Jason Hartman talks with Bill Heid, publisher of Off the Grid News and host of Off the Grid Radio, and Survival Expert, Brian Brawdy, concerning today’s state of affairs in America. Listen in at http://HolisticSurvival.com/category/audio-podcdast/. Off the Grid News covers a multitude of topics on survival and living today and in future times when things might be not be as easy. Join Jason, Bill, and Brian as they talk about what is on the horizon for Americans, including gun control, preparing your finances, health care, the food supply, etc. Bill Heid is the founder and CEO of Solutions from Science, one of the fastest growing companies in the preparedness and survival industry. Bill started his first business before the age of 21, and has been an incurable entrepreneur and marketer ever since. He is a proponent of families working together for common goals, whether it is growing vegetables in a backyard garden or building a family business. Bill’s passion for equipping people to become self-reliant inspired him to start Solutions From Science. For years, Bill has been concerned about the direction our country is headed.
Brian Brawdy is a former New York police investigator and Military Weapons Specialist. He has spent the last 25 years studying psychology, philosophy, political science and the survival mindset. Today he educates international audiences on the importance of self-reliance, survival and Libertarian values. Brian has appeared on CNN, FOX News, ABC, CBS, NBC, and The CW to communicate a compelling message about adapting, surviving and thriving, be it on a mountaintop or on Main Street.
Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy host a radio podcast, Off the Grid Radio, where they believe that personal responsibility is a moral imperative, as is helping your neighbor. Preparation and stewardship are vital to our future, no matter how good or bad it may be.
Narrator: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary to survive and prosper? The Holistic Survival Show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to think independently, to understand threats and how to create the ultimate action plan. Sudden change or waste case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to Holistic Survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times. Ladies and gentlemen, your host Jason Hartman.
Jason Hartman: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show. This is your host Jason Hartman where we talk about protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in these uncertain times. We have a great interview for you today and we will be back with that in less than 60 seconds on the Holistic Survival Show. And, by the way, be sure to visit our website at HolisticSurvival.com. You can subscribe to our blog which is totally free, has loads of great information, and there’s a lot of good content for you on the side. So make sure you take advantage of that at HolisticSurvival.com. We’ll be right back.
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Start of Interview with Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy
Jason Hartman: My pleasure to welcome Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy to the show. They are with Off The Grid News. I’ve been following their excellent work for quite a while now and have been wanting to have them on the show to hear what they have to say about preparedness. I think you’ll find this very insightful and I’m really glad to have them on the show. Brian, welcome.
Brian Brawdy: We’re doing good. How’s everything in LA today?
Jason Hartman: The socialist republic of California is doing alright today, but we are broke, that’s for sure.
Bill Heid: I think it’s a battle. This is Bill here, Jason. I think it’s a battle between Illinois and California, right Brian? Where the worst financial conditions are?
Jason Hartman: Yeah, I know.
Brian Brawdy: Jason, not only did we beat you in that regard, but we were also 15 below 0 just 3 days ago.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, we’ll beat you on the weather part, but financial-wise we’re both in a big mess, we sure are, as well as many other states too.
Bill Heid: How about Portugal? I know that’s one of the states. Portugal has better credit default swap rates than both Illinois and California if I’m not mistaken. So they talk about Portugal as being one of the pigs and all this trouble, but we’re in worse shape than they are. Talk about preparedness, the state of Illinois is not prepared for the implications of that I don’t think.
Jason Hartman: Yeah, I think you’re right and that’s a very good point. It’s scary when you see these sort of second world countries beating out the first world. We’ve been so irresponsible in this country for so many decades now, just politicians buying votes and so forth. It’s really a sad state of affairs, but it does create opportunities for people. And one of the things that is incumbent on all of us to do is to be responsible and to be prepared and to get the word out to as many other people as possible so that they’re prepared, so they don’t become a burden on the system and we don’t become a burden on the system. So what can we do? We’ve got food prices soaring. We just had the situation in Egypt. Do you want to talk about food prices first and kind of go from there?
