Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...Tell Me More
With oil spreading across the surface of the ocean, the world economy teetering on a precipice, and the Real Housewives of New Jersey premiering on Bravo, it’s not a stretch to believe the end of times are coming. While several companies will sell you kits for the occasion, usually they amount to a four thousand dollar credit card bill and a truckload of rice and oats. Rice and oats are no good for the low-carber, or for anyone wishing to avoid the all-too-common emaciated look of apocalypse survival. Thus, to wind down the week with something a little light-hearted (and what’s more light-hearted than the end of the world as we know it), the Worker Bees have come up with a Primal-approved list of supplies to ease the transition through the fall of modern civilization. Be it global warming, the rapture, or a zombie outbreak, get ready to stock up your bomb shelters! (NOTE: Bomb shelters have been on the decline since the late 1950’s when scientists figured out that six inches of concrete won’t stop a twenty mile wave of cell-melting nuclear radiation. If you have no bomb shelter, a basement will suffice).
First a few non-potables, the most important being…
1. Friends. More important than food. More important than weapons. If there’s one thing evolution, ancient history, and modern horror movies have taught us, people survive in groups. Unlike the blood-thirsty mutants surrounding your village, you don’t have eyes in the back of your head. Having friends to watch your back, to take the night watch, to drag you to safety and to pull out the bullet, is the one thing you really can’t live without. And no fair-weather friends. Golfing buddies, “frenemies,” and people who poke you on Facebook don’t count. You need people in your Dunbar’s circle. The type of friends who would risk life and limb to preserve your spot in line at the premier of Sex and the City 2. The type of friends who would forgive you for farting in a closed elevator. Humans have a capacity to attain roughly one hundred fifty such close friends, and while you may not need all hundred fifty, it’s good to have at least five. Friends won’t store well in a basement, but you’ll want to keep a fresh supply within a twenty mile radius.
2. A Dog. Basically a small, fast friend with a good sense of smell. Dogs will alert you of approaching lycanthropes, and if the situation is dire, a dog makes for a quick protein-filled emergency meal.
3. Knives: steak, butcher, bowie, and spork. Knives are the weapon of choice for the Hell-World survivalist. Much preferable to guns, a knife will never run out of bullets. Whether separating a homunculus from its limbs or carving a wooden doll for the creepy little clairvoyant girl, knives get the job done. The spork has been included for eating efficiency and style. It’s a modern culinary blasphemy that fine cutlery may include fourteen various sizes and shapes of utensil, and yet not one spork.
4. A Vacuum Sealer. Oxygen is the enemy of longevity. Whether fruit, meat, or the remains of a favorite cat, the less air it touches, the longer it’s going to last. While most modern vacuum sealers are powered, you’ll want to find a non-electric sealer for the low-tech times to come.
5. Emergency Kit. Most kits include a variety of bandages, tweezers, ibuprofen, matches, and flares. Flares aren’t really useful so much as aesthetically impressive when fighting crime underwater, measuring how a deep a cave goes, or distracting dinosaurs at Jurassic Park. By the way, if your post apocalypse is overrun with dinosaurs, you might as well kiss yourself goodbye.
Toss the kids into the Voyager and bring along a hand truck, because it’s time to hit Costco! The key words are “calorically dense.” The more calories per cubic inch of food, the better. And now, the list of approved foods…
1. Water. You may be able to survive a month after the food runs out, but you’ll be dead in three days without water. While eight glasses a day isn’t necessary, a quart of water a day works as a rule of thumb. That comes out to roughly 100 gallons of water a year. And don’t you dare buy Dasani. Aside from the environmental footprint of wasted plastic bottles, and the fact that you’d be lining the wallets of Coca-Cola executives, purchasing 100 gallons worth of 20oz water bottles would require a second mortgage. The best option is to buy a couple 50 gallon plastic drums and fill them with good old tap. And make sure to get the air-tight barrels. As the old saying goes, “An unkempt water drum makes for a hotbed of mosquitoes… and/or a sentient face eating slime monster.”
2. Sardines. Loaded with omega 3s, an amazing source of fat and protein, you want the ones in olive oil, not in water. Sardines should compromise the base of your daily diet. They can be mashed into a salad, eaten raw, or even cooked in a soup. Anchovies and canned tuna (again, in oil, not water) also work.
