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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.

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

Preparing for an uncertain future means many things to many different people.

To some it’s about storing bottled water and other essential items, while to others it’s about learning how to make a shelter and fire. Some people believe it’s mostly about securing their finances against market fluctuations, while others feel it’s about defending themselves and their property.

Regardless of what first comes to mind when you consider this important issue, we’re all going to have to eat after a disaster strikes. None of us will be able to survive the coming crisis without the vitamins and minerals that come from food. And that food must be packaged and stored properly if it’s going to remain nutritious for many years.

Of course, there are other factors involved in stockpiling survival food for the future. We’ll eat anything if we have to, but good-tasting food will make the situation much better, as will a significant amount of variety. The food also needs to be nourishing because a crisis will produce stress and we’ll need all the nutrients we can get to deal with that. With the electrical grid likely to be knocked out for a while following a disaster, the food we store should also be simple to prepare.

And despite how good our food tastes, how much variety we incorporate into our stockpile, how nutritious it is and how easy it is to prepare, it needs to be packaged and stored in a manner that will ensure its longevity. None of us knows how long it will be until a major emergency occurs, and none of us has any idea how long that emergency will last.

Let’s take a look at several long-term food storage components, starting with the most common mistakes people make when they begin their stockpiling process.

10 FOOD STORAGE ERRORS TO AVOID

Do you know who the biggest believers in the importance of storing food and water for emergencies are? It’s probably the victims of disasters that have occurred in this country over the past 15 years or so, including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, tornadoes in Oklahoma, Alabama and elsewhere, and snowstorms in the Great Lakes regions.

gettyimages-452124739-1Few people would disagree that it’s a good idea to store emergency food and water, but the folks who are most convinced are the ones who wish they had been prepared for the tragedies they experienced. Many of them are now ready to face the next crisis because they realize from first-hand experience how crucial it is to be prepared.

What some people are not quite as sure about, however, are the best types of food to stockpile, as well as the strategies for storing it in a manner that will maximize its usage once it comes time to access it. There are many mistakes made in this area, and the downside is significant. A lot of hard work can go to waste because just when emergency food is needed most, people can discover that their stored food has gone bad.

There are a number of examples regarding how this can happen. Someone could have huge amounts of grains stored, for instance, but quickly learn that too much of a good thing is not really that good. Balance and variety are essential, and not merely for your digestive system. They are also a psychological help to you and your family, especially if the emergency situation lasts for days, weeks or months.

Another very important factor is the type of containers in which you store food. If there is exposure to air and moisture, it can ruin your food storage tactics. In addition, where you keep those containers is crucial because high temperatures and light can negatively influence vitamins, proteins and fats.

Other factors include your food’s nutritional quality and how frequently you rotate it. You also want to make certain that the majority of food you store does not require refrigeration because a power outage would spoil those foods quickly. Finally, keeping some food at multiple locations is important, because your home could be destroyed in a disaster, or you might not be able to get back to it right away.

Here are 10 common food storage mistakes:

1. Ignoring the importance of nutrition in stored food. This happens more frequently than one might think. Sometimes we’re so concerned about the volume of food we store that we forget about vitamin and mineral content.

2. Using sacks or other containers that are not airtight. This is wrong for a variety of reasons. Air and moisture will greatly decrease the shelf life of stored food. In addition, containers that are not airtight increase the chances that insects or critters might get into your food.

3. Failing to keep food containers in a dry, cool place. Moisture and heat are two of the worst enemies of stored food. The storage temperature for most food should be between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Failing to keep food containers out of the light. You definitely want to head to the
dark side when it comes to storing food. Light can deplete the vitamin content of food.

5. Storing too many items that need refrigeration. As mentioned, it’s very likely a crisis will include the loss of power, which means your refrigerated items will spoil quickly without a generator.

6. Failing to include enough variety. After a couple of days of eating the exact same thing, you and your family are going to want something different.

7. Failing to include at least a small percentage of “comfort” foods. In addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, comfort foods will give you and your family a big psychological lift in a crisis.

8. Failing to check expiration dates and rotate stored foods. In each container, organize food by expiration date. When an item’s expiration date is approaching, eat that food – or donate it to a shelter – and replace it with newer food.

9. Failing to keep your stockpile discreet. Advertising to others that you have a stash of survival food could make you vulnerable when a crisis hits. Keep your preparations on the down low.

10. Storing all the food in one location. This is the classic case of putting all your eggs in one basket. If your home is destroyed in a disaster, you’ll be glad you kept food and water at a secondary location.

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Some folks believe that freeze-drying is the way to go with long-term food storage. While it’s effective, it’s also very expensive and strips the food of some of its vital nutrients.

Another common technique in the food storage industry is the cheaper “rapid dehydration” method that sucks all the water out quickly. But it can also pull out flavor and nutrients. Low-heat dehydration is a proven technique that keeps flavor and nutrition locked in, and that food will last just as long as freeze-drying without costing an arm and a leg.

Two main advantages to dehydrating food are that it can stay fresher longer and can be stored and transported more easily. Water in food can carry bacteria, which will make that food go bad sooner, and it also weighs down that food.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, dehydrating food would be a great way to prepare it for your stockpile. It will be more compact and easier to store as you keep it at home, and it will be lighter and more easily packed if you need to bug out. And anytime you want a quick and nutritious meal prior to a crisis situation, all you have to do is rehydrate it and eat it without having to bother looking for an expiration date.

Figure on dehydrated meat lasting only about two months, but many dehydrated fruits and vegetables will be good for a year or so. If you dehydrate herbs, they can probably last for several years.

In order to dehydrate some of your food, you can either use an oven set at a low temperature or invest in a modern, electronic dehydrator. That way, you can make food with an expiration of one month last about 12 months. You don’t want to go much beyond a year in most cases because at that point, even though the water has been removed, it’s likely the nutrients will start breaking down.

Regardless, storage is the key. Once you’ve dehydrated various foods, place them in airtight, plastic containers such as Mylar bags. You may think you’ve squeezed all of the oxygen out of a bag, but there is probably a small amount left, so use an oxygen absorber.

As far as rehydrating that food is concerned, all you have to do in most cases is place it in boiling water and stir, providing a little time for it to thicken.

THE IMPORTANCE OF TASTE

Yes, we will eat anything if we’re starving, but consuming foods that don’t taste good to us is a real challenge. Just when we need that food the most, tasteless food could be tough to swallow – literally and figuratively.

Make sure that the food you put into long-term storage includes top-quality ingredients. Think of the recipes that have proven to be your family’s favorites through the years, and focus on them.

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION

Everybody knows it’s important to eat food that’s good for you. Well, that’s going to become even more important after the stuff hits the fan. Being able to perform at peak capacity under pressure will be essential when we’re dealing with a crisis, and eating healthy food will go a long toward accomplishing that goal.

Be certain that your survival food is jam-packed with nutritional value, preferably food that takes 100 percent non-GMO fruits and vegetables as
its starting point and ideally food that is grown, harvested and made from scratch here in America.
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THE IMPORTANCE OF VARIETY

Have you ever noticed that many foods taste great if you haven’t had them for a while, but not quite as good if you ate them recently and definitely not as good if you ate them yesterday? Our taste buds – not to mention our minds – react differently to foods based on how long it’s been since we’ve eaten them.

Variety in survival food is extremely important… for taste, for nutritional value and for the psychological effect. Make sure you stockpile a nice variety of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention snacks and desserts. These foods might include oatmeal, powdered milk, soups, stews, rice, pastas, potatoes, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

THE IMPORTANCE OF PACKAGING

Another key factor to consider with long-term food storage is packaging. There’s not much point in stockpiling survival food if your food isn’t going to survive. It needs to stay good for a long time.

