Case Study: Our Failing Food System
What’s Wrong With This Picture?
Agriculture in the United States and the rest of the “developed” world has taken the wrong road, and today it poses an outright danger to the well being and survival of each and every one of us.
Let me explain....
The wealthiest nation in the world is feeding its citizens an unhealthy diet—and growing most of this food using unsustainable methods.
A population threatened by a crisis of diet-related chronic illness; millions of acres of damaged farmland; chemical runoff spilling into our waterways.
Our food system is failing us. Our fruits and vegetables may look the same, but they are mere zombies of their true form. There's two types of people. Those that just accept these zombie foods (and the illness and weight gain that comes along with it.) Or those that pay attention to what they feed their bodies.
Chemical runoff pollutes the water we drink and fish from; monoculture — planting a single crop over a large area year after year — "kills" the soil and the food that's grown there; meat from cows, pigs and chickens are overdosed with antibiotics that then threaten your body's ability to fight disease.
And over-reliance on the herbicide glyphosate (marketed by Monsanto Co. as Roundup) has spawned a burgeoning population of Roundup-resistant "superweeds" that has become a scourge for farmers in many areas of the U.S., especially the South and Midwest.
Our diet is dominated by processed foods made from these subsidized crops, and a growing body of research connects this diet to increases in obesity and the diseases that go with it.
But the status quo does work well for at least one constituency: the large corporations that sell seed, pesticides, and other products to the world's farmers. Monsanto being one of the biggest of these corporations.
Then there are the “food” companies that produce the processed stuff that end up on your table. The 10 companies you see in the below map are responsible for almost all the processed “food” and sugary drinks stocked on the shelves of your average American supermarket.
You can count all the companies with just two hands: Nestle, PepsiCo, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Associated British Foods, Mondēlez (formerly Kraft Foods), Mars,, Unilever and Coca-Cola…
The number of Doritos chip varieties may be on the rise, but the number of companies that own and control our food supply is shrinking.
These companies have built successful business models around the very aspects of our food system that are most detrimental to our personal well being and the health of our planet.
But Big Ag benefits from the status quo and is fighting to protect the power they have over your health.
And they have deep pockets. Monsanto, for instance, spends millions of dollars each year lobbying for policy goals such as defeating patent reform, preventing consumer labeling rules, and enabling agribusiness consolidation.
As already mentioned, the dangers of a convoluted and centralized global food system are many. Above all, it has lead to a massive and costly health crisis, as rates of chronic, diet-related diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease have shot up—even, increasingly, among children.
Another thing that led me to search for better ways of putting food on the table for myself and my family is that the food system, more specifically the distribution of that food, is highly vulnerable to disruptions.
When "Just-In-Time" Fails
Our food is transported from farm to supermarket according to Just-In-Time principles, principles that are vulnerable to disruptions.
Let me explain…
Supermarkets don’t want to store more food than absolutely necessary on their shelves and in warehouses because storage costs money and the food gets old.
So what they do is they have highly complex logistics systems that keeps track of when a product will run out ( for example milk) and orders new milk so that it arrives just-in-time to restock the shelves before they run out.
This is great as long as the deliveries keep coming but when something disrupts the food delivery trucks, be it natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy or man-made disasters, the supermarket shelves will be emptied by panicked crowds in less than 48 hours. That's the reality we're living in.
But the failing food system is far from the only threat to our future. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few years...
You've probably noticed something is seriously wrong with the world we’re living in.
- The price of food and other basic necessities is ballooning.
- Droughts and other extreme weather is getting more frequent, and more severe.
- The agricultural system is dominated by a few mega-corporations such as Monsanto and rely on monoculture, pesticides and GMOs...
- Over 46 million Americans receive government assistance for food...
- The amount of law, code, and regulations has increased at an unprecedented pace and governments tell us everything from what we can and cannot put in our bodies to whether we can collect rainwater that falls on our own properties.
- Governments are getting crushed by an ever growing mountain of debt, forcing them to tax their subjects more and more just to be able to pay the interest on their debt.
I don’t have to tell you that each of these facts is incredibly detrimental to your personal well being and freedom.
But I want to be clear - this message isn't one of doom and gloom.
Things are changing. Power is shifting. Tensions are heating up.
You're getting hit with more more corporative and government control, every day…
The system is full of RISK
But the world is not coming to an end. It’s going to reset. There’s a huge difference between the two.
In fact, all of these threats present enormous opportunity to anyone willing to think outside the box.
It starts with taking simple steps to minimize your exposure to this failing system, which means decreasing your dependence on it.
