It’s all over the news right now. Food security and scarcity.
It can be kinda scary seeing. . .
- people waiting in long lines for food at food banks.
- farmers plowing under crops because they have no one to sell them to.
- large food packaging plants closing because of the pandemic.
All of these things have become our reality now, atleast for the the near future.
How do we make sure we have enough food to feed our families now and in the future?
5 Ways to Increase Your Food Security
1. Grow your own food
This is usually the first answer we get when talking about food security. Grow your own food so you know you will have some for your family.
And I totally agree. If you can grow food at home, even if it is just in pots and containers, do it. You can control what varieties you eat and how they were grown.
You can also teach your children how to grow their own food so they will be able to use that skill in the future.
Here are some resources to help you get started growing your own food:
2. Raise your own meat
You don’t have to have a huge amount of acreage to raise your own meat.
If you don’t have lots of room, cattle won’t make much sense.
But you can still raise your own meat on a smaller scale with rabbits, meat chickens and turkeys.
Having these resources on your own homestead will ensure you have meat no matter what happens out in the world.
Here are some resources to help you get started raising your own meat on a small scale:
3. Join a CSA
I discuss CSAs and why we joined one this year in this post from a couple of weeks ago –> 9 Tips to Thrive On Your Homestead During Quarantine.
But I think it’s important to mention here again because it is a great way to ensure food security with fresh food.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and is a way for consumers to buy produce (and other things) directly from farmers.
Since we don’t know if or how farmers markets will work this year, I want to make sure our family can get food directly from our local farmers.
The CSA we have joined delivers vegetables straight to our door for 22 weeks out of the year. It averages about $30 a week, including delivery.
The big thing you need to know about CSAs is that you are asked to pay for the whole summer’s worth of food up front. That can be a big hit to the budget, so you should plan accordingly.
Joining a CSA helps me support our local farmers, get fresh produce delivered to my door and allows me to supplement my own garden harvest, which won’t be as large as gardens in the past.
I’m sure they will be planting lots of varieties I haven’t tried yet, so it will help our family become more well rounded as well.
4. Buy meat straight from the farm
Meat is a big part of our diet, especially since my husband and I have been on the keto (low carb) diet for awhile now.
A big part of food insecurity during this pandemic is meat packaging plants that are closing because of the virus. That will trickle down to the grocery stores, most likely adding to food shortage and price increases.
Just like a CSA, many small farms and ranches are selling meat straight to consumers from the farm. This gives more profit to the farm, allows for more organic and grass fed options and decreases contamination.
In the past, we have used ButcherBox as a source of online meat purchasing for our family. Here is a review of ButcherBox and how we felt about it —> An Honest ButcherBox Review from a Subscription Box Sceptic.
I still think ButcherBox is a great service, but I wanted to go even more direct to farm. I wanted to support small farmers I got to know thru Instagram. I have gotten to know their families, their farming practices and want to support them when I can.
These small farms/ranches have one time purchasing and subscription boxes where you can buy certain cuts of beef, pork and chicken and they will ship it to your house.
Here are a few I recommend:
5. Increase your food storage
Food storage is key to having healthy food to eat all year round.
Preserving food from your garden or a CSA gives you healthy food that will stay nutrient rich for months to come.
Keeping your freezer full of meats you’ve harvested yourself or sourced from other reliable places adds essential protein and fats to your diet.
Food storage doesn’t have to be ramen and gatorade, although if that’s what you need buy to get started go ahead.
Here are some resources to help you get started gathering food and storing it for your family:
I realize that if you have lost your job, now is probably not the time to do these things. You need to meet your immediate needs first before you can plan for the future.
This economic mess will pass, hopefully within the next month or two.
But I worry that people will go back to work and quickly forget what happened without learning the lesson of food security.
This will not be the last time food security will be an issue in our lives. We need to be prepared to find food other places besides grocery stores and restaurants.
If you think about it, food security and quality are at the heart of homesteading. We want to make sure we have quality food for our family, no matter what is going on in the outside world.
This is essential to our existence. Because one of these days, the food pantries might run out of food.
Start devising a plan today so that you won’t be hurting when it does.
How do you ensure food security for your family? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!