Love Letters Between Food, Water, and Energy

Photo courtesy of Elana's Pantry under Flickr's creative commons license.
Author: Travis Leipzig

In the spirit of Valentines Day, I am reposting a series of love letters between the historic love-trio; Energy, Food and Water that is featured on the Ecocentric blog. Subtly embedded within each letter are links to some great, informative pages that describe in greater detail the triangle of relationships, and the difficulties of their codependencies. Happy Valentines Day!

Enjoy the letters as posted on Ecocentric:

A Love Triangle for the Ages: Letters from Food, Water, and Energy

Energy → Water

Water, listen…

Baby, co-dependence is not a bad thing, no matter what your therapist says. You need me to move you around, right? I do that every day just to keep the world from getting thirsty…and unsanitary. You need me to keep you fishable, swimmable and drinkable, right? Well I make that happen! You think the wastewater treatment plant can keep you clean without me? Nah, they need me. You need me. But baby, here’s the thing: I need you, too! Who else can turn steamy and spin my turbines to keep me cranking out electricity? And who cools me down afterward better than you? It’s you and you only, baby.

I know you know I’ve been hanging out with Food a lot more lately. I don’t even know how it happened. Food started getting really dependent on me, asking for transportation to go to increasingly far-away destinations, and to be grown year-round – even indoors! I felt like I was getting stretched too thin. And then Food started acting really crazy, wanting to become fuel, too. That’s just not natural, and it would drag me in even further! But worst of all, it would hurt you. I’ll make things right, though. I promise. How about I start by not withdrawing so much of you, and not overheating you? How does that sound?

I can live just fine without Food, but you, Water…mm-mmm…we’re together forever.



Food → Water

Water, my sweet,

When I think of you it takes me back to that distant Brazilian sugarcane field with the sound of Rod Stewart’s unforgettable words hanging in the air: You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul!

For me, what we have goes beyond heart and soul, if you can imagine that! It’s the way your ever-loving goodness flows over me, nourishes and cleans me. Most importantly, whatever delicious form I’m in – whether chocolate, chive or even chicken cutlet – my physical body is mainly composed of you.

I know you think Energy and I’ve gotten too close, and you’re probably afraid of being left in a puddle of sadness, used and abused, drowning in sorrow. In the beginning, our ménage à trois was so natural, so fulfilling. I needed you both. You, in the form of thirst-quenching rain, and energy in the form of sunlight. I grew so much. But eventually, I wanted more. I wanted year-round growth in hothouses, and bigger yields harvested by ever-larger machines. I wanted to be processed and spread out around the globe, and I couldn’t do it without more from Energy.

You probably have heard rumors about me and Energy running off to the Amazon to clear trees and grow palm oil and I know it sounds crazy, but a lot of people still think even corn ethanol is a viable source of renewable energy. But I know that’s not fair to you. Of course all that nitrogen runoff leaves you feeling dead inside. It’s just so tempting when looking for renewable fuel options, to think we can grow it, even if people are doing so in soil treated with petroleum products …I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense. I’m sorry. I’m sorry! How many times do I have to apologize?

I know I monopolize (roughly 70 percent of ) what you’ve got to give. But without you I can’t exist!

Please don’t toy with my emotions, you….you…freshwater, you. And don’t run out on me again like you did in Central California (and Ecuador, and Northern China, and, and…and…and…). You know I get limp and wilty without you.

Water, what can I say? I just can’t quit you, baby.

Love, Food

Water → Food & Energy

Dear Food and Energy,

It’s time I came clean to both of you.

First of all Energy, it’s true that I need your help getting around, but I really think it would be better for both of us if you learned to live a little more independently, without me by your side all the time. There’s only so much of me to go around, and sometimes I just feel, I don’t know, like maybe you use me, and a lot of times it’s just because I’m there. Sometimes you need me so much that you drain my reserves. I’m not sure how much more I can be there for you. You know I like to go with the flow, I really hate how controlling you can be.

I know you love me, Energy, I do, but I think you take advantage of my good nature and we need to set some boundaries in our relationship.

And you, Food. Food, Food, Food. I know you need me too but let’s face it, our relationship can be rocky. Sometimes you take total advantage of me, just like Energy does. I know, I know, I let that happen too. I wish you wouldn’t use so many chemicals. They make me feel so dirty. Sometimes you contain me and make me go places that are far from home and I don’t necessarily want to go to those places with you. And who are you to expect me to irrigate every desert on earth?

I know, I know, I get testy and then I just evaporate and it seems like I’m nowhere to be found. But things have gotten so complicated over the years. I try not to disappear on you but sometimes you leave me no choice.

Back in the day, Water and Energy, we were a happy threesome. Over time, though, you both started demanding my presence in the weirdest of places, and, let’s face it, you both have grown ridiculously dependent on me over the years, and now it seems like we’ve lost our flow.

I think I need some time to think about things with both of you. I need you to be more thoughtful – I’m tired of being used and abused. You two should know that you aren’t the only ones vying for my attention. There are others who are interested and they have houses and businesses that they bring to the table. You two should just remember that when you demand more and more of my essence.

Let’s work on trying finding a balance, okay?

Love, Water

A tip of the hat to Peter Hanlon from Ecocentric for sending this post along to me to share.

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