CONNECT THE DOTS [#BetheChange]

keep-calm-and-tell-the-truth-6-257x300You can lead a man to water, but you can’t make him think.

We [as a modern day society] have collectively become lazy as a society by succumbing to the “selective perception” that the mainstream media has built their programming on – paid programming that is. By allowing others to lead our analysis of current events – without performing due diligence with what we read – we have allowed ourselves to be divided and conquered as intellectual individuals. We have have systematically given up our freedom to access of truths by allowing media “professionals” to tip the “fair and balanced” in the dir

Any one who has ever taken a Journalism 101 class (including moi) will remember the lesson on selective perception – as well as the journalists’ alleged “responsibility” to be fair and balanced as “gatekeepers”. The 101 also covered  topics such as identifying the target audience (i.e.  public), and writing at a level they can understand (apparently at a “fifth grade” level). That illustrious “gatekeeper” position is nothing more than a proofreading position as “relevant” information passes from the top floor (publisher), down to editor-in-chief, then the city desk editor, and finally to the lowly journalist who is hungry for action (and food since they make less than most elementary school janitors). So, now that you have a quickie lowdown on the school of thought that journalists are squeezed out of, it is easier to see why the “fair and balanced” cannot be achieved through our current mainstream media  paradigm.

You want the TRUTH? You CAN handle the truth.

The truth is out there, but as a society we need to understand that it takes a lot of insight, analysis, and due diligence to find what has been hidden from us. The first step to manuvering through the mainstream media paradigm is to read publications from other countries to find out what is really going on at home (America in my case). For example, there is no hidden agenda or motivation for a paper in Italy to hide key stories about the USA strolling into other countries and funding anti-government factions to “rise up” against their government. In fact with the amount of resentment the American “cowboy” stereotype has built up internationally,  we have to read outside the USA to see how most other countries love to cover our woes and follies!

Become a Hound Dog.

The second key to connecting the dots and gaining REAL information is to follow your hunch. When reading a story online (most muckrackers prefer drudgereport.com as a starting point), look for repeating names, and listen to your “gut” about their characteristics. For the past few decades (or centuries ) we have had a repeat cast of politicians and big business players – not a coincidence. As we working peons know, it takes time to work hard and save to move on to the next level. This cast knows that too, but they also know how to schmooze money out of others using grease (sans the elbow). Back room dealings, elaborate dinners, star-studded charity events – all breeding grounds for exchanging big money. Keep your eyes peeled and listen to your inner voice, there are many dots to be connected from the political theatre to the state of society that we were in.

Implement deductive logic in everything you do (and read).

I’d  like to pose this question to my readers, “Do you believe everything you read, or that is told to you?”  I believe the mainstream media already made up the answer for you, and it is “yes”. Don’t let them do that to you, OK? There’s no such thing as“bi-partisianship” in this country because everyone is now screaming at each other like amped up teens – especially with the topics of “religion” and “politics”. I use the metaphorical quotation marks because in general debates are now based on regurgitated Op-Eds from either the blue or red side of the fence. I side with libertarians and anarchists (always have, always will) because I want to know what, why, where, and how before I even remotely make a statement in conversation. In fact, it sometimes takes me months before I’ll commit to an ideal, or statement, because I will ONLY back a position if I have enough logic to support it.

Here’s the funny little thing about logic, it has to make sense in a Universal realm – not because you want it to, or because it supports some deep seated passion point you have. Deductive logic is parallel to the Scientific Method, which is the foundation for all knowledge we have acclaimed and accomplished up until now. So start backing up your viewpoint with REAL evidence. For example, try quoting industry studies, findings, journals, and historical evidence (i.e. history repeats itself – heard of the Roman Empire?) instead of HuffPo or Fox News. It’ll change your world – I swear – it will also change the decaying world we live in. Now that’s the TRUTH!

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DIG THAT DEHYDRATION

TSISG00ZFood Dehydration is the oldest form of food preservation, but is slated to be the hottest trend of tomorrow. Forget fighting zombies for savaged scraps of Twinkies and Wonder bread — knowing how to dehydrate food will save your cheeky behind.

