My Beef with a Year Supply of Food

August 4, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 12:03 am   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices

For the most part I am a huge fan of the Church’s counsel regarding finances, preparedness, and self-reliance. I love the counsel to stay out of debt and live within our means, and I need a steady diet of it. (From what I can tell you do too.) However, I find myself somewhat at odds with the counsel to keep a year’s supply of food.

If I were revising the counsel, I would tell everyone to store:

1. A one-month supply of food
2. A one-year supply of money

The purpose of food storage is to prepare us for the calamities that come along during life. Such calamities include: loss of employment, loss of income, a trucker strike, economic recession, economic depression, and the total collapse of our economic system with accompanying meltdown of society leading to the post-apocalyptic world of movies on the SciFi channel. If we had statistics on the actual occurrences of such calamities since the counsel on food storage became official in 1936, I think it is obvious that the vast majority of the calamities would fall in categories at the beginning of that list.

The beauty of money (as opposed to food) is that it is, well, money and not food. It is not perishable and it can be used to buy whatever you actually need for whatever crisis actually hits. If the calamity is a blown head-gasket in my car, money helps me out whereas my barrels of weevils and grain do not.

I am always hearing testimonials about the time someone’s family lost their job and had to live off that year’s supply of food. Such examples are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but I have to bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that I would much rather have a year’s supply of money in such a situation. First, it could buy a kind of food my kids actually eat. Second, it could help to pay my mortgage while I’m unemployed. Third, back during the good times while I was waiting for the calamity to hit, it would have been earning interest instead of nourishing weevils.

Before anyone gets too upset with me, it is worth knowing a bit of history about the origin of the year’s supply counsel. Of course, self-sufficiency and food storage were taught going back to Brigham Young’s time. However, the current counsel dates back more specifically to the Great Depression. During the years immediately following the stock market crash in 1929 and the resulting depression, the Church took a number of steps in response. Most significantly, in 1935, Harold B. Lee (then Stake President) was called to formulate a Church-wide welfare program, which was launched the following year (1936) in April Conference. In 1937, J. Reuben Clark gave a talk in which he challenged the Saints to store a year’s supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. That counsel is still in effect today. Ezra Taft Benson wrote in his book Come Unto Christ: “As families, we must strive to be self-reliant. Since 1936, members of the Church have been instructed to have in storage a one-year supply of food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel. This enables one to survive loss of employment, loss of income, or even calamity, as spoken of in the revelations.”

It is worth noting that the counsel was formulated during the Great Depression when thousands of banks had failed and fortunes had been lost in the stock market. It is no surprise that the focus would be on food instead of money. However, as President Benson said, the purpose of food storage is to prepare against all types of calamity, not just worldwide disasters, and personal disasters are much much more common.

By the way, am I the only one who noticed that part about a year’s supply of fuel? Can I get a raise of hands on who has a year’s supply of fuel? As for the year’s supply of clothes, my wife has that covered for the whole ward, so don’t worry about that. If you’re in my ward, you are covered.

So what do you think, who’s ready to stuff some of those wheat barrels with some cold hard cash?

[Associated song: Echo and the Bunnymen – Stormy Weather]


  1. Short of the apocalyptic collapses of society that are so fun to fantasize, one less far-fetched scenario is hyperinflation; that has happened to more than one unfortunate nation. A bucket of wheat would beat a bucket of Monopoly money in that event.

    There was more than one time under Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, though, that what the Church needed most was cold, hard cash, preferrably in gold coin. So lay up food and money both. Also, store your grain better; weavil infestation is avoidable.

    Comment by John Mansfield — August 4, 2006 @ 6:25 am

  2. I don’t know. With what’s going on in the Middle East right now, far out apocalyptic scenarios don’t seem quite so far out.

    Maybe it’s because I live in the greater (heh) DC Area, but the disruption resulting from a major terror attack could have long-term consequences. Not to mention, under certain scenarios, a large solar flare could knock out power to a large part of the world, and could take up to two years to restore. And while I don’t put much stock in the possibility of a bird-flu pandemic, it’s not hard to imagine our Islamist friends or some environmental extremists unleashing a 12 Monkeys type bio-weapon.

    Even though those scenarios are not too probable, I don’t think preparedness is a bad thing. Besides, we can always take our MRE’s camping with his.

    Comment by V the K — August 4, 2006 @ 7:06 am

  3. I agree with the money part, but it has to be done properly. Another not so far fetched scenario is a having one’s bank account levied (contents seized) by the government due to a legal judgment gone awry or some other out of control regime. Or a technical shutdown of the banking system such that one’s deposits are not available for an extended period of time.

    As such, it seems wise to keep a reasonable portion (say one month’s worth) of one’s cash reserves in actual cash. It also seems a wise to keep a significant portion in gold, partially stored at home, and partially in a local deposit box. Of course, if a judgment is legitimate, one is obligated to turn such in anyway, but it provides a barrier against inflation and illegitimate acts of government, as well as technical failures of the banking system.

    I think a one month supply of food is rather too low, by the way, the tradeoff ratio is hardly 1:1.

    Comment by Mark Butler — August 4, 2006 @ 8:30 am

  4. Another consideration is what people can or will accomplish. Stocking up a ton of food is a big chore, but it is many times more achievable for most than building up $40,000 in secure liquid assets. (Long-term retirement accounts don’t count, and definitely not home equity.) Storing a year’s supply of water would be easy compared with saving a year’s income. The latter task obviously takes more than a year to do.

    Suppose the Church leaders did start issuing the counsel proposed in this post, though. It would be an interesting shift in our image if we went from being a people known to keep closets full of food to being a people who uniformly maintain fat bank accounts.

    Comment by John Mansfield — August 4, 2006 @ 9:38 am

  5. Sorry to go all hippie on y’all, but I think in the event of a real catastrophe, whether personal or apocalyptic, the communities we build with others in the church will sustain us more than money or food stores.

    Comment by V the K — August 4, 2006 @ 9:40 am

  6. How can the community sustain us in an emergency, if they have no food to give? We are the community.

    Comment by Mark Butler — August 4, 2006 @ 9:48 am

  7. In case of a true catastrophe lasting for even a week, the store shelves would be empty. At that point, it wouldn’t matter how much money you have in the bank. Only those with a large surplus of food would be willing to sale.

    I do think it is provident to have cash in the bank to cover emergencies. I have 12-month CD’s, one comes to maturity every month, large enough to cover my house payment. That way, if I loose my job, I can still make the house payments.

    I don’t know if I will ever need a year’s supply of food. But I know I need enough faith to believe the prophets when they say the saints need to store a year’s supply of food. We may be called on some day to share our supply with our neighbors at home or around the world. I don’t know, but I believe. In my neighborhood, the water main broke and we were all left without water. We loaded up the little red wagon with 2-liter bottles of water and went through the neighborhood offering it to people. When asked why we had water stored to share, we told them that God had called a living prophet who instructed us to store food and water in case of an emergency.

    Comment by Floyd the Wonderdog — August 4, 2006 @ 10:05 am

  8. John:

    What’s wrong with home equity? Many years ago when I lost my job the first thing I did was sell my house. That move provided relief on three fronts: 1) we reduced our monthly housing expense by moving into a small apartment; 2) the equity we had built up in the property provided additional cash to get through that lean time; and, 3)it encouraged me to expand my job search because I was no longer tied to the house. I am arguing the point that a reasonable estimate of home equity can and should be figured into a family’s “savings” reserve. The problem most people have is that they invest way too much emotional capital into where they live such that they are unwilling to give up the real asset when a cash cruch occurs. If you’re one of those poeple who refer to their residence as a “home” then you likely would not be willing to give it up in the event of a personal financial crisis. If you call it a “house” then in all likelihood you view your residence as one should– an asset.

    Comment by Paul Mortensen — August 4, 2006 @ 10:10 am

  9. Is there something gained from storing food other than the actual food? Diligence? Organizational skills? Weavil-in-the-flour analogies to use in sacrament meeting talks?

    My biggest problem with food storage is that I eat–almost exclusively–fresh food (“…every fruit in the season thereof”). Very little dried or canned, and some frozen. I just don’t know how to have a year’s supply of anything that I eat other than grain.

    As far as money goes–go to Providence, RI in the winter. According to my sister, every time there is even a chance of a snowstorm, there is a mad run on the grocery stores for milk, bread and eggs. You may have the money, but they will have no inventory.

