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Old Git
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Food Security, is it time to?
Northern Raider August 2011
http://preppersuk.freeforums.org

Have you noticed the constant steady supply of news stories from across the world about problems with food security?

Droughts in Russia and Ukraine and parts of the US in the last 3 years causing wheat and other grain prices to more than double, and at times the grain itself being in short supply. In India and Indochina rice crops were so bad they stopped exporting rice overseas, Australian droughts then floods left much of their export crops ruined. Food safety issues from Foot & Mouth (again) Salmonella in European eggs (again), Various food poisoning outbreaks from wholesale suppliers in the UK. Salmonella and other problems from various sources affecting Bean sprouts, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Celery, Water Cress and other salad foods all in recent months. Some citrus fruits over treated with blight control chemicals etc. Reports (unconfirmed) of farmers in southern Europe and North Africa fertilising salad and other fresh food crops with UNTREATED human waste instead of treated and pasteurised which is safe. And it was topped off with the EU and European food standards agencies flailing around without success trying to identify the sources of the outbreaks.

Then if you look further afield reports of grossly excessive use of pesticides on some South American crops, the continued excessive use (according to some) of the use of Steroids in beef cattle (USA) and Antibiotics (UK).
Followed by the current break news stories coming from China and its satellite states about food stuff actually killing children, melamine found in baby formula, other poisons found in Bamboo shoots and noodles exported to Japan, Meat that glowed in the dark, Bread buns injected with die to make them look better, Poisoned milk and dairy products being openly sold etc.

Down Vietnam way the sea food industry rocked almost weekly about tiger and king prawns being injected with chemicals known to cause cancer to make them grow bigger. Fish coated with Formaldehyde (normally used to preserve dead bodies) to make them look fresher.

So we have some very serious issues facing us over what and how we feed our families as its clear many “Official” government approved food production systems are seriously flawed.

That of course is compounded by the HUGE increase in the costs of basic food stuffs from Milk, Cheese, Bread, Flour, Rice, Fresh foods, Fruit Juices, Root crops etc. I note on a personal basis our local COOP store and the local small Tesco has been struggling at times to keep even the essential supplies on the shelves at affordable prices.

Guys even most supermarkets own label budget brand foods are rocketing in price and apart from the extra impact on our wallets I find myself asking

“What economy steps and measure will the big farmers, producers and chain stores take to keep their products looking like bargains?”

Will they dilute fruit juices and milk even more?
Will they add more preservatives to make the shelf life longer?
Will they use bulking out agents to fill out the products that bit more
Will they use lower quality ingredients to keep the product “affordable”
Will they start using more hormones and growth boosting chemicals on the raw materiels.

The old adage of “We are what we eat” is starting to become rather alarming as I as a father find myself getting more and more concerned about food security, food safety and food availability in this worrying economic climate, so we have to start asking questions and looking for answers on how we can regain control over our food supplies for our families.




Is it time to start buying only from local growers and suppliers, small holders and allotment holders
Is it time to stop buying cheap imported veg from Southern Spain and North Africa
Is it time to stop buying farmed sea food from Asia and get to know your local trawlermen.
Is it time to stop buying Asian grown long grain rice and only buy Californian?
Is it time to buy only locally grown free range or semi free range chicken and eggs
Is it time to start keeping your own Chickens and Rabbits
Is it time to stop buying store baked bread and just buy flour to make your own?
Is it time to turn your yard or garden in part at least over to growing your own food?

Stockpiling and caching supplies of plentiful affordable food when it is on offer is only one preventative step we can and should take, especially for WTSHTF scenarios, but even on a normal day to day basis the issue of food security has moved much further up the list of “ To Do’s”

I think we must now at least look very close at the labels on the fresh foods to see where they come from, and where possible try and source locally grown food from known and trusted sources.
 

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Bushcrafter
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Food Security, is it time to?
Northern Raider August 2011
http://preppersuk.freeforums.org






I think we must now at least look very close at the labels on the fresh foods to see where they come from, and where possible try and source locally grown food from known and trusted sources.
For once NR, I find myself in agreement with you. Personally I'm trying to switch to as near an approximation as modern society will allow, of a Paleo diet, without taking it to extremes as still drinking skimmed milk and eating some grain products but otherwise sticking to meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, salads, fruit, eggs, locally harvested sea food and researching these so called superfoods. Also eating stuff that I grow and forage. Organic food is even more expensive in supermarkets than ordinary chemifarmed foods, so it is not an easy job for anyone to eat more healthy these days......
 

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Old Git
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know its a very difficult balancing act, BUT I find I HAVE to ensure the security of food AND its quality for my children, I stopped drinking and smoking when the kids came along, and I've made many other sacrifices over the years, But at the end of the day its my duty as a dad to make sure that I can feed my children and do so with found that is not likely to harm them.
In recent months I find the food security issue has risen to greater importance than terrorism or politics or natural disasters.

For once NR, I find myself in agreement with you. Personally I'm trying to switch to as near an approximation as modern society will allow, of a Paleo diet, without taking it to extremes as still drinking skimmed milk and eating some grain products but otherwise sticking to meat, fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries, salads, fruit, eggs, locally harvested sea food and researching these so called superfoods. Also eating stuff that I grow and forage. Organic food is even more expensive in supermarkets than ordinary chemifarmed foods, so it is not an easy job for anyone to eat more healthy these days......
 

