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Thursday, March 25, 2010

More about food storage...it's all begining to look the same

Comfort Foods: The below list contains 60 different food items. However, you should also purchase some Kool-Aid, Tang, Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks, Beer, Wine, Miniature Tootsie Rolls, Caramels, Assorted Hard Candies, or whatever else appeals to you. These are referred to as "comfort foods" and they can definitely help make the hard times more bearable.


Quantities: You should have enough food for each member of your family for at least six-months. If you are an experienced farmer or rancher living on your own land, then you should also have enough seeds to replenish your food supplies on an annual basis. You will also need your own canning jars and lids or a "root cellar." If you have no previous experience with farming then you would probably be better off with a two or three-years supply of food for each family member.

Appetite Fatigue: Your emergency food supply must have a reasonable variety of different food items. If you only have a limited number of different food items to eat then appetite fatigue will result in your starvation even though you have food. Your mind and your body will simply reject the thought of eating the same food again and again and again. If you doubt the truth of this statement then conduct a simple test. Pick your favorite four food items that you enjoy eating more than anything else and then only eat those four food items for one-month. Before one-week has passed you will be repulsed at the thought of eating those foods again. Try it and see if you can force yourself to only eat those four foods for an entire month. Appetite fatigue does not occur when there is no food available. For example, long-term war prisoners in a POW camp will generally eat almost anything. Each day they do not have the option to eat or not eat. On many days they get nothing to eat. When they do get fed there is never enough food to satisfy their hunger and therefore they will eat almost anything at any time and be grateful for whatever it happens to be. Appetite fatigue occurs when you have food to eat and you have the choice to eat or not eat. This is one of the reasons old people in a retirement home usually lose weight and their health. The cafeteria serves the same basic bland food over and over again.

Therefore you should have some reasonable variety in your emergency food supplies

Substitutions: If you are allergic to a food then do not buy it. If you do not enjoy the taste of one of the above recommended foods then do not buy it. Feel free to substitute any food item and name brands you prefer. However, you should try to keep a reasonable balance of meat, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy products. For example, instead of buying 48 cans of Fruit Cocktail you may wish to buy a few cans of apples, peaches, pears, cherries, and pineapple based on your own individual taste preferences. The important issue is to have some canned fruits in your food storage plan.

The same concept applies to vegetables. The above list recommends 180 cans of mixed vegetables, 96 cans of beans, 12 boxes of instant potatoes, 48 cans of beef stew (meat, potatoes, and carrots), and 48 cans of chili with beans. If you like the canned "Mixed Vegetables" then purchase them. But you could purchase cans of corn, peas, spinach, or any other vegetable you wish. However, you should consider the nutritional value of each vegetable by reading the nutrition label. For example, green beans cost almost the same as all the other vegetables but they have very few calories. Therefore, green beans would be a poor choice from a nutritional value standpoint. There would be nothing wrong with having a few cans of green beans in your pantry for variety but the number of those cans should be very small compared to the other vegetables. However, most other canned beans have relatively high levels of protein and calories. You should also adjust the recommended quantities based on your family's actual needs. If you have several family members who drink a lot of milk, then you should purchase more dry powdered milk than suggested.

Calories: An active adult engaged in normal physical labor can burn 3,000 calories per day without gaining weight. However, an adult who has a desk job would gain weight. Therefore the concept of a "One-Year Food Supply" is based on the average physically active adult. If you were not very active during a disaster event then you could easily reduce your calorie intake to 2,000 calories per day and still maintain your weight. Therefore, the above food reserves would last a non-active adult for 18 months with no weight loss. If you wanted to lose a little weight, then the above food could last for 24 to 30 months. (Note: For an investment of approximately $1,694 one adult could stay alive and in good health for two and one-half years. Or the above food could feed two adults for 15 months.)

Brand Names: All the above foods are generic brand or store brand except where brand names are specifically indicated. For example, in my opinion Armour Brand Beef Stew is pleasant to eat but the cheaper brands are disgusting. Therefore, purchase and eat one can of each of the above food items to see if the flavor of that brand is agreeable to you before you purchase a year's supply of that item and then discover it tastes horrible.

Taste is a very personal experience. Two people can have entirely different opinions about the same exact food. The limited numbers of brand name foods I recommend are based on my individual taste preferences and I do not have any financial interest in any of those food companies. You will need to make your own decision about which brands of food you prefer.

If you are already happy with a specific name brand then it would probably be a better investment than a generic brand you are not familiar with. However, if there is a big price difference between the brands, such as 52 cents for the generic and 94 cents for your brand, then it would be a good idea to buy one can of the generic brand and take it home and eat it to see how it compares to your preferred name brand food item.

Although all this info you read about food storage looks the same what is important is that you begin stocking up...

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