    Comment by BrianJ — August 4, 2006 @ 10:13 am

  10. I have been very pleased to note that President Hinckley has placed a great deal of emphasis on our becoming debt free and has usually mentioned a year’s supply of food only in passing. As Jacob noted, the odds of us losing our personal income stream are orders of magnitude higher than the odds of us going all “Mad Max”. So if one loses the ability to pay the mortgage then when eviction time comes around it mostly means that person will have to move all that heavy food and water out along with everything else. Don’t get me wrong — I still think that storing sufficient food and water is very prudent and we do our best to take care of that, but my primary focus in this area is paying off all debts (including the mortgage) so that we can at least still have a place to live if the income gets cut off for whatever reason.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 4, 2006 @ 10:15 am

  11. Floyd, #7: Nice story about the water. I imagine that many of your neighbors were quite relieved.

    Comment by BrianJ — August 4, 2006 @ 10:15 am

  12. Jacob:

    I can go along with a year’s worth of food (and I personally do) but I think the emphasis for progressing toward “prophetic preparedness” should focus on preparing for personal crises (where cash savings would be of most use) over potential widespread calamities (where a year supply of food would likely be of greater benefit). My family is fortuneate enough to be able to afford both approaches but that was not always so and I know my family sacrificed quite a bit to purchase and store a year supply of food when the money would have been better utilized as an investment for a rainy day.

    Comment by Paul Mortensen — August 4, 2006 @ 10:23 am

  13. BrianJ: As far as money goes-go to Providence, RI in the winter. According to my sister, every time there is even a chance of a snowstorm, there is a mad run on the grocery stores for milk, bread and eggs. You may have the money, but they will have no inventory. (#9)

    Notice that I recommend keeping a one-month supply of food on hand to deal with short term food shortage. Despite Mark’s objection in #3, I can’t think of many non-societal-meltdown scenarioswhere the one-month supply wouldn’t get you through the kind of thing you bring up.

    By the way, as John Mansfield wisely alluded to in #1 with his comment about “unfortunate nations,” I would definitely adjust my emergency preparedness plans based on the country I lived in. Or if I lived in RI in the winter I would plan accordingly as well.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 10:29 am

  14. BrianJ: Is there something gained from storing food other than the actual food? Diligence? Organizational skills? Weavil-in-the-flour analogies to use in sacrament meeting talks? (#9)

    This #9 comment had so much good stuff I have to comment on it twice. I think this question is a good one. I might point out that the skills learned in storing a year’s supply of money (thrift, financial planning, debt avoidance, etc.) are far easier to justify for their intrinsic value than anything I learn from storing food.

    No one ever seems to wonder how we justify wasting so much food with huge stockpiles of food which eventually get thrown away. Not in every case, but don’t tell me it doesn’t happen a lot of the time.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 10:34 am

  15. Floyd: But I know I need enough faith to believe the prophets when they say the saints need to store a year’s supply of food. (#7)

    The paragraph about the history of food storage helps with this concern. This counsel has existed for a long time, it is not like Joseph in Egypt. They were kind enough to tell us the principles upon which the counsel was given in the first place and I would argue that 70 years later it is not faith-shaking to consider the plan might need a bit of adjustment to better suit the current risks.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 10:40 am

  16. Re Fuel:

    Considering the time the counsel was originally given, I can imagine stacks of firewood or coal, enough to last a year. Even now, I understand there are places in north america that still use home heating oil for their furnace instead of natural gas. Perhaps they might have a tank large enough to store a year’s supply of fuel.

    Comment by JM — August 4, 2006 @ 10:42 am

  17. V the K: a large solar flare could knock out power to a large part of the world (#2)

    Even though I’m laughing now, I know you’ll get the last laugh when this really happens. But seriously, I am not saying catestrophic scenarios can’t be envisioned, but when judged from a standpoint of statistical likelyhood it is not even close. I know most people don’t view it from that perspective, which is a bad thing in my opinion.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 10:45 am

  18. JM (#16),

    Great point. The counsel on fuel should be view in historical perspective and they didn’t mean for us to have enough gasoline to drive our SUVs for a year. I am trying to apply the same sort of filter to the other items in the list.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 10:47 am

  19. Paul Mortensen, the first problem with counting on home equity is a family may not want to sell their house. For you, it wasn’t an issue, but for many it would be. The bigger problem is that the equity may not end up being as much as we think it is, and the house may be difficult to sell. That was the case for me a few years ago when I lost a job in Michigan during a time of economic weakness for the region. I took a job elsewhere and moved. Our house was on the market for several months and sold for less than it probably would have a year earlier. The equity in the house was my biggest asset, but not much use against financial stress. Fortunately, we had food storage and money in the bank.

    Comment by John Mansfield — August 4, 2006 @ 10:57 am

  20. Jacob,

    Can you imagine the tank trailer one would need to haul behind their Hummer to have enough fuel to last for a year? This would make a great political cartoon.

    Comment by JM — August 4, 2006 @ 11:07 am

  21. Jacob, #13: Yes, I noticed that you advocate a one-month supply of food. I was mentioning the store inventory problem for those who think money–cash and savings–is the only necessary safety net. I also think it’s an amusing example–it has been years (decades?) since RI had a storm big enough to cause people serious trouble, but they still panic at every weather report. (They pre-salt the roads, too, which usually means no storm but still salty roads.)

    Re fuel: I think I have heard fuel storage mentioned recently. Here’s a relevant article. We store some fuel for our backpacking stove. I assumed others stored heating oil, gas for generators, and the like. I never thought to apply it to gasoline for my car.

    Comment by BrianJ — August 4, 2006 @ 11:10 am

  22. JM, lol.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 11:10 am

  23. Here’s a quote from the article I linked to in #21:

    Rubber tires may also be used in an emergency. Power tools are very helpful in cutting them into small enough pieces for a stove or fireplace. Tires are more energy-efficient than coal, but since they are so bulky a great amount of storage space is required for a year’s supply. Because of the smoke, tires are recommended as a short-term measure only.

    Rubber tires?! I hope it never comes to that. And why would I have electricity for power tools but not a heater?

    Comment by BrianJ — August 4, 2006 @ 11:17 am

  24. Cycling power outages where power is available for only a few hours at a time, due to a temporary shortage in supply, like the loss of a few power plants.

    Comment by Mark Butler — August 4, 2006 @ 11:31 am

  25. John:

    My point about home equity is that viewing a home as anything other than a financial asset is a mistake of epic proportions. Investing emotional capital into property is idolatry pure and simple. Buying and selling a home should not be based on any emotion. Last year when my younger brother lost his job he asked me for assistance. My reply was for him to first sell his home and then his relatively new cars and then come and see me because at that point I’d be happy to help. Long story short, he loved those posessions more than he wanted my help (which I would have given for free– no loans here) and now even with a job his family is facing much greater financial hardship than they would have if he’d followed my counsel.

    Comment by Paul Mortensen — August 4, 2006 @ 11:59 am

  26. Home equity can be a good thing. But it shouldn’t be the first resort. There are significant costs. Selling costs, first off. Then you have the costs of a lost mortgage rate (I am hesitating over the 2% difference now, can you imagine if this was 25 years ago, and there might be a 5-10% difference?). You also have the cost of repurchase, moving etc.

    Also a years supply of money needn’t be our income. You won’t have to pay taxes, tithing, etc. You also should be able to reduce expenses by not eating out, commuting etc.

    Comment by Jay S — August 4, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

  27. Geoff,

    I have a little bit of a problem with the idea that you should pay off your mortgage as fast as possible. I think amassing a stock of cash for emergencies is much more important than paying extra on the mortgage. Then if you have a cash crunch (due to job loss or health problems, etc.), you can still pay your bills (including the mortgage!) without having to sell or lose your house, or even take out a home equity loan.

    Of course, for those who have no self control and can’t keep their hands off their savings, it’s probably better to pay off the mortgage than to buy a nicer car or bigger TV.

    Comment by ed johnson — August 4, 2006 @ 12:54 pm

  28. Too funny. Can you imagine what the neighborhood would think of me madly cutting up used tires with a chainsaw to store in my garage for “hard times”?

    I personally store white flour in cans. Forget the wheat my family would have to be pretty desperate before they started gnawing on wheat. This way I figure we can eat masses of homemade tortillas and the rest of our post-apacolypting neighborhood will wonder why the Johnstons all have such big, flour-fed behinds. Who am I kidding. My neighbors all know I have food storage and are planning on eating our tortillas right along with us.

