Food Storage Ideas in an Urban Area

by | Oct 30, 2010 | Emergency Preparedness | 45 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    The following article has been generously contributed by Kent Arnspiger of Off the Grid Ready.

    Most grocery stores have approximately three days worth of food on their shelves; and as experience has shown, when a known emergency event is coming, these shelves will be depleted rapidly within a matter of minutes. So, to prepare and secure your families survival a food storage plan should be part of your overall emergency preparedness planning. Living in an urban area presents unique challenges to preparing for these events; one of these is growing your own food for food storage in the event of a long term emergency.

    Growing your own food takes several components to be successful including using heirloom seeds, having plenty of fertile land, large amounts of clean water, the knowledge and the time to grow the foods. You also have to control pests and diseases that can wipe out your crops, plus your growing season needs to be right in order to have success. Some advantages to growing your own food include: it’s typically healthier, taste better, fresher, offers a wide variety, great source of natural nutrients and can be fun and rewarding. However, the shelf life of fresh food is measured in days, unless proper storing and preservation methods are used. Even then the shelf life is relatively short and requires knowledge, the right materials and time to successfully complete.

    A major concern of having a garden in your yard in a long term survival event is that it can make you a target to thieves as it’s hard to hide fresh growing plants, especially in an urban area. This could be similar to placing a sign outside your house saying “we are prepared, come take our stuff”. People, who would rather take from others, than to prepare for themselves, will look for these types of signs as easy victims for their own selfish needs. So what should we do?

    Growing your own food can be accomplished on a smaller scale by growing plants inside your dwelling in planters and pots. This will not provide enough food in itself, but will provide variety and fresh nutrients in your diet. Unfortunately, this will also limit what you can successfully grow; for example corn, grains and other sun loving plants will not do well inside. But, herbs, lettuces, and other delicates should do well.

    With this in mind, we recommend a large portion of your food storage supplies come from prepared long term food storage products. The range of prepared foods should included grocery supplies of canned vegetables, fruits, meats, fish and meals. Dried foods such as noodles, rice, legumes, seasonings, spices and dried herbs should be well accounted for and acquired as well. All of these items can be purchased in small quantities as part of your regular trips to your local grocery store and should be well stored and rotated as part of your regular meal preparations.

    Another source of prepared meals is freeze dried and dehydrated foods from manufactures that specialize in long term food storage. These manufacturers typically offer a wide variety of meals including breakfast and other entrée meals that are better tasting than what you would finds years ago and provide well balanced nutrients. I personally prefer the smaller packages of complete meals as they are easy to prepare and reduce the amount of waste from preparing too large of a quantity when refrigeration is not available. These meals are easy to prepare using hot water, can be ready in minutes, are typically easy to store, are very light and have an extended shelf life of as much as twenty-five years. Plus they are a quick way to get started as they can be purchased in small quantities and will rapidly start to increase your food stores. They do require space to store and should be rotated and used first in, first out as with other food products to account for their expiration. However, the advantages of prepared food storage far outweigh the negatives and should be a major portion for effective long term urban survival.

    Many urban dwelling individuals can help prepare and secure their family by adopting a balanced food storage plan of small growing operations, adequate grocery items and by acquiring prepared food for storage that includes freeze dried and dehydrated foods. All of these items can be purchased in smaller quantities on a regular basis to rapidly build your food stores. One other item to start acquiring is water filtration systems and water storage items, but this will have to be another message at another time.

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      1. Comments….. All these survival posts about growing food are useless to us. No one can grow real food like grains and rice unless they are a farmer so why bother ranting on and on? Lettice and tomato wont keep u alive for long, no protien in em. The average american cant even cook let alone farm.

      2. I have found that growing fresh food in the city has many challenges.  To much sun, not enough sun, too windy on one side of the bldg.  Some plants just wont produce in pots where as they will bear in a raised bed garden.  Clay pots with drainage seem to work best for the porches & raised bed garden tucked behind shrubbery with a buried garden hose plumbed to gate valve facet attached to porch for easy winter drainage.  Dirt is all purchased compost potting soil.  If potting inside, compost dirt must be heated in small amounts in a oven or you will have small critters invade your house when plants mature.  Neighbors are always given fresh treats out of the garden & fresh baked bread to promote their own gardens & being neighborly. 
        Nothing in the city takes the place of all well stocked spare bedroom & storage bldg along the outskirts. 

      3. here we go again. frightening people then trying to make a profit ( excuse me very much —huge profits)  selling them junk food that even my girl friend’s dog won’t eat. seriously, i bought some freeze dried food packages at walmart. it’s horrible tasting S***.  when i offered some of this reconstituted crap to my live in girl friend’s chihuahua he sneezed, shook his head and walked away. so much for freeze dried crap…

        you prepper junkies forget one overarching fact. america is king of the world. nothing untoward is going to happen to our powerful economy. pinko commie chinese punks have been trying for decades to weaken our wonderful american federal reserve banking system and we reply to their crap by laughing in their faces and then generously and fearlessly sending them more menial crap manufacturing jobs  that no respectable warm blooded god fearing  judeochristian home grown american macho man would do. 

