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Yesterday I began a new series called, Back to Basics. People every day can simply look at events happening anywhere in the world and understand how taking some simple steps to ensure you can handle minor emergencies, isn’t crazy. Prepping to a certain level makes sense for everyone, regardless of where you live.

This series was designed to go back to the basics of prepping, obviously. Today I wanted to share tips for how to stockpile food for emergencies that anyone can use. I will focus on preppers who are just starting out, but I think some ideas in the topics below could be useful to anyone looking to ensure their family has food and does not go hungry. This article will also have dozens of links to other content on the subject for additional reading.

Related – Healthy Soil. Healthy Plants. Healthy You – Learn everything from the soil up 

I believe there are 5 main components to survival that everyone needs to consider. They are simply Water, Food, Shelter, Security and Hygiene. Yesterday we talked about the need for water and how you can easily store water for emergencies that render your traditional methods of obtaining water impossible. Water is more important to life than food or at least you can live longer without food than you can water, but they are both important.

Why do you need to stockpile food for emergencies?

If you are new to prepping, you may have something that triggered your awareness of the subject. Preppers have many reasons for doing what they do and no two preppers are alike. Some are preparing for the end of the world, but most see situations in our daily lives that give a perfect reason to stock up supplies. You have only to look at the recent winter storm that affected large swaths of the Eastern Seaboard to have a perfect example of why you don’t want to be left without a means to feed your family.

emptystoreshelves

Greeks are finding food, medicine and fuel in short supply.

It seems almost cliché at this point, but invariably it always happens when a winter storm is forecast. Everyone rushes out to the store and certain food supplies are wiped out. Images of empty shelves are shown on practically every newscast and eventually prepper websites. Food shortages during simple storms are common if not expected. We don’t really even blink anymore because we are so used to this practice of waiting until the last-minute and then hitting the local grocery store on the way home from work to grab some basic necessities or comfort food.

Related – Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need

If you can’t live for more than 3 days without going to the store, it’s time to reevaluate your family’s readiness. The statistic we hear most of the time is that the average home has only 3 days’ worth of food in it. If this is true, where would you be on day three if you had not been able to make it to the grocery store before the storm? What if instead of a snow storm, a virus outbreak had occurred and everyone was told to stay indoors to prevent infection? Each of us should have more food on hand that our families and friends will eat than is absolutely necessary to prevent surprises from leaving you hungry.

How much food do you need to store?

In the example above I used a virus outbreak as the condition that would prevent you from getting to the store. There are others though and weather could certainly be one of them. Some storms where I live have left roads impassable for upwards of a week. Could we walk to the store? Sure, but what if the stores having already been cleared of just about all of the food were closed? What if power outages prevented them from conducting any transactions? These are things you should consider.

Prepping is not something I ever consider you can accomplish. By that I mean, you are never going to be fully prepared. You may be much better prepared than some or all of the people around you, but you will never be 100% self-sufficient. Prepping should be done incrementally even if you have more money than you know what to do with because as you start to stock up food you learn lessons.

Related – The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

A good rule of thumb for me is to start small when you are beginning to stockpile food for emergencies. You don’t need a year of freeze-dried foods to start with. Try just having a week or two of extra groceries that your family already eats. This is accomplished without any exotic storage needs usually or 5 gallon buckets of grains you have to figure out how to prepare.

Premium Fresh MREs Meal with Heaters

My wife purchases the groceries and I started out by giving her extra money to simply buy more food. I did this in the beginning because she is a much better shopper than I am and will always save more money than me. This worked great because she was easily able to fill our pantry and had plenty of meals planned to last us well over 30 days. Sure, at the end of that 30 days of food we would be getting into more exotic cans of mushrooms and soups that are better left as part of a recipe as opposed to your entire meal, but we wouldn’t starve.

What are the best types of food to stockpile?

Once we had a month worth of food and water stored up, I started looking at other options. I think each person should have a layered approach to food storage. This gives you flexibility and more importantly variety that as you go out to 6 months or 1 year or 2 will be important. My own personal goal is 2 years’ worth of food stockpiled for my family but that isn’t made up of only food from our grocery store. That can certainly be done though with a very good rotation plan.

Related – 4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis

Food storage should ideally cover the following:

Short Term Food Storage – The best and simplest foods are like I said above, what your family eats every day. One thing to consider is that the bulk of this food should be non-perishable in case you lose power. Canned foods are great as well as pastas, drink mixes and staples. These usually last at least a year.

Medium Term Food Storage – For the 5 – 10 year range MRE’s are a great option although they are heavier and their convenience comes at a higher price. I have several boxes of these and I like MRE’s because they are self-contained and don’t really need any water. Freeze dried camping foods like Mountain House are another great option to just add hot water to. Rice and beans make great additions to this category because you don’t really have to do anything crazy to store them as long as they are kept cool and dry.

Long Term Food Storage – When you start to look at foods that will keep for many years you get into stored grains like Hard Red Winter Wheat that you store in sealed 5 gallon buckets. Freeze dried food from any one of many suppliers out there keep for 20 years usually and are individually wrapped Mylar packets. They require water to re-hydrate but the taste can be surprisingly good. Make sure you have seasonings though….

Renewable Food Storage – This is when you have to get your inner farmer working. Renewable foods are an intensive garden, small livestock like chickens or rabbits and the occasional wild game caught either through hunting or snares. In the worst disasters, your food will run out so having a plan for that ahead of time will help you prepare.

vegetables

For a well-rounded plan, growing your own food will give you the most flexibility.

How do you plan for your food eventually running out?

I have a mix of the food storage options above. We eat on our grocery store items every day, but I also have MRE’s and a pretty large amount of freeze-dried foods stored. We also have the grains I mentioned and the all-important grain mill to grind them into flour. Several hundred pounds of rice and beans round out the equation.

Stockpiling food is only the start. We have a garden and small flock of chickens. The stored food is just to get us through the worst of the disaster. Hopefully before our food runs out whatever disaster has happened will be mitigated and life will have returned to some sense of normality. If not, we have a huge leg up that will allow us to further harvest our garden to put away food like the pioneers had to do. It is an approach that gives us some sense of security and prepares us to come out on the other side still alive.

What is your plan to stockpile food for emergencies?


On a different note, here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)
Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)
Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)
The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)
The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Yesterday I began a new series called, Back to Basics. People every day can simply look at events happening anywhere in the world and understand how taking some simple steps to

Work Smarter Not Harder – In The Garden

Sometimes in the preparedness folds, we really get wrapped around axles. We have so much that we’re learning and trying to do, and we’re regularly doing it on a budget – which is just one more thing that circles around our heads and beats us up.

We can limit some of the pains of preparedness by changing how we look at things, but also how we do things. Gardening and larger-scale growing is routinely on our to-do list. It’s something that’s going to come as a shock for those who don’t practice ahead of time, no matter how many tricks get applied. However, we can save some time and stress on our bodies with a few low-cost and low-skill tricks and tools, and see increased yields. Bigger yields means lower dinner costs and potentially some increased food storage, letting us expand our preparedness in other ways.

Here are a handful of quickie, usually highly inexpensive – easy garden hacks to save time, money and labor. As you read them, don’t forget: Paper products are compostable.

Mulch

Mulch makes life easier.

Mulch can be straw or wood chips, lightly soiled animal litter, mown or whole leaves, the tips of branches we’re pruning, or shredded white paper. Shredded paper will settle into a mat that makes it tough for weeds, but “loose” mulch routinely does better with a weed suppression barrier down first. We can use newsprint, cardboard, or phone book pages as a weed suppressor and to keep small plants free of dirt kicked up by rain. We won’t get the same moisture-holding and soil aeration improvements, we will still have to weed some, especially if we already have beds that are weed prone, but it lessens our time spent sitting or crouched and bent over.

Mulch lessens the pains of gardening. We don’t weed as much, our plants do better, and we don’t have to water as much.

In some forms of mulch gardening, the mulch stays right there year-round. Some styles use a mulch that in hot, damp climates rots enough during the off-season and is tilled in that winter or early in spring. In others, we scoot aside just enough to drop seeds or transplants in during succession plantings, add amendments like cured manure or compost or pH-raising pine by raking it just into or over the surface, and add mulch more slowly.

Plastic bottles

olla-drip-irrigators-easiest-way-to-do-it-plantcaretoday_com

Sub-irrigated planters for buckets and storage tubs and conventional planters can be made using bottles for the tubes instead of aquarium or garden hoses or PVC.

We don’t store water or foods in milk jugs because they’re porous and can leach previous content out slowly, but they have their place among soda and juice bottles in the garden.

Various bottles can be used to make mini-greenhouses, cloches, scoops, and seed spreaders, as well as mouse and rat traps (2Ls can work for small squirrels and chipmunks, too, or slow them down enough for the garden terriers to get there). They’re great for vertical strawberry and herb and lettuce towers. We can use them to keep cord from tangling, and punch various holes to use for spreading amendments and treatments. Whack them in half, use sourdough starter and water or beer, and they catch horrific numbers of slugs.

For time savers and back savers, though, bottles really excel at helping us water.

Sub-irrigated planters for buckets and storage tubs and conventional planters can be made using bottles for the tubes instead of aquarium or garden hoses or PVC.

Whether we grow in raised beds or tilled rows, mulched beds or multi-layered hugel or lasagna beds, we can use bottles as a spin on olla irrigation, too. We can drill holes all over, as shown in the graphic from http://plantcaretoday.com/soda-bottle-drip-feeder-for-vegetables.html, bury it near our plants, and use a hose to fill it quickly. A similar version plants the bottle cap-down, with holes drilled in the cap and the sloping neck, and the inverted bottom cut entirely or with just enough remaining to make a flap. Those are even easier and faster to fill, with less aim needed.

The water from those will then sink out slowly, watering deep at the roots and watering our plants, not the weeds or walkways. Less water is lost to evaporation, and we don’t have to deal with timers or hose connections, or PVC to avoid standing out there forever to slowly sink in water. We pour it in, fill it up, and move to the next. If it’s really hot and dry, we might need to repeat, but it’s a low-tech, low-expense way to work faster than standing there with a hose or moving hoses back and forth so we can mow.

Maybe that means less time on our feet overall, or maybe that lets us progress to our weeding and suckering or the next round of planting.

Learn here how to grow nutrient dense foods that will nourish your mind and body.

Seeding time – The Dibble

A dibble is basically just something that makes a hole for us. Usually, it’s a somewhat shallow hole and it’s usually intended for seeds but we can work with that. There are two general types, rolling or boards, although with leek dibbles (which work with any transplant), you walk around with a rake or double-handle tool poking your holes. Boards are typically set up with dowels that will poke holes, or come as cutouts and we use something to poke holes to our desired depths. Rolling dibbles tend to be drum or wheel style.

drum-or-rolling-dibbler-and-dibble-board-www_ncat_org

There are two general types, rolling or boards.

Plans are out there for dibblers that can run from almost nothing if you salvage parts or make minis out of coffee cans and 12” PVC or make a single, double- or triple row dibble wheel out of bikes from Craigslist. Drum styles can cost as much as $100-200 to make at home if you’re inclined to go that route instead. Some of the really fancy board dibblers even get marked in colors so one board can be used for spacings from 1” to 6”.

In no-till schemes where you drag a pointed hoe to clear a spot for seeds, dibble wheels tend to be handy. In tall raised beds and window boxes or trays, a board dibbler may be more beneficial.

Using dibbles at whatever scale we choose to lets us quickly mark the space for seeds and transplants. Even if we have to go back with a post hole digger for some of those transplants, time spent upright instead of crouched tends to make for happier backs.

Seeding time – Furrowing rake

A furrowing rake is the simple DIY result of adding tight, relatively stiff hose or PVC to an ordinary hay or garden rake, and using it to drag lines along a prepared bed. It’s typically done so that the extensions are movable, letting us go as tight as the 1-1.5” gaps of the rake tines out to the full 1-2’ width of that rake.

We can get as complex as we like, adding marker lines to tell us how deep we’re aiming, or using multiple depths so we can plant cutting salad greens in the shallowest grooves and have deeper grooves for our peas. We can drag it both down and across a bed to create a grid, with seeds going at the cross points.

rake-with-hose-for-seed-spacing-1-themarthablog-dot-com

A furrowing rake is the simple DIY result of adding tight, relatively stiff hose or PVC to an ordinary hay or garden rake, and using it to drag lines along a prepared bed.

Taking a few minutes to prep some moveable rods or pipes and lay out our grid – while standing – limits how much measuring we do while we’re bent or crouched, saving time and pain with a very quick and low-cost trick.

Seeding tubes or pipes

Dibbles and furrowing aren’t the only way to limit how much time we spend crouched over during seeding time. Even a congestion-planting scheme that calls for under-seeding doesn’t have to be done from a stool or our knees.

There are a couple of tiers of standing seeders for small plot growers, from this really simple version http://knowledgeweighsnothing.com/how-to-build-a-back-saving-pvc-corn-bean-seed-planter/ to this more advanced DIY https://thinmac.wordpress.com/a-homemade-seed-planter/.

Those aren’t really necessary, though. All you really need is a pipe smooth enough for seeds to roll through cleanly and sturdy enough to stand up straight.

If you want to work with tiny seeds as well as larger ones, maybe you lay on skinnier aquarium tubing to attach to a tool handle or yardstick (with rubber bands, even), and make yourself a pasteboard, tin-can or paper funnel and tape it in place. Use the back-end of a teaspoon or the little measuring spoon from somebody’s aquarium chemicals to fish out 2-5 seeds at a time.knowledgeweighsnothing-com-pvc-seed-hack

Seed tapes and mats

If we’re not digging the various seeding tubes, we can also use our rainy days or blistering hot days to make seed tapes out of strips of paper, or larger seed mats out of unfolded paper napkins and paper towels like these http://annieskitchengarden.blogspot.com/2009/09/september-22-2009-home-made-seed-mat.html & http://simple-green-frugal-co-op.blogspot.com/2009/12/construct-your-own-seed-mats.html . We don’t have to mix up some kind of funky glue like with some of the DIY-ers show. The toothpick dab of white Elmer’s the first site shows is water-soluble and works just fine.

