Monday, September 29, 2008

Let's Focus on Food

One of the most insidious problems resulting from the current economic crisis is the possibility that many more families will go hungry. Rather than participate in a polemic on the cause of the crisis, it is important to realize that there are things we can all do to lesson the impact of the crisis on our family. One of the ways, is to have a program of home storage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has developed extensive programs and materials that will assist in setting up your own personal or family plan to carry you through hard times.

The Church's First Presidency has stated:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Our Heavenly Father created this beautiful earth, with all its abundance,
for our benefit and use. His purpose is to provide for our needs
as we walk in faith and obedience. He has lovingly commanded us to
“prepare every needful thing” (see D&C 109:8) so that, should adversity
come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops
as they care for others.
We encourage Church members worldwide to prepare for adversity
in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in
We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your
savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into
debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you
can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.
We realize that some of you may not have financial resources or
space for such storage. Some of you may be prohibited by law from
storing large amounts of food. We encourage you to store as much as
circumstances allow.
May the Lord bless you in your home storage efforts.
The First Presidency

The fact is, you don't have to be a member of the Church to enjoy the benefits of home storage. My family has always made food storage a priority. As a result, we have weathered many hard times and have always had food for our family. We have seven children and sometimes our budget barely covered our house payment. Without a food storage program, there would have been many times that our family would have gone hungry. During the next few weeks, I will discuss some of the practical realities of having an adequate food storage plan. Historically, we have talked about a year's supply of basic necessities. Currently, the Church encourages its members to have a three month's supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet; also to store drinking water. Provident home storage also includes a plan to save a financial reserve and, where permitted, have longer shelf-life storage such as wheat, rice and beans.

One of the first challenges faced by those living in today's world is the loss of skills associated with food production, storage and preparation. Highly prepared foods usually have a very short shelf-life. Some foods, like milk, vegetables and fruits, have a shelf-life limited to a matter of days. Other prepared foods may last longer, such as canned goods and dried foods, like pasta, but they may still deteriorate over time. In any food storage situation it is very important to have a plan. It only makes sense to buy foods when they are in stock and cheaper and then use the foods over a period of time. Because of the loss of basic skills concerning food, most people rely heavily on prepared food. In my work experience, I have seen my co-workers spend considerable time and even more money buying expensive prepared foods each day for lunch. Now for more than forty years, I have been eating a simple lunch of a sandwich and a piece of fruit and occasionally, a cookie. It is truly amazing how much money can be saved from this simple habit.

More later.

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