food storage


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By Kellene Bishop

I’ll be blunt. I’ve rewritten the beginning of this article nearly 10 times now trying to lessen its uncomfortable impact. But it’s nearing 1:00pm already and I still haven’t successfully eliminated any discomfort the article may convey. So, I’m just going to say it like it is.

Charitable Preparedness. Photo c/o elllo

Charitable Preparedness. Photo c/o elllo

If you are smart, you will have a year’s supply of necessities for you and your family stored. But if you are wise, you will have extra supplies on hand for the refugees that you’ll inevitably encounter after a catastrophic event.

When I say refugees, I’m not talking about neighbors and family members who have willfully made no effort to prepare themselves—you know, those who think that they can just make a “Little Red Hen” play when things get tough. Whether you aid those individuals or not is a decision that is a very personal decision only you can make. (I’ve given you my two cents on this matter in a previous article.) When I say refugees, I’m referring to those who are displaced from their homes, their supplies etc. as a result of whatever disaster arises. It’s simply naïve of us to believe that we will only be aiding our own immediate family. Here are a few scenarios to get you thinking.

Scenario 1: A mandatory quarantine order is issued on Thanksgiving weekend while you have a house full of family and friends. No one is permitted to be out on the streets. What you have in your home is your survival and comfort supplies for those who find themselves stranded at a family gathering. (Hmm…for some this is a disaster in and of itself. :)).

Scenario 2: A tornado is heading for your area suddenly as you are out for a Sunday drive. Yes, you have a 72 hour kit in your car and yes, you have a year’s supply at home of necessities. But you are forced to immediately abandon your car and run for the nearest shelter—hopefully a person’s home with a basement. The home survives the impact for reasons only God knows. But the roads, power lines, and communication lines are destroyed in the wake of the tornado. Your automobile is somewhere out there…lying in a heap of course. Will the new friends you’ve made as a result of this disaster even have enough food and water for themselves as well as you sufficient to endure a few days or weeks while FEMA or the National Guard mobilizes for the clean-up and restoration of society?

In the event of an EMP, vehicles would be rendered useless and commuters would be stranded. Photo c/o losgatosobserver.com

In the event of an EMP, vehicles would be rendered useless and commuters would be stranded. Photo c/o losgatosobserver.com

Scenario 3: At 5:35 p.m. on a Friday night, the nation is hit with a fully debilitating electro-magnetic pulse. While you were fortunate enough to be in your home with your family in place, millions of others (some of whom you even know and love) are stranded right where they are. Think about it. Commuters, shoppers, night workers, expectant travelers at the airport, families enjoying dinner at a restaurant, parents and kids at a soccer game, etc. All of these people are stuck right where they are. Very few people have ever even conceived of a plan of what to do in such circumstances, let alone communicated it. So what do these people do? Do they begin traveling by foot? Will rampant crimes of unspeakable natures erupt? Yes. Will places of refuge be critical to the survival of all of these displaced souls? Absolutely.

We cannot assume that we will be comfy in our homes when a disaster hits. As all of you have do doubt experienced, trials never come at convenient times. I suspect that a major disaster such as I’ve described will be no different.

Countless narratives have been shared by the survivors of the World Trade Center attack. These narratives convey an almost super-human amount of charity, kindness, concern, and courage that was conveyed from one person to another as they struggled to escape the horror of the crumbling buildings. Not all who were affected by this event found this Christian side of them, but many, many did. I believe it’s impossible to squelch such an inclination in catastrophic types of situations. So what will you do when you encounter refugees from a disaster and you have nothing to offer them? Send them on their way empty handed? Perhaps you’ll be tempted to give of what little you have at the risk of putting your own family in mortal danger? Of course it’s simply not acceptable for us to shirk our duties to our own families in the name of helping others. Our forever responsibilities are to those whom we have been blessed with as a part of our family nucleus. But having to turn others away doesn’t sound like a comfortable moral dilemma to be in either, right? So, to put it simply, don’t put yourself in that position. Prepare for charitable preparedness now. Do so by asking yourself, “Do I have enough and to spare?” 

