Real Freedom Through Food and Water Self-Sufficiency

by Paul A. Phillips, Guest, Waking Times 

One of the many brutal truths about humans is that although it’s something we cannot do without, most of us are quite ignorant when it comes to knowing how our food and water is obtained. Spending very little time with nature, many of us have practically no knowledge of how to achieve food and water self-sufficiency.

We have allowed ourselves to become a mutant race: A major reason for our disconnection from Mother Nature and the resulting inability to be self-sufficient is that we have become overly dependent and taken over by electronics. We have become brainwashed into eking out our narrow everyday existences forever hooked into computers, TV’s, cell phones, mp3’s and ‘smart’ (dumb) technologies, threatening our health and wellbeing…

Put another way, we live in an electronic concentration camp where lawless statist control freak governments use and abuse their power through electronically hacking and spying on us, as confirmed by recent Wikileaks revelations.

-But there is an alternative way of life

In recent years a number of practical, innovative methodologies for cultivating and harvesting food and water have arisen. These small setups have allowed individuals and groups to be independent and self-sufficient.

They offer healthier alternative lifestyles to our electronic-based daily existences allowing us to connect to Mother Nature. Further, they provide alternatives to the big food and big agricultural corporate-based profit-driven owned and controlled industrial monocultures with their health and life-threatening toxins:

These food and agricultural mega-corporations with their mass-produced junk foods, synthetic pesticide toxins and genetically modified crops causing diseases and allergies, threatening species diversity and ecosystems… have failed to save the world. -If allowed to go on they could bring disastrous consequences for all of us.

Self-sufficiency through local farming

In contrast, a healthier natural-based alternative exists in the form of local farming. These small-scale operations made up of organic farms have shown great promise: With the adaptive and innovative skill sets acquired by their farmers for self-sufficiency, local farms are increasing exponentially in numbers all over the world.

They provide solutions for ending the ‘war on poverty,’ as recognized by governments who have helped with their development through funding. However, Big Food and Big Agriculture realize that local farms are a threat to their businesses and have persuaded governments to reduce funds.

Because of this, local farming pioneers know that they have a fight on their hands. If food freedom is to be achieved through thriving local farms then it’s necessary to fight the big corporations. Stop them from influencing politicians and persuade governments to provide more funding, otherwise the ‘war on poverty’ will be a complete farce.

Permaculture gardening and food communities

Harmonizing with nature, permaculture is another eco-friendly way of living. More than just gardening and farming, all the necessary  resources including water, health provisions, soil, building infrastructure… are provided for local community based living. If one resource is missing then another community can provide it. No one becomes isolated, lonely, poverty-stricken, hungry or homeless…

Thus, unlike the corporate and government based ways with their pyramid power structures focussing on competition, this new paradigm approach is flat, having no hierarchy and focuses on cooperation.

-For more on permaculture gardening and food communities go, here.

Biodynamic Organic Farming

As with local farms and permaculture communities, biodynamic farming produces organic food free from GMO’s and toxins found in herbicides, fungicides and pesticides. However, what makes biodynamic farming different is that it doesn’t use outside fertilizers. It has to produce its own compost and nutrient-based fertility, and has done this quite efficiently.

Further, unlike the others, it works on a number of principles originated by Rudolph Steiner: For efficient yields it may take into account the astrological positions and cycles of the moon and stars. For example, it has been said that a full moon is the best time for harvesting. In contrast, a new moon is the best time for planting… Other techniques include enriching the soil with various preparations such as cow’s manure and mineral solutions to promote good soil health.

Although there is much scepticism, lack of supporting scientific evidence for its claims, biodynamic farming has increased exponentially in recent times. It has grabbed the attention and interests of a number of pro-organic companies… Some have described it as the new organic farming.

Rainwater harvesting

The benefits of drinking frequent and regular supplies of good clean water for maintaining optimum health are numerous. However, over the years, the quality of our water supplies has deteriorated.

For examples, rivers in the USA have been found to have high levels of pesticide and herbicide chemicals from nearby farming industry, as in the case of the river and other water supplies in Iowa. High toxicity in the form of cancer and hormone disrupting industrial chemicals has leached out into our drinking water supplies in many places across the nation. Disintegrating infrastructure has also contributed to the toxicity. Take for instance, the lead poisoning case in Flint, Michigan. Then there’s the ill-health caused by fluoride in the water and pollution through fracking…

As a solution a number of people have chosen to use water purification or filtration systems, such as reverse osmosis. That’s fine, but what happens if the electricity supply is disrupted? What if there was a long-term power cut..?