When we’re ready to plant, we just zoom along exposing our soil or following her mix, lay out our mats, and cover them again. We can work in fair-sized lengths that we roll up around an empty tube and then just nudge along using a broom or hoe, or use a square or two at a time that lets us stagger our planting for a staggered harvest or interspersed companion flowers.

Seed mats and strips can also be made out of a single thickness of newspaper pages for larger seeds like peas and beans as well, although we’ll want to make a small 1/8” slit or poke a pencil-tip hole through to give our seeds a head start on busting through the heavier paper.

Essential health practices, the right way to take vitamins, and why they currently aren’t working for you.

Since we’re planting 3-6” or as much as 8-12” apart in those cases, whether we do rows or congestion beds, working with a larger paper size makes sense. The newspaper sheet will decay over the season, but being thicker, it does offer a nice head start for our seeds over the weed seeds that may be lurking below. Being thicker, it also does better if the seed gets that head start of a slit.

No more removing gloves. No more exposing seed packets to dirt and moisture, or unfolding and refolding and sticking them in a pocket as we try to keep track of where exactly the tiny black seeds landed in our bed. And since they’re evenly spaced instead of scattered in lines and areas, it’s minutely easier to tell which tiny baby dicot we should be plucking when the weeds start – at least we can work quickly in some of the gaps.

In the garden – Avoid the crouch-ouch

So why the focus on things that improve soils without hauling lots of bales, limiting all the bending, limiting the bending and time we spend watering (or pumping water), collecting trash to make all kinds of weird contraptions in the garden? It’s not just me being a greenie, I promise.

Especially for seniors and those with nagging pains and injuries, the ability to work standing upright or from a chair without leaning over or reaching far can not only increase the joy of gardening, but in some cases go as far as making gardening possible again.

Arthritic hands, shaking from an injury or age, and loss of full motor function from an accident can make it frustrating and painful even to fetch out and drop a lima or pea, let alone broccoli and spinach, and unless they’re willing to just punch some holes in a baggy and shake, just forget about iceberg and romaine and strawberry spinach.

The ability to work slowly over winter or summer to prepare for spring and autumn leaf and root crops, the ability to use a tube and funnel, then shake or scoop seeds using something they can actually grip is enormous.

This book teaches you everything from the soil up. Healthy soil – healthy you.

Reexamine how you garden

Even for those in good health or who just like to be out there, some simple and inexpensive DIY projects and some trash collection and reuse can save a lot of time.

That might make a difference in garden size now, while we’re working and balancing families. It will definitely make a difference later, when we’re depending on those gardens to feed us or add a little forkability and crunch to our starvation-staving diet (I loved that article, BTW).

Saving backs and creating easy-to-use tools can also let us involve our parents and kids a little more in some cases, giving them independence and sharing the satisfaction that comes from a meal we procured for ourselves. There’s little better in life than seeing that pride returned to your parents and grandparents, or watching it bloom in your children.

It also sucks to fail, especially when we have a lot of time invested in something.

Water reservoirs, reduced weed competition, proper seeding coverage, and workload-friendly seeding methods can help increase our rate of success, which encourages us to do it again.

Work Smarter Not Harder – In The Garden Sometimes in the preparedness folds, we really get wrapped around axles. We have so much that we’re learning and trying to do, and

Recall how almost all material on prepping says something about having at least one cornbread around the house? It’s, indeed, delicious, nutritious, and, all thing’s considered, very easy to make.

As I’m always on the lookout for great survival recipes, a couple of days ago, I stumbled upon this nifty cornbread recipe. The thing that stroke me is that I still can’t figure out if this thing should be served with something on the side, like some butter or cheese, or is more of a dessert. Well, it’s up to you to figure it out.

Anyway, the cornbread recipe I’m about to show you is not only very easy to prepare, but it also has a peculiar name. In Mormon tongue, this type of cornbread is called a Johnnycake. No comments there. I will do some more digging to figure out why it’s called that way (if you know, don’t be stranger and share with the rest of the community. So, without further ado, here’s how to make some Mormon Johnnycake.

Gathering the ingredients

For this recipe, you’ll need the following:

  • Two eggs. This recipe calls for both egg white and yolk.
  • One cup of buttermilk.
  • Two or three tablespoons of molasses.
  • Half a cup of all-purpose flour.
  • One teaspoon of salt.
  • One teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Two cups of Yellow cornmeal (you can find that at your local food market).
  • Two or three tablespoons of melted butter.
  • (Optional) Agave nectar.

All done gathering the ingredients? Neat! Put your chef’s bonnet on because it’s time to do some major cooking.

How to prepare Mormon Johnnycake

Step 1. Start by grabbing a baking dish or cast-iron skillet. To ensure that your Johnnycake won’t stick to the bottom, grease it with some butter, tallow or a little bit of sunflower oil.

Step 2.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3. Grab a large bowl and add your eggs, buttermilk, and molasses. Give them a good stir with a whisk.

Step 4. Get another mixing bowl for your dry ingredients.

Step 5. Grab a flour sifter and get to work on that flour. You can skip this step if you like your bread with air bubbles.

Step 6. Add your salt and the baking soda.

Step 7. It’s now time to put everything together. Using a mug, add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the buttermilk, honey, eggs, and molasses. Don’t add it all at once. Empty the contents of a cup and slowly whisk the mixture. Do this until you’ve incorporated all the flower.

Step 8. The batter should be smooth. If it’s too watery, add some flour and whisk.

Step 9. It’s now time to add your cornmeal. Just like before, pour half a cup, and gently whisk it. Yes, I know it’s frustrating, but do you have anything better to do?

Step 10. When you’re done incorporating the ingredients, transfer the batter to the cast-iron skillet or baking dish.

Step 11. Stick the baking dish\skillet into the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until it’s golden brown. To see if your Johnnycake is ready, use a toothpick to test the batter. If it comes out clean, it means that it’s ready.

Step 12. Johnnycake is what chefs like to call comfort food. Serve it on rainy or cold days with plenty of butter. If you like to turn it into a desert, pour some agave nectar or maple syrup on top. Enjoy!

 

 

An alternative way to prepare Mormon Johnnycake

This recipe’s extremely versatile. Although the classic recipe calls for oven or stove baking, there’s another approach. Called Hoe Cakes, it’s the Southern take on the original Mormon Johnnycake recipe. The major difference between the two is that the first gets you a classic bread loaf, while the latter is more, well, pancakes. Anyway, here’s how to make some delish Southern Johnnycake pancakes for breakfast.

Ingredients

  • One cup of flour.
  • One cup of cornmeal.
  • Two and a half teaspoons of baking powder.
  • One teaspoon of salt.
  • Three-quarters of a cup of milk.
  • Half a cup of water.
  • Half a cup of melted butter.
  • One teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Half a tablespoon of nutmeg.

How to prepare Southern-style Johnnycakes

Step 1. Take a large bowl and mix your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, sugar, and cornmeal.

Step 2. Using your fingers, make a little hole in the center of your dry mix.

Step 3. Put the milk, egg, vanilla, melted butter, and water in the hole.

Step 4. Mix the batter using a whisk or a fork. Since Southern Johnnycakes are closer to pancakes than to bread, your batter should be silky smooth.

Step 5. Take a cast-iron skillet or a frying pan and place it over the oven. Set to medium-high heat. You can use butter to fry the Johnnycakes or some cooking oil. I personally prefer to use tallow.

Step 6. Using a ladle or a small cup, pour some batter in the skillet and fry. Once the bottom is golden-brown, flip it and fry the other side. Continue until there’s no more batter left in the bowl.

Step 7. Like in the first case, serve hot, with some agave nectar or maple syrup. If you want to turn this into a really fancy dish, you can also add some frozen berries.

Wrap-up

As far as the traditional Mormon Johnnycake is concerned, I believe you can turn it into a full-fledged bread if you skip the sweet ingredients. Yes, I know that it’s hardly a substitute for oven-baked peasant’s bread, but it’s super easy to make and requires no cooking skills at all. If you’re careful enough to store it in a zip-lock bag or airtight container, that loaf can last for at least a couple of weeks, if not months.

The traditional recipe calls for the bread to be served hot out of the oven. Well, it is possible to eat it stone-cold but doesn’t have the same taste. What do you think about the Mormon Johnnycake? Hit the comments section and let me know.

 

Recall how almost all material on prepping says something about having at least one cornbread around the house? It’s, indeed, delicious, nutritious, and, all thing’s considered, very easy to make.

Honey contains a treasure chest of hidden nutritional and medicinal value for centuries. The sweet golden liquid from the beehive is a popular kitchen staple loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties that has been used since the early days of Egyptian tombs.

Honey’s scientific super powers contribute to its vastly touted health benefits for the whole body. The healthy natural sweetener offers many nutritional benefits depending on its variety. Ready for a natural sweetened life?

RAW HONEY

There are various types of honey. The best for overall use that is, for eating and for medicinal purposes, is raw honey. Raw honey is honey that has not been processed by man, it is the same honey that is found in the beehive and is not pasteurized with heat; it may however be strained or altered.

Raw honey contains many spores and pieces of wax from the honeycomb as well as bee parts, etc. Raw honey has the benefit of helping people who are suffering with allergies to local plants and many times is used by patients to treat their allergies.

If this is done, it has to be raw local honey, which is usually made from either a blend of local hives honey or comes from a single source hive that has collected nectar from local sources and has not been treated with heat to pasteurize it.

Raw honey also has the highest antioxidant properties of all honeys. For our purposes as preppers, raw honey is the type of honey that we should use; it has its enzymes still intact.

Heating above 125 degrees F for a half hour usually destroys the enzyme content of most foods. Enzymes are very beneficial to your health and will aid both in digestion and overall health.

Most farm stand and farmer’s markets and local beekeepers honeys will be raw and unpasteurized. If you have any doubts, ask the person selling it, but as a general rule they are not pasteurizing their honey.

PASTEURIZED HONEY

Pasteurized honey is like pasteurized milk, it has been heat treated, usually at 161 degrees F or higher. Pasteurization is done to kill the yeast spores that are present in honey and responsible for its fermentation if the water content of the honey reaches 25 percent or higher.

That is the reason why you keep your honey covered, to prevent it from drawing in water vapor from the surrounding air and diluting the honey until it reaches that critical 25 percent when the yeast spores will reactivate and begin fermentation.

Commercially produced honeys are often pasteurized because this also dissolves any sugar crystals that frequently develop in honey, giving it a granular appearance. People often see crystallized honey and think it has spoiled, but this is not the case, and simply heating it in a pan of water will melt the crystals back into solution. The reheating of crystallized honey is done simply by placing a jar of honey in a small pot filled with water and placing that inside of a larger pot and heating it.

STRAINED HONEY

Strained honey is honey that has been strained through a mesh cloth of some type. This removes many of the particles and contaminants in honey. It does not affect the enzymes and other properties of honey and is merely cosmetic.

FILTERED HONEY

Filtered honey is heated to about 170 degrees F in order to make it more liquid to pass through the fine filter. The filtering process removes all of the particulate matter, pollen grains, and air bubbles, and it is very clear and more liquid than untreated honey. This is the kind also very often found in supermarkets. It also tends to crystallize much less than raw honey, so is felt to be more attractive to shoppers than raw varieties.

CREAMED OR WHIPPED HONEY

Creamed or whipped honey is another type of honey that has been processed to remove many of the large sugar crystals and therefore is much less likely to crystallize. The process involves the pasteurization of raw honey and then the blending of it with 10 percent creamed honey to form a honey with very small crystals that usually will not coalesce into larger crystals. This type of honey is very spreadable and is often used by people for toast and sandwiches.

HONEYCOMB OR COMB HONEY

Comb honey is honey that is still in the wax honeycomb from the honey bee’s hive. Chunks of the honeycomb are cut out and packaged raw. It is identical to raw honey with the only difference being that it is still in the honeycomb. It is sometimes known as “cut comb honey”.

MANUKA HONEY

Manuka honey is the most powerful of the various medicinal honeys produced around the world. It originates from New Zealand and is made from the flowers of the tree of the same name. Manuka honey is a monofloral honey, meaning it originates from just one type of flower, as opposed to poly oral honeys which are the product of many different flower nectars.

Another name for the Manuka tree is the Tea Tree and it primarily grows in wild stands in Australia and New Zealand. The name Tea Tree originates from the famous Captain Cook who discovered Australia and upon landfall is said to have made a tea from the leaves of the Manuka tree. It is the same tree from which Tea Tree Oil is made.

Manuka honey has the highest viscosity (thickness) of any known honey and also therefore has a very strong antibacterial effect. Hence its use in the treatment of wounds, where it has been shown to prevent infections as well as promote rapid healing.

I have used it many times and can attest to its superiority over other types of honey. It also has been shown to be quite beneficial for use for skin ulcers as well as for burns, and even has been shown to be effective against MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph. Aureus).

As a Final Prepper, I highly recommend buying a few jars of this honey and using it exclusively for wounds, burns, and ulcers and use other less expensive honeys for eating and other purposes. It has an “earthy” type of taste to me and I am not particularly fond of it as a food, but that is just my personal preference.

Due to the limited number of Manuka trees there is naturally a limited supply of this honey available annually, hence it is much more costly than other honeys.

Beware of counterfeit types of this honey and buy it from a reputable dealer preferably from “down under” in New Zealand or Australia. Most of the honey sold worldwide as Manuka is counterfeit and made from oral sources other than the Manuka or Tea Tree.

