alternative uses for items


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By Kellene Bishop

I’ve have to admit I’ve got buckets on the brain right now. A friend suggested that I share with you why that’s the case. To put it simply it could just be because that’s how I alleviate anxiety. But for some of you, buckets may be a way to peacefully organize your storage items, including food and preparedness supplies, in a more strategic manner.

5 Gallon Buckets with Gamma Lid photo c/o Home Food Storage

5 Gallon Buckets with Gamma Lid photo c/o Home Food Storage

I’ve stored food, medical, camping, and many other supplies in plastic buckets for as long as I can remember. They are tough enough to store nails in and very versatile. If there ever is a flood, I’ve ensured that a lot of the supplies in buckets will be undamaged, and if there is an earthquake, a great deal of the items will stay in tact and unbroken. I make sure that I use food-grade buckets only. When it comes to the lids, I use regular 5 gallon lids, but I have several gamma lids also. I replace the old lid with a gamma lid once I’m getting into the bucket regularly for items such as wheat, beans, and rice. The gamma lids have a great seal on the bucket, but can be easily unscrewed in the inner circle of the lid for my use. The gamma lids cost about $5 to $7, so that’s why I don’t just use them on all of my buckets. The 5-gallon buckets also have “toilet seats” for emergency sanitation. (I’d like to pat the guy on the back who came up with that idea.) I’ve been using 5 gallon buckets to store a great deal of my items almost exclusively until about 2 years ago. That’s when I discovered the 4 gallon square bucket.

4 Gallon Square Bucket with Flip Top Lid

4 Gallon Square Bucket with Flip Top Lid

Although only 42 years old, it doesn’t take much for me to throw my back out, so hefting a 5 gallon bucket isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do. Also, when I see a group of round buckets, I can’t help but notice the space I’m wasting—both inside and outside the buckets. So when I discovered 4 gallon square buckets, my biggest concerns were alleviated. They are manageable to lift, they store nice and tight with the wall and other items, and are easy to fill more thoroughly. They can also stack about 6 or 8 high comfortably (depending on the weight of the contents). While there isn’t a “gamma lid” contraption for the square buckets, there are rubber sealed lids with essentially a flip open top. Much like I use the gamma seal lids, I use these more rugged lids in place of the standard ones when I’m regularly using the contents of a square bucket. They even have a nice little “stay open” feature when I’m scooping contents out. Then all I have to do is snap the lid back into place.

Since discovering the 4 gallon square bucket, I’ve begun using them even more than before. One way I utilize them is by storing all of the contents of a particular meal in a bucket along with the recipe. This way, I don’t have to go hunting for the various ingredients when I go down to my pantry. And in the event of a survival situation, I can give myself some peace of mind without having to stress “what will I cook?” since I label the buckets according to the meals that are inside. Sometimes I have enough for 20 servings in each bucket, sometimes 50. It all depends on how “ingredient intensive” the meal is. For example, for my Chicken Poppy Seed casserole, I put the Rice-A-Roni in a FoodSaver bag (in its original box), along with the cans of chicken, cream of chicken soup, Ritz crackers, poppy seeds, powdered sour cream, salt, and pepper with a large label on the bucket that says “Chicken Poppy Seed Casserole.” I’ve created several recipes for items which are “pantry friendly” that I know the hubby and others already love and have buckets of these meals stored accordingly. Can I just tell you what kind of a peace it gives me to go into the pantry and see buckets of meals that actually sound good and are easy to make? I mean really, which would you rather see? A bucket labeled “wheat” or a bucket labeled “Beef Stroganoff?” 🙂

When I use items from the buckets (which I do all of the time) I simply replace the ingredients with future grocery shopping trips OR with other items I have in my supplies. Either way, what I don’t want is a false sense of security when I see labeled buckets. I want to know I can rely on them to have the meals inside. It’s also MUCH easier to take a semi-annual accounting this way.

