I wasn’t looking for an Unconsumption tie-in to tonight’s Academy Awards, but:
Among the five documentary shorts nominated for an Oscar this year is Redemption, a thirty-five minute film about New York City’s “canners”: the men, women, and children who collect bottles and cans from the city’s streets for their five-cent cash redemption value.
Edible Geography has a great analysis of the film and the issues it touches on, and implies. Read it here.
That the opportunity to “can” exists at all in New York is due to the state’s Bottle Bill, enacted as part of environmental conservation legislation in 1982. Only eleven states in the U.S. have some kind of container deposit legislation, which occasionally leads to some cross-border shenanigans: a recent Los Angeles Times article pointed out that California’s 2011 redemption rate for plastic containers was an impressive but technically impossible 104 percent, and blamed “crafty entrepreneurs” driving “semi-trailers full of cans from Nevada or Arizona.”
Bottle Bills are usually promoted as an incentive to encourage the public to recycle more and throw away less. Various studies have shown that they do increase recycling rates dramatically: the United States’ overall beverage container recycling rate is estimated at thirty-three percent, while states with container deposit laws have an average rate of seventy percent. As watching a documentary like Redemption makes clear, however, a lot of this extra recycling and sorting is not being done by the consumers of canned or bottled beverages; instead, the state has outsourced its acts of environmental virtue, at far below minimum wage ($2.50 an hour at best, by my rough calculations), to some of its most marginalised populations.
People in Canada’s North are used to paying more for food, but the somewhat-delayed effect of the national price hike has some Nunavut consumers swapping stories of $28 bags of grapes, $10 pints of berries and $10 iceberg lettuce.
Each time you swap out sugar for SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener in this peach jam, you save calories. Spread it on your morning toast for a sweet start, sure to keep you jamming out for the rest of the day.
I like the clanging sound glass makes when canners gather bottles from the recycling bins. I’m not really sure I could tell you why, but I think it has to do with being pleased that people are finding money in the garbage.
I suppose the sound is pleasing too, somehow. It sounds a bit like stuffed bells—something that could be music but isn’t. The individual rhythms of the canners as they chuck the bottles into their carts or whatever else they have to carry.
That they do it with gusto, not sneaking off with the bottles, pleases me too.
There’s one man up the street whose poverty I don’t like to think of who loads his cart up to the point where he looks like he’s pulling a pack animal in some distant land—huge garbage bags of cans piled high on top, sticking out the sides and back of the cart. He pulls his groaning cart through the street, including the busy intersection, to Stop N’ Shop’s redemption center. I can’t imagine what would make someone turn to such aggressive canning, but the sight is one not seen often here. It’s wrong, I’m sure, to appreciate the sight, but, you know, I do.
10/5/16 - i decide to can some soup while we still have vegetables fresh from town. it’s nice to pop open a jar that only needs to be warmed up after a hard day’s work, so i get to filling a batch of quart jars. meat, potatoes, carrots, nettles, apple, red onion, seasonings, water - go. one pressure canner batch later, and we’ve got seven quarts of flavorful stew just waiting for a loaf of freshly baked bread to accompany it.
post script: @citycouncilwoman it will last at least 1-2 years (perhaps many more) so long as it’s stored in a cool, dark place and the lids aren’t allowed to rust horrifically. though in reality it never lasts more than a year because i make delicious canned foods and we gobble them up.
Were you even expecting the puck to get to you after it was centred in from down low? “Uh, not exactly I mean ‘Canner made a good play to get towards the net there and then uh, Danny I think, I don’t know if he was going - you know he was probably going to me. With his vision you know, he slid it through the slot there and then I had the puck at the top of the slot and finally put it in the back of the net.”
- In which Daniel was totally passing to Hansen but okay Ben :)
2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers ½ cup boiling water 4 cups finely chopped peaches (from about 5 to 6 medium peaches, peeled) 2 tablespoons lemon juice 6 cups granulated sugar 1 pouch liquid fruit pectin
Place lavender flowers in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over flowers and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and discard flowers.
Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 6 half-pint mason (or equivalent) jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use. Warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.
Combine lavender liquid, peaches, lemon juice, and sugar in a very large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat and boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in pectin.
Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving ¼-inch of headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Screw on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.[x]