We live during an extraordinary time. A time when one can travel a few minutes to the grocery and have the ability to purchase foods from around the world. A time when one can acquire fresh vegetables in the dead of winter and seafood from the ocean 500 miles inland.
The on-demand food system that we have all become comfortable with and dependent upon is truly impressive.
Why do we need to store food?
The on-demand food system that we enjoy is dependent on a complex infrastructure with components that include: Oil, Gasoline, Electricity, Machinery, Chemicals, Computers, and People. This system could potentially be impacted by natural or man made disasters, power outages, societal events, strikes, natural resource shortages, epidemics, and many other unforeseen possibilities.
Barring the unlikely events described above, the following incidents are reason enough to have an emergency food supply at your disposal:
- 2010 Egg contamination (salmonella)
- 2009 Peanut Butter contamination (salmonella)
- 2006 Spinach contamination (e.coli)
- How much food should we store?
We have read many articles and heard numerous recommendations on the radio detailing how much food one should have stored within the home or retreat. The experts say one should have anywhere between three months and three years worth of food stored away for your family.
We don’t know about you but three years of food in our house would leave very little living space.
Three months is a much more realistic goal but even that would require significant capital. After giving this some thought you should develop a plan to obtain the extra food in order to insulate yourself from a temporary breakdown of the food network.
What are the best kind of foods to store?
One recommended philosophy is to store the food that you like to eat. Store foods that you eat regularly as part of a healthy balanced diet. Some examples are: crackers, rice, peanut butter, jelly, spaghetti sauce, noodles, oatmeal, flour, sugar, and canned soups. You should also keep extra paper goods, tooth paste, mouth wash, and dental floss. Can you imagine running out of tooth paste? You can build your own DIY canned food storage rack.
What is the best way to go about obtaining food reserves?
It’s always best to incrementally stock up food and personal hygiene products with any extra money that you may have each month. The best way to approach this is to stock up on one thing at a time. Using this method will take a long time to build up your food reserves but it doesn’t impact finances nearly as much as a bulk purchase would.
The next time you go to the store and have an extra $15, buy as many cans of tuna as you can with that money. Odds are you will have enough to last you 3 months depending on the size of your family. It’s not as though you’ve wasted your money because you will use these eventually. The next time buy peanut butter, the next crackers, etc.
Once each item is fully stocked up, continue to buy it as you normally would as part of your weekly shopping. This way the food you store is used incrementally and new food is purchased to replace it, the food is never stored for longer than it’s expiration date. When you purchase new food to store, always put it in the back of the shelf and move the rest of the items forward. This way you don’t have to wonder if the food is still good when we decide to take it off the shelf.
The incremental stocking up method works and you could always go out and drop a few thousand dollars this weekend and be done with it!
Please remember that a stored food supply is a short term solution to bridge the availability gap in the event of a temporary disruption of the on-demand food system.
Try to grow as much food as you can and work toward developing a self-propagating system where you won’t have to rely on any person or network outside of nature to provide essential foods. The on-demand food system is a convenience that you can enjoy, and is impossible to replace.