    Now H2O is what’s crucial here in az!

    Sorry about the rambling here.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 4, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

  29. For all those that are pointing out that the shelves sometimes get empty temporarily during an emergency, note that Jacob’s original post did call for a full month’s supply of food.

    I’d bet if you go all the way back to 1937, I’m not sure that you could find a single case of a church member in the USA who would have been better off with a year’s supply of food rather than the food/money split that Jacob proposes.

    Comment by ed johnson — August 4, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

  30. It’s not just “apocalyptic events” (depending upon what one means by that). The fact is that if there is a panic store shelves can be depleted pretty fast and all that money isn’t worth anything in terms of food. I don’t just mean events like Katrina. But what if the avian flu really does hit in a pandemic form and transportation lines become problematic? You’ll have rapid inflation of food and a lot of food will be difficult to find. So having a good freezer of meat and more importantly goods for babies becomes pretty important.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think money is tremendously helpful – often more helpful than what people put in their storage. But having more than that is helpful as well.

    Comment by clark — August 4, 2006 @ 1:11 pm

  31. Last October my wife told me of a women she met whose grandmother, then a young mother, had died in the 1918 epidemic. As the epidemic passed through her town, the soon-to-be-dead woman urgently desired to get out of the house to do some Christmas shopping. She did so and was unlucky. My wife’s take home lesson from this is that during an epidemic there will be great value in being able to put off shopping for several months.

    Comment by John Mansfield — August 4, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

  32. ed johnson, thanks for the backup. Great comments.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 1:36 pm

  33. I just want to draw attention to Geoff’s brilliant choice of “Stormy Weather” for the associated song instead of REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

  34. Given the spectrum of possible events that would give rise to the need to rely on food or money storage ranging from personal tragedy to an apocalypse, I tend to thing the personal tragedy scenarios are more realistic. However, assuming a widespread disaster where everyone lacks resources at the same time, isn’t one lesson from Katrina that whoever had a significant store of food was quickly relieved of it at gunpoint?

    Now I am not a pro-gun person and have never owned one, but as I contemplate building up a food supply for my family a natural question occurs to me as to how I would defend my family’s ownership of the supply during a general disaster. It seems to me the people that thrive during a widespread disaster (one on the order of magnitude requiring a years’ supply of food) are not the people who have nominal ownership of assets, but the people who have the power to coerce.

    Money can be separated from you just as easily as food can. But money has its own problems. If you store it in a bank, will the bank be open during a widespread emergency? Will the electronic banking systems be running? Can you safely just go to an ATM? If you are storing it in a barrel then you aren’t earning any interest and money will likely be significantly devalued during a real emergency.

    In the personal tragedy scenario, though, it seems wiser to store money rather than food.

    Comment by lief — August 4, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

  35. lief,

    Yes, let’s add that to the list. Some firearms and a one-year supply of ammunition. [grin]

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

  36. My beef with the years supply of food issue has always been that I can’t imagine that it would ever last a year.

    Let me explain. If there is some kind of major disaster, am I truly going to sit in my nice cool cellar with my family, eating my food while my neighbors all starve to death? No of course not. I would be sharing my food with those in need, just as I would imagine Christ would expect me to.

    So I can’t see that year’s supply lasting very long at all.

    So not that it isn’t a good idea, I just don’t understand a lot of LDS people’s attitude about it.

    I had a friend who even was packing shotguns with his food storage so he could protect it from the hungry “others”. Huh! You really think your Savior would be happy with you shooting hungry people to protect your bounty? Give me a break!

    Comment by Jolard — August 4, 2006 @ 3:42 pm

  37. Jolard,

    I can’t tell you how many times I have had that discussion with people (me playing the part of you).

    Of course, your point will soon be countered by someone who suspects if all the _members_ had a one-year supply it would miraculously be just enough to feed _everyone_ for the actual length of the worldwide disaster which will be turn out to be shorter than a year.

    Comment by Jacob — August 4, 2006 @ 4:25 pm

  38. Huh! You really think your Savior would be happy with you shooting hungry people to protect your bounty?

    Ha! Nice comment, Jolard. Cracked me up.

    Comment by Geoff J — August 4, 2006 @ 6:04 pm

  39. Lief, good point. Fortunately I live in Utah where everyone is heavily armed but organized by the Bishopric. Seriously though, can you imagine a better place to live if some apocalyptic event takes place? Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of valid complaints about Utah. But when civilization falls this is the place to me. Don’t listen to Stephen King in The Stand. (Come on – Colorado?)

    Jolard, all joking aside, I think you raise a serious ethical issue. I’m not entirely sure Jesus would want us to let our children starve so as to ensure everyone has a little food for a short time. I think that ethically we have differing degrees of responsibility. In a disaster I frankly say my #1 priority is my children. That’s not to say we don’t act charitably nor help others. But it does affect how we do so.

    Comment by clark — August 4, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

  40. Well, contemplating any grizzly scenario I’d have to agree that a lot of money won’t be helpful if the banks have collapsed and there is no food to found as in the case of a true famine. So, I like the idea of a food storage, but it’s hugely problematic in the case of people like me who literally have such small apartments, we barely have room for a couple of weeks supply – no garage either – only a carport! In our Malaysian house, we have more room, but the tropical weather doesn’t allow a lot of storage. A few months back we were all given instructions by the US Embassy to have a 3 months supply of food to cover ourselves when the avian flu quarantined everybody!! So, we bought all this rice and pasta, stored them in unopened bags in Tupperware containers, and lo and behold — weevils! It was gross. Plus, like others here, we mainly only eat fresh food. We’re not big canned food consumers. My solution? Gold. Lots of it! And a garden. But watch out for the acid rain…

    Comment by meems — August 5, 2006 @ 3:04 pm

  41. I think the admonition of food storage is an inspired thing.

    Other thoughts:

    If you don’t have the space or money for 12 months, do 11.
    If you don’t have the space or money for 11 months, do 10, etc.

    One doesn’t have to have 20-year shelf-life items like sealed tins or pouches of whole red winter wheat. Pasta, beans, rice, dried food, canned food, can all keep two years easily with no special preparations. Even frozen food keeps for months.

    One doesn’t have to create a full 1-year supply of food storage all at once.

    One key principle is to store a variety of things you like, date every package, and then you’ll end up rotating them.

    Another key principle is to SHOP THE SALES, and STOCK UP. Doing this, and building up at least a 2 to 6 month supply of regularly used items, you end up cutting your food/consumables bill, because you then have enough to tide you over until the next sale. That way, you never pay full retail. And while you’re “tiding over” you save your money that you would have otherwise spent, and use it to shopt when they have the next sale on that item.

    And if you don’t want to buy a $300 flour mill, you could buy a $30 hand operated grain mill/cracker to crack the wheat, and a $15 coffee grinder (electric or hand) to further grind the cracked wheat into flour. (Cracking in an inexpensive grain crusher/cracker before running it through the electric coffee grinder seems to make finer flour than trying to do it all in the coffee grinder.)

    I was not raised on wheat storage, so I have no pre-conceived hatred towards foods made out of whole wheat. I like my cracked-wheat breakfast cereal and bread machine’s coarse bread made with 1/4th cracked wheat, 3/8ths whole wheat flour, and 3/8ths regular flour.

    I don’t mind having beans and rice several times a week. (Beano works.)

    I buy the frozen vegetables when they’re on sale at Kroger, and use pasta from storage for vegetable-noodle soup.

    I pay $1.89/pound for boneless skinless chicken breast filets and can freeze a month’s worth. Or I pay $.89 to $1.00/pound for chicken breasts with bone and skin. In the latter case I filet it, freeze some whole chicken breasts, grind some into ground chicken, and freeze most of that. Then I grind the bones, gristle and skin to make raw dog food, which also freezes.

    I buy round stake when it’s on sale for $1.89/pound, cut off the fat, grind it into hamburger, freeze it, and I have lean hamburger that would otherwise cost $2.99/pound when on sale, or $3.99/pound normally.

    I get tired of regular old american long grain rice, so I go to the middle-eastern and asian grocery stores to buy 20 pound bags of the aromatic Jasmine rice or Basmati rice, or black rice, or brown rice,
    or red rice or wild rice. (Only the white, jasmine, and basmatic rice
    stores over 1 year though. Whole unpolished rice doesn’t store long.)

    I got tired of the standard kidney beans, navy beans, and pinto beans, so I go to the mexican and asian grocery stores and buy about 10 different varieties of dried beans, and a dozen different varieties of spices for flavoring.

