Genetically Modified Wheat photo c/o digitaljournal.com

Genetically Modified Wheat photo c/o digitaljournal.com

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

By Kellene Bishop

As if we need any more “signs, indicators, or reasons”, here is  yet another reason why I believe we all should be getting a year’s supply of wheat for our family. If GMO wheat is widely accepted, then that means that it won’t just affect your buckets of wheat that you may buy in the future. It obviously means that ALL products which you purchase which will contain wheat, or wheat by products, will also contain unwanted chemicals necessary for the GMO process.  I’m simply not a fan of those kinds of limited choices. Thus having my own supply of wheat is a must for me and my household.   Just some “food for thought” folks.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_19379.cfm

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.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

Advertisements

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

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.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

wheat-investment

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

By Kellene Bishop

How long will your wheat last? What’s the best way to store it? How do I keep insects out of it?  What do I do when it smells like the can?

Today I was doing a training which involved going over the shelf life of various foods. One woman in attendance incorrectly stated to the entire class that “wheat goes bad easily because it has oil in it, and so it goes rancid if you’re not careful.”

I got to talking to my husband and asked him what other misinformation he may have heard about wheat. Turns out, there sure is a lot of MIS-information out there. So, I decided to help dispel some of the rumors so that you can more confidently store this vital food.

First of all, what IS the shelf-life of wheat?

Wheat does have an oil in it. It’s called vitamin E. It’s what gives the grain some fat content which makes it an even more complete food. (Nice how God is so thorough that way, eh?) In fact, by extracting the oil in wheat, you come up with the expensive oil called Wheat Germ oil. (Very healthy for you, by the way.)  However, oil doesn’t go rancid because of its mere existence. It goes rancid when it’s exposed to oxygen, primarily. 

Storing wheat for 30+ years is a drop in the bucket—excuse the pun. The key is to store it in its whole grain form. I do the same thing with dent corn. I store dent corn in its whole grain form so that I will have plenty of cornmeal on hand when I need it, otherwise just plain cornmeal would go rancid relatively quickly. In the cornmeal stage all of its oil is fully exposed to oxygen. Oil exposed to oxygen is what makes things go rancid. It’s nice that whole dent corn is easy to store for 30+ years. I’d never get that far with cornmeal. The same goes with groats instead of oats. Groats are the “whole” form of oats.  By the way, when you store grains in their whole grain form, you can sprout them—YUMM-MEE.

Use the whole grain Photo c/o uniflour.com

Use the whole grain Photo c/o uniflour.com

The ideal temperature for storing wheat for the longest shelf life is 75 degrees or cooler. However, yes, you can store wheat in a warmer environment so long as it’s packaged well. Ideally you’ve got it in a double-bagged packaging. Or in a bag and then in a bucket. Or better yet, in an number 10 can—although more expensive to buy that way (you can always buy it in the bags and then use a canner). Wheat stored in a Mylar bag in a bucket would be another good method, however, it’s also more expensive than the simple bag or bucket method. So long as you keep your wheat off of a heated cement floor, and out of direct sunlight, you’ll have success in storing it long term. Remember though, the cooler, the better and the easier the wheat will be to work with in your recipes too.

Continuing on with the temperature issue… Keep in mind that wheat was found in the pyramids, and Egypt is NOT known for its cool climate. 🙂 I had someone comment to me recently when I told them this: “yeah, but the deep dark corners of the pyramids are rather cool.” First of all…have you been to a pyramid? It’s flippin’ HOT in there. Sure it’s COOL-ER than outside of it. But it’s not a cool 75 degrees. (Although SOME have been found to maintain 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Why can’t I build my home to do that?!) Second of all, such a statement presumes that the wheat came fresh off of the stem before it was put in the pyramid. *heavy sigh* In other words, it’s presumed that it was never exposed to any heat prior to being placed in the pyramid tombs. As I’ve shared in a previous article, when I lived in the Philippines, they would frequently “dry” their grains by spreading them out on the road for a couple of days. And yes, it is extremely hot and humid in the Philippines, and yet whole grains are the most vital food source they have. Whole grains are just another one of these neat miracles that God has given us to feed us, if you ask me. They are temperamental foods that the majority of the world can’t store without refrigeration.

