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Greening the DNC
May 19, 2008 9:01 AM   Subscribe

This summer in Denver, at the 2008 Democratic National Convention fried foods will be forbidden at the committee's 22 or so events, as is liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, like china, recyclable or compostable. The food should be local, organic or both. It's all part of Greening 2008 Convention.

They've filmed some webisodes to "peel back the curtain" on the greening process, but not many delegations have signed up for the competition yet.
posted by mattbucher (73 comments total)

 
Perhaps I'm dumb, but what do the elimination of fried foods and the insistence on a multi-hued menu have to do with environmentalism? It sounds like they're conflating health/nutrition and environmental sustainability into a big heap of arbitrary requirements designed just to piss off caterers. Whatever company can actually pull off this gig will get a windfall, but I'd hate to be the chef or manager who has to make the decisions on the ground.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:09 AM on May 19, 2008


That's very cute but sounds like a complete gift to those that dismiss the Dems at elitists who understand very little about everyday Americans and are careless of their liberties. Joe Sixpack will not care much about this and may well find it rather more revolting than a soya latte. Green can be a good hue these days, but not so that it alienates. Especially in a recession. I fear the Democrats need to seem more 'normal' to many voters and this kind of gesture politics just will not do. Sad.
posted by The Salaryman at 9:16 AM on May 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think it's shit like this that gives Democrats/liberals a bad name. Obama needs go ride in there on a fucking horse, pound a few budweisers, and then stand at the grill for a few hours, burning up pigs and cows. Instead he will be photographed sipping a latte in a recyclable/compostable paper cup eating blue asparagus. And the media will never let him forget it.
posted by mattbucher at 9:16 AM on May 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


jinx
posted by mattbucher at 9:16 AM on May 19, 2008


Conflation of personal health and environmental sustainability pisses me off to no end.
posted by anthill at 9:17 AM on May 19, 2008


the liberals want to take away our hamburgers and freedom fries!
posted by pyramid termite at 9:21 AM on May 19, 2008


While the greenies pat themselves on the back, the real Democratic movers and shakers will be dining on Denver's finest $50 steaks and washing down creme brulees 20-year-old tawny ports.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:23 AM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


If they really wanted to be green, they would all stay home and have a "virtual" convention.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:25 AM on May 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Red meat for the GOP!
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:27 AM on May 19, 2008


As someone who has voted Democrat the last 30 years, I really really hope the DNC goes away soon. A party that offered a real alternative to the Republican party *and* wasn't run by goofballs would be very refreshing.

Clue train coming through - If you lose in the presidential election to GWB *twice* it's time to go away and never come back.

A green convention..... No fried foods....... Are you kidding me? This is how you plan to win credibility and solidify support? What is this supposed to do ther than alienate people? I'm asking.
posted by Ragma at 9:32 AM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are they going to mandate green condoms for all the prostitution that goes on around party conventions?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:35 AM on May 19, 2008


It sounds like they're conflating health/nutrition and environmental sustainability into a big heap

Not to suggest this is much more than a PR stunt, but it seems to me health and environmental sustainability are very much inter-related. Unhealthy foods tend to come from processes that are bad for the environment (e.g. petroleum-based fertilizers) and unhealthy people cause further environmental damage via a health care industry that produces huge amounts of waste by disposing of anything that could otherwise increase risk of infection.
posted by scottreynen at 9:36 AM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, I think "the party" (either one) has too much money. Some donor gave you $500,000 and you're spending it producing webisodes about the recycling plant in the city where you'll hold your damn meeting? Is this really making a difference? If you have this much money, stop fundraising for a while.
posted by mattbucher at 9:40 AM on May 19, 2008


Corporation makes arbitrary rule for customers

MetaFilter sez: Private businesses can do whatever they want!

Democratic Party makes arbitrary rule for convention participants

MetaFilter sez: Fascist pigs! No wonder libruls are loosers. Joe Sixpack!!
posted by DU at 9:40 AM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not impressed, and without fried chicken they won't get me to change my mind.
posted by fuq at 9:43 AM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Are they going to mandate green condoms for all the prostitution that goes on around party conventions?