It’s vital to keep air and moisture out and to have a durable package that can take a few bumps over the years without bursting. The best way to ensure that result is to use space-age Mylar packaging that gets placed inside airtight containers, so look for sealed Mylar pouches with less than 2 percent oxygen content.

Mylar is what NASA uses in spacesuits to protect astronauts from solar-thermal radiation. So, you know your food will be protected against all the elements Mother Nature could throw at it. This barrier against air, moisture and light – the three things that will destroy food over time – is possible even with re-sealable pouches.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SIMPLICITY

Now, none of that time-consuming packaging process makes any sense if it doesn’t contain great-tasting, nutritious food capable of lasting a long time and that is simple for you to prepare. A majority of your stockpiled survival food should require only boiling water, simmering and serving.

WHAT ABOUT CANNED FOOD?

Some survival websites will tell you that canned food is very good for long-term storage, while others will tell you it’s not. Although it can have some drawbacks – weight and portability, for example – canned food is probably better than many people think… especially if you’re hunkered down and don’t have to lug it around.

While you would not want to live exclusively on canned foods, they have their place, especially when one is on a tight budget. Many folks are living paycheck to paycheck during these rough economic times. They barely have enough money to feed themselves and their families, let alone stock up on foods that can sometimes be expensive.

As a more economical option for part of your emergency food supply, put together a stockpile of canned foods. Many of the same foods that people eat on a regular basis are available in canned form, including vegetables, soups, meats, fish, stews, beans, pasta and many more. Canned foods can be nutritious and rich in protein, which people will need for keeping up their strength when they’re dealing with a crisis.

Of course, there is the issue of shelf life when it comes to canned food. Cans also take up a lot of space, and they are heavy. If you have to grab your emergency food supply quickly and head out the door, cans are not your ideal choice. In addition, epoxy resins containing Bisphenol A (BPA) are frequently used as coatings on the insides of cans, which has raised some health concerns. And while it’s extremely rare, some people have contracted botulism from canned food.

But below are seven reasons why you might want to consider having at least some canned food in your survival stash:

1. Price. When you purchase items in bulk, you can save up to 75 percent by acquiring most canned foods rather than freeze-dried or dehydrated foods. Even if you’re not able to buy in bulk, you will still save money with canned foods.

2. Long Lasting. Many canned foods have a shelf life of between one and several years. You should still rotate your supply occasionally and eat the food if the expiration date is getting close, but there’s peace of mind knowing that most canned foods last a long time.

3. Variety. People will eat the same thing over and over again if they’re hungry enough, but everyone appreciates having choices. You can acquire a wide variety of canned foods that should keep pretty much everybody in the family happy for a while.

4. Calories. The last thing you should be worrying about in a survival situation is weight watching. So what if some canned foods are high in calories? Focus on what will be important in that situation, not on how you’re thinking right now. You’re going to need those extra calories when you’re in survival mode.

5. Water. There’s very little water in freeze-dried and dehydrated foods (although there is usually a small amount), but most canned foods contain the water that will make preparation easier. Yes, that also makes them heavier, but that shouldn’t matter if you’re able to stay put to ride out a crisis situation.

6. Familiarity. Most families normally eat foods such as chicken, beef, ham, fish, vegetables, stews, beans and pasta, all of which are available in canned form, plus many more. In a time of crisis, familiarity will go a long way to “normalizing” what you and your fellow family members are going through.

7. Safe Storage. Bugs and rodents can sometimes infiltrate boxes and bags, but seldom do they break through a can.

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

Regardless what kind of food you stockpile and how you store it, do whatever you can to keep survival food (and other essentials) in more than one location. Those who have gathered large amounts of bottled water, canned food, toiletries and a host of can openers, flashlights, batteries, radios, blankets, clothing, first-aid kits and weapons need to keep a portion of those items in multiple locations.

A home is a great place to stockpile food, and that’s where many people keep their largest supplies because that’s where they and their families are most likely to be when the stuff hits the fan. And even if they’re not home at that exact moment, they will probably be in a position to return there shortly.

Homes are not only where most people keep the majority of their emergency supplies, but also where they’ve spent time and money to secure their belongings. If a breakdown in society occurs following a disaster, they want to be as prepared as possible to protect their families and possessions.

But what if their homes are destroyed or severely damaged by whatever crisis occurs? If that’s the only place where we have our emergency goods including food stockpiled – and we either can’t get to them or they’ve been destroyed by the disaster – we will have wasted a huge amount of time and money preparing for the exact scenario in which we find ourselves.

It is absolutely essential that you keep supplies in multiple locations. If you have a year’s supply of goods at home, keep six months’ worth in at least one other place. If you have six months’ worth of goods at home, store at least three months’ worth at a secondary location.

Now the question becomes, exactly where should your second and perhaps third locations be? There are several important factors to consider. For one, these other locations need to be close enough to get to, yet far enough away that they’re unlikely to be affected by the same disaster that just did a number on your home.

Just as important, these locations have to offer the same features that your home does – a cool, dry place where food and water won’t be negatively affected by sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures.

Of course, it’s up to you to decide where those second and possibly third locations will be, but among the possibilities are a storage unit that you can rent, a root cellar or storage bunker on your property but away from your house, inside a separate building that you own in town, within a building that a trusted friend owns, or buried in a remote area where only you would think to look.

Finally, as all good preppers know, don’t advertise the fact that you have stockpiled food and water in your home and at other locations. People
will remember that, and you could have some unwelcome visitors following a disaster.

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INCLUDE COMFORT FOODS IN YOUR SUPPLY

The word “comfort” sure is comforting, isn’t it? When you think of that word, you might imagine lying in a hammock on a warm summer day, or relaxing on a porch with a beverage on a pleasant evening, or sitting by the fireplace with a cup of coffee when it’s cold outside.

Yes, it’s important to keep your body healthy by eating nutritious food that will provide you with the energy you need. That will be especially true during a crisis when you might be on the move and when your stress level will be higher.

But giving your family members and yourself an emotional lift once in a while with some foods you and they love will do wonders for everyone’s state of mind. And you can’t underestimate the value of keeping attitudes upbeat at a time when depression could easily set in.

So, what is meant by comfort foods? Anything that goes down easy, tastes great, is easy to prepare and reminds you of a time when things were better. Are most of them “healthy” and “natural?” Probably not, although some are. Some are probably high in calories and carbohydrates, and some include a little too much sugar.

But if a vast majority of the foods you are consuming are nutritious, you can afford to eat a snack once in a while that may be better for your attitude than it is for your cholesterol level.

If you asked 15 different people to list their top 15 comfort foods, you’d probably get 15 different lists. But there would certainly be some overlap. Here’s one list that comes to mind.

Hard candies. Some people’s favorites are caramel and butterscotch, but you might prefer cherry, root beer, butter rum or other flavors.

Chocolate pudding. This might be the universal kid-favorite comfort food, but adults love it, too.

Popcorn. You don’t have to be watching a movie to enjoy it, but it’s difficult to watch a movie without it.

Pizza. Are you kidding? Few people don’t like pizza, despite the great debate about which is better – thin crust or deep dish.

Mac and cheese. Another item that few kids will turn down. Many children love it when mom adds hot dog slices to their mac and cheese plate.

Candy bars. Yes, there’s too much sugar. But you don’t have to live off of them. But once in a while, a Three Musketeers, Snickers or Milky Way really hits the spot.

