You Could Run Out of Food
For most people reading this blog, starvation SHOULD be a rare occurrence. In the USA, we have lots of food – so much that we waste a lot of it. Without a doubt there is food insecurity, and people do occasionally starve to death. This happens more as a result of neglect (elderly and children) than as a result of food scarcity. In normal times, starvation isn’t a huge risk for people who consume blogs like preppermill.com.
But preppermill.com isn’t a blog about bad stuff happening in normal times – It’s about preparing for abnormally bad times. So, let’s talk about starvation. NPR did a great article a few years ago about what it’s like to starve to death. In summary:
- First, we get tired and weak.
- Cognitive function suffers mildly in the beginning. The longer you don’t have food, the more extreme your cognitive problems.
- If the situation continues, the body will start to devour itself. It’s not as weird as it sound – think fat burning. That is the body devouring itself. But what happens when you’re out of fat?
- Our body shuts down ‘discretionary’ functions and prioritizes the brain. ‘Discretionary’ is one of that words that really depends on the situation. Most times, we wouldn’t consider kidneys to be discretionary. But when faced with starvation the brain is the priority.
- The last thing to go is muscle protein. Your heart is a muscle, and when your body ‘eats’ your heart to save your brain, the end is near.
If you are hungry, you need to eat. It’s really that simple. In normal times, you can be picky about nutrition and the quality of the food you’re eating. When you’re desperate, it really doesn’t matter. Eat anything that won’t kill you. Bugs, pets, lots of plants (including grasses and dandelions), birds, rodents. The primary concern is calories. Secondarily, you need to replace proteins and fats. Vitamins and other nutrients are really a luxury if you don’t have calories (typically carbs), protein, and fat.
Feature Image: Yelkrokoyade, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons