real hunger

Real Hunger When You Have Not Eaten Food For 3+ Days

Do you know what real hunger feels like? Probably not. Why? Because most reading this live in a ‘1st-world’ country (e.g. the USA) where food is relatively plentiful. Nearly everyone makes enough money to put food on the table, or, receive benefits to do so. Although we have experienced some shortages of some food items during Covid, there was still plenty of food. Where am I going with this? Keep reading…

Have you ever fasted? Or have you ever skipped several meals in a row? Do you know that feeling of being really hungry, real hunger? Today, on the Open-Forum, I read a comment that inspired this post. I pasted it here instead. Here it is…

Monday, I had a colonoscopy. For those of you who have been fortunate to have one, you know the drill. The prep is the worst part.

In preparing for the procedure, on Saturday I wasn’t allowed any red meat or anything high in fiber. No problemo. Sunday, I wasn’t allowed any type of solid food, only clear liquids such as jello, broth, popsicles, and such. Being this was my third colonoscopy, I knew what to expect as far as the diet and prep. So, Sunday wasn’t a fun day. Constant hunger pains that liquids wouldn’t cure. Throughout the day, I kept reminding myself that a large percentage of the Earth’s population feels this type of hunger daily.

With the impending food shortages we are about to experience, I also had to remind myself this feeling of hunger will be shared by millions upon millions in the coming days. Going to sleep, Sunday night was rather difficult. As I started my day on Monday, the hunger pains weren’t too bad, however; I could tell that I didn’t have my normal amount of energy to start the day.

Around 11:30am, my procedure started. As soon as the procedure was done, and I was released from post op, we grabbed a bite to eat. I’ll tell you what, that fast food chicken sandwich was absolutely the best! With each bite, my energy seemed to return and my tummy was getting happier by the minute.

I’ve never been in a survival type of situation to where I wasn’t able to eat. Throughout my life, I have been very blessed because every day I have food to eat. A day and a half of fasting wasn’t pleasant, but it was very humbling.

~ Mr. Ree

More Food Disruptions Are Coming

It is my opinion that we are entering a period of further disruption to ready-available foods. And this will result in real hunger for many more people. So many current events this year (natural occurring, and man-made) have lead to, and are leading to, much higher food prices (even higher than they are now) – and, food shortages around the world.

There is a lag effect in most food supply chains before it reaches the consumer. So, problems during the growing season may not affect your grocery store for some time, depending on what it is that we’re talking about.

We are also traversing a dangerous time period that many are calling the ‘fourth turning’. Social and political turmoil /upheaval. None of this is good for a smooth operating food supply system laden with countless global interwoven systemic risks.

Cities cannot feed themselves. It’s obviously impossible. For that matter, most populous regions cannot feed themselves. Not even close.

Most people don’t have more than one week of food inventory in their homes. I suspect that most do not even have one week of food in their homes. And all of these people probably have no idea what real hunger feels like. It never has entered the mind.

World War? How do you think that would affect food supply chains? Pretty badly I would suspect. I believe that we’re closer than ever to the next World War…

Real Hunger

Real hunger will result in two primary things. A desperate desire to eat. And a loss of energy.

I challenge any of you to go without food for as long as you can. It’s not pretty. Once you’ve begun to feel what real hunger feels like, maybe you will be motivated to mitigate the possibility.

Try to imagine a region of hungry people, after just a few days without eating. Try to imagine the real hunger on Day 3 and beyond… Oh, my, goodness. It would be exceedingly bad. Some (or many) of the desperate people are going to do desperate things to get food to eat. For themselves, their kids, their family. Oh boy I would not want to be living anywhere near a city or populous region…

Mr. Ree (comment above) mentioned his latest colonoscopy. It reminded me that I’m due for my 2nd procedure experience, this year. I suppose I should schedule it. During that time of fasting, I will be thinking about those who are hungry, and those who could soon become hungry. I do suggest that you shore up your food reserves for our uncertain future. It’s coming…

[ Read:

9 Missed Meals From Chaos & Anarchy

20+ Reasons For Storing Food

No City Can Feed Its Own People


  1. Try to reduce one’s diet from the traditional “three squares” including what I love, meat and potatoes followed by apple pie. I try to limit the intake based on the calorie output required for the tasks ahead. It is surprising how much, or I should say little, is needed to keep going. Then the adjustment to a limited amount of food in a survival situation is not as difficult.

