LDS women aim to dispel food storage myths

Credit: Courtesy Crystal Godfrey
Credit: Courtesy Crystal Godfrey
Credit: Courtesy Debbie Kent
Credit: Courtesy Debbie Kent
Credit: Courtesy Debbie Kent

Two LDS women are working to shed light on many of the misunderstandings associated with food storage in order to make it a more effective preparedness method for Church members and others.

Food storage experts Crystal Godfrey and Debbie Kent wrote a book and started a website after realizing many people were being tricked into spending too much money on food storage. They also perceived that many others avoided getting food storage because they didn’t know what to buy or how to use it, thinking the traditional items are gross or that collecting food storage is weird.

“We wanted them to be able to take the benefit of us being with them and shopping with them and teaching them, ‘This is good, and this isn’t good,’ ” Kent said. “That was the whole premise behind it: to help people get what they really need and pass by the things that they really don’t need, and to find the best bargain in the process.”

The book includes tips on how to put together and store food for emergency, 90-day and long-term supplies. It also includes several recipes that are made using food storage items.

“Food storage isn’t just for when the world ends; most of it’s … basic food storage products [used] in our everyday cooking,” Kent said. “It’s just learning how to cook with it and learning that it’s not scary to cook.”

Godfrey recently started a YouTube channel, “Everyday Food Storage,” to demonstrate all the ways people can save time and energy by cooking with food storage every day. Kent said Godfrey’s 10-year-old and 7-year-old children help with the filming for the videos.

Kent and Godfrey first teamed up in 2013, following various individual efforts to help people with food storage and preparedness, and started making plans to do something together that would give people “the real scoop” on what they needed, according to Godfrey.

For example, Kent said a lot of marketing goes into convincing people to just buy and use freeze-dried meat from their food storage in their everyday cooking, when freeze-dried meat really equates to more than $15 a pound.

“There’s so many other avenues that we wanted people to be able to see clearly — which food storage was actually a good idea, which would actually be beneficial to use on an everyday basis,” Godfrey said.

Another myth Kent and Godfrey said they want to dispel is that the Church’s canneries and home storage centers no longer exist.

“They’re totally underutilized,” Godfrey said. “They are the best place to get all of the basics. They’re the cheapest, they fill their cans the most, [and] … even if you don’t live by a cannery, you can just order online.”

Scott Cottam, manager of field operations for the Church’s home storage centers in the U.S. and Canada, said it’s important to have food storage because nobody knows what the future holds.

“Nobody knows when we’re going to have that natural disaster, or when we’re going to have that setback in our lives or that situation that was completely unforeseen — completely unplanned — that requires us to be able to have some resources to help us get by,” Cottam said.

Godfrey’s and Kent’s book and website, Store This, Not That, can give people a better idea of what they’re doing when it comes to food storage to help them get started, according to Cottam.

“I think there’s a whole lot of us that are afraid of our family history because we just don’t know what to do and how to get started, and if someone could help us get rolling, we’d probably do pretty good with it,” Cottam said. “I’d liken this to that.”

Godfrey said it has been reassuring to her to be able to say her family stands prepared with food storage — especially at times when her husband has lost his job.

“For us, it was almost like telling ourselves in a very positive statement that we were going to get out of it — that we were going to work through it,” Godfrey said.

She said being prepared puts people in a better position to serve others.

“You can’t ever donate food or money or give somebody a meal if you don’t have anything prepared yourself,” Godfrey said. “I think part of [why] the Lord placed us here on earth is to see what we would do with what we have, and to be better stewards and better equipped to be able to help people.”

Preparedness also helps us to better serve the Lord, Kent said.

“Even [Nephi’s] father, who was the prophet, was murmuring because of hunger,” Kent said. “The Lord can’t have an army in the last days if we all die because we don’t have food.”

Godfrey compared food storage to the scriptures — both are meant to be used daily.

“The reasons why we read our scriptures every day is not for when we have a huge life crisis; it’s because it helps us today and tomorrow, and it makes those life [crises] a lot easier,” Godfrey said.

She said the best advice she could give Church members about food storage is to start one can at a time.

“When you think of it as one can, it’s easy to put away, you have space for it, you have money for it and you have room to think about it,” Godfrey said. “Preparedness is a journey, not an end point.”

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