by reader (not by Merri Ellen)
Store the kinds of things that will HELP you over the long term such as vinegar, salt, cooking oil. Some things last longer when canned than other things do, like spam and other potted meats. These could be a critical protein source in difficult times. Honey is an important ‘dual use’ food- an excellent food, of course, but also useful for injuries and burns- a protectant against infections in skin injuries. Mint is a dual use food- good for stomach ailments, headaches, etc. Cloves and clove oil are natural pain remedies. Buy LOTS of real aspirin- for pain, for circulation, for heart… forget what you’ve been ‘conditioned’ to believe about aspirin. Doctors, pharmacists, chemists of every type say that if they were stranded on a desert island and could have ONLY ONE medication with them, it would be aspirin. The miracle stuff isn’t such a miracle after all.
Learn how to ‘up’ the food value of things whenever possible. For example, storing dried beans is an excellent way of preparing yourself, but in the event that malnutrition or lack of vitamins threatens, sprouting those beans in jars gives you a living food source rich in vitamin c and other critical nutrients for survival and health.
Learn to capture, clean and cook wild foods. Fish, squirrels, rabbits- there are people who’ve never even tried to eat venison! Equip yourself at least for trapping wild food sources, if not for hunting them down. If you can’t do that, learn to prepare and cook them.
If you can, start keeping rabbits, chickens, goats- any livestock that could be a food source.
We need to use the time to expand local food sources in a clandestine way- agribusiness and the global bankers are taking ownership of almost all property in the United States for their own purposes. So, plant those grape seeds all over the place to grow grape vines- not only good food but easily turned into vinegar or even wine.
Wherever possible, find old fashioned cookbooks or farm management information; learn the how-tos of doing things from scratch. Did you know that soap is made from lye? Did you know that you get lye by saving fire ashes and running water through them? Did you know that by cooking lye with oil you get soap? Learn these basic survival skills- even old army manuals or boy scout books have LOADS of such information in them. Ask your parents or grandparents about what they remember about surviving the first depression, about managing a farm, making things from scratch, preserving foods.