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Bushcrafter
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1,420 Posts
I know its a very difficult balancing act, BUT I find I HAVE to ensure the security of food AND its quality for my children,
If you are concerned about quality at a reasonable cost, then you could do worse than check out if there are any organic farms in your area, as some of them have shops on site and do good deals to get the customers in, some of them deliver boxes of veggies also.Another good thing to look at for food security, is permaculture and forest gardens...

http://www.permaculture.org.uk/


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_gardening

http://www.edibleforestgardens.com/
 

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Old Git
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Hanf, I'm looking into those and also looking into sustainable communities and transition town networks, to give my kids the best chance of a decent future its going to take more than just the small and widely distributed prepper community, I want to see it become law that every community is provided with enough low cost allotments to meet demand, and that all new housing development have by default land set aside for community food production.
 

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Bushcrafter
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1,420 Posts
Thanks Hanf, I'm looking into those and also looking into sustainable communities and transition town networks, to give my kids the best chance of a decent future its going to take more than just the small and widely distributed prepper community, I want to see it become law that every community is provided with enough low cost allotments to meet demand, and that all new housing development have by default land set aside for community food production.
I like the forest garden idea, I don't know how easy that is to set up but it looks like once it starts to come online, you get a lot more varied foods from the same area, than if you just used the land to monocrop vegetables.....
 

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V
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21,713 Posts
The trick most often employed is to reduce product size while not reducing the packaging. I saw on morning TV about a year or so ago where chocolate bars had reduced in size and obviously weight but the packaging size had remained the same so the eye is decieved, how often do you check the weight on a mars or snicker?

This is a nice looking garden:

We're getting more into growing as time goes on, atm we can't turn as much of the garden over to food production as I'd like because its important to have a safe green space for the kids to play, that said we're still on a learning curve :eek::
 

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Simplest form of food security you can have is to grow your own. Research various fruit and veg and when to plant and harvest them then set out areas of your garden out for the most productive methods possible. Taking seeding and harvesting times into account means you can get 2-3 harvests per year from the same ground instead of 1.

(not forgetting to take crop rotation into account and leaving the land unused part of the time to recover)

An allotment can be a useful means of achieving this.
 

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Many valid points N.R, I think food security ranks up there with energy security as the most important issue, as with future energy scarcity, food shortages will come. At the moment we live in a period of super abundance in the western world, this will change in the coming years...
 

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Bushcrafter
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Growing in my grandparents garden and the forest area around. With the exception of my grandparents, nobody picks berries anymore! Peope are so damn lazy!
In this neck of the woods, it is not just that they are lazy, people think that you are mad if they see you picking berries or apples, and seem convinced that wild food is toxic, they are totally conditioned into paying top dollar for expensive imported fruit in supermarkets (I believe that it is they who are mad :upsidedown:)
 

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Non semper erit aestas.
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very very tired!
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Up here everybody grows food and forages. The rural ladies make awesome jam :) But its not easy trying to cope with bad weather & lets you see how hard it was back in the day when that's all you had .
 

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Old Git
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Porridge Jam
Porridge Marmalade
Porridge Preserve
Porridge salad
Porridge Pickle
Porridge Saurkraut
:D:


Up here everybody grows food and forages. The rural ladies make awesome jam :) But its not easy trying to cope with bad weather & lets you see how hard it was back in the day when that's all you had .
 

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Para Bellum
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What really irritated me this year was the Highway Dept. We had some of the biggest, juiciest blackberries growing along some roads in the area. They stretched for miles on some of the backroads. Apparently blackberries are a noxious, invasive weed here. They sprayed and killed every single one this year.

There are a lot of people who are pretty miffed about this, myself included.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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23,959 Posts
Sadly I saw this coming. I got 150 acres of forest and began an orchard and forest-garden.

We moved to an area where the permaculture movement is growing, becoming popular.

We know many people here who earn support themselves from selling/bartering their produce.

We are very fortunately to have moved to an area where off-grid / self-sufficient / organic-sustainable living is accepted and growing in popularity.

Next month is the annual fair that is really focused on these topics. My wife does a workshop there on baking breads, pizza dough and cookies using dried-bean flour. :) Last year they average 30,000 people each day at the fair.



I was rather upset 6 months ago when the news article came out about how much crap is in Taco Bell's meat filling. But really it is in all corporate pre-processed 'foods'.
 

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Old Git
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3,220 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Same here in Co Durham, the bloody council sprayed and cut down a huge 200 yard stretch of wild blackberries that surround a local Industrial Estate, Pillocks.

What really irritated me this year was the Highway Dept. We had some of the biggest, juiciest blackberries growing along some roads in the area. They stretched for miles on some of the backroads. Apparently blackberries are a noxious, invasive weed here. They sprayed and killed every single one this year.

There are a lot of people who are pretty miffed about this, myself included.
 

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Banned
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They (the local council) wont spray anything around here,they are too busy trying to save money, in any case they dont employ direct staff anymore and they are too tight to pay an outside firm.
 
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