“Be thou guided by wisdom under all conditions, …”Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh
by Christine Muller
Depending on their culture and background, people eat different things, but all of us have our staple foods—foods we eat regularly every day or several times a month. If they are non-perishable or last for a long time, it makes much sense to always have them at hand.
It would be ridiculous to have to go shopping just because you ran out of flour or rice. Remember, our children will need to draw down from the atmosphere all the carbon dioxide emitted from our driving to keep the Earth’s climate livable for humanity!
There is also a second reason: Extreme weather events from a changing climate or economic problems can lead to disruptions of services and supply chains that we generally take for granted. So, it is wise to have a good amount of your staple food in storage. In an emergency, you will not go hungry and can share with your neighbors, too.
What food would qualify for storage? This will depend on your eating habits, but most people will likely appreciate having rice, flour, salt, sugar, canned or dried beans, pasta, tomato sauce, oil, vinegar, their favorite spices, tea, and coffee available. Some like to have oats, honey, jam, peanut butter, pickles, canned chili and soups, a few cans of sustainably fished tuna or salmon, grated parmesan cheese, and crackers at hand. If you regularly use butter or margarine, it makes sense to have a supply in the refrigerator because you can keep them for many months. Think about what are your staple foods?
The quantity of food stored will depend on your storage space and on what you expect you will use within about a year. Make sure to put the newly bought items in the back so that nothing gets too old. As these are your staple foods, you will use them regularly. So, nothing should go to waste.
Some items may not have clearly visible expiration dates. In these cases, mark them with the purchase date. As discussed in another Sustainable Living Tip, expiration dates don’t have to be taken literally, but they can indicate which packages or cans you should use first.