Bill Heid: Oh yeah. We’d love to talk about food prices. As a matter of fact, we think that 2011 is the absolute best year in American history for a family to have a garden for a number of reasons, and we just noticed that World Bank chief, is it Zoic, the head of the world bank who’s talking about food prices in the world reaching what he calls, and he’s not a doom and gloomer I wouldn’t think, dangerous levels. We hear this kind of talk, Jason, and we have to take it seriously at some point. We used to talk about this years ago that this day of reckoning was coming, that we’d be exporting this inflation to the world through our dollars, and it’s come. You see it in Egypt, Tunisia, now Bolivia. We also read this morning that the Bolivian president has taken off because of food riots in Bolivia. So this is not just an isolated thing. It’s all over the world and it’s coming home here and the folks that have eyes to see and ears to hear ought to take it seriously.
Jason Hartman: They certainly should. You mention garden and I couldn’t agree more. Have you guys been following? And I have to admit I have not been following closely enough the new food and safety act. And from what I’m hearing, and the little bit that I’ve had time to pick up and look at, it’s just another government grab for control over the food supply. Any thoughts on your end?
Brian Brawdy: Well, when we first heard that that was gonna break and Gerald Sylenthia, guess on both of our shows, talked about how if you read the law a certain way, it allows them, under the guise of protecting local folks, it allows them to come in and check what kind of tomato puree a farmer is selling at the local market. And I believe that the statute said that if you travel outside of 100 miles of where that particular produce was grown then you fell under the statute that said that you had to have your plant inspected and there were all other types of rules that you had to follow. So we’re kind of with you. We think that that’s another intrusion that under the guise of watching out for us, under the guise of protecting us that they’re now going to try to legislate even what local farmers do with their crops.
Bill Heid: And I would say too, Jason, one of the little motifs that we say, our little axioms is that socialism always creates shortages. One way or the other, if you have legislation, you mess with the price distribution system, you mess with elasticity and so forth and so that situation always creates problems down the line. And it’s one thing for that to be happening in computer chips and something else, but when you’re talking about food it becomes very interesting. And, like I said, people that really are self-conscious about this, what their needs are, if they feel a sense of responsibility for their families, they really ought to look at planting a garden this year and starting to learn how to can, take in a little bit of responsibility. I know you’ve got other guests on that talk a little bit the same way, but taking responsibility for themselves. And we think there’s a little bit of a side of urgency this year. So here we are in February, looking into March, it’s gonna start warming up in Texas, as they say soon, and then that works its way up through the country. But you ought to start thinking about planting a garden right now, how you’re going to create nutrition, fertilization and stuff for the garden, what seeds you’re going to plant and so forth. We think that’s a huge thing, not just because of what we perceive as incredible price rises here, but also potential shortages. What did we see this morning? There was something in the news about the temperature dropping in Mexico and some of the Latin countries. We talked about that earlier creating price…
Brian Brawdy: Absolutely. As the temperatures drop across the country, food prices go up. Then you throw in the catastrophic storms – in Australia, everything that’s doing to the beef market. You throw in just crashing temperatures in northern Florida, across the gulf states, all the way over into Dallas. And even some of the buyers last year in Russia, if you look at some of the breadbaskets if you will of the world, it’s taking it on the chin from storms and droughts and not even mentioning economic turmoil and the report that Bill referenced this morning about from the world bank saying that another 44 million people are being pushed to brink of poverty according to the Reuters report just in the last 8 months. So that’s really something, as you say, to kind of wake up and pay heat to.
Jason Hartman: No question. I think the future is really all about commodities, food, shelter, the basic needs of life. Those will be in huge demand as we’ve pretty much already exploited the cheapest labor markets on Earth. So that limits downside prices. Some of those people are fortunate enough to be moving up in the socioeconomic levels towards the middle class because of that but in the US we’ve hollowed out our manufacturing base. “Times, they are changing” to quote the famous line. But one part of this I’d like to particularly focus on with you guys, and then I’d like to talk a little bit about power and emergency power and so forth, but when it comes to gardening, talk to us if you would about urban gardening. I mean what can people do if they don’t live in the type of location where they have a big piece of land or even a regular sized backyard? What can they do to become more self-sufficient from the food grid in maybe a smaller setting where they just don’t have the space? I mean there are some incredible stories about that nowadays.