And you can start with the parts of the system that are in worse shape than others, including the food system, and...
Three More Fragile Systems You’re At The Mercy Of
1. The Aging Power Grid
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the US power grid a ‘D’ rating – one step away from failure – because of the fragile, outdated equipment that powers this nation…
Some of which was installed in the 1880’s…
They report that major power outages have risen from 76 in 2007 to 307 in 2011… a 404% increase in just 4 years…
And NBC News reports that between now and 2020, demand for electricity will rise by 20% while supply will only rise by 10% – half of what is needed to keep up with demand…
Not surprisingly, power outages happen more and more often… increasing at a rate of 9.7% per year… according to hush-hush reports issued by the US Department of Homeland Security and New York University.
And despite this fact – time after time the government refuses to grant licenses to expand critical infrastructure – often stating environmental concerns as the cause…
It’s as if they think this problem will just go away if they ignore it long enough…
Never mind the occasional one-hour black out. We can all survive that.
But what happens when the power goes out for a week? Two weeks? A month? The supermarkets would be emptied within two days. Then what?
2. The Deteriorating Water Supply
Most of us don’t really give it a second thought: We turn on the tap, pour a glass of water and drink it down.
But that’s changing.
From the severe droughts in California, to 120 year old water pipes in Washington DC, access to clean water is becoming a real issue in the United States
This should make anyone without their own well worried, because the reality is that most communities do not have a secondary water supply.
Sure, there’s always the supermarket, but at the risk of upsetting some people I highly advise against relying on the supermarket for your drinking water. Countless crises has shown that water is the first thing that disappears from the shelves when people act in panic.
The U.S. has experienced a number of water-related problems this year, from the toxic algae bloom on Lake Erie to a massive water main break in Los Angeles that spilled 20 million gallons of water, and a chemical spill into West Virginia’s Elk River that fouled the drinking water supply.
It has been 2,000 years since the Romans built their aqueducts, and 200 years since Philadelphia began using cast-iron water mains.
The oldest cast-iron pipes, dating to the late 1800s, have an average useful life of about 120 years, and there are still pipes of this kind in use today.
And they are bursting with alarming frequency in many areas these days, particularly in systems coping with septuagenarian, octogenarian, and even century-old pipes.
A water main that broke in LA was 93 years old. Los Angeles Water will tell you they are on a 300-year water main replacement cycle.
Washington, [D.C.], used to be on a 300-year water main replacement cycle; now we’re on a 200-year water main replacement cycle.
They’re not actually planning to replace most of the water mains any time in our lifetime or the lifetime of our kids or their kids.
And the reason isn’t because they probably don’t need to be replaced. The reason is because we don’t pay attention to the water system, and to say there’s a lack of funds is an understatement.
Of the estimated $1 trillion that the American Water Works Association says is needed, the new federal stimulus law provides only $2 billion directed to drinking water systems.
Think the government will shell out the missing $998 billion dollars?
I would not bet my life on it, which means if you’re living in the US you can expect trouble, soon.
3. The Crumbling Financial System
All of these fragile systems that we depend on today for our comfort and very way of life, they do not operate in a vacuum. They’re highly interconnected.
And the one system that rules them all and in the darkness binds them is the financial system.
A tiny central banking elite has total control of the money supply, and they’re printing money as if there’s no tomorrow.
“Rich countries” are all heavily in debt, losing money, and technically insolvent, which makes them incredibly dangerous and hungry to plunder the wealth, savings, and productivity of their citizens.
Pension funds are nearly insolvent. In the US, the Disability Insurance Trust Fund (part of Social Security) is due to run out in 2016. That’s NEXT YEAR.
When adjusted for inflation, interest rates are negative. So holding money in a bank guarantees that you’re going to lose money.
Now let me ask you, can you handle it if your life savings are cut in half, or worse, if you lose your job?
How will you pay the bills? How will you put food on the table?
This system of ever-growing debt is unsustainable and will not last. Argentina in 2001, Iceland in 2008 and Greece in 2015 are just small glimpses of what’s in store for the United States and the rest of the global economy.
We’ve seen this so many times in history. Money and power is centralized into the hands of a few, and then this power eventually always falters and gets replaced. It’s just a natural cycle of life.
It’s no longer a question of if, but a question of when this system resets.
And whether you’re a US Citizen or not, this decline will impact (and is currently impacting) nearly every aspect of your life.
Don’t bet your whole life and future on these systems.
Because you can be sure of one thing, your government or the big corporations won’t be there for you when the systems fail.
