Lentils: An Investment Opportunity!

Only when the last tree has died

and the last river been poisoned

and the last fish been caught

will we realise we cannot eat money. 

~Cree Indian Proverb

After years of lobbying by powerful bankers and hedge fund managers, the strict (and rather sensible…) regulations surrounding speculation on food were relaxed allowing financial companies to make huge unearned profits (i.e. they didn’t actually do anything – such as till the soil or reap the harvest – to deserve a cut!) by gambling on food prices. This has drastically pushed up prices for essentials like wheat and corn, which has added greatly to everybody’s cost of living and is leading to worldwide increases in hunger, poverty and civil unrest.

Although speculation by it’s very nature does mean that prices do actually rise and fall, these fluctuations are rarely passed on to the end user (a situation we see regularly with regard to oil and gas), which means consumers have faced near constant price increases for food at the tills (not to mention a near constant reduction in the size of processed food products like chocolate). But there is a way to fight back – by fighting fire with fire and investing in food!

Don’t worry, we’re not about to suggest that you join the bankers in their addict-like quest for more, more, more! Not when you can invest in food and stick it to the banks at the same time…

The 5th of Jack Spirko‘s 12 Planks of Survival is:

Food stored is an exceptional investment. You simply can’t lose by storing additional food that you use on a regular basis.

In other words if you buy and store food you get a much higher rate of return than if you simply ‘store’ your wealth as money in the bank – and if things get really bad any Cree worth their salt will tell you that beans and lentils are a lot more digestible than cash. This is not to say that you should empty your bank account and build a cellar (not yet anyway 😉 ), but you should at least start thinking of ‘wealth’ in terms way beyond mere bank balance. At a time when traditional bank ‘savers’ are being hit hard it makes a lot of sense to diversify… things like land, food, building/manufacturing materials and gold are all sensible options (the SAS technique of carrying gold sovereigns hidden about your person to help buy food, shelter and safe conduct behind enemy lines is good prepper practice – as long as you know how to handle yourself in a mugging situation 😉 ).

Don’t worry if you’re not a saver, or even if you’re totally skint (I lost everything I had during the 2008 crash and have virtually no disposable income), you can still invest in food. If you grow your own (highly recommended) then you can experiment with different techniques for preserving the surplus, but even if you have no garden or allotment Jack Spirko shows that you can store more food than you think simply by using your regular food budget:

The key with storing food is you don’t run out and just buy 50 cases of military style rations and put them away for a decade in a basement.  Instead modern survival philosophy revolves around the mantra of “eat what you store and store what you eat”.  When you follow that concept you soon realize that storing food for the most part doesn’t cost a dime more then you will spend anyway.

A good approach is to join – or start – some form of buying group. Simply get a bunch of like-minded people together so you can collectively place bulk orders with wholesale suppliers. We’re currently involved with setting up a bulk-buying group in our area – so if you live in or near Doncaster, South Yorkshire then feel free to get in touch. We will place quarterly orders with the Yorkshire based workers’ cooperative, Suma, for foodstuffs which are easily stored (bulk buying is also a good way of buying other household goods like soaps and detergents). The order will be split up as requested between each member, but some items will be placed into our special rainy-day cache to be stored both as an investment and as good survival practice… more on that in a future post 😉

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Calling all writers, preppers, artists, permaculturalists, survivalists and appropriate techies!

The PermaFuture crew are currently working on an exciting new project and we’d like YOU to get involved…

OTF (Own Two Feet) Magazine will be a completely DIY/grassroots publication created using solely upcycled ‘end-of-use’ (i.e. scrap) equipment and Free Open Source Software (FOSS) applications. As with all PermaFuture projects we want to show that both the resources and the skills needed to create something new and exciting already exist within each and every one of our communities; all that really needs to change is our attitudes towards creativity, technology and blind consumption.

OTF will be a magazine about resilience, self-reliance and self-sustainability. As with the larger PermaFuture project, it will draw on the principles of Permaculture, Bushcraft, Martial Arts and Appropriate Technology in order to encourage the development of healthier, happier, more creative and thriftier individuals, families and communities. The emphasis will be very much on the practical, with each issue offering tips and detailed plans which can help people meet everyday needs, get fit, save money and/or become less dependent. We also intend to include philosophical, inspirational and lifestyle stories along with artworks, photographs, cartoons and letters.

As we’ve already mentioned this is a grassroots project which currently has zero budget, so we can’t offer payment or prizes. But we do believe that this is an exiting opportunity for writers, artists, cartoonists, permaculturalists, survivalists, appropriate technologists, preppers and planners to get involved with a brand new magazine… and who knows, if things go well we might even be able to pay people one day 😉

If you’d like to submit something for the first issue of OTF – or if you’d like to subscribe or make a donation to help get us started (offers of finance and/or equipment will be warmly welcomed!)  – then email us via editorial[at]permafuture[dot]org or leave a comment below.

The deadline for the 1st issue is November 18th, 2011.

Advertising inquiries to advertising[at]permafuture[dot]org