A Instagram page on food philosophy and affordable health through real food, developed into a series of zines by the same name.
Where Do Bananas Come From?
EAT SHIT & DIE
Chicken of Tomorrow
568. Sprouted quinoa, 5 seed, #sourdough loaf. #Bread makes up a lot of my diet - it makes up a lot of the diets in this country actually. the single most eaten type of food in the U.S. is the sandwich, so clearly, we eat a lot of bread. So it would be safe to assume that we all can make our own bread then, no? It’s surpassingly rare, though, because the convenience of sliced bread has erased that need from our brains. I couldn't until about 2.5 years ago and now I make on average one loaf a week. I feel like that's how it should be if I'm going to choose to eat so much of the stuff.
But we also are terrified of bread. Whenever I tell people that I believe bread is one of the most important foods to know how to cook, they said things like "bread is unhealthy" and "bread makes you fat" and "I can't learn how to make bread because then I would eat it all." We have had a fear of bread for generations, as the first highly publicized 'diet' written in english came about in the 1800s and it spoke bad about bread and good about lots of meat. People like to hear good news about their bad habits. This was followed by the caveman diet, the Atkins diet, the south beach diet, the paleo diet, the ketogenic diet, the whole 30 diet, and I'm sure plenty more I'm not familiar with, diets that shame the food we have survived on since the beginning of farming, and champion the foods killing us and the Earth. And so now we are afraid of bread.
But really we have just confused the word bread to both mean "the substance of life for nearly every culture of the last 10,000 years" (so including corn breads, rice breads, etc) and "the trash that is processed and mass produced and sold at dollar stores nationwide."
Bread is not unhealthy, but maybe the bread we think of is. I try to make my daily bread as healthy as possible, and so if I am going to make it most of my diet, it automatically makes my entire diet healthier. Sourdough was the first wheat bread, as our ancestors ate it. Bread made with added yeast is only 150 years old. Sourdough is the most digestible, readily acceptable by the body, bread that exists. Continued below.
567. Rain is such a beautiful thing, nutrients are falling from the sky and providing life for us. I’ve always had a love for rain - the sound, the feeling, the smell - but it is truly my favorite moment of Nature.
Watering your plants with a hose is just watering your plants, trying to give them water to force them larger, in the process making them weaker, more tasteless, and more dependent, not to mention lacing them with chlorine/flourish/lead etc.
But there is considerable transformation in every rain. Plants that have become rigid start to droop, relieved by the rainfall, their roots growing fat with the rich water.
Seeds buried deep in the Earth swell until they burst, shooting up towards the source of that rain. Ripe seed heads release their seeds in comfort knowing the wet season awaits.
Worms deep in the ground shoot for the surface for a drink. Birds perch up under shelter, eyes peeled for where those worms might be coming up. As soon as the rain slows they race to the ground for their fill in bugs and seeds.
Just as quickly the sky unleashes thousands of gallons of water, the plants and animals and all the life that thrives races to absorb it.
My small trench filled with this rain, giving everyone an extra moment of euphoria. Fast water destroys, slow water creates. Every parking lot we pave and tree we cutdown speeds up this water. And so the strength of that water is accelerating.
When lightning rips through the sky, one of the most spontaneous, and incredibly powerful forces of Nature, it explodes through the atmosphere. The air expands so rapidly it produces the booms of thunder. When connecting with the ground it can set the Earth ablaze at 50,000 degrees, 5x the heat of the sun.
Yet as it barrels through the sky, the most amazing thing occurs, the atmosphere is heated so quickly that bonds are broken and nitrogen is released, and falls from the sky.
Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for plant growth, it is the most heavily depleted by our crops, and the most heavily synthesized and poured in chemical form into our soil. But in Nature, everytime this giant electric strike rips through the sky, plants flourish a little more.
566. Plant things you eat and eat things you can plant. Planting funky peppers and okra is dope, but also make sure you plant the essentials. Visiting my mom today, pulling up #onions for dinner. Onions and garlics are essentials I make sure get in the ground every year because without a doubt, we will be eating them. So without a doubt, we should growing them. And considering that they are some of the most essential antibiotics our diets, I want them to be the best they can be. More than 2/3 of the entire country’s onions come from the west coast, and about 2/3 of the country’s garlic comes from China.
