Having a supply of food available when a local emergency happens is important. No having to run out to the store to get food can avoid dealing with panicked shoppers, cash only registers because the power is out, or credit cards can’t be processed. Remember from the earlier post that most people have a few days of food in their home already. Keeping a little extra on hand can extend your not needing to deal with the masses and empty shelves. Most grocery stores only have enough food onhand to keep the shelves stocked for about 4 days. Most stores expect to have a big truck stop by to replenish their storeroom. What if there is a fuel crisis, truckers strike, or some other event the prevents this “Just in Time” shipping to happen?
Keep a list for a couple of weeks, of food your family consumes. Say in the course of 2 weeks your family consumes 2 cans of mandarin oranges (It happen in my house), and you shop once a week. The next shopping trip, rather than buying 1 can, buy 2. You will consume 1 can and have another weeks supply in the pantry. The following week, buy 2 cans again, and after finishing that weeks can, you will have 2 in the pantry. This is called “copy canning” and is relatively inexpensive way to build up a full pantry of food you will eat. You will not have to depend on eating beans, or rice solely during a time when the stores are not easy to shop at. The fact that you have at least one familiar aspect of normal life, will also be a comfort to your family.
My families plan does contain some long term storable food. Some of it is rice and pasta, but there are also some MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), along with some high calorie snack bars. The more food in your pantry allows you to help others in need with some of these long term storables.
Gardening is a great way to get some food into storage as well, and the quality and safety of the vegetables from your garden will surpass the stores offering of non-organic farming that use chemicals, at best, to grow abnormally big production, size, to preserve it and keep it looking edible. Look into dehydrating and canning as a way to store your garden grown, or food purchased by local trusted growers. We have only gone as deep into water bath canning, for acidic fruits and jellies so far, but have one of those evil pressure canners when time allows.
Another source of food can be found in your yard that you may overlook, there are many edible plants with leaves, flowers or roots that would make a nice amendment to a salad. These greens will have beneficial minerals and help stimulate your digestive system (dandelion greens are actually tasty). Stop by the library, and get some edible plant identification book, head to some common ground you won’t get chased away from by Bubba, or go on a trail walk to try your new skill. Something I have been trying to do is toss some lambs quarter, amaranth and chickweed seed in some common areas around my yard to try to get some of these plants established.
Hunting, fishing, raising chickens and/ or rabbits for meat, are other means to secure food for your family. As with most of the methods described in this post, they should be practiced now, so the skill are there when you may need them.
Please leave a comment on other ideas you may have for feeding your family a healthier diet of your grown, or gathered food.