This is the begining of maybe the best article I have ever read about long term food preps. The article is a http://www.nodoom.com/chapter4.html. I was going to serialize it but it is just too damn long. However, the Doomer who wrote it has done his homework and you will recognize that pretty quickly. I hope you all read this and profit from it. It's a great education.
Most Americans take food and the farmer for granted. The majority of people today are no longer attached to the land and are totally out of touch with the rhythms of nature. Ever since the 1940s, the bulk of the American population started moving away from involvement with the land, and away from personal participation in the annual cycle of putting up food for the coming winter months. It used to be that most of the population had gardens and canned food every year. This change represents a very brief exception in the longer span of human history.
The current norm of cheap and abundant food with no real participation on the consumer’s part has an unnatural and artificial basis. Since the public has not experienced a food shortage in recent history, they tend to take the welfare of the nation’s farmers for granted. A combination of bad weather and economic conditions has caused thousands of farmers to go under in the last several years. Most food is no longer grown locally. This is a potentially vulnerable situation. What makes things even worse is that a lot of the food Americans eat today comes from outside of the U.S.
A Y2K related disruption of power, telecommunications and electronic commerce and/or a nuclear or biological attack upon the United States, could easily disrupt the network of food production and distribution resulting in a nationwide food shortage. Prepared people will not only be able to take care of themselves, but also to help others. The next five years may be a period of planetary resolution which will outpicture as a syndrome of natural disasters, disrupted weather patterns with attendant crop failures and political and social upheaval. The orderly mechanisms of our civilization are going to be put to the severest tests in recorded history. And though this will bring out the best qualities of self-sacrifice in many persons who rise to the challenge of the times, in general, it could be a period of increasing chaos and disintegration.
Under normal circumstances, the modern just-in-time warehousing system provides the consumer with a variety of foods at bargain prices, but as a result, at any given time, the average supermarket only has about 3 to 4 days worth of food in stock. Research and history have shown that most people do not prepare ahead of time. They usually wait until the last minute to prepare, even if they have received advanced warning. Instead, they start shopping when the snow starts falling, or when the hurricane is less than half a day away, or when the river is starting to overflow its banks. A survey of supermarket managers concluded that the general public never purchases food more than a few hours ahead of an expected emergency.
In the typical pre-disaster scenario, a few hours before the storm hits, the general public rushes in and buys what they think they need—primarily bread and water. This is referred to as panic buying and is quite different from making preparations. Survey data about panic buying habits concludes that on New Year’s Eve Day of 1999, most of the public will purchase extra bread, water, batteries and flashlights in preparation for Y2K. This is not a good plan.
The infrastructure for the production and distribution of food is much more vulnerable than most people think, and also much more technology-dependent. Most of the major crops produced by farmers are shipped by rail to food processing facilities. The railroad system is computer dependent. Getting the food from the field to the table involves a lot more than going out in the field and picking vegetables.
In the case of a nationwide food shortage, local communities would be placed in a desperate struggle to feed themselves. A government study undertaken back in the 1970s reinforced the potential for prolonged food shortages as a result of infrastructure disruption. This particular study focused on the effects of a nuclear war, and determined that far more Americans would die from starvation in the year following a nuclear attack than would die from the direct effects of the initial attack. It stands to reason that in a major man-made, technological or natural disaster, the government would implement food rationing whenever and wherever they could.
Prepared people are not dependent people. In the event of a disaster they aren’t a burden on strained and inadequate government relief efforts. They take care of themselves and they also help others. People stocking up when there is abundance helps the farmers and the economy. More importantly, in the event that a real shortage occurs in the future, the fact that some people have stocked up will mean that fewer people will have to compete for the limited available supplies. Then why would the establishment be trying to put preparedness in a bad light? The reason is that dependence is conducive to control.
Prepared people will definitely have the potential of retaining more of their freedoms in the event of martial law. Those who are unprepared, and thus totally dependent upon government handouts, will have to meet the terms and conditions associated with the handout. The helpless will have to comply with governmental restriction and regulation, or go without food.
Historically, national emergencies have resulted in the reductions in civil liberty and the empowering of government. When the government offers assistance it is not a free ride. There are always conditions attached that extend more government control and scrutiny into our lives.
The United States Department of Agriculture administered food rationing during World War II. The Soil Conservation Service, that is a branch of the USDA, has certain duties under FEMA. Not only does the USDA have responsibility for food rationing under FEMA, but they would also have the responsibility of operating designated gun collection centers. The linkage is not a coincidence. If you want a food coupon you will have to turn in your guns. In the event of a food shortage most people will be begging for the National Guard to bring them food, water and other supplies. The average American will gladly agree to a suspension of the U.S. Constitution if it means they are getting fed.
In this case, those who planned ahead and stocked up could retain their right to bear arms. You would not be reading this book if you did not already have an inner conviction that action must be taken to secure the physical well being of our families and community. We should stockpile food while time and availability remains.
It is the author’s recommendation that every family should stock up with a minimum of a four-month food reserve, and ideally, as much as a four-year food supply for each person in preparation for an extended disaster recovery. Don’t forget that buckets and cans eventually get empty. Don’t neglect to consider renewable food options if at all possible. Put away a quantity of non-hybrid garden seeds. Experiment with sprouting. If you live in a rural area, raising animals like chickens and goats will put you way ahead of the rest of the crowd. Not only will you have your own meat, eggs and milk; you will have extra food to barter with.
This section will address practical matters of food storage that have come to our attention in recent years by actual experience in this field. The information will cover both family and shelter long-term food storage programs. Ideally, a long-term food storage program should be designed to meet the specific needs of you and your family. The sooner you start the more prepared you will be. Use the guidelines in this chapter to determine what kind of program you need. If you simply want to purchase a food program, turn to “Basic Food Programs.” Get started now and don’t forget the can opener!