The Covid-19 pandemic has affected people all around the world. Millions of people have lost their jobs as a result of national lockdowns. Disrupted agricultural production and food supply routes have brought food shortages and hunger. According to experts, globally, 135 million people were facing extreme hunger at the beginning of 2020. This figure is expected to rise to 265 million people by the end of this year according to the World Food Program.
Considering these facts and figures, we can say that we may experience food shortages in the upcoming couple of months. In this situation, the most obvious thing to do is to be prepared for upcoming shortages because it will be hard to survive without food. In this article we will discuss strategies on how to be prepared for potential food shortages?
How to be prepared for potential food shortages?
You need to know that grocery stores only have about 3 days of food in stock in case of food shortage. As you probably already know from the previous lockdown and food shortages related to Covid 19, people start panic buying, and food vanishes in less than a day or even in a few hours. So if you want to overcome the potential food shortages, you need to start preparing NOW. Below is a list of various strategies that will help you prepare for upcoming food shortages. Let’s get started.
1- Stockpile your food
You have to start stockpiling your food. Stockpiling your food for 30-60 days will be enough right now wherever you live. Consider your food bank as an investment. First, decide the type and amount of food you want to store and also the budget you plan to invest. Enlist everything you like to eat and make sure that your stock contains food rich in all the vitamins, carbohydrates, protein, fats, etc.
Buy only those food items you enjoy eating, so if we don’t experience food shortages before the expiration of the items, then you can eat them and restock them again. In the meantime, keep buying what you usually buy.
Below is the list of food items that you should consider buying as they have long expiration dates and are essential.
Water is a necessity because a person cannot survive for more than 4 days without water.
It can last forever and is quite useful for storing food and giving flavor to your food.
- Powdered milk
Powdered milk is rich in vitamins and minerals and contains all amino acids. It can last for more than 2 years if stored properly.
- Peanut butter
It is rich in protein and fats and can last for up to 5 years if stored properly.
Fish is rich in vitamin D and fatty acids essential for boosting your immune system. You can stockpile frozen, dried, or canned fish.
- Canned meat
Canned meat is rich in protein and can last for 6-10 years.
- Fresh meat
Meat is a rich source of protein and you can freeze meat for up to 4-12 months.
Beans are rich in protein, and if stored in a cool, dry, and dark place, they can last up to 10 years.
- Flour and whole grains
Grains are very cheap and can preserve very well.
Rice can last for up to 10 years if stored properly.
Pasta can last a very long time if kept properly.
- Dried fruits
Dried fruits are a rich source of potassium and dietary fiber and can be stored easily.
Nuts are healthy, high energy foods and can last extremely long.
- Canned vegetables and fruits
Canned vegetables and fruits are a good source of nutrition and can last for 1-2 years.
- Cooking oil
It is essential for making your food and can last for up to 1-2 years.
Honey is rich in minerals and antioxidants and can last forever.
Supplements can act as an alternative to nutrients that you get from your food.
2- Grow your own food
Stockpiling your food is very important, but in case of a long-term food shortage, it’s sensible to have the means to grow your own food. Gardening is a great way to survive a potential food shortage. Make a small garden in your backyard and grow some vegetables, herbs, and fruit. Food that you can grow in your garden include radishes, carrots, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, strawberries, legumes, and beans.
However, if you don’t know much about gardening or don’t have enough space to build a garden in your yard, then you can grow food inside of your house using self-watering planters as they don’t take much space and are easy to maintain. How about a planter where you just put the seeds in the container and it grows them for you for the rest of the season? Sounds great, right? Well, that’s what the Torpedopot self-growing container does.
The Torpedopot helps in automating and regulating the amount of water and nutrients required for your plants. These self-watering, vertical gardening planters can be automated by using a timer or data acquisition test and control station after setting up the entire system of planters. It’s our favorite planter because of its 1 hour per year setup, maintenance, and patent technology.
Your role is just adding soil and seeds or seedlings into the Torpedopot self-watering planter, turning it on, choosing feeding schedules, and enjoying the growth for the rest of the season. You can grow a lot of fruits, vegetables, and herbs without even touching the ground.
3- Raise meat and eggs
You can also raise animals in your backyard or on a small farm. People also raise chickens or rabbits in garages or basements in humane ways. Choose small domestic animals that are easy to handle and provide you other things along with meat. You can raise chickens, ducks, sheep, and fish. All of them are a good source of meat, and chickens or ducks can provide eggs and sheep can provide milk.
4- Learn food preservation
If you want to enjoy homegrown or locally grown fruits, vegetables, and meat throughout the year, then learn how to preserve food. Food can be preserved in many ways like canning, pickling, and dehydrating. You will require some tools, materials, and knowledge of preservation. It is important to know about food safety guidelines to prevent botulism and other potential food poisonings by doing proper preservation of food.
5- Save seeds
It’s essential at times of a potential food shortage to use everything you have. Get seeds from fresh fruits and vegetables that you are eating now. You can also collect seeds from healthy plants and learn how to properly dry out, store, and plant them to replenish your food stores later.
6- Stockpiling emergency items
You need to stock up on other emergency items. When people start panic buying, they buy many other items beyond just food, and then it will be tough and even dangerous to compete with people at stores. Make a list of other important things and start buying them now. Below is a list of things to consider stocking up on.
Cash, first aid kit, medication, over the counter drugs, sunscreen, batteries, gas stove, propane, garbage bags, wipes, toilet paper, plates or bowls, utensils, water purifier, bug spray, ax, shovel, extra blankets, extra contacts, glasses, etc.
7- Don’t waste food
Last but not least: don’t waste your food. Make use of everything you have. You can save meat bones and use them to make bone broth. You can use the broth to cook rice and soups and more. You can use your vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells to make a compost pile that you can add to the soil while growing vegetables and fruits.
Where to store your food stockpile
Here is a list of different spots where you can store food.
In your home, the basement is a good place to store your food stockpile. It is a dark and cool place, which is essential to make sure that food items don’t go bad. Humidity can be a problem in the basement, so you might need a dehumidifier for that. Because of the humidity problem, place pellets in the basement and put your food on pallets. Also, try to store your food in airtight packaging.
You can store food in the garage because of the large space. However, it’s not the ideal choice because it is very hard to maintain the temperature and moisture of the garage.
Closets and pantries:
These are great places for storing food as it’s easy to control temperature and humidity there. However, there is a problem of not having enough space for storage in closets. A well-organized shelving system might solve this problem.
You need to build up your food stores because you and your family will be depending on it for your survival at the time of a food shortage. We have given you a list of strategies to overcome a potential food shortage. Just start with one solution and make it happen. Always remember, you can do a lot no matter what your budget is.