Stacking Square Buckets photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Stacking Square Buckets photo c/o Preparedness Pro

Buckets are also great to keep other types of contents in them. For example, I’m frequently getting good deals on small bottles of olive oil. (Thank you, coupons!) Instead of stacking them on a shelf and leaving them to the wiles of an earthquake, I wrap them up with newspaper (again–thanks to coupons) and place them in a bucket marked “olive oil.” (Yes, I came up with that brilliant label all by myself. Hee hee.) Now, with these square buckets full of olive oil, I can easily and securely stack them on top of each other. Whereas with my large containers of olive oil that I got from a warehouse, all I can do is have their big selves take up space on the shelf or floor in a single layer. That sure is a waste of height, don’t you think? This way I’m not forced to shell out for expensive shelving for everything. The same goes with BBQ sauce, spices, salad dressings, etc. Some items simply come in awkward sizes and shapes, but the buckets sure make things nice and organized for me. Since I don’t buy my items “by the case” usually, I can’t store them that way. 

Here’s another thought. If I had only a day’s notice to move all of my things, wouldn’t it be a heck of a lot easier to take buckets out of the pantry than stopping to pack regular sized bottles or boxes of food and supplies?

I also use buckets for storing medical and hygiene items, as well as groups of supplies such as cheese waxing, egg preservation, sewing, dental, etc. This prevents me from purchasing or paying “too much”. What I mean by that is when I see deodorant on sale for 59 cents, I may think that’s a good deal. But when I go downstairs and see two buckets marked “deodorant,” I’m easily reminded that anything more than FREE is a bit expensive to me. In other words, when I know I’ve got a bucket full of a particular hygiene or medical item, chances are I already have enough and don’t need to spend the money.

Now remember, you can put diatomaceous earth IN your buckets of goods and prevent the insect critters from bothering anything. I would definitely put the DE in the bucket if it’s a grain, legume, rice, or pasta. But when you have a cluster of buckets full of items that don’t already come with their own supply of insects *grin*, then you can simply sprinkle DE around your grouping of buckets instead of putting it inside of them.

Where do you find these buckets? There’s several options. “Wally World” sells them, but I hate their prices. You can easily get used buckets that were used for food grade purposes. During the harvest season you can get them directly from fruit growers for 50 cents or so. You can also obtain them from bakeries in your local grocery stores for FREE. So try making a few calls and make the most of those options first. However, in many areas I’ve lived, getting them year round has been a challenge. Thus I’m in love with Five Star Preparedness as my bucket source for this reason. They have used, 4-gallon, food grade buckets all the time, and tons of them too. (You can get about 25-28 pounds of grain and such in each bucket.) Each used bucket and lid are $2 each. They guarantee that each bucket and lid will be in sound condition or they will replace it cheerfully. Even better, for those of you who are in Utah or who come through the area, if you pick up the buckets yourself they are only $1.50. They will ship them in increments of 10 all over the continental U.S. with no additional handling charge. Another option is that you can have them make a massive delivery to your area based on a minimum bucket order. Apparently they frequently have church and community groups that request these by the hundreds. The minimum bucket count for the order depends on where they are being delivered. You can also get the new lids that I mentioned as well for only $2. I found these same lids at “Wally world” for more than 3 times their price! You can e-mail them at fulfillment [at] fivestarpreparedness [dot] com or you can call them during business hours at 801-734-9596 (which is answered in the same office as our executive answering service in Utah.)

So now perhaps you’ll look at buckets a bit more differently. Didn’t you know? Plastic is the new gold? 🙂

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Rotating Can Shelves photo c/o The Sassy Saver

Rotating Can Shelves photo c/o The Sassy Saver

Last weekend I was speaking with a very excited man who is a relatively new acquaintance of mine. He claimed that he had finally broken down and bought a years supply of food for his family and even purchased those “nifty” little shelves to hold all of his cans. He was so excited, he just had to show me. So he took me to his storage room along with his pleased wife and with the flare of a Broadway emcee, displayed his years’ supply of food storage. As I stood there thinking of him and his wife and their 5 children, I was dumbfounded. I thought for sure that I was missing something. I looked around the small room to see where else he may be pointing. But nope. He had a small set of rotating can shelves full of cans of foods. The problem was, by my somewhat flawed math estimates, I could only see about 200 cans of food. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that one can per person PER day would only amount to about 28 days of ONE meal per day. I frankly didn’t know how to kindly break it to him. So I did what I do best. I was blunt. *grin* I told him that I was so happy that he started his food storage and asked him how it made him feel. He said it was a GREAT feeling. I asked if he felt like he could handle a little bit more of that feeling. He said, “Sure!” So I proceeded to point out that what he had wasn’t even enough to feed one adult for a month, let alone his family for a year. Feeling a bit dejected he moved our conversation out of the basement and into the family room that was attached to the kitchen. From there I could see remaining cans of tomatoes, corn, and beans they had used to create an aromatic taco soup.

