I read an interesting article on this idea while ago. The premise was that, when stocking a disaster preparedness pantry you need to rotate your food out. Rather than stocking things that you don't eat, like 100kg of rice, just stock what you would normally cook with and rotate it out. You can do lots of home preserving of whole meals when food is cheap. Start by getting a one month pantry running, cycling things in and out as you use them. Then as you get a handle on what you eat you can extend to 3 months, then 6 months then 12 months.
Basically, why buy food that you wouldn't be happy to put on your table today?
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
Ragi in its unmilled state is supposed to last a long time. I got a bag of the flour from an Indian grocery store, and I like the taste of it, so I also decided to try growing it this year. If I get a good crop, I'll have to test it and see how long it can last.
As to an imminent food crisis, there are several happening around the world: Syria, South Sudan, Darfur. There are other, political explanations of what the troubles there are, but believe me, if farmers were able to grow abundant crops, there would be no food crisis and hence no political crises. Ukraine is a political crisis, but not a food crisis, because Ukraine is a food exporter. Whatever the bickering between the Ukrainians and the Russians is about, it isn't about food and both sides are well fed.
To expect an imminent food crisis, you have to expect two things: (1) people run out of money and (2) people run out of things they can eat. The first prerequisite is pretty common, people run out of money all the time. In fact, it is a small percentage that have enough money to buy all their immediate wants. But when people with no money also find themselves with nothing to harvest, glean, forage, hunt, trap, or fish, they get very surly very quick. Astute readers of history will point out that people will raid before they will starve.
With the amount of food that gets thrown out in the U.S., we are in no danger of an imminent food crisis. Up to 50% of food that leaves a field ends up in a landfill. That builds a lot of slack into the system here, and it would take us a long time to burn through all the fodder in the pipeline, even if the supply end of the pipeline were to quit being replenished tomorrow.
Of course, the longest lasting food is the one that is still growing, the bush outside your front door that you can snip a little bit off of whenever you get hungry. That is what permaculture and the idea of a food forest is about, isn't it? Being able to walk about your property every day with your foraging basket and being able to gather everything you need to satisfy your nutritional needs? I've almost got that figured out for my little patch of the Georgia pine woods. For the warm months of the year, I have taro growing, and for the cool months collards. Between those two, I can always have a pot of greens on the stove.
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
posted 4 years ago
No, I live in a tiny flat that comes with my job. My job also includes 3 cooked meals a day for me and the family. We don't have the time or inclination to do this.
I also don't believe that we are likely to come to a situation where a needing a year of food put away "just in case" is necessary. The situations we are likely to face here are comparatively short term issues over winter with bad weather conditions or power cuts.
For power cuts we have wood stove that we could, if needed, boil water over. For bad weather we will never need more than 2 weeks here in the UK - keeping 1 month of meals that you want to eat is sensible. A nice mix of stable foods, some meat in the freezer, plenty of herbs and spices etc...
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
posted 4 years ago
I am not worried that we will suddenly have no food for a year or anything but I do want to have some food stored here partly because I know that in the area I live there have been power outages that lasted over a week and we have only one road out of this town that is surrounded by water on three sides. My biggest goal as far as food storage is to grow enough food that if for some reason we can't buy or trade for food with others we can just harvest it. we can grow food year round in this climate and a lot of food is being grown in this area and much of it is good organic food grown in polycrops even. I also want to learn all the edible native plants that we have already growing in this area. I discovered earlier int he year when we had more rain that my front yard is like a candy cap mushroom forest!
I do like to have dried beans and some grains all the time we eat those things regularly but also it is good to have them on hand for an emergency.
for me this goal is in part nice if we have a disaster and need the food but also if my kids grow up and are artists and want to be able to not have to earn a lot of money then we have enough land they can have their own small houses here and they could continue to care for the garden and not need much money for food. they could grow up and have security in always having a place to live with good shelter and enough to eat. I live in an area with few jobs. most people out here are older and retired and few young families because of lack of jobs. If my children grow up and love this area and want to be able to live here they will be able to do so. There are a lot of young people who try to stay here and struggle to do so because of lack of jobs.
We have some sea salt put back just because it was cheaper by the five pound bag, otherwise we do what Michael suggests but not because we think something dire is going to happen...we buy our years supply of organic brown rice right where it is grown, once a year 90 miles south of here and buy bulk organic beans and grains, etc., that we eat as staples, every two or three months. Otherwise we are eating out of the garden or from our own produce canned or dehydrated and the local farmers market.
I am not sure there was anything on that list of eight 'foods' other than salt, honey and vinegar that I would eat ever.....spam? isn't that canned lunch meat...strange things ground into 'meat'product?
I think the idea of permaculture is that we don't all have to have a farm, huge garden or whatever....I believe that growing food this way should might provide for everyone in a way that no one need stash food for years on end.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
“When it is understood that one loses joy and happiness in the attempt to possess them, the essence of natural farming will be realized. The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
― Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution
"Store what you eat, eat what you store." That is simple as stocking your pantry a little deeper with the same stuff you eat, if you buy stuff in cans and boxes. It is a little bit harder if you are trying to eat fresh and minimally processed.
There will be be a moderate disruption to the food system, it isn't if but when and how big--climate, natural disaster, political. But you are more likely to have a personal disruption--loss of job, injury, car troubles, unexpected company, etc. Having enough food to coast through those events is just smart, leaving you more time to deal with the issues.
I am working to grow more of what I eat including staples so I will have them (assuming the problem is not local), as Mollison said that food independence is revolutionary.
I buy bulk staples--wheat, oats, beans, etc because I can buy good natural for way less than I can grow.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus