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Wondering about SHTF food
This is a discussion on Wondering about SHTF food within the General Talk forums, part of the General Discussion category; My wife and I have a decent supply of #10 cans of different food, couple cases MRE's, vacuum sealer for trips to Sam's club, water, ...
Post By Prepadoodle
Post By IngaLisa
Wondering about SHTF food
My wife and I have a decent supply of #10 cans of different food, couple cases MRE's, vacuum sealer for trips to Sam's club, water, weapons, tools, BOB's, BOV, and all the other stuff.
My question is while I was looking on Emergency Essincials catalog and other web sites it hit me. Every one seems to think after SHTF we will have time for the usual 3 squares a day. I mean breakfast of eggs and a meat, lunch, and supper with meat, 2 vegs, bread, and dessert. I have been thinking more along the line of you grab whatever you can whenever you can.
The days and nights will be filled with simply trying to survive. Gaurd duty, fortifing location, and a million other things to keep going. I hope after it calms down some bit of normalcy will return, but for a long time it won't. I know a limited menu of only granola bars and water is really boring, but I wonder why all the food companies have 20 different kinds of dessert, 4 kinds of flour, and 10 different drink mixes. I don't think taste and varetiy will mean a lot. What do ya'll think?
It's marketing. MREs are not a long term survival strategy. It's beans, rice, dried peas and canned goods for us. Some spam, some tuna, stuff like that. I have a tiny farm with chickens, so we have eggs, lots of them, and access to chicken meat. I assume we would need some one on guard duty 24/7, probably 2 people. Growing your own food is exhausting and depending on if you have gasoline and tractors or tillers, your work load will grown proportionately to what you do not have. Yes, I do have a few bins of treats for baking now and then, (I have LP at my house, so for a while, we would have gas for cooking.) I think it would boil down to having a lot of the same old stuff that cooks up well in a dutch oven. Eggs and chicken while we have them. I can't justify the money on survival food. It may make a lot more sense in an urban setting where you don't have space, and have no ability to grow your own. I think it depends on what scenario you prepare for.
They have that variety because that is what sells. I don't buy any of it. I suspect that life after SHTF will be mostly routine and boring just like the military. When I am in the field/camping/hiking I eat 3 - 5 regular meals a day. When I am moving 20 miles/day on foot I eat 3 - 5 regular meals a day. The difference in the meals while moving and those while stationary is length of preperation. While stationary I have the luxury of food that takes longer preperation like beans and bread. On the move it is stuff that his quick to cook or doesn't require cooking.
The stuff I store for long term survival is staples, rice, beans, sugar, oats, lard, flour, coffee, peanut butter, etc. I have about a months worth of stuff I normally eat everyday.
I think having a variety of foods and planning for 3 meals a day are important for 3 reasons;
1... Proper long term nutrition largely relies on eating a balanced diet, and this is just easier to accomplish when you are eating a wide variety of foods. This is especially important if you are doing more than the normal amount of physical labor.
2... Mealtime is more than just a meal: it's a chance to talk about the day, discuss long term plans, and address issues that will come up in the normal course of things. Sitting down to eat 3 squares a day with your family or friends restores a little piece of the civilization you are working so hard to restore.
3... Possibly the most important reason is to maintain moral. This is critically important in trying times. There has to be a reason for you to wake up each day, something to look forward to. Having a variety of yummy foods might not be enough, but few things will drag you down faster than eating the same old tasteless crap day after day. This is apparent on the TV show "Survivor," where I have seen many contestants lose the will to continue based almost solely on food.
So yeah, eating 3 meals a day should be the goal. There will be times when you just can't make this happen. For example, if you screwed up and planted your whole garden so everything comes ripe at the same time, you might not have the luxury of stopping to eat at harvest time. And you're probably not going to stop in the middle of a firefight in order to have a spot of tea (unless you're like a Brit or something), but I think planning for 3 good meals per day, with a lot of variety, should be a fairly high priority.
Geez, I must be missing something, but if I get in 3 meals per day, I'm lucky.
Today my day started by hauling 100 pounds of wet chicken manure out of the coop. Then I weeded until I couldn't move my fingers, then I transplanted a few threatened plants, that were unhappy where they were....huge grapes vines that were about to get cut down.
My garden comes ripe all at the same time, because around here, we have to plant after May 15th (hope we don't get a late frost, which happens) and by the end of August, we are done, other than the crops that are drying, like dent corn or soup beans, or the frost tolerant stuff like cabbages, kale or broccoli. Sept. 10th we usually have our first frost. When you plant 30-40 tomato plants, they are all ripe at once and you can for 2-3 weeks, from dawn to dusk. For that, you get maybe 100-200 jars of tomato sauce depending on how thick you boil it down to. This is your year's supply. If you aren't canning, you are freezing or dehydrating, or making bread out of zucchini or pumpkins or whatever. Canning starts in June with the strawberries and later raspberries, I do 80-100 pints of jam. Then come the green beans, pickles, beets, sauerkraut, all canned, several hundred jars. In September-October, I have to get whatever I dried on the vine....that is a lot of corn, and more beans than any human being ever wants to shell. At least when the shelling is done, not much else needs to be. I am up early in the morning weeding, caring for chickens, repairing the crap that falls apart all the time, now, I can't imagine when I don't have gasoline powered equipment or even a well pump that works easily. I have a small subsistence farm. I don't even have a milking animal. I can't imagine even adding THAT to both ends of my day. If you are in survival mode, you are scavenging or chopping wood to keep warm. Just hauling wood in over the winter, from my stash craps me out and I didn't cut or split it. I love my life on this little farm, but, man this isn't for every one. I dunno, I don't think 'Survivor' is in any way a realistic depiction of SHTF. If they give up because they can't take a blah diet, maybe it is Darwinism at work.
IngaLisa. I didn't mean to imply that Survivor is like a SHTF scenario. My point was that I have seen and heard a lot of their contestants nearly break (or break completely) from the diet, in a game they knew would be over soon, playing for a million dollars. I would guarantee you that in a SHTF scenario, suicide rates would soar, and I suspect more than a few would be from food or lack of food or having nothing to eat but rice day after day after day.
Subsistence farming is a tough life, no doubt about it. Those living where the growing season is short naturally have a lot more work in less time, which is one of the many reasons I would never live in such a region. I have the luxury of spacing my plantings in time or planting several different varieties which mature at different times. I garden, you farm... big difference, right?
I mean you no disrespect, just the opposite, in fact. I do respect you, and if I offended you by my over-generalization, I'm sorry. I didn't stop to think that many of us have different growing conditions, lazily assuming my local conditions to be the norm.
I certainly don't need 4 cans of tomato sauce a week and 2 jars of jam a week. Sounds like you are feeding a small army... I'm not. I have all the help I need... it sounds like you don't. If I tried to take on your work load, it would kill me almost instantly, so I never plan to work anywhere near that hard.
I'll bet your family is healthier and happier by having such a splendid variety of wholesome foods, all lovingly preserved by your hard work. Actually, that was my point.
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