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Monday, February 27, 2017

The Forgotten Piece of Lettuce ( Lettuce Rejoice! )

A piece of lettuce hangs in the balance on a finished ceramic plate on table number 70. It is coated halfway with some type of creamy ranchy time of dressing substance. It could quite possibly be a type of blue cheese dressing. Why was only one piece of lettuce on the side of that plate? What made the person dining on this salad not eat this particular particulate of lettuce? It is not yet brown or wilted. It looks rather healthy and edible. It just exists there waiting for its death and the inevitable composting into the universe.

How did that lettuce get there in the first place? We all know that it came from the kitchen, before that a truck, then from a farm and so on. We know that it came from the batch of a bunch of lettuce. We know that the lettuce came from the proliferation of prior lettuce and the seeding of lettuce. We know that all of this has come from human intervention and cooperation!

When we look deeper into beginnings of lettuce, we can start to understand the immense interconnectedness from whence it was birthed. It took the immense voluntary cooperation of individuals to bring about that sad piece of uneaten lettuce. People were driven by incentive to produce the lettuce. Lettuce came from the hard labor of people that wanted to provide value to the people wanted to eat it. Sure, they may all had to make money and were drawn or even pulled into the lettuce industry by necessity or desperation, but never the less they chose to enact their innate will to produce such abundant and profitable lettuce output.

We can trace back to see all the essential factors that helped with the profit and proliferation of the lettuce so we way understand the overall importance of such vegetable. The lettuce was most likely grown from a monoculture crop in a large farmed area that was subsidized from the agriculture industrial complex. Of course there are exceptions to this. Some lettuce could have come from a smaller more organic farm or even someone’s yard, but for the sake of the argument, let’s look more into the larger scale lettuce operations. In any case, all these lettuce growing techniques were created out of trial and error efforts that were all part of the grander organic evolution of the Agricultural Evolution. The mere transition from grazing and nomadic food gathering techniques to a more domesticated and economically substantial form of “farming” allowed for the manufacturing and growing of lettuce to become more profitable and abundant. 

What makes lettuce grow and able to be so profitably monetized?

We all know that it takes good soil, sunshine, weeding, soil treatment and amendments, water and the labor of people. We can look at so many factors and see that the production of lettuce has such a wide arching benefit for everyone involved in the production and consumption of the lettuce. It takes great discipline, strategy, care and obligation in order to make sure that the lettuce operations are successful and sustainable. We tend to forget the immense human interaction needed to foster the proliferation of the vegetable(s) in front of us. We may have been gifted some lettuce or vegetable or have bought some with our own hard earned money. Somewhere we saw the inherent value of purchasing and producing such various forms of lettuce.

There are so many diverse types of lettuce to choose from. We can go to the supermarket and bask in the variation of options to sooth are green craving needs. One specific farm company may make the best iceberg and the other might specialize in the butter crunch variety. The competition in the lettuce market allows for more higher quality lettuce to be created and offered to the general public. We may want to venture out from the supermarket industrial complex and go towards a more local and sustainable farmers market. That option is there based on your geography and proximity to more populous and affluent communities of people. That opens up the options even wider! Think of the amazing amount of resources it took for the lettuce to get into your hands and into your digestive system.

The fuel costs needed to transport the lettuce.
The costs it took to harvest the lettuce with machines and human hands.
The costs it to quality control the lettuce.
And so on...
You get the picture!

It is the immense transfer of energy. The energy to produce it and the energy to consume it. It is brought into the world in abundance through the intellect, knowledge and cooperation consciousness of human beings. Something so simple and so organic that we help to survive so it brings value to the environment and the people that desire it. It is that synergy of time and energy that created value for all the sentient beings involved. Including the ones we cannot see with our naked eyes!

Lettuce supply and demand.
Let us supply and demand!

That lettuce that was left over on the plate is not so forgotten anymore. It is a relic from the interactions of the past. The immense and voluntary human cooperation. Its fate certainly wasn’t sealed, but it was steered in a certain direction driven by profitable action. It wasn’t fully eaten. This piece of forgotten lettuce didn’t seem to offer the customer much satisfaction because it wasn’t eaten. But why? Maybe it was sour or bad. Did it grace the mouth of the consumer? What separated it from the rest of the lettuce? It is the cost and benefits of the journey of that lettuce. Think of all the other pieces of lettuce that went bad or fell on the floor? The fallen lettuce is the cost for the purchase of the lettuce. The lettuce could have burned in a fire at the farm. The lettuce could have been eaten by a rag tag group of rogue deer, but it didn’t. It made it miles and miles and across many temperature conditions to make it to the side of that plate.

What is the next step for this forgotten piece of lettuce? Will it be thrown away? Most likely. Will it be composted? It could be. Is the value of the lettuce now completely lost and worthless? Not necessarily.

Lettuce say that the lettuce is composted. That adds value to the soil does it not? It adds value to the creatures and tiny organisms that survive on breaking down organic matter. It goes back into the wonderful cycle of life within nature. So the decomposing and decaying of the lettuce allows for more tiny organisms and organic materials such as plants to continually thrive. That compost could be sold to farmer and more and more lettuce could be sprung from it!

If the lettuce gets thrown away, then it still contributes to the cycle of value. It goes into the trash bag with other rubbish and is transported to a dumpster. That dumpster is maintained by a company or a collective of people that profit from picking up the trash and transporting it to the dump or some third party waste management business. These beautiful waste management employees get paid for dealing with the trash of others, including forgotten pieces of lettuce!

It is easy to see the lettuce for what it is, but we do not attempt to look at the unseen!

When we look at the how and why for the lettuce’s existence, we can begin to understand and ultimately appreciate why we have lettuce in the first place. It is the product of ideas. It is the action of humans moving towards incentive and using the resources to manifest and manufacture more lettuce. Somewhere in the beginning, people demanded lettuce and saw it worthy of value by trying to spend their well earned or gifted money on it. From thought to action. From action to incentive. From incentive to the proliferation of value. From value to the benefit and perpetuation of the human race and consciousness!

One could make the effort in saying that the lettuce market is just as important as the potato market and any other type of fruitful venture. Some may not see the inherent economic cycle of value that the lettuce industry can offer. The ones that see value in it, can choose to sustain and support it through labor, financial means and the genuine drive to keep the industry alive. We may have seen lettuce as more mundane than anything because we never really gave it our full attention. We never chose to see how amazingly interconnected lettuce thrives through our communities and how it benefits most who choose to see value in it. The possibilities are endless when people can voluntarily cooperate as peaceful individuals to sustain an ecosystem that fosters the future of lettuce and the human race!

Lettuce Rejoice!


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