And they’re certainly not there for you now to help you build your independence.
Why? As the “father of permaculture”, Bill Mollison, said...
We know how to solve every food, clean energy, and sensible shelter problem in every climate; we have already invented and tested every necessary technique and technical device, and have access to all the biological material that we could ever use.
The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy, and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them.Bill Mollison Permaculture Institute Tasmania
The tragic reality is that those in power don’t want you to be free.
The more dependent you are on their systems of finance and production, the more control they have over you and the more money flows into their pockets.
But I'm still optimistic, because I know there's a way out of their rat race...
The Solution: Take Back Power Over Your Life And Future
The first step to safeguarding your life and future does not cost you a cent, and it’s this: You need to accept that you are not crazy just because you see the serious consequences from letting a tiny political and financial elite control the rest of humanity.
If nearly every objective fundamental suggests that the current system of centralized power and production can not last, maybe it’s time to change how we do things.
By going from consumers to producers.
We are vulnerable because of our dependence as obedient consumers. So the way to reverse that, to be resilient and independent, is to become your own producer.
As Bill Mollison goes on saying, "We should cease to look to power structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise ways to help ourselves."
It is out of this desire to help ourselves that Walden Labs was born. We’re solely in the business of devising ways to live free, and sharing them with you. We don’t want you to be dependent on any politician, banker or corporation (and certainly not Monsanto).
When you think about it, this strategy is nothing new. People have been self-reliant producers for thousands of years, providing their own food, water, energy, shelter, security, etc.
And the good news is: now it’s easier than ever to be a producer.
Even on the brink of a complete reset in the financial system and our way of life...
I've never been more OPTIMISTIC.
I’m optimistic because I know there’s a better way.
Instead of giving up all of your power to these systems and institutions out of your control, you take it back.
- Instead of paying expensive utility bills every month to a power company, or living through a three-week blackout in the depth of winter, you set up systems to generate your own power. Clean, renewable and resilient power.
- Instead of relying on Big Ag companies such as Monsanto to grow and produce highly processed “food” for you, you have a garden in your backyard and grow your own fresh food. You learn how to grow it, preserve it, and save seeds for the next season (and the next generation).
- Instead of being weighed down by a big mortgage for the rest of your life, you look into alternative housing that will enable you to live debt-free, or pay off the mortgage in 5 years instead of 50.
- Instead of relying solely on one income, you build multiple income streams. I’m not talking about “make millions of dollars online”-scams here, I’m talking about creating real value doing real things in your local community and beyond.
- And so on...
The New Era of Self-Reliance Is All About Systems
The average 18th century woman spent a lot of her time washing clothes in the river. Hours upon hours of backbreaking work, sometimes in freezing temperatures.
You know what we do today? We put them in a machine, press a button, and we’re done.
I’m not going to chop up a hole in the icy river this winter to wash my clothes, nor any other winter for that matter. And neither should you. That’s not what living “off-the-grid” is about.
Just as the washing machine has freed up immense amounts of time for women around the world – there are other kinds of high-tech, low-tech and entirely natural systems that can do the same thing for us and provide us with food, water, energy, shelter, and more.
The right systems, knowledge and tools can free up your time and make your life easier. That's what Self-Reliance 365 is all about.
Self-Reliance 365 Is Not About Learning, It’s About Doing
What is needed to bring forth this world of self-reliant individuals and communities? Simple and direct insight into how people can improve their lives, no matter what is going on in the wider world.
Many of us today, including myself, don’t have any parents or grandparents that could pass on this knowledge for self-reliance. My grandparents died before I was mature enough to realize the immense value of their wisdom, and my parents never learned those skills in the first place because they put their trust in governments and corporations.
I had to learn it all on my own, through books, mentors, and costly trial and error. But you don’t have to go through the same process.
You can implement these same systems while avoiding the thousands of hours I’ve spent figuring this stuff out and implementing these solutions into my own life.
Because now there’s Self-Reliance 365.
With Self-Reliance 365 you’ll get easy to follow, step-by-step checklists, or “Execution Plans” as I call them, that will help you build your self-reliance and personal independence one step at a time.
They’re not your average checklist, but rather checklists on steroids.
The goal is simple: To allow someone who isn’t an expert to follow the steps in these plans and achieve similar results.
There’s a reason for why doctors and fighter pilots use checklists. If you follow them step by step they simply work. Not only once but again and again and again.
And right now inside the members area you’ll find three complete step-by-step Execution Plans waiting for you.