-To get ‘round this and sidestep the municipal water woes, an Arizona based man has invented what he and his family call a jerry-rigged rainwater harvesting system. Involving various infrastructure including gutters, downspouts, drains, pipes and a series of large polythene tanks, the system manages to collect rainwater which supplies 95% of the family’s water needs. –That’s quite an achievement when considering that the family live close to the desert, giving them only about 12 inches of rain over a year.

The layout can be seen in this video starting at 2:40 in. Or go here for how it works.

Final Thoughts

As the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of invention.’ Adaptive and innovative methodologies for food and water self-sufficiency not only gives us the opportunity for going back to our roots and living the simpler life, but also serves to prepare for uncertain times to come.

About the Author

Paul A. Philips is the author of

This article (Real Freedom Through Food and Water Self-Sufficiency) was originally created and published by and is re-posted here with permission.


A Dietary Treatment for Depression

wikimedia commons
Source: wikimedia commons

A randomized controlled trial shows the right diet can improve depression.

For the past seven years, I’ve been writing articles about food and mood, exploring how different diets and types of foods might create or help mental healthproblems. Despite a great amount of interest in this topic spawning dozens of popular books from Grain Brain to Eat Complete, the data we had was always limited. The vast majority of studies about food and mental health are observational, meaning some form of asking people what they eat and then tracking mental health variables. These data are limited by different types of bias, food studies being particularly prone to bias, as they are often done with “food frequency questionnaires” or FFQs asking about how many hamburgers or vegetables you eat. Even one of the most validated FFQs in the world, the one used for the Nurses’ Health study, has severe limitations. People who lied more about hamburger intake were healthier than those who didn’t, for example. With observational data, you usually find that healthy people who care about their health and listen to health messaging are healthier. Large observational studies are mostly interesting if they have findings that are opposite what is expected (for example, coffee drinkers, despite smoking more and drinking more alcohol, score higher on several measures of good health).

The real meat of science is in the randomized controlled trial. That means taking two groups of people, putting one through an experiment and one through a control, and seeing if there is a difference in outcomes between the groups. When it comes to mental illness, we did have some data for the use of randomized controlled trials of certain diets and some mood outcomes. All of these studies had depression as one of the measured endpoints, but none of these were in a group of depressed people trying different diets to feel better. The measures of depression were just collected along the way of a trial looking at something else (such as heart disease). In these trials, changing diet to various options (such as Mediterranean or lower cholesterol) didn’t worsen symptoms of depressed mood, but only diet trials that didn’t restrict red meat or weren’t described as “low cholesterol” diets were effective in lowering measures of depression by the end of the study. Another randomized therapy trial for early depression in the elderly used a nutritional instruction arm as the control (thinking that food instruction was neutral and wouldn’t help mental health), finding it equal to a type of community-based psychotherapy in preventing worsening of depression.

This year, finally, we have the SMILES trial, the very first dietary trial to look specifically at a dietary treatment in a depressed population in a mental health setting. Participants met criteria for depression and many were already being treated with standard therapy, meds, or both. The designers of this trial took the preponderance of observational and controlled data we already have for general and mental health and decided to train people using dietary advice, nutritional counseling, and motivational interviewing directed at eating a “modified Mediterranean diet” that combined the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Dietary Guidelines for Adults in Greece. They recommended eating whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, unsweetened dairy, raw nuts, fish, chicken, eggs, red meat (up to three servings per week), and olive oil. Everyone in the study met criteria for a depressive disorder…




Source: Steep Hill Labs


The prevalence of pesticides and contaminants in retail cannabis is one of the most important issues facing the industry. As more states require testing, the high levels of pesticides in retail products are causing alarm among consumers and regulators concerned about the potential health effects of these chemicals, especially on medical patients with compromised immune systems.

The extent of the problem was highlighted by Steep Hill Labs, a leading cannabis-testing company. It found that, if California implemented the same testing requirements adopted by Oregon, 84 percent of the products tested in the state would fail—an alarmingly high number for the country’s largest cannabis market. Nor is the pesticide problem confined to California: The Association of Commercial Cannabis Companies estimates that half of the cannabis tested around the country contains measurable levels of pesticides, though the exact number is still not known. As Jeffrey Raber, president of the ACCL, states: “Cultivating-agent contamination is a huge concern.”

