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bottling-butterBy Kellene Bishop

June 12, 2007.  That was a day I experienced a moment of euphoria as a concern of mine had just been satisfied completely.  That was the day I discovered you could bottle butter.  It was a very, very happy day for me, until I began doing research on it.  There were an abundance of comments surfacing on the internet stating that bottling butter simply wasn’t safe because it was “impossible” to get rid of any botulism.  My joy was squashed.  But after speaking to many lifetime emergency preparedness folks who swore that bottling butter was just fine, I decided to do more research on the matter.  The good news is I’ve decided to fully embrace bottling butter.  The thought of butter on my homemade wheat bread, even in the midst of a crisis, is just too enticing to pass up.  So here’s how I’ve come up with my rationale for bottling butter in spite of what some information on the internet has said.

1)      History: I interviewed no less than TWENTY individuals who have been bottling butter and using it without any instances of illness or food poisoning.  Most of these individuals have been bottling butter for longer than a decade.  The key is to use clean and sanitized jars and lids as well as to bring the butter up to the boiling point. (Instructions follow)

2)      The Source of the Bottled Butter Controversy: The bottom line is that oxygen and bacteria are the primary culprits in the deterioration of foods.  Just as fire can’t live without oxygen, bacteria doesn’t do so well without it either.  The bottling butter process eliminates oxygen from the butter.  However, nothing—not the canning of any item—can  be certain to  “kill” botulism.  You simply need to make sure that you do not provide a source for botulism in the first place.

Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a bacterium, Clostridium botulinum.  Such bacteria are commonly found in soil.  Butter is not a substance harvested from soil.  Additionally, instances of botulism have been mostly eradicated in the U.S.  Each year, the CDC records roughly 25 cases of food borne botulism poisoning.  Most of the findings originate in some fermented whale and other traditional foods prepared by Alaska natives.  There has not been a case of commercially prepared foods containing botulism since the early 1970s.  (Click here for a link of warning)

I have found that the majority of those who state that bottling butter is dangerous are relying primarily on a report issued by the USDA as linked for you above.  In other words, the primary entity stating NOT to bottle your own butter is the Department of Agriculture.  While I may sound a bit like a rebel, I don’t give that much stock.  After all, the FDA, Surgeons General, etc., have made a whole lot of big mistakes over the years such as “smoking IS NOT hazardous”, “Laetrile will not help with cancer”, “Ephedrine is perfectly safe”, just to name a few.  I’ve found that a great deal of “government studies” always tend to benefit the person who’s paying for the study.  Clearly it would not be financially beneficial to the commercial dairy manufacturers if folks were bottling their own butter. 

While you’ll have to make this decision for yourself, I for one will be bottling my own butter and stocking up on it any time I can get it for less than $1.50 a pound.  After all, does the USDA tell you that you can store cheese on your own for 25 years, or that you can store “fresh” eggs for 9 months?  I think not.  And yet I KNOW that these methods work.  I’ve also seen several “butter storing” canisters for sale on the shelves at kitchens supply stores.  Again, the concept is that you can store the butter on your counter by eliminating the oxygen that gets into it.

I have a confession to make.  I keep my butter on the counter by the toaster for when I have toast.  I don’t refrigerate it.  I’ve done it ever since I was a little kid, ’cause that’s just what Mom and Grandma did.  I’ve NEVER gotten food poisoning—ever.

When it comes to using your bottled butter, I have a recommendation.  In an emergency situation where you’re having to make your supplies last for “who knows how long” I don’t recommend using your bottled butter for anything other than buttering.  Applesauce, pie fillings, oils, and so many other items will suffice as substitues in your other baking and cooking endeavors.  So don’t think that you have to bottle enough butter to use in everything to last you for a year.  Save the butter moments for when it really counts.

Here are the bottled butter instructions.  You’ll see that they are VERY easy.

