Friday, January 14, 2011

5 Simple Ways To Prepare For The Coming Food Crisis

Dees Illustration
Activist Post

Recently there has been an incredible flurry of news reporting about food shortages and the pending global food crisis. Everyone who looks at the indicators would agree that this crisis is only likely to worsen.  It is estimated that the Australia floods alone could cause a 30% jump in food prices. Although the average shopper already can feel the food inflation, it is difficult to recognize the severity of the looming food shortages.  After all, there are still 15 types of colorfully-boxed Cheerios packing the isles, which gives us the illusion of abundance.

The truth is that we are headed for large food production shortfalls, manipulated or not, while middle-class food demand grows massively in the developing world.  For decades the world's agriculture community produced more than enough food to feed the planet, yet some now believe we are reaching "Peak Food" production levels.  In turn, other experts believe the "food bubble" is about to burst, and not even the biotech companies can save us.

However, there are still vast unused stretches of fertile land that can be used around the globe, and the U.S. ethanol mandates that reportedly consume at least 25% of the corn harvest could be reduced to ease the burden. Therefore, it seems that despite the extreme weather and dwindling harvests, food production still has room to increase, but not without foresight and planning.


Additionally, the current systems for growing food are fully dependent on oil to achieve high levels of production, while livestock production is running at full concentration-camp capacity; the end product must then travel thousands of miles to get to store shelves.  Clearly we can see the fragile nature of this system, especially on human health and the environment.  Consequently, solving the so-called "food crisis" is far more complex than simply fixing statistical supply and demand issues.

Indeed, these are turbulent times where humanity appears to be nearing Peak Everything. Ultimately, solutions to the food crisis will begin at the local level.  There are cutting-edge farming techniques gaining popularity that produce a large variety of crops by mimicking nature, as well as innovative techniques for small-scale food production at home or in urban buildings.  These hold promise for easing local hunger.

Personal ways to protect yourself from food shortages may seem obvious to some, but many feel the task can be insurmountable.  To the contrary, here are 5 simple ways to protect yourself from the coming food crisis:

Source
1. Create a Food Bank: Everyone should have a back-up to the everyday food pantry.  In this environment, you should consider your personal food bank far more valuable than a dollar savings account.  Start by picking up extra canned goods, dried foods, and other essentials for storage each time you go to the store.  Also, hunt for coupons and shop for deals when they come up.  Devise a plan for FIFO (first in, first out) rotation for your food bank. It is advisable to acquire food-grade bins to store your bulk dried foods, and be sure to label and date everything. Besides the obvious store-able foods like rice and beans, or canned goods, some other important items to hoard are salt, peanut butter, cooking oils, sugar, coffee, and powdered milk.  If you don't believe the food crisis will be too severe, then buy items that you would eat on a normal daily basis.  But if you believe the crisis will be sustained for some time, purchasing a grain mill to refine bulk wheat or corn may prove to be the most economical way to stretch your food bank.  Some emergency MREs are also something to consider because they have a long shelf life.


2. Produce Your Own Food:  Having some capacity to produce your own food will simply become a necessity as the food system crumbles.  If you don't know much about gardening, then start small with a few garden boxes for tomatoes, herbs, or sprouting and keep expanding to the limits of your garden. And for goodness sakes, get some chickens.  They are a supremely easy animal to maintain and come with endless benefits from providing eggs and meat, to eating bugs and producing rich manure.  Five laying hens will ensure good cheap protein for the whole family.  If you have limited growing space, there are brilliant aquaculture systems that can produce an abundance of fish and vegetables in a small area.  Aquaponics is a contained organic hydroponic system where the fertilized waste water from the fish tank is pumped through the vegetable growing trays which absorb the nutrients before returning clean water to the fish tank.  Set high goals for independent food production, but start with what's manageable.

3. Learn Food Preservation: Food preservation comes in many forms such as canning, pickling, and dehydrating.  In every case some tools and materials are required along with a good deal of knowledge.  If you can afford a dehydrator, they all usually come with a preparation guide for most foods.  You can also purchase a vacuum sealer if you have the means.  A good vacuum sealer should come with thorough instructions and storage tips, and will add months if not years to many food items.  If you're a beginner at canning, start with tomatoes first.  It's easy and very valuable when all your tomatoes ripen at the same time and you want fresh pasta sauce in the winter.  A bigger ticket item that is nice to have for food preservation is a DC solar powered chest freezer.  It is the ultimate treasure chest.

