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Keeping It Simple: The What And Why of Food Security – Ep. 97
What the heck is food security? Why is it important?
In this episode, we’re talking about the what and why of food security and how you need to move forward, especially with the rate of inflation. So here we go.
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Podcast Key Points:
0:00 – Episode Overview
1:43 – What Is Food Security
3:39 – Becoming Self Sufficient
6:58 – Where To Start Keeping It Simple
8:00 – The Basics of Getting Started
11:56 – Pro Steps With Purchasing
13:19 – Getting Started Gardening
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Understanding Food Security: Making Sure Your Family Always Has Enough to Eat
What the heck is food security? Why is it important? And what do you need to do moving forward without looking like you’re on an episode of doomsday preppers. We’re talking about the what and why of food security today in this episode and how you need to move forward now, especially with the rate of inflation we’ve been saying the last several years. So here we go.
This is the Your Money Your Life podcast. I’m your host, Aimee Cerka, a money confidence coach for female entrepreneurs on the path to six figures. After over 10 years in the personal finance industry and multiple personal financial and medical crisis, I was fed up with the lies that are being shouted from the rooftops by the Gurus and the media.
So, now I help you simplify, solidify and scale your money. By blending tactile money strategies with mindset work, you can create unstoppable finances together, you’ll finally figure out the money thing.
So, you can make more money in less time without living off of beans and rice, or sacrificing your lifestyle. Episodes here on the podcast are short and sweet, being married, having four kids at home, homeschooling, being the CEO running the household, I’m kind of busy. And I know you are too. So, let’s keep it simple and get to the point. Welcome. I’m so glad you’re here.
Why Food Security Matters for Families
All right, we are back talking about food security. And I gotta tell you, this is something that like I really enjoy talking about because of how I kind of fell into it. And we’re gonna get to that in a minute. Before we can really dive into like the what and the why of food security, let’s talk about what food security is, okay?
Food Security means having at all times, and this definition came from one of the government organizations. I went blank on the source and it’s not in front of me, okay, food security means having at all times, both physical and economical access to sufficient food to meet dietary needs for a productive and healthy life.
The Importance of Being Prepared
Now, you might be thinking like, Okay, if you’re in the US, or a first world country, like, we’re doing pretty good, like, I don’t have problems, like I can just go to the grocery store, like food security, and all of that, okay?
The average family in the US has enough food, water, etc, in the household, to take care of their family for 72 hours if something happened. And he lost access to the grocery stores, which I know would never happen. But I remember 2020 kind of did happen a little bit.
And water as well, if something happened to your water, maybe. For us here in Texas we had that happened during The Freeze that people had, we were under boil notice. And then you have to boil the water or do other things. And then like if you don’t have electricity, can’t boil the water.
So, this isn’t as far-fetched as some people might think. And the reason why I do enjoy talking about this, and I want to start talking about it more is because again, it’s just about the confidence knowing that you can take care of your family, you’re not worried about the other stuff that’s going on when you know you’ve got it covered.
Like you will be all right, this is the part of the unstoppable, like you will be okay. You can take care of your family, it’s not a big deal. The fear tactics won’t work.
Growing Food with Your Own Hands: Trying Out Gardening
Okay, this is actually why I have a garden. This started about learning the skills to be more self-sufficient. I was never somebody that had like a green thumb or any of that. And to this day, I have one succulent inside that I’ve managed to keep alive but like I don’t keep plants alive inside the house.
Like that’s not something like I get fresh cut roses. And you know, I can keep those alive until they’re dead because they’re already really dead when we cut them. Now I’m digressing.
But like this was not something that like I really had aspired to before was like the garden portion. Like we’ve always wanted the ranch but it was more about like the cattle and the horses and some of the livestock, not necessarily the garden.
But now like the garden, I totally love the garden. It started about learning the skills to be able to be more self-sufficient, and we started it.
Was it 2020? Is this year three now? I think so. And it was just a couple of things that were growing. I look back on the pictures of like the garden then and I’ve realized like how much everything has exploded.
And it’s not something like you can learn necessarily overnight. There’s always something new like you’re learning and again, we’re improving our skills to be able to take care of our family. And a lot of like I say identify urban homesteader.
For the most part, like we want to have more land. But you know, we are very much in an urban, suburban area. Now we do not have a big yard at all, I think most people will be shocked by the amount that we were able to grow in a small confined space.
Exploring New Adventures: Discovering Gardening and More
This is not about like pinching pennies again, or having to replace everything that can kind of be the mentality sometimes for homesteaders. For me, this is about a skill and the confidence that knowing that I could, yes, I do it for fun, but if something happened, like my family’s still gonna be taken care of.
They might have to learn to eat some things that they don’t normally like potatoes, and some of the starches and the protein. Like we actually talked about this inside the food security module in the Academy. It’s one of the bonuses and the profit powerup library like what to start going first.
