Apr 9, 2012

Primal Prepping

In a recent interview with Lisa Bedford (Survival Mom), Lew Rockwell posed a question about prepping for those who choose a primal lifestyle.  There is, indeed, a perception that building a reserve of storable food and primalism must be mutually exclusive.  Fortunately, there are many options available for those who want to thrive in any scenario, sans cream of wheat.

When considering dry food to store, one can come up with quite a few choices:

Dried Mushrooms
Kale Chips (dehydrated kale)
Basically any dehydrated veggies
Canned Fish/Seafood (choose wisely- low mercury, high omega-3)
Seeds (including chia and/or hemp)
Oils (especially coconut and olive)
Ghee (clarified butter)
Pre-cooked Bacon (nitrate-free)

When shopping for these items, pay attention especially to packaging- choose products with solid color containers, as light tends to diminish the shelf life of a product.  Look for the newest product by examining all of the "sell by" dates on the back of the package.  Most importantly, make these items a part of your everyday regimen.  This will allow you to keep rotating in fresh product, with the added benefit of avoiding the experience of shock as you start realizing you are going to be eating an MRE for dinner tonight- and many nights to come...You will, instead, be snacking!

As for fresh food, a garden is a fun, low-cost insurance policy against the ultimate deal-breaker: hunger.  Another option is container gardening.  Especially in an urban scenario, one may find it handy for valuable food to be somewhat portable.

Also, what could be more primal than hunting and fishing?  Wild game is one of the most rewarding and healthy choices for the human body- a body that will desperately need the "fuel" it receives from such pursuits.  Getting up to speed on the techniques involved, as well as acquiring the equipment needed to achieve such ends is an obvious choice for the primal prepper.  

On this note, one has to consider the philosophical and practical merits of primal hunting and fishing tactics vs. modern methods and technologies.  While a gun is more efficient than a bow, primal tactics are more stealthy- meaning a much lower chance that other hunters will notice your kill.  Fishing is an incognito, and potentially abundant, source of wild meat.  

Foraging for wild food is another essential skill for the prepping primalist.  Setting yourself up with someone from your area who can expertly identify native wild edibles is a must, as is practice.  Uninformed choices could lead to severe illness or death, therefore hands-on knowledge is the superior choice when it comes to orienting yourself to the edible plants in your area.  Although some species are poisonous to varying degrees, a potential bounty of edible wild food exists- if you know how to identify, prepare, and store it.   Ironically, most people, driven mad with hunger, will be scurrying around within a natural buffet attempting to find something, anything, they recognize as food.  Primal foraging skills will put you ahead of the pack- potentially keeping you safe from starvation, and droves of starving lunatics!

When considering how to store all of these items, keep in mind you will need them to be within easy access, yet hidden from jealous eyes.  Mother Earth News has a nice article about building a basement root cellar, which satisfies both needs.  Dehydrating or canning fresh meat and wild foraged food can extend your harvest during plentiful times to prepare for occasions when it is impossible to hunt.

If you are forced from your home, a shallow hole in the ground covered by a rock or heavy log may have to suffice.  However, in this scenario, you are likely better served spending your calories foraging or hunting.  Primal hunting and foraging skills are best learned beforehand.  If you have to make a hasty retreat, you will be very happy you have these tools immediately at your disposal.

Thinking about the primal diet, one tends to daydream about what life must have been like for our ancient ancestors.  "Prepping"- as we call it- was the lifestyle of those who came before us.  They had to constantly provide for, at a minimum, their fundamental needs without modern "conveniences" such as supermarkets, electronic gadgets, and refrigeration.  Imagine what they would have given for something as simple as a knife!

When one considers the ultimate end to many of the scenarios we prep for, it is easy to imagine how "primal" it will actually get when simple things like power failure occur, and life for us all rapidly and dramatically changes.  For instance, what will people do when they cannot bake bread?  As a primalist, do you remember what you thought and how you felt when you imagined- gasp!- not eating grains?  

When the power goes out, people will be forced into a more primal diet by necessity- and most will not be prepared with the literal and mental primal "tools" to survive without resorting to immoral and malicious activities.  Indeed, one cannot imagine a worse place to be in a societal collapse, than in an urban area with ubiquitous panic and despair- and craving for baked goods, an underestimated threat.  By already having your body and mind tuned in to this mode of thinking- you can separate yourself above the rest, and dramatically improve your chance of survival.  The primal lifestyle is, in fact, intertwined with the prepper lifestyle.

Apr 6, 2012

Thomas Woods on War

Jeffery Tucker interviews Tom Woods

In the above interview, Tom Woods discusses his book: We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now.  The book, co-edited with Murray Pulner, is a review of anti-war writings from many different political perspectives.

From the interview:

"What I want this book to show is just that the propaganda surrounding war has been there in every one of these wars- and it's the same propaganda...at this point, how many times can your intelligence be insulted?- and that these things are atrocities.  Yes, the minimum wage is bad.  Tariffs are bad.  But, this is an unbelievable atrocity that goes on- on behalf of intentions that are usually very murky, and not made clear to the people.  The people are given propagandistic reasons for the war, but the fact is- this makes us callous.  This "public policy" makes us callous toward our fellow man- this makes us think of them as not even being fellow human beings.

When you argue with some of the proponents of these wars, you say, 'Look, you know, a million people died!  A million people were burned to death, with a chemical agent...what do you say to that?'  And they say, 'Hey, you know, it's war...that's war.'  And that's their argument!  They think that's an argument: 'That's war...'  So it gets back to, they utter a word.  And they think that by uttering this word, we can suspend all moral considerations- that you are a left-wing pansy if you even have moral concerns, moral qualms.  This has just gotta stop!  People gotta just stop thinking like this!"

"There is something about the human mind that just latches on to this way of thinking.  I myself was caught-up in it for a long time, until-finally-with that first Persian Gulf war...and I saw tens or hundreds of thousands of retreating Iraqi soldiers.  And, yes, they are soldiers, but they are human beings.  They have kids.  And alot of these people themselves, they're kids too.  They don't even want to be there, half of them, and they're maimed or killed- and they are retreating- or being burned alive.  And, meanwhile, we've got our yellow ribbins and our Bob Hope specials...and I just finally said, 'I don't know if I can do this anymore.  I don't know how I can celebrate and have a parade, when these people are mourning the deaths of countless people who never did anything to us, and who had nothing to do with us, who would not hurt us in any way because of the imperial ambition of some U.S. president.  You've gotta be kidding me if you are going to support that!"

I highly anticipate adding this book to my collection...