Posts Tagged With: Liberty

Farewell to the Green Deane forum

Posted here, in case the original is deleted over at GDF, my friends can still see why I left.

*****

I’m going to just cut through the mustard and lay it all out.

This has been coming for a while now, but this topic brought it to a head.

Let’s talk about another one of my pet hates: hypocrites.

We have ’em in spades.

In the past few months, I have seen a few people, and one member in particular, treated like vile filth by the majority of the rest of the board, and even at times by Deane.

They’ve been openly mocked, ridiculed, derided, and essentially told that their content ‘doesn’t belong here’ or is somehow inferior.

This is absolutely unacceptable.

Often calls are made to ‘get rid of’ these members. If it doesn’t fit a certain narrow window, then their contributions are mocked and they are somehow not worthy of being a member here.

But let’s just call it what it is. Bullying.

This is not the ‘tough love’ that I’ve been trying to explain to some of you who have been thick as bricks on the subject. Tough love is done because you care and don’t want to see the individual come to harm. Bullying is done because deriding an individual or their contributions somehow makes YOU feel better.

But wait, you may say, no one’s been directly bullied here. We’re such sweet angels. We rarely, if ever, say anything nasty to anyone.

It’s still bullying, no matter how you dress it up. In all honesty, it’s exponentially worse than a direct insult. A direct insult you can actually face and deal with. The subtle, sly, intellectual kind of bullying can really eat at an individual. Until their self-worth is depleted enough that they either slink off and don’t come back, or they just read and not post because they’re afraid of being jumped on when they do.

And no, you aren’t outright calling anyone an idiot. You’re going a few steps worse. You’re TREATING them like an idiot, in front of the ‘whole class’. It’s self-righteous and subtle, which makes it even more dangerous.

So all this BS talk about being ‘sensitive’? Riiggghht. BS troll is still BSing… Because you’re still treating someone poorly and claiming to be angels.

And all the while you can claim that you’ve not been doing anything wrong. Tee-hee. Oh, so clever you. And as long as no one has anything direct or concrete to call you out on, you’re walking the high road, right?

The whole thing sickens me.

Yes, I’m also talking about how some of you and even our host (Yes, YOU, Deane) have treated our pal Swampy here. Some of you have been at odds with him since that one thread months back, and so everything he posts is read by you negatively before you even read the content.

And some people whom I’ve formerly considered friends here have been outright vile to me just because I’ve stuck up for the guy and not let them run roughshod over him. So be it.
I can no longer continue to ignore these things which ultimately go against my core values.

So, it’s time to say adieu.

It’s been mostly fun, but has certainly been a wild ride. (Pun intended.)

Deane: Thank you for all the videos you’ve authored and all the people you have helped by publishing them. I’ve learned a lot from you, and filled in some blanks in my foraging knowledge.

To the rest of the ACTIVE foraging forum: I’ve learned more from YOU collectively, than I did from one man or his videos, no matter how awesome they may be. YOU are the true treasure here. I think he perhaps forgets that from time to time, and acts accordingly.

Mike: Please put my account in read-only mode. If that’s not possible, then you may outright delete me. I’m done posting here. But be aware that if you do, every post I ever made will quite likely vanish depending on the forum settings. And that’ll be a lot of forum content gone forever.

Heather & Deane: Don’t even try this. Leave it to the professional IT guy. You can permanently and irrevocably obliterate a large part of the forum if you click the wrong thing when doing this on a member account that’s been here so long and who has thousands of posts into the forum.

To everyone: As always, I may be reached at wildcookery@yahoo.com

There is much more that could be said, but I’d rather leave on a somewhat pleasant note.

Farewell friends. May you tread wild paths seldom trod, and pick only the tastiest morsels.

All the best,

~Janos

Categories: Foraging, Green, Nature, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 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

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

Finding Arsenic in My Chicken Leaves Me Clucked Off!

Ok, I’m on day two of my path to eating more Primal/Paleo.

So the first thing I look at is how to cut OUT the carbs, and how to put IN more meat.

This means wiping out some of the rice and potatoes that usually make up the bulk of my main meal, and putting in more animal fats and good oils, such as olive and coconut oil.

I’m on a severely restricted budget with zero wiggle room, so whatever I do will have to be an almost straight replacement dollar wise, carbs for meat/fat/oil.

Well, the obvious choice seems to be chicken. It’s fairly inexpensive, compared to anything else available, and growth hormones aren’t allowed in chicken. So far so good, right?

One would think so. Except that I read again the other day that conventional farms are intentionally feeding chickens toxic levels of arsenic in order to bulk them up and make them ready for sale faster. Oh yum!