Manuka honey’s strength and healing powers are actually measured by a system known as UMF or Unique Manuka Factor; the higher the value given in UMF labels, the stronger the healing properties. It is usually in a factor of ten range; for example ten plus, twenty plus, etc.

PURE HONEY

Pure honey is honey that has not been adulterated or changed by the addition of glucose, dextrose, molasses, corn syrup, starches, invert sugars, our, or any other foreign substances. The Chinese have been notorious for adulterating their honey and I would highly recommend not buying any honey from China for that very reason.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a lot of tampering with honey, especially from foreign sources.

If you can, buy local honey from a reputable beekeeper. There are many around and this should not be a problem. Finding a local beekeeper and recruiting him into your survival group is probably a very good idea.

Local honey will also have bene ts for any of your survival group members who have allergies. Again, crystallization of honey is not a sign of adulteration and comes about simply from honey’s sugar super saturation.

One not very scientific method for determining if honey is pure is to stir it into a glass of water. The adulterated honeys will dissolve much more quickly than pure raw honey, which tends to coalesce into clumps and take a little time to dissolve properly.

The Grading of Honey

A word about honey grading: Honey grading is primarily done on the basis of the water content of the honey as well as its particulate content and its color.

There are four grades of honey; A, B,C, and substandard. Grade A honey has the lowest water content, the least particulate matter, and is the clearest in color. Lesser grades have more of all of those factors.

Honey quality can also be easily evaluated by certain characteristics. The honey should flow off of a spoon in a straight stream without breaking up into drops. It should also bead up upon hitting a surface, and when owing onto a surface should form temporary layers that eventually disappear. This attests to its proper viscosity.

If your honey does not do these things then it probably contains too much water and is not suitable for long-term storage.

The color of honey tells you something in general about its flavor. The lighter honeys have a milder flavor and the darker-shaded honeys have a more robust flavor.

The overall color of raw honey is determined by the oral source of the bee’s nectar. However, long-term storage may darken a honey, especially if the honey is stored at a high temperature. Honey also lightens in color after it has undergone granulation. This is the reason that most forms of creamed honey are so light in color.

Over time many honeys tend to crystallize. This is normal and does not hurt the quality of the honey and can easily be reversed by gentle heating as described above. Depending on the type of honey, some such as Manuka, crystallize rapidly compared to Tupelo honey, which takes a very long time to crystallize. Crystallization means that the honey forms actual white-colored sugar crystals on the surface, this does not affect the quality or taste of the honey, and you should not discard honey that has done this.

How to Store Honey

  • Honey should be stored in either glass containers or food grade containers to prevent the leakage of any chemicals from a plastic vessel.
  • You should keep your honey in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight and away from any heat source like a furnace or space heater.
  • Honey should always be in a closed container with a tight lid to prevent absorption of any humidity which will change the honey and promote its fermentation.
  • You should always use a dry spoon when scooping any honey from its container in order to prevent the introduction of any water into the honey.
  • Some honey purists feel that stainless steel spoons and other implements should not be used with honey, due to some subtle changes in the taste of the honey. Honestly, I have tried tasting honey with a wooden ladle and with a stainless steel spoon and I cannot tell any difference, so in my humble opinion, it doesn’t matter at all.

As a Final Prepper I would stock up on a large supply of raw local honey from a reputable source like a local beekeeper. You might even consider enlisting a beekeeper into your survival group. Or having some of your group members learn the art of beekeeping due to its incredible usefulness for a variety of survival uses from medicinal to nutritional, as well as pollination of your survival garden and orchard.

Since raw honey stored properly will last forever, and due to its multiple uses, I would keep as large a supply as you can afford. Honey will very likely be an important barter item in the post-apocalyptic economy.


This is an excerpt from the 800+ The Doomsday Book Of Medicine, by Ralph La Guardia. Let us know if you’re interested. And we’ll get back to you.

Since raw honey stored properly will last forever, and due to its multiple uses, I would keep as large a supply as you can afford. Honey will very likely be

It’s happening now. This is a real SHTF event. Major disaster has hit, power is out, everyone is panicking, grocery stores are being raided and emptied within hours, and cars are grid-locked trying to make their way to safety, anywhere. No one knows where that is.

As Preppers, we have already prepared for this eventuality. We already have our emergency supplies packed, it’s likely we have a plan in place as to where we are heading. And we’re long gone before the panic has set in. However, it’s all very well having your bug out bag ready, learning survival skills such as how to catch your own food, how to filter water, and how to start a fire, but if you don’t have a shelter; you’re missing the most important survival item you need.

If you spend any reasonable amount of time in the outdoors, you’ve probably heard of the ‘Survival Rule of 3’. You can survive:

  • 3 minutes without oxygen or in icy water
  • 3 hours without shelter in extreme environments
  • 3 days without water
  • 3 weeks without food

These four rules rely on the previous one being satisfied. So for example, you can only survive 3 hours without shelter if you’re not in icy water, you can only survive 3 days without water if you have shelter from a harsh environment and so on. Therefore, next to being able to breathe oxygen, shelter is the next most important element of survival if you find yourself in extreme weather conditions.

It’s likely that most Preppers will know how to make temporary shelter using materials you can find on the forest floor, but what about if the disaster or crisis descends into total chaos and it’s TEOTWAWKI? (The end of the world as we know it). Would you know how to make a more permanent structure for you and your family to live in? If you’re lucky, you might come across an old underground bunker, but you’ve not left anything else to chance in your methodical planning, so why leave this to chance?

You need to know how to build your own survival cabin. Let’s face it, when SHTF most of us are bugging out to the forest. There is good reason for that. In the forest you’ll find one of the most valuable resources that you need to build a long term shelter: wood. This type of survival shelter is going to require time and effort, so it’s important that you learn the basics right now rather than learn through trial and error and the time and waste resources.

First, let’s look at what you will need to make your survival shelter. Ideally, you don’t want to be carrying a ton of tools around with you, so we’ll focus on building a shelter that only requires you to have minimal basic tools that you’ll probably already have packed: an axe, a fixed blade knife and a multi-tool. Let’s not beat around the bush, if you were going to build the same shelter at your own leisure, you could make the process a lot quicker using a whole host of other tools, but this isn’t about speed, this is about building a shelter to keep you safe.

First things first, you’ll want to choose a log cabin plan. You’ll most likely want to build a square or rectangular cabin, around 14×14 foot. We’re going to use that as our example throughout this set of instructions. There are five main steps to building a survival shelter; choosing your site, selecting your logs, laying the logs, openings for windows and doors, and finally, raising the roof. Step one, and to some extent, step two are something you should go and research now. Step three through five, you’ll need to have written down so you don’t make any mistakes when it comes to the build.

Step One: Choose your Site

Get to know the site you intend to escape to now. How far away is it, how long will it take to get there, how will you get there? Choose somewhere you can get to either by foot, or with one tank of gas. Once you’ve found a few places that you can reach without too much difficulty, you’ll also need to make sure it is far away enough from main roads and cities. You don’t want to set up a shelter in plain sight for anyone to come and make their own.

Where are the nearest places for natural materials? You’ll need somewhere close-by to a water supply, plenty of trees to use both for your shelter and for firewood, somewhere that has an abundance of animals that you can trap. Ideally, you’ll also need some softer materials to create somewhere to sleep, initially grass will do.

You’ll also want to consider the temperature year round. If the area you’re settling is made up of hills and valleys, you’ll find both the top and the bottom gets cold quickly. It’s windy at the top, and the valleys trap the cold air. Settle around 3/4 up a hill if you do find yourself in this position.

Scout the area for poisonous plants; don’t set up a permanent shelter if there are any in the immediate vicinity. What are the trees like surrounding your proposed site? You’ll need some for protection, but you should make sure they’re not dead or they might fall down onto your shelter.

One last thing to think about is the natural elements. How will the rain fall and collect, is the land flat? Where does the sun rise and set, make the most of this to heat your shelter if you’re in a cold climate, or ensure you have shade if you’re in a hot climate.

Step Two: Selecting your Logs & Preparing the Site

The majority of trees are suitable for building a survival shelter. Even though hardwoods such as walnut, poplar or oak will give you a more durable build, they are harder to work with. Instead, choose Pine, Cedar or Spruce. If you don’t have an option – just build with whatever trees are growing in your area.

The trees you choose should be long enough to create the length of your shelter, or double if they’re large enough to get two lengths out of each tree. They will need to be around 10 inches in diameter, to provide you with sufficient insulation. The trees also need to be as straight as possible.

For a survival shelter of 14×14 feet, you’ll need logs that are 16 feet in length. The extra one foot either side of the log allows them to be notched together and provide an overhang to give a sturdy and solid join.
Note: If your logs are 10 inches in diameter, to create a 9 feet high shelter, you will need 11 x 16 ft logs for each side, and a further 10-15 logs to create two gable walls. You should put aside the best 7 logs, to use as the sill logs and the purlin and rafter logs.

Sill Logs: Four logs that will form the base of your shelter

Purlin Logs: Two logs that will join the gable walls and provide a surface to attach your roof

Ridge Log: One log which sits at the top, and joints the two gable walls.

To fell the trees, use your axe to cut them in the direction that they are naturally leaning. Briefly, the best way to fell trees is to make a horizontal cut 1/3 of the way into the tree just above knee height. Next, make a 45 degree cut upwards to meet the end of the first cut. Then, make a cut on the opposite side, around 2 inches above the first cut. The tree should then start falling. Once you have all your logs, cut off all the branches, and debark them using your axe or knife at a 30 degree angle.

Usually when building a log cabin shelter, you’ll want to lay foundations however it’s unlikely you’ll have access to all the heavy machinery and concrete in TEOTWAWKI scenario. Therefore, to prepare your site will be simple. You should clear any debris and leaves away, and level the ground as much as you can. You will need some form of foundation, so without access to concrete, you should do this: bury four upright logs into the ground, leaving around 3-4 inches sticking out of the ground. You will use these as posts to put your sill logs on.

Step Three: Raising the Walls

The first step in raising you walls is to put your four sill logs into place. These logs should be the four that are largest in diameter, straightest and longest. First, you need to take two of them. Use your axe to create a notch (hole) at either end of two sill logs.

To create this type of ‘reverse-saddle-notch’, put your log into the place it will eventually sit (on top of two of the horizontal posts that are buried into the group). Take your knife and mark where the log is going to sit. Using your axe, make a V shape in the underneath side of the log until the notch is large enough to create a snug fit around the horizontal post. Do this at both ends of two sill logs.

Take your other two sill logs, and notch the underside of them to fit onto the top of the two sill logs you’ve already laid. You will now have the perimeter of your log cabin. The rest of the process is simple, but time consuming. This could take you a couple of weeks depending on how much help you have. You are going to continue notching the underside of each log and stacking the walls until you have the height that you want before you start creating the pitched roof.

Step Four: Windows and Doors

To create the openings for your doors and windows, you can use your axe to create a hole. When you reach the height that you want your window or door at, start cutting and removing the logs one by one to make space for a door.

There are lots of tutorials about how to make doors and windows available. Just make sure that you have thought this through, so you’re not left with large open gaps which can get very drafty and will defeat the point of having shelter unless you’re able to cover them effectively.

One such way to make doors is to keep hold of some of the thicker branches when you fell your logs, and use rope or other natural resources such as fibrous plants to tie them together. You might also want to do this for the windows so that you can replace them during the night/when the weather is cooler.

Keep openings to an absolute minimum.

Step Five: Raising the Roof

The shelter is now almost finished, but this is definitely the heaviest and hardest stages of the entire build. You’ll need some good brute strength here. You’re now going to create to triangles on two opposite walls; these will form your gable walls. Continue building the logs up, gradually getting short in length using the same notching method. When you are half way up, you need to take the two purlin logs and notch them so that they connect the two gable walls, one either side of the triangular shape you’re creating.

Carry on building the two gable walls until you reach the tip of the triangle, and then use the large ridge log to connect the gable walls. This can be extremely heavy work depending on the size of the logs, and how much help you have.

Once your ridge log is in place, use some smaller diameter logs to lay over the ridge logs, purlin logs, and the top of the walls, onto which you can attach roof rafters. You might want to use branches, leaves and mulch to create your roof’s finish.

You Survival Shelter

And there you have it – a long lasting survival shelter than will keep you safe, warm and dry. The instances in which you might need to build a structure of this quality and stability are rare, but as mentioned earlier, rather plan for all eventualities, than end up in a situation of needing a permanent structure and not knowing how to create one.

The beauty of this structure is that trees are available in almost every area of the world, they are one of the most reliable building resources and so if you learn this simple technique, you’ll be able to build yourself a shelter wherever you are.

As Preppers, we have already prepared for this eventuality. We already have our emergency supplies packed, it’s likely we have a plan in place as to where we

In 2001, I was in my office at work and watched in horror with my colleagues as the second plane hit the towers and our world changed forever. Even hundreds of miles away, it was a devastating catastrophe. Just two short years later, in August of 2003, I was living just west of Cleveland when the Northeast blackout of August 2003 happened.

I was lucky enough to get to the store for ice and batteries before it closed. A security guard at the door stopped me to tell me I had to wait until the previous customer came out before I could go in. They were only letting one customer in at a time. A line of people started to form behind me.

When it was my turn, the guard waved me inside. The lights were out but it was daylight so there was enough light from the windows to see by. The cashier followed me as I got the things I needed and headed for the checkout. She added my items on a battery powered calculator and gave me the total.

This book could have been called The Replacement for The US Healthcare System. Details here

I paid in cash, grateful I had just gotten paid and had cash on me because with the power out, they weren’t accepting anything else. As I came out of the store with my purchases, I heard the guard telling people in the back of the line, now stretched down the sidewalk, that the store was closing.