So, it’s all there, the confidence knowing that I could do it if I needed to, like we’re taking care of this is not like a problem. We actually also talk about like the kitchen inventory, and some of those things also helps create food security. Um, we’ll get to that in a second actually.
Okay. But no, I absolutely love it. I recharge by being outside in the garden. Like right before we started recording this episode, I was checking on some things and we’re getting plants ready for we have a fall garden because we have a very extended garden gardening season here in Texas like that. We have like the really, really hot I mean, it’s 105 right now outside. So like things aren’t really producing because of the heat.
And we have all those things. And if you’re a gardener or want to garden, like just send me a message on Instagram after you’ve listened to this. Because I geek out with this with you about this all the time, like I love talking about the garden.
Taking One Step at a Time: Slow and Steady Food Security
So, let’s talk about creating your own food security, like where I would begin. But before I can tell you like where to begin, I want you to start small, or create like an ascension checklist or something like this, because it can get very overwhelming very quickly.
And the whole purpose of this exercise is to give you the confidence and eliminate the fear. So, I don’t want more fear because like I don’t have enough taken care of. I don’t have enough saved I don’t have I have to do all these things at once.
That is not the purpose of this, like you start now we start small. One step is one step at a time and you keep going. And if this is something that you want support around like the coaching portion, the best place is probably the Academy for you. But you can always just book a discovery call, I’ll put a link for you below in the show notes if you want to help because I’ll give you all the step by step.
Staying Clean and Hydrated: Water and Basic Needs
But the key comes with actually implementing it right. And that’s why I’m here to help you along the way, okay, but get that out of the way; start small, so you won’t get overwhelmed. We’re gonna start with the basics, okay, this is also an ever-evolving thing.
And this is where we talk about this, like in the kitchen inventory, like how to set this up, okay. But water, food hygiene needs, those are always great places to start. With water, at a minimum, the recommendation is one gallon per person just for everyday uses. Okay?
Some of the people that I’m involved with and have followed and learn from in the past recommend two gallons, just from like extra uses. You know, washing clothes, washing hands, those things. They say two gallons per person.
So that is what I’ve done is two gallons per person, and per day, and you work up to like a minimum of three days. And honestly, if you didn’t need the two gallons, and it’s just gonna last that much longer. Is that like a mind-blowing amount? No, but you find some to use it.
We’re going to get to this in a minute, but you’ll just rotate through it. So, you’re gonna buy an extra pack of water. One time when you’re at the store or an extra gallon of water, like it’s not like we’re going to sit out there and buy all this stuff at once. Just buy a little bit at a time.
Obviously, we need to work on like storage and finding places to keep these things. Water, you’re going to be able to use it fast enough like it’s not going to expire. That’s not a problem. Okay.
Another one that’s really easy to start with is the hygiene. So, extra soap, extra toilet paper, we’re not going excessive here. Like this is not about hoarding toilet paper, like just having an extra package, or whatever, but having extra on hand then you don’t have the crap out of this.
Okay, so keeping extra soap, extra deodorant, extra hair stuff, especially if you order it online like I do. If I have a backup on hand then it’s not a big deal. If I run out, I’m not waiting for it to come in.
Planning Meals for Success: How Meal Planning Helps
And then we do the same thing with food. So even just like basics, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder. If you’re somebody that makes if you don’t do a lot from scratch right now, maybe you don’t start with those. We need to use what your family eats. That way, it’s not being wasted.
And there’s a process to rotate, okay. But then eventually you’ll work towards doing this. The way that I do this is with like our meal planning. So, I’ve got like our meal planning checklist, which we’ll talk about inside Meal Planning Made Easy.
Again, that’s really only in the Academy right now. But having your list of the food, the meals that you make and the ingredients that you need, so let’s say spaghetti is one of your meals. So, then you would need one package of noodles, when you’re buying noodles, just buy an extra, so then you have a backup, and then you know, you’ve got one extra meal.
Okay, and then you’ll keep going. So, for the spaghetti example, say one package and noodles, if you use jar sauce, one jar of sauce if you make your homemade sauce, for me, the spaghetti sauce recipe that I use is like a double batch. So I use about four cans of diced tomatoes, cans of tomato paste, so it would just be making sure that I had an extra four cans of tomatoes, and an extra tomato paste. And that would actually give me two meals with two packages, spaghetti.
And then like meatballs, if you put ground beef in it, then it’s frozen ground beef, you could always go like the prepared ground beef that’s truly like food safe. But like even you don’t have to take it that far. Just start with where you’re at moving forward, having enough on hand to be able to take care of yourself.
Also, when we talk about go-to meals, which you haven’t heard about those before, that’s part of my meal planning strategy, which is actually going to be covered in just a couple episodes. So, make sure you subscribe because I’m trying, we are doing a whole series on like, keep it simple, okay, like this is the goal.
Keeping Things Simple
We are keeping things simple; we don’t have to overcomplicate it. So that’s what we’re doing, not overcomplicating it.
