Rising Food & Energy Costs = Depression: An Idiots Guide To Food Self Reliance Survival 101 We are fast approaching, here in the United States, some definite turning points that can affect you profoundly. One of those turning points is economic hardship coupled with increasing fuel costs. What does that mean for you? Two words: food costs. Even though Ben Bernanke is unable, due to Presidential Decree, to factor food and energy costs into his calculations, we, the people see the real deal. We are in a serious situation. Food and fuel are directly tied together. Whether we like it or not, when the cost of producing and transporting those canned goods, vegetables, meats, breads etc. goes up, the prices of those goods go up as well. Do you have a good job, decent income? How good? How decent? Rising Costs Let me explain in detail a basic scenario for the average American family: a weekly food and fuel budget for my house. At current prices, these two items alone can make or break a family budget. Notice I am not including utilities or housing costs, just food and fuel – which is left out of any cost of living calculations, which the Fed uses to stand firm on the “no recession/depression” ground. Total for 1 week food & fuel for my family: 280.00/Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs), at current pricing. Bump your fuel and food costs up just 15%. It makes a difference of 229.19 FRNs per month. Bump the costs 45% and you get a difference of nearly 1800.00 FRNs per month! Is your paycheck going up? Mine isn’t. You can see where I am going with this. Read on! Wealth evaporation We are seeing something very subtle. The economic structure of the US is under immense pressure. Rising fuel costs in a recession is a dangerous thing. Even though the Federal Reserve and the federal government are telling you there is no depression, we are living in perhaps the largest depression in American history! Fortunately, there are ways to help mitigate the crushing costs and gain some economic freedom; gardening and small livestock, most notably. It is about being prepared for a full economic Armageddon. It is called being a prepper. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best Here is a good example of an average suburbanite prepper family’s ideal plan to feed their family when the stores are too expensive or food is just not available. Please note, my grandparents grew up during the depression, so they taught me a lot. However a lot has changed since then. With the burgeoning growth of cities, people moved away from the farm, away from self -reliance. We need to recapture that self-reliance, and start now, before it is too late: #1: Eating/preserving what you can produce: Garden (Square Foot Garden), rabbits, goats (meat and milk), chickens & ducks (meat, eggs, feathers) etc. – even if you do not have the land to raise goats, chickens, ducks etc. rabbits are what I call stealth livestock. You can even raise large numbers of rabbits in an apartment. Did you know that rabbits produce more meat per ounce of feed than a cow does? This is both efficient and easy and cuts down significantly on your reliance on grocery stores. #2: Stored food: FEMA recommends that the average family have 3 days food/water on hand “just in case”. If you truly want to be prepared, shoot for a minimum of 1 month. Best case scenario: 1-2 years of stored food and water, if you can. At the very least, store whatever you can fit in your house/apartment. Eat and drink your stored food only when fresh foods and potable water are not available, for whatever reason. Another point I want to make is the food storage you gain out of gardens/small livestock. I am talking about drying, canning, etc. This is probably the greatest gain you will ever make in being prepared. When you get a harvest, you cannot eat everything, this includes meats. You must learn to process your food, can and/or preserve in some way, thereby expanding your (hopefully) already existing stored foods. So that being said, buy the appropriate materials/books and learn how to process animals, can, and preserve now! Not later, after you desperately need a way to preserve that bumper crop of squash, or that overabundance of tomatoes, that huge litter of rabbits. Learn now while you have the leeway of being able to make mistakes, because in a survival scenario, much like the economic crash in Argentina, your margin for error is very, very narrow. Conclusion If you are not gardening and raising food animals right now, then you are setting yourself up for definite failure, should we have a severe economic crisis. Ben Franklin said it best: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Besides, is there anything bad about lowering your bills and eating your very own organically grown, home cooked food? I can’t think of any, myself. This, as with any endeavor is a personal choice, Your Mileage May Vary, and of course all of this is just hypothetical, right? Yeah, right. Be safe, be prepared!