The more I speak out about the need for long term and short term food storage, the more I am asked two questions. People are curious as to why I have food storage and once I explain, they want to know why I think it is important for them to have food storage. I try to answer both of these questions when I am giving seminars and I will try to condense my answer into this essay.
Why do I have food storage?
I am LDS. Yes, one of THOSE “Mormons”. Some of you may be LDS, some of you may have LDS friends and for some of you, we remain those strange people whom you have never met, who believe in some weird book. I assure you, that I am much like you……well, sort of anyway. One of those weird and quirky things about the “Mormons” is that we are taught to have at least a year’s supply of food storage basics (long term food storage) and at least a three month supply of food we would normally eat (short term food storage) as well as a 72 hour kit (bug-out bag). Notice, I said AT LEAST. Now you may be asking yourself, why is it that the “Mormons” are taught to have food storage? Not to start a theological debate, but rather by way of explanation, one of those “strange” things about “Mormons” is that they believe in continuing revelation. Much like the story of Joseph in the Bible, we are taught that although we live in times of feast, there will come times of famine for which we must prepare. We are also taught that it is our responsibility and stewardship to take care of our families and we teach it to our children so that they will do the same with their children. Do all of your LDS neighbors have a year’s supply of food? No. Just like any other church, there are some who listen and obey and there are some who simply fill a pew.
Why should you have food storage?
Okay, so you are not LDS and you don’t have some authority figure telling you that you must have food storage. You may wonder why it is that YOU should jump on to this crazy train. Well, what does your own common sense have to say to you these days? Have you noticed the prices of your usual groceries going steadily up? How about the price of gas? How about the price of anything??? Did you know, that way back in the early 1960’s, a gallon of gas would cost you 3 dimes? Those same dimes were 90% silver in content. Now, did you know that you could take those same 3 pre-1964 dimes and buy more than that same gallon of gas today? What has changed? Has gas gotten more expensive, or is it your dollar that has lost some of its value? Since that time, the U.S. government has unpegged us completely from gold and silver money and our dollar has slowly dropped in value, with a dramatic plummet on the very near horizon. If you look at money from a bye gone era, you will note that written right on the bill, it USED to say “redeemable in silver and/or gold”. Now it is no longer a promise of precious metals, it is merely a piece of paper. With this loss of purchasing power, your REAL wealth, or your ability to actually provide for your family, is diminished. When I say provide, I’m not speaking of that flat screen T.V. or vacation to Disney, I am speaking of your ability to actually feed, clothe and house your family. That ability is diminishing more each day and unless you have been totally unplugged from current affairs, you should be aware that our current way of life is completely unsustainable and will collapse under its own weight. In my humble opinion, real, or tangible wealth is the currency of the future. My ability to provide for the physical needs of myself and my family are my responsibility and my responsibility alone. During the Great Depression, LDS members who headed the call to have food storage fared far better than their neighbors.
Natural disasters are occurring more and more often. To assume and suggest that these things won’t happen where you live are pure folly. We only need to look as far back as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Here in South Carolina some years ago, we had Hurricane Hugo and many in this state were without power for more than a week. That meant that the grocery stores and restaurants were without power as well. Columbia and Charleston sit on major fault lines. How about a disaster at the Savannah River Nuclear Plant in Aiken? Remember the major blackout in the Northeast just a few years ago? How about an ice storm? Here in the south, if someone so much as whispers the word snow, the shelves in the grocery store empty as if the apocalypse was upon us! Let me tell you how nice it is to sit back and only be a spectator of the sudden panic and uncontrollable need for bread and milk that a mere snowflake seems to bring.
We live in an unpredictable world these days. We have many countries that not only dislike us, they downright hate us. They would like nothing better than to see our country fall. Fifteen years ago, none of us ever considered the possibility of terrorism here on U.S. soil. That was only something Israel dealt with. Few of us still think that way. To believe that a war in one form or another will never touch U.S. soil should also be a thought that is gone with the wind. Ever heard of an EMP? How about a forced quarantine for a small pox outbreak? Frederic Bastiat once said that “Hunger is an evil counselor.” What poor decisions might you make or what might you be forced to go along with if you or your children are staving?
Once I have provided for myself, I feel it is incumbent upon me, as a Christian to provide for my neighbor in need to the best of my ability. This is why, once I have hit a year’s storage, I continue to store more food. I know that I will have family and friends who have been unable or unwilling to prepare for themselves. Food storage doesn’t have to be for some far off, mystical, future date. It can also be for here and now and may be a life saver to you or your friends long before you had planned. I have been able to help others in need by sharing some of my food storage with them when I have been unable to assist them financially. I myself have had to eat off of my own food storage several times when I could not afford to buy my groceries and needed to spend what little money I had to pay bills.
Webster’s Dictionary defines provident as making provisions for the future. Mormons believe in Provident Living. For those of us that practice it, having food storage isn’t just what we do, it is also who we are. Provident living, for whatever your reason, just makes good sense. You purchase car insurance, health insurance, life insurance and homeowner’s insurance. Why wouldn’t you purchase food insurance as well? You may never use any of it, but its there if you need it. It’s really not any crazier than planning for a car accident, house fire or a heart transplant that you may never have. The ONLY difference is that it is not as socially acceptable, and really…….. Are you going to let that be the thing that stops you?? Remember, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark and I’m betting his neighbors laughed at him right up until it started raining. All of these reasons and many more lead me to have food storage and I hope that you too will find a reason to live providently!