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Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed
When you analyze hyperinflation, you quickly figure out just by logic that buying everything you will ever need for the rest of your life now make sense. Better to buy 3.4 pounds of macaroni with a 30-year shelf life now for $4.30 than to wait until the hyperinflation hits and pay $50,000 for that same 3.4 pounds. If you think that’s absurdly impossible, you have not seen the ten trillion dollar Zimbabwean bank note a reader sent me. Or old photos of Germans burning cash because it was cheaper than firewood.
And if you have any doubts about the logic, read books about the various hyperinflations around the world throughout history and you will quickly find moving accounts of people starving or suffering serious diseases from inability to get nutritious food in adequate quantity or variety.
That is why I put the chapter titled “Advance purchase and sale” in the first edition of my book How to Protect your Life Savings from Hyperinflation & Depression, 2nd edition.
I acknowledged there that it was easier said than done. But as I tried to follow my own advice, I learned it was much easier said than done.
Mormons are famous for urging their members to have a lot of food stored in case of general or individual hard times. They used to urge storing one year’s worth. Now they say three months.
I say two years worth. Three would be better. Why? I expect we will get hyperinflation. Hyperinflation is typically accompanied by wage and price controls, capital controls, rationing, and anti-hoarding laws.
Wage and price controls are denounced by about 99.9% of economist, even the commie, pinko, liberal hippy bed-wetters. They try to force sellers to sell their goods for less than market value. No one will do that. So they cause extreme shortages of food, fuel, and other consumable necessities. Older readers probably remember the gas lines of 1973 and 1979. Those were caused by price controls on gasoline and the federal government seizing control of which gas stations got how much gasoline. The lines went away overnight when the government ended the price controls and allocation rules.
The reason wage and price controls accompany hyperinflation is the politicians want to blame merchants for the skyrocketing prices and pretend to be on the side of the public. In fact, hyperinflation is caused by the government “printing” too much money.
Capital controls are laws that prohibit you from possessing, exporting, importing, spending, or receiving foreign currency or gold and maybe other precious metals. Why do those accompany hyperinflation of the U.S. dollar? Because if the U.S. dollar rapidly loses purchasing power, people will instantly trade all their dollars for stable foreign currencies or gold or silver. That would screw up the federal government’s efforts to steal all of your dollar-denominated assets to pay their bills and get past another election. Basically, when a pickpocket targets you, he must not let you run away or even move. That is what hyperinflation is about. It requires you to stand there and do nothing while it it happening. Capital controls prevent you from leaving the U.S. dollar until all your dollars have been turned into worthless paper. That takes six months to a couple of years to accomplish.
Rationing is another way for the politicians who caused this to seem to be on your side. We had partial rationing in the 1970s when, for example, only people with odd-numbered license plates could get gas on odd-numbered days. (Vanity plates were virtually unheard of then.) We had full-blown rationing during World Wars I and II.
Anti-hoarding laws essentially say that you can never have more of anything than your ration coupon allows you to buy when it first takes effect. Storing food in the Mormon or any other way would violate typical anti-hoarding laws. I am not aware of any such laws in the U.S. at present, but they are typically enacted in countries at war or suffering high or hyperinflation.
In hyperinflating Austria and Germany in the early 1920s, government inspectors went door-to-door looking for and confiscating any food or fuel in excess of the ration coupon amount. They may have also done that with things like soap and clothing. I am not sure. When one of my web readers read that line to his American grandmother, she said that during World War II here in the U.S., she hoarded sugar because it was needed for Mason jar canning of fruits she grew. U.S. law at that time called for confiscation of such commodities in excess of the ration coupon amount.
My general impression is that the U.S. government does not make door-to-door inspections confiscating people’s private property. The Fourth Amendment requirement of a probable-cause based warrant for a search would seem to slow it down.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
So I do not think the U.S. government will try to confiscate privately owned food, fuel, and other necessities stored in private principal residences. But I am not sure of it. I store food because of the “man’s home is his castle” principle in America. But I am not sure the U.S. government might not try to confiscate such stored food. That is why I store food, AND I put money in foreign currencies and foreign countries, AND I own a home in the U.S., etc. It is part of the all-of-the-above strategy I describe below.
On page 135 of the second edition of my book, I list the various hyperinflations of the past and their durations. I figure a hyperinflation in the U.S. will last six months to two years. It would not hurt to have three years worth in case I am mistaken.
That brings us to shelf life. You can’t just go buy your favorite foods in three-year quantities.
