What is Food? What Does it Represent?

Well that’s a simple question to answer, huh? I can just go consult Google and get a dictionary definition, right?

any substance that can be metabolized by an organism to give energy and build tissue

Ok, that’s great. We can even expand that definition a bit by checking in with Wikipedia:(1)

Food is any substance, usually composed primarily of carbohydrates, fats, water and/or proteins, that can be eaten or drunk by an animal for nutrition or pleasure.

Now we’re getting somewhere! Ok, maybe not. In the strictest, dictionary definition of the word, any substance that provides energy is a food. By that definition, a Twinkie is food, though I doubt few here would agree, myself included. So what is food really?

Food, to me, is one of the most important elements of truly living, and I don’t mean that simply because it’s a requirement to keep from wasting away. Frankly, I love food. I don’t mean that in the “I love to eat” sense, though I do love to eat, but it’s deeper than the mere act of eating. I genuinely love food – the aromas, the textures, the flavors, the camaraderie. In fact, while I know that not everyone is a foodie, it amazes me that people can be so blase when it comes to what they put into their bodies. What you put into your body becomes your body.

Ok, so let’s go back to camaraderie. Or socializing. Call it what you will, but it is one of the most important aspects of eating. Humans have the distinct privilege of being the only animal that doesn’t simply eat, but “dines”. Dining is more than simply stuffing food down one’s gullet and moving on. Dining is a celebration of the experience of food. “Breaking bread” with other humans has been part of the human experience since time immortal. When a tribal hunting party brings home an animal, the hunter that killed the beast (or the person supplying the arrow depending on the culture) doles out the meat. Eating becomes a festival of sharing. Today, I feed you, for tomorrow, I may need you to feed me. Think of any gathering of family or friends. I bet nearly every time you gather with others for a good time, there is food involved. The act of cooking for someone else is an act of love and respect. To receive food cooked by another shows that they have concern for your well-being.

If you doubt me, think of people’s feelings toward those that hoard their food. Or people that refuse to eat other people’s food. The feelings attached to food and to the offering of food are why I will usually sacrifice my diet when someone puts in the effort to cook for me. If I go to my mom’s and she cooks spaghetti, I eat it. I may not always want to eat it, but the social aspect is more important than the food in that situation. Rejecting something that someone put the energy into making for you is generally taken as an insult if you don’t have an allergy to said food. It is not simply a rejection of the food, it is a rejection of the person.

Unfortunately, US culture places little emphasis on food. Largely, food is for nothing more than providing fuel. Few people here revel in food in the way that the French or Italians revel in food, as something more than some combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. Perhaps I should say that the emphasis we do place on food is of the wrong kind. As a culture, we hate food. It’s merely something that is required to stay alive and even then we can’t agree on what foods to eat. We’ve let corporations determine “what is food” and seem to have forgotten the most elementary task of nourishing ourselves. The problem with that is that corporations have little concern for your well-being unless it somehow positively affects their bottom lines. Why let someone feed you that doesn’t care about you as a person?

The phrase “soul food” keeps coming into my head while writing this. Those two little words say a good deal. Think about it…”soul food.” Food for your soul. It’s more than mere nourishment. While most “soul food” isn’t the most healthful fare, it shows the emphasis on dining, sharing, and community that are put into the food. It’s something given from one to another to provide more than just energy. That’s food to me. To spend an hour or more of your time to cook for another is quite an expression. It both shows and adds to the value of a relationship.

To truly experience a culture, you absolutely have to experience its food. In college, I took a Spring Break trip to Cancun, Mexico. Off the top of my head, my meals were largely eaten at Outback Steakhouse, Hard Rock Cafe, Subway, McDonald’s, and whatever other US-based chains we came across. Obviously at age 20, I wasn’t there to experience the gastronomy of the region (let’s be frank, I was there to drink tequila and party). For my honeymoon, I went to Acapulco, Mexico and actually got out and ate at some of the local restaurants, truly experiencing Mexican cuisine. Both trips were great in their own way. But from the standpoint of cultural experience, Acapulco was much better, the fact that I was in Cancun largely being irrelevant other than the drinking age and the skin color of the workers. It wasn’t solely the food, but that is a major part of it.

Some may think that I’ve just turned the act of eating into something that it’s not. But it’s only been in the past half-century or so that food has taken on the role of mere fuel. It’s only since the industrial complex started doing the cooking for us that eating has been an “on the run” affair. When we’re too busy to properly nourish our bodies, times are bad for sure. Other cultures – for instance Mexico, Italy, and Argentina – place a very major emphasis on socializing during meals. Long lunches, multiple course dinners, elaborate dishes prepared lovingly by mom for hours, all shared with immediate and extended family and friends. June Cleaver never let a show end without making sure Wally and Beaver were well-fed. Food creates a family and a community.

While we don’t all have the pleasure of eating with others, you can still give your meals the attention they deserve by eating at a table, not watching TV, not surfing the Internet, perhaps not even reading a book. I’m guilty of doing other things while eating, though I am working on that. Food is, and should be, an experience. Take the time to savor every bite that you take. Take in the smells and colors and textures. Put time and effort into your food; the time you put into preparing good food for you and your family is effort you are putting into caring for yourself and others. Ensure that you’re cooking flavorful, high quality food so that it is something to get excited about. If you can’t cook, learn. If you don’t have the time, reprioritize. Why simply eat when you can dine? So with all of that, I’ll end by saying “Respect Your Food. Respect Yourself.”

What Survival Food Can You Find On the Trail? Animals – Part 2

Reptiles such as turtles and snakes are relatively easy to catch for food. Avoid box turtles as they eat poisonous mushrooms and those toxins can build up in their flesh. Avoid poisonous snakes, alligators, crocodiles as they can be dangerous to the health of a survivor. Cook to kill any parasites.

Fish are another good source of protein and don’t require the expenditure of a lot of energy. If you didn’t pack a few hooks and 15 LB. test fishing line in your survival kit, hopefully you packed some 550 parachute cord and possibly a few safety pins. The 550 parachute cord can be broken down into individual strings that can be tied together to form a line. The safety-pin can be turned into a hook. You can also use a pin, nail or a piece of wire to create a hook.

A piece of hard wood can be sharpened at each end with a notch in the middle where you tie the string. This is called a gorge. Bait is placed along the length of the gorge. When a fish swallows the bait it also swallows the gorge which will get lodged in the fish when you pull on the line. There are no poisonous freshwater fish, but you may have to avoid bones. Cook all freshwater fish to kill any parasites or protozoa. Bon appetite!

A few hooks, some tippet line, 15 LB test fishing line, a couple of sinkers, and maybe a couple of ring hooks don’t weigh a lot and don’t take up much room in your survival kit. You also might want to pack a couple of artificial flies like an elk hair caddis and a couple of zebra midges. Sorry, the fly fisherman in me is coming out.

There are several saltwater fish that you will need to avoid including porcupine fish, triggerfish, cowfish, thorn fish, oilfish, red snapper, jack, and puffer. These fish can have poisonous flesh which in some cases occurs seasonally. Any saltwater fish caught within a reef or near a source of fresh water should be cooked to kill any parasites.

Birds are another source of food, including their eggs. All birds are edible, although some are going to taste better than others. During the nesting season some birds will not leave their nests, even when approached. Pigeons can be removed by hand from their roosts at night. Birds will typically have a pattern that they follow, going from roosts, to water to sources of food. Knowing these patterns can help you set up nets across their flyways to capture the birds. You can use snares and traps around watering holes and roosts as another means of capture.

Mammals are the most recognized food source, but require a lot more effort to be successful unless you have a slingshot, crossbow, bow and arrow, or a small-caliber weapon. Using some of these will require a bit of practice to become an effective hunter. Another option might be to utilize traps to capture your prey.

You can set up multiple traps and check them once a day. You will need to learn the art of snaring as it is one of the more effective means of catching small animals like squirrels and rabbits. Remember to pack some fine wire in your survival kit to use when constructing snares. Don’t set your sights on hogs or deer unless you have a rifle. You will expend way too much energy if you set your sights too high.

Hopefully this article has given you some options in case you find yourself in a survival situation. Always be prepared by packing some of the essential survival equipment in your wilderness survival kit.

More Than Thanksgiving Food: Interesting Facts About The Turkey

A food lover’s delight, an ecstasy for the taste buds; there’s no denying the fact that the turkey makes for a great dinner – one that all food lovers would look forward too. Every year on Thanksgiving this bird sends the taste buds of 95% of Americans into raptures. Even as we savor the turkey there are interesting facts about this about this bird that we often don’t care to take note of.

