Sunday, May 14, 2006

Food fads and brainy beans

Sunday May 14

Had salmon from Scotland, peas from Spain, potatoes from Egypt, strawberries fron Italy, wine from Madeira and Chile for dinner last night. Probably enough in food-miles to shrink the Polar ice-cap by a couple of yards. What can I do, though? Despite living half-way between two great fishing-ports; Grimsby and Boston, and smack in the middle of the UK's largest veg growing area, local produce is near impossible to come by. Yet you can buy sushi in Tesco's in Skegness.

Well actually, that last statement may or may not be true. I haven't, strictly speaking, been in the Skegness Tesco. And to be fair, the metro, loft-apartment aspiring, everything-is-the-new-black, lifestyle-victim culture hasn't penetrated this far yet. The nearest sushi outlet I'm truly aware of is at Kings Cross Station - standing ready to serve the Capital's arrivals as they arrive and departures as they depart. But still...

The runner beans that poked their heads through last week are already showing signs of conditioned reactive behaviour similar to that of the sushi-eaters. They're about 8 inches tall now and on dull days like today, they open their leaves wide to catch as much sunlight as possible. On warm bright days, their leaves close in, touching at the tip, to conserve moisture.

Interestingly, this is almost the exact reverse of the behaviour exhibited by tourists weekending in Skegness - who expose as much of their bodies as they can on sunny days and then have to cover them up to protect their sunburn when it clouds over. Is this a sign of rudimentary intelligence in both species?

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