Technological advances in testing have enabled us to see the true extent of the problem. As the ACCL reports, “Using state-of-the-art mass-spectrometry-based approaches, we have broadened the ability to detect more of these cultivating agents and have come to understand that this problem is larger and more complex than anyone initially suspected.”

One of the most prevalent pesticides, myclobutanil, is of particular concern in smoked forms of cannabis, because it turns into hydrogen cyanide—a compound that is toxic to humans—when combusted. Sixty-six percent of the cannabis samples tested in California contained myclobutanil, indicating its widespread use despite the health risks it poses.

The intensive use of pesticides in loosely regulated cannabis markets is understandable: The plant is highly susceptible to fungal infections that can damage entire crops, which can be extremely costly to growers. This leads some to overuse pesticides, resulting in residual levels in the harvested plants that far exceed what is considered safe for human consumption. A single joint of contaminated cannabis may not be enough to kill or cause severe harm, but the cumulative effects of ingesting contaminated cannabis may pose serious long-term health risks to cannabis consumers.

The increased focus on pesticides is being fueled by a greater interest on the part of consumers in the quality of the cannabis they purchase. In illicit markets, cannabis consumers had very little access to information about its source, its potency or its quality. With the transition to legal cannabis markets, especially those that now mandate testing, consumers are seeing for the first time the extent of the contaminant problem in cannabis, and are increasingly demanding more information on product quality.

Cannabis testing has become more widespread as recreational and medical marijuana states include testing requirements in their regulations. Under the newly passed adult-use law in California, for example, all cannabis will need to be tested before it reaches store shelves.

While the precise testing requirements have yet to be finalized, the extent of the pesticide problem revealed in Steep Hill’s analysis indicates that many growers will need to change their practices to ensure that their products can be sold. This may make it more challenging for growers, but the public-health concerns raised by unfettered pesticide use are too significant to ignore.

John Kagia is executive vice president of industry analytics for New Frontier Data.


We Are Walking a Tightrope Through Chaos

by Julian Rose, Contributor, Waking Times

Rational observation leads one to be unable to deny the undeniable: the toxic burden now being carried by the Earth’s atmosphere, living matter, animals and humans, has taken us all to the brink of apocalypse.

Yet, in spite of evidential states of dramatic damage to the fabric of life on Earth, radiantly beautiful children are birthing on this planet every day, as if in defiant declarations of the power of life over death.

These children are arriving even as nuclear reactors leak, catch fire and melt down, depositing their deadly radioactive isotopes around the planet. Even as a persistent drum beat ‘for war’ reverberates across continents and seas. Even as mind numbed and micro-chipped robotic humans blunder blindly onwards towards their slavish epiphany. Even as the skies are torn apart by streams of aluminum sulphate nano particles, and depleted uranium continues its mission as a weapon of mass destruction, to rip the very heart out of the warm corpuscles of life.

Yes, in spite of these – and so many more – acts of political, military and corporate sabotage upon the sentient veins of sacred living matter, the children of genius keep coming. And quantum physics reveals the absolute inter-connectivity of the diversity of all life, and how we are one. All one.

While plants and animals suffer the fate of being genetically engineered into new species, further denaturing an already deformed environment, the humble element of water is revealed to be a crystalline gift of the gods with exceptional powers to sooth and heal.

It is an extraordinary time on this blessed beleaguered planet. Resonant with extremes. Extremes that squeeze us and squeeze us, either into acts of submission or acts of rebellion and revolution, born of revelation.

We who are ‘alive’ choose rebellion. A passionate refusal to give-in. However, in order to make our rebellion into something capable of moving forward, manifesting itself as positive action in the here and now, it becomes all important to retain focus and not be pulled out of line by that which manifests as the crazed daily reality.

So let us be aware: we are up against a gathering storm of politically led divisiveness , and as a consequence, are being blinded by a confusion of emotive, violent, media manipulated images; blind and bigoted rhetoric, ‘fake news’ and a deluge of acts of narcissistic criminal self-indulgence.

We are faced by ‘legalized corruption’ becoming the common code of governments across the world.

‘Democracy’ is morphing into totalitarian centralization, in which the ‘executive’ takes unto itself the right to enact laws that grant, a priori, exclusive powers to the state or premier; including establishing a ‘snoopers charter’ to cover total surveillance of citizens’ activities.

But even as this is happening, higher levels of consciousness are rising up to counteract the all-out drive for the rule of fascism. At the time of writing, the Schumann Resonance is peaking at 40Hz +. A substantial increase in recent levels of between 7.8 and 15 Hz. Many believe this frequency rate to be directly correlated with an upward trend in spirit oriented energies supporting mankind’s liberation from the yoke of absolute autocratic control.