    1. hermit – restricted diets… disclaimer – This is not for everyone and I am not proselytizing … but I stopped eating meat in the late 80’s. Today I humped enough freight to make Tennessee Ernie Ford blush. Most people can do this, I think. My grocery bill is manageable, for now. FWIW.

    2. hermit us,
      It does take significantly less food to eat a snack, a larger meal and another snack.
      Every body has differing metabolism requirements, it is definitely vital to know yourself and personal requirements, noted :not a want, or desire but need.
      Much depends on one’s personal health-needs. I have not desire to feed an allergy or digestion problem, as they put a kink in everything else.Selections for our family has to take in many factors. would be oh so sweet to go buy a 3-6 month of pre fab , just add water meals,” Not digestible” adds a whole ‘nother level to it. Making adjustments ahead of the need is crucial.

  2. when i was working in the field i would eat a light lunch.(if anyone here has ever worked in high heat, a large lunch is not a good thing) and a good supper. i never was a breakfast person, it always made me feel lethargic.
    it’s all about what you get use to. it takes a while.
    i ate a lot of bread sandwiches in my youth. .50 cents for a loaf of bread and if you were lucky a pack of bologna in your pants.( and yes, i have paid the mini mart, safeway’s, stop&go’s and 7/11’s back, i’m good with the world now) you can get by on a lot less than you think. it just takes some getting use to. Peanut Butter Conspiracy -by Jimmy Buffett explains it all
    for a long time now i eat one good meal a day at night and sometimes a light snack when i come in at dinner to cool off, sardines or vienna’s and some crackers and that’s all i need.
    i’ll eat one good meal a day and poop 3 times, that should be enough i would think.

  3. again, it’s what a person gets use to. if a person eats three large meals a day and has to go without, it will effect them more than some others. some people eat like birds. for others, gluttony will be their downfall. when they come across a property huffing and puffing, oinking and squealing with a firearm and their tactical gear that they bought because someone said that it would make them invulnerable, looking for food. they better have some level 5+ plates because level 4 won’t cut it in the real world.

  4. Fasting is interesting. First missed meal is a BIG DEAL. 2nd missed meal is hard. Once you get to the third, your body has essentially settled into the new routine. One or two more is no big deal, provided you can drink.

    A lot of people fast for anywhere up to 18 hours, and eat one meal. It’s called intermittent fasting.

    The problem isn’t going hungry. The human body is accustomed to privation from hundreds of generations of people for whom hunger was a normal state. The problem is not being used to being hungry. It becomes more psychological than physical.

      1. I do IF regularly. Routinely eat in a 6 hour window. Occasionally I skip a day or more. I’ve skipped 6 days of eating with zero calories over that period without much difficulty. Just black coffee and water. It’s doable, but more of a mental game.

        I’d recommend trying it, with a gradual buildup. You won’t die, and the knowledge is helpful

        1. That is hard on your body and your health. It is not a mental game. Your mind is telling you that not eating for 6 days is bad for your health. Your body starts feeding on muscle and your heart is a muscle.
          You can reduce your intake of food, eat like a mouse or skip a day or two but don’t go six days without eating that is just plain bad for you.

        2. master of all,Intermittent fasting is usually done for 18-36 hours intentionally-by family members. If it works for desired effect, at these levels, i see no need to continue past those bounds .It has been effective for weight loss among other things.
          Intermittent fasting has some interesting benefits. Dr’s report IF boosts immune system and stem cell production. Cutting out all calories esp carb -sugar based also cuts the incidence/survival of rogue cells.
          Most Dr’s who suggest IF also suggest mineral replacement during IF..
          … B complex(a sublingual) might be beneficial , since the body does not store it.
          There have been SOME diabetics, who were insulin dependent reported missing and lost…they were found days later and were alive and no longer required insulin.Do i recommend this NO!If i were to go on a hike i would take water filter and water .

  5. After 2-3 months of eating maybe once a day some beans and a little rice or oats, it definitely becomes physical. Low energy, poor focus on anything, fuzzy thinking, seeing someone eating pulls ones attention like a dog on squirrels. After many months seems like one catches one cold after another. You get used to functioning (getting by) with less, but it does limit one’s abilities. That was my experience going several years without enough food as a young adult, and started out fit & healthy. Took little jobs in exchange for a meal. Was stuck in a city environment with lack of transport and limited foraging. No food pantry close enough to get to with bus budget. Dumpster diving helped, but this was when food was not donated or bleached before tossed. My goal of finishing school put me in that position so I did have a choice to leave for better if desperate enough to divert from my goal. People giving me a small sack of food or canned goods was always a blessing. Biggest surprise of the experience was how weak and slow it made me (wits and movement) and how it made me susceptible to illness.

