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Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Basics of Being Prepared with Food & Why We Should Do It

In this country, we have become used to a certain way of living. We don’t have to hunt for food any more, our time is taken up with making or spending money and we have time for leisure activities and hobbies. Time for household chores has been cut dramatically, and cooking can be as quick as you want it. You can “drive thru”, go to a restaurant, cook on the bbq, create a home made masterpiece or “nuke” a hot pocket. Your local grocer has everything you could ever want to feed your family.

There are several problems with this.

The first is especially obvious in these current times, and that is the economy. Food prices are rising, nothing goes down…well, unless you believe in Wal Mart’s “roll back” pricing signs! Our very paycheck is at risk these days with such high unemployment. The prices go up even more when gas prices increase, which brings us to reason #2.

Our lovely, fully stocked grocer is only 3-7 days away from being almost empty! Your grocer (drug store, gas station, home depot) depends on a delivery to remain stocked. Raise the price of transport, raise the price of groceries. Stop the transport (due to a flu pandemic, an electrical outage, a natural disaster etc) and stop the groceries.

Nasty stuff is out there…we’ve heard of the poisonings and illnesses created by eating contaminated food. The government has the controls in place to prevent much of that, but they’d rather create more restrictive bills that will have us relying on big agribusiness. (another rant and a debate for another time lol). However, from time to time, things will slip by FDA and inspectors. Much of the problem is because we are spoiled and continue to demand food from other countries, out of season. We can add to that, our needs are so great that farms use chemicals to ensure the demand is met. This all can be solved by following what is called “The Hundred Mile Diet”. Eat food that is locally grown! Not only are you supporting local economy, you are eating food that is better adapted to your body. It’s also more likely to be less contaminated with harsh chemicals. Better yet, grow your own! A by-product of our eating habits is that we don’t always make meals that were once considered wholesome, hearty and healthy. We view them as too plain or fattening. This need not be true! All we need to do is make appropriate substitutions. But by fixing your own food from scratch, you definitely help with a variety of issues. Not to mention that your family will be very happy.

So, what does this have to do with Being Prepared? Well, the first thing that you need if something goes wrong, is food. FEMA, Homeland Security, Ready.gov, every state in the country, and even the White House suggest that every family be prepared for an emergency/interruption of services with food and water for 72 hours. However, that wouldn’t have done the people stranded in Katrina much good! The NEW suggestion is that you have at least 2 weeks worth of food, if not 30 days. That is the beginning of your basic food “preps” (preparations/emergency supplies).

So, how do you go about getting 2 weeks to 30 days worth of food? Do you have to resort to buying MRE’s (meals ready to eat like Army rations)? Are you going to turn into one of those wierdo’s that lives in a bunker with a thousand cans of Spam? Of course not, and it’s easy to do!

I follow the principle of “storing what I eat and eating what I store”. It’s kind of like having my own grocery store. It’s what used to be known as a full pantry in the old days.

Every time I go grocery shopping, when something I use is on sale, I get as many of that item as I can afford. For instance, we eat spaghetti often. When pasta is on sale, I pick up 10 boxes instead of two. When spaghetti sauce is on sale, I pick up 10 cans/jars. The shelf life of pasta (properly stored) is about 10 years. The shelf life of your canned/jarred sauce is about 5 years. I know that I have enough food for 10 meals without my family noticing that I haven’t been to the store! Of course, I do the same with tuna and mayo, flour and sugar and many other things. Make a menu for three meals a day for a week. All the stuff you would normally make, include comfort foods like brownie stuff) and then multiply the ingredients by 4 and then as the items go on sale, you can purchase enough. Soon, you will have enough to feed the family for a month with no hassles.

Consider why this might come in handy:
Economic/unemployment
Flu/quarantine (yes, the government CAN quarantine you for 2 weeks! NO trips to the store)
Natural disaster (hurricane, earthquake, fire)
Civil unrest (probably due to unemployment and high taxes lol)
Martial Law
Terror Attack

Your first responsibility to yourself and your family is to feed them, then defend them…can’t defend, can’t start a new life, can’t wait till the problem is solved if you starve to death!) You can’t be a Patriot and fight the government when they have food and you don’t.

Author: HerbalPagan
Visit: GreenSurviving.blogspot.com
Massachusettspreppersnetwork.blogspot.com

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