Taco Soup photo c/o His Daughter

Taco Soup photo c/o His Daughter

I asked him, “How many people did you feed with this batch of soup tonight?”
He said, “All of us, but we all had seconds.”
“Why did you all have seconds?”
“Because we were hungry and it tasted good.
I asked him how many cans he used to create dinner.
“Nine, plus some spices and a pound of ground beef.” 
“Do you feel overly stuffed from your meal?”
“No.”
“Do you feel content from your meal?”
“Yes.”
“Don’t you think that in a time in which you’re stressed with a chaotic environment that feeling content will be important to your family?”
“(Sigh) Yes.”
(You would have thought that I’d taken away Winnie-the-Pooh’s honey pot.)

During this conversation, some of the kids volunteered that after dinner they’d gotten into some snacks because they “still wanted some more to eat.” The wife sheepishly admitted that she had to have some Dove chocolate to “take the edge off of the day.” (I had to empathize with her on that one, for sure!)

Ok, so the point? I have been shown a person’s food storage on many occasions. The majority of those who believe they have enough food do not even have 3 months’ supply, let alone a year.

First of all, understand that food is a lot like cash in your wallet. It sure does seem to go quickly. Secondly, don’t underestimate the amount of food your family will need to feel healthy, calm, and content. Food indeed will be a way to “ground” your family in some sort of normalcy when all heck breaks loose.

As you accumulate and organize your meals, keep in mind generous servings, not minimal. Be realistic. I once had a gal tell me that she could feed her whole family on one box of mac-n-cheese. When I asked if she had ever put such a theory to the test, she replied no, that usually each teenager wants their own box. 

Beef Stroganoff photo c/o Creating Post-it Notes

Beef Stroganoff photo c/o Creating Post-it Notes

When I take an accounting of our food storage, I have a lot of my records by the serving, not the pound or ounce. Also, I store the recipes and ingredients for entire meals in 4-gallon square buckets. (These are invaluable in my home as they stack higher, take up less room, etc.) For example, let’s say I’m planning on serving Beef Stroganoff. Inside a 4-gallon square bucket I have the cans of cream of mushroom soup, cans of beef chunks, bags of pasta, seasonings, cans of veggies for the side dishes, and a bottle of applesauce to finish the meal off. That way when my husband asks me “what’s for dinner?” (tonight or in the future) I can simply go downstairs, look at the rows of buckets and pick a meal knowing that I already have everything I need for it right in there, along with the recipe. This makes life a lot less stressful NOW and in the event of a future food shortage scenario. I’m telling you, there’s a great deal of peace when you can look and see these meals neatly stacked and labeled in your food storage. Each bucket represents at least one meal based on how I have the bucket labeled. Sometimes I can fit a couple of meals in each bucket depending on the number of ingredients.

So the moral of this story is to take an actual accounting of the numbers of servings you have in your food storage, use what you store regularly, and try to store your food in clusters of meals that you know your family already loves. Be generous in your estimation of serving sizes and account for the entire meal as opposed to just a single dish.

4-gallon-bucket(By the way, a great place to find 4-gallon buckets is Five Star Preparedness. They have used 4-gallon square buckets that take up less space than the round ones. They also enable me to stack them much higher securely than the others. Since they are only 4 gallons, they don’t present as much of a physical challenge to me as do the 5-gallon ones. The 4-gallon buckets are $2 each and come with a lid. I love that I can buy a new lid with a hinged, stay-open feature and rubber gasket seal for only $2 (less than what they sell for at Wal-Mart) and use the new lids once I’m getting into them regularly. You can reach Five Star Preparedness at 801-734-9596)

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

While the thought of waste management isn’t sexy or glamorous, I wouldn’t be doing anyone any favors if I didn’t teach about sanitation in greater detail. So here are a few things that you’ve just GOT to know about do-it-yourself sanitation for a prolonged period of time.

