Let me start by saying, I am not afraid. You do not need to be afraid either. Chronic fear is not helpful as it hinders immune function, decreases good quality sleep and destroys our focus.
One way to avoid fear, is to be calmly prepared. Calmly. Not in a panic or looking for the sky to fall, but calmly prepared. You can ask yourself, what can I do to foresee and address potential challenges that may come up?
There is talk of likely food shortage coming down the pike. Please note that food shortage is not the same as famine or starvation. Prices are increasing and I know we are all hearing about “supply chain issues”. (Ever feel like that’s the answer for everything these days?? Lol, Anyway…) Regardless of which “side” you’re on, I think we could collectively blame politics for much of this…but the blame game isn’t productive either…so…
The purpose of this post is to help you discern the best foods to have on hand in the event of a food shortage. It is not a survival manual, so I am not going to talk about water filtration, solar cooking, etc. Perhaps in another post.
When you think about nutrient needs, they include fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. So when we are looking for the best sources of those things, we want foods that are:
- Relatively low cost (sustainable to stock up on NOW, before prices and availability change much)
- Able to stay fresh for a long time (at least 1 year)
- High nutrient density – in other words, you get lots of nutrition/calorie
This list won’t be exhaustive but here are some favorites:
- Sprouts- These tiny seeds can be easily sprouted in a jar on your countertop with just water and sunlight through your window. They are SUPER inexpensive to buy and unlike most vegetables, they’re ready to eat in just a few days. They are LOADED with micronutrients, protein, fiber and since they’re living food, enzymes.
- Beans- This can include pinto, chickpeas, black, kidney or whichever you like. Dry beans are also really inexpensive. They are a great source of protein, have tons of minerals and due to their high fiber content, they are super filling.1 One of my favorite things about beans that is less commonly known is that they are rich in organic sulfur compounds. This mineral helps calm the body so it’s great at helping with stress, fear, anxiety, etc.
- Lentils- These little guys are also inexpensive, rich in minerals and fiber but cook even faster than beans. You can season them and eat as is or mix them into just about anything (soups, mashed potatoes, tacos, etc). The thing I especially love about lentils is that they are rich in polyphenols.2 Polyphenols help the body reduce oxidative stress and thus protect against inflammation and disease.
- Oatmeal- Oatmeal is fast, easy and can be a really filling meal that is rich in fiber and other nutrients. Oats have been found to be helpful in reducing blood sugar, weight and cholesterol.3 (Of course, we are assuming you’re not adding refined sugars)…Click here for more info on the benefits of oats.
- Chia seeds- These little super seeds are rich in fiber, protein, omega 3s and calcium. They need to be hydrated with water and can be added to smoothies, oatmeal or you can also add chopped fresh or dried fruit and make into a “porridge”. Chia seeds also have a mild but positive effect on cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.4
Of course, there are TONS of other foods that would be helpful (fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts/seeds, etc) but the ones listed above are great if you need to dramatically reduce your grocery bill or are looking for foods that you can stock up on NOW to get ahead of potential food shortage.
I would also recommend stocking up on a few basic supplements:
- Green powders- These incredible super food powders are made from dehydrated greens and grasses (perhaps the most powerful in the vegetable land). Greens Mix or VitaMineral Greens are great added to smoothies but can also be mixed into water for on-the-go nutrition.
- Good quality plant-based protein powder- On a plant-based diet, this can be a helpful supplement if you’re working out heavily or otherwise need additional protein for fighting infection, pregnancy, etc. I love the Plant Protein as well as the Warrior Food.
- Pink Salt– With over 70 different trace minerals, you don’t just get tasty food, you also get a simple and inexpensive mineral source by just adding a pinch to your water. pH Minerals is another product that you can add to your water (and it lasts a LONG time as you only need a few drops/glass).
- An Omega 3 source is SO important for your brain, nervous system, kidneys and overall inflammation in the body. We have several options for DHA including: DHA caps, DHA/EPA Marine, Synerchii DHA+D, Synerchii DHA+E and EFA oil.
- A good quality multivitamin/mineral- These don’t take the place of a vegan whole food diet and healthy lifestyle, but they can be a great way to fill in the gaps. I love Biohealth Matrix and Premier Multi.
In a perfect world, we’d eat tons of vegetables each day, but if fresh vegetables become tougher to get for a time, this is one of the reasons I also recommend having a good supply of Greens Mix, Pink salt and a multivitamin/mineral supplement as well to compensate a bit if certain things become harder to get for a few weeks/months.
So that the foods you stock up on don’t get rancid:
- Store them in a cool dark place (away from sunlight and heat)
- Don’t be afraid to use and replace them. To keep things fresh, one thing you can do is to for example, buy two 5 lb bags of dry beans…start using one of them in your regular cooking, as soon as that one is empty, buy another bag (so you always have at least one full large bag on hand).
- If you’re preserving any of your own food, such as food from a garden or farmers market, be sure it’s stored well, ideally frozen, canned or vacuum sealed. You can also dehydrate things like nuts and seeds in bulk and store them in airtight containers.
Although it’s not the purpose of this blog, ensuring good water sources, the ability to cook, etc. are also important. If you can grow even a little bit of your own food that would be ideal as well. But all of that is for another time.
The bottom line… Don’t panic but do be prepared. You and your family can remain healthy for a long time with the things listed above. Also, remember that health is a mindset. It’s not just about food but also about hydration, quality sleep, stress reduction, exercise and inner peace that comes from trusting that God is in control.
Please feel free to share with your friends and family who may be concerned and looking for solutions on how to stay healthy no matter what happens with the economy.
1. Messina V. Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans. In: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. ; 2014. doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.071472
2. Ganesan K, Xu B. Polyphenol-rich lentils and their health promoting effects. Int J Mol Sci. 2017. doi:10.3390/ijms18112390
3. Li X, Cai X, Ma X, et al. Short-and long-term effects of wholegrain oat intake on weight management and glucolipid metabolism in overweight type-2 diabetics: A randomized control trial. Nutrients. 2016. doi:10.3390/nu8090549
4. Kulczyński B, Kobus-Cisowska J, Taczanowski M, Kmiecik D, Gramza-Michałowska A. The chemical composition and nutritional value of chia seeds—current state of knowledge. Nutrients. 2019. doi:10.3390/nu11061242
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.