A Frank Exploration of Buckets of Emergency Food Supply
If you have food storage accumulation on your radar, you’ve no doubt been tempted (or already beguiled) to purchase the so-called 3 months supply of food that comes in a 5 gallon bucket which you’ve seen in emergency preparedness stores or your local warehouse. With these products claiming to be a 3 months supply of food for 1 person at approximately $85 to $125, you’ve not doubt thought that this would be a much easier way to get your years supply of food storage as opposed to accumulating huge bags of wheat, sugar, rice, beans and all of the other necessities and then trying to find room for them. Well, I hate to tell you this, but you’d be wrong. In fact, in light of a true emergency, relying on this type of nutrition in a volatile time, you may even find yourself dead wrong.
The minimum amount of wheat storage for one person for a year is 400 pounds. Forget the rice, beans, sugar, seasonings, and other items that you should be storing as well. If you divide the 400 pounds of wheat by 4, you’ll get 100 pounds of wheat per person, per quarter, minimum. There is no way that you’re going to get 100 pounds of nutrition in one of these 25 pound buckets--dried up and dead or otherwise.
Let’s also take a look at the survival bars that the military eat for survival basis only. These bars come in 2400 or 3600 calorie versions. They are intended for the intake of one per day in extreme survival situations. Clearly, there’s no way you’re going to be able fit 90 of these in a 5 gallon bucket. Keep in mind your caloric requirements increase in times of high stress, fatigue, depression and emotionally climatic situations. Again, let me stress that the survival bars issued by the military are for a minimum amount of survival until rescue comes. If you look at the caloric intake of the meals that come in these 5 gallon buckets, at two meals per day as the package recommends, you will get a total of only 660 calories, and that’s if you eat the most caloric dense meal that the bucket provides 3 times a day. That’s less than 25% of an adult’s minimum caloric intake needed in a time of crisis. There’s no voluntary dieting or calorie skimping in a time of crisis. You will be a useless human being if you attempt to take that route. If you want to see how many calories you should have daily, without the crisis consideration, just use this link here. http://www.hpathy.com/healthtools/calories-need.asp It may be a good eye opener to many of you. In spite of this common sense information, I see so many naively buying up these buckets and thinking that they’ve got their food storage for the year. It’s a sad commentary to discover that the Orem, UT Costco sold more of these food storage buckets than any other product in their history of specialty products!
The majority of the meals included in the bucket require 20 to 25 minutes of simmering. If you are using fuel to boil this water, that’s an awfully long time for one meal. There are at least 100 different meals that come to mind that are healthier, tastier, and that don’t take nearly that much prep time, fuel usage, or water usage. Remember, in a crisis you need to preserve your energy, your fuel, and your water.
If you’ve already accumulated this kind of bucket food storage, don’t fret. There are some good aspects of it.
1)It is a START. Considering that there are so many that don’t even start on their preparation, you should give yourself kudos for taking a step in the right direction. But please remember it is in only a start. Please do not allow yourself to have a false sense of security in thinking that you or any member of your family has enough nutrition and calories with this kind of storage.
2)It’s a good add-on to wheat, rice, and beans. Making up some of the contents in these buckets may be a perfectly good way to spice up your other plain staples. One thing you do want to be aware of is guarding against “appetite fatigue.” You don’t want your loved ones refusing to eat simply because they are “sick” of the same old food. This has happened on many occasions even in 3rd world nations where they are starving. And I’m sure we’ve all heard of the occasional story of the 4 year old who will only eat 3 items…chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese or pizza. Clearly it’s important to prepare yourself to utilize ways to make your food as tasty as possible (I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who have completely forgotten to store any kind of spices).
3)These kinds of meals may come in handy for trade, and since they are a trade item and take up a small amount of space that gives them a decent value to have on hand. Remember, in a true emergency that is expected to last a while, currency will have very, very little value. In fact, there are many studies that show a bucket of wheat will be worth more than a bucket of gold.
Discussing the merits of wheat is an entire book practically, but I will address a few aspects of it quickly lest you think that the recommendation of wheat storage is fostered by some maniacal men who desire to make your life miserable or to challenge your creative storage techniques.
Wheat has numerous uses, and not just in the berry or flour form. Wheat, especially when it’s sprouted, is a fabulous nutritional resource. In fact, when you sprout wheat it is 600 times more nutritious than the wheat ground down into flour. In fact, if you’d like, the wheat can be sprouted, then dried, and then ground down and made into whatever you’d like, thus manifesting that much more nutritional benefit. 1 cup of sprouted wheat has 8 grams of protein. It’s also a great source of nutrients, amino acids, and good carbohydrates. Sprouted wheat has been used to cure scurvy and birth defects. Let’s see if your bucket of empty calories can do that.
In future blogs I will share with you how to cook with wheat, what to substitute if you are allergic to wheat, and so much more! Glad you’re reading to get better prepared.
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