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

By Kellene Bishop

Honey photo c/o Getty

Honey photo c/o Getty

My drug of choice?  Well, I could say chocolate, or a Dr. Pepper, or even a sweet kiss from my hubby (those make my knees buckle).  But there’s nothing like a small spoonful of honey to put me in a happy, delicious mood.  Seriously.  Perhaps it’s because each time I steal a taste, I’m not just tasting the substance of honey, but its overwhelming value everyday, and in an emergency.  Honey not only tastes good, but it has numerous medicinal and comfort uses as well.  You know me, I love items that have multiple uses.  Honey is one of the super stars of my food storage AND first-aid supplies.

For starters, honey has an infinite shelf life.  As an emergency preparedness pro, I LOVE items that have an infinite shelf life.  Even if it hardens and is crystallized, it’s still perfectly good.  All you need to do is warm it up if you’re using it to drizzle on your toast.  I frequently just dump my “crystallized honey” directly in my bread dough without heating it up again.

Alexandria Catacomb photo c/o touregypt.net

Alexandria Catacomb photo c/o touregypt.net

But there’s more to the reason why honey was bartered just like silver and gold was for centuries and long considered a nectar to the gods.  Honey is rich in history of medicinal uses.  Researchers believe that it’s as a result of its many medicinal uses why honey was found in many catacombs and pyramids.  (Along with wheat, of course, that was still good.)  History has recorded honey as being the most widely used medicinal substance—particularly in the annals of Egypt.  Even during the First World War, it was used mixed with cod liver oil to treat wounds.

Honey is also an antibacterial agent.  The reason being is that it has low water content and high acidity content.  Bacteria and microorganisms can’t flourish and grow in honey.  Thus it’s a lot like hydrogen peroxide.  Mind you, the HP is a heck of a lot less expensive if you were going to use it specifically for that purpose, but HP can actually irritate and even burn some skin tissue.  It’s interesting to note that honey and hydrogen peroxide are actually closely related.  Why?  Because honey also contains a substance called glucose oxidase.  When combined with water and oxygen, glucose oxidase forms gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide.  Yup.  The very same stuff that you can get for a buck a bottle at the pharmacy. This reinforces the antiseptic effect of honey but is less damaging or irritating to skin tissue.  But, I also look at the health benefits of the food I feed to others in which I used honey.  Consider that I’m feeding and fighting at the same time.

Local Honey photo c/o timeinthekitchen.com

Local Honey photo c/o timeinthekitchen.com

If you have allergies, ingest honey from local farmers.  It will help you develop resistance to the nasty pollens that are flaring up your allergies in the first place.  The interesting thing is when you combine honey with water (such as for a sore throat) it produces the NECESSARY bacteria for human health, not the yucky bacteria (yes, I just said “yucky).  Unlike hydrogen peroxide though, honey is actually very good for burn care and is definitely less expensive than the other burn treatment contraptions out there.  There are bacteria in the digestive system that are actually aided by the chemical make-up of honey.  This is why you may have heard of honey helping with colitis symptoms as well.  

As a food, honey is one highly underestimated substance indeed.  Did you know that honey isn’t just a sugar?  It actually contains protein, iron, important enzymes, and Vitamin C.  And, as opposed to sugar, humans are not inclined to over eat honey.  It doesn’t affect your body like the drug of sugar does—making you crave more, the more you eat it.

If I had to rely on only four foods in my food storage, honey would definitely be one of the key players.  (Because I know I’ll get emails on it, the other three foods would be powdered milk, salt, and wheat.)  If I can get my hands on Snow White honey, I do at every opportunity.  It should be stored in its granulated or crystallized state until ready to use.  I also like using the Blue Chip Foods brand of their powdered honey.  It’s a bit more convenient to use in my recipes when I’m in a hurry and I don’t use nearly as much of it as I would sugar.  (Usually about only half to a third of the amount of sugar a recipe calls for.)  I recommend that you only store raw honey, not processed honey.  In actuality, processed honey is more at risk for botulism in all ages.

Munaka Bush from New Zealand photo c/o nzplantpics.com

Munaka Bush from New Zealand photo c/o nzplantpics.com

Do I have an ulterior motive in writing you about honey today?  Well, the Swine flu has been on my mind, of course, and I’ve been studying alternative uses to aid in the spread and ill effects of Swine flu.  It’s interesting to discover that there is a unique honey called Manuka honey that is made from the flowers of the Manuka bush in New Zealand.  This particular honey has been researched and is believed to have a special component which helps fight “super bugs” which are resistant to many types of antibiotics.  While I’m not suggesting that you all spend hordes of money on the internet to obtain Manuka honey, I am suggesting to incorporate honey into your food storage supplies because of its tasty adaptation in any recipe that calls for sugar as well as the safe medicinal effects it has on the body. 

One caveat here.  As a general rule, honey should not be fed to a child under the age of one year old.  Their immune systems aren’t able to handle the pores inherent in honey and could contract botulism.  However, beyond that you will find honey to be an effective laxative, stomach ache cure, and aiding against colic as well.

Here are some medicinal honey recipes:

  • Stomach Ache: Mix one teaspoon of honey, juice of ½ lemon with a hot glass of water.  Due to it’s diuretic effect, it’s better to use this method first thing in the morning.
  • Coughs and Colds: Mix 6 oz. liquid honey, 2 oz. glycerin with juice of 2 lemons.  Bottle and seal firmly.  Use as necessary.  You can’t “overdose” on this particular cough medicine.
  • Sore Throats: Allow 1 teaspoon of honey melt in the back of the mouth and trickle down the throat.  This will ease inflamed, raw tissues.
  • Insomnia: Honey helps in nervous disorders including insomnia and acts as a tonic in recovery of any damage to the human nervous system.  Mix one teaspoon of honey in a cup of luke-warm water.  Drink before going to bed.  Obviously, it’s a lot less expensive and safer than Tylenol PM.

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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