Wild

The Vegetarian Myth

Deane over at Eat the Weeds posted this today, in which the book is reviewed by Mark Sisson.

I thought it was a good thing to pass along, so here is the excerpt:

Wow.

It isn’t often that I write book reviews (have I ever? – serious question), but it isn’t often that a truly important book like Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth pops up on my radar just begging for one.

You may remember it from a brief mention I gave back in September, or maybe from Dr. Eades’ endorsement of it. You may have even already read the book yourself. If you haven’t, read it. And if you have? Read it again or get one for a friend.

That goes double for vegans, vegetarians, or anyone on the cusp of adopting that lifestyle. If you fit the bill, especially if you’re considering veganism/vegetarianism for moral reasons, drop what you’re doing and run to the nearest bookstore to buy this book. It’s incredibly well-written, and the author has a real knack for engaging prose, but that’s not the main reason for my endorsement. The real draw is the dual (not dueling) narratives: the transformation of a physically broken moral vegetarian into a healthier moral meat eater; and the destructive force of industrial agriculture. The “Myth” in question is the widely-held notion that vegetarianism is the best thing for our health and for our planet. On the contrary, Keith asserts that a global shift toward vegetarianism would be the absolute worst move possible. It’s vitally important. It’s definitive. It’s somewhat depressing, and it’s brutally honest. It also might be the book that changes your life.

Lierre Keith is a former vegan/vegetarian who bowed out after twenty long years of poor health and paralyzing moral paradoxes. Her original goal was to explore the question, “Life or death?” as it pertained to food. She, like most vegetarians, assumed she had a choice between the two, that it was an either/or thing. Eating tofu and beans was life, while a burger represented death. Life didn’t have to involve death – that was the weak way out, and the honorable (and difficult, and therefore meaningful) way to live was by avoiding animal products of all kinds. No blood on your hands or on your plate meant a clean moral slate.

Or so she thought. See, Keith began as a moral vegetarian. She never espoused the idea that meat was inherently unhealthy or physically damaging; she was simply a young kid who “cried for Iron Eyes Cody, longed… for an unmolested continent of rivers and marshes, birds and fish.” We’ve all heard of kids who “turn vegetarian” when they find out their chicken nuggets once walked, clucked, and pecked. Well, Keith was that five year old who bemoaned the “asphalt inferno of suburban sprawl” as a harbinger of “the destruction of [her] planet.” Hers was a deep-seated commitment to the preservation of all living things, not just the cute and fuzzy ones.

That expansive scope meant she looked at the big picture, and suffered for it. She never got to enjoy that oh-so-common smug vegetarian elitism, because she was too aware. Seeds were living things, too. They may not have had faces or doting mothers, but they were alive, and that meant they could die. Killing slugs in her garden was impossible, and deciding whether to supplement the soil with actual bone meal was excruciating. Unlike most of her peers, she knew that avoiding direct animal products didn’t mean her hands were clean. They might not be dripping red, but living organisms died to make that head of lettuce possible. Fields were tilled and billions of microorganisms were destroyed, not to mention the mice, rabbits, and other wild animals whose environments are leveled to make way for industrial farming. And so whichever direction she went – home gardening, local produce, or grocery store goods – Keith was contributing directly and indirectly to death.

What’s a moral vegetarian to do?

She briefly entertains studying with a mystic breatharian, hoping to (tongue-in-cheekily) learn to subsist purely on oxygen. She spends hours picking slugs from her garden and goes to relocate them. Nothing works. She keeps coming back to death.

“Let me live without harm to others. Let my life be possible without death.” Keith realizes this vegetarian plea (which “borders on a prayer”) is impossible to fulfill. She can’t live and eat without something dying, and that’s the whole point of it all. Death is necessary and natural. Circle of life, you know? Without death of some sort, life would get a whole lot worse.

