Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

Depressed Or Not Depressed that is the question, I am always surprised by statistics surrounding depression and mental illness’s in general for that matter but in this post I would like to concentrate on depression. According to statistics by 2020 depression will become the second most common illness and yet despite this shocking statement only around 10% of those suffering will get treatment.

I got looking into this after I noticed a difference in my own behavior and although I contributed manyDepressed man with head in hands. of the symptoms to tiredness I have come to realize that I myself am probably suffering from a mild depression my symptoms have included

  • Irregular sleep either to much or not enough.
  • fatigue.
  • bouts of sudden emotion such as feeling as though I want to cry.
  • Mood swings from angry to sad and happy with no apparent reason.
  • comfort eating of chocolate and other sweets even though I have rarely eaten it for most of m life.
  • Having no real interest in anything and not wanting to be sociable.

But truth is I am also unlikely to get treatment as I have been through a lot in my life and never felt the need to have outside help so why start now, But even as I write this I am thinking either I am being stubborn and or stupid I cant decide which.

Why do we avoid getting help with depression

One of the reasons I think that we do avoid getting help with depression is ignorance of our situation because to admit we might be having trouble coping is a sign of weakness but another reason I honestly believe that any sign of mental illness can be detrimental to peoples future employment chances and in this age of information no person really has a private life anymore so I do believe this to be a valid concern. I watched a documentary recently about a group of people that are set a number of tasks and some have a history of mental illness but the employers did not know which ones and in the end the employers ended up picking all three with mental illness for a job despite saying at the beginning that if they knew someone had a history of mental illness they categorically avoid employing them.

I can see why people don’t want to be tarred with the brush of mental illness and that some of their concerns are valid but I also think that most people don’t get help shows that government need to do more to reassure myself and people like me that we will not be punished through employment chances and we are protected in the same way as someone with a disability are from discrimination. As you will know from my previous blogs that I do not advocate government intervention on many subjects but public health is one valid area that I think they need to have an active imput.

Epidemic of Depression

Society is currently in the midst of a full scale epidemic of depression and it is only set to get worse but when looking at the epidemiology we have to look at the causes of the problem.

So why do we seem to have an epidemic of depression in the modern society I think that the pressures of modern life certainly have not helped many peoples mental health and the constant stress of bills and the debts that many people have built themselves into a prison and when they can no longer see a way out this causes an erosion in the mental health of people.plane dropping adverts

I know people are going to think that I blame the media for everything in society but although this is not true they do have a responsibility for the society which places it’s trust in them, here a few examples on one hand the media constantly bombards us with advertisements which through the usage of psychology break down our barriers of control and in the process leave us wide open to the other stresses that life has to offer and on the other hand we are also constantly bombarded by mixed images of unobtainable goals and bad news.

Not to mention the current global depression with this comes added stress and worries that all contribute to the modern persons stress levels and should not be discounted when looking at the reasons why people are becoming more and more unhappy to the point of becoming depressed.

Return to Nature

When as humans will we realize that we are animals and that sometimes we need to look to the animal kingdom for the obvious before you declare me insane let me explain, If you take an animal out of its natural habitat and put it into a zoo the animal becomes lethargic not wanting to eat and moping around. So in order to make the animals feel like they are in the wild we build a habitat that looks like their home.

But yet as humans we have been removed from our natural habitat largely through our own success with technology but now that life has become a prison in which we are forced to live on top of each other in sprawling cities and with it illness my reason for thinking this came when I left my city to go and visit my dad in the country and for a week I was almost in direct contact with nature and found that I was happier relaxed and slept much better and since returning to the city have dropped straight back into the lethargic loop we now  call city life.

Getting Help

The up side to the information revolution is that getting help is easier than ever not only can you get advice to help you get rid of mild depressions through the change of habit and diet but also their is bundles of information for people to educate themselves to help those close to them also get over depression and other mental illnesses. Although I will admit that I will be taking the exercise and dietary route to help get myself better this option is not for everyone and if you do feel depressed then I urge you to talk to a confidant and see about getting help over 80% of people who do receive treatment are cured.

But I would also that whether you are depressed or not depressed they key to getting healthy and staying healthy is a good diet and getting back to nature to enjoy what little natural habitat we have left on this beautiful planet.

Useful links

NHS Direct

Mental Health Foundation

Help Guide

Beyondblue

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Food Security Matters

The single most important thing in your life is Food, this is no exaggeration without food and water you will die, so why is it people don’t think food security matters as much as other things like what’s on the television tonight or the latest celebrity gossip. The reason people in the west care so little for food is almost all of us have always had the grocery store or supermarket open and waiting for us to come in and buy the essentials when we need them.Sign stating shop closed

But what if you woke up tomorrow and the shop was closed in fact all of the shops were closed or, if the shops were all of a sudden unable to provide us with food just how much supplies do you have in your kitchen to sustain you and your family.

