Be Prepared – Food

Posted at 8:26 PM (CST) by & filed under General Editorial.

Dear Extended Family and Friends,

Thank you for your overwhelmingly positive responses to my Preparedness articles. I greatly appreciate your input, and regret that I am unable to respond to your emails individually.  There isn’t enough time to permit me to respond to each of you personally, so if you just get a “Thank you” from me, please know that your contributions are acknowledged, important and appreciated.

The next subject which needs to be addressed in preparedness is food.  We all need food and prudent storage is very important.  No one can tell you what you need.  Your needs and desires are as individual as you are, and your budgets, storage space and dietary needs and restrictions are just as varied.  No one in one article or even one book could completely address your needs.  In this article I hope to share with you some ideas about things to consider, if you aren’t already engaged in some form of food storage.  This article will suggest some things to think about and help you move on with your own research.

We can be faced with lots of challenges which could influence our ability to obtain food.  It doesn’t have to be a broad scale emergency like we just experienced on the East Coast of the USA from the storm Jonas.  Your food emergency could be as individual as the loss of a job or other personal tragedy which compromises your ability to get food.  We all need air, food and water to survive.  This is known as the Rule of Threes.  Usually – You can’t survive more than 3 minutes without air.  You can’t survive more than 3 days without water, and you can’t survive more than 3 weeks without food.  It is recommended that the minimum amount of water to have, not including water to rehydrate food is one gallon/4 litres per day, per person.

Although, I will make some suggestions for you to consider in storing food, you can do some independent research on Google using parameters such as “long term food storage.”  You can pay anywhere from about $1500 on up for a one year basic food supply for one person.  If you purchase long term storage food, there are a few things to know.  You need to store it in a cool, dark place without moisture.  You need to store water, because the food is dried or dehydrated.  You need to store oil, since the dried/dehydrated foods don’t contain fats.  Fats would shorten shelf life since fats become rancid.  You need to have a manual/non-electric can opener or your food won’t be very accessible in a power outage.

A few days ago, the winter storm in the US may have provided the opportunity for some of you to learn where you are prepared and where you aren’t.  Hopefully this experience wasn’t with dire consequences.  The school of experience is expensive.  Grocery store shelves in the affected areas were cleaned out days before the storm, and there was nothing available to buy.  Those people who had some food stored would have been the most prepared, even with the numerous power outages which occurred.  We won’t always be warned of a coming storm, whether it is an environmental storm or a financial storm.  We need to Be Prepared.

Although the long time readers of JSMineset are aware that gold and silver will be the ultimate safety net in the long term, there is a period between a time of crisis and it’s resolution.  It is that period, which I hope to address, especially since we have so many new readers.  There is a path to prosperity, even in undesirable or unfortunate circumstances, but we have to survive and thrive in the interim period. 

For those of you who already have bulk and long term food supplies, my congratulations to you and well done.  For those of you who are just embarking on preparedness, much of what is written is for you, and I hope you benefit from having some things to consider.  Since 1 out of every 6 Americans is presently receiving food assistance, the need for preparedness may be critical for your families.  You can prepare a little at a time, each and every time you shop.  The first of the month is approaching and I am writing now so that, if you are receiving food assistance, you can start your planning now.  The issuance of EBS cards have electronically hidden what would have been the bread lines of the Great Depression.  We don’t see bread lines these days because of EBS, but if we did, they would be long and populated by adults, seniors and children from all walks of life including some of your neighbors.

You can prepare with a little planning.  Devote $5 or $10 every time you shop.  Start with things like pasta, canned spaghetti sauce, rice, peanut butter, canned fish, Spam, canned chili or stew and crackers, orange flavored breakfast drink, powdered, boxed, or canned milk, canned soups, etc.  Crackers can be a substitute for bread and have a much longer shelf life.  Many of these items you can get for around $1 each.  Start storing some as soon as possible.  Some food supplies last almost indefinitely and are very versatile and useful.  Among these are sugar, salt, honey, vinegar, rice, pasta and dried beans.

Be sure to try to stock foods your family will eat.  A rapid change in diet can and usually will create disturbances in the intestinal tract.  For this reason it is advisable  to have medications for constipation and diarrhoea.  Additional items which need to be stocked with food are vitamins.  The foods you are able to stock may not be the most nutritionally desirable.  Many college students live on Ramen Noodles.  Although you can survive on them, they aren’t nutritionally balanced.  Vitamins are particularly important for the young.  In difficult times, if you must sacrifice nutrition for food in your belly, be sure to have Vitamins.

Don’t forget about spices, cooking oil and some shelf stable comfort foods.  If you need coffee or tea, aim to stock some, and keep some non-dairy creamers if you prefer.  Some hot cocoa mix can be an enormous comfort food in a time of need and popcorn can be an inexpensive shelf stable treat. 

Don’t forget pet food in your preparedness planning.  You will want to provide for Fido and Kitty too.

Last, the item you will hopefully consider is seeds.  Not seeds for consumption, but some heirloom seeds for planting in order to grow food, if needed.  Even a small square foot garden or potted window or porch garden is better than no garden at all.  If you don’t need your seeds down the road, you can always barter them for something you do need.  Be sure to get heirloom seeds, so that they will continue to produce seeds from the plants you grow.  Hybrid and GMO seeds will not reproduce with true seeds and likely not grow anything at all.

Take some time and sort out some things to obtain for your food storage.  You can do it and for only $5 or $10 a week.  Look for Google links and Youtube videos.  You can’t really go wrong with food.  Your worst case is that you will eat it.  If you have the resources for expensive long term food storage, it is great to have it.  It is like insurance.  If you have expensive long term storage food but don’t use it, you can always donate it to your area church, soup kitchen or food shelf and take a tax deduction for your contribution. 

It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in the socio-economical, political, gender, geographic or demographic landscape.  It is better to plan and be safer for the effort.  The important thing to take away from this article is to not only know that you can do this, but to start- now.

Respectfully yours,
Jim Sinclair