Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stocking Up for the Zombie Apocalypse

I recently read an article about the Best Foods to Stockpile for an Emergency, and was somewhat baffled by their recommendations - a lot of what they suggested seemed downright pointless.  Then I realized something that made it all make sense:  I have a very different definition of "emergency" than they do.

Having the power go out for a day or two isn't an emergency.  It's an inconvenience.

Similarly, having your house destroyed by a meteor is also an inconvenience, albeit at a much more significant level.

Having all population centers within a 500 mile radius suddenly contaminated with radioactive dust, that's an emergency.

That stuff gets into everything!

Here's some of the foods they suggest to stockpile, and what I think is the problem with them.

Peanut butter - This is reasonable at first thought, but peanut butter is sticky and hard to eat on the run.  You'd be better off with jars of dry roasted nuts.  Hey, since peanut butter is mostly fat and protein, just like the human brain. Would zombies be drawn to it?

Crackers - I can cope with this one, but they put an emphasis on whole wheat and suggest vacuum packing them. Don't be picky, and focus instead on the shelf life.

Cereal - These are only good if you like eating them without milk. They also take up a lot of space ("packaged by weight, not volume - some settling may have occurred during shipping").

Canned foods - While these have an excellent shelf life and durability, they are also very heavy if you've got to carry a week's supply on your back at a dead run.

Bottled water - It won't hurt to stock up on water. That being said, most statements about the amount of water a person should drink in a day are greatly overestimated.  Again, the water is heavy and carrying a week's worth (seven gallons according to the article) along with your food and ammunition is going to be a challenge when fleeing the flock of raptors. Get a couple of really good stainless steel canteens learn the many ways to purify water.

Sports drinks - This stuff is absolute crap. It's basically just sugar water, and gigantic ants love sugar water.

Powdered milk - This must be for the cereal. Since you need water to turn it into milk, and since you don't need milk to survive, skip it.

Sugar, salt, and pepper - While nice to have, these are luxuries and are especially pointless considering how much salt and sugar are already in most of the foods already on the list.

Multivitamins - If you manage to live long enough to somehow become deficient in any vitamins then you're very lucky.

The article goes on to list foods to buy right before an emergency - and that list is almost entirely composed of perishable fruits and vegetables.  I have two major problems with this part.  First, if you have enough time to go grocery shopping before whatever it is hits then it's not an emergency.

"An emergency is a situation that poses an /immediate/ risk to health, life, property or environment." [Wikipedia]

Second, if you're going to stock up on foods that spoil quickly, damage easily, and may need to be cooked then you deserve to be eaten by space aliens (and they can use the perishables as a garnish).

What food do I think you need to pack for an emergency?  Assuming you can't get one of those emergency food kits that Luke Skywalker had in "The Empire Strikes Back", here's my short list:

Just what was he eating, anyways?

Dried meat
Rolled oats
Canteen of water

That's the food that you can own (and by "own" here, I mean "carry with you at a dead run in the middle of the night").  It's boring, but then the emergency should be supplying enough excitement already.  Maybe I'd include a bottle of vodka, the kind of hard sausage that requires no refrigeration, and cheap granola bars, but they'd also add weight and bulk that could slow you down.

Now if you had a secure place to hide from the spider-bats then you could go out (in the daylight hours) and forage for canned goods and such to make things more pleasant.  Just remember one thing; a machine gun is great, but sooner or later you'll run out of bullets and then you'll be glad you have a case of machetes.


  1. When the flying carnivorous pigs are just about through your fortifications, you'll wish you had gone for that no-bake cheesecake yesterday. I'm only saying.

  2. Machetes are great, but they're no match for the long distance killing power of a bow or crossbow. You can learn to make quarrels and arrows, or make sure you glean after the battle.

    Also, make sure you have a sharpening stone for the machetes. They get pretty dull after killing a bunch of zombies.