I’m aware that I’m discussing America’s future as though all we faced was another Great Depression. What we are facing is the end of America, and the end of an era in history. I am convinced that when that end comes, it will be a cauldron of blood and horror which will be worse than all other historical benchmarks. In my opinion there is only one hope of escape, and we will discuss that in the 3rd, final article in this series. What I offer here is offered in the hope that it will make things a little easier for some of us. That’s all.
After writing Part One of this series, I did a little research on food and nutrition. Most is common knowledge, so I’ll be brief. Those of us who have pampered ourselves need to get ready to live like the Great Depression Generation. If we want to be healthy in spite of it all, some food research may help.
I have begun trial consumption of foods that I don’t like, to get in practice for the next / continuing / increasing food shortage. Whole wheat bread, my favorite, disappeared off the shelves. Last week it was still in short supply. So I bought a loaf of pumpernickel, whole grain and still plentiful, since apparently not many others like it either. With butter, it’s OK and doesn’t cause me stomach problems. Margarine if butter runs out. I’ll try plain rye next. Oscar Meyer Natural luncheon meat is long gone. A friend gave me the least desirable canned chili I’ve ever seen, but practicing for deprivation, I’m starting to add it to vegetables. I was also given several pounds of cooked white meat chicken – with too much exotic spice. Perfectly good chicken, rendered unappetizing by someone who imagined he or she is a chef. But what if it was all I had? So that’s on the menu next. Then >shudder< canned pork. Teaching myself that there’s a difference between desirable and necessary. Recommended practice for those who haven’t had to practice it already. I don’t think there aren’t many of those among us, though.
Meat was in short supply in World War Two, and “our” government, or maybe God, is causing that to happen again. Grains and legumes are easier to grow than cows and pigs, and provide more protein per growing space. The trick with grains and legumes is that you have to have a mix, because neither contains all nine of the essential amino acids, but together they do. For good health, it’s necessary to have a good supply of the nine “essential” amino acids, those your body can’t manufacture. A brief list of the nine and what they do is available here.
For those who are uncertain about plant-vs-animal protein, here’s an explanation of the concerns and why they’re not concerns. That page also links to a good layman’s explanation of protein’s importance.
When reviewing various studies, keep in mind that statisticians long ago established that a minimum number of about 32 “samples” of only one variable gives a pretty good idea of the results of anything you measure. My rocket-scientist father agreed with that, and I saw it proven by following over a period of about five years a study of something interesting to me. So don’t let massive numbers in studies sway you too much. Numbers alone don’t tell the whole story.
Regarding vegetables and legumes: pay attention to the word “bio-availability”. Meat and dairy products are king here. If you eat one ounce of meat or dairy protein, your body gets one ounce of protein. One ounce of protein from grains and vegetables will give your body less than an ounce. How much less depends on the grain or vegetable, but none of them are poor in bio-availability.
Growing your own: vegetables, fruits, and grains: what is needed are heirloom seeds, with fixed genetic traits that reproduce the same veggie or fruit every season. This means that you are not at the mercy of Big Agriculture, as long as their GMO crops don’t cross-pollinate your plants. If that happens, they may sue you for growing their patented crops. That’s a nightmare, not a joke.
Sources of heirloom seeds:
“Your non-GMO Seed Source Since 1974”
“Bucket – 39 varieties of seed … each kit contains more than 4,500 Heirloom Seeds.” Warning: the buckets do contain the unmentionable veggie, asp.. ah, sorry, shouldn’t have mentioned it.
Even Burpee has gotten into the heirloom-seed market.
There are many more sources of heirloom seeds.
Readywise, listed above, also sells several sizes of freeze-dried (prepared, cooked) food buckets: $160 (120 servings of vegetables), $170 (120 servings of fruit), to $220 (60 servings of meat).
There’s a review of 12 survival food companies here. From what I’ve heard, Mountain House has always been the best, but they seem to be available only on Amazon right now and their prices were always very high.
I apologize for the sneer in the article at this link directed at those who prefer meat in their diet. We who are carnivores have sneered at Vegans quite a bit, so ignore it and absorb the knowledge here about whole-protein grain / vegetable combinations, and “supergrains” (single grains that contain all nine essential amino acids). You may need the knowledge some day.
Freeze-dried foods are both good short-term solutions and excellent long-shelf-life (up to 25 years) items. Mr. and Mrs. Frog looked into freeze-drying their own, and liked what they saw. Currently prices for freeze driers from Harvest Right run from $2200 to $3400 dollars. And you have to have electricity.
However, consider that if you can afford one of the $2200 freeze dryers, the cost would equal 1650 Readywise vegetable meals (of the vegetables they sell), or 600 servings of meat (seasoned the way they choose). Pay that $2200 for the smallest freezedryer, which carries a three-year warranty, and according to Harvest Right’s website, in one year you can freezedry 1450 pounds fresh weight of food into 312 gallons of freezedried food.
Per Readywise’s site, their buckets are all 11.75″ x 9.75″ x 12.50″; approximately 6.2 gallons external dimensions. So for the price of the freezedryer, you’d be getting approximately, at most, 62 gallons of meat or – OR, not “also” – approximately, at most, 82.6 gallons of vegetables. If I did the math right.
Of course, there’s more math: the cost of the electricity, cost of the food, time involved in drying, and the cheapest freezedryer option includes a pump (to evacuate the internal atmosphere) which requires oil. How often do you need to change the oil? How much does it cost? Can you use motor oil available locally? Will that void your warranty? Or you could buy either of two oil-free pumps from Harvest Right, for $700 or $1500.
Starvation is beginning to look attractive, isn’t it? But the next article will in part describe the only hope of escape from all this trouble. Until next time, bon appetit!