4. Store Seeds: The government and the elite have seed banks and so should you.  Seeds have been a viable currency in many civilizations past and present.  They represent food when scarcity hits.  Before the rise of commercial seed giants like Monsanto, local gardeners were adept at selecting seeds from the healthiest plants, saving them, and introducing them to the harvest for the following year, thus strengthening the species. Through local adaptation to pests, genetic diversity was further ensured; it was long-term thinking at its finest. That is why it is important to find heirloom seed banks and learn to save seeds from each harvest.

5. Join or Start a Local Co-Op: Joining local cooperatives is very important, especially when food shortages occur. You may not be able to provide for yourself completely, especially in terms of variety, so having a community mechanism to spread the burden and share the spoils will be critical.  If you don't know if you have a local food cooperative in your area you can search the directory at LocalHarvest.org.  You may also be able to get information from your local farmers market.  If your area doesn't have a co-op, then start one.  These co-ops don't have to be big or elaborate.  In fact, it may be more optimal to organize it with friends, neighbors, or co-workers.  Whether you join or start a cooperative, work to expand the participants and products.

Please tell us how you're preparing by sharing your story in the comment section.

RELATED ARTICLES:
7 Reasons Food Shortages Will Become a Global Crisis
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39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have been purchasing for two years now, case lots of soups, canned goods, dry goods, fuel (auto and diesel). Slowly accumulated multiple heat sources, stockpiled water, water purification systems, camping gear, batteries etc. Have had to rotate some of the older food already. Will be purchasing a smoker, dehydrator soon. Oh and the ability to protect it all.

Anonymous said...

We are working on a garden to plant in the spring, and we are also starting a Floating Bazaar in our community, which is basically a traveling yard sale where trade is encouraged and alternative currencies are welcome.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article, I enjoyed it. One note:

Aquaculture = no plants, just fish/shrimp/etc ("fish farming")

Aquaponics = Aquaculture (fish) + Hydroponics (plants)

Anonymous said...

I bought a dehydrator and love it. I take local produce and dehydrate what ever is in season. makes great trail mix. You can put several ingredients in a blender and dehydrate, I like bananas, apples, cinnamon and peanut butter. Also soak onions in soy sauce, it's really good. I also recommend storing lots of rice and beans. I have about 200 lbs stored. And store water!!!

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to think I should sell my metals and purchase more food storage . Just look at the weather disasters globally....what good will gold and silver be ? Any input on this ?

Gimli said...

AND MY AXE!

Anonymous said...

Laying hens! Get an incubator and a rooster if you can, you can have eggs and meat for the cost of a little feed.

Anonymous said...

What about the alluminum (forget spelling) being dumped on us and earth, there's a company here in Mo thats engineering seed that will grow in this soil, evil! Keep the pantry full and hidden!

jcat said...

Hydroponics is an excelent source of food. It's not an exact science but not rocket science. So I'll state this, Start now at understanding this system of food production so you all can work out the bugs. Because, man! does it produce a lot! Approx 2 to 3 times the produce and normally a good system will consume 6 to 9 times less water than soil {terre] culture. And of course as stated by anonymous above, Have the ability to protect it all and the hydrogarden garden

Anonymous said...

For me the number one rule is shop around. I have very often found the same exact brand and product in different stores at 66% difference in price.
Closeout stores like Big Lots and Tuesday Morning often have incredible closeouts which result from warehouses needing to be emptied for incoming products. Expiry dates on these products can be 1 to 2 years hence. Today I bought 6 jars of organic peanut butter for 2.50 ea vs. the regular 3.99. I would have liked to have bought 12 or more. Look for deals and when you find a great one consider buying your whole weeks food budget on that one item. If you are regularly storing food it will not negatively impact your weeks diet. If you have an excellent food storage program and your stock is up for 2 to 3 yrs consumption then buy some silver. It is going to increase in price dramatically and will be an excellent hedge against food inflation that has already started and will get much more extreme. May Yahweh bless your storehouse.

Paulsd said...

Viable cannabis hemp seed is worth more than it's weight in gold considering it is the most nutritious food known to human kind being a complete protein with all essential fatty acids. Hemp can also be used to make clothes, building materials, and medicine.

Unfortunately since we are still in the Dark Ages viable hemp seed is very difficult to obtain. At least it's legal in Canada with the right permits. However, a large sack of "sterilized" hemp seed will contain a small percentage of seed that escapes sterilization so it could be grown out in an emergency.

penna64 said...

