Monday, February 14, 2011

Bioregional Videos: Savouring Europe, Severing the EU

"With the lemon added to the eggs, and then the cooking water of the [native only] greens, a distinctively Arcadian taste is created--a taste that has survived Italians, Turkish, Germans, and others--though will it hold out against foreign fast food? For the momoment, they seem to believe so...The Lucius Gorge, this easily defended natural bastion, became the center of Greek identity, preserver of its religion, and its dreams of freedom from the occupying Ottoman Turks [or now the European Union's Euro?]. Monasteries cut into rocks high above the valley still cling to the cliff....In the 19th century, these monasteries, in the face of Ottoman oppression illegally schooled young men, who became the founders of the modern Greek state." Now they grow local organic crops. "At this waterwheel, built around 1800, the wives of revolutionaries had their maize and wheat ground into flour."
Below is an interesting set of videos entitled "Savouring Europe" by Journeyman Pictures, produced in 2009. They are on the European movement for localization of commodities, taken against the European Union's ecologically and economically eroding drive for homogenization.

These films state clearly with detailed regional examples how cruelly and ecologically irrational is the current arrangement of the European Union. This was mentioned in a section of the last post on the huge putsch against local democratic voting worldwide, particularly in the European Union and how the megapowerful states like the U.K., the U.S. and the European Union are filled with vote fraud and unsustainable material pressures as a result. It was mentioned here as well, a post about unsustainable monocropping choices of agriculture.

This is the point of the book about the bioregional state--that corruption is environmental degradation. Only solving corruption and elite gatekeeping will get us to a bioregionally sustainable form of government.
Environmental sociologist Mark D. Whitaker is a comparative historical researcher on the politics of environmental degradation and sustainability. Toward A Bioregional State is his novel approach to development and to sustainability. He proposes that instead of sustainability being an issue of population scale, managerial economics, or technocratic planning, an overhaul of formal democratic institutions is required. This is because environmental degradation has more to do with the biased interactions of formal institutions and informal corruption. Because of corruption, we have environmental degradation. Current formal democratic institutions of states are forms of informal gatekeeping, and as such, intentionally maintain democracy as ecologically "out of sync". He argues that we are unable to reach sustainability without a host of additional ecological checks and balances. These ecological checks and balances would demote corrupt uses of formal institutions by removing capacities for gatekeeping against democratic feedback. Sustainability is a politics that is already here—only waiting to be formally organized.
Back to Savouring Europe.

Though there are 13 video segments, only 11 of them seem viewable to me. However, I put all 13 links below if you can see all of them.

In Europe, this localization or 'slow food' movement (a description is tucked into this post) has been coming about for a generation. It is occurring as a transnational, homeless, European technocrat class with loyalties to nothing except themselves--without elections, without referendums, without legality--blithely erode long term durable bioregionalism of humanity in Europe.

This corrupt EU project to destroy bioregionalism against rejected referendums to the contrary is attempting to pressure politically a material homogenization of all the commodity and regional identities of Europeans with their many cultures, foods, and folkways for the interests of only a tiny transnational political economic elite. The European Union is a corrupt aristocratic project instead of a multi-regional, representative, sustainable state.

I predict the EU will fail because it is an unsustainable project in its current version that rejects bioregionalism, the requirements of geographic voting, and ecological checks and balances. However, in the long interim learning process why the EU is bad currently, it will cause much damage to people's health, ecology, and economics before the EU fails.

That is what is so fascinating about these films: it balances well the coverage of the negative damage that the EU is doing to local health, ecology, and economy that is so bleedingly apparent, though the films additionally and beautifully interweave a positive message of how quiet, hungry, healthy, regional resistance is maintaining and even recovering older culinary traditions. This is a lever that can turn the world.

Why is the project of maintaining bioregional foodways important?

