In the wake of a world-wide food crisis many people are stocking up on essential items such as canned food, non-frozen convenience meals, freeze dried meals, etc. But what is the best to have? More canned food or more freeze dried meals?
People have always worried about the future of society and where the country is going. During the Cold War, people built bomb shelters in backyards and invested in stockpiles of food to try and survive a nuclear holocaust. Today, people are worried about a full collapse of society, the possibility of severe earthquakes or terrorist attacks. While you may not be ready to sell all your valuables and sink your money into cold, hard silver and gold, it’s still a good idea to invest in long term food storage as part of your disaster preparation.
No one can say with certainty what will happen in the future, but one thing is clear: Food prices will rise globally. Already today there is great fluctuation in the prices of agricultural produce, and local crises, such as the draught last summer in the United States, are destabilizing seasonal prices even further. Researchers believe that the frequency and intensity of these fluctuations will spur an increase in the prices of agricultural and processed foods, and that there is a danger that in the future, they will be beyond the reach of certain populations across the world.
The shortage of water for irrigation, rise in energy prices, climate change and declining soil fertility will all necessitate changes in the worldwide agricultural cycle and production map. The share held by today’s producer regions in global agriculture will plummet because of low productivity and a lack of economic feasibility. By contrast, in other regions on the planet it may still be possible to produce food, but the costs of transporting the fresh produce (between regions or continents ) will spark higher prices.
From the economic standpoint, it may be “only a question of price.” But such a perspective is destructive, and already today we can find regions whose inhabitants cannot afford fresh fruit and vegetables around the year because of their high price. This is a crisis that is growing worse in Israel, as well as around the world.
There are a few scenarios facing the country in coming years. Society could collapse, in which case the grocery stores will run out of food and you will be glad you have extra in the basement. More likely, inflation will kick in, and you will have food in the basement to help you survive while things stabilize. If an emergency never arises, then you still have food to consume when money is tight. There really is no losing if you store the food properly and are smart about it.
An excellent choice for emergency food, canned food is affordable, has a long shelf life, stacks beautifully and will still taste great in a few years. Try to invest in foods your family already enjoys and will eat. Cans of tuna, chicken, vegetables, fruits and soups can all be heated over an open fire, so they are also easy to prepare when the time comes. One disadvantage is that opening them will be difficult without a can opener, so you should stockpile a few extra openers.
Non-frozen Convenience Meals
In a real emergency, the power grid will probably be shut down. You don’t want to invest in a lot of food that has to be frozen, but there are convenience foods that will keep for a while without any refrigeration. Ramen noodles are an example of a tasty dish with a long shelf life you probably already use around the house. Cans of ravioli have a long shelf life, and the kids will actually enjoy eating them. Oatmeal and granola bars are also good choices that will keep for a long time and provide you with vital nourishment. These meals are packaged in paper or plastic, so they cannot be stacked very high. Put them on shelves to avoid damaging the packages.
Similar to canned goods and non-frozen convenience meals, freeze dried meals are affordable, are easy to store, have a long shelf life, and can be quite tasty. Modern day freeze dried meals, can be quite gourmet in nature – giving the diner many more choices than you could imagine. Everything for freeze dried pastas and sauces, to freeze dried deserts! Just add water, and wait about 10 minutes, and you’ll be eating an easy and tasty meal.
There are very few foods that will last forever. If you are investing in food storage as a protection against inflation as much as enemy invasion, then you should be buying items your family will actually eat. Keep the food stocked in one part of the house on shelves. When you buy more, rotate the stock. Put the new food in the back and pull everything else towards the front. Use the items from the front when you need something, so you will constantly have a stock of foods with a long shelf life waiting for you. Otherwise, you could wind up wasting hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on food if the disaster never materializes.
When going through the store looking for foods, start by checking the expiration date. If it’s good for a year or more, then it’s probably a good choice. Try to assemble a decent variety, and focus heavily on foods your family likes and will actually eat. While it’s true that you will eat practically anything when you are hungry enough, you will appreciate having some comfort foods in the stash when you need to start living off it.
The beauty of MREs is that they are highly portable, extremely nutritious and they will last four to six years. While you may not break one open and eat it for a regular dinner, you will be glad that you stocked up if the dollar sinks to unprecedented lows and you cannot afford to buy more groceries. Buy them at Army-Navy surplus stores or direct from civilian sources. Box them up and store them in a cool, dry place in the home as part of the emergency food supply in your home. If they start to near their expiration dates, then you can always use some on camping trips and start stocking up on more.
One of the most overlooked long term food storage preparations is heirloom seeds. Eventually that stored food is going to either 1. Go bad or 2. Run out. You need to supplement your stored food with something that is sustainable for the future. Heirloom seeds and a future garden and canning will do that.
Disaster preparation starts at home by stashing emergency food. Everyone should have at least a three-month’s supply of food on hand, and some experts recommend having at least enough food to carry you through for a full year. The first step is to find space in your home, and then start bringing in the non-perishable items that will carry you through difficult times that may lie ahead.