Starvation is something that has always fascinated me. Not the actual mechanics of it, although that does have some fascinating features, but rather what it does to the mind of the starvation victim.
We are all familiar with the phrase “Hungry people are dangerous people”, but that’s really just an abstract concept for many of us because we’ve never been truly hungry. I don’t mean ‘hungry’ as in “I haven’t eaten since yesterday afternoon”…I mean hungry as in ‘behind barbed wire’ hungry. The kind of hungry that comes from someone purposefully depriving you of food, or from there literally being no food available.
I’ve mentioned it before, but at the end of World War Two a scientist decided to see what actually happened when you starved people. He lined up some volunteers, starved them, and took notes. The result was the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.
Worth noting is that many of the subjects became ‘obsessed’ with food and it became a primary focus of their waking hours. This part is interesting:
The stress proved too much for one of the men, twenty-four-year-old Franklin Watkins. He began having vivid, disturbing dreams of cannibalism in which he was eating the flesh of an old man. On trips into town (before the buddy system had been implemented), he cheated extravagantly, downing milk shakes and sundaes. Finally Keys confronted him, and Watkins broke down sobbing. Then he grew angry and threatened to kill Keys and take his own life.
Mind you, these were people who knew it was an experiment. They knew they wouldn’t starve to death. But….what starvation does to the mind is interesting. To continue:
Almost sixty years later, in 2003, 19 of the original 36 volunteers remained alive. Of these survivors, 18 were interviewed as part of an oral history project about the experiment. They admitted that there had been some lingering aftereffects of the experiment. For instance, for many years they were haunted by a fear that food might be taken away from them again.
Notably, two of the survivors from the Essex are reported to have hoarded food in the later parts of their life. I’ve also read of death camp survivors from World War Two who, even fifty years later, never went anywhere without pockets full of crackers or snacks.
So, yeah, in a world where the ‘rule of law’, such as it is, may be a tad thin someone starving (or watching a loved one starve) is probably going to be a remarkably dangerous, virtually feral, individual.
The solution? Well, don’t be there. Second solution, have lots of food. Have lots of food in several locations.
Which brings me to Mountain House. I was thinking about putting in a big order with them in March. It’s $3500 for a minimum order and I was toying with seeing if anyone here wanted to see if we could get enough people on board to make it happen. This would be for the #10 cans, whole cases… no broken cases. We’d probably have to set some sort of minimum on it, like $200 just to keep it manageable. But..if there’s enough demand we could make it happen. Figure pricing would be around 25-30% off MSRP. Local pickup would be available for those so inclined. Give it some thought.
ETA: Email me if youre interested and when I have a list of pricing and shipping set up I’ll let you know.