When You Join Self-Reliance 365 You'll Have These Three Execution Plans Waiting For You
How To Figure Out The Optimal Size For Your Off-Grid Solar PV System (in 5 Steps)
Photovoltaics is a most elegant energy source. Light shines on a crystal and produces electricity. Its as simple as that. There are no moving parts. The fuel source (sunlight) is free, abundant and widely distributed, available to every country and person in the world.
- We cover the five "things" you need to determine the size of your solar PV system (both in terms of solar array and battery storage)
- How to correctly size your PV array so that you don't pay for too much power, or too little
- Get access to "The Ultimate System Sizing Calculator"
- And more...
The 6 Step Guide To Select Components For Your Off-Grid Solar System
- We'll cover step by step all the components you need to build your own off-grid solar PV system
- With scientific formulas and our easy-to-use calculators we'll show you exactly how many solar panels and batteries you need, even the required thickness of the cables
- What you can expect to pay for each component, and which manufacturers we trust
- And more...
Blackouts: The 3-Part Preparedness Plan That Will Keep You Safe In The Dark
- What to do before, during and after a blackout to stay safe and on top of the game
- How to build the ultimate blackout kit (plus the 27 first aid kit essentials you should have)
- The biggest killer during power outages, and how to avoid becoming a victim of it
- And more...
And right now as you're reading this, we're hard at work finishing another Execution Plan for you. As soon as it's ready (some time in the next two weeks) you'll get access to...
The 6-Part Rural Property Purchase Checklist
So you've found a property that you're interested in buying. How do you know if it's a keeper or if it will give you trouble for the rest of your life? Here's a few steps to minimize your downside and maximize your upside, and quite possibly save you tens of thousands of dollars down the road.
- The most important things to look for when buying a property for self-reliance, resilient homesteading, and permaculture
- The deal breaker that should make you walk away from any property purchase, no matter how rosy it looks
- What a property needs to give you food security, water security and energy security
- And more...
And these are just the beginning.
To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some examples of upcoming Execution Plans that we can’t wait to share with members:
- 22-point “Home Energy Optimization Checklist”
- Building the Perfect 72 Hour Survival Bag in 9 Steps
- 7-Step Guide to Plant a Forest Garden (So That You Can Plant Once And Harvest Food For The Rest Of Your Life!)
- 8 Steps to Optimize Your Home Water Usage
- 12 Steps To Turn Your Home Into a Burglar-Proof Fortress
- 7 Steps To Grow Your Own Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms
…and that’s just to name a few ideas in the pipeline!
As a Self-Reliance 365 member you get to see everything…the good, the bad and the ugly.
And when we figure out something that works, we systemize and document it into an “Execution Plan” (i.e. a checklist or “cheat sheet) that all our members can use.
The sole goal of Self-Reliance 365 is to help you accomplish real things in real life, not become yet another ebook or course gathering dust on your harddrive.
That’s why the Executions Plans you’ll find in the members area don’t contain page after page of theory. Almost none in fact. If you want theory, go read a free blog post.
But if you want results, then give Self-Reliance 365 a try.
Here's what life will be like AFTER you've built a Self-Reliant Life:
If food prices triple, or even worse the supermarket shelves are emptied after a serious crisis strike…
You will be OK, because you’ll have a productive and abundant garden producing a wide variety of nutritious foods and medicinal plants.
If (or should I say when) the deteriorating power grid reaches a breaking point and people have to live with rolling blackouts, or at the least serious spikes in their energy bill...
You will be OK, since you’ll generate your own power and heat from the sun, the wind, maybe even the Earth’s own heat that’s leaking up from its molten core.
Even if another financial shock hits the world and banks start to collapse…
You will be OK, because you'll have savings invested in real physical assets that are inflation-proof and confiscation-proof, such as a productive garden.
You can do some of these things at very little cost, and the best thing with self-reliance is that every solution you’ll find in Self-Reliance 365 is one that makes sense no matter what might happen next.
If all hell breaks loose and the global economy tanks, you’ll be very glad you planted that edible garden and installed that solar PV system.
But if 5 years from now none of this happens and you’ve got all of this delicious and healthy food and cheaper, more resilient energy you’re definitely no worse off and you can call me a crazy son of a bitch!
So you get it all…
The Execution Plan Library (our checklists, reports, and “cheat sheets…literally every system we use to run our resilient homesteads…) where you’ll find the first three Execution Plans waiting for you:
- How To Figure Out The Optimal Size For Your Off-Grid Solar PV System (in 5 Steps)
- The 6 Step Guide To Select Components For Your Off-Grid Solar System
- Blackouts: The 3-Part Preparedness Plan That Will Keep You Safe In The Dark
- The 6-Part Rural Property Purchase Checklist (as soon as it's released)
What Does Self-Reliance 365 Cost?
