For the past several weeks, every time I went to Costco I would see 9 out of 10 people’s carts filled with bottled water and, if they had it, toilet paper. But the past couple weeks, with the threat of a decrease in the meat supply, everyone bought as much meat as they could fit in their freezers.
Now, I must admit… I kind of get the toilet paper thing… because I DIDN’T stock up! When my family was down to our last couple rolls and the stores were sold out, I was getting nervous. I’ll never let THAT happen again!
But cases of bottled water? If you’re going to stockpile water doesn’t it make more sense to get 5 gallon containers? If they are too heavy, they also come in 3 gallon containers. And, when was the last time your municipal water supply was actually interrupted? Maybe a good water filter makes more sense.
As I continued to ponder the choices that I have seen around me, I realized that most people weren’t considering some basic principles regarding the needs to sustain life. So I wanted to share a few thoughts. Once you read this, I’m hoping you share your thoughts in the comments below so we can all learn from each other.
PEOPLE CAN LIVE WEEKS WITHOUT FOOD, DAYS WITHOUT WATER, AND ONLY MINUTES WITHOUT AIR
Clean air and the ability to breathe it in is super important for life. In my home, we filter the air, change the AC filters regularly, practice deep breathing when we exercise, and do our best to avoid contaminants. We avoid too much moisture that might allow for mold. We don’t have any aerosols in the home. We use natural cleaners and keep some plants in the home to further improve the air quality. We aren’t perfect, but we are doing the basics.
This corona virus is real and it is interfering with people’s ability to breath. Good hygiene and a strong immune system are not only good for us, but also for those around us.
Personally I am not afraid of this virus. I feel I have a strong immune system, and, quite frankly, I have lived a good life. When my time is up, it’s up. But that’s just how I think. For the sake of those around me that might not have the immune system nor the peace with their fate, I will wear a mask and do my best to keep my germs to myself. If I get sick with a significant contagion, I will avoid spreading it to others and not attend public gatherings. I am hopeful that others would do the same.
PEOPLE CAN ONLY LIVE A FEW DAYS WITHOUT WATER
It’s true, water is important. But bottled water is one of the worst choices you can make.
You have heard that plastics leach and contaminate food and drink. I suggest that bottled water is BY FAR the chief offender and BOTTLED PASTEURIZED BEVERAGES is the next worst.
The problem with bottled water lies in the mere logistics of making it. When you walk into a grocery store, you see how much space is taken up just by bottled water. Imagine if there were factories capable of storing finished supplies for several months of sales… or even just a few weeks of empty bottles waiting to be filled. Imagine how large such a place would have to be for one of the big brands.
The way around this is to limit the time between making the bottle and filling it, and then getting it out of the warehouse as quickly as possible. The problem is that when you make a plastic bottle, it takes time to cure and gas off. If you filled it before it was cured, certainly the chemicals would leach.
But how much time would it take for it to fully cure and completely gas off? This is where the manufacturers must cut corners to be profitable. The faster they make the bottles, fill them, palletize, and load them on trucks, the less building space they need. The roads and the trucks on them essentially become the warehouses.
ABOUT PASTEURIZED BEVERAGES
Most beverages come from only a handful of farms. Yes, there are many brands, but many less farms and manufacturing plants that sell them to the brands… or sell them to distributors that sell them to the brands.
Many processing plants “HOT FILL” plastic 55 gallon drums. Actually the drums probably have plastic liners to be compliant with the FDA. But it is still plastic. They fill them hot to know that it is not contaminated after the pasteurization process. You might buy these beverages in glass jars never knowing that they were previously in plastic at 170 degrees F. Plastic leaches the most when it is hot. Heat increases molecular motion. When it is cold there is minimal molecular activity and hence minimal leaching.
Many of the brands you purchase are not aware of the hot fill process and don’t even realize that this is what they are selling to you.
