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By Kellene Bishop

Dharma Food Supplies

Food Storage photo c/o westword.com

If you could only store four foods for you and your family, what would they be? Come on, take your best guess. The good news is you could indeed survive with some knowledge and creativity on just four foods for you and your family for an entire year, and you wouldn’t necessarily get bored either. The reason I share these four foods with you is in response to so many pleas to simplify food storage. Although I feel more strongly about storing what you eat and eating what you store using the “meal method”, some folks just simply won’t tackle their food storage needs unless it’s broken down to ultra simple. Well, here’s ultra simple, broken down to just four foods.

Allow me to share with you what I call “The Vital Four.” I don’t call them that to be cute or cunning. These four foods are not only ideal and relatively simple to use, they are also still relatively affordable.

Hard White Wheat photo c/o pgward.org

Hard White Wheat photo c/o pgward.org

So, what would The Vital Four be? In order of priority:

  • Wheat
  • Powdered Milk
  • Honey
  • Salt

Now, before you get crazy, these foods would NOT be appropriate if you currently aren’t eating wheat. Remember that due to the significant lack of fiber in our diet today, if you were to go on an all wheat diet, you would be dead within 30 days due to the shock to your digestive system. So don’t plan on using these foods “cold turkey”, folks. You’ve got to get your body used to this kind of fiber ahead of time if you intend to survive on it. With four of the most simple foods, could this list be any more “ultra simple?”

So why this particular order?

Vital Four #1: Wheat. Wheat is at the top of the list due to its enormous amount of protein, multiple uses, fats, amino acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins—not to mention its longevity in your storage. An unbroken wheat kernel has the ability to retain its fat without going rancid. For those of you who don’t know, wheat was discovered in the Egyptian pyramids dating back to 2500 BC. The story is told that 36 of the kernels were planted and grew and thrived into 1,500 bushels of wheat over six years. Even those who are gluten intolerant can still use wheat by sprouting it. Once you sprout it, it’s no longer a gluten compound. It’s a vegetable—particularly high in vitamin C and B which is great for blood sugar regulation and energy. (1 ounce of sprouted wheat contains an entire day’s supply of vitamin C.) In other words, sprouted wheat can compensate for the absence of fruits and vegetables in a diet. As you’ve heard me say, sprouting is ultra simple.

Milk is Good for Bones. photo c/o franklinpierce.edu

Milk is Good for Bones. photo c/o franklinpierce.edu

Vital Four #2: Milk.  An important part of the “promised land” duo, milk has a great nutritional content–particularly protein and vitamin A and D, multiple convenient uses, and also stores very well–especially with today’s technological advances. Milk is a quality food which is found to be important for the proper function of the muscles and the bones, but even more so in times of stress. Very few foods can claim to assist the body in these two critical areas in one fail swoop, and none of the others I’ve found which do assist the body in this manner taste very good in baked goods, cheeses, and sauces like milk does. I mean really. Whoever heard of spinach cheese?  There’s nothing difficult about using milk. Measure it. Water it. Mix it. That’s it. Super simple!

Vital Four #3: Honey. Honey is the ONLY food which stores indefinitely (except maybe Twinkies. But it remains to be seen whether we can really call the Twinkie “food”). It was also found in the Egyptian pyramids, and serves as a necessary sweetener in everything which may call for sugar. As you may have read in a previous article, it also has amazing medicinal virtues. One aspect you may not have considered is that the sweetness of honey is so fulfilling, it’s not likely to be over indulged in. The last thing you need in an emergency is to be addicted to a particular food. Unlike so many other sweeteners out there, honey is NOT addictive. In fact several university studies have shown that withdrawing from sugar is just as challenging to most humans as withdrawing from heroine. Honey also has small amounts of protein, iron, and vitamin C. Hmmm… sweet, nutritious, and an indefinite shelf-life. Sounds like a food storage dream.  

Vital Four #4: Salt. Many folks are surprised to hear “salt” on my list of The Vital Four. Frankly, I’m surprised as well. I’m not one to “salt my foods. I rarely use it in my cooking, preferring other sources for a salty taste instead. In actuality, our bodies are just as reliant on salt as we are on water. In fact, it keeps our fluids in balance. It is necessary to all of the cellular processes in our body. ALL of them. It’s particularly necessary for muscle contractions, such as your heartbeat, nerve impulses, and the digestion of proteins. Our bodies do not produce salt. We deplete it through normal function. And we deplete a lot of salt when we’re involved in heavy labor or intense stress. Thus we must conscientiously feed it to our bodies. In addition to all of this, it’s also a great preservative for meats and vegetables without the need of any fancy equipment. Better yet, working salt into your diet doesn’t take any trickery.

If you want to still keep things ultra simple but add a few more “luxury items” to the list, I would recommend vegetable/olive oil, peanut butter, legumes, yeast, molasses, and dried fruits.

Passport to Survival photo c/o amazon.com

Passport to Survival photo c/o amazon.com

In summary, I find it interesting that The Vital Four are referred to in the Bible as foods of prominence: wheat—“the staff of life,” “land flowing with milk and honey” (mentioned 70 times in the Bible), and salt—“the salt of the earth” and “savor.” If you want a bundle of easy and creative recipes to use with your ultra simple food stores, I highly recommend Esther Dickey’s book, “Passport to Survival.” It was published in the late 60’s so you will most likely acquire a used copy on Amazon. But I find my copy to be just as useful—if not more so—today than perhaps it was intended to be several decades ago.

