Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thoughts on food supply

So much chard:  July 2016
I recently read an article on the BBC about food shortages in Venezuela, with people going hungry all over the country.  It gave me pause for thought;  it's not beyond the realm of possibility that it could happen to us one day, too.

Only a few winters ago we had major disruptions to our personal food supply because of heavy snow.  The roads were unplowed and we couldn't get out of our driveway for about two weeks, and the only store within walking distance ran very low on food as they couldn't get deliveries for a week or so. 

At that time, we didn't have much extra food in the house.  It was the middle of winter, and nothing much was growing in the garden (we had a few potatoes left, but they were under 18 inches of snow).  We managed, and I had to get creative with what supplies we had (canned salmon, olive oil, and pasta, anyone?), but if a similar situation happened, I'd prefer to be more prepared.

So, what to do?  Stored food is good, particularly a variety of foods.  We don't want to eat pasta over and over again (we don't eat it any more anyway).  Stored garden foods are great, especially if they're minimally processed, such as dried, pickled, or kept in cold storage or a root cellar.  Then there's food on the hoof, as they say:  animals that can give or become food (eggs, milk, meat);  though animals need food too, and if there's a people food shortage there's probably an animal food shortage.

I don't have a lot of stored food now, as we've gradually eaten our stores over the past year, and not replaced much.  I'm also trying to set aside some of the garden harvest every week:  recently it's either air-dried or frozen greens, though I've dried some peas too.  Even extra eggs can be pickled to set aside for the winter (the husband says they're nice but I've never tried them).

It must be terrible to send your children to bed hungry, and to not know when your next meal will be.  It could happen to anyone:  a job loss, a natural disaster, or even freak snowstorms.  It can't hurt to have a little extra food around, and to grow some yourself:  you never know when you might need it. 

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