  • As an extra precaution, I place all of my jars, rings (no seals), utensils, pots, funnel, etc., that I am going to use for this project out in my solar oven for about 30 minutes at 200 to 250 degrees so that they are all sanitized.
  • You can use any butter available, but I don’t recommend bottling margarine.   The less quality of butter that you buy will take a little bit more “shaking’ but I’ll get to that later.  The results are the same regardless of how much you spend on the butter.
  • (One pound of butter slightly more than fills one pint jar, so if you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars.  A roasting pan works well for holding the pint jars while in the oven.)
  • Heat up your clean, pint jars in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals.
  • While the jars are heating in your oven, melt your unwrapped butter slowly in a pot on your stove until it comes to a slow boil.  DO NOT DO THIS IN THE MICROWAVE.  Be sure that the pot you are using is EXTRA clean and sanitized.  (I always like to make sure the pot I use has gone through the sanitize cycle of my dishwasher or the sanitation recommendation above.)  Boil the butter for 5 minutes like this.  Using a clean utensil, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching.  When you rest the utensil, be certain that it is NOT placed on any area that may have germs.  Being sure to do a slow boil will make the necessary shaking time shorter.
  • Place the rings and lids in a pot boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until needed.  Use tongs to pull them out of the water to avoid burning your hands.
  • Once the butter is finished boiling, remove it from the heat.  Using a ladle or small measuring cup, scoop the butter from the pan and pour it into the jars.  I like using a funnel to ensure I don’t leave a mess.   Fill the jars leaving a ¾ inch of head space in the jar.  This allows room for the shaking process.
  • Wipe off the top of the jars with a clean, sanitized towel or wash cloth. Place a hot lid and ring on the jar.  Secure lids.  The lids will seal as they cool.  Once a few lids “ping,” shake the entire jar while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle safely.  You are doing this because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and white on the bottom.  You want to blend it as much as possible while it cools.  Repeat this every 5 minutes for about 15 minutes.  You will begin to see a the same consistency in the entire jar.
  • Now place your jars into the refrigerator.  While they are cooling and hardening, shake again every 5 to 10 minutes for a half hour.  The butter will begin to look like firm butter.  Be sure that you don’t skip this step as the final shaking is very important!  Check every 5 minutes and give the jars a little shake until they are hardened in the jar.  Leave the jars in the fridge for a total of one hour.

Canned butter will store for 3 to 5 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf.  I’ve had butter as “old as 7 years” with no problems or compromise in taste.  Know that your bottled butter will not re-melt after you’ve bottled it so you won’t need to refrigerate it after opening (yet another plus, in my book), though you should still plan on using it up within a reasonable amount of time.

Ultimately, if you don’t want to bottle butter, you can store it in your freezer and then use it up if your electricity dies.  If you decide that THEN would be a good time to try to bottle the butter after all, you can do so with a solar oven or simply by the power of the sun in your backyard.  But that’s another story.

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

 

Is the Swine flu just something on the news, or should you actually be concerned about it from a preparation standpoint? The answer is yes, you should indeed be concerned about the Swine Flu—here are three important reasons why.

 

 

swine-flu-cellularFirst of all, understand the virus itself and you will understand why informed concern is appropriate in this case. It is a mutation which has components of the Avian flu, the regular flu, and Swine flu. Avian flu is dangerous only in that it is transported from birds to people. It cannot be transferred from people to people. However, this strain of the Swine Flu can. So, if it continues to mutate, you can have a virus strain that not only transfers from person to person, but also from birds to people. As you know, birds have very little borders. They are able to spread their disease via the dust and any other airborne particles easily. Because this virus has already demonstrated a successful mutation of 3 different strains, it shows that it will clearly continue to do so. A mutated virus makes creating antigens in your body very difficult. And if YOU can’t even create the antigens, then a scientist cannot do so either. Additionally, this particular strain of flu is very different. Instead of simply attaching to cells in our body, it is actually able to penetrate the cell wall, thus making exposure to antigens much more challenging. This particular strain of influenza, because it is compromised of H1N1 (Swine) and H5N1 (Avian) makes it an extremely penetrable and deadly virus which is rapidly adaptable and virulent. These two strains combined produce a killing potential at a cellular level.

 

 

cdcAnother reason to be concerned is that the confirmed cases of Swine flu that we have been told by the media to date have been done so through the very limited availability of test kits from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Understand that only the CDC can “confirm” a case of this type of virus. And the CDC only this week began sending out test kits to parts of the U.S. and to other parts of the world as well. We already have cases which have spread to New Zealand, Scotland, Brazil, Australia, and Canada. What all of this means is that we haven’t even begun to see the real numbers of people affected this flu epidemic. Keep in mind that viruses in general are not living organisms, rather they are protein structures whose only goal is to replicate themselves.

