Friday, August 10, 2012

Survival Calories

Blessings Darlings!

You already know that I encourage all y'all have a survival store of food (and water) in your house so you're covered for emergencies like the recent power outages, or snowstorms, or whatever.  So I saw a link to an article on "A Year of Food Storage for $300 for a family of FOUR !! " and had to check it out.  Here's the link:

And ..... if you relied on that for a year of food for 4 people, you'd starve.  Never mind the lack of vitamin A, C, Calcium, etc - I sat down with a calculator and the USDA nutritional database and worked out the calories.  If you made the soup out of it that she recommends, and carefully rationed it so each batch fed 4 people over 2 days .... each person would get 415 calories a day.  Okay, she says to add a table spoon of oil (not included in her 'to buy' list, or priced in), that would raise the amount of calories per person per day by 13. 

Anything under 900 calories a day is considered a starvation diet .... for a sedentary person.  In a survival situation while you MAY be hiding in a bunker .... if you're going to be making this long-simmered soup you're going to need fuel for a fire and water.  Cutting wood and hauling water, while very Zen, take a heck of a lot of calories. 

In response to some of my objections, one woman said she lived for 40 days on only V8 and vitamins.  Sure, it can be done - it would cause some real harm to a growing child. And a friend of mine says he lived for 3 months on just mushrooms and cocaine.  You can be pretty sure he wasn't felling trees during that time. 

Short term you can get away with that, if you aren't doing much physical labor.  A sedentary adult woman burns 10 calories a day per pound of body weight, a sedentary man about 12, just to cover basic body functioning.  If you sit on your butt all day AND have a good layer of fat, you can fast a good while. But in a real crisis situation, you're going to be working HARDER, since you won't have electricity and all our electric-based slaves.  Find and haul water. Find, chop, and haul wood. Have enough wood to cook the soup for an hour or two (chickpeas take rather a while to cook).  Eat. Clean up - more water and fire!  Care for your garden, by hand. Fence your garden, by hand.  Expand your garden, by hand. Forage for wild foods.  Wash clothes by hand.  Wring clothes by hand.  Dig latrines.  Knit. Repair clothes. Preserve food if you have a surplus - going to build a solar dehydrator? Etc. Will you be building or rebuilding houses, or roads, or digging out collapsed buildings to find either survivors or supplies? Could be.

More calories will be needed, not less.  Back in the day - looking at serfs in England - each adult male would eat two pounds of bread a day plus anything else they could get.  Two pounds of wheat alone would be 3700 calories. 

Frondly, Fern

1 comment:

  1. This reminds me of William Cobbett, writing 200 years ago. Back then, England was becoming industrialised, and politicians were pushing potatoes as a cheap food for the masses. Basic labouring fare up to then had been bread, ale and fat bacon - not much meat in that, but real, *solid* fat.

    For anyone interested, I'd recommend his "Cottage Economy" - a lot of it is still relevant today for anyone interested in smallholding. It's available through Project Gutenberg,