Apply your backcountry nutrition knowledge
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So we're all experts on keeping healthy and fed from as light a pack as possible, right? Now help me apply that knowledge to a more critical cause. If you could afford the freight to send just 10kg of food a month to a mate in a country where the basics (except fruit and salt) have ceased to be available or affordable: what would you send? We're talking provincial Venezuela. Dairy is unavailable (at Bs 200000 - half the fortnightly wage for 1l of milk. If you can find any). Meat is likewise too expensive to form any significant part of the diet. . Flour is unavailable. Even rice hard to come by. Answers by Friday please.
brown rice, lentils... tinned butter.
Mostly high protein, shelf stable : milk powder, nuts, dried meat with a bit of complex carbohydrate : what wayno said plus wholemeal pasta, beans, corn (eg polenta), cous cous. ... and vegemite, of course! Shocking to see the effects of rampant corruption and naked self-interest.
That's a noble thing for you to do and quite a task ☺ I don't think anybody will rise to the 'expert' challenge. I doubt few of us contemplate feeding ourselves for any length of time without a get out of jail card being available (i.e. a pub, takeaway or dairy somewhere) I hope whatever you do send does actually make it to your friend. So this obviously to boost/supplement any dietary deficiency from what can be sourced locally, not provide base daily calories? Having fruit is a bonus. Are vegetables available? A good quality multivitamin for starters and maybe egg powder & couscous
Luckily Fruit is abundant in that part of the world. Send him a sling shot and he can have howler monkey and caiman every night. But seriously good luck with that. When I was in the Amazon we were served anchor milk powder from New Zealand it was nice to see it made it all the way there. Off the top of my head milk powder, lentils of many types, couscous or rice, Garam masala, chilli, tea, porridge. Sugar.
Milk powder, instant mashed potatoes, BCC dehydrated mince, pasta, brown rice, lentils, surprise peas/beans/carrots/corn, or mixed. Beef jerky,tea/coffee, sugar. Have used instant mashed as substitute for flour on occasion or two, ok if doing something savoury not so hot if looking for a biscuit, but it does work. Would suggest flour and sugar, but that will increase weight pretty quick. With light weight dehy stuff you can send greater quantities and probably a good mix of stuff. Hopefully what is sent will be received. That's a pretty dodgy area at present according to a close acquaintance just returned from travelling in that area. Gaiters slingshot idea could be worth consideration also.
Everyone else has suggested the food ideas I had. Dried herbs and spices to make what's available taste better. Maybe a trap and/or fishing gear could be useful. Packets of ciggies and some US dollars would also be useful...
I would leave the ciggys and us dollars out. If the place is as corrupt as it seems, if they are in the parcel it will never leave the port
I'd like to steer the conversation away from means of getting dollars into Vz. It is very illegal in Vz to obtain foreign currency by any means other than by exchanging Bs for it at the central bank. Any trade or transfers of cash must be in Bs and foreign exchanges at the govt rate. Because the govt rate is currently abt 700 times lower than the free market rate a) sending money legally is not viable and b) enforcement of the rules about not sending foreign currency by post is quite rigorous. There is a good chance if your parcel or letter being opened and checked at customs. Now ... we can all imagine ways round this law, I'm sure. Or strategies for simply ignoring it. But that's not the question being asked, and breaking laws, no matter how bad they are, is not really a topic I want to discuss on an open public forum.
I did a scan on Reddit and a few people mentioned some care packages didn't make it to recipients. A lot either got stolen or confiscated. I would stick to something shelf stable like milk powder as it should also be quite valuable (tradeable). It will also face less scrutiny with customs/postal service with one boring looking item. Send a couple sample packages and see how many gets received. Smaller packages are less likely to be looked at closely (even though it may seem to be less cost effective). If you have a mutual friend, or service, in a nearby country, then they are able to send many more packages at a lot less cost and less scrutiny/more chance of arrival. The other approach is to see if your friend can set up a crypto currency account . Apparently it's become quite popular trading in Lieu of not being able to use foreign currency. It also sidesteps sending foreign currency via mail risks etc.
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