Now I don’t want to fall into the “noble Hunter” trap around native Americans, we are not going to get into all that in this post.
What I’m talking about here is something that Native Americans used to practice, basically “the whole buffalo” idea. So this isn’t about race, politics, or anything else contentious, it simply about living more intelligently.
The Native Americans used to make use of everything. When they killed a Buffalo, after going through the religious rituals that they practiced, the sacrifice would sustain them in all ways.
Literally nothing was wasted. The hide, the meat, the bones, ligaments, literally everything was used for food, clothing, tools, or other purposes.
Now this isn’t unique. We know that the Inuit’s also practice this with whales. Nothing is wasted, everything is put to use in a systematic way.
So it’s a saying, that may have started with the Native Americans. “The whole buffalo” means not wasting anything, and looking at ways to maximize what you get out of something, usually something you consume.
For many of us now, budgets are tight. Unemployment is going through the roof, and with what’s going on in the world, money isn’t as prolific, and food prices are going up and up. So using the whole buffalo is practical advice which most of us really do need to follow.
Good food is expensive. Sure, you can buy the rubbish cheaply still. But that’s not nutritious, and it’s not what we advocate here on nutritional anarchy. We are talking about real food, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, properly made food that is not stuffed full of additives, fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates.
So you need to get creative, and I’m hoping that this thought around the whole buffalo will encourage you to do so, which is why I’m writing this post.
Let’s Give You An Example Of Home Food Economics Using The Buffalo Theory
Stick with me here okay, but going to talk to know about peaches. It’s a perfect example of how you can make things go further using the whole buffalo.
I got my hands on nearly 100 pounds of fresh peaches from a local orchard. It’s worth asking at places locally like that, as they can often give you fruit that they can’t sell wholesale very cheaply, even for free. Also, if your neighbors have something like an apple tree and you can see the apples or other Fruit rotting on the ground, ask if you can have your pick.
But anyway, I wanted to use the whole buffalo. So what I made was as follows:
- Six jars of vanilla spice peaches
- Four jars of brown sugar peach preserves
- Two jars of sweet lemon peaches
- Four jars of spicy peach jam
- 24 peach flavored popsicles
- Peach peel candy
- 1 gallon of peach iced tea
- 1 gallon of peach vodka (takes quite a lot of work in several months)
- Two jars of peach pit syrup
As you can see, we used the whole buffalo and produced an absolute ton of stuff. Thankfully we all like peaches, but you get the idea. It’s the same with things like apples, pears, any fruit, you can even use the pips by toasting them and using them in salads for example.
Growing Food Is Like Having A Baby
Now I want to move this by talking about using the whole buffalo when you grow it yourself. When you really put effort into growing food it’s really satisfying. It’s hard work, but the feeling of reward is fantastic.
But once you realise how much work goes into it, and you have the mindset of whole buffalo economics, you can make what you grow going awful long way. It will literally save you thousands of dollars a year.
You have to take good care of their food, and vitally, you have to plan. Don’t just chuck anything in the ground, or in those planters, make sure you plan what will work best for you. Look what’s best for the season coming up, plan for an all year round growing program, and don’t let space go to waste.
You see, buffalo economics is also about the resources you put into growing the food in the first place. If you’ve got windowsills that face the sun in your garden, hang planters from them and grow herbs in them. Not only will it look nice and smell nice, but you’ll have an endless supply of herbs for your cooking, and you don’t even need to go outside to grab a handful.
I growing a variety of crops, you can produce whole meals all the year round, I’m telling you that for a fact. With a little planning, it’s a simple truth.
When you begin to thrift and shift to a more agrarian style of life, you’ll start to realise that you can grow more food than you can ever consume. Because you are more aware of it, you’re not wasting as much. When you buy a whole cauliflower from the supermarket, I bet you’re throwing 1/3 of it in the bin. You simply wouldn’t do that if you grow it yourself, you’d use all of it in some way.
And don’t forget you can freeze things. Most fruits and vegetables will freeze. Those herbs don’t have to wither and die after a few weeks, you can grind them up and freeze them to make the most wonderful all year round additions to your cooking.
In These Times Budget Friendly Food Really Helps
Let’s look at kids lunch boxes. A lot of parents spend several dollars a day. And most of the stuff in there is awful in terms of its nutritional value.
Using buffalo economics, you can make nutritious not and cereal bars for virtually nothing. Dozens of them, that will have a long life.
You can make little apple pies, flapjacks, and other tasty treats that are far lower in sugar and fat than the ones you buy. Plus, they won’t be stuffed full of nasty preservatives and colorings.
Make your own bread. It’s ¼ of the price of buying a loaf as long as you buy the bread flour and yeast in bulk. Invest in a bread mixing machine second hand, and you can churn bread out like there’s no tomorrow with minimum effort.
I’m telling you for a fact from my own experience, that you can save $500 a year or more just on your kids lunch box ingredients using buffalo theory economics.
Buffalo Theory Economics Will Help Lower Food Waste And Benefit The Environment
Hopefully you can see from my little diatribe above that the theory of buffalo economics, using the whole buffalo, really can help you to save money and make your food budget go further. Better than that, if you start to grow your own food, you can take that all to the next level. Get creative, get inventive.
This is not just about you and saving money. It’s also about saving the environment. Nearly ¼ of the food that is grown is thrown away. That’s absolutely insane.
When you think that 50% of the water usage in the state of California, a state that is perpetually threatened with drought and a future where water is scarce, is used by agriculture, then one quarter of that 50% water usage could be saved every single year. That’s pretty fundamental.
How You Can Put “The Whole Buffalo” Theory Into Other Areas Of Your Consumption
The whole buffalo theory can also be used across many other areas of your life. Mostly with things around consumption, also generally. Give your whole self emotionally for example.
It can be used for clothing. Do you need to throw those clothes away? Can they go to a charity shop or a friend? Can they be repurposed? Can you acquire some basic skills and adapt them?
What about other things you consume? What about supplements? A lot of people spend an incredible amount of money each month on bodybuilding and sporting supplements, but is there a way you can save money on that? Can you find the same ingredients in better supplements that actually cost less money, for example?
What are actually going to the gym? Do you even need to? Do you go regularly enough to justify the money you’re spending on gym membership? Look at how much it would cost to have the basic kit you need at home. How many months membership is that, and how long would you be using it for? A lot of people could save literally thousands by just working out at home.
It’s the same with other things you use around the home. Do you really need to spend several dollars on window cleaner when vinegar mixed with water works just as well?
So this is about basic home economics generally. We going back to the 50s ladies and gentlemen. In the modern age, if want save money and you want to live more naturally and ethically, then using the whole buffalo in all areas of your life is essential.
I’m going to close it by setting a challenge. Walk around your home now and look at all the things you could change. How much food waste you have, how you could save and prepare more food? Where could you grow food, what could you grow?
What about the supplements you use, the condiments, all of it? Can you buy the more cheaply, and can you make them go further?
Look at your clothing, your shoes, every area of your life, every area of your consumption. I’m telling you that you can knock 25% of your consumption, your bills, and raise your happiness and fulfilment 25% by doing all of it.