Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Your 10 Source of Food

Unlike water, food doesn't often fall out of the sky (without the help of a shotgun). After a disaster, conventional sources of food (in our society that is basically the local grocery store) may be gone. Here are 10 ways you can acquire food and feed your family after a disaster:
  1. The perishable food you have in your home. Since this is the food that will spoil most quickly, it makes sense to use up every scrap of fresh, perishable food before you move on to the canned goods. In the event of a long term power outage and without a generator, you will then want to start working on your frozen food supplies.
  2. The food you have purchased and stored in your home. This includes all of the food (canned, boxed, bottled, MREs) in your kitchen pantry plus everything stored in the garage and under your bed that make up your one year plus of emergency food supplies.
  3. The food you will be able to purchase in your community such as at grocery stores and farmer's markets. Note that during a disaster, everything will disappear from the shelves quickly so you will need to be first in line in order to be able to buy anything.
  4. The food you will be able to loot or steal. Unfortunately, acquiring food in these ways is a fact of life after a disaster. If people are starving, a plate glass window behind which is a lot of food is neatly lined up on shelves will not stop people from taking anything they can get their hands on. Obviously this is illegal and it is also a fact of life that people who loot or steal may be shot on sight. I plan to be safely tucked away in my home eating from my comprehensive stash of food while the hordes are looting and stealing.
  5. The food you can grown in your garden. If you have a prolific garden, you will be way ahead of most of the people who do not have this luxury. The issues you will face with growing your own food include the seasonality of the produce which must be first grown then quickly processed so it won't spoil, the undependable nature of gardening (sometimes I have a sea of sweet corn, sometimes the deer get it), and, your garden will also be a target for thieves when TSHTF (see #4 above).
  6. The food you can raise. This includes chickens, cows, pigs, goats, and sheep. It would be ideal to have your own farm animals to provide food for you and your family. In a post disaster scenario, you will need to figure out how to feed these animals and protect them from rustlers.
  7. The food you can catch. This includes fish, mollusks, frogs, rabbits...basically any edible creature you can snare, trap, or catch. Note that this is also not a dependable source of food (how many times have you gone fishing and come back with nothing?). Also, there will be a whole bunch of other hungry people with the same idea.
  8. The food you can hunt. For some heavy duty sustenance, you can go out and bag a deer, elk, wild boar, duck, etc. Again, this is not a dependable source of food and like #7 above, a whole bunch of other people will have the same idea.
  9. The food you can forage. Now would be a good time to brush up on your food gathering skills. You can forage for mushrooms, berries, fruit, nuts, wild greens and even grubs. The challenge will be knowing the what, where and how of gathering wild edibles and beating everyone else to the prime foraging spots.
  10. The food you need to travel to find. There was a reason that hunter-gatherer societies were always on the move--they needed to follow the seasons and the animals/produce that were their primary food sources. If an area is totally decimated and all food sources have been exhausted, you may need to travel in search of food supplies. This may be a store two hundred miles away, a prime hunting ground a couple of days ride away, or a better place to fish.


  1. In most areas, even rural, any large game such as deer, moose, etc will be hunted out very quickly.

  2. Very true. Each fall, many of the popular hunting areas are overrun with hunters which make up only a very small percent of our population. Imagine if everyone with a gun decided to hunt at the same time...