9 meals from chaos

9 Missed Meals From Chaos & Anarchy

How many missed meals away from hunger and unrest? 9 meals from chaos. At least that has been the general number commonly used to exemplify how close we are to chaos and anarchy – should it ever come to pass.

Food. It is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. Scarcity. Shortages. Supply chain disruptions. We’ve all seen it lately here in the good old US of A? It’ll never happen in the land of plenty! Right? Wrong…

Thinking and believing that food shortages could never happen is called normalcy bias. This, coupled with a lack of understanding about ‘just in time’ (JIT) distribution, people may not realize the extent of risk and dependence we have on the many systems that keep us fed and alive.

Covid, lock-downs, mandates, shortage of workers. They certainly have exemplified some of this lately at our grocery stores (JIT dependencies). It’s a world-wide issue.

Modern Agriculture works exactly the same way. Everything is just in time. There is no extra capacity built in to handle problems. Both under-supply and oversupply cause massive disruptions in the supply chain.

Before JIT, the system used to be fault-tolerant. That’s because agriculture was regional. Thousands of small farms in each region, so, problems in one region didn’t affect the rest of the country. People lived closer to the food so supply chains were not an issue either. Today? Not so much…

More about just-in-time below. But first this…

How Many Missed Meals Before Hungry People Get Desperate?

9 meals from chaos and anarchy

9 Meals From Chaos & Anarchy

3, 6, or 9 meals away from chaos? Two to three days without any food? Heck, one day and most people will go nuts, right? What happens after two days without food? Or three days of hunger? People will be pretty incredibly hungry and desperate to eat!

We in the modern world are so ridiculously spoiled when it comes to the availability of food. It really is a stunner to think about what might happen if the masses went without food for a day, or even two! Three? That would be crazy. 9 meals from chaos?

The fact is, we as a people literally rely on a well-stocked neighborhood grocery store to keep us alive. That, in and of itself, is motivation enough for me to supplement my food sources! And, to have a reserve supply…

Try this. Don’t eat any food for a day. Tell me how you feel. Now imagine three days straight, or nine missed meals. Then magnify that by lots of people around you.

So let that sink in. Food. Think about how many people eat two or three meals a day here in the United States. A population of 330 million. That’s 600 to 900 million meals a day. And that doesn’t count desert! Where does all that food come from?

Did you know that approximately 80% of people in the United States live in urban regions or clusters?

“Rural areas cover 97 percent of the nation’s land area, but contain 19.3 percent of the population (about 60 million people),” according to data from the Census Bureau.

So much food comes from outside your local region

You might say that the food for ~ 270 million people living in urban/suburban regions of the United States comes from outside their regions. But it’s worse than that… People living in rural America shop at big chain grocery stores too. And that food is likely coming from regions outside of where they live too.

With that said, I live rural. There are farms around here. Crops. Livestock. It’s not far away – and there are plenty of “farmers markets”. Definitely feel more food secure because of it. Plus I do my own part – growing a chunk of our own food. And now chickens / eggs… However, should I assume that others in my local region are prepared as I?

How many of them are 9 meals away from chaos?

Food Supply just-in-time Inter-dependencies

Food supply chain systems (supply and distribution) are combinations of activities and interrelationships which include:

  • production
  • handling
  • storage
  • transportation
  • processing
  • packaging
  • wholesale
  • retail
  • etc..

These functions (and many additional sub-functions) enable cities, urban areas and suburbia (basically ‘everyone’) to meet their food requirements. Each of these activities (functions) are performed by different ‘players’, and they include:

  • farmers
  • producers
  • assemblers
  • importers
  • transporters
  • truckers
  • wholesalers
  • retailers
  • processors
  • shopkeepers
  • vendors
  • storage providers
  • credit providers
  • ports
  • packaging suppliers
  • etc..

