And then there's food, because sea level rise is going to wipe out an unbelievably high percentage of the agricultural areas that we're extremely dependent upon, deltas in particular -- they are, by definition, at sea level and they produce the majority of the rice on the planet.
And then the third thing is people. A 3-foot sea level rise will cause a large part of Bangladesh, for example, to either disappear or be unfarmable, so you're displacing millions of people physically. This becomes way worse when you couple it with the food part of the equation. The number of people on the planet is expected to be 9 billion by 2050 and steadying out at 9.5 or 10 billion by 2100, so you've got one-third more people and maybe 20 percent less food. You do the numbers.
During the months when the Nordic soil is stingy, Mr. Redzepi doesn’t just trot out the plants that he has had the good sense to pickle, smoke and such in advance. He wonders about the real potential of a potato or carrot.
That happened last winter, and from it came a dish of what he calls “vintage carrot,” which is an oversize carrot that spent much longer than usual in the ground and would be inedible raw. By roasting it in thick goat’s butter at a very low temperature for a very long time, he produces something meaty and mesmerizing, tasting partly of carrot, partly of beet, partly of turnip, partly of nothing remotely familiar.
“You can’t get that flavor from a new carrot,” he observed, adding: “How is a carrot supposed to taste? Perhaps the taste we’re getting is the original carrot.”
He recently discovered that a potato on the verge of rotting in the earth sprouts a network of smaller potatoes around it, and that these satellite parasites are tender beyond belief and redolent of hazelnuts. So he is working to persuade a local farmer not to uproot his spuds when he usually would.
“It’s like the caviar of potatoes,” he said. “It’s going to be much more expensive, because you can’t touch the field for two years.”
Few issues of wine etiquette seem to cause as much consternation as the increasingly common practice of a sommelier taking a small sip of wine, usually unbidden, to test for soundness. Diners often are surprised to learn that their bottle has in effect been shared with the restaurant, even if it’s just the smallest amount.
The physical risks of this lifestyle are obvious. Three years ago in Slate, Jason Fagone, the author of Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream, recounted strokes, jaw injuries, choking deaths, fatal water intoxications, and other eating-contest tragedies. "Thanks to increasing prize money and media exposure, there's incentive now for competitive eaters to challenge the physical limits of the body," Fagone observed. They're "stretching their stomachs with huge volumes of chugged liquid," inducing digestive paralysis and risking "gastric rupture." A study published that year cautioned that "professional speed eaters eventually may develop morbid obesity, profound gastroparesis, intractable nausea and vomiting." Even MLE warns prospective contestants of the sport's "inherent dangers and risks."
North Pond in Chicago, singled out by Epicurious.com as one of the Top 10 "farm-to-table" restaurants in America, prides itself on serving only domestic craft beers, but aside from a couple of ice wines from Michigan set aside for after-dinner sipping, its lengthy wine list is a fairly predictable document, studded as it is with familiar European and California varietals.
Why is it that the lust for local stops short when it comes to local and regional wines?