Sorry to have to say this, but human waste is a huge danger in a disaster. Many folks will just give up on any semblance of sanitation in desperate circumstances. When I lived in the Philippines, it was nothing to see a woman stop where she was going and crouch down and urinate wherever she stood. It was also common for people to simply throw their human waste out their windows…as if it was now marked as someone else’s problem. Now picture what may happen if someone lives in a high rise apartment in the center of a city not being able to flush their toilets for a week. They aren’t just going to hold it, right? I guarantee that “civilization” as you know it will cease when it comes to waste disposal. But wait. There’s even better news. A person who is healthy and has regular bowel movements produces two to three pints of urine daily and one pound of feces per day. I don’t even want to think about what happens when someone is sick from eating unsafe food, or stressed out. Ugh. And that’s just ONE person.

Flies photo c/o ufl.edu

Flies photo c/o ufl.edu

As shared previously, one small area of poor sanitation can kill everyone within a 50 mile radius. So it’s critical that you’re just as diligent with your sanitation preparedness as you are your food, water, and shelter. How can a bad sanitation area kill so many in such a wide area? The perpetrators are rodents, flies, and bacteria. Bad bacteria can travel three hundred feet from the original site of “yuck.” Flies live to spread feces and such from one place to another. And rodents are attracted to it as well. If they go in, they go out, and they then take the death germs with them. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? So you’ve got be mindful of not creating a festival of killer bacteria in the first place.

There’s quite the cocktail of formidable germs lurking in a human waste area. Streptococcus, staphylococcus, E. coli and shigella bacteria, some salmonella, Norwalk virus, hepatitis A virus, the common cold virus, and various sexually transmitted organisms.

Immediately after a power outage you may still be able to use your sewer system by pouring water directly into the toilet bowl. But this method uses up a lot of valuable water and you run the risk of having sewage in your home when the home system backs up. I wouldn’t recommend living long term that way. Instead, plug the toilet up with a tennis ball to avoid sewage coming out in the event of a blockage. And then set up alternative waste disposal options.

Trench illustration c/o wedc.lboro.ac.uk

Trench illustration c/o wedc.lboro.ac.uk

One option is to dig a trench. Your trench should be 2 feet wide, at the very minimum, 1 food deep and four feet long or more. More importantly it should be FAR way from any type of living arrangements—especially FOOD! Since the bacteria can travel 300 feet, you might want to think about having your trench that far way from your living area. After each trench use, cover the area with dirt, lime, wood ash, I-Pee, or ChemiSan. Also, I recommend sprinkling a bit of diatomaceous earth (DE) after each use as it will keep the flies and other insects away, and thus further prevent the spreading of germs. (Note: Human waste should NEVER be used as compost for food gardens.) The downside of digging the trench is that it takes up vital physical energy. Thus some of the simpler methods may be necessary instead.

Another option is to use a 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat lid. After each use, be sure to layer it with one of the aforementioned items. ChemiSan has biodegradable bags that you can use to line the 5-gallon buckets with. This will enable you to take the bags, bury them and know that you haven’t furthered the contamination in your area. (Check their site to find distributors in your area.) For our readiness, we have lots of heavy duty plastic bags, DE, and lime on hand specifically for this purpose.

Whatever method you use, try to construct a covering/shelter for the area. This isn’t just about dignity and privacy. Germs in feces can be propelled through the air easily. Thus, leaving the waste area immediately after applying the covering of dirt, lime, etc is important. Having some type of a door or at least a plastic sheeting is a good idea as well.

Be sure that everyone is diligent in cleaning their hands for at least 20 seconds after using the facilities. The same goes if you are changing a baby or elderly diaper. Be sure to get in between the fingers and under the fingernails each time you wash your hands. If you’re relegated to using hand-sanitizer, be sure to apply enough to be just as thorough as you would if you had soap and running water.

