Sunday, August 23, 2009

Art and Organisms:Cat of Arc in the kitchen

Hello everyone, this is Cat of Arc. Yes, I'm still here and very much in possession of Cat's blog and her body. She really doesn't like to give up her blog for me, but I'm the one with the swords.

On the health care thing? Oh, yes, I am still very much working in this dimension to talk to people about what is going on out there, and the general consensus is that everyone is extremely confused and very pissed off. People on all sides of the coin have gone completely bonkers and the vision that is supposed to stand as the fulcrum is being tested with a force stronger than a Cat 5 storm. I can still see the vision however, and plead with you not to give up hope, and to keep talking to people from all sides. Listen to each other! Calling each other names is simply not going to leave room for open communication! And please folks, leave your guns at home, will ya? You may claim that your gun is your second amendment right and that's why you're carrying that semiautomatic weapon on your belt at the town hall meeting. However, you and I both know that you are just trying to intimidate and bully. A gun at a meeting about health care is, simply put, off topic.

Alright now, please take a deep breath and cool down for a bit while we look at some images:

Morning On the Dream Field
Digitally Altered Photo

The Llama's Refuge
Oil on Canvas

Ok, break over. Here's the thing, one of the big concerns I have over the health care system, is how completely inadequate it is to help people learn to actually keep themselves healthy. People don't do it, they just eat what they want to eat even if it will kill them. On NPR there was a radio program on Talk of the Nation a few days ago, on the subject of health care. There was a call in guy who claimed to be a Libertarian. He was strongly of the opinion that before people depend on a government system for their health care, they need to take care of themselves. People need to claim personal responsibility. Although I DO think we need a government health care option (that is a choice and not forced upon one) I actually agree with him about health. I think people should stay healthy, and frankly, I think we've forgotten how because we made the silly mistake of letting the 'free market' determine how we eat. The industry panders to the lazy in us. I also think people should eat local produce because it makes sense to eat food that is grown down the road. However, that makes eating vegetables a very difficult thing to do in the winter when food isn't to be found growing down the road that is covered in 4 feet of snow.

That is, unless you managed to save some of that summer bounty somehow.

Before I moved here to Asheville, I was visiting a friend and we went to see a traveling puppet show that was coming through town. The show had some anti-government messages, one of which I found to be truly delightful, "The Government won't set you free. Chores will set you free!" Now, about having the choice between government health care and private insurance, you bet I want that choice. And I'll sign right up for the public option, and then try hard as heck not to ever use it. To that end, I have taken on the chore of preserving my locally grown organic veggies, grown by my friends at a local CSA (Community Supported Ag), by lactic acid fermention. A process using salt and water, which not only preserves the qualities of the raw vegetables, but it turns out the organisms that congregate as a result of the process are gonna save your life! They eat all the bad stuff inside you and leave you only with good stuff. That way you won't have to be a burden on that government health care system that we are asking for, no, demanding. So in this way, you could say I am 'pro-life', or 'pro-microbe life' otherwise known as 'pro-biotics'. I'm sure you've heard the term? Preserving vegetables in this way, means you don't have to take pro-biotic supplements.

So I came up with the motto "No Vegetable Left Behind", (which I happen to think is terribly original), and now I have got several months worth of dinner breeding in my basement. It was hard work (only because of the sheer amount of veggies), but think how much is saved in money and time down the line! It's an investment in your very near term future! I'm not going to tell you how to do the brining process itself, but will recommend two books at the bottom of this post if you want to learn how to do this incredibly simple and safe and healthy way to preserve raw food, using practices that go way back to Genghis Kahn. Think Sauerkraut, think KimChi. Think easy, healthy, sustainable, and delicious.

And now it's time for some more images. The first one below is a picture of a fermenting jar, that I played with in Photoshop, keeping the vegetables as my inspiration. The second is the counter where the magic took place. Cat may get some time to play on her blog soon. I'm just wondering who is going to be the big cheese that will take it upon themselves to organize an 'All Organisms Deserve Health Care' march on Washington? (Said in jest, meant with all my heart.)

March to the Fermenting Pot
Digitally Altered Photo

Fermentation Station
Digitally Altered Photo

Books on fermentation:
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

Making Sauerkraut by Klaus Kaufmann.
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