Trojan has you covered (so to speak).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:43 AM on May 19, 2008


This is such a perfect analogy for the Democratic party. Good ideas, honorable intentions, wrapped up in ham-handed (blue asparagus handed?) dumbassery that does its best to eclipse the substantive advantage. I say this fondly.

I agree with mattbucher, but instead of a horse it should be a exhaust spewing Harley.

Not to suggest this is much more than a PR stunt
Remember when PR stunts got you good PR?
posted by dirtdirt at 9:43 AM on May 19, 2008


Just to clarify, I'm well aware that human health and environmental health are closely intertwined issues, or even arguably the same issue, and that many solutions to improve one will also improve the other. You don't need to convince me on that front. I'm just saying that if the DNC wants to get any message across with an empty symbolic gesture, they'd be better served by picking one stunt at a time. Why antagonize the caterers?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:47 AM on May 19, 2008


"unhealthy people cause further environmental damage"

I knew it. The fucking fat people are burning the rain forests and melting the ice caps. Fucking fat lazy bastards. Sure you fat slobs - You want your fried shrimp. But don't you know it KILLS POLAR BEARS??!!! At least the DNC is doing it's part to shut down these butter-basted polluters.

I think green would get more traction if it wasn't served on a bed of crisp dufus.
posted by Ragma at 9:48 AM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dear Flying Spaghetti Monster, please to be striking the Denver 2008 Host Committee and the DNC with your noodley appendages? Send unto them the Meatballs of Reason. Make them to swim in the Marinara of Enlightenment. Forgive them their trespasses against Chicken Fried Steak, for they know not what they do. For thine is the power and the pasta. Amen.

This is beyond absurd. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm all for recycling, but no fried food? Locally sourced color coordinated food in a region not terribly well known for it's agriculture? Seriously? Elitist, starbuck-swilling, birkenstock wearing, Me generation, batik waving, pseudo hippies are doing their damnedest to give this election to McCain, I swear.

Way to show your commonality with the working folks there, gang.
posted by dejah420 at 9:49 AM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


And what will the RNC be serving up? A healthy dose of lies and flip-flops
posted by ornate insect at 9:53 AM on May 19, 2008


And Obama will be turning water into 125 year-old merlot. Oh-BAH-muh!
posted by valentinepig at 9:55 AM on May 19, 2008


They could probably do a lot more for the environment by not having thousands of people fly into Denver for a convention that is largely symbolic.
posted by proj at 9:55 AM on May 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


It is sad that this will certainly be seen as the majority of mefites already see it, as elitist and flakey and pompous. Really, eating organic food is very much a part of environmentalism: pesticides, preservatives, and heavily artificial or processed foods and oils are indeed parts of the problem. But to care about it is automatically understood as liberal fagginess, exactly the way alternative fuels, electric cars, recyclable containers, compost, yadda yadda, has been seen when it's first introduced.

Hopefully as the need grows, the broad cultural perspective shifts, and it just starts to be normal to use low energy lighting or eat local food, instead of some kind of proof of your small penis, but it's true that it doesn't automatically read that way, and Obama is already at a risk for appearing too "intellectual" and we all know how regular americans feel about intellectuals...
posted by mdn at 9:56 AM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


The DNC doesn't have "winning" as its prime mandate, does it?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:10 AM on May 19, 2008


VOTE OBAMA - EAT TOFU

DEMOCRATS '08 - WE KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOU

i can just hear that lardbucket rush complaining that the democrats would never let him have a fried chicken dinner at their convention

WHY are they playing right into his hands?

It is sad that this will certainly be seen as the majority of mefites already see it, as elitist and flakey and pompous.

it's nanny-state liberalism at its absolute worst; precisely the kind of thing that makes me uncomfortable about the left - thoughtless dictation of what's "best for you"

god forbid that people should have a CHOICE of what to eat at one of america's major political party conventions - because after all, they're not SMART enough to CHOOSE the right thing, are they? - not as smart as the DNC and their pal, hillary

the democrats need to stop dictating to people and start listening to them - thank god obama knows this

so, it's not just elitist and flakey and pompous - it's precisely what's wrong with the democratic party
posted by pyramid termite at 10:11 AM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is sad that this will certainly be seen as the majority of mefites already see it, as elitist and flakey and pompous.

