According to a survey conducted in 2011, 28 percent of Americans do not know how to cook. However, let’s ponder a moment, and then ask ourselves what is the definition of cooking ( Foodworksblog , 2011).
Is it pulling a frozen meal from the freezer and popping it in the microwave to thaw and cook. Is it buying a roasted chicken from your favorite market and bringing it home with heat and eat mashed potatoes, coleslaw from the deli, along with warm and serve biscuits.
Is it mixing flour and spices and cutting up a whole chicken and then drenching said chicken, in buttermilk, or in egg wash and then coating it in the flour and spice mixture and then frying it in hot oil to a safe internal temperature to destroy any bacteria present. Is it mixing flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, lard, and buttermilk, and making your own fresh biscuits. What is it exactly that 28 percent of Americans cannot do?
When The SHTF, and you find you are in a survival situation, heat and eat, thaw and serve and packages of ready to eat foods will not be available. No more snacks, no more microwaves, toasters, pre-made sandwiches, and pizza deliveries will be just a fond memory, just something to tell your grandchildren about and then hear them scoff at the notion of such nonsense.
What will be available then? Well, you may have wild game, chickens, and tame rabbits that roam the area because their owners abandoned their farms and then there is flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, oils, and lard in which to cook with, because all of the survival articles tell you to stock up on such staples. Rice, beans and dried pastas will have to be cooked and seasoned, as well, and you need some know how.
There may be salted and dried meats, dried fruits and smoked wild game, and wild edibles, all of which will need to be prepared before they can be put on the table and called a meal.
Do you know how to butcher meat, clean fish, mix and stir the meats and spices, flour and salt together to make a meal, if not you will starve, simple logic right.
When both of you work and you have a family to feed, no one has time to cook a meal from scratch. It is called convenience food for a reason. Stop by the market or the nearest drive-thru on the way home and dinner is taken care of. Breakfast is toaster meals, microwave breakfast burritos, and lunch is a vending machine or the nearest drive-thru again.
You drag out the grill on weekends and burn some meat and proclaim you are a chef. This is great until, until the drive-thru is destroyed, and the markets are shuttered, and fresh meat from the butcher is a fantasy. Do you know where to begin?
Cooking is not easy, especially when there is no refrigeration. In years past, the ladies of the home spent a large part of their day preparing meals. Working people typically ate three meals a day. The men came in from early morning chores for a hearty breakfast, and noon dinner as they called it was a large meal and then supper was soup and bread or leftovers from the larger meal at noon. Hard work, careful planning, and knowledge made it all work.
According to the CDC, roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of food borne diseases every year. Food can kill, and imagine if all of the safeguards we have today are no longer in place.
Black-market food will be a big business during a crisis. Where did the food come from, who handled it and how old is the food. You will not know, and if you do not know how to handle food, cook to the proper temperatures, and keep your work area properly sanitized, you could get sick or worse as a result.
You do need your own food source, or know your source is reliable and know how to prepare, store and cook food to keep everyone safe and still provide the proper nutrients.
Work up to it. You cannot become a French chef overnight, but you don’t need to be a school-trained chef. Simple ingredient meals will suffice. Keep in mind you will likely be more active during a crisis, because you will have to walk more and there will not be electronic gadgets to sit in front of for hours at a time. You will need proteins, fats, grains, and other healthy building blocks to maintain your energy levels. Simple foods, simple ingredients prepared correctly will get the job done and keep everyone healthy.
Foodworksblog . (2011). Retrieved 2016, from https://foodworksblog.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/28-percent-of-americans-cant-cook/
CDC. (2014). Retrieved 2016, from https://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/