The confusion manifesting here and now on this planet, takes the form of an orchestrated war, enacted by global institutions and governments, to remove the last vestiges of what we have come to call our ‘civil liberties’. Diversity and individuality are being eaten-up by perversity and conformity. Large corporations get larger still, swallowing competitors as they go. Governments, I repeat, deftly take unto themselves ever more authority to control, with incremental accumulations of power being seized almost at will.

The centralized super-state looms ever nearer, under the moniker of organized protection against a rise in ‘terrorism’. Yes, the very terrorism which the state itself instigated by embarking on violent invasions of foreign territories and massive sales of armaments to those willing to work for illegitimate ‘regime change’.

Back on home turf, crusading armies of ‘believers’ in this that and the other, slug it out in an orchestrated war of ‘left’ versus ‘right’. Extreme left versus extreme right. Nationalists versus federalists. Globalists versus populists. Divide and conquer, stoked into an all-consuming fire of blind attrition. Attrition created and financed by the planet’s dominant architects of control…


About the Author
Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, international activist and author. Contact Julian at to find out more. He is President of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, and is the author of two books with some very powerful perspectives: Changing Course for Life and In Defence of Life.
This article (We Are Walking a Tightrope Through Chaos) was originally created and published by Julian Rose and is re-posted here with permission. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.


Heating our homes kills 10,000 Americans per year

smoke over house


PM2.5 is what used to be called fine soot, tiny particles less than 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, about 1/30th the width of a human hair. According to the EPA (for now, anyway), they are small enough that they get stuck in the lungs. A recent article in the Guardian says they can even penetrate the lungs and get into major organs, including the brain and testicles. They cause serious problems for people with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults.

Now a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that they actually cause 31,000 deaths per year in America; 21,000 from burning what the President calls “clean, beautiful coal” and 10,000 from household heating with oil, natural gas and wood. The study also plots which states have the most deaths.

Deaths from EGU© Total premature deaths associated with source-state EGU emissions (e.g., EGU emissions from Ohio caused 2,300 premature deaths across all states)

The most damage is done by coal burning power plants or what the study calls Electricity Generating Units, or EGUs. More than half of the health impacts come from emissions from eight states, which then affect the downwind population. Many of these sources were going to be cleaned up under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan which has just been gutted.

RC Pollution© Total premature deaths associated with source-state RC emissions (e.g., California RC emissions caused 980 premature deaths across all states)

The number of deaths from residential combustion sources (RC) was really surprising. RC pollution is related to population density, having more sources and more people who are affected, so they are highest in dense northeastern states. In fact, in the dense northeast there are more deaths caused by residential sources than there are from power generation.

Ratios of RC-related deaths to EGU-related deaths vary greatly across source-states. Deaths from RC exceed those from EGUs for source-states in the Northeast and West Coast where population density is high, EGU coal combustion is limited, and wood or oil is used in some homes for heating. In contrast, deaths from EGUs exceed those from RC in source-states with appreciable EGU coal combustion and significant usage of electricity for home heating.

According to the study, “The vast majority of our 10,000 attributable premature deaths are likely related to wood combustion given its dominance in primary PM2.5 emissions.” However the high numbers of deaths in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York State from residential combustion are scary. The numbers in Oregon and Washington are certainly leading me to rethink my previous position on wood burning stoves in low-density rural areas.

Total health impacts from RC are driven by POC [primary organic carbon] emissions across the United States. The number of deaths caused by each source-state is related to population, which influences both the extent of residential emissions and size of the exposed population, the need for home heating, and the degree to which wood, oil, and gas are used. As such, states causing the most deaths from RC have large populations within the state and immediately downwind and experience cold weather.

The fact that 21,000 people die each year because of the particulate pollution from coal-fired power generation is disgraceful; that the government is in fact rolling back regulations and promoting coal consumption is scandalous. And 10,000 deaths from residential combustion is shocking.

None of this even takes into account the contribution from car exhaust; it become clearer every day that we have to decarbonize our economy, not just because of carbon dioxide and climate change in the longer term, but because it is killing us directly right now.


Undersea: Rachel Carson’s Lyrical and Revolutionary 1937 Masterpiece Inviting Humans to Explore Earth from the Perspective of Other Creatures

Art by Rambharos Jha from Waterlife

“Against this cosmic background the lifespan of a particular plant or animal appears, not as drama complete in itself, but only as a brief interlude in a panorama of endless change.”

