A Year's Supply of Food?

I’ve heard that Mormons all stockpile a year’s supply of food. Is this true? Our family has begun a programme of stockpiling in preparation for hard times to come. I think the Mormons have a good idea.

It helps to be really organized to have food on hand at all times. The stockpile needs to be inventoried with the type of food, size, date purchased, use by date. The inventory needs to be regularly updated to remove food used and add food purchased.

Mormons use several methods such as dry pack canning to store food. You may want to visit some Mormon web sites to get more information.

It might be wise to stockpile food, but the underlying assumption in doing so is that there is soon going to be a starvation crisis in the U.S. I remember a time in the 1980s when a lot of people went to the sources Mormons used for all that storage food and bought a lot of it. Didn’t need it, though, and it was a waste of time, emotion and money.

It’s very possible we’re now in a “commodities bubble” that will burst in time. Purchasers of storage food now might be buying at the very top. I remember the “gold fever”, “land fever” and the “silver fever” of thirty years ago, which coincided with the “storage food” fever. Lots of folks went broke buying into that. Bought at the top, sold at the bottom.

I remember a local “hillbilly” who, upon being told by a Mormon that, no, when the “tribulation” came, he would not share his food stores. “Try to keep us from it” was the response. The “hillbilly” whom I knew well, was a former Marine, a veteran of Viet Nam, and I knew right then that if a real starvation time came, it would be pointless to have a bunch of food stored up unless one also had the capability of guarding it indefinitely against people who were real experts in the use of force.

Mormons believe that a “great tribulation”, lasting perhaps a year, is coming. That’s their religion, and it has its own logic and persuasiveness to them because it is part of their religion. For the rest of us, it’s just a notion about something that has never actually happened in the U.S., and which nobody really has a good reason to believe will happen.

I think it’s a good idea, theology or not. We are too complacent in America. We assume that the supermarkets will always be well stocked and our infrastructure intact.

It wouldn’t take much to knock down that house of cards.

Our family is not going to share with anyone the fact that we are stockpiling food. We plan to do so quietly.

exactly! i have had this conversation very recently with mormon friends. storing a year’s supply of food is merely storing it for the neighbors with guns. when people get hungry all sense of restraint is going to be abandoned by the unchurched. your friendly next door neighbor of today will become the murderer of the tribulation. he will use his weapons to take what he needs.

this is why it really only makes sense to store about a week’s worth of food. that way you can get past just about any natural disaster, like an earthquake or flood, until civilization returns.

but I guess some sects think they will survive the “bbiblical” tribulation that signifies the end times, brought to bear by God. That takes a pretty strange interpretation of scripture.

Didn’t Joseph, in the Old Testament, have a vision of 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine? He told this to Pharoh who saved grain and was prepared.

I don’t see anything wrong with preparing for eventualities. We can’t always be guarunteed that our food supply will be constant. We could very well be facing more scarcity in the future.

We were listening to a radio interview of an economist who stated that stockpiling food is currently a better investment than putting money in the bank because food is going up in price faster than interest rates on savings accounts. So, we decided to buy extra on each supermarket visit. Whatever is on sale that is non-perishable, I’m buying large amounts and storing.

well, i don’t think it is harmful to stockpile food. it can’t hurt. it could help. the question is how much to stockpile. a year’s supply seems very extreme to me. a large family of six or eight people would need an enormous storage space, and maintenance of that stockpile in terms of rotation to prevent spoilage would require a huge investment of time and attention.

again I would suggest a weeek or two supply is sufficient, and makes excellent sense.

a year supply is an extreme application of an otherwise good idea, and suggests that it has origins in an extreme religion.

your reference to the 7 years of famine in Egypt is another issue altogether. after all, a year supply wouldn’t take care of the left over 6 years, and besides, within a month or two in modern times a neighboring army would arrive to take the food and kill whoever got in their way.

the only thing that really makes sense is to rely on God for all provision. take prudent steps to have a reasonable supply of food on hand, especially so that you can help to feed other hungy people by sharing, and let God sort out the details.

