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Food for Long Term Survival

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posted on May, 14 2010 @ 01:35 PM
We can talk all we want about caches, stockpiling, and such. However, if a long term TEOTWAWKI, or sit-x comes about, we are going to run out of food eventually. Even with a simple garden and local game. For those looking at a commune, with large numbers of people, long term food will be more difficult to obtain for a large number. In this thread, I will go over basic/ lifegiving foods and how we need to think about obtaining the materials to produce our own foodstuffs over the long haul. This is broken down into three categories: Needs, Desires and Wellness. This is only foodstuffs, there are alot of other items out there that we take for granted, but thats for a different thread.


Flour. All important if you ever plan on baking again. Grow wheat, not that hard to do. A grinder is handy, but can be done with crude tools such as rocks.

Salt. Cant go on long with a no sodium diet. Unless you are lucky enough to be near a salt flat, or on a salt water body (desalination) you had best stock up ahead of time. Salt caves arent everywhere and rather hard to find.

Milk. Calcium is good. Keep in mind any milk will be "raw" milk. Either keep it VERY clean, or learn how to pasturize. I like raw milk, so this doesnt bother me. Obvious places are goats, sheep and cows. Cows milk is the easiest to seperate the cream from. I have heard stories about Yaks milk, but even I'm not that brave.

Sugar. This is where the people in warm climes really have me beat. Sugar Cane is your best and easiest source. Sugar beets to well in most climates. Sugar has so many uses, baking, candies, alcohol, it will be a must have item.

Eggs. Ever raise a chicken or turkey? Not all that hard. Turkeys really are that dumb. Keeping your animals dry and warm is the key to keeping them healthy. Best to have a few others in your area with flocks so you can switch out males every couple of years to promote the gene pool.

Meat. Youre not getting that much protein from eggs. Obvious sources are your livestock, chickens, pigs, cows, etc... and game. If you are a small group, game may be able to support you long term, however, large groups will quickly hunt out their area. Both sources provide not only meat, but clothing, needles from bones, etc...

Garden Veggies. Any idiot can garden, I am living proof of that. This is not a gardening thread, there are alot of them on here, so I'll just leave it as standard garden products.

Yeast. Natural yeast can be hard to come by. Make up a "starter" water and flour, and feed it reguarly. I keep sourdough starters, and yes, I can make wine with it, along with breads, cakes, muffins, etc...

Wild Edibles. Berries, fruits, stuff like that. Again, if in a large group, this will diminish quickly. Not only good in vitamins, but some (apples are the best) have natural pectin which is essential for getting jams and jellies to set. More on that later.

Vinegar. If you are pickling anything, you need vinegar. Not a terribly difficult thing to make. Idealy, you want distilled white vinegar, but this may not always be possible. Make alcohol (see sugar) and from that, a few more steps, you have vinegar. Google is best for exact recipies as I dont want to type all of that.

So there is essentially what one needs to live long term. Think your stash has enough in it? Still think a large group is the way to go? How is that boat idea looking? Now for reasons we want to do all of this work and keep living.


Tobacco. Easy to grow, as far as I know legal to grow everywhere in the US (check your own laws), it is a bit of work to dry and cure it however, I would get a book and practice before hand. Tobacco will completely deplete your soil in about a year, so it must be rotated around your homestead. Can be smoked, traded, whatever.

Hops/Barley. Beer is slightly more difficult to make than wine, but IMO tastes better. If you want to enjoy a Friday night out with the rest of your clan, read up on this and take notes ahead of time.

Coffee. Very important to people like me. VERY difficult to grow where I am at, but it can be done. Beans need to be roasted and ground before using. Plants take about 3 years to bear fruit. Get started now, or that is a long long wait for Joe.

Chicory. People in the south have made chicory coffee for eons. I cant stand the stuff, but it does do the trick. If waiting 3 years for coffee isnt for you, this may work. But try a cup now before making the investment.

Tea. Black, green, oolong all come from the same plant. Camelcia Sinensis. Type depends on how you treat the leaves and flowers. Very easy to grow indoors or in a greenhouse. If I didnt like my Twingings EG so much, I would grow more of this.

Baking Soda/Powder. Not must haves, but usefull. Almost impossible to make yourself. Stock up now, when it runs out, oh well.

So we are fed, alive, drunk and happy. Now to keep it that way.


Honey. Yes, this could be in any category. IMO the most versitile and perfect food on earth. Use instead of sugar, make mead, eat out of the jar. Honey lasts forever, and we are only now starting to realize just how good it is for you. Raising bees isnt too difficult. Cold weather people will need to figure out how to keep them alive in the winter. Something I am working on myself.

