Personal Food Security

by: Heather on 01/27/2009
Posted in: Food

I've been thinking a lot about food security lately, and I know that I'm not alone.

Food security is a very personal thing - what works for one family won't necessarily work for another. For example, you can store all the preserved horseradish-flavoured strawberries you like, but if no-one in your family actually likes horseradish-flavoured strawberries then the jars won't do anything but take up valuable shelf space. (And if your family *does* like horseradish-flavoured strawberries then please don't invite me over for dinner.)

Most of our family is vegetarian, and our chief protein source is beans, which is excellent news from a food storage perspective. We are in the process of stocking up on all the varieties of beans that we eat regularly - by acquiring one 25 pound bag a month our investment is completely manageable (and we can afford to buy organic). Beans stored in sealed containers in dark, cool, dry conditions will keep for years. And as well as knowing that we have plenty of food set aside in case of need, our grocery bills have gone down too!

We also go through about one 25 pound bag of organic brown rice every 6 months. Since brown rice doesn't store for much more than that, we tend to only keep a 6 month supply on hand.

As Robin Wheeler points out in Food Security for the Faint of Heart:

Stockpiling isn't easy for low income earners, because obviously it's damned expensive to buy bags and bags of food to push into cupboards and cram into closets. But if you open your mind to the idea, and make it a consistent habit to pick up two jars when you need one, to buy a case when you have a bit of extra cash, or to buy in bulk if you can possibly afford it, the advantages begin to roll in. You suddenly realize you don't have to run out so often to shop, prices are lower when you buy in quantity, and when the lights go out. . .you're set.

What are you doing to make yourself food secure? Are you planning a summer garden? Putting food aside? Canning, freezing or drying? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Food Security for the Faint of Heart


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