How long would your household food supply last?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by parmalee, May 24, 2019.

  1. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    3,266 the event of emergency.

    What few sources I can locate all state is that the average American household has only 3 days' worth of perishable and non-perishable foods. I find this most unlikely. Anyone know of any other such data, which might suggest a more plausible time period? And how long would your own household's supply of food last?

    We, two humans and two dogs, live in a very small house--an 18' x 22' A-frame. We grow a fair amount of our food, but we live in a zone 5a; however, I am building a greenhouse this summer, in order to extend our growing window. We don't really buy much in the way of packaged or prepared foods, so it's mostly raw ingredients for proper food, but still, our kitchen is quite small. Yet we've always got ample food to last between 4 and 8 weeks--I kind of obsessively track these sorts of things. It would get boring eventually, but will still be nutritionally adequate, at least.

    Anyways, that 3 day figure (for U.S. average) cannot possibly be right--I carry more food than that in a backpack or on my bicycle when I travel/hike! So what's the deal? Where is the real data hiding?
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  3. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    high density urban dwellers
    high density city dwellers
    rated against food shopping data

    false read = how many times do you go food shopping in a week
    how many days could you survive if you were stuck inside your house ?

    a vast percentage of the fat of income inequality is serviced via the lower working class as items of cost leveling purchase power.

    generally the most busiest new start 20 somethings have almost no food at all in the house and eat most of their meals out.

    this swings the data to present a false read.

    no one should really care about such people ?
    insert projected metaphors of moral accountability as a tool to manipulate data for corporatised(research is for profit, not for learning) greed leveraging.

    average wage
    average health cost
    average health insurance policy
    average car value
    average vacination rate
    average charitable donation
    average IQ
    average retirement savings
    average employer care of employees
    average rate of street crime

    all very wildly concocted to present data to sell at the cost of fact based learning.
    all leveraged inside the culture model of corrupted power and control idols.

    corporatised globalists cant sit by and allow self sufficiency to get established because it undermines their ability to control peoples resources and authority.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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  5. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Certainly, but by that much? Like I said, three days of food--food for a week, or longer, really--easily fits into a compact region of a backpack. And, incidentally, wherever I have encountered a figure, it is always "three days." So, presumably, they are all citing the same source--though without properly citing the source. FEMA? CDC? I dunno.
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  7. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    false data
    should read
    clean drinking water and water to wash with.

    most urban familys with babys and small children have habitualised around a 2 to 4 day dependence cycle.
    psychological dependence is closer to 1 to 2 days

    finding a real world median rather than an average is the science vs the scam artists selling surveys to government agencies.

    ask the same people what the mode wage is LOL

    leveraging ends of dependency with things like prescription drugs and how much people can get and store up.
    people counting dependence length by the number of plastic disposable nappies.
    etc etc...
    the real figure is more like a chart of different duration
    but its hard to sell an idea to those who do not wish to think outside their narcissistic hand to mouth greed and lust habituation.

    keep in mind with you having that much arable land you are in a small privileged percentage of society.
    that idea of privileged is poor advertising for the rich elitists so they seek to counter that with propaganda.
    that propaganda helps sell new plastic crap to consumers while controlling what they know.

    common sense and simple logic have no real baring on things in general
    if that is what your looking for.

    the real figure of survivability is around 5 to 7 days
    but the idea is to try and extend that to around 2 weeks, maybe a month.
    this helps keep the species alive long enough to breed and maintain authority structures.

    disease outbreaks and disease spread to death rates of disease & resistance and survivability from disease is also factored in.
    water borne disease and the survivability of the disease in water supply to infect connecting pockets of survivors.

    then the factor of interceding that survivability with superior supply and medication to enable re-connection of authority and supply chains.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Ever hear of the just-in-time concept in business? Many city dwellers these days pop to the shops every day, now that supermarket have self-checkout facilities so you don't have to queue to get your stuff beeped. Makes a lot of sense if you don't know each day whether you will eat at home or out somewhere. Reduces waste and maximises flexibility.

    I do it that way even though I'm retired. Get the bike out and pedal down the road to buy something for lunch and the evening meal. Bread only lasts 2 days anyway, so I have to go every other day minimum.

    I'm sure if I got stuck I could survive on what it is the house for several days: eggs tinned fish and tomatoes, pasta, cereal tea and coffee. If that is what you mean, then I expect you are right that people have 3 days of such emergency rations.
  9. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    Having lived in more than a handful of countries, and more than a couple dozen cities or unpopulated, middle-of-nowhere regions (I only do either-or, can't stand anything in between), I'm more than adequately familiar with the spectrum of living scenarios. I've also spent multiple, many months-long periods living from either a backpack or bicycle--even more restrictive, as far as storage goes. So...

