Wednesday, June 8, 2011
This article describes how to stockpile food in preparation for a possible catastrophe. The topics of finding and cultivating food in a post-doomsday world will be discussed in future articles.
As with water, the amount of food a person needs to consume every day varies greatly from individual to individual. As a rough guideline, an average adult male will need around 1800 to 2200 calories per day. To find out which nutrients are required in which amounts for a healthy diet, you can read the Wikipedia entry on Recommended Daily Intake, as well as Food Stockpiling Tips by Grattan Woodson. Alternatively, simply stockpile food from all the major food groups and rotate your meals. Don't pick one favourite and then only eat that! A well-balanced diet will require that you eat something of everything: red meat, fish, poultry, nuts, vegetables and fruit.
The most common way to preserve food in this day and age is to refridgerate it. However, it is extremely likely that there will be no electricity in the aftermath of a terrible disaster and therefore you should only stockpile food which can be preserved by other means such as pickling or canning.
Chances are you already have some canned food in your kitchen pantry. You can easily build a stockpile of several months worth of food by buying a few extra cans of food every time you go shopping. Carefully examine the expiry date of each can. Place the newest cans at the back of the pantry, and move the oldest cans (which are closest to reaching their expiry dates) to the front to ensure that they will be used first. This will allow you to keep a large supply of food without having to worry about it spoiling. Always use the oldest cans first when preparing meals, and replace them with new ones afterwards. Make sure the cans are stored in a cool, dry place. Do not eat from cans if they are corroded, leaking or visibly swollen! These are all indicators that the food within the can has been contaminated, and will almost certainly cause food poisoning!
Invest in at least one good quality, manual (hand operated) can opener. Trying to open a can without a decent can opener (or any can opener at all) can be an incredibly frustrating experience.
Apart from buying cans of food from the grocery store, you may also prepare and can food yourself. An entire website devoted to the topic of canning your own food can be found here. Pickling is another effective way to preserve food and there is a good article on the subject here.
For an excellent, in-depth guide to stockpiling food, read A 30-Day Emergency Food Supply For One Adult (3,000 Calories per Day) by Robert Wayne Atkins.