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As Famine Looms, Should You Hide Your Stored Food? Here's What History Tells Us.

•, Marie Hawthorne

Whether it's been the fires at food processing facilities, farm closures, or the issues around meat production, we've been talking about it. But now, is it time to focus more on how to store food secretly?

Building a pantry and becoming proficient at producing and processing your own food are important first steps. I'd like to think that different groups of people forming self-sufficient production communities would prevent future problems, but that may not be the case. It looks like there are going to be major problems up ahead.

Will history repeat?
During the Holodomor in Ukraine from 1932-1933, any withholding of food by farming communities was forbidden. Everything was supposed to go to the cities. Neighbors were encouraged to rat each other out to the authorities.   Anyone suspected of hoarding could expect to have their homes torn apart, walls broken into, and earth dug up around their properties by the police, looking for caches of food.

These capable peasants, these kulaks, who had been born into the self-sufficient lifestyle many people are now trying to recreate, still largely perished.  

And this sort of thing is hardly unique to the Soviets.
For an account of the famine in Mao's China, you can read Wild Swans by Jung Chang. In her chapter on the famine in the late 1950s, she recounts many of the same techniques used by the Soviets. This is hardly surprising; Mao idealized Stalin. They collectivized farms, took everything produced by farmers to ration to the city-dwellers, and left the people in the countryside to scavenge.