Monday, February 14, 2011

Food Storage!

No, this is not a picture of my food storage... yet.

I don't believe it is mere coincidence that the very last can of tomatoes from our food storage was used on the very same day that Kurt started his new job. Nope, cant be.

"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 can care for ourselves and our neighbors and support bishops as they care for others. We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings. 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."
—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007, 1

My mother always kept a very full pantry, something that she learned from her own mother- a bargain shopper who took advantage of every sale (having 6 kids made a big grocery bill!). My mother kept the tradition and always had a lot of food around. I tried to keep the practice in my own home, but it never worked for me. I didn't really focus on having "food storage" until my mid twenties, but by then I had no idea of how the heck to start. The idea of having ample food storage was overwhelming. Where would we keep it? How would we afford it? What the heck would we buy? Thoughts like this flooded my mind, and I found myself sitting at the back of Relief Society programs where food storage was the main topic, or just skipping them all together. I just felt too out of my element. While the other women were learning how to make "mock ground beef" using whole wheat and smiles I was looking around and wondering- where do we get whole wheat? What the heck do I make with it when I do get it? What do you mean I need a wheat grinder? Harrison and I cant eat wheat- NOW WHAT?!

I know this sounds silly- but it is something I lost sleep on. I looked at ready-made kits. I looked into canning. I looked into bulk. I looked into specialty companies, who (for a mere $6000) could provide me with what they said I needed. But after doing a lot of reading I learn that the body rejects foods that are unlike it has ever been fed, and many cases of malnourishment and starvation occurred when there WAS access to food, but it was food that the body was not willing to accept. Ugh. Bring on the headache. There are at least a dozen amazing sites that are willing to walk me through step by step food storage help- but NONE that seemed practical for what we needed. So, Kurt and I decided to take our complaints to the Bishop of our Ward (about... hm... 4 wards ago). At the time we were super young with super young kids. Our Bishop heard my thoughts, and laughed. He suggested that in order to start my own food storage, that I start slow. He asked that we add 2 items per grocery trip, to our storage. Just 2. We can pick the 2. We had no space in our small apartment, so he suggested taking the 2 items and putting them in a box under our bed. And this began our food storage.

Our food storage has never been huge, and never had whole wheat. Our food storage is things we use often, and things that we love. Our first try with using food storage was a semi disaster- but a step on our path of learning. We bought off-brand, on-sale cheap foods, that we normally wouldn't touch, but we thought would work in our storage. Kurt's company reorganized and we found ourselves using our food storage as our main grocery source. UGH. It was gross. Icky food plus depressing situation = NOT GOOD. We vowed to do better the next time. The next time we stuck to our boxing method, but because Kurt's income was so comfortable we didn't make food storage a priority. Kurt's company eliminated his position. This time, we had foods that were pretty much the same as we were used to, and I had even provided food storage treats. PERFECT!

Ever since then, I make sure to buy extras in the good quality products that we use, and always keep a few treats around. I know that by planning ahead, we are setting ourselves up for success in the event of an emergency, and at the very least, we are setting ourselves up to be able to help those in need at any given time.

So, today- as I used my last can of tomatoes. I was grateful. I was so grateful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the loving messages they provide. I was so thankful that my food storage helped us keep our grocery bills low while Kurt was home. I was so thankful for the wonderful family that I get to feed, and I was thankful for the comfort that having food storage provided.

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