Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Post-Apocalyptic Fare: What’s on the Menu When Doomsday Comes?





Never before has there been more interest, speculation, and excitement surrounding doomsday theories. The Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world on December 21st of this year, another theory suggests that Planet X –a mysterious brown dwarf star hidden by the sun—will enter our solar system in 2012 and destroy humanity, and some scientists claim solar flares are scheduled to hit planet Earth before January 1, 2013. While there are plenty of arguments for and against these theories, it is clear that the topic is on a lot of people’s minds (just think about the number of “end of the world” movies released in the past five years and the millions of dollars they gross in the box office).

Whether we buy into the theories or not—and considering our recent string of natural disasters— it is definitely worth thinking through how we would react in a crisis situation. Our chances of being involved in some sort of catastrophe may be more likely than we would care to admit. And it always pays to be prepared.

Possibly the most frightening aspect we have to confront when considering such a situation is that the most basic elements of our everyday lives, those things we tend to take for granted, are no longer readily available. Because food and water are our most essential needs, any emergency preparedness plan should include food storage. Acquiring adequate food storage is not a new idea but many shy away from doing it because initially it may seem like a huge task. It can be fairly simple and when it’s the difference between life and death it is certainly worth the effort.

The most obvious and essential item to begin with when building your food storage is water. Whether you’re stuck in your home because of a zombie apocalypse or because an earthquake has made it impossible to get to the grocery store, you are going to be thirsty and you’re going to need water. Experts suggest that an adult should drink between 9 and 13 cups (around 2.5 liters) of fluid per day. Use these rough numbers to calculate daily, weekly, or monthly needs for your specific situation. While any fluid will do, water is the cheapest and safest to store for extended periods of time without refrigeration. If the thought of just drinking water for every meal is unsavory, you may consider powdered drink mixes to add a little flavor.

Once you have your water needs adequately planned for you will want to build a decent food supply. It might seem silly to ask, “what’s for dinner?” after a tidal wave has swallowed half of the continent, but you have to eat to live and you want to live. Building your own food storage doesn’t have to be complicated, just stick to the basics. Grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats and beans are all part of a healthy diet and should be the staples of your food storage. Flour, rice, and macaroni are easy to find in large quantities and will last for a long time. Dried fruits and vegetable are also readily available in larger quantities. Take care of your dairy needs with items like powdered milk, yogurt bites, and freeze-dried cheeses and look into purchasing large cans of dried beans and freeze dried meats to ensure you will be consuming enough protein to have the energy you will need.

While this list probably won’t be found on the menu of your favorite local restaurant, many of these foods are fairly tasty. More importantly, of course, they will help keep you alive.

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