Well, it kind of is. The local foods part of it most people would understand and even applaud, if only in the name of city boosterism. But local food can be fried. and the color-coordination thing does sound kind of flakey.

but it's true that it doesn't automatically read that way, and Obama is already at a risk for appearing too "intellectual" and we all know how regular americans feel about intellectuals...

Maybe, but at the same time, it's symptomatic of how the Democrats original base up until the 70's has come to to feel abandoned (the Republicans have done far more damage to that base in reality, but that's a whole other story. Quit pandering to the yuppies, you've already got their vote.
posted by jonmc at 10:14 AM on May 19, 2008


A green convention..... No fried foods....... Are you kidding me? This is how you plan to win credibility and solidify support? What is this supposed to do ther than alienate people? I'm asking.


See, ragma, here's what I'm asking - would you prefer the Democratic party to "win credibility and solidify support" based on the FOODS THAT THEY SERVE AT THE CONVENTION?!? I'm not suggesting that this plan has been implemented in the best possible way - I suppose that is a matter for debate and study - but it seems to me that the intention here is good and ought to be applauded. Will it be difficult to sell to the aforementioned "Joe Sixpack"? Sure, but then so is the Democratic platform, in some cases. That's no reflection on the moral orientation of the platform - although it does, obviously and sadly, have real-world political ramifications. But trying to use a national event to raise concious about environmental issues? This is a good idea, to me.

Now let's get some smart people together to make sure that they do a good job of it.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:35 AM on May 19, 2008


This link belongs at the end of the fpp.
posted by agress at 10:39 AM on May 19, 2008


would you prefer the Democratic party to "win credibility and solidify support" based on the FOODS THAT THEY SERVE AT THE CONVENTION?!?

No, but I'd prefer they not use it to further solidify stereotypes, either.
posted by jonmc at 10:45 AM on May 19, 2008


stereotypes that exist (and are exploited) in the minds of their political opponents? Look, for all the talk about Democrats being spineless, here's a gesture that's at least in conception consistent with the values of the party - which, of course, if you're brainwashed by the right wing tarring of the dems, plays into the stereotypes. Doesn't mean that the gesture is a bad idea (the jury is still out for me on the execution of the idea). Dems being dems will always give the Repubs ammunition - that's the name of the game. Maybe if people stopped holding dems to an unreasonable standard, they might be able to make a little more progress.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:50 AM on May 19, 2008


stereotypes that exist (and are exploited) in the minds of their political opponents?

I am a Democrat and I find myself constantly embarassed by fellow Dems who seem to be going out of their way to meet these stereotypes. Let's stop making it easy for GOP to make us look ridiculous.
posted by jonmc at 10:55 AM on May 19, 2008


I am a Democrat too, and it seems to me that no matter what the Democrats do, they will suffer the ridicule of the Repubs - that's NOT reason to avoid doing something.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:59 AM on May 19, 2008


I love it when the very people who decry the Dems for being too much like the GOP, also berate the Dems for doing things that clearly sets them apart from the GOP.

Do you want the Dems to make all of their decisions with an eye to courting the so-called average American or do you want them to take principled stances that mean something, consequences be damned. You can't have both.
posted by oddman at 11:00 AM on May 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


What the heck is wrong with you people??

Buying locally produced food is a Very Good Thing, not just because you are dramatically reducing the energy footprint required to get you that food, but because you're buying from your neighbors, and you're cutting out a lot of the middlemen so more of the money goes to the actual farmers.

Fried food creates a lot of nasty waste in the form of used cooking oil. While fried food doesn't have to be unhealthy, a lot of the most unhealthy food is in fact fried.

"Multi-coloured" food means you are covering a lot of nutritional bases, as well as looking better.

The fact is that USAians have terrible eating habits, that it kills them in droves, and that anything that could be done to improve this or set an example is a damn good thing that should be applauded.

There's this idea: "Don't do anything actually intelligent because USAians are terminally stupid and resent any new ideas or any attempt to reduce the effects of their grossly self-indulgent lifestyles."