Food dehydration is safe because water is removed from the food, and is an excellent DIY basic for the future while saving money in the meantime. Dehydration is a passive activity that on average takes vegetables 6-16 hours (fruit 12-48 hours) to dry. Food dehydration is also an excellent skill to know when rations are low  and beasts and looters are plentiful – not to mention you’ll have more friends to watch your back when you entertain them with a dried fruit salad and squirrel jerky!

DEHYDRATION METHODS:

Sun Drying: You will need three to four sunny days of at least 100 degrees in a row. And if you surviving in a sunny coastal climate – Mamacita says “you are a smart one,” and “be sure to use vinegar and lemon juice to clean off your simmering rock.”

Oven Drying: Of course you can try this option fairly easily today, but natural gas may not be around tomorrow. So no matter if you’re using a conventional oven, or you’ve designed a Dutch oven for the fire pit – keep the temp (at the minimum) 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and leave ventilation for constant air flow.

Prepping Produce
All vegetables except onions and peppers, and mushrooms should be washed, sliced, and blanched. Dry vegetables in single layers on trays. Depending of drying conditions, drying times make take longer. Dry vegetables at 130-degrees Fahrenheit.

* Beans, green: Stem and break beans into 1-inch pieces. Blanch. Dry 6-12 hours until brittle.
* Beets: Cook and peel beets. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Dry 3-10 hours until leathery.
* Broccoli: Cut and dry 4-10 hours.
* Carrots: Peel, slice or shred. Dry 6-12 hours until almost brittle.
* Cauliflower: Cut and dry 6-14 hours.
* Corn: Cut corn off cob after blanching and dry 6-12 hours until brittle.
* Mushrooms: Brush off, don’t wash. Dry at 90 degrees for 3 hours, and then 125 degrees for the remaining drying time. Dry 4-10 hours until brittle.
* Onions: Slice 1/4-inch thick. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
* Peas: Dry 5-14 hours until brittle.
* Peppers, sweet: Remove seeds and chop. Dry 5-12 hours until leathery.
* Potatoes: Slice 1/8-inch thick. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
* Tomatoes: Dip in boiling water to loosen skins, peel, slice or quarter. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
* Zucchini: Slice 1/8-inch thick and dry 5-10 hours until brittle.

The Drying Process – Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies should be dehydrated between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin drying your food at higher temperatures, and then turn the temperature down after the first hour or so (toaster ovens are the easiest and most efficient appliance). The last hour or so of drying time should be turned down on a lower setting. If using a conventional oven, turn to lowest setting (usually 250 degrees Fahrenheit), crack open door and place fan on side to keep temp low and breeze dry. Turn the food and rotate the trays while the food is drying (this includes in the sun).

When drying food, its best not to keep temperatures too low or too high. Temperatures too low may result in the growth of bacteria on the food. Temperatures too high will result in the food being cooked instead of dried. Food that is under-dried will spoil, and food that is over-dried will lose its flavor and nutritive value.

You will know your food is dried when you touch it, and it is leathery with no pockets of moisture. You can test fruit by tearing a piece in half. If you see moisture beads along the tear, it is not dry enough. Meat should be tough, but shouldn’t snap apart. Vegetables should also be tough but can also be crisp.

The Drying Process – Meats

Meats should be dried at 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit. Jerky should dry between 6-20 hours until pliable, but not brittle. Wipe fat off of the jerky while it is drying. Jerky does not store as long as fruits and vegetables.

