Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Disaster Barter Items - Tangibles - Food

Food will be a valuable barter item in any disaster situation. People will need to eat and food supplies will probably be interrupted or non-existent. Having extra food that you can trade or barter with will be more valuable than money, especially to someone who’s hungry.

Durable and long-lasting food items will be in greater demand during a disaster and people will readily change their eating habits when given no other choice than what is currently available. The following is a short list of food items that should be considered as barter items for a disaster or crisis situation.

Barter Food Items in a Disaster Situation

1.) MRE’s – These are generally self-contained meals and most come with flameless heater packets that give people the opportunity for a hot meal. They have a good shelf life.

2.) Canned Food Items – There are quite literally an endless variety of canned meats, vegetables, fruits, and soups that will make excellent barter or trade items during a disaster.

3.) Dried Food Items – Jerky, dehydrated fruits, and pastas make excellent barter items. Dry pastas require water. Make sure to have additional bottled water, canned soups or broth on hand for this purpose.

4.) Canned Soups and Broths – These deserve separate consideration as they also provide additional liquids to battle the effects of dehydration. Dry pastas can be easily mixed with soups and broths to make a good meal.

5.) Comfort Foods – Drink mixes such as Kool-Aid and Gatorade along with powdered milk will have value in maintaining a person’s well being during a disaster. Hard candies and mints will also be excellent choices as comfort foods. One item not usually considered are Twinkies – a favorite of everyone. Twinkies have a shelf life of approximately 3 weeks and because they contain no dairy products they will even appeal to vegetarians.

Having an extra supply of food items above and beyond what is necessary for your own survival will allow you the opportunity to trade or barter for those items which may be missing from your own disaster preparations.

Don’t forget to have a large supply of MANUAL CAN OPENERS to go along with the food items. Cans will be extremely difficult to open, if not downright impossible, without one.

You can read about a great can opener here: .

Staying above the water line!



Marie said...

I agree that extra food would be an extremely valuable barter item in an emergency situation, I just wonder if I would be able to consider any of the food "extra" in that type of situation. I could see myself trying to hold on to everything I had because I would worry about my children needing it, so what I would be trading for would have to be really, really, important...
Just out of curiosity, would you consider seeds a good barter item for longer term disasters? On one hand, they give you the opportunity to continually perpetuate your food supply (if they're non-hybrid) but on the other hand they are only potentially food, and other factors, like the weather, could affect whether they ever got to the food stage.
In any case, thanks for a thought-provoking post!

riverwalker said...

To: marie

As mentioned in my post "allow you the opportunity to trade or barter for those items which may be missing from your own disaster preparations", the sole purpose of using any preps for bartering is mainly to get people to realize if you run out of something or have something breakdown and need to replace it - you can use excess preps in one area to meet your needs in another.

Thanks as always for your great comments.


gott_cha said...

I know these aren't food items but may be very useful;

Feminine hygiene products,..sanitary pads and such.

Pouches of Tobacco,..the kinds with the rolling papers in them.

Dollar store on-sale toothpaste

Cheap small sewing kits

Skeins of yarn

Assorted clothing buttons.

Playing cards and Dice sets

2 for a dollar spices, from the dollar store

Squares of cotton material

Bicycle tire tubes....various uses!

Motor oil.

Cheap whiskey,....medicinal uses!

Bic Lighters

Tubs of Lard.

Shoe laces

Cheap Folding knives

All of these items are needed yet rarely thought of until you need them. An item bought at $1 or 2 may be worth many times that in trade.

riverwalker said...

To: gott_cha

Right on all of these items!


Anonymous said...

I am blazabes and I Like the barter

Justin said...

In times of disaster, it definitely pays to have stored the right items. I really liked the items that you mentioned in your post. They will surely provide sustainability to anyone. Also, being a good barter item means that you can also get other things that you like by exchanging the items that you've stored.

The concept of barter is also deemed workable at any given day. The virtual world introduced a new facet of bartering through Gigats community. In this setup, individuals who engage in Gigats trade exchange their services for another service of the same value.

Very useful information. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Very good information, also consider extra medical supplies and water purification supplies, 12 volt water pump and extra lantern wicks.

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