Sustainability and Food Security
(Grow your own food)
Now seventy years young, I have been buying, consuming, selling, recommending and distributing health foods for nearly fifty years. I started growing stuff almost as long ago. Out of this experience, the one thing that comes to mind is how holistic life is made by the Creator of living things. There are so many facets to living until an individual cannot possibly grasp its totality in one lifetime. Coming to terms with this thought has taken me most of my life’s journey to figure out. As a result, I no longer try to understand all of life’s wonders. Instead, I now focus on living in peace, doing and writing about what is in front of me and the things I have been led to be aware of. Here are some of my thoughts on sustaining ourselves, our families and our communities.
If we are living organisms, (and for sure we are), then what we consume metabolizes and becomes part of the organism, (us). “WE” function on the energy we consume. That means, how your body works, how your mind thinks is directly related to what is put into them. The saying “We are what we eat” is not just some clever statement. No, it is a fact of life. You and I are also directly connected to one another’s environment, (air in which we breathe and land in which we walk upon). The body, mind and soul make up what some have described as “the self”. The individual “self” is connected to the universal “we” energy created by the movement of atoms that give us life. That energy is in all things. All things are contained in the world of “spirit”. This is important when considering the actions we take as we journey through this life’s, sometimes, uncertain times.
We must have secure food sources and choices in order to provide us with a sustainable diet. Some have used the term “Food Security”…what is it? It is said to require three major components:
1. Availability of sufficient quantities of healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate, quality foods, supplied through domestic production or imports.
2. Access by households and individuals to
adequate resources to acquire appropriate
foods for a nutritious diet.
3. Utilization of food through adequate diet,
water, sanitation, and health care.
Growing our own food is a key to obtaining food security. But why?
Growing our own food gives us permanent access to healthy food.
Food shortages may occur in the normal food chain provided by local grocery stores and markets
Food contamination obtained from sources we do not control may increase our already infected and chemical laden food supplies.
Utilizing better foods we grow ourselves will produce better brain cells that help us to think better.
Better food will require less consumption of food quantity because of its higher nutritional value.
Growing and eating food from the soil and environment we control increases our immunity to disease and sickness by providing a constant homeopathic ingestion and metabolizing of the micro organisms that we are exposed to.
Growing our own food encourages us to look closer at our environment to assure it too is healthy, i.e. water, soil, air and heat.
Growing your own food teaches us to grow our livestock and our children and families as well.
Growing your own food prompts you to learn about storing and preserving food. It teaches us to be dependent upon nature and the weather conditions it brings.
Consider this… We live in times that are unusually unstable and uncertain. More than ever, so much is out of our “reasonable” control. Global poverty … food shortages … fluctuating oil prices … weather catastrophes… sickness and disease … war and political conflict… greed of a few that are hoarding resources when so many are in need. It all makes relying on grocery stores and those who control the resources for food risky. If the supply chain breaks…or the pipe line of food resources is compromised…your local stores will be out of food in 72 hours. We know this because we’ve all seen what happens when a mere snow storm or flood happens in our communities.
Then what? My wife dislikes me talking about catastrophic disasters. However, while I would not like to see it happen, as a “reasonable” person, I do consider what we would do if the food stores could not supply us with enough healthy food to sustain ourselves. I was taught years ago to stock up on emergency supplies that would last at least three to six months. But what happens after that…Seriously? The fact is, if you’re not already actively growing your own food, raising livestock, storing emergency supplies and maintaining your own food stores …Then you’re probably about 7 days away from having NO food in the cupboards when the unthinkable happens. And then what?
Today, it is the dawn of a new year. Winter is moving into the Carolinas where we live. Those of you who live up state or out west are also experiencing climatic changes that come each year. Snow, ice, freezing rain, high winds and fierce storms are normal for this time of year. How we prepare ourselves can make or break our normalcy. As weather conditions worsen, food and shelter become higher priorities in our lives. Economics plays a part in the scenario of life as well. We think about getting to work each day. If we don’t have enough money or resources to supply us with what we need to survive comfortably, we can become stressed and feel insecure. When our gardens and cupboards become bare, nothing else seems to matter. This condition can become “sickening”.
Adapting to difficult times and unusual circumstances is how our ancestors sustained themselves and brought us to now. They managed to make it with what they had available to them. When jobs were scarce, getting to work meant, working for self and doing for self. When the cupboards were bare, they stored what they could produce, traded, borrowed and stretched what they had to last through the hard times. When the gardens were barren and cold, they grew foods and herbs that could survive the winter. The root cellar, cold storage sheds, canning, drying and freezing became necessary and indispensable…they managed. They taught their offspring and upcoming generations how to do these things…and they too…managed.
Look at what is happening around the world today. Civilizations that have been around for thousands of years are collapsing due to wars and weather. With cities crumbling and washed away, people are scattering here, there and everywhere they can to sustain themselves and survive. Some will make it, some will not. Most were not prepared when crisis or tragedy arrived. Food and shelter, once again becomes the priority for them. What about us? Are we immune from disaster? Think about it…can we be more prepared then we are right now?
If you’re like many folks and the recent election of a new president left you feeling uneasy and/or concerned about what’s next…then I invite you to do what we’re doing: I’m taking this new US administration as a sign and a warning from the Most High. I’m focusing more energy into the soil. The earth is our mother, father and family home. Embrace it and align “self” with its quality of sustainability. If we help create better soil, we can produce better food that will, in turn, metabolize into a better you. A better you and a better us can together survive and thrive through any condition that comes upon us.
I am intensifying efforts to grow our own food in 2017. It takes a while to make the transition from dependence on grocery stores for food to providing your own food sources. If you’ve never grown your own food … or you’re not growing enough to sustain your family yet … it’s time to start. You can start now by at least thinking about it. Look around…see who you know that has land or access to it. Plan your next move toward learning what it takes to grow food and start small…maybe in containers, then community gardens, then maybe grandma’s land down South. Those of you who have land…invite others to share the task of making it produce food. Those who have money, spend it on worthwhile projects that aim to grow food and share it with those who do not have the means. Investigate CSA’s (community supported agriculture) projects…join coop’s, read stories about how others have made the transition to growing their own food.
If you’re already growing SOMETHING…grow more. Grow abundance, so you can share the wealth. And consider, in 2017, spreading this knowledge. Reach out to family, extended family, friends and neighbors to build a community of likeminded food growers, and support one another. Because while you can’t solve the food crisis in Syria, Egypt, Uganda, Haiti, etc. …And you can’t block the food monopolies, you can plant some extra seedlings this spring then give your sister-in-law or cousin a portion of your bumper crop of tomatoes or squash this summer. Perhaps in return you CAN accept a few bags of carrots or potatoes from the neighbor when your crop mysteriously fails one year. Link arms with family, friends, and neighbors. Share the knowledge. Share your homegrown food abundance… coop and cooperate to create your own, local food security. Don’t wait … start doing for self. Grow and store your own food today!
Peace and blessings,