|Issue 6 - June 1972|
|How To Eat Cheaply And Live Like A God|
|One of the
cheapest and healthiest ways to eat is macrobiotic - a food system
with whole grains as its basis - rice, wheat, barley, maize, millet,
rye and buckwheat, and vegetables.
The writer of this is a vegetarian. This is also about vegetarianism.
There are many reasons why people are vegetarian. One of the reasons is economic - meat is expensive. Meat is also dead animal brothers and sisters. Trapped and exploited. Pumped with chemical foods and hormones. Slaughtered in their millions so that the more affluent members of this planet can have their roast cow for Sunday lunch, their pig and eggs for breakfast. The raising and killing of animals for human consumption is not only anti-life, it is also something that practically we cannot afford to keep on doing. It takes nine times as much land to produce 1lb of animal protein as it does to produce 1lb of equivalent vegetable protein. You don't need to eat meat. Whole civilisations have been and still are vegetarian. If you're worried about protein (which is a scientific / nutritional myth, but that's another story), then vegetables, whole grains, nuts and dairy produce all contain 'proteins'.
Thinking about eating is thinking about what you build your body with, what food you are giving your cells. If you eat well and simply you soon find that your whole being improves. Health and consciousness. Simple and cheap.
One of the best ways to reduce the amount of money you spend on food is to get together with other people and buy such things as sugar, coffee, flour, grains, vegetables in bulk. You then pay wholesale prices. Because we live inside a consumer / capitalist framework, every time a commodity changes hands for resale purposes, the price goes up. Cut out all the stages in between and the price you pay for food drops (and the need for consumer-orientated shops vanishes as well - co-operative living). It would be good if somebody could get a food co-operative going in this area. Buy food in bulk and sell it at cost price.
One of the main problems with food bought in shops is that most fruit, vegetables and meat is produced using chemical fertilisers, sprays, hormones, you name it, they use it. Fish is not much safer as the sea is rapidly becoming poisoned. Food grown using chemical fertilisers does not contain the same amount of nutrients as organically grown food (it also contains some pretty unpleasant poisons). Ever tasted a naturally grown carrot and compared it with those orange things they sell in shops?
(Basically what I am saying is that if you want good, cheap food it's best to grow your own. It's far cheaper and it's amazing what a variety of vegetables and fruit you can grow: from gooseberries to parsnips).
Fortunately more and more farmers (certainly in the States and to some extent in Britain) are beginning to realise that growing food organically is in the long run cheaper - mainly because the more fertilisers and sprays you use, the worse your soil gets. If you keep pouring water into blotting paper without renewing the blotting paper, eventually the blotting paper falls to pieces. Chemical sprays have also been responsible for widescale damage to the ecosystem, and some of their side effects may only become visible in the future. The price we may eventually have to pay for our disregard for the natural laws of growth, could be a planet whose soil cannot grow anything at all.
Try eating nothing but brown rice for three days or if you're feeling really together, ten days. It cleans out the system completely and gives you lots of energy.
Fruit and vegetables can be bought cheaply from markets late in the afternoon just before they close. Often they'll give you bruised fruit and battered vegetables. If you get given a lot of fruit you can always turn it into wine, chutney or jam.
A lot of so-called 'weeds' that grow in this country are in fact very good to eat. For example, dandelion flowers can be used to make wine, roots can be washed, dried and make coffee. (If you do this, be sure to use roots of dandelions growing far from motorways or heavy traffic roads. Lead vapour in car fumes is absorbed by dandelions and stored in roots. Lead is a cumulative poison - your body can't get rid of it. Another glittering star in the epic story of the motor car.) Fresh young leaves can be used in salad or cooked like spinach.
For lots of information on what 'weeds' are good to eat, see 'Get to know your weeds'. I know they have a copy in Newcastle City Library.
Bean sprouts - nearly all beans can be sprouted and eaten. High in vitamin A and C. Taste good too. Buy 11lb of small green beans from Chinese or Indian grocer (about 20p a pound, but one pound beans = six pounds sprouts). Soak a cupful in water overnight. Put them in a flower pot and cover with a damp cloth. Leave in a warm dark place. Run water through the beans three times a day. The beans must be kept moist, dark and warm to grow. Within four to five days you will have a flower pot bursting full of bean sprouts. The bean sprouts can be eaten raw, steamed for ten minutes, or fried in a little oil.
Peace, joy and liberation to all beings.
For the next issue I am getting a list of addresses together of places that sell wholesale / cheap food. Any ideas or addresses to Gordon, 51 Larkspur Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle 2.
Gordon's recipe for Maysies Dahl (enough for two people)
1 cup lentils or split peas (yellow)
Soak the lentils / split peas overnight in twice the amount of water
(2 cups). Next day wash thoroughly and place in ovenproof dish with
enough water to cover. Cook in a slow oven until lentils / peas have
turned into a thick paste. Takes about two hours at a low temperature.
The longer and slower they cook the better. Stir occasionally and
add more water if necessary. When the lentils are ready fry the onions
(and garlic) in oil for five minutes then add the curry powder, salt
and pepper and a little water. Cook for a few minutes then mix well
into the lentils and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
If you like spicy foods try adding a few cardamoms to the lentils
while they are cooking. Cost - about 6p per person.