We've been hearing a term floating around for months now. Food Security. But what exactly does that mean? It isn't actually any one definition because Food Security for people varies so drastically. But I can tell you what Food Security means and looks like for us on our homestead.
First off though a little history on how the world events affect the food sector. During WW1 because the ships carrying food from other countries to North America and many parts of the world were attacked by German U-Boats. This led to shortages, which in 1918 led to new laws set by the government that introduced rationing, a way of sharing food fairly. Sugar, meat, flour, butter, margarine and milk were all rationed so that everyone got what they needed. Each person had special ration cards, and the cards could only be used at certain shops.
WW2 saw eerily similar events take place. January 1942 it started with tires. Everyday consumers could no longer buy new tires; they could only have their existing tires patched or have the treads replaced. Gasoline was rationed starting in May of that year, and by the summer even bicycle purchases were restricted.
The government began rationing certain foods in May 1942, starting with sugar. Coffee was added to the list that November, followed by meats, fats, canned fish, cheese, and canned milk the following March. The system wasn’t perfect. Whenever the OPA announced that an item would soon be rationed, citizens bombarded stores to buy up as many of the restricted items as possible, causing shortages.
Now bring us to 2022. We have a world shortage of fertilizer for crops that farmers have become dependant on for their yields. If we have a shortage of crops that is going to come down to the general public by way of no wheat to grind to make flour to make bread and other items. We have a shortage (so they say) of fuel and that is why the price is going up so drastically. The events happening in Ukraine are being felt on the global scale. If you don't believe me just go to the store and get a gallon of milk. this time last year I paid $5.39 for 4 liters of Milk. that same jug now costs me $6.19. Nothing has changed in the product or the way it is transported and processed. The dairy farmer's got a raise which actually has been needed for a while. The whole quota system in Canada in my opinion is stupid and needs to be reassessed. Did you know that the average Dairy farmer has a specific quota to fill each month and they get penalties if they go over? Yes, as absurd as that sounds if the farmer gets more Milk then what his quota is for they either dump the Milk which is INSANE, pay a fine and possibly have to choose to sell some of their herd to make sure they don't go over quota.
I don't disagree with a general across the board quota where everyone can submit and get paid accordingly. But if farmer A has a 2500 gallon quota and farmer B has a 2500 gallon quota and Farmer A gets 3000 gallons from his cows and Farmer B gets 2000 should Farmer A be allowed to sell all his Milk to even it out? That would make sense to me. Sorry this makes my skin crawl thinking about the idiocy of some policies.
So this brings me to what Food Security looks like for our family and what we are striving for to aide our community. We grow a lot of our own food. We raise chickens for eggs and meat, ducks for eggs and meat. We raise sheep for their wool and meat. We plant a garden and preserve food for winter. We have a goal this year that our garden and animals will supply us with all our food from end of October to June the following year. We have plans to buy a Milk cow so we can take that item out of our grocery budget. Friends now is the time to be getting well versed in gardening. How to properly preserve what you grew. Freezing, pressure canning, and water bath canning are our main ways. But I know others who dehydrate and even freeze dry food to make it last longer. The time to be buying the highly processed, chemical filled foods off the store shelves are coming to and end. Anyone I know who has lived through the great depression or war torn countries are saying to get back to basics.
Learn how to grind wheat to make bread. Use Milk you got from your cow and make butter, cheese and yogurt. The food allergies that are around today are in my opinion a direct result of the junk sprayed on the crops to grow the stuff you buy. If people returned to Slow Food in stead of always Fast Food, then allergies would drop off. If more people grew their own potatoes or bought from a farmer who does, then there would be no need for instant mashed potatoes from a box. Have you really looked into how far your food has to travel before it gets on your table? You would probably be shocked. Changing your way of eating to flow with the seasons is another amazing way of establishing your own Food Security. During WW2 there were posters put out about victory gardens, urging people to grow what they wanted to eat, that way they could send all the processed food to the war field. That sounds like a great idea to me.
If you don't grow it, then find someone local who does and buy from them or go without. It is really that simple. So what are you going to do to change your Food Security?? How are you going to prepare for future events that will happen? I would love to hear your thoughts on these matters.