Sunday, August 27, 2017

Prepping Challenges 11 Thru 20--Food

Next in importance to water when it comes to survival is food.  These challenges will ensure that you have enough food to survive an emergency...

#11--You have enough food stored for you and your entire family so that you wouldn't need to go to a grocery store for at least two weeks, preferably a month.  It makes sense to buy and store the food your family eats anyway so you can easily rotate the stored food into your daily meal prep.  On the other hand, during a disaster, water and power/gas for cooking may be limited or unavailable so you will want to lean heavily on canned and jarred foods (fruit, vegetables, soups, pasta sauce, etc), packaged foods (crackers, granola bars, rolled oats, etc) and other simple to make foods (couscous instead of spaghetti since it cooks quicker, Minute Rice instead of regular rice, instant potatoes instead of the real thing, etc).  Ideally your preps will include a mix of items to power you through a disaster.  And don't forget treats like chocolate, Pop Tarts, etc. as comfort food goes a long way towards keeping up morale during trying times.

#12--You have a few day's worth of emergency food in your vehicle.  This food would be of the non-cooking, easy to open, and easy to eat variety.  Granola bars, jerky, nuts, dried doesn't have to be fancy but it does need to be edible and provide some quick energy for emergency situations.

#13--You always have some sort of food stuff in your daily carry bag.  You never know when you will be delayed getting home (or hit with a sudden food craving) so it only makes sense to carry some sort of food stuff with you at all times in your EDC bag.  Again, granola bars, jerky, packets of nuts and raisins, a candy bar...simple to eat foods that have a long shelf life are your best choices.

#14--You have a few day's worth of food stored in your desk/work locker.  While you may take lunch with you to work everyday, it pays to have extra food stored at work just in case.  Dry soup mix, insta-pouch meals, instant oatmeal packets, peanut butter and jelly, cookies, candy, crackers, cheese, tuna...the list is pretty endless depending on your work environment (and whether you have storage space/a mini fridge available).

#15--You can go an entire week eating only food from home.  This includes every single thing you eat and every singe thing you drink.  For an entire week.  Which is easier said than done for most people who can barely function until their morning run through Starbucks.  This may be one of the biggest challenges you undertake as fast food/vending machines/restaurants/coffee shops/etc are ubiquitous in our culture.

#16--You know how to procure food.  This includes experience hunting, fishing, growing a garden, foraging, and even dumpster diving.  Many people have no concept of how food is actually created so 'going to the source' so to speak is quite the challenge.  All of these skills take time and effort to develop and in our have-your-every-desire-delivered-in-30-minutes-or-less world, it may seem unnecessary to go to the trouble and effort to go fishing or plant a garden but the skills learned doing these things can be life saving in a disaster.

#17--You know how to preserve food.  Again, food comes preserved for you in cans and jars and from the frozen food section at Costco so why bother?  Is it necessary to know how to can and pickle and smoke and dry a range of foods?  Not really.  Are these skills that everyone should take the time and effort to learn anyway?  Absolutely.

#18--You know how to cook.  Again, necessary?  Not really in our culture where prepared food can be found just about everywhere.  Important skill to know anyway?  Most definitely.  Prepared food is usually loaded with salt and fat and chemicals so eating healthy often comes down to what you make yourself so you can control the contents of what you eat.  Plus cooking and baking can be an enjoyable, money-saving hobby.

#19--Every month you have food-related activities that the entire family participates in.  Clam digging season, the smelt run, huckleberry picking in the summer, searching for mushrooms in the fall, u-picking fruit and vegetables at local farms...many family memories are made (and skills learned) doing this.

#20--You have adequate food storage space.  In a small apartment this may be difficult so consider closets, under beds, and on top of cabinets.  Larger homes often have space for a freezer, storage areas in a basement or garage, a gas grill and/or fire pit in the back yard for alternate cooking areas, etc.

More food storage information can be found here, here, and here.

***Be sure to rotate your food stocks regularly!

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