Mormon-centric Utah epicenter for food storage

FILE PHOTO - Food stuffs are stacked in Kenneth Moravec's garage Tuesday July 22, 2008, in American Fork, Utah. Moravec has taken to heart a decades-old directive from leaders of his Mormon faith that members should prepare for hard times or natural disasters by stockpiling up to a year's worth of food. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Storing away enough food and water in case of disaster, job loss or something worse is not just part of the fundamental teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it’s an idea that is increasingly catching on nationwide.

And it’s also big business.

A large majority of food storage companies that do Internet sales are based in Utah. Terms once used only by Mormons, such as 72-hour kit, are mainstream, as is the survivalist “preppers” philosophy that taps into the church’s century-old teachings on the topic.

With more stringent guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration about how foods are handled and distributed, the church is now pre-packaging the foods at all but 12 of the centers.

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