Effective Ways To Prepare For Food Shortages
The world is facing a number of serious challenges that could lead to food shortages in the coming months and years. Climate change, economic instability, and population growth are all putting pressure on the global food supply. This means that we could see more famines and food price spikes in the future.
I heard just today that over 20 facilities in the US that process and package various food products we buy every day have burned down in the past six months. That’s scary and something we need to be aware of and prepare for now. That doesn’t count the farming communities that are under siege from either drought or floods. We live in crazy times!
What are Food Shortages?
A food shortage occurs when there is not enough of a particular food to meet the demand. This can be caused by factors like bad weather, pests, fires, and disease. Food shortages can also be created by humans, through things like war or poor agricultural practices.
When a food shortage happens, prices for the affected food usually go up. This can make it hard for people who rely on that food to afford it. Food shortages can also lead to hunger and malnutrition, as people are forced to go without certain foods or eat less overall. These situations tend to affect those who are the most vulnerable, like the elderly, those with limited financial means, and those living closest to the problem situation.
How to Prepare for Food Shortages
So how can we prepare for these potential shortages? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Identify Food Shortage Risks in Your Area
The first step is to find out what food shortages are most likely to occur in your area. This will help you know what foods to stock up on and how much you need. You can get this information from your local government or emergency management office. Additionally, you can check for national food shortages on the USDA website.
Plan Your Food Storage
Once you know what risks are present, you can start planning your own personal food storage approach. Aim to have at least a three-month supply of non-perishable food on hand. This will help you weather any short-term shortages. You should also consider stocking up on water, as it may be difficult to find clean water during a crisis.
Stock up on Non-Perishable Food Items
One way to prepare for food shortages is to stock up on non-perishable food items. This includes things like canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans and rice, nut butter, and shelf-stable milk. These items can last for months, or even years, without going bad, so they’re a good option to have on hand in case of a shortage.
Here’s a basic list:
- Flour-white, all-purpose, self-rising (shelf-life 12-18 months)
- Pasta-different shapes
- Sugar-white, light brown, dark brown
- Vegetable oil, olive oil
- Powdered or Instant milk
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Spices and herbs
- Cans of soup
- Cans of vegetables
- Dried fruit
- Cans of fruit
- Cans of protein sources like meat and beans
- Peanut butter and Jam
- Tomato Sauce
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Tomato Paste
Grow Your Own Food
Another way to be prepared for food shortages is to grow some of your own food. This could mean planting a garden in your backyard or starting a small farm. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can still grow some basic crops like potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes. If you want to get more serious about it, check out some of my gardening posts:
- Container Gardens: Everything You Need to Know
- Back to Eden Gardening Steps
- Self Sufficient Garden: What to Grow
Join a Community Garden
If you don’t have the space or time to grow your own food, you can still participate in a community garden. These are usually managed by a local organization like a church or civic club or group of volunteers. Everyone who participates agrees to help with the upkeep of the garden and shares in the harvest.
Community gardens are a great way to meet new people and get fresh, locally grown produce. They can also be a good option if you want to learn more about gardening before starting your own garden.
Store Food Properly
One way to avoid food shortages is to store food properly. This includes things like storing grains in airtight containers and keeping fruits and vegetables in the fridge. By storing food correctly, you can make it last longer and reduce the chances of it going bad.
Build a Long-Term Stockpile
If you really want to be prepared for a food shortage, you can build a long-term stockpile. This is a supply of food that you keep on hand in case of an emergency. A long-term stockpile should include enough food to last your family for at least six months.
Building a long-term stockpile can be a big undertaking, but it’s worth it if it means you’ll have peace of mind in case of food shortages that are becoming more common. It’s important to be prepared, so consider starting now, if you haven’t already. By following these tips, you can make sure your family has access to food during tough times that are bound to come your way.
Food Preparation Tools
Don’t forget about food preparation tools such as can openers, knives, and pots and pans. If you’re stocking up on canned food, you’ll need a good quality can opener. You may also want helpful kitchen tools like a wheat grinder, bread mixer, or a pressure canner for foods you get from your garden. Additionally, make sure you have gardening tools if you are planning to grow your own food.
What’s the Difference Between Short-Term and Long-Term Food Storage?
