Usually, stocking your pantry with freeze-dried and canned food is something you'd associate with survivalists preparing for Armageddon - but there's a new trend afoot: the Great Recession survivors are now doing it, too, as a hedge against future price hikes and job insecurity.
"The price of everything is going up. I have no idea what's going to happen," Huffman says, assessing her growing collection of dehydrated and freeze-dried food in cans that look like house paint — pink is fruit, green is vegetables, blue is dairy, orange is grains — much of it with a shelf life that won't expire until her second-grader, Chloe, is 32. Whatever she stocks at today's prices her family can eat at tomorrow's sure-to-be-higher ones.
The Huffmans are not among the millions of families who have lost their jobs or homes in the Great Recession. Indeed, Brian Huffman's career as a computer engineer at a local hospital has been going strong for more than a decade, and their modest home in rural Virginia is worth more today than when they bought it 14 years ago.
What this economic crisis stole from them was their sense of well-being. First there was the foreclosure sign that went up on the neighbor's dream house down the block; it's somebody else's dream now. Then the light bulb factory in nearby Winchester closed last fall, taking 200 jobs with it.
And recently they saw gas at the truck stop down the road shoot up 19 cents a gallon in a single afternoon. Brian filled up their 6-year-old minivan before it went any higher, and his wife wondered whether it was possible to store a barrel in the backyard without blowing the neighborhood to smithereens.
Faye Fiore of the Los Angeles Times has the story: Link (Photo: Carolyn Cole)