3. What Do You Do For Food?

Before I go into details, I'll say it is best if you don't think about where or how  your food will come.  It can be totally different for different people.  The secret isn't knowing where or how your food will come, and never putting your trust in a single source (which could fail tomorrow) but it is simply about having faith, and letting what you need come automatically.  Now you have to ask yourself if these great sages, whom civilizations claim as their guiding lights, were telling the truth or not (see Here's the One Point We Know the World's Religions Agree Upon).  And how can you know if you don't put it to the test and live by faith?  Only a pseudo-scientist, who fears truth, doesn't dare put his or her hypothesis to the test:

Do not worry about your life, what you will eat;

nor about the body, what you will put on. . .    

Consider the ravens,

for they neither sow nor reap,

which have neither storehouse nor barn;

and God feeds them. 

Of how much more value are you than the birds? . . . . 

Consider the lilies, how they grow: 

they neither toil nor spin;

and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory

was not arrayed like one of these.   

If then God so clothes the grass,

which today is in the field

and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,

how much more you, O you of little faith? 

And do not seek what you should eat

or what you should drink,

nor have an anxious mind.

For all these things the nations of the world seek after,

and your Father knows that you need these things.

But seek the Kingdom of God,

and all these things shall be added to you.

  --Jesus (Luke 12:22, 30-31)

Be really Whole
And all things will come to you

 --Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching 22)

The Sage never tries to store things up.
The more she does for others,
the more she has.
The more she gives to others,
the greater her abundance.
  --Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching 81)


As for those who worship Me,
thinking on Me alone and nothing else,
ever attached to Me,
I bear the burden
of getting them what they need.

 (Bhagavad Gita 9:22)


Students of the Way,
do not worry about food and clothing.
Just maintain the Buddha's precepts
and do not engage in worldly affairs....
Those who truly study the Way
have never practiced with the priority
of providing for their livelihood....
Moreover, I have never read
the collection of all the Buddhist scriptures
of a single Buddha or Ancestor,
who transmitted the Dharma in the three countries,
dying of starvation or cold.
In this world, inherently each person receives
a certain amount of food and clothing as a gift.
It does not come by being sought after,
nor does it stop coming by not seeking after it.
Just leave it to Fate and do not worry about it.
If you refrain from arousing the mind of Awakening in this life,
excusing yourself on the grounds that this is the degenerate age,
in what life will it be possible to attain the Way?

 -- Zen Sage Eihei Dogen, 1200-1253 AD (from his Shobogenzo Zuimonki)

And do not strain your eyes longing
for the things We have given for enjoyment...,
the splendor of the life of this world...
The provision of thy Lord is better and more enduring.
Enjoin continual prayer on your people;
We ask you not to provide sustenance:
We provide it for you.

But the fruit of the Hereafter is for righteousness.

(Quran 20:131-132)

How many are the creatures that carry not their own sustenance?
It is Allah who feeds both them and you;
for He hears and knows all things.

(Quran 29:60)

The birds have no money in their pockets.

They place their hopes on trees and water.

He alone is the Giver.

You alone, Lord, You alone.

(Guru Granth Sahib: Guru Nanak Dev, p 7)

Q: How can I go through with my devotional practices

when I have always to think of my daily bread?

A: He for whom you work will supply you with your necessaries.

God made provisions for your support before He sent you into this world.

(Sayings of Ramakrishna, # 262)

Freegan Diet

I freely take what is freely given, with no obligation on either side.  I forage for wild, feral, and domestic edibles.  I also freely rely on human generosity.  I live on waste: dumpster-diving, trash can fishing, table-surfing, and sometimes asking people and food-service institutions for extras and throw-aways.  I don't ask people to give me what they don't intend to throw out.  I also eat roadkill, if it is fresh, of course.  I've eaten squirrel, raccoon, rabbit, and deer, so far.  I've also hunted and eaten ants, grubs, grasshoppers, crickets, termites, lizards, snakes, fish, pigeons, & ducks. 
I think I'd be a vegan if I used money, unless I could hunt.  I do not want to support or encourage the animal industry.  But I will eat fresh meat thrown in dumpsters.  I hope to talk about the ethics of eating meat later.

Wild & Feral Edibles

Around Moab

When I'm living near Moab in the Utah desert, I eat lots of wild plants.  Plants of the mustard family are  are almost always edible and found year-round, not only in Moab, but around the US.  Watercress is a mustard and plentiful in Utah streams.  Then there is globe mallow, with edible leaves even in winter.  Globe mallow is related to an edible mallow that grows in towns all over the US, too.  Many parts of cat-tail are edible, though only in warmer seasons.  Evergreen needles of all kinds (including pines & cedars) are high in vitamin C & other vitamins & minerals and make delicious tea, which I'm constantly drinking.  Even high in the mountains you don't have to worry about vitamin deficiencies if you think to drink delicious pine & cedar teas.  I often eat prickly pear cactus pads, raw, through the winter, and prickly pear fruits in the summer.  The fruits are delicious & juicy, a lot like kiwi fruit; but you have to scrape off the micro-needles with a stone.  Juniper berries are good for spice flavoring when green, roasting for a coffee substitute, and are good eating straight when ripe (brown-purple colored).  Wild onions are a winter & early-spring treat. 

