90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Faith Draws Attention To Mormon Food Storage

Mitt and Ann Romney serve "Ann Romney's famous chili" at a campaign event in June 2011. Mormon cuisine and the church practice of storing a three month supply of food, are gaining attention as Romney runs for President. (AP)

Mitt and Ann Romney serve "Ann Romney's famous chili" at a New Hampshire campaign event in June 2011. Mormon cuisine and the church practice of storing a three month supply of food are gaining attention as Romney runs for president. (AP)

If Mitt Romney becomes President, would Ann Romney set up a food storage facility at the White House? That’s one of the questions that came up when the New York Times ran a story about Mormon cuisine.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (or Mormons) are urged to keep at least a three month supply of food and water, cash and a 72 hour emergency kit.

Kathleen Flake, associate professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt University, told Here & Now’s Robin Young that she keeps an emergency backpack kit and says her food storage tends towards canned food and the freeze-dried “space age” kind.

“It’s freeing to know that when I get a signal of a tornado I can grab that backpack and head for the basement and I’ll have a source of light, I’ll have something to eat, I don’t have to worry,” Flake said.

The Mormon church helps anyone in need in a disaster. After Hurricane Katrina, the church had emergency supplies on the ground in New Orleans within 24 hours.

And if a church member falls into personal difficulty, the local bishop approves distributions of aid from church storehouses. It’s kept  confidential and meant to ensure that the church member doesn’t become dependent on church welfare.

Flake said LDS church congregations are purposefully limited in size so that they can more effectively run like an extended family, where asking for assistance is not shameful.

“It’s like going to see your parents if you had a problem,” Flake said.

Guest:

  • Kathleen Flake, associate professor of American religious history at Vanderbilt University

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • SJP

    Thank you very much for airing/sharing this informative and interesting program today.

  • Bjornsdottiri

    I was told that one of the reasons for Mormon´s food storage (and they do not only store food, but also furniture, clothes etc.) is because of the Armageddon, where  Mormons will survive.

  • MaryM

    Sorry, but the Wall Street Journal link leads only to the 1st para of the article, and a request to subscribe. Not a good link…

  • Keith Castleberry

    This is something not exclusive the Mormons they have just kept the practice going. there was a time in this country that preparing and storing your own food was the norm. It is now making a comeback as folks realize that knowing where your food comes from is important. The local food movement has sparked growing and preserving your own food for health security an important issue. Organizations such as the Weston A. Price foundation is a great source to get back to our traditions concerning healthy food.

  • Anonymous

    To Bjornsdottiri–And so that we can share with our neighbors who have been less provident!  I calculate that if just one family on each block of our town had a year’s supply (the amount suggested in years past), the entire population could be supported for at least two weeks in time of catastrophe.  Let’s see, with just 3 month’s supply, we’d need 4 families per block.  Non-Mormons can and should do this too–I know some that do, here in earthquake-prone Southern California.  Stored food has also helped my own family through several periods of unemployment.

    • Lavada

      This sounds like a good idea if say, you “love thy neighbors”.
      However I have a few neighbors where I live that if their house was burning, I would ignore it. I wouldn’t waste my time on them, let alone any food stores to keep their ignorance ways going.
      Let Nature take its course on some of these “useless eaters”, as Henry Kissinger often states in relation to overpopulation.
      The imbreeds in my area need to be thinned out. 

    • nicoise

      the mormon missionaries who live near me would help everyone shovel when it snowed a lot.  Everyone except the lesbian couple with a child, I’m guessing they wouldn’t share food with them either.  

  • http://twitter.com/curiositykt curiositykt

    I’m sure the white house already has a 3 month supply of food.

  • Stan

    Good idea.
    I’m an atheist and have have had this thinking for decades. Learned it from my grandparents who came from war ravished Europe after WW One. Practice self sufficiency.

    Practicing the 6 or 7 “P’s” which I learned from someone else’s grandmother around 20 years ago—- Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

    When the sh*t hits the fan, its clear that the two legged rats, many living in the big cities will turn to rioting and looting. One only need go to You Tube to view how humans react when there is a disruption in the water supplies. They converge onto the local stores and act like the animals they are.
    I can imagine how people would react when they couldn’t get their cigarettes, beer and fast food. This will be the time for those who are prepared for a crises to protect their stockpiles at all costs.
    The culling of the masses is where those weapons one stored away come in handy.

