Stockpiling Food for Emergencies
There is nothing alarmist or irrational about stockpiling food. In the times we’re experiencing, exactly the opposite is the case: Only a delusional fool would neglect an opportunity to obtain a large and diversified hoard of dehydrated, freeze-dried, or canned foods for emergencies. Indeed, we live in a state of perpetual emergency, and stockpiling food is one of the most sensible things anyone can do.
There is a hierarchy of food storage needs. At the top is drinking water, without which a human being will die very quickly. The typical person will require at least a gallon of fresh water every day – more if that person is engaged in strenuous activity. Before stockpiling food, make sure that you have access to a reliable source of drinking water – either a well, or a water purification system – or begin to store drinking water in adequate amounts. A good baseline would be a two-week supply of fresh water. This is also a very good starting point for stockpiling food for emergencies.
Many people in the business of food storage and emergency preparedness offer on-line food storage calculators. These programs will offer very useful guidelines for stockpiling various essentials, such as grains, dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. In addition, freeze-dried or dehydrated entrees should be obtained as time and resources permit. Canned home-grown produce is also a very good addition to any emergency food supply – and generally it’s healthier than even the highest-quality storable foods.
When organizing a food storage plan, please remember that the point of stockpiling food in substantial quantities is to eat what you buy, grow, and store. And it’s not necessary to buy only from companies that specifically target the food storage and preparedness markets. There are many commercially available food products – particularly generics – that make really good additions to any emergency food supply.
Take instant oatmeal, for example: This is a very healthy, high-value food item with exceptional shelf-life and tremendous practical utility. When combined with other food storage items – such as nuts, honey, or dried fruit – instant oatmeal is delicious and immensely healthy. This underscores, once again, what should be the most basic guideline for stockpiling food: Buy what you will use, and use it frequently.
The best choices for stockpiling food are nutrient-rich, long-lasting, easily storable foods. One very good example is provide by beans and other legumes, which are an excellent source of protein, minerals, and fiber; they’re easy to prepare (in fact, they’re difficult to ruin), and generally liked by everybody. Dry soup mixes are also very convenient; soups, sauces, and chili, as well as reconstituted cheese, can be used in casseroles with pasta (another good storage choice) and rice. The trick is to find combinations that store well, can be combined in pleasing ways, and that provide both volume and nutritional benefits with relatively little effort.
It has been said that luck is the residue of discipline and design. In our current economy, luck is at a premium – and things aren’t going to get dramatically better anytime soon. As the opportunity presents itself, taking action to stockpile food should be a priority – and no effort should be spared to find the best and most cost-effective options in storable bulk foods.