My economy: a love song to unconventional means

After 8 successful weeks of Comida Corrida, I’ve been able to network through my friends and aquaintances here in Arcata and have been hired to cater for a few clients. Small event catering is the “steak” of my dream business. Comida Corrida (every Thursday by bicycle) has served as an effective advertising mechanism for my services. I’m interested in trying out bold ideas within the parameters of what we, conventionally refer to as commerce. Whenever I hear a reference to “our economy,” I take a minute (yes, it takes that long as it’s idiom is so ingrained in my cultural understanding) to remove the idea from a [far-away-institution-that-we-have-little-control-over], and place it gently over “my economy,” the one that I practice every single time we exchange. Our daily transactions in commerce: that is our economy. Wouldn’t you agree that  the perfect place to reorganize our concepts of advertising and transparency is right here in our circle?

Great, me too.

In fact, in looking over the bulk of receipts from the North Coast Co-Op, I can clearly see that Comida Corrida is an act of advertising because of the way it costs. Cost of ingredients plus the twelve hours of labor that go into it break even with sales. This means that profit really comes in the form of booking private catering jobs, which is my primary service, which means that the weekly lunch run is, indeed, a form of advertising.

Why do I find this so darn amazing? Because despite the suggestion to draw up a visual ad in the traditional sense by brokering it out, I have followed through on my instinct to act on what inspires me….Wonka vision. Compare this mentality to the act of buying a t-shirt with a logo on it. I would like to rationalize that the reason behind iconic recognition of popular logos is due to attractive design. It stigmatizes status to be based on one’s appreciation of a certain design style. The experience of sporting logo-ed garments ranges from good taste to bad taste. Why, that reminds me of eating (experiencing the effects of) a unique and lovingly handmade sandwich, right?

I find ad space compromising. I find our nation’s brand of political debate to be like an ad space: compromising. We see or hear sound bytes that appeal to us, many times in the form of promises on the scale of a tall order. What we are unable to do is experience these promises in action. Because our convictions lie in belief, in the case of purchasing and or voting, there is a degree of risk. Now, I’m not arguing for the obliteration of risk altogether (it’s the part of nature that I deeply love) but isn’t it nice to taste the goods up front before you invest a noteworthy amount of hard-earned resources into four years of an administration’s politics or an entire evening of wonderful foods? Just something to ponder.

Food is love, Love is food is my lab where I experiment with forms of sustainable business practices. I enjoy testing new ideas and returning to reform my hypothesis regarding the effectiveness and composition of a sustainable business. Soon, I will post data so we can better understand where this is going. Most definitely, as with the way I go about most things, I can assure you that I choose to experience life by unconventional means.

Understanding evolutionary and developmental systems (or Evo-Devo as we say in the field) inspires me to see great potential for resolving our ideological systems. If we were comparative biologists right now, we would understand the importance of localized study in order to grasp the implications of broader systems. I leave you with this meditation:

“All adaptation is local.” – Wes Jackson, Founder and current President of The Land Institute

Pictured: Gluten-free penne with creamy cashew roast yam sauce.

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