Roughly speaking, the shelf lives of grocery store foods are something like this:
baked goods: days
fresh milk: ten days refrigerated
Canned soup: two years
Canned seafood: three years
So, unless you want to try to live solely on canned seafood, and you are going to rotate it so you eat some and replace it continuously, just buying in the local supermarket will not suffice. Although products like those sold by Shelf-Reliance can help you with the rotation. I have some rotating food and some Mormon-style #10-can food. I recommend you do all of the above. You get more variety and nutrition with rotation of normal supermarket food in addition to long-shelf-life food.
Then a lot of people immediately turn to freeze-dried food like that made by Mountain House and Backpacker’s Pantry. It has a shelf life of something like six years. Although that is not the food, it is the Mylar package. Buy it in #10-can-form and the exact same freeze-dried food has a shelf life of 20 to 30 years.
Mountain House and others encourage using their product for emergency storage by selling it in large quantities that provide one person meals for a year or three weeks or various other combinations. Costco sells those long-term packages. I have not bought them and do not recommend them. You need to make sure you like each item in the big package. If you eat everything, fine. But when I was in Army Ranger School we got C-rations. Those came in 12 varieties. I liked some a lot, others not so much and others not at all. Most people would not want a years supply of the C-ration meal known as ham and lima beans. So be careful you do not buy a year’s worth of Mountain House’s equivalent of ham and lima beans.
Buy individual small pouches of the meal you are considering. Try it. If you like it, then buy it in bulk—cases of #10 cans.
Freeze-dried food is expensive, light weight, and to my taste, rarely appetizing. I like the Mountain House teriyaki chicken with rice, their corn and peas, but not many of the others. For example, Mountain House’s teriyaki beef with rice tastes like extremely peppery soggy rice to me—sort of five-alarm, jalapeño risotto. If I had been given it as a blind taste test, I would not have used the words “beef” or “Teriyaki” in my description of it. Teriyaki beef jerky tastes far more like beef teriyaki than this stuff. Thumbs down. Their beef stew looks the part. It has tiny cubes of potatoes, carrots, peas, and beef, but I thought it tasted like something I would only eat if I had nothing else to eat. My wife’s cat was very interested until I put it down on the floor for her, then she sniffed it and walked away. The following night, I ate a Hormel Compleats Beef Pot Roast for comparison. It does not need to be refrigerated. If I recall correctly, I bought it about six months ago in April 2012. It is “best by 10/18/13”—18 months later. The cat loved the leftover Compleats plate. So make sure your first eighteen months are taken care of by Hormel Compleats-type food before you start buying Mountain House stuff.
I tried Mountain House Noodles and Chicken and liked it. Bought a bunch of #10 cans of it. Ditto their Rice and Chicken and their Chicken a la King and noodles.
Their Lasagna with Meat Sauce? Mezza mezza. Freeze drying seems to work better with chicken than beef when it comes to taste.
You do not want to pay thousands of dollars for a year’s Mountain House package that includes $100s worth of this stuff if you like it no more than I did. But there’s no accounting for taste, so try it yourself.
I think I would prefer past-best-by-date supermarket cereal or before-expiration, Mormon-covered-wagon food to most Mountain House meals. Maybe just get their single-ingredient food cans like corn, beef, chicken, peas, etc. Then mix them with Mormon stuff after you have exhausted all your supermarket pantry and frozen food. Mountain House has too many handicaps like making the stuff lightweight for backpackers and packaging it in mylar packages that double as out-in-the-woods cooking utensils. You don’t need to pay for those features when you do not need them nor do you need to put up with the inability of Mountain House to make most of their meals tasty. I would also rather leave the U.S. and go to another country that does not have hyperinflation than eat most Mountain House meals.
I discuss this at more length in my article about my backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon in November 2011.
For backpacking, which was how I became acquainted with it, the lightness is extremely important. But for hyperinflation, the weight is not of much importance. When packaged in aluminum-mylar containers which double as the cooking pot when you eat it, the packing is somewhat fragile and bulky. If it were squashed or set upon by rodents who could smell food or recognize the packaging visually, it would be destroyed. Don’t laugh about recognizing food visually. The Yosemite Park bears used to only smell food and hanging it from a tree kept them from getting it. Now, they recognize the look of food packages and will look around and find the rope tied to a lower branch that releases the hanging food.