Without any particular order, first, it is because biodiversity of the human food varietal heritage of plants and animals fitted to particular regions is in danger, being politically pressured by other more consolidated choices that fit well nowhere and lead to degradation of health, ecology, and economy. Without this global larder of multi-regional knowledge for what fits in certain regions well, institutionally preserved by using and eating it daily, we will (and already are) living much risker lives with more crop failures and animal diseases. See the section "Seven Arguments Against Cloned Animals," here. At least you think, "I'm not eating cloned animals yet." However, if you live in the U.S. you are, or if you globally eat U.S. beef you are. Since 2008. The U.S. chose to hide the fact. Just search for "cloned U.S. beef" on the web:

Cloned Beef Has Already Entered U.S. Food Supply, Even Before FDA Nod
29 Jul 2008 ... Cloned Beef Has Already Entered U.S. Food Supply, Even Before FDA Nod The major cattle cloning companies in the United States have admitted ... - Cached
Dead cow carcasses "resurrected" to produce cloned beef
16 Aug 2010 ... (NaturalNews) We already know that cloned beef has entered the food supply both in the United States ( ... - Cached
Dead Cows Cloned To Boost US Beef Production
12 Aug 2010 ... Some of the cattle cloned to boost food production in the US have been created from the cells of dead animals, according to a US cloning ... - Cached
Cloned beef causing uproar in Britain traced to Wisconsin cow ...
14 Aug 2010 ... The world of cloning hasn't exactly been paradise for Wisconsin dairy ... have banned U.S. beef over fears related to growth hormones. ... › News › Wisconsin - Cached
U.S. beef is now being made from cloned cows? - Pioneer Living ...
16 Aug 2010 ... Pioneer Survivalist Blog has many survivalist topics for today preppers. - Cached
BBC News - Cattle 'cloned from dead animals'
12 Aug 2010 ... Beef, pig and dairy farmers are all trying to establish whether cloning is an economic proposition. Two years ago, the US Food and Drug ... - Cached - Add to iGoogle
Cloned beef in Britain's food chain spreads alarm - Health ...
4 Aug 2010 ... Meat from the offspring of a cloned cow in the United States entered ... cow disease in the 1990s that saw British beef exports banned for a ... - Cached

"Cancerous Clones. It's what's for dinner."TM

Moreover, GMO crops fit nowhere except Monsanto's pocket, and there are well documented health dangers and well documented corruption that has been responsible for GMOs.

Controlling Our Food: The World According to Monsanto
1:48:57 min
2 years ago

"On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television - a documentary that Americans won’t ever see. The gigantic bio-tech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years."
The Dangers of Genetically Modified Food - Jeffery Smith Lecture - FULL VERSION
1:00:08 min
3 years ago

"This lecture was created by combining the 6 pieces posted on YouTube by The Kick Them All Out Project. This project shows you how we can take back control of Congress from the special interests that control it now and put an end to things like GMO foods. This lecture by Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, summarizes the contents of his book, which explains the health dangers of genetically modified foods, and the industry cover-up."
Second, why is the project of maintaining bioregional foodways important? it is because humans have become bioregional creatures over the recent millenia. We are from somewhere, a specific culinary and climatic somewhere in our genes. We are a bioregional species instead of an abstract human species. Our health is built into such regionalism, and our health in general decays without access to it. There is nothing called an abstract human being.

A book on our innate "bioregional diet" as important to resuscitate for our own health is Why Some Like it Hot: Food, Genes, and Cultural Diversity, by Gary Paul Nabhan