Apparently this isn’t just a few farms, but rather standard practice. And it’s not only allowed, but totally rubber-stamped by the FDA! And these people are supposed to be making our food ‘safe’?

http://www.naturalnews.com/040556_arsenic_chicken_feed_contamination.html

To wit:

Upon analysis, the team discovered that the conventional chicken meat samples had the highest levels of inorganic arsenic overall, containing up to four times as much arsenic as the organic chicken samples. These same conventional chicken meat samples contained up to three times more arsenic than the maximum levels proposed, but later retracted, as a safety standard by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in 2011. (emphasis mine)

“The levels of inorganic arsenic discovered in chicken are cause for concern, especially since many of us are already exposed to the carcinogen through additional dietary and environmental paths,” writes Hunt. “But unlike these other sources of exposure, which typically result from natural arsenic deposits, industry or residual contamination from the days of widespread arsenical pesticide use, as noted in the study, ‘arsenical poultry drugs are deliberately administered to animals intended for human consumption.'”

This has me very, very clucked off.

There is now no affordable commercial source of meat. Even if beef were available and in the budget range for regular consumption (and it’s not), most standard beef is toxic filth, due to how it’s raised, fed, and slaughtered. (GMO corn diet, and fecal contamination, anyone?)

So my real concern here is that by increasing my meat consumption, I’m going to be adding a whole boatload of arsenic into my diet. Whereas I typically eat chicken once or twice a month, and it’s probably not a big deal at those levels, eating it ever day or every other day is another story entirely.

So how in the hell am I supposed to add more meat into my diet without poisoning myself?!

We’re not. And that’s the point entirely.

This leaves me (and everyone else), with very few viable options. It’s either eat the toxins and smile, or find a plan B.

Looks like it’s time to look up my local asinine ‘laws’ on keeping and raising bunnies for personal use.

P.S. Where do the rest of you cavemen get your meat from, and how the heck do you afford it?

Categories: Animals, Food Health, Government, Organic Meat, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Janos’ Plant Profiles, Part I: Spiny Sow Thistle

The full profiles will be posted to, and updated, on the Wild Cookery Forum. I have planned to do these for at least the past year, but have never quite gotten around to it. So without further ado…

Janos’ Plant Profiles, Part I: Spiny Sow Thistle

Common Plant name: Spiny Sow Thistle

Hoity Toity (Dead Latin) Name: Sonchus asper

Classification: Choice Edible Plant

Identification: This plant, a member of the Asteracea Family, has spiny, serrated leaves that curl along and around the stem of the plant. When in bloom it has yellow flowers which look dandelion-like superficially. It’s quite spiny, and prickly to the touch, and you may mistake it for an actual thistle if you aren’t familiar with the two plants. But it’s spines are softer and nowhere near as rigid as a real thistle. The spines are also part of the leaves, and not separate from it and detachable such as with an actual thistle. You can eat the smaller leaves raw without any problems. The older ones however, may be prickly enough that they need to be trimmed or cooked before consumption.

Juvenile Plant Photos

Here are some little guys:

Sonchus asper - Young Juvenile

Sonchus asper – Young Juvenile

Sonchus asper - Juvenile

Sonchus asper – Juvenile

Sonchus asper Juvenile comparison

Sonchus asper Juvenile comparison

Sonchus asper - Juvenile plant in nature

Sonchus asper – Juvenile plant in nature

Flowering Plant Photos

(Pictures to be added when in season)

Plant in Seed Photos

(Pictures to be added when in season)

Uses: You nom it of course! The leaves, buds, flowers, new shoots, and upper part of stem are all edible. Young and tender here is much better than old, tough, and rank. Especially on latex exuding plants. The leaves can be eaten at any time equally well, though younger is typically more tender and less bitter. I like to get the flower buds before they open and use the top section of the plant as kind of a ‘sonchusparagus’ I’ve also cooked and eaten small roots before along with the greens, but can’t officially recommend that as I haven’t been able to find any reference material on it’s use.

Nutrition: Sonchus asper are quite rich in Fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese. Equal to, or more so than most common domesticated vegetables.*

Preparation: Typically I’ll boil these, no matter what part it is, for 15 minutes or so, drain, and then use like any other foundational green. In fact one of the spring delicacies my family looks forward to every year is fresh spiny sow thistle greens mixed with wild garlic greens and mushrooms over rice. It’s a seasonal spring treat that everyone raves about.