Peanut butter. Most people use this as a spread, but have you ever put a spoonful in your mouth and just savored it?

Hot chocolate. There should be a federal law requiring parents to serve this when their kids come in from playing in the snow.

Honey-coated banana chips. Those who’ve never tried them before rave about them after finally tasting them.

Freeze-dried yogurt bites. Ditto.

Granola bars. These are almost too healthy to count as comfort foods, but they’re included because they taste great and are so easy to open and pop in your mouth.

Trail mix. Dried fruits and nuts are tasty, and many enjoy the kind of trail mix that cheats by including M&Ms and chocolate chips.

Coffee or tea. For some folks, coffee is not a comfort food; it’s an absolute necessity. For others, it could be a pleasant reminder of more normal times.

Hostess Twinkies and Cupcakes. A nutritionist just rolled over in her grave, but as long as you don’t fill an entire bug-out bag with them, you’re probably OK.

WHAT ABOUT PET FOOD STORAGE?

Regardless of whether a disaster causes us and our families to hunker down or bug out, our pets are going to stay with us and receive as much care as we are capable of providing them. These furry creatures are part of the family and are treated that way.

Now, you might keep much of your family’s emergency food supply in space-age Mylar bags, which is a great idea because you may want that food to last a very long time. But most of your animals are probably not going to live another 25 years, crisis or no.

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THE BAGS ARE LOADED

There’s good news for you. The bags in which your pets’ dry food are sold are perfectly capable of keeping that food fresh for a couple of years. The only thing to be concerned about here is making sure there are no rips or tears in the bags before you purchase them.

But just because you don’t need to remove your pets’ food from those bags and place it in Mylar bags doesn’t mean you can just toss the bags into the crawlspace and forget about them.

Give a mouse or another rodent access to a bag made of paper and he won’t need long to scratch his way in. Unless your goal is to keep mice happy and healthy following a crisis, this is not the way to go.

USE AIRTIGHT CONTAINERS

You need to pack your pets’ dry food bags in airtight plastic containers then place those containers in a cool, dark place, away from sunlight. And once you open a bag, the oxidation process will start, so make sure to use all of its contents within six months at the most.

Also, you need to rotate this pet food periodically. If the expiration dates on the bags are difficult to read, write the date that you placed it in storage on the bag with a black Sharpie. Then use the oldest food each time, assuming it has not expired.

One note to consider here. If you feed your pets “natural” dry food, you may be giving them something that is healthier for them than “regular” pet food. But due to its lack of preservatives, natural pet food will not last as long.

CONSIDER CANS

Many people prefer dry pet food to canned food, but canned food does have the advantage of lasting longer… sometimes up to five years. The storage principle is the same here. Keep it in a cool, dry place. Although cans are much more difficult to infiltrate than bags, you should still keep them in an airtight container.

FREEZE-DRIED OPTION

Another option is freeze-dried pet food. Assuming nearly all of the moisture has been removed, it should stay good for a number of years. But the plastic packages it normally comes in are not meant for long-term storage, so transfer the food to Mylar bags and then store them in airtight containers. Toss an oxygen absorber into the container while you’re at it.

HOMEMADE NEEDS HOMEWORK

For you DIYers who make your own pet food, you’re probably doing your pets a favor by feeding them a diet that does not contain additives and preservatives. But as with store-bought “natural” dog food, you really need to do your homework before canning that food in order to figure out how long it will stay good.

CONCLUSION

Whether you build your own food stockpile or purchase a ready-made solution, the bottom line is you actually have to do it, not just talk about it. And when you do, make sure it’s stored in a manner that will ensure its value and longevity. Then and only then can you rest easy, knowing you’ve done what you could to prepare for whatever comes your way.

Preparing for an uncertain future means many things to many different people. To some it’s about storing bottled water and other essential items, while to others it’s about learning how to

Most people see a dandelion growing and immediately reach for the weed killer, but I am hoping to change a few minds on the usefulness of this “weed”. Dandelions are useful as an herbal remedy, detoxifier, and food source. The are full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy antioxidants.

Medicinal Use of Dandelion Roots

People have been using dandelion root as a detoxifier for the liver for many years, but recent research shows that it may have many more uses. Research published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences shows that dandelion root is helpful in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels in diabetics. It works by controlling fats in the blood. Additional research at the University of Windsor found that it is useful in fighting a chemo-resistant melanoma and preventing the cancer cells from multiplying.

It has also been shown to calm inflammation, prevent urinary tract infections, reduce stomach upsets, and treat joint pain from arthritis and similar problems. Herbalists use it to treat infections, ease aching muscles, flush excess fluids from the body and as a detoxifier for the liver and gallbladder. With all of these medical benefits going for it, it seems such a waste to spray it with weed killer, doesn’t it? Instead, lets dig it up and make some use from the plant.

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Harvesting Dandelion Roots

Look for a clean source of dandelions such as a meadow or field away from traffic and human pesticide and herbicide use. Contaminated plants are not good for you or the environment. Let the plant grow through the summer and produce seeds for the next year. Harvest the roots in the fall after the weather has turned cooler. At this time, the insoluble fiber levels (inulin) are highest and the plant has the highest medicinal value.

You can also harvest in the early spring while the plant is still dormant. Spring roots are sweeter, less bitter, and easier to chew, if you harvest them before they bloom. Spring roots are useful for digestive ailments and stimulate more bile production.

Ideally, you want to dig up the dandelion root whole with as little breakage as possible. The plant has a central tap root which has all the medicinal properties of the plant.

Dig deep with a dandelion digger, trowel, or garden fork. Loosen the soil around the plant and pull it up from the base.

Wash the roots well to remove all dirt and slice them into pieces strips or slices for drying. Thin slices dry faster. I dry my dandelion roots on a dehydrator set to 95 F until they are completely dry and brittle.

Snap a few pieces in half and make sure they are dry all the way through. Alternately, dry them in a warm (but not hot) oven.

Store the dried roots in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

Related: The Plant You Can Use as a Diuretic But Also To Make a Great Wine!

Using Dandelion Root

For most medicinal uses, a decoction, infusion, or tincture is made to extract the medicinal compounds from the tough root. Go slowly when you first start using dandelion root, it is a diuretic. Start with one cup of dandelion root decoction daily, increasing it slowly if desired. Here are some general recipes to get you started:

Dandelion Root Decoction

A decoction is an infusion made with water. It may be consumed as a tea but is often made stronger. To make a dandelion root decoction:

  • 1 ounce dried dandelion root or 2 ounces fresh root, chopped
  • 1 pint filtered or spring water

Place the chopped root pieces in a small pot with one pint of water. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow the decoction to simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the tea and enjoy.

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Dandelion Root Tincture

dandelion root tinctureBecause it is an alcohol extract, Dandelion Root Tincture retains some different extracts than the decoction. It can also be made ahead and stored for long periods so that it is always available. It is valuable for people who do not like the tea, since less is needed for the same effects

  • 1 pint jar of dandelion root, chopped
  • 1 pint of 80 proof or stronger vodka.

Fill the jar 3/4 full with dandelion root pieces and fill the jar with 80 proof vodka. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake and tap the jar, removing all air bubbles. Steep the root for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking it daily. Keep the jar in a cool, dark place while steeping. After 4 to 6 weeks, strain out the root material and put the tincture in a dark glass bottle. Keep the tincture in a cool, dark place, tightly covered for 1 to 3 years. Use 10 to 15 drops of tincture daily, as needed.