      4. As a backpacker I have eaten more then my share of freeze dried food.  It varies from not to good to not bad.  I disagree that it is either junk food or “crap”.  It is simply food preserved in a way that allows it to be stored for a very long time.  Most readers of this blog and the many other related blogs agree we need to prepare to deal with shortages and emergencies in the future.  Freeze dried food is an excellent way to do that.  I would advise people to try the food so they know what to expect.  If the worst happens I would much rather have a supply of food that varies from not to good to not bad then have nothing.  You decide what is right for you otherwise you will be eating your girlfriends Chihuahua.  That’s not much of an emergency plan, maybe you should get a newfie. 

      5. The “average” american is not reading this site.  I believe most people here have grains/beans stored.  5 gal sealed previous frozen works best.  So you don’t eat stew with veggies or have 5 gal buckets of dehydro veggies stored?  I have an expensive grain mill that mounts on kitchen table along with a bread maker that has been proven.  The grandkids love cranking it & making bread the night before so they can wake up to fresh bread on Sunday.  Yeast can be stored in fridge for a couple of years.  Flour keeps in 5 gal buckets also for making egg noodles with canned chicken broth.  Tomatoes, greens & Japenese egg plants produce the most where I live.

      6. Realist,

        It sounds like you have given up before you have even made the attempt.  Have you tried to grow food in an urban area?  If seeds have hte nourishment they need, they will germinate. 

        In a sudden onset emergency where there is no food a person can use some of their seeds to sprout  for immediate nourishment (  Any type of vegetable can be spouted (with the excedption of nightshade vartieties), even wheat.  While living off of sprouts and emergency food rations, a person can grow a multitude of different vegetables and fruits for added nourishment.  Urban gardening has become very popular due to the soaring food prices and need to be prepared for a possible food shortage as the author of the above article made reference to. 

        Do some research on which plants you want to incorporate into your garden and think about the root systems.  If you have an above ground garden bed, try to utilize plants that have shallow root systems such as corn, spinach or radishes.  Here are some other examples of vegetables that can be grown in any environment:

        Tomatoes (you will have to provide support for their stalks)
        Peppers (you will have to provide support for their stalks)
        Mustard greens
        Most herbs

        Of all the vegetables I want to stress it is, beans.  Beans are one of the easiest and fastest foods to grow.  If you do not have an area for the vines to grow, get the bush variety.  They will provide you with 2-3 waves of beans.  When you seed them, double or triple what you would normally plant.  In other words, grow for immediate consumption and grow for storing them for later.  They will also give you the needed protein and the carbs to sustain you and your family.  All of these vegetables and fruits can be grown in urban, suburban areas and rural areas.

        In addition, you can even grow micro livestock for meat purposes.  In the below article, I have listed mulitple examples of micro livestock that can be raised in urban areas that do not have restrictions.  Animals such as guinea pigs, pigeons and rabbits. (  And guess what, the manure that the livestock produces can be used to condition your soil with. 

        You have to start thinking in a prepper mindset.  Anything is possible if you have the means to do it.  If you think that all the food comes from rural areas, then you are sorely mistaken.  There are many individuals who are beginning to take responsibility for their well being and growing their own food — in city limits, myself included.  I live in a home on a 1/4 acre lot and have pumpkins, tomatoes, winter squash, beans, broccoli, cabbage onions, garlic, spinach, turnips, lettuce and leeks growing.  On 1/5 of an acre, the Dervaes family grows over 6,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables annually.

         If you don’t believe me, check this video out:

        Realist, it’s time to start thinking outside of the box.  Farmlands in the rural areas are not magical places where the food is grown.  It’s a place with more dirt and space.  But, by getting creative, any person can grow food with the space they have.  Give it a shot and see for yourself.  I dare you to prove me wrong.

      7. You sound like a GREAT grower Tess.  Wheat sprouts can be clipped many, many times. 
        Some of the jack asses that grow pot so well should convert to food instead of creating problems in life.

      8. @ Tess – Excellent!  Thank you.

      9. Urban-areas?     I thought  those areas were “Food Deserts”, so you don’t have to worry….

        Barry is going to supply you,  all the food you  need……or at least,  spend another $400 million, telling you He is.

        What the hell is a “Food Desert”?

      10. Everyone needs to learn how to make compost tea.It is simple, inexpensive, & will make plants double in a matter of days. My peppers have tripled in size & quantities have more than quadrupled with this tea. Check it out on the net. You will be Happy.

        October 30th, 2010 at 2:13 am
        Comments….. All these survival posts about growing food are useless to us. No one can grow real food like grains and rice unless they are a farmer so why bother ranting on and on? Lettice and tomato wont keep u alive for long, no protien in em. The average american cant even cook let alone farm.


        But, that fact doesn’t stop me from going to get canned goods, pastas, canned meats, oats, rice, and ramen noodles(budget conscious…15 cents a pkg)and oodles of things to help us survive–filling 3 gargage cans with water today, went to Aldi’s (again ) yesterday, and Berkey is on its way.

