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When most people think about eating from their food storage, they think about mundane wheat, rice, and beans.  If I had to live on that, I may very well starve to death out of boredom, also known as “appetite fatigue.”   There are two key ways to avoid this from happening to you and your family if you’re forced to live off of food storage. 
 
1)    Store what you eat
2)   Learn to use what you store
 
While this may sound simple, I find that frequently when I evaluate a person’s food storage they are storing items which they have no idea how to convert into an edible food and in some cases they are even storing items which they are allergic to!
 
whole-wheat-bread-pierrotsomepeopleHere are the facts.  If you attempt to go from what you’re eating every day now to surviving off of whole wheat, you will be dead within 3 months from the shock of what the wheat will do to your digestive system.  If you intend to use wheat in an emergency, you better begin acclimating your body to wheat right now.  (It’s the only reason why I learned to make bread, but boy are my husband and father-in-law glad I did. They love my bread!)
 
So introducing wheat into your diet on a daily basis now is one way to avoid shocking your system literally to death.  And it’s part of the fundamental of “learning to use what you store.”  I’ve had one woman show me her ample supplies to make some wonderful sounding dishes, but she’s never attempted to make them for herself or her family. That’s a catastrophe waiting to happen.
 
Remember, the time for preparation is over when the opportunity (or disaster) appears.
 
Another way to prevent a system shock when you’re forced to convert your lifestyle as the result of an emergency is to store items such as Kamut, Amarath, Quinoa, Millet, and Spelt. These types of grains mixed in generously with wheat will prevent the negative effects of shocking your body with straight wheat.  Oh, and by the way, be sure you learn how to eat these items as well.  (Yes, you can sprout them also).
 
Given the choices though, I prefer to introduce wheat into my body regularly.  The reason being is that the other grain choices above are 4 to 10 times more expensive than wheat.  And that’s saying a lot considering how much wheat has gone up in pricing over the last 2 years. 
 
Learning to use what you store also requires a level of awareness. As you use recipes in your regular meal making activities, ask yourself if you have the items necessary to create such a meal with what you’ve got in storage (This includes what you may need to actually cook the meal with such as a Dutch Oven, Solar Oven, alternatively fueled stoves, etc. I frequently use my Joy Cook stoves for testing emergency preparedness recipes. They are made in Korea and I always see them being sold at sporting goods stores as well as trade shows for camping, boating and guns). 
 
I also specifically look for recipes in which I can adapt the items easily, or already stock in my food storage. For example, today I played around with using peanut butter, ginger vinaigrette and fettuccine.  It turned out nicely.  But then again I like Thai flavored types of food as well.  My husband on the other hand… not so much. Back to the drawing board for me on that one, I guess. 
 
Here is the recipe for you to test out on your finicky eaters:
 
Ginger Peanut Fettuccine
1 box of (8 oz.) of fettuccine
½ cup of peanut butter (crunchy is ideal for this recipe)
¾ cup of ginger vinaigrette dressing
1 tablespoon of minced garlic.  (I buy mine by the large jar and use it all year round)
Reserve 1 ¼ cup of the pasta water
 
Cook fettuccine according to box directions.  Drain completely, setting aside the reserved pasta water.  Set aside your pasta while you make the sauce.  Returning your pan to the hot surface, simply add your garlic, dressing, peanut butter and pasta water, stirring until smooth.  Add cooked pasta. Stir well until mixed. 
Makes four servings which include necessary fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.  I like to sprinkle a bit of dried parsley over each serving as well.
 
Enjoy! 
 
I’ll address more of the fundamental of “storing what you eat” in future blogs.
 
Kellene

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

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A Frank Exploration of Buckets of Emergency Food Supply

 

emergencyfood275_newIf you have food storage accumulation on your radar, you’ve no doubt been tempted (or already beguiled) to purchase the so-called 3 months supply of food that comes in a 5 gallon bucket which you’ve seen in emergency preparedness stores or your local warehouse.  With these products claiming to be a 3 months supply of food for 1 person at approximately $85 to $125, you’ve not doubt thought that this would be a much easier way to get your years supply of food storage as opposed to accumulating huge bags of wheat, sugar, rice, beans and all of the other necessities and then trying to find room for them.  Well, I hate to tell you this, but you’d be wrong.  In fact, in light of a true emergency, relying on this type of nutrition in a volatile time, you may even find yourself dead wrong.  

