This Saturday I gave a presentation on household food security at a Peak Prosperity event held this year in Sonoma County, California. This isn’t the first time I was asked to give this spiel for them and I was happy to return. There’s a general societal preoccupation with the Hollywood disaster movie version of disruption. But for most people the far more likely debilitating events tend to be plain old everyday set backs that aren’t nearly so dramatic or sexy. A six month bout of unemployment or a serious illness can rattle a family in ways it might never fully recover from. Putting food on the table during these unplanned but common occurrences is easier if you’ve prepared in advance. And the same techniques that keep bellies full in ordinary times happen to also do quite well if the Hollywood style catastrophe hits.
I’m never one of the premiere speakers at any of the events I attend. The exalted spots are reserved for people who examine the intricacies of high finance and the complexities of political dynamics. Talk of peripheral topics like how we all feed ourselves is more of a halftime conversation reserved for the Ladies Auxiliary. Shrug.
My pitch is always simple. Floods. Forest fires. Earthquakes. Financial shenanigans. 12,000 mile just-in-time corporate supply chains. Geopolitical instability. What could go wrong? None of us has any control over any of it. But we absolutely have control over our own pantries. No one else is responsible for feeding us. The best time to prepare for unpleasant events is on a beautiful sunny day when all is well.
I gave my initial talk on stage and then answered questions and offered demonstrations and samples at a table during lunch break. How and where to store food, pressure canning, dehydrating, various kinds of containers, water storage… I emphasized the need to start small, not to spend money you don’t really have, and the importance of rotating supplies to keep stocks fresh over time. The group seemed to appreciate my pragmatic suggestions. These are things everyone can do – and everyone should do.