THE MOST IMPORTANT NEED FROM FOOD IS THE CALORIE
If you think about it, we get our energy from food. Most people DO consume too many calories. And many people consume calories that don’t have enough nutrients. But if we were stockpiling food for a pandemic, ultimately we want to make sure we have enough calories for everyone.
THE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS TO UNDERSTAND ARE FATS, CARBOHYDRATES, AND PROTEINS
Fats pack more than twice the calories per gram than carbohydrates and proteins. You get 9 calories per gram of fat and only 4 per gram of carbohydrates and 4 per gram of proteins. When it comes to our food, fat grams also take up much less space than carbohydrates and proteins. So from a stockpiling perspective, you can store a lot more calories of fat in less space.
My top 3 favorite fats to have on hand at all times are:
- Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Organic Coconut Oil
- Grass Fed ghee
I always have a good supply of organic oil on hand. It takes very little space, can have a long shelf life, and the cost per calorie is extremely low.
PROTEINS ARE MORE NECESSARY THAN CARBOHYDRATES
Your body can use fats and proteins for energy, But it can not turn carbohydrates into essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are links of the protein chain that must be obtained from your diet. Having protein sources of these essential amino acids is… for lack of a better word… essential.
Meats and eggs are well known sources of “complete proteins” containing all of the essential amino acids. But they don’t store well when there is a power outage. Furthermore, they are completely useless to the vegan (I am not a vegan).
Quinoa is a delicious complete protein that in its dry form takes little space and stores extremely well. If you can keep the bugs out of it, you can store it for literally years. 3 to 4 years unopened is quite reasonable. Cooked it can be served with any meal served like rice, added to soups, mixed with vegetables, under eggs, in salads… the possibilities are endless.
Dry raw beans are excellent sources of protein and can store for years. They can be soaked and sprouted and eaten like salad. They can be cooked and added to soups. They can be ground into flours. In their raw live form they can be stored for years remaining a live seed ready to be sprouted. I like to keep lentils, mung beans, adzuki beans, garbonzo beans and many others in the home. I store them in half gallon ball glass jars that cost about 10 bucks for 6 of them at WalMart.
Protein powders can also store well for a couple years and provide your essential amino acids. My favorite is Lit Pro by Haley Nutrition (I admit, I’m a tad bit biased). I ALWAYS have lots in my home because, well, quite frankly, like toilet paper, I’m terrified I might run out some day (I’m addicted). I start every day with my favorite iced coffee. A mix of Lit Pro and organic coconut milk is my creamer. With no added sugar I jump start my day with a delicious treat packed with nutrition. I like it so much we made a video about it:
SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS COME FROM PLANT FOODS
Vegetables and fruits have “phytonutrients”. There are thousands of phytonutrients that may have important health benefits not yet discovered. What’s worse is the detriments of not getting these nutrients is barely understood. That’s because their lack is something that shows up over time and may be an underlying cause or lack of prevention of may of today’s diseases.
In fact, there are so many phytonutrients yet to be discovered let alone researched that most major organizations including the American Heart Associaton, American Cancer Society, World Health Organization, USDA, and many more make recommendations to eat lots of fruits and vegetables with little information about which phytonutrients to seek. It’s much easier to just “eat 10 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day representing all the colors”.
But during a pandemic, if you aren’t growing your own, there’s a good chance the produce supply can get interrupted. Powdered vegetable and fruit supplements can provide a full spectrum of phytonutrients equal to 10 servings or more in a single scoop. Just stir a scoop of powder in water and drink. There are a lot of good brands out there. My favorite, of course, is IaGreens by Haley Nutrition. It’s full spectrum, has digestive enzymes, and probiotics. The small amount of stevia gives it just the right sweetness to make it delicious.
What are some of the things you can’t live without? What have I missed? I realize I may be opening a can of worms for things like weapons, booze, drugs, and much more. But if we focus on food, what else should we be thinking about?
Please use the comments below and help us all help each other.
Dr. Michael Haley, President of Haley Nutrition