“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” (TANSTAAFL). When it comes to gettin’ grub, it’s literally goddamn true. So I been learnin’ all over again.
Everything Costs Cash or Time (or Both)
See, the idea of TANSTAAFL is that everything costs you something. If it don’t cost you cash, it costs you time, including time you coulda been doing something else. Like earning cash. It’s Econ 101. Even a handout costs you time and maybe dignity and opportunities.
Some time ago, I posted my ideas for "21 Alternative Food Sources". As I’ve been trying out some of them, I find that even cashless ones cost me fuckloads of time and hassle. Not one of them is truly free.
Even Roadkill Ain’t Free!
Not even eating roadkill is free! First off, in some states, you gotta pay a tag fee to the wildlife LEOs. But even if you don’t need to (or don’t tell ‘em), it takes time to find the critter and time to butcher and cook it.
As it turns out, good roadkill ain’t even that damn easy to find. I been all over this here USA, and I only occasionally run into something good (ba-dum-dump). The critters mostly cross roads at certain places, and you gotta know them places. They have to been killt just the right way, best a knock in the noggin. And in summer, you gotta get ‘em early before they get to be too hot and rotted.
To get enough roadkill, you gotta put time and gas into a route. That don’t work so well with van travel.
Dumpster Divin’ Ain’t a Cornucopia
I looked in a few dumpsters. Nothin’. The best dumpster diving is in bigger towns (which Vanholio avoids like Sodom and Gomorrah). Then you gotta know the good dumpsters and which days and times they get chucked in. Finally, you gotta wrap all that info into a night-time route. And since Vanholio boondocks outside towns, it ain’t his plan.
Foraging Is Hard Work, Hard Eatin'
Even gleaning nature takes a lotta work. You gotta be where and when the plants and critters are ready. You gotta walk all over and gather ‘em. And most natural plant foods take shit-tons a effort to process to where they’re tasty and edible. The Native Americans planned their yearly travels all around the food, at least the nomadic ones.
I Could Go On!
Anywhoo, I could give you more examples. The point is that getting food any which way is gonna take you cash or work. No gettin’ around it. TANSTAAFL. ‘Course for you, cash might be a problem while time ain’t. Or you might have principled reasons to go cashless. I fucking respect that. Naturally, some strategies take more cash or effort than others. Plan as appropriate.
Hey, Beer Vanholio! He works hard on this blog.
Also See …Eating Roadkill Rabbit Down by the River
Vanholio’s 21 Alternative Food Sources
Dumpster Diving: A Travel Strategy for Free Food (TravelBlogs)