To aid in the curing of jerky, meat must be marinated in salt and spices. The “OG” pioneers used 1 1/2 cups pickling salt to 1 gallon of water and soaked the meat strips in this for a couple of days. As an alternative to soaking, they also rubbed the meat with salt and spices (like garlic and pepper) before drying. The following is a quick and easy marinade:

1 C. fresh tomato puree
1/2 C. vinegar
1/4 C. brown sugar
3 T. Bragg’s Amino Acids
2 t. dry mustard
1 t. natural salt
1/2 t. pepper

Storing the Stash
Remember this key tip when storing your substances: moisture should not be allowed to enter the container. Dried food absorbs moisture from the air, so the storage container must be airtight. Jars and reseal able glass containers are the safest bet. If storing fruit leather, wrap in wax paper and store in another airtight container. Containers of dried food need to be stored in a cool, dark, dry place (60 degrees Fahrenheit – cellar conditions).

Learning to dehydrate food is also a great way to stay on a budget, maximize usage of seasonal organic produce, and ensure you always have the fresh flavors you love packed away in the pantry. Enjoy!

THE WONDER [less] WORLD OF BREAD

strange-weird-funny-pictures-of_bread-glovesBread is everywhere – in every meal and snack – but most bread options these days bare little to no resemblance to the “daily bread” from history. Just as with other processed foods, most breads (including many “whole wheat” options) contain questionable components that are unnecessary and do not add to human health whatsoever. Add in GMO wheat and you have a few more uphill health battles to conquer including an ongoing “bread” addiction that pulls you away from consuming the fresh foods [intended for humans to eat]. In fact there is no mystery as to why many people are now going gluten-free and substituting “clean carbs” such as organic brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, and millet for loaves of “pain” – you just look and feel better! But if you must have your daily bread, here’s a few compounds to veer away from when scoping out the labels in the bread isle.

For starters, most bread options have  two primary (and toxic) chemicals used in the bleaching and aging of flour that living beings in general should steer clear of: Potassium Bromate and Chlorine Dioxide.

Potassium Bromate: Potassium Bromate is a carcinogenic that competes with iodine in the body, especially when an iodine deficiency is present. It is linked to kidney and thyroid tumors in test animals. It has been banned from use in food products in Europe, as well as the United Kingdom in 1990, and Canada in 1994, and most other countries. It was banned in Sri Lanka in 2001 and China in 2005. It is also banned in Nigeria, Brazil and Peru. However, it has not been banned in the United States. The FDA sanctioned the use of bromate before the Delaney clause of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act went into effect in 1958 — which bans carcinogenic substances — so that it is more difficult for it to now be banned. Instead, since 1991 the FDA has urged bakers to voluntarily stop using it.

Chlorine dioxide: a basic disinfectant and bleaching agent. No studies have been done on safety. Some believe it is actually helpful as an anti-viral agent when taken internally.

Other “substances” commonly found in most manufactured breads include:

Agar
A thickening and stabilizing agent made from seaweed. Can cause allergic reactions but generally safe.

Ammonium Sulfate
Ammonium salt. Used as yeast food and dough conditioner. Fatal to rats in large doses.

Azodicarbonmide
A bleaching and maturing additive for flour. A number of reports have been published of individual workers alleging asthma induced by exposure to azodicarbonamide. May also be a skin irritant.

Calcium Sulfate
Also known as Plaster of Paris, this substance is used as a firming additive, yeast food, and dough conditioner. It is also used in cement, wall plaster and insecticides. Because is absorbs liquid and hardens quickly, can cause intestinal obstructions when ingested.

Fumaric Acid
An acidic agent and antioxidant.

Guar Gum
A thickening agent made from cyamopsis tetragonolobus, a plant of Indian origin. FDA says it’s safe in small amounts. Dangerous when used in weight loss products. It expands when wet and produces a feeling of fullness, but can also block the esophagus and stomach valves.

Margarine
The process of making margarine includes using a solvent called hexane. Hexane is a toxic and volatile chemical made from crude oil.

Milk Protein Concentrate
This substance has a shady origin – the dried leftovers of dairy processing from all over the world are mixed together and generically called MPC. Big food processing companies save money by buying this cheap imported MPC rather than paying a fair price to U.S. dairy farmers. Food processors are petitioning the FDA to change the definition of milk, so they can list the liquid form of MPC as “milk” on product labels.