If you buy food in bulk when it’s on sale, you’ll automatically stockpile food. There is not the least doubt in my mind that my wife and I could survive for at least a month on what we have right now, but that’s not a plan, that’s just because of the way we buy things. I butcher beef, buy whole hogs and buy poultry products from a factory store in 30 lb boxes, several at a time. My wife buys case lots of canned goods and always has a lot of flour, rice and beans on hand because its economical to do that, and it’s convenient. (If the electricity went out for an extended period, we sure would have to have a big barbecue and spread the meat around, though.)

I don’t think there is any harm in having a bunch of food on hand, but I will say that truly long-term-storage food is really expensive. I do know that particular group of Mormons with which I was familiar, did “rotate” their food stocks, because it will go bad eventually, no matter how it’s stored.

The story of Joseph is believable to me. The Nile Valley is very productive at times and would have been with a much smaller population as well. Well stored grain in the desert will last a long time, indeed. They have found grain in ancient tombs that was still good. Ancient Egyptians were also big eaters of fish from the Nile. Bread, fish and beer made from grain were the main constituents of their diet even in good times. So, I can believe the Joseph story. But storing grain in jars out in the desert and trying to store it here (in my area, we get about four feet of rain per year, and the humidity will take your breath away at times) are entirely different things.

So, again, I don’t begrudge anybody storing food. However, I would caution that beyond a point it becomes very expensive and exacting.

If I expected the economy and food supplies to break down, I would be storing over-the-counter medicines, disinfectants, household products (toilet paper…oh yes), .22, 9mm and 20-06 ammunition, fishooks and line. Trade goods requiring very little special storage effort, but which everybody with the stored food (or food on the hoof) will want.

in Ohio we lived in a neighborhood with several Mormon families and their practice was to stockpile 6 months worth of non-perishible food, water and other necessities, they had lists of what to get, how to store, how to label, but key thing was they rotated and used it up, didn’t just stick cans in a basement. they were big on grinding their own flour from locally grown grain, and there were a couple of mills that catered to them, and they had special storage for grain and flours. which would be good to have in any case for those who do rely on such. I never heard anything about the tribulation (which doesn’t mean much, since I did not solicit the info) but it was presented in more of a prudential light and part of a family being self-reliant.

I used to stockpile a month or so of non-perishable food and other necessities because of getting stuck in blizzards with no way to shop for days and days and with 3 babies it really panicked me. Now except for hurricane season (and I will take care of this in the next couple of weeks) and food for a week, in forms that can be eaten without cooking, and carried easily, I got out of the habit.

My parents have tried to keep a stockpile of food. It came in real handy when my dad was out of work for a few years. As far as the neighbors go a lot of LDS carry and most I know plan on sharing anyways.

One needs to remember that in the Great Depression there was no food shortage. There was actually a glut while people were malnourished and some starved. What people did not have is money; the saving of which might not be a terrible idea.

But, of course, if the government’s money is no good, as in Weimar Germany, things like food become terribly expensive. God, however, not only retains its value, but its value is enhanced in a superinflationary environment.

I’m not sure that’s where we’re headed though. Gold traders are the “canary in the mine” as far as inflation is concerned. Gold is well off its high of the year. It bobs up a bit here and there, but the trend is definitely down.

Again, though, if a person stockpiles food that he or she is really going to eat in the normal course of things, I see no harm in it.

We are counselled to do that, or at least a 72 hour emergency pack, however there are many that do not for one reason or another. Our family began to organize our storage, using the things we would normally eat so that we could rotate the supplies. This is not an over night exercise, and takes quite a long time to determine what your needs are and how best to purchase and store them, it can be a fun exercise thou.

These stores are not just against a time of scarcity but also for those times when jobs are lost and or money is tight. We were blessed to be able to help out a neighbour who was between jobs, after which his family began their own program. Yes the LDS are big on this type of thing, but anyone can begin to do the same. I’m sure if you asked the Mormons that you know, they would be happy to provide you with the information you need to get organised and started. The best way to get started it to just buy a few extra things that you normally would buy (especially if they are on sale). Be careful of the expire dates of the products related to the amount of time you plan on holding the items in reserve.

