To the People

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Next Up, Health and Human Services Secretary Richard Simmons

The Democrats' ongoing efforts to convince skeptical Red State voters that they are not a bunch of nagging nanny-staters and annoying hippies occasionally bumps up against the fact that the Democrats remain a bunch of nagging nanny-staters and annoying hippies.

To wit, this Denver Post story on preparations for the Democratic National Convention this summer, headlined: "Caterers find eco-standards tough to chew."
Fried foods are forbidden at the committee's 22 or so events, as is liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, like china, recyclable or compostable. The food should be local, organic or both.

And caterers must provide foods in "at least three of the following five colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white," garnishes not included, according to a Request for Proposals, or RFP, distributed last week.

The shrimp-and-mango ensemble? All it's got is white, brown and orange, so it may not have the nutritional balance that generally comes from a multihued menu.

"Blue could be a challenge," joked Ed Janos, owner of Cook's Fresh Market in Denver. "All I can think of are blueberries."

This is supposedly for ecological as well as nutritional reasons. But, as one caterer points out, it is not clear that any of this actually is environmentally sound:
Joanne Katz, owner of Three Tomatoes Catering in Denver, cheers the committee's environmental aspirations and is eager to get involved with the convention, but she wonders if some of the choices the committee is making are really green.

Compostable products, such as forks and knives made from corn starch, are often imported from Asia, delivered to the U.S. in fuel-consuming ships. But some U.S. products are made from recyclable pressed paper. Which decision is more environmentally sound?

See, if you eat a bacon doublecheeseburger or a Philly cheesesteak in a styrofoam container, you don't have these problems.

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