Food Storage for a Rainy Day
January 27, 2003 4:45 PM   Subscribe

An interactive food storage calculator comes in pretty handy when you'd rather have a little in the basement for a rainy day-but you have no idea how to get started. [More Inside]
posted by silusGROK (23 comments total)
A little more about the link:

Provident Living is a new service/site by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The site as a whole is aimed at members of the Church, so it probably isn't of much interest to folks here... but I thought that the interactive food storage calculator would be useful/interesting—especially considering the general malaise regarding the impending (Heaven help us!) war against Iraq.

For background: For decades, the Church has urged its members to have a year's supply of food, water, and fuel... and a few month's cash reserve. More recently, they've urged the membership to have a 72 hour kit for each member of the family in case of short-term power outages, or other temporary problems. I guess it could be seen as a sky-is-falling rant, but it's better viewed in light of the Church's teachings on self-sufficiency.

At any rate, I'm finally in a position (out of school and all that) to start putting my food storage together, and found this resource helpful (God bless the internet!).
posted by silusGROK at 4:47 PM on January 27, 2003

I'm prepared.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:07 PM on January 27, 2003


Of course, I don't think that was what they had in mind... but beer, I understand, is the preferred way to store water in many cultures.
posted by silusGROK at 5:12 PM on January 27, 2003

I note, with absolutely zero irony, that one of the suggested food storage items in the calculator pages is flavored gelatin.

It does not specify green, however.

And a direct link to the calculator is here.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:17 PM on January 27, 2003

Doh. Thought I had the direct link. Thanks, crash... and the "flavored gelatin"? I prefer mine orange... especially when I have a sore throat.
posted by silusGROK at 5:34 PM on January 27, 2003

It's not just for emergencies, though: food storage information is extremely useful if you're a tightwad like me. It's handy to know, for instance, how long rice or flour can be stored, so that when I hit on a really good price for those items, I know how much to buy.
posted by JanetLand at 6:16 PM on January 27, 2003

What about Mormon underwear? How do I know how many pairs of sexy Mormon undies to lay in for a rainy day? Freaks.
posted by stonerose at 6:34 PM on January 27, 2003

Interesting but not useful to low carb, rather than Steve Young, adherents.
posted by billsaysthis at 6:38 PM on January 27, 2003

Some Mormon family stores have come into use during neighbourhood emergencies. I remember going to Emergency Services volunteer training, and some of the coordinators telling stories about LDS families using their food when neighbourhoods needed it due to local emergencies.

That having been said, as a single girl, I cannot imagine needing 32lbs of flour and 10lbs of sugar for a 3 month period. Well, maybe the sugar.
posted by Salmonberry at 6:54 PM on January 27, 2003

Does the Church have any information about personal safety and protection in case of an emergency?
posted by stbalbach at 7:08 PM on January 27, 2003

I grew up Mormon. In one of our outbuildings, my family amassed a large supply of powdered milk, wheat (why not flour?), and other foodstuffs, the nature of which have vanished into the mists of time.

We reluctantly tapped these vast reserves during the early eighties, a period during which my father was occasionally unemployed. Still, I'm sure most of the food went to waste.

The outbuilding in question was torn down while I was in college, a few years after we >gasp< left the church, but I've always wondered what became of the giant grey metal containers of food.

Maybe I'll ask my mother next time I see her...
posted by jdroth at 7:38 PM on January 27, 2003

If you have guns and liquor you can trade or steal whatever you need.

So, my grandfather's recipe for moonshine.

10 pounds of molasses
1 oz of yeast.
30 pounds of water.

Mix water and molasses. Bring to a boil. Add yeast to watered molasses and pour into a large covered conatiner with a bubbler (let's co2 out but no air back in). Wait 4 days until fermented.

Heat mixture over wood fire. You'll need some coiled copper line. The mixture should almost come to a boil but not quite. The alcohol will boil off at a lower temperature than the water. The steam rises and is caught and fed into the copper tube. The steam will be mostly alcohol and it will cool in the copper tube and drip into a bottle or jug at the other end. You'll get about 80 proof moonshine out of this.

It got him through the depression. There's also a lesson about how to reload rifle cartridges but that's more complicated.

Get him drunk and my grandfather will teach you how to splice rope and make a rabbit snare, too.
posted by nyxxxx at 7:47 PM on January 27, 2003 it getting to be time to stock away food supplies? Damn.

Salmonberry, I thought the recommendations for a three month supply for one person were a bit crazy too...we aren't going to be svelte on this survival diet based on these portions.

I like mr_crash_davis's plan for survival rations...nutritious and delicious, and it will probably help everybody keep in good humor in such confined spaces.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:12 PM on January 27, 2003

This is probably a good idea for anyone into the whole frugal living deal. You can buffer yourself against price swings and stock up when things go on sale. It's not just a freakish mormon tradition. Is linking to your own church self-linking?
posted by mecran01 at 8:32 PM on January 27, 2003

You probably need those large amounts of food because you're going to be burning alot of calories fighting off the post-apocalyptic nuclear mutants. The alternatives are not so nice.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:47 PM on January 27, 2003

well, if you're going to be doing subsistence cooking, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of M.F.K. Fisher's How to Cook a Wolf, for instruction how to keep both body and soul alive. Crystalline prose and good recipes (including the best gingerbread recipe you'll ever find.)
posted by Vidiot at 11:33 PM on January 27, 2003

nyxxx, if your grandpa didn't teach you to discard the first 5% he did you a disservice - you're getting a fair bit of methanol (wood alcohol) in there. Grandpa isn't blind, is he? I think the technical term is discarding the foreshots.

Salmonberry, 32lbs of flour is not actually going to make youi a lot of bread over three months, let alone bagels or danishes. I reckon you'd be hard put to get a loaf every two days out of it.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:46 PM on January 27, 2003

Nah, you sell the wood alcohol to the rubes.
posted by nyxxxx at 12:40 AM on January 28, 2003

JDRoth: Flour is more prone to infestation, and rots faster. Leaving it whole means you can do more things with it, and it lasts longer... besides, it's easier to pick through wheat berries than through flour dust.
posted by silusGROK at 8:59 AM on January 28, 2003

"I reckon you'd be hard put to get a loaf every two days out of it."
I'd be really hard put to eat an entire loaf of bread every two days, let alone bake it. Perhaps the calculations just don't scale down to a single person in a way that makes sense. I was also surprised by the amount of food they think I, as a single girl, will eat. 45pounds of beans a year?
posted by dipolemoment at 10:40 AM on January 28, 2003

one bad thing storing away that much for time of crisis is the fact that very little has a long shelf-life, and needs to be used and re-stocked every 6-12 months. on the other hand, in the event of an apocalypse, a little stale flour is better than no flour at all.
posted by crunchland at 11:22 AM on January 28, 2003

dipolemoment: You don't eat 45 pounds of beans a year now, because you have access to other foods... but in a crisis, you may not have such access. I'm guessing that the calorie count is probably right-on, even if the foodstuff isn't your first choice.

I, for one, can easily go through 2 pounds of beans in a week (white bean stew... mm), so 45 pounds isn't too far off.

crunchland: folks are strongly encouraged to actually rotate-through their storage to keep it fresh.
posted by silusGROK at 12:35 PM on January 28, 2003

i can barely keep my normal pantry stocked and use up all the flour or rice before it starts going icky. stockpiling and keeping track of all that stuff is an order of organizational magnitude i do not possess, even if i did have adaquate storage.
posted by crunchland at 1:49 PM on January 28, 2003

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