Food is covered quite a bit here on the Well Prepared blog and for good reason; next to water, food is a prepper’s most important resource, particularly if and when the SHTF. Even if you don’t classify yourself as a doomsday prepper, though, it’s still vital to grow your own food under any circumstances. Either way, here are some top reasons to grow your own food.
The Rising Cost of Food
Whether it’s government-enabled or the market encouraging natural inflation through demand, the price of food has been increasing. This is an undeniable fact. People used to be able to go to the market and buy a gallon of milk for less than a dollar, but the average price for milk was $3.50 in December, according to the most recently available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, the average cost of whole wheat bread in the U.S. was $2.00, but many healthier versions (long fermented sourdough, sprouted grain bread, etc.) ran $3-5 dollar a loaf. The gluten-free versions ran from $5-7 dollars a loaf, sometimes more. This is staggering compared to the cost of homemade bread. Unless you’re on a farm, you can’t do much about the price of milk, but lowering your costs in other areas by getting the ingredients to make your own food can cut costs drastically to the point where the rising cost of milk is not as big as a burden.
Growing your own food will insure that you have fruits and veggies freely available, preventing the need of having to make a trip to the market to buy the higher-cost market value products. Average prices for the recommended consumption amounts of fruits and vegetables ranged from less than 20 cents per edible cup equivalent to more than $2 per edible cup equivalent according to the USDA. The latest data shows that an adult on a 2,000- calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (amounts and variety) at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per edible cup equivalent. In comparison, the cost of growing your own fruits and vegetables with seeds is much lower, and varies greatly depending on the type of crop.
Convenient and Ready Access to Food
One of the most obvious and popular reasons to grow your own food is convenience. In the event of an emergency or even a simple lazy day during which you don’t want to go anywhere, you have food readily available to consume, no shopping necessary.
Chemicals, including Insecticides and Pesticides
An assortment of chemicals, pesticides and insecticides are used to grow food in major farms. If you’re growing your food at home, you have control over what is put on your food to keep those annoying pests at bay. Since these insecticides and pesticides really haven’t been around for a long time, it’s been hard to say what effects these chemicals have on the human body, but for many preppers, it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are resources for studying these products.
Harmful Bacteria in Food
Whether it’s food poisoning, listeria, molds, or toxins in the food we buy at grocery stores and restaurants, there’s plenty of reason to doubt the condition your foods come in. There have been food recalls left and right that one can find by doing a simple search on Bing or Google. Let’s not forget the list of 2016 food recalls so far on the USDA’s website.