Also, these freeze-dried food companies have lots of fans, but I never heard of them until 2011. I have heard of the Mormon Church my whole life. Similarly, I never heard of freeze-drying until recent decades. Canning, however, I have heard of my whole life. In general, I am leery of shelf-life guarantees from companies whose existence is shorter than their claimed shelf life and from technologies whose history is shorter than their claimed shelf life. I guess Mountain House and Backpacker’s pantry and freeze drying are not still in those categories, but you get my point. I like well-established and tried and true. New is often not yet ready for prime time.
The Mormons are big on dry pack canning. I had never heard of that. My wife and I had dinner with a Mormon couple recently and asked about their approach to food storage. They arranged for us to get a briefing which we did today. Very impressive and interesting.
Basically, they only do it with food that is essentially dry in its natural state. Here is a list they gave me including shelf life when in a #10 can:
beans (black, pinto, and white) 30 years
milk, nonfat dry 20
wheat (hard red and white) 30
apple slices 30
oats (quick and regular) 30
onions, dry 30
potato flakes 30
cocoa mix, hot
fruit drink mix
They also offer “prepackaged items” of some of those plus pancake mix and potato pearls.
Plus, the Internet seems to indicate you can do this to some additional foods if you first put them through a drying process. I found a list of “do not try to dry can” at http://www.newfluwiki2.com/diary/1419/. I wondered if you could extend the shelf life of rahmen noodles with dry canning. It looks like you cannot because it contains ingredients on the LDS do-not-dry-can list namely vegetable oil, palm oil, brown rice, oil, and yeast. Also, the food you dry can is not supposed to have more than 10% moisture in it. I do not know how much rahmen noodles have.
Is there any down-side to dry canning food that is not appropriate for dry canning? Yes. Moisture and lack of oxygen can provide growth opportunities for botulism producing bacteria.
Whoa! Good safety tip, Egon.
They package these foods in metal #10 cans. They toss in an oxygen absorber for most food types (not sugar), and vacuum seal it with a metal lid. In other words, when they are done running their vacuum-canning machine, it is the same as a #10 can of food you might buy in a supermarket or Costco. You have to open it with a standard can opener. They sell the cans, lids, and plastic lids that you use once you open the can assuming you do not use it all up the first meal.
These are not impervious to rodents, but almost. The cans are not indestructible. You have to keep them dry or they will rust. If you dent them they may be punctured by the dent. But they will generally preserve the food from risks like rodents, insects, and humidity.
The Mormons put a store-like label on each can complete with name, nutrition facts, # of servings, weight, ingredient list, directions, shelf life, and storage instructions (dry place at or below 75ºF). The manufacturer is Welfare Services, Salt Lake City, UT. There is a blank line where you can write in or rubber stamp the date packaged.
As you can see, these #10 cans contain mostly “from scratch,” covered-wagon type ingredients. In contrast, freeze-dried stuff is generally sold as a whole, TV-dinner type meal. Just add boiling water and eat. The bad news in “from scratch” means you need to have a 1950s housewife or the equivalent to whip up meals from this stuff—or at least a stack of cook books and the necessary kitchen utensils. You also need other ingredients that yoou cannot dry pack like yeast and so on. The good news is you can create variety from this limited number of basic ingredients by using all sorts of different recipes.
Because of the extreme long shelf life, you can just buy this stuff, store it properly, and forget about it. No need for any rotation system. (Okay. After 27 years with 30-year-shelf-life food you would want to rotate theremaining three-year supply so none goes bad.)
You can also do dry canning with aluminum foil pouches and glass jars.
I would like to hear what some Mormon family that actually ate this stuff and nothing else for a year or more had to say about the experience. What would they have done differently if they had it to do over? How would they supplement the above list?
Also, I wonder if the variety is adequate both from a nutrition standpoint and from a “going nuts because of lack of variety” standpoint. In 1920s Austria and Germany hyperinflation, people suffered from scurvy (lack of vitamin C), malnutrition, and 95% of the children failed to grow adequately. They were living off of canned milk and canned salted cod and such. The Mormon cans seem to cover what my mom used to call “starches“ when I was growing up. And you need those. But man does not live by starch alone. How do you get the missing nutrients?
In the Mormon store, you can only can in the store what they sell in the store. You cannot can what you bought elsewhere. But you can buy, borrow, or rent the canning machine—which looks like a combination small vacuum cleaner and wood shop drill press. It sits on a counter and is about 30 inches tall. Here is a YouTube video of the machine vacuum-sealing a can.
