The Fast

I’m conducting a 5-day fast. People say it’s good for me. I’m also looking to enhance my spiritual connection with life. I’ll be consuming exclusively water with sea salt, black coffee, black tea, sparkling mineral water, and delectable music. I’ll take some supplements as well when I feel the impulse, such as Natural Calm (Magnesium), or vitamin D. Among the long list of ailments I’m open to resolving are: folliculitis, hemorrhoids, bruxism, and periodical general disdain for life. My girlfriend wants me to stop burping. I’m pretty sure for forever.

24 hours- my body tries to trick my mind into eating as I watch the sun setting over the distant horizon. I apparently “can’t possibly sleep without gorging on cookies, spiced cashews, and oatmeal…”

36 hours- Ummm. Defecation… smells oddly similar to paint thinner. Good thing that’s out of me. I feel cleansed now.

45 hours- I am wondering what to do with so much free time. Accustomed to eating at 6 PM every day, the blank space in my schedule has me feeling as if the day is never going to end. Is this what they mean when they suggest that fasting can promote longevity? Maybe it has nothing to do with autophagy and other cellular processes, but rather one feels as if he has had a long life because of all the time in misery wishing he or she could place a morsel of delicious, beckoning food in their mouth.

I find myself looking up from what I’m working on (the South Texas episode of Meat Eater), and almost getting out of my chair to find something to eat. The signals from my stomach, the habit of using food as a distraction, and the social cues elicited from the food-centric show converge to momentarily obscure the fact that I’m currently on a fast. I literally forget for a passing instant. Returning to reality, I hear a voice asking “is this really the right time for this? Maybe two days is good enough…”

I hear this voice often in life. The quitter in me. And I used to adhere to it’s all-knowing, wise words more often than not. As a weaker child with no self-control, I found myself constantly eating to the point of discomfort.

I’ve resolved to see this through. Document the experience. Examine what there is to learn through this tool they call a fast. I say that I value the experiences in life that shift my mind and allow me to see life through another perspective. I believe this fast might have that effect and I cling to that hope and dream as my lifeline to guide me onward through the onslaught of self-doubt and ideations of ending the experiment.

Last week I decided to start my first 5-day fast. I had drank the night prior at a good old fashioned South Texas BBQ, so I convinced myself that I should eat before bed and settled for a 20-something hour fast. I’m ok with that because it had been a while since my last 24-hour fast and I wanted to prepare better.

I am not ok with that choice now, though. I know what it felt like to eat the handful of key lime pie flavored cashews. Delicious, but not fulfilling. I want to be fulfilled. I want to believe in myself. If I can’t last 5 days without eating, I just won’t have faith in myself.

So do it for the longevity. Do it for the story material. Do it for the self-confidence.

It’s been too long since I’ve forced myself to do something difficult and stick to it until it’s finished. I need to do this for myself. For more internal peace.

46 hours- There’s a mild, sharp pain in my stomach. I wonder if this is the end… then it abruptly disappears!

47 hours- I accidentally consumed 14g of erythritol in a Virgil’s Zero Cola I had in my fridge… I almost quit and restarted next week but I think it’s not a substantial amount of calories and I’ll keep going with this journey.

48 hours- I’m exhausted… as I drive to my work site, I feel as if I could close my eyes and drift into the warm, welcoming abyss of sleep. Walking up the stairs to my hotel room is a more difficult task with each step, but I feel a sense of peace. I’m tired, but it feels more serene than the usual, irritating, tiredness I’m more accustomed to feeling.

65 hours- Hungry, but not hungry enough to convince my resolute soul to break it’s word and consume some food.

72 hours- Three whole days! I drank a cup of natural calm (magnesium supplement) in an attempt to enhance my sleep quality and then lied down to sleep. Right as I initiate dozing off, I feel my body lurge and a noise jumps out of my mouth. I have hiccups. And they are the deep down in the bottom of my diaphram type of hiccups. The type that seems to rattle your entire physiological system. And I suddenly feel like my heart is beating really sluggishly. Large gaps in time seem to pass between the atria and the ventricles pumping my crimson life fluid: “Buh    boom……. buh boom…. buh boom.”

