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*Caugh,  second thought:  from this morning Salon:

Migeru:

And living in London gave me asthma.

and,
Helen:

Air pollution is so bad in Cairo that living in the sprawling city of 18 million residents is said to be akin to smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

I always wondered what kind of stuff vegetables would accumulate during their 'urban life'.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2007 at 02:36:12 PM EST
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I tried growing basil on my balcony here about two years ago.  It worked for a while, but also got really caked with grime and needed a lot of washing.  And then, because it's basically a desert and never rains, it promptly died when I left town for two weeks and couldn't water it.  End of urban gardening experiment.  :-(

Produce here scares me in general because I know a little too much about the quality of the water supply in rural areas.  But we apparently do have some good locally grown organic vegetables available.  I was skeptical when they started appearing in the grocery store (how organic could they possibly be? given all the crap that's in the water and soil already?) but then it turns out that, as things go in Egypt, a friend-of-a-friend is married to the owner of the company that grows them, so I was able to learn a little more about them.

It seems that the local organics are desert-grown.  Pure virgin land, no pesticides or fertilizers or chemicals of any sort ever used there.  The water, I'm told, comes from aquifers deep below the desert, and is also very clean.

I'm still kind of skeptical, somewhat about whether they're telling the truth about the water, but more about the sustainability of desert agriculture in general.  This is a country that really ought to act a lot more water-poor than it generally does.

But, in the short term, I am a little more confident that I can eat vegetables now without poisoning myself.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2007 at 04:04:23 PM EST
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