Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Finally Scared into Food Storage

Has anyone else been rattled enough by recent economic developments to start beefing up on home food storage? I've absorbed enough troubling news from the media lately that I finally got spooked enough to be more aggressive about it and start nagging my wife and even helping. Not that we didn't have anything before, but now we're starting to buy more, and we actually bought a food storage software program to help us figure out what we need and how to track it.

(Ironically, six years ago it was a food storage software program that first put me into the mocking-Mormon-culture mode that led directly to the Sugar Beet.)

So I guess I'm not as worried about natural disasters as I am about economic trouble, not so much my own possible personal lack of income but bigger problems like a trucker strike or food shortages due to drought or competition with these third-world countries that are suddenly becoming prosperous and competing with us for wheat, etc. I could even see world wars breaking out over food resources, China taking over Australia to monopolize its grain resources and stuff like that. In short, I'm fearful of situations where even if you have money and your living quarters are still intact, you can't get the food you need. I'm talking about ationwide and worldwide problems, not just a local earthquake or whatever.

As a side note, I personally believe that the United States has already peaked in terms of prosperity and worldwide influence, and I think the current bad economic trends will continue in some form for the long term, hopefully with some plateaus and little upswings but an overall downward trend. Even if we avoid a deep recession this time, I wouldn't be surprised to see a depression as bad or worse than the Great Depression at some point. The twentieth century was America's century, but the twenty-first belongs to these rising Asia powers of China and India.

Another side note, this one about globalism: In former times, you could have one civilization rising on one side of the earth while another faded away on the other side, and the overall earthly balance stayed OK. Now, however, with the fast formation of one unified global civilization connected by electronic media, financial and economic dependencies, jet travel, etc. we're getting closer to the point where we all either rise or fall together. Porn and other evils spreading through the Internet morally corrupt wider swaths of the worldwide population than ever before. Economic troubles spread far and wide faster. Even on a physical level, disease can potentially go global so fast now. It's not hard to see how the world could get itself into enough trouble on a universal global basis that it will eventually usher in the Second Coming, which I see as coming when there's no hope left that humans can carry on any sort of decent civilization by themselves. Hopefully it will take a few more generations, but that's the direction it's going...

So anyway, in my family we've started throwing some money at getting more prepared and have ordered some long-term grains and legumes directly from the LDS Church, because we learned that local food storage companies are out of stock on wheat and some other items for several months. That backlog situation gave me a weird feeling, to think that I could not buy wheat right now even if I wanted to, but then we discovered that the Church sells it too, and their website said it would take only 2-3 weeks to fulfill our order. We are trying to get fully stocked for three months of living without power or grocery stores, and beyond that we are buying some of the long-term stuff that I hope we never have to open. I don't know if we'll reach the full one-year benchmark for our family of seven people, but hopefully we'll keep building up our reserves.

I don't mind the idea of buying some canned veggies and other canned stuff that we don't use and then donating cans to the food bank as they reach their expiration date—and then, of course, restocking with fresh cans. But hopefully we can also rotate more effectively to minimize the expense. Another thing I did this past weekend was put a lock on our food storage room, but that's just because our kids keep sneaking in there and stealing treats (we find the wrappers all over the house). I would also like to store enough propane to cook for at least three months, and I would like to procure some kind of gun that could be used for both self-defense and hunting, although my wife is against it.

Anyway, obviously it has rattled me how quickly conditions can deteriorate, and all of a sudden you really wish you had done more preparing earlier. In the event of a real emergency, I imagine that our ward would get together and pool resources and help each other out. I assume there will be some people in our neighborhood who know how to process raw wheat and make the most of yucky food storage supplies. But I don't want to show up to the banquet without any raw materials to contribute.

Next time the LDS Church cannery volunteer sheet comes around in elders quorum, I will try to sign up so that we can buy some of their canned goods. (While you can buy some wheat and basic foodstuffs directly from the Church without volunteering, in order to purchase most Church-produced food you have to put in some time as well as dollars.)


Alb said...

A GUN? You have more testostorone than I thought. Not that I questioned it before (we do have children and a great sex life) it just hasn't manifested itself in this vein before. I'll have to think on it.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Anna, holy smokes! A gun? Finally, you are becoming like a typical Happy Valley Bigelow. Is polygamy next?

zehill said...

You mention globalization. Keep in mind that since you didn't stock up when food was cheap and abundant, and are now trying to hoard up raw wheat that you aren't going to use immediately, that YOU are contributing to the food crisis around the world. People in other countries who DO use raw wheat are suffering because they can't afford it. You are helping to drive up the cost of wheat so they are starving. I propose that you take your money and use it to help the short-term (let's hope) crisis, then once the food market rebalances - possibly by next year - you can stock up again.

Dr. B said...