    1. Vi W, you’re exactly right. I had a tonsillectomy just over 2 weeks ago. I’ve eaten exactly one serving of baked acorn squash, 3 servings of instant mashed potatoes, one serving of hospital New England style clam chowder, and about 6 low-fat yogurts in the past 2 weeks.

      Mostly I am over the hunger, in that even still the thought of trying to eat something is scary (tonsillectomy over 60 is far, far, worse than tonsillectomy even as a young adult). Maybe another week or two and I can eat but, for now, the problem is just the lack of physical strength and energy. I miss food but I don’t crave it. But I do need to get over this and get my strength back. Just FYI, I was hospitalized last week for kidney/dehydration and the extra care did give enough of a boost that I can see things improving. Maybe another week or so and I can get back in the swing of things.

      Point is, I don’t mean or intend to whine about my health; I’ll be fine soon enough. My intent is just to agree from experience that the problem is strength and energy more than missing or craving food.

  6. I’ve had one colonoscopy, the meal afterwards was very good. The years since my doctors (changed at least a couple times) have recommended a FIT test (at home take a sample test), much more pleasant than a colonoscopy.

    I have read several times that society is only nine meals from anarchy. I believe it. Many folks here seem ‘tense’ at the grocery stores, if prices keep rising they may get more ugly than ‘tense’.

  7. I just don’t get hungry. Never have, when I was a baby, I would not eat for a day or two. Mom took me to the Doc. He told her, He’ll eat when He’s hungry. That’s what I do, eat when I’m hungry, be it dinner or 10am.

    The longest I have went, on purpose was 10 days. I did drink water, a lot of water and still was able to function. Towards the last days it was hard, no energy and a foggy mind. I lost 7 lbs.

    I usually eat 1 meal a day, dinner. Since I have lost 58lbs, have only been able to gain back 20. No matter how often or how much I eat, my weight floats around 180, and I’m 6’4″. I do burn a lot because I’m always working on something.

    I think what really matters is 90% of what I eat, I have grown/killed. I preserve all my own food, so it’s not poisoned by salt or chemicals, and a lot of this food is fresh from about June till Nov. What I buy at the store are basic ingredients for cooking from scratch, no prepared food.

    With that said, there are some extra goodies, chocolate, ritz crackers, raisins, and fresh fruit. Almost forgot, SPAM!

    I know how to grow food, wild-craft food, kill food, and have all the skills, knowledge and tools to process it. Don’t think I’m ever gonna die from starvation

    1. Dang it Stand – you are making me hungry. I’m gonna go kill something in the microwave now and balance it with a frosty beer.

      1. Tmac
        Oven roasted chicken hind quarter, just dug russet baked potato, roasted fresh picked acorn squash, and just picked green pole beans. That was supper. Not one thing from the store.I toasted it with a full glass of whole milk, I get from a local farm wife, just out of the cow, nothing else. (I don’t drink booze)

    2. SMG, your meals are nutrition dense.. Yes it makes a difference.

  8. Back in my younger days , the decade of the 80’s , I was in my 30’s , I fasted three times for a 40 day fast . After the two week point and usually before the three week point your stomach shuts down and all physical hunger pangs go away. The digestive system then goes into a self healing mode as well as the spiritual healing mode of your spiritual self . I would surmise that this type of fast must be brought on by our Father because I can’t see anyone doing it on their own power . When it is time to break the fast you have to force yourself to eat and then only a little bite or two slowly or it will all come right back up . For those so inclined religiously I went under a powerful deliverance two of the three times .

  9. All I will say is it’s different when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from!

  10. Ima trying to avoid all that above..
    Recently topped 600 pounds of nasty rice, far behind that on beans.
    Have many other things.
    A priority was flavoring for all that nasty rice.

