An exceptionally intelligent article on preparedness and on saving money
[link to www.survivalblog.com
Here's an article on prepping that discusses the amount of calories in a serving of food, plus looking at the number of serving, then comparing the cost of it, and looking at the nutritional value of it, and regarding all of that then looking at it holistically. Well done and highly recommended!
Now, let's look a bit further. Each food item works by providing some measurable means of nutritional value. Say a soft drink loaded with corn syrup gives you a big boost of energy from its carbohydrates and their relative ease in being broken down in the intestines. Of course, this is horrible for nutrition as it induces a major insulin spike to deal with that sugar, and so the body tends to say, "Whoa, major food source, can't use it all, make fat instead". Meanwhile, the insulin whines pitifully as it dumps it's reserves. Doing that all the time, that would damage all your organs literally and it causes Type II Diabetes. But in a survival mode, such wonderful carbs could be life saving, but they are wretched for nutrition on an ongoing basis.
Still, there's more. Each vegetable, fruit, grain, milk, nuts, meat, fish, poultry, etc all provide separate building block combinations which require biochemical processes to break them down into simpler building blocks which then through digestion and absolution are recombined into substances. These then using water, oxygen, and energy are made into the structures of our bodies. So, you need variety, for a monodiet of a few times of food sources will not provide all that you need for that process of dis-assembly and reassembly.
Then some foods are rich in say selenium. If you don't get that, then you might get an autoimmune disease.
[link to www.fitday.com
So, we cannot chose foods solely based upon calories or money value, but mixing it up such that you can maximize those vitamins and trace minerals that are also needed for those biochemically processes.
What's more, we now know that we also need Omega 3 fatty acids (and of course the more common Omega 6 ones) and the former helps in DNA repair since components of them are used for that process to unzip and rezip the strands of DNA that are damaged on an ongoing way.
Then there are antioxidants. These are special phytochemicals that are in many fruits and vegetables. Often these are rated on an ORAC scale.
[link to www.oracvalues.com
As you can see Sumac bran is extremely high and free for the taking in many areas and as such provides great benefit to a tribe.
Certain exposure to toxins results in the release of oxidative species. These are electrons with radicals in them, and they hit and collide with others and set off a chain reaction. As that cascades, it causes cellular damage, and this is the current model for inflammation.
It may be that all disease has some root in inflammation. The body sends white blood cells to fight as soldiers in disciplined ways. These come in waves, which I won't bore you with, but they fight and then die, and these make up the pus in infections, and then are eliminated by other white blood cells and the release of special enzymes. Tears contain lysozyme, just one of the chemicals made to fight infection.
The point is that you need antioxidants, for their help the body fight inflammation, so that's one more aspect of why variety is important as we don't know enough to know which foods contain the best antioxidants, and which ones will treat that particular disease inflammation.
Please read her article, as it will help you build a surplus inventory of inexpensive food. Still go a little further and learn about nutrition, for that will prevent a lot of illness and hardship for the family treating them through their sickness and convalescence.