So continuing from my very visual post in part 1, I write more about the lessons I’ve learnt working on an organic farm and travelling for 1.5 months on a tight budget in Finland. (I come from Singapore, a bowl of noodles costs SGD3.00)
The fear of poverty is an illusion
Most middle class parents have a fear that if they lose their job, they can’t pay the mortgage, their kids can’t go to school, they can’t feed themselves. Well, things aren’t as bad as you think they are. Food is all around you, just that your mind is not open enough to see them yet. The leaves on trees, the wild berries, the fruits. Aren’t they all food? No doubt you may not have chicken, or beef, but will you die not having them? In fact, seeing the way chicken and beef are reared nowadays, god knows what hormones they inject into the chicken or cows, I’d rather eat vegetarian.
Okay you have no home, so what? Why not live by the beach? In the forests? There might be no internet or cellphone connection, but I think you’ll find a better connection there. Things aren’t as bad as you think they are. Travelling poor abroad for a month prepared me for such ‘worst case scenarios’
You see, the more you have, the greater your fear and the greater your suffering. Isn’t it so? Just do a google search on the countries which have the highest insurance penetration rates. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore. Wealthy countries, very big fear of losing it all, hence, the need to get insurance! I’m here to tell you it’s all an illusion.
Fresh food from the earth tastes really good
Living on a farm, and eating fresh food from the earth for the very first time (yes that is how bad Singapore is), I tell you, with no pesticides or chemical fertilisers, the food tastes amazing. Simple foods like potatoes, zucchini, carrots, beetroot, freshly baked bread, mint herbs, etc. A whole new world opened for me. Something that I was blind to for almost twenty years.
You can eat anything
Yes, you can eat anything, leaves of trees, wild berries, fruits. Fresh. The best part – It’s all free.
Everything that you need is free, why should you charge others? – Flawed system of economics and specialisation
I realised that everything you need to sustain you is free. Mother earth does not charge for her fruits, leaves. Why should you? The only reason why we need to charge others….is because of the economic idea of SPECIALISATION.
Specialisation encourages people to specialise in a skill or expertise, so that you can become very efficient at it and your productivity increases. HOWEVER, it is also because of specialisation that you are forced to rely on others to produce your FOOD. So….in order to feed yourself…you are forced to charge a profit for your goods and services, so you can buy food. You have just placed your happiness and source of food in the hands of others!! Did you know that!? Other people now control whether you live well or not. Because of specialisation, we are charging profit and aiming for higher and higher growth, in a limited world. Not sustainable.
The solution? Self sufficiency – Grow your own food. Make your own things.
The farm that I volunteered with (METSÄLÄN LUOMUMARJATILA) made everything themselves. Bread, yoghurt, food, veggies, fruits, compost, guest house with sauna (yes it took many months to build), water well. It made me realise that one can live without money. This is called self sufficient living. Living twenty odd years in Singapore does not help you realise this at all. In Singapore, it is quite difficult to live off grid, but hopefully with enough determination, I will come close to doing it in the future. In Europe, this is very common in the countryside. Living self sufficiently is the ultimate freedom. Maybe I will get a country home in Europe or somewhere in south east asia because land is cheaper there. Landed properties in Singapore start from SGD 1mil.
What are food preservatives really?
So I also realised that food preservatives are actually POISON. Poison deters bacteria and insects from eating your food and causing it to rot because it is poison, duh. Yet you smart human beings eat it. Try this: eat some frozen food with plenty of preservatives (with a very long expiry date) like macdonalds. See how long it takes to digest. You can feel the food in your tummy, because you will feel full. Now you eat an orange or fresh food, like zucchini, fresh potatoes, fruits. See how long it takes to digest this one. Foods with preservatives take very long to digest, simply because THEY ARE NOT MEANT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Now, I have stopped eating all frozen food, all preservative laden food, like sausages…macdonalds…Have you see how they make sausages or mcdonalds…? Do you know what is inside a sausage? Just do a simple google search. You will be amazed. (and possibly puke your food out).