Citrus. The big four all are loaded with vitamins, can be used as cleaners, to liven up dull food. Need to be processed shortly after harvest as the self life isnt all that long.

Herbs. Too many to list, and some are regional. But as far as natural medicines go, its tough to beat a good referance book on herbs. Make tincures, teas, add to sauces, they should have a place in your plans.

So thats all we need to plan for should we be on our own for years, not too bad. lol

We can talk all day about guns, or communes, or BOB's, but if we cant figure out how to stay alive when our stash runs dry, its all for not. Take a good hard look at what you need to do and have, the knowledge and hard work required. A garden with some seeds is great, but if there is more than one of you, its going to take more than that.

Once this thread dies, with my history, about 3 days and 4 replies, I will post another one on food storage, and then one on other common luxuries we take for granted, but when you need to make them, things change quickly.

If you have any items I may have missed, please add, if you think all of this is crazyness, let me know. Or if you would like to, or like me to go more indepth on any of the above topics, please feel free. We are all in this together, and without figuring out how exactly to live and thrive should it all crumble, we wont.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 02:02 PM
a very informative thread

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 02:29 PM
Good thread.

If we are talking about an EOTWAWKI situation being near the oceans will be highly beneficial.
After a few years with no commercial fishing the oceans will rebound. Having the equipment to take advantage of the bounty would be a good idea.
There were Indian tribes in the northeast U.S. who lived almost exclusively on shell fish.
Your all invited to my post apocalyptic clambake.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 02:44 PM
During the 'great depression' in the USA, a lot of country folk lived on dandelions, the leaves and roots are edible, the damn things grow anywhere there is a pinch of dirt, are medicinal as well. Google them, and don't forget plenty of seeds.( the flowers make a nice wine)

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 03:04 PM
Dandelions are a great resource. Wine, salad greens, etc... Right you are, people invest a fortune every year to try and kill them off, they grow everywhere.

Also, yes, those on the coasts will have an advantage long term. From the ability to create salt, to access to vast ammounts of sand (think concrete) and the obvious benefits of fish, kelp, other marine life.

This would be assuming you make it that long. There are alot of people on every coastline in the world I can think of, save Antarctica. So short term survival and resources would be wiped out quick. If it was long term, I could see myself venturing closer to a coast line in time.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 03:22 PM
Soooo...i live in the desert, what should i grow? Sand?

Just messing with you. I think you need to mention something about cactus, as a way to keep fresh water. If you are running out of food, you have to also assume there will be no running water. How should we be getting fresh CLEAN water? you can survive several days with no food...water you need every day.

Unless you are that guy from India who doesn't eat or drink...How do i get THAT super power....

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 04:05 PM

Originally posted by Juggernutty
I think you need to mention something about cactus, as a way to keep fresh water. If you are running out of food, you have to also assume there will be no running water. How should we be getting fresh CLEAN water? you can survive several days with no food...water you need every day.

Ive never lived in a desert, so I did forget the great cactus, as I am not familiar enough with them to provide any real insight. I do know better than to hug one.

Cacti, do store a good deal of water, some (I think) can be eaten, and there is that horrible substance called Tequilla that is made from them.

A good referance for regional foods, how to use them, and what they can do for you can be found here.

Find the items that are in your area, make a referance sheet, and have it laminated to put in your survival binder. I am assuming you have a survival binder.

Clean clear water. Rather important for sustaining life I suppose. There are a multitude of sources now, and should this become reality, there will be more as we wont have any pollution after awhile.

I have always believe in having a private well with a hand pump as well as electric, I am going to run out of gas for my generator eventually. I have had my well tested, and the water is safe.

Desert living would be different, you would need to search for underground rivers and filter/boil drinking water. Finding rivers could prove difficult, take a stab at Water Witching ahead of time. Avoid areas with large known mineral deposits. Running water is by and large safer than stagnant water, but always go upstream to be certain there are no dead, bloated animals in your supply. After we stop seeing smoke plumes, in time the majority of rainwater will be safe in most areas. Oceans have alot of water in them if you can get the salt out. Google Desalination if you fit into the salt water category.

Also to avoid, water in and around beaver houses. Beaver fever is real, and its not pleasant.

Short term supplys should involve a very good water filter, both personal, and on your well. Water stored in food grade plastic and kept from the sun is a good idea as well. Enough to keep you going until you are able to locate a good, reliable source. If you are in a major metro area, good luck with that.

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