Dandelion Flower Tea

Place 1/2 ounce of dried dandelion flower petals or 1 ounces of fresh petals in a tea ball and place in a cup of boiling water. Steep and enjoy warm or cold. Use Dandelion Flower Tea for weight loss, as a diuretic, a detox, or as a healthy beverage.

Dandelion Root Coffee

Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots 6

Roasted Dandelion Roots

Dandelion Root Coffee is made with roasted dandelion roots that are ground like coffee and brewed. It is enjoyed like coffee and makes a good coffee substitute. Here is the recipe:

Chop dried dandelion roots into small pieces and spread onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet.

Roast the dried root in a 200 F oven for approximately 4 hours, stirring and turning occasionally. The roots should be completely browned.

Cool the roasted roots and grind them in a coffee grinder. Brew like coffee, or steep 1 teaspoon of ground in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Store the roasted roots in an airtight container and grind fresh for best flavor.

Precautions

The dandelion plant is edible and considered safe for most people. Some people may be allergic to dandelion and should not use it. It can also interact with some medications, including diuretics, lithium, and Cipro. It is always best to consult your doctor before using any herbal product if you are taking prescription medications or have a health condition.


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Most people see a dandelion growing and immediately reach for the weed killer, but I am hoping to change a few minds on the usefulness of this “weed”. Dandelions are

Nothing beats mom’s homemade food. Unless you live alone or don’t have any cooking skills or no emergency food left in the pantry. Well, you know how it goes – when life wants to throw crap at you, it uses a shovel. However dim the perspective may be, Mother Nature will always provide, if you know how to ask.

In today’s article, I’m going to talk about one of the most interesting birds out there – the pigeon. Some love them because they’re friendly and chatty and pettable, others not so much. I personally neither like nor hate them – they’re okay as long as they stay away from my car!

Anyway, even though the perspective of catching your own food is not something one would do out of pleasure, there are times when stop caring about those things and do what’s best for your growling stomach. If you find yourself without food, you can always enjoy a nice and tasty pigeon stew or steak.

The idea of eating pigeon meat may appear as revolting. However, history reveals that pigeon meat is not only palatable but a delicacy which once adorned royal feasts. During the 19th century, around Boxing Day, young couples and families would head out of the house to do a little bit of ice-skating.

As the weather was nippy, the skaters needed something hot and tasty to put some color back into those flushed cheeks. The snack of choice was the so-called Pigeon Pie Mystery. Fast-forward in time, pigeons have become associated with nasty things like car-wreaking, necrophagic behavior, and uncleanliness.

Despite these objections, pigeon meat is safe to eat, but you’ll need to catch them first. Sure, they may be friendly and a bit curious, but that doesn’t mean they’ll allow you to gut them.  In today’s article, I’m going to show you a quick and rather ingenious way of trapping pigeons, using common household items. Enjoy!

 

Gathering the materials for your first pigeon trap

For this project, you will need the following materials:

  • Plastic straw rope (you can replace it with dental floss or any kind of cordage).
  • An old plastic bottle.
  • Plastic bucket.
  • Wire cage (it doesn’t have to be new; if you can’t find one around the house, you can always go and buy one from your local flea markets or thrift shops).
  • Styrofoam board (should be about the size of the wire cage).
  • Crafts knife.
  • Pole.
  • Glue.
  • Small wooden board.
  • Hammer and nails.

Are you done gathering the necessary materials? Wonderful. Here’s how to piece together your first pigeon trap.

Crafting the backyard pigeon trap

Step 1. Remove the part of your wire cage. For this project, you may want to get one of those rectangular cages (mine is an old chicken coop I found in the attic).

Step 2. Glue the Styrofoam board to the top part of your cage. Allow the glue to work its magic before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3. Using your crafts knife, cut a hole in the Styrofoam board. The hole should be wide enough for your plastic bucket to pass through with any problems but, at the same time, prevent the pigeon from escaping.

Step 4. Once you’re done cutting the hole in the Styrofoam board, use the same knife to cut two small entrance on each side of the plastic bucket. If you really don’t want to sacrifice a bucket, you can go for one of those one-kilo yogurt containers. Just be sure you keep the lid.

Step 5. Apply some glue over the edges of the lid and place in on the bucket. Allow the glue to dry.

Step 6.  It’s now time to craft your wooden lever. Nail the small wooden board to the top part of the pole. Make sure that the board can move up and down freely.

Step 7. Plant the pole-and-board lever into the ground, just above the Styrofoam board opening.

Step 8. Make one small hole in the front part of the board and another one in the back.

Step 9. Draw some cordage through both holes. Ensure that the cord drawn through the hole made in the front back of the board is long enough as to allow the bucket to reach inside the cage.

Step 10. Tie the front string to the bucket’s handle.

Step 11. Fill your plastic bottle with water and tie it to the back string.

Step 12. Place a couple of seeds, kernels or breadcrumbs on the bottom of the bucket, and wait. Congrats! You’ve just built your first pigeon trap.

More on the makeshift backyard pigeon trap

The idea behind this simple trap is simple: attracted by the seeds or kernels placed on the bottom of the plastic bottle, the pigeon will land on the edge of the Styrofoam board. Bear in mind that pigeons are cautious by nature, meaning that they will take a good look at your thingamajig before stepping inside the trap.

If you cut only one small hole in the side of the bucket, the pigeon will not approach the seed, because it will realize that they’re no way out of there. That’s why you should have two openings.

Once the little sucker starts eating, it will probably figure out that everything’s okay and will step on the bottom to stuff its beak with them goodies. The second it steps inside, the bucket will be lowered inside the coop, trapping the bird.

You should pay extra attention to how the bucket’s lowered inside the cage. For this trap to work, the cord’s length should allow for the bucket’s body to reach the inner part of the cage, with the lid blocking the opening made in the Styrofoam board.

I can’t give you any precise measurements – it’s a trial-and-error process. One last thing: the plastic bottle’s contents. It would be wise to fill it with water instead of sand or earth; the trap’s sprung by the pigeon’s own weights. Putting anything heavier inside the bottle will make the trap useless.

That’s it on my makeshift pigeon trap. What do you think? Hit the comments section and let me know.

 


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Nothing beats mom’s homemade food. Unless you live alone or don’t have any cooking skills or no emergency food left in the pantry. Well, you know how it goes –

Survival food is everywhere. Question is, just like everything else in our lives, should we take it for granted?

Food: it seems to be the one constant in prepping. We start out buying food and many of us are still buying food, long after we think we’ve got all our other preps in place. No matter how much food we have in our stockpiles, we never really think we have enough. So, instead of calling it “done”, we just add another month’s worth.

There’s nothing wrong with stockpiling all that food. None of us know what sort of disaster we’re going to be faced with, and if we’re ever faced with a true TEOTWAWKI event, then we’ll need all the food we can get. In fact, we’ll all be wishing we had more.

But what’s it going to be like when we open up those buckets and find the food contained inside? Are we going to be pleased with what we have or are we going to feel like something is lacking? What’s it going to taste like and what sort of nutrition are we going to get from that survival food? Will it truly be enough to survive on?

Of course, a lot is going to depend on what we have stored in those buckets and who packed them. You might actually be more content with your own survival food, than with buying the prepackaged buckets.

While the prepackaged food may be made up by “professionals”, we really don’t know the criteria they were using when they developed those survival meals. Taste seems to get a lot of attention when people talk about survival meals, but isn’t nutrition actually more important?

Let me deal with taste to start with, as that’s actually the easier subject. I’ve eaten a number of different survival meals, from a number of different companies. I’ve also eaten military MREs, which is the real basis for the types of food that we’re talking about.