Boil cloth diapers to clean them. Photo c/o searchingbliss.blogspot.com

Boil cloth diapers to clean them. Photo c/o searchingbliss.blogspot.com

When disposing of disposable feminine products, they should be burned after use, not put with the other waste in the trench or bucket. The same goes for disposable diapers. However, cloth diapers and their pins should be boiled, then bleached, and then exposed to the sun for a couple of hours. (Do NOT use your solar oven for this sanitation purpose)

And lastly, you may want to invest in room deodorizers now while you can get them frequently for FREE with coupons. While you may not fathom being able to use 6 cans of Febreeze now, you’ll be grateful that you have it when your “community” is forced to take care of business the early 1900’s way.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

h1n1-prevention-child-sick-in-bedI’m getting a lot of e-mails lately asking me for more details on the H1N1 risks. Frankly, I have a whole lot to say about the H1N1 flu, but that would probably take an entire day. So today I want to share some very basic aspects to help you begin to cut through some of the myths and misunderstandings about H1N1.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #1: First of all, don’t waste all of your money on the N95 respirator masks. Yes, they are a great quality. So are my expensive clogging shoes. But they will not do much to prevent me from getting sick. The N95 respirator masks are constructed to filter 95% of particulate that are 0.3µ, but the primary size of the H1N1 virus is 0.1µ, so they will pass through. The masks are good for other viruses that may result as a complication of the H1N1. But they will do very little to prevent you from getting H1N1 in the first place.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #2: H1N1 is transferred from one person to another via the nose and the mouth. It is only able to compound and grow (proliferate) in the upper respiratory system. So if you are going to take some preventative measures now (which I recommend you do), take actions that help the upper respiratory system such as a nasal saline rinse (they work wonders, I’m telling you!), or warm liquids, and the diffusing of some great essential oils such as Thieves. These are ideal preventative measures.

Upper Respiratory System photo c/o health.com

Upper Respiratory System photo c/o health.com

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #3: It’s virtually impossible for you NOT to come in contact with the H1N1. Contact with the virus won’t hurt you. But allowing the virus to proliferate in your upper respiratory system is what can be dangerous. Keeping your upper respiratory system clean and healthy so as not to provide an ideal environment for the proliferation of the flu virus is your best bet. The virus will only last in your system for about 2 weeks according to its natural cycle. So be diligent in your preventative measures so that you never give the virus a 2 week span in which it can grow to aggravate symptoms, get others ill, etc.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #4: Tamiflu does NOT kill the H1N1 virus. It is merely distributed to subdue the proliferation of the virus in the body. (Kind of like smothering a fire which doesn’t always work, depending on how the smothering agent is applied.) If Tamiflu is effective in the body for the 2 week duration, then you’ll notice very little illness and symptoms. Considering you are nearly guaranteed that you will have contact with the virus and that it’s not likely that you will “kill” it, it’s very important that you do everything you can not to encourage the virus’ growth. In addition to the aforementioned preventative measures, there are some other, relatively simple ways to defend yourself against the impact of this virus—without taking chances on chemical solutions.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #5: While it may sound a bit too simplistic, be sure to wash your hands a LOT! I wash mine nearly 3 times more daily than I used to in an essential oil base, such as Thieves. I also carry a little spray bottle of Thieves essential oil with me and spray down questionable surfaces as well as my hands when I’m out and about.

Gargle Salt Water. Photo c/o Photographic Advertising Limited

Gargle Salt Water. Photo c/o Photographic Advertising Limited

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #6: While most people only associate gargling salt water as what they do when they are sick, I suggest that you do it twice a day now. If you don’t care for salt water, then spray some Thieves oil in your mouth twice a day as a preventative measure. Bacteria and viruses simply cannot multiply in a salty environment. Don’t underestimate this. I’ve felt like I’ve been fighting something for a couple of weeks. So I’ve been faithful about taking more immune system builders, drinking my green drink, and spraying my throat twice daily.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #7: PLEASE keep your hands off of your face. When you touch your face, just picture you giving a “helping hand” to those little mongrel viruses right to your nose and mouth. Before applying makeup, be sure you’ve cleaned your hands. Moms, whatever you do, don’t do that licking of the finger to get a smudge or an errant hair under control. When you handle the drool of a little one, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #8: If you’re eating out, don’t TRUST that the table has been cleaned properly. Bring a sani-wipe with you and use it on the table. Be sure that you sanitize your hands before bringing food to your mouth either by utensils or by hand.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #9: When you use a tissue, be sure to use it once and then throw it away. If you reuse it (out of a need to conserve—I get it) you could be giving the virus a lift to your mouth and nose again.