Each step in the food supply chain also has its own infrastructure needs

Each of these ‘players’ need their own infrastructure, facilities, employees, and services. Every step of the food supply chain requires human resources and ‘natural resources’. The overall ‘system’ is such that each element within it influences other elements – a sort of ’cause and effect’ and reciprocal relationships.

Consumers ‘pull’ their food demand through the supply chain while food producers and food processors ‘push’ food through the chain.

To complicate these systems further is the current methodology of ‘just in time’ (JIT) which minimizes or eliminates the need for inventory build-up along the many stages of the chain. In other words, very little warehousing – just enough to keep the system working smoothly.

Each of the elements within the chain have their own just-in-time functionality whereby their actions are based on forecast models which may affect their portion of the chain. Things like demand (obviously), profit motives (obviously), season, past history, availability, potential deviations, etc..

As you can begin to see, there’s quite a bit that happens behind the scenes to get food from the farm to your table. And I haven’t even attempted to break down the individual elements to show even more levels within levels…

How Many Days Of Food Are In The System Supply Chain

Grocery Shopping Tips

So, after all that, the question remains “How much food supply is within the system?”

The answer is just enough to keep the entire food supply chain (chains – lots more than ‘one’) flowing smoothly. When you realize that there is little or no warehousing, you might say “What you see is what you get”. In other words, not much. It’s all about ‘flow’.

In the preparedness community, it is often said that most typical grocery stores would run out of food in about 3 days if the system were to completely shut off. My sense is that this is probably generally accurate – and would vary depending on the store itself, the neighborhood demands, etc.. But suffice it to say that certainly within a week all shelves would likely be bare.

While some super chain stores do have purpose-built warehouse inventory in select locations (e.g. Walmart Distribution Centers), even their inventory is designed to apply just a small buffer to the overall system, and probably wouldn’t last long…

The point is this: The shorter the food supply chain from farm to table – the less risk of disruption for you. Obviously if you had your own farm or garden, and if you preserved your bounty for off-season, you can’t get any shorter than that. But it’s when your food comes from Mexico and South America during the winter (as one example) – the thousands of miles (and every element in-between) becomes a potential risk for food supply disruption.

Food for thought… someone on the blog here said, “4% of the population is employed in agriculture. That means 4% supply for the other 96%. What effect would there be if say a minor reduction in that 4% producing took place ?”

Take your food security into your own hands.

In any event, how many meals away from chaos are we? 9?

[ Read: What Will The Greater Depression Look Like? ]

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75 Comments

  1. Did some weekly food shopping today, many empty shelves and much higher prices. A small town south of our ranch has a number of very large warehouses for Dollar General and Walmart. I expect when things go bad, they will need some security guards.

  2. My grandfather told me that during the Great Depression, that even those that lived in towns and cities had vegetable gardens, chickens and cows to help feed their families and bring in extra income. Then during the boom of the 1950’s-60’s, county and city zoning restrictions became popular and keeping livestock was prohibited, vegetable gardens were replaced with flower gardens and the growth of the supermarkets provided everything families needed.

    The need to grow vegetables, raise livestock, can food during the summer to have during the winter went by the wayside and vast percentage of the population has become dependent on someone else to provide for them. I am very thankful that my grandparents and parents continued the old traditions and as a kid they taught me these skills which I still use today.

    When the national power and telecommunications grids are taken down (and I believe it will be very soon), within 3 days the urban and suburban areas will be free fire zones and the country will be in a chaos never imagined. If you think people have lost their minds over Covid and the crime rates are skyrocketing, just wait until their cellphone doesn’t work, the internet is down and the hot pockets and mac n cheese are gone. It’s coming whether you like it or not and just like a hurricane, there is no way to stop it.

    1. Romeo Charlie,
      i agree 100%, but it’s not going to be the lack of hot pockets and mac n cheese i believe, but potable water or the lack of it that will thin out very many quickly in the cities and suburbs. 3-4 days the for lack of, or a week or so for those who drink from unsafe or contaminated water sources. it won’t be pretty if it does happen. i pray it doesn’t.