Bill Heid: There are. And that’s a great question. We get that all the time. I think urban gardening is one of those things where it’s trending, maybe as Google Trends would indicate, but I think if you’ve only got so much space, you’re just limited by your space and so you have to start thinking about things like container gardening, and you have to think about what it is you would like to grow and what’s nutritious, what types of plants may do you well. You’re not going to grow a lot of corn if you’ve got an apartment and you have some containers. Most people like to grow tomatoes, but they’re really growing tomatoes not as a survival technique but really something just because they like tomatoes and they like the sport and the wonder of just growing tomatoes. So I think an alternative to some of that would be a community where you start meeting up with people that are like minded and you find a garden plot and you actually work it. A number of things happen when you do that, Jason. You start running into likeminded people and you work towards a common goal. Let’s say a lot of churches will lease out or give little plots away for groups of people to work. Even in urban areas, you start working hand in hand with some people that are likeminded and wonderful things happen in addition to just the idea of growing more food. So I would say getting to know your neighbors is one thing that I always talk about finding people that are likeminded, finding people who want to go in on a project with you, finding a church in your area where someone might be likeminded in that area. And I think that’s probably as much of a key because urban gardening, I’m just going to tell you, you’ve got limitations. If you’ve only got so much ground, you just can’t grow enough to support a huge family. You’re playing into the division of labor game and that’s pretty much a grocery store endeavor.
Brian Brawdy: If I can interrupt real quick, I’d say that that’s the benefit of a line of freeze dried or dehydrated food, having the sprout bank so you can get your protein and your carbohydrates from the freeze dried food, and then with the sprout bank you’re getting all those live natural nutrients that in a sprout bank you can grow on the bottom of your closet, top of your counter, I suspect you can probably put a sprout bank under your television.
Bill Heid: Sprouts don’t need sun in the same way as some of the other gardening techniques you can grow sprouts. I would say, really, Brian makes a good point. If you’re going to be interested in growing things in an urban setting, raising sprouts may be one of the most nutri-dense opportunities that you can come up with.
Jason Hartman: Just explain for the audience, if you will, I don’t want to take for granted that everybody knows what a sprout bank is. So please explain that if you would.
Bill Heid: Brian, I want you to talk about that. We’ve done videos and stuff on it, but we have a product, Jason, called Survival Sprout Bank. And what it is is kind of a turnkey. This is a solution from science. It’s like a turnkey package. And Brian, you’ve used a lot of sprouts, yeah.
Brian Brawdy: For me, Jason, perhaps for a lot of your listeners that aren’t familiar with it, and I know I was kind of surprised, as Bill said, they don’t need a lot of sun. They don’t even need a lot of dirt. You can take some of these seeds and put them. There’s a process of making them damp, putting them up overnight in an aerated jar, not a lot of pieces of gear that need to go with it. Keep them damp the next morning. Keep them damp the third day. And then they actually start to grow like sprouts that you would see at high end grocery stores or some sandwich shops and the like and they retain all of the nutrients that originally would have come of that and they’re lima bean sprouts and broccoli sprouts and all different types of seeds.
Remember, when you plant a seed in the earth, it doesn’t have sunlight in its initial stages to begin the growth process. So with the sprout bank, you can throw a shoebox sized jar in the bottom of your closet and now you can supplement that with live, what I kind of think about as live nutrients. So you get say your proteins or carbohydrates from a line of freeze dried or dehydrated foods. But then you need something a little more living, a little more natural to nutrients. And that’s why I am a fan now of sprout banks. It doesn’t take up hardly any space at all. And in 3 to 5 days, depending upon the type of seed that you throw in there, you’re getting some pretty power packed kind of food that you can use to supplement everything else that you have in your cupboard.
Jason Hartman: Since we’re on the subject of growing, let’s talk about seed banks if we could and explain maybe the non-hybrid and hybrid seed issue to the listeners, too.