There is a big difference between short-term and long-term food storage. Let me break it down for you:
Short-Term Food Storage
Short-term storage is a 2-week to 3-month food supply. This food should be easy to rotate and use in your everyday meal planning. The idea behind short-term storage is to have a reasonably small supply of food on hand in case you can’t get to the store for whatever reason.
Long-Term Food Storage
Long-term food storage is a 6 to 12-month food supply. This food should be rotated every 6 months to keep it fresh. The idea behind long-term storage is to have a large enough supply of food on hand in case of an emergency, such as a job loss, natural disaster, or global pandemic, and you can survive the duration of the emergency.
When it comes to stocking up for a food shortage, you’ll want to focus on long-term storage items. These are the items that will last the longest and can be used in case of an emergency. Wheat, rice, beans, oats, pasta, sugar, and salt can be stored for 20 to 30 years if packaged and stored appropriately. Additionally, freeze-dried and canned foods are great for long-term food storage.
How to Store Food Long-Term
The best way to store long-term food is in airtight containers. This will keep out bugs and rodents, and it will also help the food last longer. You can find airtight containers at most stores, or you can use Mason jars.
Another option is to store food in mylar bags. Mylar bags are made of a durable material that keeps out light, oxygen, and moisture. These bags are often used by Survivalists and Preppers to store food for long periods of time.
My preference for long-term food storage is buying commercially processed freeze-dried foods. If you keep the containers, cool and dry they may last up to 20-25 years, depending on the temperature where they are stored. I can’t keep my house at 60 degrees so my food storage will have a shorter life.
Learn More About Food Storage
If you want to learn more about food storage, check out these posts:
- 34 Things You Need to Know About Food Storage
- Lessons I Learned From Food Storage
- What You May Not Know About Food Storage
Preparing for food shortages doesn’t have to be difficult. By following some simple tips, you can ensure that you and your family will always have enough to eat.
What are your thoughts on preparing for food shortages? Do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments below! May God bless this world. Linda
39 thoughts on “Effective Ways To Prepare For Food Shortages”
In apparition of Jesus… our food can last for Ten Years.
Whether you remove from cardboard box into clean mason jars… so bugs cannot eat boxes of food. Canned goods remove bar code so you are Not taxed by Government!
Hi Jeanne, no matter what religion people believe in we must all be prepared with food for our family. Great comment, Linda
Once again Miss Linda, you’re article and timing are right on.
Hi Curley Bull, thank you, my friend, for your kind words. I sure hope everyone is stocking up, Linda
Hi Curley Bull, good to see you posting here,(AA) yep this is right on time..
. Everyone who reads this needs to understand if your family does not use an item and will not eat it- no need for you to spend limited funds on it.
Variety is the key and if your ability to grow for a year is impaired by illness or injury, 6 months food storage will not be enough. Each of us needs to be looking for alternate recipes to stretch the foods that are being limited in free trade.. Think grains. Most of our breads are made from wheat and cornmeal… up to 1/3 of flour grains can be replaced with non traditional grains.. like oat, potato, rice flours., even amaranth and sorrel seed..can be ground and used.. We need to be playing with these recipes now and learning how they substitute out…
if someone is not shipping it out of their country-neither should we be- except our food is being shipped to other countries daily while more mouths are being imported. Only we have someone shipping all our resources somewhere else as fast as possible.
In the time of the potato famine in Ireland.- The same thing was done- food was shipped to other nations while their own people were starving to death.
Hi Denise, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! Thank you, Linda
Hello Miss Denice. It’s good to see you here too.
Hi, CB! I’ve missed you at the other place. It’s good to know that you’re still busy.
Hello PG, it’s good to hear from you also. Thank you.
Yes, I’m sure this article is timely for many. But, I take issue Linda with one of the items on your “basic list” & that is vegetable oils. Vegetable oils are what they call “seed oils” & are a basic NO-NO in the world of healthy eating. These seed oils are responsible for making millions of Americans sick with their use in dozens of food products manufactured by “mankind.” Some examples of seed oils are canola, soybean, vegetable, safflower, sunflower, corn, & cottonseed. They are omega-6 fats & most doctors love them, but most doctors have little knowledge of real nutrition. Better options are organic coconut or avocado oils, extra virgin olive oil (some of these aren’t so swell either), or even ghee (clarified butter). You can buy these better oils at Thrive Market, online. These are the oils I’ve put in my food storage.