    It’s fun, and if you do it right, it’s cheap and nutritious.

    Shopping the sales for enough food to tide you over to the next sale SAVES BIG BUCKS. And in times of high inflation, or even any inflation, having food storage, even 6 months worth is a better investment than having the equivalent dollars in a regular savings account.

    For those of us in tornado alley, or susceptible to winter storms that can shut down the city and all stores for 2 or 3 days about once every 5 years or so, it’s also a good safety net. So even ONE MONTH, even ONE FULL WEEK of supplies and food can be useful!

    Comment by Bookslinger — August 5, 2006 @ 8:13 pm

  42. Before I joined the church about 10 years ago, the concept of food storage never ever entered my mind.

    Personally, I think the whole food storage thing is rather, uh, how can I say this nicely, bizarre. Cold war paranoia mixed with the more agrarian economy of the 19th century where families had to store food for the winter created this strange bomb-shelter mentality of having “a years supply of 800 lbs of wheat, 300 2 liter soda bottles of water, and 746 cans of cream of mushroom soup”.

    Personally, I will stock cigarettes and booze, since I think I can at least use them for their barter value (I am semi-serious).

    Comment by Phouchg — August 5, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

  43. Once I calculated that my family needed about 3,000 cans of Chunky Soup to have year supply for everyone. I’m thinking that still might be a good way to go. Now I’ll have to up it to about 4,500 cans now.

    We can have corn chowder for breakfast, chicken soup for lunch, and beef stew for dinner. Then when we feel like having breakfast for dinner we can have the corn chowder at night!

    Comment by Kristen J — August 6, 2006 @ 10:25 am

  44. Kristen, the thought of eating corn chowder for breakfast every morning for a year gave me another idea: a one-family supply of cyanide.

    Comment by Jacob — August 6, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

  45. The best thing about food storage is (almost) never having to go to the store right now. By which I mean, having other dinner plans fall through or a sudden need to make a cake and always — always — having everything you need to complete the task immediately. That saves my sisters and I probably hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year in fast food bills.

    And generally, storing whole wheat hasn’t worked for us. But storing spaghetti sauce and refried beans and tunafish has done wonders.

    Comment by Sarah — August 7, 2006 @ 4:29 am

  46. Sarah – spot on with your comment. My wife and I try to stock up on the food we like (mac and cheese, tomato soup, rice noodles, curry etc), so when she forgets her ingredient, or doesn’t feel like what she planned for that night we don’t spend $20 eating out. Not to mention the gas bills.

    Comment by jay s — August 7, 2006 @ 11:14 am

  47. I agree too. Store food that you eat now.

    Comment by Kristen J — August 7, 2006 @ 8:27 pm

  48. Hey now, did I hear someone awhile back mock cream of mushroom soup? I think you could grate cardboard up and mix it with cream of mushroom soup and it would be a remarkable culinary experience.

    Comment by Hal — August 8, 2006 @ 11:59 am

  49. I grew up poor and hungry. I know that in the times of deepest deprivation, true deprivation, people will eat food they wouldn’t normally eat. Despite it’s unappetizing whatever, those folks in Germany would have loved to have had those things during WWII.

    One thing I do, besides food and money, and WATER, a big one, guys, is store hygiene items. Enough for year. Shampoo, soap, toothpaste. I read a lot of Holocaust books and those things were premium

    Also, put a pack of cigarettes in there and save it for when you need to buy life saving medicine for your child from the illegal immigrant down the street.

    Comment by annegb — August 10, 2006 @ 9:40 am

  50. Annegb,

    I didn’t mean to trivialize your real-life experience of growing up hungry. Thanks for the tips.

    Comment by Jacob — August 10, 2006 @ 11:36 am

  51. “When we really get into hard times, where food is scarce or there is none at all, and so with clothing and shelter, money may be no good for there may be nothing to buy, and you cannot eat money, you cannot get enough of it together to burn to keep warm, and you cannot wear it.”
    President J. Reuben Clark, Church News, 21 Nov 1953, p. 4

    “Some have become casual about keeping up their year’s supply of commodities … Should evil times come, many might wish they had filled all their fruit bottles and cultivated a garden in their backyards and planted a few fruit trees and berry bushes and provided for their own commodity needs. The Lord planned that we would be independent of every creature.”
    Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov 1974, pp 6-7

    “We continue to encourage members to store sufficient food, clothing, and, where possible, fuel for at least one year. We have not laid down an exact formula for what should be stored. However, we suggest that members concentrate on essential foods that sustain life, such as grains, legumes, cooking oil, powdered milk, salt, sugar or honey, and water…”
    1st Presidency, Ensign, October 1988

    “…When the economies of nations fall, when famine and other disasters prevent people from buying food in stores, the Saints must be prepared to handle these emergencies …” Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 264

    “Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation: and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth…
    And upon my house it shall begin, and from my house shall it go forth… D&C 112:24-25

    “The only safety and security there is in this Church is in listening to the words that come from the Prophets of the Lord, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself. And they have spoken. They have told us to prepare, and it is not for us to argue whether we should or whether we should not. We have the Prophets today telling us what our responsibility is here and now. God help us not to turn deaf ears, but to go out while the harvest is yet possible and build on a foundation such that when the rains descend, and the floods come, and the winds blow and beat on the house, our house will have stone walls.”
    Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, Oct. 1970, pp. 152-53

    “The Lord has warned us of famines, but the righteous will have listened to the prophet and stored at least a year’s supply of survival food.”
    Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Jan 1974, pp. 69, 81-82

    “Our Latter-Day prophets have warned us of the solemn sobering obligation that is ours to prepare for the great and dreadful day of the Lord. That day is steadily moving toward us and there is still so much to be done. We must be prepared to keep pace with our leaders…Perhaps as never before we need to focus our efforts on those things that matter most and avoid spending time on those things of small concern and of little consequence.
    Elder Russell M. Ballard Oct. Conf. 1998

    “Behold, I
    gave unto him
    that he should be
    an agent unto himself;
    and I gave unto him commandment, but
    no temporal commandment
    gave I unto him, for my commandments are
    D&C 29:34-35

    “The only safety and security there is in this Church is in
    listening to the words that come from the Prophets of the Lord,
    as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself.
    Harold B. Lee, CR, Oct. 1970

    President Harold B. Lee said: “We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet … [and quoting from the Doctrine and Covenants] ‘as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith’ (D&C 21:4-5).” He continued: “There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views.

    It may interfere with some of your social life. … Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow the ones whom the Lord has placed to preside
    over his church” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, pp. 152-53)

    excerpt from talk by Joe J. Christensen, “Rearing Children in a Polluted
    Environment,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 11

    Here then is the key-look to the prophets for the words of God, that will show us how to prepare for the calamities which are to come. For the Lord, in that same section, states: “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38.)

    Again, the Lord warned those who will reject the inspired words of his representatives, in these words: “… and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people.” (D&C 1:14.)

    Ezra Taft Benson, “Prepare Ye,” Ensign, Jan. 1974, 68

    Comment by mari — August 22, 2006 @ 1:47 am

  52. Mari, thanks for the quotes. I agree wholeheartedly. Part of the point of having prophets is that they can see the future. We can’t. People could have sat around in the days of Noah saying “Huge floods like that just don’t happen. Small floods maybe, but not huge like that. I’ll put the stuff in my basement up higher, but I’m not boarding any ark. It’s just not practical.” I live in a small apartment, too, and there’s no way to store a year’s supply of food. But a month’s supply for a family of four can be stored under a queen mattress and that makes a nice height for the mattress, too. When the prophet asks us to do something, we do whatever we can do of it. If you can’t store a year’s supply, store what you can. But don’t say the rest isn’t necessary. Just say you’re doing what you can and you hope the Lord will bless you for it.

    As for defending our food supply, I’m not going to get a gun so I can deny the neighbors some oats and powdered milk to eat for breakfast, but a gun would come in handy if anyone tries to come in with a gun and take everything I have (not just what they need), unfairly, mafia style, by force, then I will have a defense.

    I agree with having a year’s supply of money, too. We are putting most of our surplus money in savings for a layoff type of emergency but using a percentage to buy food storage and other preparedness items. We have to balance what the prophets teach, too. For example, having a house where I could store a year’s supply of food would be living beyond my means, which is against the prophets’ counsel. So I store what I can where I live and hope it will be enough. But it will not do any of us any good to say the prophets’ counsel is outdated or not necessary. They know more than we do.

