It’s Friday and since I don’t have to work today, you would find me at this morning hour with a hot cup of coffee, reading the latest news on the Web. Well, that is, I don’t have to go into my day job but I do plan on getting that flower bed cleared so I can get my raised bed in there, and prepped for the tomatoes and carrots.
First thing I come across of interest is Alina Tugend’s short piece “Penny-Pinching Is Fine, But It Won’t Save the Profligate”. (I actually had to look up the word “profligate”…lol. It means wasteful.) She’s right. Cutting back on the little things while continuing in our bigger and more wasteful ways gives a person a false sense that they are doing something.
Responsible Survivalism looks to the long term. In the years to come as resources grow scarce, jobs dry up and the way our civilization does things now, become undoable, we all will have to learn to do without and do with less.
We have a choice though.
We can learn to do those things which will help us survive, we can make the changes in our habits and lifestyles now, when there is still a backstop of plentiful resources or we can make them then when the smallest mistake will mean disaster for us, our families and our community.
You don’t practice fire drills when the room smells of smoke.
While we will begin to focus more on personal finance over the next few months, here is one tip from Tugend’s article you can start now. Cut back on the number of meals you buy from restaurants.
I don’t eat out that much but I am guilty of impulse buying at the grocery store when I know I already have food at home. A few pieces of fried chicken from the deli or a salad, when there is a can of soup in the cupboard that wouldn’t take more than a few minutes to heat up and would cost a lot less in the long run.
Even better, a soup not from the can but one I cooked myself.
That brings me to the second article that caught my eye this morning. The Associated Press is reporting of yet another E. Coli outbreak in our food, this time in lettuce.
“Freshway Foods of Sidney, Ohio, said it was recalling romaine lettuce sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands because of a possible link to the E. coli outbreak.
The recalled lettuce has a “best if used by” date of May 12 or earlier. The recall also affects “grab and go” salads sold at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh grocery stores. Freshway Foods said the lettuce was sold to wholesalers, food service outlets, in-store salad bars and delis
The lettuce was sold in Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.”
Is it just me, or don’t we see these reports with more and more regularity? Big agri-business again, profits over people.
One of those long term changes we mention over and over again, grow your food if you can. Not all, but as much as you can. Learn to grow now when a mistake like I did with my first spouts of lettuce and broccoli, just means a minor inconvenience, not hard times and starvation.
Its not too late either. Even with the warm Spring we’ve had, normal planting seasons are just starting. Do it this weekend, go by a local hardware store, or nursery, or as a last resort Home Depot or Lowes and pick up a few vegetable plants. Add in a bag of compost. When you get home, find a spot that gets sunlight and take that first small step towards a new life.
By the way, here’s my newest batch of both plants. They are going into the ground this weekend.
ADDED 05/08: NPR has an additional story HERE.
Not much to add but it did say the affected lettuce is not sold to customers, its just the kind they use in restaurants and salad bars at grocery stores. I highlight the link not for the story but for the comments. Very informative stuff there, if you have the time.
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