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How much food stores?

Discussion in 'Farming, Gardening, & Homesteading' started by Atlas, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    Serious Survival: How much food should you stockpile?

    Serious Survival: How much food should you stockpile? | The Modern Survivalist

    Posted on December 29, 2016 by FerFAL

    It seems that for every blogger or forum member there’s a survival expert as well. That’s great because there’s such wealth of information and you can learn from different experiences and accounts.
    Then again the downside… every blogger and member thinks he’s an expert.
    You see, for realistic survival and preparedness it’s crucial to differentiate the “I think” and “I believe” from the “this is how it went down” “this is why”.
    We all know that food is essential for survival. No food and you won’t last long. Same goes for water (and I see it overlooked more often). Keep in mind that while a day without food may suck a bit, but a day without water will be tough indeed. In certain warm climates it can be downright dangerous.
    We all get how important food and water is, but then there’s the classic survival question: How much food should you have stored for emergencies?
    Doomers say you need years worth of food. Decades even. After all you die if you don’t eat. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are famous for their year worth of food approach, although many have far less than that.
    Officially speaking, what would a real expert recommend? Ready.gov says to have 3 days worth of shelf stable food and bottled water. That may seem as very little but in general most emergencies are either resolved within that time frame or help becomes available. Still, tell this to anyone that spent a week or more snowed in during a storm and he’ll find it lacking.
    So how much? A Week? A Month? A year?
    The first piece of advice is one you’ve probably heard before and that it is to store what you eat. If your kids don’t even know what rice looks like then having buckets full of the stuff isnt that much of a good idea. Either store something else or actually start eating rice.
    There’s two very important reasons for this.
    First, if you don’t rotate your food supply it just becomes one of those “just in case” things, and you’ll find yourself throwing food away every few years. This makes keeping large quantities of food stored a great waste of money. Second, if you store what you eat there wont be any difference between emergencies and “normal” times, at least food wise.
    In our home we love rice and lentils and prepare rice and lentils stews often. Its tasty, very healthy, stores well for years and its pretty affordable too. Some canned tomato and vegetables and you have all you need for a great nutritional meal.
    Another important point is understanding how much calories you actually need. The standard reply here is 2000 calories. Sure, if trekking the north pole you’ll need 5000 instead but even if some manual labour may be needed during disasters there’s people that stay healthy AND active with a lower caloric diet. 2000 will do well enough.
    OK … SO HOW MUCH DO I NEED?
    The 3 day recommendation by ready.gov is based on a rather optimistic government recommendation. If they have said instead to have 7 days immediately people would be wondering “Wait, so you’ll let me hang there for an entire week?!” People don’t react well to uncertainty and avoiding panic is a government’s #1 priority. Two weeks worth of groceries is just common sense. It doesn’t put a significant dent in your wallet if done correctly, and yes, it is true that it will cover 99% of the disasters and emergencies you’re likely to face in your lifetime.
    I already imagine people thinking “but I want to be ready for SHTF, a worst case scenario, the real end of the world stuff!”.
    OK, lets do that. Lets say it’s a worst case, total SHTF scenario. But lets keep it real and look how does it actually play out in the real world rather than fantasize about it.

    Related image
    Lets say you have 2 years, no, 10 years worth of food. Lets say you have that plus means of producing more, a fully working farm.
    Now lets suppose you have your ten year supply of food, plus a farm, plus a pile of guns and ammo… and you’re sitting in Eastern Ukraine when the Russian troops roll in. Or Aleppo when they are levelling every structure around you with barrel bombs. Or in South Africa when white farmers were exterminated and kicked out of their homes. Or in Fukushima when the tsunami destroyed everything and the radiation scorched the land. Do you see a trend here? More food, or a bigger farm would have done you no good. In all of these sometimes like more cash or gold to take along with you when you bug out or even better money in an offshore account would have been far more useful.
    “But… I want the end of the world to be more convenient…”
    Ok, what about Venezuela? You have out of control inflation, out of control crime and poverty with people starving. Even farmers starve there(posted about just this a few weeks ago), just like Irish farmers starved during the genocide known as the Great Famine or Ukranian farmers died during Holodomor, reduced to cannibalism. Yes, sometimes its natural disasters, but in others its lack of means of production, and an authoritarian government ensure that people starve in spite of having land and the knowledge to work it.
    In my experience after the collapse of Argentina’s economy I would say it was somewhat similar to Venezuela during the times of Chavez. By this I mean horrible inflation, but not reaching the levels of food poverty seen today in Venezuela. Food was available, just two or three times more expensive than before. Just imagine how you would deal with such a scenario if you woke up to it tomorrow. Indeed, we all wished we had more food stocked up, and we rushed to buy more right away desperately trying to beat the nonstop inflation. I sure kept several months worth of food stockpiled. But still, at the end of the day if you had money you ate.
    I stayed for over a decade after the collapse of 2001. In retrospective I probably should have left sooner. Personal circumstances, heck, life I guess, made us delay our departure. Still, we always had the resources to leave ASAP if needed. This is more than what most people in Venezuela can say.