What happened to "leading by example"? What happened to "appealing to people's higher aspirations"?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:14 AM on May 19, 2008


What the heck is wrong with you people??

we're ignorant fat rednecks
posted by pyramid termite at 11:21 AM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


If it weren't for that "no fried foods" and it would be hard to criticize this. But throw that in, and it makes the whole endeavor look weak-minded. Even if it were for health reasons, it's inane, unless you're subscribing to decade-old nutritionism fashion.

Besides, you have to keep all those tasty smelling diesel VW buses running somehow. How are all the neo-hippies going to get home? At least give them enough vegetable oil to launch their assault on Colorado Springs, which we all know is the real reason the convention is in Denver.
posted by Llama-Lime at 11:22 AM on May 19, 2008


Do you want the Dems to make all of their decisions with an eye to courting the so-called average American or do you want them to take principled stances that mean something, consequences be damned. You can't have both.

So the Dems can't walk and chew gum at the same time?

If you can't persuade 51 percent of the electorate without utterly alienating the other 49, you don't deserve the office. You don't even deserve to play the game. There's a name for this kind of thinking, and it's called "Karl Rove." We can do better.

Get out of the concrete thinking, where there are only two options and one right answer. There's bigger fish to fry than worrying about whether the Waldorf salad at the convention is made with apples from Colorado or Washington.

Two bulls are standing on a hilltop, looking down on a herd of cows.

Bull No. 1: Hey, buddy, let's run down there as fast as we can and fuck one of those cows!
Bull No. 2: No, I have a better idea. Let's walk down, take it easy, and fuck them all.

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:25 AM on May 19, 2008


If you can't persuade 51 percent of the electorate without utterly alienating the other 49, you don't deserve the office.

You may not deserve the office -- but you will, in fact, get the office.

This is why the GOP has no problems with pissing off people who weren't going to vote for them anyway.
posted by eriko at 11:32 AM on May 19, 2008


Lupus: The deal is this: We don't need nannies. Demanding that caterers adhere to a color coordination scheme (blue? Really? Besides berries, what else is there?), is absurd. Demanding that they stick to a logical healthy menu that is locally grown? Absolutely. Demanding locally grown food that in colors that don't occur in nature in that part of the world? A little ridiculous.


Local food: Good.
Local food that has to be dyed to meet some obscure color chart: Absurd.

No fried food: Good for you
No fried food: We know what's best for you. We don't trust you to make your own nutritional choices.

Used frying oil can and has been used as biofuel. Instead of being all elitist about this, they could have demanded that anyone who did fry anything used the oil for a biofuel project.


mdn said: It is sad that this will certainly be seen as the majority of mefites already see it, as elitist and flakey and pompous.

Not because of the concepts, but because of the implementation. Color coordination? Really? Locally grown, organic only....the primary crops in Colorado are corn, hay, and wheat. None of which match the color scheme designed by the sparkelicious set who came up with this laughable concept. And none of which constitute a balanced diet. Colorado is known for it's livestock; not it's veggies.


It's admirable to want to recycle, especially an event this large. It's admirable to want to use local products. It's admirable to try and reduce the footprint of an event this huge and this unnecessary in today's online universe.

But it is absurd to tie it to things like a color scheme, or to demand that caterers do the work to find composters, or to nanny-state food choices for attendees.
posted by dejah420 at 11:36 AM on May 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


...which applies only to the host committee's parties...

Thousands of other parties hosted by corporations, lobbying groups, individuals, nonprofits and more will happen in Denver during the convention, Burnap says. None of them is subject to the committee's green agenda.


It's "put your money where your mouth is gesture", not a Violation of The Rights of Deep-Fryers.
posted by desuetude at 11:41 AM on May 19, 2008


Based more on the DNC site than the newspaper article, I think this is mostly good steps in the right direction. A mix of some misguided things and some very good things. I have yet to go to a "green" meeting that wasn't a mix of those. The industry is just starting to learn how to do this. I still go to too few meetings that implement these kinds of practices, and they're full of environmental scientists, no less. It's hard to make a conference more sustainable. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that with the way the business is currently conducted, it's a logistical nightmare. The remarks in the newspaper article about the caterers and composting companies being different and not in communication are the typical kinds of things that need to be dealt with. You have to connect a lot of groups and convince them to work differently. A lot of it is common sense, but it goes against the culture of conferences. Even in "green" meeting hotel blocks, where they're supposed to clean my sheets and towels only every 3 days, I still usually need to leave a "do not disturb" sign on the door to make that promise a reality. And I make sure to mention it on a note I drop in the suggestion box on the way out.

