Saturday, January 16, 2010

Portable Pantry


I think that folks have to get a little more put aside.  Cash in the mattress is a good idea.  Food in the pantry is better.  Gardens are great.  Again, this is a bastardization of the quote of Phineas Freak from the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers (lordy,lordy the seventies were fun).

I think that the LDS church guidelines are a touch on the excessive side, but they are definitely something to think about.  The big trouble with the plans that they have is that it is so damn bulky and user-hostile.  90% of the folks that I knew in Utah didn’t really plan to use the stuff, it was just there as a shrine to their faith.

I think that the best approach for most folks would be developing their pantry first, then decide just how far they want to venture into the fell domain of “food storage”.  Pantries aren’t intimidating things.  Just buy more of what you usually buy and put it aside.  Use it up in the day-to-day of your life and try to keep a month ahead.  Nothing too complicated.

But by trying to keep a month ahead in the house, you will naturally gravitate toward stuff that you can keep on the shelf.  You will probably notice that your fridge use will drop off and it will become more of a storage area for leftovers, thawing meat, milk, and eggs than what you are using it for now.

The next step will be to begin using dry milk and dried eggs in your recipes.  These are shelf stable and in recipes they are nigh on to impossible to tell from fresh.  

Then you will have to load up your freezer with a month of meat.   This is easier than it looks.  Buy on sale or the stuff in the closeout bin in the grocery and freeze it down. 

Have cheese squirreled away in the back of the fridge.  It stores well and if you are careful, it just gets better if it gets older. 

So, if you are trying to help folks learn.  Don’t try and bomb them with “food storage” and “preparedness”.  Just sing the praises of your pantry.  As things proceed, if they are worth anything, they will figure out their own master plan for prepping on their own


Mayberry said...

Having a year's worth of grub stashed away is great, but like you said, not practical, and certainly not easily portable should the need arise. I think a better plan is 4 to 6 months worth of basic stuff, and a bunch of heirloom seed. No amount of storage will last indefinitely, and keeping such a large stash in one place is inviting disaster, should a flood, fire, or other calamity strike. The best food storage solution is a big ol' stash of seed. Easily portable, and self renewing. Provided one knows what they're doing...

theotherryan said...

I think some cash is essential. For instance if you had to evacuate your house on short notice having food to eat the next day would be nice but the Holiday Inn in the nearest unaffected town would not take canned chili.