Let’s take a look – 1) Research says that the turkey is over 10 million years old and has its origins in North and Central America. However, this ruling bird of Thanksgiving, the turkey, was domesticated in Mexico, where it was a bird of sacrifice. 2) There are two species of turkey – The North American Wild Turkey and The Central American Ocellated Turkey. 3) Farm-raised turkey cannot fly. Only wild turkeys have the ability to fly for short distances and are the fastest runners on ground among all birds. 4) They’re found in all US states except Alaska. Alaska it’s too cold for the turkeys. 5) American Indians were very fond of hunting wild turkeys because of its tasty flesh and for its feathers. The feathers of a turkey were used in arrows and to decorate their ceremonial attire. 6) Turkeys were once used to remove green worms from tobacco plants. 7) Benjamin Franklin had proposed in 1776 that the turkey be made the official symbol of the nation. However ultimately the bald eagle was chosen. Franklin later noted in a letter to his daughter “the turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America.” 8) The Thanksgiving turkey is also well-known for its eggs, which are about double the size of the eggs of chicken. 9) A turkey egg takes approximately 28-30 days to hatch. 10) A baby turkey is called a ‘poult’ and is tanned brown in color. 11) A male turkey is called a Tom while a female turkey is called a Hen. Only Toms can gobble. Hens communicate with clicking noises or pseudogobbles. 12) A hen can lay upto 100 eggs. 13) A full-grown turkey has about 3500 feathers approximately. 14) The long, loose piece of skin hanging from a turkey’s neck is known as ‘wattle’. 15) A group of turkey is known as a flock. 16) Turkeys have a great sight, great hearing, great sense of taste, but a very poor sense of smell. 17) The Guinness Book of World Records holds that the largest weight recorded for a turkey (after having been dressed and cooked) is 86 pounds. This turkey-fic record was made on December 12, 1989. 18) The turkey industry is a very popular industry in the US, grossing over $1 billion each year. 19) An average American consumes about 15 pounds of turkey every year. On the day of Thanksgiving, Americans treat themselves to about 675 million pounds of turkey. 20) California consumes more turkey than any other US state.

21) In the historical 1969 voyage to the moon, the food packets of US astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin had roasted turkey and all other trimmings.

How The Vesica Pisces Explains Creation And The Arrow Of Time

Original Point of Separation from Self is Start of All Energy

The symbol of the Vesica Pisces looks like two overlapping circles and represents the formation of the Prime Radiant or very first particle resulting from the first act of creation which was the first separation from the Great Oneness. The actual nature of all reality is oneness or the one true or original Substance of all reality which we experience every day outside ourselves as space and within our selves as consciousness. From this universal space which contains all dimensions, comes all things. The first separation from our true Self resulted in an endless vibration as the oneness (now separated into “twoness”) tries to go back into itself and instead only intercepts at its original point of separation temporarily, and swings back through itself the other way like a pendulum, except more like a vibrating string or membrane as in “Membrane Theory.”

This first act of separation instantly repeats itself endlessly becoming universalized and infinitely complex, resulting in all creation as we know it — full of vast quantities of energy in all manner of forms and dimensions. All it really is, is our great One Self vibrating or expanding out from its own origin and expressing itself in all manner of ways. Energy is created by our observation of it, because consciousness separating from itself is the actual source of this universal energy. As soon as separation consciousness stops, and Oneness prevails, then all things cease to exist except in a state of perfect equilibrium, stillness or perfect order. The point of balance (equilibrium) between all states of vibration is this state of perfect stillness or potential of creation. Wherever the waves of electromagnetic radiation cancel each other out is where the one substance of all space is in greater equilibrium.

How the Vesica Pisces Explains the Arrow of Time

The Vesica Pisces is two circles overlapping one another each representing a spontaneous dimensional expansion out of its original state of the Oneness as represented by the original circle. As the observer observes (or becomes “aware” of itself through spontaneous dimensional expansion) a very significant event occurs that establishes the permanent arrow of time created by the polarity of the observer and the observed because one must always follow the other in a very definite sequence. The Observer (God) always comes first, followed by the observed (Creation), and coincidentally, the two “O’s” in the Vesica Pisces are like overlapping initials “O.O.” standing for both the Observer and the Observed.