I learned the hard way this year when it comes to gardening. We moved to Alberta and because we were unable to sell our place in Ont. we are forced to rent and are limited to what we can do where we live.

Last winter found the almost perfect place to rent with huge garden and cold room. Cold room was not cold enough and lost 1/3 of my onions and 1/2 of my carrots. Don't have much of a freezer in case we move again, so I plan on dehydrating more next year.

I grew what felt like a ton of tomato's and I did get sick and tired of canning them, but was worth it since pizza sauce has gone up 35% since Sept.

Didn't get much cucumbers this year because Aug. was so cold (and they say Canada was warmer last year...ya right, not where I live). But I found that you can pickle baby to med length English or long cucumbers the same as pickling ones. If you like dills, try pickling lettuce. Awesome stuff and ready to eat in less than 24 hours once you put in fridge if you do not feel like canning.

Anonymous said...

This is something that most don't know about or have even thought of, but I started a different kind of food storage 1 1/2 to 2 years ago, and that is store high quality simple food. Try to get non GMO (genetically modified organisms) and organic whenever possible no chemicals or MSG. I have a lot of organic potatoes and carrots that I've blanched and dehydrated as well as many other things that I've dehydrated or canned. If you haven't started yet and in a rush to build a food supply I would buy a large food dehydrator or two and buy frozen organic veges and keep them going all the time. I still can a lot but for bulk long term storage dehydrating is it. Look at youtube videos, Dehydrate2store for tips.

Anonymous said...

Luxeon Star said:
Kudzu Kudzu Kudzu Kudzu Kudzu
is also a complete protein. If you live in one of the southern states East of Texas you know what it is. It's free. There is lots of it and you can live on it forever.

Anonymous said...

Question- how long is the shelf live of dehydrated foods. Thank you, God Bless

Hipriestess4u said...

I have rain barrels, solar panels and a wood burning stove, and enough food for 3 years get yours at http://hipriestess4u.myefoods.com

Anonymous said...

I too have started storing food and water. Have about 3 months right now, working on a year supply. Also have radio, batteries, candles, matches, toilet paper, MRE's, 3400 calorie food bars, and I also have a decent amount of silver, from American Eagles to 90% silver coins. I tell people and friends but they think I'm a doomsayer and nothing is going to happen in the U.S.. I think they are in for a terrible time in the few years to come.

Anonymous said...

I found this GREAT healthty, kosher, gourmet, dehydrated, long-term food storage company. I was very surprised at the taste of this healthy dehydrated food. You can try 3 samples. It is awesome. Check it out here: pawla.myefoods.com

Anonymous said...

The shelf life of eFoods gourmet dehydrated foods is 14 years. http:\\pawla.myefoods.com

Droopy Dogg said...

You'll need 5 lbs of rice for every pound of dried beans.. and this crisis is going to last a long time. Not o mention salt, sugar, honey, yeast and such. Cooking oil is the biggest problem as it goes bad in a few years. Think in terms of tons of basics rather than hundreds of lbs. Get to your local bakery dept at your supermarket and ask nicely if they have spare buckets.. my store gives them to me, 3 to 10 at a time, already cleaned and with usable lids

You had better have a good location, clean water and plenty of ammo and combat worthy weapons and training plus a survival group, plus tools and a way to heat and cook

Anonymous said...

I use my regular oven as a dehydrator and have a seal-a-meal. I have dried meat, vegetables, fruits, onions and potatoes. I have a stock pile of beans, macaroni, rice, and spaghetti. I also have organic heirloom seeds put away and save seeds from fresh produce. I also have some tree seeds for long term. Good to remember that your nice neighbors won't stay nice when they get hungry, that is why I dry everything. It's much easier to pack and move quickly with in case I need to get to an isolated area with my family and food stores.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that rice and beans take energy to cook.........lot's of it! We turned an extra bedroom into a large 'storehouse'...better use of space than a guest bed that sits all year long.

Anonymous said...

i cant own a gun what other means are they to protect yourself

Lorena said...

If you can't own a gun, you might consider at least a good knife, crossbow, stun gun, and a mongo can pepper spray.

Anonymous said...

those items could also be used for hunting.especally if you are near an area ,as your ansestors might have done.

Anonymous said...

The way things are going, I think you're right about buying food instead of just socking money away! I found a great storable foods company and have started buying a little bit every month. The food is really good and you can get 6 meals free to see if you like it! efoodsnow.myefoods.com

Anonymous said...

