We never know what might be around the corner. Sure we all complain that the price of gas and groceries is eventually going to ground us, but we keep going and we keep spending our money without a whole lot of thought. But what will you do and how will your family survive in the event that you really can’t run out for a pizza or a gallon of milk? You must be prepared with your own food storage and emergency supplies – and there’s no better time to start than right now.
First, let’s be clear on why people store. Sure some people store in preparation for a mass catastrophe but a lot of people choose to have a food storage system for many other reasons, like:
You can store food for a lot of reasons but it will all be a waste of time if you don’t store the proper items and maintain them in a system that allows for use and rotation.
I teach a lot of classes and give out a lot of advice on food storage and there’s one common theme I find: everyone wants me to tell them what to store. But I can’t give you cut and dry answer. And it’s because of a pretty clear rule in food storage:
The fact is that if you hate beanie weenies with a passion, you won’t suddenly change in the middle of a catastrophe. You’re still going to hate them and probably not want to eat them; and I don’t know about you but a stressful event not when I want to teach myself to try new foods. In times of stress, it is incredibly important to maintain a nutritionally balanced diet that’s as close to normal as possible.
For children and the elderly, changing food choices suddenly can result in a condition known as appetite fatigue which causes diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Want to deal with a vomiting three year old when the world feels like it is going to collapse around you? Me either. So prepare now and get ready to store only what your family likes and will eat.
In order to start your food storage, you must first make a plan. Don’t think you are going to do this in just a few minutes. It’s going to take you more like a day or two depending on how much time you have so let’s just take this slowly. First, think about how much food you would like to store: one month, three months, six months, or maybe even a year. I think three months is a good place to start and won’t feelso overwhelming. Next, make a list of every meal you eat including breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week. Don’t forget your snacks. You will probably do what I did when I sat down to write it out and get stuck. But don’t give up – think back, dig deep and come up with a list of meals you could cook that you know your family would eat.
If you don’t cook, then think about what you buy out and find ways to make those meals at home. I can’t teach you to love to cook, but I can say that now is the time to develop at least basic skills to keep your family strong when everyone else falls apart. (I’m going to teach you these in the weeks to come, but we have to start somewhere first.)
Go ahead and start on your meal list. Look over it, think critically and revise it. Try to choose meals that use some shelf-stable ingredients – meaning that they don’t need refrigeration. (Like spaghetti.) Then I’ll tell you what to do with it coming up soon…