A metal can is the ideal way to store wheat simply because varmints can’t chew through it. But to be forthright with you, I have very, very little wheat stored this way. Most of mine is in the big, thick, double 50 pound bags. The wheat of my mother’s that we kids moved around for 18 years was also stored this way. I’m sure many of you have parents and grandparents with their wheat stored the same way. Remember, that if you do get little bugs in your wheat, there’s no need to throw it out. Simply put it in 180 degrees for about 20-30 minutes and Voila! You no longer have bugs. You simply have extra protein. (Don’t worry. You’ll get over it.)  

When you open a can of stored wheat it may smell a little “tin-ish.” Don’t worry about that. It’s natural for the ingredients to take on that smell. But the good news is that it’s not permanent. Simply aerate the wheat for a couple of hours outside of the can, and you’ll eliminate that smell just fine.

I don’t mess with buying the more expensive wheat. I almost exclusively store the hard red wheat. It’s more environment- hearty and tolerant to store than the hard white wheat. My bread, pie crusts, and cookies turn out just dandy with the hard red wheat. When selecting your wheat for storage, make sure that it doesn’t have a moisture content higher than 10 percent in order to successfully store it long-term.

Well, I hope this helps answer some of your grainy questions about wheat. (Sorry, I’m in a punny mood today.)

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.

Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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

By Kellene Bishop

Italian "Wheat Meat" Dish by notonlypizza.com

Italian "Wheat Meat" Dish by notonlypizza.com

Wheat Gluten, commonly called “wheat meat” or Seitan, is a great staple to your food storage. As I addressed some of the whys and wherefores of “wheat meat” yesterday, today I’m going to share with you HOW to create your own wheat gluten. Just to get your imagination going here, you can make countless WONDERFUL dishes with “wheat meat” in place of your traditional fare. “Meatballs,” “ground chicken or beef,” “steak slices,” “ham,” “sausage”, etc., can all be deliciously created from your wheat storage. 

12 cups of whole wheat flour will yield about four cups of raw gluten, varying slightly based on the quality of your wheat and its protein content. Hard red wheat or wheat from cold climates will produce the most amount of gluten. Four cups of raw gluten will then bake into about nine cups of ground gluten which is equivalent to about three lbs. of cooked hamburger, 150 “meatballs”, or 20 “steak slices.”

For my meat loving readers, a good way to introduce “wheat meat” into your diet is to add it to your ground beef/chicken dishes at present. Start with half meat and half gluten. (This works well to indoctrinate not only into the meal, but also into the digestive system if you’re not already eating wheat.) Being married to a major meat eater, I’m confident that you’ll easily be able to go to a ¼ meat to ¾ gluten ratio in no time, with little or no resistance. And then of course move on to full fledged meals with the “wheat meat” as your only source. The nice part about “wheat meat” is that it doesn’t have a definitive taste or color. It readily takes on the appearance and flavors of what you cook with it.

Keep in mind that I’m not writing about using commercial wheat gluten.  You prepare commercial wheat gluten differently than when you use your own whole wheat/flour. The last thing I want to do is put one more thing on your list to store, such as commercial gluten. Good news is that storing commercial gluten is not necessary if you’ve got a good supply of wheat. Your flour contains raw gluten. All you have to do is extract it from the flour. Fortunately, that takes very little effort on your part. 

Photo c/o Herbi Ditl

Photo c/o Herbi Ditl

To begin preparing your “wheat meat”, simply mix 12 cups of whole wheat flour (you can use white flour as well, but you won’t get as much gluten) with 7 cups of water. You can do this in a mixer, or you can do it by hand. If you use a mixer, this process will only take you about 5 to 10 minutes. The consistency you want to end up with is flexible. It’s going to look a lot like your bread dough does before being completely kneaded. You don’t want dry, or watery. You want it to look a bit rubbery. You can adjust the amounts of flour or water after your initial mixing in order to get the consistency you need. When you’re finished mixing this together, set it aside and cover the surface with plastic wrap or a towel to ensure that it doesn’t dry out. Let it rest for about 20-30 minutes. If you have to ignore it longer than that, then I would refrigerate it.