It's also tough to make a workplace more sustainable. My own workplace has taken some steps recently, and it seems DNC is doing a bit better than us. This is to their credit.

This is not elitism. This is leadership. I understand why some people might confuse the two so easily, since it's been so fucking long since the DNC demonstrated leadership in any capacity. I don't doubt they've caught even themselves by surprise.
posted by Tehanu at 11:47 AM on May 19, 2008


From the article: "Thousands of other parties hosted by corporations, lobbying groups, individuals, nonprofits and more will happen in Denver during the convention...None of them is subject to the committee's green agenda."
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on May 19, 2008


What happened to "appealing to people's higher aspirations"?

Appealing to people's higher aspirations necessitates them choosing one behavior over another. Requiring they behave a certain way breeds resentment, removes the ability for people to take ownership of their choices, and, in fact, does not allow them to reach their higher aspirations.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:04 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fried food creates a lot of nasty waste in the form of used cooking oil.

Nonsense. Properly stored and maintained, a good batch of deep-frying oil can be used and reused for years. That's where flavor comes from.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:18 PM on May 19, 2008


it's nanny-state liberalism at its absolute worst; precisely the kind of thing that makes me uncomfortable about the left - thoughtless dictation of what's "best for you"

god forbid that people should have a CHOICE of what to eat at one of america's major political party conventions - because after all, they're not SMART enough to CHOOSE the right thing, are they? - not as smart as the DNC and their pal, hillary


choices are not as simple as that. If I am on the highway and need to stop to get dinner, my choices are basically mcdonalds, mcdonalds, or some variation that is essentially mcdonalds, repackaged (mcburgerking, or whatever). That is not a real choice. I do not have the option of eating fresh, organic, good food when I am driving through some random part of some random state most of the time. I have to know where to look and how to find it, or have enough money to have my own land and enough time to tend my own garden, to get that sort of food these days in many parts of the US.

Choice means the options have to be available, and making the options available means we have to raise awareness about them. And if the options we choose have repercussions we didn't immediately recognize - eating imported food means using energy, eating processed foods means using energy, eating inorganic foods means using poisons to kill pests, etc - then it is possible we would choose differently if we were more familiar with the full story. It doesn't have to be condescending to tell me more about how my actions extend into the world, so that I can make more informed choices, does it?

I realize people don't always hit the perfect balance - and there are aspects of these criteria I'm not sure I understand, though this article is kind of third hand, and I suppose I'm trusting that someone somewhere has a reason to push their caterers to provide blue food. I think the organic, local, enviro-friendly aspect is great, though, and I wish it weren't seen as lame and anti-american. Although, to be fair, I don't see why fresh organic meat on a spit wouldn't be perfectly in line with things as well. Traditional cowboys & hunters are organic too. It's corporate processed industrialized food systems that are problematic, and are in need of some reconsideration or reworking.
posted by mdn at 12:26 PM on May 19, 2008


Yay DNC! This is a great move. Suck on some locally-grown produce, haters!
posted by Mister_A at 12:37 PM on May 19, 2008


Corporation makes arbitrary rule for customers

MetaFilter sez: Private businesses can do whatever they want!

Democratic Party makes arbitrary rule for convention participants

MetaFilter sez: Fascist pigs! No wonder libruls are loosers. Joe Sixpack!!


Welcome to Metafilter, DU. No, fuck you! Go away! Wait, come back!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:44 PM on May 19, 2008


So I suppose it would be too much to ask for any of the catering requirements mentioned in the single news article to be confirmed by the DNC, which mentions none of this on their otherwise very comprehensive site detailing their steps to hold a greener convention, before we start lighting the organic-fuel torches, right?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:50 PM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, are you people with the OMG NANNYSTATE!!!11 serious? Anything that's catered has a limited menu, based on the budget, the caterers, the reality of feeding a bunch of people. So what if they want specifics- anyone who has had to engage caterers sets parameters, and most of the caterers I've met enjoy the challenge of rising to the occasion with amazing food that still manages to adhere to those constraints. Plus, they can charge more for it. Maybe these parameters are not what you would choose for your personal shindig, but what people eat at the DNC for one week has little or nothing to do with what you get to eat at home.