      1. nyscout,
        So true. When the faucet stops, toilets don’t flush and garbage piles up, disease will quickly spread and the urban and suburban areas will become death traps.

    2. Romeo Charlie:
      Grandma was a prepper for sure.
      My parents were born in 20 & 21, they knew first hand what “doing without” ment.
      I agree, 3 days “without” and this Counrty/World will implode.
      Remember last year what the stores were? People went insane.
      Think about what any father/husband worth a damn would to feed his family. Even moreover what a decent mother would to save her children.
      I believe if this continues we may just find out.
      Let’s Go Brandon, honestly can we put 100% of the blame on one person?
      It takes a lot more than just one person to destroy us all. Blame ourselves just as much. We, YES, We allowed this to happen.
      Hopefully we can find a way out without totally destroying our Country as many believe will happen.
      Personally I don’t see ANYTHING good coming our way…..
      Y’all better get that Preparedness up to speed.
      Is 600 rolls really enough?

      1. NRP & Blue,
        600 rolls? Those are rookie numbers😀. When I was stationed in the Philippines you never went into town without a half a roll folded in your pocket unless you wanted to go native and use your “toilet hand”. No thanks.

        1. There was an “all you can eat” restaurant in PA that had a riot because they ran out of steak. This was last week and from watching the video it was really eye opening.

          1. aka,
            I saw that video. They went from calm to savages in 2 seconds. Good depiction of what’s to come.

      2. Remember a quote from the explorer Cortez…” no country is more then 30 days from cannibalism “. People don’t like to contemplate an event like that, but the big city populations that are crime ridden now, use your imagination and if after a week of no food availability first it would be pets, zoos would be stripped, birds would disappear and then the final option would be humans. Remember the movie the road….hmmmmmm

    3. RC your comments are very true regarding growing your own food in town. Our 120 year old house has a caveat on the deed that we are not allowed to have more than 3 horses on the property lol! That was before we got gobbled up by a close by city.
      I have noticed while there have been some shortages in my AO the more noticeable item has become the quality of fruit and vegetables as well as the best before dates for milk. There are larger portions of bad lettuce, poor carrots and potatoes. We are lucky enough to buy from a winter’s farmers market but when they run out that’s it and it’s back to the grocery stores or wait for the stuff on the window sill to sprout as we look out at the ice and snow.

    4. My parents lived thru the depression, many stories, mom’s favorite saying..” eat for the hunger that’s coming” and dad used to tell me stories about his relatives who were all farmers in the Midwest, they always had food, and people from the cities would drive to their farms to trade furniture, guns, ammo, almost anything in order to get meat, produce and baked goods which were sparse in the cities. The barter advantage was always with the farmers. Used Sears catalogs and phone books were used as toilet paper, so were corn cobs. I remember as a boy using their outhouses when we visited, they had a two seater. We are I truly believe at another crossroads event in the making, my motto keeps me prepping “better to have it and nor need it, then to need it and not have it.”

      1. Well said Realist,

        “Crossroads event in the making”

        It has been close to 100 years since the onset of the great depression, are we headed into another?
        Rather not be on the screwed side of that one.

  3. I am busy canning beets and carrots as well as some split pea and ham soup this week.

    This will exhaust my supply of spare pint jars stashed under the bed. I have a dozen or so quart jars left.

    I have also spent the last 10 months only eating what I have put up from my farmer friends and my garden. I have not bought anything except celery from the local grocery store to eat “now”. Some meats I have bought to can for the future.

    This little experiment has dropped my body weight 58 lbs. It’s hard to get fat when you make it all yourself and do not eat out and have to work the “fields” so to speak. As a side benefit, I am now off my BP meds and my statin meds and my A1C came down to 5.3

    It has been a challenge and I wanted to do it. The general public has no idea what’s coming.