Now, place your dough in a colander/strainer over an empty bowl in the sink. I prefer a metal colander. For about 5 to 7 minutes, run lukewarm water over your dough. You want a slow flow on your water and you want to be sure that you have a bowl underneath your strainer to collect the water. (There are a whole lot of uses for this precious mineral/vitamin rich water. So don’t throw it out.) As the water is running you want to continue squeezing the dough and working with it in order to squeeze out all of the starch. You will know that you’re done squeezing the dough when the water coming through the strainer is no longer coming out a milky color. Rather it will be clear. As you’re working with the dough, you will begin to create a rubbery ball. Continue to work the gluten into a ball as the starch separates from the gluten. Your final ball won’t look very beautiful. It won’t look like a ball of bread dough because it doesn’t have any air in it. It will simply be a dense, rubbery ball of gluten mass. (Sound appetizing yet? Don’t worry. It gets better, I promise!) Here’s one thing I do want to share that I had to learn the hard way. Just before your dough is the right ball consistency when you’re rinsing it, it gets a bit stringy. It’s easy to think that you’ve messed up. But actually this is just the “storm before the rainbow.” Once the stringy-ness occurs, you’ll know you’re close to being finished with perfect gluten! Once you’ve got your ball of gluten, you’ve done the “hard work.”

Cutting your wheat glutten into pieces. Photo c/o toptrailchef.com

Cutting your wheat glutten into pieces. Photo c/o toptrailchef.com

What you want to do at this point is to cook the gluten prior to adding it into your preferred dish. There are two ways to cook your gluten at this point—steaming it and simmering/boiling it. 

The steam method is ideal for shaping your gluten into familiar shapes and textures. You simply form it into the shape that you want by hand, or wrap it in cheesecloth, and then place it in a vegetable oil-sprayed steamer. (Just like the instrument you would use to steam your vegetables in.) You can cook the entire ball of “meat” this way, or you can shape it into smaller portions. Place the steamer in a pot of boiling water and steam your gluten for about 30 minutes.

You can boil wheat meat. Photo c/o toptrailchef.com

Boiling "Wheat Meat". Photo c/o toptrailchef.com

The boiling method is also easy and it adds extra flavor to your “meat.” In this instance I prefer to cut my gluten into smaller pieces so as to season them well.  Simply drop your strips or pieces of gluten into a pot of boiling, flavored broth. Simmer for about 30 minutes. It will just about double in size in this method. You can simply use a broth made with bouillon cubes, or you can create your own. Here’s my favorite broth to start out with.

  • 10 cups of water
  • About a cup of soy sauce or Braggs Amino Liquids
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A t. of garlic powder
  • A t. of onion powder

Slice your gluten into small pieces, about the size of chicken nuggets. Place them in the hot water and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.

"Wheat Meat" Stir Fly photo c/o when-mia-cooks.blogspot.com

"Wheat Meat" Stir Fly photo c/o when-mia-cooks.blogspot.com

From this point you’ll discover the fun of creating “meat” out of “wheat”. You can now chop, grind, slice, steam, marinade, sauté, smoke, BBQ, or fry your “wheat meat”. The “trick” is all in how you prepare it visually and how you season it. It’s that simple—REALLY! (You can store your “wheat meat” in the fridge for the same amount of time that you would “regular” meat.) You’re now ready to cook the gluten as you would any of your other protein sources. I like to fry it in a bit of oil or butter until it’s golden brown on both sides, and then add a bit of BBQ sauce and let it simmer for a few minutes. It tastes like tender chicken or beef. I also like to grind up my steamed “meat” and use it instead of ground beef or chicken in my meatloaf, soup, burger, casserole, or chili recipes. I especially like how the “ground sausage” turns out.

I also like to bread it with Panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper, and then serve a yummy, brown gravy over my “wheat meat”, just like chicken fried steak.

I also enjoy sprinkling slices of Monterey Steak Seasoning on it and then grilling it. It’s even better after I let the “wheat meat” marinade in a steak marinade first. 

Dang. I’m getting hungry. I’m going to sign off for now and go make some “wheat meat” for myself. I’ll share some detailed recipes for “wheat meat” with you on Monday, and I’ll also share some great ways to use the left over starch water with you next week as well! In the meantime, give this a try by making your own “wheat meat” this weekend. 