And I have a difficult time feeling for my pulse through my ribs.

I was recently diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation after seeing a cardiologist for some heart fluttering I had been noticing in the late mornings for the past few months. So with this in mind, ostensibly out of fear for my life, I decided three entire days thinking of, but not participating in the enjoyment of devouring food was long enough for my prematurely aging body.

72.5 hours- Wow! It’s amazing how much pressure my bowels are capable of producing!

83 hours- The main outcome of this fast I have noticed has been improved oral hygiene. I had been experiencing what seemed to be mild gagliotta thrush. Each morning, I’d use my fantastic copper tongue scraper to squeegie away a night’s build up of thinly coated yellow-brown slime. The issue wasn’t sever enough for me to worry about it, but one time my girlfriend had commented that my tongue looked oddly brown after drinking coffee. So that’s gone now!

I feel slightly disappointed that I didn’t push myself through the late night anxiety/heart attack, but I more so feel assured that I listened to my body and didn’t take undue risk with this old broken heart.

So moral of the story: don’t fall in love, listen to your body, and if you think some lifestyle experiment will be an interesting time, try it out!

COVID Resiliency

COVID-19 will be here for a while. We all have an individual responsibility to maintain the immunological resiliency necessary to thrive in an environment shared with a dangerous, invisible intruder such as the current moment and foreseeable future. The following advice will aid in enhancing your ability to cope with COVID-19 when the inevitable interaction occurs.



Lack of sleep may very well be one of the most detrimental aspects of society today. You will act with greater effectiveness when you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep in a 24-hour period.



Physical exertion greatly aids in the development of a more robust immune system and a sharper mind. Cardiovascular and lung health status are major contributors to severe complications associated with COVID-19. Be sure to integrate frequent movement into your workday and short bouts of intense exercise throughout your week. When feasible, alternate between sitting and standing at your workstation. Intermittent walking breaks will improve your metabolic status and your creativity. Executing these brief walks in fresh air will further improve your health status by lowering the potential to encounter COVID-19. We’re on orders away from the distractions of normal life. View this time as a great opportunity to spend more time improving your fitness and physical capabilities.



Obesity and diabetes are leading contributors to a more severe infection of COVID-19. Prioritizing consumption of nutrient-dense foods over low quality food will go a long way to lowering your body fat percentage, blood triglyceride level, and cholesterol numbers. Given the highly personalized nature of diet and nutrition, I’m reluctant to suggest particular food groups, but it is reasonable advice to promote the consumption of more vegetables, nuts, quality animal products, and fruits while limiting sugar, processed wheat, industrial oils (corn, canola, soybean…), and artificial sweeteners (Monster/Red Bull energy drinks). Nutrient-dense foods with higher proportions of fiber, protein, and fat in a diet has been shown to suppress hunger. These foods will make you feel more satiated, curbing cravings for junk food and unhealthy snacks and resulting in less calories being consumed in a day. Theoretically, cutting 500-1000 calories/week out of one’s current diet will result in 1-2 fewer lbs of body fat than they otherwise would carry.


Stress Management

Chronic stress is an immunosuppressant, in part due to secretion of cortisol (often referred to as “the stress hormone”). Utilize stress management tactics such as meditation, yoga, creative/artistic endeavors, journaling, exercise, breathing techniques, and consensual safe physical touch. Use your rest and recovery days to de-stress and prepare your mind and body for the upcoming week completing tasks essential to the mission.



Honoring one’s faith traditions is an important component of the human experience. Believe in something. Believe in the good of humanity and focus on the beautiful interactions between community members working to support each other in these turbulent times. Believe in whatever provides power and inspiration to your daily life, sustaining the energy required to perform your civic duty: enhancing the well-being and safety of the lives that we serve.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D status has been inversely associated with severity of infection of COVID-19. As a precautionary measure, spend the appropriate amount of time in the sun after your shift or on your R&R day. Utilize the app, “dminder”, to discover the safe amount of time in the sun to increase your vitamin D levels without afflicting yourself with sunburn. If it is impractical to obtain enough time harvesting vitamin D through the sun’s rays, vitamin D supplements can be a suitable replacement. Do not consume more than 2,000 IU/day due to toxicity concerns.