        I can grow, am a country girl…however, my soik is not good for chit…so I’ll buy and right now am canning pickled beets.

        October 30th, 2010 at 2:13 am
        Comments….. All these survival posts about growing food are useless to us. No one can grow real food like grains and rice unless they are a farmer so why bother ranting on and on? Lettice and tomato wont keep u alive for long, no protien in em. The average american cant even cook let alone farm.


        But, that fact doesn’t stop me from going to get canned goods, pastas, canned meats, oats, rice, and ramen noodles(budget conscious…15 cents a pkg)and oodles of things to help us survive–filling 3 gargage cans with water today, went to Aldi’s (again ) yesterday, and Berkey is on its way.

        I can grow, am a country girl…however, my soil is not good for chit…so I’ll buy and right now am canning pickled beets.

      13. Never took to beets but had a lot worse.  Country girls I like, they wear cotton.

      14. What i find most interesting when trying to grow a garden, and I know this is a little crazy, but if you aren’t paying attention you can miss the beans, I mean, they are hard to see and you have to watch for them.  I grew beets and canned some, but then i didn’t think about the rest of them and forgot until a neighbor walking her dog noticed how beautiful they were.  I offered her some (she was very grateful and happy) then remembered to cook some more.
        My point is that most of us are working full time and leading hectic lives and changing patterns from running to the store to get what you need to walking into the backyard is a challenge I didn’t expect!

      15. Realist: You can grow  nuts or seeds or dried beans and/or peas for protein. And in a  single 4×20 foot plot you can grow enough grains for 6-25 loaves of bread depending on the quality of your soil and your skill. Oats are easier to grow and beardless oats can be used by the home grower.  Check out the book by John Jeavons “How to grow more food than you ever thought possible.” His program has been teaching people  around the world, to feed themselves on small plots of land.  Of course skill and willingness to learn factor in.  Yes you do have more microclimates to consider in a yard with buildings nearby. Hint: many veggies can be cut over and over including broccoli and cabbage and greens. Plant perenials once and they come back every year: rhubarb, berries, artichokes, asparagus, walking onions etc. Use simple covers to extend the growing and holding season in all but the harshest climates ( check out materials by Eliot Coleman).   Also think vertical. Many plants will grow up if they are given a treallis. My garden is small so I expand it by training trailing squash and cukes and tomatoes on vertical supports. I plant strawberries below the blueberries  and espaliered fruit trees to get double use of the same amount of land. Check out : for a tiny farm that feeds AND  supports a family in the middle of LA.  I agree that most people do not even cook their own food and the transition to growing and cooking your own food takes months which is why people start before they NEED to get it right to survive. Right now it is a challenge and an hobby.  But a bad garden year makes it very clear why our forefathers kept  at least a years worth of food  and seeds stored. 

      16. The reason the internationa agribusinesses are trying to get Congress to pass  S-510 The Food Safety Modernization Act, is because they know that  Americans can grow between 20 and 43% of our veggies and fruits in our own yards. That is by government statistics.  So it can be done. And if you grow some things and a neighbor grows other things you can swap and help eachother. Or you mow their lawn and clean their gutters or fix their car  etc and they grow  your  food in your garden. Win win.

      17. Sorry. Clarification. S510 is designed to stop everyone but the big seed houses from selling any seeds and to stop small farms, micro farms and home growers from growing our own foods. It states that food must be grown exactly as they outline. Using only their seeds and chemicals and giant tractors etc.  on exactly their schedules .You can not legally grow food any other way if that law passes. You also can not store food or seeds  or share food or seeds at all. This is already in law in other nations. This requires you to get your food every week from the store. No stocking up and no growing it.  Talk about government control. Hungry people behave differently than people who have sources for basic needs.  Add this to the federal take over of  states’ water rights( this includes all moving or standing water including your rainbarrels), their desire to limit or eliminate fishing and hunting, the proposed animal registration law that would make it impossibly explensive for all but the biggest growers to grow food animals due to “food safety registration proceedure costs”. That means that if you raise 100,000 animals you pay one fee and for one tag and for one set of paperwork and inspections. If you own 6 animals you pay all these fees for every animal. It cost 6 times more to own 6 chickens than to own 100,000.  So no hunting, no fishing, no growing or storeing food, no growing food animals. Do you see a pattern there?

      18. @ JJ   Learn how to compost or get you a couple of bags of miracle grow every time that you can.  You don’t have to have a fancy compost container.  Just chicken wire and some metal stakes.  You do have to know the correct size to build & moisture content & what NOT to put in it.  Go to bait shop & get you some night crawlers too after your first success.  If you want to keep count of them, put in buried bathtub (with drain open)!  Fishing anyone?

      19. Food storage basics…………..Rice, beans, wheat, and honey. Throw in a good supply of dehydrated mixed veggies, a few homegrown fresh fruits and veggies, a bit of fresh/canned meat every now and then and you have the makings of soup/stew and fresh baked bread for three or thirty 24/7. Keep it simple folks, your grandparents did…….and every generation which preceded them come to think of it. We don’t need half of what we have and less than half of what we think we can’t do without.