    Comment by Erin — October 7, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  53. Erin,

    Your comment raises an interesting question. But first, let me say that my post doesn’t call into question the importance of having prophets (as you seem to suggest), and I thought many of the quotes from mari actually make my point (although she is obviously intending for them to call me to repentance for questioning the counsel of our prophets).

    The part of your comment that I thought was very intersting is:

    When the prophet asks us to do something, we do whatever we can do of it. If you can’t store a year’s supply, store what you can. But don’t say the rest isn’t necessary.

    Are you saying it is okay to disobey the counsel of the prophet, but not to question it? Are you saying it is okay to figure out how to apply the prophet’s counsel to your own circumstances, but not to write a post suggesting a variation on the counsel that might better realize the stated goals of the counsel?

    Isn’t your decision not to store a year’s supply of food based on living in a small apartment exactly like the foolish person in your hypothetical who decided (in the days of Noah) “I’ll put the stuff in my basement up higher, but I’m not boarding any ark. It’s just not practical”?

    Comment by Jacob — October 7, 2006 @ 10:47 pm

  54. I have a few things to say about this forum.
    Brigham Young said that there will come a time when gold will hold no value in comparison to a bushel of wheat. Money can become valueless quickly. I store both food and money, but I would never do so much less of one for the other.
    I store a years supply(plus more) not only for my family, but I also intend to help those who don’t know this counsel.
    I feel that having excuses like not enough space is not good enough. The Lord will eventually leave us all without an excuse. Last week I taught an Enrichment Lesson on ‘where to store it’. I had a display that had an entire years supply under a twin bed and the bed was only about 3 feet off the floor. It can be done.
    These excuses do not take away our responsibility to get it.
    Do not ‘almost’ believe the prophets.

    Comment by jamie — November 4, 2006 @ 11:13 am

  55. In the 24th Chapter of Matthew, where the Savior tells his disciples of his day, and they, by writing his words, tell his disciples (hopefully each of us) of our day what to expect before he comes.

    One of the first things the Savior said was, basically, “Don’t be deceived.” He talks of “false Christs” and “false prophets”. Hugh Nibley pointed out that a “false prophet” often isn’t even a person who considers “himself or herself” to be a “prophet”. But, Nibley says, a false prophet, like “fools gold” is not one that necessarily claims to be a prophet or even utter a “prophecy” per se—but only one who takes or tries to take the place of a prophet (this may be a non-member, or even a church member)!!

    On the road to Emmaus, the resurrected Savior upbraided not “unbelievers” in the sense we usually think of them, but “unbelievers” as in those who were his disciples, but weren’t quite there yet.

    He (the Savior) said—

    “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken…”

    Noah preached for at least 120 years, trying to get the people to repent. I’m not sure how long building the ark took (in fact, the other day, I was thinking that just maybe, he perhaps had, maybe at some time, some if not many of the “unbelievers” doing contract work on the ark for him (it seems to me, it could take 8 people, only 4 of whom were men, and one of them was 600 years old, to build that humongous size vessel!

    My point is, the Lord gave the people of Noah’s day a long time to repent. The Savior used Noah’s time as an equivalent to “our time”, or the time in which he, “the son of man” (Christ) would come. And they shall be marrying and giving in marriage, etc, etc, etc — life will be going on in many ways quite “normally” — and then BAM! – some big emergency hits.

    Our ward & stake both are emphasizing FOOD STORAGE as well as ALL of the other aspects of ‘Provident Living’. I remember within the last decade or less, after FOOD STORAGE and EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS were once again emphasized in conference, there was an article in the Ensign with the director of Church Welfare Services at the time (I don’t recall his name). They did it in a Question and Answer format.

    Anyway, one thing that did come out was that the Church was then extremely concerned about the precarious financial situation of so many of its members.

    Money, getting & staying out of debt, and having sufficient funds (a years worth or more) on hand, was given as one of the things to do!

    I’m trying to get there. I might have a couple of months’ worth on hand. But I have more with food. For one reason, with 7 of 9 children still at home (and the other 2 coming to eat at ‘Mom & Dad’s’ often enough), we HAVE to buy when the sales are on to afford the food! My wife bought 11 or 12 cases of beans last week (60 lbs of ‘LEGUMES’, which includes ‘beans’, as well as split peas, lentils, nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter PER PERSON are what we would likely need, among other things, to help us survive a year without going to the store).

    Tonight, I read two (2) very recent reports- one coming out today about an entire large flock of turkeys in the UK that had to be destroyed because of the virulent avian flu.

    This past week, the US Federal government released that it would “rate” edpidemics, like the flu, much as hurricanes are “rated” in their strength, and hence potential destructive capability. And that report said that many people may be required to stay at home like 10 days or so if only one person in the household was suspected as having the flu! Could you survive a couple of weeks, if you couldn’t leave your home with just money? (“I trow not”)!

    This could “wrap around” the world, and hit in pockets throughout the world, and from there, in many more pockets, in mere days! What would you drink or eat if everyone was staying home, either preventing themselves from giving or getting a very virulent form of the flu?

    Its like giving Noah & his sons (maybe they DIDN’T have subcontractors) a 100-plus years to build the ark! (I think the flood is where the flood came from, and why dinosaurs disappeared, getting off the subject).

    Last month, after initial lessons and talks by the bishopric and others about ‘food storage’ and ’emergency preparedness’, we had a family I home teach, he is a former bishop of a student ward, my age, who had, along with a few other neighbors, their sewer backing up. They live just down the street and around the corner from us. We and they and no one else really expected any such thing to happen. Their neighbors, and ward members too, just across the street from them had their entire basement up to several inches covered with sewer back-up.

    What we helped clean up that night, with far less infiltration stunk horribly. I’m sure this family has money. But what they needed then, among other things, were rubber gloves — and THEY HAD THEM!

    Money buys goods. But if there are no goods to be bought, then the money becomes WORTH LESS than it is in normal times, as someone else above has pointed out. The foolish virgins didn’t have time to go buy oil for their lamps. The bridegroom showed up after a long time of nothing happening. Kinduv like, no big famine generally speaking that the food storage was needed for, and then, “Slam, bam, sorry, I’m not quite ready, M’am! (er Sir)”

    We’ve paid our home off, but have other debts to clear, which I am working on assiduously. And I am working on having as much cash on hand also as possible, for a cushion.

    Jesus told the scribes and pharisees, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

    I have long paid attention to ALL that he said there. Yes, they omitted the weightier matters, and should have done them. But, did you notice, Jesus did NOT tell them, “You should have done the other things, and forgotten tht other?” NO!

    Rather, he said to them (if you paid close attention): “…these (judgment, mercy, and faith) ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other (tithes of mint and cumin) undone.”

    They weren’t wrong in collecting tithing on these ‘small’ things. They were wrong in NOT doing the BIG or BIGGER, or HEAVIER or WEIGHTIER matters of the law. BUT, they should have done THOSE and NOT left the SMALLER things to be neglected either!!!

    Its NOT an “either/or” situation. It’s NOT a WIN/LOSE deal. Its NOT suppose to be ‘SURVIVOR’ (Coriantumr & Shiz, the Rematch)!?! We’re suppose to do BOTH! BOTH can & must ‘co-exist’. We are suppose to do the BIG things and the little things.

    Saving $ & storing food need not be mutually exclusive. They’re not easy to do. But, when we will need both, it will be like the Ark with the pitch (tar) on both the inside & outside. The ‘big’ stuff (the wood) AND the small stuff (the pitch or tar) will helpt to bring us over ‘troubled waters’, to borrow a metaphor from another source.

    Oh well, there ya have it!


    Comment by DMP — February 4, 2007 @ 1:40 am

  56. I have been assigned the role as “Food Storage Specialist” in my ward. How does one find out how to advise people as to what they need, how to store it, and how to rotate it? I feel totally out of my league here. And, under that title, am I supposed to teach canning and how to retrieve gluten from wheat and how to use your handy dandy wheat grinder to grind the whole barley that has been stored for twenty years? From what I have read through this thread there is one thing I see…a desire not to learn how to do it ourselves(obviously not everyone has this attitude!). My daughter often asks me, “Why do we need to learn such and such at school? I’ll never use that!(for example…triginometry!!)” The same with gardening and canning and food storage in general, do-it-yourself home projects, sewing, fixing your own vehicle…these skills may not be needed now because we can afford someone to do it for us but some day these skills will be neccesary in order be self sufficient/reliant, to help others in need, and to use these skills to barter at a time when maybe we didn’t get out of debt or money looses all it’s value.

