I spent the last Friday in March trying to find out, "Who still has wheat, at what price, when do you expect more, and what will the price be then?"

Supply and demand, coupled with market fluctuations and increased production of bio-fuels, has triggered high worldwide prices for wheat, corn, etc.

The saying used to be, "Where's the beef?" Now it's "WHERE'S THE WHEAT?"

Many, caught unaware, are thinking, "We better hurry and get our wheat before prices go up any higher!"

What would I suggest to those who haven't started storing yet, or haven't completed their food storage goals? I'd say, "stop, think, study, plan, prepare, and do it orderly." The fall 2001 counsel to "let us not panic, nor go to extremes," (by President Gordon B. Hinckley) continues to ring true to me today. If you can't find or afford wheat, buy other grains instead (i.e., oats, rice, pearled barley, millet, rye, buckwheat, corn, etc.).

My regular supermarkets that once carried bulk wheat items were totally out. They had no idea when they'd be getting more.

Lehi Roller Mills was totally out of hard red wheat. Hard white wheat could still be purchased ($26.99 per 45-pound bucketful or $21.99 per 50-pound bag, and if they had it ... same prices for hard red wheat).

"When will red wheat be available again?" They said, "Call back daily."

Honeyville Grain Inc. in Salt Lake City still has both types of wheat (hard red: 50 pounds for $22.77; hard white: 50 pounds for $23.00; 25-pound bags of both, $12.09). LDS canneries have wheat on a day -to-day basis.

All emergency management agencies recommend that you store extra food, water, 72-hour kit items and money. In addition to the aforementioned, at a recent stake conference, our president challenged all of us to get a three-month supply of food by the next conference. Good counsel for all.

What constitutes "the basics?" All grains, any legumes (beans), powdered milk, fats and oils, sugar/honey, salt, and of course water. We can live longer without food than we can without water!

What a perfect list of non-perishable food items to preserve strength, health and life.

When eaten at the same time, any grain combined with any legume, forms a complete protein (like a small chicken breast).

During case lot sales, add to "the basics" any convenience foods your family enjoys. (Don't forget the spices!)

Jolene Parker, the "Food Storage Lady," is the author of "A Practical, Affordable, Do-able Approach to Emergency Preparedness." You can send questions or ideas to her at: [email protected]. Call 801-756-9223 to order her book.