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I confess that it is doubtful I will make any friends with this particular posting.  It is inconvenient information that I share with you today.  While I happily provide you with a yummy recipe at the end of this blog, one in which you can make from your food storage supplies, I realize that what I am about to share is an unpleasant thought.

 

Wheat-farmerLess than one percent of our population claims farming as their occupation–down from 10% in 1997.  Over 40% of those farmers are north of the age 55.  The farmers of our nation are dwindling significantly.  Many of those farmers refused to grow wheat in past years due to an eagerness to earn a better living by jumping on the ethanol train, and thus grew corn and soy. 

 

On average, one farmer only produces enough food for 96 people.  In total there are 2 million farms in the U.S. (including livestock, etc).  We have a total estimated population of over 303 million citizens.  You do the math.  The number of farms has been decreasing about 6 percent per year and yet our population has been increasing by just under 1% each year and is expected to increase by nearly 49% by the year 2050.  A famine would overtake this nation in a matter of weeks if ANY violence or fluke of nature interrupted the operation of this highly interdependent system of food production and distribution.  On a much smaller scale, look at what ripple affect one hurricane had on our entire nation, let alone what it did to Louisiana and other areas.  Food, water, safety and freedoms were scarce.

 

surplus-wheat-khouzestan2For you additional consideration, know that our government has shipped all of our surplus wheat to foreign nations due to the famines as of late. There is none to replace it because there are so few farmers who have been growing wheat.  In other words, there is no longer any wheat or other public stores to fight famine in our own nation. 

 

Indeed we are in a precarious position.

 

Perhaps there is not a people in the history of this nation who have been as vulnerable to starvation as we are today.  Although we are highly specialized in our labor, we are relying almost completely upon electric power and labor-saving machinery.  We have largely forgotten the meaning of physical labor and the art of feeding and clothing ourselves.  If we had an interruption of our power supply, our production machinery, or our transportation, grocery markets would empty within hours and we would all be left to our own knowledge and skills to provide ourselves with the sustenance of life. 

 

This is an overwhelming though to contemplate. But it is more clear to me, in consideration of this additional information, why we have been advised for eons to have emergency preparedness supplies on hand.  Such supplies should address not just food and water, but shelter, clothing, medical, financial, mental, spiritual, and physical needs for protecting and providing for ourselves. 

 

empty-grocery-shelvesI understand that I may sound ludicrous. After all, it was probably just his past weekend that you roamed the aisle in the grocery stores and saw plenty.  Have you never been in a grocery store on a Monday though, when so many of their supplies have been depleted over the weekend?  I have and certainly feel inconvenienced by this simple anomaly.   Now picture this scenario a hundred fold as the result of a REAL food shortage and a failing currency in our nation.  It is as ugly as anything out of Hollywood has ever portrayed it.  If our currency fails then all of the foods we import into our nation cease.  If our food fails then all of the currency which we bring into our nation ceases as well.  It’s a no win situation and you don’t have to look far to notice that both commodities are under serious threat!

 

9mm-gun-casing1Mark my words, the time will come when ammunition is worth more than any currency we can wave; when a bucket of wheat is held more dear than a bucket of gold; and when life skills such as shoemaking and iron works, and masonry will have a greater value than an irrelevant retirement account.

 

We are naïve if we somehow believe that this type of forecast is reserved for the future generations in light of all that is blatantly going on around us. We are naïve if we believe that the government will protect us or that anyone else is responsible for our well-being in this matter. 

 

While you may bristle at this wake up call, nonetheless, wake up.  I’m not exactly a “morning person” either, but I know enough to realize just how important this preparation is for you, your family, and anyone you love.  And I tell you solemnly right now that the more complacent you choose to be in your lifestyle, the more hatred you will have for yourself later when you realize you could have done something to stop the suffering of those you love.

 

blueberry-dump-cake-butterBlueberry Dump Cake

The name says it all. This is easy!

 

2 cans of blueberry pie filling

1 box of yellow cake mix (18.25 ounces)

12 tablespoons of butter or margarine

 

Simply dump the blueberry pie filling in your baking dish or Dutch oven. Top it with the box of yellow cake mix.  Top that with the butter or margarine (melted or in cold pieces)

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until light golden brown on top. 

 

If you have a way to make ice cream, this is a yummy dish served warm with some vanilla ice cream on top. 

 

blueberry-dump-cake

 

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Friday before last I decided to throw a party at my home. I wanted it to be an enjoyable night for the girlfriends in my life, so I threw in some paraffin hand treatments and made tons of food from my food storage supplies.  We had 3 main dishes, 2 side dishes, an appetizer and 2 desserts.  Would you believe, the food disappeared rapidly with countless requests for recipes? 