Plus the insinuations that middle class Americans only eat fried crap, and therefore are going to be completely fucking offended by what politicians eat at a convention is pretty damn elitist and just plain stupid. Being middle or even lower class doesn't mean that you're automatically outraged that other people eat organic leeks, or that you assume that somehow means they no longer represent your interests. That's some serious classist bullshit right there.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:59 PM on May 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


Perhaps I'm dumb, but what do the elimination of fried foods and the insistence on a multi-hued menu have to do with environmentalism?

Fried food requires cooking oil, which is a huge environmental hazard if not disposed of properly. Improper dumping/draining of even organic-based oil can be very damaging to both the sewage pipes and wildlife around the convention area.

The multi-hued menu I imagine is a simpler way of blocking "ketchup is a vegetable" loopholes. In other words, they're saying you have to serve healthy produce beyond saying the sauce on those pizzas are made from tomatoes. I think it's more of an overall attempt to enforce participation in local produce markets.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:01 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do not have the option of eating fresh, organic, good food when I am driving through some random part of some random state most of the time.

I realize you framed that as "most of the time," and I tend to agree with you there. But it's not impossible.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:04 PM on May 19, 2008


Plus the insinuations that middle class Americans only eat fried crap, and therefore are going to be completely fucking offended by what politicians eat at a convention is pretty damn elitist and just plain stupid. Being middle or even lower class doesn't mean that you're automatically outraged that other people eat organic leeks, or that you assume that somehow means they no longer represent your interests. That's some serious classist bullshit right there.

The day the Red Staters stop using the "latte-sipping liberal" rhetorical device will be the day I agree with you.
posted by Spatch at 1:14 PM on May 19, 2008


Although they are fried, I would recommend to the DNC that they have some of these.
posted by Quonab at 1:15 PM on May 19, 2008


What happened to "leading by example"? What happened to "appealing to people's higher aspirations"?

There is a time and a place for everything. While I'm fairly certain everyone can get behind "buy local" and "real foods," it seems a little odd to outright ban deep frying.

Although by the same token, all the (union and professional organization) conventions I've attended in Canada have tended to have fresh fruits and fresh pastries for the breakfasts, and proper well-balanced if somewhat meat-and-potato dinners. I don't recall seeing fried food at any of them.

The overwrought hysteria being shown in this thread is a little embarassing.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:16 PM on May 19, 2008


Suck on some locally-grown produce, haters!

Food fight! +20 points if you hit a superdelegate from a red state with a purple vegetable. +100 if they supported John Edwards early on.
posted by Tehanu at 1:18 PM on May 19, 2008


mcdonalds, repackaged (mcburgerking, or whatever). That is not a real choice.

Nor is McBush.
posted by ericb at 1:46 PM on May 19, 2008


The day the Red Staters stop using the "latte-sipping liberal" rhetorical device will be the day I agree with you.

That is all kinds of poorly thought out. First, "red staters" don't say stuff like that, windbag political analysts/pundits say that kind of crap.

Second, Colorado is a "red state", at least as far as presidential elections go. Local produce there will have been grown on local farms that may be owned by Coloradans; the produce will likely have been picked by Mexicans, but that is another issue. Entities that produce produce in Colorado stand to gain from this measure; some of these entities are "red staters", per the definition your comment implies.

Third, if Rush Limbaugh calls you a pussy for not killing an arab for Jesus, do you go on a rampage down at the Halal market? Are you really going to let gasbags like Rush and O'Reilly and Hannity define you? Or do you just ignore them and do what is right?
posted by Mister_A at 1:47 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


As mentioned in the article the "green" RFP to caterers is for only 22 events which the Denver 2008 Host Committee is sponsoring. This is not the DNC. Thousands of other parties are being hosted by the DNC, businesses, lobbyists, individuals, etc.

