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Brokeness (n.): A state in which one must scrape money together for the barest of necessities and anything decadent seems a cruel joke. – My definition, anyway

Early Illustration of Old Mother Hubbard / Recent View into My Apartment

Early Illustration of Old Mother Hubbard / Recent View into My Apartment

It happens to most of us at some time or another – we’re fortunate if it’s fleeting – and there is no shame in honest poverty. So why should a litte penny-pinching cramp anyone’s style? While eating is technically a necessity, it easily becomes a thoughtless extravagance even when budgeting is more appropriate. Feeling tired? Order in. Deserve a treat? Go out to eat. Stomach surly? Pamper it with delicate foods. $12/lb. cheese smells really, really good? Well it could probably make a meal.

So when there comes a time that belts must be tightened, it is often easy to resort to eating badly as eating well is too often correlated with spending copious amounts of coin. But noone among us is a god or an emperor; we are not entitled to a service of food from far flung lands, prepared to suit our exacting palates when, let’s face it, we (okay, I) have lapsed on student loans.

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What is food to one, is to others bitter poison.  – Lucretius

Take acorns, for example. Native Americans learned to leach caustic tannins from the nuts so that they could be used harmlessly in cooking, whereas a more impatient/whiter person might have gulped down an oak nut and suffered vomiting (among other more vivid symptoms) within hours. There is a fine line between food an poison indeed.

A Hupa woman improving upon Nuts au Naturel

A Hupa woman improving upon Nuts au Naturel

Sometimes the riskiest endeavors have the biggest pay-offs though and as much in this life is about competition and one-upsmanship, risk is key, even when it comes to what you’re willing to ingest. New York City is an especially competitive market in which to offer up an edible product. A man named Alejandro Rad provides inspiration as an example of a risk taker who found fame and fortune with nothing but his nuts and a dream. 

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