Based upon that, I’d say they are all edible and some are even rather tasty, if you like the Rice-a-Roni or Skillet Helper type of flavor. The main seasoning used in the majority of these foods is salt, like much of the food we eat every day. As salt is necessary for survival, that’s probably rather good, although I will have to say that the amount of salt that they use is probably a bit high, as with most of the prepared food we eat.

Calories in that Survival Food

We’ve all been taught to think in terms of a 2,000 to 2,500 calorie per day diet. That’s actually more than we need, especially if we live a sedentary lifestyle. On the other hand, if we live an active lifestyle, that probably isn’t enough. Soldiers in combat are fed 4,500 to 5,500 calories a day, whether eating in a mess hall or eating MREs, to ensure they have plenty of energy to fight.

You’ll receive different information from different sources, but by and large, the average person needs 1,200 calories per day to survive. Men need more than women, due to being larger with a larger muscle mass. Of course, that doesn’t take into account activity; but rather, is just based on what is needed to survive. As activity increases, the energy the body needs has to come from somewhere, either from food being eaten or energy stored in the body’s fat cells.

When you open your survival rations, you’ll find that they base everything on servings. If you buy a 30 day package for one person, that usually means 90 servings (30 days x 3 servings per day). Now, here’s the thing; in the case of many of those prepackaged survival meals, those three servings per day work out to only 1,000 to 1,200 calories, although there are some which contain 2,000 calories per day.

In other words, no matter how good your buckets of pre-packaged survival rations taste, they are most likely going to end up leaving you hungry. You will probably not be eating enough to sustain your body weight and most likely will not have a whole lot of energy for strenuous physical activity.

Nutrition in that Survival Food

If you spend any time talking to a nutritionist, or even reading what they say, you’ll find that they spend a lot of time talking about micronutrients. Listening to them, it sounds like all we need to eat is Omega 3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants to survive.

In reality, micronutrients won’t keep you alive all by themselves. The nutrients which talk about them are already assuming that you are getting enough of the macronutrients your body needs, probably more than enough. If you are already getting enough macronutrients, then the idea behind supplementing those micronutrients is to improve your health.

That’s all well and good; but in the case of survival, we really need to focus on the macronutrients, not the micronutrients. There’s really no value in being the healthiest corpse in the graveyard.

There are three macronutrients. They are:

  • Carbohydrates – These come from grains and should make up 50 – 60% of a survival diet. Carbohydrates are your body’s biggest source of energy.
  • Fats – This includes both plant and animal fats and should make up about 30% of a survival diet. Fats break down slower than carbohydrates, providing a “second wind” of fuel to your body when the energy from the carbohydrates runs out.
  • Proteins – We’re talking animal proteins here, although some can be garnered from plants, Proteins are essential so that your body doesn’t turn on itself and cannibalize muscle tissue to get them. You need about 10 – 15% of your diet to be animal proteins in a survival diet.

In reality, the one thing that most “survival foods” are really good at providing is carbohydrates. While they provide fats or proteins, they don’t provide enough. Not only that, but the protein they provide is “textured vegetable protein” or in other words, flavored soy curds. While you can survive on them, they aren’t an ideally balanced survival diet.

Micronutrients are all but non-existent in these survival foods. That’s okay for a short-term survival situation (under 30 days), but if you continue eating this sort of diet for a prolonged period of time, your body will not receive all the nutrients it needs and will become susceptible to disease.

In order to use those buckets as your main source of nutrition, you really need to augment the food that is in them with other fats and proteins, as well as fruits and vegetables to provide the micronutrients your body needs. Of course, if you are growing an extensive vegetable garden and using it to supplement your survival food, you’ll be doing a lot to provide the micronutrients your body needs.

How will the Survival Food Affect You?

If you try to live only on survival food, you will find it affecting you quite a bit. Of course, a lot will depend on the actual survival food that you are eating, how many calories it provides, how much physical activity you undertake and what your health is like before the disaster strikes. Nevertheless, there are some conclusions we can generalize on:

#1. You will most likely lose weight. Not only will you be eating less calories than you are accustomed to, but you will also be doing more physical work than you normally do.

#2. You will find yourself weakening. The food in survival buckets is intended to help you survive; it is not guaranteed to keep you in top form. So you will find that you will become weaker over time.

#3. You may find that you don’t think as clearly. One of the things a poor diet affects is the higher brain functions.

#4. You will be more susceptible to disease. Without a fully-balanced diet, your body will not have the defenses it needs to fight off disease. I’m not talking so much about infection here, as I am about diseases where the organs of the body are not able to function fully.

#5. You will probably have digestive problems, due to a lack of sufficient fiber in your diet.

I would recommend that you augment that food with other food stocks, more specifically: jerky or other dried meats, canned meats, nuts, peanut butter, canned vegetables, canned fruits, dried fruits and vitamins.


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Survival food is everywhere. Question is, just like everything else in our lives, should we take it for granted?

What happens when you have eaten through all your supplies of dehydrated, canned, and stored food?  Even the most optimistic among us should not begin eating on your stores of food without giving a thought as to what comes next. What if the next emergency lasts two years?

When your freeze dried food or packaged foods and stockpiles of hard red winter wheat are gone, you will have to have a plan for keeping your family fed. Not only do you have to worry about where the food will come from, but there won’t be any nutritional labels anymore if we are “eating off the land”.

Thinking about food differently than what we have been used to, for what have amounted to decades of prosperity in the United States is not always easy. Maintaining a proper balance of food may be difficult or even impossible. What if you are barely able to get enough food to survive?

What I want to discuss is planning for renewable food options that will give you a balanced nutritional supply to keep everyone in your group healthy.

The essentials

Foods are broken down into three groups:  carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.  You need a balance of each of these things to maintain a high level of health. Some foods may contain mixtures of both groups. Nuts, for instance, are primarily a source of fat and protein.  Providing these and other vital foods to your body cuts down on the stress your body must endure in a survival situation, allows your brain to function and keeps your immune system from being vulnerable to viral and bacterial attacks.

When you have to reduce the amount of food you are taking in, the body starts reverting to using the energy you already have stored. Your body stores energy in the muscles and fat.  This is where the body pulls its energy from if you are forced to go without food for any period of time. Ideally, you are not pulling from your body’s reserves at any time, but providing your body the fuel it requires for survival.

Sources of Protein

It is important to plan now for a renewable source of each of the different types of nutritional elements you will need to stay healthy.

Meat of course, canned meats or dehydrated are the simplest options, but once they are gone what will you eat? I know a lot of people who say they are going to walk into the nearest state park and hunt for game. This will work well for a few people until all of the big game has moved on or has been killed.

The easiest way for most people to have their own renewable source of protein is raising chickens and rabbits. Chickens pull double duty as egg layers and a source of meat. Rabbits are prolific at reproducing. That’s why there are several sayings that have rabbits at the heart of the pun… Rabbits are easy to raise and don’t take up much room.

In the garden, beans are wonderful because they are relatively easy to grow and you have the seeds for next year’s crop right there. I also recommend these for stocking up initially as they have a long shelf life. Beans are also one of the most economical items to stock up on as you can buy a 10 pound bag for a few dollars. That same bag will give you a lot of meals if you augment the beans with other supplies.

Barley also contains protein, but few people would be able to grow enough barley to feed their family. If you have a large plot of land, this may be a good option.

Nuts are a wonderful natural source of protein and nut trees can be grown in most climates.  You have to harvest quickly, though, because there will be other hungry critters out there trying to get to your nut tree first.