Avoid people who have been vaccinated within the last 2 weeks. Photo c/o ehow.com

Avoid people who have been vaccinated within the last 2 weeks. Photo c/o ehow.com

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #10: OK. Here’s another bit you should know. Try to avoid contact with those who have had the vaccination in the last 2 weeks as much as you would avoid someone who has the flu. The vaccination does carry a smidge of the actual virus in it. Whether or not it’s able to proliferate within its host body doesn’t mean that it can’t do so in your body.

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #11: Also get as much Vitamin D3 as you can. Conscientiously make yourself walk outside in the sun to absorb as much of it as possible. Have your kids do the same. Supplementing 5,000 IUs per day per adult and 2,000 IUs per day for children is a sound preventative measure. Vitamin D3 is a known immune regulator. (Isn’t that great how God has provided us with something like this for FREE?!) Remember, D3, not the common stuff you find stale on the pharmacy shelves. If you take a calcium supplement as well, you’ll dramatically improve the absorption of the Vitamin D3, as does zinc. Other health professionals have recommend taking 1,000 IUs of Vitamin C daily as well as a good source for multi-vitamin, including selenium. (Selenium is an anti-viral and an anti-inflammatory.)

Practical H1N1 Prevention Tidbit #12: Last but not least, try to avoid sugar, which suppresses the full functions of your immune system. Also avoid the less healthy oils such as corn, safflower, peanut, and soybean as they too suppress the immune system. Instead use grapeseed (which has a VERY long shelf-life) sesame, and cold pressed coconut oil if possible.

I’m currently working on an in-depth piece about what to do when you’re threatened or forced to take the vaccination against your will.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Diatomaceous Earth photo c/o shadowridgedonkeys.com

Diatomaceous Earth photo c/o shadowridgedonkeys.com

So what’s in my buckets of wheat? Diatomaceous earth! Don’t worry. You don’t have to pronounce it. Just USE it.

What is diatomaceous earth? Well, it’s a HECK of a lot better than oxygen absorbers. It doesn’t suffocate wheat and it easily takes care of the weevil eggs that are inherent in all wheat. (The better the quality of wheat though, the less you have.) Oh, and it’s good for you too!

Let’s start with the wheat first though. Wheat is actually intended to be a living, breathing organism when you eat it. I’m sure you’ve heard or read of “the staff of life” before, right? It is actually living, just like a seed. So you actually WANT it to continue to breathe a bit. Just like anything else you want to sprout, you want this to essentially stay alive. So putting oxygen absorbers in it essentially sucks the life out of it. Eating “dead” wheat vs. ‘live” wheat is essentially the difference between eating freezer-burned produce and freshly picked. That’s not to say it’s a “no-no” to do so. It’s just not the best way to have your wheat. So how about using something in your wheat that not only is good for your wheat, but good for YOUR body too?

To put it in simple terms diatomaceous earth (DE) is actually the remains of fossilized algae. It’s found in deposits from seas and lakes all over the Western US and is usually about 1,000 years old when it is mined. This means that if you store it well, it has an unlimited shelf life! Yay!

