So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, September 20, 2015
Out of the desert
It's pretty strange when I think about it. My home base up in northern New Hampshire is in what's called a food desert. Food shopping is a drive down the road and the selection is limited.
Now I'm staying a my dad's place in Florida. There's a huge selection of food in a variety of stores at competitive prices. Most Americans take these shopping opportunities for granted. Food appears abundant.
That's all well and good during normal conditions. During a disaster that cuts off supplies even areas with many shopping centers will run out of food in three days or less. Everything is delivered on a just in time model.
There are two major types of food dessert. There are rural areas like mine where transportation issues and low population density restrict food choice. Another type of food desert is in inner cities. Grocery stores decided it's not economical to run a big grocery store in the inner city. Instead food is provided by small shops, gas stations, and fast food joints. During emergencies these areas are particularly bad to be stranded in.
Areas that normally have good food selection won't be far behind as people have no need to keep a large pantry. Stores are so well stocked and convenient that it feels foolish to clutter up their homes with food storage. It's a false sense of security.
Rural food deserts have a different dynamic. In years gone by it was normal to keep many months worth of food stored away. Some of that attitude carries over to the present. I know I like to keep a fair amount of food on hand. When my friends downstate have unexpected guests they can run to the store a few blocks away. I've got at least a 30 or 40 mile trip so I make sure there's food in my pantry.
I know a lot of people who stock up on hard to get food items when they go to where there's good shopping. Rural people are also more likely to have gardens and know how to harvest wild foods.
Right now I'm enjoying the shopping opportunities around here, but it does feel a bit surreal as so little food is actually produced in this area, at least compared to the population.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.