On Friday night, we discovered some kind of moth had got into our food cupboards.
Any open grain or legume product was infested by worms. I got up on a kitchen chair and began emptying out my side of the cupboards, throwing bag after bag of bulk foodstuffs into a garbage bag.
When I was done, I stood back and surveyed what was left.
Two cans of tomato sauce.
One can of tomato paste.
One can of sweetened, condensed milk.
One pound of powdered sugar.
Half a quart of soy sauce.
One pound rice vermicelli noodles.
One carton of tofu.
A half-pound of pinto beans.
And, thank God, five pounds of brown rice the wee beasties had not discovered, as it’d been in my car.
My first paycheck from IKEA comes next week, thank God. Another perk of my employment is I get subsidised meals when I work (one entree, one side, soup or salad, and a pop, plus all the coffee I can swill for three bucks) that have actually been providing most of my calories. I’d factored that into my food budget, and I’m sooo looking forward to tomorrow’s Department Meeting you don’t even know. I really, really hope the side has nothing to do with rice.
It’s a major setback, yeah, but I’m not going to starve, and boring meals ain’t gonna kill me either. It did bring back, however, a quite vivid memory from a class I took in college, Third World Food Issues. It was a class out of the agriculture department, the only Ag class I ever took, and probably one of the classes that left me with both a continued interest and a continual helpless feeling. One day, I can’t remember why or how, the instructor and I got into an argument over something. And he said, “The person who discovers a cheap, easily accessible and reasonably portable way to protect grain from fungus, rodents and insects will be the greatest hero in history.”
Every year or so since then, I’ve spent a month or two idly searching the Internet on the subject, gathering data on current food storage trends and modern materials management. There’s some stuff being done with clay ‘refrigerator’ jars that is promising, but it’s heavy.
I think it’s time to start searching again. I can go to the grocery store next Friday, but that’s not an option in a lot of places.