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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Food Rations and Food Riots

Lately, people are talking about the scarcity of certain food items such as rice and flour. Randall and I have been talking today about this issue because the fanatics of the world are claiming that rationing and martial law are imminent here in America. As a parent, this is a quite disturbing concept to think that I may not be able to purchase enough food to feed my children. I'm spoiled because I've never really had to be too concerned about finding food. Even on my worst day, financially speaking, there was still food to be had.

Of course, I can find nothing official from any government site that insinuates any of these conspiracy theorist possibilities may be true. Nothing that says the US has actually agreed to let Canadian troops patrol our streets, and US troops patrol Canada in the event of food riots and food shortages has been shown anywhere other than tabloid type newspapers. This leads me to believe that the prospect of massive food shortages here in the USA are probably a product of extreme survivalists and government conspiracy theorists at work.

However, in honor of such shocking and frightening reports, I feel the need to provide you with a few simple tips for protecting yourself in the event of any type of food shortages or food rationing that may occur as a result of the low supply of certain food products. These tips are also useful in case there is any kind of natural disaster that renders you stranded in your home and unable to reach any food sources.

First, keeping a supply of sealed bottled water is always a good idea. You should have about one gallon per person per day stored to last a minimum of one week and preferably two weeks in case there is some natural disaster or other similar situation that would render the water supply unusable. Buying water by the gallon is far less expensive than buying it in cases of 20 oz bottles. If you opt to store water, be sure that you purchase factory sealed water instead of just filling up a few gallon jugs. This will insure that your water supply stays fresh.

Second, canned goods (with a manual can opener) are always a good option for stocking your pantry shelves. A wide variety of vegetables and meats are best. Both products will keep for an extended period of time, so stocking up on these items is useful even if there isn't an actual shortage because prices are bound to increase. Buying now when the prices are lower could easily be considered as a financial investment. Be sure that you purchase a wide variety of foods. Tuna, salmon and chicken are good choices for canned meats. Soups are also wonderful options.

Third, get the dried goods. Yes, you really should have a supply of rice and pasta on hand. I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy several pounds of rice, but having a few boxes of Minute Rice in the pantry is useful. The same goes for dried pasta and pasta sauces. They keep for an extended length of time and they are perfect staples for your dinner table. Include a few boxes of Stove Top Stuffing and whatever kind of potato products your family enjoys. You might even want to get a few boxes of cake mix or brownie mix. Muffin mixes are good to have on hand, too. Fresh, hot muffins are awesome. Oh, and don't forget the flour, corn meal, and Bisquick. Those are all important staples, too.

Fourth, canned fruits are yummy treats for everybody. You can keep a supply of various canned fruits on hand for creating desserts or just having a small treat. They are fairly inexpensive and if the time comes when money is really tight, you will still be able to give your family something special without feeling like you've over stepped the budget.

Fifth, everybody needs some sugar and spice - and I'm not talking adorable little girls here. You should have some sugar and your standard spices in your cabinet just in case. I would recommend you stock your sugar based on how much you use. I don't use much sugar unless I'm making tea. So if I expect I'll have to make tea, then I would stock about 5 pounds of sugar. Of course, if I think this is all getting seriously close to being a reality I will probably stock about 10 or 20 pounds of sugar. The same goes for the tea bags here, I'll probably be getting two or three boxes of tea bags to put in my pantry. Tea is a decent substitute for Coke and I can't really stockpile the Coke because it has a limited shelf life. (What would my world be without my Coke? I really hope I don't have to find out...) Powdered milk is also a good item to have. It is very useful for cooking and costs much less than fresh milk without losing any of the flavor.

Finally, stock some of your freezer essentials. You can freeze butter. You should also try to have a supply of inexpensive meats. Ground beef and chicken are usually the best options. If you happen to have a deep freezer, now is the time to fill it full. If not, just fill your regular freezer as efficiently if you can.

Biggest on my list of surviving these somewhat turbulent times --- Keep your sense of sanity and intelligence. While the conspirators may be claiming global destruction, this really is nothing new. For as long as I can recall the world has been coming to an end.


Mom said...

My mother would like me to point out that I do understand how difficult it can be to stock pile food when you are on a budget.

In order to accumulate the stock pile if you are on a low budget, buy one thing each week or every other week to add to your stock.

It isn't always possible, even for me, to go spend the money all at one time. So build your stock pile slowly so you don't over extend your budget.

I love you, Mommy.