If you think Utah is all about what business wants, you're not really wrong. Beating the heat of the Utah summer, Gov. Gary Herbert is leading another group, 20 representatives of the Western Europe Trade Mission. They come back this week from a trip to the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France—and he's already been to Japan this year. The governor's office has been allocated $32,100 for in-state travel and $84,800 to go out of state for 2015, according to the Office of Management and Budget. "As we deal with people economically, they become our friends," Herbert told the Deseret News in 2013. "It is a great way to improve and foster better relationships around the world, as we expand our export business and are mutually benefited by the trade that takes place." And damn, you can get matching grants to help offset the costs! It would be nice if the governor brought back ideas and resources to provide health care to his constituents. But this is about wealth, not poverty.
Maybe microbreweries and vintners should consider signing up for one of the governor's junkets. Right now, their name is pretty much mud in this state. And frankly, it's their cred that holds them back. Much like pregnant women, those who imbibe are seen as sadly lacking in good sense and discretion. Give them a little rope, and they'll be drinking to excess at every opportunity. South Salt Lake's Shades of Pale Brewing Co. is getting a hint of Utah's alcohol intolerance now as it tries to open a tasting room for handcrafted beers. But this is Utah, where we think it's cool to drink low-alcohol beer. A trip to Germany with the governor might just open some eyes. Of course, Herbert would need to remain an observer.
With all the talk about Monsanto and environmental chemicals, it's refreshing to see the University of Utah moving toward "real food." By 2020, the school has vowed that 20 percent of its food on campus will be "real." As part of a sustainability movement, students helped persuade President David Pershing to sign the commitment in February. In other words, food can't come from more than 150 miles away, it must be organic, humanely raised and workers have to be paid living wages. The Salt Lake Tribune reported an estimate that 11 percent of campus food is currently "real." That's from a food budget of $2 million this year. And the U doesn't even have an agricultural program. Maybe Utah State should get on board.