Letter Re: An Alabama Snowstorm

James Wesley:
It is beginning to snow in Alabama.  In small towns all around, the grocery stores have been stripped down to the shelves.  People were buying food to cook in fear that they might not make it to the grocery stores when they need to.  Milk is all but gone.   

I went to the grocery store Sunday morning to pick-up a few doughnuts for our Sunday school class.  I saw one of my wife’s friends on the junk food aisle.  She is a single mom of two.  She said, “I have $40 to buy groceries to get us by for the next few days.  What do you recommend I buy?”   

We quickly developed a plan based on what her kids would eat and drink and under the assumption that the power will go down.   This was her shopping list…

1.       Pop tarts – She wanted a hot cereal for her boys; I said stick the pop tarts in an oven.

2.       Coca-Cola.  She said that she had to have caffeine.

3.       Bread.  She asked about sandwich meat. I recommended tomato, banana or peanut butter.

4.       She wanted milk.  I said good.  Asked if she had a cooler.  She said yes.  I said if the power goes out, stick it in the snow and throw the milk in it.  By the way, she bought a half gallon because there were no gallons on the shelves.

5.       She bought a few soups and cans of chili in case the power does not go out.

6.       She also got the ingredients to make vegetable soup from cans and potentially some cornbread.

7.        She was going to buy a case of water.  I got her to buy an extra case.  

Then she surprised me when she asked if she could cook on their natural gas stove.  I asked it got hot enough to boil water.  She said it did.  So we talked about cooking on the stove if she needed to and she only had to worry about the power going out and not having electricity to keep her fridge running.   So she bought some chips and Little Debbie cakes.  She said she had a popcorn popper on the wall that was given to her.  So she bought some popcorn to pop on her stove in her antique corn popper. 

We then talked about how to make snow cream and she realized that she had everything she needed to give the boys a treat.   After talking to her, she realized that she was in better shape than people with just electric heat and water heaters.  She has a gas stove and gas water heater.   I then invited her to church and I was surprised to see her and her boys sitting in our sanctuary.  I told her I was glad to see her.  She told me that she was confused about what to buy and prayed that if someone would help her she would go to church today.     

Being prepared to help others can pay dividends for our Lord.    By the way, she had $12 leftover from the $40.  Most of all, she does not have to worry about what the kids will do for food.  She has it all laid out.   – J.E.H.

JWR Replies: Coincidentally, I was recently sent a photo link that illustrates the immediate result of yesterday’s ice storm warning in Trussville, Alabama: No Bread at Trussville Wal-Mart. (Thanks to J.B.G. for the link.)

Mention of all that soda pop and those high-sugar processed foods really makes me wonder. Do people really eat that way? We don’t claim to have a perfect diet here at the ranch–yes, plenty of corn chips and even a few potato chips have passed through our portals without alarm–but we certainly eat a better diet than that young lady. Please, folks! For the sake of your health and your ability to perform physically and mentally when the proverbial Schumer hits the fan, adjust your diets:

  • Less refined sugar
  • Fewer processed foods
  • Little or no MSG
  • Moderate protein intake
  • Fewer carbohydrates
  • Wholesome oils (like coconut oil and olive oil)
  • Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Lean fresh meats, preferably either home-raised or wild game

And, guess what? If you buy healthy foods in bulk then not only will you have better health, but your weekly grocery expenses will go down!