 

After everyone had enjoyed their fill of yummy food – yes, I did say “yummy” and yes, it was all made from what I had on hand – we then all sat down and discussed the 9 key areas of emergency preparedness.  So many additional ideas and insights were added to my own and we all benefited substantially.  So in addition to sharing the recipes with all of my blog readers, I’m also going to break down various components that were discussed for practical application in your emergency preparedness activities.  So here’s a great tip followed by a recipe of ingredients from your food storage:

 

The Magic Number 12

 

cottage-mtg-2This is a great tip for novices and pros alike when it comes to accumulating your food storage. As I’ve shared previously, it’s important to “store what you eat and know how to prepare what you store.”  This particular tip addresses an effective way to store what you eat.

 

The other day I was reading a cookbook — I do that frequently — and I happened upon a recipe that I realized I could adapt to make from cans, jars, and food storage items.  So I purchased the items from the grocery, tested the recipe out on my hubby, and discovered we had a new yummy recipe that he would eat for a nice dinner, let alone in an emergency situation (He assures me that he won’t be as picky of an eater in an emergency as he is now…but I’m not planning on counting on that promise).  So I watched the coupons and ads for the local grocery stores and then went out and purchased enough ingredients to make that dish 12 times.  Why?

 

The objective is to store a year’s supply of food storage, right?  I’m also sensitive to avoiding “appetite fatigue” and ensuring that my husband actually enjoys the meals I create.  In an emergency, it’s not likely that you will be cooking 3 meals a day, rather one meal of substance, and the rest would be meals of convenience such as instant oats, cold cereal, peanut butter and jelly, canned chicken on crackers, etc.  As long as you have a plan for one main meal every day, then you’ll be far ahead.  To recap, if you have 30 different meals in your repertoire each month, then you are likely to not meet any appetite fatigue issues or stress because you’re attempting to introduce something new to your family when they are already under a great deal of stress as the result of an emergency. 

 

This is why I purchase my grocery items in increments of twelve.  If 12 is too much to handle due to space or financial restraints, then take it down to 6 or 4 or 3. But if you get yourself in the habit of buying this way when you have a recipe that works for you and your family, you will have your year’s supply of meals in a short period of time.  Now that’s what I call “eating the elephant one bite at a time.”

 

Here’s one of the recipe’s which I created for this event.  It’s just an open, dump, stir, and warm kind of recipe. Thus not only does it use a minimal amount of your physical energy, it will require a minimal amount of precious fuel as well to warm up.

 

Southern Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole

 

  • 4 cups of canned chicken, drained
  • 1 package (6 ounces) of Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice Original Recipe
  • 1 can of cream of celery soup
  • 2/3 cup of Miracle Whip (don’t substitute any different mayonnaise)
  • 1 can (8 oz) of diced water chestnuts, drained (I like to chop mine a bit smaller than they come in the “diced” can)
  • 1 2 oz. jar of sliced pimento peppers. (diced is fine also)
  • 1 regular sized can of French cut green beans, drained
  • 1 ½ cups of chicken broth OR water
  • 2 Tablespoons of pre-grated Parmesan cheese (the stuff in the green can is just fine.)

 

chicken-rice-recipeCombine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon.  Transfer to a Dutch oven, or a pre-greased baking dish if you’re cooking in a solar oven. Top the dish with the Parmesan Cheese. If using a solar oven, be sure to cover the dish with foil.  If using the Dutch Oven, simply put on the lid.

 

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until it’s bubbling and the rice has cooked.  Let cool about 5 minutes and then serve.

 

You can also cook this most expeditiously and economically in a pressure cooker. Simply bring the cooker to full pressure with the ingredients mixed together inside, then once it’s come to full pressure, remove from heat, wrap in towels and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.

 

Enjoy!  Let me know what you think!

 

 

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Here’s a reality question. Do you really have sufficient food and water storage for one year? Recently information was revealed that the majority of a large nationwide mix of individuals who thought they had a year’s supply of food for their family, actually only had 90 days!  And of the individuals who thought they had a years supply of water only had 3 weeks!  Wow. Talk about a false sense of security, eh?  (Let’s at least hope that the situation has been remedied since the results of the analysis.)

 

In my opinion, what’s more disturbing though is the vast majority of individuals who know…really know…that they need to store a years supply of food, water, and other necessary emergency supplies but who have not even begun.  It reminds me of the joke of the guy who’s stranded on the top of his roof due to flood waters. 

 

The man prays and prays for the Lord to spare him.  Interrupting his prayers was a man in a small life raft, offering the man safe passage.  The praying man waved the life raft on, assuring the would-be rescuer that he would be just fine.  The man continues to pray for help.  Shortly thereafter a helicopter arrives to take the man from his roof.  The man waves the helicopter on convinced that the Lord would spare him in answer to his prayers. Finally, the flood waters rise enough to drown the man. As he’s standing before the Lord he asks Him why He didn’t answer his prayers?  Naturally the Lord responds that He did indeed send the life raft and the helicopter. 