Important note: If you are rationing water supplies and still searching for a clean drinkable source, you will want to cut down on your protein intake.  Proteins produce urea which your body flushes out of the kidneys.  In order to process the urea properly, your body must have ample amounts of water.  Therefore, lack of water would be problematic if combined with a night of indiscretion where you find yourself consuming large quantities of jerky and salt pork and chasing it with the only bottle of Macallan whiskey left on the planet.   Living like this on your final rations would cause you to die of dehydration before starvation.

Sources of Fat

Fresh meats contain fat. Wild animals will have less of this and rabbits as I mentioned above are actually very lean so you wouldn’t want to rely on that meat for your daily fat intake. Chickens aren’t the same and are wonderful sources of both protein and fat. Fishing is a good source if you live near a body of water that isn’t polluted or over fished by the others who don’t have a supermarket to go to anymore.

Avocados, nuts, and flax seed are great sources of healthy fat also.  Avocado can be grown in some climates, nuts and flax seed can be stored, but do not have a long shelf life.  Again, growing your own is your best bet.

Sources of Carbohydrates

All fruits and vegetables and this is the primary reason behind your own garden. Depending on where you live, there will be a sufficient variety of vegetables that can be grown to provide you with all of the Carbs you need. Making sure you have this taken care of before the SHTF is a crucial item to consider. You aren’t going to go dig up your back yard very easily and plant a bumper crop of Martha Stewart worthy veggies your first year.

Grains and rice or any foods that contain these items or are made with flour (grains such as wheat are best kept in their whole wheat berry form; it can keep for up to 30 years in its raw state in a vacuum sealed container or bucket). Growing wheat is a great option if you live in the mid-west as a rule. This won’t be feasible for city dwellers in sufficient quantities unless you take over a golf course or a football field and re-purpose them. Not that this isn’t possible, but grains would be lower on my list of possible replacements.

Sugars and honey (honey is the best for storing because it has a virtually endless shelf life; it may crystallize over time, but it is still good). This is one reason why so many Preppers raise bees. They not only pollinate the garden and your fruit and nut trees, but they make wonderful honey.

Simple Rules to Remember

  1. Simple sugars like candy are carbohydrates, but they break down very quickly.  They may give you a boost of quick energy, but you will quickly hit a wall and be depleted and useless.
  2. In the event  you find yourself without a good source of heat to keep your body warm, simple carbs will be your friend.  The body uses them to tap into fat reserves and it will cause you to burn more calories, thus keeping you warmer.  You should graze simple carbs to maintain your body temperature.
  3. Fats should be included in every small meal because fat combined with carbs gives your body a slow and steady burn of nutrients.  You won’t hit a wall as quickly if you add fat to your meal.
  4. In higher altitude, cut back fat consumption because fat requires oxygen to oxidize their components. High fat intake increases the risk of altitude illness.
  5. Protein is necessary for the building and repair of body tissues.  It regulates body processes such as: water balance, transporting nutrients, and making muscles work better.  Proteins also aid in preventing the body from becoming easily fatigued by producing stamina and energy.

You can calculate your body’s protein needs with this formula: Weigh in pounds divided by 2.2 = weight in kg.  Multiply weight in kg X o.8-1.8 and this will tell you how many grams of protein must be consumed.

Gorp Anyone? 

What is the perfect food, you may ask?  Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, or Gorp for short.  The Native American Indians had survived many harsh winters and lived off the land well before we brought our refrigerators and local markets.  They ate berries and nuts because this is the perfect mixture of all three components your body needs to survive.  The berries or fruit provide essential carbs and nuts give your body the fats and proteins for sustained energy and strength.  If you find yourself on the go and have to carry your food with you this is one of the best food sources available.  I also recommend M&Ms even though I am pretty certain the Indians didn’t have access to them.  They are a source of simple carbohydrates and they are delicious, too!


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What happens when you have eaten through all your supplies of dehydrated, canned, and stored food?  Even the most optimistic among us should not begin eating on your stores of

If you start to raise chickens to be more self-sufficient, you want them to be as productive as possible. But what if they aren’t laying as many eggs as you’d hoped?

The most common reasons that chickens aren’t laying eggs is because they are too young, too old, the hours of daylight are too short, it is molting or the feeding is not of sufficient nutritional value. You might not be able to affect those first points, but you can help contribute to a stress-free environment for your chickens while keeping them healthy and well.

Chickens will typically lay one egg or less during a day and that will decrease with age. Their egg-laying years will typically last for 2-3 years.

If you are experiencing a low yield of eggs from your chickens, check out these tips below to see what you can do to help them lay more eggs.

Quality Feed
You don’t have to go crazy with some cutting-edge feed that’s guaranteed to make your chickens produce eggs the size of a garden gnome. It’s recommended that you use a diet of premium laying mash or pellet, along with occasional fresh fruit. vegetables, mealworms and other healthy treats. If you’re going to change your chicken’s feed, do it gradually substituting it in slowly.

Clean Nests Boxes
One of the most important factors in helping chickens lay eggs is a clean nesting box area with comfortable bedding. You can also make a soft surface with recycled-newspaper pellets which also are easy to toss and replace.

Open Areas
The idea behind free-range chickens is that if they are more comfortable, they will produce more healthy eggs. While free-range chickens might not be a possibility for some urban homesteaders, it’s a great idea to have a larger area with enough area for the chickens to graze on a lawn while still being protected from hawks or other predators.

Calcium
Egg-laying takes a lot of calcium from a hen’s body. Be sure to provide them enough calcium in their diet to keep a steady flow of eggs. Besides a high-quality feed, you might consider mixing crushed oyster shells in a cup of feed. Or even placing a cup of oyster shells in the coop for the chickens to eat when they need it.

 

Inspect Regularly
Try to handle your hens often checking for problems. If they have large cuts, broken bones, etc. it will give you a better idea of how you can help. Are they uncomfortable? Have they been pestered by predators? Handling your hens on a regular basis will help you know how to best help them.

Coop Security
Along with the previous point, make sure your coop is secure from predators. Make sure that animals like raccoons, cats, and other animals can’t burrow or find their way into the coop.

Fresh Water
To stay healthy, chickens need constant access to water. Change the water every day. It might be a chore to do it every day but it will lead to healthier chickens who will lay more eggs.

Parasite Control
Parasites love to prey on chickens. Mites are the most common and can take control of your coop without you even realizing it. Make it a habit to inspect your chickens at night when mites are most active. Mites are a small, reddish-brown insect that scurries around a chicken’s head. If you do have a mite infestation, use a dose of ivermectin (available from a veterinarian) for each chicken.

What Have You Found?
How have you helped your chickens lay more eggs? Comment below to help us know what we can do to make our chickens more productive.


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If you start to raise chickens to be more self-sufficient, you want them to be as productive as possible. But what if they aren’t laying as many eggs as you’d

Garlic and honey are two wonderful ingredients from nature. Both of these have strong anti-inflammatory properties and are great as a home remedy for fighting both colds and the flu.

Besides having strong anti-inflammatory properties, honey and garlic are also good for your immune system. So, at the first sign of flu, grab this garlic-infused honey, or even garlic clove, and suppress those viruses that are trying to make you ill. Garlic is filled with allicin, a compound known to have anti-microbial and even anti-cancer properties.

Homemade Fermented Honey GarlicThe antibiotic quantities of garlic appear to be a direct result of allicin. The allicin is very sensitive, however, and cooking or heat treatment may destroy its benefits. The best way to get that allicin is by consuming the raw garlic, but many people cannot stand the smell or taste of it.

