The Myth of Stored Food by Pete Thorsen for Survival Blog
Many preppers think if they merely store food then they are done–that they have saved their family. And that might be true if they experience a natural disaster in their area which does not allow shopping for a week or so. They have their stored food and just use that during the emergency. Later–if they remember they buy replacements for the food they used–they made their family much more comfortable during that emergency by having that stored food. Plus one for the prepper family. But what about a long term nationwide disaster? What if it is a total economic collapse, or something similarly widespread and enduring? What if it is like Venezuela, which is lasting ten years? Will the prepper family’s stored food save them then? Certainly it will; until it is gone. Stored food is great to have because storing food gives a prepper something he cannot store, time. By that I mean time to produce his own food. Time to find food sources. And obviously no one can store time.
So by all means do store food. And in a short length emergency situation you will be very glad you have that food. Actually, during any length emergency you will be happy to have stored food. The trouble with stored food is that it runs out. If you store a month’s worth of food then it’s gone in a month. If you have a year’s worth then after a year it is gone. So when you store food you are really storing time. So, yes, store food but also have a plan.
A PLAN FOR RESTOCKING
Have a plan to restock your stored food. Have a plan to augment your stored food while you are consuming it. But how to do that if the stores are closed?
That is where your plan comes into play. If you have chickens then you will augment your food storage with a continuing supply of eggs. If you have a cow you will have a steady supply of milk to stretch your food. You could go to the river or lake and catch fish to bolster your food stocks. You could walk the area and forage for wild food to add fresh greens to your meals. You could go hunting to add fresh meat which would stretch your stored food supplies.
Those things are great and would all help to some extent with your limited stored food supply. But they would only be a supplement and at some point your stored food would still run out. Maybe your one year supply of food could be stretched out to even two years. So you have gained that incredibly rare commodity; more time.
Obviously instead of just augmenting your stored food you must have a way to generate more food that you can then store so you have a perpetual food supply. Well, that sounds great and all but is that even possible?
The answer is yes and no. If you live in an apartment the answer is no. If you live on a couple acres of land in the country and have a good water source and some able-bodied people then maybe the answer is yes, you can sufficiently produce your own food. The first obvious thing is a garden. A biggarden. But that is not enough unless you have the ability to preserve the excess food that your garden will hopefully produce. This means you would need some way to dehydrate the garden produce or the means to pressure can your excess garden produce. Please note that I said the excess garden produce. Why? Because you and your family will be also eating out of that garden, while it is producing. This means you have to plant a garden big enough to produce perhaps five times or more as much as your family regularly eats.
SOME GROUND TRUTH
Here is a guiding principle: If your garden produces for two months and produces five times what you can eat during that time then you have all that much excess to save and eat later when your garden is done for the season. So have a big garden and a dehydrator, and a pressure canner with plenty of the canning jars and more lids than you ever think you will use. And do at least a small garden now so that you learn how to grow things when your life does not depend on it. Is that garden going to supply all your family’s needs for a whole year until the next garden is producing? No, it won’t. You need more.