Have you thought about what type of food storer you are? Remember, there are three types of storers: Siege, Practical and Provident. Today we are going to talk about the Siege storer.
Some of us might remember the “Y2K – Everything, as we know it, is going to shut down and leave us without the use of computers and we will revert to the Dark Ages” time. (Some people will be scratching their heads saying, "What?" Boomers understand and remember.) It was a time that, if you were in the emergency food storage business, you were going to make millions on people’s fear and lack of preparation. The selling of pre-boxed, pre-fixed food storage kits that would last a person for a year, was the rage. The cost was anywhere from $1,300.00 to $2,000.00 per person – for a family of four that was over $5,200.00 (with convenient monthly payments)!
I know that my food budget is smaller than most families, but that is MORE THAN DOUBLE my food budget for my family for the entire year! So technically, instead of buying the prepackaged kit, I could have gone out and bought two years’ worth of the food that I eat every day.
I had a friend that went through difficult financial times, and they broke open their families “one year pre-packaged food kit” – it only lasted them for four months and no matter how creative she got while cooking this food, her family was not impressed.
The big selling points of these kits were that you could buy it, store it and never have to use it – except during an emergency or crisis. For the Siege storer that is very appealing: 1) They don’t have to think about bad times, yet still feel confidant, 2) They don’t need to sit down and figure out what their family really uses in a year, and 3) They have the possibly false sense of security that they will be able to provide food for their family in an emergency.
Okay, the Siege storer will have food on hand, but will it be palatable? If they are buying just to store it and hopefully never use it (after all it was EXPENSIVE), it will go rancid; it needs to be rotated. I know that they say that it will last 25 years, but if there is granola, anything with flour, or other food with oils in it, it will go rancid long before the 25 years are up. I don't care what their sales pitch says. Also, did you try the food to see if your family will eat it before buying it? If your family is in a high stress environment (the kind where you would be eating your emergency food), they need to be eating comfort food, food that they enjoy and know, not food that is foreign and sometimes just downright yucky to their taste buds. The food that you provide for your family should not cause them stress; it should give them comfort.
Other Siege storers might be tempted to store just the basics and not spend the money on the prefab food kits. Instead, they will go out and buy: Grains (mostly wheat) – 300lbs*, Powdered milk – 75lbs*, Honey or Sugar – 60lbs*, Salt – 5lbs*, Shortening/Oil – 20lbs* and Legumes (a variety of dried beans) 60lbs*. (*Approximate amounts for an adult, for a year.)
Again, they will buy these items, enough for each family member, and then they will store them in their basement without giving it another thought. That is okay if that is all your family ever eats, but I suspect that most of you, especially those with the Siege mentality, are not grinding your wheat, drinking powdered milk, or preparing and eating beans on a weekly basis. When you are forced to eat what you store, are your bodies going to be able to handle it? Will you get sick? It has been proven that after a time, people that are forced to eat what they do not enjoy will simply stop eating. Depression and lack of variety will do that.
In the book “Food Storage for the Clueless” the authors, Clark L. and Kathryn H. Kidd give an easy reminder of how to remember what you need to store as a Siege storer (i.e. Salt, Honey, Powdered Milk. Legumes, and Wheat): “Siege Storage Has Produced Much Loud Weeping” (pg. 31). Stop weeping and start storing what you eat.
Don’t punish yourself and your family in an emergency with the food that you have stored. Instead, look at how you can have an effective, tasty, easy to maintain food storage that will not financially break you. You can store food for your family that will not only help them to survive, but also to thrive. I’ll be sharing ideas of how to do just that in my future articles – so stay tuned and work towards becoming, at the very least, a Practical storer.