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4/8/10

Rule #4, Don't Get Hungry

"Get Hungry?" I imagine you yelling, "I'm so fat I can't get into my pants! Food is so cheap today how could I ever go hungry?"




Ironically that is exactly the problem. In the rich world today, the cheaper the food, the more likely it's filled with empty calories, made from highly subsidized ingredients like added sugar and Hi Fructose Corn Syrup, over processed grains and added fats. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables fish, etc, are more expensive than a Big Mac menu - and no wonder, the food pyramid and the farm subsidy pyramid are exactly reversed.



In the Rich World, producing the essentials for survival; food, water, shelter, (along with all the diversions in the Bread & Circus isle) are in the SEP Zone (Somebody Else's Problem). The good citizen takes little notice except for paying very close attention to what is the popular, most advertised product of the moment. The citizen's responsibility then is simply to work and consume what's offered in the price category matching their education and income, the lower the income, the emptier the calories, the less you are satisfied, the more you eat, the fatter you get.


Remember Rules 1 & 2 are about getting off the buy-cycle and number 3 is getting rid of your day job, so the wise, edgy person learns to be more ant than grasshopper. Conveniently, since you have less time alloted to "a job", you have more time to devote to your pantry.



Rule 4.(a Stock up.
Fill your pantry with food you buy at the warehouse store and on the sale day and from the local farm and from your own harvest. Once you get it full, just buy, grow enough to replace what you use. Voila! instant Food security.


The pitfall when trying to take advantage of the margins around our current society is mistaking cheap food for good food - exactly the same problem as buying really cheap stuff thinking you are buying stuff really cheap. Low priced, over-processed pre-digested, HFCS/fat/salt laden, individually-wrapped-just-microwave-and-inhale, mystery food is bad for you, just look at the correlation between income and obesity - the less you earn the more you weigh.



Rule 4.2 Grow food.

Wherever you live you can grow some food. Because much of what passes as food at the supermarket is beat into mush - even the good stuff, you need fresh raw fruits and vegies. To be overly simplistic, if you eat some fresh asparagus and leafy greens with your extruded mush and HFCS Whatchmacallit patty, your blood sugar won't spike quite so high or fast so you'll feel satisfied longer. And who knows, you might feed your kids some vitamins and minerals by accident!

On the edge, I 'work' less and make less money so not only do I need to take advantage of the harvests and seasons, it's probably one of the biggest benefits. Our food production system has been ruined just as surely by consumers demanding a product with a quality appearance and a cut rate price as every other product. Foreign manufacturing of some worthless widget sold by a screaming barker on the Bread & Circus channel is silly. But to concentrate food production wherever the overhead is the cheapest is downright dangerous. Today monoculture is the norm, miles and miles of exactly the same crop, every fruit designed to ship. But worse, more and more crops are grown predominately in just one region of the world - then shipped to markets everywhere.

The queue for all the rich world goodies gets chaotic pretty quickly when there is a hiccup. The complicated string of just-in-time deliveries it takes to get those goodies (including your food) to the line is long and always subject to such hiccups. As the system gets more complicated and the string longer I expect it to fail more often.

Do you know where your next meal is right now?

How about the meal you'll eat 7 days from now?

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2 comments:

hickchick said...

'An empty sack cannot stand up. A starving belly doesn't listen to explanations' A quote from my 'less is more' cookbook.
We planted our first real garden last year and have plaans to enlarge it by about 50% this year-more potatoes, more dried beans, and hopefully a solar food dryer to keep it all. I could put the hours I spend in the garden into wage earning work-but I ENJOY smelling like dirt. It also gives me a sense of peace-knowing that I will not be COMPLETELY at the mercy of industrial agriculture.
thanks for the post

Pops said...

Beans and potatoes grew plenty of kids - me included!