It’s not common for us to see real life angels nowadays. But that doesn’t mean that the work of our Lord ceases to go forth. The lack of celestial angels on the earth doesn’t mean that lives are no longer blessed. Rather our lives are blessed through the angelic service of others around us. In order to avoid a stressful moral dilemma, we would do well to be prepared to be charitable as well. Prepared is the key word though—not just assuming that you will give charitably when you are confronted with just the right faces of desperation.

Charitable Preparedness: Giving blankets to girls at Allahuddin Orphanage in Afghanistan. Photo c/o thinkbigadventures.com

Charitable Preparedness: Giving blankets to girls at Allahuddin Orphanage in Afghanistan. Photo c/o thinkbigadventures.com

Even though it’s just my husband and I in our home, why do I have extra square buckets laden with hygiene supplies? Why do I have pans large enough to prepare food for a small army? Why do I keep buying fleece when it gets drastically reduced at the local fabric store? Because I do not intend to live out a disaster with just my husband and I.  I WILL BE FULLY PREPARED TO AID OTHERS WHEN NECESSARY. Can we give any more sincere thanks to a God who blesses us than when we clearly accept some stewardship for the care and concern of others? Are we more convincing in our prayers of gratitude when we actually back it up with actions of charitable preparedness? If I can give them a meal and send them on their way without compromising my own safety and survival then I will do so. If I can provide them with some tools (such as razors, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and a toothbrush) so that they feel more like a human being than an animal, I will do so. Besides, as I’ve pointed out previously, thanks to the use of coupons it costs me nothing anymore to obtain these kinds of items. So what excuse do I really have not to prepare to be charitable and mindful of the needs of others?

I know that this article on charitable preparedness may be a bit stressful to you as you’re probably working hard trying just to get your own needs met. But let me ask you. Do you think you would have some extra Divine assistance getting prepared for your own family if you also had the well-being of others in mind? I’m quite positive you wouldn’t be “doomed” in any way for approaching your preparedness efforts in this manner. I can personally attest that I KNOW that I have been blessed with “enough and to spare” because of this charitable preparedness approach. I have a different level of peace knowing that even if my home is obliterated, I have PROVEN myself willing to aid others in a disastrous scenario. As such I can confidently trust that the Lord will provide for me if ever I find myself a helpless refugee.

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

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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Genetically Modified Wheat photo c/o digitaljournal.com

Genetically Modified Wheat photo c/o digitaljournal.com

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

By Kellene Bishop

As if we need any more “signs, indicators, or reasons”, here is  yet another reason why I believe we all should be getting a year’s supply of wheat for our family. If GMO wheat is widely accepted, then that means that it won’t just affect your buckets of wheat that you may buy in the future. It obviously means that ALL products which you purchase which will contain wheat, or wheat by products, will also contain unwanted chemicals necessary for the GMO process.  I’m simply not a fan of those kinds of limited choices. Thus having my own supply of wheat is a must for me and my household.   Just some “food for thought” folks.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_19379.cfm

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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We have a winner, folks! One of Preparedness Pro’s remarkable commenters from the last two weeks will walk away with this FoodSaver Mason Jar Attachment! How’s that for sharing your two cents’ worth?

FoodSaver Mason Jar Attachment photo c/o Amazon

FoodSaver Mason Jar Attachment photo c/o Amazon

And the winner is…

Jaime Makin!

Congratulations, Jaime! Please email sarah [at] preparednesspro [dot] com with your mailing addresso so we can get your FoodSaver Mason Jar Attachment out to you!

In case you’re wondering what to do with your new prize, here’s an excerpt from a past article that will explain it perfectly:

You can stuff a Mason jar with any dry ingredient such as rice, nuts, chocolate chips, granola, etc. Place the lid, no ring, on the jar. Connect the air port from the FoodSaver to your Mason Jar attachment with the hose that comes with the FoodSaver. Place the jar attachment on top of your jar. Turn on your FoodSaver, and bzzzzzz…a moment later you have successfully sucked out the oxygen from your jar. After doing so you should store it away from heat and regular light. As such you will win the battle against expiration dates.

