Category: Crisis

2013 A Year Of Food Crisis

A lot of people were relieved the End of the World eluded Earth again… Many saw this as an opportunity to party hard, hang out with family and friends, share love and positive thoughts and smile more often. Which I strongly recommend. But, without having the intention of being the Grinch here, I feel the need to remind you the world hasn’t changed its color to pink. Just the opposite.

1
source: guardian.co.uk

According to The Guardian, world grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States and other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year.

This is due to several reasons:

Failing harvests in the US, Russia, Ukraine and other countries, which brought reserves to the lowest level since 1974.

The US has already reached a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year. On a global level, wheat production is expected to be at least 5.2% below last year, and other grains such as rice or soybeans are on the brink of extinction.

“We’ve not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).” (guardian.co.uk)

Prices of main food crops (wheat, maize) are now close to the 2008 level and are estimated to reach a brand new historical level in 2013.

2source: www.thisismoney.co.uk

According to the FAO, 2012 has brought food prices to a sore point, raising 1.4% September following and an additional 6% (!) in July. But that’s piece of cake comparing to what’s in for us next year…

Lester Brown, president of the Earth policy research centre in Washington states for The Guardian:

“We are entering a new era of rising food prices and spreading hunger.

Food supplies are tightening everywhere and land is becoming the most sought-after

commodity as the world shifts from an age of food abundance to one of scarcity…

The geopolitics of food is fast overshadowing the geopolitics of oil.”

The geopolitics of oil have already caused at least two wars in the past decade. And oil is simply something we use for fuel. Just think of what will happen when people start fighting over food. And I don’t mean neighbors trying to get the last pack of wheat… I mean countries fighting over food sources! I’m talking about…

A Food War that’s basically inevitable, since…

3source: rt.com

When Food Banks go dry, people get angry. A LOT of people! You’ve surely seen the last food stamps statistics. 1 million Americans went poor in just two months. These people depend on help from the state. And when the state won’t be able to feed them anymore, they’ll take the streets by the time they have to skip the third meal.

But, you see, the government would do anything (and I do mean ANYTHING) to keep people under control. This means the prospect of having millions raging on the streets is unacceptable. Therefore, they’d rather start a Food War than deal with a mass of angry, hungry citizens.

And since our army budget is about 30% of our economy income, war shouldn’t be a problem for the government. It’s all business. In the past 10 years, we’ve been involved in nearly every military conflict in the world. Starting a Food War to keep the sheeple fed and quiet is just another thing on the list…

Lester Brown seems to predict a similar fate for countries affected by the food crisis, such as the U.S.:

“Food shortages undermined earlier civilizations. We are on the same path. Each country is now fending for itself. The world is living one year to the next. (…) We are beginning a new chapter. We will see food unrest in many more places.”

In the light of these dark predictions for 2013, I urge you to take action and protect your family from the looming meltdown. We are not able to control weather, food prices or food reserves… but we can make a better future for our loved ones. Better enter the New Year prepared for whatever it may bring than being caught in the first line of combat in the Food War. Stay safe in 2013!

By Alec Deacon

Prepare Your Mind For The Coming Crisis – Part 10: How To Explain Disasters And Crises To Children

Childrenphoto source: thistimeimeanit.com

Last time, we started talking about helping children deal with a disaster or a crisis (whether they were directly involved or just saw it happening, even on TV).The article was dedicated to understanding the way a child perceives such an event, according to his or her age.

Today, we’ll talk about how you can identify post-traumatic stress disorder in your kids and what you can do to help them overcome this difficult time.

