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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Food Anti-Hoarding Law in Canada

Frugal Kitchens 101 I can long remember my childhood days filled with wonderful food memories.  Part of that was a very well stocked pantry.  I have always carried that tradition with me and it has served us well.  It is so much easier to deal with the uncertainties of life, the curve balls life throws at you and simple day to day living with a full tummy.  During the y2K scare, we increased our preparedness but in all honesty, keeping a well stocked pantry remained a norm.  At that same time, I became involved in a few newsgroups relating to the y2K scare.  Like many on the newsgroups, we keep an 18 month to 2 year food supply in our home.  All of a sudden, folks were warning about anti-hoarding laws where your food stores could be confiscated.  They warned of not letting anyone know about your food stores.  The thing is, in Canada even today a well stocked pantry is a matter of survival in many remote areas and a must unless you live close to a larger urban centre.  A year's supply of food is quite reasonable to get a family from one growing season to the next with a bit extra just in case.  With the growing interest in home canning as a way of self sufficiency and putting a healthier, additive free food on the table, the idea of an anti-hoarding law in Canada was a bit discerning.  So I did a bit of research.

Canada was experiencing a severe shortage of sugar in 1918, specifically can sugar, not corn syrup, honey or maple products.  Only cane sugar that was imported and processed was restricted.  It was illegal to hold more than a 15 day supply of sugar in the city or 45 days if more than two miles from a supplier.  Charges and convictions were against merchants and suppliers that hoarded foods like eggs, butter and cheese then allowed it to spoil when folks were going hungry.  I could find no convictions against householders meaning their stores did not fall under the temporary anti-hoarding laws to begin with.  Food control was in place in Canada during World War I  to reduce the home consumption of certain foods required for feeding the troops but at the same time Canadians were encouraged to have household gardens to help supply some of the food they required.  Any food anti-hoarding laws in Canada were very short lived, ending with World War I.  There has been no food anti-hoarding laws in effect in Canada since 1918.  That means, in Canada we are free to stock whatever foods we deem necessary for our family and lifestyle. 

2 food lovers commented:

JAF said...

Do you have a general listing of what foods to use for 12-18 mo supply that you would share? I like to purchase ahead when there are sales. At one time canning or freezing all of our fruits and veggies for the year. Unfortunately I cannot garden -no place and purchasing through farmers markets is more expensive than buying commercial. I've had to lower my standards but still try to provide the best for myself and hubby.

Garden Gnome said...

I really don't have a generic list of foods to supply. The reason being is this is a very individualist thing and there is no point stocking foods that you won't use. I also don't recommend stocking commercially prepared convenience foods. I know what I need for us as a family for a 2 year supply. Home canning and freezing could still be an option for you on a smaller scale and you may want to check out dehydrating for food storage. The rule of thumb is to stock what you use and use what you stock.

One way to calculate your individual needs is to know your eating style. Let's say you have tomato soup one a week. You would need 52 cans of tomato soup for a one year supply plus a bit extra just in case. There is always room to garden indoors and outdoors if you are creative. A small amount of space (4'4') can produce a surprising amount of produce. I have a continuous garden that helps supply extras indoors during the winter months.