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How to Feed Your Family after the Apocalypse

Katherine Sanger was a Jersey Girl before getting smart and moving to Texas. She's been published in various e-zines and traditional print.

Congratulations! If you’re reading this pamphlet, you’re one of the one in 240 who survived and one in 1,400 who still has at least one family member to care for after Armageddon. This handy guide will provide advice on four different aspects of feeding yourself and your family.

First: What is food?

Towards the end of the world, several governments thought to drop caches of food for the survivors. This was admirable of them; however, these caches are the same color and shape (yellow and rectangular) as the munitions that fell during the final battles.

If you see one of these yellow boxes, approach it with caution.

Do not pick it up if you cannot see the label!

If the label is visible and has an image that looks like a circle with a mushroom in the center of it, it is not food. Do not pick up any box with this symbol. Leave it where it is and back away slowly and carefully as it may detonate from any heavy vibration.

If the label is visible and has an image that looks like a circle with a tree in the center, it is food, and it is safe to pick it up. These containers are filled with MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) and fresh water, as well as additional water purifying tablets.

Again, avoid those boxes with circles and mushrooms; consume those with circles and trees.

Second: Botulism Boosters

Who would’ve thought that all those Botox parties would turn out to be the wave of the future?

While it’s not a true vaccine, there have been anecdotal studies that show that continuous injections of Botox can help you to avoid botulism from spoiled food in these end times. There is a limited supply as the EMP has drastically reduced our capability to produce more.

If you are near any population hubs of 1,000 of more, report to any government buildings that survived the blasts to find out where and when you can receive your boosters. Boosters are only available on a first come/first-serve basis.

Third: Edible Mutations

The fallout from the wars caused a number of mutations, rendering much of the previously edible plants and edibles to be suspect when it comes time to prepare a meal.

One general guideline to remember – insects are, by and large, edible. The mutations did not affect them as they affected larger species, so if the insect was edible before the darkness fell, it’s most likely still edible now.

To determine if a plant is edible, observe the animals in the area. Are they consuming it? Are they suffering any ill effects after consuming it? While it’s true that some animals (like the new “smirps”) are capable of eating radiation-tainted grass with no harm to their systems, note that they do emit a green-yellow glow between their horns, which signals that they are contaminated and unsafe to eat.

When it comes to mammals, remember that mutations – or lack of mutations – does not mean it is safe or unsafe to consume. Signs to look for to determine safety include any sort of glowing light surrounding it, an exoskeleton, or “crazy eyes.” These are all signs of severe radiation exposure and mean that you should not attempt to capture, kill, or eat the animal or any part of it.

Remember that fire may help to remove some of the more unpleasant tastes in both the new vegetation and new mammals, but it does not remove the potentially lethal radiation doses you may receive if you consume a contaminated food source.

Fourth: Monster Avoidance

To avoid getting into any secular versus religious arguments, we will simply use the term “monster” to refer to any of the creatures that are human or near-human in appearance yet are not human. Regardless of whether you classify them as demons, zombies, ghouls, or any other sort of horror, these monsters often take on the appearance (or the decaying body) of a loved one who was killed during an outbreak, attack, uprising, or natural disaster.

These monsters come out in force during the twilight and night hours and lure their prey using subterfuge and/or violent force when necessary.

Because of the seriousness of this danger, it is suggested that you avoid venturing from any designated “safe zone” to forage unless it is between daybreak and mid-afternoon.

Leaving a safe zone at any other time may mean that you are denied re-admittance, or worse, killed, gutted, and fed upon by one of the monsters. In addition, there have been reports that monsters are using human hosts to incubate their progeny. Due to this risk, once you have violated curfew, you will be branded to provide warnings to other safe zones of your quarantine status.

Remember, only you can guarantee your relative safety and potentially shortened lifespan during the Armageddon!