From Publishers Weekly
With 21st-century science promising better living through genetic engineering, and myriad diet fads claiming to be the answer to obesity and disease, this exploration of the coevolution of communities and their native foods couldn't be more timely. Ethnobiologist Nabhan (Coming Home to Eat) investigates the intricate web of culture, food and environment to show that even though 99.9% of the genetic makeup of all humans is identical, "each traditional cuisine has evolved to fit the inhabitants of a particular landscape or seascape over the last several millennia." Sardinians are genetically sensitive to fava beans, which can give them anemia but can also protect them from the malaria once epidemic in the region. Navajos are similarly sensitive to sage. [Other cultural regions--of food, genes, and culture over time--thus build animal fats into diets as why people some people are healthy on these diets and others less so.] In both cases, traditional knowledge allows safe interactions with these powerful medicine/poisons through cooking methods or food combinations. Nabhan questions the wisdom of genetic therapy, which "normalizes" the "bad" genes that can cause sickness but also enhance immunity. Most inspiring in this bioethnic detective story are Cretans, maintaining their health for centuries through traditional living, and Native Americans and Hawaiians, whose communities, devastated by diabetes, find an antidote by returning to their traditional foods, customs and agriculture. Mixing hard science with personal anecdotes, Nabhan convincingly argues that health comes from a genetically appropriate diet inextricably entwined with a healthy land and culture.

From Booklist:
Ethnobotanist and nutritional ecologist Nabhan continues the paradigm-altering investigation into the matrix of food, place, ethnicity, and well-being that he's been conducting in such influential books as Coming Home to Eat (2002). A leading voice in the slow-food movement and a thoroughly engaging guide, Nabhan now delineates the evolutionary dimension of newly recognized interactions among cuisine, culture, and genetics that inspired him to modify an old adage: "We are what our [recent regional instead of ancient paleolithic!] ancestors ate and drank." He teases out the evolutionary secrets of chili peppers and explains why some folks like them hot and others can't take the heat. Since it's easiest to see the hidden benefits of ethnic cuisines in isolated island societies, he travels to Sardinia, where, for centuries, fava beans have protected the populace from malaria, and to Hawaii, where natives have discovered that traditional yet neglected taro dishes control diabetes [in their genotypes best]. With millions [really the majority of the world, he writes] of people suffering from little-understood food-related maladies, Nabhan's revelations of the complexities of our [regionally] inherited interactions with food, the true significance of the healthful "synergies" of traditional ethnic cuisines, and the essentiality of both biodiversity and cultural diversity are as critical as they are fascinating.
Therefore, beware the industrial pressures and corrupt states that attempt to demote your 'bioregional diet' of traditional regional foods, many of them (not all!) high in saturated, animal fats for some regions. And beware the people who tell you "animal oils are bad" (depends on your regional genetics! and) because that was a multi-generational industrial agricultural advertising based on fear to sell more of what they could sell more cheaply: what have turned out to be dangerous "unsaturated vegetable oils" instead of healthy after all. Data you say? Ms. Fallon can explain this better: she describes the U.S. as the worst case of a powerfully corrupt industrial destruction of bioregional dietary standards, where diet and scientific knowledge was sculpted or perverted for industrial profit with the introduction of unhealthy versions of mono-cropped vegetable oils, replacing healthier versions of animal and vegetable oils. Keep that general theme of politicized "supply versus demand" in mind, and start Savouring Europe. And start savoring the world's regions everywhere.

Savouring Europe: parts 1 through 13

Journeyman Pictures

1 Savouring Europe: Dorset - UK

(Season 1, Episode 1) January-March: Winter is ending, the land comes alive with new season potatoes and is ploughed for early spring crops. The grasslands cycle begins; cheese and beer making and organic farming respond to the weather on the rolling hills which descend to the Atlantic where tiny boats ply for shellfish.

2 Savouring Europe: Lyonnais - France

(Season 1, Episode 2) In the hot June weather, starred chefs shout orders or create Zen like calm; artisan cheese makers and bakers, farmers and herdsmen supply the city from the surrounding hills. People use the vineyards and surrounding hills to celebrate wedding or just a get together.

3 Savouring Europe: Flanders - Belgium

(Season 1, Episode 3) Late spring but the Inns still produce stews reminiscent of the delicacy of France and the richness of Germany; their famous handmade chocolates roll off a small production line filled with surprises and stoic fishermen on horseback search the coast for grey shrimp against a backdrop of medieval cities glittering on working canals.

