If you are not familiar with this legendary allegory or would like a refresher with some additional insights, welcome to this article.  It is not my intent to offer a detailed analysis of this masterful work, only to stimulate you to do further research and reflection on its profound message. If historians or philosophers were asked to name the greatest philosopher of all times, most if not just about all would name Plato.  His impact on western culture and thinking is so all pervasive that it is difficult to find individuals or schools of thought that have significantly contributed to our culture that have not been substantially influenced by Plato.  May you join the club!
This allegory is perhaps the most widely recognized feature of his entire written corpus or body of work.  Commentary on this document is extensive and far-reaching, and Plato’s grasp of the human condition and psyche is remarkably comprehensive. The description of the cave is given to us in Book VII of the Republic (514a – 521b).  The opening sentence of the allegory invites us to compare the state of things in and above the cave to our natural condition as far as education and ignorance are concerned. Since they have been accustomed to seeing nothing but shadows all their lives, they have no way of comprehending the real world outside the cave. No context to discern new reality as the philosopher grows and ascends – it is painful and lonely.
The ascent to the truth is not easy – one fights it the whole way – he wants to go back to the comfortable, familiar and secure. Those left behind will not want to tolerate a new radical explanation of truth and reality – they are so attached to their worldview that they will eliminate a person who challenges their reality rather than change. The philosopher governs the city – he must go down into the cave to govern and teach after being educated in the light above.
Once you have experienced the good – truth – reality, the philosopher has a responsibility and duty to lead the society and others to the light for the good of all.


Plato goes from “being all about you” to sharing, educating and directing one’s wisdom for the benefit of others.  This is true wisdom and selflessness. Knowledge and truth – see it with your own eyes and heart and discern it with your own mind. How does the seemingly impossible or extremely difficult task of leading others to discover the truth or the “real” equate with the difficulty of creating a society of critical thinkers? In the last few years many hundreds of websites, blogs, webinars and food companies have appeared on the scene, and while many are legitimate and sincere, there are too many instant experts.  So many of these folks are simply badly informed and just continue to pass along misinformation and are too lazy to due serious research, or they simply don’t care what information they put out as long is it sells their products. This post focuses on food, and as I have indicated in other articles, a dilemma arises – Who can you trust?  How accurate and truthful is information and advice regarding foods for emergency preparedness?  The purpose of this post is to encourage you to ask and answer relevant questions, use common sense and to question the reliability and advice of what you hear and read about foods for preparedness.
I have always been an advocate of a diversity of foods for emergencies because of the numerous set of circumstances that can arise. While there are many legitimate and quality emergency food companies and true experts, many others are content to profit from foods that – to put it frankly – are truly “survival foods” – foods that might prevent starvation, but are mediocre, have an inadequate caloric value, filed with questionable ingredients, unfamiliar, rely on sugar and other fillers, and might actually cause nutritional problems if consumed for long periods of time. The first part of this article deals with questions for suppliers, the second part lists food reserve questions that are of value to your personal planning.
For 41 years now I have personally witnessed, heard and read many conflicting, misleading and outright deceptive claims and information regarding foods for long term storage, and while many food reserve companies are honest and reliable, many are intentionally or unintentionally ignorant and deceitful.
Spending thousands of dollars on deceptive advertising, hyperbole and exaggeration, being all over the internet with ads, getting high profile talk show hosts and websites to hawk your foods, creating shelf life figures out of thin air, telling folks how nutritious the foods are when they are filled with questionable ingredients, packaging foods in pouches and in a manner that does not assure a long shelf life, and tricking people into thinking they are getting an adequate quantity of foods during an emergency by creating arbitrary “servings” – does not guarantee you are buying value, quality or an adequate supply of vital foods!  The high cost of advertising, endorsements and commissions has to come from somewhere, and all too often it comes from the value of the food products themselves while compromising quality and quantity.


Now you can do the math and compare the real cost and value of one companies products to another.  What is the true cost per quality calorie?  What is the cost for supplying the proper number of calories for the time period in your emergency scenario?  Don’t forget it is the quality of the calories that is critical. Here is the important issue: The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for the average adult person is 2,000 calories a day (reputable companies generally allow 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day in formulating their assortments).  There are companies who promote a 500 to 1000 calorie per day allowance! This is a common deception among many companies who either do not have the legal authority to pack real meat products because they do not have USDA inspected facilities, or they try to make their products as cheaply as possible.
If the company promotes their food reserve assortments by number of servings, you need more information to determine what you are really buying and whether the quantities are adequate.
What are the calories in each serving – the ingredient source of those calories (white sugar, non-nutritive calories or quality calories) – and what method, or source of information, was used to determine the calories in their products?
How many calories does the company recommend one should consume per day, and how many of their servings will it take to achieve this number?




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