Keith ultimately sets her sights on one of our favorite human “advancements” at the Apple: agriculture! Readers of MDA already know how agriculture altered our trajectory forever, but maybe not in such vivid detail. We focus on the lowered life expectancy, reduced bone density, compromised dental health, and the stooped, shrunken skeletons of our Neolithic ancestors, but Keith shows how grain agriculture actually destroys the land it touches. The Fertile Crescent, ground zero for grain development, used to be, well, fertile. It was verdant, lush, and teeming with life – including nomadic hunter gatherers. Paradise, you might even say. Animals grazed on perennial grasses, pooped out nutrients, and gradually those nutrients would work themselves back into the soil. It was a beautiful, natural life cycle that worked great for millennia. But once grains were grown and the land was irrigated, everything changed. Perennial renewable grasses became annual grains. Animals no longer grazed and replenished the soil. The top soil was robbed of nutrients and faded away. Irrigation meant crucial annual floods were disrupted or even halted. A massive monkey wrench was thrown into the system, and rather than coexisting as a complementary aspect of nature, man thus commenced the conflict with the natural world that rages to this very day.

And that’s the crux of her argument – that modern industrial agriculture is wanton destruction. Grain-based, vegetarian agriculture is even worse, because it attempts to eliminate a crucial player in the normal life cycle of the planet. Animals, which provide manure, calcium, and other nutrients for the soil, have to be part of the equation. Whenever a culture turns to a grain-based agricultural system, these same problems arise. Annual grain crops killed the American prairie and, for the vegans out there, they kill the millions of animals, bugs, and birds that rely on specific ecosystems to survive. The vegan’s soy burger has nary an animal part, but the machines that worked the soybean fields were greased with the blood of a thousand organisms. The vegetarian’s wheat crops feed millions, but robs the land of nutrients and destroys the top soil necessary for life.

Primal readers won’t be surprised by what they read. They may be horrified at the extent of the environmental damage caused by industrial agriculture, but they won’t be surprised (given agriculture’s poor track record with our health). Keith lays out an effective case against grains (and for a Primal-ish, low-carb, high-fat diet, believe it or not) on nutritive, moral, and economical grounds that’s tough to refute. The nutritional information will come as second nature, but the sources are sound and the references are powerful.

There’s more, far more, but I’d rather not spoil the entire thing. Just read it and rest assured that it’s worth your time. The book is a must-read, and a great ally for anyone interested in promoting a healthy, sustainable, omnivorous future. Read this book and distribute it to your vegan friends.

Primal approved!

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vegetarian-myth-review/#ixzz2qaSEmMRa

I’m ordering this book today. I know just who to give it to!

If you’d like to order the book, you can do so by clicking the image below:

Categories: Food Health, Nature, Self Reliance, Survival, Vegetarian, Wild | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Tabula Rasa – A Clean Slate

A significant change is coming soon to Wild Cookery!

Yes, we’ll continue to be about foraging and cooking up all things delicious and wild.

But we’ll be adding to our ‘menu’ so to speak.

In the past, there have been various other topics covered here, but I still strove to keep it focused primarily on foraging topics and the cooking of wild foods. Times have changed.

We’re going to be going a bit more ‘broad spectrum’ instead of ‘highly focused’.

There is a very important reason for this…Everything is interconnected. The audience for a 100% foraging focus is very slim indeed. In fact most people who prepare for other things unfortunately have learning foraging on the bottom of their list. I mean to change that through cross-exposure by discussing other topics that are important to people.

I’ve heard it many times that I should keep Wild Cookery! strictly about foraging, to the exclusion of most other topics. I disagree.

Here’s why…

Foraging is very interconnected to many other things. Or rather, a ‘lack’ of foraging is. Because most of us no longer forage for our food, we are very disconnected from nature. Nature is something which, to us, exists in isolation of, and removal from, the human condition. By encouraging discussion of other somewhat related topics, we will segue into discussion of foraging with people that would otherwise have not sought out information on foraging. We will reach a much higher number of people than we ever would just by continuing to endlessly ‘preach to the choir’.

The more good people who know the basic skills of foraging, the better off the whole of humanity is. And no worries, we all know that the number of foragers will never exceed a fractional percentage of the population. So fears that people will ‘over forage’ the world en masse if ‘everyone’ knows this knowledge are statistically unrealistic to the extreme.

So, fear not. You aren’t going to be training your competition if you teach a few more good folks how to forage.

