Saturday, December 6, 2008

Perilous times

Shortly after the great tragedy of September 11, 2001, President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke in the Church's General Conference. He began his talk by referring to the recent incidents and commented, "I need not remind you that we live in perilous times. I desire to speak concerning these times and our circumstances as members of this Church."

We are still living in perilous times. But as President Hinckley went on to say;

"We cannot provide against every contingency. But we can provide against many contingencies. Let the present situation remind us that this we should do.

As we have been continuously counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time in case of need. But let us not panic nor go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and His Beloved Son."

In the past, the LDS Church has urged its members to store a year's supply of food. Recent announcements have focused on a 3 month's supply. A previous copy of the Church's Essentials of Home Production and Storage would produce the following recommendations for one adult (child):

Grains (including wheat, flour, corn meal, oats, rice and pasta) 300 lbs (148 lbs)

Fats and oils (including shortening, vegetable oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing and peanut butter) 13 lbs (7 lbs)

Sugars (including honey, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, jams, powdered fruit drink, and flavored gelatin) 60 lbs (29 lbs)

Dairy (including dry milk, evaporated milk, and other dairy products) 75 lbs (37 lbs)

Of course, you would decrease these amounts by storing other types of foods. Some of these foods have a long shelf life. For example, wheat can be stored for years if kept in a cool, dry location and protected from insects. Sugar will also keep indefinitely. However, the oils and dairy products need to be rotated and used, or replaced on an annual basis. For more information see the booklet Essentials of Home Production and Storage, available from the Church's Distribution Services for $1.20 US, Item Number 32288000.

Some of these food items are little used in today's fast paced convenience food life style. It is also important to learn how to make edible meals from these basic food items. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible. You might try the book, Food Storage for the Clueless published by Deseret Book Co. Although the book is out of print, there are still copies available on the Web.

More later.

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