WASHINGTON Oct 1st They say that when SHTF the supermarkets will be the first to run out – that’s why the big grocery chains are getting their answer in early. Just in time for Thanksgiving dinner, Costco is selling everything you need for a feast … in the year 2040.
It’s called Shelf Reliance Thrive, and it consists of 5,011 servings of freeze-dried or dehydrated white rice, winter wheat, green peas, diced onions, sweet corn, sliced apples, ripe raspberries, lima beans and elbow macaroni with a shelf life of thirty years, not to mention 30 litres of imitation bacon, beef and chicken. These are constructed out of something called Textured Vegetable Protein, the taste and texture of which, Costco promises, “is consistent with real meat.”
This is advertised as being enough food to preserve one person against famine for one year, or to keep a family of four alive in its suburban home (or in its Chevrolet Suburban) for three parlous months, counting down the lima beans to doom. Price: $799.99 US.
“Given all the madness out there,” writes an approving customer on the Costco comments page, “for the price of insuring your car for a year, you can purchase a bit of catastrophe insurance for you and your family. Then hopefully you can forget about it for 20 years because you never needed it.”
“Concerned as we are about Wiemar (sic) Republic-like hyperinflation, we bought this product,” reports a family from Oregon.
“If you can’t see what’s comming (sic), buy some glasses,” offers a third client. “Gods Speed. Semper Fi.”
Certainly, Glenn Beck sees what’s “comming.”
“Do the easy stuff now,” the doomsday millionaire advises in an audio clip on the website of another company that caters to “preppers,” as America’s stockpilers of freeze-dried raspberries call themselves. “Prepare for what we hope will not happen, but probably will.”
Peppers call the self-reliance movement a rational quest for peace of mind.
Some are Mormons obeying the Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which ordains: “notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world.”
(The First Presidency in Salt Lake City recommends that Mormons keep a year’s supply of food on hand. Glenn Beck is a church member, but his apocalyptic mantra sounds more like Chairman Mao’s famous edict to “dig tunnels deep, store grain everywhere.”)
What exactly is in those “survival backpacks” that Glenn Beck endorses?
“Everything you’ll need if the world goes to heck in a hand basket. Lasagna. Beef Stroganoff. It’s good. It’s stuff that you won’t mind eating.”
Something is happening down here in post-9/11, 10-per-cent-unemployed, pre-Swine-Flu Obamaland. Not only Mormons are turning to Costco.comto cater the Final Days. Soi-disant Patriots are sealing themselves inside fortresses built of Textured Vegetable Protein. Don Cherry would call it “turtling.”
“You don’t have to be an Old Testament prophet to see what’s going on all around us,” reads the website of a “survival seed” company from well-fed Illinois. “A desperate lower class demanding handouts. A rapidly diminishing middle class crippled by police state bureaucracy. An aloof, ruling elite that has introduced us to an emerging totalitarianism which seeks control over every aspect of our lives … If you don’t have the ability to grow your own food next year, your life may be in danger.”
“Have you ever wondered how the heck you are going to cook all those dry red beans and feed it to your sour-faced children with a smiling face?” blogs one of the “Self-Reliant Sisters” of Las Vegas. “Do you have a wheat grinder for all that hard red winter wheat you keep buying? Do you even
know how to make bread? Are you storing water? Do you have a camp stove? It’s time to take a hard look at what you really are willing to feed your family when the time comes.”
Back to Costco. On sale for $149.99 is the Food for Health Extreme Emergency Preparedness Kit, which includes, among dozens of other items:
25 servings of Western Stew 25 servings of Potato Soup 20 servings of Oatmeal Water Filtration System
Crank Flashlight/Radio/Cellphone Charger
4 N95 Safety Masks
1 Roll Duct Tape
“Especially developed for Costco members,” the megastore assures
us, “this complete kit contains items and tools for up to four people that are recommended in the event of an Earthquake, Pandemic, Wildfire or Displacement Emergency.”
I call the president of Shelf Reliance at the firm’s headquarters in Utah to ask him what he thinks is going on.
“We purposely try not to market to fear,” Bryan Kindred says, softpedalling the impending Tribulation. “That’s why you see bright colours and optimistic messages on our site. We try to market to more of peace of mind.”