Mormon tea has a little pseudo-fed in it, good for colds, and the bark & buds of trees & shrubs in the willow family (including pussywillow, cottonwood, aspen, poplar, etc) contain a precursor to aspirin, for pain relief in a tea.  Service berries and pinion nuts are a more rare treat.

In town I gather fruits& nuts from orchards & feral trees & bushes: mulberry, apple, peach, apricot, plum, almond, walnut, cherry, grape, & rose-hips.  Miniature crab apples are delicious in the winter after they have frozen & dried a bit.  Honey locus beans can be a main staple sustaining you all year long.  The beans can be eaten raw when green, and when dry must be cooked for a couple hours, like pintos.  They are a bit slimy, but high in protein.  Some scholars believe that John the Baptist ate honey locust beans rather than locust and wild honey -- "locust and wild honey" possibly being a scripture mistranslation.  

Hitching & Walking

Again, I can usually find varieties of mustard anywhere in the US, often year-round.  Fennel is common along roadsides near the west coast, as well as amaranth.  You can eat both the leaves and the seeds of amaranth.  Thistle, related to artichoke, has delicious hearts & young leaves.  I glean farmland & orchards for produce & nuts, too.  I  could go for weeks living on just fruit & nuts on the west coast.

I once walked down beach coast of northern California for weeks and lived totally off the land, eating mussels, sea-weed, berries, & shrubbery. 

I lived totally off the land in Alaska twice, eating salmon, berries, & mushrooms.  My first time in Alaska I speared salmon with my friend.  My second time in Alaska I found it was actually easier to catch salmon with my bare hands, very slowly moving my hands with patience.

Roadkill & Wasted Animals

As I've said, I've eaten squirrel, racoon, rabbit, and deer, so far, and hunted and eaten ants, grubs, grasshoppers, crickets, termites, lizards, snakes, fish, pigeons, & ducks.   I can't in good conscience kill animals to eat them if I don't need to, when there are droves & droves of meats thrown away in dumpsters.  It is the ultimate in waste and disrespect when animals live their lives confined in cages, only to be killed and thrown into dumpsters by the tons every day.  It is criminal not only for the animals' sake, but it is criminal when millions of humans on earth are starving. 

Because all we humans know the truth in our hearts,  it's quite ridiculous I'd have to quote scripture here to convince many folks what they already know about the ethics of respecting animal life:

A righteous person regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.  (Proverbs 12:10)

The lazy person does not roast what he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent person is precious. (Proverbs 12:27)

Tyrants Retaining Their Own Waste (Anal Retention)

Often when you are caught at a dumpster by store owners, you are treated with contempt.  What if what we considered contemptible and inexcusable were the waste of our society in a world where millions are starving?  What if we considered it contemptible and ridiculous to actually lock up this waste (as most corporate dumpsters are) to keep hungry people from eating, and having the gall to act self-righteous in the process?  Notice how corporate authorities almost always tell you it is "for your safety".  Notice that tyranny in all its forms all over the world is almost always done "for your safety", "for your security".  The corporate tyrant is turning the tables to look like the compassionate one, the intelligent one.  The tyrant is telling you you are not smart enough to take care of yourself.  Simply because the tyrant is a have and you are a have-not somehow makes the tyrant worthy to treat you like a child who can't take care of yourself. 

The tyrant is also not speaking his or her own mind, not speaking from the heart, but is speaking a script programmed into him or her by the corporation that is paying him or her.  Notice how the tyranny in humans is not from reality, not from human-ness, but is scripted programming, paid programming.  A human running from the heart and not from a program is not going to guard a dumpster from the hungry.  A human running from the heart has common sense, because he or she is not motivated by dollars and cents, not motivated from fear of losing a job.  This is the secret in human relations, learning how to see the human beneath the scripted program, and appealing to that human.  Believe it or not, there is actually a human beneath the facade of corporate managers and cops and their lackeys.  We all know what it's like to be a paid employee, compromising who we are so we don't lose our jobs.   It's hard.  It's hard for the store manager, for the cop, for us.  But overcoming what's hard to be authentic is the whole point of life.  Learn how to be totally real, totally sincere, with these robots and, as a result, you learn how to wake up the sleeping human within them.  I mean, respect them, as humans.  Never respect them as robots.  You can love a human.  You cannot love a robot, so don't pretend.  Try it.  Be bold, be brave, be real: be wise as a serpent, gentle as a dove.