    • Gramajane

       Since LDS were even told in Brigham Youngs time,  to “feed the Indians, not fight them” and LDS totally are into sharing- I expect they would be over to the neighbors, making sure they were ok, before any neighbor would have to come to beg. — However if someone came WITH a gun, and attacked a Mormon, it might be like the Quaker said to the robber on his front porch “Friend, thou standest where I am about to shoot” ?

      One great reason for the missionary work (I mean apart for the spiritual) is that if your neighbors “see the light”– they get their own supplies? ;0

      • http://twitter.com/MomJokes Mother Joker

         I’m a non-Mormon living in salt lake area. I have plenty of gripes about the LDS, HOWEVER, no one can deny this fact: Mormons are strong, athletic and healthy, most have a bunch of guns, and anyone who tries to go up against a group of Mormons in a fight will likely lose!

  • Gramajane

    My Father-in-law (who was a jack Mormon) was telling me one day about how he had prevented my Mother-in-law from stocking up on food in the
    (I think it was about early 80s?) 
    — with a twinkle in my eye– I said

    “Oh NO!– If she had been allowed to do that, look at all the money you would have saved! ”

    (prices had just gone up quite a bit in food etc)

    He then cringed– one couldn’t talk to him about religion– but frugal he WAS!

    It is a great hedge against loss of a job too! Or when your young adults come back home, having found no work :(

  • July Faction

    oh my god, mormons are so WEIRD! I am glad I’m an ATHEIST so I don’t have to believe in this nonsense about their “heavenly father”. (Also unlike protestants and catholics they believe god actually has a wife too called “heavenly mother and they have ‘celestial sex’ to make human spirits [crazy huh?]) Its just kinda sad that their “holy scripture” is a strange, kooky, Joe Smith story about magic seer stones that can find hidden things (buried  treasure in upstate New York right?) and golden plates from underground with ANOTHER bible on them that says Jesus visited Mexico or Panama or something and that the Sioux Indians are actually lost Hebrews from the middle east. Of course they stockpile food and water! Their organization has had a siege-mentality since the very beginning when the US cavalry tried to take them out for running a brutal theocracy in the wastelands of the American west. I bet the mormons stockpiled food and water after they were done attacking wagon trains in Utah in the 1800′s too. Their “helping others” plan in  modern times is so transparent. It makes sense to send supplies to disaster areas and “help” people (“enjoy this clean water sir, and would you like a copy of the Book of mormon?”)  in times of crisis if you are a fringe element looking for new recruits. This is their propaganda machine at work trying to convince unthinking people to join their lunacy. Makes sense too that they run their church like a big, happy family just like N. Korea. THE BETTER TO CONTROL THEM! Mitt will never be president because too many people know the truth about the mad-hatter mormons  

    • Somcasilen

      Pathetic aetheist i pity you so badly..

      • Stev

        Crawl back into your corner SOmcasilen and read your Bible.
        I don’t pity the blind and dumb. What a pathetic comment, you god damn thumper

      • July Faction

        (scoffs) You pity me? Why because I am telling the truth?? Trust me my life is just fine and good thanks. No need to pity someone with a thinking mind who is in control of their own destiny. I pity you for believing lies. Atheism gives a person real inner strength, while all that  “personal faith” and religion do is have you worshiping allah, jehovah or whatever nonsense for nothing at all. It robs you of a chance to live for yourself instead of some magic glowing guy in the sky who is non-existent. Why not Wake Up instead of attacking those who know how to deal with life without turning to mysticism, spiritualism, and invisible ghosts    

        • Lavada

          Put your head back inside your bible somcasilen and close it tight.
          What a pathetic Christian.

          All religions are equally sublime to the ignorant, useful to the politician, and ridiculous to the philosopher. – Lucretius (94 BC – 49 BC)

          “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  — Mahatma Gandhi

          If I had ever met a Christian, I would have become one.  Gandhi

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 29 Comment

World Championship Tug-Of-War Is ‘A Thing Of Beauty’

This weekend's competition in Wisconsin is a bit more intense than it was in your grade school gym class.

August 29 Comment

Repelling Mosquitoes With A Natural Sticky Patch

The Kite Patch releases odors that block the bug's carbon dioxide receptors, sending them in another direction.

August 28 Comment

Catching Up With The Polyphonic Spree

The choral rock band out of Dallas, Texas, has been thrilling audiences with its live performances for over a decade.

August 28 5 Comments

‘Enormous’ Growth Of Ocean Garbage Patch

The oceanographer who discovered the floating island of trash in 1997 says he's shocked by how much it's grown.