This can happen because they both have long shelf lives and are durable enough to be shipped and stored well for a while. But it also means that barely anyone here knows what fresh garlic and onion is like. Fresh garlic really tastes fresh, it has the same pungency with a sweetness and tenderness. As it sits and cures it becomes more potent and less complex. That is the garlic we get at the store.
Fresh onions are juicy and super pungent. And the green tops are hollow, oozing with antibiotic sap. Chopping them up to be used raw as green onion on a dish, covers everything in the sweet, nearly fruity, onion-y sap for a food experience you just can’t get with 2 month on dried onions from Oregon. And that sap is fresh health straight from Nature.
Feel free to grow the exciting stuff too, it’s fun. It’s part of the thrill of growing your own food - having something you can’t find at the store. But also plant the boring stuff, it’s sustainable. Throwing down 40 onion seeds (a single $3 packet of sets) gives you a whole year worth of onions.
By the way, I’m writing zines again on various topics to be released this summer. Any topics anyone would like to see a zine written about?
565. Got some #spinach, grown semi-wild, coming up through the straw and weeds. Spinach is believed to have started in the Middle East, made it way through India to China, becoming popular in Ancient Chinese cooking and medicine. It then made it's way to Europe as European countries began go all over the world in the 1300-1400s. Then eventually made it's way to the Americas and now sits in a plastic bag in every grocery store.
Spinach caught on quick in everywhere it was brought for a few reason. First, and most important - it comes up in the early spring, when other veggies aren't ready yet. So it's one of the first crops we can get our hands on after the winter (this is no longer obvious, as the other day I just got some beautiful tomatoes at the farmers market, that came from South Carolina. But only if you grow tomatoes you know they're not ready in VA yet).
Secondly it is a green that is both sweet and bitter. Greens are typically sweeter the younger they are - and we like sweet. And the majority of the greens on the market are baby spinach and baby kale, and now microgreens have taken the [wealthy parts of the] country by storm. And for full grown greens, we neutralize the bitterness with salad dressings that are basically sugar water, or we add vinegar or salt to do the trick. The name 'salad' comes from adding salt (in latin it's 'sal') to bitter greens to get rid of the bitterness.
But Nature knows best, and the bitterness and sweetness of spinach (and all greens) is very important to our health. Spinach is unique because it stays sweet to a relatively older age because it is 93% water vs kale which is just 85%. So you get a much better mix of sweet and bitter from the same plant.
Going back to Traditional Chinese Medicine, flavors are very important. We know that bitter encourages digestion - coffee and tea are good examples. Just tasting something bitter jump starts digestion, from saliva production in the mouth to bile production in the intestine. This probably comes from eating greens and weeds, as we don't have the 4 stomachs of a cow, our body works a little harder to breakdown bitter greens.
567. These are #wheat #seeds incased in red #clay to be planted (simply thrown all over my gardens) for this week’s coming storms. The book One Straw Revolution (free pdf link in my bio) has changed the way I grow food. It has solidified an idea that human arrogance gets in the way of our health. That our general idea of progress causes more harm than good (almost all innovations from highways to non stick pans to organic fertilizers to bagged spinach). And that instead we need to listen to Nature, learn from Nature in an indiscriminating way - not through test tubes and pH strips - but through being in Nature and being alive, and therefore reuniting with Nature. The farther we get from Nature the sicker we get, and the sicker we make Nature.
The book is the written by a Japanese guy in the 70s who was a scientist and then left the position to become a farmer, and spent his life trying to reunite with Nature, in the most practical way for feeding the masses. Instead of using pesticides he builds bird houses. Instead of trying to stop those birds from eating seeds in his fields, he covers the few seeds he wants to protect in clay (as I’ve done here). Instead of plowing/tilling and disturbing the soil (hurting the ecosystems in the soil), he just spreads seeds and covers the field in straw.
