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ME/CFS and the Poverty Diet

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Mark, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. beaker

    beaker CFS/ME 1986

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    Perhaps there is a soup kitchen in your area ? The one we have in town would be happy to have your apples.
    They are sometimes not well advertised. You might ask around by calling a church or local office for the aging.
    rosie26 and Valentijn like this.
  2. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    Sometimes in my neighborhood people leave a box of surplus fruit from their trees at their mailbox with a sign "free".
    I am always grateful and pick out some and take home.

    I love that as it's such a waste when fruit are left to rot on the ground.
    Jody and Valentijn like this.
  3. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Is Jim Jones alive and well on PR?

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    I just wanted to toss this in. I'm too sick to get to a food bank. I have to get groceries delivered and that costs more than even going to a market. So far I can afford to eat. Not sure how I'd survive on Ramen Noodles.
    rosie26 and beaker like this.
  4. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I put this photo on my thread yesterday as it shows my first caulifower Ive grown at my new house but I thought I'd put it here too to make more people aware of just what can be done as far as growing veg without too many hassels (the most hassel is the watering if its a time of year you needed to water). I perfer planting in something this size as pots generally dry out too fast for my liking and hence need more care and attention.

    This tractor tyre (so holds water in well) has a round hole in the middle which is only 1metre by 1metre in size. Its a no dig garden.. the mushroom compost I used was poured in from its bags.. which was layered with garden clippings from my lawn which I got my gardener to dump into the tyre when he mowed. I havent weeded this area at all either yet and only watered the cauliflowers, twice a week for the first few weeks they were planted and that is it (as we are having wet weather here), 3/6 of the cauliflower seedlings died due to my lack of watering when they first were planted but half survived.

    I havent bothered doing any fertilising due to using the mushroom compost, lawnclippings and throwing my kitchen scraps there. One thing I had to do thou when the cabbages were young, was to pick off a big green caterpillar which was eatting holes in the leaves (but this was the only pest issue I had).

    [​IMG]

    In this little space I have growing (well did before i picked one yesterday :D )..
    -3 cauliflowers (which will last me 3months, when they are being ready to be picked is spacing themselves out in time differently..not something I'd planned but just happened).
    - 2 tomato plants (which came up themselves from food scraps).. one of them is a big plant growing vigerously (see behind the big cabbage in photo) thou its the wrong time of the year, its even started to flower now (and isnt being bothered by the frost, maybe those cabbages protect it well)
    - potato plant (once again came up from scraps)
    - I have 8 leek plants in it too (hidden by the cabbage leaves in photo)
    - chives (those are the thigns at the front of photo which look like a grass weed)
    - and a winter savory herb too

    the new house i moved inot has a big old apricot tree which had buckets of apricots dropped all over the ground when i moved in. Unfortunately due to my low carb diet.. I can only eat one small piece of fruit a day so when these ripen i will be giving away to family or advertising free apricots on freecycle. *For anyone who dont know about freecycle.. look it up as occassionally people give away fresh fruit throu there or other foods when they clean out their tins...
    Jody, MeSci, Little Bluestem and 2 others like this.
  5. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    I hadn't thought of using the food bank as being part of an illness, but it really is.

    Two winters in a row, I went to the food bank regularly. All one has to do here is fill out the paperwork indicating need, and continue reporting back in regularly with any change.

    Yes, carbs, carbs, and more carbs, simple carbs, pasta, rice, bread, on it goes. It was scary eating like that, but I felt that 1) I was not starving, thanks to God, and 2) I was grateful for the kindness of the people administering the program and 3) if I was grateful for the food, maybe the impact of it would be lessened somehow. It never made me sick. I think God just watches out for you when you do what you have to do. If I shopped like that now, oh, my, I'd be sick. So I simply enjoyed things like the day-old cakes and brownies that came my way. :) What else can you do? You can't starve. Better to be eating something than nothing.

    My days of not being able to contribute to the food bank still have not ended. My eyes are open, though, and the day I can contribute very much again, it will be canned proteins.
    Jody, beaker and rosie26 like this.
  6. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    My parents do that at their vacation house in the US. It's got a variety of orange raspberries growing as a ground cover in front, which really do taste delicious. One neighbor came over to ask if a woman living nearby with two young children could have some of the raspberries and then he picked a bunch for her.

