For any who might question why the Church has drastically reduced the recommended food storage from over 2400 calories/day to just over 1500 calories/day, consider these statistics from a talk given by Bishop H. Burke Peterson, Presiding Bishop, October 1975 General Conf. “The Welfare Production-Distribution Department,” Ensign, Nov 1975, 116
Let us look at the results of a recent survey conducted by Utah State University among LDS people in Utah. The four basic food groups were surveyed: meats, fruits and vegetables, grains, and milk products. The study revealed that only about 5 percent of our Church members had a year’s supply of meat products.
Only 3 percent had a year’s supply of dried or canned fruits or vegetables.
Approximately 18 percent had a year’s supply of grains.
In the milk group, only three families in a hundred had a year’s supply of canned or powdered milk.
On the average, about 30 percent of the Church had a two-months supply of food; the remainder had little or none. These survey statistics indicate that most Church members are not prepared to meet month-to-month problems and future economic trials.
My comment #1: Unless you have an actual inventory of your food, you are only guessing as to how long it will last. Guesstimates are notoriously inaccurate, and very few people have such inventories. Frankly, the failure of most to keep and maintain an inventory causes me to question the percentages given by Bishop Peterson. Not that I think HE has it wrong, more that I think those responding to the survey(s) generally have little accuracy in their own estimates. I’ve helped too many people inventory their storage to believe in any degree of accuracy among those who do not have and maintain an accurate inventory.
My comment #2: the principle is that the greater the law we are given, the more is required of us (Luke 12:48; James 4:17; D&C 82:3-4). Since most members of the Church are not obeying the commandment to store food that has been with us since the beginning of the Church, by reducing the amount of food required, it is made easier, and reduces the condemnation on those who do not keep it. Just as earlier prophets have reduced it from 7 years to 2 years, then to 1 year, thus reducing the degree of condemnation on those who do not obey. It also makes it easier to obey, increasing the ability of those who want to be obedient to do so.