During the collapse you have no food- Now what?
I felt compelled to write this after reading The Survival Institute's article on "What To Do If You Run Out Of Food When The SHTF".
The Survival Institute article leads into foraging for food and some excellent guidelines for edibility testing on suspect plants. Great information and a key wilderness survival skill, but there are few regions in this nation that will, in small areas, provide adequate plants for forage to sustain a small group for very long. Even supplementing with fish and game, this is a iffy proposal.
This is in no way a rebuttal against the Survival Institute, as the scenario they are describing is certainly a type of contingency and we are all about planning contingencies using the PACE model (Primary Plan, Alternate Plan, Contingency Plan and Emergency Plan). Don't try to read into what each letter stands for P-A-C-E,....the idea is to have an alternate plan in case the current plan goes bad. When executing the current plan you may reach obstacles, indicators or criteria which would cue you to switch to the alternate plan. In this case the plan is food sources.
I get it that even the most well stocked SHTF warehouse could (and eventually will) run out of food. So procurement (hunting, fishing or barter) and growing your own food (both animals and plants) have got to receive adequate if nor primary attention (along with water and security) in your overall Collapse Planning. While you should have wilderness survival skills, you also have to an adequate, time effective plan for food and sustaining (growing) the sustainment!
In my mind - in the way I categorize and plan, my food sustainment plan is pretty much what I have outlined below:
~ Pantry or canned, boxed and refrigerated food for immediate use. During a Bug In (hunkering down in place) I will use these foods until they are largely gone.
~ I have vacuum packed small to large bulk storage of food. Everything from rice, beans, chick peas, flour, sugar, coffee, tea, honey, peanut butter, various nuts, ....Some of these are in buckets with handles so you can put them into a vehicle and support a mobile mission away from the defended Bug In site for a certain number of days. The deployed team would be eating out of this bucket and saving their food and supplies in their bug out bags in case they had to leave or abandon the vehicle for any reason. The bucket also serves as a stool, table or to collect water or other material in when emptied.
~ Dehydrated Canned in large #10 cans, vegetables, nuts and fruit.
~ While I do not currently have Chickens, I have boxed up chicken coops so at the right time I can barter for chickens and rabbits to have a source of protein from those sources.
~ Seeds and Growing your own food. While I have a small garden, this year limited to squash, tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes, I have a large supply of hybrid and non-hybrid seeds to plant more and for barter purposes. I also have lumber and hardware to build off the ground container beds for crops, or to take the material with me if I have to Bug Out and use it elsewhere.
So the topic of food and planning is so important. I probably receive as many questions on food and food stocking as I do any other single subject. Many questions are prepping on a budget. This is simply re-directional spending and does not require giant wads of cash to buy just a bit extra each trip and put it way. If you put the occasional change and dollar bills in a can soon you be surprised to have $80 to $100 to buy a case of dehydrated food. Where there is a need there will be a way to get there.