Hi Janet, I totally agree with you on the oils. I store more coconut oil than any other oil. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Linda
Great list Linda. I have been cleaning my long-term food storage, to check what I have. Like I said before, it is practically a religion. I have a pantry that looks like it is out of a magazine, (not because I care about the looks), but those little airproof containers keep things fresh. I prefer brown rice but store white rice (lasts much longer). I have been working on my recipes for white rice. Chicken fried rice is terrific.
Hi Janet, oh I love hearing your pantry looks like it’s out of a magazine! It sounds like it’s organized and easy to find stuff! Life is good when we have a beautiful pantry! I love airproof containers, I have had too many mice family reunions over the years! LOL!!! Great comment, Linda
Keep up the encouragement Linda.
To the commentary:
First priority is make sure you can eat then worry about comfort food and healthy foods. A person with a cans of spam and rice will last a lot longer than the one who didn’t buy it because it ain’t healthy or only stocked candy.
Healthy is first defined as alive then finesses down from there.
Hi Matt, thank you my friend for your kind words! I love your thought, “Healthy is first defined as alive then finesses down from there”! I have to have the basics then I add the frills like chocolate chips! I grew up on Spam and rice, it’s all good! Linda
Thank you for the information. I know about stocking things like canned veggies and other canned and jar items but there is still a lot of things I need to know. You have taught me a lot and I am still learning a lot from you.
Thank you so much
Hi Jackie, we all learn from each other. Thank you for your kind words, my sweet friend! Linda
How do I store dried beans long term so they will actually cook if I need them?
Hi Suzzan, old beans will always be a problem. You can do one of two things, pressure can them or pressure cook them in an Instant Pot. I wish I could give you some advice on how to store them but old beans are old beans and they will take longer to cook. Linda
Mylar bags are great for food storage, but unfortunately they aren’t terribly puncture resistant, so I always tell folks to store them in buckets or plastic tubs to keep them from getting pierced which would allow the food to spoil. I go for overkill and put the mylar bags in food grade buckets, since I can reuse the buckets later after I’ve emptied out the mylar bags and food grade means I have more flexibility for just a little more money up front.
And even though I’m well stocked, the food processor fires are very worrying. Thanks for spreading the word. Really appreciate all you do for the prepping community!
Hi DmWalsh, the fires, the “accidents”, are something we must all think about. After a disaster, it’s too late. We must be prepared way before something happens. These fires concern me. You know what I’m saying! Linda
RE: Food storage tools.. Don’t forget spatula’s, stainless cooking spoons, extra funnels.,
also production enablers: get fertilizers while available..and things that can make fertilizer… everyone can feed earthworms and their tea is fantastic. Have a neighbor that has critters like chickens or rabbits? – 2 shovel fulls of manure in a five gallon bucket.fill with water.., leave in the sun… dilute to use and refill..is high nitrogen.. so good for plants requiring high nitrogen like greens, corn..Many plants are not productive until after 55 days.-some take 120-150 days. Be selective to plant what you will and can eat.
. Learn seed saving , so you can grow next year. then.. Foraging so you can eat fresh in earliest spring…before other crops are being harvested.
Also a warning: Watch the “pop top” cans , I lost some foods that were higher in acid and had those lids, they were not dented or dinged, they did NOT keep until their date.
For treats: consider what YOUR 2 favorite treats are to make at home.. buy all ingredients for those 2 recipes, in multiples- and put them together in a container.
Hi Denise, oh I LOVE your comment! This is why I am sharing all of my recipes. We all need food AND some treats! Linda
Linda, I can’t have so many things other people eat…i take out OR substitute all milk, then i can not digest nuts, most legumes , or whole family of Brassica’s. With these restrictions, treats become critical to break up the routine.. I can have old recipe for choc chess pie,(uses powdered coco) Choc-Oatmeal bars, and somewhere one for old fashioned tea cakes… all of these take basic ingredients.
Another idea is to make up DRINK buckets.coffee/tea//hot cocoa and hot cider packets,+ sugar, or your choice of bulk sweetener… koolaid and gatorade type powders,( these keep and are useable well beyond their dates (unsweetened and sugar sweetened.)- the artificial sweetened ones do not store well long term…
Seasoning buckets: do one for sweet seasonings and another for ones used in canning/pickle making or seasonings for meats..