I am inclined to use an all-of-the-above strategy in order to get adequate variety and nutrition:
• normal rotating supermarket food including a refrigerator with an emergency backup generator to take advantage of the longer shelf life of frozen foods
• UHT milk which I wrote about in “Stocking up on milk as preparation for hyperinflation”
• freeze-dried meals and freeze-dried #10 can ingredients
• Mormon #10 cans of the various starches
• and continuing to research this field
I recently bought three varieties of powdered milk to experiment with trying to figure out the formula for making it right and to find the one that tastes best. I am told you have to make it a day before, make sure you crush all the lumps, filter, and so on before refrigerating. I really like milk and it is nature’s most nearly perfect food so I will make the effort.
I have not created the ability to produce my own food: egg-laying chickens, eating chickens, milk cow, garden, and so on. But I am screwing around with investigating such sources. During the hyperinflation in Austria and Germany, having a friend or uncle who was a farmer was a godsend.
I still think I would prefer doing a 90-day tourist visa stay in a country that has not destroyed its own currency by “printing” too much of it.
The Mormon approach as desired above has a Spartan, just-the-basics, old-West settler range to it—which is to be expected given the Mormon history of settling Utah. This food is often charity donations to families who are temporarily down on their luck financially. As such it is basic, minimal, charity but not luxury or gourmet food. I would modify it to a combination of the Mormon approach and a sort of gourmet, why not the best, Stouffer’s premium TV dinners. I like the Mormon approach as far as it goes, but I would go farther to make it as pleasant as possible during the first six to 18 months of using the food rather than the minimal charity case approach.
When I was in Vietnam, I was sometimes stationed near a Chinese restaurant called the Loon Foon, which was like a stateside Chinese restaurant and near an officer’s club that sold lunch and dinner hot meals. When the mess hall meal for the day sounded good, I ate there for free. But whenever the mess hall was serving liver and onions or meatloaf or some such, I went to the club and paid for my meal. The other officers all had the attitude that they could save a lot of money in Vietnam because we got free room and board in a combat zone. My attitude was, “Vietnam sucks, but at least I can get a good meal when I am in the Long Binh area, and I will. Vietnam is bad enough—outhouses, vermin-infested sleeping quarters, stinking heat and humidity, dust everywhere—why make it worse than it has to be?”
I would have the same attitude toward surviving hyperinflation or another emergency. I can’t go to McDonalds or Red Lobster during hyperinflation, but if I can avoid eating gruel and hardtack for every meal, I will. And it appears you can with the various approaches in the bullet list above.
I would appreciate suggestions from readers about how to store three years of tasty, varied, adequately nutritious food
And here is a checklist about all this at the Mormon Web site.
A #10 can of Mormon macaroni has 27 servings @ 200 calories each = 5,400 calories. You cannot and should not try to live just on macaroni all day every day. But to show a simple calculation regarding how much a person needs for a year, I will assume an all-macaroni diet. Under normal circumstances, an adult needs 730,000 calories per year. Generally, the emergency food storage literature seems to indicate that people need more calories during emergencies. But for here, I will just use the 730,000 calories.
That would be 730,000 calories per year per adult ÷ 5,400 calories per #10 can = 135.2 #10 cans of macaroni per adult per year. They would weigh 135 x 3.4 pounds per can = 459 pounds. Each #10 can is 6 inches in diameter and 7 inches tall. If you take the cube root of 135—to see how big a stack that would be, it comes out to about a 5-can x 5-can x 5-can cube. That would be 5 x 6" = 30" wide x 30" deep by 5 x 7" = 35 inches high. Three years worth of food would be three of those stacks per person. (Different foods have different numbers of calories per #10 can. For example, Mormon nonfat dry milk has 6,900 calories per #10 can.)
I have tons—literally—of books that I wrote in my garage. They come in boxes weighing about 40 pounds each. We have been told not to stack them more than 5 cartons high. Doing so may damage the bottom boxes. I expect the same thing applies to some height of #10 cans and no doubt varies by the weight of the can contents. In other words, the structural strength of a #10 can is adequate to handle its contents as well as a certain amount of weight on top of it, but there is a relatively low limit to how much weight you can place on top of a #10 can without damaging it.
In my garage, we have steel shelves I bought from Grainger. These enable us to stack more than five cartons high in a given vertical space. In other words, we put five cartons or less on the floor, then another stack of five cartons or less above that on the shelf, then another above that. You cannot stack until you hit the ceiling if you exceed the load-carrying capability of the bottom cans or boxes. But you can stack until you hit the ceiling of the room if you have steel shelves to keep each stack at or below the load-carrying capacity of the bottom row.
