Suburban Survivalists Create Boom Market In Dried Beans, Millennial Replay Of Canned Heat

canned heat boogie 2000 photo
Canned Heat, Boogie 2000. Image credit: AudioDesignStudio

I find it doubtful that many US 'suburban survivalists' can afford to spend thousands of dollars on dried beans and various other emergency supplies. Yet, the Texas Statesman cites examples of people who are doing just that: Economic crisis spurs spike in 'suburban survivalists.'

The movement, if we can call it that, seems to go well beyond coommon-sense hurricane preparation, or stocking up on bulk ammo (a well documented recent phenomenon).

Many of the foods being bought in bulk by so-called "suburban survivalists" seem like they would be awful tasting or which, like dried beans and rice, currently make up only a very small portion of a typical American's daily diet, making it unlikely that our 'survivors' will be consuming all their bean supplies before they spoil. Anyhow, it hardly matters because Obama's liberal armies are going to confiscate all your 5-gallon pails of dried beans. The ones with the water-tight, re-usable seal. (joking, ok?)

My focus on dried beans, here, is intended as a metaphor; as is the "canned heat" picture, which I explain below. (For my metaphor I could have gone with barely-legal, pistol-handled 12 gauge shotguns, useless for hunting or trap shooting. Or, on water filters too cumbersome to use on a camping trip.)

Stocking up on beans seems like an easy, cheap choice to protect against fantastically conceived-of, low probability danger. If you're really worried about the future, one thing leads to another and pretty soon you've got a garage or basement full of marginally useful "stuff." So, there's a real potential for waste.

There is even a blog called the Suburban Survivalist, and the philosophy is decent.

This website is being designed for those that choose to live in the suburban range or close to the cities.
I didn't see any of that 'get out of the city while you can' stuff on it. But, Google that same title and you'll see how diverse the interest in suburban survival is in America.

Very brief history of survivalist tendencies in American culture.
I recall a grade school text which quoted Davy Crockett or some other precolonial figure saying that 'the time to move on is when you can see your neighbors' chimney smoke.' You had to be ready for that day. 'Time to dry up a really huge batch of venison jerky and hike out.'

The Great Depression, obviously, reinforced the need for surviving without the grocery store and a bank account. Some good lessons, there, which deserve relearning. I'll bring those up again.

The 60's counter-culture movement ended with a 'back-to-the-land' movement which, long after the plastic tepees decayed, and aspen cabins crumbled, left the entire nation with a lasting interest in organic and locally produced food. And, a musical tradition that reflected it. Anybody remember Canned Heat, and their hit Going Up The Country?

...I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
I'm gonna leave this city, got to get away
All this fussing and fighting, man, you know I sure can't stay
Now baby, pack your leaving trunk, you know we've got to leave today
Just exactly where we're going I cannot say,...

Canned Heat, the always popular alcohol gel fuel in a can, (by Sterno in the USA) is still a survivalist favorite. (Also really big with wedding caterers.)

The frugal survivalist.
A frugal approach, bearing in mind the lessons of the Great Depression, would be to learn, first, how to cook a wide variety of interesting dishes with beans and rice; and then figure out how to produce, preserve, or barter enough supplies. Unless , if course, you are convinced that life-as-we-knew-it will return when the economic meld down passes - about when the beans run out, or when you can't stand the farting any more: whichever comes first. (When the stock market no longer stinks.)

For animal protein.
Skip the home defense shotgun and get a long-gun that women and young teens are capable of using safely and inexpensively. If you can see that neighboring chimney smoke rising pretty close to that squirrel nest in your yard, better make it a pellet rifle.

The notion of transition towns doesn't yet figure into the American suburb.
The rapidly growing 'transition town' planning movement, originating in Europe, promises to benefit the next generation, works in both city, and town. Although we might presuppose a latent tension with the apparent 'individual responsibility" focus of the suburban survivalist movement, I wonder how long before we see a website titled "Suburban Survivor Town?"

More dried bean posts for you.
Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit: How To Eat Them Without the ...
The Recession Can Make You Fat
Pressure Cookers Revisited: Energy Saving in the Kitchen
Going Organic for Less
Small-Scale Grain Raising: For Backyards, Homesteads and Small ...