 

The minimum amount of wheat storage for one person for a year is 400 pounds.  Forget the rice, beans, sugar, seasonings, and other items that you should be storing as well.  If you divide the 400 pounds of wheat by 4, you’ll get 100 pounds of wheat per person, per quarter, minimum.  There is no way that you’re going to get 100 pounds of nutrition in one of these 25 pound buckets–dried up and dead or otherwise.  

 

Let’s also take a look at the survival bars that the military eat for survival basis only.  These bars come in 2400 or 3600 calorie versions.  They are intended for the intake of one per day in extreme survival situations.  Clearly, there’s no way you’re going to be able fit 90 of these in a 5 gallon bucket.  Keep in mind your caloric requirements increase in times of high stress, fatigue, depression and emotionally climatic situations.  Again, let me stress that the survival bars issued by the military are for a minimum amount of survival until rescue comes.  If you look at the caloric intake of the meals that come in these 5 gallon buckets, at two meals per day as the package recommends, you will get a total of only 660 calories, and that’s if you eat the most caloric dense meal that the bucket provides 3 times a day. That’s less than 25% of an adult’s minimum caloric intake needed in a time of crisis.  There’s no voluntary dieting or calorie skimping in a time of crisis. You will be a useless human being if you attempt to take that route.  If you want to see how many calories you should have daily, without the crisis consideration, just use this link here.  http://www.hpathy.com/healthtools/calories-need.asp  It may be a good eye opener to many of you.  In spite of this common sense information, I see so many naively buying up these buckets and thinking that they’ve got their food storage for the year.  It’s a sad commentary to discover that the Orem, UT Costco sold more of these food storage buckets than any other product in their history of specialty products!

 

The majority of the meals included in the bucket require 20 to 25 minutes of simmering.  If you are using fuel to boil this water, that’s an awfully long time for one meal. There are at least 100 different meals that come to mind that are healthier, tastier, and that don’t take nearly that much prep time, fuel usage, or water usage.  Remember, in a crisis you need to preserve your energy, your fuel, and your water.

 

If you’ve already accumulated this kind of bucket food storage, don’t fret. There are some good aspects of it.

 

1)     It is a START. Considering that there are so many that don’t even start on their preparation, you should give yourself kudos for taking a step in the right direction.  But please remember it is in only a start. Please do not allow yourself to have a false sense of security in thinking that you or any member of your family has enough nutrition and calories with this kind of storage.  

 

2)     It’s a good add-on to wheat, rice, and beans.  Making up some of the contents in these buckets may be a perfectly good way to spice up your other plain staples.  One thing you do want to be aware of is guarding against “appetite fatigue.”  You don’t want your loved ones refusing to eat simply because they are “sick” of the same old food.  This has happened on many occasions even in 3rd world nations where they are starving. And I’m sure we’ve all heard of the occasional story of the 4 year old who will only eat 3 items…chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese or pizza.  Clearly it’s important to prepare yourself to utilize ways to make your food as tasty as possible (I can’t tell you how many people I talk to who have completely forgotten to store any kind of spices).

 

3)     These kinds of meals may come in handy for trade, and since they are a trade item and take up a small amount of space that gives them a decent value to have on hand. Remember, in a true emergency that is expected to last a while, currency will have very, very little value.  In fact, there are many studies that show a bucket of wheat will be worth more than a bucket of gold.  

 

Discussing the merits of wheat is an entire book practically, but I will address a few aspects of it quickly lest you think that the recommendation of wheat storage is fostered my some maniacal men who desire to make your life miserable or to challenge your creative storage techniques. 

 

wheat-sproutWheat has numerous uses, and not just in the berry or flour form. Wheat, especially when it’s sprouted, is a fabulous nutritional resource.  In fact, when you sprout wheat it is 600 times more nutritious than the wheat ground down into flour. In fact, if you’d like, the wheat can be sprouted, then dried, and then ground down and made into whatever you’d like, thus manifesting that much more nutritional benefit.  1 cup of sprouted wheat has 8 grams of protein.  It’s also a great source of nutrients, amino acids, and good carbohydrates. Sprouted wheat has been used to cure scurvy and birth defects.  Let’s see if your bucket of empty calories can do that.  

 

In future blogs I will share with you how to cook with wheat, what to substitute if you are allergic to wheat, and so much more! Glad you’re reading to get better prepared.

 

Kellene

 

 

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

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