First of all, as an adult, I firmly believe that there are a certain set of skills and knowledge that every human, both adults and children, MUST have in order to be a functional and useful member of society. Most of this is not taught in any school, and most people’s parent’s never had these skills to be able to teach their children in the first place.
This set/list is probably not one that most people currently have in it’s entirety, or learned very much of growing up, though I am am sure that the vast majority of people will have some of the basic skills on the list. The thing here is that everyone needs all of the skills. Not just a few here and there willy-nilly.
The solution to this is that people must embrace the lessons of the past and learn the very valuable basic skill sets of their ancestors. We must learn to be self reliant again. People must do this as a whole, in order to bring us back from the brink. But, I fear, they will not. We’ve had it far too good for far too long.
It is my very strong opinion that first and above all else, a human MUST know how to find and harvest, and then prepare, their own food. This is absolutely essential for the continuation, and advancement, of the human race. Every non-parasitic animal in nature can do this, one way or another, without exception. Why can’t we? It’s pathetic, and insulting, really, that we, the supposed masters of our planet and so called ‘top of the food chain’, can’t even tell our Asclepias from our ascot.
I must admit, I’m a very judgmental individual when it comes to not being a burden on my fellow man. So much so that when I first meet someone I tend to quickly ascertain whether or not they have ANY interest at all in learning how to become self-sufficient, if they do not already possess that ability. Not everyone has been exposed to this kind of information, and I understand that. It’s not a very common way of life anymore, and you can’t know what you don’t know that you don’t know. However, the ‘test’ is how they will respond when given the opportunity to do so. If someone walks up to them and offers to teach them how to become 100% self sufficient, how do they respond? Are they even slightly interested? Do they embrace it and ask for more information? Or do they do what most people do and outright reject it, saying that they don’t have the ‘time’ or that there is no ‘need’ for them to learn such things in today’s modern day and age?
If you think about it, what individual in their right mind would NOT want to know this information, at least on a basic level? How can anyone possibly justify not knowing how to feed themselves?
The average Joe doesn’t need to be a Green Deane, Sam Thayer, John Kallas, or Steve Brill. They just need to know the very basics of how to collect and prepare the majority of the common edible plants near them, and practice them with some regularity. Anyone with half a brain should be able to accomplish this. Every human did so in antiquity. The only ones who did not were the ultra rich or nobles, or those living in cities. But they were an uber minority. Even the nobles usually knew how to do basics for themselves. They just typically did not do so as they had servants to do it. But they at least knew how. A king typically knew how to hunt and clean his own deer.
So, I ask again: who, as a sane individual would not want to know how to find their own food?
Sadly, the answer is many, many people, it would seem… It’s simply not natural. It’s an abomination of the natural and basic order of things. And when such things happen en masse, it’s an absolute recipe for disaster for any society. Our society stands on such a precipice. These skills will be lost forever unless they are embraced and taught to the subsequent generations.
But, if someone is not interested in learning about plants and how to feed themselves, I’m polite about it of course, and I am not rude if they reject the possibility of learning such things. But if they do, my overall esteem of them falls sharply.
I would even go so far as to say that if they completely refuse to even learn the preliminaries of how to identify wild plants, and therefore be able to feed themselves come hell or high water, they tend to automatically get classified in my mind as ‘part of the problem’. Thus and therefore, they end up getting lumped with the other 90% of the planet that are bottom feeding, blood sucking parasites, in my estimation. 😉 This is regardless of whatever other skills, intelligence, or usefulness they may have. The CEO who makes 5 million a year, is still useless in a real world emergency situation if he can’t even feed himself without an army of wage slaves at his beck and call.
Yea, I know. I’ll get flak for that. People usually object to being called parasites. But if you absolutely CANNOT feed yourself, and depend on others to do it for you, and absolutely outright REFUSE to learn how to feed yourself, then that’s what you are. A parasite. A parasite feeds on the lifeblood of others, and will die without the lifeblood of others, as it has no ability to feed itself. If this applies to YOU, then recognize this and change it!
