Based in Toronto, Ontario, Nancy Matsumoto is a writer and editor who covers sustainable agriculture, food, sake, arts and culture.

Archival posts from my former blog, Walking and Talking

The Upside of the Cyberspace Echo Chamber



I love it when an article I write leads to the discovery of interesting new people, sites and blogs. Such was the case in the wake of my Atlantic.com article on eating invasive species.

An Oxford, England-based environmental geographer named Shonil Bhagwat, mentioned me in his blog, a thoughtful meditation on nature and culture in the anthropocene (a term adopted by ecologists to describe a new geological epoch dominated by the impact of humans). I've learned more from him about the importance of agrobiodiversity and wild crop conservation. Even weeds, he points out, are sacred because we'll need different, hardier species as our climate and geography continue to change.

In writing about out-of-control invasive species, Bhagwat notes that we can try to eradicate them, but another approach is "to reverse our gaze and accept that the invasives will continue to flourish alongside us. For a species of our size, we have changed the rules of the game by having a disproportionately large impact on the planet and in the process created space for other species like us."

I like that. Here we are bent out of shape that feral hogs or zebra mussels are so rapacious (for a list of the most destructive alien invasives, check this out). They might well be thinking in disgust, "that's the pot calling the kettle black."

Here's another example of the ability of social media to bring together worlds within worlds: When my Edible Manhattan profile of catering company Great Performances and its visionary CEO Liz Neumark appeared, it was picked up by a site I'd never heard of called The Triple Bottom, named after the term coined to describe a certain type of organizational success that equally values people, profit and planet. Browsing that fascinating site brought me to similar sites, like Triple Pundit, and this article on how increasing the number of women on corporate boards increases both profits and sustainability.

The only downside to all this connecting? When you fall down one of these virtual rabbit holes, it can be hard to get any work of one's own done.

Bagging Bread, Stocking Shelves: Volunteering at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger

Michael Anthony's Gramercy Tavern Cookbook