Pioneering biologist and writer Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907–April 14, 1964) catalyzed the modern environmental movement with the groundbreaking publication of Silent Spring in 1962, but the spark for this slow-burning revolution was kindled a quarter century earlier, while 28-year-old Carson was working for what would later become the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. When she was tasked with writing a brochure for the Fisheries Bureau, summarizing their annual research findings, Carson transmuted the science into poetry and turned in something so exquisitely lyrical that her supervisor told her they simply couldn’t publish it as their standard government report. But he encouraged her to submit it to The Atlantic Monthly as an essay. She did. It was enthusiastically accepted and published in the September 1937 issue as the trailblazing masterpiece “Undersea” under the byline R.L. Carson — a choice reflective of Carson’s era-calibrated fear that her writing wouldn’t be taken as seriously if her gender was known. Ironically, of the twenty-one contributors in that issue of the magazine, Carson’s name is the only one widely recognized today.

The essay became the backbone of Carson’s first book, Under the Sea-Wind, which remained her favorite piece of writing, and was later included in the excellent Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (public library).

Rachel Carson

Creatively, “Undersea” was unlike anything ever published before — Carson brought a strong literary aesthetic to science, which over the next two decades would establish her as the most celebrated science writer of her time. Conceptually, it accomplished something even Darwin hadn’t — it invited the reader to step beyond our reflexive human hubris and empathically explore this Pale Blue Dot from the vantage point of the innumerable other creatures with which we share it. Decades before philosopher Thomas Nagel wrote his iconic essay “What Is it Like to Be a Bat?” and nearly a century before Sy Montgomery’s beautiful inquiry into the soul of an octopus, Carson considered the experience of other consciousnesses. What the nature writer Henry Beston, one of Carson’s great heroes, brought to the land, she brought first to the sea, then to all of Earth — intensely lyrical prose undergirded by a lively reverence for nature and a sympathetic curiosity about the reality of other living beings.

Long before scientists like pioneering oceanographer Sylvia “Her Deepness” Earleplunged into the depths of the ocean, Carson shepherds the human imagination to the mysterious wonderland thriving below the surface of the seas that envelop Earth:

Who has known the ocean? Neither you nor I, with our earth-bound senses, know the foam and surge of the tide that beats over the crab hiding under the seaweed of his tide-pool home; or the lilt of the long, slow swells of mid-ocean, where shoals of wandering fish prey and are preyed upon, and the dolphin breaks the waves to breathe the upper atmosphere. Nor can we know the vicissitudes of life on the ocean floor, where sunlight, filtering through a hundred feet of water, makes but a fleeting, bluish twilight, in which dwell sponge and mollusk and starfish and coral, where swarms of diminutive fish twinkle through the dusk like a silver rain of meteors, and eels lie in wait among the rocks. Even less is it given to man to descend those six incomprehensible miles into the recesses of the abyss, where reign utter silence and unvarying cold and eternal night.

To sense this world of waters known to the creatures of the sea we must shed our human perceptions of length and breadth and time and place, and enter vicariously into a universe of all-pervading water.

North Pacific Giant Octopus by photographer Mark Laita from his project Sea

After a tour of some of the ocean’s most unusual and dazzling creatures, Carson considers the glorious and inevitable interconnectedness of the natural world, no different from the “inescapable network of mutuality” which Martin Luther King so passionately championed in the human world. She writes:

The ocean is a place of paradoxes. It is the home of the great white shark, two thousand pound killer of the seas. And of the hundred foot blue whale, the largest animal that ever lived. It is also the home of living things so small that your two hands may scoop up as many of them as there are stars in the Milky Way. And it is becoming of the flowering of astronomical numbers of these diminutive plants known as diatoms, that the surface waters of the ocean are in reality boundless pastures.

Every marine animal, from the smallest to the sharks and whales is ultimately dependent for its food upon these microscopic entities of the vegetable life of the ocean. Within their fragile walls, the sea performs a vital alchemy that utilizes the sterile chemical elements dissolved in the water and welds them with the torch of sunlight into the stuff of life. Only through the little-understood synthesis of proteins, fats and carbohydrates by myriad plant “producers” is the mineral wealth of the sea made available to the animal “consumers” that browse as they float with the currents. Drifting endlessly, midway between the sea of air above and the depths of the abyss below, these strange creatures and the marine inflorescence that sustains them are called “plankton” — the wanderers…