Common Recipes of the Impoverished Or How to Prepare For Famine in Three Easy Steps

How do you prepare for famine if you have never even known hunger? Here is the trick. Try these easy three step recipes.

Before starting, prepare yourself by fasting for three days. Because you are unfamiliar with starvation, you must drink at least a cup of water daily while fasting. Body/mind preparation is essential for you to withstand the rigorous demands of food deprivation.

Now you are ready to begin. Don’t get nervous. It is as easy as 1,2,3 to achieve a fat free, low cholesterol, low salt, low carbohydrate, low nutrient, minimum caloric diet that is pathetically normal to people enduring famine.

I promised you three steps. Here they are; 1) Gather; 2) Prepare; 3) Eat.

Step 1) Gather; Climb up high in a banana tree and throw down some of the largest leaves. Save the younger, smaller, and tender leaves for tomorrow. Now walk to the nearest puddle of water or stream and fill a plastic bucket with water. A clean bucket without holes works better. Be very careful not to stir the water up too much or you will get mud and silt. Avoid any place where people may have deposited bodily waste. Now gather some dried grass or dung and place it on the charcoals that remain from yesterday’s fire.

Step 2) Prepare; Place your banana leaves and water in a pan (recycled from discarded oil drums) on your fire of charcoals and dung. Don’t be in a hurry for the dung to get warm. After all, this is not fast food. Bring to a boil or at least heat well.

Step 3) Eat; It’s just that simple. You are now dieting in the style that is a staple for millions of people every day.

I recently picked this recipe from a recent front page article of a leading newspaper, detailing the severe famine now gripping, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia in southern Africa. Well, to be true, I made up the recipe based upon the stark ingredients the writer described. He noted these essentials of the current diet of the people struggling to survive.
As an American physician with 20 years of experience working in Africa it is still hard for me to believe there is such famine somewhere in the world. As I clean my overcrowded refrigerator, discard cartons of egg-foo-yong, stale pizza and overripe strawberries I think, “how can people be hungry when I am so full?”

As I worry about my widening waistline I feel uncomfortable and guilty about my excesses in this land of plenty. I have trouble understanding famine when I haven’t even known hunger.

Let’s get back to the recipes. If you don’t find banana leaves, you can always try sawdust. Sawdust does not require any special sauces, or at least none were noted in the article, leading me to believe you can eat it raw by the handful.

Then there is always tree bark and roots. Season these with the natural silt that comes from the water. As you pound the roots, some of the sap exudes adding a pliable consistency to the roots making it easier to swallow. Taste is not a consideration when you are eating to live. After all remember, you are starving.

One of the best things about this modern day recipe is that it never spoils. You can eat it again and again, especially when it is the only food you have.

The alternative to this recipe is death. All over the continent weakening mothers hold emaciated children as they slip from soft weeping to silent coma and final stillness.

Are you ready to handle this recipe? Do you think you have the right stuff to survive this diet?

If not, you may be ready to do something to help those who alleviate this specter of starvation and death. You may be ready to call your congressmen, and President to speak about the priorities of our nation. Help our nation focus on saving life among the expanding endangered species list to include human beings around the world.

Today and, tonight you will gather, prepare and eat. Most likely, the steps you follow will be much simpler than those outlined for the common recipe I have described above that fuels people for the challenges of escaping from warlords and natural disasters. Your meal may give you heartburn. If it does, before you take your antacid allow your heart to ache for the people who will fill their bellies with dirty roots, cold sawdust and warm banana leaves.