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Old 11 October 2008, 03:35 AM
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Icon23 Hoarding food illegal?

Comment: Is it true that it is illegal to hoard food?

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Comment: I have heard that a law was passed making it illegal in the
United States to keep more than 1 months worth of food in your home. Do
you know if this is fact.
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  #2  
Old 11 October 2008, 03:37 AM
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Umm...I'm gonna go out on a limb here (not really) and say no, this is completely false. If there is any law of the sort on the books I'm sure it was meant for times of war or great poverty and hasn't been enforced and many many years.
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Old 11 October 2008, 04:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidgardDragon View Post
Umm...I'm gonna go out on a limb here (not really) and say no, this is completely false. If there is any law of the sort on the books I'm sure it was meant for times of war or great poverty and hasn't been enforced and many many years.
I can't imagine it was ever a law.

Back when my great-grandparents were still farmers, they put up as much produce as possible to get through the winter, which, in northern Wisconsin, was a lot longer than a month.

The LDS church counsels people to have stores of food (I think it was for some end-times thing, but I can't remember really anymore).

Plus, how would anybody police such a requirement? How much is a month of food, anyway?
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Old 11 October 2008, 09:05 AM
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When I read the OP, the first thing that came to mind was how foodstuffs were rationed during World War II, and how sometimes people would hoard food or coupons and sell them on the black market. Am I remembering my U.S. history correctly? It's been a while...
But even if that is right, there's no way that the rule/law forbidding this still applies. And it just seems rather ridiculous; not only the idea of the law itself, but also that it could be passed quietly without causing public outcry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
Plus, how would anybody police such a requirement?
I'm getting a mental image of one of those Cops-types shows:
The police, guns drawn, bust down someone's door. After chasing down, tackling, and subduing the occupants of the house (one of whom is, of course, a scrawny white guy clad only in a pair of jeans), the officers (guns still drawn) head to the pantry. They kick the door open. The camera pans wide to show the well-stocked shelves. One of the cops shakes his head.

Cop: "That's Campbell's soup. They've got like, 35 cans of Capmbell's soup in here. And there's Pasta Roni, too."

Scrawny Guy: "This is *beep*, man! I want a *beep* lawyer!"
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  #5  
Old 11 October 2008, 02:29 PM
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I think that in the UK during WW2 there was a criminal offence of food hoarding; but this applied mainly to canned goods. Many foodstuffs were rationed, the principal exceptions being vegetables and bread (although bread was actually rationed post war), and some rationing continued into the 50s.
I believe the law was not actively enforced (police did not check the contents of peoples larders); and was mainly used as an addition to black market legislation.
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  #6  
Old 14 October 2008, 09:09 PM
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I'm going to say no. Food hoarding laws usually have more to do with the quantity of food you keep around more than the duration, and considering that many American staples have a shelf life of over a month, I think it would be almost impossible to pass such a law without almost immediate legal challenge from major corporations.
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Old 31 October 2008, 01:59 PM
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I was sure that hoarding was illegal in WW2 as well - I keep thinking of the Just William story where someonei s hoarding lemons (that turn out to be novelty soap).

Spartacus Schoolnet has quite a good summary of WW2 rationing laws, and the lengths to which The Authorities apparently went in order to catch people trading illegally. I can't find mention of hoarding though, except as a "patriotic duty".

This article says that hoarding was illegal in Canada during WW2 and "punishable by up to 2 years in prison".

Hoarding was apparently illegal here in WWI, in order to prevent panic-buying. ON a recent episdoe of Who Do YOu THink You Are, one of Jodie Kidd's ancestors was revealed to have been fined for hoarding food in 1918.
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Old 31 October 2008, 02:22 PM
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When my folks moved from the big house to their condo a few years ago (circa 2005/6) my sisters and I went through the cupboards and pantry and found canned goods, rice-a-roni, and some other choice staples dated as far back as 1974.
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Old 03 November 2008, 06:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I think that in the UK during WW2 there was a criminal offence of food hoarding; but this applied mainly to canned goods. Many foodstuffs were rationed, the principal exceptions being vegetables and bread (although bread was actually rationed post war), and some rationing continued into the 50s.
I believe the law was not actively enforced (police did not check the contents of peoples larders); and was mainly used as an addition to black market legislation.
Food hoarding was also used as a storyline in a girls' comic I read in the 70s. In this case it was sugar, because there was a sugar shortage at the time and there was a 2 bag allowance per person (back in the days when shops were small and local and knew if a customer had already bought their allowance). In the story the police were involved, but I can't remember if it was because hoarding was actually illegal or because the hoarder was using disguises to buy more than her allowance.

I always have enough canned and dry good in my cupboards to keep me going for a few weeks.
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  #10  
Old 05 January 2012, 05:38 AM
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Comment: I was told the US Government added a New Rule. If any American
citizen has more than 7 days worth of food in their home a Government
Official, State Trooper, someone with Government Authority can have the
homeowner/tenant arrested as a terrorist.
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  #11  
Old 05 January 2012, 07:52 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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7 days? Heck, when I buy an economy pack of pasta, I have enough to live on pasta alone for two weeks (although I usually add some soy, curry, pepper, salt and ketchup).