There's a movie everyone should check out too-Its called 'The Survivors' with Robin Williams and Walter Matthau about the great money making scam of fear mongering.

It came out the last time the chickens started cawwing about the sky falling....

Anonymous said...

For cooking oil, invest in some coconut oil and palm shortening. Don't buy into the
'saturated fat is bad' nonsense and if you do, please do some research and learn the truth. Shelf stable for a long, long time with no rancidity.

tropicaltraditions.com

Anonymous said...

Reducing the amount of corn used for ethanol is not going to save much since only the starch is converted to ethanol and the rest is sold as dried distiller grains, a very high quality animal food that is high in protein.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous: It's not about the sky falling. It's is about the value of the dollar falling and becoming worthless to exchange for food and other goods.

Anonymous said...

redwood city seed 4 hot & spicy.

Anonymous said...

My family lives 23 miles from the Gulf. All of us are sick with respiratory problems & peripheral nerve damage from the BP disaster. Agenda 21 has already begun & nobody knows it due to our corrupt media. The rest of the sheeple don't care, and won't - until the genocide begins in THEIR area.

Over 2 years ago, I had prepared for the economic & civil collapse, so we are already stocked up & eating what we had stored. But how do you fight back when you're sick, in pain, & too tired to fight anymore?

We are leaving the Union of Sheeple in less than 90 days. We cannot take our small stash of silver rounds & ingots with us & so are selling them at market price, no spread. Please contact cabravieja @ privacyharbor dotcom if interested. They are also on Craig's List.

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear your are sick from bp's slick. yes, agenda 21 is in full swing.

is it where you are going that you are not able to take your silver? i have read it may not be possible to get metal out of the country, but have heard to the contrary as well.

Anonymous said...

CANADIANS

Did you know that, acording to the US Government Resource Center and their report: "Major Foreign Holders of Us Treasury Securities", that in JUST 12 months Canada went from "holding" just over $50 billion to almost $135 BILLION in US Securities?!!

Take a look at what other smarter countries are doing and tell me if this isn't free trade or "free giveaway" of our country.

WE are not immune to what is about to go down and if you live in Alberta you know what chem trails are, even if you don't want to "see" them.

Time to put up or get out!

judithward.net said...

I suggest everyone learn how to preserve food even if you live in Urban areas and apartments. You can always grow edible things,i.e., vegetables and herbs inside. Keeping an eye open for your local vegetable coop will also be a huge cost savings. Please visit www.judithward.net,thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm attempting to incorporate more native foods into my garden. We live on the High Plains, have a short growing season, and things like tomatoes and peppers can be difficult to bring to fruition. So I'm going to be trying some foods that are foreign to me; salsify, chufa (nut grass), Jerusalem artichoke for example. Also, since this is a "grassland" enviornment, I am trying three types of barley, two types of wheat, a grain called teff, oats and rye grass... I can't change the harsh environment I live in, so I might as well work with it.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the future of growing our own food is in hoop houses. We already have toxic rain, toxic water in many places. And now we have radiation spewing into the atmosphere and there isn't much we can do to protect ourselves. Also the bizarre weather patterns can ruin a crop in an instant. I am growing food outside at 7,000 feet under wire tunnels with garden paper on the wire. It's the only way to protect the plants from the wind, crazy temperature extremes, insects, etc. Now I gotta figure out how to protect my gardens from people!!!! Never owned a gun, and am chicken to buy one but am living alone at age 63 on the outskirts of town. Anyone have a suggestion about what kind of gun to get? I don't want to kill anyone, just scare the bejeezus out of them, or if I have to, take out their knee caps. I recommend everyone read Dimitri Orlov's account of how people got through the collapse in Russia.

Anonymous said...

Regarding protecting your gardens from people...

If you buy a gun, don't plan to "take out their kneecaps," and expect to survive. In a panic situation, you'll be lucky to hit their center of mass (chest area). You're not going to scare them off.

If you buy a gun, buy a BIG gun (like a .357 or .45 cal). If you live in the woods, a pistol will suffice. If you live in open country, get the rifle equivalent--and PLENTY of ammo. It'll be a war out there. Also buy a shovel. You'll need it to bury the rotting carcass. Better yet, move in with like-minded folk because SOMEONE will have to provide 24/7 security and you're not going to be able to do that by yourself.

Anonymous said...

Also, read www.Urban Survival.com, a daily blog by George Ure, he & this site's author could be kindred souls....keep learning, keep connecting, stay positive and positively active....don't wait, get moving...

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