But if ye are someone who is currently classified in Janosese as a ‘parasite’, don’t get all stink-eyed and offended at me. Think about it a while instead of getting horked off. It’s nothing personal. It’s just ‘business’, or rather, practical reality. Think of it like this…
If you can’t feed yourself, you’re causing a problem. A very massive, monumental, epic, planet-sized honkin’ problem. Because it’s not just you anymore that can’t feed yourself. It’s the human race as a whole. Folks like you used to be a very small minority. Back then, it wasn’t a problem when 98% of everyone else grew their own food and the 2% who didn’t needed to be fed. Now it’s more like 2% grow their own food and 98% do not. Houston, we have a very serious problem!
Now, please don’t mistake me. You don’t HAVE to feed yourself, every single moment of every single day. Farming for profit has a purpose, and is a good and noble profession. You can buy some of the things that you consume. That’s what a currency is for, to trade value for value. There is nothing wrong with paying someone for a service out of convenience. Not everyone needs to forage all the time, or grow all of their own food, they just need to be aware of how their needs affect the rest of us. And the planet couldn’t support such en masse foraging anyway, on such a massive scale as our current population. Thus, and unfortunately, in order for the current population of the world to survive, we depend upon ‘modern’ methods of production. There is plenty of room to improve that, however, and go back to more natural methods. GMOs don’t equal greater productivity. Quite the opposite, actually. Lower yields and more singularity instead of diversity amongst crops.
The overarching point here is that you just need to know HOW to forage and feed yourself. It’s the difference between thriving and surviving, and dying when, not if, some kind of disruption in the ‘just in time’ supply chain happens.
Also, people with basic foraging knowledge tend to make wiser choices when planting their own gardens or when tending and harvesting wild resources, and are able to work consistently with nature, as opposed to against it, to get higher crop yields. These kind of good things happen when you understand the partnership with nature vs trying to fight it all the time. Besides, nature will always win. Remember that. 😉
People who forage also tend to like unadulterated food, and don’t tend to purchase or consume things with more chemicals in them than they can pronounce.
Do you know what’s in my tea? Tea, that’s what. It says… Ingredients: Tea.
Do you know what’s in my green tea? Tea, that’s what. It says… Ingredients: Green Tea Leaves.
And this is the ‘cheap’ stuff. The black tea is less than $2 for a box of 100, and the green tea is $1 per box. You can find affordable real food products out there, you just need to actually READ the labels.
If your regular black or green tea has a slew of listed ingredients, including the vile and toxic soy lecithin, then you shouldn’t be drinking that foul swill. And having ‘organic’ toxic soy doesn’t make it any better for you. Unfermented soy is an out and out toxin. Fermented soy, such as traditional soy sauce, miso, etc, is fine in limited quantities. But you would do well to avoid unfermented soy products.
(And pro soy people who have bought into that lifestyle and who haven’t done their research will now in all likelihood lash out at me instead of doing said research… If that applies to you, research before you lash out, and you’ll see that I just quite possibly saved your life, if you take this information to heart.)
Foragers tend to be aware that their food should have only natural ingredients in it.
This means that people who forage, by and large, make wiser consumers.
In the end, the real ‘What can we do about it’ ends up summing up to the fact that we need to have the skills and knowledge to make wise and proper decisions about our health, and most importantly, what we put in our bodies. Let our food be our medicine, and all that. But we can only do so if we know how to forage for some of our own food in the first place.
In part IV, I’ll go into what skills I think we all need to have, on a very basic and preliminary level, in order to arrest and reverse this trend of being increasingly useless with each passing generation.
Addendum: For further research into the dangers of unfermented soy, please see here: Beware of the Dangers of Soy
And for more comprehensive research and information, see here: Soy news, articles, and information