Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Do You Have Food Storage?

Have you ever been in a hurricane or the aftermath of a hurricane without power or water?  Have you ever been in an ice storm where the power was cut off for days?  Have you ever been in a snow storm where the roads were blocked and you couldn’t get out?  Have you ever been laid off?  Have you ever been sick and could not work?  What would you do if you could not get to the store? What would you do if the stores were all closed or the shelves were empty?

My church counsels us to be prepared for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water, and some money in savings.  Being prepared in such a way is the first step on the journey to self-reliance. Today, I would like focus on one of the most fundamental steps along that journey; having a supply of food.  You should have a minimum of a 3-month supply of shelf stable food for you and your family (including pets). 
Many LDS church members store one years’ worth of basic supplies like rice, powdered milk, honey, wheat and beans.  Then, a three month supply of the everyday foods you eat.  Having this much food stored away gives you a feeling of peace.  When adversity comes your way, having food storage allows you to spend what money you do have on other critical things.  You can rest assured that you and your family do not have to worry about how you are going to eat.

You may be wondering where you put all this food.  Well, the easiest place to put your food storage is in a basement, if you have it.  I do understand if you are saying to yourself, “But I don’t have a basement.”  I don’t either.  Those of us without basements need to think creatively on where we can put our food storage.  I promise I have lots of ideas and tips to get it all to fit in your house, apartment or condo.  Watch for some posts on that in coming months.

Before we need to have a place to put our food storage, we need to have food to store.  You don’t need to purchase it all at once.  My one year supply of food and other necessities took me 3 years to gather.  Start slow and gradually add to it.  When you go to the grocery store, buy an extra can of vegetables and an extra can of fruit.  Then, on your next visit, buy an extra bag of rice. Slowly, build up a week’s supply of the foods your family likes to eat.  After you have a one week supply, set your goal at two weeks, then one month, and so on.  Some of it, you don’t have to purchase at all.  You can grow it. Every year, I grow a one year supply of all the vegetables we eat in our house.  Don’t have a garden?  It isn’t too late to start.  I live in the south and I don’t have this year’s garden in yet.  I plan to put my seeds in sometime during the next week or two.  I’ll post pictures and show you.  Don’t have any room for a garden? You can grow select vegetables and herbs in pots on a patio.  All my tomatoes and sweet potatoes will be grown in pots.

One common problem with food storage is finding new ways to cook with it. I am constantly looking for new ways to use my food storage so everyone in my house will eat it. Recipes that receive the ‘thumbs up’ signal will be shared here. My goal is to post food storage recipes two to three times a month. Can’t wait that long? Check out my blog list. The blogs listed there frequently feature shelf stable recipes you can try right now.

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