There are many valid topics in these tumultuous times that deserve in depth discussion. If all I do is talk about foraging, then the many and varied topics of our time that need to be talked about get completely missed. I think this is a disservice.

I also think that most of the foragers I know personally will applaud this move, as the vast majority of them are very intelligent and dynamic people. They have wide and varied interests. In other words, they aren’t just interested in foraging. They’re interested in what’s going on in their world and how to make a positive difference. They also don’t oft get a chance to discuss these topics as they are afraid to talk about them in other places for fear of being ‘off topic’, or considered ‘fringe’.

I would like this blog, and the corresponding Wild Cookery! Forums to eventually become such a springboard for open and honest discussions.

All legal and lawful topics should be up for discussion in a healthy society. A mutual interest in foraging should be the start of an intelligent conversation, not the end all be all of a conversation.

Categories: Economy, Education, Food Health, Foraging, Green, Health, Preparedness, Social Unrest, Survival, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tasty Treats Wandering Into My Woodland Realm

Today I figured I’d share a collection of just a few things that have decided to make my yard and surrounding area ‘home’.

First up we have a ‘hare’ raising photo. There are a bunch of these around. I’ve identified at least four separate individuals. The largest of which will likely be in the stew pot come fall.

(Note: All pictures can be clicked on for a full sized version!)

Rabbit

Second, we have a rather snarky looking groundhog that loves to meander about and eat the tops off of my orange hawkweed. Considering those are my wife’s favorite flower, she has a special vendetta out for this creature and has made it known to me in no uncertain terms that the beast shall not survive the winter, even if she has to get out her bow and do it in herself. 😉

Groundhog

Next up we have a slither. Why did the slither cross the road? To end up battered and fried!

Eastern Rat SnakeEastern Rat Snake 2Snake and Wild Garlic

Also, being a bit of a wildlife haven, my yard tends to attract some of these fine folks:

Deer

They are always welcome on my property. Get fat, eat well, and come winter time they are a resource if I need them, right outside my back door.

Also not too far away, I found some of these the other day:

Geese 2

I love geese. Both on the table and as an animal in general. They’ve got personality. My favorite goose I ever had was named ‘squeaky’. He was awesome. I raised him from a tiny gosling swimming around in my bathtub to a full sized gander. He never once hissed at me and was very protective. He was also the only goose I couldn’t bear to eat. Had it been life or death survival, I’d have eaten him of course, but as it stands this was about ten years ago and availability of other food sources wasn’t an issue. This picture is of course just for illustrative purposes, as you can’t take deer, geese, and the like without all the proper permits, paperwork, and all that modern nonsense. Thus the geese were not on the menu, sadly. One would almost think that it was deliberately engineered to make it nearly impossible for you to find and dine on your own free wild food…

These however, were on the menu, and were taken from the same waters. (Yes, legally, proper licenses and all.) And they fried up lovely. First is a Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), and below is a Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatum). Most people are confused as to what a Black Crappie is. A Black Crappie will have black SPOTS . A White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis) has stripes, or ‘bars’.

BluegillBlack CrappiePanfried Bluegill
I also have a full on herd of squirrels in my yard. They wouldn’t sit still long enough this morning to get a proper picture though. The idiot neighbor’s idiot dog likes to chase them to hell and back so they’re very skittish and they bolt at the slightest sound. (Such as the sound of a window opening to get a clearer picture…)

UPDATE: I finally got one to sit still for half a millisecond!

Squirrel

So, what’s in YOUR neck of the woods? 😀

Categories: Animals, Fishing, Food Health, Foraging, Green, Hunting, Nature, Nature Photos, Organic Meat, Uncategorized, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forage! Episode III: Proper Identification

Ever wonder what happens to all those cavalier folks who think that nature is just another harmless and safe grocery store?

Forage 3 Proper Identification

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Foraging, Funny Stuff, Green, Nature, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Special Edition: Green Bean’s Garden

This Special Edition of the Forage! comic strip is in honor of someone who’s given back tremendously to the foraging community through his tireless work, incredible foraging videos, and hands on effort.

