The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

‘Sustainable’ has become a liberal catchall phrase


Though I’m thrilled to learn that our University is attempting to provide sustainable dining, Tuesday’s article, “Local Food, Big Business,” failed to explain what that actually means.

I’m inclined to think that “sustainable food” is food produced, transported, prepared and consumed without consuming finite natural resources or damaging the environment.

The article implies that subsumed under the term “sustainable” are the terms “local,” “organic,” “smaller farms,” “grass-fed beef” and “free-range eggs.”

The first two agree with my understanding of the term, but they get increasingly ridiculous.

Eggs produced by caged chickens are no more or less sustainable than free range eggs; they are more humane, but not more sustainable.

So by using the word “sustainable” to mean so many different things, the article robs  itself of any actual weight or significance.

In my eyes, “sustainable” now means “any of a variety of liberal buzzwords designed and propagated to make people feel better about themselves.”

Kevin Munger


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