Diatomaceous earth also helps with deworming. Photo c/o ehow.com

Diatomaceous earth also helps with deworming. Photo c/o ehow.com

Diatomaceous earth contains silica, sodium, magnesium, and iron exclusively. Not that I’ll be making a DE casserole anytime soon, but it is perfectly ingestible. (Be sure you ONLY USE FOOD GRADE DE—not pool grade!) It is heat resistant (BIG PLUS), absorbs liquid, (another plus) and is a natural insecticide. It can also be used as a mild abrasive, blood clotter, and as a water filtration aid. It’s also is a solid combatant against  mealworm, flea, tick, bed bug, ants, cockroaches, slugs, worms, and parasite infestations as well! (Just about every insect critter you can think of, actually.) Ideally you want your DE in a pure white color. The more gray it is, the more clay it contains. Understand that the food grade DE is not a chemical.  It works in a purely physical manner (of which I’m not sure I want to go into here so that I don’t gross anyone out).  Because of its ability to “deworm”, it’s commonly used to eliminate parasites and worms in livestock and pets. (I LOVE multi-purpose items, don’t you?) And it actually also has been known to enhance appetite in horses and cows. (Hmmm…maybe it will help 4 year-old picky eaters too?) Oh, and by the way, it also reduces the nasty smell of waste!

Now, let’s talk about human consumption for a moment. Food grade DE actually comes with a recommendation of 1 heaping tablespoon for humans DAILY in order to absorb endotoxins, e-coli, viruses, ethyl mercury, drug residues, as well as eliminate parasites, and regulates digestion. So there’s no need to worry about 1 tablespoon in your 5 gallon bucket of wheat. And yes, it’s perfectly safe for children and pregnant women. Diatomaceous earth has a negative charge and bacteria has a positive charge.  So it’s actually great at eliminating bacteria in your body’s system—without eliminating the good bacteria in your stomach. 

Just a spoonful of diatomaceous earth photo c/o earthworkshealth.com

Just a spoonful of diatomaceous earth photo c/o earthworkshealth.com

You only need about a tablespoon of DE for each 5 pound bucket of wheat in order to successfully inhibit infestation. It actually adds 15 trace minerals to your wheat prior to grinding. Should you use it? Well, a study done by ACRES, USA showed that after 12 months of storage untreated grain had 16,994 insects in it. Compare that to treated grain which had a whopping 15. I vote YES! (There’s a litany of other benefits for the body that simply won’t all fit in this article.)

Here are the downsides to diatomaceous earth. You don’t want to get it in your eyes. It will irritate them by drying them. It’s also drying to your skin if you are in long-term contact with it. (I HATE that feeling.) It will also kill beneficial insects such as lady bugs and bees. So be sure you want to use it where you place it.

Ok. I’m off to buy some more DE. What about you?

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop
Grapefruit

Grapefruit

Interesting. I have a new find that I want to share with you all. The funny thing is that I’ve had this item in my preparedness supplies for some time. But I admit, I had no idea what it was capable of doing. I had it in there simply as a “just in case” item as opposed to a SUPER multi-purpose item. It is *drum roll*… Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE).

It usually comes in a 4 ounce bottle and is a clear, relatively thick liquid. The tiny hole at the top of the bottle allows you to squeeze it out drop by drop because each drop is some kind of a powerful stuff. Powerful for what you may ask? I’d be happy to tell you.

In a nutshell, grapefruit seed extract is believed to possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-VIRAL properties. (Anything you can find that’s anti-viral is a find!) It’s also known to be an effective preservative. A little tiny bit goes a long way! The oil is prepared as an extract from the entire grapefruit—seeds, peel, and all. Even reluctant scientific research has found that GSE kills certain bacteria, molds, and yeasts. (Google it, folks)

NutriBiotic

NutriBiotic

Grapefruit Seed Extract is great for internal and external uses. Internally, you can use a diluted amount as a throat gargle, ear rinse, nasal rinse, and a vaginal rinse. You can also use it as a facial cleaner, a skin cleaner for irritation, and scalp treatment.

Since it’s also an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, you’ll also find it useful to clean your meats, fruits, and vegetables. You can dilute it in a sink full of water and wash your foods that way, or you can dilute it in a spray bottle and use it just as efficiently. It’s also a great option for cleaning your toothbrushes in. You can clean them periodically, or leave the toothbrushes soaked in a diluted mixture in between uses. It’s also fantastic for cleaning and disinfecting your cutting board as well. 

One thing I would caution you on, though. You should not use it full strength—ever.  It’s effective with just a couple drops in some water (No, I’m not going to confess to that one). This is kind of embarrassing, but I had a really painful…um…zit…in my ear. That’s DANG painful. (If you’ve ever had these then you know that they go on for days and days and they HURT.) So on the first day of the noticeable pain, I put a drop of the GSE on the end of a Q-tip and then a couple drops of water and then applied it to the “owwee” area. I only had to suffer for a day and a half instead of the typical week. 

