2007 and 2008 were the two biggest years in history for food recalls. Meat, peanut butter, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and even dog food were among the few that were deemed dangerous or downright deadly for consumption. In my view, this is just another reason for the case in favor of having a year’s supply of food and water provisions.
When our country was made up largely of farmers, it was not unheard of for
farmers to have one to two years of grain and other food stuffs stored for the future. They knew from experience that one never could rely on the goodness of Mother Nature, the economy, or world peace to guarantee a profitable harvest each year. Thus having a year’s supply of provisions and surviving on an annual paycheck was a necessary way of life. In this same vein of wisdom, our own government stored several year’s worth of grains, fuel, and other reserves to shore up against a “rainy day.”
Today there our government granaries are completely empty. There are simply NO government owned stores of grains or seeds left. All that remains is false claims by the USDA that this year’s farms will yield “bumper crops” in direct contrast to everything reported from the farmers themselves. As such, the cost of items with sugar, corn, soybeans, or wheat is expected to skyrocket in price this year. Ironically we will have to pay for such items with currency that is no longer backed by anything more than a man behind a curtain saying “all is well.” (Even Fort Knox is empty of its “rainy day” gold stores, folks.)
In addition to prudent planning that our government used to engage in, the safety of our foods was reliable, the ingredients were easily read, and the process used to bring them to the masses was simply a commercialized version of what a housewife could do for herself on a smaller scale. Today, however, we have meat that’s sold by the pound, infused with water (making it heavier) and coloring chemicals; vegetables that are coated in chemicals that require a PhD just to pronounce, and packaged meals and beverages which brag that they contain a whopping “10% of real” food ingredients which are actually recognizable. Environmental groups have more say about your supply than does does any seasoned medical professional. What gets put on our children’s plate in school is influenced by revenues instead of nutrition. While there is one soda pop machine available for every 97 persons in the U.S., fresh, unadulterated food stands are becoming as rare as an honest politician.
Hopefully, by realizing the veracity of this scene I’ve painted for you, you realize that having stores of food on hand in your home isn’t just about being ready for an Armageddon-like scenario. It’s not about being some kind of a paranoid survivalist. It has everything to do with being self-reliant and taking responsibility for the preservation, health, and survival of you and your family. As such, we need to be more aware and vigilant in being self-reliant in the storing of our most vital everyday needs.
I’ve provided “food for thought” when it comes to reasons for food stores. But please do not dismiss the need for safe drinking water. Only a few days without water will bring catastrophic consequences. During the Great Hungarian War, the soldiers would have literally given their right arm for water. They had food. They had clothing. They had safety in their shelters. They had fuel to keep them warm and dry. But when they had to venture out to get water—that is when the Hungarian soldiers were shot and killed. And yet the water was vital to the health of their organs, sanitation, and thirst. Remember, to be safe, have at least ONE gallon of water per person per day. That may sound like a ridiculous amount of water to you right now, but it will go far too quickly if you find yourself without it.
Ask yourself what you can do to have more self-reliant stores on hand to better protect and provide you with safety and survival.
Tomorrow I’ll be writing about how you can better guarantee the quality, safety and nutrition of your foods through sprouting—No, it’s not just for hippies. :) So tune in.
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This is good advice. Also, we don't know when our water supply could be contaminated as well.
With the current ecomnical situation that the US is in, our family feels it's more important to store food that to have extra money in the bank. I'm not down-playing the role savings has in our life. But you can't eat it if you can't get to it. Locally we saw a bank, that we have an account with, close...due to a sale and take over. We don't know what could happen with the markets. So we have a large garden, store food & other items and try to live providently. This is a process, even a way of life, it is never done. But what a satisfying journey. There is great peace knowing that our family is prepared the best we can.
I am looking forward to your other articles.
I rely on your knowledge a lot perhaps too much. I have now stored well over a years + food am buying wheat,diatiamatiouse (oops) earth bought grinders , med supplies etc. I have an emergency kit (Costco's best) for my car....still trying for food grade buckets...but water is a problem . I have a well, but without electric will be a problem...I live within walking distance of a creek......have been going on line looking for the best ,most effective and somewhat reasonable system to give me safe water.....I would love to hear from you or some of your readers to help me figure out what would work for me....I am an older gal,not in good health and cannot jump through very physical hoops to sanitize or get water . Don't forget money is also in issue.....but I would make concessions to get it right.....I would appreciate any and all help....Thank You
A Berkey Water filtration system is pricey, but will greatly increase your ability to filter and make use of water from a number of sources. The suggestion by Believer was spot on, as well. Use those old soda bottles for water storage. Just be sure to clean them well with a bleach solution, and keep them in a dark cool place.
If you have someone who would be willing to help you with it, food grade 55 gallon plastic barrels can be found on Craigslist quite cheap near most major cities. They retail new for $60-$125, but once used as shipping containers, beverage companies will let them go for $15-$25 in most cases.