Although it has been shown through clinical studies that garlic can reduce the number of colds by 63% and reduce the length of cold symptoms by 70%, the overpowering flavor of garlic is just a deal breaker for some.

Luckily, honey is something almost everyone enjoys. As stated above, honey has strong anti-inflammatory properties but is also anti-viral and anti-fungal. Of course, as we all know, honey has a great flavor, and this natural delicacy can make even garlic taste better.

The combo of honey and garlic makes the garlic more palatable and easier for us to use. Besides, when infused with honey, the garlic properties become even more potent while at the same time improving the benefits of the honey.

The recipe for this remedy is very simple, and over time, the mixture will taste better. The garlic is ready to eat after a few days, but as time passes, it will develop complex flavors. In no time, you will not only love this flavor but also enjoy it as an addition to your pasta or pizza or smeared over warm toast.

Fermented Honey Garlic Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes + inactive time

Serving size: 2 ½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup garlic cloves, peeled;
  • 1 ½ cups honey (I used acacia.).

Instructions:

#1. Gather your ingredients.Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#2. Peel the garlic and place it into a clean jar.

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#3. Drizzle the honey over the garlic. You can pour the honey directly over the garlic or drizzle in by using the wooden honey spoon. Do not use a metal spoon as the honey has an acidic pH and reacts with metallic surfaces. This reaction may damage the honey.*

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#4. Once the garlic is covered with the honey, place a lid on the jar.

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#5. Make sure the cloves are covered in honey. You can flip the closed jar upside down and place it in a dark place.

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#6. Within a few days, the fermentation will begin. Bubbles will appear.** This is the first sign your garlic is ready to consume. (Of course, you can wait a few days more or even weeks, until the honey is thinned down and garlic drops to the bottom of the jar).

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

#7. At this point, you can store your fermented garlic in a dark place (not the fridge) and let it age.

Homemade Fermented Honey Garlic

NOTE:

*Although you are only touching the honey with a metal spoon for a short time, you still do not want to risk any honey spoilage or destroying its natural healing properties.

**If your fermentation does not begin, you may have too much honey. In that case, add a splash of water (about a tablespoon) and close the lid again.


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Garlic and honey are two wonderful ingredients from nature. Both of these have strong anti-inflammatory properties and are great as a home remedy for fighting both colds and the flu. Besides

I wanted to share this bean and rice survival soup recipe, because it’s an inexpensive and easy one to prep, store, and make when you’re ready to use it. Once it’s in the jar and stored, you will only need water and heat to have a hearty bowl of soup loaded with carbohydrates and proteins.

A great perk of this recipe is that it’s highly adaptable. You don’t like rice? Simply omit it. Or, you want it spicy and full of robust flavor? Add your choice of seasonings to the jar, which I will get into greater detail further down in the article.

Another way to adapt this recipe is the batch size. The first instructions I am about to share is for a large batch, which makes it appealing to preppers for survival because it makes about 270 meals for under $300. Based on a 2000-calorie per day recommendation, and assuming it’s the only available edible item in sight, it’s approximately 90 days worth of meals for one person.

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I’m also going to share a much smaller batch that can be made for around $10-15, give or take a couple dollars. The cost will depend on what you add or omit, as well as the cost of groceries in your area. I will be demonstrating the smaller batch in photos.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

First, the basic recipe for the large batch:

  • 4 20-pound bags of white rice
  • 22 1-pound bags of red kidney beans
  • 22 1-pound bags of barley
  • 22 1-pound bags of lentils
  • 6 1-pound bags of green split peas
  • 6 1-pound bags of chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • 30 pounds of dry bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • Seasonings of choice (example: garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, or other dried spices and herbs)

And, the smaller batch recipe:

  • 2/3 cup kidney beans
  • 2 cup barley
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/4 cup green split peas
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 1/2 cup rice
  • Bouillon (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
  • *Seasonings of your choice

This all fits in 2 individual quart jars.

*The seasonings I chose (per quart jar) was 2 bouillon cubes, 1 teaspoon of salt, about 1 tablespoon of dried onions, about 1 tablespoon of dried celery flakes, 1 teaspoon tarragon, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. For the record, this is a relatively bland batch of seasonings. If you like spice and bold flavor, add more according to your own liking.

Now, that you have an idea what goes in it…what is the best way to store it?

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Prepping For Storage

The prep is the same for both size batches, and is as follows:

#1. Mix all the beans in a large container.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#2. Fill a mason jar just under half way.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#3. Put 1-1.5 cups of rice in a baggie, then add the bag to the jar, leaving enough room to add a baggie of seasoning. The reason to separate the rice and seasoning is because the beans need to cook much longer than the rice, and this will allow you to add the rice later avoiding mushy rice.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#4. Place the seasonings and bouillon you choose into a little baggie. Separating the spices also allows you to remove expired seasonings and replace them.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

To make an individual pot of soup from this recipe, you will need the ingredients in the jar, and at least 3 quarts of water. Then follow these easy directions:

#1. Pour the water into your pot and place on a heat source.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#2. Add the beans to the water.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#3. Empty your seasoning packet, a little at a time if you prefer to taste as you go.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#4. Cover and simmer on a low heat, until the beans are soft, about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

#5. Then add the rice, and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until done.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

The finished soup is fairly thick. If you prefer a more brothy soup, add an additional quart of water in the beginning. But, I would then also add more seasonings as well.

Bean and Rice Survival Soup

Shelf Life of the Ingredients

Keep in mind the shelf life for all ingredients that you add, such as:

  • Dried beans – 10 years to indefinitely (depending who you believe)
  • White rice – 4-5 years, unless vacuum sealed (then about 10 years)
  • Spices – most ground, dried, or whole spices are good for 2-5 years

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So, as long as you separating the dried spices from the beans and rice, the above recipes should last a minimum of 2 years, depending on the spice.

However, there is no need to toss the entire batch. After 2-5 years, just change out the seasonings and start over for the expiration date.

If you do not want to store the batches in quart jars, you can also place the batches in quart or gallon size baggies. However, critters can get through bags much easier than glass jars. So, make sure to store the bags of ingredients in an airtight storage bin.

Optional Additions to the Soup

If circumstances allow, you can always add fresh ingredients, such as meat or veggies. Personally, I like a good ham added to bean soup.

But, if you’re in survival mode, that might not be an option. So, having more seasonings in the jar will allow for more flavor to develop, and you might not even miss the meat.

And, even though it will be an abundance of bean and rice soup, altering the seasonings between the batches will give you a bit of variety, which is especially nice if you are truly in a state of survival and don’t have anything else to eat.

However, having batches of this on hand is also great for the temporary survival situations, such as a bad storm knocking your power out for a week or two. One jar, a pot, water, and a source of heat is all you need to eat inexpensively and healthy for a while.


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I wanted to share this bean and rice survival soup recipe, because it’s an inexpensive and easy one to prep, store, and make when you’re ready to use it. Once

In the case of a SHTF event, we could live without internet, cars and gadgets. We could survive without electricity, air conditioning, heating systems and hot water. But we couldn’t make it without enough food supplies. Canned tuna, frozen beans and boiled potatoes can only last so far. All these supplies are bound to end sooner or later, leaving us exposed to starvation. So how can preppers improve on this aspect and ensure their food supply doesn’t run out after three days? The answer is raising livestock. Our ancestors didn’t have supermarkets, had never heard about take-away, fast-food, processed food or preservatives. In this respect, we have a great deal of things to learn from them.