Preparation Photos

Sonchus asper and Dandelion leaves

Sonchus asper and Dandelion leaves

Wild Greens Noodle Medley - Two kinds of sonchus, dandelions, wild garlic, chicory, plantain, thistle, dock, and sprinkled with ox-eye daisy petals

Wild Greens Noodle Medley – Two kinds of sonchus, dandelions, wild garlic, chicory, plantain, thistle, dock, and sprinkled with ox-eye daisy petals

Cautions:

There are some unreliable sources that classify this plant as a ‘Noxious Weed’. That’s fair enough, as I classify those sources as pretty darn noxious myself.

I’m sure it’s possible to get a rash from this plant. Maybe even a severe one if you’re that one in a million who has such an allergic reaction. But let’s interject some reality here. Will it likely happen to you? Probably not. You’ll probably be struck dead with a micrometeorite first, or hit by lightning. I collect these barehanded, and even eat them raw from time to time. Guess what? Nothing happens. If someone has issues, they are probably also allergic to other ‘milky’ latex exuding plants, such as dandelions and wild lettuce. I highly doubt most are allergic to this plant in particular.

But that doesn’t mean that one in a zillion people won’t be affected by something like this, so use caution.

There’s the token safety disclaimer. Use caution when picking if you are allergic to other latex exuding plants. Some people are allergic to peanuts too. For the rest of us, it’s a fantastic nutrient dense wild food.

The vast majority of all people will find this plant to be delicious and nutritious.

References:

* Dr. John Kallas, PhD, “Edible Wild Plants” – Pps 358 – 359.

Categories: Food Health, Foraging, Green, Janos' Plant Profiles, Nature, Nature Photos, Organic, Organic Gardening, Reclaimed Edibles, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Brand New Wild Cookery and Foraging Forums!

My dearest foraging friends,

First off, let me apologize for the inconvenience of having to move the forum. There was, however, no way around it. The old forum’s servers crashed a total of eight times, just today in my efforts to copy over the data. Such a flaky forum host is not acceptable to me. You deserve better than that. I think that now, we have a stable forum hosting service. I’ve used this provider before in the past, and whilst not totally ideal in some respects, it should indeed be much more stable and productive.

This is a completely new, made from scratch forum. It only looks like the old one. I mirrored it as much as I could, with the exception being that I cleaned up and re-organized some of the forum boards a bit, to be, I hope, a bit more comprehensive.

However, it is not a totally clean slate. The meat and bones of the last forum were saved and form the backbone of this new forum.

I copied over all the text from all the posts that I could, and I got everything that I saw. There were a few things that I’d posted that I have intentionally not transferred over, but most of the important stuff is still there.

If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will do my best to rectify it.

Of course, the text will just be posted in the threads, not under the original poster, but I copied it with quotes when applicable so you can see who originally wrote the post.
Everyone will have to unfortunately re-register, but that should be a relatively quick and painless process.

Be aware that being a free forum it will try to offer you junk in the sign up. You can just click on the slightly greyed out ‘no thanks’ when it comes up. The number of offers that you will have to click through varies, but typically 3 – 5.

Thank you again for your time and participation, and I hope to see you all at the new forum soon.
All the best, my friends.

The new forum is located here: http://wildcookery.freeforums.org

~Janos

Categories: Updates, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Wild Cookery Forums are now LIVE!

Wild Cookery Forums are now LIVE!

I am proud to announce the official launch of the Wild Cookery Forums!

The forums may be found at: http://wildcookery.prophpbb.com/  http://wildcookery.freeforums.org/

Freeforums

This forum will be what YOU, the members help make it into. It’ll grow along the lines of your contributions.

This is your chance to make forum and Foraging history and create something great from absolutely nothing.

It’s also your chance to get in on the ground floor as a founding member of one of the very few Foraging forums in existence. This means that you’ll have a say in the direction of the forum, and can help make it into the kind of forum YOU’D like to see!

New boards can and will be created upon request, and if you have a specialized interest that you’d like to see represented and discussed, we can create a board or sub-boards to cover that.

*Please note that this forum will be geared to adults 18 years and older, and you must fit that category in order to officially join as a member. If you are under 18 you are still welcome to come and read the forum, as the content will be mostly publicly available, assuming that you have the express permission of your parents or guardians to do so.

The first thing after signing up would be to go to the Announcements and Updates page  and read the very brief documents listed there. That would be the Member Agreement, Moderation Policy, Legal Disclaimer, and FAQ.

Don’t worry, as I said, they are all very brief and straight to the point. No wall of text to read.

After which, if you plan on posting pictures to the forum, you can read the tutorial that I created on how to do that, here

Be sure to stop by the member’s only area Wayfarer’s Inn  once you have signed up and introduce yourself! 🙂

I hope to see you all there! 🙂

Categories: Food Health, Foraging, Nature, Organic, Recipes, Wild | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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