Did you know…? Members of the LDS church are taught to store at least a year’s supply of food in their homes to protect against some of life’s unexpected emergencies. Others would be wise to do the same. By being prepared with a basic supply of food and water, families can survive short-term and long-term adversities without being a burden on their community.
Preparing for Food Shortages
With the highest U.S. inflation rate in history according to some measurements, the price of groceries is skyrocketing. Supply chain problems further contribute to food insecurity, exacerbating already-existing issues and making it harder for Americans to shop for weekly food staples. Mix this with increased costs of fertilizer coming out of Russia, not to mention the inability of Ukrainian farmers to plant their spring crops, and a likely global food crisis is in the works, according to Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue on FOXBusiness:
“We are on the precipice of a global food crisis. God created humanity. Humanity has created every way to destroy itself — from nuclear to biological to chemical. But now we’ve waged a war — we’ve weaponized food. In the Ukraine — between the Ukraine and Russia — they represent 50% of the world’s production of fertilizer, 30% of wheat, 20% of corn, 2.5 million acres of sunflowers, other food and minerals . . . Russia, they’re also cutting off Ukraine to the sea. … If they cut off Odessa, then they basically landlock the Ukraine and they can’t export–they can’t even plant.”
“We’re going to have to tighten our belt and consume less. We’ve gone from oil independence to oil dependence. We’ve given up that position — to have our oil at cost . . . When we bring in stuff from — let’s say, Thailand — coconut water. We’re paying 10 times the freight we usually pay.”
“The biggest component in food and anything is transportation. The transportation has skyrocketed because we’ve given up our independence. When you have an unbalance in the food production — in 2008, the price of grains tripled. Why? Because we were planting corn for ethanol instead of rice and grains and other things . . . When you have an imbalance in the world production — 50% of fertilizer — the farmers are paying double for fertilizer. They’re planting less. Their yields are gonna be less. Costs are gonna go up.”
“It’s a very tight balance. And if we interrupt the food production, we will have a food crisis. Prices will go through the roof.”
As if that’s not bad enough, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Cyber Division issued a statement last month warning of potential ransomware attacks against the agricultural industry. And here’s an odd coincidence – in just the last six months, more than a dozen food processing plants across the United States have suffered damage from mysterious fires. Not to mention, the White House just announced it will be hosting the first conference on food and hunger to be held in 50 years.
So, it would seem there’s no better time to be prepared than the present.
The best time to prepare for food shortages is today. Like trying to find toilet paper at the start of the pandemic, once the shortage is here, it’s too late. Here’s what you can do so you won’t have to worry about what your family will eat if a “food crisis” ever hits home:
- plant a vegetable garden
- learn how to hunt and fish
- stock up on canned goods
- keep the pantry filled with staples such as wheat, rice, and beans
- store an emergency food bucket in your house (one for each person if you can afford it)
As you build your supply, be sure to rotate your stored foods so they don’t go bad, consuming the oldest items as they near expiration so that nothing goes to waste. If you use them like this as part of your normal life, it won’t seem so strange to have to eat them in an emergency. We’ve taken freeze-fried foods for camping trips, and our emergency stash came in really handy one year when dad was out of work for a long time. See, it pays to be prepared!
There are all kinds of calamities that can disrupt one’s ability to access food and clean water. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and riots are just a few examples of situations that can deplete supplies or result in being unable to leave your home. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends always being prepared by keeping at least a 72-hour supply of food for such often unpredictable crises. You should also consider having water purification chemicals and a Life Straw personal water filter for everyone in the household in the event that clean drinking water is not available.
Is Prepping Biblical?
Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:28-33).
That may be true, but it’s no excuse to be a lazy slacker. Even though God provides, it doesn’t mean we’re not supposed to work.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15).
“If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
We should be prepared, too…
“Let Pharaoh take action to appoint overseers in charge of the land, and let him exact a fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven years of abundance. Then let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming, and store up the grain for food in the cities under Pharaoh’s authority, and let them guard it. Let the food become as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which will occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land will not perish during the famine” (Genesis 41:34-36).
Joseph in Egypt didn’t sit on his hands when God revealed there would be seven good years followed by seven years of famine – he got to work preparing.
“Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh and went through all the land of Egypt. During the seven plentiful years the earth produced abundantly, and he gathered up all the food of these seven years, which occurred in the land of Egypt, and put the food in the cities. He put in every city the food from the fields around it. And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured. … So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth” (Genesis 41:46–57).
By being prepared, Joseph was in a position to help others. We’re supposed to do the same.
In prepping, we are not being selfish or lacking in faith. We are being stewards of God’s resources, and we are making provision for our households, our neighbors, and our communities. As 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
There are plenty of passages in the Bible that implore us to prepare for the unexpected, for without preparation how could we grant provision to our families in bad times?
“Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth” (Ecclesiastes 11:2).
“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-9).
“A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it!” (Proverbs 13:16).
“The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down” (Proverbs 21:20).
Many Christians, especially among the homeschooling community, have taken to prepping in varying degrees. Some people simply want to live more self-sustaining lifestyles by using solar energy, growing their own food, and keeping livestock for dairy products and meat. They find that this is a better way of living for their families and consider it a bonus that they are also prepared in the event of most emergencies, ranging from power outages to natural disasters.
It’s important to remember that in prepping, as in all aspects of life, we should not do anything out of fear or for selfish motives, but our goal should be for our endeavors to be as a glory unto God. We should not prep just to ensure our own survival, but so we can be generous in sharing what we have (2 Cor. 9:6), so that we are prepared to help others and further the Lord’s work in bad times.