 

 

The third reason why we should indeed be concerned is because even if this isn’t “the big one” it is certainly an incident which should wake us from our slumber of apathy. There is much to be learned from this outbreak that can literally save our lives. Looking at this outbreak and analyzing how we can better be prepared in the event that a pandemic affects our country and even the world, is the best way to prepare. However, having said that, I would prefer that you not underestimate the efficacy of this particular outbreak. To do so would be sugarcoating a situation with strychnine. Let’s not forget the facts thus far here. Schools are being shut down. DHS is taking action to be prepared for a possible pandemic. (Compare this to the fact that FEMA can’t even take action until after a serious crisis has occurred—this should tell you something.) The World Health Organization is NOT closing the borders because they state that such an act would be futile since the virus is already established widespread. (Remember what I said about not even having the real numbers yet?) One case of the Swine flu on a plane headed to JFK, La Guardia, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, the San Francisco international airport and you can easily have a pandemic. (Come on. Think about it. You know how incredibly dirty the air on the airplanes are. Do you actually think that the air filtration systems on board will filter out this virus from traveling from one host to another?) Keep in mind that individuals who are carrying the virus may simply be a host. They may carry it to others without necessarily manifesting symptoms of it themselves. So you may assume that you are interacting with a perfectly healthy person, but still contract the virus strain.

 

 

I’m not being a fear monger here. As someone who tends to get emotionally involved in the well-being of others, I’m trying to get you to be fully aware of how fast this or other strains like it can spread. It will be incredibly difficult for me to see so many that I know and love exposed to such an illness such as the swine flu. So, given that I do believe you have need to be cautious in this situation and most definitely to learn from it, allow me to share with you how your behavior must change in the event of a full-spread outbreak. Review the following steps so that you can truly be prepared for such an event:

 

 

1) Always use a breathing mask outside of your home.

 

2) Wash your hands constantly and do not remove or put on your breathing mask without having just washed your hands

 

3) Keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth under all circumstances. (Use a fork even to eat your French fries with.)

 

4) Do not eat any food which you have not personally prepared

 

5) colloidal-mineralsRegularly ingest immune system building vitamins and herbs so that you can create a true, non-chemical immunity. Don’t wait until symptoms appear. While viruses tend to mutate and get stronger under chemical attacks, they respond completely differently to non-chemical, strong environments. This is the very kind of culture you can create in your body if you start partaking now of quality herbs, vitamins, and minerals. I STRONGLY suggest that you ingest sublingual (taken under the tongue) or colloidal versions of your nutrition supplements as such methods are actually able to permeate the cells. Taking pills does not have this effect on your body and thus is useless to attacking a strain such as this that burrows into your cell.

I highly recommend you use a colloidal version of minerals. Bacteria simply cannot grow in a mineral environment. (By the way, colloidal silver is another good remedy to have on hand for fighting a myriad of illnesses as well—see my other suggestions in yesterday’s article.)

 

6) Be sure you wash ALL of your vegetables (even the ones with skins) and meats very well prior to storing or cooking them. Also be sure to wipe off your cans of food prior to opening them. When you do follow these steps also be sure that you keep your hands washed afterwards as well. Here’s a natural wash for your meats and vegetables that you can make yourself.

· 1/4 cup Vinegar

· 2 Tablespoons salt

Fill a clean sink with cold water, (a plastic dish pan also works wonders) add vinegar and salt and let sit 15 minutes, rinse. (The vinegar cleans the fruits and vegetables, while the salt draws out any maggots and such, dirt and other undesirable components. This wash does not adversely affect the flavor at all and vinegar helps take care of the sprays and wax they tend to use.

 

7) shaklee-basic-g Use a germicide (not a sanitizer) on high-traffic areas in your home such as door and cabinet knobs, telephones, and table edges. I highly recommend the one that Shaklee makes. It’s 100% biodegradable, concentrated, affordable, and incredibly EFFECTIVE.

 

8.) Use Latex gloves when handling items from outside of your home or when assisting other individuals (whether they manifest symptoms or not) outside of your home.

 

9) Eliminate contact with other people outside of your home as much as is truly possible.

 

10)Don’t leave your home unless you absolutely have to. In such an instance, be sure that you are adorned with a breathing mask and have latex gloves. (If this particular strain were able to mutate into a flu strain that cannot only be transferred from person to person, but also from birds to person, then it’s critical that you leave your home only at night, not during the day as birds typically only fly during the day light hours.)

 

 

I hope this piece gives you further insight into your own preparedness efforts. And I truly wish you well in your goals of becoming more prepared.

If you would like Kellene Bishop to present an Emergency Preparedness message for your community or church group, please contact us at 801-788-4133.  Ms. Bishop is an experienced speaker and demonstrator on Emergency Preparedness topics and has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

Click here for more from Preparedness Pro on the Swine flu.

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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