    Our local grocery is still just sparsely stocked and the prices are going higher by the week.

    Keep prepping. Packing and stacking.

    Don’t forget to prep your souls.

    1. grandee
      Well, YAHOO for you!!!! Losing that weight is one of the very BEST preps you could have done.

      My Hat is off to you, GOOD JOB.!!!

      Heavenly Father has BLESSED you tremendously.

    2. Grandee, this is amazing! We all must take care of our health in the coming hard times. You are an amazing inspiration to us all to do so.

    3. Good going, in prepping for myself, I have now reached a 50 year mark as a prepper, my parent were born in the early 1900s and having lived through the Great Depression they instilled that same ‘ be prepared’ ideal in me. I created my own roadmap for prepping, simply chart everything you use on a daily or weekly basis for health, and security, and another for everything else that you need during a one year cycle, in addition which I feel most preppers forget is to add 10% to 20% extra to use as barter items. At my age 73 years young, I may not see nor survive a major economic or social event, but these items may sustain my family and others in dire need.

  4. The nearest town to me, 23 miles, has one stop light and one grocery store. When this covid mess started, I went to town. I didn’t go the first or second day, no immediate need. When I did go, wow what an eye opener. That grocery store was nearly empty of products. Had a few of some things, but wow.

    I was prepared for numerous things. I had food, water, …… It was still a shock. The next time I went to town, things were looking more normal. Resupply. One would think, folks would learn from that experience. I’ll bet “some” did learn. Others, well, you know. Thinking about NO resupply, folks will get grouchy. Dangerous.

    Folks who frequent this site are well aware. Any shortcomings will be on each of us. I’m not going anywhere, but thought I’d mention my thanks to many here. I’ve learned much from you guys. If/when the internet goes down, and I think it will, there will be no more MSB. Nor will there be power or phones. Good luck, we’re going to need it.

  5. I had just finished reading about fertilizer shortages (China not exporting phosphate, Russia not exporting ammonium nitrate, and a North Carolina fertilizer plant burning down) and now am reading about food shortages. Whew! Time to go for a walk.

    1. Those with cows, horses, rabbits and other livestock will have all they need, plus healthier for humans anyway. Learn to compost now!

      1. Yes definitely mrs U,
        Learn how to compost
        Humans

        Bone meal, blood meal, other useful organics,,,
        Just got to bury em deep enough under wood chips or something

        🤪

  6. Because of informative articles like this, and others, is why I bought a freeze dryer a couple months ago. I’ve been running it whenever I get the chance and freeze drying just about anything and everything. It really is a wonderful machine. I’m not sure everything freeze dried will last for the much advertised “25 years”, but it’s very comforting to know if the stores are empty, my wife and I can survive for many months.

    1. Heff, how cool. I love mine too. Yes it should last 25 years if you processed the food correctly. Some of my first fruit and veggies did not get dry enough. I learned from hermit to dry dry dry!

    2. From my reading, I gather home units do not lower the moisture content quite as much as the big commercial freeze driers, so home-dried food may not have the same shelf life. Still, even if it’s only half, still a good idea if you can swing the price. I’d buy one in a second, myself.

  7. I live in a suburb of a larger city and have noticed recently bare shelves again, especially in the pasta isle. Been stocking up on that because of the news of last years durum yield in Canada and Europe (down 33%, that’s 1/3), and we still have the rest of the winter and all summer to go before the next crop is harvested. Anyone else noticing a serious shortage in pasta?

    And what in the heck happened in the chicken world?!!! Last week chicken breasts were around the $7-8.00/lb. mark; thighs and legs, $3-5.00/lb.; family packs of drum sticks were $1.79! Anyone hearing anything? Didn’t see it in Sam’s Club but that was the case in both of the other two stores we were in.