Bill Heid: Well, we decided a few years back that when I first came up with the idea of the Survival Seed Bank, I looked at what was happening in the arctic, The United Nations and Bill Gates, and I said wouldn’t it be kind of an interesting and fun thing to do to sort of democratize that so we could take seeds and store them and have families have access to seeds and we just said really if governments and billionaires think that storing seeds is an important thing, maybe you ought to pay attention. Maybe there’s a reason why they think that. And so we came up with the Survival Seed Bank which has 20 some varieties of seeds that are open pollinated. Open pollinated just means these aren’t hybrid seeds that are the typical. Where we grow corn here, that corn is hybrid corn, it’s crossed corn. So geneticists will create variations and mix them together and so you’ve got a limited outcome. This is your open pollinated which means they will produce seeds the following year. And those seeds you can take and replant. They will reproduce viable seeds I should say. And you can take and plant them.
So if you buy open pollinated tomato seeds, after you grow your tomatoes take the seeds, make some delicious tomato juice or spice up your tomatoes, spit the seeds out and plant them next year, and you’ll have more tomatoes. That’s the way traditional farming had been done and you just save the percentage of your seeds and replanted them the next year. So I think that there’s some wisdom in that in terms of having your own supply of seeds that you can perpetuate because you’re not just locked in. And if you buy some seeds from like a Survival Seed Bank and so forth, you can plant them. And, really, if you’re diligent and you want to take the time, you don’t really have to every buy anymore seeds again.
Jason Hartman: That’s fantastic. So maybe let’s switch gears here if we could and let’s talk a little bit about emergency power. And maybe we’ll have time to touch on another preparedness too, but what about power? I mean that’s a big deal. The threats are sort of never ending. A disruption could come from basic civil unrest, just high cost of utilities and inflation and so forth. It could come from a solar flare, a nuclear event god forbid. The power grid is somewhat sensitive, isn’t it?
Bill Heid: You just got done reading the report.
Brian Brawdy: It’s more like a wicker basket more than a grid. I mean grid always sounds to me like grit, it’s got grit, it’s beefy, it can withstand anything. And we’re finding out, we just did a report for the people that sign up on Facebook.com and off the good news. We did a free report, Jason, that highlights the 11 threats to the grid. And whether it comes from electromagnetic pulse or it comes from a solar flare from the sun or for that matter a less than natural EMP or a terrorist attack, then our grid is not only terribly frail, but if it were to be attacked, and just a few different points would cause a cascading effect across the country, and Jason, as I’m sure you know, if the transformers are destroyed, and we’ve got these massive transformers spread out around our country, if those transformers are destroyed it can take upwards of 18 months to have new ones built. And take a guess my friend. The only country on the globe…
Jason Hartman: I know what you’re gonna say, China.
Brian Brawdy: Of course. I can say anything. Look at the shoes you’re wearing, where do you think they came from? They’re made in China, my friend, right. So what are the chances if we withstand a global onslaught…I’m not saying this in a negative way of the Chinese government. If I was in charge and I have to decide do I build the transformers for my own people or do I ship to the United States, I build it for my own people. Certainly first, you can’t blame them. I would hope we would build them for us, but we weren’t smart enough to set it up that way. The transformers will be damaged. It’s not a question of if, but of when. We interviewed a great guy, John Campomin who’s a big wig that’s testified in front of Congress about just how frail the grid is, is just gonna be a major, major problem if, Jason, you’re not prepared to going back to living like it was…Forget about living like it’s 1995, you gotta go back to living like it’s 1800.
Jason Hartman: That’s for sure. And it’s scary. What if in that event it’s not a solar flare or another party with a nuke. What if it’s China? What if China is our enemy? I mean that is a possibility we’ve got to always consider, so certainly they’re not gonna make our transformers. I know they’re making our military boots for our soldiers which is weird. This is just a strange world in which we live. It’s good to be interconnected in some ways because ultimately it does bode well for peace. You don’t want to destroy your customers, you don’t want to destroy your vendors per say, but then again it creates some strange dependencies and bedfellows and so forth. So there’s two sides to it definitely.
