Hope: Food and Medicine

By Nathan Barton

Anyone remember Soylent Green? SF story and movie? Well, apparently a company in California (where else?) is now producing a “super milkshake” called Soylent. Pricey stuff, too! (At least for us frontier Westerners.) Their website doesn’t seem to have a picture of the actual product, and it comes in two flavors: white and coffee (half-black, half-white), but the site DOES show all the leafy green veggies that supposedly go into it… I bet the stuff IS green. The site does say it is “engineered food” that is “intelligently designed.” Mmm, see any missing person lists lately? Or … shall we hum a few bars of “the cat’s in the kettle at the Peking Moon…” (FYI: not everyone is enamored of this stuff, whatever the source, as you can read here.

And speaking of green, did you hear of a tree called the Drumstick Tree, or the moringa? A couple of teenagers in South America have found that the seeds from the tree can purify polluted water naturally, including removing some metals like arsenic. The plant is indeed both green and some sort of superfood, with high levels of Vitamin C, and many other good things. 9 times the protein of yogurt, 10 times the vitamin A of carrots, 17 times the calcium of milk, 25 times the iron of spinach, and 12 times the vitamin C of oranges.

Mama’s Note: A quick read of those links offer anecdotal information only, not any scientific studies of the plant. I’m always seriously skeptical of any claim of something as a “superfood” or offering a cure for everything… Honest study, using a strict scientific method, is required to verify any such claims. With “science” so compromised as it is today, that’s going to be very difficult to manage.

Interestingly enough, most of the supposed “super foods” and cure-alls are tropical plants. Most will not survive north of the tip of Florida. And, since a plant’s properties are derived as much from the soil as anything else, I suspect that growing them in a pot in a greenhouse somewhere would not produce the same thing at all. But it would be interesting to experiment with them. Unfortunately, I don’t have a greenhouse.

Many things are “natural” and exist whether we’ve found them or not, that can deal with virtually ALL human-caused pollution: the earth is (despite all the screams by the Gaea-worshippers) very, VERY resilient.

I also found a plant called Queen of the Prairie or Queen of the Meadow which is a natural painkiller, with good levels of salicylic acid (aspirin’s predecessor, also found in willow and some elm), as well as other natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

An important point is that there are MANY things we can do to prepare for disruption of commerce, supply lines, and even local chaos. Remember that government FEEDS no one, CLOTHES no one, HEALS no one, and HELPS no one without FIRST stealing the means of doing those things from someone else. Be prepared to take care of yourself.

Think I’m being overly sensitive? Consider, please, this bit of news from Carrolton, Texas, where a woman has been arrested for selling tamales to her neighbors. Tamales are a staple of TexMex food: the first I ate was in a migrant farmworker camp in the Panhandle, at age six. Made in someone’s kitchen and sold to her neighbors, including the lady who babysat me while my mother taught piano lessons. I’m sorry, but canned (Ellis or NOT) and frozen tamales from Old El Paso (which, grossly, is actually usually made in New York State, as I recall), is what should be the crime (just exaggerating…).

Mama’s Note: Indeed… I lived in a mostly Mexican neighborhood as a small child. I remember clearly the absolutely wonderful food we were given by the mothers of our playmates. Some of the ladies got together each day and made hundreds of hand shaped and baked tortillas. Tortillas were almost unknown in the grocery stores at that time, and these ladies supplemented their income by going door to door in the “better” neighborhoods selling their wares. Nobody complained then.

Footnote: Soylent comes from Harry Harrison’s 1966 novel “Make Room, Make Room” and the 1973 movie adaption “Soylent Green.”

About tpolnathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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