Hey friends! It’s Gubba and welcome back to the Gubba Podcast. I’m a first time homesteader following in the footsteps of my homesteading forbearers. I’m also a prepper and have a special interest in preparing for the future and here on this podcast I discuss everything from homesteading and self-sufficiency tips to preparedness and building a food storage.
Check out my weekly episode to join the conversation.
How do you beat the supply shortage?
Today I want to talk about building a food storage and more specifically about how to beat the shortages. I have plenty of resources on my website gubbahomestead.com that go into detail on how to start prepping, what items to buy, how to build a food storage, and how to create storage for your prep items. Over the past two years, it has been shortage after shortage and supply chain issues. I keep seeing and reading about “meat shortages” and skyrocketing “meat prices” AND People are posting pictures of the shelves being barren of meat at their grocery stores and how prices have tripled or more for some kinds of meat. I always take what I see on the internet with a grain of salt because I know a lot of things are fabricated and weaponized to fear-monger. However, I have personally seen barren meat shelves and higher prices for meat at my local grocery store. So it became more of a reality than fiction to me.
How do I start prepping?
For some, seeing barren shelves can inspire panic but if you are prepared, it just inspires you to get crafty. It’s difficult to go to the store and see empty shelves and pay exorbitant prices for meat, and it can also be difficult to source out local farmers (who I can tell you are not experiencing meat shortages and will actually laugh if you ask them about it.) At this point in time though, you need to choose your kind of difficulty. Running around to different stores with your fingers crossed hoping to find what you need or figure out a reliable source. Why is this narrative of meat being bad for you and a meat shortage being pushed? Is it to push us to eat the gobbledy-gook of the Beyond burger? I really don’t know. All I know is, now is a great time to start supporting your local farmers. Even if you live in a city, I promise you that there are options. You may have to drive, but there are going to be other like-minded people like you who you can group up with and take turns going to the source of your local farmers. Sourcing out to your local farmers is one way to beat the meat shortage and also other food shortages. Maybe you’ll find a farmer who does meat + produce. I have and this summer I will be getting local, fresh produce weekly from a farmer. I’m pretty excited and the best thing about that is I don’t have to be dependent on a grocery store.
I feel like we all learned the lesson to not be dependent on grocery stores. And if you still are and operate under the mindset of “well, I live close to a grocery store so why do I need to stock up” I don’t understand that thinking because did we not all learn the same lesson in a few years ago? 2020 was weird and there have been perpetual waves of weird happenings taking place at the grocery stores with supply chain issues and crazy people, so can we just stop being dependent on grocery stores. We don’t even have to be completely independent but just start weaning ourselves off of this flawed system. If you only keep a stock of a few days or weeks’ worth of food and are running multiple times to the grocery store weekly, I hate to break it to you but you are operating on a flawed system. When SHTF, and you either have to stay locked down, or there is unrest making it unsafe to go to the store, what the heck are you gonna do? Maybe these situations seem unrealistic, but if you’ve been present the past few years, these situations are extremely realistic.
A way to beat the weirdness and set up a safety net for yourself and your family is to look around your area. Most grocery stores have items shipped in so that’s why they can be unreliable. What happens when the truck drivers go on strike and the supply stops coming? SO Seek out local resources that you can travel to yourself or have items delivered. Maybe there is a local farm that produces milk and cheese, so now you have a reliable and local source for milk and cheese. Once you have found this source, start stocking up in an efficient manner. Maybe you have a freeze dryer, so start freeze drying that milk and cheese and putting it into your long term food storage. If milk and cheese aren’t something you want to bulk up on, that’s fine and at least now you have a local source! So when the grocery store is out of milk and cheese, you will still have a supply because the farmer’s most likely aren’t going to be affected from a truck driver protest.
The best thing about finding even one source of some item you need is this opens up a snowball effect for you. For example, I found a local source for meat and this farmer also raises goats so they instantly became a resource for me for raising goats. I went to them for just meat but then was also able to try some goat milk and they became a source for that as well. ALSO This first farmer I came in contact with has been a wealth of knowledge regarding other local farmer’s and what they produce. Through her, I was able to make contact with other farmers and so you can see how my web of networking has grown from just finding one farmer. It may take a little digging at first, but once you get the ball rolling, it keeps going.
How do I find local farmers?
