Thursday, March 10, 2011

Being Food Secure in an Insecure World

The world is falling apart.  This is not news.  This is not rocket science.  I happen to be Seventh-day Adventist and believe that this world will come to a startling end and that Jesus will return again, but even if you are not a believer in "end time Biblical prophecies" you probably recognize that there are more wars, rumours of wars, and natural disasters occurring closer together all over the world than ever before.  And that requires being prepared for the "emergency" situations that are going to affect all of us at some point-- the Hurricane Katrinas, the Haiti earthquakes, the landslides, monster blizzards, tornadoes, floods, etc. that will mean, at the very least, inconveniently long power outages, but more likely, no ability to buy any food (let alone good quality organic produce) and water, hunger, devastation to our homes, and clogged emergency response rooms in hospitals and walk-in medi-clinics.

 I live on an island.  It's a  large island, but the story out there is that within three days of no deliveries by ferries and truck from afar, any 'real' food will be gone from all the store shelves.  At present, less than 10% of what we eat here is grown or raised on this island.  You might want to check to see what the food security stats show for where you live.  If you, like us, are depending on surviving on food that is trucked in from hundreds, even thousands, of miles away, you might want to start thinking about what you can do to provide for yourself, your family, and your community when that impending disaster hits.  Educate yourself.  Do what you need to do to "be personally resilient" and not a further drain on limited emergency response resources.  And educate others in your sphere of influence about what they can do.  If you go here you can read what the large city of Vancouver has provided as a glossary for problem-solving around the issues of 'food security' (along with definitions for that concept) that might give you some ideas for your own community, or to check out what is already being strategized or exists as policy.

At a presentation at Seedy Sunday in Nanaimo I was so thrilled to find the book called Food Security for the Faint of Heart: Keeping Your Larder Full in Lean Times" by Robin Wheeler.  There is quite a lot of information on the internet (and in books, etc.) from an American perspective, but I'm excited to have access to information that is Canadian, and more specific and common to both of us, coastal British Columbian (Robin survived in 1996 in a small structure on Mount Elphinstone on BC's Sunshine Coast and our son Conrad lived on Mount Elphinstone, under a tarp shelter, in the winter of 2002).This book is a god-send for anyone who wants know about what to do to prepare to be secure, food-wise, during the grim days that are about to happen.  It is also entertaining to read just in terms of story-telling.  Information is NOT power-- really, the empowerment lies in doing something with the information that we come by... this book provides that impetus!
You can order this book from Amazon HERE

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