Wheat Meat Series

  • Part I: Discovering Wheat Meat
  • Part II: Preparing Wheat Meat
  • Part III: Great Wheat Meat Recipes
  • Part IV: Working with Gluten Water
  • 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.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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

    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.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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

    By Kellene Bishop

    Wheat Shortages. Photo c/o bloomberg.com

    Wheat Shortages. Photo c/o bloomberg.com

    As of May, the U.S. just sold the very last of their wheat reserves. As of now the U.S. government wheat reserves are totally empty. The U.S. has no intention of replenishing these supplies until the prices have stabilized.

    As a comparison, during the 80’s the U.S. had on hand about 358 million bushels of wheat. During the 90’s they decreased that to 133 million bushels.  Now they are at zero.

    Since the U.S. government is out of storing wheat, this leaves the private sector as the primary source.  Unfortunately, (and grateful for the freedom as well) there are no minimum wheat crops to be harvested in the U.S.

    Food Shortages: Wheat. Photo c/o economicsuk.com

    Food Shortages: Wheat. Photo c/o economicsuk.com

    As best as can be evaluated, there are just over 305 million bushels held privately and on business farms throughout the U.S. as of June of this year. That’s less than one bushel per person in the U.S. It’s also the lowest level it’s been in 60 years.

    Texas has decreased their wheat crop this year by 30%.

    Holdings for corn, sorghum, and rice are also at nearly zero in the U.S. Larry Matlock of the American Agriculture Movement also states that there is no powdered milk, cheese, or butter in reserve in the U.S. either. In other words, we have an entire nation living hand to mouth, much like many of the consumers in their own homes.

    Chinese Wheat Crop. Photo c/o Xinhua Photo

    Chinese Wheat Crop. Photo c/o Xinhua Photo

    Now, let’s add another little twist. The Chinese crop of wheat is considered to be the largest in the world. Surely you are familiar with the fact that they are experiencing a record drought over the past year. Keep in mind that their consumption is the largest in the world as well. In spite of the rumors that China has 60 million metric tons of wheat in storage, there still is a genuine concern here. If they truly did have such amounts of wheat in stores why would they invest over 86 billion yuan to aid in the drought relief in this type of a market?  Additionally, no storage of the 60 million metric tons has been verified.

    Egypt’s wheat reserves are at 4.023 million metric tons—which is not quite enough to get them through 2009. They have also hit record lows on sugar, rice, vegetable and soy oil resources, and rice.

    What have I been telling you? Food is your BEST investment right now—whether in your own pantry or on the market. Get it and get ready for a serious challenge, folks. As I’ve said previously, please don’t allow the years of plenty to fool you into believing that they will always be there.

    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.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!

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

    By Kellene Bishop

    food-storage-shelvesHere’s one simple tip so you never have to worry about HOW to cook what’s in your food storage. 

    Many folks just plain don’t know how to cook with their food storage.  When I hear this, I ask people why they’re storing foods that are unfamiliar to them or their family?  Sure there are ideal lists which include long lasting grains and legumes, but if you’re not using such ingredients now to feed your family with, it’s not going to be helpful to them in an emergency.

    Think for just a moment what kind of chaos a financial collapse, an earthquake, an act of war, or some other kind of disaster could bring into your life.  Do you really want to complicate things by adding more stress into your life by consuming “foreign foods”?  You and your family are going to crave as much “normalcy” as possible.  Unless you’re already serving your family “Boston Baked Wheat” you don’t want to try it out on them while they are being quarantined for 90 days as the result of a flu pandemic.  In fact, it is exactly these kinds of times that you will want to provide the most comforting favorites for your family.  But…yes, there is a but…

    Part of being prepared is being ready to live off of foods which are most nourishing and longer lasting than what your diet may currently consist of in your household.  (To this end I implore parents of picky eaters—or spouses of such—to do all they can to get them to embrace more nourishing foods.)  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are great now.  But how will they be when you have to make the bread from scratch?  Will your family even touch them?  Don’t panic.  Just start learning the lost art of bread making now.  I can tell you from experience that it’s a heck of a lot more rewarding than besting someone at an online game of Scrabble.  