I took some as a throat gargle 2 weeks ago when I noticed that I was trying to fight a sore throat (It’s no wonder with all of the traveling and talking I do). I had no problems the next day. Sore throat was gone.

Now that I’ve finished my research on this product (and after using it this weekend for a head cold) this is definitely one item I’m going to have more of in my supplies. (By the way, the brand I found and liked is NutriBiotic. Just Google it and you’ll find it all over the net at an affordable price. Remember, a little goes a long way.)

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

Slow and steady wins the race! Photo c/o redbrownandblue.com

Slow and steady wins the race! Photo c/o redbrownandblue.com

This blog has moved. Please visit us at www.preparednesspro.com.

By Kellene Bishop

Time’s a wastin’. Getting prepared takes a concerted effort on a regular basis. However, it doesn’t take require loads of money or fancy contraptions. It takes action. The good news is that even though I’m not surrounded with a particular need for preparedness right now, I’m still amply rewarded when I do a little something to improve my family’s state of readiness. I find that each activity I do and every effort I make in this regard increases my level of peace, confidence, and assurance substantially. Here are some ideas as to what you can do this weekend to be better prepared. Just pick one or even a couple of these activities and improve your readiness factor!

  • Organize an area of food storage. Just one area, such as soups, pastas, wheat, sugar, etc.
  • Run your family through a fire drill in the home 
    Fire Drill photo c/o njfamily.com

    Fire Drill photo c/o njfamily.com

     

  • Learn how to grow sprouts
  • Learn how to use a solar oven
  • Try making dinner on your butane stove
  • Learn how to use a pressure cooker
  • Bottle butter
  • Go fishing (Yes, ladies, that IS a preparedness skill)
  • Learn how to make a candle out of a tuna can
  • Make fire without a match (preferably NOT in your home.) 🙂
  • Cook in your Dutch Oven
  • Learn CPR
  • Fill those water barrels
  • Make notes on your laundry detergent, toothpaste, and toilet paper so that you know how long they actually last your family. (This way you know how much you need for a year)
  • Burn/cut up a credit card
  • Learn how to make bread
  • Sanitize your home including doorknobs, cupboard doors, refrigerator handles, air vents, and telephones
  • Try some powdered milk and find one that you like
  • Read for a half hour on Preparedness Pro to learn something new
  • Preserve your favorite dry foods with a FoodSaver 
    FoodSaver photo c/o foodsaverblog.com

    FoodSaver photo c/o foodsaverblog.com

     

  • Do a financial analysis of how you can allocate a bit more money each month towards eliminating debt
  • Make sure your family knows how to turn off the gas line to your home
  • Identify where all of your other water sources are
  • Attend a self-defense class
  • Attend a couponing class
  • Read the U.S. Constitution (Yup, becoming familiar with this is an act of preparedness in defense of foreign or domestic enemies.)
  • Practice target shooting at a range
  • Teach your family a “gathering plan”
  • Get your Concealed Firearm Permit
  • Learn how to use come common essential oils
  • Learn how to put up your tent all by yourself 🙂
  • Wax some hard cheese
  • Preserve some eggs
  • Go camping
  • Go for a 5 mile walk with the family
  • Learn a new recipe that you can make from what’s readily available in your pantry.

Bacon Potatoes in Garlic Cream Sauce

1 C. evaporated milk

1 ½ T. cornstarch

1 T. minced garlic (I prefer mine from the jar that’s in oil)

1 T. butter

1/8 t. salt

1 t. dried rosemary

1 T. of real bacon bits, or bacon flavored TVP

Two 15-ounce cans of whole potatoes, drained

Whisk the cornstarch into the milk until it is dissolved. Add the butter, salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and bacon. Bring to a low boil and stir until thickened (This will take about 3 minutes.) Add the canned potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes—or until no longer hard. This side dish serves 4 nicely or you can also add some fried Spam and a drained can of corn and make it a main dish.

So which preparedness activity are you going to do this weekend?

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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