An amazing calculator link is to the LDS (Mormon) library (http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm), that estimates the food a family needs, for a year. You may not have a year’s food stored, yet. But if things get tight(er), getting started now will be a comfort then.
As Verde put it today,
.. She has been encouraging level headed, balanced food storage. This includes buying what you eat and eating what you buy and buying extra each time you shop. ..
Please note: I by far favor a long thought out stocking up of things you will actually use and beginning to adjusting your diet to eating closer to whole foods. We eat beans and home ground grains and fruit from the tree every week, but if you eat a lot of fast food, you have to develop the ability to digest this stuff so start slowly. If you start all at once, you will feel ill. Food storage must be rotated and maintained.
What do plan on cooking in an emergency? OK, make it for dinner this week and see how well you digest it. Don’t like it? Don’t store it.
When Verde mentioned buying a bag of wheat from a farmer ($25/50 pound bag; about market price now. If you buy ‘seed’ wheat, be sure it has *not* been treated or inoculated, and it is *not* the Monsanto and other ‘Roundup Ready’ tailored commercial species – you get into serious copyright and patent crap, if they think you might keep or sell or trade some of the wheat to plant.
But I wondered – wheat. The last thing I did with ‘wheat berries’ (seed) was to drop a couple tablespoons in a quart jar of water, and let it ferment in the cupboard until the water got cloudy and it bubbled. Then I started drinking a cup or so, and replacing the water, each day for a week. And repeat. Called ‘rejuvelac’ (I lived in California, just south of San Francisco) this was supposed to be part of a ‘colon cleansing’ program, and made ‘lactobacillus’ from non-dairy sources. That was 30 years ago, and hasn’t killed me yet. CA was strange.
So I Googled for ‘home grain grinder’. And, wow.
Yes. There are grain grinders, and other home gadgets. Not cheap – several are $200-$400 dollars. Some are manual, some for one grain only. If you are thinking Peak Oil, you are probably looking for something that works after the electricity is disconnected.
One site, allexperts.com, offers some advice in choosing a grain grinder.
Now, if I can just figure out how to process sugar beets. I mean, I feed sugar beet shreds now as part of my pony’s feed. The beets don’t seem hard to grow. And having a supply of sugar to trade seems attractive. (Sugar beets are shredded at the factory, to release juices better. After the sugar juice is extracted, the resulting pulp is dried. After the goat, horse, cow, etc. eats it, the digestion process converts the beet pulp to a high quality feed – good calories, low starch and sugar, fair fiber. Use to provide safe, extra energy for slicking up show animals, etc. I use it to simplify feeding my pony vegetable oil instead of grain. It is better for most draft horses (EPSM), and good feed plan for all horses, mules, ponies. 2 c. veggie oil/1,000 lbs/day). Which reminds me. I need to figure how to produce vegetable oil, too. Carrots, grass hay – I might be able to guess at that.