      20. Yeah, S510……I sure hope they pass it and gets signed into law.

        I can’t think of a better way to piss off enough people to start a revolution than to start screwing with their home grown tomatoes.

        I doubt going door to door to collect guns would raise the hackles telling my wife she can’t raise a garden.

        Bring it on.

      21. Thats why they call it survival food. Freeze dried may not always taste so good, but if your survival is at steak (lol) you’ll eat it and be grateful for it. Try dehydrated instead of freeze dried.

        As for growing your own food, no one said it was easy. It takes new knowledge for most of us and the time to get that knowledge and experience is now. That’s why its called “prepping”.

        As for the article’s comment that gardening will make you a target, that is just a blatant sales pitch. When the SHTF you will already have your preps, have relocated to a less populated area, and with any foresight, or luck, have a piece of ground to call your own: or you will be one of the have nots that have needs.

        The mobility of inner city residents who have not prepped will be limited by available gasoline. Once their gas tank is dry, they will be where they are at.

        All aspects of prepping should be integrated. A garden will not provide everything, it is not intended to provide everything, but it will augment your other preps.

        Everyone should use the time we have wisely. Education is key to the survival of you and your family in the aftermath of SHTF.

      22. One more thing. There is a new solar technology coming to market that has been demonstrated recently in Florida. Its a nano particle spray on application to your regular windows and is 300% more effcient than the run of the mill solar panel. Don’t have all the details yet, but it is definitely something to watch for.

      23. SJ  Need some olive oil in there too.

      24. No matter where you live, head for your local public library and check out a book called “Square Foot Gardening” or google it online. It shows you how to grow the same amount of food in 20% of the space required for a traditional ‘row-type’ gardening. You can set up a typical 4′ X 4′ garden area for less than $100 including your plants. If you are creative and able to scrounge any of your material, then you can probably set us 2 or 3 4′ X 4′ areas for less than $100.

        Even if you live in the city, you can set up on a pourch, patio or even an apartment balcony. You can even set up your 4′ X 4′ garden area containers on top of concrete or asphalt.

        And no, you won’t be able to feed yourself entirely out of your garden. But you will be able suppliment you food supply which will allow you to divert more of your budget to long term food storage items.

        One 4′ X 4′ garden area will allow one person to eat all the fresh salads and salsa they want during the growing season as well as growing all of the garden herbs to dry and use during the rest of the year.

      25. Comments….. Wow! Evidence overload!

        Okay, here goes. The article says nothing. You can do, people do, people can, you could, etc.

        Next, sqft gardens and others are just books. No proofs are required, just some buzz. 

        Fact: you will starve on a 4’x4′ area. You will starve on a dozen 4’x4’s.  4’x4’x1′ bin weighs about 1600+ lbs.  Now you have to get  water. Where you gonna do all this? If the writer hasn’t filed several consecutive Schedule F , thier knowledge base is suspect at best. Here is the defining question?

        How long have they/you been doing it without any support from the system?

        Big factoid: Nobody makes it without the support of the system. Ag producers need inputs beyond what they can produce. Not everyone can produce all they need, so we have a distribution system. Then credit for production. Where does your water come from?

        Hmm, start now or wait til the shtf? Got the books, so … its cool.

      26. A loose coalition of food quacks object to S510 and have launched a propaganda program to stop it.  It does not prevent you from growing a garden.  It’s intent is to prevent questionable food from entering the primary food supply.  As long as your garden doesn’t feed into the nations food supply then you are not obligated by S510.  If on the other hand you want to sell food to individuals or stores then you must meet certain common sense health and safety regulations.  It’s no big deal.

      27. @overtheedge – I think I understand kinda what you’re trying to say though it’s not really explicit. 

        Why do I need the support of this imaginary system?  What is this system you never define it.  If I bulk up on the required items and grow the rest I should be fine for quite a while.  Water in most area’s of the US is not a huge deal.  I can hand drill a well in the Pacific NW down about 20′ and get near endless water.  If you live in the desert well that’s just idiotic.

        I can on 1-2 acres easily produce enough food for my wife and I and we give about half our harvest away (minus the meat).  I need the acreage for the goats, otherwise chickens are easy on 1/2 acre.  Today I picked fresh tomato and cucumbers from our greenhouse which has passive solar heating (solar hot water and a black North brick wall).  I can normally grow veggies and fruit until late Nov/early Dec easily and start again in mid Jan (indoors and plant in the greenhouse end of Jan/early Feb).

        We can a lot of our food or dehydrate it.  90% of our food stores don’t require cooling and we could easily jerky a lot more.  Now if you live in a city that is your choice and I understand a lot of jobs are there.  But don’t expect to escape to the country if things get bad.  I’m banded with my neighbors and we will not be helping others but our families out unless you bring a lot to the table.

      28. @GoneWithTheWind – Wow.  Keep up the brainwashed stupidity.  If I want to sell unpasteurized milk to grown adults who want to drink it, what right does the government have to stop me?  For thousands upon thousands of years we’ve been drinking it.  Every dairy farmer around here drinks fresh from the cow milk as it tastes better and IS better for you.  Sure if you’re kid is under a year old don’t give them raw milk/honey its not worth the risk.  Then again for the first 9 months breast feeding is more then fine and some even say a year (my aunt is an MD and recommends it to all her expecting moms).

        Why do you and quacks like you get to say what is good for me or those that choose to buy from me?  Thankfully being a Co-Op brings me some safety currently.  Though I’m still waiting to be raided by Nazi federal food cops (or even local ones)

      29. hello, in cased when shtft, world pop. will most likely be reduced to no more than 100 mil. if you assume that current pop. will get adapt to a depression , you are making a great mistake because people are different from those who lived in the 1930s. we’re talking about zombies that virtually consume everything on sight 🙂 do you think others will let you alone (the majority will be armed to the teeth and if you stay at home or you become mobile it just does not matter at all)? it will be super chaos for sure! still wonder why? think about it you have 6.7 billion people whose food production is heavily dependent on technology so take it away, and see what happens next.
        (sorry for bad English but hope you got the point)

      30. First off people who are objecting to S510 are not quacks in any manner,thats an opinion and an uneducated one at that.I myself have been an activist in farming issues for years and fought hard to stop the animal ID(NAIS) S510 is from the same govicorp and it does not benefit everyday Americans but govicorp will make lots of money at your expense!PERIOD!
        Secondly there is alot of very practical advice in the above posts,some very alert people out there.
        The idea that food can be grown anywhere even in an apartment is not wishful thinking its very doable…easy,but growing food never was said to be easy but its not as difficult as some would like to make it sound.
        I have been living this lifestyle folks are calling prepping for decades,we called it “back to the landers” a few years back.
        My wife and I raise the most of what we eat,veggies and meat and fruits…if we feel extravegant we buy something but we dont by much,foodwise,we may spend 100$ in a month if we are stocking up on somethings in addittion to those odds and end we just “want” ,living outside the system may sound impossible but many are doing it pretty well,and of course there are not too many living TOTALLY OUTSIDE,everyone in general needs a few things they cant make themselves but those of you who think it cant be done are truely not educated on the truth. Oh, and if you starve to death with a dozen 4x4x12 sections of garden then its YOUR fault…..I have some of those things and they tend to produce more than open ground, I get piles of veggies from each space,eat what I need give some away and still have enough to can,and thats just what I grow in those boxes,my raised barrels produce all the salads I can stand,the raised beds finish up the pantry to overflow,my kitchen counters are filled with tomatoes and chowders,because the pantry is full, the rootcellar in stocked with potatoes and carrots,sunchokes and squash and cabbage ect,this is not rocket science…its what people have done for centuries! The problem is people want to work fulltime worrying about retiring and such and that only keeps you too busy to actually do anything about living or more to the point it keeps you dependent on this manmade system,trapped right where they want you.I dont mind if thats what trips your trigger,but I worked for years in the rat race and then said forget it,I sleep much better not worrying about keeping up an image that the neighbors or relatives think is acceptable…screw it!
        I will keep on doing this till I croak and will keep on encoraging anyone who wants to to work toward cutting the chain 0ff their neck and getting as free as possible,those who dont want to…hey I have no problem with that,its supposed to be a free country,and I plan on being free regardless! Thanks!

      31. Well said, REB. Pass the potatos, corn, peas, and squash please!

      32. As far as the senate bill, one must remember that it only takes a few well meaning government employees to apply a well meaning regulation to an overly broad group and then you have problems.  Why not leave the government out of it.  Let adults make decisions and be responsible for the consequences, good or bad.

        While the bill may well only mean the mass food supply, I am sure the city council in Washington state (it was either Washington or Oregon) never intended for the city government to shut down a kids lemonade stand but they damn sure did.

        Leave me alone and let me make the decisions that I feel are best for me and my family.  After all, it is my responsibility to God and that sure means more that the Feds.

      33. @REB – Well said.  We grew coffee this year in our greenhouse, coffee!  About half a years worth but it was an experiment.  I drink 2 cups a day and the wife has 1-2 a week.  It was easy too 🙂

      34. Reb; look at the sites that have thrown up objections to S510 and you will see they are not trying to convince you it is bad based on the facts.  Instead they make up things about how the government will stop you from growing your own food or something even worse.  So call them what you want they are still lying about it.
        Mike L.:  S510 will indeed prevent you or anyone from selling raw milk.  Raw milk is dangerous and has killed hundreds of thousands of people over recored history. 
        Raw milk is nothing more or less then a cow’s body fluids.  Raw milk has been known to spread: typhoid, diphtheria, brucellosis, campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Yersinia spp., strep throat, scarlet fever, staphylococcus, rabies, Bacillus cereus, Coxiella burnetii, Mycobacterium avium and tuberculosis.   Studies of milk from cows has shown that 30%  to 60%  of the samples have one or more of these pathogenic bacteria. 
        In 1985, an outbreak of listeria was linked to soft cheese made from raw milk produced in Los Angeles Of the 142 cases reported, 93 were in pregnant women or their children. There were 48 deaths, including 20 fetuses.
        Since 1973, 394 cases of salmonella have been reported in Los Angeles County. Of these, 101 (25.6%) were consumers of raw milk. Molecular fingerprinting identified the strain of bacteria in ill persons as the same as that found in raw milk samples.
        The simple fact remains that raw milk is a health risk and both the CDC and the FDA have a legal responsibility to regulate it.  This is not a case of runaway federal government going outside their constitutional responsibilities as some here have framed it.  Congress passed legislation giving both the CDC and the FDA the responsibility to regulate and control dangerous products.  If you truly think you can present a good argument that:  A) Raw milk is not dangerous.  And/or B) That the federal government does not have the legal and constitutional responsibility to protect citizens from dangerous food products.  Then I suggest that you contact your congress and begin by convincing him. 

        Wow, you still don’t get it!!!
        We have folks posting anectdotal evidence of all the marvelous stuff you can raise and oh, the massive quantities at almost no cost in an apartment no less.
        1. Commercial means enough to sell and file taxes on.
        2. I’m not seeing anything supporting evidence approaching commercial posted on this site.
        3. No tax filing means high probablility that inputs aren’t accounted for. On just a couple acres of production, the costs were staggering as well as the labor inputs. Actual profits, minimal. Profits compared to large operations, massively higher per acre. I might have eaten good, but we were poor as church mice.
        4. Coffee in a greenhouse posting proves you haven’t a clue. I’ve grown tobacco in Alaska. It is a waste of time, money and energy. At least I had less than $20 in the crop. Most of the costs were fertilizer and cultivation. Heavy feeder and for what? Bragging?

        5. You can not and never will grow enough in an apartment or urban environment to survive.  Do the math!

        6. If you aren’t already engaged in ag, you are a zombie. If you claim to be engaged in ag but don’t use a pencil, you are a  zombie. Zombies are dead; they just don’t know it.
        7. S510 is the least of our problems. The bigger problem is the percieved need for this legislation.
        8. Most will die. I have spent most of my life in ag, around ag or living in ag areas. I have filed more than one Schedule F.  I figure  30-35% probability of me lasting one year and no better than 20-25% for two. Were I in a more temperate climate, the odds would not improve short-term. Two year or more might raise to 25-30%.
         Been there, done that. I have tools, supplies, skill, decades of experience and a fierce determination to stay ahead of zombies. Probability on one year survival post shtf: 30-35%

        Believe whatever you will. Reality always trumps beliefs. Have you ever noticed that zombies never realize they are zombies?

        Need more evidence? Nobody seems to be talking about the staggering number of hours of labor needed to secure a years food supply. Humans have selective memory. We forget the long hours in brutal heat, rain and mud. I kept records until it sunk in. 80-100 hour weeks for pennies per hour. I remain just because it is my nature.

        Survival is NEVER assured. Death is sure. We have some control over the time and manner of our death. The odds go to the analytical mind willing to cut thier losses. The believers are just zombies. Beliefs prevent the cutting of losses. Example: I have too much invested in … . The correct analysis is: I wasted too much on … .
        Lose the distribution system, lose the world and almost all the inhabitants. Where is the seed, fertilizer, fuel and water coming from? How about pesticides? Don’t even consider the damn fool organic argument. Can-do, there is no such thing as can-do. Did or did not is all that matters. Have you successfully saved seed? Have you succeeded at securing water without imported power? Have you secured an alternate source of fertilizer? Have you secured energy sources? Have you successfully and totally fed you and your family for a year without imports?

        Perhaps now you can understand my conclusion: Me 30-35% You? 2-35%

      36.  OverTheEdge:  You are essentially correct.  It is difficult to impossible for a family to provide for all their needs either by growing their own food or hunting and gathering.  If the world were reduced to that tomorrow many people would die in the first year or two.  However it is unlikely that our society will simply disappear.  It is far more likely that our society will undergo short term problems.  The trick is NOT to survive for the rest of your life on what you can grow.  The trick is to use your garden and chickens or rabbits and hunting and gathering to EXTEND whatever food you have or can buy or is provided by the government.   The likely event we should all prepare for is a financial collapse or depression.   Some kind of “long  emergency”  economic or social problems, etc.  It is extremely unlikely that we will all need to grow all our own food for the rest of our life. 

