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Phillip Vannini and Jonathan Taggart publish piece in Huffington Post


A recent visit to a convenience store prompted me to reflect on the meanings of the word "convenience." Dictionaries tell us that convenience is the state of being able to proceed with one's actions with ease or little effort. Convenience means accessibility, availability, affordability, speed, and ease. A convenience store and its many convenience foods provide a good example of these meanings. Convenience stores are ubiquitous, somehow always accessible near us. The products they sell are generally always available, often worldwide, 24/7, and year-round. Those products also tend to be inexpensive. And finally, they're quick and easy to use as they are ready-made or needing minimal involvement at most. In contrast, off-grid organic food growth and consumption seem so inconvenient to be downright unbearable: foods are only available at specific times of the year, their growth demands patience and involvement, and their cooking with renewable energy requires forethought and problem-solving. And yet off-gridders swear by the convenience of their food. So, is the meaning of convenience, perhaps, a different idea altogether in the off-grid lifeworld?

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