    Anyways, the average home size in the U.S. is a whopping 2700 sq. ft. (yeah, insane). Needless to say, ample cabinet space, pantry, and at least one sizeable refrigerator with freezer. Moreover, most (~60 percent) Americans live in suburbs: again, huge-ass houses with supermarkets the size of multiple airport hangars. Yet a week's worth of food can easily fit into less than a cubic foot. So what's in the those several-hundred-cubic feet combined cabinets/pantries/refrigerators/freezers? Nothing?

    Also, and I shouldn't have to say this, but aren't we supposed to, at least, pretend that this is some sort of "science forum?" The sources I've seen all state that "the average American household has only 3 days' worth of perishable and non-perishable foods". (Emphasis mine, because, apparently, it's needed. Also, a median would also be helpful here--as well as simply more data, period--but that's not what we've got.) That's bullshit. Roughly 60 percent of Americans live in suburbs (pure hell, but whatever), 15 percent live in rural areas, whereas only 30-odd percent live in cities. So, keeping that in mind, anyone have any knowledge of any more plausible for sources for this information?

    Edit: I provide the backpack scenario as an example of an extreme, wherein one can easily carry more than a week's provisions (along with tent, sleeping bag, cookware, etc.): potatoes, onions, dried legumes--little weight, low volume, and do not perish for a very long time, for instance. Yet, I can fairly confidently state that a negligible and insignificant percentage of Americans are presently climbing a mountain (and, frankly, most are simply too fat and lazy to anyways, but that's another subject); rather, most Americans are in living arrangements where they've got more than a cubic foot to spare for foodstuffs.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
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  10. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member


    I haven't had a television for over two decades. Don't get me wrong: I like to watch stupid crap, I simply can't deal with commercials, so I use the web. And I honestly no longer know how I might react if I'm told that I might "suffer" from "dry eye syndrome" and that I need to be medicated for it!
  11. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    normalized noise negative gain to reduce competency and attainment capabilities.
    this is part of the addiction
    1 house containing for example 4 adults
    each wants something different each night of the week to eat.
    working rough numbers ...
    3 out of the 4 will eat the same thing 1 night
    they may replicate the meal type once per week and skip one night meal
    not counting breakfast and lunch food

    1 will likely buy dinner out every second day

    total dinners/meals = 4 times 7 = 28
    less 3 skipped meals = 25
    less dinner out (can range quite a bit) 6 meals = 19 meals
    19 meals divided by 3 = 6 = 6 different meal types per week
    duplicating 1 of those would =4
    = 4 different types of dinner food required per week
    this is mostly achieved through sauces and buying in a single item meat.

    what do you think they have the cupboards filled with ?

    sauces, condiments & cereals

    this is the extreme end of the scale however is EXTREMELY typical of the average 25 to 35 year old working professional.

    high density city and inner city dwellers who think they are a critical wheel in the gears of the business of the city, become the lame donkey in a long horse trek for survival.
    do you sacrifice a horse and strap the donkey to a horse
    or do you shoot the donkey and eat it ?

    in this precise case you cant do either.
    in all society's they become a burden [in capitalist society's, to the rich elite power authority who wish to deny them resources they become a civilian casualty used to self anoint their status as war heroes by labeling a death count by natural disaster beside their official title and then claim to be a war hero who knows suffering and sacrifice
    extreme communism is much the same except the people tend to be a bit more orderly like in the nasty Russian winters where people just starved to death and lay frozen dead bodys all over the streets for weeks on end.
    with today's technology they would be a lot better off, almost no deaths possibly dependent on whom ever was in power.

    capitalist countrys are quite bad at such things, like the elderly folks homes left to suffer and die because they were not worth anything and they were being controlled by a cost comes first company.
    the rest home managers and the local officials should be on trial.
    planning permission for no back up systems for life care ventilators and air con units etc.
    no electrics. just left there to rot in the heat.
    (but my feelings aside)

    this is off set by the variant types of family with children.
    from solo parents who live off mc donalds or organic take-away and variant urban couples who eat out as a life style so hold no basic store food in the house...
    to super organized soccer mum/dad types that have camping gear and stored goods etc.

