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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

In praise of globalisation…

So you were expecting some long libertarian paean to globalisation, eh?  Perhaps you thought I was going to use my usual taunt at ‘locavores’ that unlike them, I dislike the idea of poverty and so have nothing against purchasing products from the less wealthy rather than just from tax subsidised first world farmers…




Not this time… because sometimes a picture from inside Festung Samizdata is worth a thousand words.

24 comments to In praise of globalisation…

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Ha! Locavore-ish types will immediately identify this as a picture of a woman in a kitchen!

  • Actually one interesting aspect of globalization here in the US is the way that foreign competition has generated a whole new set of local American products. American beer is better, American Vodka is better, American wine is better, there is even American single malt whiskey that is pretty good.

    Not to mention the fact that at Whole Foods there are a variety of American made cheeses that are (in general) as good as any from Europe.

    When it comes to generating high quality food & drink nothing beats the free market.

  • I think what Taylor really means is, there’s nothing that gets a fat, lazy producer off his ass than a nice healthy dose of competition.

    Mass produced beer that tastes like witch piss became no longer acceptable in the face of micro-breweries and imported beer.

    The fact that some of the larger brands still stay in business has got more to do with the uncompetitive elements of the beer market, otherwise most of the big brewers would have gone bust years ago.

  • Perry Metzger

    Recently, a set of poorly researched articles on how awful the quinoa trade has been for Bolivia have been making the rounds — most of these are blog posts that quote each other as sources. With each repetition of the game of “telephone”, the story is distorted further. (As it happens, it appears that international sales have lifted a lot of Bolivian farmers out of poverty.)

    Seeing these regularly, however, has had the effect of boosting quinoa consumption in our household at least fifty-fold in the last month. What before was something we ate perhaps once every year or two is now making a regular appearance on our table, mostly thanks to the accidental marketing the anti-quinoa forces have brought to bear.

  • stephen ottridge

    I’m eating quinoa because I am no longer eating wheat. Google Wheat Belly and find out why. You can buy a quinoa pasta that is better than macaroni.

  • Paul Marks

    “globalisation” – international trade and the diversity that the division of labour brings is a good thing – indeed a vital thing.

    As people would find out very fast – when and if it breaks down.

  • A cowardly citizen

    I’d rather die than eat quinoa. In fact, feed me the stuff for two days and I’ll sign a confession for almost anything you like: the Kennedy assassination, Priness Diana’s death, wearing pink underwear, liking Barry Manilow or being a member of this or that terror group. But not that I ate quinoa willingly a second time.

  • I’m sorry, but flavored vodka sounds just as bad as flavored chocolate. Of course, that means that globalization is bad too, but that’s beside the point.

  • Then you have not had good ones of either, Alisa, as they are bloody marvellous!

  • RAB

    Vodka… and I’m fully aware I may not have had the best of brands in my life, tastes of nothing much at all to me. It appears to be the spirit of choice for alcoholics for that very reason… no taste no smell. So I am a single malt or decent Brandy man myself. If I am going to get pissed, I want to enjoy and savour as I go about it. So flavouring Vodka may even be a boon. I’ll try a flavoured one and let you know.

    The pickles look interesting though, I’d give them a go. And Quinoa sounds like a card game ( I say! anyone for a few hands of Quinoa?)

    I guess what I’m saying is that I’ll try anything from anywhere and endorse it, as long as it does what it says on tin. That’s the essence of Globalisation, isn’t it?

  • I smiled at Perry, but the new bot ate it. Here’s another one: 🙂

    Vodka is indeed mostly tasteless, that’s why it’s good mixed with stuff (not the same thing as ‘flavored’ – the point is mixing it just before drinking). I haven’t tasted flavored vodka though, so unlike with regards to flavored chocolate, I’ll reserve judgement. It still doesn’t sound good to me though.

    I was quite disappointed with quinoa. I really wanted to like it.

  • Laird

    I agree with RAB. If I can’t have a good single malt I’ll take a flavorful, full-bodied beer. If you have to mix your alcohol with something else what you mostly taste is the something else. So what’s the point? Just get Everclear 190 and be done with it.

    I can take or leave quinoa. Not much flavor, so you have to doctor it up heavily or use it as a filler for something else. Where did it come from anyway? I’d never heard of it before the last year or so, and now it’s everywhere. Who is pushing it on us, and what is his agenda? (Suspicious minds want to know.)

  • Brian Micklethwait (London)

    Potato crisps have also got a lot more interesting in recent years. I can remember when there were only about three flavours, and before those, only the one. But those Smith’s Potato flavoured potato crisps, with salt added in a little blue rectangle, twisted into a small bag, were very good.

  • If you have to mix your alcohol with something else what you mostly taste is the something else. So what’s the point?

    That is a bit like saying about food “Sauces? Spices? What’s the point?” What is the gastronomic version of a luddite? 😛

  • Laird

    Not a fair analogy, Perry. Food has flavor; spices and sauces add to or alter it. But your point was that vodka, by itself, has none. So if it has none but you want the buzz just buy grain alcohol.

  • RAB

    Alcopops dear sir. Fruit juice that gets you pissed without you noticing any trace of alcohol at all; not a grown up’s drink, I think you will agree.

    As to sauces and spices, well I heard they were originally invented by the French to disguise the fact that the meat they were serving was rotten. 😉

  • But a lot of modern vodka’s do have a subtle flavour… which is why some are better for martinis than others, for example.

  • RAB

    Shaken or stirred? It’s always martinis time round our Gaff… feel free to drop in with a bottle of something subtle. Though “Birch” sounds a bit stringent to me.

  • That is a bit like saying about food “Sauces? Spices? What’s the point?” What is the gastronomic version of a luddite?

    Perry has a point there. I now realize that my problem is not with flavoring per se, but with the fact that it is pre-flavored and bottled. In the same way that I like to add the sauce to my pasta myself, or at least to be convinced by the look of it that it was added just a few minutes ago – rather than having been sat in it for a week and then shoved in the microwave.

  • It’s always martinis time round our Gaff… feel free to drop in with a bottle of something subtle.

    Love to!

    Though “Birch” sounds a bit stringent to me.

    You would not want it in a martini, that is for sure

  • RAB

    You’ll be more than welcome anytime Perry.

  • Laird

    Perry, any time you’re over this way I’d gladly stand you to some good scotch, but I don’t have the fixin’s for a martini (and don’t even know how to make one!).

  • I’m sure you can distract him with chicken salad, Laird:-)

  • Well I am also partial to good scotch 😉