July 23, 2014

Eating Ourselves And The Planet To Death

Bon Appetit?

We are eating ourselves and the planet to death. A new relationship with food is required.

Thai meditation teacher Ajaan Fuang is someone I have learned from when it comes to my relationship with food. He was known for his wise words on many subjects, including concepts surrounding food and eating.

After a trip to America, one of his students asked him if he had had a chance to eat pizza while he was there. He mentioned that he had, and that it was very good. This surprised one of his students who had gone along on the trip.

"You ate only two bites," the student said. "We thought you didn't like it."

"Two bites were enough to fill me up," Fuang answered. "Why would you want me to eat more?"

Once a woman who had been studying with him for a short while decided to prepare some food to give to him. Wanting to make sure it would be something he liked, she asked him straight out, "What kind of food do you like?"

I love his answer: "Food that's within reach."

Fuang was very familiar with the problems our stomachs get us into.

"We human beings have long tongues, he said. "You sit around and suddenly your tongue flicks out to sea: You want to eat seafood. Then it flicks around the world: You want to eat foreign cuisine.

He also knew the solution - "You have to train your tongue and shrink it down to size."

Even before eating became an entertainment for the masses he was advising anyone that would sincerely listen, "When you eat, keep your mind on your breath, and contemplate why you're eating. If you're eating simply for the taste of the food, then what you eat can harm you."

Training our tongues and shrinking them down to size will go a long way toward changing our relationship with food and restoring health on Earth. Besides, in these days of rapidly increasing food prices, who can actually afford to eat recreationally?

July 21, 2014

Zone of Survival Monday

Experts agree that the best survival zone is established inside a sturdy cave. Wow, talk about back to the future.

There are an infinite number of things we don't need, but only a limited number of things we do require. Those are the things that guarantee our survival.

Ensuring we have everything we need to survive and thrive has always been difficult. With current challenges, like extreme weather and extreme capitalism, it is getting more difficult.

In the short term it is possible to create a zone of survival with a minimal amount of things.

In able to respond to natural disasters, or any other situation that alters the way things work, every household should have an emergency kit/camping supplies containing the following essentials:
  • Water
  • Food/Cooking Supplies
  • Warmth/Shelter
  • Medications/First Aide
  • Sanitary Supplies
In a longer term situation like persistent economic trouble, the fall of capitalism, or the collapse of civilization, one needs to consider a longer term plan. Hardly alarmist, any one of these scenarios is possible in the coming years considering where we are headed globally.

Creating A Zone of Survival

  • Within 500 + kilometres of the coast and potential flooding from sea rising, tsunamis, and water-borne contaminants.
  • Under 200 feet above sea level, or at high altitudes susceptible to solar radiation exposure.
  • Close to volcanoes and super volcanoes (Yellowstone in northwestern USA).
  • In an earthquake/seismic/avalanche/fault zones (North American west coast, or New Madrid Fault Zone in central, USA).
  • In a river flood plain, or downstream from dams.
  • Within 200km of a coal-fired power plant, nuclear power plant or waste storage facility.
  • In a large city.
  • In a rural area with an ample water supply, 
  • Plenty of fertile land 
  • Abundant forests.
  • Close to or with small groups of like minded people.
  • In an area with unspoilt nature close by.
  • Somewhere with a mild climate.
  • Far from large population centers.
After looking at these lists, Linda and I realized that there are very few places in North America that fit the bill, or at least ones that don't experience 8 or 9 months of winter and cold temperatures that will definitely affect survival rate.

But if you are equipped with the supplies, skills, and knowledge for simple, cooperative and self-sufficient living I think you will have an advantage over those reliant on crumbling corporate for-profit systems, regardless of where you are living.

July 18, 2014

Let It Go

"Soria Moria", by Theodor Kittelsen

“Sooner or later we come to a turning point in our lives that ‘changes everything’ - we let go of fear:  

Fear of authority, fear of oppression, fear of losing everything we own, and fear of our own mortality. 

When we reach that point, we’re prepared to do anything and every thing to stand by what we believe is morally just and right, and only then, can we really be free.” 

- Jennifer B
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