Preservatives
There are three commonly listed:
* Calcium propionate: which is a mold inhibitor, and is also used as an anti-fungal medication.
* Potassium sorbate: a mold and yeast inhibitor that can cause irritation of skin.
* Tocopherols: a form of vitamin E. Used as antioxidant and rancidity retardant.

Propylene Glycol
Prevents discoloration during storage. Large doses have been reported to cause central nervous system depression and kidney changes in test animals.

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
An acidic agent used in leavening flour. FDA says its safe.

Sodium Hexametaphosphate
An emulsifier, a sequestering agent, and texturizer. Prevents scale formation and corrosion, and acts to stabilize product and prevent changes in appearance and texture. May cause respiratory tract irritation. Symptoms may include coughing and shortness of breath. Some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to the ingestion of sodium hexametaphosphate that may produce mild chest pain. Also linked to pancreatic cancer in continual doses.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
A form of lactic acid. It is caustic in concentrated solutions.

Sugar
Not toxic in a poisonous sense, but sugar molecules are 50% fructose, and fructose has been linked to health conditions such as metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure.

Titanium Dioxide Color
A white pigment used in foods and industrial products.

Xanthan Gum
Thickening agent made from corn sugar.

GETTING REAL WITH FOOD

REAL GoodModern diets consist of over-processed, lifeless foods that produce little enzyme activity and contain little or no fibrous material.  Simply put, we are eating devitalized foods that are not fresh, with fewer nutrients. Substituting processed foods for REAL food options is quickly becoming the link to physical AND mental dehabilitating diseases and chronic conditions such as obesity, lowered IQ and sexual dysfunction – just to name a few of the obvious side effects. Without the nutrition-dense, mineral-intense fuel that the body craves, we collectively drop the bar in life. Have you noticed the uptick in society’s downtrodden nature the past decade or so?

The current average American diet consists of eating lots of chemicals like coloring agents, artificial flavors and preservatives that can make the food appear more attractive and taste fresher.  Even non-processed foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, whole grains and meats often contain chemical residues from pesticides, herbicides, hormones and other products used to make them grow.  All of these substances reduce the amount of Vitamin E available for biochemical and physiological processes.

There are forty nutrients that cannot be made in the body.  They are essential fatty acid, 15 vitamins, 14 minerals, and 10 amino acids.  Collectively these forty nutrients are spoken of as the body’s requirements. From these our bodies synthesized an estimated 10,000 different compounds essential to the maintenance of health.  All the forty nutrients work together. Therefore, the lack of any one might result in the underproduction of hundreds of these essential compounds.

Ergo the Enzyme

Food that has been processed lacks major enzymes.  Every metabolic function in our body and every chemical reaction that keeps us healthy are helped by enzymes.

Without enzymes there is no life.   Enzymes run the body.  Every day your body burns enzymes to run our organs like the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, as well as the trillions of individual cells that carry on life.  Those enzymes need to be replaced as the body uses them up.

An enzyme acts as a catalyst, which makes something work more efficiently. For example, the oil in your automobile engine is a catalyst. Although your engine runs on gasoline, how efficient would it run without oil?

Your body re-supplies enzymes by manufacturing them or by receiving them from an outside source.  They come from raw foods – vegetables, fruits, and even meat.  They can be converted for bodily needs. When there aren’t enough enzymes available on a daily basis, your body begins to cut back from various bodily functions.  For instance, hair may become dry, nails may crack and skin may become dry – giving the appearance of an older person.   Then more critical, the liver will not be able to handle the excretion of waste products.

Fifty percent of all enzymes burned by the body are used in digesting our food.  When insufficient enzymes are available for the digestion process the body steals energy (enzymes) from other bodily functions.  Without these enzymes, due to the lack of them in the food we eat, the average person only digests about 30 to 70% of what they eat.

Processing takes a lot of nutrients out of the nutrient rich foods.

Processed food is made from REAL food that has been put through devitalizing chemical processes and then is infused with chemicals and preservatives. Beef jerky, canned tea, jam, hot dogs, and low-fat yogurt with sugar or aspartame are a few examples of processed food.

