An Afternoon Canning

We had some snow today so that kind of shot down any gardening.  I spent the morning working on some Christmas card designs instead.

When it came afternoon, we headed to the Bishop’s Storehouse to can some food storage items.  We got there a little early, and a couple of ladies were just finishing up their order.  We pitched in and helped them and they helped us, and we got some sugar and oatmeal done with their help.  We also did some macaroni, spaghetti, white beans, pinto beans and onions. 

Me with a couple of cans of macaroni

I counted 99 cans when we were all done.  Yeah, that may seem like a lot of #10 cans, but it takes a bit to store enough for a year.  If you figure it takes the average person about 400 lbs. of wheat (not to mention other staples) for a year, that’s 40 cans of wheat per person – roughly.  That’s about 7 boxes worth.   That’s quite a bit.

It used to be many non-Mormons thought Mormons were a little off their rocker for storing food – especially wheat.  Well, in October I noticed that bread was about $2.50 a loaf for the heartier breads.  (Sorry, I don’t care for that Wonderbread crud that is mostly air.)  A few weeks later, the same bread was $3 a loaf.  That’s a 20% increase in a few weeks.  They say it is going to get more expensive comes January.  (Why January?  Taxes, expiration of tax cuts for individuals and corporations, etc. )

I’ve been trying to follow some of it in the news, but it is depressing.  Add to that what is happening to the U.S. dollar, and we are not out of the woods when it comes to our economic woes.  In fact, until we (individually and collectively) get out of debt, we’re going to be in a tough economic situation.

We are also to dependent on our infrastructure.  I was in the San Francisco Bay Area during the Loma Prieta Earthquake.  There were some communities where grocery stores were completely stripped of products.  If trucks and trains cannot deliver the goods, there won’t be any goods to buy.  I’m sure people who lived in the areas struck by Katrina saw similar happenings.  It doesn’t take much to knock out the delivery infrastructure in an area.

So, it isn’t pending doom and disaster on a global scale that drives people to store food and supplies.  There are other types of things that can create problems in the food delivery system.  Politics, for example.  I’ve read where politics in 3rd world nations have created riots over food and water.  Given the political climate of the last couple of years, I do not think we are immune from such things.  Food storage – it is common sense.  Whether it is on a personal level (like losing one’s job) or on a larger scale (like weather induced disasters), being prepared makes sense.

Now, here’s something to think about…

If bread takes a 20% jump in price, and, say that price holds for a year, that’s 20% per annum.  What bank pays that?

If that price only holds for 6 months… that’s 40% APR.  What investment pays that?

Now, what if the dollar goes completely in the toilet and you have 1200 pounds of wheat.  What if people are bartering for goods because the greenback is worthless?

Something to think about.