The best resource I have found for finding local farmers has been the Weston A. Price foundation. To put it simply, they are an amazing foundation based on the findings of a dentist about 100 years ago. He studied remote peoples and their diets and learned how the incorporation of western diets – seed oils, sugars, etc, deformed the people and deteriorated their health. So this foundation is all about the ancestral wisdom he recorded and they advocate for food freedom which I really love. But they have local chapters and each chapter has a leader. I will post the link in the show notes, so you can find your local chapter. The leader’s information is listed on their website so you can email or call them and ask for resources in your area. Hopefully they are a good leader. I’ve worked with two now and it was a night and day difference. One had a whole word document of all the resources in our area from doctors and dentists who practice holistic ancestral wisdom to raw milk sources and farm fresh meat sources. The other chapter leader referred me to a whole foods store and that was the best they could do. I was already aware of farms in the area, but was curious for more resources so I reached out and they replied with whole foods. I chuckled a little to myself and wondered why the heck they’re even a chapter leader. Anyway, they’re a good place to start when searching for local farm fresh goods. If your chapter leader is a dud, look online. Facebook even has good resources for your local area—find special farming groups near you.
By sourcing out local productions and co-ops, you are beating the shortages. Like I said, most of these places aren’t dependent on trucks delivering things. Heck, the beef I bought a few months ago was organic, grass-fed, pasture raised ground beef and it was 4.50/lb. Super cheap for that quality! I even saw in the newspaper an ad for the same kind of beef for $4/lb. Nothing like quality and great prices! Local butchers are a great place to starting sourcing locally as well because they are processing the meat for the surrounding area. I’ve found them to be a good resource for questions surrounding meat as well. I’m happy to spend my money supporting local. And once you start spending your money locally and stop supporting the cash cows of the grocery stores, you’re able to facilitate local growth and people supporting themselves instead of being choked out by the giants. Support your farmers. I’m still disturbed how Walmart and Costco were able to remain open in the height of the pandemic but mom and pop shops had to close. I remember going to Costco and it was jammed with people. Same with Walmart. Was it really about safety? Sometimes I can’t help but wonder.
How do I buy food in bulk?
Another way to beat the shortages and the rise in prices is to buy in bulk. Go in with friends and family and purchase goods in bulk and use different means for putting them into storage. Buying in bulk saves you money. You can source bulk products from your grocery stores and they’ll usually give you a good deal OR my very favorite bulk buying store is Azure Standard which is an online grocery store where you do once a month pick ups. I did an entire podcast episode dedicated to them. Make lists of what you have and what you need then purchase in bulk if possible. Azure has different bulk buying options and they tell you the price difference between the options which I love. If you buy in bulk now and store the food then the food prices rise, you are saving yourself because you won’t have to buy as much at the raised price if that makes sense. Even if it isn’t much, it is something.
I think the world is wild but you can find peace in being prepared. I love being able to feel comfortable if the electricity goes out or if there is another worldwide shutdown. I know that I have the supplies to get me through. I know how to prepare what I have. I have alternatives for cooking that aren’t energy dependent. You can do this too. Start by building your food storage week by week. Think of supplies you need to operate daily. My goal is to thrive under any circumstance and not just survive. It is possible to do this! You need to start somewhere.
How do I prepare food?
It is a good idea to keep in mind as you purchase your foods how you will prepare them. How will you cook up the meat you purchased? Maybe it’s a wise idea to purchase a gas operated BBQ or camping stove. Think of the tools you will need to cook up that meat—pots, pans, utensils. Do you have all of that? If you’ve seen my prepper supply storage YouTube video, you know I stock up on small cannisters of gas that power my BBQ and camping stove. Cast iron is also great because you can cook directly over a fire with those. Maybe get a cast iron pan or two and look at a cast iron dutch oven. A cast iron dutch oven is an absolute beast, but you can make whole meals in them. Generally, you use coals for dutch oven cooking but you can get crafty with preparing meals in them. Make sure when you get your cast iron to properly season it. I would suggest using lard or avocado oil for seasoning. Basically, you coat it in the fat or oil then place it in your oven at 450F for 30 minutes upside down so the oil runs off, then take it out and repeat the process. Doing this builds up a non stick cast iron pan! Cast iron can also last forever. I sure wish I had my grand parents’ cast iron. Food preparation is as important as food preservation.
I want to thank you all for listening to today’s episode, I hope you enjoyed it. We sure do live in peculiar times, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find joy in what is around us. The earth is beautiful, summer is around the corner, and the sunshine brings warmth into our hearts. I hope you have a wonderful day and don’t do anything a gubba wouldn’t do!