An interesting side question, though:

Say that I want some disaster preparedness. I'm into the EDC philosophy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everyday_carry), although more in a MacGyver way, so disaster preparedness is not that far away. One does not know if there is a big snowstorm keeping us locked in the house for a week without power, or a zombie epidemic. Having an emergency supply at home is a good idea. It would contain stuff like fuel (for heating, cooking and car), batteries, flashlights, cooking utensils that does not rely on electricity and so on, but of course also food. I don't think there is any need to store water, there is, iirc, over 300 liters in the water heater. Also, in the case of a snow storm, water can be obtained from snow, and I have a spring with excellent drinking water within easy walking distance. Perhaps I should get a diesel generator, though, they can be found pretty cheap, and would allow me to use my existing heating system efficiently.

What food is the best to stock?

* It has to be able to be stored more or less indefinately without spoiling.
* It should not require cold storage. The freezer will not work if electricity goes, and freezer space is too limited anyway.
* It's a plus if it can be prepared without heat and water, as both fuel and water may be scarce.
* It should provide some solid energy, enough to shovel snow or chop wood on. This means that the powdered stuff is out.
* Providing a varied diet is not a priority. It's not something intended for long term use.

As far as I can see, what works best is pasta, tinned goods, soda and potato chips. Other suggestions?
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  #12  
Old 05 January 2012, 10:27 AM
KirkMcD KirkMcD is offline
 
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I think the refrigerator lobby would have something to say about this.
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  #13  
Old 05 January 2012, 11:41 AM
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"More than 7 days worth"? We live in a big city, with more than one supermarket within walking distance, and nevertheless store more than 7 days worth of food. Dry foods like pasta and rice and cans of different vegetables and soups would take us through about two weeks if we were careful. I'm guessing that it is not very different in most US cities, let alone smaller towns and rural areas.

The gouvernment would have to arrest basically everybody apart from those living in one bedroom appartments in Manhattan. I'm sure there's more than 7 days worth of food stored at the White House!
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Old 05 January 2012, 11:42 AM
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Doesn't the LDS church have a rule about storing food for a year or is that just a UL I heard in my childhood?

ETA - Ah, Somehow I missed the comment in AnglRdr's post. (Though I did search for "Mormon".) Thanks.
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Old 05 January 2012, 02:20 PM
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With the go-kits I gave each of my kids for Christmas we each carry a week's worth of food and water in our cars at all times. One can accidentally have a months worth of food after a trip to the grocery store.
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Old 06 January 2012, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Doesn't the LDS church have a rule about storing food for a year or is that just a UL I heard in my childhood?

ETA - Ah, Somehow I missed the comment in AnglRdr's post. (Though I did search for "Mormon".) Thanks.
There is no "rule", although the church counsels storing food and other emergency supplies. Not for any "end-times" thing, but just because things happen and it doesn't take that much to disrupt thing to the extent that having five grocery stores nearby won't be that much help.

Our emergency stores helped out last month when we were without electricity for almost six days following high winds that blew down so many trees and power lines.

Mac"don't have near a years supply, but working on it"Lloyd
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Old 06 January 2012, 02:35 PM
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Add to that, many LDS who store food do not store "regular" food. Stores around here sell food items specifically packaged for food storage - seven gallon buckets filled with packets of freeze dried meals, or potato flakes or whatever. All in very sturdy packages, marked to be good for X number of years, and so on.

Buying food that was produced specifically for such a purpose might not count as hoarding.
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  #18  
Old 06 January 2012, 03:36 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
As far as I can see, what works best is pasta, tinned goods, soda and potato chips. Other suggestions?
Pasta violates your criteria of not needing heat or water to prepare, no?

How about dried fruit or nuts? I would think that in unopened packages, they would keep for years, and they are energy dense.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I thought the U.S. DHS encourages us to have several days worth of food available for emergencies. No this? With this new law I'd better drop my Costco membership, lest I wind up on the watch list.
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Old 06 January 2012, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crescent View Post
Buying food that was produced specifically for such a purpose might not count as hoarding.
Why wouldn't it?

If people are starving (the usual reason for laws against hoarding), the starving people could be fed just as well -- possibly better -- with food originally intended for long-term storage for emergency use, as with food originally intended for consumption soon after purchase.

If a government were intending to starve its citizens out (the only reason I can think of behind whatever reasoning, if any, was behind the original post), the government would also not want the citizens to have supplies intended for storage for emergency use.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
I thought the U.S. DHS encourages us to have several days worth of food available for emergencies. No this?
The FEMA website certainly does.

While they're telling people to store several days' worth, not several weeks' or months' worth, there certainly isn't any warning on there saying: "Keep three days' worth of food in your house -- but make sure you don't keep too much!"

It's extremely common for people in rural areas to have enough food in the house to last for weeks or even months: either because they put up their own food for the winter, or because of a combination of buying bulk when items are on sale with not wanting to potentially have to drive into town in bad weather. Even people living in town may well stock up on items when they're on sale, and easily wind up with enough miscellaneous canned and frozen goods to keep them fed for extended periods, as long as they have room in the house/apartment for such storage.

I think they'd have to arrest at least half the country; maybe more. Where would they put all the prisoners?
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  #20  
Old 06 January 2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I think they'd have to arrest at least half the country; maybe more. Where would they put all the prisoners?
I don't know, but I know they wouldn't have a problem feeding them.
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