First, let’s see the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the FEMA website:

Refusal to return to school andclinging” behavior, including shadowing the mother or father around the house

Persistent fears related to the catastrophe (such as fears about being permanently separated from parents)

Sleep disturbances such as nightmares, screaming during sleep and bedwetting, persisting more than several days after the event

Loss of concentration and irritability

Jumpiness or being startled easily

Behavior problems, for example, misbehaving in school or at home in ways that are not typical for the child

Physical complaints(stomachaches, headaches, dizziness) for which a physical cause cannot be found

Withdrawal from family and friends, sadness, listlessness, decreased activity, and preoccupation with the events of the disaster

Keep a close eye on your kids and notice any strange behaviour, even when they’re alone, playing. If they present any of the symptoms above, give them all your support and love, talk to them about their feelings and even look for specialized help. This kind of experiences might traumatize kids for life if the problems stay unsolved.

But even if your children seem fine, you should still take the following measures during and after a disaster or crisis:

According to Divine Caroline (a blog I discovered while looking for some info onthe Haitian earthquake), here’s what you need to do:

“Focus On The Positive”

This doesn’t mean you should paint this rosy-pink picture about disasters. But when a child is face to face with let’s say an earthquake that shattered an entire city and killed millions, their whole world goes upside-down. And they will most likely suffer a great shock.

And a good way to keep the shock to a minimum is to focus on the positive: how lucky they are they’re alive and well, how great it is to be with your family and have your loved ones around.

If they just see the disaster on TV, talk about how organizations are raising money for the victims, how people help their neighbors or even drive from miles away to bring clothes, food, and water and help them rebuild their homes.

This way, they’ll feel better knowing there’s always someone there to help them, even people they’ve never met. And it’s also a great way of teaching your child to help others in need, too. Which brings me to the next step:

“Get Them Involved In The Relief Efforts”

You don’t have to pay hundreds to charity organizations to help families in need. If you can and you want to do so, then let your kids participate. Let them send the money or at least watch you sending it. Tell them how the money will help people in need.

If you can’t afford to donate money, you can send clothes you don’t need, blankets and even canned food. Tell your kids to choose a few of their things they’d like to donate to children in need: clothes, toys, shoes, whatever they don’t wear anymore or they’re willing to give away. Explain to them what happened to those children and how donations will make them feel better.

“Encourage Them To Ask Questions”

Let your children ask as many questions they want. This way, they’ll express their fears and doubts and you’ll find out what’s going on in those little heads of theirs. When answering their questions, make sure you:

Use words and concepts your child can understand. Make your explanation appropriate to your child’s age and level of understanding. Don’t overload a child with too much information.

Give children honest answers and information. Children will usually know if you’re not being honest.

Be prepared to repeat explanations or have several conversations. Some information may be hard to accept or understand. Asking the same question over and over may be your child’s way of asking for reassurance.

Acknowledge and support your child’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Let your child know that you think their questions and concerns are important.

Be consistent and reassuring, but don’t make unrealistic promises.

Avoid stereotyping groups of people by race, nationality, or religion. Use the opportunity to teach tolerance and explain prejudice.

Remember that children learn from watching their parents and teachers. They are very interested in how you respond to events. They learn from listening to your conversations with other adults.

Let children know how you are feeling. It’s OK for them to know if you are anxious or worried about events. However, don’t burden them with your concerns.

Don’t confront your child’s way of handling events. If a child feels reassured by saying that things are happening very far away, it’s usually best not to disagree. The child may need to think about events this way to feel safe. (aacap.org)

Now here are a couple more techniques you can use to comfort your kids. I got these from elev8.com, I find them very useful:

“Try to keep your emotions stable as you talk with your child”

Don’t let your kids see how upset, afraid or disoriented you are. Tell them how you feel, but don’t break down and cry for hours, because that will make your kids break down as well. Especially when they don’t understand why you’re having these feelings. So no matter how strong your feelings are, be patient enough to answer your children’s questions and ask them how they feel. Always be connected with their minds.

Also, if it helps calm you down, say a prayer together with your kids. Sometimes, it all it takes.

“Take them out of the house and enjoy being out

This is ok only if the area you live in is safe. Getting out of the house helps you disconnect from the negative feelings and reconnect with your family. Don’t feel guilty for having fun. Life has to go on and you need to keep your family happy.

