In some of my polls, I often include the choice of "not applicable because I have not yet started on my food storage," where that would be a reasonable option. I am actually encouraged to find that some people check that, because it indicates that some people who have not started food storage are at least looking into it and/or are considering starting on it and /or haven't realized how much food storage that they already have.
Just in case anyone is just now getting interested in food storage, I thought that I would include the following e-mail from my best source (Mom) that addresses that issue. She deals with food storage and helping people with their food storage on a church level and on a neighborhood level, so this e-mail ended up in about 300 homes (and mine). So I guess this is, in effect, a guest column from her. (Hey, I've always thought she should be writing a blog on it herself.) If you are just starting, you are not alone. Following is the e-mail, originally titled, "Emergency Prep Food Storage: Getting started if you haven't already. Finishing if you have.":
This is for everyone, but especially for the 8-9 people who have talked to me in the last couple of weeks about their lack of quantity in their storage.
----- Are you wavering on what to do about food storage? Does it seem overwhelming? I'm sorry, but it won't likely get better any year soon so let's have a plan to make sure the kids don't go hungry. Start with enough to survive for a year... at the lowest possible cost. The following will make things easier for you no matter what your budget is. I hope some of the other things I mention will take away some of your other doubts about your capability of doing this.
If you have to go out every day to Costco, Sam's, etc, to get a few bags each of beans and rice until you have enough for your family, so be it. Household of 10? In a short time even you can have enough to SURVIVE for a year. Think of how much peace of mind that will give you! No matter what, you can feed your family enough to keep them alive!
50 lbs of rice will give you will give you a 3/4 cup serving for 600 days.
50 lbs of beans give you a 3/4 cup serving for 650 days. (Cost today is less than $30.)
This is low calorie but is complete protein and will keep a person alive better than dirt cookies.
Add the following basics as much as you can because you will use them when you start to cook from scratch. You will need all of them. Oil, flour, milk, sugar, pasta of every type that your family likes, peanut butter, canned meat or tuna, and cases of vegetables and fruit that your family prefers. Don't forget that potatoes are reasonably priced still, and they fill a person up and are familiar eating to all of us. Split peas, barley, lentils and dried onions and garlic will literally spice up any soup you make. This might take a while to aquire. So what?
Wheat is very costly right now but if you can afford it get a lot. Beans, rice, wheat and sugar store indefinitely.
Oh yes, you already have a lot of these in your home so you are farther along than you may have thought and you can eat something beside beans and rice!
Check out the buckets of staples sold at the local stores and food storage sites like Walton Feed. The hardest part of storing is getting started!
Be sure you have cooking oil. It doesn't store for very many years, 2-4+ depending on how cool you keep it. On the other hand it isn't that expensive so you can donate to the food bank and replace it when needed. After WWII the thing people in Europe needed and craved the most was some type of fat.
Don't forget your favorite spices! You can get a years supply of salt in one big bag at Costco for less than $3.00.
Yes, YOU CAN bake bread, and now is a good time to learn if you haven't tried to before! You can also get by with muffins, pancakes, tortillas etc if you are afraid to try using yeast.
If you are still feeling inadequate for this challenge take it to the Lord and refresh your courage. We can all do this for our families a step at a time, not going into debt to do it.
I hope this helps all of those who have expressed concern to me about not being as well prepared as you know you should be. JUST DO IT starting tomorrow with a baby step at a time.
End of e-mail. I hope that this will help out. I made minor changes, (examples: changing some of the locations you can buy your items, because she listed stores that may not be all over the country, deleting the information about gardening because it no longer applies this year, etc.) but that's it. Just as a matter of interest:
---The dirt cookies she mentions can be read about here.
---The 3/4 cup servings of rice are the result of cooking 1/4 cup of rice. I mentioned that before, but still useful to remember.
Wow, that was easy. (You gotta love the cut/copy and paste feature of the old computer.) Thanks to the guest columnist. Thanks to those who answer my polls. Hope this helps and encourages you, whatever stage you are at in your food storage. Step by step, little by little, it can be done....