Food Storage - One Alternative
Note: The pricing in the last table has not been updated yet, so use it just for a rough reference. ~WW
Subject: Stored food
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 10:20:37 -0700
From: Gary S. Marbut/TOS/MSSA email@example.com
Dear MSSA Friends,
Some people have asked, "How much food should I store for an emergency (hurricane, blizzard, etc)?"
The answer has three primary variables. How many people will you feed, how long do you anticipate you will need to feed them, and how generous will the diet be?
Concerning how many people you will need to feed, you may choose to ask the question, how many people could I not possibly turn away if they came to me hungry and asked to be fed indefinitely? The answer to this question probably includes near or extended and nearby family members, and maybe a selected few close friends. Your planning number should probably also include strangers who wander by and need to be fed occasionally.
How long you need to feed them depends entirely your analysis of how long an emergency may last. A weather emergency could last for days, but probably not more than a week or two at the most. An economic collapse or Y2K crash could have nutritional implications for months or more. Mormons have traditionally advocated storing a year's supply of food.
Concerning the generosity of the proposed diet, 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day will prevent starvation, but will not allow an average-sized adult to do much work. To do heavy, physical work, especially in cold weather, may take as much as 3,500 calories per day. For planning purposes, you may want to pick a target calorie intake of 2,000 or 2,500 calories per person per day for the duration of the emergency. (Depends on whether you are just waiting out the emergency, or are physically active with gardening, hunting, gathering, etc.)
To offer a better grasp of how this calorie intake might be apportioned among various foods, see the following prepared by friend Dennis.
|Using the Tables in Joy of Cooking:|
|Rice, cooked||1/2 cup||100||22 g|
|Rice, raw||1 lb. (6 cups cooked)||1200||
|Beans, kidney, navy, pinto, cooked||1/2 cup||115||7 g|
2 to 2-1/2 cups dry
5-6 cups cooked
|Oil, Vegetable||1 TBS. (1/128 gal.)||110||
Milk, skim, reconstituted, Costco brand
|1 cup||82||8.2 g|
Potatoes, mashed, instant, Trio brand,
1-1/2 cups prepared
1/4 cup dry or 1/47 can
|Cereal, Cream of Wheat (farina), cooked||1 cup||107||3 g|
|Cereal, Cream of Wheat (farina), dry||
(yields 6-7 cups cooked)
|Oatmeal, old-fashioned, cooked||1 cup||130||6.8 g|
1 lb. dry
5-1/3 cups uncooked
9 cups cooked
|Sugar, granulated||1 TBS||48||
|Possible daily adult survival diet, moderate physical labor:|
|Rice (prepared)||1 lb. raw||1200||22 g|
|Beans (prepared)||1/4 lb. dry||300||20 g|
(or substitute farina)
|1/4 lb. dry||290||15 g|
|Milk, skim, prepared||2 cups||164||16.4 g|
|Oil, vegetable||4 TBS (1/4 c.)||440|
|Sugar||2 TBS (1/16 lb.)||96|
|Potatoes, instant, prepared||1/47 can dry||180||3 g|
|Per person-year with some Costco prices, based on above:|
|Oatmeal or wheat cereal||91.25 lb.||$24|
45.6 gal reconstituted
|Potatoes, instant||(8) #10 cans (44 lbs.)||$29|
|Oil, vegetable||5.7 gal.||~$20|
For bare survival, quantities could be cut in half. Other grains, flours, and pasta could be substituted pound for pound I think, except corn must be prepared with lime for proper digestion. If soybeans or any source of animal protein were included milk could be reduced, it is included more for its protein and other nutrients than its calories, and is probably the most expensive part. The oil could be increased by 50% for a calorie boost, or replaced by other fats. Children under 12, and women who are not pregnant or nursing, could use 2/3 the above, except that children should not have the milk ration reduced. Nursing mothers should have the milk ration doubled. And don't forget the salt! Rice, beans, and cereals are pretty blah without salt. 5-10 lb per person per year ought to be plenty. If wheat for bread is included, yeast/baking powder/soda also. Add Vitamin C, or some multi-vitamins even, and it should be a fairly well balanced diet. The protein requirement is met, there should be adequate calcium and phosphorous, and essential fatty acids.
If you are beginning to think about preparedness, don't forget to think about drinkable water, shelter, heat, light, protection, and other needs (and maybe other basic human needs such as beer, books and sympathetic others with whom to share the emergency).
Also, if you don't already have a food storage program, and wish to begin one, do it soon. Some kinds of storable foods, like military surplus MREs, are getting hard to find, as are some axillary implements, such as grain grinders. The time may come when the amount of food you are allowed to buy at the stores will be rationed because of shortages (Costco recently rationed "Furbie" dolls when they had a limited supply).
Whether or not you believe there will be a Y2K crisis, there will very likely be a food-buying panic (and shortage) precipitated in 1999 by the talk of a pending Y2K crisis. If you think food storage is useful and affordable insurance, get yours before a panic hits.