    We do a good bit of our shopping at a local Aldi. Last week we noticed substantial price increases (not just a few pennies, I’m talking 10-20%) on maybe 50% of the things we normally buy. A lot of bare shelves again. We asked a check-out lady we normally see if she noticed any lack of deliveries. The JIT thing. She looked up from the register and said emphatically, “OH YEAH!”

    I have a hunch the trucker situation in Canada is just beginning to show its affects here. There’s no way it can’t affect us. I hate getting into the doomsday thinking but I have a feeling we might see last years’ bare shelve situation repeating. It may have already started from the three stores we frequent.

    1. Sydney, yes I see the same things…regular wheat pasta is either gone or disappearing as fast as it can be stocked on the shelves. Past week DH said there were no organic chicken parts. Not sure if whole birds were there or not.
      I am planning on getting a rooster again, a well tempered one, to have a happy life with the hens and make more! :)

    2. I buy Mahatma enriched rice 20 pound bag was 9.99. Went on sell for 8.99. Now it is 10.99. I put in Fairlife plastic milk jugs. Mr. drinks that brand. Will be a good trade item or to eat.

      1. Good price on rice. We are paying just under $1/# here in the Rockies. Of course, I get my pintos for free, so I’m good. Beans and rice are what half the world’s population lives on.

        1. 1 year supply of beans and rice doesn’t cost that much right now if you can get that much at Costco.
          Each of my totes is 50%-50% each, for a year supply for each of us.
          I can get two 25 lb bags of each in a tote. Its a heavy tote at 100 lbs, fer sure.
          Vacuum pack the contents in 5 lb (1 Gal) Mylar bags.
          The only label I put on the tote is BNR. (Separate from the ones I label GNA which is for a different thread) :-)
          Split between Bug In place and Bug Out place.
          Remember, even if you vacuum pack them, let them freeze outside (or your chest freezer if you live down south) for 3-4 days to kill any bugs that may be in them. I opened a bag of vac packed box of cream of rice one time after a couple years and had more little critters moving that there were grains of flaked rice.

          1. Can throw in some food grade DE powder into the Mylar bag or rice/grains for added protection

          2. Fireswamp
            They make food grade DE? I did not know that. Will take a look.
            That stuff keeps the flys out of the outhouse really good. :-)

          3. Ken,
            Thanks, I learn something new every day. I thought it was just for garden (and outhouse) use.

    3. I think it depends on your area. Drumsticks Thighs And leg quarters were just .99 here last week. Beef is the big price gainer here. I always buy whatever meat is on sale each week for the freezer and plan my menu around the sales

      1. If it’s in the pool care section, it’s probably not food grade. In my area, I can only find FG DE in feed stores (there aren’t many!)

    4. Anyone interested in obtaining freezedried food online….Walmart.com is now the largest supplier of mountain house freeze dried foods, the pricing in some cases is even cheaper then the manufacturers own selling online site. Also the delivery is super fast and free if you order over I believe 35 dollars. Noticed that freeze dried portions have doubled in price from just 20 months ago….

  8. If there is any doubt what’s coming to the cities…especially democrat-controlled cities…the only thing that’s going up faster than prices is crime …the violent kind…

    …of course, we have it here on the mountain too …just a few minutes ago I watched two squirrels fighting over a hickory nut….happens again, I’ll be makin’ dumplings to go with ’em…….

    1. What about when its your neighbors? hmmm…..
      Hide and watch!
      If you can last long enough, you might not have to fight for much, at least initially.
      But always have dumplings ready to go for what comes along :-)
      Anyone thinking of having a load conibears ready while you can still get them for those critters?

      1. I’ve been thinking about small game traps. Water is plentiful here, so I’ve been focusing on fishing, but I think I should diversify.

    2. hi dennis
      as some of you know i live on the 4th floor in a block of flats in Wales , You mention crime and I cannot but agree with you in the last week 2 arson attacks have been put out by local fire brigade ! If you live in or near a population center and can relocate do so . If you have to stay put take as good precautions as you can .