Through his passion for many of our favorite hobby, he has taught and touched many people’s lives. Some through his foraging classes, which he still offers, and some through his incredible videos.

To that end let the roasting… err… the honorary cameo in Foraging! begin! 🙂

Green Bean
And in case you’re quite new to foraging and don’t know who we’re talking about here, he can be found at www.eattheweeds.com

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Foraging, Funny Stuff, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Episode II: Latin Love

Forage! Episode II: Latin Love is now live! 🙂

Forage 2 Latin Love

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Funny Stuff, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Episode I

As a bit of a spinoff from my other comic strip, but with the intent of being a standalone project, I am pleased to announce the first episode of Forage!

Forage! uses the same cutting edge graphics and stunning artwork as ‘The World According to Bob’.

And yes, that’s ‘Forage!’ with an intentional exclamation point, carrying on in the tradition of Wild Cookery! 😀

The comic strip will cover non-political topics, focusing primarily on, you guessed it… foraging.

And also on the plethora of misconceptions and misperceptions that people have regarding foraging in general.

It covers the daily adventures of one Frank the Forager, and his well meaning (and as of yet unnamed) neighbor.

So without further ado, here’s the first episode. (You may click on the image below for a larger version.)

Forage 1

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Funny Stuff, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Obesity, Welfare, and the Health Epidemic of America – Part II

For this installment, I’m going to focus primarily on obesity and it’s effect on the health of our nation.

Back in the early 1980’s obesity was about 15% in America. Now it’s about 34%. Diabetes has also tripled in 30 years. There are also 30% more obese than undernourished people worldwide, according to the WHO. In addition, five percent of the world’s total population is diabetic. Does anyone think this is a problem? What changed, in just the last 30 or so years? And just as importantly, how can we fix it?

There are many different facets of these problems, and many different views.

There seem to be a few differing schools of thought in regard to how we go about addressing these problems, and it’s approached by two primarily different viewpoints. First are those who see obese people as perpetual ‘victims’. They tend to feel that it is society’s responsibility to fix the problem, and that the individual is just a helpless and powerless victim in the matter. Alternately there are those who feel that it’s an individual’s responsibility to change what needs to be changed.

The two mindsets oft do not mesh. But I do think that we may be able to reach a happy middle ground in order to actually break ground on a solution. If there is to be any solution at all, we have to reach a compromise and ultimately agree that the past is irrelevant as to who’s fault it was, and that the thing to do now is to move forward with dynamic and factual solutions instead of get wrapped around emotional arguments of who or what is ultimately responsible.

Ergo, we could argue endlessly whether or not it’s the obese individual’s responsibility whether they’re obese or not, but at the end of the day, nothing changes. They don’t get any less obese, and nothing is solved.

We also haven’t had much luck going directly to the people and talking to them about this on a national scale. They largely do not care, even though it’s affecting them and their loved ones profoundly. As Dr. John Lustig has quoted, “No amount of public education can fix this problem.” By this, he means that it requires government intervention. A doubled edged sword if there ever was one.

As of 2001, six million children in America were overweight. Fast forward to 2013. We are now at 20 million overweight children. Everywhere you look, children are unhealthily overweight. Even the basic sizes of children’s clothes take this into effect. For example, a size 6T shirt of today is actually larger than a size 6T shirt of 10 years ago. Why? Children have gotten fatter. But it’s not just children. Adult Jeans aren’t straight up and down anymore, they’re flared at the hips. Why? We’ve also gotten fatter. I used to by XL t-shirts and sweat shirts. Now I have to buy a M or L, because the other size is so big I can fit two of me in them. I compared two size XL shirts, one newer and one older, ostensibly of the same size, and the newer one I bought in 2008 is gigantic compared to the older one I bought back in 1999.

But the plagues that are Obesity, Welfare, and what I call the ‘Health Epidemic’, which includes rampant type II diabetes (especially in children), hypertension, lipid problems, heart disease, etc, are all intricately linked in the same web. Though obesity could definitely be included in the ‘Health Epidemic’, it is more a symptom of the Health Epidemic. It’s the result OF the Health Epidemic.

