Jules Dervaes makes me jealous. He would also make my mom jealous. I would reckon he would make the Jolly Green Giant jealous as well with his gardening abilities with a flair that only doomsday preppers could bring.
1. Collapse of modern food system
Specifically, Jules is concerned about the vulnerabilities of GMO crops to certain pests. This is definitely a legitimate concern, genetically modified organisms can sometimes lack the variability within crops that make natural versions so hardy. An example of this was the Gros Michel Banana, which was all but wiped out in the 1950s by Panama disease because there was no genetic variability.
Regardless of what National Geographic’s experts say about the likelihood of that specific reason for the collapse of modern food, it serves as a catchall for the worst of any survival situation. EMP, volcano, economic collapse, you name it, the worst will come from what happens to people after food is gone.
2. Prepping day to day
One of the best things about the Dervaes family approach is the fact that they effectively live their post-collapse lifestyle on a day to day basis. It’s likely that not much would change in their eating habits in the event of a food collapse, which is more than most of us could say. While many fill their pantries it would still be a rude awakening for many to eat the spaghetti sauce they canned 4 years ago.
From a nutritional perspective, Jules and his family are sitting pretty for right now and the apocalypse. The abundance of vegetables would be able to supply them with a great supply of b vitamins, vitamin C, and the animal protein sources from their livestock could fill in the blanks with the fat soluble vitamins. Throw in an open sun garden for vitamin D and you have one healthy family. And what’s best is that it’s sustainable
3. Biodiesel as an energy source
The biodiesel car was definitely cool but I don’t know how many McDonald’s would be around to supply them with fresh grease in the event of a societal collapse. Depending on the level of desperation, oil and grease can be used as a great source of calories in a pinch.
Regardless of the applicability though, the chemistry going on to convert the oil to biodiesel is a useful skill to have. Having that sort of machinery available post collapse would help them get a jump if the rest of the world was in the stone age from say, an EMP strike or oil embargo.
The show brought up the point of supplies for the garden. While the garden is a source of sustainable food, there are inputs such as fertilizer and water that could be difficult to get a hold of. That sunshine could get real dangerous for the tomato plants if the water cut out.
No mention of protecting the food supply at all, which was disappointing. Living next to a multi lane highway indicates proximity to people, who get crazy when they’re hungry. With the wealth of their stores,, Jules and his family should build up their security in parallel.