      1. bill posters,

        Good morning. I’m sure many folks are in your situation, living in a high population environment…and fully aware of what’s coming (already here?) ….Many have plans to “bug-out”, but I really don’t know if I would myself if that were my situation. There is much to be said about staying where you are familiar with your neighbors and the surrounding environment …. developing friends and allies.

        I recall a cute little movie “The ‘Burbs” starring Tom Hanks. It was a spoof about neighbors banding together to protect the neighborhood from what they considered to be a grave threat from a new family that had moved in. They made every imaginable comedic mistake possible in their quest, but it serves as an example of neighbors banding together for a common cause.

        Folks planning on bugging out had better have already chosen and, most importantly, prepared a location to flee to. I have developed warm relationships with two families who have done just that on land close to my place, but live in a college town close to a one hundred miles away. Should they “bug-out”, I see them as an asset, not a liability.

        1. Dennis,
          We have 4 longtime friends (2 married couples) that live in the suburbs that we have had discussions about a SHTF event and they are welcome if they can make it. Everyone knows what will be expected and what they are expected to bring. One couple is a Physician Assistant and a Security Analyst, the other two have communication backgrounds and are excellent cooks. We have all taken defensive, as well as offensive, handgun and carbine courses together and they bring a lot to the security table. All are in very good health, exercise regularly, have no vices or children and we have been friends for years. Every time they visit us or we get together at their homes which is quite regularly, everyone chips in with cooking, cleaning or whatever needs to be done and there are no slackers or scammers.

          There is strength in numbers and we have been extremely selective in people we may have to spend 24/7/365 with. We have taken in personalities, trust, abilities, contributions, attitudes, habits, politics and distractions in our decision making process and hopefully it will be beneficial to all should we ever have to implement it.

      2. Bill Posters,
        Good to hear from you again, but not good to hear of the arson events around your flat. I seem to remember you once mentioning a ‘rural place’ up country you could bug out to. Perhaps it is time fir a move, or a least a vacation up there to scope things out. At a minimum, go over your fire escape routes fir your building again. Be safe friend!

        1. Yes Minerjim my sister lives in a very rural area of Wales and I have a bugout plan in place , But it is a last resort at my age my inclination is to take the f’ers with me lol . on a side note the landlord has put in 24 hr security for the moment :)

  9. 9 meals to SHFT not gonna be that long. I think it will be within 24 hrs. As soon as the great Amerikan land whales out there are unable to buy their big macs and chinken sh;;;T nuggets all hell is gonna break loose!
    They don’t know how to cook a pot of rice. Probably just eat it dry grain like a flippin cow.

    Better make sure you have your supplies in order and ready to place in your well hidden cache Good luck to everyone here. they will probably shut down the inter webs as well. As mentioned above the good news is most useless eaters will die from lack of water rather quickly. In my AO it will be waterborne illness they may last up to 2 weeks. Gonna get messy for sure. I am long on Berkley water filters as an investment.

    1. Just got my first Berkey a couple months ago. Going to order more filters too sweet. Thing is awesome!
      It’ll damn near filter the alcohol out of the whiskey. But not quite ;-)
      I did try the food coloring and it does do that.

        1. One thing to note that I haven’t seen anyone mention is that the Berkey folks say not to let a filter freeze.
          I asked them the question because I was worried the ice would damage the microporus structure.
          They told me definitely do not let them freeze.
          That kinda changes my thinking on leaving this at the cabin. At the very least I need to carry the filters home with me since the cabin freezes over when we are not there.

          1. Prepared,
            Protect from freezing any micro-pore filter (carbon, ceramic, etc). Freezing water will fracture most of these filters, short circuiting the filtering effect. Once they freeze they are shot, can’t be repaired.

          2. Do they mean freeze at all, or just freeze when wet? If the former then you coukd keave a couple of new ones there. Perhaps wrapped in the spare blankets/sleeping bags? If an expedited departure occures there may not be time to pack the ones at home.