Again -- only 22 events hosted by the Denver-based convention host committee.
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on May 19, 2008


Oh well in that case, boo DNC! Grow a pair!

Just kidding
posted by Mister_A at 1:56 PM on May 19, 2008


I do not have the option of eating fresh, organic, good food when I am driving through some random part of some random state most of the time.

We'll organize a telethon for you.
posted by jonmc at 2:28 PM on May 19, 2008


That came off nastier than I intended, but my point is this, in the middle of a war and a recession, 'organic food' is waaaaay down on the list of things people are worried about and it sends the message that 'Democrats care more about an endangered species of butt lice than about my job or my son in Iraq,' which allows the Republicans to make electoral hay even if the stereotype is to some degree false.

Whether the food at the convention is organic or fried or unfried will not make much difference in the state of the world. Whether we allow it to make us look foolish and lose the election just might. It's a question of priorities. Do you want to be the most holy person in the room and accomplish nothing besides feeding your ego or do you want to get into a position where you might do some real good for the world at large, that's the question.
posted by jonmc at 2:35 PM on May 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


The british mum who handed her spawn a bag of fried garbage for lunch through the bars of her school was a folk hero for about half a minute before everyone realized how fucking ridiculous getting worked up about not having fried food looks.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:38 PM on May 19, 2008


everyone realized how fucking ridiculous getting worked up about not having fried food looks.

Is it any more ridiculous than telling people they can't have any?
posted by jonmc at 2:41 PM on May 19, 2008


Is it any more ridiculous than telling people they can't have any?

Yes. Because that's not what's happening. (see: only events sponsored by the DNC.) They won't be shuttering the KFC across the street for the week.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:51 PM on May 19, 2008


Even mentioning it makes them look precious as hell, so I'd say the whole move was a bad idea.
posted by jonmc at 3:03 PM on May 19, 2008


Do you want to be the most holy person in the room and accomplish nothing besides feeding your ego or do you want to get into a position where you might do some real good for the world at large, that's the question.

I think you have confused which is which. And although, undoubtedly, for some people being "green" is a egotistical flash in the pan, that doesn't mean it always is.

I think you're wrong about the DNC event giving the Republicans ammunition for the pundit circuit. The GOP is consulting with the same group to make their own meeting more sustainable following a precedent set during both parties' conventions in 2004.

They got a big ol fat KEEP IT GREEN button on their main convention site, too. It's easier to find than their star of the moment. You have to scroll down to see him. From their convention blog:

With Minnesota's spring thaw and Earth Day upon us, Republican National Convention planners are making great progress in preparing for the convention. For months now, the GOP's Committee on Arrangements (COA) has been hard at work to ensure that our party's 39th presidential nominating convention is the "greenest" ever.

It remains to be seen how sustainable each convention really is in practice, but the GOP does not seem to be treating the label as an invective. Quite the opposite.
posted by Tehanu at 3:14 PM on May 19, 2008


In related news:
"As Denver prepares for an influx of tens of thousands of people in August, a partnership hopes to direct some of that traffic to a healthy direction — bicycles.

The Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee, Humana Inc. and Boulder-based Bikes Belong announced Wednesday that they will provide 1,000 bikes for use by residents, visitors and delegates during the convention. The plan is based on Humana's Freewheelin program that started in Louisville, Ky., in August 2007.

Mayor John Hickenlooper hailed the plan as a significant step towards creating an integrated transit system within the city.

The bikes can be borrowed at no cost, but will require advanced registration to participate. Though details are still being determined, planners said it may be as easy as checking in at the hotel desk or at the convention.

After the convention, 70 of the bikes will be donated to Denver as a start toward continuing the program..

Bikes Belong will be responsible for maintaining the fleet, with the assistance of technicians from the manufacturers, said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of the company.*
posted by ericb at 3:16 PM on May 19, 2008


Washington Times: Tree-huggin' GOP
“Somebody alert Al Gore.

‘Republicans are committed to making next year’s nominating convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul the ‘greenest’ in party history. From transportation to venue selection to staff workspace — convention planners are working to implement the best environmental practices,’ Maria Cino noted yesterday.

