Friday, June 08, 2007

AW Blog Chain 9

I haven't participated in an AW blog chain for quite a while, and I'm ecstatic to be back. I neglected the poor thing for a few months (the blog, not AW, heaven knows I spend too much time there).

If may be so bold as to quote from A View From the Waterfront (the lovely blog that preceded mine), Alan writes: What will Kelly at Organized Chaos do with this thread?

What, indeed?

Alan blogged about food security in Alaska. I have to be honest here--I never pondered the notion that food would be a problem to get in Alaska. Why? Well, I admit to a somewhat limited worldview, since my life has been spent in Southern Delaware and Northern Virginia (with a brief stopover in Los Angeles and Pennsylvania for college). I know Alaska is snowy and cold, and most of its major cities are along the coast. Dummy me never really understood why until I read his post: food.

My roommate is a huge fan of "Deadliest Catch," and she could probably write me an essay on the importance of seafood to Alaskan survival. Or on the sound a grown man makes when a crab pinches his nethers. I imagine it contains swear words.

Living here in the continental US, it's hard to imagine not having immediate access to all sorts of groceries. If I want steak, I go buy steak. If I want shrimp, I go buy shrimp. If I want peaches, I go buy peaches (although ripeness is negotiable, depending on the time of year). The idea of subsistence foods being provided by the Federal Government just astounds me. It sounds like something we do to villages in South America, not to our fellow Americans in the great white north.

It truly instills a sense of respect. Respect for the folks who carve out a life and a living up there in Alaska. A place that is fifty degrees in the summer and can have upwards of six months of constant sunlight in certain areas is not a state I'd want to live in. But my hat is off to those that do. It's a beautiful state, and you have been blessed with its wonders.


Well, not the post I thought I'd create for this chain (I just watched The Guardian, which takes place in Alaska, and was prepared to go off on a tangent about films set in Alaska....alas...).

Next up is Williebee.


Peggy K said...

I've watched a few episodes of Deadliest Catch and it's made me look at the seafood section of the supermarket in a different light. I have it so easy not having to catch my own supper!

Kelly Meding/Kelly Meade said...

Agreed. And someone once told me that Alaskan King Crab isn't even a crab. *boggles*

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. The people who live in Alaska get my respect. In fact, they seem like they are just built from sturdier stuff than most of us!

Unknown said...

Interesting how few people realize that much food is heavily subsidized anyway. Beef farmers in the UK for example, get enough money per cow to fly it first class around the world.

America is lucky, in a way, it has the space and the resources to be self-sustaining. So rarely is this true for other countries.

Virginia Lee said...

Gah. I inadvertantly left the TV on not long ago on The Deadliest Catch and completely traumatized my old lady mama. I just can't watch that sort of thing. But even in my squeamishness I admire the people who are documented. Farming I can get my head around. Fishing in that way? Uh uh.

Anonymous said...

I so want to visit Alaska after all these posts on it!

Williebee said...

"It sounds like something we do... in South America." And yet, it wasn't that long ago that the doling out of "Government Cheese" was on the nightly news.

We are a weird species. Here in SIllinois part of the last governor's election platform was medical insurance for all the children in the state. People all over the state, jumping up and shouting, "All children should have medical insurance." But it is the wrong battle cry. They shouldn't need medical insurance. They are our children. We should just take care of them. After all, if we don't? They won't learn to take care of us...

Harbormaster said...

If you want to know about the crab fishery, there is a great book written by Spike Walker titled Working on the Edge. Just a hint and don't tell anyone, but living in Alaska is easy and the weather is better than many realize. You don't hear the same of Norway at the same latitude. Definitely visit Alaska. I waited ten too long to make the move.