Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chocolate is a Symbol ... Or Something Like That

Lately for chocoholics, such as someone I know, many of the nutritional reports are giving a lot of food for rationalization, (pun intended) in so much that there is now proof and substantiation as to the antioxidant value, and all kinds of other “good for you values”.

By now most of you know by reading this that there must be another twist coming. There is. I would like to challenge you to connect snow, being stranded, no power, floods and freezing, no mall cruising, no convenience stores, and much more snow … with chocolate!

Recently in the news we have been shown the plight of the people in the eastern, southern and most of the United States because of the severe winter storms that were pounding the country. It seemed that there were very few spots on the globe that are free from some sort of nature-related dilemma. And I would wager that a very small percentage of residents in those areas had sufficient chocolate on hand to deal with the length of the situation that they were suddenly surrounded with! (Haiti and the conditions there cannot be considered in this discussion.)

In the dire conditions, which descended very quickly; with intense snow, floods and all of the accompanying etc.s I imagine some people had a snow shovel. Even then a number of them didn't because some of the areas hit were not used to winter being associated with a deluge of snow. But the conditions that required chocolate did not require the snow shovels. In the aftermath of sitting out days and nights the need for comfort and comfort foods would have increased. Thus enters chocolate!

The importance of "chocolate" rears its head as we can see life as many knew it coming to a screeching halt within just a few minutes. This winter, which is still upon us, should serve as a huge wake-up call.

I suggest that chocolate become a symbol - of sorts – to represent morale boosters and just how important they really are in an emergency or disaster situation that can stretch from three days to several weeks or even longer.

In personal preparedness you know that I am always teaching that we need a balance in our foods, variety being a key word. You know, or should know by now, that beans and grains are important. Well? Where are the beans on your morale booster shelf? What kind of jelly beans fits the bill for you and your family, Jelly Belly, licorice, red hots?

What about those good for you grains? How much popcorn do you have on hand and what plan do you have to be able to pop it? Remember microwave popcorn packages do not work without a working microwave. Storms and power outages tend to turn microwaves into non-functioning items. You need to remember the frying pan, oil and how to shake the pan so that the corn doesn'tburn?

Is peanut butter a favorite in your house? What kind of varieties do you have on that shelf? No, I’m not talking about crunchy versus creamy; what will get you through. Yes, a spoon and a jar-full will work, but so will peanut butter powder or peanut butter cookie chips.

Chex-type snacks can only be made if you have an extra box or so on those shelves.

M&M’s store well in large jars with tight fitting lids, as do bite-sized candy bars.

Yes, I know family survival and safety and all of those really important things come first. But in the process of preparing for those priority life-saving things, prepare for the humor saving, emotion saving and comfort saving things, while you have the opportunity.

Plan for the worst case situation of no power, no heat, no light, etc. Check out the history of the length of the aftermath of storms in your area and then add a week or so. If you have been paying attention lately you will have discovered in most areas typical storm strength and typical storm aftermath length is no longer typical.

My recommendation is that you recollect the headlines of the last month or so and adapt the “what-ifs” to your family, your home and your budget. Find the chocolate that will work as your comfort for those dark and dreary days and nights, realizing that none of us are exempt. Check out your cupboard and see what the chocolate symbol will be. I have one acquaintance whose chocolate is freeze dried peas.

So the moral of today’s article is that you understand that chocolate, and the powerful influence of the word in our brains, (well some of us anyway), should/could be translated to become a symbol for morale boosters and comfort and just how important they could be … just in case. ##


Cindy (C.L.) Beck said...

I LOVE this article. What you have said is soooo true, that when things get bad (storms, earthquakes, loss of job), comfort food is important.

I have a 4 lb bag of chocolate chips in my food storage, just for such emergencies. And yes, I would even share a few with my neighbors. :)

Barbara Salsbury said...

Thanks for the comment. We who have chocolate as a prioroty must stick together! Especially with all that is going on in the world. :)