Thursday, May 26, 2011

If You Are Prepared...

Grannymar made this comment on my last post, "I think we all have more food than we realise in our larders." That spurred a memory of my childhood that I wanted to share. The principle behind this memory is that unless we carefully assess our stores of food, we may not have as much as we think we do.

In our church, the prophets have been counseling us for many, many years that we should have a year's supply of food. I remember hearing this counsel from the earliest time that I can remember. It is part of our lives, and part of our psychology. Some outside the church might think it extreme, but we have proved over and over that it is sound advice. In some countries, the government doesn't allow food storage. But even in those cases, the church leaders encourage members to store as much as they are allowed. So as a young girl, this was part of life for me, and my parents tried to get what food they could.

Wheat was the biggest part of our storage, and my mother made homemade wheat bread for us. When my kids complain about the school lunches I make for them, I tell them about the wheat bread sandwiches that I ate as a child. My mother's wheat bread wasn't the best, and it was a little on the dry side. But I was used to it, and it did fill us up.

Sorry, I got a little derailed, but let me get on with the memory. So one day in church, our Bishop talked to us about having food storage. He asked us to go for two weeks without going to the store. My parents usually did a big grocery shopping once a month, and they had been planning to go that week! They knew it would be hard to go two weeks without shopping, but the decided to do it anyway. I don't remember what kind of meals we ate during that time, but I think that just shows that it must have seemed normal to me. I do remember drinking powdered milk. I'm sure it really tested my mother's creativity to come up with meals based on just the food in the house.

Some years ago I was in charge of a multi-congregation activity, in which we focused on being prepared. I displayed a year's supply of food for one person. To see that much food laid out, gives a good idea of how much more is needed for an entire family. So while you think that what you have in your cupboard would last a long time, I would guess that a normal cupboard of food would only last a few weeks.

The idea behind food supply is that there are many circumstances that might arise that would make it difficult to buy food. Many church members have talked about how their supply of food saved them when they lost employment. Others were injured on the job and their food supply helped them through the time of their recovery. Think about what would happen if there were an earthquake in your city. I know that if it happened in mine, which is highly possible living this close to San Francisco, food trucks would not be able to bring the food in to the city!

And so I am working on my own year supply of food. I try to rotate it, and think of creative ways to use it. There are some items that I need to buy, but I have a pretty good supply. It may seem an extreme measure to some, but to me it is a way of life.

We have a scripture in our "Doctrine and Covenants" that says in part, " but if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." D&C 38:30. I have found that scripture to be true. We never know what will happen in our lives, and in our community. But it doesn't hurt to be prepared, and it does bring peace of mind!


Grannymar said...

Back in 2009, I was facing hip surgery and planned ahead accordingly. I would only have Nurse Hitler (Elly) for six weeks to look after me, and wanted to be independent before she returned home to her husband and work in Dublin.

As a forerunner I decided to see how long I could run without going food shopping. In ways I am fortunate since I cannot tolerate dairy products, so running out of Milk and butter was not a problem for me. I always keep bread in my freezer and have the flour etc available for making my own wheaten and soda bread. I lasted six weeks - not bad for a spur of the moment decision to try this experiment.

Then I wrote a long list of food items to add to the store cupboard and began a cooking and baking marathon to fill my freezer with meals for the days when my energy levels were low.

In fact on the day Elly brought me home from the hospital we had a full dinner that I had ready in the freezer. Home cooking tasted mighty good that day.:D

Inklings said...

Grannymar, I do the same thing when I know I am having surgery or something of that sort. I want to be as independent as possible, so I plan ahead.
I am happy to discover you think like I do on this one.