Cozy as a Campfire
How many people do you know who are drawn to a microwave, much less sit around a microwave singing, playing guitar or telling stories? Consider sitting around a campfire and waiting for the coals to heat a kettle of water. Compare it to heating up a cup of water in a solar powered microwave. Both could be sustainable forms to heat water, but the quality of living greatly differs. With crackle and flames, campfires draw in people. Soon you might have several people enjoying the fire as the water heats up. They tell stories, create friendships, and plan their next Rucksack Wandering adventure.
While farming in Thailand, I worked with two types of farmers: an economic sustainable farmer and a social sustainable farmer. I discovered people’s omelet recommendations reflect their preferred type of sustainable farming. When asked where to eat an omelet, the farmers’ answers differed like a harvest moon and a milk moon – in completely different seasons. The economic sustainable farmer recommended a restaurant at the mall. The farmer likes to visit the mall because the mall is a wasteland of cheap electrical appliances waiting to be unwrapped, which will set free the harnessed power of solar energy. While at the mall, it’s best to buy for your farm and stomach in the same trip, even if that means a deep-fried omelet for lunch at KFC.
The social sustainable farmer suggested I eat an omelet at the Blue Diamond in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A person eats at the Blue Diamond because of the many choices of organic fruits and vegetables and baked breads. By asking the question, “how will my actions better my life and community,” the answers direct me towards the Blue Diamond.
When making my omelet choice, I chose lifestyle over profit. I tried the Blue Diamond because I enjoy eating healthy and local. While waiting for my omelet, I read the paper, had a conversation, and took in the smells of bread coming out of the oven. The omelet came with fresh avocado and was infused with a pleasant blend of herbs. The quality of the food, the pace of the service, and the fresh fruit reminded me of life on the farm. To sum it up, the omelet at the Blue Diamond was as cozy as a campfire.
Some thoughts that didn’t make it into the omelet review:
As consumers become more green, organic, sustainable, livable, whatever catch phrase is being used at the moment, people will read more quotes like the ones below, both found in the February/March 2007 issue of Plenty.
From the article Truckin’ Awesome by Philip Armour: “Forget the environment and political reasons—which are convincing. Just look it from the pocket book. I used to get six miles to the gallon. With biofuel, I get seven. So I’m taking home more money at the end of the week.”
From the article The Farmer in the High-Rise by Alisa Opar:
“He compares the vertical farm to the hybrid car, which now everybody is producing. They aren’t doing it for the sake of the environment; they’re doing it to make money.”
This sort of outlook will hopefully give us more time to prevent the impending global warming disaster but will not help us prepare for the next disaster brewing due to the short sights of an economic outlook towards life.
These thoughts were developed when I visited Pun Pun and Panya Project.
The Panya Project
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I had the pleasure of spending ten days in Chiang Mai this last February. Master photographer Chuck Feil, who was leading myself and two other photographers on an extensive photo workshop, had visited Chaing Mai a year before and had been introduced to the Blue Diamond which was located just a short distance from the hotel where we were staying. What can I say? The food was delicious. The service was great. The prices were quite reasonable. What more can you ask for? To read my tongue in cheek journal of our trip to Chiang Mai, consult the February 2010 posts at my blog Elkinsphotos-Bisbee AZ. Larry Elkins Elkinsphotos Fine Art Photography
Amazing photos of Thailand. Thanks for the comment. Looking forwards to visiting your gallery in Arizona!
Thanks for the reply. I’m sure that with the red shirt protests, tourism is suffering in Thailand. People, particularly here in the States, overreact. Anyway I plan to return to Chiang Mai in January 11 for 1 -2 months. LARRY.
I have severe allergies to chemical flavorings and while this restaurant appears to be very health conscious — this is only a facade. They claim not to use MSG and other chemical additives and I was eating here because I trusted them. However, I developed a severe rash all over my body because they do use chemical flavor enhancers, specifically disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate. How do I know? One of the bottles that was sitting on my table there had these listed on its label as ingredients — and you can bet if it is in the bottle on the table, they are using it to flavor their food. When I talked to the owner about this he told me that I should prepare my own food. I told him I ate here because you have these signs on the wall claiming you do not use chemical additives. Thank you very freakin much for totally ruining my vacation.
You make a good point about not taking the signs at cafes at face value. Besides restaurants, I was reading where some people at farmers markets try to pass off industrial produce as local and organic. People need to take a moment and investigate the food they are about to consume. Bummer about your vacation. Thanks for the comment.