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