Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hard Times a Commin’: Linda’s Take

Excerpt from NY Times:

“…On July 25, the United States government said it expected the record-breaking weather to drive up the price for groceries in 2013, including milk, beef, chicken and pork. The drought has affected 88 percent of the corn crop, a staple of processed foods and animal feed as well as the nation’s leading farm export.”

OK, you probably have seen the news recently about the damage to the corn crop.

And you probably have heard our wise and intrepid news reporters and politicians tell us that farmers will soon need to slaughter livestock because there won’t be enough corn to feed them through the winter. 

And you probably have heard that the cost of food is about to go up another 5% pretty quickly.

Frankly, I barely have time to keep up with the issues of life, much less spend a lot of time following the news.  That being said, I can still tell you about some things that our government and the news media may or may not reveal.

Those of you who were victims of the banking debacles realize the devastating ripple effect caused by the unscrupulous high financiers.  At most, they got a slap on the wrist for their thievery and lies. There were a few scapegoats tossed over the cliff. But for most of them, life goes on as usual. It is the common people who have paid the real price for their actions.

Now, we are about to face something that is no one’s fault.  We are entering a cycle that is about to become especially unpleasant.  I am hopeful that by understanding the information I am about to share, it can make a difference in your life.

Those of you who raise livestock understand what is about to happen.  Here is how the cycle works.

What will be affected?

  • All livestock that eat corn-based feed
    • Cattle
    • Hogs
    • Poultry
    • Farm raised fish
  • All commercially prepared food products using corn
    • Cereals / grains / breads
    • Canned / frozen/ fresh corn
    • Egg products
    • Frozen dinners / packaged dinners / convenience foods
    • everything with high fructose corn syrup in it
  • Fast food chains dependent on beef / chicken products for their consumer market
  • Any non-food items made from or dependent upon corn
    • Certain synthetics, etc.
  • People in the industry of producing corn products
    • Farmers – some will go bust
    • Manufacturers – their laborers

Be smart! Be flexible!

This isn’t the end of the world,

it’s just another cycle.

Sadly, in this country most people have become dependent on others to provide the basics they need for survival.  We have become lulled into a sense of complacency. We’ve come to expect “The Good Life” that the media has crammed down our throats and many people think the world owes them a living. 

Not so, my friends.  Take advantage of this wake-up call to bring yourself and your family into a different, more wholesome, and better lifestyle.

Do not be deluded into thinking that in a few months things will get back to normal.  They won’t. 

So what can you do about it?

The fact that you are using this site tells me you are already headed in the right direction.

  • When the slaughter begins, take advantage of the opportunity to stock up on meat supplies.  Plan on dehydrating as much of it as you can.
    • Dehydrate plenty of ground meat, it’s really easy and versatile for thousands of recipes
    • Dehydrate diced meat, it’s also very easy to use
    • Think soups and stews, not steaks
    • Make some jerky, but don’t be dependent on it.  it’s usually highly salted and not suitable for so many of the comfort foods we crave.
  • Realize that there are alternative sources of protein besides eating dead animals. Do a little research. The internet is wide open for you.
    • Find out about food complimentarity. This is the combining of several plant foods that actually increase the protein and nutrients your body uses.
    •  Combining rice and beans is probably the single-best combination around.
    • Find recipes that stretch a little meat into a larger meal
      • Stir fried dishes using thinly sliced strips of beef, pork, or chicken combined with lots of veggies such as onions, celery, etc.
      • Ground beef dishes that you can add fillers to stretch it.. meat loaves with bread / cracker fillings
      • Soups using a little meat for flavoring, but dependent more on veggies
    • Include sprouted seeds for your table.  Sprouted seeds significantly increase the usable nutrients and proteins your body needs. 
      • See my post on sprouting.
  • Rethink your family’s dietary needs. As a nation, we consume vast quantities of meat, to our own detriment.  We’ve bought into slick marketing campaigns that tell us the best and most prosperous of us

  • Start a self-watering container garden. Yes, the drought affects us all and many of our gardens are turning to dust. However, for just pennies (literally) you can build your own two-bucket self-watering system. The advantage of container gardening is that in cold weather you can bring your crops indoors
    • Go to for instructions.  They use 80% less water.
    • Check with local bakeries, restaurants, delis and ask for their five gallon or one gallon plastic food buckets that they might be throwing away.
    • Check the thrift stores. Sometimes they have them.
    • Check local stores that deal in hardware and construction discounts for buckets and pvc pipe for the watering tubes
    • Bum them from your less clever neighbors.
  • Raise rabbits. Do you have room for livestock, even a little patch of ground? If you carefully design your rabbit coops, they are the ideal suburban (or even city) back yard. Rabbits are clean and quiet. Properly designed, your neighbors won’t even know you’ve got them.
    • There isn’t much corn in rabbit feed. Pound per pound, rabbits are highly efficient livestock for converting feed to edible meat
    • You can give them your veggie kitchen scraps
    • Too tender hearted to kill them? Find someone else willing to do it. often, they will take part of your meat in exchange for harvesting yours.
  • Go fishing.  Fish are an excellent source of protein, and especially good for you. There is nothing wrong with fishing for something other than sport or recreation.  Make it a family event.  Go every weekend. Get the kids out there with fishing poles. 
    • Don’t have fishing poles? Check your local thrift store. You don’t need hundreds of dollars in paraphernalia in order to go fishing.
    • Check with your local Fish and Game department. 
      • Find out if fish traps are legal in your area.
        • Look on line to find inexpensive fish traps you can make. They can be put together with scraps of chicken wire and even a few well placed sticks  in the water.
      • Find out if fishnets are legal in your area. They are a far more efficient method of getting fish that a hook and line.
    • Save money on fish bait.
      • You can trap your own minnows by using a simple liter bottle trap.  Search for it on line.  It’s ingenious!
      • Raise your own worms. Look up vermiculture on line. Find out how to get them started. Even if you don’t have room for a garden, you can raise worms in your house in a bucket.  One day when I have time, I’ll tell you about my worm bucket.  I feed them my kitchen scraps.
    • If you’re fortunate  enough to live in Alabama, find out about cane pole fishing.  You don’t even need a fishing license if you use a cane pole.  Check your own state’s laws. This might be a cheaper alternative.

Let us know what you are doing to overcome this problem.

 Let’s put our heads together

and share what we know.

 Please, if you have any suggestions to help,

post them here:


  1. Linda,
    Thanks for your insight and thoughts. We're all in this together.
    Beth Hunter

  2. Excellent! I enjoyed this very much and I thank-you for posting it.

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