In your mind’s eye, picture a rugged outdoorsman. He (or she) is probably sitting in front of a campfire he built, eating the meat of an animal he recently shot and sipping coffee out of a tin cup.
If we’re all forced out of our homes in the future by a disaster that involves the electrical grid going down, we may find ourselves in a similar situation.
But what if you are a vegetarian or a vegan? Or what if you become a vegetarian or vegan due to a health problem that requires a meatless diet? Can you still survive a crisis?
The answer is a resounding “Yes,” and we’re going to look at a few ways you can prepare for that scenario. (And at the end I have a comment for you meat eaters, so stay with me here.)
First of all, to be clear on our terms, vegetarians don’t eat meat (although some eat fish), but many will consume products that do not require an animal to give up its life, such as dairy.
A true vegan will not consume any animal products. In fact, he or she won’t even use animal-based products such as certain clothing and cosmetics. It might be a case of morality or health, but either way they have a much stricter set of guidelines than vegetarians do.
Prepping without animal products
OK, so how do vegetarians and vegans stockpile survival food if they don’t consume animal products?
The key, of course, is plants. In most cases, plants are healthier for us to consume, as they have far less cholesterol, more fiber, and plenty of vitamins and minerals. And they are usually less expensive. So, already we can see some advantages here.
The downside is that most plants lack the essential amino acids our bodies need for important functions, including rebuilding cells. And unfortunately, the body is unable to produce these essential amino acids on its own.
So, when stockpiling food for an emergency, vegetarians and vegans need to make sure they store plants with a wide variety of protein so they can obtain the essential amino acids they need.
Below is a partial list of foods that vegetarians and vegans should stockpile to stay healthy in the event of a crisis:
Vegetables: greens, Brussels sprouts, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, carrots.
Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, pears, peaches, bananas, oranges, pineapple.
Legumes: green beans, pinto beans, peas, black-eyed peas, peanuts, lentils, soy.
Fats: coconut oil, vegetable oil, extra virgin olive oil.
Nuts and seeds: walnuts, pecans, almonds, quinoa, chia.
Grains: pasta, barley, oats, brown rice, whole-wheat flour, bran.
Finally, a word to those folks who are not vegetarians or vegans. All of the food items listed above (and many more) would be good for you to stockpile as well, assuming you have no allergies to them. Fruits and vegetables will help keep you in the shape you need to be in to survive a crisis.