PREPPER EMERGENCY ESSENTIALS
How Much Food Should You Store?
Unfortunately for the sake of humanity, the normal human has a tendency to farm out almost all brain functions. Someone somewhere some time ago degreed that the righteous and correct way of storing food was to have a year’s supply per person in the family. Most likely this followed the practice of old timey farmers to have some food set aside for the very real possibility of a systematic crop failure. Of course, even that assumption was flawed since the farmer, even though he had a plan B in that storage, any plan C was to rely on outside resupply. All fine and dandy as far as that went. But a survivalist is not supposed to be a farmer, although a farmer may be a survivalist. A survivalist is supposed to have enough brain cells to rub together to figure out how bad things CAN get and then prepare for them. Alas, most “survivalists” read Jerry Ahern in the early 80’s and since then the movement seems to be little more than Suzy Shoppers clad in camo rather than pink hair curlers and fuzzy house slippers, gleefully cackling amongst themselves as they wantonly shove glittery “as seen on TV” products into their grocery cart. Instead of thinking for themselves they follow the same old tired advice and stockpile one year’s supply of food. The only survival expert I’ve ever run across that advocates multiple year’s supply of storage food is Survival Acres guy ( my bad on calling him out of his greenhouse dependency- that is for fresh produce and for luxury items rather than a calorie source ).
Y2K was a pretty sorry mess as far as the survival movement. That was when the gross overconsumption really took hold. The 80’s activity, in direct response to near systematic collapse only averted by converting the goldish dollar to the PetroDollar, was better geared towards system independence. There was more emphasis on off grid roughing it than today, where we simply consume our way towards a facsimile of independence. Even the supposed off grid homestead movement is little more than high consumer activity disguised as independence, a mortgage to the bank for farmland absolutely no less dependent of the system than a job in the city. Once again, the lone survivalist gives up thinking and relies on the advice of the expert. And an expert is merely one who proclaims competence and charges accordingly. Buyer beware, apparently, being a lost art. So let me be clear on this. A one year food supply is as inadequate as a one week supply for almost all apocalypse scenarios outside a one week power outage or a passing natural disaster. Relying on a one year supply is the same as that ancient farmer putting his trust on outside suppliers to feed him at the beginning of Year Two. Back when the world was living in the old ten thousand year solar agrarian economy, this was all very well and good. Yet even then the system had serious flaws such as writing off local regions to unusual weather activities such as extreme El Nino’s or Little Ice Ages.
Today, the ten thousand year cycle is broken. When we destroyed the solar agrarian model in favor of carbon fuel replacements, we destroyed an infrastructure. One that can only be replaced after the die-off and only incrementally. Certainly we can’t implement any kind of replacement for today’s system in time to save more than the one or two people that built that system themselves. As far as society as a whole, it is impossible. Just as the Mayans centralized their water storage, displacing village units for regional ones ( in effect destroying them as maintenance was shifted ) and then died-off when extreme weather events made their farming system obsolete and they had no other method to use, we will be repeating their demise. Not too long ago, every city had the surrounding land as farms and livestock production. The farm itself produced the transportation method to get the food to the city. Almost no region globally still follows this pattern as urbanization has spread out and covered all former farmlands. In its place, machines intense farm far away fields and the food is shipped long distances to the city. The scary thing anymore is not that the majority of humanity lives in cities. No, the real horror is that farms are now suburbs and only petroleum can deliver food.
It doesn’t matter what demise you envision. Peak Oil, Barnyard Flu, nuclear war, cyber-attack, solar flares. Any interruption in the fuel supply, and its delivery world-wide, interrupts the food supply to the cities. Once the fuel stops, so does the urban eating. And as if that isn’t bad enough, with most non-Third World economies using Just In Time inventories, what is in each households cupboard is it for the next several generations ( we can’t rebuild in a day ). You have to provide for yourself and you can’t rely on Year Two outside delivery. In fact you can’t rely on food deliveries for a very long time, even under a collapse as “benign” as an economic collapse. A one year supple ain’t going to cut it ( which is why I advocate grain first. You need to buy A LOT of food for the family. Add better food later if you have time ). I would start at a three year supply and quickly go to five years. A decade should be your goal. There is going to be a lot of hunkering down, crops lost to brigands, weather anomalies and other unexpected problems before you train yourself through experience to feed yourself. And even then, you’ll still experience crop loss as a continual war footing develops as brigandage devolves into combating potential kings. You can’t just wait for the neighbors to die off and then plant their front lawn. There will be a need to replenish almost all depleted soil, then fight to keep it ( and everything else you will need ).
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