      37. Kidd, thanks!….Mike, cool !
        Gone with the wind…….I understand your first sentence and yes there are some people who are perhaps a bit over the edge on their reaction to this bill,how ever you have to look at where this bill came from and who authored it,and then you can understand their trepidation with govt touching anything.
        The prime sponsor is DeLauro from (Ct I believe) her husband  is /was a lobbiest for monsanto amongst others they are prime examples of radical marxist….and need I bring up anything about monsanto?
        As to your assertion that raw milk is dangerous and has killed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people over RECORDED  history….wow Id love to see those records! I personally know dozens of people who drink “real” milk everyday myself included who rarely get sick and never from real milk!
         You give a long list of thing supposedly spread by milk some where at sometime and there may actually be something to that but its a stretch,way more people killed and injured in household accidents every year than all the milk  in history has ever caused,the milk product sold in stores has nothing going for it and itll clog your arteries up just like crisco but nobodys hollaring about banning crisco…at least not on a govt level.
        Id also like to see where in the constitution (of the USA) that FDA and CDC have a right to exist much less run roughshod over Americans,I understand that some may think govt has responsibilities but  from the enumerated powers that are specified where do they get the authority to decree anything? We are overwhelmed by alpabet soup govt agentcies who dump gobs of crap on the American people in order to justify their existence,I remember before all this wonderful govt protection when we were alot free-er and safer…(OMG no seatbelts or helmets OR?)you cant tell be we are free-er and safer now than we were 40 years ago, it just aint so!

        Over the Edge….its cool, I understand,commercially I never made a dime farming,tried it but the sad fact is Americans will not spend a cent more for a good organic USA carrot when china will save them a nickel…sad but true.(You live in the last frontier? I did some gold panning and small stake stuff up there years ago near Fairbanks over to the Yukon,love that place!)
        I dont think youre giving yourself enough credit man…I think if push comes to shove youll do just fine,I know I will. And many others will…sadly like you say alot wont,  we cant save anybody,only lend a kind word or deed.
        I never buy fertilizer,dont need it,dont want it,my water is a very good gravity fed spring that never quits and costs me zero,my handug well has a man powered pump…planned it that way,works great!
        Been saving seeds for decades,always trying new ones each year too,save what works, pitch what dont,isnt at all complicated.
        Got energy?…lots of own gas well,electric generation? no problem…gas lights? no problem. Feeding my family totally for a year(or twenty)? no problem.
        Now like I said I understand,most everyone myself included need something from outside…and  where I am in this life didnt just happen it took years of trial and error and very hard work which continues daily…I get it,but the point is we have to start somewhere and if all you have is a small place then I cant tell you to quit,give up and die…people gotta try, they have to make an effort,we all know this ride America and the world have been on isnt going to last and when it does end it would be nice to at least have a fighting chance to live another day…thats the basic message,believe in yourself NOT the govticorp,even if you fail you at least tried,brush yourself off again and go at it again,failure is quitting… nothing more nothing less! Quit and you die,simple…and if you try and die?,wheres the shame in that? Just a thought,thanks!

      38. @OverTheEdge – Congrats on being amazing yet still going to die.

        Coffee was for the cool factor.  It took no effort.  Got the plant for free, put her in the bed and that was it.  I only use organic fertilizers I produce myself from composting what I can and chicken poop.

        You’re right though, no one lived before the 1900s.  Its all over.  Doomed we are!

      39. @OverTheEdge – Had to run off to work before finishing…

        I don’t believe anyone can grow enough food in an apartment to sustain themselves.  There are extreme cases in Cali where a guy on a 1/5th of an acre (in suburbia) grows somewhere north of 5000lbs of food a year, and with their house on the property too!  They have at least one goat (seen in a photo in the magazine article) and chickens.

        Also beans are easy to grow and store well (once dried obviously).  My small acreage farm takes up about 10-16 hours a week of my time and about the same as my wife’s.  I also work 20 hours as a refrigeration mechanic (mostly doing controls/startup and trouble shooting for companies like Trane, American Standard, York, Lennox, …).  My farm is run as a corporation and my accountant/lawyer deal with any/all forms but we sell via a Co-Op so have much fewer headaches.  We also don’t use anything but natural fertilizers.  A few times a year (2 on average) we collect seaweed (live near the coast) then wash (get rid of the salt) and dry it.  Then add it either into compost or directly to the soil as a tea or ground up.

        We actually make money year round and all the money I make in my other businesses are not used at all to support the farm.  The farm pays for itself and my wife’s wages (which are more then at her previous job).  In the next 2-3 years I believe (haven’t looked at the books in a while) we’ll have all the debt of buying the farm paid off (house, shop, land, greenhouse, septic tanks, solar panels, etc) then we can buy about 10-30 acres a year after that (if the prices stay in the 200,000 range for that size of land parcels) which we can expand into (or rent out).

        My next goal, get organic certification (well, wife’s job if shes not started the process yet anyway).

        I have a “how can I do this” attitude other then a “I can’t do this” which most people seem to have.  One reason I fly across Canada (I live in the USA) troubleshooting units, I’ve never had a problem I couldn’t solve (they is nothing overly complex about a rooftop/refrigeration unit honestly, they’re pretty simplistic).

        Can someone outside of Cali or without a greenhouse/1-2 acres easily grow enough to live through 5-6 years of hardship?  Likely not.  With fruit trees, veggies and either chickens/rabbits it’s not too hard to survive with a minimalistic existence if you have stuff put away not (few hundred pounds of sugar/salt (pickling salt too!).  Just takes some foresight and planning.