Preparedness Pro will keep the commenting contest going through Thanksgiving, so whenever you feel so inclined, share your thoughts and insights on any of the Preparedness Pro articles and we’ll keep giving away fabulous prizes every two weeks!

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!

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

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

Last night as I was perusing our grocery store mailers, one in particular was advertising a 10 pound bag of potatoes for one dollar. I was pretty tickled about that price. Why? Because that means I can have ONE HUNDRED POUNDS of potatoes for only 1 dollar. How? Because it’s easy to convert 10 pounds of potatoes into 100 pounds of potatoes, even if you don’t have any more space than a deck or a small patio.

You can even grow potatoes in the middle of an old tire! Photo c/o Hip Chick Digs

You can even grow potatoes in the middle of an old tire! Photo c/o Hip Chick Digs

It’s all about layered potato growing. Cut your potatoes into quarters. Make sure each quarter has a couple of eyes in it in about 4 inches of dirt. Be sure you don’t pat the dirt down – you want it nice and light. (As an alternative, you can use peat moss instead if you like.) You can do this at the bottom of a 55 gallon drum that has no lid, an old wooden barrel, in the middle of an old tire, or you can simply nail four 4-inch boards together forming a square. Tend to the potato plant like you would any other with sun and occasional watering. Be sure you don’t keep the soil too wet though or you will have blight.

Sprouting potatoes photo c/o Sustainable Eats

Sprouting potatoes photo c/o Sustainable Eats

Wait until the potato “vine” protrudes from the soil about 5-6 inches from the ground. Once it’s grown to that length, add another layer of soil, covering the growth. This will force the seedling to send out shoots underground where your potatoes actually grow. When you add another layer of dirt you can add another layer of tires or boards if you’re building it as you go. (Personally, I think using the 55 gallon dark-colored barrel is the better way to go, because it then also acts as a sort of a root cellar for the potatoes. Yes, drill a few holes at the bottom for drainage.) Continue this repeated process through your growing season. By the end of the season, you’ll have 100 pounds of potatoes in very little space. The potatoes at the bottom of your barrel will be the largest, but the ones at the top are great as well. And better yet, you know what chemicals were (or were NOT) put on the plants while they grew!

This process can be started with seed potatoes instead of the regular ones that you buy in the store, so long as you’re sure they haven’t been treated with chemicals. Keep in mind if the potatoes have been treated with chemicals, they won’t germinate. With the seed potatoes (which can be acquired from your local greenhouse), you will have a more bounteous harvest. The potatoes will grow as tall as you let them. Isn’t that just one more cool thing that we have to be grateful for?

You can leave the covered potatoes in the container during the winter until needed. Be sure to keep them covered though as the sun will aid them in becoming green and toxic. You can also “steal” some potatoes along the way as well – no need to wait until the end of the year to get some yummy potatoes! Just be sure to cover the rest of them back up once you’re done “digging” for potatoes.

New Potatoes. Photo c/o about.com

New Potatoes. Photo c/o about.com

My favorites are New Potatoes or any of the fingerling kinds as well as the Edsel Blue variety.

While potatoes are obviously a great source of starch, they are also a good source of vitamin C and B6, as well as potassium, manganese, tryptophan, and a few other trace minerals such as copper. Contrary to their bad rap among “low carb conscience dieters” the phenolic content of New Potatoes rivals that of broccoli, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. They are also a good fiber source, depending on how you cook them. In my opinion they taste better and are more flavorful if steamed, not boiled. When I’m making mashed potatoes, I love cooking them for just a few minutes in my pressure cooker (obviously!) and then running them through a potato ricer. YUM-MEE. They are so fluffy that way, not waxy.

Well, guess it seems pretty easy now for you to have a year’s worth of spuds!

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!

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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