 

Are we ignoring the life rafts and helicopters?  Have we as a nation not had sufficient warning that we need to be more prepared for the disasters in our life?  Do we need to be subjected first hand to a tsunami, the Teton Dam breaking, an earthquake, a debilitating ice storm, or a ferocious hurricane before we wake up and truly prepare?  Is there really any fact-based doubt in anyone’s mind that we need to take responsibility for our own well-being in the midst of a calamity?

 

Recently my local electric company and gas company officials were questioned as to their availability for a restitution of power and gas should there be a major disaster.  The gas company informed us that they had 30 employees to take care of over 450,000 homes. The power company informed us that they had only 4 backhoes to take care of that many homes as well. In other words, there is not going to be a quick fix in the event of a true catastrophe.  No matter how much we pay them, our demands for a restitution of service will go unheard.  It’s simply a matter of fact.

 

national-guardMy neighbor is a fireman.  A relatively close neighbor is a surgeon. And yet another is a National Guardsman.  But does this mean that these individuals will be on hand for their neighbors should there be a catastrophe? Nope.  Sorry. These individuals will be doing what they are trained to be doing…and doing it elsewhere.  Heck.  They are hardly ever home with things are going well, let alone when there’s a disaster.

 

4 in 100 families who religiously believe in a doomsday scenario are appropriately prepared with a years supply of necessary items.  Needless to say, those are some awful statistics—and this is among those who are religiously convinced individuals. What about the rest of society that simply doesn’t care or take time to think about such preparedness?  A lot of lives will be unnecessarily lost and a lot of hearts will be unnecessarily burdened if we do not take care of our needs for tomorrow, today.

 

May we all take a solemn responsibility for our well-being that we may be in a position to help others who are truly in need when times get really, really tough.

 

Preparedness Pro Note: 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 also has created a great “Preparedness Party” platform which makes the learning of such a topic more enjoyable for all.

 

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planehudsonx-mediumtopperToday’s catastrophic US Airways flight 1549 plane crash, an airbus A-320,  is the perfect example of what can go RIGHT if you prepare.  Certainly the passengers are horrified having had to experience an emergency landing in the freezing Hudson River waters. But their exit time from the plane happened exactly according to the rehearsed plan.  Airplanes of this nature are inspected and certified based on it’s ability to exit all passengers within 90 seconds.  Even with the real exits obstructed by the river, passengers were able to exit the plane and stand on the wings, in accordance to standard operating procedures.

 

In order for this  ideal outcome in the midst of the disastrous circumstances to happen so expeditiously, the flight attendants had to be very well practiced in getting the passengers prepared with the life vests, bracing themselves for the landing, and quickly exiting the plane prior to it’s immersion in the below freezing waters.  Likewise, the passengers had to listen and comply with the instructions delivered on behalf of their safety.

 

Just to recap, US Airways flight 1549 hit a large flock of geese.  While the pilots are warned from traffic control about potential bird/flock problems, there’s not a lot you can do to eliminate them altogether. When you’re moving at 150 miles per hour, there’s not a lot of evasive action you can take to avoid a flock of birds such as this.  So avoiding the crisis altogether is not likely. This holds true regarding your own emergency preparedness as well.  Just like you won’t be able to avoid a lot of disasters that may come your way, the key is to be mentally prepared for such unpleasant occasions beforehand.  Conduct rehearsals in your mind and to back up such rehearsals with the actions you have within your power to address the disaster in a prepared and competent manner when it does enter your life. 

 

planedown1This plane went over very heavily populated areas.  Based on the map view, the Hudson River was the best place for the pilot to land. Once he hit the large flock of geese, sufficient to disable both engines, he had less than 2 minutes to fully determine AND execute the landing of the plane.   As such, the pilot is worthy of accolades for an “SOP picture perfect” emergency landing.

 

Pilots are continually trained to always be on the look out for a “what if” landing. In other words, “If something were to happen right now, where would you land?”  The pilot handled this emergency perfectly landing in the river, and as such ALL of the passengers and staff members were rescued. Initial reports reveal that there were only minor injuries—to be expected in such a landing – another nod to the competence of the pilot under such stressful circumstances.

 

In such a horrible crisis, there will be unfathomable distress. There will be grief and emotional trauma. But the difference between whether or not you have a future, and sufficient time to recover from such an experience will be determined by your appropriate planning for such a crisis.

 

Let’s cheer for Something Done Right in a Crisis and use this example as a warning for our own lives and the challenges we may encounter.

 

Kellene

 

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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

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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.
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