She is president of the 2008 Republican National Convention, scheduled for Sept. 1-4. By then, the GOP better be green, green, green.

It could be a bilious green for some Republicans. Convention headquarters have been furnished with ‘recycled furnishings’ — which might have been called ‘used’ in a less-excruciating era. Recycled office supplies are a must, along with room-to-room climate control, which shuts down automatically at 5 p.m. every day to save energy. And all staffers ‘live within walking distance, or utilize public transportation to travel to work.’

News clips are distributed electronically to preserve paper, and employees are expected to utilize two-sided printing and recycle their paper, plus cans and bottles.

‘A greener convention will use fewer resources and leave a smaller footprint, showcase Minneapolis and Saint Paul as leaders in environmental preservation and sustainable development, and underscore the Republican Party’s commitment to responsible stewardship of the environment,’ Ms. Cino explained.”
posted by ericb at 3:28 PM on May 19, 2008


Even mentioning it makes them look precious as hell, so I'd say the whole move was a bad idea.

Or, might either party seek to "out-green" the other at their nominating conventions?

Republican convention will go green
"Not to be outdone by the Democratic convention, the Republican convention will, indeed, go green. While hosting divisive delegate debates over the best way to address environmental issues from a GOP perspective, the Minneapolis convention hall will boast recycled-fiber carpet, booths and stages constructed of local, sustainably harvested wood, water in petroleum-free bottles, biodegradable plates, composted food, non-plastic banners printed with soy-based inks, energy-efficient lighting, reduced paper, bicycles available for delegates to pedal to and from hotels, and, of course, an intent to make the event carbon neutral. As would only be expected, says the communications director of the GOP Convention Committee on Arrangements: 'Republicans, like all Americans, support responsible stewardship of the land.'"
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on May 19, 2008


CNN: Is your meeting green enough?
"This summer, Republicans and Democrats will celebrate their presidential nominees at conventions billed as the greenest in their parties' histories.

At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, biodegradable balloons and recycled confetti will fall on attendees.

Convention hall carpeting will be recycled, recyclable or both. And organizers plan on using environmentally friendly paint for the walls.

Planning committees for the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are working on improving energy efficiency for the event. They have also cut down on paper use by relying more on electronic communication and will use fuel-efficient vehicles in the convention auto pool.

The measures highlight a major shift in the meetings and conventions industry toward holding environmentally friendlier events.

Holding a green meeting is 'no longer a quirky, nice thing to do,' said Joel Makower, executive editor of GreenBiz.com. 'It's something that increasingly is being asked, if not demanded, by meeting producers.'"
posted by ericb at 3:43 PM on May 19, 2008


That's adorable. Whichever one of them is polling better is immediately copied intensely by the one that isn't. The Democrats have discovered moral values and the Republicans have discovered recycling.
posted by Tehanu at 4:25 PM on May 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


> Look, for all the talk about Democrats being spineless, here's a gesture that's at least in conception
> consistent with the values of the party - which, of course, if you're brainwashed by the right wing
> tarring of the dems, plays into the stereotypes. posted by fingers_of_fire at 1:50 PM on May 19 [+] [!]


You know I seriously agree with that, fingers. And in combination with Burhanistan's comment...

> Are they going to mandate green condoms for all the prostitution that goes on around party conventions?
> posted by Burhanistan at 12:35 PM on May 19 [+] [!]

...it suggests to my mind a test to distinguish A) a party of spineless but trendy latte-sippers who want an easy symbolic gesture, on the one hand, from B) a party of vertebrates who stick to their values, damn the consequences. Along with banning the canola, they can hand out condoms--and clean needles too, why not--to everybody who comes through the door. Talk about being true to your principles even when it's risky and hard! If there were doorpersons handing out red, white, and blue donkey-logo-imprinted packets of condoms and needles, that would strike me (at least, but probably a lot of other folks well) as ballsier by a couple powers of ten than standing foursquare against curly fries. Likelihood of it happening? I'm guessing "not in a million million years" and I've got my money on the A) outcome. But I'm reality-based, I'm ready to be proved wrong.
posted by jfuller at 4:45 PM on May 19, 2008


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