Zinc is another supplement that will guard you from a severe COVID-19 infection. Suggested supplement dose is 8mg/day for women, 11mg/day for men. This can be found in pill form by itself, in a multivitamin, or whole food sources such as meat, shellfish, legumes, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, some vegetables, and chocolate (stick to 70% dark or more).



Selenium is a mineral that has been shown to improve the outcome of immune system infections. The suggested dose is 55 micrograms/day. If you are known to have high levels of selenium, supplementation is not advised. This can be found in pill form by itself, in a multivitamin, or whole food sources such as Brazil nuts, pork, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, and eggs.



Microbiome health has been a hot topic in the past few years. It is highly likely that a healthy microbiome will protect individuals from severe infection. The microbial community in one’s gut is significantly impaired after using antibiotics. Only administer antibiotics when necessary. Other tactics to improve the microbiome include consumption of fiber, collagen, resistant starch, probiotics, and fermented foods, as well as reducing smoking and contact with chemicals such as pesticides. Fiber is found in most fruits and vegetables. Collagen is found in meat on the bone, bone broth, and collagen supplements. Resistant starch is found most commonly in cooked and cooled rice and potatoes as well as green bananas and plantains. Probiotics are bought as a supplement. Common fermented foods are yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Purchasing organic food will reduce the pesticide load in one’s diet.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another supplement that has the potential to overcome an infection. Research suggests that a large dose (around 1000 mg) should be consumed at the first recognition of a symptom.


Stay safe. Embrace the joys of helping the community. Thrive through resiliency!

What are your suggestions for creating COVID resiliency??

The Scavenger’s Guide to… Scavenging

You know when you go to a restaurant with a group of friends and have food in your hands before you even sit down at the table? During the ensuing mass confusion, judgmental glances, and wide eyes of wonder, there’s always one group member that asks and endless spattering of questions about food waste, lowering one’s food budget, and other random questions regarding my unconventional lifestyle. I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to understand other people’s thought processes, perspectives, and potentially provide a positive influence in the way they conduct their lives.


So to make it easier, here are some avenues I’ve been fortunate enough to utilize in my quest to displace food from being wasted:

Community and School Gardens

It only takes a couple peaceful hours volunteering at a community or school garden to be permitted to obtain a portion of the yield when the time comes. I spent a decent amount of time at The Ohio State University Student Farm hoeing, planting, and weeding. There actually wasn’t much student involvement and a heck of a lot of crops planted. At the end of the season I ended up with more tomatoes I could ever eat. Plus, I was fortunate enough to get high off the endorphins catalyzed by my little friends. Thanks to the current movement connecting people to their food, community gardens are gaining in popularity and you probably have one in your area. Plenty of resources are available to guide you to the nearest feast.

Landscape Pest Control

Bugs. Eat them. If you like shrimp, if you like reducing pesticide use, if you like protein, you might want to throw back a couple tomato horn worms or Japanese beetles. Whenever I go to my mom’s in MD, I make sure I check the rose bushes and tomato plants for those little critters that thought it was a good idea to defoliate my family’s ornamentals and food plots. They’re pretty much all edible and delicious sautéed in some coconut oil with sea salt and curry.

Home Gardens

If you have a few minutes each day to throw some water at your little green pets, home gardens are a great way to grab your own food with very little economic investment.


Everyone’s most appetizing option. There’s a right way to do it. There’s a very wrong way to do it. Make sure you aren’t going for that odiferous bludgeoned carcass writhing with maggots that’s missing most of its hair. This guy knows what’s up with road-side harvesting. Make sure the hair doesn’t fall out when tugged. You shouldn’t smell anything that makes you want to puke. Some lice and ticks are ok, but if maggots beat you to the meal, you might want to keep driving. Cold weather can keep the meat good for up to months, depending on the temp. I usually don’t eat the offal from vehicle casualties and stick to the unmolested muscle meat. Good luck with this one 🙂


While volunteering at OSU’s Student Farm, I was tasked with the duty of pest control via live traps. The rabbit population is very often an issue with agriculture and I was lucky enough to have delicious furry friends on my plate for about 2 years. Talk to farmers you know to find similar opportunities or look up the regulations for trapping with your state’s wildlife department to set one up in your back yard.