Food has always been there a false sense of security

For my entire life food has never been a problem and therefore it never will be for me food has always been there but is this a false sense of security as many do not actually realize how fragile the world’s food supply has become, we live in a world of just in time were food is held in suspended animation and then delivered as and when needed to keep down the cost of storage. The result of this system is a very efficient but unsafe system.

We have been lead down a path of ignorance about our world where we are told from cradle to grave food, water and security are guaranteed, this has been done in order to allow us to worry about other things in life such as work to improve productivity and it has been largely successful because we have not had a serious food shortage for nearly sixty years. The downside to this kind of thinking is that people are now so used to having food available that they refuse to believe that it may not always be, as a friend of mine said “we’re to advanced to fail”.

This mentality is caused by our own success coupled with the media industry seeing a big money making market in being able to sell any trash to people to help them forget about the rest of the world.

The United Kingdom is not food self sufficient

The United Kingdom currently imports approximately 40% of its yearly food requirements, or you could say that we cannot currently feed 40% of the population at the current food consumption levels if something was to happen to the food chain. So why should we worry because if something did happen we could easily reroute food from exports to our shop shelves and thinking this you would be absolutely wrong. People often forget that the food we export has been bought and paid for long before it ever leaves our shores and our government would have no choice but to export the food if they was able to do so or they could face serious political ramifications.

Soldiers Marching in street

The other problem is that for the first seven to ten days you would probably not even be aware that there is a problem with the food supply as the authorities would force a media blackout to stop any kind of panic buying which could or would result in food riots so by the time you do realize that something is wrong it will already be to late for you to stock up.

The reasons for a food shortage are to many to list but many of them are not actually to far beyond the imagination to happen for example droughts like the one currently in the United States could wipe out a large portion of the worlds grain supply resulting in the price of wheat based products quadrupling or floods in Asia disrupting the worlds rice supplies and sending rice based products spiralling high or even regional civil unrest could see the closure of the Suez canal increasing the world’s shipping lanes by some weeks increasing and of course upsetting the oil supplies from the middle east causing massive spikes in oil prices and therefore the dribbling effect of prices going up all through the supply chain. These are but a few of the reasons we could see a sharp increase in food prices and a reduction in food availability all resulting in the same thing mass starvation and civil unrest.

How can we protect ourselves and our families

You do not have to be paranoid or a prepper to know what our predecessors knew, that we should all hope for the best and prepare for the worst. In the second world war the British people pulled together and managed to supply themselves with enough self grown food to supply the nation during the north Atlantic blockades you however have to bear in mind that the UK’s population was half what it is now and that nearly everybody had gardens and or allotments on which to grow food. Now less than a fraction of the UK population know how to grow vegetables let alone have the space to grow them.Shelf full of food

But not everything is lost if you are reading this before any kind of disruption has happened then you have time to get online and by storable foods that can be kept for years and if the worst should happen then you will be in a far better position than most people. You should also make sure you have fifteen to twenty litres of bottled water at all times to ensure that if the water stops coming out of the tap you can survive more than a few days. Also make allowances for cooking by keeping a camping stove and spare gas cannisters so that if you need to cook you can do this also.

It is your responsibility

The results of not taking simple steps to ensure that you can feed you and your family for a minimum of 90 days is that if or when the crisis comes you will be like millions of others waiting for handouts in refugee camps slowly starving and once the food has run out you will be left to fend for yourself in a violent and unyielding environment. If you want to know what happens to a nation that has food shortages you only need to look at Sudan while you enjoy a cup of tea. Make no mistake that if the worst happens the authorities will apply a triage system of who is important to feed it will go something like this

  1. Government
  2. Military
  3. Emergency Services
  4. Civil Engineers
  5. Farmers
  6. Scientists
  7. Everybody else

Number 1 and 2 will be the most well fed for the simple reason that government will be required to rebuild and the military to defend those in power also the military will also initially provide everything needed to continue such as Engineers, Doctors, Nurses and Fire-fighters and the rest on the list will be saved if possible in the descending order of importance, I am not being pessimistic by putting the general public last its a simple hard truth of survival of the fittest.

Refugee children at barbwire fanceTents in a refugee camp

At first the government will attempt to save everybody but it will be futile once civil unrest sets in and public disorder get to the point of social collapse the military will intervene and evacuate those predetermined in the contingency plans that were considered important to rebuild society.

I hope that it never comes to pass and that we all live into our old age and that the world will continue to spin but as we have seen and I hope you now realize that the world can change very quickly and that we should all be looking to make sure if it does that we are in the best possible place to stop our families from falling prey to a terrible fate caused by means out of your or my control and I would advise you to make you and those who depend on you Food Secure.