3. Jerky: Beef, Salmon, Venison, Quail, Turkey, Aardvark, basically any meat you can dry out. DIY Jerky is the best route, though it may only last six months if you don’t vacuum seal it. If you choose store-bought jerky, go for dry, unflavored, or peppered jerky. Avoid “Teriyaki” and similar flavors as they typically contain unnecessary quantities of HFCS. And remember, a SlimJim is not jerky, it’s mechanically separated chicken parts mixed in a corn oil emulsion.
4. Pemmican. Pemmican is Eskimo for “meat wad.” Learn how to make your own as a travel snack for the long days spent on the tundras of a world climate-changed to an endless Winnipeg.
5. Canned Fruits and Vegetables. While canned goods last for decades, fruits and veggies are a luxury considering the relatively low macronutrient density. If a pickle only has eight calories, you’d need an Ark full of pickles to survive for a year. Pick nutrient dense canned goods; spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, and pineapple are fine choices. Avoid fruits canned in syrup, canned corn (not a vegetable), and canned asparagus, which is just plain nasty.
6. Nuts. Nuts won’t keep as long as canned goods, though nut butters can stay edible for more than a year. A large jar of almond butter may contain over 3000 calories.
7. Coconut Milk/Cream. In the calorie-dense department, this stuff really takes the cake. At 700 calories a can, it’ll keep you energized for days. And because so many people have sent in emails on the subject… no, coconut milk is not a dairy product; and no, you cannot milk a coconut by squeezing its teats. Coconuts have no teats.
8. Olives. Canned olives don’t have the zing of fresh Kalamata olives, but they still contain healthy fat, and they go well with the piles of sardines and anchovies you just purchased. A hundred cans will do.
9. Vodka. It’s not strictly Primal, but it disinfects, it’s flammable, it can be traded for goods, and you just bought a hundred cans of olives, so why not mix a few martinis?
10. Vitamins. Scurvy is not fun. Not even for pirates. Goiters aren’t very pleasant either. Jaundice. No. Not fun.
11. Herbs, Spices, Salt, Tabasco. Herbs are cheap, and while they will go stale after about 18 months, a little fennel can go long way for flavor. Considering the massive amounts of coconut milk you’ll be consuming, investing in a heavy supply of curry powder is also suggested. And Tabasco is included on the list because, frankly, a world without Tabasco is its own Hell on Earth.
12. Sugary Drinks and Sodas. Whatever version of doomed future you may be living through, there are bound to be a few self-aware robots vying for world domination. And whether the robots disguise themselves as former Austrian body builders or colorful 18 wheelers, you can bet they’ll be bullet proof. Enter soda. As anyone who has ever owned a laptop or blackberry will attest, no electronic device can survive a direct spill from a can of sugary soda. If the machine’s wires don’t short circuit immediately, it’s only a matter of time before nearby ants creep in to suck at the corn syrup laden innards of a mean robot who will most certainly not “be back”.
13. Ant Farm. Ants are a great source of protein. Or you can unleash them on a Coke-soaked terminator.
14. Cheetos. The orange coating on Cheetos permanently bonds to many surfaces, perfect for marking trails, unsafe buildings, or members of the group infected with mind-control parasites.
15. Quaker Low Fat Rice Cakes. Though scientifically proven to be inedible, Quaker low fat rice cakes do have many of the same properties as Styrofoam. Soaked in gasoline for a week, they work as a kind of poor man’s napalm, a great defense against hordes of wayward bikers and rapscallions.
As useful as this grocery list may be, it is only a temporary fix. The average person may eat close to a million calories a year. Most people don’t have enough basement or money for an extra year’s worth of groceries. Or a decade’s worth. Stocking up for a lifetime is impossible, but stocking up for the time it takes you do adapt – to re-adapt – to a primitive hunter-gatherer lifestyle is possible. In the future, money will be worthless. Good looks won’t get you by if the zombie only wants you for your brains. Only healthy, Primal lifestyle habits will carry a person through the hardest times.
No one ever said living through the fall of man would be easy. But in the mean time, with a little know how, the right tools, a basement full of calorie dense, fatty foods, and a few good friends, you’ll have everything you need to make your living nightmare a dream come true.
Thanks for reading, everyone. If you found this article highly informative and took it very seriously you might like these, too. Enjoy!