Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Food Storage

I just heard from an Egyptian man who belongs to our church. He bore testimony of the principle of provident living:

I am so gratful to Gordon B Hinckley. I stored food and medicine for a month. I hope the branch to stay in Egypt.

Shortly before we left Egypt we had a fireside about provident living—living within your means, setting money and supplies (food, medicine, clothing, etc) for a "rainy day," learning first aid, and so forth. We talked about how important it is for those living abroad to have a three month supply of food and water and things. In North America we're encouraged to have a year's supply but when you're living in a tiny apartment it's pretty difficult to store enough food to last your family for very long.

Food storage isn't something that people do in Egypt, either. It's hard, first of all, to keep the pests away. Rats, cockroaches, ants, weevils, matter how hard we tried we were always plagued by something. Second, since food storage isn't something Egyptians do it's difficult to find and purchase things like whole grains, 50 lbs. sacks of flour, storage buckets, and so forth. There simply isn't enough of anything on the store shelves—we've been known to clear out a row of something once it appeared on the shelf, muttering apologies to anyone who comes looking for the product later only to find the shelf empty.

We did our best to have a supply of food and water stored up in our house, but it was definitely difficult. We didn't use our supply when we were there and I'm not sure we had enough food for three months, but we did have enough to last us through several weeks. We even stored tap water so that we could flush our toilet with that when the water was out instead of having to use fresh water.

I remember when we finally found whole wheat flour. I had started making bread because the store bought bread left much to be desired. We bought three or four 1 kg packages of whole wheat flour, nearly clearing out the stock the store had, and brought it home to make some bread.

When we opened the package we were very disappointed because instead of containing a flour-like substance it looked like someone had filled the bag with straw. I'm pretty sure they took a whole sheath of wheat and mulched the whole thing! It was not the whole wheat flour I was expecting.

We used it up, anyway, by mixing it in with white flour. It certainly added some roughage to our diet, that's for sure.

I'm so glad that our friend listened to the counsel of the prophet and started storing away supplies for that crisis that no one ever thought would happen. I hope that he can keep safe and that he'll have enough food and water to last him and his family until more supplies become available. From what I am hearing, delivery trucks are being delayed and cities are running out of necessities.


  1. Nancy, I've been so interested in what you have to say about the current conflict in Egypt. The press leaves much to be desired in trying to decipher what is really happening, why and what are the consequences. I love reading your blog. You share the greatest adventures! Hope you're getting some sleep.

  2. I agree, I've been coming here to see what you say about Egypt as well. (Well, and to see your cute family, of course!)

    Did you know they don't say a years supply even here any more? It's get 3 months, and then work on longer term.