    Now a sign goes up in the yard in the summer saying "Free Raspberries - U-Pick!" :D It's a great way to get to know the neighbors too, especially on a smallish island where there's a mixture of struggling locals and wealthier vacationers and retirees from nearby cities.
    Little Bluestem, beaker, Jody and 2 others like this.
  7. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    It occurred to me that right now the food banks here in the U.S. are themselves on a poverty diet. With the economic downturn, need has gone up while donations have gone down. If you have to feed more people with less money, you turn to cheap carbs.
    GracieJ, beaker and Valentijn like this.
  8. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    Valentijn

    Your parents sound lovely. Tell them I think they are "neat" :)
    beaker, Jody and Valentijn like this.
  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Realised that this wasn't clear - it's only the gooseberries that I'm not having much luck with - I have had hundreds of apples (had to give a lot away) and lots of blackcurrants, but not many gooseberries. If anyone likes apples (or similar tree fruit) and has a little space, I strongly recommend getting a tree, bush, or trainable variety. It's so easy to grow them. My apples don't keep very well using most methods, but I have found that they will keep well for months in a plastic container in a fridge. Just check them about once a week for any rotting ones. You can also dry them in slices or strips, or chop or puree them and then freeze the chunks or puree.
    beaker and rosie26 like this.
  10. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I'd be happy to do something like this, but with the position of my house it would have to be where the drive meets a lane, and I would not be surprised if some opportunists took them all to sell, or fruit-averse delinquent children walking home from school used them to throw at each other, or some antisocial idiots dumped a bag of dog mess on them! I think I have solved the surplus problem now, as I share them with a local vegan group and am getting an extra fridge to store more.

    beaker I would still really like to give some to people who are needy, but I doubt whether there is a soup kitchen or similar in my very small town (in the US you would probably call it a village!).
    beaker and rosie26 like this.
  11. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    MeSci,

    I had to laugh, when you mentioned the children throwing the fruit at each other.
    My older brother used to think it so funny throwing grapefruit at me as I was biking off to meet my friend as a teenager.
    lol brothers !! :D
    Valentijn likes this.
  12. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I use Freecycle too - great place to get things you need, but difficult when you don't have a vehicle to collect things. Some kind people will post or deliver items though.

    Re fertiliser, I make a liquid one from nettles. You put the nettles in a bucket, cover them with water and leave for a few weeks or months. The resulting strained liquid smells like manure - and it is! The smell disappears a few minutes after you put it on the soil.

    I make compost from garden waste and kitchen scraps, and never need to buy it except for acid-loving plants, not edibles.
  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Some churches here do deliver donated food to the sick. It might be worth asking about. Similarly some food banks deliver to sick people. This is not always the case though. I find that church run food banks who have lots of volunteers are more likely to do this. I have had several baskets of food delivered over the years, though these days I can afford to order food online for home delivery.
  14. Shell

    Shell Senior Member

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    The food rules here are utterly stupid. My son's wedding was a "bring and share" affair as none of us could afford (or wanted to) the "wedding feast" stuff. There was loads of food as so many people contributed. At the end there were stews and soups left over so I asked our Deacon if he wanted it for the homeless people he worked with. He was up for it - all fresh food properly cooked - but it wasn't allowed! So some of it was wasted.
    My "mum" is a Sister of Mercy and she used to gather all the near-the-sell-by date stuff, fruit, veg, fish, meat for her homeless and poor elderly until the rules changed. Then they found it hard to afford to keep feeding everyone.
    My daughter is volunteering for the local food bank - and yet again rules seem to work against the poor and those who want to properly help them.
    A priest I know who runs a soup kitchen and takes food out to the streets and many homeless people feel unsafe in the shelters or enclosed areas. His local council have tried to stop him and his helpers taking food out even in winter.
    These rules need ditching so communities can help each other.
  15. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    There has just been a programme on BBC Radio 4 about 'Skint Foodies'. Unfortunately I had to stop listening after a few minutes due to sensory overload from the intrusive snatches of music that have started appearing in the programme in the past year.

    The programme will be repeated tomorrow and you should be able to listen online soon from here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b037gnxk
  16. liverock

    liverock Senior Member

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  17. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Trust the Daily Mail to call it 'eccentric'!

    It's being done in other places too. Sometimes it's called 'guerrilla gardening' although that doesn't always involve edibles. There's some in London:

    http://www.communitychannel.org/video/1yCKvvOI4G0/living_graffiti_the_story_of_guerrilla_gardening/

    and a more formal initiative in London:

    http://www.citybridgetrust.org.uk/CBT/Grants/GrowingLocalities/

    There are some great initiatives aimed at encouraging people to use local spaces for growing food. Not all can benefit disabled people who can't manage the exertion, of course.

    Another informal-type arrangement is for disabled and older people with gardens they can't manage to let someone else grow things in it, and presumably they then share the produce?
    alex3619, beaker and Little Bluestem like this.
  18. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I passed that response on to my mom this morning, and she said "Ah, that was sweet!" :D
    rosie26 likes this.
  19. rosie26

    rosie26 Senior Member

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    I've just woken up Valentijn, can't stop smiling now ! x x
    Valentijn likes this.
  20. golden

    golden Senior Member

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    MeSci and Jody like this.

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