Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Part 2: Food

Yes, you’re reading this correctly: Raptor’s StZA series is back! This time, as promised, we’ll be covering food.

As before, the standard disclaimer applies:  I am not a trained professional and offer this advice only as a thought exercise, not to be taken seriously. Unless, of course, the dead do actually rise. Actual results may vary, call your doctor if the condition lasts more than four hours, etc.

First and foremost, I’m gonna go against the grain (I think) and suggest staying away from military style MREs. Yes, they are nutritious, if not exactly delicious. Okay, some are right down nasty. The problem is that they can plug up your digestive system if you’re not used to them. Surviving the undead is hard enough with out massive constipation. Plus, they have gotten somewhat expensive and hard to find: genuine military MREs cannot be legally sold to civilians. Civilian versions do exist, but they usually don’t have as many carbs as their military counterparts, and they can get expensive. And while there are apparently ways to acquire “real” MREs, I strongly advise against it. When the stuff hits the fan, one place you do not want to be is on the government’s bad side.

Okay, so MREs are pretty much a no-go. What then? The answer may surprise you: regular canned goods. They’re cheap, legal, and readily available. Look for products that have a long shelf life and, if possible, come pre-cooked, though that last one isn’t really a necessity. And when you do use ’em, save the cans. You never know what you might need an empty can for. Ordinary pasta also works, so long as you have a way to boil water. I’d go so far as to say that pasta is an excellent survival food: long shelf-life, easy prep (so long as you have a way to boil water), you can make as much or as little as you want/need, it’s relatively light weight, and above all, it’s high in carbohydrates. Carbs = calories, calories = energy, and energy = survival. Wait, what’s that? You don’t eat carbs? You don’t want to get fat? Tough cookies, sweetheart. The zombies don’t care if you look like a supermodel, they’ll eat you anyway. You wanna live? Eat the pasta!

Oh, ah, ahem… moving on…

So, canned goods and pasta, check. What else? I’m probably gonna surprise y’all with my next recommendation: salami. Yes, you read that right. Now, I don’t mean the salami slices you get from your local supermarket: I mean a whole salami, still in its casing. Salamis stay good literally for years: if you keep them in their casing, they can stay fresh for, and I’m not kidding here, up to ten years at room temperature. That could save your life, or at least your sanity, in any long-term survival situation. Once distribution networks break down, meat is going to be very hard to come by. Heck, salami might become the ultimate luxury food. Plus, it’s a fairly good source of protein.

One minor note of caution: while the salami will stay good for years, the taste does change over time. The longer a salami sits, the more “off” the taste gets. And it will only stay good if the casing remains completely intact. If the casing gets even a small tear, consume the meat within a week or it’ll go bad.

Okay, moving on. I know I said MREs are not my first choice, if you do insist on something “tactical,” I suggest Tactical Bacon and Tactical Sammiches from CMMG. The sandwiches are actually pretty nutritious, and let’s face it, who wants to survive the zombies if you can’t have bacon? Not I! Oh, and if you have little kiddies, check out these Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches in a Can. Yummy and nutritious with a (purported) 1 year shelf life, and what little kid (or kid at heart) doesn’t like a good PB&J sandwich?

(DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with CMMG, ThinkGeek.com, and/or whoever makes the Canned PB&Js)

But what about water? If your water supply gets contaminated, or if you find yourself mobile without ready access to water, what do you do? There are little gizmos that use ultraviolet light to purify canteens full of water, but I’m going to recommend against them solely because they run on batteries. No, check that, they will work just fine, but make sure you’ve got plenty of water purification tablets to back them up. Or if you’re out of batteries and tablets, you can always boil water to kill off any germs or parasites in the water. A warning about the tablets: they can make water taste pretty funky.

Wow, short post. At least compared to my mega weapons rambles. If I think of anything else, I’ll put up an addenum.

Part 3 will be up soon…ish. Haven’t quite decided what I’ll cover in that section. I’m leaning towards Picking a Survival Team, but that may change.

Until next time, peace.

-Raptor

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5 thoughts on “Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse Part 2: Food

  1. about the salami – So, are you saying that it’ll last for 10 years, as long as you don’t take a bite of it? And, once you do, that salami just went from 10 yrs to 1 week? (If that’s the case, guess you’d need a whole bunch of salamis to keep happy.)

    • How long it will last actually depends on the specific type of salami; how it was “prepared,” the type of casing that it has, etc. And it’s actually as long as the casing stays 100% intact. As soon as the casing is ruptured and air gets in contact with the salami, it’ll start going bad. Doesn’t matter whether you start eating it or not; as soon as the salami contacts air, you’ve got a week.

      • RE Salami types: while they all won’t last for 10 years, at the very least they’ll be good for 6-9 months to a year. And again, depending on the specific type and manufacturer, they can last longer.

  2. is there something specific about salami that makes it the preferable, as opposed to other similar types of cured meats? (ie. summer sausage, etc.)

    Our venison summer sausage is just as you said – once opened, it’s no good by the end of a week. Doesn’t keep as long as Hillshire Farms or something store bought.
    Anyway, I do appreciate the info. Good to know, and I wouldn’t have thought of it. I always think of cans and boxed foods. We actually have some MREs – husband is retired Marine Gunny – he actually likes the stuff – most of them anyway.

    • Honestly, probably not. I just work in a deli, so I know more about salami than any other type of cured meat. Like I said, I’m not really a survival expert.

      And please tell your husband I said “thank you for your service and your sacrifice.” God bless both of you, and Semper Fi.

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