The likes of this would NEVER grace my reading list. So, when my colleague suggested it, I smiled and accepted a copy but hey, despite being a fun and dedicated co-worker, this is the guy who vacationed in Siberia. Perhaps our interests diverge.
The JOE or Joint Operating Environment is a strategic planning document created by the United States Joint Forces Command. It’s 73 pages of something shy of an 8 point font and as heavy as a lethal dose of Ambien. Or so I thought. Somehow the JOE found it’s way into the reading stack that I reserve for long flights. I smirked, shoved it to the bottom of the pile but it inevitably resurfaced.
The JOE uses history as a method of gaining insight into the future. It discusses the tragic topic of war. One section of the report highlights trends and trouble while another section analyzes those trends into context and finally puts them together with the implications for the Joint Operating Forces. I’m almost scratching my own head at this point wondering why I’m writing about this. As one who is typically opposed to the use of force, I’m uncomfortable. Here’s the catch or at least the connection; food is identified as one of the major issues that might enhance or erode the power of a country and hence, world security. Does that come as a surprise? Not really but it is something that I don’t think about in those terms.
The two ways food requirements are influenced is by population and by prosperity that manifests in dietary preference changes. So a reduction in population will likely reduce demand for food while an increased consumption of animal products (due to greater prosperity) requires greater resources for the calories produced. Of interest, the JOE points out that opposition to genetically modified food is waning. Hmmm, this is not consistent with my anecdotal blog reading. Need more research here.
Clearly there are parts of the world that will suffer food shortages more than others. This occurs today. What fascinates me is that in a world with adequate global support, the local food shortages that do exist are typically problems with food distribution.
I doubt that I’ll ever read the JOE again. It’s not entertaining or uplifting but certainly is enlightening. I had no idea that it existed and can only imagine what early drafts may have been like before it was scrubbed for public consumption. Of particular value was reading the statement that in our future, influence will need to come without intimidation. I love the acknowledgement of the role of good and safe food. It is, in fact, a stabilizing force in the world.
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 2 (8 ounce) packages tempeh
- 1/2 cup minced green bell pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp celery seed
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- hamburger buns
Heat oil in a deep, 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the onion in the oil until translucent. Crumble the tempeh into the skillet; cook and stir until golden brown. Add the green pepper and garlic; cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, molasses, cayenne pepper, celery seed, cumin, salt, coriander, thyme, oregano, paprika, and black pepper; stir. Simmer another 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon hot onto hamburger buns to serve.
Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies causing this dish to be named “almost veggie”. I think the dish would work equally well with a favorite grain like barley or wheat berries in place of the tempeh.