He claims to have the best yield of rice, barley, and rye in all of Japan and works less than 2 weeks a year. In a 3ftx9ft rectangle, he can produce 30 pounds of grain. That’s 86 loaves of bread from the standard 4x8 garden bed. I’m hoping to triple that with my garden space.
By allowing the birds to come to the gardens to eat seeds, they eat bugs. They keep pests and mosquitos down, making no need for pesticide for the plants mosquito repellent. I actually spread bird seed in my grass for this reason.
But they also eat my seeds I want to grow, I learned that the hard way, and the author did too. (Continued below).
563. Nature is perfect. Our human experience has come with a certain amount of arrogance - and idea that our intelligence can improve or shortcut nature, that we can do better than Nature’s irregularities and unpredictability. We breakdown of the components of food - fat, starch, fiber - and try to rebuild the perfect diet, getting sicker with each idea. Or we break down the components of Nature - nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium - and try to rebuild to suit our preferred plants, poisoning the land beyond belief.
It is only after all our research and theory that we come to realize the endless perfection of balance in nature. And realize our research is just a lens through which we can stare in awe at Nature’s magic.
800 years ago Leonardo Bonnaci became known for over the #Fibonnaci sequence aka the golden ratio.
The sequence starts with 0 and 1, and then each number after is the sum of the previous two. So 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc. And when you lay these out on a graph, it makes a spiral.
Bonnaci used this as a way to show patterns in Nature and the astounding part is how many things in the world resemble spirals or perfectly match these numbers.
Think of a pineapple, if you count all the stripes of studs, going diagonally, you'll see 13. Going the other way you'll see 8. Or if it's small maybe you'll see 8 and 5. Same with a pine cone. If you look at the face of a sunflower or coneflower you'll see the same spirals of 13 and 21, the same with rose or lily petals, the face of cauliflower, and the number of branches on a tree.
The spiral is providing the most efficient growth possible, packing the most leaves into one circle to get the most sun, perfectly arranging branches to be the most sound tree possible, or here, offering the maximum seeds possible to the world from a single #onion seed head.
These spirals make up everything around us - oceans currents, hurricanes, fingerprints, our DNA and literally the whole galaxy.
My dad even explained its role in the stock market as the Fibonnaci numbers are used to predict what a stock price will drop to after a sharp rise, predicting it almost seamlessly.
We’ve been asked to send 3,000 copies of these nationwide, can we double that? Triple it? Let @cvsprc know if you’d like to help distribute these in your town. We will send you as many as you want free of charge, we need as many advocates as we can get. The people need to know #PuertoRicoIsDying.
Printed 600 zines to distribute this weekend to continue letting people know that #PuertoRicoIsDying and to find more members for @cvsprc. Let me know if you’d like to help distribute.
560. Heirloom Cherokee purple #tomatoes starting to come up. Some of the first successes with my natural gardening. (Not tilling, digging, adding compost, or pulling weeds, aka the opposite of what all gardeners are told to do, yet as in line with nature as possible). It was all looking pretty dead for a while and we haven’t gotten much rain lately, so I was getting worried. But still, hope lives. Really looking to the earth for signs of hope in these painful times.
These seeds, saved and gifted through our ancestors, are pushing through the rubble. They will grow and provide, and we will continue. 🙏🏽
Yesterday in Puerto Rico, a number of organizations joined in the capital to peacefully protest the slow recovery and federal austerity measures being placed on the island. Once they tried to protest in front of the building of the federally appointed Financial Control Board, the police met them with tear gas. The Financial Control Board, appointed by the Obama Administration, has been responsible for the call for privatizations of public utilities, the selling off and closing of schools, the slashing of the university budget in half, and the cutting of minimum wage to $4.25, among other austerities measures during the 8 months of slow recovery efforts after hurricane Maria. At least 30,000 people are still in the dark. #PuertoRicoIsDying
Full video on @cvsprc @cvsprc @cvsprc
Source: Report by @DemocracyNow correspondent Juan Carlos Dávila