filling the empty nest with food
There’s a lot written in the foodie world today about growing, buying, and eating local. A laudable goal for many reasons, not the least of which is to decrease the amount of gasoline we use in our everyday lives.
If you’re eating locally, what type of transportation should be used to get your food from where it’s grown to your plate? In the US, we typically only use two: trucks and cars. Maybe a train now and then. But in a developing country like india, the diversity of transportation modes is much more diverse and complex. Globalization has touched most parts of the world, and where once you might see a clear distinction between the motorized transport of the first world and slower, human or animal-powered modes in developing countries–now the mix is what amazes.
On a recent trip to India, which more nearly qualifies as a mixture of developed and developing country, I saw every way known to man to transport food: big trucks, smaller vans, cars, motorbikes, bicycles, cows, and human backs.
I harbor no romanticized notions about simple peasant ways of life. They have always looked harsh and full of back-breaking work to me. Bikes are different for me, though. They conjure up romantic visions of connecting with nature and one’s own physicality. Especially with a hundred dozen eggs on the back!
Yet my idealized vision of a food transportation network of bicycles hits reality in India when I see real people (only men, actually) straining to pedal along the highways with loads strapped to their bikes: It’s transportation borne of necessity and lack of funds to afford anything else.