Perhaps it is the lousy weather or perhaps it is the economy. Or, most likely, it is simply a case of not enough hours in the day. Whatever the blame, many folks I know are under a constant cloud of stress that never lets up. Oh yeah, there is that hour or two each day watching TV or reading a book, and for the smart ones, there is some fresh outdoor air and the pursuit of physical exercise.
But still, the undercurrent of stress and tension is there and with an impending sense of the unknown, I don’t see things changing for a long, long time. More about the unknowns in a second.
Comfort food to the rescue
Although at times I can be a food snob, I embrace and recognize the value of comfort food. You know what I am talking about. Soft, smooth, soothing foods that go down oh so easy and make you feel happy. And I want to tell you right now: it is important to include a modest supply of comfort foods in your emergency preparedness pantry.
Why? For one, the foods you have stored are not going to be gourmet delights. When a catastrophe or crisis occurs, you may be lacking in a generous supply of cooking fuel, refrigeration, and fresh fruits and vegetables. This means your daily nourishment will come from dried foods (dehydrated or freeze dried) as well as canned items. There is a strong likelihood that the food you eat will become boring if you are required to live off your food storage for a long time.
In this scenario, comfort foods will help ease the boredom and will help ease the stress during rough times. Consider your comfort food as “mental health” food.
Need some ideas? Keep in mind that your list should be personalized to your tastes and the tastes of your family but this should get you started:
- Popcorn made the old fashioned way in a pot (which can be easily done over a camp fire)
- Candy (hard candy lasts a long long time)
- Anything chocolate but most likely pudding made with dried, instant milk will be the best for storage purposes
- Granola or energy bars – my favorite are Kashi GoLean Bars which are nutritious to boot
- Mac & Cheese from a box – which no one will admit to eating but it flies off the shelves!
- Hot cocoa from a mix
- Dried fruits
- Dried nuts – try smoked almonds
- Biscuits and honey – again, easily doable in a cast iron skillet over a camp fire
- Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Hostess cupcakes, and Little Debbie’s
- Mashed potatoes (instant) with butter (check Emergency Essentials for their storable butter products – they even have storable sour cream)
- Apple-Tini, Wine, or other beverage of choice
- And don’t forget condiments: ketchup, brown sugar, spices, pickles, salt, pepper, honey etc.
Food rotation is especially important with your comfort foods since most (but not all) of these items are not easily packaged for storage of much longer that a year or two. That does not diminish their importance of including comfort foods as part of your overall survival strategy.
But what about those unknowns?
Actually, it was – dare I say it? – fear of an unknown future that got me thinking about comfort foods. Last week I watched two different Collapse documentaries, watched 10 episodes of Decoded, learned about Red Cross maneuvers and deployment procedures, studied sustainable survival plant products, and reorganized my cellar storage area. I also read headlines and news stories outlining continued unemployment, ineffective and incompetent politicians and corporate gouging by the very same banking system that was bailed out by the taxpayers. (Read “New USBank IRA fee can eat most of savers’ interest”.)
To top it all off, someone I know that came by the house and told us he was one step away from living in a ditch (meaning homeless). This was all in addition to my day job. So stressed? Yes – and undoubtedly due to so much focus on the viability of our planet, our economy, our society and civilization in general.
Without any guilt, I admit that dinner tonight was my favorite comfort food: baked potatoes smothered in cheese. Heck, I deserved it and I can go back to healthy eating tomorrow!
Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!
Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day: As you may know, Survival Husband has been dieting for quite some time now and has lost about 10 pounds. A few weeks ago he plateaued and did not loose nary an ounce for six weeks. At my encouragement, he went on the attack phase of the Dukan Diet for 3 days and began losing again. Just for the record, he lost about 4 pounds in 3 days and is now back to a slow but steady weight loss.
Once a week, he goes off his diet and has whatever he wants including dessert. He does not binge and does not go crazy. But he does have starches on that one day as well as a piece of my homemade cake. This makes the diet livable for the long term plus, in my view, having some junk or comfort food or whatever you want to call it, goes a long way to preserve your mental health as long as it is done in moderation.
From the Bargain Bin: Emergency Essentials is a great source of food for long term storage as well as supplies. Their monthly specials are especially good.