How to be super stupid and super smart about the apocalypse
For those of you who continue to doubt the dangers of a zombie apocalypse, consider the following story. 26-year-old Jared Gurman of Long Island was arrested this week on a charge of attempted murder after shooting his girlfriend in the back. And the argument which led to this near-fatal tragedy? It was about AMC’s The Walking Dead.
It seems that Gurman was quite adamant that a zombie apocalypse is not only scientifically possible, but in fact only a military mishap away from reality. His girlfriend, 27-year-old Jessica Gelderman, doubted the scientific merit of his claim. “She felt,” says Nassau County Det. Ray Cote, “that it was ridiculous.”
The argument progressed and she finally dropped him off at home. After she left, the argument continued by text message, much the same as any mature, adult conversation. His text messages grew angrier, so she decided to return to his home in an attempt to calm him down. When she got there, Gurman, apparently eager to make his case, was waiting in front of his home with a loaded .22 calibre rifle.
Because nothing says “I’m not a conspiracy nut” like a loaded .22.
Seeing the gun, Gelderman attempted to leave, only to be shot in the back by Gurman, thus showing that he is not only intelligent but also courageous. The bullet pierced her lung and diaphragm, plus shattered a few ribs. Realizing that he had shot his girlfriend of four years (not a zombie), he then drove her to the hospital where he was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Meanwhile, Gelderman is in stable condition and Gurman, in retrospect (and to his credit), has admitted to being “an a--hole.”
There are some valuable lessons from this story. First, this is proof once again that the deadliest and most terrifying thing about the apocalypse isn’t the zombies (or aliens, or Morlocks, or whatever), it’s other people. Oof, the very thought gives me chills.
For Gurman, the lesson is two-fold. First, if someone doesn’t agree with you about the pending zombie apocalypse, that’s their problem. It’ll be their disemboweled, zombie-ridden corpse in the street, not yours. Second, if the girlfriend really isn’t about to concede the point, just let it go. When the zombies do come and civilization does in fact crumble, you will have, in your back pocket, an I-told-you-so of totally unprecedented proportions.
Contrary to this story, a healthy concern over the imminent End of Days need not turn us into chubby gun-toting idiots. In fact, it can be an opportunity to apply all of your nutritional know-how in new and clever ways.
Last time, I took an unconventional stance on stocking your apocalypse pantry. Gone was the standard reliance on canned goods and in its place we found beans, whole grains, nuts, and dried fruit. This time, I’d like to suggest a way that you can apply your knowledge of superfoods in an apocalyptic setting.
In fact, pretty much everything I already recommended is considered a superfood. However, I’m willing to bet that these are a few you had not yet considered.
Maca. Sometimes called Peruvian ginseng, maca is a turnip-like root vegetable. Most commonly, you will get it in an easily-stored powder form. As opposed to some other superfoods like spirulina, maca has a malty flavour which can actually be pleasant. It has a host of reported properties, but most importantly it is a powerful adaptogen. Here’s a website about it. As an adaptogen, it promotes homeostasis and has no toxic effects on the body. Maca root gives you a nice, sustained energy level and helps you to fend off hunger throughout the day. And that's good. When you’re running away from whatever might be chasing you through the wasteland, stopping for lunch can be a bit tricky. Also, remember that coffee and tea do not grow around here, so when they’re gone, they’re gone. A teaspoon of maca powder can be your apocalypse pick-me-up without the caffeine buzz and crash.
Hemp seeds. Also called hemp hearts, these little seeds have a flavour similar to sunflower seeds. They contain protein, beneficial fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and are generally tasty. For more on hemp seeds, here’s a terrible-looking web page with good information. Another fun fact, hemp hearts contain lecithin, which is the same emulsifier found in eggs and mustard which is used to thicken stuff like mayonnaise and salad dressing. I’m not sure how you would use that in the context of the apocalypse, but there it is. Oh, and if there is one thing you’ll be able to find in plentiful amounts, sitting untended in the woods of coastal B.C. after the apocalypse, it’s hemp.
Chia seeds. Not just for smearing onto terra cotta sheep any more, chia seeds are a very useful food. If you soak them in water, they begin to gel. This gel fills you up for a sustained period of time. Because it is mostly water, the gel is also low-cal, which is perfect for keeping your apocalypse beach body. The seeds are also a good source of protein, fibre, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. I really should be clear that the omega-3 in chia is considered inferior to that found in fish oils. However, we are talking about the apocalypse. Don’t be fussy. Here’s an article on chia.
Kelp. There is one thing and only one thing you need to know about kelp: iodine. The reason that table salt is iodized is that iodine is one of the most commonly deficient nutrients in the average diet. This deficiency can lead to serious thyroid issues, thus impacting overall health. Here is an article about it. Not only is kelp widely available in a post-agricultural world (go to the beach), it can be dried and used to make tasty broths. Mmm, apocalypse dashi.
Other apoca-licious superfoods include blackberries, licorice root, nettles, dandelion, mint, and rosehips. And what do they all have in common? Like hemp seeds and kelp, they are all easily foraged in and around the Pacific Northwest. All you need is the right knowledge and you’re good to go. Just don’t go to Jared Gurman’s house. When that guy says he doesn’t want company, he really means it.