Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Food, not zombies

By: Zane Fischer

Santa Fe Reporter staff writer Dave Maass’ zombie scenario may seem like an unlikely lark to most readers, but my ongoing fascination with the fetishy subculture of survivalism and disaster preparedness indicates a worldview wherein one is either ready for anything and everything, or is just one of the “sheeple” who will be thrown to the wolves when the SHTF and TEOTWAWKI is upon us.I recently read the Church of the Latter Day Saints’ “Preparedness Manual,” which the Mormon Church distributes to its members. The manual is a detailed and thoughtful plan on how to stockpile food and supplies, and develop the necessary skills to survive the_______(fill in the blank: zombie apocalypse, economic collapse, assault of the New World Order, nuclear holocaust, peak oil crisis, electro-magnetic pulse terrorist attack, etc.).The Mormon community isn’t proposing to live out a video game- and movie-fueled juvenile fantasy, nor does it promote the stereotypical survivalist, an assault weapon-hoarding loner in full tactical battle gear. Instead, it puts forth a method for prospering in a world that has proven to be volatile and unpredictable, and where prosperity is a fickle friend to comfortable nations. But the methods are still a bit, um, insular and extremist.
Assuming an actual zombie invasion is low on the probability scale, but fuel and/or food shortages—such as those that have recently rocked regions around the world, including the southern US—are potential situations over which it is worth hedging some bets, how do communities like Santa Fe best secure themselves? The key issue is food. In the winter of 2006/2007, more than 20 inches of snow fell on parts of Santa Fe proper, effectively shutting down the city for almost two days. Because grocery stores stock approximately three days worth of food for a community’s needs, it’s apparent any significant disruption in the timing of supplies will pinch.
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