When faced with food scarcity it is important to see it coming and plan ahead. In rationing supplies and food the most common mistake is waiting too long to establish a rationing procedure, waiting a few extra days hoping that things will blow over or get better soon can be a bad mistake that will eventually leave you and your family hungry.
Good supply rationing starts early, when you realize your supplies are running low it’s too late. Assess a potential threat to your normal food supply and make it known to your household that rationing is in effect. A group effort should be made to collect and organize all food products including fresh produce and meats, dairy products, canned and packaged goods, and dry goods.
Once gathered an inventory list should be made including all the food products you have. Ideally using weight as the base measure is most accurate and effective for fresh items and dried goods alike, while canned goods will have measurements on the label. Once amounts are determined it is a good idea to organize the list into various categories such as proteins, dairy, produce and grains. It is wise to store your inventory in multiple places in case of accidents such as water damage, fire and theft. Keeping all the eggs out of one basket gives you something to fall back on.
Once inventory is done you must decide how to ration it. The average caloric need of men between 15 – 50 is around 2250 calories a day, while women of the same age group need about 2000 calories a day. Those numbers are healthy estimates with each individual requiring a unique amount based on age, activity levels and lifestyle. Those who are obese or have a few extra pounds on them can certainly survive on less due to the energy reserves of fat that can be burned, alternatively those who are very thin may require more caloric intake to avoid starving and muscle degeneration.
Each member of the household should be evaluated based on physical characteristics and activity levels in order to assign them a proper daily ration. Keep in mind that it is always best to air on the side of caution and provide slightly less than they need in order to extend reserves. As your inventory begins to deplete adjustments to rationing amounts can be made in order to extend the inventories life. Take into consideration eliminating lunch and just eating having group meals in the morning and at night, although the assigned ration amount should still be met it can simplify the process and keep it strictly controlled, eliminating the thought or concerns of food for the bulk period of the day. Group meals also build morale and minimize the risk of over consumption.
Perishable items such as fresh produce, meats and dairy should primarily be consumed first in order to avoid waste and spoilage of important resources. A balanced meal may be difficult to maintain when rationing, however this fact may be difficult to bypass in times of trouble. Keeping additional Vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements like Green Vibrance are a good idea to counteract the problems of maintaining a balanced meal. There are various bodybuilding supplements at health food stores designed to provide adequate nutritional values for fruits, vegetables and proteins. Whey Protein is a great source of protein.
Although water conservation is also a good idea in times of emergency it is not a good idea to ration drinking water unless absolutely necessary and if so no less than a quart should be made available to each individual daily. FEMA recommends planning for 1 Gallon of water per day per adult for drinking and hygiene. If drinking water does become limited then it may be time to begin the process of finding more drinking water and resources, or seeking emergency assistance.