    1. Horse.

      Diversify the rice and learn to cook it different ways. Same with the beans. I have regular white rice but also have the same amount of Jasmine and basmati too. Don’t know of too many other variations of rice around here besides parboiled and instant which I have too. Those I’ll say is blah, but goes good enough with gravy. Then again most anything goes good with gravy.
      Also consider other alternatives too. We are a grits family so I have over 100+ pounds put up along with the rice. Couscous isn’t really a go-to but I have some of that put up just for change.
      Similarly with beans. Diversify. I have about every kind my area has to offer, even if we don’t care that much for it. Considering we’ll be making a small pot of beans with most meals and different chilies will become a dear friend. If you don’t bake that too is a great skill to learn. It’s one that usually gets over looked with stock up supplies but if you can handle all 3 of these areas (rice, beans, and bread) you’ll do well in the kitchen.
      Seasons? Best bet is a heavy stock of mixed bouillon to diversify different meals. Tomatoe, veggie, shrimp. Chicken too. These make good bases for about anything plain. Also have a heavy stock of chili powder, cumin, and garlic. Oh, and dried onions! The best seasoning yet. Sure I don’t have to mention salt as you probably have 500 pounds of it already along with your 1000 pounds of sugar so…

      Know it doesnt really fit in with the topic either (sorry Ken) but I’m with you. The reason I do this is so that I don’t HAVE to go without eating. I love food too much.
      If/When the “Situation” comes I’ll make it work. I grew up piss poor but never hungry. It actually sharpened my culinary skills. If there ever was a need to join a community setting this would be my “literal” bring to the table skill. I could probably even make the neighborhood cat look appitizing, though I’d rather settle with a squirrel instead. ; )

      1. Actually only 20 pounds of sugar, about 120 pounds of salt.
        Seasonings are a necessary thing, I’d be very miserable if all I had was rice.
        I have many gravy packets, taco seasonings.. having a brain fart.
        I can’t remember right now the other things to flavor rice.
        For rice I have one bucket parboiled, a couple basmati, mostly just white.
        Very little wheat.
        recently added in 10 boxes of baking soda -vacuum sealed.
        6 cans baking powder
        20 6oz cans tomato paste.
        I have a very limited amount of mountain house freeze dried meals.
        Lotta pasta, spaghetti sauce.- vacuum sealed the pasta then froze to kill off pests.

        1. Horse……..same here very little sugar but 100 lbs salt, save all my used paper 1lb containers and refill, our restaurant supply sells 25 lb bags for 7 dollars. Salt is a mainstay in my preps and one of my picks for a primo barter item. The USDA has recently reinstated the salt pill as a suggested item in the workplace after almost 3 decade’s of boohooing it. Can’t live without salt people, don’t need sugar but you have to have sodium. Also you can buy your baking soda from wallyworld in Mylar bags, cheaper then the small boxes. Ditto on your other comments, living in a very dry climate, I freeze rice for a week and repackage in food grade containers (do not use absorbers,)to be stored in my prep room, (in 15 years of doing this I have had no contamination or degradation.) note, canned tomatoes and sauce is getting scarce here in nevada, been ordering online from Amazon and wallyworld but there is either several weeks to not available on those sites.

        2. Realist – true on the salt, especially when working hard in general and more importantly after TSHTF. We plan on using the 50# salt blocks we use for the cattle (straight, trace and iodized). At $6 for 50#, can’t beat that.

        3. My salt, (2) 50 pound blocks white non iodized.
          I plan to get 2 more for preps.
          The rest is that pink himalayan stuff in 1 pound bags, 20 of them.

        4. The Dollar Tree sells Himalayan salt in one lb bags. The same pink bag that Wally World sells for much more.

        5. Horse, I used to store gravy packets and taco seasonings, etc., but then I’ve learned how to make and use the underlying spices and cooking techniques (you may already know; not trying to judge). It’s far better, easier, cheaper and gives me far more options when cooking.

  11. Man on Foot mentioned what I was thinking: I have never been in a situation where I did not know where my next meal was coming from. I have been hungry and I have had to work hard on minimal rations for days at a time but to be in a situation where you have no hope or way to obtain more food is by definition: true poverty and hopelessness. There was a time when my paychecks were late from Denver. I had a case of Ramen noodles, a sack of rice, a 22 rifle and several boxes of shells for the rifle. I also had my fishing rod, fresh spooled line and several spinners so I was able to catch trout during the melting of the ice on the alpine lakes. In short, I had meat or fish with my rice and noodles most every day until my checks started rolling in. I could not imagine doing that with a wife and children.
    I must say this about hunger and marksmanship: Lessons learned from the lean times in my life: Going into the field slightly hungry and going to a tournament the same way will yield better results/higher scores. I never had trouble pulling the trigger on deer when I knew the meat was going to feed me that Winter. This serious mindset was my edge over many of my fellow competitors at large matches. (hit the target or you go hungry from first shot to the last shot of your relay)

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