    Image result for irish great famine
    In such a complex situation would a 10 year supply of food, or a farm, made much of a difference? Not really. The food would have been nice, but the money to buy it was just as good besides having a conservative stockpile. A farm? Maybe more of an anchor to the country at a time when leaving was the clear path. A farm in a place like Venezuela, where you cant sell it, or if you do you don’t get anything for it, really does you no good.
    So, start with a couple weeks worth of stockpiled food. Work towards a month. Then 6 when you can afford it and have the room for it. 6 to 12 months is the maximum I would recommend, with 6 months being the most realistic objective for most people. Six months of food gives you plenty of time for things such as unemployment, family problems. 12 months helps greatly when dealing with inflated prices, food shortages, and overall instability in the country where you maybe spent several months maybe saving money and looking for a job abroad, for a way out of the country entirely.
    The lesson being, If you need more than 12 months worth of food, then more food will do you no good because what you really need is to get the hell out of there!
    Take care folks,
    FerFAL
     
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  2. jimLE

    jimLE Member

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    i agree,that any number of things can go wrong.from natural,to man made situations.and that each persons situation will be different in some way or another.even if 2 people live 1 block from each other.their situations are different,in some way or another.it could be needs and/or wants.but yet,different.i think along the lines of,what if life as we know it right here n now.ends today or tomorrow? how much food do i need on hand to get us started all over again?im thinking at least 2 years worth.on account anything can go wrong with this years,or next years crop.in which i'll need enough food (vegetables)to hold me over,untill next years crop.but yet,thats only if nothing goes wrong with it..and "what if" i have to hold off 1 growing season just to keep others from knowing about the garden? i live 5 miles out side of town.but that alone dont mean i wont have unwelcome guest show up..then there's drought.i've seen 2 droughts since moving into the home,that i live in now.folks lost crops each time..ponds and lakes dried up.
     
  3. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    We can't prepare for everything, but there are reasonable things that are easily stocked up on. I can't worry too much about what might happen in an teotwawki situation, but I can store food for quite a while, seeds to grow more, learn to forage and hunt. I've found that as time goes on, I get better prepared. Not because I tried to focus on the huge problem to begin with, but because I found a solution to quite a few small problems that all add up to making me better prepared.
     
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  4. tulpa23

    tulpa23 Active Member

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  5. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    I tend to not use LTS items like mountain house and others in my food stores anymore, because I had troubles with rotation. Now I keep food that I eat and rotate it as it comes in. Rice, pasta, etc, all good. The instant soups are great too. There are so many shelf stable foods available now that it's easy to keep a couple months worth around.

    The method used in that article is a good one, I would recommend it to others if asked what to do.
     
  6. tulpa23

    tulpa23 Active Member

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    On the soups, the normal price is like 4.59, there are 2/6 sales occasionally, and there have been $1 coupons on the packages from time to time. I have bought them for as low as $2 all told. Walmart has a couple of flavors for $3 or so normal price. I have over 30 packages now. Smart and Final have good rice $10 for 20 pounds normal price, and good prices on other items.
     
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  7. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    Do you have Winco stores nearby? I have had good luck with them here. I like that they sell buckets that you can fill up with grains and rice right in the store.
     
  8. lonewolf

    lonewolf Active Member

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    generally speaking in my country if you can store about 1 years worth that's probably the maximum given the storage, or lack of, in most houses these days.
    of course a lot of people store much less, if at all.
     
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  9. twp

    twp Moderator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    lonewolf, we live in a small apartment here, and our storage is maxed out. We don't have a years worth of food, although our gear will last much longer than that.
     
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  10. lonewolf

    lonewolf Active Member

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    we live in a small 2 bed house on the edge of a rural market town with a low population.
    we reckon we've got about 6 months stored +what we can grow and what we can forage.
     
  11. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    I personally know people who have taken the frame of their bed apart and replaced it with stacks of #10 cans with food preps. Now that is commitment!

    Our house is an old farm house built in the early 50's, luckily they built in pantries and extra storage back then. It was one of the many selling points of this place, and why we bought it.
     
  12. twp

    twp Moderator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    This is me, green with envy: :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
     
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  13. lonewolf

    lonewolf Active Member

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    we spent 10 years living in the next county but always wanted to come home, when plans were announced to build a new nuclear power station 15 miles up wind of our location we realised it was time to move, that was 9 years ago.
     
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  14. Sally Rudd

    Sally Rudd Member

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    Ditto, what I wouldn't give for a walk in pantry! :D:D
     
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  15. jimLE

    jimLE Member

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    My kitchen is my walk-in pantry.. :rolleyes:
     
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  16. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    That is even better in my opinion. A kitchen with good storage is far better than a crappy kitchen with a pantry. Of course I'd rather have a nice kitchen AND a big walk in pantry, but that will have to wait until I build my own house some day.
     
  17. Sally Rudd

    Sally Rudd Member

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    I would love to have somewhere to have my main stores in one place and organised, Kitchen cupboards I use for the home preserved/canned stores and the ingredients in use for day to day cooking.
    Spares and the rest of the stores are packed all over the place and it can be difficult to keep track of what I have.
    Like a lot of things when it comes to prepping, no one size fits all. Some people prepare for extreme scenarios and have years and years worth of supplies, other, like me consider their stores an insurance policy to keep us going for a few months and then there's the LDS who recommend a year. None of them is wrong, it's how far you personally want to go and how much you are willing (or can afford) to spend.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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  18. lonewolf

    lonewolf Active Member

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    i'm aiming for 12 months, we reckon we've got about 6-8 months at the moment+ what we can grow in the garden and what we can forage.
     
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  19. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    I think a year is a good goal. I have spent way to much on long food that has later been wasted, mostly because I was trying to check the boxes more than produce a real plan. Now I only store the foods that I eat, and I have plenty of trial and error to prove that.
     
  20. twp

    twp Moderator Staff Member Survival Class Instructor

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    My goal on food stores is; enough to last through the next harvest season. That is in in case our first crop fails. Technically, that is more than a years worth of food.

    We are NO WERE near that goal... We lack the space (apartment) for that much food and we've probably stored about 3-4 months worth at best. I estimate that a 10x10 foot storage locker would be enough. That would not be a secure location, in the event of a crisis which forced us to locate a garden and begin planting, but it does serve as a way of gauging how much we would need.
     
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