        If a farm doesn’t pay for itself within the first 3 years (just its yearly costs at least maybe not a profit), you’re doing something very wrong and should think about bailing after the 4th year and realize you’re not a business person.  Or change what you’re doing (raise/grow something different).  Just instead of thinking outside the box, realize it doesn’t exist 😉

      40. Reb:  You are really talking about three different things so lets look at them:
        1)You believe raw milk is safe.  I hear that from proponents of raw milk but the facts prove you wrong.  If you drink raw milk and as you say you are healthy is that “proof”?  Obviously not and if that is your proof then the discussion is ended because you are obvioulsy biased.  Raw milk kills.  I do believe that you as an adult has the perfect right to drink raw milk but I also think no one has the right to sell it into our food stream becaus eof the risks.

        2) The CDC and FDA do good and important things.  Do you really want them to go away just so you can drink raw milk?  The FDA properly identified raw milk as dangerous.  This isn’t arguable!!  No one who knows anything about this subject would deny raw milk is dangerous.  The ONLY reason only a few hunder people are sickened or killed by raw milk is because of the controls placed on it.  Without those controls innocent people, people who had no intention of taking the risk of drinking raw milk, would be sickened or die as a result.  The FDA has the legal authority to regulate food and thank god that they do.  I for one don’t want to wait until people start dropping like flies to convince all the raw milk proponents.

        3)  Crisco!  Seriously you think milk or crisco is going to kill you?  Some people have a genetic predisposition to have high cholesterol and those people usually have a cholesterol level three times higher then normal.  They need medication and strict diets to reduce their cholesterol to normal.  If you do not have this disease a little fat and oils won’t hurt you.  In fact you cannot live without it fat or cholesterol.  Recent studies have concluded that cutting cholesterol from your diet is harmful and still doesn’t reduce blood cholesterol levels significantly.  Another interesting fact is that most people who have heart attacks do not have high cholesterol levels and most people with high cholesterol levels do not have heart attacks.    Go figure!   

      41. Gone with the wind…..methinks trying to convince you is not worth the effort,you  believe what you wish,you have no facts to prove anything you assert except to quote some supposed finding by CDC/FDA ,I have dealt with them and USDA for years and I do not believe anything the govt or its criminal agencies say,so lets just agree to disagree,I will continue to do what I do and  help people find the way back to healthy food and independence.

      42. @GoneWithTheWind – Raw milk is available at local markets in Europe and has never been banned.  How many deaths do they have a year from it?  I guess Europeans are tougher then Americans.

        The FDA files reports as fact done by corporations without checking the facts themselves.  Heck drug companies now give a go/no-go notice on their own drugs!

        Government inspectors miss so many blaring problems people die often.  In Canada, a country with 1/10th the population of the US they have MORE inspectors then we do and the FDA says they don’t need more.  Yup.  I like the FDA, to go away.

        I tend to listen to Canadian/European food agencies on what is safe/not safe as they do their own testing and use independent labs instead of ones from the company pushing the product/view.  Call me scientific, I just prefer it that way.  You know, unbiased. 

        Feel free to keep believing everything the government feeds you though, unemployment is only 9.6% and the recovery is in full swing.  Smile, it will all be great because they know what they’re doing.  But please, turn over your weapons they’re not safe for you, a mere civilian to operate and the risk of serious injury is so high.

      43. Reb; You are finally correct on something.  You are indeed wasting your time.  Anyone who says “I do not believe anything the govt or its criminal agencies say” is indeed wasting their time argueing with anyone.

        Mike L  You call yourself scientific but reject any science that does not support your pre-conceived ideas.  You support the Canadian and European food agencies but not the U.S. food agencies.  For the most part everything controversial that the European food agencies have been involved in was simple turf war, i.e. if it wasn’t thought of there then it’s no good.  They are deeply infested by pseudo-scientific types who are afraid of anything not “European”.  Canada is a little better but still has kooks and nuts on their various agencies.  

        You lack an arguement to support your biases so you devolve into ad hominem attacks.  This is about the safety of raw milk.  If you have nothing to contribute then say nothing.  Don’t go off on some tangent about unemployment or my weapons!  Not very scientific!!     

      44. @GoneWithTheWind – You are right.  The US has no kooks what-so-ever.  They’re perfect.  You may continue to believe everything they tell you to be the truth, that is your fundamental right and I have no desire to take that from you.

        But your rejection of science from out the USA is ignorant at best.  In most cases doctors coming from the US into Canada or Europe have to be retrained to those countries standards, where as doctors going from Western Europe/Canada can go directly to work in the USA.  I know this because my neighbor is from England and did not have to do anything when she came here to the US of A before opening her practice.

        Rejection of scientific evidence is not scientific either just because it is from outside the US of A.  Millions of consumers in Europe buying raw milk in their grocery stores are not dropping dead.  That’s pretty scientific and something you flat out ignored.

      45. Gone w/wind,
         Do you work for the govt/corp? Do you recieve some stipend from the govt/corp? No one who honestly thinks for a minute and has even miniscule powers of reason is so supportive of govt/corp and so ignorant of reality….very sad… MIKE L .  has it right; you ignore the facts.

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