Feeding Yourself in the Zombie Apocalypse: An Oxfam Guide

First published under Oxfam Australia’s 3 Things Project.

zombie gnome

When the dead rise and start terrorizing the globe, being bitten isn’t the only thing you’ll have to worry about.

Contrary to popular belief, in a zombie apocalypse you’re as likely to die from injury, disease or malnutrition as you are from a zombie bite. Provided you can get out of the cities and escape the ravenous hordes, you will need some basic survival skills to ensure you don’t fall victim to these less dramatic deaths.

As the zombie infection spreads, the first thing to fall apart will be food supplies. Who’s worrying about delivering lettuce when there are walking corpses to fend off? And even though in the early days survivors can pillage abandoned shops for canned soup and baked beans, eventually you’re going to need a sustainable food supply – especially if you want to give this whole ‘staying alive’ thing a go long-term.

But the good news is, it only takes a little information to make sure that when the inevitable happens, you are well prepared.

Over the next few months, Oxfam will be bringing you best practice in zombie apocalypse preparedness – specifically, how to ensure that when those living dead come knocking, they aren’t the only ones with a steady supply of food.

1. Eat local and seasonal

The first step to ensure you’re prepared for long-term zombie survival is to find a direct source of food.

If you’ve already got a vegie patch, great. Provided your property is adequately defendable against zombies (some good how-to guides here and here), you’re all set.

For the rest of us, finding a direct source of food is really about knowing where your food comes from. If you’re a typical urban dweller, you likely pretty clueless about this (‘Woolworths’ is not an adequate answer). One of the great benefits of living in a wealthy, developed nation is the convenience of being able to buy whatever you need, whenever you need it.

But when 30% of the population has succumbed to a deadly virus that turns them into ambulant corpses, things are going to get a little less convenient.

So, where do you start? Well, it’s a good idea to change your shopping habits pre-apocalypse. Farmers markets and community gardens are great places to source food directly from growers. Find a food producer that you can buy from regularly, and get to know them. Firstly, it won’t do you any harm pre-apocalypse – their food is fresh and your money skips the middleman.

But most of all, building these connections now will mean that when it’s time to flee the cities, you’ll know where to go. Offer your labour as payment for fresh produce, or even start your own collective farming community. Either way, establishing a base near fertile land is a smart move. What’s more, rural areas often aren’t as badly hit by zombie plagues than urban areas – less people-meat to attract the infected.*

This direct connection to a food source is a considerable step towards self-sufficiency in a post-apocalyptic scenario.

In our next blog we’ll talk about the global food industry and why it’s imperative we support small-scale food producers if we want to survive the inevitable zombie plague.

Want to know more?

  • Check out this documentary.
  • Why eat local? A video from Local Harvest.
  • A map to help you find co-ops, markets and delivery spots near you.

* Research consists entirely of zombie movies and Cormac McCarthy books.

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