Of course, you also need to take into account the load-bearing ability of the floor under the cans or shelves’ feet. Mine are in a garage with a concrete floor. Once, my son got the bright idea to move a whole bunch of book boxes to the attic of our two-story earthquake country home. I had to make him move them back to the garage. In an earthquake, the ground suddenly moves multiple feet in one direction—like yanking the table cloth out from under a place setting. When you put a ton or more of weight three stories (attic) high, you create dangerous torque on the frame structure. The ton or more of books in the attic tends to stay at rest (Newton’s Law) when the foundation jerks sideway.
Also, the higher you stack anything—books or cans—the greater the danger of tipping over, especially in an earthquake—more so with #10 cans than book boxes. Tipping over would likely damage the cans and force immediate consumption of their contents. Also, high stacks of heavy objects are a safety hazards to nearby humans and pets.
Here is an email from a reader:
I lived in Salt Lake City for years and used to roll my eyes at my food storing neighbors. Store money, not food, I used to tell them. But in the last two years after reading your book, I have been getting up to speed my own food storage program.
One thing that has become clear to me that there are some essential skills that a person must acquire, as well as the food. None are all that difficult but it makes sense to do so now in a non-emergency situation when it is easy to acquire the tools you find are needed.
Here are some of the skill I mean:
Bread Making: One of the foundations of long term food storage is wheat. But you also must also have a mill to turn it into flour. I bought a bread maker and a mill, and although my idea of cooking is pouring my Raison Brand into a bowl in the morning, I have been baking all of our bread for more than a year now. With my bread maker and some dedicated measurement containers, I can load up the bread maker from scratch and clean up in less then 10 minutes. 3 and a half hours later – fresh bread. Really, that is all there is to it. But, it took me a months to be able to consistently turn out a good loaf (I was making it too wet and it would cave in.) That is why I say now is the time to learn these things. Also I've learned that hard white tastes much better than hard red wheat. It is good to know things like that before buying a couple hundred pounds of wheat.
Sourdough: Another way to convert wheat berries into a meal is sourdough pancakes. There is a trick to capturing the yeast from the air. You can buy a culture, but the day may come when store bought anything is not as simple to come by as it is now. There is also a trick to maintaining a culture without it going bad. It is not hard, but your first attempt may well end in failure.
Bean Sprouting: If you store the right seeds and have some simple skills, you will always have access to fresh produce. In fact it does not get any fresher than sprouts. When I read Blockade, I kept thinking how easy it would have been, with some foresight and some simple equipment to avoid scurvy. It is easy to get sprouting equipment now. In the future, who knows?
Gardening: I go to Russia more often than I would like. Most of the older people there pretty much live out of their gardens. They have to – the hyperinflation of the USSR left them with next to nothing. I don't want to go to the extremes that they do, but this summer I experimented with making a (virtually) no hassle vegetable garden. I planted everything in 5 gallon buckets sitting on top of upside down buckets (no weeding and no stooping) and ran drip lines from a timer, so there is no watering either. I have a few kinks to work out, but I believe next summer will be much better.
Food Drying: My tomato crop was not as bumper as I was hopping this year. So I am not going to learn how to make sun dried tomatoes this time around. Maybe next year. I don't know how you can put butter in food storage, but I know sun dried tomatoes and garlic in olive oil stores well and is great on bread fresh out of the bread maker.
Yogurt Making: This one is on my to-do list. In my mind, it is a way of consuming powdered milk (btw: in Russia they have UHT milk – I never could understand why most of the milk in the stores was unrefrigerated until I read your article awhile ago.) I think plain yogurt is nasty, sour stuff. But with jam mixed in, it tastes pretty good, and is not too bad on sourdough pancakes.
Cottage Cheese: The Russians have a way of making a kind of cottage cheese out of milk. It takes a little of getting used to, but I believe it is another way of turning powered milk into edible food. I will have to get my wife to experiment with making it from powered milk.
Kettle Corn: I don't eat popcorn very often but I have thought if we do go through hard times it will be important to have some little treats and to maintain some sense of order and structure. I thought a Sunday night popcorn tradition would be a good thing to establish. A small thing, yes, but it might be a bit like your story at West Point how you kept going by keeping your mind on the next break.