Okay, let me just give you a couple quick notes that I wanted to make sure you knew when it comes to like buying extra food, just rotate. So, the first thing you bought first thing out. You write on it with a sharpie with the expiration, just put them in order so that you can rotate through the kitchen inventory helps with making sure that you’re not losing things to the back of the pantry or the back of the freezer.
Again, more on that in a couple of weeks. Keep what your family eats, don’t go buy things that like you’re not going to eat just because like you feel that pressure to stock, that it’s not the thing.
Okay, work towards having an extra week of food on hand than one month, then three months, if you want, then six months. If you want like it doesn’t have to be like that extreme six months, even having one month worth of food, which is we probably are one to six weeks is probably where I work to be like that’s plenty you feel the confidence that you’re not worried about grocery store shortages or any of those things because you can take care of your family.
Okay. We talked about the easiest way to get started was planning out meals that your family already eats, pantry, freezer staples, we’re going to get tomorrow that in a couple of weeks with the meal planning. Just buying things a couple of extra items at a time, it does not have to be this one big shopping spree where you blow any of the grocery budget you might have.
Okay, the spaghetti example. Okay. So real quick, let’s talk about gardening if you want to start gardening, okay, learning to grow food, like it can start on a small scale. You can start with herbs.
If you want, containers work just fine. It’s actually with our soil here in Texas. I think I will always do container gardening because we can control the soil, the soil health, and we really don’t have great place oil here. And taxes, but like container gardening works just fine.
And a lot of people will tell you, it’s harder to do and that that’s not true. that Just again, message me food storage, so like saving the food you’ve grown or eating it and even just like herbs, everything tastes better when it’s homegrown.
Okay, but if you’re in a spot where you cannot grow anything right now, and also as a side note, before we get to that, you can buy tower gardens where they grow inside. You can grow hydroponic, which is water based, or will come inside with a light which is actually something that I’m going to do like for cilantro, because cilantro is a cold weather crop.
So, it’s actually quite hard to grow here in Texas. And one of the things that like actually my husband’s kind of famous for is the salsa that he makes from my garden like it’s known at the church. He makes really good salsa. But it is really hard to grow cilantro because of the hot weather. So Hydroponics is another option.
So, there are options even if you don’t have like land. And again, you don’t have to start with a lot just start with a couple of things. Okay, this is going to be an experiment and this is a skill that you have to start building from.
Saving Food for Later: Learning Preservation Skills
Okay, if you can’t grow food, you can always learn how to preserve things so that when you do have the space and you’re able to grow things like you actually can. Most of the bee homesteaders and the homesteading world will talk about like, don’t wait until you have all this land to try and figure it out, like work on what you can now because there’s always so much to learn.
There’s a learning curve with so much. Whether you’re canning or preserving or dehydrating and any of those things, like you can do all that you can start small with one to two items. Again, it doesn’t have to be a lot but that step-by-step process.
You might end up like addicted and loving it like I do, but you’re also going to have confidence in being able to take care of your family.
So, research, like you watch YouTubers, Epic Gardening has, that is Kevin, going blank on his last name, he has a massive channel. He’s out in California, that there’s books that you can meet.
There are so many different Facebook groups. And I’d have to warn you though, with the Facebook groups, everybody thinks like they know everything. And I might limit the Facebook groups a little bit because they can be a little condescending is not the right word. But like know-it-all, maybe. But like, they’ll get conflicting answers, and then they just pick up.
A Bright Future: Ensuring Food Security for Your Loved Ones
The point is, don’t feel like you have to do it all at once. I still don’t always start from seeds. And most people were like, you got to start with seeds, but like you can buy starts. You can get them inexpensively just looking at what you can do, taking it one step further to be able to take care of your family.
If something ever happens, and like grocery stores or running grocery stores or whatever, like we don’t know what the future holds. This is about taking care of your family and making sure that you can provide and as a byproduct, when you have the food and the hygiene stuff on like you don’t have to worry about running off running out of your essentials.
And it just helps you operate from like a calmer state because it’s not a big deal. You know, you have stuff covered, and we’ll talk about it in a couple of weeks with the go to meals. And like how to set that up.
Feeling Confident and Ready: The Power of Being Prepared
This is not like an end of the world hoarding thing like this is about moving forward and taking care of your family with one of our main key needs, which is food. Because if we don’t have food, you’re gonna do whatever the heck you need to get it and that might not be pretty.
Alright. That’s what I got. For this week’s episode, we talked about food security. If you are somebody who gardens or wants to garden, homestead all the things send me a message on Instagram. I need more of my people. I want to know what you’re growing. If you want to grow, I’ll help you out. That’s like my fun thing. And yeah, we’ll see you next time. Bye for now.
Special Gift For You
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Take messy action and finally make progress with your finances without feeling overwhelmed pinching pennies or staring at a spreadsheet for hours with the 14 Day Money Mastery Action Plan. And when you use coupon code podcast, I’m gonna give you 40% off. Just visit aimeecerka.com/action and grab the 14-day action plan for less than $20. All right, talk soon.