Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, food preservation, thrifting,
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Jul 19, 2012

National Droughts & The Future, Rising Corn Prices & Your Grocery Bill

  



National Droughts & The Future, Rising Corn Prices & Your Grocery Bill-

If you've followed the national news much (and you read between the lines) things could get pretty ugly at the grocery store soon. With the "worst drought in a generation" happening, affecting many crops and livestock, it's good to do what we can now to prepare for some certain upcoming changes. I read these two articles with some very sobering statistics- Worst Drought In A Generation  Rising Corn Prices & Grocery Bill

Those of us in the city (or in the country) who shop at a grocery stores on a regular basis tend to get lazy and complacent about shopping- the food will always be there, prices always about the same. I have peanut butter in my pantry I bought last year for $5.00 for a large jar. It's now $8.00+. Milk is up, grain is up. We tend not to notice the subtle, gradual changes right away. It tends to be cumulative. "Wait a minute, that was $... a few months ago". So what can we do? Think ahead.

This brings back thoughts about my Spring Food Preservation class I took. Ask yourself some questions when thinking about stocking your pantry (or talk to a friend who could use some info). If you don't have one now, start one. If you have one- good for you!!! Some dry goods can be stored in the garage- dried beans, paper products, things that aren't heat/freeze sensitive, in rodent-proof containers. The rest should be inside in a cool, dry area. Carve out an area somewhere. If you don't think you have room now think- how will you feed yourself later? Turn your linen closet into a food storage area, and store your linens somewhere else, like the garage (in a nice tote!). Buy an inexpensive food dehydrator, or build one. Start canning. Start stockpiling basics- grains, nuts, seeds, flours, salt, fats/oils, sugars, sweeteners, canned/dried fruits, veggies, dairy. Think about- what you would need if you couldn't go to the store for 2 weeks? What if 1 weeks food supply suddenly cost the same as 2 weeks food supply? What would you do? What would you do if you wanted to help other family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers? What would you be willing to give up NOW to get serious? I'm getting serious. I'm so glad we bought our small chest freezer. I'm saving a lot of $$$ that way. Right now split chickens are 99 cents a pound and that always ends around the end of summer. It's freezing time baby!!!

Here's an estimate of what 4 people would use food-wise for 2 weeks:
  • - 85 Gallons of Water
  • - 2 weeks of medications
  • - About 25lbs of grains/or equivalent calorie dense root vegetables
  • - 10lbs of beans or other legumes
  • - 3 lbs of sweetener
  • - 12 cans of fish or meat
  • - 5 lbs dry milk
  • - 12 cans of vegetables
  • - 2 lbs dried fruit
  • - 1 quart of oil
  • - Some Treats
  • - Just under 50 multivitamins
  • - Salt, baking soda, vinegar, baking powder, yeast, spices
Estimated Cost,  at the grocery store, depending on where you live (excluding Medications): $158.96
Estimated Cost, bought/ordered in bulk (plus extras):
$ 103.50

Food Storage Questions to Ask Yourself- 

What am I storing food for? 
What are my concerns? 
What kinds of situations are likely in my region? 
How much food do I want to store? 
For how many people/pets?  Don't forget your chickens! :)
How much water do I want to store? 
Am I likely to have people outside my immediate household who are with us in a crisis? 
Are there other things I want to store – clothing, medical supplies, tools?  What are they?
How much time and energy do I have to devote to this? 
How much space do I realistically think I have to devote to this?
How much money can I spend each week/month on this project?
Where will my stored food come from? 
How much of it will I grow/produce? 
What are my goals for food preservation? 
How much of my food will I buy, and from where? 
What can I get locally, and what do I have to get through the industrial food system? 
What’s the best and most ethical source for my food? 
What do I imagine doing with my food storage? 
Do I want it mostly to provide a hedge against a crisis, or for day to day use? 
Do I imagine myself eating regularly out of it and replacing it? 
Do I want to be able to share with others, or is my first priority protecting my own? 
How will I prevent loss of food to age, insects, mold?

Very thought-provoking, and better to answer now, than later. Breathe, don't panic and think ahead. It's much easier to be sane and smart when you have the time to go thru the process...
       Holiday barn ornament

        Holiday cow ornament
You can find out ways to support your local farmers with local groups or agencies, or go to FarmAid.org  Farm Aid Store They have some fun gear for sale to support their work. If you know of any other groups please let me know? I'm ordering these two items to help out. I'd go to a concert if I lived in the area...

2 comments:

Candy C. said...

Because I follow blogs from around the country, I saw this coming waaayy before the news reported it. People were talking about the drought and no pasture for their animals and that the corn isn't growing. Good post and a reminder to us all to be prepared.

nancy said...

Thanks, the "mainstream news" is always way behind the curve. People have been selling off their herds for years due to drought. Maybe someone will wonder why their Macd's burgers will go up, althought they buy lots of meat from Asia, ew. No USDA there :(

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