          3. Do they mean freeze at all, or just freeze when wet? If the former then you coukd keave a couple of new ones there. Perhaps wrapped in the spare blankets/sleeping bags? If an expedited departure occures there may not be time to pack the ones at home.

          4. Do they mean freeze at all, or just freeze when wet? If the former then you coukd keave a couple of new ones there. Perhaps wrapped in the spare blankets/sleeping bags? If an expedited departure occures there may not be time to pack the ones at home.

          5. Do they mean freeze at all, or just freeze when wet? If the former then you coukd keave a couple of new ones there. Perhaps wrapped in the spare blankets/sleeping bags? If an expedited departure occures there may not be time to pack the ones at home.

          6. I believe it’s freezing when wet. Most of the products used in production wouldn’t expand or fracture in the cold, as I understand it. But they don’t specify.

      1. Please note read yesterday that Berkey is getting ready to announce a major increase in their line of products, so I bit the bullet and ordered some extra sets of black filters. Berkeys are not cheap but money can’t buy health.

  10. William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection ran an article on the same topic but from a slightly different perspective a couple weeks ago. .. .. legalinsurrection.com/2022/01/there-are-only-nine-meals-between-mankind-and-anarchy/ .. .. .. Interesting set of comments from his readers. William recently had an awakening into the preparedness lifestyle. I’ve watched over the past decade as official guv recommendations at federal and state level have gone from having three days of food, water, medicine, supplies on hand to a week to two weeks to as much as one thinks one needs for a prolonged postscript to disasters common to one’s area. Personally, I think we are facing an unprecedented concatenation of external political-military threats, domestic chaos, state-initiated covid panic distressing supply logistics, and modern grand solar minimum-induced crop failures and short harvests. Level 4 preparedness is called for. As far as people are able, I believe they should focus their resources on stocking up on as much long-season foods as they can as fast as they can. Grains, legumes, and meat and milk that depend on grains to get to the commercial market. When food rationing comes it will be the harbinger of food stocks failing. Sounds alarmist I know, but last few weeks have been one long moment of rising concern.

    1. Already seeing “voluntary rationing” here in my suburb. Signs posted at the Food Lion to “please limit yourself to 2 packages of (any) meat, due to shortage of product. Thank you for your cooperation.”

    2. Yes, interesting comments. One series caught my attention. Someone mentioned that in h/is area it would take a full mile of land to support one cow. Someone else responded, in essence, “Nonsense, you can support a cow on an acre.”

      The difference is primarily water. If the grass doesn’t grow because of a lack of water, the cow can’t eat it. So it has to go farther afield to find food to eat. Larger territory.

      Same goes for other food production. Corn can be grown in the Arizona dessert, but you need much more land. 40 acres might support two people in such areas, under full production, while in places with plenty of water an acre might do it.

      If the water got shut off today, could you continue to grow? How would you do it, and how would your crop choices change?

      1. Lauren, Good point. As I recall, a dairy cow drinks about 40 gallons of water a day. This is on top of the water required to produce sufficient pasture, hay, grain, and other feed. She will also produce 14 gallons of manure and urine each day. That needs to go somewhere. If into straw bedding then accounting for growing that must also take place. You can raise a cow in a smallish pen, but people forget the amount of land required for all the other inputs and outputs. Then there’s the bull if one wants calves and milk.

      2. Can really vary by locale. Another factor is the protein content of the types of grains/grass they will eat. I looked up a few years back for the Nebraska sandhills and it was 30 acres per cow calf pair to avoid overgrazing.

  11. One more time: Anyone who has seen this coming and has not prepared for it, deserves whatever befalls them. And keep in mind if you have prepped, you may have to do the unthinkable and defend what you have with deadly force from the human parasites or Leviathan’s operatives who would take it away from you. Plan accordingly.