    Comment by WfeWife — February 16, 2007 @ 8:06 am

  57. The Church has a website to help you at:

    As far as I know there is now lesson book or guideline to follow. Ask whoever called you what they want you to do. Some just want bulk food orders, other want skills taught, sometimes you need to seek inspiration if you have no other direction.

    You may organize classes teaching various topics BUT you don’t have to teach them yourself unless you’re qualified. Surely someone in your ward or state extension service should be able to teach from their own knowledge and training. Otherwise I guess you could lead by example and learn the skill and then teach it.

    “If it so be that you labor all your days….and bring one soul (you) unto me….how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father. D/C 18:15

    Comment by mari — March 17, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

  58. Mari, thanks for the link and the tips. Hopefully WfeWife is still hanging around.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 18, 2007 @ 7:55 pm

  59. Jacob,
    As President Hinckley taught: “We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. As all of you recognize, this counsel is not new. But I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way, my brethren, and gradually build toward a reasonable objective” (In Conference Report, Oct. 2002, 65; or Ensign, Nov. 2002, 58).

    You chastised Erin last fall for her prudence–but we have always been advised to store what is Practical–and legal. Some regions and countries even have laws against stockpiling food storage. We shouldn’t go into debt or to extremes–I had friends who went into debt to buy a pre-packaged year’s supply of food in case of–whatever. Suckers. My husband and I, like many others, buy what we use in larger amounts when it’s on sale. It’s called dollar-cost averaging and it’s a sound economic principle. The point is that, when we were college students, we had deodorant and toothpaste when we ran out, and not just when we could afford it! Hah! But truly so, we store the things we use. My parents both grew up in the country, so using something high in nutritional value like wheat is not so foreign to me. We use little bits regularly for breakfast cereal, adding whole wheat flour to other recipes, yada, yada, yada.

    We regularly depend on our home storage. Did you know that, in the U.S., most stores are stocked 2-3 times a week–in case of a widespread emergency, food would be gone in a matter of days even without a panic rush on the shelves. But even more, with a growing family and with unexpected financial set-backs (medical bills, cars dying, roofs leaking, etc.), having a long-term storage is simple wisdom for me. I can’t imagine living without it. It has been used time and again through 15 1/2 years of marriage.

    Comment by Riches of Eternity — June 13, 2007 @ 10:01 am

  60. Riches,

    I agree with you, in my home we do a lot of buying more than we need when things are on sale, which is a great idea for how to begin small. As to the stores running out of food in a matter of days, I am definitely aware of that, and you’ll notice that in the post I suggested people have a one-month supply of food to cover in case of such an emergency. I have to ask, in your 15 1/2 year marriage (congratulations) have you ever needed to use your food storage at a time where a year supply of money would not have covered your needs?

    You chastised Erin last fall for her prudence

    I didn’t chastise Erin at all. I was pretty sure before I reread my comment #53 that I wouldn’t have chastised someone for being prudent and I was relieved when I reread it that I had not. If anything, she chastised me (comparing me to the wicked people in the days of Noah). But, she made some other good points in her comment in addition to that. I did (and still do) find it interesting that we often say that not living up to a commandment is morally superior to questioning the spirit behind the commandment and trying to apply it to our circumstances. Maybe I will post on that some day. I actually was hoping that Erin would respond to the questions I asked.

    Comment by Jacob J — June 14, 2007 @ 8:43 pm

  61. President Hinkley was in Alberta Canada for a visit with some of the local stakes in May of 1997.
    He made these two comments during his talk.
    “You’ re going to like these times better than what’s coming” and “Keep the commandments and you’ll have SOMETHING to EAT”

    A year and a half later in the fall conference of 1998, he spoke in a very serious manner with the topic of “the seven full years and the seven lean years; and Joseph who was sold into Egypt”, and made a comment that there is a portent of weakness in the ecomony.

    Do your best to prepare for the hard times that are coming, and the Lord will help you when those hard times arrive.

    Comment by Amber Gregory — August 6, 2007 @ 5:12 pm

  62. Amber,

    A lot of people I know feel that President Hinkley’s 1998 warnings were fully realized in the immediate years following that talk. The internet bubble burst and there was an enconomic downturn that severly affected many families. I certainly know families personally that were affected; I would guess you do too. Do you think that could have been what those prophetic words were pointing to? Or are you convinced he was warning us of a coming “Mad Max” scenario with full scale societal melt-down? If I remember correctly from listening to that talk, he actually made some comments telling us NOT to miscontrue his words as predicting that kind of melt-down. Can you confirm or deny my recollection?

    Comment by Jacob J — August 6, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

  63. “I read a lot of Holocaust books and those things were premium

    Also, put a pack of cigarettes in there and save it for when you need to buy life saving medicine for your child from the illegal immigrant down the street.

    Comment by annegb — August 10, 2006 @ 9:40 am”

    … you’re joking right?

    first off, ANYONE of a bloodline that isn’t native “american” indian here, is an illegal immigrant. plain and simple.

    second, people move here because things are bad for them in THEIR countries, and presumably better for them HERE. should the same happen and YOU need move elswhere for your own safety or families prosperity etc… should people be bringing YOU a pack if cigarettes for life saving medicine?

    third, love everyone, judge not, etc. that includes the immigrants, illegal or not, that take care of things for you in your day to day life.

    fourth, we were instructed NOT to buy such things. at no time did the prophet, jesus, or god say “no tobacco, alcohol, drugs,…unless you reeaaaally need it for tender in a dire situation.”

    fifth, this is the exact kind of racist comments that I have to defend the church from whenever non members hear the word “mormon”. you are further testament to an enemy within. i am embarrased that a member of the church to this day, has no more class, than a money hungry politician, willing to shun someone in need, while ironically outsourcing labor to the same persons country, because they can be paid in pennies, because it is “legal” there.

    an immigrant is someone who migrated. that was like, the WHOLE book of mormon.

    “legal” and “illegal” are just words made to protect money. the root of all evil.

    be weary of the language you use. it has the power to desensitize and promote hate among men(and women). think about it the next time someone calls you a name that you didn’t like.

    and lastly… you would really sell your faith for your child whom you know would go to a better place anyway… depending on their age and how the whole judgment thing goes for them…

    but really. in all of the books,… members lives, on the news,…in your own family…you already know. sometimes, your child dies. but your faith shouldn’t. because we know there are things worse than death itself.

    Comment by tamms — January 26, 2008 @ 5:21 am

  64. tamm,

    What on earth are you getting so worked up about?

    First, there is nothing racist about the term “illegal immigrant”. annegb never said don’t love people or even implied it. Second, annegb only suggested a barter (although I doubt it is very good advice). Third, there is no injunction against buying or owning tobacco in the scriptures. In fact the Word of Wisdom says it can be useful for some things but is not for the body. Check section 89 again. Fourth, the word you were looking for is “wary” not “weary”. Last, you sound like a total psycho if you are actually insisting that letting ones child die is better than using cigarettes just to barter with.

    Comment by Geoff J — January 26, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  65. first, my vocabulary errors are a result of being tired. weary, wary. you got me there.

    second, i think the term “illegal immigrant” was used unnecessarily. it wasn’t used to say someone down the street has medicine. it was used to say, an illegal immigrant would have something that a legal resident would not have access to. the only way that could happen is if it was obtained illegally, which is also to suggest that only illegal immigrants would do such a thing, and legal residents are not capabale of such a crime. racist in the fact that it suggest a few minority races, and the term i should have also used would be elitist. which is also to say that illegal immigrants smoke, and legal residents do not, which is absolutely ludicrous.

    also, cigarette tobacco is in a form that is solely meant for consumption by the body and would ultimately be used for such purpose. and I don’t think such a thing would be condoned by the gospel. unless it is a brand that even CLAIMS that it is “all natural” or “additive free” such tobacco would hardly be useful for anything else, as the poisons and toxins added to cigarettes are more immediately poisonous and toxic when used in any other way than actually smoking it. the ONLY way I could see it being used in accordance, would be to kill weeds on ground that you do not wish to be suitable for growing food. and even then, I’m sure in such disatrous situations there will be a steady probably free supply of weed killer and other harmful pesticides and herbicides, etc.

    lastly the lord giveth and the lord taketh away. i find it silly that we can justify when and when not to follow scriptures, when and when not to accept the gospel fully. when it benefits us? the lord has a plan and we should live life accordingly.

