Problem: Food is becoming more expensive on a monthly basis. In the last month we've seen countries in the Middle East explode in revolt and a large part of that has been due to the insane price of food in those countries. The United States has been able to avoid paying 80% of their income to purchase food like many in the Middle East have to do, but that doesn't mean we're avoiding the squeeze all together.
The problem of higher food prices stem from many problems. Inflation has been driving up the price of everything. A weakening dollar is also contributing to the higher cost. Although the recent earthquake in Japan will have an affect, natural disasters around the world have been pushing up prices, from the floods in Australia and the quake in New Zealand to the droughts that caused food shortages in Russia (and a subsequent order by the government to stop all grain exports for the year). And, of course, the cost of fuel going up pushes up the cost of transporting food. Because the United States imports more food than it sends out, the costs of transport for our food supplies is astronomical.
Large scale, the price of food is not going to be getting any better anytime soon.
Solution: Food storage has started to gain popularity in recent years. This despite the fact that many in the media call it by evil names like hoarding, fear mongering, and evil survivalism. The funny part is that less than a hundred years ago people were storing food in large quantities all the time. It was an insurance policy of sorts in case times got bad or there wasn't enough money coming into the home for awhile. Ask your grandparents and most of them will probably tell you that, yes, they did indeed can their own food and keep it in the cellar or on the shelf.
Now, because we have such easy access to food, no one thinks storing food is important. However, I'll give you a few reasons why keeping a store of food in your home is important, especially these days.
First, it makes sense to buy food now rather than later. Food is always going up. It's just that now we're seeing prices rise faster than usual due to the previously mentioned issues. So that means that if you were to buy food now and save enough for a few months, then you would be able to eat food tomorrow at the price you're paying for it today. This can make a big different on your finances, especially when money is tight.
Two, the future is never certain. If you lose your job tomorrow, if you're out of work for six months due to illness or injury, a store of food means you can put a meal on the table. When you're worrying about where your next source of incoming is going to come from or if you'll be able to pay the bills this month, that's a serious weight to be able to take off your shoulders.
Three, people will always need to eat. One thing some people balk at with food storage is the idea of paying hundreds of dollars at one time to buy food they're not going to eat right away. Yet some of those same people wouldn't think twice about buying a fully decked out home entertainment system or taking a two week vacation to Hawaii. Your vacation will only last until you have to go back to work and you may not always be using your big screen TV. However, you will always have to eat unless you can't get your hands on food or you're dead. Food is something we always require.
Another solution for the food issue and one that is much more involved is growing your own food. This naturally requires having enough space to actually grow a garden of some kind that can produce food, but if you have the space and the means, it's a good, long term solution to providing food for yourself. A garden won't supply you with everything (you can't grow a steak, after all) but it can help to supplement the food you have to purchase and it can also give you enough food that you can start canning and storing it along with your grocery store food.
As we watch the horrors of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami, as we listen to the stories that have come out of places like Haiti, and as we remember the things that took place after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, we always find a common theme among them: There is never enough food for everyone. If we store food to prepare for hard times (hard times which always come in one form or another) not only do we lessen the burden on others but we can elevate ourselves and remove one more worry from a world in which we have too many things to worry about as it is.
Victory Gardens: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_garden
Glenn Beck: Food Prices on the Rise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnDPA1MO4Yg&feature=related
The Survival Podcast - Steve Palmer Interview: http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/episode-621-steve-palmer-of-shelfreliance-com-on-food-storage-and-global-events