You’d think that something that will help you produce your own nutritious food, clean water, and resilient energy would cost a lot, considering how much you spend on all of these things every year.
Just take food for example. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a family of four can get away with spending $568 per month on food, but only if they follow the bare minimum “thrifty” food plan. A more humane food plan will set you back $893.1 per month, or $10,717.20 per year.
And when it comes to energy, the average U.S. household spends over $110 per month on electricity, or $1,320+ per year (U.S. Department of Energy).
Last but not least, just think about the thousands of dollars that you pay in taxes to the government each year, where every tax dollar allows them to further increase their control over you.
You spend thousands to tens of thousands of dollars on food, energy, water, rent / mortgage, and taxes every year, all of which keep you highly dependent on the system that is crumbling before our eyes.
But let me ask you, how much do you spend every year on systems that increase your personal freedom with each passing year?
Regardless of your answer, you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars on Self-Reliance 365. In fact I wouldn’t want you to, because I want as many people as possible to join me in this movement.
I know these are hard times, and with increasingly desperate governments trying to squeeze more and more tax dollars out of each and every citizen to avoid bankruptcy, it’s bound to get even worse.
With that in mind...
You Get It ALL – For A Full Year – For Less Than 22 Cents a Day
When you join Self-Reliance 365 today you pay only $6.6 per month (billed annually at $79) and you lock in this rate for as long as you stay a member, even when inflation will force us to raise the price in the future.
But I can only guarantee this price when you join now, because I want to reward action takers and we’re planning to add new Execution Plans fast (and we will raise the price as more Execution Plans and Discounts are added to reflect the increased value).
You don’t need to decide now.
Remember, this order is simply an opportunity for Self-Reliance 365 to sell itself to you. There is no sale - no obligation to keep it - until you have tried it out in your own home for 60 days and are satisfied. Just let us give you access to these first three Execution Plans for your examination. If you're not satisfied, let us know and you will get a prompt and full refund.
But remember, too, that now is the time. After the proverbial shit hits the fan, anyone can say what the outcome has been, and what exactly triggered the system failure, but hindsight of this kind is seldom very valuable.
It is the person with foresight who can plan ahead and hedge the systems now that will thrive in the future when others struggle to merely get by.
So start your risk-free evaluation period now, and become the master of your own fate.
Click the Add to Cart button below and fill out the form on the next page, and let’s get started…
Join Self-Reliance 365 Risk-Free
Love it in 60 Days... Or Your Money Back
The amount of education and advice you’ll get from yourSelf-Reliance 365 membership is off the charts. And at less than 22 cents a day, it’s also a steal. For ~$6.6 a month (you'll be billed $79 for the entire year, renewed annually), you get all the Execution Plans, and Checklists, discounts on self-reliance tools and products, and much more.
Try Self-Reliance 365 risk-free for 60 days. If you’re not bowled over with the value you’re getting for your small investment, we’ll cheerfully return your initial payment and never charge you again.
Which Door Do You Choose?
Door #1: You forget you ever read this letter and keep trusting the old system, and just hope that the politicians and bankers that run your country manage to kick the can down the road for the remainder of your life. If you’ve seen the Matrix (a favorite movie here at Walden Labs HQ), this is the equivalent of choosing the blue pill. The story ends, you wake up tomorrow and believe whatever you want to believe.
Door #2: You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and we’ll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. You take real practical action and build your self-reliance by doing things that make sense no matter what happens, and no matter what crazy shenanigans your politicians come up with.
Remember, all I’m offering are practical and resilient solutions for self-reliance and personal liberty. The door is wide open, but you have to walk through it yourself.
Click the Add to Cart button now. Remember you’re protected 100% by our money back guarantee. Test drive Self-Reliance 365 for 60 days free of obligations.
You’ll get The Execution Plan Library (all our checklists, reports and “cheat sheets” …that will cover literally every system we use for self-reliance…)
Plus all future Execution Plans and bonus material and discounts, for only $79 today.
Click the "Join Self-Reliance 365 Today" button now and get started!
To your self-reliance,
Co-founder & CEO, Walden Labs
P.S. You know things are screwed up. Pointing that out really isn’t necessary. The old system of centralized power and production is failing, so I hope you join me and learn how to build your own, better, food-, water- and energy-producing systems. Systems that help you live the good life, no matter what happens. Lock in your member rate of only $79 today. Click here now.