the only thing anyone ever eats is white bread and cheese and all they drink is coffee with milk.

Hey, The Beeb, check this out! (Oh yeah, specifically, this.)