It can be frustrating when you feel like you are the only person in the home that is concerned about frugal living and preparing for a more stable future. It is like the ant and the grasshopper. The ant worked diligently while the grasshopper whiled away in the sunshine. It would have been easy and even justifiable for the ant to resent the grasshopper but knowing that winter was coming it was more important to continue the work of preparation.
A food storage program is a good place to start. Especially with the harvest coming in and winter coming on it is the traditional time of year to set something aside for the lean times. Most of us have come to depend on the grocery store so much that we forget about the seasons of nature and take for granted that the trucks that bring our food will just keep coming. All it takes is a storm warning to see how quickly grocery store shelves can be emptied.
I have already been hearing that in some parts of the country severe winter warnings are being given. I was also told that Washington state, one of the richest agricultural areas was declared a disaster this summer because of the unseasonably cold weather. Both family gardens and commercial growing operations had a smaller and later harvest. This could mean higher prices in the grocery stores this winter. Now I admit this is the over the fence talking among friends who are passing the word along but that's enough for me.
Another disturbing trend I have been hearing about is the growth of imported food. Sure it's nice to have some of the amazing items that our climate does not support but with the vast land we have available we should not have to pay someone else to grow an ever increasing amount of our food. Yet the percentage of imports has more than doubled in some types of food. What Share of U.S. Consumed Food Is Imported? Though we may not all choose to be farmers it is an important enough subject that we should be concerned about where our food comes from. There is the old joke about the kindergartners who think that chocolate milk comes from chocolate cows. It is easy in our busy lives to take the food we eat for granted and not even realize the major changes that are occurring in the industry.
According to an issue of the Daily Livestock Report "Sometimes overlooked, imported beef makes up a notable part of the US beef supply and, as such, should be considered when analyzing beef consumption trends and outlook. In 2007, the United States imported 3.048 billion pounds of beef or 10.7% of the overall beef disappearance for the year."
I am also hearing growing concern about major companies who seek to obtain a monopoly on seeds through a genetic alteration that will not reproduce making it necessary to buy from them each year. It sounds like something straight out of George Orwell's 1984 and was highlighted in a documentary called Food, Inc.
I am not intending to write an exhaustive brief on the subject of imported food or the American agricultural industry but I hope that awareness will be raised so that next time a headline speaks of the subject our ears will perk up and that we will become more aware of many of the underlying issues of our economy that are rarely raised. Food production is one of the most critical issues in any economy yet one that we allow the grocery stores manage on our behalf. That's an awful lot of trust to put into a profit making business. Choosing to not know is the essence of trusting someone else to know and act on our behalf and trusting that they are doing so in our personal and national best interest.
In The Trenches has a chapter on beginning a food storage program. The process is easy and painless and will save you a bundle of money. Once you are convinced that it is a valuable habit Jodi and Julie from Food Storage Made Easy can help with insuring you have everything needed and stored properly to maximize your efforts.
As winter approaches who will we be? The Ant or the Grasshopper?