Grocery Store Samples

Not sure about you, but when I go to Whole Foods Market, I know I eat more food in the store than I buy… The plethora of samples throughout the aisles and the “spillage” in the bulk foods section are the real reason I go there. The ridiculous price markup and their insistence on using dangerous industrial oils to cook most of their food doesn’t appropriately motivate me to buy my food from them.

Restaurant Table Leftovers

The best meals out include random peoples’ leftovers. I can barely describe the satisfaction and joy when I am able to snag a half-eaten plate of food from a recently departed neighboring table when I go out to eat. The race to beat the wait staff to clean up a table is exhilarating and the payoff can be immense. Probably best to refrain from the soup…

Bar Drinks

If you start paying attention to it, you’d be amazed at the amount of alcohol left in peoples’ cups when they hop on to another bar. Always scout out the tables when you see a party preparing to depart a bar and check the tables or counters at the door when you enter a club if the city doesn’t permit open-containers.


We’re made to track down, kill, and eat the wildlife. The rifle can cost a bit, but if you’re lucky enough to find a gun aficionado to befriend that’ll let you borrow one, the cost to harvest a decent amount of wild game meat is minimal. The license fees are low and go to important causes like habitat conservation. Get that forest bathing in! For added ecological benefits, focus on invasive species and animals that are currently in a high population density status, historically speaking.


With an even lower barrier to entry, fishing can supply a massive amount of meat for a minimal cost. You also get the benefits of negative ions.

Urban Foraging

Life is much more fulfilling when you get to know the environment in which you reside. As the majority of people shuttle by in their metal, socially-isolating death traps in a congestion-induced rage, some fortunate individuals can be spotted cycling or meandering about on foot with grins upon their faces. The slow life comes with gifts. Delicious gifts. Next time you have the time, commute by foot or bike and keep an eye peeled for little treats trickled around your feet, in the bushes, and on the trees. There is even an app for that. Most weeds can be eaten.

Help Friends Move Out

Maybe it’s just another aspect of being the luckiest guy ever. Maybe I intentionally make friends with gypsy-type folk… But I’ve been fortunate enough to help multiple friends move from one living space to other. Usually there are heaps of food that they either don’t want to go through the efforts of relocating or decided they don’t enjoy eating. Lend a hand moving furniture and usually you can snatch up a few boxes of edible goods. Just scrape the mold off.

Clean Friends’ Kitchens

An obsessive interest in societal food purchasing habits can lead you to some interesting situations when you get caught snooping in the recesses of strangers’ cabinets and fridges. With a little communicative tact and a receptive kitchen owner, you just may finagle your way into an incredible opportunity to snag some unwanted goods. A lot of foods people considered “expired” are still good to eat.

University Events

I decided long ago that there must be a university in the town in which I reside. Listening to an indecipherable asian lament upon the intricacies of critical nonlinear dispersive equations sounds so much more delicious when I have 47 cheese cubes in front of my face chasing each other down my throat. Check out your local university’s events calendar for public seminars, lectures, and community events. There’s always food. At least free coffee. And you know they throw it out. Some compost, but skipping the energy recycling yields the most sustainable outcome.

Farmers Markets

First, samples for days. Second, if you befriend a local producer, there are many opportunities to help trade some time helping load, unload, or clean the farm stand for some produce to take home.

Food Festivals/ Expos

Food product producers never want to return from an expo with product. The cost to ship it back often exceeds the loss from just giving it away. Next time you hear of an event in your area, bring a duffel bag and ask the producers if they have any opened containers or extra goods they are desperate to rid themselves of.

Hosting Couchsurfers

Couchsurfing is a great way to meet the most interesting people on the planet and have some valuable exploration partners. Not only can you help make the world a better place by providing a welcome environment for fellow global explorers, but most of the guests will insistently pay for your meals out, buy groceries and cook food at your home, or leave edible goods in your fridge when they depart.

I hope these tips are actually useful, the writing style is entertaining, and you have some great material to fuel any judgement regarding my alternative lifestyle!