The power was eventually restored. But that was it for me. I vowed I would never put myself or my children in that kind of situation again. I was going to be more prepared to hunker down for an extended power outage if it happened again. For the first time, I remember thinking “maybe those doomsday preppers aren’t so crazy after all”.

I started reading about prepping and making lists. I have to admit my first instinct was to buy a lot of stuff. But I was living paycheck to paycheck back then, working a full-time job in the next county over and just trying to make ends meet. I had to start small.

I focused on food and I bought a few extra items each time I went to the store. I kept warm clothes and boots in my car in case I broke down. I stocked up on flashlights and batteries and I tried to keep my gas tank full instead of running on fumes. My parents and extended family were all almost an hour away, I had to at least be able to drive to where they were in an emergency.

Despite my best intentions, there were so many mistakes I, like others new to prepping made along the way. As I look back now, here are the 26 things I wish I knew about prepping when I started out:

1. Prepping is an industry

There are people who are in the prepping industry to make money. These people will use scare tactics and hype to sell their products. Preparedness is a smart strategy but don’t let yourself get caught up in the hype. Focus on what you need for your situation and family. Make a plan and stick to it. Remember that even small steps can make a huge difference.

2. It’s Not ALL About Gear

When I first started prepping, my instinct was to buy a whole bunch of gear. I printed off the checklists from the various websites and I started buying the gadgets everyone said were a must have to survive. The problem was, I didn’t know how to use any of that gear. Most of it sat in the closet for over a year. If something had happened, I wouldn’t have known how to use a lot of it.

3. It’s Impossible to Plan for EVERY. SINGLE. DISASTER

No matter how good a prepper you are or how experienced you are, it’s nearly impossible to plan for every type of situation or emergency that could happen. Focus on what is likely in your own area first and foremost. Gradually build your knowledge and hands-on experience because that’s what will help you adapt to whatever situation crops up.

4. Sometimes Old Really is Better

Not everything sold by those in the prepping industry is a quality product. Some of it, especially pre-built bug out bags and first aid kits, are poor quality items stuffed together to get you to pay more. Quality gear does make things easier but only if you have the right skills and knowledge.

When looking for gear and equipment, check your local flea markets, thrift stores, yard or garage sales, and estate sales. Older products are made better, more solid, better quality than new ones and many times you get a much better bang for your buck.

5. Reducing Debt is Critical

To truly prepare for a SHTF event, you’ve got to get out from under any debt you may have. Work to pay off credit cards and save an emergency fund in cash. Start paying for everything with cash and consider taking a course, such as the one by Dave Ramsey, to help you become more financially stable.

6. Hygiene and Sanitation–It’s More Than Comfort

When I first started prepping, I didn’t understand how critical personal hygiene and sanitation practices would be in a SHTF situation. Sure, it would be more comfortable to be able to shower daily and have access to a flush toilet, but I didn’t believe it was life threatening. It didn’t take long to discover that poor hygiene and the shutdown of sanitation services are a main cause of Illness, infection, and other diseases that can then spread quickly through cities after a natural disaster or SHTF situation.

7. Chances Are You’ll Have to Run, Hike, or Fight

During a SHTF event, chances are very good that at some point, you will have to run, hike, or even fight to survive. Fitness, self-defense, and security can be life the lifesaving difference in a SHTF situation. Many people prep for years before realizing how critical it is to prioritize physical fitness and stamina starting today.

8. Companies Lie About Their Products (see #1)

Well not all of them outright lie, but many companies are not above misleading customers into purchasing poor quality products. Advertising is very much an industry designed to get you to part with your hard-earned cash. Test everything yourself, before you need to rely on it to save your life.

9. Disaster Won’t Wait till I’m Safe at Home

The greatest stockpile and security system in the world won’t help if you’re stuck at work and the kids are trapped at school. Know local school evacuation plans and have a backup meeting place that is central for everyone. Practice getting to it from any location where you could be when SHTF because disaster can strike at any time, not just when you’re safe at home.

10. Documenting Identification and Assets is Critical

Following a natural disaster or even during a SHTF event, proving who you are might be not only necessary, but critical to maintaining your freedom. In addition, knowing what you own and being able to show documentation of model numbers and serial numbers or even photos, may be critical to getting reimbursed by insurance companies or other disaster relief organizations.

11. Cabin Fever Makes People Crazy

You and your family may end up holed up in an underground bunker, your basement, or even your own home without video games or television. You could be there for days, weeks, months, or even years with very little outside contact.

Those of you with kids between the ages of four and seventeen, just let that sink in. No matter how well you and your family or group members get along, being cooped up in one place for weeks or months on end can wreak havoc. Plan for this and have board games, card games, books, and other non-electronic entertainment in your safe room or at your bug out location.

12. Bugging Out Isn’t the First Option or the Best

For new preppers, it may seem like everyone is recommending bugging out in case of emergency. But not only is bugging out not the first option, for all but a rare few, it’s not the best option either. Bugging out is extremely dangerous and should be a last resort, only when you are certain that you home is no longer safe.

13. Prepping is a Bottomless Pit

The more you learn about prepping, the more you will begin to realize that prepping can be a bottomless pit. Because it’s impossible to predict with any certainty, what the scenarios are that you may face or what can go wrong, prepping is a never ending and ongoing process. It’s not something you do and forget about. It really is a lifestyle change.

15. Canned Food Weighs a LOT–Look for Lighter Alternatives

Stockpiling cans of food or home canned food in jars is great if you’re able to hunker down and ride out a natural disaster or SHTF event. But this kind of food weights a LOT. You’ll not only need sturdy shelving to store it but you’ll need to look for lightweight food alternatives for your bug out bag in the event you need to bug out.

16. Waiting for Doomsday Can Be Depressing

The more time you spend learning about emergencies, disasters, and potential SHTF events, the easier it is to become overwhelmed and live from a place of continual fear. Don’t let prepping consume your life. Focus on likely events in your area. Constantly waiting and anticipating a doomsday event can be depressing without balance. Don’t forget to enjoy life in the present moment as you prepare for potential disasters.

17. Stockpiling Cash Won’t Save You

While it’s a great idea and a critical necessity to have cash on hand when a disaster happens, stockpiling cash isn’t the only answer. In cases where the power grid is down, cash may quickly become obsolete. Make sure that you are stockpiling physical items and learning skills so that you can use those to barter for items that you may need for your family following a SHTF event.

18. Special Needs Mean Special Planning

Every family or group is different, and your disaster planning must take into account any special needs that might impact your ability to survive during or following a SHTF or other event. There are lots of cookie cutter survival plans available, but make sure you customize your survival plan to accommodate any mobility restrictions, special dietary needs, or medical needs of your family.

19. For Most, Survival Takes a Village or at least a Group

There are many different types of preppers out there. You’ll read a lot of advice from individuals who believe that bugging out to the wilderness alone is the best policy. A few very experienced individuals could actually survive using this lone wolf strategy. But for most people, surviving long-term will mean relying on extended family members, a community, or other trusted survival groups.

20. Talking Too Much Really Can Kill You

Getting prepared is something to be proud of and can provide a sense of relief to know that when SHTF, you’ll be ready. You may be tempted to share your knowledge and new-found lifestyle with other people you know. Choose the people you share information with carefully because talking too much really can kill you if you’re not careful.

When SHTF, that neighbor or cashier at the store you told casually about your stockpile may just decide it’s worth coming to your house to get food and water instead of fighting the hordes of people at the local store.

21. You’ll Need a Plan B, C, and D

No matter how prepared you think you are, there are things that can go wrong in a bug out situation or even during a bug in situation. Your stockpile could be confiscated, your bug out route could be blocked, or someone could find your hidden cache, etc. Know in advance what these things could be and create backup plans so that you can adapt quickly to obstacles and pitfalls.

22. Solar Power Isn’t Just About Lights

When it comes to planning for power during a grid down situation, most people think first about lighting. But solar power can come in handy for a wide range of activities after a SHTF situation including alternative ways to cook, heat, and even stay warm. Make sure your solar power system is designed with all of these activities in mind, so it will be adequate enough to sustain your family for the long-term.

23. You Really Are Going to Use Those School Subjects

One of the most common complaints about our education system is that it teaches things that we won’t use in everyday life. But when you begin to prep, you’ll realize that many of those things you learned in school really will come in handy including:

  • Geography
  • Physics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Home economics
  • Shop class
  • Defensive driving
  • Health Education
  • Gym or Physical Education

24. Practice Might Not Make You Perfect but It Will Make You Faster

One of the things that is important to realize about disaster situations is that many times it’s acting quickly that can give you an edge over others and in some cases, save your life. This is why you’ll hear some people emphasizing that you get hands-on practice using the skills that you are learning or running evacuation or bug out drills. The first instinct for most people is to panic, emotions will run high, and everyone in your group may not be thinking clearly when disaster hits.

There are also places to avoid going when SHTF so you don’t become a target or get caught up in a horde of desperate or violent people. The more you’ve planned out and actually practiced what to do in specific situations, the more likely it is that your group will act on instinct and be able to take action quickly.

25. A Plan and a Budget Helps Keep You Sane

The prepping lifestyle is never-ending, and it can be overwhelming. It’s very easy to lose focus or get taken in by the latest “prepping trend”. If you have an overall plan and a budget for your prepping, it can help you stay focused and keep your sanity.

Unfortunately, there’s just no one size fits all way to prepare for emergencies, disasters, or a SHTF event. And even when you do plan, you can be almost certain that something or maybe several things won’t go as planned.

But prepping is a great strategy that can certainly give you an edge in a bad situation. It’s definitely worth it. As a much more experienced prepper now than I was several years ago, I hope some of these 25 things I wish I knew about prepping when I started will help you avoid some of these and other common mistakes preppers make.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

In 2001, I was in my office at work and watched in horror with my colleagues as the second plane hit the towers and our world changed forever. Even hundreds

There are many reasons to check for gold on your property. If you live in a gold mining area you might be sitting on top of the mother lode. However, most people find gold in the form of buried treasure.

During the civil war, Southerners would bury their household silver, gold, and other valuables when the Northern army came near. I know a man who still buries his extra cash in jars in the backyard. I don’t envy the family when his day comes. They’ll definitely need a metal detector.

If you own gold, you know that storing it can be a problem. It can be difficult to find a secure spot that won’t be found by thieves or family members. Even a safe is not secure if you are forced to open it.

For this reason, many people – in the past, and even today – have resorted to burying their gold and other valuables. Sometimes the owner fails to tell his heirs where it is hidden, or even that it exists. Every property is a potential goldmine, especially older properties.

My Own Experience with a Metal Detector

We bought my son a metal detector for his birthday a few years back. A little exploring in our front yard discovered an abandoned oil tank. It was so rusted that I am surprised it hadn’t caved in from kids playing only a foot above it.

Later, our first trip to the beach with his metal detector turned up an iPhone, a gold watch and a few quarters. Talking to others with metal detectors, we heard a number of stories about the items they had found; gold wedding rings, keys, coins, jewelry and a lot of metal trash.

One retiree claimed to hunt almost daily and was able to supplement his retirement income nicely. He enjoyed finding hidden treasure of all kinds and said that the hunting kept him moving and healthy.

What Can You Find with a Metal Detector?

You can find gold, silver, tin, aluminum, steel, and any other metal. Did you bury your money in a jar and can’t remember where it is? You can find that jar lid and any other junk metal or treasure with a basic metal detector. Some of the more expensive detectors are tuned to detect only gold or possibly silver. This keeps you from having to sort through a lot of bottle caps, but it can also cause you to miss other valuables.

If you’ve buried your emergency food supply in the backyard I can find it, as long as there are some canned goods or other metal included. This is a good point to remember if you are considering burying your cache.

Better metal detectors can find metal that is buried up to four feet deep, so dig your hole deeper or stash only non-metal items. Another way to foil a hunter with a detector is to bury your metal valuables or food deeper, cover it with a foot or more or soil, then bury some decoy metal on top of your cache. If you are lucky, they will find the decoy and move to another spot.

What Features Do You Need?

There is a wide variety and price range of metal detectors available on the market. What do you really need to find gold or other valuables on your property? We purchased a basic-model metal detector for our son and it did everything we needed.

For me, easy tuning, the ability to discriminate between target metals and background minerals, and a solid rugged build would be the most important features.

There is a learning curve with most metal detectors. You need to learn to tune the detector to pick up the types of metal you are looking for and tune out background noise. It takes a little practice to be able to do this quickly and recognize the signals for various metals.

For a beginner, an inexpensive model can be purchased for under $100. You can spend much more, but I recommend a basic model until you learn whether treasure hunting is for you.

As a prepper, you are probably aware of the importance of having some gold and silver in your investment portfolio. Preppers prefer to own physical gold for obvious reasons, but you don’t need a lot of money to get started in gold.

One way to build up your gold stores is to regularly use a metal detector as we have discussed here. You may have days where you find nothing, but the days where you find lost coins, jewelry or a hidden stash will make them all worthwhile. Over time you will build up a collection of gold items to provide your family with a little security when things get tough.

There are many reasons to check for gold on your property. If you live in a gold mining area you might be sitting on top of the mother lode. However,

In a survival situation, due to the increased time you will spend outside in the woods foraging for edible plants, hunting, trapping, and possibly living outside, you will have bites of various kinds fairly often. These will primarily be from insects such as ticks, fleas, spiders, mosquitoes, wasps, bees, and others.

There will also most likely be animal bites from domestic animals gone feral, like packs of dogs, coyote-dog mixes, wild cats, as well as wild animals such as foxes, bats, and snakes. Unfortunately in such a scenario the chance of getting a human bite also is increased significantly.