“Turn off the television”

From time to time, turn off the TV. Even if you don’t go out, just play with your kids, cook something yummy or just talk to your loved ones about anything else but the disaster. Relax and try to have a good time.

These moments are crucial because they keep you away from depression and they reassure your kids that life will be good again.

You can find more practical information on how to overcome any crisis or disaster on www.myfamilysurvivalplan.com.

By Anne Sunday

Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week #9: Artichoke And Chickpea Salad

Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week #9: Artichoke And Chickpea Saladphoto source: www.vegetariantimes.com

As busycooks.about.com puts it: “Did you ever think you could eat gourmet food during a natural disaster?” Honestly, no. The way I imagine cooking in times of disaster or crisis is trying as much as possible to keep your regular meals, perhaps a bit less tasty because you have to replace some fresh ingredients with canned foods or dry vegetables and fruit.

But never have I thought you could cook fancy gourmet meals with the things you find in your stockpile. Well, now I know it’s possible and I want to show you how to make an amazing artichoke and chickpea salad, too. Best thing about this recipe: you don’t have to use all the ingredients on the list, so if you’re missing a couple of things, it’s ok.

But first, let me show you why this salad is worth preparing. Here are just some of the benefits you’ll get from the main ingredients:

HealthDiaries give us 8 good reasons to eat artichokes:

1. They’re High In Antioxidants

A study done by the USDA found that artichokes have more antioxidants than any other vegetable and they ranked seventh in a study of the antioxidant levels of 1,000 different foods.

2. They Prevent And Even Treat Cancer

Studies done with artichoke leaf extract have found that they induce apoptosis(cell death) and reduce cell proliferationin many different forms of cancer, including prostate cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer. An Italian study found that a diet rich in the flavanoids present in artichokes reduces the risk of breast cancer.

3. It’s Good For The Liver

Thanks to cynarin and another antioxidant, silymarin, artichokes are very beneficial to the liver. Studies have found they may even regenerate liver tissue. Artichokes have long been used in folk and alternative medicine as a treatment for liver ailments and the scientific studies are now proving them to be correct.

4. It Reduces Cholesterol

Ingredients in artichoke leaves have been shown to reduce cholesterolby inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase. They raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL).

5. They’re High in Fiber

One large artichoke contains a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber. A medium artichoke has more fiber than a cup of prunes.

But what about chickpeas? Can they keep up?

Elements4Health give us 3 BIG reasons to include chickpeas in our meals:

1. They Reduce Cholesterol

The fiber in chickpeas helps to decrease blood cholesterollevels. 47 participants took part in a study to compare the effects of a chickpea-supplemented diet and those of a wheat-supplemented diet on human serum lipids. The inclusion of chickpeas in the diet resulted in lower serum total and LDL cholesterol levels.

2. They Prevent Diabetes

Preliminary evidence suggests the consumption of chickpeas may be beneficial for correcting dyslipidaemia (when the concentration of cholesterol or lipids in the blood exceeds normal limits), and preventing diabetes.

3. They Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Regular consumption of pulses such as chickpeas may reduce risks of coronary heart disease.

However, if you’re prone to developing kidney stones, try not to eat chickpeas too often, as they contain oxalate.

Now let’s get to the recipe. According to busycooks.about.com, here’s what you need for 4 servings:

• 6 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley OR 1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
• 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
• 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
• 2 (18 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Now drain the artichoke hearts, but keep the liquid in a separate bowl. Slice the artichokes thinly and set them aside. Then, whisk the liquid with parsley, vinegar, oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.

It’s time to add the sliced artichoke hearts, the chickpeas, and Parmesan cheese. Gently toss.

That’s it. You’re done with the preparation. Now you can eat it as a salad or as a sandwich filling, as you wish. Enjoy!

More emergency food recipes on: www.myfamilysurvivalplan.com.