Keep in mind that it’s about reducing food waste, reducing the money spent on food, and having fun. “Scavenge” isn’t a cool word for “stealing.”

Where do you see food waste that could go to a better cause than the landfill? Who wants to join my food scavenging team? What are some food-rescuing experiences you’ve facilitated?

Earthchurn Ice Cream


I had my first repeat customer tonight. So I’m celebrating with a blog post explaining my motivation behind Earthchurn!

Ultimately, I aim to displace as much sugar consumption as possible. Ice cream is a major contributor to the public’s sugar intake. I know that as a health-conscious consumer, the one thing that I haven’t found a suitable substitute for has been ice cream.

Nutritionally, we know that one thing all experts agree on is that sugar is a massive contributor to all chronic diseasesmental illnesses, and dermatological issues. I know I gave myself GERD through an increased sugar consumption. Natural, zero-calorie sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol have no negative consequences and can even increase health status due to insulin regulation and their phytonutrient content. CLAs and Omega-3 fatty acids in the grass-fed milk and free-range eggs also contribute to a more nutritious dessert.

Sustainability wise, Earthchurn uses only grass-fed dairy because of the amount of carbon sequestration and higher standards of animal welfare. Industrial sugar agriculture is also causing massive damage in terms of soil erosion, wildlife habitat destruction, and chemical pollutants. Theoretically, this could be a zero carbon emissions product. As is usually the case though, storage would be very difficult to accomplish through exclusively renewable energy… Some day.

A massive reason for my war against sugar is the industry’s low level of ethics. Incredibly, the American public just became aware of the fact that industry officials paid off scientists 50 years ago to publish papers favorable to sugar consumption. These “scientific findings” unfortunately are still causing damage because they were used to establish the U.S. (and incidentally, global) nutritional guidelines. As someone that makes his best attempt in making a positive impact in the world through purchasing decisions, I’d rather not support this immoral, bullying industry.

A strong, supportive, and connected community is something that is important to me. I support the community of Austin by Mill-King milk and Vital Farms eggs. Thus far, all ingredients have been purchased through Wheatsville Co-op, which is a small grocery store that also prioritizes the health of the community.

Many people have asked for vegan options… No. The market has vegan products available. So Delicious‘s coconut milk based, stevia-sweetened varieties are my favorite. That’ll do until the vegan fad subsides or they disintegrate due to nutrient deficiencies. They’ve done enough damage to society by convincing restaurant industry to swap out traditional, healthy fats for toxic plant-based industrial oils.

I’m very thankful for the support in this endeavor. I hope to continue providing a more sustainable, healthier ice cream to the world. Earthchurn helps to give me more purpose in life and makes me feel as if I’m doing something beneficial for the community. As of now, Earthchurn is still not a registered LLC. I’m too busy eating my concoctions to go to the library and print off the required forms… Someone can steal it I guess. That would be acceptable. As long as they got it into store shelves and allowed people to choose a grass-fed, naturally-sweetened, no sugar added ice cream, I’ll be satisfied. I’m not in this for money. I’m in it to bring down Big Sugar. I’m in it to improve peoples’ lives. Join me in the sugar exorcism. You deserve it.

Thanks to Uncle Chuck for guidance on the name. Thanks to Allison for the incredible photos. Even if I never talk to you again, thanks to Thaysmarie for the graphic design and website work. Thanks to Dia’s Market for promotional assistance.

Visit us on Facebook.

Our new website is up, but still being improved.

IG: Earthchurn

What flavors do people want?

Is anyone interested in helping to increase Earthchurn’s positive impacts and reach more people? I would love help with admin, graphic design, website work… and everything else.