All of these bites have the potential to develop into very serious infections and in some cases can be fatal (think rabies). Being a Prepper involves being proactive as much as humanly possible, to minimize any future threats to you, your group’s, or your family’ survival.

This book teaches you What To Do When Your Doctor Is Not Around. Details HERE

One thing you can do right now is to make sure every one of your family members is properly immunized with a tetanus vaccine. No matter what your thoughts are about vaccines, tetanus is one that is indispensable. A tetanus vaccine is given every ten years with a booster every ten years until you are sixty-five years old.

Now is the time to get your tetanus vaccine; do not wait. In a post collapse situation all vaccines will most likely be totally unavailable. Almost all vaccines have to be refrigerated and will spoil and new production is unlikely.

Why do you need a tetanus vaccine?

The bacteria that causes tetanus is ubiquitous (this means it is everywhere) and comes from the bacteria Clostridium tetani. Clostridium t. This a normal inhabitant of soil and this explains why it is everywhere. Clostridium tetani enters the body through open wounds, bites, etc. Once in the body it produces a toxin (poison) called Tetanospasmin which is a neurotoxin (a toxin that damages the nervous system). This results in such violent muscle spasms that it can cause your jaw to lock closed in a violent clenching of your facial muscles, hence the common name of lockjaw. The spasms are so violent they can break bone, teeth, tear muscle, and before the advent of the tetanus vaccine was frequently fatal.

In a survival situation you will not be able to treat this and it will be fatal, and a miserable death at that.

That is why I am strongly encouraging you and your family or survival group to be proactive and get your tetanus boosters now, not tomorrow. If you are uncertain as to the date of your previous tetanus vaccine then get one now, it will not hurt you if it is too soon.

General Principles for All Bites and Stings

There are certain principles that will help concerning any type of bite you might encounter.

  • All bites should be cleaned thoroughly with soap and water if available or hydrogen peroxide.
  • If no soap is available, flush out any open bite with copious amounts of water.
  • A mix of one part Betadine to nine parts water can also be made and used to flush out any bite or wound.e application of an activated charcoal poultice to any sting or bite as soon as possible will help immensely. Activated charcoal is always helpful due to its incredible surface area and its ability to absorb toxins and substances of all types on its surface.
  • These poultices should be changed often, preventing them from drying out.
  • In an open animal bite with a macerated or chewed up surface the activated charcoal should be generously applied to the inside of the wound and a poultice over it. This will insure contact of the charcoal with all areas of the wound in order to better absorb the various toxins as well as the microorganisms from the animal’s mouth.
  • There is no downside to the use of activated charcoal; it is completely inert and cannot harm you in any way.
  • It does make a mess, but under these circumstances who really cares.

In the case of any allergic reactions, as a survival medic you will need to access the patient and determine the severity of the reaction. If a patient develops systemic (whole body) symptoms after a sting or a bite then this should be a clue that you may have to intervene to interrupt this allergic cascade before it becomes potentially life threatening.

Systemic symptoms such as lethargy (tired and listless behavior), severe swelling at the site of the bite, near it, or in the face and throat, rapid heartbeat, feeling faint, wheezing and difficulty breathing, generalized itching, etc. should all be treated as a medical emergency. If you have an EpiPen this is the time to immediately give it. Also give the patient an antihistamine such as Benadryl. The dose of Benadryl should be 25 mg every four hours as needed for a mild reaction or 50 mg every four hours for a severe reaction.

Limit the blood flow to the area of any bite. If it is on an arm or leg you should keep the limb elevated and if severe apply intermittent tourniquets, for no more than ten minutes at a time. After ten minutes loosen the tourniquet to avoid permanent damage to the areas “downstream” from it. Ice or any cold substance should be applied directly to the site to help decrease blood flow and also to decrease swelling.

There are many things in the Prepper world that we prepare for that are unlikely to happen; this is NOT one of those occurrences. The odds of you or one of your family or survival group members getting bit is very likely.


This is just an excerpt from Dr. Ralph La Guardia’s The Doomsday Book of Medicine.

You can discover more about this book here.

In a survival situation, due to the increased time you will spend outside in the woods foraging for edible plants, hunting, trapping, and possibly living outside, you will have bites

Booby traps are devices set up with the intent to surprise, harm, or even kill an unknowing victim. They are triggered by the presence or unwitting actions of another.

Booby traps have been used since ancient times. Cave drawings indicate even prehistoric humans used them as a means of capturing prey, such as in “pitfalls” where a large hole is dug and spikes placed inside. The hole is then covered.

Historically speaking, booby traps do not win wars. They are, however, considered a key element in psychological warfare. Also known as PSYWAR, psychological warfare is by definition, something that is done to either deceive, manipulate or otherwise influence an opponent and to incite hopelessness, fear, despair, and loss of morale. Used extensively in WWII and Vietnam, booby trap effects have caused many surviving soldiers long-term pain and trauma. They can also be an effective early warning system. However, they can also cause civilian casualties, be inadvertently set off by friendlies or neutral people within the vicinity, and sometimes even by animals or natural events. They are also dangerous to set up if using any explosive materials. Caution should be used. One way to hopefully limit unnecessary injury would be to secure the perimeter with non-lethal alert devices. Hopefully once someone has realized they are approaching traps, they will turn around. If they continue, then chances are they are either hostile or being driven that direction by hostile forces.

4 SENTRY ALARM MINES .22 Cal trip wire alarms MULTICAM PREPPER PACK

Booby traps come in two main categories: anti-tank, and anti-personnel. We will start with the former.

Automatic roadblocks work much in the same way as a regular trip wire except that they designed in ways that impede traffic and damage vehicles. The end of a strong wire is attached to a secure point on one side of the road. Perhaps looped around a large tree. On the other side it is attached to something to be pulled into the road. A common option is to attach an anchor to another tree and chop it almost to the point of falling. The cord must be taut and high enough that a vehicle will pull it in the correct direction and not run over it. The cut tree is pulled down into the road, damaging the vehicle and effectively creating a roadblock. This method was employed by the Japanese when fighting the Allied Forces in the Philippines. It can be effective as a standalone device to slow the opposition, or as the onset of an ambush.

Another tripwire mechanism that can be adjusted to block a road, is a simple explosive charge set next to a makeshift retaining wall on a hill or cliff. Rocks, stones, branches, and debris are piled behind the obstruction. It may be necessary to route the wire through small anchors to adjust for the angle of the hill. Once armed and triggered, a small avalanche plummets onto the road, injuring and blocking enemy forces.

Homemade booby trap found in the woods of Provo Canyon.

Caltrops have been used since Medieval times, possibly earlier, as a way to impede incoming troops and damage cavalry and have since evolved into an effective way to combat automobiles. A metal worker can create them quite easily out of small hollow pipes that are bent and welded together. This option allows for more rapid air escape and therefore faster deflation and blowout of the tire; theoretically, any metal strong enough and sharp enough to withstand the weight of the vehicle can be used as long as it is fashioned in such a way that one blade is always pointing up.

Even vehicles themselves have been used as booby traps. A charge can be detonated by opening the door or turning on the ignition (which seems to be popular in the movies). Bombs can also be detonated by impact, where the cars themselves were used as roadblocks. If an armored vehicle attempts to simply pummel through and push the vehicles aside, they explode.

Now we get to the category where most preppers are focusing their efforts. Home invasion protection and anti-personnel defensive booby traps.

The most common booby trap as far as prepping is concerned is probably the tripwire.

The most common booby trap as far as prepping is concerned is probably the tripwire. Easy to set up with nothing more than a piece of string and a personal panic alarm. It is easily improvised and can detonate explosives, fire weapons, or activate spotlights for early detection.

Pressure plates can be simple DIY projects or can be purchased prefabricated. Again, these can be improvised to either turn on lights, sound an air-horn, or detonate explosives. I personally would not attach explosives to these as they are usually placed quite close to your residence as a final warning someone has made it to your door. Some can be quite sensitive and can easily be activated by a dog or other fair-sized animal. If you are placing them further away from your home, or do not care about a potential house fire, explosives could be used. One additional and interesting use for these is their ability to be an automatic door opener, if you want a secret entrance and hide it well.

Mobility Denial System (MDS) is a deterring slime that can come in handy (if you can get your hands on any) It is a last line of defense as it will create an impassable surface directly around your home for 6-12 hours. It was invented for the Marine Corps and police riot protection. It is not readily available, however, if you were to put your mind to it, you could up with something along the same lines. You want to deter any hostile party, by any means necessary, before they ever get that close to you, and preferably either drive them back or keep them at bay until you can retaliate.

Spike booby trap used during Vietnam.

Spikes. They can be as simple as large nails in boards turned upwards around your yard in the tall grass. They could be placed over a hole so that when stepped on with any force, the person’s foot snaps the board, goes into the hole and the nails impale their ankles. In times of war, they were often coated with toxic material or feces to promote infection. Some people attach them to stones or logs to create pendulum contraptions that are triggered by a tripwire. Personally I find this a foolish waste of time. A well-trained individual can evade such a device. It would probably take less time to dig small trenches, which might at least sprain some ankles, but to each their own. Spikes on boards can also be weighted and submerged into creek beds and ponds.

Razor wire and barbed wire is another option for underwater depending on how long it stays there. It can also be used similarly to tripwire in heavily vegetative areas where it can be concealed. I’d recommend a matte finish, camouflaged to blend in. In can be used along top fencing, around windows etc… Anywhere you would want to deter someone, perhaps diverting them into even more unfavorable habitat where you have a greater advantage.

Bullets can be set inside a small section of bamboo, atop a firing pin, and buried until just the tip is exposed. If stepped on with any amount of force the bullet explodes.

Hand Grenades. If you can acquire them, all you need is a tin can and a piece of string and duct time and you can secure any door. This is dangerous for the person loading them but was widely used in WWII and Vietnam. Tie a string around the grenade under the handle. Depress the trigger handle and pull the pin. Quickly and carefully slide it into the tin can. Secure the can somewhere with tape or wedge it tightly. Attach the string to a door handle or use as a tripwire. When the door is open or trap is triggered, the grenade dislodges from the can and detonates.

Remember that booby traps are just one element in the line of defense. Their primary purpose is to slow down the enemy, instill fear, reduce morale, and possibly to injure, maim, or kill. The time these traps may buy you can be greatly varied. Use it wisely and remember, offense and defense are opposite sides of the same coin. You need both or you are broke.

Recognizing the extreme injustice of recent liability suits awarding home invaders large sums for getting injured while burglarizing a house, it could be considered foolish to construct booby traps unnecessarily, regardless of intention or the degree of danger. That being said, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t use them or wish they had them to use when put into a potentially deadly situation.

Stay safe, and happy prepping!

Booby traps are devices set up with the intent to surprise, harm, or even kill an unknowing victim. They are triggered by the presence or unwitting actions of another. Booby traps

Dogs and cats are a vital part of the homestead or when your prepper nightmare come true. Whether you plan to bug out or bug in, your pet may play an important role as a protector for you family, or a great alarm system, in addition to being loving companions.

They provide much needed pest control, if you’ve got a good mouser on your hands. A dog can provide great livestock protection, and help with hunting and tracking. They can also help keep rabbits, moles and other small game away from your garden.

Feeding your pets from a prepping prospective, or just trying to find a free way to feed your animals presents some questions.

How do you know what your animals need? How do you acquire their food? What’s safe for them? And what does all this knowledge actually look like in your pet’s food bowl?

Check it out.

Want to learn how to grow nutrient dense foods that will nourish your mind and body? Discover more here.

Dietary Needs of Dogs and Cats

You may think dogs are the most carnivorous of the two, but in fact, felines need more protein in their diet than canines. Carbohydrates however, are not a necessary addition in your cat’s diet. Cats are carnivores first and foremost. Healthy, adult Cats may only need 5-10% carbs, usually obtained through ingesting animal protein, for reference, a mouse carcass is about 3% carbohydrates. They need 30-50% fat, and 50-60% protein. Of course, your cats’ specific need vary based on their life stages and activity level.

There is some debate on what exactly is the perfect ratio of protein, fats, and carbs for canines. Part of that is because there are so many different breeds with varying sizes and body types. Also, because there are still ongoing discussions about whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores. Nevertheless, dog food companies create “well balanced” food for canines by the thousands of pounds for us to buy and feed to our furry family members.

Here’s what we do know and some general guidelines to abide by. An adult dog may only need 18-25% protein in their diet. Athletic dogs, like sled dogs, puppies, or working dog in a bug out situation, may need more protein. A dog’s diet can contain 30-70% carbohydrates, and 10-15% fat. These percentages will change throughout your dog’s lifespan and with different activity levels.

Make sure the meals you make for your pet meet its individual and breed specific needs. It is important to make sure cats get enough of their food from animal products. There are many vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids that cats can only get from animal proteins. In contrast, dogs have the ability make up for some of these needs by converting pre-vitamins into the vitamins they need. A dog can thrive with high levels of carbohydrates where cats lack the enzymes to break them down and absorb their nutrients.

Another important factor to consider is your animals water intake. Even if you’re feeding them a perfectly balanced diet, without proper water consumption your pets body won’t be able to carry important nutrients into cells of the body. Water also helps the body maintain a normal body temperature. Without it, organs will begin to fail and the body will start to shut down.

Cats naturally have a low thirst drive, and even if they’re supplied with a fancy water fountain, they don’t make that deficit up by themselves. Store bought kibble usually contains only 5-10% water, by making your own food at home you can take control of some of that water consumption by adding it to their food.

​Want to learn about essential health practices, the right way to take vitamins, and why they currently aren’t working for you? Details HERE.