Bill Heid: This is Bill again. Let me interject this. You’re making reference to the division of labor which has brought a lot of wealth, as you know, to not just our society but the world. But one of the things that we talk about at Off the Grid News is that really some things you cannot outsource. And of course we talk about raising your family as being something you can’t outsource. And we talk about food. You can outsource food at your own peril and it looks increasingly like if you outsource strictly and you don’t have a backup plan that power may be one of those things that you outsource at your own peril. So what a blessing the division of labor has been, but what a potential curse as well down the line if things spin out of control as it were.
Jason Hartman: Sure. Use the idea, use the division of labor to your advantage, but be prepared with some self-reliance for emergency scenarios obviously. So no question about that. So what are your solutions as far as a power problem, the potential disruption there.
Bill Heid: Brian and I both have some things we’d say here, but Solutions From science, we make backup equipment that runs from solar power. And this is non-scripted equipment. You can find that information out at MySolarBackup.com. You can read all about it. It’s MySolarBackup.com and the little devices that we’ve been able to hook up, solar panels and battery controller and inverter setups where you just have I wouldn’t call it a perpetual motion machine but it just continues to produce power as long as there’s a sun. If the sun burns out, Jason, then it won’t work very well. If the sun goes under a cloud, it still works though not as well as if it’s totally sunny. But if the sun burns out, it won’t do much.
Jason Hartman: Well, I think if that happens, we can just call it game over anyway.
Bill Heid: We’ll have to put on an extra coat.
Jason Hartman: We don’t have to worry about that in the foreseeable future here. So anything else on preparedness in general that you want to mention before we wrap up?
Bill Heid: I’ll just say to everyone listening that preparedness is about mitigating panic in the future to the degree that you’re able to cultivate a plan right now that when it hits the fan, whatever that it is, when it hits the fan, then you’ve got a game plan. You’ve got not only the technology but the temperament to be able to confront any emergency. You want to start planning for them now and not 30 seconds into it. Do you have a way of getting your power? Do you have a way of getting food. Do you have a way of securing what weapons you may or may not choose to keep in your home? Do you have a way of doing all those other things? And, Jason, I know you tell your listeners that if you listen to some good advice now and you make the plans, then you get an opportunity to mitigate the panic in the future. And the people that mitigate the panic in the future will be the ones that survive.
Jason Hartman: Very good point. Now, we’re gonna post some special offers that you’re offering to our listeners in terms of some free stuff, some things that they can purchase with some special promos and so forth, and that will be at HolisticSurvival.com/offers. Did you want to mention anything about those items?
Brian Brawdy: That would be great. I mean we thank you for it all. We’ve got some cool things. Here’s what I would say. When most people come onto the different websites and look at the different types of products that we have, it’s really designed to help them think of themselves in the future, given the food shortage, given the electricity shortage, given the shortage of water or the like, and just imagine what it would take to be able to kind of look at yourself in the mirror and go, you know what, I’ve got that covered. So whether it’s the Survival Seed Bank, whether it’s the Sprout Bank, whether it’s the Power Source 1800, which I will tell you, Jason, it was one of my favorites, and you know that old hair club for men commercial, I’m just not a member, I’m a client – one of the reasons that I came to work here was reporting in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and seeing firsthand what happens to people when they go to flick that switch and nothing comes on. So I would say to look at any of those sites, much the same your listeners listen and look at your site, Jason, and go “Great. How can I look at the information that the experts are providing me now? What technologies are within my price range that I can afford right now to help me mitigate that panic in the future?” And then it’s up to the individual listener and subscriber to go “Look, this is how I see myself starting my life of living off the grid. It’s not gonna all happen at once for most of us. It has to be a little bit here, a little bit there, but you can absolutely start towards an off the grid lifestyle. And just listen to some of the experts that are doing it currently and then you model their actions.
Jason Hartman: Great advice, great advice. Well, Bill and Brian, thank you so much for joining us today. Everybody go to HolisticSurvival.com/offers and learn more about it. And keep up the good work, you guys. You have some good products and some great news and information, too. I’ve really enjoyed reading your stuff and would love to have you back on the show again. Thank you.
Brian Bawdy: You’re more than welcome. We enjoyed being on your site as well.
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Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival show, protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth show which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search “Jason Hartman” on iTunes. This show is produced by The Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. (Top image: Flickr | hardworkinghippy)
Transcribed by Ralph
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