In Jim Cook's Archive


My wife was driving up to the Costco in Sarasota to buy groceries for guests. I said I’d go along so I could buy some food for storage. The coronavirus reminded me that food shortages were possible in a pandemic. In Hong Kong, Reuters reports, “Chaos has erupted in some areas as supermarkets have imposed limits on how many items customers can buy. Hundreds of shoppers have thronged aisles of supermarkets as they struggle to buy up as many consumer staples – rice, water, meat, noodles etc. – as they can. ‘Everyone’s snatching whatever they can get. I don’t even know what’s going on,’ said a 72-year-old woman surnamed Li as she clutched two bags of toilet rolls.”

When we got to Costco, my wife suggested we split up. She took a cart to get the things on her list and I took a cart to buy some food for storage. It took me a long time to find items that were good until 2022 so I only had 4 things in my cart when she wheeled up with a full cart. Then she gave me the horse-laugh over my choices. She is diet- and health-conscious and avoids eating a lot of the things I like. So my choice of Spam, Vienna sausage and chili made her roll her eyes. “If the virus doesn’t kill you, your food choices will,” she chortled. Days later she was still telling friends what I bought and laughing about it. Nevertheless, I have the stuff tucked away and I’m glad I have it, just in case.

I also ordered a large box of freeze-dried storage food from Costco. It’s called Easy Prep and it is 256 servings you cook in the bag and it lasts 25 years. Years ago, the newsletter editor Howard Ruff introduced me to the idea of food storage. He explained that Mormons believe it’s important to have a reserve supply of food. Consequently, I ordered a large supply of freeze dried food and had it delivered to my home in Minneapolis. Twenty years later, I threw it all out and ordered a new supply. Subsequently, I tossed that and restocked with modern freeze-dried food from Costco. Although some people claim it’s tasty, I’ve never eaten any of the stuff and I hope I never do. I can’t imagine how bad things would have to be before you relied on storage food, however, it’s a form of insurance that I feel is prudent.

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