4 Savouring Europe: Dzukijos Forest Region - Lithuania

(Season 1, Episode 4) A dense forest produces mushroom, herb and fruit treasures; horse drawn ploughs and ancient cranky machines produce freshly milled buckwheat flour and just emerging from the aspic of communism, people celebrate their pagan past in a mid-summer eve filled with song and fire.

5 Savouring Europe: The Eastern Steppes - Hungary

(Season 1, Episode 5) A huge grazing land alive with wild horses and cattle rounded up by cowboys; trout from the rivers and piles of red and orange paprika fill the kitchens of the inns and steaming goulash and thick sour cream are served in generous heaps.

6 Savouring Europe: Transylvania - Romania

(Season 1, Episode 6) The Carpathian Mountains, the wildest part of Europe where bears and wolves still roam, where ancient machines still plough the land and a local fruit brandy is toasted at the ritual pig killing. In a Counts kitchen woman create pastry and bread in surprising ways.

7 Savouring Europe: Savouring Europe: Arkadia In The Peloponnesus - Greece

(Season 1, Episode 7) May and the early sun tickles the land. Donkey graze beneath an ancient monastery clinging to the cliffs above. In hill towns, cooking continues as it did in the 18th century -steaming lamb dishes informed by Ottoman and Venetian cuisines.

8 Savouring Europe: County Mayos Atlantic Coast - Ireland

(Season 1, Episode 8) Autumn on the coast as the sea rises, oysters and salmon pulled fresh from Clew bay are cooked. Cool green landscape with stretches of potato farms and russet moors with their sheep herders roving the commons blend beyond the song and stout filled pubs.

9 Savouring Europe: Sodermansland - Sweden

(Season 1, Episode 9) Summer and boar and deer are provided to be smoked and cooked as treats; lake fish and eels are provided for the new Swedish chefs to demonstrate their take on traditions and people speak of their passing culture in the reflection of deep blue lakes.

10 Savouring Europe: Franken in Bavaria - Germany

(Season 1, Episode 10) Very early spring on this river run flat plane dotted with medieval villages and towns where craftsmen and women hold onto memories of rich pork dishes,moist dark breads and smoky beer and where an ancient miller still operates his wooden and iron machines.

11 Savouring Europe: Rioja - Spain

(Season 1, Episode 11) Early autumn in the folds of a river valley where the grape vines are harvested and celebrated with food and dance in the villages; suckling lamb is baked in a wood oven and in the early morning the whole town turns out to witness the bulls which are challenged by the young bravos.

12 Savouring Europe: Puglia - Italy

(Season 1, Episode 12) Spring, now well set in the Mediterranean as herbs and early vegetables unwrap themselves. Here are the best dried pasta makers in Italy. In the white towns and on the Gargano Peninsula, Easter is celebrated with a night illuminated by burning wooden cones.

13 Savouring Europe - The Atlantic Coast Near Averio - Portugal

(Season 1, Episode 13) Its almost Christmas so the olives are harvested and celebrated; monks make a rare sweet liquor; an extraordinary pastry is stretched to the size of a room; the vines are cared for and fishermen pull eels from the Atlantic to be made into a Christmas stew.

BioregionalStateTV: "The Sustainability Channel"

For more videos, see my assembled BioregionalStateTV. BioregionalStateTV has expanding links demonstrating very inspiring ideas that are already working against monocultures to institutionalize bioregionalism, varietal food durability, independence, and profit. BioregionalStateTV will have well-produced videos that detail how to move biophysically toward more "watershed-centric" arrangements of material sustainability.
[Update from June 2012: due to changes at, that Google Video's channel is inaccessible to the public. Over time I will move these films to my YouTube Channel, at TheBioregionalState:]


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