    Try sprouts on a meat sandwich! Photo c/o scanwiches.com

    Try sprouts on a meat sandwich! Photo c/o scanwiches.com

    Slowly introduce your family to new things.  For example, my husband, who I can’t get to eat a vegetable unless it’s on a slab of beef, has agreed to try and start putting sprouts on his meat sandwiches.  Why?  Because I am trying to get him used to eating this easy and widely accessible source of nutrition so when we are in the midst of an emergency, he can handle it—not only emotionally, but physically as well.  Being ready to live off those foods doesn’t involve just having the appetite for them.  We need to be prepared to use them and work with them as well.  If you’ve never tried sprouting, don’t think that the sprouter you’ve got in the basement is going to do much for you in a time of crisis.  Using it under such circumstances will only cause you more stress due to its unfamiliarity and you’ll avoid it at all costs. 

    You also need to get your body accustomed to eating such foods.  In fact, if most people attempted to go from their existing diet to one containing whole wheat at the majority of their meals, they would actually DIE inside of 30 days due to the dehydration and diarrhea their body would experience in so drastic a dietary change.  This is one reason why I counsel people to store what they eat—at least a 90 day supply—and then work on introducing other, more stable storage foods, into their diet along the way.  Yes, it’s a lot less expensive to store a year’s supply of wheat, legumes, honey, and powdered milk as opposed to the ingredients for your favorite casseroles, Navajo Tacos, and brownie mixes.  But I assure you that those items won’t get used for much of anything if you haven’t already familiarized your family with them prior to a disaster.  So be sure to have at least 90 days of the familiar and then work on familiarizing your family with other foods that will have a great shelf-life in your home.  Remember, stress alters the mind.  It races the heart.  It breaks down the immune system.  If you’re in a quarantine situation, for example, can you really afford to expose anyone in your family to any of these physical stresses simply because you weren’t prepared with a realistic menu for them?  Perhaps now you may better understand why I go to great lengths to learn how to make bread, sprout, store M&Ms, make sour cream out of powdered milk, wax my own cheese, store eggs long-term, and create recipes out of what’s on my shelves, etc.  I do it in anticipation of a situation in which food and nourishment will be a comfort to the mind and the spirit, not just sustain life.  (And yes, there are indeed those times in which M&Ms sustain me. :))

    I’ve been asked how I remember where all of my food storage is since it’s scattered all around the house.  I remember because I’m always in it—except when I’m on that blasted diet.  I’m always using what I store.  I’m rotating it.  (In fact I have a Mason jar full—er, half full—of almond M&Ms next to me on my desk as I write this.)  Other than the years supply of MREs we have stored in the back of the basement, there’s not a single nutritional item in my home that is “uncommon” to me.  If you have anything that’s uncommon to you in your food storage, it’s nearly useless.

    kuhn-rikon-pressure-cookerPoint being, no one should have trouble cooking with their food storage, because their food storage should contain what they are already consuming and thus what they are already familiar in preparing.  Practice making your food in a Dutch Oven, or in a pressure cooker over a small butane stove, or in a solar oven.  Go to classes to learn how to make the essentials.  They are usually free.  Go through cook books and experiment with “less than fresh” items as substitutes in recipes, such as canned chicken for frozen, canned green beans for fresh, etc.  Find out from your family what their absolute favorite meals are and then find the most efficient way to stock the items for those meals.  We’re not in the dark ages here, folks.  Cooking with your food storage doesn’t have to involve an Indian dance and an archaic tool for grinding your flour.  Even without the luxury of electricity, we still will have the benefit of the luxury of knowledge and technology galore. 

    Keep in mind that in a previous article I wrote, I recommended that folks start their food storage by storing their food in “meals” as opposed to “pounds of items.”  In other words, if your family loves waffles, then be sure you have the makings for waffles.  If you have such ingredients sufficient to make them 12 times, then you only have to come up with 29 other meals.  (Or less, depending on how often you want to eat waffles.  I recommend coming up with a great variety for your family though so that they don’t suffer from “appetite fatigue.”)

    It all boils down to this: Store what you eat and eat what you store.

    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.

    Subscribe to Preparedness Pro today and never miss a thing!