Eat Dirt or Die

Dear Money & Crisis Reader,

As you’ve probably heard by now, I’m on vacation all this week — taking some well-earned R&R before the weather turns.

But that doesn’t mean you’re going to stop getting top-quality Money & Crisis content delivered straight to your inbox. I’ve asked some of my colleagues, as well as some industry experts, to fill in for me this week.

These folks know more about crisis, money and personal liberty than anyone I’ve ever met. So, you’re in good hands.

Today’s issue comes to you courtesy of Chris Campbell, the managing editor of Laissez Faire Today.

All the best,

Owen Sullivan

Owen Sullivan
Editor, Money & Crisis

Eat Dirt or Die

Chris Campbell One central argument in Jared Diamond’s book Guns, Germs and Steel is the strongest cultures are almost always the ones that developed a greater immunity due to the proximity of the germs from soil and domestic livestock.

The more robust the immune system, the stronger the worker, the fighter, the thinker, the lover.

This sits well with what’s called the “hygiene hypothesis.”

In a paper published in Foodborne Pathogens and Illness, researchers said:

This hypothesis states that a lack of exposure of children (as well as adults) to dirt, commensal bacteria, and ‘minor’ pathogenic insults results in an immune system that does not function normally. This lack of antibodies to true pathogens in the immune system has resulted in the dramatic increase in allergies and asthma in developed countries over the past twenty years.

But you already knew this.

Because every grandmother worth her salt encouraged her grandchildren to not only make dirt pies — but eat them, too.

Unfortunately, most kids aren’t listening to Granny anymore.

They’re listening to weird and inappropriate YouTube videos made by creeps…

And they think “strange behavior” constitutes growing beets, owning a chicken or milking a goat.

That’s what the grocery store is for. (Duh.)

This is, of course, a historical anomaly.

You’d be hard-pressed to find another time in history when kids had the luxury of being so ignorant and misinformed about what’s responsible for their survival.

The Price of Ignorance

We forget why this knowledge is important.

We forget that in the Great Depression, people survived not because of the government’s compassionate bread lines, but because many Americans still grew and preserved their own food.

We forget other hard-learned lessons in history, too.

For example, Ireland’s potato famine, which resulted in at least one million deaths, was due to the same mono-cultured farming practices we depend on today.

We forget that our lives are inextricably linked to the environment around us. We begin to bite the hand that feeds us.

No civilization has ever been in such a sordid state of environmental ignorance.

Worse, no civilization has had such a low opinion of its cornerstones, either.

Farmers, those who feed the country, are, often portrayed as uneducated bumpkins. At best, they are seen as a necessary nuisance until technology can automate them out of existence.

Cows, a miraculous animal, a TRUE cornerstone of civilization and ecological sustainability, are demonized.

Somehow, through a clever propaganda campaign, the masses became convinced that cow farts were the bane of our existences. Responsible for destroying the world. And now everyone simply assumes it’s true.

It’s common knowledge.

The same essential animal that can turn mere grass into meat, power, clothing, cordage, tools, lubricant, cleansers and roofing materials. The animal whose poop and pruning habits replenishes the soil and strengthens the surrounding ecosystem of plants.

The same animal that helps contain and transmute greenhouse gases through grazing.

The lynchpin. The animal above all animals.

The cow…

Is threatening the survival of Earth with her belch.

Thousands of years of natural and practical wisdom and common sense is thrown aside because, soon, the tech rags tell us, we’ll be able to grow meat in a lab.

We are losing an understanding, respect and appreciation of cause and effect.

And if we don’t change our ways, we’re headed for a very rude awakening.

Eat Dirt or Die

Joel Salatin, in his excellent book Folks, This Ain’t Normal, says the solution is simple.

Start a family garden.

Your kids will get an opportunity to be a part of doing the most valuable work possible — putting food on the table.

And their immune systems will thank you…

“Splinters, blisters, and real dirt under the fingernails are all part of a normal childhood that builds immune systems,” says Salatin. “That, as a culture, we are reducing or even denying this immunological exercise is not only abnormal when viewed through the lens of history, but does not bode well for proper body and soul development.

“Indeed, it may prove devastating to children’s health. Children’s laboring in gardens is both attitudinally and physically positive. Weeding the beans and picking cucumbers should be seen as part of a healthy child development program. Certainly better than computer screens and television.”

And where should these gardens be located?

“Any lawn, any flowerpot, and any windowsill offers a garden spot. Incorporating gardens into the family’s domestic landscape is both normal and healthy. The notion that children actively engaged in food production exploit these little innocents just ain’t normal. A normal childhood involves digging, planting, germinating, weeding, watering and preparing.”

150 years ago, if you didn’t stock up for a rainy day, you were an irresponsible fool. And might not make it through the winter.

Today, the guy with a fully-stocked root cellar must have a couple screws loose.

But that’s coming from people who think cow farts are worse for the planet than thousands of private jets flying across the world to hear people talk at conventions about how cow farts are killing the planet.

So, there’s that.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

For more of Chris’s insights, subscribe to his free newsletter Laissez Faire Today. Every Monday through Saturday, you’ll receive a fresh article that cuts through the lies and disinformation of the mainstream media, politicos and Wall Street and shows you what lies behind the curtain. Find out more.

Owen Sullivan

Written By Owen Sullivan

Owen Sullivan isn’t a millionaire or one of the Wall Street elite. He was just one of the many folks who was hit hard when the housing bubble burst… and decided he was never going to let that happen again. Since then, he’s worked with industry experts to develop strategies and techniques to bulletproof his finances — and yours — against the next crisis. His methods don’t require years of financial experience. These are simple strategies that anyone can follow. After all, financial prepping shouldn’t be reserved for a select few.