Nutri-hack Buffet King

These damn vegetables at the grocery store cost too much. Eating a vegetable-rich diet can seem more and more economically unfeasible with each $8/lb box of organic spinach tossed into the cart. That’s why my cheap ass went to Buffet King to see how I could extract the maximum amount of nutrients out of the $8.69 (before 3:30 and after military discount) bill! My guiding principles were as follows:

  • Prioritize nutrient-dense foods (vegetables and seafood)
  • Appropriate amount, not “as much as possible”
  • Intermittent fast pre- and post-meal
  • Focus on high-value options (AKA not rice, bread, or deep-fried items)
  • As always, avoid refined sugar, processed grains, and industrial oils


A plate of sushi/seafood; a plate of baked stuffed mushrooms, salmon, and ribs with lettuce; 2 plates of Mongolian BBQ (with butter if you ask and decline the “butter” in the plastic contained mentioning “partially-hydrogenated soy” in the ingredients); and a plate of fruit later, I finally decided to waddle out of the dark labyrinth of endless food and obese community members. The fact that my phone died and I could no longer be accompanied by Christopher Ryan’s voice also played a part in my decision to stop eating. Considering the fact that a heaping plate of stir fried vegetables and meat would usually cost equal to my total bill, it is not much of a question whether or not I received my money’s worth. I had more rice than planned. The shrimp and salmon were probably farm-raised. The beef and pork in the BBQ were most likely factory-farm raised. Overall, I managed to ingest a significant amount of vegetables and meat with very little sugar, industrial oils, or processed grains.

Being my only meal of the day, under $9/day isn’t too bad of a deal for most people.

On the bike ride home, while attempting to hold down the bloated mass of fermenting plant and animal matter, I wondered to myself: is this even enjoyable? Is food about finding the most cost-efficient eating habits? Am I best off slashing my food bill to the smallest number I can manage? Or is food about enjoyment, community, and vitality?

When I economize every calorie, I can’t help but feel I’m merely wallowing in a survival mindset when I know I have the capacity instead to view food as a catalyst to thrive. The research shows that the psychological value derived from food is directly tied to the price paid for that meal. As a compulsive over-eater, the impulse to over-consume is just too great for me to suggest I rely on buffets for my meals. When food is in sight, I’ll usually eat it. When “the deal” depends upon the amount of good I can stuff in my face as quickly as possible, I’m inclined to go for seconds…and sevenths. I’ll stay away from the buffet as long as it means fewer moments lying in discomfort and wishing I hadn’t eaten that last plate of food.

Are you a buffet regular? Do they fulfill your needs or make you wish you’d stayed home to make that ecologically grown salad topped with grass-fed beef? All-you-can-eat definitely has it’s place, but what is the adequate frequency for you?



Continue reading “Nutri-hack Buffet King”

Iguana Slaughter Motivation

I want to kill and eat all of the iguanas. Nothing personal, my scaly green friends. It’s just that Puerto Ricans aren’t the only unfortunate folks fighting the terrible consequences of colonization… Given the innocence of Iguana iguana, I do not support torment, harassment, or unnecessary suffering of these beautiful creatures. On the other hand, my end goal is the extermination of this invasive species from the majestic island of Puerto Rico for the following reasons:

  • agriculture damage (supposedly millions of $)
  • road/infrastructure damage including cave-ins
  • airport runway problem/jet damage
  • lowered tourism due to impact on native plants
  • riparian ecology destruction leading to soil erosion
  • native plant predation
  • out-competing native lizards for food
  • predating native lizards?
  • predating bees and other polinators (according to Almighty Armando)
  • displacing factory-farm meat consumption
  • displacing imported foods (for Puerto Ricans)
  • free protein!
  • zero-carbon food source
  • highly nutritional food source
  • delicious 🙂
  • personal harvest connects people to their food, the environment, and nature


I’ve been holding this as a draft for a few months now, not exactly looking forward to the hours of reading scientific studies. Well it’s true that the only thing to fear is fear itself because it turns out, there is essentially no solid research! I had planned on economizing the damages for each point mentioned above and calculating the value of each dead iguana, but every other resource just gives vague amounts of damage, such as merely guessing “millions of dollars in damage!”

In the end, I guess I have to stick to theory and ethics regarding the situation. We as humans have a responsibility to remedy the destruction we have caused and that which is yet to be caused, but already set in motion by our actions. Unless we want a homogeneous global ecosystem with low biodiversity, we need to do something about the animals we relocate around the world. Eat iguanas. With all of the negative externalities inherent to the conventional food system, it’s a relief to have a food that you can feel morally good about. Although I have moved to Austin, I still plan to sell the highly acclaimed iguana jerky! I’ll post in the PRHGS Facebook group and my Instagram account. Please continue to support the cause through the Patreon account!

