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During a stressful situation, food could be used as a comfort blanket.

After hurricane Rita blew through 2 years ago, we returned home from the shelter only to find the yard covered with tree limbs. One tree in the back yard had blown down, but landed away from my house. Some of our group started cleaning up the yard, and piling the limbs up. While this cleaning up was going on I started cooking. The pit was fired up, some sausage and steaks were cooked and we all had a feast right before dark.

It was of great comfort to have a good hot meal after a stressful event. The night before, it sounded like we had a train sitting on top of us for about 8 hours. The next morning everyone was stressed out, and edgy, but the hot meal was like a turning point for that day.

After a stressful event, plan on the group using a feast to comfort and reassure them that life will return back to normal. Then is not the time for powered eggs and freeze dried foods. Pull the steaks or ribs out of the freezer and cook them up.

The food in the freezer should be eaten before the packaged stuff anyway. So its a win win situation. The group gets a good hot meal and the perishable foods are eaten before they spoil.

Never underestimate the power of a good hot meal. It can really help with the moral of the group.
 

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Well, I heard that when TSHTF in the British army, even elite units stops to brew up a cup of strong sweet tea.
As you say Kev, the importance of normality and comradeship should never be underestimated.

YB
 

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Good Bye
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I have heard time and time again that morale and creature comforts make a tremendous difference in a tough time. your post illustrated what something as easy to do as cook a good meal can greatly improve morale, and change outlook.

An excellent post.
 

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Elitist Gun Snob
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This is evident no where stronger than in the South. Think about it...every time someone passes, people bring food (also so the grieving family doesn't have to worry about cooking). And although I can't prove it, I have a very strong suspicion that casseroles and "covered dishes" were invented in the south, hehe. We do like to eat down here!
 

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Does not play well
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Ever hear of funeral potatos?

Where I am from whenever more than two people get together at least one of them has to bring food... Well almost.

I compete in powerlifting. After a successful competition we all go out to eat as groups of friends. I imagine it feels much the same as when armies of old would feast after a successful battle. Alot of hormones are released in relation to food consumption that are designed to make the eater feel better. If eating wasn't "rewarding" we would not tend to do it enough to stay healthy. The neuro-transmitter seratonin (also linked with depression) is released after a meal that is high in carbohydrates. That is the reason why women tend to go eat sweet stuff after a breakup, or other stressful events.

Kev you are right on the money on this one.
 

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shtf comfort food

Unless you are in an immediately dire situation when SHTF you should definintely make a big meal of fresh food and meat. First this is because fresh veggies, meat and dairy products are the first things to go bad. Eat them first. Also the psychological effects of a good meal are important. People need hope almost as much as they need food. Cooking up a great meal made of all the meat and fresh stuff is an outstanding way to accomplish both of these goals.
 

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Knocked Down But Up Again
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Kev you are right on the money on this one.
Amen to that! I'm a firm believer that food can be the key to almost anything. I have hips and thighs that can attest to that, LOL!
 

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I can sure attest to a good hot meal, really raising morale.
One place I was at, we were on C rations, most of the time, but every 3 or 4 days, the cooks were able to scrounge enough supplies, from the Army troops, a few miles away, to actually cook up a hot meal (field kitchen).
The situation didn't last all that long, only till the rest of the supplies caught up with us, but it sure helped.
 

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If situation permits,ie;no gas leaks or brushfire dangers,a decent campfire has a vwery calming effect on the human psyche.Something about sitting and looking into the flames calms and soothes. Even if nothing to eat,it allows time to think things thru,in relative ease and comfort.
 

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I was in surfside during Allison. No power for nie on a week, and 5 of us all got together and had a hurricane party. good barbecue and beer day, though the gulf was too muffed up to really fish at the time
 

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after the 2006 WA windstorm,when we realized power was going to be out for several days we took all the food in the freezer and cooked it up.it help settle the mood toward the situation and feed the community members that weren't ready. but, i think eating deer,elk,salmon,steaks and dogs can make anyone feel better.
 

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The Bad guy
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food is great for morale, which is one reason mcdonalds is so popular. due to the fast foods high fat contenet, among other garbage, a very temporary state of euphoria is produced, for a few minutes until you feel like crap. eating fatty foods in particular in a time of hunger will always increase peoples moods, resulting in greater morale.
 

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I believe eating is the closet activity to sex, involving all five senses. During my training at the culinary institute, watching the customers behavior before, during and after a meal really brings to light the impact of eating, alone or in a group. The calming/soothing effect of the entrées, widening of the eyes for desserts. If the meal was spectacular, dropping a huge bill in front of the client wouldn't even cause a reaction.
Even cooking is extremely relaxing and is seen as foreplay.

So, remember when eating at McD's...there's a red headed clown with big shoes about to mount you....:(
 

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I believe eating is the closet activity to sex
haha funny but fairly accurate in my opinion as well

other than that i agree with just about everyone here that its a hugely positive mental stimulant (in many cases) and a definite morale booster

side note: do you think smores were created by parents of children who didnt like camping? think about it... its got all the major food groups: the puffed sugar group, the chocolate group and the graham group
 

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Thats a reason I have a few rations of rum in one of my MRE packs. Food- especially familliar food- is a boost to the mental health- and the number one aspect of survival is a positive outlook. Sausage and a little grog sounds positive to me after a hard days work.
 

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Campfires are seldom used in Urban Survival, however, since wood is less common in urban settings you would conserve what wood you do have by cooking in a apple juice can or a small pot.

I have a butane stove, alcohal stoves, and gelled fuel (read the chemical label, some are toxic indoors), that I can use in my apartment.

Using your fresh foods first is the best advice.
 

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In 2004, when we had a brief membership in the Hurricane-of-the-week club, our camping coffee pot made the difference. My husband got the coffee going each morning in our backyard and it was a big morale boost despite day after day of everything being shut down & turned off and/or broken in pieces.

I was so proud of our neighborhood. The men banded together to form a chainsaw brigade that went from house to house removing trees and tarping over the holes. In the afternoons we had a mess of something going on the grill. As others have said the camraderie and familiar foods were a boost to morale.
 
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