In the aftermath of a major crisis, just about anything can happen to your food supply. This may include unexpected spoilage, theft, or other factors that cause your food supply to go dangerously low or run out.
You will need to be successful at hunting and foraging at least two weeks before supplies run out.
Basic Nutrients and What Happens When you Miss Them
There are 6 main nutrient areas required for good health: proteins (used for building and maintaining the body), carbohydrates (used for energy), fats (used for storage), fiber (no nutritional value, but keeps bowels healthy), and vitamins and minerals (used in just about every bodily process for signaling, beginning, and ending processes).
When you don’t have enough food, and those basic nutrients disappear from your diet, your body will react, as soon as the first signs of starvation appear.
Week 1: You become very hungry, angry, grumpy, irritable. You will begin to lose water weight, which triggers the body to start using fat reserves. Fat will burn immediately if you do not get enough carbohydrates to fuel the body.
This can set up a dangerous situation early on that causes kidney damage. Even if you are catching animals or consuming fish, it is extremely important to find a reliable source of fruit, greens, grain, or other plant based foods that will provide adequate carbohydrates since meat and fish tend to have little, if any usable carbohydrates.
Week 2: You start to get very depressed and begin to feel useless. There is an obvious loss of weight and a noticeable decline in muscle mass because the body is using muscles for protein to keep major organs functioning. Kidneys and liver will begin shutting down, eating will produce stomach pain and nausea.
Week 3: People start acting very crazy and would consider doing things that they normally would not do. Some may have starvation euphoria or other hallucinations at this stage, and perhaps even sooner depending on body weight at the beginning of the starvation period.
The body begins to swell from fluid under the skin. Victim may have bad diarrhea, and the stomach becomes unable to digest food due to decrease in stomach acid production.
Week 4: You have no energy. All that is left is to hang on and hope that you will make it. Most victims have hallucinations, go into convulsions, have horrible muscle pain, and unbelievable cramps through-out the body.
How to Survive for Two Weeks if Your Food Supply Is Gone
Then what is to be done for the survival of the group?
Send out hunting, fishing, and foraging parties
These parties must be sent out as soon as possible before the first week of no food begins. These groups may have to travel long distances into new hunting, fishing, and foraging areas where they may encounter other survivors that will be hostile to them.
When assigning food, you will have to balance the needs of those left behind with those who will go out and forage. Be aware that if they are not successful within the ration limits, they too will suffer from starvation and lose their ability to bring back food.
When people are very hungry they will eat almost anything that they would never think of eating under normal conditions.
Plants, insects, and reptiles when eaten can keep you alive and in good condition. However, don’t forget to test any new food if you are not absolutely sure that it is edible.
What to Hunt and Fish
When you go hunting, always use appropriate caliber bullets or pellets. Ammo that is too large will destroy the meat while ammo that is too small will not kill effectively and make it possible for prey to escape.
Also, being successful hunting certain types of game depends on your experience and the available equipment.
Hunting and foraging parties should be out searching for food long before the stockpile is over, than you should be able to preserve food so that it will last without spoiling.
But we will talk about preserving food for your off-grid survival in another article, so keep an eye on our website to read it.
This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.
About Fred Tyrell
Fred Tyrrell is an Eagle Scout and retired police officer that loves to hunt, fish, hike, and camp with good friends and family. He is also a champion marksman (rifle, pistol, shotgun) and has direct experience with all of the major gun brands and their clones. Fred refers to himself as a “southern gentleman” – the last of a dying way. He believes a man’s word is his bond, and looks forward to teaching others what he has learned over the years. You can send Fred a message at fred.tyrell [at] survivopedia.com.