Big thanks to Allison and Michele for their continued support! If you missed it, check out the recipe I supplied to El Coqui of Rincon, which was published in their November issue!

If anyone is able to assist with the legalities of this project moving jerky from PR to Austin to sell for human consumption, I’d appreciate any help provided!

Now to hope Junior sends meat soon and look for invasives to harvest in Austin area. Farmers, call me about your hogs 🙂

Ethical Food Options


Why the hell is it so hard to buy food that doesn’t make me, as a more than averagely aware and conscious consumer, feel like I’m destroying the world? All I want is for food to be available that doesn’t:

While it would be convenient to listen to your unvaccinated, dreadlocked, tie-dye shirt-adorned buddy and just stop “eating animal products, mannn,” the uncomfortable truth is that relying on industrial agriculture for your food will not remedy most of the issues highlighted above. Add to the inefficaciousness of that plan the risks of B-12 deficiency ( and the probability of higher animal death counts (, there must be another option for a sustainable diet plan.

I also would like to omit discussing wild harvesting, home growing, and food waste scavenging. I think I’ve covered the importance of those in previous posts. I’d like to discover options within the marketplace for those that are short on time or traveling but hope to make the world a better place with their forks.

I’m hoping some options are available that induce a net-benefit for society and the environment through their purchase. Reducing carbon footprint is a major concern, so focusing on carbon sequestration through food is essential. It turns out that there are certain production methods that sequester carbon, such as:

There isn’t much you can do about tillage practices and cover crop use at the grocery store… maybe you can wait until those criteria are included on the food label. Until then, relying on grass-fed beef, goat, lamb, sheep, veal, bison, deer and their respective dairy products along with perennial produce should yield net-negative carbon emissions. Some perennials are:

Another potential avenue of environmentally responsible food consumption is legume crops. Legumes (beans, peas, peanuts…) fix nitrogen into the soil and can act as fertilizer instead of relying on synthetic nutrients or manure ( Is this enough of a benefit to offset the carbon emissions that are most likely being induced by the machines used to plant, harvest, and process the crops into food? I want to say yes… but it’s pretty much just because I love peanut butter. I see no issues if the legume food products are grown without fossil fuel dependent machines, but that is really not available in any supermarket.

It appears you can demand carbon dioxide pollution to be mitigated by buying grass-fed ruminant meat and dairy as well as perennial fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, and vegetables. Maybe legumes can be considered to have a negligible environmental impact, but it would seem more likely that the carbon dioxide emissions outweigh the nitrogen fixation.

So it seems to me that I can save the world with one bite of steak at a time 🙂 At the supermarket, the non carbon-related issues can be ameliorated through buying organic. The “industrial” organic options available at the market will still probably cause soil erosion and use a monoculture system relying on fossil fuel driven machinery, so if you can find a farmers market (, a small scale producer might be more conscious of those issues and take preventative measures.

Is this helpful?

Will anything productive come of choosing these suggested foods?

What are your suggestions for a hungry, supermarket-dependent traveler that cares about the world??

Thanks and come visit me in paradisaical Puerto Rico 🙂

Calculated Disease Risk


So Julie and I need help. We like eating peoples’ leftovers. Nothing else brings us as much joy in life. But while we are enjoying our discarded half plates of chicken tikka masala donated by unknowing mall patrons, off to buy some shoes or whatever people do at malls, we are being bombarded from warning from concerned friends and family. “You are going to get diseases! :O,” my uncle, Paul, informs me, adding that exact face at the end of his statement for dramatic effect. I heard whispers that Julie’s family has threatened to disown her for her sickeningly sustainable dumpster diving addiction.

Are these kind souls saving us from killing ourselves with that infected, greatly yearned for half-filled cup of Columbus mocha? Or are we being subjected to more Malthusianesque ramblings brought on due to overblown perceptions of the rates of herpes, mononucleosis, the common cold, and flu?