This has nothing to do with religious differences so feel free to ask someone if you are interested.


Give us this day our daily bread. Not years worth.

We always have extra food in the pantry. We could probably survive several months and not go hungry. We do not go out of our way to hord for fear of war or famine, or end times. We shop at a large store in volume and have groceries on hand to help out the food bank and feed guests. What we have to think about when it comes to hording and stockpiling huge amounts of any commodity is the fact that hording creates shortages and the price of goods goes way up in price. The real answer is “everything in moderation”, let common sense prevail.

Mom of 5

That’s a sensible approach. We aren’t being totally systematic about this, just buying big amounts of items we usually buy when they are on sale.

correct. I believe there can be a fine line between prudent gathering, and hoarding. hoarding must be a type of sin.

seems to me one proper function of religious teaching is to emphasize the things that lead away from sin rather than towards.

I am not aware of any Catholic teachings that encourage hoarding of supplies, or material goods, or wealth. far from it, in fact, we are continually urged to give things away, to not hoard, to share sacrificially, to consume with a mind that acknowledges the hunger and illnesses of the world.

so I would see a religion that encouraged hoarding to be one out of step with Jesus’ teachings. Jesus, so far as I know, taught against hoarding.

Being prepard for hard times or for natural disaster is not hording. There is nothing to prevent someone who stored food from sharing the stores with neighbors.

Being prepared is an act of Prudence which I believe is one of the Cardinal Virutes.

The prayer was written when people baked their bread daily as they still do in many countries.

It makes no mention of storing up wheat or flour, sugar or salt.

absolutely correct and my previous posts, including the one to which you replied here, make this point exactly.

the distinction is between prudent preparation, and hoarding. a year’s supply of food (and whatever else) seems like hoarding to me. now I believe hoarding is a type of mental disorder. I have the tendency myself, and have observed it in many others, especailly older people who having enough money will buy way more of things than they can possible every use anytime soon. dozens of pairs of shoes, closets full of lotion and razor blades, these are criticisms of me, for I am prone to hoard, so I know a little about how the disorder develops.

it starts with a noble ppurpose, and gradually gets out of hand.

that is why I be;leive that a religion which teaches the accumulation of a year’s foodsupply (and other supplies) is promoting, rather than hindering, the hoarding disease.

Don’t you think that western culture encourages the acquisition and accumulation of “stuff” over the reliance, daily, upon the providence of God? wouldn’t a correct religion work against what secular culture encourages? which is the storing up of supplies while millions around the globe go hungry, not for want of enough food production, but because it is being stored up rather than distributed?

I think you make a good point. Right now the press is full of stories about shortages of rice in many parts of the of the world. Here in Arkansas there is a bumper crop of rice because Americans are starting to hoard. I have one large bag of rice in my pantry which I bought before there was any new of the shortage. It was on sale. It is more than enough to last my family a year.

If one really wants to trust in God and eat fresh food, one should shop every day like our great grandparents did. It is not a bad custom especially if you have a farmer’s market nearby.

Hoarding is a sign of bipolar disease. Not all people have a true depressive or true manic phase, but the impulse to buy beyond one’s needs has been connected to the disorder as well as to depression.

I also agree with your comments about materialism. I lived most of my life in southern California. It mattered where you lived; how big your house was; what you drove; what you wore. When I moved to a small town in Arkansas it was like a huge weight was off my shoulders. I no longer felt I was being judged. Now this is not a poor town by any stretch of the imagination. It has a bank for every 500 people and there are huge homes in the area. But the people here don’t flash their wealth. There is material wealth, but not nearly the materialism that is so prominent in SoCal.

I think that materialism is starting to fade in certain areas of the country. People, especially young people, are seeing that materialism can interfere with leading a happy and fulfilling life. At least I hope this is how things are going.

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