Is Emergency Food for Crazies?

According to Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, as the doomsday clock ticks down, the smart money is on beef stroganoff.

The popular Fox News political commentators/fear mongering conspiracy theorists are both spokesmen for, a provider of emergency food kits. The company’s top-seller is a $200 backpack stuffed with enough freeze-dried stroganoff, lasagna, and creamy chicken rotini to last one adult for two post-apocalyptic weeks. Another company,, holds Tupperware-style home demonstration parties with apron-clad representatives passing out emergency preparedness tips along with samples of chicken salad made from canned, dehydrated chopped chicken breast.

To hell in a handbasket, my friend. Hell in a handbasket.

I’m not trying to make light of the idea that societies should prepare for hard times. Peak oil, global climate change, hurricanes, earthquakes, nuclear meltdown—recent events have made us all too aware of the vulnerability of our food supply and the inter-relatedness of global food markets. Even mainstream journalists at the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal are raising the alarm about food shortages, and Disney’s Epcot Center has brought disaster-preparedness to the Magic Kingdom with its “fast-paced and very fun” StormStruck ride.

There are emergency responses that don’t require hunkering down with potassium iodide tablets and personal stockpiles of freeze-dried casseroles, but instead will
restore food insurance at a national level. We can bolster the existing Food Emergency Response Network, a structure that integrates local, state, and federal agencies charged with food security and food defense. And we should maintain our strategic grain reserves as assiduously as our petroleum reserves.

Ultimately, we each have to decide for ourselves what it takes to achieve peace of mind.
Personally, I choose to put my faith in robust social institutions that can buffer society as a whole from food disasters. I just can’t see myself standing guard over my horde of canned goods and water purification tablets while I watch my unprepared neighbors starve.



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One Response to Is Emergency Food for Crazies?

  1. G Martin says:

    I hear those ads everyday too, and you have to keep in mind they are selling a product, and an expensive one at that. Truth be known, most families probably could not afford to buy the two or four week emergency food supply they are touting.

    If you happen to live in a disaster prone area, these products would probably be good to have on hand, assuming the earthquake or tornado that destroys your home doesn’t destroy your food emergency kit as well. I tend to do things the way my mother, who grew up in the Great Depression, taught me–stock up on staples and canned foods, especially when they’re on sale, and keep your supply up to date. I also have a back yard garden and do a little home canning.

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