Welcome to the Zombie Apocalypse
and#147;The what-ifs and should-haves will eat your brain.and#8221;
Zombies, ghouls, biters, walkers, geeks, lamebrains, skels, rotters, zekes, or, as our Canadian friends like to call them, zeds. Their unrelenting shamble into pop culture ubiquity, from television to video games to fan conventions to literature, may have lulled you into a false sense of security, but donand#8217;t be fooled! The undead do pose a serious (and downright terrifying) threat to human existence. While it may be all fun and brrraaaaaiiiinnnns for the general public, when the zombie apocalypse hits, our very way of life will come to an end.
If you are reading this, it means that you are one of the few people on this planet being proactive about zombie apocalypse preparedness. Good for you. Or, if you have acquired or found this book during the apocalypse, congratulations on still being alive.
I donand#8217;t think I need to impress upon you the fact that the zombie apocalypse (often referred to in survivalist circles as the zpoc, or simply ZA) is no joke. Aside from the complete annihilation of societal conventions as we know them, we are talking about the end of chorizo, chocolate bars, and tacos here. Once civilization collapses, you will probably never eat another glazed donut. Or a really good piece of French cheese, or even a banana, for that matter.
There will be no more late-night convenience store runs for a pint of Ben and Jerryand#8217;s and a bag of Spicy Doritos, or fanciful meals fully embracing the locavore movement with sautand#233;ed ramps nestled atop your hormone- and antibiotic-free roast chicken breast. There will be no more GrubHub pizza delivery, and no more freshly baked cookies coming out of the oven. There will be no more pickling in your tiny Brooklyn apartment, or watching Adult Swim while stuffing your face with a box of Wheat Thins because thatand#8217;s all you found in the pantry.
In fact, if you ever see your local convenience store clerk again, he will probably want to rip your entrails out. The friendly farmer you buy heirloom tomatoes from? Sheand#8217;ll go straight for the jugular. And if you happen to run across your pizza delivery guy in the street, heand#8217;s likely to be shambling along with his pizza bags tangled and knotted around his partially severed limbs, bike dragging behind him as he moans after you with what you imagine sounds like vague recognition (better hope he doesnand#8217;t remember where you live).
Face it, life as you know it will cease to be. And no matter what kind of eater you areand#151;whether a and#147;foodieand#8221; who tweets from the hottest restaurant openings, a pimply-faced video game addict subsisting on Yoo-hoo and Slim Jims in your parentsand#8217; basement, or even a regular joe who doesnand#8217;t think much about what you eat because to you, itand#8217;s just foodand#151;the fact is weand#8217;ll all still have to eat.
To be sure, your main objective in surviving the zpoc will be to not become a zombie. The zombie diet is not all that appetizing (and frankly pretty monotonous) anyway, composed of widely varying quantities and qualities of human flesh and organs. Itand#8217;s true, the initial glut of zombie food would be (by zombie standards) pretty tasty: the soft, underused flesh of the inactive and obese, with plenty of fat surrounding the organs for extra flavor and a better mouthfeel. But as that initial fiesta runs dry, all that the undead will be left with are the tough, athletic types who were fortunate enough to make it through the initial outbreak. I, for one, will pass.
But I digress. It would be naive to think that the zpoc will be a cakewalk. The bulk of oneand#8217;s attention, energy, and day-to-day activity will be consumed by a struggle for survivaland#151;that is, staying one step ahead of the undead hordes roaming the wasteland (a term we use affectionately for the decaying remains of human civilization) while meeting basic requirements for water, nourishment, and shelter. That alone will be monstrously hard. How to get your grubby survivor paws on food and water, how to preserve it, how to avoid wasting itand#151;these questions will take up a significant portion of your time and efforts. It is my hope that The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse will help you surmount these challenges, tastefully.
The U.S. Army learned long ago, when they began developing shelf-stable complete meals for soldiers that could be heated without access to fire (also known as MREs; see Army Rations: Having Fun with MREs), that there is no underestimating the morale-boosting power of a hot, well-balanced meal. A good meal can truly bring you back from the brink of succumbing to the horde. After all, it was Napoleon who said, and#147;An army marches on its stomach.and#8221; And at the end of the day, arenand#8217;t we all just foot soldiers in the war against the undead? The simple pleasure of warm and enjoyable food, given even a little consideration and TLC during preparation, can help remind us that not all pleasures in life have been devoured by the biters.
Know that the road ahead is not filled with the most delicious meals you have ever eaten. You will be forced to hunt, prepare, and eat things you might never have imagined you ever would. But I promise, it will not be all squirrel and Spam, and with a little old-fashioned ingenuity and creativity, you can find pleasure in eating during the zombie apocalypse.
Just because the undeadand#8217;s taste buds are atrophying, doesnand#8217;t mean yours need to.