I had a couple of questions for you. I grew up eating canned corned beef from the supermarket that was labled "product of Argentina". Some years back, my father told me it was pretty good beef because they are grass-fed and weren't as chemically altered as our beef here in the US. Was he right? Is it still grass-fed, if you know? I buy the Kroger's house brand.
Hi, the timing for your question couldn’t be better.
In an attempt to max. soy production, Argentina is pretty much sacrificing everything else up to the point that we’ll be needing to import meat soon. Soy is currently the most profitable activity, and since due to governmental corruption we have a savage market here, something that could be called brutal capitalism: Soy is the most profitable activity? Perfect! Then it’s the only thing done, no more cows, no more wheat, just soy. Soy needs pesticides that kill everything else and poison the land, causes cancer to people? No problema! They throw that junk all over the country with planes. None of this would be legal in a serious country, but that’s not the case of Argentina with the current K government that, contrary to their communist speech, only cares about taxes and retentions to exportations, so the more money being made, the better.
Read more about this problem…
I wouldn’t worry much about the meat. Yes, its grass fed, but the grass has these toxins all over it, but don’t worry much. Your country sure has controls that ensure a minimum level of toxins. Having said that, I have no doubt that USA food has much less pesticides and toxins in it than anything from Argentina these days. Food that wouldn’t be allowed to be sold in USA or Europe is legally sold here.
Soybeans for example. In Europe its only legal as animal food grade product, not for humans due to the pesticides in it, but here in Argentina its legal and that’s what you eat when you eat a nice healthy vegetarian soybean burger.
The other thing I would like to know is whether you (in your experience of the collapse in Argentina) had some sort of change in understanding that "things would never be the same" as a point in time, or was it a gradual awakening to a changed reality? I remember that your book mentions a school class where the teacher explained that the folks at the base of the pyramid were poor, and that that group included the class the teacher was teaching just then and that it was a profound awakening for many of the students.
Maybe a better way to put the question is, did you have to cope with things changing all at once or a little bit at a time?
thanks and best wishes to you and your family!
Let me clarify this before answering: What you are talking about is not my book, "The Modern Survival Manual".
You are referring to an essay I wrote a few years ago, called “Thoughts on Urban Survival”. This is a lengthy write-up but its not my book. My book is not available on line, and goes much more into depth, covers other subjects as well, not even mentioned in that essay. I wrote the book for people that liked the article and wanted me to write a book, but I didn’t use a single sentence from “Thoughts on Urban Survival”. People had already read that and didn’t seem fair. Of course it covers those topics better and many others, so its safe to say that if you liked the essay, you’ll like the book too.
About your question, the breaking point was the devaluation. When your currency is only worth 33% of what it used to, and inflation soon sets it at 25%, you know things will never be the same. Its true that in that particular social studies class we understood the textbook explanation of different societies, 1st world, 3rd world (or “developing nations” as they now call them) and it was pretty depressing to realize that you know were 3rd world. But on more general terms, the devaluation and the president resigning and escaping in an helicopter, that’s a pretty clear sign that things will never be the same.
At the same time, there are other things you don’t realize but adapt later on, little by little. Crime was what caught most of us by surprise, and that’s why I insist a lot about crime prevention and self defense.
Its simply something normal folks aren’t prepared for and it can ruin your life for good.
Then there a million other little things, social changes, how the landscape of the country changes when the economy goes to hell and never recuperates. An American tourist that I met the other day in the subway told me that what surprised her the most about life in Argentina are all those surreal things that happen here on daily basis; roadblocks, protests, ridiculous crime situations you wouldn’t believe could ever happen for real, the level of corruption, the way people behave in some cases. I thought it was a pretty accurate explanation. Some of the things that happen here on daily basis, you just wouldn’t believe.