So I’ve made food storage as simple as is absolutely possible. Got any more excuses for delaying your food storage?  🙂

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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You may think that my top 7 handy dandy preparedness “tools” are an unusual list for emergency preparedness supplies, but I’m quite certain that you will find them invaluable under the right set of circumstances.  I love discovering and using items that serve a dual-purpose, especially when those purposes are compounded substantially.  If I have something in storage, chances are it serves more than one purpose. Whether it be medical supplies, seeds, a heater or wood, virtually everything I relegate space to store has multiple uses that I familiarize myself with so I get the most use out of my space.  Without further ado, here is my Seven Handy Dandy “Tool” list.  

 

1)    duct-tape-bumper Duct Tape: We have an entire case of duct tape in our basement.  You can use it medically as well as to fix leaking or broken items.  It’s even viable to use to mend clothing or shoe, too.  It’s also affectionately called the “100 mile per hour tape.”  When I was in my early 20’s I was in a car accident and “needed” the insurance money to live off of.  Consequently, I used duct tape to reattach the bumper and away I rode… for another year and a half until I bought a new car.  While I never went 100 miles per hour—not that I’m willing to admit, anyway—it worked just fine in keeping my car together.

2)     Super Glue: Yet another case of supplies occupying our storage area.  This can also be used in lieu of minor stitches as well as prolonging the life of items that may break down.  In an emergency, you may very well have to rely on yourself for such instances as opposed to a professional “fix-it man” or medical personnel.

3)     bounce-dryer-sheets1Bounce Dryer Sheets: Ah hah.  I knew I’d get raised eyebrows on that one.  Here’s just a few ways that your dryer sheets will be useful to you.  They repel insects, including yellow jackets, bees, ants, and mosquitoes.  All you have to do is loop it through a belt loop, and voila, you are a walking citronella candle.  They also repel mice.  Simply lay them down around an area that you are trying to protect, and you’ve scared little Mickey away.  You can also use them to dissolve soap scum (just wet and scrub), prevent sewing thread from tangling (rub on a strip of thread prior to use) and removing baked-on foods from kitchen items (simply soak with a sheet in it and it comes off).  Not to mention the everyday uses it provides you with such as cleaning blinds, eliminating static from your computer and TV screens, deodorizing shoes, books, and photo albums.  It will truly serve as a duplicitous ally when you’re “roughing it.”

4)     Tarp, Tarp, and More Tarp: We buy the blue tarps from Costco and have a small stack of them in the basement.  They are sturdy, water proof, and priced much better than even one good quality tarp elsewhere.  In the event of nuclear fall out, roof damage, window damage, freezing temperatures, and a myriad of other instances, I find that this is one product that makes sense to have on hand.  In fact, even if my tents were to fail to provide me with shelter, I can always combine the tarps with my duct tape supply and have suitable protection from the elements. *wink*

5)     Foil: In addition to the regular, everyday uses of foil, you can also use it for emergency signaling, cooking and insulating.  You can even put water in a well made foil and duct tape “pan,” let it sit in the sun during a warm day and have distilled water at the end of the day.

6)     lemon-juiceLemon Juice: We’ve got a great supply list for this, too.  Lemon juice is great as a:

a.      Deodorizer

b.      Sanitizer

c.       Antiseptic

d.      Disinfectant (even for medical uses)

e.      Dandruff treatment (add 1 T. prior to shampooing, then 2 T. diluted with water after rinsing)

f.        Laxative—without the usual side-effects

g.      Relief for a sore throat or hacking cough

h.      Itch and pain reliever from poison ivy

i.        Yummy flavoring

j.        Blemish treatment (when mixed with honey)

k.      Substitute for buttermilk (mix 1 T. with 1 cup of milk)

l.        Tarnish remover

m.   Bleach substitute in laundry. 

I could share more with you, but since I’m certain I’m listed as a “right wing extremist”, I won’t egg anyone on talking about the self-defense measures that can be realized with lemon juice as well J

7)     Salt: You’ve heard biblically of salt being a critical component.  Perhaps after seeing all of these uses you’ll understand why I always take advantage of sales on simple table salt.  In addition to all of the ways salt can be used, it’s also a necessary nutrient that many underestimate.  Salt can also help:

a.      saltPrevent lettuce from wilting

b.      Repel ants

c.       Prevent food from sticking to your griddle (just rub it in)

d.      As a wood preservative (boil your clothespins in them and they will last a LOT longer)

e.      A boiling water accelerator (faster boiling means using less fuel)

f.        Remove mildew (when used with lemon juice)

g.      Remove stains (even works on grape juice in your carpet—but hey, who’s going to really care about the carpet in an emergency, right?)

h.      Kill weeds

i.        Prevent your laundry from freezing when you hang them out to dry in cold weather

j.        Make your milk last longer with a dash of salt

k.      As a plaster substitute (when mixed equally with starch)

l.        Substitute for toothpaste (with equal parts of baking soda)

m.   Relieve sore eyes (when rinsed with salt water)

A pinch of salt also improves the flavor of a lot of items that may taste stale otherwise such as cocoa, gelatin (it sets more quickly as well), fruits (when putting them in also water—this also prevents them from turning yellow), tea, cooking apples and warm milk (makes it more relaxing as well).  Also, egg whites and whipping cream whip up faster with a pinch.  And last but not least, when you soak your shelled nuts in salt water overnight, all you have to do is gently tap the edge gently and they will easily come open, providing a whole nut instead of crumbles that you have to hunt to find among the shells!  

 

In addition to all of these items, I would also recommend you Google multiple uses for vinegar, wheat, rope, isopropyl and rubbing alcohol and apricot seeds, among other things.  Obviously it doesn’t cost you any money to at least gain this knowledge. And you may end up being a real, live MacGyver in the end.

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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