That is WAY too much for folks to have to pay for a 55 gallon barrel. I'm going to have to see what I can do about that. That's what makes me so mad about these so-called "preparedness supply" companies. With their prices being so high, it's no wonder more people don't get prepared.
In the DC area, Craigslist has them starting at $55. That is the best price I've found and that's doesn't include the 45 minute drive to get them.
Where can I find the details of this Great Hungarian War and the water issue? I tried googling it and can't find what I'm looking for. My boys would love the details and it would help get our family excited about 'strategies', and water, of course! Thanks!
Ever since the peanut butter recall it really hit me how we take our food for granted. I have always had food storage but that really opened my eyes to how our food supply could crumble in a matter of weeks. I love your information and look forward to your posts everyday. Keep up the great work!
You’ll have to look at the library my dear, or an old Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s actually quite fascinating.
I think this post was good, however I don't think it really addressed my concern. My concern is that for every two people who have 2 weeks of food, there are 98 who don't. To put that in perspective when the store shelves go empty, there will be 98 people roaming around my wife and I looking for food. I don't think that staying in the house is going to be an option. Take that up a level. We have 10,000 people in our town. That means 200 will have food and 9800, won't. We will be over run. I suppose this is where the spiritual part says, so be it.
I was hoping this was something you had thought about and could address. I'm at a point the way things are progressing that I'm thinking I need to be working really hard to get away from town and start to build a support structure for defense. I'm thinking that in a more rural setting a few families together could defend against just about anything.
The reason I asked why bother is, if 3 weeks into an emergeny my family is over run by the hoard?
What I think we all need is a solution for dealing with the hoard..
Since you brought up the point of approaching this dilemma from a "spiritual part" I will pass along a quote that gives me comfort. It is from Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
"Now what about those who would plunder and break in and take that which we have stored for our families' needs? Don't give this one more idle thought. There is a God in heaven whom we have obeyed. Do you suppose he would abandon those who have kept his commandments? He said, 'If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear'"
Ensign May 1976,116
Part of keeping the commandments is loving our neighbors as ourselves. Brigham Young said it is better to feed the Indians than fight them. I think that will apply in the future as well.
There is a wonderful scene in the movie "Friendly Persuasion" when a Quaker wife has to put her beliefs to the test when marauding Civil War soldiers are sweeping through her area. On other farms there has been looting and burning. She greets the soldiers as brothers, invites them in to eat and offers them food from her stores. Because of her calmness, she affects their behavior and helps them return to rational thought.
And of course there is the wonderful scene in "The Long Winter" in the Little House on the Prarie book series where Pa calmly takes wheat from the stores of two young men explaining that his family is starving. I'm glad Pa was not shot or turned away; it turned out one of the lives being saved was the girl who would later marry on of the young men.
What good is my life if I save it by depriving others of theirs? Where is my faith then?
As a Katrina survivor, I can tell you it won't be pretty. I was on St Ann, a block off Bourbon St IN THE QUARTER; it took 5 days to get OUT of downtown. Have you ever seen the movie Escape from New York and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome? Then you have an inkling of what to expect. I banded with 5 neighbors in my building, we siphoned gas from what vehicles we could find and broke into a couple places for extra guns.
It was and will be BAD! Be prepared to defend yourself and your family. While it's good to have high ideals (like the prepper family on the NATGEO show who refuses to use/own guns); it WILL come down to you or them.
I am an older woman as well, and I live alone. I don't store anything that I cannot physically lift. I store my water in 2 liter pop bottles, and juice bottles. I can lift them. Also, they don't take a lot of room. If you didn't want to do that, there are small water containers that you can buy. Don't forget about thermos jugs that might just be sitting around. Also, when you have eaten the contents of a canning jar, instead of putting it on the shelf empty, fill it with water.
Remember the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarapeth. She only had a handful of meal and a small cruse of oil. She went out to gather sticks, make a fire, make a cake for her and her son and then...die. She went to gather the sticks, met Elijah who asked her for food. Rehearsed her story to him and he told her it didn't matter. So she took him home and fed him. With that tiny bit of food, she fed Elijah, herself, her son and her ENTIRE household for 3 years - until the rains came again.
I myself have had a similar thing happen while feeding the missionaries. Not enough food because more missionaries just showed up with our missionaries.
Having a year's supply makes sense on so many levels. You are free to buy needed items as they come on sale and only when needed since you have a year's supply. Also you can help needy persons who may have a temporary setback. Thirdly you have peace knowing that your family can eat for a year if finances take a downturn. Earlier in the year our finances did take such a downturn and we were able to use our food storage for about 6 months in addition to the fresh food that the Lord provided. We used our money to pay bills and get perishables. Now I'm building up again even with the smaller finances. God does provide but many times He does it through us if we apply wisdom.