Food Storage - A Choice Today, A Necessity Tomorrow
Except for the most destitute, everyone has some sort of a food storage program. It may be as simple as placing a can or two of beans in the kitchen cupboard in anticipation of an evening meal. Many will think a little further ahead than that, with boxes of cereal, a carton of milk, a bowlful of sugar, three or four packages of Kraft Dinner, and a number of other necessities making up their modest collection of foodstuffs – enough to get by for a day or two.
Many others will have at least a small freezer with a bit of ice cream, packaged pork chops, and some frozen vegetables at the ready. Selection and quantities would be dependent, of course, upon the tastes of the family, the size of that freezer, the resources available to purchase the contents, and the perceived needs of filling it. Similar criteria would come into play in regards to the filling of refrigerators or the stocking of pantry shelves.
Admittedly, there are those whose situations prevent them from planning beyond the very short term. Others, however, who have what might be described as, at best, a very modest food storage program, plan only for the short term simply by choice. With grocery stores and supermarkets so plentiful, and restaurants (fast food and otherwise) so handy, why should they bother with long term planning? That, at least, is their argument, and it seems a very valid one.
Unfortunately, the future seems to be becoming increasingly uncertain. A growing number of experts are now cautioning about what may be on the horizon. Consider the words of Doug Casey who expresses a great worry about the growing U.S. debt.
“It’s as though you borrowed a million dollars and spent it all on wine, song and high living. For a while, you’d have a high standard of living and perhaps have a lot of fun. But eventually, when you either paid the money back with interest or were forced into bankruptcy, your standard of living would take a painful drop. The U.S., in particular, has been living far above its means, burning up its own capital and trillions more borrowed from abroad.”
He sees not merely recessionary times ahead, but the very real possibility of depression, for the time will come for that debt to be repaid, and the means may not be there to pay it.
With depression comes job loss, monetary crises, and hard times in general. Those restaurant meals may no longer be affordable. The grocery store prices of many foodstuffs may suddenly be out of reach.
Of course, he may be wrong. Other experts, though, worry about food shortages due to climate change, international turmoil or uncontrolled population growth. What if they are right? Our incomes might remain steady, but if the food is not there to purchase we would be just as hungry. We could arrive at the store with a wheelbarrow full of money, but if the shelves are all bare what good would it do us?
Hopefully, neither of these scenarios will come to pass, but perhaps now is the time to recapture some of those skills from the past. The ability to can or to dehydrate were skills that existed in almost all households. Hot apple pies made with your own preserves, or freshly baked bread made with your own home ground flour were once commonly found in many homes.
Today such abilities may provide ways to save money or recapture fond memories of the past. Tomorrow they might keep hunger from the door. And if we lack such skills or have failed to develop and use them in time, we might sincerely wish that we had been a little better prepared.
Food storage – it deserves more thought than many are currently giving it.