Sunday, April 27, 2008
Picture from: Kwe Ceja Neji artist is Jurema
I am not an economist, really I barely keep my account balanced but I do see trends. I guess I started to realize something was a little funny when the Savings & Loan scandal happened (was that the 80's or 90's??). I then noticed the whole ".com" scenerio of having literal fantasy like companies ran by teens that were worth millions of dollars (are any of those still around??). Then came the whole housing scene. Everybody who was anybody wanted to own property and funny there was almost anyone out there who was willing to give you a loan (that you would never be able to pay back...). Now my friends we have reached that the most edgy frontier of Amerikan capitalist survivor maneuvers -FOOD. This one is a little scary because many of us are ADDICTED TO FOOD.
Yes, we are...and if we sense any kind of shortage we would do ANYTHING - I mean ANYTHING to get some food.
Yes, all the years of MSG, orange #5, natural flavors, artificial flavors, trans fats, and hydrogenated oils have finally come to collect on all the "goodness" they have been giving us. Very similar to drug dealers who give you the "stuff" for free at first and then when you are hooked then it is time to pay. I don't want to contribute to the scare but it is time to wise up while we can...if we can...
My wise friend says,"We have been trying to suckle at dry tit for too long" - to put it bluntly. Time to live wisely, time to see that there is no area in which capitalism won't try to touch. I am not a conspiracy theorist (even though I find it all interesting) - the word is that the investors of failed mortgage scams are now dumping what they can into hedge funds which somehow translates to food markets. COME ON THEY KNOW WE ARE GOING TO BUY FOOD! We may end up riding some bikes but we are going to have some food!
Knowing that CHANGE IS GOOD and we are going to have to ride this out...so we can see a world we really want to see...Sistah C is going to suggest her plan (it isn't the only plan). Here is my thinking and the thinking of some folks I have spoken with lately...
* Take your circle of friends, families and neighbors and start your own gardens. Doesn't matter if you don't have a lot of land - use planter pots or barrels. There is a good book called Square Foot Gardening Plan out who will grow what and form food exchanges with each other. It is pretty easy to grow stuff. I know if you live in the Bay Area there is an Oakland organization (I forget the name, sorry) that will come into your yard and help you build/start a small garden for this very purpose.
*Starting buying in bulk with friends and family. Bulk prices are better and you can stretch you dollar more this way. Take some planning. Research forming food buying clubs or food co-ops.
*Wean yourself and your family off of addictive junk foods. Food really should be functional not for entertainment. Marketing of food has us all use to using food as a reward. Time to get real. If there is an upcoming food shortage that $7 per meal you spent at Micky D's would be better used buying rice, beans, etc... We need to find other ways to celebrate, entertain and console.
*Queen Afua is one of my Sistah Mama Teachers from way back and she would tell you - you don't need flour, rice and all these starchy foods anyway to be healthy. A food shortage is a perfect time to re-evaluate your eating habits and be more sustainable. Lets not go and kill someone over a $40 dollar bag of rice (you know someone will try it), instead of falling for the hooky-doke and giving them the $$ - eat simple. Learn to do this early and it won't be much of a chore and you will have a strange sense of sanity when everyone else is crying over a $50 pizza. Meditate, do yoga, take a walk - make love not hamburgers...
*Ok, you can do this but what about your kids?? I raised my son on veggies and as a teen he eats whatever he wants but if I fix him a salad he eats it. You see it is NATURAL to like fruits and vegetables. If a child doesn't like them it is simply because they are a victim of dull taste buds and tv marketing. Just work it in slowly. Instead of chips for a snack, take some celery sticks, nut butter and raisins - remember "ants on a log". My son and I was just eating this like crazy a week ago. Instead of going to the fast food place buy a blender and make smoothies at home -children love smoothies and they can help too. Lastly, teach them more about helping the planet by not buying GMO foods and contributing to manufactured food shortages.
In my mind there is enough food in the world to feed everyone! When you see people starving in so called "developing nations" it has more to do with the fact that the country has to pay off debts to the IMF by exporting food rather than feeding their own people. I think India said this week they weren't going to play that game! In Haiti, folks are fed up with it, too. People starve and often there is a warehouse full of grain spoiling - this is the way capitalism works - starve your babies but we are going to get paid. Lives are taken over this worthless pieces of paper...Watch the movie Life and Debt and Mens With Guns.
Now is time to start empowering ourselves to take back our lives - to find more meaning - to not be continuous victims of marketing schemes and stock market woes...It is a time to really re-remember what truly matters to us and begin to live that way...Your thoughts on this are appreciated...