Reflecting on nutrition, food storage, and hard economic times
What a year this has been. The much-predicted failure of American investment banking has come to pass, our nation’s net worth has plummeted precipitously, and we’ve started into what promises to be a long recession. I just came across this quote by a wise man named Joseph Smith, from 175 years ago:
“Our nation, which possesses greater resources than any other, is rent, from center to circumference, with party strife, political intrigues, and sectional interest; our counselors are panic stricken, our legislators are astonished, and our senators are confounded, our merchants are paralyzed, our tradesmen are disheartened, our mechanics out of employ, our farmers distressed, and our poor crying for bread, our banks are broken, our credit ruined, and our states overwhelmed in debt, yet we are, and have been in peace.”
So, many other times in even the comparatively short history of the U.S., we have found ourselves in perilous times. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?
But we need not fear because we can do simple, inexpensive things to prepare. People of the dominant religion where I live (Utah) are counselled to store a year’s supply of food. Yet no matter how long this counsel is given, and how urgently, at any given time, only 15 percent of LDS (Mormon) people actually have a year’s supply. At the moment, church leaders are pleading with the people to get a three-month supply in place in the immediate future.
This is a smart thing to do for anyone, not just LDS people. You have observed how sensitive supply and demand is, for food. (I mentioned in a blog comment recently that I cannot buy canning jars anywhere, because Kerr and Ball cannot keep up with the demand nationally. You have seen the price of rice increase 250 percent.) That’s all I’m going to say about that, because I frankly hate scare tactics. (Love Mike Adams “The Health Ranger,” hate all the fear-mongering in his newsletters.)
Victoria Boutenko says she calculated once that her family of four could live for a year on one 50-lb. bag of wheat, by sprouting it. I don’t know how that’s possible, unless she is calculating nutrients rather than caloric needs–but anyway, she said that. The LDS Church has a calculator at lds.org, and one person needs 200 lbs. of grain per year. (Of course, 50 lbs. of sprouted grain has in some cases as much nutrition, plus lots of live enzymes, that 200 lbs. of dry grain does!)
Thus, my family of six has stored 1,200 lbs. of grain: wheat, quinoa, rye, rolled oats and oat groats, popcorn, Kamut, and spelt. That may sound like an obscene quantity, but when you add it up, people eat a lot of food! We also store 400 lbs. of legumes (lentils, split peas, beans) and lots of other items like coconut oil, olive oil, agave, honey, and sea salt. I do more than that, but if all the rest will be overwhelming to you for now, just start with a three-month supply of those basics. When you’ve got those inexpensive bases covered, consider storing bottles of VitaMineral Green for your greens; cans of Ultimate Meal for easy, optimal nutrition; nuts and seeds (frozen in Ziplocs where possible); and spices, herbs, and condiments.
The point is, when your food storage is a bunch of white flour, white sugar, canned powdered milk, canned turkey, and macaroni (the staples of most Mormon one-year supplies), you might not end up hungry, but you’re going to end up sick.
Store whole grains, and know how to use them. What I am teaching you in Step 9 isn’t just for good nutrition–it’s for good emergency preparedness! When you know how to sprout as I teach in Step 7, you have the invaluable skill to use dry, long-term storage foods (like any grain) and make it live food that will keep your family healthy–not just alive.
My European immigrant ancestors came across the plains from the East Coast to Utah, with handcarts, and some of them were caught in winter storms. Their nutrition was sometimes reduced, in the winter, to small rations of cornmeal fried in lard, day after day. Some of them died of starvation, as well as exposure. Some became ill with typhoid, malaria, scurvy, and smallpox.
We have the ability to spend very little but have the peace of mind to be prepared well, by storing whole foods. I hope you’re getting a year’s supply of RAW ALMONDS in the current group buy–yet another way to eat well now AND buy very inexpensive insurance against emergencies. It’s the kind of insurance that doesn’t need the backing of our virtually bankrupt federal government. It’s the kind of insurance that pays no premiums to a huge company teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, being robbed by its executives.