    Comment by tamms — January 26, 2008 @ 3:54 pm

  66. tamms: the only way that could happen is if it was obtained illegally

    False. Undocumented immigrants buy things legally all the time.

    racist in the fact that it suggest a few minority races

    False. Undocumented immigrants can be any race.

    which is also to say that illegal immigrants smoke, and legal residents do not

    False. Her comments in no way imply that legal residents don’t smoke. You are clearly making things up.

    and I don’t think such a thing would be condoned by the gospel.

    Interesting speculation.

    i find it silly that we can justify when and when not to follow scriptures, when and when not to accept the gospel fully.

    Sounds like a personal problem. I recommend you take care of that right away.

    PS — I usually don’t feed trolls and you seem like a troll (or mentally ill) to me. I hope you can prove me wrong…

    Comment by Geoff J — January 26, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

  67. In the past your country is dependent on a on the spot “national warehousing storage system” to manage it’s food supply network. Today it is dependent on a “On Time Delivery System” that is wholly dependent on long distance transportation to transport food supplies and other essentials for supporting life from a far distance. A law must be enacted that requires each city to store a 3 month supply of food within it’s area, a state will be required to store a 3 year supply of food within it’s territory, and the entire nation must store a 20-30 year supply of food for the present population and for the projected increase of population. And a continental national government railway system must be rebuilt or built that will link every state, city, municipality, and county so that it won’t be dependent on a fleet of supply trucks for nuclear power stations can have a portion of their power diverted to power the whole electric railway system.

    Comment by admiral — February 25, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

  68. [Crazy political rantings and conspiracy theories deleted]

    Comment by Rabbit — February 26, 2008 @ 4:00 am

  69. Post 68 is correct…

    [You get the idea, more crazy talk deleted.]

    Comment by Rob — February 26, 2008 @ 12:04 pm

  70. Oh good grief. Where did all the conspiracy theorists start coming from all of a sudden on this old thread?

    Comment by Geoff J — February 26, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

  71. You mention that the counsel to store a years supply of food started during the depression when banks were failing people had lost fortunes in the stack market…

    It’s October 2008, and banks are starting to fail and the market is down below 10k for first time in several years.

    I for one will just take the prophets counsel and go with it, and I suggest others do the same. We can’t foresee the conditions when the prophets counsel will make all the difference in our lives.

    Comment by Cameron — October 7, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  72. Cameron,

    So far, my one month supply of food and my year supply of money are seeing me through this financial crisis. How about you?

    Comment by Jacob J — October 8, 2008 @ 10:21 am

  73. Cameron,

    By the way, the air of moral superiority implicit in your comment that “I for one will just take the prophets counsel and go with it” is embarrassing. You take prophetic counsel out of context and then pat yourself on the back for how righteous it proves that you are. Compare the sentiments in my post with this statement from the newsroom:

    Given the current national climate of apprehension and suspicion, it would be all too easy to ascribe the Church’s long-established teachings of personal self-reliance, common-sense food storage and provident living to some sort of doomsday theology. Mr. Fish [who’s article on food storate is being commented on in this statement] resisted the temptation to sensationalize, and noted instead that the welfare program of the Church has been in operation since the 1930s, when it was created to assist people struggling through the Great Depression.

    From its inception, the Church’s welfare program, funded by freewill offerings, has enabled Latter-day Saints worldwide to participate as givers and as receivers in welfare and humanitarian assistance that has benefitted millions.


    Michael Purdy
    Church Public Affairs

    That statement was put out in Oct 2001, when people were making the same doomsday predictions you seem to be leaning toward in your comment. But, is anything in my post really at odds with how things played out in 2001? No.

    The market is down below 10k. Fine. But what is your point? Specifically, take a stand and state what conclusion we should draw from that rather than just saying something vague that you can’t be held accountable for. Is this the end time for which the food-storage counsel has been preparing us? If not, aren’t you simply peddling the doomsday theology that everything could melt down one day and this is what the prophet’s counsel is meant to protect us from? The unfortunate thing for such a position is that it ignores the historical context in which the counsel was born and misconstrues the intent of our prophets (as stated by the public affairs department above).

    I am about at my wits end with the retarded comments that trickle in on this post with their self-righteous tone and total lack of ability to address, or even engage, the points under discussion here.

    I have never criticized anyone for following the prophet’s counsel. Strictly speaking, I didn’t even advocate anyone do differently than what has been counseled. I simply said that if I were the one giving counsel (obviously I am not in a position to do so with any authority whatsoever) it would be ever-so-slightly different than what we’ve been given. But, in recent years they emphasis has shifted from a year supply to a three month supply anyway, so the already ever-so-slight difference continues to narrow.

    Comment by Jacob J — October 8, 2008 @ 10:52 am

  74. I don’t agree… How can you know how much a years supply of money is? If you had, say, $10,000 as your years supply, but the economy collapsed so bad that $10,000 would only buy a hotdog (Zimbabwe hyper-inflation) could you make that hotdog last one year? Stay with the council to store your years’ supply of food. At least you’ll eat

    Comment by Eric G — March 4, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

  75. But then I have to figure out how much a year’s supply of food is. What if losing my job makes me very hungry all the time?

    Comment by Jacob J — March 4, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

  76. With a bout of hyperinflation a year’s supply of money would be used up in a single month! Than what??

    I have a photo of our local WalMart bread aisle on a typical Tuesday evening. No war breaking out in the media, no twin towers decimated, no outbreak, etc and the bread shelves were completely empty! If you wanted or needed bread that evening you could not get it from WalMart.

    Look at Africa, people have to take TRILLIONS of dollars to the store for their daily bread and produce. If we see anything near that (which is likely with all the bailouts and dollar devaluation) and year’s supply of money MIGHT buy a gallon of milk.

    I have been laid off for 3 months and we would be SO screwed if we had to buy groceries right now. We don’t have to buy groceries because we are obedient. We have stayed out of debt and we have the 6 month supply of money set aside that without a grocery bill can be stretched another 2-4 months. If we plant a considerable garden we will have an additional 3-5 months!

    Do what is right let the consequence follow. If the prophet told us to reserve a month’s supply of food and a year’s supply of cash, I would do it. If the prophet told us planting a garden was a worthless waste of time I wouldn’t plant one.

    CTR, follow the prophet, he knows the way!

    Comment by Ellen — March 4, 2009 @ 7:36 pm

  77. We all wish we had a years supply of money and food right now…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 4, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

  78. This thread is only has 78 comments. Why do I get the impression that none of the commenters from about 2008 on have read the conversation before commenting?

    Ellen, I’m glad you have your food and money supplies to see you through these tough times. Sucks to lose your job, hope you find another one soon.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 4, 2009 @ 8:53 pm

  79. jacobJ, it’s too bad i missed this thread when it came out. great discussion guys.

    last year, just before the meltdown, i was (i say this lightly cos i’m not worthy to actually receive inspiration) inspired (i’m sure 4+ dollar gas had something to do with it) to take a good chunk of our savings and stock up on food.

    we are big savers of money and very tight when it comes to spending even though we are not even clos to poor. but i just felt like if something was to happen, like a financial crisis, our money wont go as far in the future as it would at that time. I was worried that jobs would be lost and it would take everything we had to make the mortgage every month. so the extra food (and water) ease the monthly spending should the income decrease by one or two earners.

    sure enough, last jan, i was laid off and there’s no guarantee that dh will have a job in 1-3-6 months.

    in the last year in a half, i planted my first garden/food crops and have been learning how become as “self reliant” as possible.

    someone talked about selling their house, in these economic times, it would be really hard to sell (i would think) and that huge yard and chickens i have out back are potential money generators if things get really bad all around.

    i also want to say that it’s so comforting to go into the basement when i need a jar of peanut butter or a tub of honey and see rows and rows of neatly organized food-it’s like going shopping only my commute is 15 feet away.

    oh, i am still paying for my portion of the mortgage and utilities w/ my savings and i am enjoying life as a student. it’s good right now but i continue to keep buying and storing food because it’s cheaper now than it will be in the future (i think that’s the main point of my comment. sorry to ramble on) and i don’t know how much longer things will be “good”

    do what you can

    Comment by mfranti — March 15, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

  80. mfranti, thanks for sharing, and you are definitely worthy to receive inspiration.(!) I say that with utmost confidence despite hardly knowing you and you can’t convince me otherwise. It is definitely amazing how many Latter-day Saints have stories to tell in these tough times about the church’s counsel on saving food and money. Good luck on your husband’s job hunt.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 16, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  81. oh no. i was the one that was laid off. dh is still working but he’s a GD and who knows if he can ride out the storm. we hope so.

    thanks for the kind words-tho. i thought inspiration only came to the really good lds that attend church regularly and avoid using four letter words online.