People aren’t getting fat because they’re eating to much. They’re eating too much because they’re getting fat. Obesity is just a symptom of all these other problems, not the cause of them. It is because this is so widely misunderstand in the health community that obesity has been getting worse for 30 years instead of better.

As a society we’ve got it entirely backwards, which is why we fail to succeed on all of these ‘diets’.

But what diets actually do work? Diets which are low in sugars, (usually) low in carbs, and high in fats. But these aren’t short term things in which you can just go on for a few weeks to lose a few pounds and then go back to eating plates full of cheesecake all day. If you want to be healthier, you have to understand what causes obesity in the first place, and make the requisite lifestyle changes.

We have to look at this obesity epidemic with an eye towards actually solving it. We can’t be afraid to call a spade a spade. In my opinion considering these people perpetual ‘victims’ will not solve anything.

Unless these people who are obese, want to change it, and seek to find answers of their own accord, then nothing will change at all. Some magic legislation is not going to be passed that will all of a sudden drastically alter their intake of carbs and sugars.

Whilst I agree with folks like Dr. Lustig that it goes ‘way beyond personal responsibility’ for the causes of obesity, personal responsibility is probably the only place we’ll ever find a solution to it.

If a solution is forced upon people, even if you could ever get it to pass muster and be put into law, people will resist it. They’ll cling onto their HFCS and sugar and loudly and proudly beat their fat-laden chests and declare how you are violating their ‘rights’. These people are addicted to the sugar and the carbs. I’ve had a few very obese friends in my life and cutting out sugar for them is pure torture. They always, invariably, go back to it. They can’t help it. They need their ‘fix’. An addict will always get their fix, no matter what they have to do.

(I’ve long said that if anyone wants coast to coast riots, outlaw sugar and soda pop, and see what happens.)

Whilst an obese 6 year old can’t take responsibility for their condition, and change their diet, their parents sure can. And I’m seeing a lot more obese 60-year-olds than obese 6-year-olds in my particular local area. Adults can no longer afford to make endless excuses and point fingers at other external forces for their conditions.

It is true that we’ve been given a raw deal and had the wool pulled over our eyes and the rug pulled out from under our feet. But complaining about it and taking on an “I’m the helpless victim here.”kind of mentality will never bring any solutions to this problem.

We need to trudge forward despite having been victimized en masse as a society. The time for the pity party, is over.

We, one by one, need to make a change.

We need to do it for ourselves, and for the future generations. We need to find a solution to this problem, and not simply pass the buck to our children and grandchildren.

However, we can’t make anyone change their eating habits, just like we can’t make anyone exercise. They’ll resist and hate you for it if you try to force them to do it. This is why even if we could pass legislation, simply outlawing sugar or HFCS wouldn’t work. Such an effort would be pointless, and fail utterly. It would just crop up on the black market and create a new and lucrative product for entrepreneurs.

Likewise, public education campaigns typically fail horribly. “Just say no to drugs.” Remember that? It worked beautifully, didn’t it? Because most people who were using drugs, just stopped using drugs after that campaign, right? Wrong.

It didn’t do a darn thing other than waste a huge amount of our tax dollars. It is true that overall drug use did decline during the years of the Reagan administration, but it sure the heck wasn’t from the kitschy phrase ‘Just Say No’. The decline in the use of recreational drugs can largely be attributed to an overall and increased general prosperity during that time period. When people are more prosperous, they tend to need less of an escape from their daily lives.

Now, what about exercise? Isn’t obesity caused by people taking in more calories than what they’re burning? Isn’t a calorie just a calorie, as my doctor says it is? No. A calorie is NOT a calorie. A calorie from an apple, or a piece of meat is NOT the same as a calorie from a piece of cheesecake. Your body utilizes and stores differently, the compounds in these foods.

In the cheesecake, you’ve got carbohydrates and fructose in the same place. In nature such a thing does not exist. In the apple, the sugars exist with fiber, which means you can eat it without much of an issue. Eating an apple a day will not make you obese.

The meat has protein and fat, which is not a problem at all. This is what your body runs best on. Fat does NOT make you fat. Sugars and carbs do. Fat burns off and is used as the preferred fuel by our bodies.

