How much does your life change while living on just your food storage? How drastic that change will be depends on how much you cook from scratch right now. If you already cook all of your food, then it might not be as difficult as you think.
Our main challenges during our 6 weeks of living on food storage:
1. There weren’t any snacks for easy grabbing, such as pretzels, saltines, or fresh fruit. I had to plan ahead to make snacks from scratch because I hadn’t stored up enough of ready-made snacks and the fresh fruit ran out after a couple of weeks. This was due to my poor planning!
2. We had to adjust to a lot less meat and dairy. This was a positive change, for the most part. I worked around my normal menu to exclude cheesy or meaty meals so we could conserve resources. It worked!
3. We ate less fresh stuff. This was the hardest part for me, but we were still able to eat 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies every day. Homemade sprouts were a lifesaver!
4. I’d like to say that we ate fewer desserts, but that wasn’t true. My goal was 1 treat a week, but we ate more like 2. Consequently, we ran out of butter/oil sooner than we should have, so bread got really boring.
5. We had to meet our nutritional needs a little differently. 3-5 servings of fruits and veggies, lots of whole grains, and only 1-2 servings of meat and dairy is enough to live on, even if it doesn’t seem to fit the food pyramid (or plate, as it now is). To replace the meat, dairy, and produce that we were missing, we ate a lot more whole-grain bread products. It got a little boring at times, but it was filling. Just make sure that you don’t run out of butter! We did, and we really craved the fat. If you don’t store/eat enough fat (which is an efficient source of calories), you will feel hungry. This is not the time to be a carb- or lipophobe. Though I was eating a lot more bread than normal, I didn’t gain any weight.
6. I spent less time cooking overall. This was a little sad for me because I love to chop up fresh veggies much more than just opening a can. The only time I spent more time cooking was when I ran out of tortillas. (Rolling out lots of dough: not my favorite!)
These are the biggest challenges that we faced while actually living on our food storage. Most would have been somewhat preventable if I’d been a little better prepared, but I’m glad for what I learned.