Food/Herbs to Avoid

Not everything in your garden is safe for everyone on the homestead. Feeding toxic foods on the homestead could be a costly mistake, even worse if you’re relying on your dog after the end of the world as we know it. Here are just some of the things commonly found on the homestead or in a bug out bag that are hazardous to your pet:

  • Coffee and caffeine can cause gastric upset and if enough is consumed can cause seizures or death.
  • Garlic, Onions and Chives can cause gastro intestinal irritation. Onions are the most toxic to cats.
  • Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure for unknown reasons.
  • Milk and Dairy can cause digestive upset because pets can’t break down the lactose in those foods.
  • Nuts have high levels of fats that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Just 6 macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs.
  • Yeast dough can cause gas in the digestive system, this could cause bloat or gastric torsion (stomach twisting) which may need surgery and is life threatening. In addition, the yeast can make ethanol as a biproduct which is the same as giving them alcohol.
  • Alcohol can cause an array of problems, the worst of which are coma or death.

So, you have an idea of what providing a diet for your dog or cat can take, and what foods you may encounter that aren’t safe for them. That presents the question – Where do you get the food? As homesteaders, you probably don’t want to come up with the cash for this. How can you provide this food directly from your homestead or after the dust settles?

Look at these options:

Trading Goods/Services

Do you regularly grow too many tomatoes, have too much goat’s milk, extra wool or like me, too many eggs? Do your neighbors raise cattle while you raise goats or sheep? Make a fair meat trade to create some variety in your pet’s diet. I regularly trade my extra eggs for a basket of veggies, or groom my neighbor’s dogs in exchange for help around my homestead.

Maybe you make amazing quilts or pottery, or you even have teaching or barber skills. Get to know the owners of your local feed store, they may be willing to make a trade if you have something they need. Without the exchange of money, both parties leave feeling like they got a great deal.

The point is, if you have a skill or a good to trade for dog or cat food, DO IT! Bartering is a great way to acquire the things you need on the homestead, and will surely be an integral part of the post-apocalyptic world. Brush up on these skills and make the connections you can trust now and that you’ll need later.

Food Scraps

Maybe there’s no one you know who has extra dog food kibble, what about what you or your neighbors do have, that your grow or raise for yourself and your family. There are always extra’s when processing livestock. The extra parts your neighbors throw out, the heart, tongue, eyes, brain, and other organs, all the stuff that your kids cringe at eating. Have that meat ground or chopped, better yet do it yourself. It’ll be a great free protein to add to your pet’s diet.

Growing some safe extra’s in the garden or foraging for some wild edibles on your way to your bug out location is also a great way to nourish your pet.

Check out some of the things they can indulge on that you probably have on your homestead or can find nearby.

  • Apples, pears and oranges are a great source of vitamins A and C, also Fiber. Make sure to take the core and seeds out first. And peel the orange as it is poisonous.
  • Blueberries, cranberries and strawberries are vitamin rich.
  • Bell peppers help boost the immune system.
  • Carrots are low in calories and high in fiber.
  • Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkin offer water, fiber and nutrients.
  • Watermelon is high in water so is great for keeping your pet hydrated.
  • Eggs can be given in moderation for added protein.
  • Bones are an important source of calcium which is a must have in a dog and cats diet. They can be ground into the meat to prevent choking and splintering hazards.

The list goes on, just make sure what you’re giving your pet, either straight from the land or from your plate, hasn’t been modified with added sugars or salt that can be unhealthy for your pet.

Hunting

If you’re a skilled hunter or fisherman raking in extra for your animals means fresh dinners for everyone! Your cat will love extra salmon or whatever fish you can get locally. Just keep an eye out that you’re not feeding them fish that’s too high in mercury. Use it sparingly.

If you’re prepping for the inevitable collapse, you may want to think about making a hunting dog earn their keep. If your beagle wants to have rabbit tonight, he can help track them down and spook them out. Your bird dog will play a vital role in making sure no kill goes unfound. You may allow them to track and hunt their food on their own.

 

Plenty of barn cats fend for themselves by doing their job and can help keep the homestead barn a mouse and snake free place. This may wind up saving your precious eggs from thieves in the night, and keep predators away from your hens.

The Raw Dog and Cat Food Diet

Everyone has their opinions on whether feeding animals raw diets is safe. If you’re allowing your cat or dog to hunt on their own, you’ve already made the decision to allow some of these dangers around your home. If you plan to provide each ingredient for your pet’s food you may want to weigh your options with feeding raw or cooked meals.

Raw meaty bones are controversial even with pro-raw dieters. Some say no whole bone is a safe option for dogs. Others believe that if you’re giving a large meaty beef bone, preferably after a meal, there can be great advantages. Steer clear of poultry and pork bones as they can splinter too easily.

A bone can be a great after dinner treat as long as its longer than the length of the muzzle, and you supervise your dog to make sure no chunks of bone are breaking off. Refrigerate the bone between uses, as it probably still has traces of meat on it, and discard it after a few days of use.

There are both advantages and dangers and associated with the Raw diet. You should always ask your trusted veterinarian their opinion with regards to your pet’s ideal diet. Ask them about what a raw food diet should look like for your pet’s specific needs. They may suggest adding supplements like calcium if you don’t plan to use bones, fish oils for omega 3s and fatty acids, or cod fish oil for DHA.

Like any new food, start out slow to allow your pets body time to adjust. Remember it’s not all or nothing, half raw, half cooked is always an option if raw meat isn’t for you.

Some advantages to the raw diet include:

  • Avoiding Pet Food Recalls – Food recalls that have been recently circulating the mainstream media. When a recall occurs, your pet may have already been exposed to something harmful. Homemade and locally sourced food limits this danger.
  • Oral Health – Better oral health is associated with the raw diet because it requires your pet to tear and chomp on raw meat and bones, creating a flossing and scrubbing action that keeps teeth and gums clean.
  • Weight Maintenance- Because of the higher amount of protein in the raw food diet, a lot of pets lose fat and maintain muscle mass.
  • Muscle Strength – Because of all the work put into chewing and tearing meat from bones, your pets neck, jaws, shoulders and back muscles may strengthen.
  • Better Digestion and Improved stool quality are also associated with the raw diet.
  • Organic Options- Depending on where you get your products, the diet you provide can be free of pesticides and harmful chemicals. Not to mention added hormones you could find in beef and poultry products.

Disadvantages of the raw diet are:

  • Some dog cannot process raw foods due to their level of activity. If your dog is less active, you should feed them less meat.
  • Risk of infectious diseases- Salmonella and E. coli are just some of the infectious diseases that you and your pet could come into contact with while ingesting the raw diet. There is also a risk of shedding these diseases to other pets or people once infected.
  • Nutritional Risks – By not adding enough variety, starting puppies out on a raw diet to early, or making sure you pet is getting the nutrients it needs from animal protein you could risk a nutrient deficiency occurring.
  • Some view the risks of allowing a pet to have meaty bones too great to enjoy the benefits like improved oral health and better breath.

Whether you’re planning to keep your pets with you when SHTF or you’re planning to take the next step in self-sufficient homesteading, learning what your canine or feline friends needs out of their diet and avoiding harmful or toxic products is the first step in providing homemade pet food. Deciding where and how you’ll source your ingredients is essential to creating the raw pet food diet or cooked from scratch recipe’s your pets will love.

Does all this information make your head spin? Do you want to know what to include in your pet’s bowl? Check out some tried and true recipes to get some ideas about what a complete meal looks like and what your pet might enjoy for dinner.

Cat Friendly Recipes

Rice and Chicken recipe

Ingredients

½ pound pulled chicken

1 large hard-boiled egg

¼ cup rice

4 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chicken stock

Directions:

Finely chop the boiled egg. Place all ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil. When the stock is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid cooks down. The rice will absorb most of the liquid. Remove cat food mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Blend the mixture in a food processor or use an emulsion blender until all the ingredients are well blended and serve.

Beef and Oats Recipe:

1-pound ground beef

1 cup rolled oats

2-3 spinach leaves

3 cups water

1 hard-boiled egg

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Boil the rolled oats in water until they become very soft and begin to absorb the water. Next, Boil an egg. When it’s cool enough, remove the eggshell and the chop the egg. Add egg into the oats. Chop spinach. If you don’t want it raw, in a fry pan, add the oil and beef and cook thoroughly. Add the beef into the oat and egg mixture and stir in spinach. Finally, mix the ingredients together well.

Dog recipes:

Ground Turkey and veggies:

Ingredients

3 pounds ground or shredded turkey

1 zucchini

1 ½ cups brown rice

3 cups baby spinach

2 carrots

½ cup peas

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

In a large saucepan with 3 cups water, cook rice. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Next add ground turkey and cook until browned. Leftover pulled turkey would work great also. Chop or shred carrots, zucchini and spinach. Finally, stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, and let cool completely.

Beef Stew Recipe:

Ingredients

1 pound of beef chunks

½ cup of flour

½ cup of green beans

1 small sweet potato

½ cup of carrots, diced

½ cup of water or organic vegetable oil,

1 tablespoon of oil of choice for frying

Directions

Bake a sweet potato until its tender, it still needs to be a little firm. Cut stew pieces into desired size chunks based on the size of your dog. Cook the beef chunks in cooking oil until cooked through. Remove the beef chunks from the pan, but don’t forget to save the juices for later.

Cut the sweet potato into small pieces. On low, heat up the leftover beef drippings. Add flour a little at a time to create a thick gravy, keep whisking. Add as much water or oil as needed to the gravy. Add the beef, sweet potato, carrots and green beans into the gravy and stir to coat. Let simmer until carrots are cooked through.

Treats:

There’s always room for treats in our house! Some raw veggies, like carrots, peas, and green beans make great treats for your dogs. Your cat may enjoy something steamed like, asparagus, broccoli or celery. If you want to spoil them with a more complex treat option, check out these recipe’s below:

Bacon Biscuits

This is a great way to give your pets a little taste of yummy bacon, without ruining their waistline.

Ingredients:

1/2-lb pastured bacon

3 cups whole grain flour

1 egg

1 cup water or stock

Directions:

Cook the bacon in a pan or bake it in the oven until crispy. Chop the bacon into desired size pieces. Add in all other ingredients. You can add more flour or whichever liquid you chose if needed to make this a semi-hard dough. Add balls of dough to a cookie sheet. You can make large or small biscuits depending on the size of your dog. Flatten to desired thickness, and bake until done.

Dried Liver Treats

These are super lean and healthy for both cats and dogs. First pan fry beef liver in olive oil over low heat until cooked through. Let it cool enough so you can handle it, and slice it to desired thickness. Smaller for cats, bigger for your large breed dog. Spread cooked slices on a baking sheet and slow bake in the oven at 200 degrees F. Turn the slices over after two to three hours until they are dry and crispy.

Catnip Toy

Grab an old sock that you don’t use anymore (a child’s sock works great) or if your crafty you can knit your own little mouse or ball. Just add in a handful of dried catnip, and knot the ankle for hours of free feline intoxication. To make your own dried catnip, just hang a small bunch upside down in a window until dry. Crumble off the leaves in a bag or jar to keep.

What’s your pet’s favorite food? Let us know in the comments section below.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Dogs and cats are a vital part of the homestead or when your prepper nightmare come true. Whether you plan to bug out or bug in, your pet may play

When we work our way toward a goal of self-sufficiency, a lot of times producing and preserving food comes up. There are lots of methods, and there are thankfully things like dry meats, grains and legumes, and fruits and veggies that can go straight into cellars and other cold storage. However, for most of us, canning eventually rears its head. How many canning jars we’ll need depends on whether we’re growing, foraging, fishing, hunting and raising livestock with an aim for total self-sufficiency in a societal breakdown or just some supplementary uses, and what we choose to grow or raise. Either way, we need a pretty big pile of jars (and lids). That’s a big commitment to storage space.

There are several types of canning jar lids that are reusable. That’s an area where everybody can make their own call based on what they prefer. Many of us are going to choose disposables. For every jar we get, we should make sure we have at least a couple of backup lids each.

So how many canning jars do we need? That depends on our plans. Small livestock could potentially be harvested and consumed, but if there’s no working freezer and we’re out of canning jars, taking advantage of migratory birds and preserving beefs and deer is going to be limited to smoking and drying or using up enormous amounts of our stored salts.

When the Granny Miller website was still up and running, the chart below was posted.

VegetableRequirementsChart

You are going to need a butt load of canning jars….

Get More Canning Jars … and Lids

It has flaws but it’s handy in many ways – starting point for row yields, estimating seed and start needs. In this case, it’s canning yields. For two cups of veggies a day for four people, her suggestions would require 800-1200 jars. That’s a lot of jars. That’s not a lot of calories, and most of the veggies won’t leave somebody feeling full for very long. It doesn’t account for cellar potatoes or squashes, grains, or dry legumes, of course. It also doesn’t include any jellies or a lot of never-canned fresh food like lettuces (diet food).

800 jars is a mighty pile alone: 67 flats. In quarts, that’s nearly 700# of storage on its own. It’s eight five-foot stacks taking up a bit over a one-foot square somewhere, or sixteen 2-3’ stacks we could run as a counter in a shed or bedroom if we’re inclined (my pick). We’re looking at devoting a fair amount of space to canning jars if we’re planning to delve in big time and live off our land during a crisis.

Others have also taken a stab at suggesting canning jars for self-sufficiency and preparedness, or jars-per-garden ratios, like the old Victory Garden guides and the “How Many Canning Jars” post (take this with a grain of salt: same totals for an individual as a couple, but the initial per-day breakdown is handy).

And again, to be able to can it all over again, we need spare lids.

canning-jars-breanne

Storage Space for your canning jars

Unless we’re already self-sufficient, it’s unlikely we’re using 800-1200 or more than 2K canning jars each season. That creates a lot of dead space. Jars can be stored outside in extreme temperatures, but it’s still dead space.

Happily, it doesn’t have to be wasted space. We can use our non-canning jars for some of our storage.

