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Cork — Friend or Foe?

Is it just me? Was it a lucid dream? Does anybody else remember when cork was considered socially unacceptable?

I remember just a few years ago the wine industry started switching from cork to plastic wine stoppers and metal screw tops in order to avoid an imminent apocalypse brought on by the ravaging scourge of cork consumption.

Birkenstock-wearing peaceniks faced a personal crisis as they writhed in inner turmoil about resoling their sandals.

For my part, I vowed to never buy another bottle of wine with a cork stopper. Something had to be done and it had to be done this instant if we were to narrowly escape planetary snuffing.

I clutched every glass of vino uneasily that summer, wondering if it would be my last. I put together an emergency food chest and packed a quick-escape bag in preparation for a sudden cork Armageddon. I read Kierkegaard and lamented the demise of the last days of human civilization.

Nothing ever seemed to come of it and I eventually ate to the bottom of my emergency supplies, slowly forgetting why I ever assembled them. Life quietly lapsed into normalcy once again.

Flash forward to April 27, 2012. Halfmoon monthly newsletter. I was aghast. Cork blocks were described as “environmentally sustainable”. Say, what? After my possibly hallucinatory experience of hearing from everywhere that cork was a greater horror than Satan, I eyed all things cork with more than a little mistrust. But I never did the research. Until now.

Cork Block

One more tidbit I learned: Cork Oak is the only tree in the world that can be completely stripped of its bark without being killed.

Namaste,
Che

Che Nolan is a propologist with a major in bolsterology and an Iyengar yoga practitioner with a daily meditation practice. He's also a writer and a regular Halfmoon contributor