I am in the process of making a video for a church meeting I am in charge of. There will be an estimated 200 women in attendance at this meeting. I chose the topic of "Food Storage" to focus on in this event. In our religion we are encouraged to try to have a year's supply of food on hand. One church leader even compared the importance of having food stored to Noah's ark.
Let me refresh your memory if you aren't familiar with that story. God commanded Noah to build an ark. I think Noah COULD have said to himself, "I don't have room for an ark in my back yard!", or "I can't afford to build an ark!". He even could have thought, "Why in the world would I ever need an ark?". He could have worried what the neighbors would say. In fact, as it turned out, the people in his city scoffed and told him he was foolish. But Noah was obedient and built the ark. When the rains came, he and his family, and animals that he had gathered entered the ark with seeds and food and the other things that they needed, and were kept safe from the flood that covered the earth.
Today in our religion we are councilled to have a year's supply of food. Some might say they don't have room to store it. Some might say they don't have the money to buy it. Some might wonder why in the world they would ever need it. Many might worry about what others might say if they saw food stored in their house. But those of us who see the wisdom in this council take the advice and just do it.
As part of the video I am making, I have been going to different homes to get footage of how people store their food. Two things have shocked me about this experience. Number one, I have been shocked as I have called around, to find out that not many people are actually storing food. I'm not sure which of the above excuses they use, but for whatever reason, they don't follow this advice. The second thing that shocks me is when I do find someone who stores food, to see how poorly it is stored, and how little of it they actually have. If the importance of storing food can be compared to the importance of Noah building an ark, then many of these people are in big trouble.
I don't claim to be perfect in this area, but I do think we could survive for one year on the food that we have stored. We may not like it that much, and we may lose weight in the process, but we will survive if there is some sort of famine, or other disaster that prevents us from being able to buy food.
But here is the amazing fact about food storage. If people were to store the basic items, and use them on a daily basis, they would actually save money, and be healthier. One of the things that we store is wheat. Wheat is very versatile and full of food value. You can grind it to make flour, or crack it or just boil it to make hot cereal. We also store alot of rice and beans. Eating food basics such as wheat, rice, and beans is much healthier than focusing on meats and dairy. When I first started storing food, I went to price oatmeal at the store. A small container of it was about $3 or $4. We went to another section of the store and found a huge 25 pound bag of oatmeal for abotu $8. MUCH, much cheaper!
When we lived in China we knew a woman who insisted that her husband's company move her year's supply of food over to China when she moved there. After she got there, and contemplated moving back home, she realized this hadn't been a wise decision. She began to give away the food that she had brought to other church members, or Chinese people who needed it. She had some Chinese men doing some work in her house, so asked their supervisor if he thought they could use some of the food. He told her that rice would be the best thing to give them because it took less energy to cook. These men lived a very primitive lifestyle, and fuel was something that was hard to come by. I'm sure they appreciated getting part of this woman's food supply.
As I have worked on this video, I have decided that I want to do a segment about "What you can eat in times of famine" and one about "What you cannot eat in times of famine". In the "What you cannot eat" segment, I want to show pictures of boats, fancy houses, jewelry, fancy clothes, electronic games and such. I want to remind people that these things are all nice, but in times of need, they won't fill our bellies.
If you are interested in learning more about what you should store for a year's supply of food, you can visit www.providentliving.org and click on "food storage and preparedness". They have an online guide that allows you to put in the number of people in your family, and it will tell you how much of each item you need to store. It also gives you other ideas for how to store, and why. Takes all the guess work out of it. The more I am involved with this video project, the more strongly I feel about the importance of storing food.
Do you know that a pandemic illness could prevent us from leaving our homes for a long period of time? If there were a terrible disaster, trucks could be kept from entering the city for many weeks. And what about unemployment? I can't remember the exact figure right now, but I once heard that many of us are only something like 6 paychecks away from homelessness. In other words, if we were to lose our jobs, it wouldn't take long before we would lose our homes if we didn't find employment. A year's supply of food just seems like wise advice.
My meeting is in January...I'll let you know how it goes.