    the turn n burn life style dictated as trendy rich and cool tends to colour enough of the population to undermine the ability of many urban high density civilians to survive.

    additionally, water is the big issue along with sewage.

    self sufficiency is actively discouraged by the vast majority of business and corporate global brands and industry's.
    they want daily paying consumers who come to them for everything expect complaints.

    that daily habitualistic behaviour creates addiction.
    that feeds a culture which in turn breeds addictive personalities to types of input
    reality tv
    junk food
    relationships/behaviours/criminality (cyclic functional addictive destructive co-dependency)
    etc etc

    im going to stop there, i could get more detailed but i may just get annoyed and delete the entire post.
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    . . . and posting long messages on the Internet.
  13. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    sounds condescending
  14. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

  15. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I can't speak for statistics but that figure is way too high for me. When I'm out, I have to stop and think whether I have anything in the house for lunch or do I have to stop for groceries.
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Sorry you took it that way.

    We all have addictions.
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  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    I doubt people think through such a question.
    The milk will run out and the bread will get mouldy, so I'll have to go shopping in two or three days -
    rather than
    Let's see, what's in the cupboards, freezer, pantry? What could I cook without milk or eggs?
    It's true that many urban apartments don't have a lot of storage space, but Costco is selling those huge bales of stuff to somebody... Surely a lot of people do buy in bulk, and I certainly see them, when there is a good sale on some item, stocking up. I strongly suspect that estimate is based on everyday habit - perishables - rather than contingency rations.
    We live a a little way out of town and have lots of storage space and a chest freezer (as convenient as the stand-up one was, they're such gluttons! Now, it's a good container for the solar batteries.) There's only two of us, and we're savvy shoppers, so we'd be okay for 8 months. If we knew it would have to last that long, we'd budget the treats - veggie burgers, mango curry, frozen vegetables, cookies, jam -- and start hitting the dry beans right away.
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  18. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    This would be my guess, as well--assuming that the "three day" figure is actually based on an honest survey. Like I said, I can't even seem to locate the original source for this figure. If, for instance, your fridge is full of nothing but condiments: ketchup soup ain't gonna kill ya. It may be nutritionally sub-par (of course, this alleged "data" pertains to the U.S., so does that even matter?) and it's gonna suck (again, the U.S., I suppose that's all that matters), but you can't be too picky in an emergency.

    I don't doubt that few people are really prepared for an emergency, but then again, somebody has got to be buying those massive bales of stuff!

    And honestly, I've got enough baking supplies alone, that we could easily live on nothing but bread for at least a couple of weeks. With the occasional lemon or lime, to avoid scurvy, of course.

    Having spent so many years traveling, living in cities, and even living from a backpack or bicycle (also, for a couple of years, a Westfalia--but it had to function as both home and recording studio), I still obsess over getting as much as possible into the smallest space possible. Now, with land and space, I'm still struggling with the concept of out-buildings, or even expanding existing structures.
  19. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    I ought to have clarifed in the OP, but the figures specifically relate to emergency preparedness. Surely you've got enough for at least a few days, even if it isn't exactly what you would prefer to eat?
  20. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Heh. An acquaintance once joked that we were planning to connect roof in every inch from here to the village. We've expanded all over the place. There were already two apartments, two small garages, a craft studio and a storage shed; now there are two enclosed porches, 2 woodsheds, and a big tent garage, because we used the exiting ones for workshop and greenhouse - all connected so we don't have to slog through snow.
    If family needs a refuge - say they're flooded out, as a lot of people are - we can feed them.... even if they whine about the fare.
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  21. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    I don't know why I struggle with it so much, but my fixation on very small spaces is borderline pathological. I'm converting the existing woodshed into a greenhouse, and the wood will move to a covered extension of the patio. My recording studio/workshop is a 6' x 10' building. Ridiculous. A total dead space, or, as Steve Albini puts it, "where waveforms go to die." If I need cavernous qualities, I use the bank of the river--but that's kind of difficult when there's three feet of snow.

    Yet we've got ten acres, surrounded by thousands of acres of woods!

    If I ever do acquire the much desired 9.5 foot Bosendorfer Imperial--I'll settle for a newer, post-Yamaha acquisition one, but I'd prefer a vintage model for their almost supernatural resonant qualities--I suppose I will have to accede to the demands for a large space. But it will have to be a tremendously large space (think cathedrals), in order to do justice to the 16.35 hz frequency of the lowest C on the keyboard.
  22. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    my perception was still wet from another thread.
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    I'd rather think barns than cathedrals.

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