Water immediately spring to my mind, since few of us really have enough water storage for a comfortable buffer between a contaminated well or loss of utilities and a backup plan, but that would require actually canning them to seal it – which renders the first batch of lids “used” before a crisis even starts. There are other options, though.

Everyday Life

A lot of my dehydrated produce and herbs ends up in various quart and pint jars. I also keep in instant milk and sour cream powder. The canning jars make a far more bug-resistant storage vessel than Mylar bags or pasteboard boxes, in volumes that I can easily move through. Oxygen absorbers inside the jars keep them nice and fresh in the meantime.

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Canning jars can be used with and without oxygen absorbers to store temporary and long-term dry foods like nuts, beans & grains, powdered mixes, and dehydrated produce.

We’re a hash brown family – any time, any day, grated potatoes make us happy. Cheesy grated potatoes make us even happier. Since I rarely make one box of instant mac-and-cheese, I tend to cheat a little. They think it’s ‘cause I love them. I’m really using evaporated milk and grating cheese so that I can stash 1-2 packets of cheese powder. That way I can use it for cheesy hash browns on a night or morning I don’t feel like cooking or am rushed.

Not only are there whole canning jar flats of my own and commercially purchased bulk hash browns in my “shop first” closet, there’s an additional flat where all my collected mac-and-cheese packets live. (Yes, we’re that lazy and that addicted to artificial colors and flavors, and we eat that much mac-and-cheese.) When I empty the jar in the pantry, I just pop in and grab more instant cheese flavoring. I do the same thing with those hideous Hamburger Helper cheese toppings.

I also use canning jars to take or send some of the tasty boxed noodles with cheese and cream sauces camping and hiking. A pint fits 2-3 packages much more compactly and with less breakage and more water resistance than their original boxes. That started as a storage supply trick, but it was just so darn handy that now some of our buddies do it just for camping.

filling-canning-jars

Salsa from all your tomatoes and peppers is a great canning idea. Make sure you stock up on chips too.

Canning Jars for Non-Food Storage in Daily Life

Canning jars are allowed for some of our shop-type and office-type detritus, but even though I will boil them all (I know – new rules), I still just mentally can’t deal with some things going in canning jars I will ever want for foods. Too, I don’t want them rolling around and screws and nails gouging the glass and providing a haven for grungies or chemicals.

Image: Canning jars can be used for non-food storage – just be aware of what’s going into them to avoid scratches and harmful chemicals.

Still, I do use them for banana clips, paperclips, sticky pads and flagging stickers, various tiny glue tubes, ear plugs, some sewing supplies, sugar and stirrers when I travel, some drawing-craft supplies, and some animal supplies like Cutter for fleas, the caches of Heartguard, and various dewormers.

I also keep some homemade cloth *bleach* wipes (dish detergent wipes and Windex wipes) in canning jars on my counter, and have trained my family that it’s totally normal to have a canning jar sitting in its lid and rim in the “dump the pockets” alcove and the laundry room. It’s just easier for me to haul the coins to the bank in a reasonable-sized jar with a fitting lid.

Image: I’m not the only one who keeps canning jars available for dumping coins from pockets.

There are all kinds of ways to use canning jars in our daily life. Some of them cross over into preparedness like my cheese sauce packets. Some of them are solely for daily life, like dehydrated peppers in my fridge and coins on my dryer.

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Whole meals can be canned, in this case dessert!

Salty & Crunchy Snacks can be stored in canning jars

Besides popcorn and banana chips, when we talk about feel-goods for storage, salty and crunchy foods don’t really get a lot of play. Maybe it’s because so many of those items get trashed in storage in bags, have relatively short shelf lives, and are expensive from MRE Depot and Thrive.

That’s the perfect kind of thing for canning jars.

Oxygen absorbers help extend the shelf life of our foods way past the original best-by or expiration date, and the solid walls of the jars keep delicate items safe from being crushed in the vacuum or by other bags. Portable? Not so much, maybe a few jars. But sanity saving in an outage, personal financial reversal, or serious crisis? Almost assuredly.

Think about the mood boost inside a household if you got a $5 packet of O2-absorbers, then took $13, $25 or $50+ dollars to Walmart and the dollar store, and picked up a weekly or monthly something special, something that isn’t another spoon meal like pudding or having peaches instead of berries in oatmeal.

There are also items that we only crave once in a while, but when we crave them, we’re insatiable until we get them. For some of us, those things are crunchies, be they salty or sweet.

Some of the things that can be stored for years in canning jars with oxygen absorbers are:

  • Goldfish & Chez-Its in their many wondrous flavors
  • Teddy Grahams
  • Pretzels (small rods and twists)
  • Tortilla chips (quarts or larger; don’t be silly here)
  • Corn chips
  • Graham cracker blocks
  • Cold cereal
  • Rice Krispies & Chex (yes, they rate their own listing)
  • Cookies (Crisp, dry cookies; not soft ones)
    *Think generics

Depending on the size of the cookies, it may take a couple of quarts and have some “wasted” air space inside per serving, or maybe it’s planned for just a couple of cookies with an evening lemonade or afternoon cup of tea. It depends on family size and cravings, but we don’t want a single cookie almost ever – it just points out that we don’t get cookies much. One exception would be the types of cookies we stick in the side of a bowl of pudding almost as a garnish, something just there as an extra special treat and a little crunchy finger food.

Portion Control

Another really nice aspect of storing our treats in canning jars is the portion control. It’s harder to decide not to eat a whole bag of chips, M&Ms, or cookies, or not make a whole box of Rice Krispy treats when it’s right there. It’s easier if we’ve reached into a specially marked tote or trunk or dark corner of the basement and only brought out a jar or two of whatever our vice is.

I can also shake the stuffing out of cake mixes and divide them between jars, scan the directions, stick those inside with the mix, with the note that it’s half or a third of the total – whichever divides best for the oil and eggs. I don’t usually need a whole cake mix, not really. In a crisis, a single-layer round pan or square pan or a bread loaf pan that’s been split for filling will be a mood boost as it is. When it’s just two or three of us, that’s already more than sufficient for multiple servings. I already split a baking mix when I do dessert for us a lot of the time, or I’ll freeze one layer or one bread loaf pan to turn into biscotti or triffle another time.

In an emergency, I don’t really want leftovers. Even more than now, I don’t want resentments about who got extras and who didn’t, and I don’t want bugs. Better if I can make the right number of cupcakes or a smaller pan of brownies. Canning jars let me do that.

Bonus: Even though they’re clunky and heavy, storing cake mixes in canning jars actually saves a lot of wasted air space in our cache. The jars are also a lot more water and pest resistant than boxes and cellophane.

Portion control with canning jars goes for just about anything, not just baking mixes. I do it with Chex cereal in daily life so I can open a reasonable amount of Chex Mix and not grab a handful from a big cookie jar every time I wander through the kitchen.

Large and small marshmallows for toasting, s’mores, rocky road, or cocoa are common ones in our storage. It’s one of the ways I mentally allot out feel-goods like chocolate chips to add to pancakes or bannock on a monthly basis in a disaster.

That budgeting applies to all phases of prepping storage. One jar of Milky Bones and one of chewies a week, then doggies get no more, or we stand a chance of running through all of them in three months. One jar of Kleenex, then use hankies. One jar of special-treat drink mix packets and extra tea a month, and then it’s just the daily plan for juices and caffeine. One jar of tampons, and then wear the moon cups or cloth pads. One jar of instant seasoning packets, then do it from scratch.

Image: Portion control and “budgeting” using canning jars extends to feel-good consumables and things like custom photo puzzles and miniature, party favor sized toys, games, & crafts.

I even use jars to hold some of the feel-good consumables for holidays and birthdays, and special-treat gimmicks like mini activity books and Oriental Trading Co. craft kits. Some things I store are:

  • sponge-pill animals
  • miniature Farkle & Piggy games
  • marbles, jacks
  • keychain games & puzzles
  • cutesy soaps, lotions, mini body wash
  • custom photo puzzles

By portioning them into jars, I’m not as tempted to give them too often or grab too many at once the way I am with the ones in storage totes.

Canning Jars for Storage

Since we’ll need so many of them in a crisis or to truly go off grid, and since it’s one of the rare household goods items that really doesn’t exist in enough quantity in stores to make for a reasonable resupply once everyone has died off, canning jars and lids are something we should go ahead and lay on – in quantity.

Image: Most stores don’t carry enough canning jars and lids for even one family’s meat or vegetable needs for 3-9 months, so they’re something to stock up on ahead of a disaster – they’re not like hammers and underwear that should still be available well after a major life-ending collapse.

That requires a lot of space, but we can make use of some of the “dead” space with other parts of our storage. Doing so is sometimes even more space efficient than original packaging, even with the density of jars.

Small oxygen absorbers (20cc, 50cc, 100cc) work well to seal jars to the same level that the factory cleaning does when we get them new. By that, I mean that it forms a vacuum. The seal is air-tight and more than sufficient for keeping out moisture. However, it’s not creating so much pressure that it deforms the lids. That means it’s safe to use a lid I’ve vacuum sealed with an O2 absorber for pressure or water bath canning later.

They’re not the lightest things on earth, so we have to make sure we’re using pretty sturdy shelving. Stacking them works, but make sure they’re stacked level or upper boxes like to slide forward and take out the next couple in line with them when they go.


Here’s some other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

When we work our way toward a goal of self-sufficiency, a lot of times producing and preserving food comes up. There are lots of methods, and there are thankfully things

Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you what you’re made of. Your body is your most precious thing so take care of it! Did you know that what you eat impacts not only your physical health but also your mood and your mental health?

Cancer and depression are at an all-time peak in history and we can certainly say that processed food has something to do with it.

We have put together a deadly combo list, if you consume all of these regularly, you need to start making changes to your diet asap.

Some of these foods lead to obesity high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

 

Soda

Soda companies say their drinks contains nutrients and vitamins but you shouldn’t really trust this. Soda is bad for you, it contains so much sugar that it’s a ticket to diabetes if you are consuming it everyday. All it contains is a bunch of sugar, food dyes and preservatives.

Soda mess up everything in your body, from your skin, blood sugar levels, to your hormones and mood. Research has shown that drinking soda is tied to early menstruation and poor semen quality. A recent study also revealed that drinking soda frequently was linked with a 20 percent reduction in the average monthly probability of conception for both men and women.

What is so bad in soda? Sugar, colourants and aspartame! Aspartame is not good for the human body and should be avoided. It has been linked to infertility and birth defects through DNA damage and endocrine disruption, which leads to hormonal imbalance.

Canned Foods

Canned food is handy and a good alternative to fresh food when you don’t have the time to cook but you should try and eat fresh food as much as you can. Here are the reasons why:
– Canned food is a hidden source of sugar and contains preservatives
– It contains trace amounts of Bisphenol A (BPA). Even at low doses, BPA has been implicated in various human cancers and developmental disorders.
– You might be ingesting aluminium. The way it works is that the food is put into an aluminum can, the can is then sealed and then heated to cook the food, to supposedly retain the food freshness. Well, it will certainly also retain the aluminum free radicals released during the heating process and contaminating the food. Over a period of time, aluminum accumulation in body can cause memory problem like Alzheimer’s.

 

Try and eat fresh food as much as you can! The risk of developing many chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, nervous system disorder and Alzheimer’s goes down by consuming fresh foods that do not have any packaging.

Sugar

 

You have probably heard that sugar is addictive, and it’s true.

Eating sugar gives your brain a huge surge of a feel-good chemical called dopamine, which explains why you’re more likely to crave a candy bar at 3 p.m. than an apple or a carrot. Because whole foods like fruits and veggies don’t cause the brain to release as much dopamine, your brain starts to need more and more sugar to get that same feeling of pleasure. Similar to drugs don’t you think?

Sugar also ages your skin faster, damages your liver making it resistant to insulin and have other bad effects. It’s basically messing up your body so make sure you start putting honey in your tea and coffee rather than sugar. Also eat fresh food as much as possible, all processed food and ready-to-eat meals contain sugar.

Lunch Meats

 

Lunch meats, also known as cold cuts, luncheon meats, cooked meats, sliced meats, cold meats and deli meats are precooked or cured meat, often sausages or meat loaves, that are sliced and served cold or hot in sandwiches. They can be bought pre-sliced in vacuum packs at a supermarket or grocery store.

This kind of meat is full of nitrates, sodium, preservatives, and additives. Also you’re not always sure where the meat was sourced and what else has been added to it …All these substances can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even behavioral problems and learning difficulties in children.

We strongly recommend you to avoid these foods. It’s better to pay a little more money to buy quality meat from your butcher, even if it means you will eat meat less often. As a matter of facts, guys, you actually don’t need to eat meat everyday, that’s what companies specialised in mass-production want you to believe!

Vegetable Oils

 

Vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed and soybean oils, are rich in a type of fat known as linoleic acid. That acid can lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol when it replaces saturated fats in the diet.

However, be careful about the quality of the oil you’re picking. Some of these oils are GMO and we have no idea yet what long-term effects these products can have.

Also, even though a small amount of these oils is good for us, they are incredibly fat and the amount needs to be really small. You shouldn’t consume more than 12 grams of linoleic acid per day for women between the ages of 19 and 50, and 17 grams for men of the same age. The amount drops slightly over the age of 51.

A tablespoon of oil has 120 calories, and contains 10 grams of linoleic acid, so too much in the diet can contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Margarine

 

Margarine is made of vegetable oils (like canola, olive, soybean and safflower), water, salt, emulsifiers, butter flavoring, and yellow, buttery coloring. Not very natural is it? It’s highly processed so that oils remain solid at room temperature. Margarine in stick form is generally hydrogenated to keep its shape and extend its shelf life, and that’s what turns some of the oils into trans fats.