Processed foods are also fortified with synthetics. Most of the pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, cholin, inositol, vitamins B6 and E are discarded in the milling of breads and the refining of flour for cereals. To make up for the loss of nutrients during processing, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added.  Although helpful, these synthetics are not as healthy as their natural counterparts.  The amounts of vitamins returned in “enriched” flour are far less than the quantity that naturally occurs.

All the natural fiber, such as grain peels, are also removed in the refining stages. Because of this the diet ends up poor in fiber, digestion is slow and the waste materials stay in the body longer.  This sets up the perfect condition for toxic materials to form.

Processed foods and most all packaged foods also do not contain live enzymes. When any food is heated over 112 degrees Fahrenheit, the live enzyme activity is destroyed. Missing nutrients, discarded in processing and refining foods, allow illnesses to develop.  Research shows that disease produced by a combination of deficiencies can be corrected when all nutrients are supplied.

The bottom line is that when we put foods that are void of adequate nutrition and void of any enzymes into our body, we eventually run down. The destruction of live enzymes does not permit our food to be thoroughly digested. Then our immune system becomes weakened, and we develop degenerative diseases.

Nutrition and Output – What’s Your ROI?

Non-foods have one thing in common; it costs your body a great deal more to digest, absorb, and eliminate them than they offer your body in nutritional value – an extremely poor return on your investment that leaves your body sluggish and depleted.

Our ancestors preserved foods naturally, using salt, fermentation, and sun drying. Food processing has evolved away from these simple practices into more complicated and dubious methods. Today, nearly six thousand additives and chemicals are used by food companies to process our food. Many of them can have a devastating effect on our health. But there is one simple answer to avoiding these tainted treats at all time – shop mindfully. Organic, whole foods can be readily found at local farmers markets, natural food stores, COOP’s, and even your neighbor’s backyard. There’s no reason to fret over GMO’s when you are sourcing places of good intent while grabbing your weekly goods. Not only are there specific rules and regulations to being a vendor, or having a retail product at these markets, but these are also customer quality backed establishments. A savvy [and very saucy] crew of customers frequent these locations, so if there is any “whole foods, half truths” going on, these locally supported businesses will often lose the heart of their business – knowledgeable and caring customers.

So the next time you tell yourself “I’m just having a few chips,” or “this is the last time I buy this frozen cheesecake,” remember to ask your body what it thinks. Your taste buds may be easily manipulated by synthesized flavors, but your body will always crave what’s best for it. That’s called evolution my friends!

Ahoy Salty Mates!

clean-lemon-saltBypass drab and nasty commercial cleaners and get salty! Scrub down sinks, tubs, showers, tile grout, and floors of the bathroom with the abrasive action of salt. Salt also helps remove food stains from pots, pans, and baking dishes.
Simply adding water to salt creates a stellar paste that scrubs down your oven and countertops. And if you don’t believe me, check out this lovely salt [and lemon] post by Green Buffalo Food Company (thanks for the photo!).

Home Salt Scrub

In a16 oz refillable container, mix together:

1⁄2 cup white vinegar

1⁄2 cup salt (1/2 cup each)

Stir with plastic stir stick.  Apply to surface and use our scrub brush and microsuede cloth to scrub and wipe surfaces clean.

Other Salty Tips and Tidbits

  • Soak cast iron pans in water with three tablespoons of salt to remove caked-on food without harming the seasoned finish.
  • Combine baking soda and salt to produce a whitening effect while scrubbing surfaces.
  • Gently use the salt paste to clean painted or paneled walls.
  • Blackened Copper Bottoms: Slice a lemon wedge in quarters, then dip wedges in Kosher salt.  Rub the copper bottom until blackened spots disappear, then keep going until the bottom sparkles.
  • To clean Copper and Brass Add white vinegar to 2 tablespoons of salt until you’ve created a paste. Adding flour will reduce abrasiveness. Apply with a rag and rub clean.