The good days of complaining about mom’s meatloaf are over
Twinkies are officially kaput, so you’ll need an alternative means of sustenance over the long haul. Plenty of companies offer extended supplies of freeze-dried food — but these tap into your water supply and still require cooking to eat, which in turn requires fuel of some sort. For these reasons, a year’s supply of MREs (meals ready to eat) is a better option for transitional stores. The self-contained meals require no cooking, can be eaten hot or cold and have a shelf life of five years, providing a reliable nutrition window until you can begin sustainable food cultivation on your own.
“The duration of survival without food is greatly influenced by factors such as body weight, genetic variation, other health considerations and, most importantly, the presence or absence of dehydration. At the age of 74 and already slight of build, Mahatma Gandhi survived 21 days of total starvation while only allowing himself sips of water.” – Alan D. Lieberson, M.D. for Scientific American
Lasting beyond your MREs will depend on a green thumb and gathering skills. Buying a variety of non-hybrid, non-GMO (non-genetically modified organism) vegetable seeds is a must for any future gardening plans. These are commonly referred to as Heirloom seeds, but that’s a generic bit of branding — so don’t buy off of the Heirloom labeling alone. You want non-GMO because genetically modified plants are often sterile (Monsanto doesn’t give a damn about your end of the world preps). You want non-hybrid because these seeds are open-pollinated, passed down through generations, and true to type. This means you can save the seeds from the resulting crops to plant the next harvest, and you’ll get the same plant. Buy enough to plant a few acres at max, and you’ll have an excellent starting point for a lifetime a food. If you can fish, hunt or gather, you might even avoid dying as a vegetarian.
To store that home-grown produce, it’s a good idea to take up canning, which turns fruits and vegetables into still-tasty, one- to five-year sustenance goldmines. The combination of airtight containers (like glass jars, which you can stock up on and shouldn’t be that hard to locate even once the world takes a nose dive) and pre-boiling food before it goes on a long vinegar nap prevents pretty much any contamination from microorganisms. Curing (simply an intense dry rub process involving salt, sugar and nitrates) adds a similar level of longevity to meats. Together, both preservation methods are the perfect way to survive a holed-up, food-short winter.
Hat Tip: Gear Patrol
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