A year of food for $800
Welcome to the 'food-storage' movement.
A whole year's worth of food for one person for only $799.99? And that's after a $200 discount. Is this too good to be true, or should we order?
Well, there is one small catch. The offer is for 78 one-gallon cans of dehydrated and freeze-dried food, plus a wheat grinder. Now, that's an emergency fund you can eat.
Actually, the ad exposed us to a movement we weren't very familiar with. Called "food storage," it's about amassing enough food on hand to survive common disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes, or "economic crisis" or for "religious reasons," according to a Web site called Food Storage Made Easy.
While most people would consider enough food for a few days or a few weeks to be a sufficient emergency supply, these folks think in terms of a complete year.
And no worries about this stuff going bad. The online ad at Costco for the Shelf Reliance THRIVE $799.99 offer says, "With over 4,700 servings and many foods with a shelf life of up to 20 years, this package will give you variety, nutrition, and peace of mind." Shelf Reliance is not the only company that sells packages like this.
We're not going to run out and buy a year's supply of food with a 10- to 20-year shelf life. But being prepared for a short-term emergency is always a good idea. So we've learned a few things from the food-storage advocates:
- Don't forget water. Plus, food-storage cookbook author Vicki Tate writes at Backwoods Home Magazine, "Make sure you add cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs. You can't cook even the most basic recipes without these items." Spices help prevent food boredom.
- Keep some fun foods like pudding or candy, Vicki says. Grains and beans can get really old.
- If you don't buy the No. 10 cans, store your supplies in food-storage containers. "If you are using plastic buckets, make sure they are lined with a food-grade plastic liner available from companies that carry packaging supplies," Vicki advises.
- Learn how to cook what you've stored. You don't want to wait until after the tornado hits to familiarize yourself with the wheat grinder.
Does having a year's worth of food sound a bit alarmist to you? Another company that sells large supplies of freeze-dried and dehydrated food warns at its Web site, YourFoodStorage.com, that up to 2 billion people might get swine flu worldwide.
It also says, "We will NEVER sell you food storage that is left over from the Y2K days!"
Published Sept. 29, 2009
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