Hi Denise, you are so right about having “flavored” ingredients to make a few different drinks. Luckily you know your limitations on ingredients and take care to watch for them. Linda
My husband and I are trying to figure out why the destruction at the food plants including two hit by planes are not making the nightly news. The suffering of the people in Shanghai seem unreal, but should be a heads-up for everyone. I need to upgrade the storage of my angel hair pasta from the cardboard they come in. We took a ride in the country yesterday and we found over 15 medium to larger sized fresh produce roadside stands. within 35 minutes of home. They aren’t open yet, because it is too early this far north for gardens, but now we have a map. There is no way to know how much their prices will increase, but I am reworking our budget to allocate extra, just in case. Many offer their own canned products, a God sent, since I can no longer physically do my own canning.
Hi Chris, I am very aware of the multiple fires, and accidents at food plants. It should make front-page news so to speak!! I question why we know about them but no one is talking about them. Why not? It should light a fire under some people to stock food if they aren’t already. I need to do what you did and look for Farmer’s Markets nearby. This may be the first year I cannot garden in my backyard. I will be gardening in my friend’s yard. Linda
For the past 12 years, I have bought all my beef and chicken locally, and I receive half of the eggs and milk I need from a family member if they have any extra. In hopes it will be helpful to someone, I’d like to share the resources I use to find locally grown food with you because I know not everyone has farmers in their family. I will preface this by saying that I save at least 30% by buying a whole or half cow, however, I pay 50% more when I buy pasture-raised – organic chickens locally. Taking that into consideration, I’m certainly fine with it.
TIP: As painful as it may be to say, farms come and go. Check each resource on a regular basis. Also, keep in mind that a farm will not be “posted” all across the “board” so to speak, so cast a wide net.
– You can save more by picking your own, plus it’s a great activity to do with your family, friends, spouses, dates, youth
groups, and Scouts.
– There is a lot of useful information on this site.
– USDA’s directory of registered farmers’ markets.
– National Farmers Market Directory
– Directory of farmer’s markets, roadside stands, or farm stands.
For Meat, Milk, & Eggs:
– This is for my home state, which I posted so that you can check to see if your states’ cattlemen chapter has a similar
I personally find it reassuring in knowing where my food comes from, i.e. the U.S., and find it very rewarding in getting to know the hardworking good folks in my community who plays a trivial part in making sure that my table has a hearty meal to nourish my body and soul. I find that it helps keep me grounded and humbled as it is needed from time to time.
Hi Ravenna, oh my gosh, thank you for sharing ideas on how to get good meat, fruit, and vegetables! Times are crazy right now, we need every option we can find. Linda
It’s my pleasure! The fact that other countries do not have the same standards regarding food handling as we do makes it important to know where our food comes from. As a result of my firsthand experience, I know that some other countries we import from exploit child labor to keep costs down. Knowing that I try to support local American farmers as much as possible. Check out this link beef2live.com/story-united-states-beef-imports-204-107547 for more information on how much beef the US imports and from which countries.
Tucker Carlson did a segment on the food shortages and the destroyed food processing plants that the main stream media has chosen to hide from America . Unfortunately, he didn’t really have an answer as to why these incidents are being hidden. Thoughts???
Hi Chris, yes, I love watching Tucker Carlson, will we ever really know the truth? I doubt it. Just my 2 cents. Linda
I would like to know the story behind so many plant fires. No one is reporting on this. Which then speculation
comes roaring in. Another American problem in which we aren’t being told the truth
Hi Pamela, I did a little research and I’m not as concerned as I was before looking into it. Here’s the post I wrote about them. https://www.foodstoragemoms.com/food-processing-plants-burned/
My name is Charlene Aaron. I’m a reporter with CBN News/The 700 Club.
I’m working on a story about how people can prepare for food shortages. While doing research I came across your website and I’d love to interview you about this subject.
Please let me know if you’re available sometime next week for a Zoom interview.
Hi Charlene, sure, let me know what works for you, Linda
Let’s plan for Tuesday. Can you please mail me directly please so I can send you details?
Linda and Charlene…… please send us any link to this article when it is available. Thank you
Hi Chris, I felt in my best interest I needed to pass on it. Linda