Saturday, May 11, 2019
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Ponderings on Preparedness
I saw an interview recently with the head of a company that makes emergency preparedness food. He was saying the food is getting more expensive, not only because some food prices are rising but because less people are preparing, some companies have gone out of business who made such food.
Now, food prepared for long term storage was not high on my priority list but after reading a book by a father and daughter who joined a mountain climbing team, I decided to try Mountain House pouches. That brand is what most hikers liked best and they were available to purchase one meal at a time (each pouch feeds one or two people, according to appetite). So I tried a few various pouches and then purchased a few for a true emergency. It is nice to have some meals put back that one doesn't have to worry about shelf life.
I thought for awhile about what he said, it came after a couple weeks of headlines which would indicate plenty of reasons to be prepared. U.S. war ships are moving toward the Middle East due to rising concerns about Iran. War in the Middle East is already happening if you count the number of missiles hitting Israel.
The uprisings in Venezuela are getting worse. A possible trade war with China looms. Not to mention continued wacky weather causing problems with our food supply. Farmers here have been trying to plant in between rainy days. Would any of these affect us directly? Perhaps not but a few of them could easily make the cost of oil rise sharply, bring an increase in the price of so many things.
I have to admit that I haven't written about preparedness for a long time, even though it was one of the original reasons I started blogging. It isn't that I don't believe in preparedness anymore, for I still believe it is essential. I felt like I had written about it so often, there wasn't more to say.
However, I think it is time to revisit the subject of preparedness and why I began calling it "deepening the pantry" long ago instead of emergency preparedness. I became concerned that so many articles about preparedness online seemed to be more about Armageddon than for instance... job loss, bad weather, etc.
When our view of being prepared is only about the big stuff, we tend to get easily overwhelmed. Quite often the advice is as life changing as a move out to the country or at least it contains long lists of what we need to buy and store for hard times. I changed my mind about that long ago.
I've written about preparedness since the 1990s and the number one reason I find people stop any kind of preparing for hard times is that they get this idea it is all or nothing. When instead of a bunker mentality, we should have a great grandmother mentality.
Those who came before us would think having one week or one day's worth of food would be only for the very poor. Yet, prosperous families all over the Western world have very little in their pantry. I grew up with a mom who kept a pantry but many families I knew only shopped for food once a week and kept no reserves in the house.
Those who came before us were connected with the land and with a knowledge of how quickly life can change. They knew there was a season for planting, a season for harvesting, and a great need to preserve food and set aside those items that would get us through the winter when there were no gardens in the backyard... especially in Northern climates.
So I'm going to talk about preparedness and pantries again for a few weeks. I think it is time. Next week I will talk about deepening the pantry for day to day use.
Mentioned in this Blog Post
I mentioned that I do have some pouches of freeze dried food that I have set aside for true emergencies. There is a place for them, although in my home they are just extras to my regular pantry. I find them good insurance for true emergency situations when I may not be able to cook.
Below is listed some of the Mountain House dinners I have tried and liked.
Beef Stew 4-Pack... here.*
Breakfast Skillet 4-Pack... here.*
Biscuits and Gravy individual pouches... here.
Chicken and Dumplings individual pouches... here.
(I read that many people recommended mixing a prepared pouch of Biscuits and Gravy with a prepared pouch of Breakfast Skillet to serve for breakfast. I haven't tried that but it sounds interesting.)
Augason Farms Banana Chips... here. (I have one of these cans in case carbs are needed quickly in an emergency.)
*These 4-Pack offers are new since I made a purchase and a good way to save money from individual pouch purchases if you know you like a product already. I noticed some foods have 3-Pack offers. Most Mountain House food is also available in #10 cans. Although these links are to Amazon, I did see Mountain House pouches at Walmart's camping section but that was years ago. I haven't checked recently.
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.