I’d LOVE to see some research that systematically compares the safety of:

  • conventional industrial grocery store food
  • restaurant food
  • takeaway food
  • hunted/gathered food
  • random peoples’ leftovers
  • friends’ leftovers
  • grocery store dumpster stashes
  • make out session with rando in the club that you don’t remember until your friend tells you the next day

Was that Indian guy mean mugging Julie and I today as I presented that tray of plates partially filled with succulent pumpkin and a plump chicken carcass because he thinks he’s more royal than us due to his choice to pay money for his food? How closely correlated are peoples’ disgust with eating someone’s meal remnants and their general lack of respect for other citizens of this wonderful world?

Carbon Neutral Food Plan


Convinced by the doomsdayers like Bill McKibben, who’s article convincing people that the Earth’s habitability is near extinction and fossil fuel companies are the devil I had to read for class (, I’ve been more motivated to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by my lifestyle. Obviously one person can’t fix the issue, but at the same time it all adds up and we are all capable agents of social change. I believe it’s all of our civic duties to “be the change” we want to see in the world. Inspired by, I aim to demonstrate how we can all stop fuelling the anthropocene extinctions and the Koch brothers’ rapidly inflating wallets (

I decided long ago to start walking instead of driving whenever it is feasible for my health ( and heat my house only when Dan or Jay complained about seeing their breath while lounging around snapchatting, but I’ve recently zoned in on the food I eat and it’s effects on the global methane and carbon dioxide levels. Fossil fuels are heavily relied upon during the whole food chain from:

  • manufacture of fertilizer
  • manufacture of pesticides
  • heavy machinery cultivations
  • transportation
  • refrigeration
  • others?

So there goes the grocery store!

Options now include:

  • wild harvested meat, fruit, and vegetables
  • forlorn foods at friends’ abodes
  • leftovers at the school dining hall
  • unwanted sides at mall dining court
  • grocery store dumpsters
  • garbage cans in close proximity to takeaways
  • carbon neutral foods at the store (so far I’ve only seen wine

Posts about each of these to come if you beg… or bride with near-rotten vegetables

Some of this might not sound appetizing, but that would only indicate you haven’t practiced using your scavenging eye enough. My amazing scavenging team members will vouch for the deliciousness and pure ecstasy we’ve derived from plenty of these sustenance sources. Let me know if you’d like to join next time we go harvest!

I still haven’t figured out how to cook my food without spurting mass quantities of pollution into this revitalising New Zealand air, but I welcome suggestions. Perfection in life will be attained if I could just find a reliable source of half-drank coffees like I did the other day at the mall. Or a carbon neutral source to buy. Anyone know of any? Tea and chocolate would be nice as well…

Garbage Guts

What do all of these items of food have in common?

image1 (1) image1 (2) image1 image1 image2 image3 image4 image5 image6

Yes, they were delicious. Yes, they were free. Most importantly, they were intercepted by my mouth directly en route to the garbage! I’ve embarked on a journey into eating almost exclusively peoples’ leftovers. Motivated by the impending doom of climate change and the fact that agriculture contributes to a large portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, I’ve decided to eat food that has contributed the least to this problem. Due to the climate change induced reduction in biodiversity and it’s effects on mental health (, among other reasons, I feel that we all have a responsibility in ameliorating this issue and choosing to promote a fossil fuel intensive agricultural system is not something that makes me too ecstatic. I rely on personally harvested and scavenged foods from animals I have recently been fortunate enough to being to my freezer, fruit trees in my neighborhood, the community garden, and leftovers at the mall food court and the school dining hall. Either free of petroleum-based inputs such as pesticides, fertilizers, and machine cultivation or considered waste, these all seem to contribute zero carbon emissions.

The scavenging diet has become a source of much joy, as Julie or Alex and I proclaim out excitement with each properly spotted and secured morsel of edible sustenance. We’ve discovered that you can say a phrase such as “I really want a Coke right now,” wait a moment, and be granted your wish by an unsuspecting genie with blonde hair as she moves off to shop for some more shoes. If you are nice enough, the cleaning crew will join your team, offering up the juiciest Chinese grilled chicken and half-filled cups of Johnny Mango smoothies. The fun and scrumptious is literally endless! I invite any and all moral and ethically-conscious eaters to join me in my pursuit to save the world one succulent bite of garbage at a time.

Anyone have any tips, critiques, or suggestions?