Time therefore always goes forward in this sequence of the “oneness” followed by the “twoness” (duality of the observer and observed) creating a universal polarity of space, all logical sequences, the thermodynamic arrow of time, and the universal order of creation itself. This is why time (the universal flow of energy) never goes backward, and why time is basically asymmetric and not always symmetric, and why the whole universe is always expanding and never contracting.

The universal vibration started by the original separation from the Oneness is so intense that it causes all space to have an ever-expanding sub-atomic quantum energy texture or pattern which sustains all things in creation. Atoms could not be sustained without this quantum energy, the electrons vibrating around every atom would simply collapse into the nucleus, which in turn (being a vibration of the quantum texture of space) would dissipate into nothing. All living organisms, including the human form are sustained by this cosmic (dark) energy. Because it is so ubiquitous, ultra fine, and constant, materialistic scientists don’t fully grasp the extent to which it does and can sustain human life. Some people claim to live entirely without food and live on this universal energy instead.

Consciousness, the thermodynamic arrow of time, quantum (or zero point) energy, and what many religions term “God” “Shakti” “Prana” “Chi” “Om” the “Shabd” the “Holy Spirit” and the cosmological “dark energy” causing the vast expansion of the universe, are all various aspects or definitions of roughly the same quality. Like the overlapping circles of the Vesica Pisces, many of the above concepts and phenomena actually overlap one another as almost being, if not entirely being, one and the same phenomenon.

Whole Essence of the Universe and Root of all Sacred Geometry

God was symbolized as a circle in the earliest cultures, having no beginning or end, eternally existing, perfectly shaped and absolutely symmetrical. The creation of a second circle symbolized the start of the duality of god and goddess, male and female. When two circles intersect, the form of the Vesica Pisces is created as if the god and goddess formed a divine offspring. The Vesica Pisces design and its offshoots, the Flower of Life, Tree of Life, and fundamentals of geometry, go back thousands of years preceding nearly all of today’s major religions.

There are various meanings ascribed the Vesica Pisces, which is basically the intersection of two, overlapping spheres; such as the union of heaven and Earth in the body of Christ, the root element of the Flower of Life, the merging of God and Goddess, the vagina of the female goddess, the first pattern at the basis of all trigonometric configurations, square roots and harmonic dimensions; a source of great power and vitality, and as an overlying template that intersects with all the points on the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life, Flower of Life, and the Seed of Life overlap perfectly, with the Vesica Pisces providing all of the elements of the Flower of Life and all the coordinates for the Tree of Life.

The Vesica Pisces represents the Pythagorean “measure of the fish” or mystical conjunction of the spiritual world with the physical world and, with one end extended to look like the tail of a fish, was used as a simple “fish” symbol for the early Christian faith. The Vesica Pisces also symbolizes the miracle of the fishes. Amazingly, the Gospel of John (21:11) reveals the numerical formula, “153” found in one of the mathematical ratios (265:153 = 1.7320261…) for the Vesica Pisces: “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.”

The Vesica Pisces is one of the most important geometrical designs of archaic and modern times. The Vesica Pisces can be found on nearly every medieval church in Europe. Many of these churches were devoted to the Virgin Mary or to Mary Magdalene, in other words, the goddess. In northern France, some of the churches are located in such a way as to resemble the locations of stars in the constellation Virgo.

The Chapel of St. Mary, located In Glastonbury (also called Avalon, the island of the Goddess), England, is decorated with the Vesica Pisces. In that area, there is a “goddess’ garden” containing the Chalice Well decorated with a “Vesica Pisces” iron grid and a garden pond shaped like two overlapping circles. Many of the religions who acknowledge the importance and energy of the goddess, use the Vesica Pisces to identify her.

In geometry, the ratio of the width of the Vesica Pisces to its height is the square root of 3, or 1.7320508… Also two equilateral triangles join along the edge where straight lines are drawn connecting the centers of the two overlapping circles with each other. The square roots of three of the first digits of the Fibonacci Numbers, 2, 3, and 5, can be geometrically determined using the shape of the Vesica Pisces. The ratios 265:153 = 1.7320261… and 1351:780 = 1.7320513… are two of a series of approximations as close as one can get to the actual square root of 3, and no greater similarity in value can be obtained with smaller whole numbers.

Many crop circles have also appeared in England consisting of or containing the Vesica Pisces design in various ways. In a 1996 crop circle with the shape of the Vesica Pisces, a terrific surge of energy could be felt while walking into the center portion where the two circles overlapped.