A reflection on the importance of treating with food instead of medicine…….
By now we have all figured out that the world didn’t end in December because we are all still here. But all that talk about the world ending got people talking. What if…..
There WAS an emergency - a flu pandemic, a hurricane, terrorist attack, nuclear bomb….
I’ll share a little known fact about me – I graduated with a sociology degree so I love the study of people and especially what would happen in an extreme disaster. I just finished a thought provoking book called One Second After by William R Forstchen. The setting is in North Carolina and the US is struck by an EMP, or electro magnetic pulse – this documented scenario can happen from a solar flare, but in this case, a nuclear device was detonated in the atmosphere high above the US – so there is no risk of radiation, but it fries all electronics and computers. In the book, the main character, John, is simply going about his day when he hears his daughter’s CD player stop playing music and the fan slowly stops turning. That is it. Next they realize the noise from the highway has stopped. All electronics with computer chips stop working. This sounds not too bad right?
Think about this. No one knows what happened because all communication is cut off. Everyone was waiting to find out what happened and what to do. If this happened – phones and radios don’t work so there is no communication, ATMs and banks are useless, cars stop working, pace makers stop, back-up generators and the computers at drug stores and super markets are dead and there is no way to truck the food, medicine and supplies that communities now rely on for daily deliveries. The people stranded on the highway, just driving through the area don’t know what is going on. Many of them need medications and food so they must walk into the nearest town – there are people that are so out of shape and unhealthy, they CAN’T walk for miles, some that make it to the pharmacy can’t get their meds because there is no access to the money on their check cards or their records.
For anyone on pharmaceuticals such as statins or other heart medication that could have been considerably helped through diet and exercise – in the book, they don’t make it. They can’t get access to the medications that they would normally simply buy when they needed it. People get cuts or ear infections – there are no antibiotics, so these minor injuries result in catastrophic infections. Any meds that needed to be refrigerated also degrade such as anyone with insulin dependence. How long could this loss of electronics affect us? Months or even years.
Also, consider this. In the past most humans had skills and trades. They were carpenters, farmers, seamstresses and blacksmiths….they had something they could barter with. Maybe some wool in exchange for food. Clothing in exchange for some tools.
How many of us in the US can grow our own food now? (Francisco and Vivian at my CSA, KYV Farm would have LOTS of new friends.) Sew? Cook? Do carpentry? Many people drive somewhere in our cars, sit all day on computers, drive home, go through the drive through, sit on the couch, watch TV, check facebook etc. What if we were at work when this happened? Do you have a crisis plan for your, your family and your children if communication is cut off?
At home, is there anything in your pantry you could eat if you didn’t have access to the grocery store? I’m not talking a package of Doritos. I’m talking FOOD. Rice. Beans. Nut butters. Cans of veggies and fruit. Things that would keep in any disaster and would store without refrigeration. Meats and dairy will not keep (unless you count spam but that isn’t really food, ha!). How about a way to get fresh water? If the electronics stopped working, my well wouldn’t work. How would I get fresh water to drink, bathe and flush the commode?
I’m not trying to worry or upset you but I am trying to get you to THINK of what you would do in different situations because when I started thinking about it – I realized I’d be in big trouble. I’m not saying I’m now a Doomsday Prepper but I do have a plan in case of disaster, a bit of extra rice and beans in the pantry, a water bottle used for hiking that filters water, and I called to get an extra bottle of my yellow Lab, Tally’s phenobarbital we use to treat her seizures. SIMPLE!
What else can you do? Take care of any ailments you can through FOOD instead of medicine. Start eating healthier and exercising. (I, of course, have to share info about my favorite super-food, Mila. Not only is it shelf stable, you could eat it in a disaster. This whole, raw food is what the Indians of the Copper Canyon ate on their long runs in the book born to run.) Especially those of you that are nurses and doctors. You have skills that are invaluable in daily life – in an emergency you would be even more valuable. You spend your days caring for others, please don’t forget to take care of yourselves!
I’m so thankful that we have found a way to treat my daughter’s horrendous food allergies of wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts, cod, red 40 and more through a healthy, whole foods diet. I used to have to get $300 tubes of steroid creams more than MONTHLY. I’m also thankful that my family doesn’t need heart, cholesterol, blood pressure or anti-depressant medication – we have taken care of what we can by eating healthy and exercising, but my mom has Multiple Sclerosis and uses an injectable drug called Beta Seron. What would she do in an emergency? Definitely food for thought. Americans tend to take so much for granted, myself included, but I’m becoming more aware. Water. Food. Medicine. Washing machines. Toilet paper. Dry clothing. Toothpaste. Antibiotics. Vaccines. All these things are trucked in daily – especially in inner cities.
So many disasters already do happen and the populations in those areas would be so much better off with just a LITTLE preparedness; so I implore you to ask yourself….what if?
Just think – if you have some shelf stable tofu and some gardening skills you could make this. No gardening skills? Talk to an organic farmer and see how they do it. EASY, sweet, salty and nutty – my whole family loved this. I used sun butter because my daughter has lots of food allergies so she could enjoy it as well. As much as I didn’t feel like cooking when I got home, this was so simple to throw together in about ten minutes!
Tell me – have any preparations been made for an emergency or disaster? What would you do if you didn’t have access to any electronics?
Sweet and Salty Broccoli, Carrot and Tofu Stir Fry
Vegan, Gluten Free, Oil Free
1 block tofu, pressed
1 head broccoli, chopped (from KyV Farm)
3 carrots, chopped (from KyV Farm)
2 Tbsp Sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter you choose)
2 Tbsp agave
1 Tbsp wheat free Tamari
Red pepper flakes
1. Heat 1 Tbsp water in a wok over medium high heat; cube tofu and add, browning on two sides, about three minutes, adding 1 tsp water as needed to prevent sticking; remove from heat and set aside.
2. Heat a second Tbsp water in wok add vegetables; stir constantly until tender crisp, again adding 1 tsp water as needed to prevent sticking; about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add tofu back to wok and reduce heat. Mix sunflower seed butter, agave and tamari in a small bowl; add to tofu mixture and toss to coat; serve with red pepper flakes if desired.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 11.7 g
Saturated Fat 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 365.3 mg
Potassium 801.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.0 g
Dietary Fiber 7.3 g
Sugars 5.9 g
Protein 19.0 g
Vitamin A 157.2 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 18.1 %
Vitamin C 241.6 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 20.4 %
Calcium 21.1 %
Copper 21.4 %
Folate 36.8 %
Iron 21.6 %
Magnesium 37.7 %
Manganese 75.7 %
Niacin 12.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 10.3 %
Phosphorus 30.6 %
Riboflavin 15.4 %
Selenium 24.8 %
Thiamin 12.4 %
Zinc 15.9 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.