Exercise of some sort is important in an overall health plan, but honestly you could fix most of what’s wrong with you without doing a single sit up or push up. I lost 60 pounds just by drastically reducing the amount of sugars and carbs in my diet. Though I would indeed suggest at least walking a little bit each day. We’re designed for a lot of low stress, low speed movement most of the time.

But make no mistake, you aren’t going to exercise your way to fitness, much less whilst eating all the wrong things. People have been trying this on the advice of their doctors for the past 30 years, and guess what? People are working their butts off in the gym, and still getting fatter. Sedentary behavior is not to blame for the obesity epidemic. Likewise, people can be obese, and very active, and still be very obese. Take seasonal farm workers, for example. Many of them are quite fat and work extremely hard, many hours a day of physical labor. And yet, they are still in very poor health. You cannot ‘exercise’ your way to good health if your diet continues to be poor.

So how do we fix this? Can we even fix it? Is it the responsibility of the individual or of the society as a whole to fix this problem of obesity?

I don’t think it really matters who’s ‘responsibility’ it is, but rather, what will actually work.

Being an advocate of rightful liberty, my gut would tell me that this is absolutely an individual problem. People do need to take responsibility for their health and diet. Who else is going to possibly do it for them?

I have heard many people say that society needs to intervene in this epidemic. The problem is, society doesn’t give a rip. (Or they’d already be intervening, wouldn’t they?)

Who’s going to fix it then? Politicians? The people in power will NEVER let it happen. They’d lose a huge chunk of their power, voting bloc, and easy votes. More healthy people, means they’re needed less to lobby to pit people against each other and pit the younger generations vs older generations on such things as Social Security, Medicare, and Welfare.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me…

Societal intervention as a grass roots movement would be great. But it’s not going to happen of it’s own accord.

In order for a change to ever happen outside of the individual level it would have to occur at some kind of governmental level or the food industry would have to make voluntary labeling changes. We all know hat’s not going to happen willingly. It would have to be forced. Companies need to disclose EXACTLY what is in their products. How much added sugar, along with is it or is it not GMO, etc. Once people are informed, they can then begin to take personal responsibility and make better individual choices for themselves. So who can do that?

The Executive and Legislative branches of government aren’t going to touch this with a ten foot pole due to the campaign donations and the influence of the food industry. They’re largely bought off already, and have been for a long time. They also like us fat, dumb, and diseased. It keeps them in power, and keeps the votes and money coming in to support their endless problem, reaction, solution paradigm.

Which works as follows: First, create the problem, then wait for the reaction of the public demanding that ‘something’ be done, and then present the so called pre-planned and prepackaged ‘solution’ that the people demand. All whilst traveling further down the spiral and actually not fixing a darn thing, but whilst taking away even more of our health, wealth, and freedoms.

This leaves us with only one lawful option left. The Judicial Branch. The only way this is going to go anywhere is if it is raised as an issue before the Supreme Court, and fructose is heavily regulated. At the very least, labeling of added sugars must be added to the ingredient labels so people will be able to see what’s really going on with the food they eat. Then and only then will the obesity and health epidemics start to slowly reverse itself.

And it would take a truly grass roots movement to get it there before the Supreme Court in the first place. Assuming, of course, that they aren’t bought and paid for as well. They very well could be. I’ve seen some very strange rulings come out of there. When the highest court in the land is highly divided on what should be a pathetically simple question of what is, and what is not Constitutional, you have a very large problem. Nothing should EVER come down to a 5/4 ruling. That smacks absolutely and completely of sheer political horsepuckery. They are supposed to be the best justices in the land, and we’re expected to believe that half of them have no idea, on a regular basis, of what is and what is not lawful under the supreme law of the land? Bullchips. And if they are totally bought and paid for… well… then that’s that.

The only other option would be an absolute grassroots education campaign direct to the people. And no such thing has ever worked in our nation’s history. After all, it’s 30 years on, and most of us are still fat…

Do I blame the obese individual for being obese? No. But I do hold them responsible. In the end, we have only our personal responsibility. We cannot control others. We cannot bend or mold them to our will. We cannot coerce them or force them to behave a certain way, and we cannot legislate our way out of obesity.

