|Image: Wall Street Journal|
It would have been before the Bird Flu hit. For what I found was quite alarming. What products were still available were now far beyond my limited budget. I had heard such products had risen in price but it was still a shock. Although I should not have been surprised, the cost of fresh eggs at the grocery store has gone up a lot.
Would I worry about the bird flu? I've written before about pandemics and how to prepare for them. History tells us what would happen in such a case (they have hit and will again, of course). People are told to stay in their homes and avoid all contact with the outside world.
So, of course, having at least a one month stock of food and essentials would be a very wise thing should that happen. But that is part of what living a Pantry Lifestyle is all about. We're the grown up version of the Boy Scout's motto, "Be Prepared".
Am I taking the bird flu seriously? I'm not losing any sleep but I know those in charge are taking it seriously enough that the local and state 4-H fairs will have only photos of poultry and not the real thing. Local chicken farmers are doing everything they can to prevent outside contact, including no longer allowing visitors on their farms.
Before you shake your head and think I've gone bonkers (in case you haven't already), let me tell you a story. Something that happened to me just a few months ago. You may remember I had to take Victoria to see her veterinarian because she couldn't keep food down for awhile.
She was past due for her checkup so even though she was feeling better, we went ahead and kept the scheduled appointment. Her doctor heard my explanation of her symptoms and then got a funny look on her face. She asked if my husband or I had the flu recently. When I told her I had the worst case of flu I could remember in many years, she nodded her head.
She told me both she and her dad (the original owner of the veterinarian clinic) had been told in vet school that it was impossible for humans and animals to infect each other with illness and disease just by being around each other. Then the original cases of bird flu started to pop up. Her dad was still alive at the time and they discussed this new, alarming situation.
He told her he was always skeptical of what he had been taught. For after decades of practicing medicine on animals, he heard one story after another of a pet that had been brought in with flu symptoms just after their humans had been ill. So he wasn't all that shocked when he heard the original cases of bird flu.
Of course, diseases such as Ebola and SARS affect people from animal bites (and I believe SARS may also be transferred by eating an animal with the virus it is carrying). It is believed the HIV virus originated in monkeys (although I haven't followed it recently if that was revised). So we knew illnesses could be contacted by a bite or ingesting the animal... but just being around the animal? Not so much until recent history.
So what does this mean to you and to me? It doesn't hurt to keep an ear to the ground of any local outbreak in poultry. It obviously means if you have the financial ability to purchase some dried eggs you may want to have some put in your pantry. Or buy chickens and one of those cute chicken coops and keep them away from other poultry (including birds) if possible.
I also read recently you can freeze eggs in an ice cube tray but I haven't tried it. I plan to soon so I'll let you know if it works. I'd love to have have chickens and a cute chicken coop. I have fond memories of the chickens we kept when I was a little girl. But not so fond memories of the rooster. Mean rooster!
But those of us who live a Pantry Lifestyle will usually find a way to handle what nature throws at us. Whether by stocking up or learning to do without. Like baking crazy cakes and other recipes from the Depression. (Crazy cakes are also called Depression cakes or Wacky cakes, my son loves the chocolate version.) The above link takes you to a website that has a lot of crazy cake varieties.
By the way, I have dozens of Pantry Posts archived from when I was writing those posts. Before I switched to Living the Pantry Lifestyle, which incorporates more than just the actual pantry. So if you have a lot of time on your hand, you can start reading... here. When you reach the bottom, click on Older Posts to continue... and continue... and continue. ;)