Picture this: the moon is blood red (and you can actually see it); aliens have stationed themselves on our planet; we’ve been invaded by the Russians, and all this other-worldly traffic has brought some fictional bacteria to this planet. Everyone around you has become a zombie, too. You’re in some deep shit.
So you grab your sword, your grenades, your camouflage gear, and your survival kit. The first thing you do is hide out for the first year, making sure only to scavenge when you need to. You can trap living things, eat off the land, and really just camp for an extended period of time. Let all the nonsense happen and clear out.
It’s September, 2016 now, and you’re ready for action. You’ve really been practicing your sword swing. Everything around you is dead, and you don’t know how to cultivate anything.
How will you eat?
- Immediate resources: protein powder, canned proteins, canned vegetables/starches.
After that first year is finished, all the goods you’ve grown to love are ruined. Inedible.
Protein powder, when still packaged properly, lasts for up to a year after its “expiration date.” Check the color and texture to make sure no moisture ruined it. Check the smell. If it’s “off,” don’t use it. Then check the taste (small serving). You may be asking, “Why do I need protein powder when I’m already strapped for resources? I’m not some post-apocalyptic bodybuilder.” You’re right. You’re a post-apocalyptic killing machine. You’re a Terminator. You still have to make sure to eat efficiently, because Twinkies won’t help you run from zombies.
Canned starches and vegetables usually last 1-2 years after the expiration date. Canned proteins, like tuna and chicken, last anywhere from 2-5 years after the expiration date. At this point, your best investment is a can opener.
- Long-term resources: for if you’ve lasted longer than a year.
Somehow, somewhere, you’ve found a roving band of ex-Navy Seal rednecks. They really know their stuff. You’ve all become a little crazy since last year’s ordeal. Now, with your squad, there’s really nothing better to do than to FSU.
You’re in charge of food. What do you do? Reach for your staples:
Properly stored uncooked white rice. It has an indefinite shelf life. This is your go-to forever. Or, at least until you’re dead.
Dried/cured meats: jerky. If the packaging has been compromised, make sure to look out for mold before tasting. This can be a white color.
Some dried pastas last up to 30 years. If they're not coated in oil, you should be okay.
Honey. It never spoils. Plus, you can use this as an antibiotic, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory for when those zombies bite you!
Salt/sugar. This never goes bad when it hasn’t been influenced by moisture. Forget grenades; this is your lifesaver.
Any non-carbonated soft drink. Just shake that sucker up. Watch out for cavities, though. They’ll get you before the zombies do.
Instant-coffee. If it’s been freeze-dried, it has an indefinite shelf-life.
What’s our takeaway? How long some foods last. There are others out there that fit the time-frames specified, of course. These are great, clean food sources you can buy in bulk that you can prepare in a pinch. If you’ve somehow lasted longer than five years in this end-of-world scenario, you’ve shown me you want to survive. But you can’t live off a nomadic lifestyle for so long. For whatever reason, you and your rednecks want to hunker down and build your lethal community. To start over. To begin anew.
Stay tuned for, “How to cultivate resources for the end of the world.”