No one is going to rescue us from ourselves. If anything is going to ever change on this front, we will need to ultimately make the changes that we’d like to see. We’ll need to step up and be the change we’d like to see. And that requires us to see ourselves as empowered individuals, not as helpless victims.

The time for somnambulism is over.

If you’d like to know more about how we got to these epidemics, here’s a few good places to start.

Dr. Lustig: Sugar Pandemic Part 1

Gary Taubes at Walnut Creek Library

Categories: Food Health, Health, Preparedness, Wild | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Obesity, Welfare, and the Health Epidemic of America

Waiting in the grocery checkout line and looking into someone else’s shopping cart and seeing a load of GMOs and prepackaged processed toxin-laden crap in there from bottom to top, does tend to bring forth a bit of righteous judgment from my family.

Is there any wonder that little Timmy is wearing clothes 4 sizes bigger than he should be? What are you feeding him? Bread with HFCS and soy lecithin in it, ‘fruit’ drinks that are mostly sugar and corn syrup, frozen pizza with gods know what in it, chips, soda, the worst possible quality of lunchmeat you can find (also with soy and HFCS), and a case of fluoridated and chlorinated ‘water’. Oh yum.

I don’t call the people out on it of course. I do maintain at least a shallow veneer of social politeness. I have no problem if people wish to slow kill themselves. I just wish they’d stop doing it on my tax dollar.

But no one is forcing this so called ‘food’ down their throats, either. Especially people on government entitlement programs. If I can eat semi healthily on a pittance of a food budget out of my own pocket, these people can sure as heck eat healthy on $600 a month for a family of 3! (That also doesn’t include any ‘cash assistance’ they get. Just foodstamps.)

There’s only so much ‘passing the buck’ that can go on, for so long.

Yes, the government and corporations promoted this stuff about carbs being good and all fats being bad, and pushing for HFCS to be in nearly everything, and told us all bold faced blatant lies about it. So what? How is that any different than anything ELSE the government and corporations do? All they DO is lie. All the time! 24/7/365 pure unadulterated BS. All the time, all channels, all stations, all languages. If I ever heard a word of truth from any of them I think I’d keel over from the shock!

So it’s not like this is exactly unexpected.

Not unless someone is so totally out of it that they actually believe the lies. And if that’s the case, they’ve got naivete to add to their list of problems.

Any parent feeding their children these vile toxins, in my not so humble opinion, needs their head examined. Either they can’t read the ingredient labels, cannot comprehend them, or they simply don’t care.

The typical excuse is that they can’t ‘afford’ better food. Excuse me? That’s so laughable as to be worthy of knee-slapping. They receive hundreds of dollars a month in free food credits, and they somehow cannot ‘afford’ better food? Even the folks who are NOT on the public dole, can certainly afford better food. A little education goes a long way.

If they simply educated themselves as to the reasons for obesity and the like, and changed their diets accordingly, then we would see huge swings in the obesity, heart disease, and type II diabetes epidemics in this country.

But here’s the rub. They don’t WANT to change. Not really. If they did, they would. They don’t, so… they don’t. And I find that disturbing, and disgusting. These people will stay the exact same way they are until some outside force moves them to change. Literally FORCES them to change, by some alteration of rules or regulations. They’ll never, in a million years, change of their own free will and accord. Ever.

It is my opinion that people should be free to eat what they want… and pay the price accordingly.

We should not bankroll their healthcare. You want to eat at places like McDonald’s six times a week and/or drink yourself into a soda coma? Have at it. Just don’t look to other people to fund your healthcare when you are on death’s door.

I feel very strongly about this. I feel that people need to take responsibility for the health decisions that they make, and not expect others to pay for their 40 years of excess when they ignored the warning signs and good advice everyone around them has been giving them.

 

Categories: Food Health, Health, Organic, Preparedness, Wild | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Paleo Day 6

Last night was a lovely dinner of crappie and bluegill with wild garlic (and a little salt and cracked black pepper and olive oil).

The night before was slither, prepared the same way. (More on that at another time, perhaps.)

