I really enjoyed the article “Emergency Food Supplies and Young People”, but it left out one VERY important item that will affect many people right away, and then subside. People have food stores, but they don’t eat the type of food in them very often. When I was growing up, my parents bought a few thousand dollars of freeze dried food, so we would be prepared. When the expiration dates started to approach we started trying to utilize this food in our daily meals. Needless to say we threw a lot of it away since it was just awful food. I am sure if I were starving I would have eaten it, but it was not good at all.
Many people will find that when they change their Current daily eating habits to what they have in their food storage it will cause them some gastric distress. We saw this a lot when doing longer term survival training with Marine’s and Navy SEAL’s. Even when they have things like MRE’s, it is a change from their daily dietary regimen. For kid’s who do not have the best diet habits this will be exacerbated.
For example let’s look at some kids current diet and then what it may change to:
Breakfast: Some Sugary Cereal (at least a couple of bowls) with 2% milk, and MAYBE a piece of fruit.
Lunch: Processed food provided courtesy of the local school, with a sugar filled chocolate milk, a fruit cup in heavy syrup, and a desert item of some sort.
(When I attended school with my son for a day I ate what he ate for lunch…well I tried to anyway. It’s just that I have never had pizza that tasted that bad before so I skipped it)
Dinner: Pasta, with bottled marinara (A LOT of sugar, and the vegetables have lost much of their nutrients), with Garlic Bread (made from a French loaf they got at the store).
Okay to say that this diet is high in Simple Carbohydrates and very processed is an understatement. That wonderful Garlic Bread made on the French loaf…well that bread is basically white bread and will turn to glucose in their blood as fast as if they drank a sugary soda.
That all being said let’s look at what some people I know have for emergencies and think they are prepared for a disaster with.
Breakfast: 8 Grain hot cereal. Non-fat dehydrated milk reconstituted with water. Dehydrated or freeze dried fruit.
Lunch: Dehydrated cup of soup, or some type of Asian noodle dish that you add hot water too.
Dinner: Bean and Rice dish cooked to make a complete protein.
Breakfast: That yummy whole grain cereal they bought is great nutrition, but if your body isn’t used to dealing with whole grains then you may want to stay away from any open flames as you will be ‘off-gassing’ as your GI tract gets used to it. Not to mention that if they have never had reconstituted milk, they may be in for a slight flavor change. I would recommend trying different types, since there is a difference in flavors. Also in an emergency Non-Fat is not always what you need.
Lunch: While not unusual even for non-emergency times, is high in salt and not very filling as those calories are pretty empty. Also will you even have hot water for lunch? If not, you could make it with cold water, but would they eat it cold?
Dinner: I could eat beans and rice any time, but then again I like it, and eat it all the time. I know what to add to the beans and rice to make it yummy as well, and have those items in my food storage. If I had to cook beans and rice with only salt and pepper, I don’t know if even I could eat that all the time. And yes it does make a complete protein, but then again you get the issue with gastric distension. You could try a freeze dried meal made from a can they purchased from www.buy_emergency_food_here.
I guess my point is that I am a believer that if you want to reduce the stress you will already be feeling during an emergency situation, then incorporate your food storage into your daily life so that you are not dealing with another big change. Have fun trying different things so that when you NEED to eat those things, they are not as foreign to your diet as they would be otherwise. Not to mention your body will have an easier time adapting to the change in food if it is somewhat used to it.
As a last note, DON’T FORGET TO STORE SEASONINGS. You will thank me for it later.