Hunger Game

My family and I were watching “Hungry in America” (or something like that) the other night, and it really brought home the importance of my blog. We need to have our act together before we actually need to. There was a family that lives in my neighborhood that was struggling to get food on the table. What if I had started prepping to be resilient 2 years ago? I could be helping to feed them fresh veggies and blackberries right now. What if I had started my blog two years ago and he had started taking these steps I’m now taking back then? He wouldn’t be struggling to eat right now, at least not struggling as much. Planting a garden after I lose my job and my family is hungry isn’t going to help much.

There was another family in which the mom was obese. Her story wasn’t that she couldn’t feed her kids (obviously), she was saying that she couldn’t afford to feed them proper nutrition because it was cost prohibitive on food stamps. Because of this her kids were always sick. One had been sick nonstop for some extended period of time. I personally think that eating less food that is nutrient dense is better for you than keeping your belly full of non-nutritious food. I also think someone that is obese should eat less so that there is more to spend on nutritious food for the kids. I also couldn’t help but be angry that it never occurred to her to do some foraging research to find out if there were any nutritious plants growing wild that she could eat, like dandelions. Hello lady! Dandelions grow everywhere and they are a vegetable!

I stayed po’d pretty much the whole time I watched the show because the premise was that the government has the resources and should be feeding the kids of this country. No kid should be going hungry, I agree. Not in the richest nation in the world. But the problem isn’t that kids are going hungry, it’s that as a society we are helpless without money. The “Permaculture Prime Directive” states (and rightly so) that we are to take responsibility for our own existence, and that of our children. Take care of the Earth, take care of people, and return the surplus – recycle the waste. Unfortunately everyone believes the only way to do that is to have a good job. We have been programmed to believe that the only resource is money – that everything we need we have to buy. There was a time when the purpose of money was to fill in the gaps, to provide us with the things we couldn’t provide for ourselves. Food is not one of those things.
That program really drove home the need to not only stay vigilant about getting my garden going successfully, but also to get others educated as well. You have to be able to feed yourself if you ever want to be free and have liberty. If someone else feeds you, or you depend on someone else in order to provide food for yourself and your family, you are their servant. You can not do things they disapprove of or they will take away the means by which you attain your food. That is not liberty, and that is not freedom; that is slavery (bondage).

I have used this quote before, but it is extremely appropriate here:
“If we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.” – Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Town movement.

In no way, shape, or form do I have the time I need to dedicate to my garden, but I refuse to sit back and do nothing and just hope I will always have the finances I need to survive. I am prepping for my independence no matter how slow the progress or how small the steps. And I’m doing it in a way that is sustainable. This is my attempt at hugelkultur. I also have a soaker hose running through my garden to hopefully mitigate the effects of this summers drought. (cause you know it’s comin!)

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Posted on April 23, 2012, in Resilience and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I can tell you a little about WIC & Food stamps. I have a relative that has worked as a Casework for Social Services for several years, and one of the largest complaints is how the federally managed Food Stamp Program is administered. As a single person who makes less than $800 per month, I would be eligible for $16 worth of FS. What sort of food can you buy with $16. Food that is calorie dense yet nutrition empty.

    • “What sort of food can you buy with $16. Food that is calorie dense yet nutrition empty.”

      So extremely true. The best option in that situation is to buy whole chickens, typically I can get them for .89/pound, but have gotten them on sale for as little as .39/pound. After they have been cooked you can then take the carcass (bones) and skin and slow cook them in the crockpot, leaving you with a highly nutritious “bone soup” as tribal people call it. Here in the US of A we call it chicken stock (not to be confused with broth). It has been shown that this stuff can be highly nutritious, I’d recommend researching it and coming to your own conclusions. I sear by it. I have been undergoing a complete overhaul in my views on food, and I now believe we need to dump the grains and replace them with fat (if possible). The good news is that fatty meats are cheaper than lean meats. Dandelion leaves are quite nutritious in salads as well as in tea. Sheep sorrel is another “weed” that is quite prolific, is nutritious and tastes pretty good. There are many trees that have edible leaves or seed pods. Check into foraging, all preppers should familiarize themselves with it. If you really want to go off the reservation, the exoskeleton of ants is made of chitin which is a great source of protein. Not suggesting you do that, just sayin…

      • I ate ants before. Not because I was particulary hungry, but just to say I did. Even in adults peer pressure goes a long way.

        Local herbage is questionable and at the same time unforgiving. Wild Carrot and Hemlock (in this area) are almost identical, and various other “survival” food stuffs are best kept for exactly that, survival. With the availability of pesticides/herbicides or overusage of the same some plants have built a resistance to them. They may have been sprayed in the past but did not die and as a result have heavy chemical residual. Check out the label. Most are rain-resistant after about an hour. IMHO I believe a person would be better off finding a remote patch of ground, transplant “weeds” that are known to be good for ya, and then let nature run its course.
        As for the $16: you’re right. Whole foods like whole chickens, whole bags of rice, and whole boxes of powdered milk can go a long way. While processed foods are cheaper on the meal they are more expensive on the serving level.

        • Good points for sure. I didn’t even think about the herbicide angle. I guess because I don’t spray my yard and that is where I would go for edibles. It’s a good thing for me to keep in mind when I am out and about though. Thanks for the feedback!

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