Either dinner, or supper today, depending on how hungry I am and when I am hungry, will consist of the remaining bluegill that I didn’t make yesterday. Probably made the same way, but likely without the wild garlic as it’s been raining cats and dogs today.

I’ve also pretty much eliminated legumes. I’d add them primarily to soups, and by switching from the ‘winter/spring’ diet to the ‘spring/summer’ diet, soups are naturally eliminated from my diet until the colder months anyway, so that one was pretty easy, as I’m used to eating near zero legumes during the summer anyway. Thank goodness for small little gifts, eh?

Breakfast today will be oatmeal (real whole oats) with cinnamon and half of a real apple cut up.

I’d like to eventually cut out the oatmeal, but I have nothing I can consistently replace it with yet that won’t bankrupt the tribe’s monthly food budget.
We’ve been eating the same thing for breakfast, nearly every day, with only the fruit being changed out for quince when it’s in season, or occasionally a few raisins or shredded carrots in lieu of the other fruit, for a few years now.

And considering that when I cut out milk and cereal for breakfast, and went to the oatmeal every day, is when I went from 215 pounds to 160 pounds in the course of one winter.

So, yea, it’s a carb. But honestly I don’t think it’s the most egregious of them out there. Though I also cut out most processed foods as well, and totally cut out HFCS.

None of us are fat. None of us are overweight. Hell, if anything, I’m a bit underweight. Though this could be because of my very high metabolism, and because I’m the most active member in my family. (I do get a bit of walking in when foraging, of course.) I’m a bit over 6 foot tall, a size 32, and currently clocking in at 154 as of this morning. By reducing carbs and massively reducing my sugar intake (down to 1/10th what it was 6 days ago!), I’ve lost about 3 pounds in the last 6 days. Pounds I didn’t need to lose, in my opinion. To be honest, I’m petrified of losing any more weight. It was a long and rough winter, and for a while there, I was down to 145 pounds and not feeling good at all. I’m in no great hurry to ever go back there. I need to put weight ON, not take weight OFF.

And that weight loss over the winter was even whilst I was eating high carbs (two bowls of rice a day plus oatmeal, plus bread, plus crackers) and high sugars, about 10 teaspoons worth all things considered, per day.

I’ve always had a very high metabolism. Since I’ve gotten rid of 99.9% of processed foods from my diet, my old metabolism has kicked back in, in SPITE of the sugars and carbs that were still part of my diet.

And all of this is with a minimum of actual ‘exercise’. It’s not like I’m expending massive amounts of calories. The most calorie burning thing I’ve done during that time was doing some walking whilst fishing and standing in place for 6 hours whilst fishing. (Which did quite a number on my back, as I’m not used to standing in one place for that long.) I typically do pushups in the morning most days, as does my wife, and she does some stretching and crunches and other exercises.

So, we’re shedding sugars and carbs a bit at a time. We’ve also not baked any bread in 3 days. And if it doesn’t exist, it’s a lot easier to not eat it.

It’s quite likely, the oatmeal will be the last thing to go. Of all the carbs I’m currently eating, I feel it’s the least offensive of the various carbs. It’ll go, it just won’t go all at once.

The white rice, on the other hand, is likely the most offensive, next to the white flour. And we’ve already started massively ratcheting that back by simply not baking bread. Which is really a kick in the grapes, I must say, because I bought eight bags of flour for our monthly food budget like two days before we started going Paleo/Primal! (Talk about bad luck.) Oh well, we’ll eat them eventually. Just very spread out, instead of all at once.

The key here is that we replace the carb foods with non-carb foods, once they’re depleted with our pantry. In other words as we use the rice and flour and oatmeal, we replace it with something ELSE.

Unfortunately, all our food for this month has already been pre-purchased, so no change out of any kind is going to happen until July. All I can do until then is add more meats and good fats to the diet, and reduce the portions of the carbs.

Update: This was dinner. Yum! The garlic greens were fried in coconut oil and served over a very small sliver of rice. About 1/3rd of what I’d normally eat.

Panfried BluegillSauteed Wild Garlic

Categories: Animals, Fishing, Food Health, Foraging, Nature, Organic, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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