Yesterday I stood in front of my congregation and in the context of a sermon suggested that folks cut back on excess expenditures and that they build home food stores. Yes I said it gently and it didn't hammer it, but I said it in an historic register, main street, main line church. In Utah, people tend to define themselves as not LDS (unless of course they are), and so this suggestion is a button pusher as food storage is seen as a Mormon thing (apologies for any offense to my LDS readers). I say this to emphasize that I'm taking a chance, I am risking censure and putting my neck on the line to encourage people to get their stuff together. I am taking a risk in being called a fool if all is OK and well in the world. But if things get really bad, I want to feel as if I have influenced as many people as I can reach to take care of their families. At the end of the day, everyone has to make their own choices.
The subject today is Food Storage. I think most of the readers here are familiar with food storage either through from Sharon Astyk's Challenge and Book or the Yahoo Groups on Adapting in Place and food storage. She has been encouraging level headed, balanced food storage. This includes buying what you eat and eating what you buy and buying extra each time you shop. For my 21 day challenge I am saying, step. it. up.
If you have not already done so, organize your pantry. I know people organize things differently but I put like things together. It helps me know at a glance what I have and what I have and what I need. Put the heaviest stuff down low and in waterproof containers, and label and DATE things. Around here is stays on the kitchen table until it gets a label. Right now I'm running out of space on the table and we're eating standing around.
I have used the following guides to help me gauge what I need for my family size. I favor this guide because it covers just the basics whereas others get complicated Again only put up what you will eat! I don't cook with soy beans or corn syrup and so I haven't stocked these items other than a bottle of corn syrup that has sat around for years from a pecan pie recipe and some edamine in the freezer. When I went to costco and picked up things to fill in the gaps I used this guide.
Cut and paste: http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm
If you have not been building food stores and need to start with carbs and wholesome grains. I would suggest beans and rice and the means to cook them (I assume you have spices, yes?) From there flour, corn meal, some dried or canned milk, yeast and salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and cooking oil. Add other items you will eat such as cooked cereal and oats. Then add peanut butter, honey, jam, pasta, soup mix, canned fruit and vegies, and canned meat. Pick up powdered drink mix with electrolytes. Then add comfort foods. I have trouble stocking comfort foods as the family gets into them. After my next shopping, I may hide the comfort foods.
Please note: I by far favor a long thought out stocking up of things you will actually use and beginning to adjusting your diet to eating closer to whole foods. We eat beans and home ground grains and fruit from the tree every week, but if you eat a lot of fast food, you have to develop the ability to digest this stuff so start slowly. If you start all at once, you will feel ill. Food storage must be rotated and maintained.
What do plan on cooking in an emergency? OK, make it for dinner this week and see how well you digest it. Don't like it? Don't store it.
Last night Mrs. neighbor asked me if I wanted to go in on a half or whole beef that a friend is slaughtering and selling. I can't afford an entire half (and in the past haven't used a half beef in a year) and I don't have the freezer space so we are going to share a side of beef and they are going elk hunting anyway. They brought over all their year old meat (venison, beef, pork) for us to help them finish before the new comes in.
Fall is when animals are harvested so farmers don't have to winter feed them. This is the best time of year to put up meat.
Also, this is not a big wheat growing area, but someone local is advertising 50 lb. bags of winter, soft or red wheat for about $25, I think. If you have been wanting to buy wheat, look in your classified ads by the livestock and misc or take a drive in the country looking at the signs at the ends of the drives. I make a point to buy directly from the farmer whenever I can - everyone but the middle man does better this way.
Do you have additional suggestions? Did I miss something?
How good to you feel about your food stocks? What are your storing?
I'm off to preserve the harvest!