Trans fats, also known as trans fatty acids or TFA, are a type of fat found in small amounts in a wide variety of foods. They are considered a ‘bad’ fat because, like saturated fats, they can increase levels of LDL-cholesterol in the blood.

Trans-fat free margarine does exist, but it does often contains palm oil which is also super bad for you, so if you were looking in that direction for diet reasons, you may consider going for butter.

What do we need margarine for anyway? There are way healthier alternatives for cooking like butter, olive oil and avocado oil.

Chips

 

People consumed three times as many chips in 2014 than in 1974, including frozen chips bought in the supermarket, according to a National Food Survey.

A recent survey revealed that eating chips more than twice a week can double your risk of dying. Researchers tracked 4440 people aged between 45 and 79 over an eight-years period, during which time 236 of them died. Looking closely at the participants’ potato-eating habits, researchers identified a marked increase in mortality risk among those who regularly consumed fried potatoes.

It’s important that you eat chips that have been cooked in a healthy way, we mean by that in good oil that hasn’t been reheated. Be careful where you choose to eat. If chips are prepped in good oil that hasn’t been reheated, cooked for not-too-long and naked of mayo and ketchup, it’s okay to have them from time to time.

Bottled Salad Dressings

 

Bottled salad dressings are full of sugar, artificial colours, and high fructose corn syrup. Those dressings are chemicals and what we, human, need is to eat products from the earth and not processed food. Anyway, they don’t even taste that nice.

Drop the bottled salad dressings, and use lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar along with some olive oil for a healthy salad dressing. It’s so much tastier and it only takes two minutes to make your own dressing.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, neotame, acesulfame potassium, etc. might contain fewer calories, but they can still increase the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.

Aspartame is an artificial non-saccharide sweetener used as a sugar substitute in some foods and beverages. In the European Union, it is codified as E951, make sure you check what products contains it (soda does).

Aspartame acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much of it kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. They basically “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death. That’s the kind of effects it generates when consumed too much: Headaches/migraines. Fatigue, Anxiety attacks, nausea, sleep problems, depression, abdominal pains, vision problems, asthma/chest tightness.

Artificial sweeteners aren’t in any case an healthy alternative to sugar, honey is probably the best option.

Alcohol

 

We’re sorry to break this to you, and we know opinions on the topic are controverted but alcohol has no health benefits. It’s extremely high in calories, can cause dehydration, liver damage, weight gain, depression, and skin problems. Not to mention the bad decisions you make when under the influence.

Alcohol limit consumption is 14 units a week (1 unit being one small drink). Over that, it is a fact that alcohol is harmful for you.
It’s also a cancer risk factor. We understand that life is stressful but for your own sake, when you had a bad day, go to the gym and let go.

Refined flour

If you’ve ever been to a bakery or had a bowl of pasta, you’ve consumed white flour. White flour is a highly refined substance that is used in a variety of processed foods and baked goods because it is light, airy and cheap. Unfortunately, refined white flour is completely stripped of its nutrient value, with means no vitamins, minerals, or fats to speak of.

Vitamins and minerals in our food normally aid the workers (enzymes) of our bodies. When we remove these nutrients from what we consume, we must get them from somewhere else in order to properly metabolize food. Our tissues become the reluctant donors, and this eventually leads to a vitamin and/or mineral deficiency, which eventually leads to a health condition.

 

Some of the most popular foods that contain white, refined flour are:

Bread, Pasta, Cookies, Cakes, Pretzels, Chips, Muffins, Crackers, Cereals, Pizza Crust, Pie Crust, Doughnuts

Some healthy flours you can chose instead are almond flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour (especially good for people with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity), teff flour (an ancient grain, healthier than modern wheat), quinoa flour.

Potatoes

 

We read a lot about the benefits of potatoes, but not so much on the downsides. Potatoes can cause weight gain, depending on the way they are cooked and how often you consume them.

If your potatoes are deep fried, you can expect them to have way more calories than if they’re baked. Another problem with eating potatoes in fried form is that it can be easy to get carried away with them and this is not great for your waistline! Potatoes are also High Glycaemic Foods, which means they can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. When choosing potatoes, you need to watch out for the green colour as this means they probably contain solanine, which is toxic for humans. If you see a green potato in your pack, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so throw this away. Healthier options of potatoes are sweet potatoes, which have less calories and are overall healthier for your body.

Cow’s Milk

If you drink a lot of cow’s milk, it might be time to think again as it could be doing more damage than good. Cow’s milk contains lactose; a sugar which can be difficult to digest. If you are lactose intolerant, which many are, the potential effects of this on the body include nausea, bloating, cramps and many other nasty ailments which can affect day to day life. If you drink a glass of milk and end up with problems with your stomach, you can assume you are lactose intolerant. It is also thought that cow’s milk could be responsible for causing acne and migraines. If you enjoy milk, it is not to say that you can’t consume any, but it is best to avoid in large quantities, or switch to an alternative, such as almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk. Luckily, there are lots of other (tasty!) options out there.

Agave Syrup

We all know that sugar is bad for us, but if you thought about replacing sugar with agave syrup, think again! If possible, this is even worse for you. The reason it is so unhealthy is that it is full of fructose, which can cause weight gain, insulin resistance and even fatty liver disease. Agave syrup is often sold as a healthier replacement for sugar, but it is no such thing and should be avoided at all costs. If you need your dose of agave syrup, just make sure it’s in small quantities, as otherwise it may be damaging for your health. It would be better to replace sugar with a sweetener, if you really need something extra in your tea or coffee! Nothing would be even better; it takes a while, but you get used to it.

Fruit Juice from Concentrate

It may seem like choosing fruit juice from concentrate is just as healthy, if not healthier than drinking water, but this is untrue. The problem with fruit juice from concentrate is that water is removed through several processes; evaporation, filtration and extraction. This means that the fruit nutritional value is much less than you might expect and there are additives used to give it more colour. In short, it might look like it’s bursting with goodness, but it has little nutritional value and additivities which aren’t too great for the body. Stomach ulcers can result from drinking a lot of fruit juice from concentrate and potentially, acid reflux. It’s a healthier option than soda drinks, but it would be much better to drink fresh fruit or water. The nutrients you get from fresh fruit are much higher than fruit juice from concentrate. If you can squeeze the fruits yourself, all the better!

Sports Drinks

 

Sports drinks are often sold in a way to entice you to drink them after a workout, they seem to be full of vitamins and minerals to help you recover after a workout. Unfortunately, this is not the case and sports drinks are not as healthy as they may appear to be.

The reason is that sports drinks contain a lot of sugar. Not as much as soda drinks but not far off it. They also contain artificial flavours and often food colourings. The sugar in the sports drink will spike your insulin, giving you a burst of energy but will cause you to slump straight after. Sports drinks are not good for your insulin or your human growth hormone production. The sodium levels are also often too high in sports drinks, so generally speaking, it is best to avoid these drinks. Nothing can really beat water after a workout, it will hydrate you, without any added sugars or other additives.

Ready Meals

Ready meals may seem like a convenient choice when time is not on your side, but they lack the nutrients you get from preparing and cooking your own meal. Like takeaways, ready meals also have a very high sugar and salt content. The portions may be smaller than a takeaway, but they are so small that they probably won’t fill you up, so you’ll just feel like snacking again soon after. Ready meals also tend to be packed full of chemicals and contain fake vitamins and minerals. Ready meals may seem like a simple option, but they are not worth the money and there are many quick, simple recipes you can cook from scratch.

Raw Cashews

Cashews are well known to be a good addition to your diet, as they contain lots of the good stuff, including protein, fibre and iron. It is important to stick to small quantities though, as they are quite high in calories. Cashews taste great but you want to avoid eating raw cashews. Raw cashews are rarely found in supermarkets but if you find them anywhere, it is safer to avoid them. Cashews in this form are highly poisonous as they contain urushiol, a toxin which is also present in poison ivy and poison oak. The potential side effects include itching of the skin and rashes etc. It may have more serious consequences depending on your reaction. It is safe to eat cashews you find in shops, as these have been roasted to destroy the toxins. However, if you find raw cashews anywhere, it is better to avoid at all costs, as you never know how your body might react.

Kidney and Lima Beans

Kidney and lima beans are fine to eat if they are cooked but you should never eat these beans raw. The reason for this is that raw kidney beans contain lectins which, in undercooked foods, are toxic. Raw lima beans have linamarin and this can turn into hydrogen cyanide, which is also toxic. If you eat raw kidney or lima beans, you could end up very sick. In high quantities, it could even be fatal. It is best to avoid eating beans in raw form, if you cook and drain the beans, they offer a lot of nutritional benefits. Beans are the types of food which you would think would be safe to eat raw but if you are about to tuck into a tin of raw beans, think again – unless you want to end up with nausea, diarrhoea and sickness. Boil for around ten minutes to get rid of all the nasty toxins.

Nutmeg

This delightful spice used as an addition to coffee and other treats, especially during the festive period is not as innocent as it may seem. It may be hard to believe this, but nutmeg is also a hallucinogenic drug, if consumed in large quantities. The powerful drug is like taking a dose of LSD, with effects lasting as long as 12 hours. The side effects after this include a dry mouth and panic attacks and symptoms similar to a hangover, lasting as long as two days. A large dose would be difficult to eat as nutmeg is not soluble and is not designed to be consumed in this way. Nutmeg of course, in small doses, sprinkled over food etc is perfectly fine but avoid in large doses. You would really need to be seeking to eat a high dose though, as it won’t be very enjoyable chocking down large quantities of nutmeg.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

This is a sweetener which is made from corn starch and can be found in a range of foods, including soda, candy, frozen foods and even salad dressing. You may even find it in your breakfast cereal, granola bars or ice cream. It is often sold as a healthy option, but it is far from it. There are many more foods which contain high fructose corn syrup, so it is worth checking the label if you are concerned. It may seem like a good alternative to sugar, but, it’s just as bad for you. High fructose corn syrup may be a contributor to obesity, cancer, tooth delay, liver failure and other problems, especially if it is consumed in large quantities. It is best to avoid this altogether as it doesn’t offer any real value to your health. The foods which contain high fructose syrup, including candy and soda, should never be eaten with any regularity anyway, as they are not good for your overall health.

Rhubarb Leaves

Rhubarb is often used in pies, desserts or eaten on their own, but it is important to stick to eating just the stalk and not the leaves. Rhubarb leaves contain a chemical compound, oxalic acid which is poisonous. This is also present in other everyday foods, such as broccoli, but the quantity is much higher in rhubarb leaves, which is why it is poisonous. If you eat a high volume of rhubarb leaves, it could be lethal but even if you stick to a small amount, you can end up being sick or suffering from nausea. Other known symptoms of consuming rhubarb leaves include, burning in the mouth and throat, kidney stones, eye pain and seizures. There is not really any safe way to eat rhubarb leaves, as you don’t know what effect they may have on you due to the oxalic acid, so best to just avoid these completely.

Raw Eggs

You’ll probably heard of people who eat raw eggs, they are particularly popular with athletes. Although there are some potential benefits to eating raw eggs, including Vitamin D and omega-3’s, there are also potentially serious drawbacks. There is the potential for raw eggs to be contaminated, particularly with the hazardous bacteria, Salmonella enteritidis, usually just known as salmonella. Salmonella is basically food poison from eating contaminated food which lives in the stomach and grows. As the stomach and digestive tract are affected, the result of this is diarrhoea, cramping, nausea and other stomach problems. The ailments could potentially be even more serious than this. The likelihood of raw eggs being contaminated is small, however, it may be worth avoiding eating eggs in this way, as you can never be sure what you’re getting. Cooking your eggs is a much healthier option!

Raw Meat

If raw meat is contaminated, it can cause toxoplasmosis, a disease which can lead to several ailments, including muscle pain, headache, sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes. The symptoms may be more severe if you already have problems with your immune system. These may include blurred vision and confusion. Of course, not all raw meat is contaminated and even if it is, there is nothing to guarantee that you’ll get sick, but there is always a risk. The risks associated with eating raw meat are not as bad if the meat is fresh, however, if the meat has been left out in the air, it will start to decay, which means it will attract bacteria. Human beings are not really designed to eat raw meat, so it is highly likely that you will have an upset stomach, if you are not used to eating it. The best way to prevent this is to make sure your meat is cooked all the way through.

Raw Honey

We are often told about the benefits of honey, not so much about the downsides. Honey is filtered, which removes the particles and pollen grains, but raw honey can end up with some pollen grains and this has been known to cause allergic reactions in some people. Those with hay fever should be extra careful about consuming raw honey as this could cause serious reactions. Raw honey may also have the bacterium Clostridium botulinum which can cause intestinal botulism, and this can have some nasty symptoms, including lethargy, muscle weakness and in some cases, it could even be fatal. Intestinal botulism is most common in younger children, but it can affect anyone. It is advisable not to feed honey to young children under one year old. If you have allergies, it is also a good idea to avoid eating raw honey.

Bitter Raw Almonds

Almonds are a super healthy snack and we are often encouraged to add these to our diet. However, if you have ever bitten into a bitter raw almond, there is a real reason it tastes so bitter, and it’s not pretty! Almonds have a small amount of cyanide in them, but bitter almonds suggest that there is a higher quantity of cyanide than there should be. Cyanide can prevent oxygen getting around our body, if eaten in high quantities and this can cause a drop in blood pressure, respiratory failure and in some cases, it could even cause death. Almonds are great but if you taste a bitter almond, don’t be tempted to carry on and eat it, these almonds are not good and shouldn’t be consumed. Cyanide is good in small quantities which you get from normal almonds, but in large quantities, cyanide’s effects are deadly.


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Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you're made of. Your body is your most precious thing so take care of it! Did you know that what