Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Meaty Discussion

 I've heard of countries where you can't afford to buy meat very often. If it is not the fault of conspiring men who manipulate the market I say hurray! The market will right itself in time or people who want to feed themselves will begin working on that project. No, they won't likely be raising beef on a corner lot of town but there are so many other ways each of us can help.  Many of you have seen the pictures of this circulating on facebook in I believe it is Switzerland where the people put their entire yard into gardens and work with their neighbors to each raise something different to exchange? In many communities in the US there are community garden where you can have a small plot of land to grow food. That could be expanded and accommodate the apartment dwellers in part. If you look at the ratio of 2 percent of our population feeds the other 98 percent you see a huge misunderstanding developing. A huge problem is something goes wrong with the 2 percent.

One of those misunderstandings I've overheard in line of Bountiful Basket where people complain the crops are too little, too big, too something or other. Bountiful Baskets is a great place for farmers to sell the crops that don't quite fit the cookie cutter look that customers demand in grocery stores. The farmer would love it if his crops turned out practically perfect in every way, every year. Too many variables go into farming and it just isn't realistic. Our bread basket in California is suffering from weather and I see the prices reflected in the grocery store. Most don't even know what they grow there.

The drought and severe weather in the US has dropped the beef numbers 1/4.  Kirk's brother said he knows of a ranch that had to cut their cattle herd to half. Now they only have 1200 cows. It will take some time to get those numbers back up since a cow doesn't give birth until they are two and then if they have a heifer calf  it might be the next year before a calf goes to market from that cow. The heifer will be two more years before they have a calf and it might be a bull calf for the feed lot or a heifer to be kept if the quality is right. Our beef numbers aren't going to come back quickly even if the weather makes it possible to increase numbers. A choice might be made to allow a vast number of imports. That has happened before but does that serve the rancher and farmer best. I question that because when they need a cash influx the most to get back on their feet the price stays low and they have to build more slowly. The government might supplement the costs but do they really have that right to interfere with the market? If they do then they have the right to interfere in all aspects for what ever reason.

Others say that we should force prices to be high and force the population to eat more meat. I say stay out of my kitchen. Stay out of my market. History has shown the government does more harm than good in the long run when they interfere. If a person wants to destroy their health upping the price of meat isn't going to stop them. You can't force healthy choices. You can't dictate to others without becoming a dictator.

 As for the piglet problem, I haven't seen how that disease is doing but it isn't something new, it just is cycling once again. If it doesn't profit a farmer or rancher to do something he isn't likely to do it. That is the bottom line and when there are so few doing it then the entire population is drastically effected. We have made our food supply very precarious by our shear laziness on the majority of the population. People have land but don't do anything with it. I'm speaking of course of the majority of our general population, not as individuals. The dominoes are stacked people and they are beginning to tumble. Prices in the grocery store are on the rise and shortages will happen. People who watch societies and the cycle know what is coming.

Bees are another example as they wouldn't be at such a risk if more people kept bees. It is the huge commercial operations that have created many of the problems and tipped the balance of nature and that can be said of all industries. WE as a people chose this. WE are simply put - LAZY. That might mean that you choose to not grow anything for yourself though you could put in a few pots on the deck if nothing else was available to you. You could grow in a sunny window under a grow light but people won't. They have a yard and choose grass only.

 I want to snap when I hear people complain about the price and quality of products as if someone waves a wand and presto. We want better products for a cheaper price. Be real. I bought a fruit box of lemons this past week and we have been drinking lemonade like crazy for the natural vitamin C. We also take vitamin C supplements. We are stressing our bodies big time right now and we can't expect them to keep going on nothing. The box of lemons is hardly grocery store quality. Some are little some have thick skins, some thin but the price reflected less than perfect and so when they arrived I got exactly what I expected imperfections yum, yum.

We expect to walk - oh wait a minute, no one walks - to the store and have our every need fulfilled. Their is no appreciation, no understanding, no gratitude. We expect to eat junk food and feel good. With no understanding and no gratitude this world is falling apart.

 At general conference this past weekend President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke about gratitude. He said "We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?
How blessed we are if we recognize God’s handiwork in the marvelous tapestry of life. Gratitude to our Father in Heaven broadens our perception and clears our vision. It inspires humility and fosters empathy toward our fellowmen and all of God’s creation. Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes! A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues.16"\

Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.Here is the entire speech. 

If a thankful heart is the parent of all virtues then I'd say we have a very ungrateful society. I've tried especially hard this past year to say thank you to my Heavenly Father. Anytime during the day I see something to be grateful for, I out loud say thank you Lord. I don't want to forget, which I would if I waited until I said my prayers. I think this is what is in part meant when the scriptures say we should keep a prayer in our heart. It really helps to keep me moving forward and recognizing the blessings showered upon us each day for at times we feel majorly challenged. I have only shared with you only a part of the trials but I agree with Dieter F. Uchtdorf, I don't believe our Heavenly Father expects us to be any less grateful during our trials than during the times of ease.

Kirk and I have grown closer as we have had to yoke together to over come problems. We laugh lots. It is a stress reliever. Like yesterday when I told him I had a dream the night before about Tom Selleck and that I met him at a social and he came home with me to meet the grand kids. Kirk didn't happen to be there for some reason. He laughed and said he wasn't so surprised that I met Tom and he came home as that I was at a social. Oh how I love that dear man of mine.

We will be very grateful for our efforts the past couple years to put meat in the freezer especially if indeed the eight dollar a pound hamburger comes to pass. We will see that indeed the Lord was watching over us and though we at the time have not seen why at this extremely busy time he has chosen to put us in a position to put more meat in the freezer, I can't complain. He knows the future, he knows the reason though I do not.

Hamburger grinding had to wait until this morning because it wasn't cold enough and gummed up the grinder last night. Kirk was here to help for a time before going to bed - blessing. This morning the fat still gummed it up so I guess I'm rendering fat to make soap. More blessings I (this reminds me of Fiddler On The Roof) at this busy time. I think though I'll throw the fat into the freezer for a blessing for another day. Right now I have sewing and taxes to work on. No, I don't have taxes done. I started back in January and things kept interrupting the progression. Now I'm at the wire. I also am wa....y behind on sewing. We need to finish moving. Deadlines for that are fastly approaching.  Oh how will we ever have the energy and time to get it all done? Especially since bad weather is forecasted for when Kirk is off next and we could make a load. Kirk and I just keep saying, "With the Lord, all things are possible." He has proved to us in days that are past and so we will put our faith in him for the future.

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