Lately I’ve been so busy reading the news and posting articles that I’ve gotten behind on documenting my own journey.
This week I put together our 72 hour emergency grab bag. We live on a fault line so it’s important to be ready for an earthquake and there’s always the possibility of tornadoes in our area. So today I bought a small fire proof document case that I filled and packed in our hideout with lots of power bars, water, a water purifier, flashlights, first aid kit, radio, candles, lighters, sleeping bags, and batteries. I found a very cool LED headlamp at Lowes. In an emergency it’s good to have light and be hands free. I still need a few more items to make it complete but it feels good to be getting prepared. I stored 12 gallons of water in there as well. Next, I’ll be working on an emergency kit for the car.
I shopped with my good friend, Teri, at Whole Foods this week and I picked up a very nice 50 gallon rain barrel with a screen top and built in hose attachment. The rain barrel is safe for organic gardens (no BPA), is jet black and was just $99.00. I’ll need to build a platform and hook up my saoker hose to it soon.
With food prices predicted to increase this year (gas too) I decided to go ahead and get started on my food storage plan. I filled up large bags of dried beans, quinoa and organic brown rice at Whole Foods and purchased large boxes of organic canned food at Costco. I ordered the seeds for my garden at Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. Their seeds are all non-hybrid and non-GMO. I can’t wait to start planting!
I was also politically active this week. I contacted my senators because I’m hoping to help prevent Islam Siddiqui from being confirmed as the chief agriculture negotiator in the office of the United States Trade Representative. President Obama just installed him but the senate will be voting on whether or not to confirm him soon. Islam Siddiqui is the “inside man” in the Obama Administration for his former clients at CropLife (a front group for genetic engineering and chemical-intensive agribusiness corporations including Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont and Dow Chemical). From the article…
Another Washington wheeler-dealer using the revolving door between government and big business, Siddiqui formerly worked for Clinton’s pro-biotech USDA. Siddiqui gained notoriety in 1997-98 as an insider pushing for the infamous proposed USDA regulations for national organic standards that would have allowed toxic sewage sludge, irradiated foods, and genetically modified organisms to be labeled “organic.”
You can watch the video and read the article by clicking here. Ask your senator to refuse his confirmation at the bottom of the site. It’s so easy to do.
One of the most rewarding aspects of this journey for me is building community. A few of my friends have decided to start working together to help each other get their gardens going. We share news, recipes and nutrition advice. I would love to see this community grow!
I also read an amazing book this week entitled, “The End of Food”. I highly recommend this book to anyone who eats!
Here’s a good book review of ‘The End of Food’:
In this carefully researched, vividly recounted narrative, Roberts lays out the stark economic realities beneath modern food—and shows how our system for making, marketing, and moving what we eat is growing less and less compatible with the billions of consumers that system was built to serve.
At the heart of The End of Food is a grim paradox: the rise of large-scale, hyper-efficient industrialized food production, though it generates more food more cheaply than at any time in history, has reached a point of dangerously diminishing returns. Our high-volume factory systems are creating new risks for food-borne illness—from E. coli and Salmonella to avian flu. Our high-yield crops and livestock generate grain, vegetables, and meat of declining nutritional quality. Overproduction is so routine that nearly one billion people are now overweight or obese worldwide—and yet those extra calories are still so unevenly distributed that the same number of people—one billion, roughly one in every seven of us—can’t get enough to eat. In some of the hardest-hit regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa, the lack of a single nutrient—vitamin A—has left more than 3 million children permanently blind.
Meanwhile, the shift to heavily mechanized, chemically intensive farming has so compromised the soils, water systems, and other natural infrastructure upon which all food production depends that it’s unclear how long such output can be maintained. And just as we’ve begun to understand the limits of our industrialized superabundance, the burgeoning economies of Asia, where newly wealthy consumers are rapidly adopting Western-style, meat-heavy diets, are putting new demands on global food supplies.
Comprehensive and global, with lucid writing, dramatic detail and fresh insights, The End of Food offers readers new, accessible way to understand the vulnerable miracle of the modern food economy. Roberts presents clear, stark visions of the future and helps us prepare to make the decisions — personal and global — we must make to survive the demise of food production as we know it.
So that’s my week in a nutshell. Hopefully the weather will be nice enough next week for some outdoor work. I’m itching to get started in the garden but first I need to read, “The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!”