One of the fallacies or biases of modern Western life is to believe that things will always be generally as good as they are right now. But what if things changed for the worse, not in a few months or years but in a few hours or days? How would you and your family fare? Specifically, how would you eat?
In 1906, Alfred Henry Lewis made the claim that most Americans are nine meals away from desperation and potential anarchy. Think about that. Kind of crazy, right? In 1906 it was likely most certainly true given that people then didn't have the supply chain that we have nowadays or all the ways to guard against crop damage and pestilence that we have today.
Yet I would argue that today we are even less prepared for food shortages than our grandparents and great-grandparents were. Many of the old timers grew up knowing how to grow a sizable garden, how to can fruits and vegetables for long-term storage, how to dry and cure different types of meat, and how to hunt.
These days they'd be labeled as "preppers," but really they were just practical planners. So, even back then, there was that audacious claim by Lewis about how long people would go without food before slipping into anarchy.
Only 9 meals from anarchy?
It actually makes sense, when you consider that the typical American household probably only has enough food to create nine meals at most, and the last of those meals would likely come from some weird concoction of available ingredients after the planned meals were accounted for.
And then what? After going without nine meals (3 days without eating), we'd likely be experiencing enough hunger to begin fearing for our lives and the lives of our kids. This is a bad place to be, because desperate people do desperate things. Ask yourself this: to what lengths would you go to keep your family alive?
I think certain events in recent years and some of the circumstances we're observing right now (the doubling of food prices, supply chain shortages, avian flu wiping out entire chicken farming operations) should wake us up a little. We've heard from some cattle ranchers that they're selling off their livestock because they can't afford to feed them. This is kind of scary.
But what's also scary is how long we have been dependent upon people hundreds and even thousands of miles away to provide us with food. Our ancestors would probably be a little ashamed at our poor planning and our inability to provide for ourselves.
How to Avoid Anarchy—Self-Sufficiency
Because you're reading this blogpost I have to assume that you have at least considered what you might do if an apocalypse were to hit. Maybe you have dreams of living off the land, hunting wild game, etc. But unless you're going to move yourself to an untouched wilderness area, you're probably surrounded by people who have the same idea. The deer population might get depleted faster than you expected.
So, you probably should stockpile a few things, in addition to your guns and ammo. The MREs and the cans of SPAM are fine, but you're going to want to supplement those significantly with other staples and plenty of other variety.
Build up a basic food cache. For the past several years, we have been stockpiling canned foods and emergency food, slowly building our stores over time with extra cans of beans here, large bags of rice there, fruits, vegetables, etc. that we don't plan to eat until something happens or until their expiration date. Food that's specifically packaged as emergency food can last a couple of decades. We offer a reliable selection of this kind of food at mypatriotsupply.com if you're looking for a place to buy it while also supporting our work.
Grow your own. About a year and a half ago our family started to take things up a few notches with some real lifestyle changes, such as buying land, cattle, chickens, and even alpacas. And we've started growing a garden. This has required some sacrifices of course, but we think it'll be worth it in the long run.
All that to say, regardless of location and property type or size, it's possible to develop greater self sufficiency and skill by growing edible plants. This could mean something as simple as a potted tomato plant on a balcony, some container plantings on a porch, etc. By growing vertically and creatively, you can supplement your food quite a bit and learn a lot.
An excellent resource for learning more is the YouTube channel Roots and Refuge
Even more stockpiling. We'd also recommend buying and storing plenty of seeds for plenty of varieties of edible plants. This is a critical piece of preparation that'll allow you to start growing food regardless of what's happening with supply chains, etc.
Get yourself a deep freeze. Having one of those deep freezer chests in the garage or basement allows you to store meat, vegetables, grains, etc. in large quantities. Get one.
Branch out. Maybe you're not going to buy an alpaca or herd of cattle tomorrow, but you might start thinking that way. Chickens are an excellent place to start as a source of animal-based nutrients. And even if you're not ready for that, learning how to get ready might be your next best step.
Something is Coming
I'm not saying the world is going to end tomorrow, but there is a pretty high likelihood that access to food and other resources could be compromised sometime in the near future. Preparing for this eventuality was just good common sense practice several decades ago, and all of our technological advances haven't erased the reality of crises.
Ask just about anyone living outside of North America or western Europe and they'll tell you about how quickly bad things can happen on a large scale. So we're just encouraging you to take some small steps toward preparing so that you don't become a part of the anarchists.
And speaking of anarchists, you'll need to protect your supplies. To learn more about that, check out my security test video. Train Hard. Train Smart. Grow a Victory Garden.
Be prepared or be hungry. Stock up on your emergency food supply here.