I've had kettle corn and liked it, but I don't know how to make it or what equipment you need. It can't be all that hard, but still, it is something to learn now. I know you can buy microwave popcorn, but this is all about preserving resources. The more I can save, the more I can squirrel away. Bulk popcorn is cheap and will store well in my basement.
Chickens: I know this sounds crazy, and I hope it is, but I have enough PVC pipe and chicken wire to make a bunch of chicken coops. I say a bunch because I don't want to be the only guy in the neighborhood with backyard chickens. I am not ready to try it out, but I live in Fresno, where about half the population is from Mexico. If you spend any time in the Mexican neighborhoods around here, you will hear chickens, so I know this city does not crack down on having them. But I would expect complaints in the better neighborhoods. If times get really tough, I picture getting some chicks (I have my sources) and turning some of my neighbors into chicken farmers along with me, so I will have some comrades in arms. I am discrete about my food storage (I told you about my grandmother hiding her sugar during the war) but you can't be discrete about having backyard chickens. Allies may be useful.
Tortillas: Beans and rice are a major protein source in any food storage plan. I've got to get one of my tenants to show me how to make tortillas from scratch, then, with canned salsa, we can have bean and alfalfa sprout tacos, and burritos.
Food Storage Techniques: The Mormons like #10 cans because they have access to all the equipment through their church. Most people use special food grade Mylar bags which work fine. They can be sealed with a clothes iron or a hair iron. They usually come with oxygen absorbers (which are packets of iron filings moistened with salt water. When opened, the iron rusts, forming, of course, iron oxide. It is amazing how tight the bags get when the oxygen is sucked out of the air to make rust.) The bags are usually put in 5 gallon buckets, but I like flip top containers. They store tighter. I have never had a rodent in my house, but keep traps around my food storage just in case. It's called risk management. I read about it somewhere.
In case you have not heard it yet, let me leave you with the food preper's motto:
Store what you eat, and eat what you store.
Here is another email I received:
I just received the second edition of How to Protect your Life Savings from Hyperinflation & Depression.. I had read the first one and I really enjoyed the things you added to the second especially the part on foreign currency. I have read many of your other real estate books and Succeeding as well and have found them all to be very helpful. I was the reading the article on your website about the Mormon Food Storage Approach. I was interested in your perspective on the Mormon approach as I am a Mormon myself. I think you did an excellent job describing much of our churches approach to food storage. I wanted to comment on a few things you wrote. Perhaps this will be of some help to you or your readers. This is purely my take on this issue as I do not speak on behalf of the church.
You mention in the article the church used to recommend a one year supply of food to be stored by every member of the church but now they only recommend three months. The church still recommends a longer term supply than three months. Here is a link that explains this: https://www.lds.org/topics/food-storage?lang=eng
The site mentions a longer term supply at the bottom of the page with other links to helpful information that you discussed in your article as well. In the past the church has recommended a minimum of a one year supply but I find it interesting that they now use the term longer term storage without putting an exact time for the quantity of food to last which I think fits nicely with your idea of 2-3 years or more. If you read the site they say "build a storage that will last a long time". The three month supply is a newer concept as they did not talk about this in past that I know of. I think the idea behind this was to encourage people to get started where a three month supply would be easier to start. On the web page it is recommended to start by buying extra food as you do your normal grocery shopping and then build from there into the longer term storage with the #10 cans.
There is also a calculator that estimates how much a family would need to buy to build a one year storage of wheat, beans, oats, and other basic products. This has helped us calculate how much to buy. http://providentliving.com/info/foodcalc/
You can also buy the food online without going to the drypack. http://providentliving.com/info/foodcalc/ However they only have wheat, beans and rice for purchase online. I have never purchased it online. I usually go direct to the drypack to buy it. I am sure anyone can buy it. I don't think you need to be a member of the church to do buy the food. You have to go to the drypack and can the other items that you have listed in your article.
I also noticed the email you had in the article from the guy who used to live in Salt Lake City. He said the only members of the church could use the drypack. "The Mormons like #10 cans because they have access to all the equipment through their church". I think anyone can use the drypack. I don't think you have to be a member of the church to do so.
I would think that many Mormons would benefit from reading your book. Many of the things you discuss have been taught in our church for a long time. One of our deceased church leaders Ezra Taft Benson, former secretary of Agriculture under Dwight D Eisenhower gave many talks on many of the same points you discuss in your book. I am including two in which he discusses food storage, inflation etc. He was speaking to members of the church so there are many religious references but there are many practical points that are identical to the things you wrote about as well.
West Point, UT
John T. Reed