    Comment by mfranti — March 16, 2009 @ 11:05 am

  82. Sorry, I thought you were both out of work but that you had gone back to school for the moment. My bad. And I’m positive four letter words don’t forfeit all inspiration.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 16, 2009 @ 11:25 am

  83. mfranti, fwiw, I believe there is more power to the Gift of the Holy Ghost than most members realize – and that it’s not as limited as most imagine.

    Comment by Ray — March 16, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  84. ray, that should be its own post.

    Comment by mfranti — March 16, 2009 @ 7:40 pm

  85. You can’t eat money. And when the dollar and all fiat currencies ultimately collapse food will be much better to have than worthless paper. Now if you convert some of that money into gold and silver along with your years supply of food then you are on to something.
    I have a years supply of food, my own source of power and a 2 year supply of gold and silver at todays bargain prices. Since the price of food is going up I am actually making a return on that like an investment which I can eat. And since the dollar is dropping against my gold my purchasing power of my gold is also increasing.
    Get into food and gold. You won’t regret it.

    Comment by greg — September 3, 2009 @ 7:16 am

  86. Recommended reading: Country Living by Ellen G. White

    Comment by A thinker — September 3, 2009 @ 7:33 am

  87. Did you know that the government is giving California farmers only 1/10th of the water they need for their crops? They do this, ostensibly, to save an endangered fish. (Obviously, officials are smarter than this and do, in fact, know what they are doing.) California farmers supply half the nation’s food.

    Power has many ways and means for expanding its reach. (“Ve hav vays…”) The people have many ways of remaining (insistently) asleep. Governments know this, too.

    Given how many people our government is killing, raping, disabling, etc. on a daily basis in various places around the world, on behalf of corporate profits (oil pipelines, geopolitical dominance are their real motives), it is no surprise we have threats from without, as well. What else could we expect? Have the people of the world no right to object to what we do to them?

    Under these circumstances, I’m inclined to vote for barrels full of money, as well. While all the natives are being brought to defend those who arranged for their misery, I intend to protect my family by getting them out of here.

    At this point, I regret mostly that our children and grandchildren will bear the brunt of our folly. It is not they who deserve it.

    Comment by Pat — September 4, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

  88. This is the most dangerous counsel I’ve ever heard. A year supply of money in this economy IS perishable! You operate on the false premise that after 3 months all will be well in Zion. I guess it comes down to this, store enough food for the amount of time you would like to live. After 4 months if the government hasn’t stepped in (because they can’t), the stores are empty (so much for your “year supply of cash”)you will perish. Why do we as members, who profess to have prophets, seers, and revelators amoungst us, choose to try and second guess them? I believe we should put together our preparedness items by following the Spirit. If the Spirit tells you to store money, you should follow that prompting. But each family will be different. I also feel what the Spirit will probably not prompt you too far away from prophetic counsel. If you are being steered away from that counsel, please make sure where your inspiration is coming from!
    Interesting speculation of why we have received this counsel. I hope for your sake you are right! As for fuel, I have stored wood for a year, and gasoline for a month. Hope to have propane for a year soon. Current counsel doesn’t seem to discount previous counsel. Please be careful with this thinking.

    Comment by Steve — April 22, 2010 @ 7:20 am

  89. I guess it comes down to this, store enough food for the amount of time you would like to live.

    Oh great, now I need a lifetime supply of food?!? That’s even farther out of whack from the prophetic counsel than my post was.

    Comment by Jacob J — April 22, 2010 @ 10:36 am

  90. If you freeze your wheat / rice / beans / flour for a few days, you will kill any weevil eggs — and avoid ruining the food. Then, try to keep it away from high heat if possible.

    So I have read, and so I practice.

    Comment by Ed S — March 7, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

  91. I have read most of the comments here. I am not of your Church but I am human.
    I was 6 years of age when Germany invaded Holland and 11 when they left. Even before the war certain foods such as dried peas were already available only by coupon. Did my parents or anybody else we knew store food? A resounding ‘NO’. I was 11 before I consciously tasted bananas, oranges, chocolate etc. But that is of no concern. I would advise anybody who wants to prepare for unseen events to go to Wikipedia and search for ‘Dutch famine’. There are things we cannot foresee such as the food being available but not allowed to be distributed. There is a story to that why it was not allowed but it is not important in the context of this forum. And yet, although my wife went through the same thing she does not believe in storing food, God will provide. I am not a Christian but am pretty familiar with the Bible and I can’t remember any place where it says to be irresponsible. So I am going to sell some assets and buy food. Money is useless. Gold, silver, tobacco, coffee are the things for bargaining. And with all due respect to those people who think they can stick it out to obey the Words of any Holy Book, you will be surprised how fast the principles go away when you have had a daily food ration of 500-800 calories/day for a month!! And just because you get those rations does not mean you can eat the stuff as hungry as you are. The smell turns you off and when you look at the ‘hot water soup’ and see the garbage floating in it you have to eat with your eyes closed.
    I hope you will obey the commands of your Church and don’t make excuses. For those living in a cold climate try to get some wood. We only had half matured peat. No electricity. Only water. And fleas and lice.
    This scene where you will need the food is not far away. I have been telling my family since 2008 that it would be 3-4 years away. I think 2011 will be painful and 2012 will be deadly. Ironically in those days there was respect for other people’s property, not much stealing. But things have changed and when you see the food intended to keep your children alive about to disappear before your eyes I am sure that the majority of us would not hesitate to pull the trigger. IF WE HAVE A WEAPON!!!

    Comment by Adrianus Hendrik van Herp — March 8, 2011 @ 12:53 am

  92. Calvin Holloway Says:

    I believe that you are missing several important elements in your writing. The primary reason for saving a years worth of food other than self-preservation for yourself and family, is to be able to help others…clear and simiple. Because most people are too ignorant about what is going on around them, few will be storing and saving up for ‘rainy days’. The second primary reason is that when we go into inflationary periods, (food is currently rising at a rapid pace), money buys much less today as it bought yesterday. It offers you a better return on your money than putting it in the bank, and having to withdraw it to put food on the table. That same food could have possibly been 30-50% cheaper a year prior if you had stored it…leaving you to spend your money on things that have not inflated so rapidly. Things change, but history repeats itself. You should read the book by Strauss & Howe called The Fourth Turning…you will then see that this is a cycle and you had better be prepared. Oh, by the way, I am not Mormon, but I see tons of logic in their ideals of being prepared. I see very few of their members living in gov’t housing and standing in line for hand-outs…a model for the rest of us.

    Comment by Calvin — March 8, 2011 @ 5:44 am

  93. From Wikipedia:
    Quote: “The ardeas affected included 4.5 million people. Butter disappeared after October 1944. The supply of vegetable fats dwindled to a miniscule seven-month supply of 1.3 liters per person. At first 100 grams of cheese were allotted every two weeks; the meat coupons became worthless. The bread ration had already dropped from 2,200 to 1,800 and then to 1,400 grams per week. Now it fell to 1,000 grams in October, and by April 1945 to 400 grams a week. Together with one kilogram of potatoes, this then formed the entire weekly ration. The black market increasingly ran out of food as well, and with the gas and electricity and heat turned off, everyone was very cold and very hungry” Unquote.

    Give this a go for 8/9 months and see if you will still think about other people. I have seen the dead people who died of starvation.
    I have seen many things but I prefer not to talk about them as they affect me too much. I don’t talk about the past. But I came across this Forum and felt it was my duty to part with my experiences.
    My generation is the last who will be eye-witnesses.

    Comment by Adrianus Hendrik van Herp — March 8, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  94. If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear There is always the chance that we will not have to eat one bite of our stored food.When the last group of saints were driven out of Nauvoo,they crossed the frozen Mississippi and set up camp. They were cold, tired and hungry but God took care of them as he did with those who fled from Egypt. As the saints sat around the camp fires ,a flock of quail walked into camp and were killed and eaten by the saints.We store food because we are commanded to do so by a prophet. We may need to feed our non Mormon neighbors as well as ourselves,this has happened in many crisis before.

    Comment by marv thompson — March 9, 2011 @ 12:46 am