I don’t think many of us would have imagined we would be in the place we are now in this country. We have faced a lot in the last few years from a pandemic, to food supply chain issues, to labor shortages and limited food availability. None of us want to panic however it’s a good time to decide how we will begin preparing for food shortages. Read on for 4 tips to prepare for food scarcity right now!
Even if you set aside the emergency situations we have faced, food prices are rising here in the United States and I think most of us have at least considered what our food security looks like in our families. When food production is interrupted and in short supply, what will you do?
I want to discuss some things we can all do to shift our mindset to small changes to bring us to a more sustainable lifestyle.
How Did I Get Here?
Let me back up to 2020. With four kids and realized pretty quickly that I was helpless to feed them if the store started limiting what I could buy and seeing store shelves empty was very unsettling. Seeing the signs that I could only buy one package of chicken or ground beef made me feel helpless because I couldn’t even feed all my family members with one package! I realized very quickly that I could not rely solely on the grocery stores.
The fact that I basically had no survival skills cemented the fact that i needed to learn to grow my own food. I hated the way I felt and for the first time in my life I decided that it was a good idea to learn about food independence. If you knew me before this, you would not have believed that this city girl could actually grow food. Well, I did and I am teaching others to do it as well!
Create a Garden
When we think of food insecurity or preparing for emergencies we imagine a bunker filled with canned food in a dark place. While grabbing some extra cans of food you actually eat isn’t a bad idea, that isn’t what I am talking about. Canned food have a long shelf life but they are usually highly processed and have an expiration date. Buying extra canned food doesn’t cultivate skills of self sufficiency.
Growing a garden of fresh food is the best way to ensure you and your family have access to fresh vegetables and that you are learning skills to ensure you can handle any type of food shortage. Here is an article I wrote that will help! 6 Things You Need to Understand The First Year of Gardening
Write a list of vegetables you and your family like to eat, search your last and first frost date on the internet and begin to explore what you can grow where you life. I created a mini course called Gardening is For Everyone if you want to check that out. Click here to get started.
Anyone can garden and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. You can grow in containers if you don’t have a lot of space! You would be surprised how much nutritious food you can grow in a small space.
If you have space invest in fruit trees. They do take time to start to provide fruit however if you are planning to stay at your property for more than five years it’s totally worth it!
Source Your Food Locally
Food manufacturers don’t know you. They don’t have a personal connection to you or your family. Local farmers will. Spend some time on social media looking up a source for local dairy products. Find a local farm that sells meat. They will be far better quality than you can buy at the local grocery store and you will form important relationships. Potential food shortages at the store won’t effect you because of these wonderful relationships.
If you can’t have your own chickens find some local folks with backyard chickens. Often times they sell the extras. My egg source is a family that always has extra eggs. I found them simply by asking on Facebook.
This post for people like me who don’t have the ability to have their own meat animals. Right now I live in an HOA neighborhood so while I dream of having land and raise animals for meat, that isn’t right now. But if you can then do it!!
Join a Co-op/Bulk Food Community
Joining a local food co-op or purchasing bilk food may not be completely free of a food shortage risk, it is minimized. If you have special dietary needs you might need to have more options. I am a member of Azure Standard and have been impressed with them. It’s a really interesting way to buy food! We get a semi truck to drop ship our orders right in our local community. Typically there is about 40 families that meet the truck to get our orders once a month. For organic/specialized food (fresh produce, meat and more!) click here for more information. I’m sure there is a local drop to you!
See the blog posts I have made with what I have gotten here.
Search food co-op and your town to see if there are small local ones near you. It’s a great way to meet your local families too,
Cook And Bake From Scratch
This does require more work and planning but the skill of baking your own bread, canning the vegetable you grew and fermenting food and drinks will give you so much confidence. If this seems overwhelming you can start small. Plan to bake a loaf of bread twice a month. Once you get the timing down and feel confident you can start incorporating that into your weekly routine.
Reducing your reliance on processed food means if there are nationwide shortages of food, you will be able to handle that with minimal disruption. I heard that there was no cream cheese for a month in the local grocery stores. Since I don’t use much processed food in my cooking, I didn’t even notice.
This is one of my most favorite food from scratch bloggers. Lisa over at Farmhouse on Boone has given me to many ideas and have helped my confidence so much. Click here to see her website.
It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Small steps will equal huge changes in the long run!