      1. Kulafarmer, FEMA has become a logistics more than a supply operation. They’ll set up in Walmart and local strip mall parking lots and will depend on supplies from local and regional vendors for distribution. Depending on the crisis, their workers are shipped in from all around the region or the country. A lot of them are there to process paperwork for disaster relief funding. Funny, I don’t recall them being around after the wilding fires that took out parts of Minneapolis and other cities summer before last. Guess the governors of those states forgot to ask for a federal disaster declaration. I do believe I remember the days when one of the first PSAs after a disaster was a reminder that looters would be shot on sight. Since there’s no quick solution to a widespread food shortage, would guess the guv will leave it up to states and local areas to manage as best they can.

        1. That was a sarcastic tongue in cheek comment, FEMA would be the last group i would think of

  12. Ken, this subject is an excellent reminder to us all to face reality these days. I’ll add a few things here. I’m rereading a few books now:

    “The Resilient Gardener” by Carol Deppe, listing the five crops to survive and thrive. Best book ever.

    Next will be “Will Bonsall’s Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening.”

    Also found a Youtuber, “Self Sufficient Me” (from Australia?) that buries everything from kitchen scraps to dead birds, chickens, etc in his gardens to feed the worms and such.

    I’m trying to close the loop here, and not depend on outside sources for fertilizers, etc. Already have compost piles going but I don’t think that’s enough anymore. ? Will ‘chop and drop’ nitrogen-fixer plants this year. Planning ‘food guilds’ around our orchard trees this summer with other plantings. (See Youtube “Canadian Permaculture Legacy” videos). These are fantastic. And this guy propagates most of his own plantings and tells you how).

    Oh, one more book I just got but haven’t read is Barbara Pleasant’s “Home Grown Pantry” …for what and how much to plant to preserve and eat year round. Will let you know how this is.

    To say things are going to get ugly in this country is an understatement. JIT deliver is about over. I agree power grid and the economy are next, and they will control us with food (availability). The Great Reset cannot be successful if the United States is not brought under control or outright destroyed. And like Rome, I think we will be…. and are…. being destroyed from both within and without. Just my 5 cents. (Inflation).

    1. Do either of those books cover water? Or do they assume a continuing supply of water and just discuss other shortages? I have them on my wish list, but I’m constantly disappointed by books I haven’t read before I buy them…

  13. Lauren, “The Resilient Gardener” covers water issues. Some parts of her water chapter: The essential water nature of your land, water and fertility, soil capillary, water resilience and vegetables, water resilience and heirloom vegetable, and so much more. Will Bonsall also goes into water and soil, using rocks and rock walls, using the land and what it offers for water management. I highly recommend both of these books.

  14. For those who will not, or can not, leave their house or community and have no plan B, C, or D in place in case they are over-run. Some of the South African farmers (and others) thought they were prepared for the masses. They were not. Some were “dead” wrong. And that included some Christians. We may be sharpening that double edged sword by advertising prepping in the remote areas. Many prepping sites and TV shows are showcasing remote location prepping….and millions are watching. The surviving masses may come our way sooner than we think. For the “won’t budge last stand” crowd, please consider what happens, per history, when bad wolves take control of a family or community. Are you prepared to use that last round(s) on your family so they don’t suffer? If it takes you an hour for canning some peaches…are you spending the next hour planning how to defend those peaches? Please step up your game for whats coming. Its bad…..real bad. Have a tactical plan B, C, and D if A goes south so you might enjoy those peaches. It’s not about how many rounds you have. It’s about how you use (or not have to use) those last rounds.

    1. Agree totally…….too many preppers really plan in the moment, instead of in the situation, in a bug in situation, thinking that a garden will supply the following: enough for a season, enough for a family, with the reality being what time of the year it is, waiting for a sprout to harvest time period and being able to protect, let alone maintain, and harvest. I believe to get real no matter where or how remote a garden will be like having a large sign at the residence “mess call, come and get it”.

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