by Nils Osmar. Updated Nov. 1, 2022. Medical Disclaimer
Like a number of people today, I’ve become interested in the possibility of extreme longevity – which (in theory) might involve living to 100, 150, 200 years (or even longer…. immortality, anyone?).
This has given me a different viewpoint about things like stockpiling and what’s sometimes called “prepping”, or trying to prepare in advance for both natural and human-made disasters.
Preppers have a reputation for eccentricity, and the most visible and vocal of them can be a bit extreme. But I think at the core of their philosophy, there is something that may be applicable to those of us who are interested in extreme longevity.
Supply chain issues
If living through the recent pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that the supply chain is fragile. Products that are in ample supply one day may not be the next. Our lives can also be upended in various ways by the policies put in place by government and health officials responding to the health crises affecting a lot of people, and trying to control them.
At the time that I’m writing this, inflation is in the news; prices of food and other necessities are rising. There are no major food shortages in the United States at the moment, but there are grumblings in the media that because of a war overseas (which will preventing planting in some eastern European wheat fields), there could be in the near future. Dozens of countries reportedly get most of their food from a country that’s currently involved in a major battle; as those countries look elsewhere, shortages may will likely becoming more evident.
Many people in the world today seem to be clueless about where food comes from. They think vaguely that it “comes from the grocery stores”, and assume that endless quantities of it will always be available there. But (of course) it aint necessarily so.
Religious groups such as Mormons that have traditionally encouraged stockpiling of food and other essentials have it right, in my opinion. If our goal is extreme longevity, it makes sense (to me) to think about stockpiling a cache of food and other essentials to have available during periods when products of that sort are less readily available.
Growing up in a wilderness
The value of stockpiling is actually something I learned from my parents, who were homesteaders in Alaska. They lived in a little house in the wilderness, which was about twenty miles from the nearest grocery store when I was growing up.
They couldn’t just hop in the car and drive the twenty miles; the roads were gravel in those day, not paved, making it difficult to make grocery runs. Our car would fill with dust from the gravel, and we’d all end up coughing during and after the trips into town. And of course there wasn’t an Amazon or other online resource that could deliver foods overnight.
For that reason, trips to pick up supplies took some preplanning. They’d go into town, buy a bunch of stuff, including cases of canned food, toilet paper, paper towel, and cleaning supplies… use it up over the next few months… then make another trip in for supplies. They later started being able to buy fresh food when it was available, especially after the roads had been paved, but they never lost the habit of stocking up.
We weren’t rich… our family was pretty poor actually, But we were never short on food or other essentials because of their preparation.
Stockpiling versus panic buying
Early in the pandemic, alarms were raised about some people who were doing panic buying, i.e., buying more than they could possibly use. (10,000 roles of toilet paper, anyone?) And of course, going to that extreme was silly. But the media’s response to it, i.e., shaming people for trying to prepare for the future, was just as silly, in my estimation.
The stockpiling that I’m talking about has nothing in common with panic buying. Stocking up on food and other essentials in times when both are readily available doesn’t strip the store shelves or deprive anyone else of anything they need.
Taking care of necessities
From a pro-longevity point of view, things like pandemics, conflicts, and even countries and civilizations and economic systems will come and go. Taking care of our basic necessities by setting ourselves up with a good supply of food and other necessities isn’t the only thing we need to think about, but it could well turn out to be as important, under some conditions, as eating an optimal diet, supporting scientific and medical research into aging, and buying the latest supplements.
What I’m doing
I’m currently following the practice of “stocking up” on the essentials. I have three little cases of sardines and four cases of anchovies in my cupboard, and a shelf full of organic vegetable juice (24 bottles) which I bought while it was on sale. I have two cases of dish soap in a box under the sink, and ten gallons (a start) of bottled water (in glass bottles) to get me through emergencies. I plan to start a “victory garden” this coming spring. I buy foods like whey powder (good for increasing our glutathione) in bulk. I buy supplements such as NAC and glycine (the makings of GlyNAC, which also increases glutathione) in bulk when they’re on sale.
Stocking up on food also gives me food to donate to shelters when it comes within a coupe of months of its expiration date, a win-win.
- Related article: “Stocking up to prepare for a crisis isn’t ‘panic buying’. It’s actually a pretty rational choice“
- Photo credit: Image by PublicDomainArchive from Pixabay
Not medical advice
This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplements, just reporting on what I’m doing. All supplements can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen. See full Medical Disclaimer