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Their survival depended on livestock, fruits, vegetables, plants and seeds. Nowadays you can learn about all of these by getting an agriculture degree. But back then, knowledge was passed down from generation to generation and people had to learn from trial and error rather than from a YouTube tutorial. If you want to make sure you are truly ready for anything read all about the livestock you should raise and why. It’s never too late to start researching livestock and becoming an expert in the field. Who knows, if you start right now, you might be taking the first step in keeping your family alive when disaster strikes.

Chickens

If we would have to advise you what livestock you should raise and why, based on rate of growth criteria, chicken would win by far. They manage to double their number with every year and they don’t require a complicated set up or high maintenance. They are great because they yield plentiful supplies of meat and eggs in relation to how much food they require. For example, a hen could supply you with 10 to 12 eggs for each five pounds of food.

Related: The Many Benefits of Raising Chickens

Another great benefit of raising chicken is that the birds are not picky about what they eat. They will happily peck on anything that they can find, from insects and weeds to leftovers from your dinner. The only drawback with this is that they can easily damage your garden, so you might want to fence them in to keep that from happening.

raisingchickens

Another pro for raising chicken is that they don’t need a lot of space or sturdy fences. However, you should keep in mind that these fowls will learn how to fly, so you might want to build a six-foot fence or add a top to their pen. You should also watch out for predators: foxes, owls, rats and opossums will all try to take a swing at your chicken if they’re not protected enough.

Pigs

Also dubbed the best garbage disposers, pigs will munch anything you put in front of them: kitchen leftovers, greens, roots and grains, just to name a few. In exchange for these, in return, they will give you bacon, ham and plenty of meat. Not only unpretentious eaters, pigs don’t need too much room either, despite their great size. The best time to buy a piglet is in the spring in order to give it time to grow and develop to more than 220 pounds over the summer.

pigs

All the maintenance pigs require is feeding and watering two times a day as well as cleaning their pens every few days. Butchering a hog that weighs over 200 pounds is no easy task. But you’ll only be reaping the benefits. Almost every part of the pig is edible and ready to be turned into steaks, broths, aspic, bacon, ribs, sausages, pork loins and trotters. Even the skin is edible, although most people are reticent to eat it because pigs are not among the cleanest animals. Bear in mind that they might test your olfactory tolerance before you manage to fatten them up and transform them into pork chops.

Rabbits

Not only pretty faces, rabbits are clean, quiet and prolific. Ideal for small spaces, rabbits will thrive in modest sized cages and as long as their manure is cleaned out regularly, they will remain odor-free. These furry animals are extremely rewarding for the amount of care and food they require. Rabbits feed on hay, which should be cut in three-inch lengths and stacked into the hay-racks that must be kept full at all times. They will also eat dried bread or crusts and, as it may be expected, they enjoy nibbling on carrots and roots.

rabbits

A buck and two does will yield as much as 50 rabbits per year, which translates into roughly 170 pounds of meat. Not too shabby for the effort you have to put in every day. Rabbits can be consumed as soon as they are seven or eight months old, but you can wait and make a more consistent stew from a three-year old buck. While they can withstand harsh cold weather, they are not big fans of wet or hot conditions. Keep in mind that they will need a cool place in the summer that has plenty of ventilation and fresh water supplies.

Sheep

Docile and quiet, sheep thrive on grassland, which is a huge selling point. They don’t require high maintenance and offer excellent products in return: meat, milk (which can be made into cheese), skin, wool and manure. Because they are amazing grazers, they are very economical. An acre of pasture can feed as much as four animals, without including the lambs. An adult ewe will be able to yield as much as 100 pounds of meat and 7 to 9 pounds of wool.

raisingsheetp

Care-taking is kept to a minimum, but you might want to prepare yourself for yearly shearing. Ewes might also need assistance in delivering their lambs and in making sure they are looked after. You should also keep an eye on the lambs which are extremely vulnerable in the first weeks and stand for an easy prey for natural predators. Easy to feed and look after, odourless and calm, sheep are definitely a top choice when it comes to livestock you should raise.


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How do you know if your canned food has gone bad? If only it were as simple as checking the expiration date! Sorry friends, but that expiration date is just a recommendation. In truth, canned food can spoil due to many factors other than time spent on the shelf. For example…

  • Dropping your canned food can create a hole or leak that allows bacteria to grow.
  • Storing your cans at the wrong temperature can cause metals to start seeping into your food.
  • Using the wrong methods or improper hygiene while canning will doom your food from the start!

This isn’t to scare you into thinking that all canned food is out to give you Botulism. Rather, we want to remind you to inspect your food before taking a bite!

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Once we run through the telltale signs that canned food has spoiled, you’ll always know what to look for.

1. Bulging

Press on the lid of your can. Do you sense pressure or swelling? Or does the lid top “pop” or move up and down? These could all be signs of a serious food hazard! When bacteria breed, they release harmful toxins which cause the tin can to bulge.

From these toxins, humans can contract some nasty strains of food poisoning including the most lethal form of food poisoning called Botulism.

2. Loud Hissing

A soft, brief hissing sound when opening a can is fine–this is just the vacuum seal being released. However, a loud hissing sound is another sign of toxic gas caused by bacteria.

If you experience this hissing, stop – do not proceed. If you continue, you risk spreading the bacteria around your kitchen.

3. Spurting Liquid When Opened

When you open a can of green beans or tuna, there is always some liquid that pools at the top and spills out just a little bit. That’s natural. What isn’t natural, however, is spurting liquid that erupts like a geyser. This is a red flag that there has been an abnormal build up of pressure inside the can, likely caused by bacteria.

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4. Corrosion

When metal cans corrode, metallic chemicals like Bisphenol A (BPA) start seeping into your food while also creating holes that allow bacteria to grow. Corrosion can be caused by improper temperature storage or being covered in soot or ash that moistens the cans. To spot corrosion, look for small rusty holes on the can.

5. Dents

When a dent is made on a can, it’s like a mini explosion going off on the inside. The air distribution is suddenly shifted and this can result in the can’s seal becoming compromised. If the seal is loosened, then air can escape and bacteria can enter, affecting both the taste and safety of the food inside.

6. Leaks

Leaks are the easiest way to tell if your can has been compromised! Don’t just look for liquid seeping out, also check for sticky areas which might be a clue that there was once a leak.

If there are holes, cracks, or issues with the seal that are big enough to cause a leak, then your food has been exposed to air, bacteria, and possibly egg-laying bugs that are attracted to the can’s contents.

7. Bad Smell

Smell your food every time you open a can. Obviously, rotten smells will gross you out and stop you from eating the potentially spoiled food. But also, acidic or metallic smells will strike you as unnatural. On an evolutionary level, your body is designed to detect “off” smells. Trust your senses!

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8. Bubbles

One or two small bubbles on the surface of canned food might just be from the agitation of opening the can. But if you find a light to moderate layer of foamy bubbles, then your food has spoiled.

These bubbles are caused by the release of waste or gas from the bacteria that has been partying inside the can. Treat this food like toxic waste and don’t even attempt to taste it.

9. Strange Colors

Your food should be the same color going in the can as it is coming out of the can–that’s the whole point of preserving in a can! Discoloration is a clear sign of contamination whether it be from metals, bacteria, or air. You don’t want to ingest that!

10. Mushy or Moldy Looking

If there is mold in or on your canned food, it means that your food wasn’t canned properly. The wrong tools or the wrong methods were used which resulted in the growth of mold that has begun to turn your food into mush.

In this case, it’s not enough just to scrape the mold off the top because you don’t know what other hygienic or handling issues occurred during canning.

How to Keep your Food from Spoiling

Store your cans in a dry, cool, dark place – Ideally, you want a clean storage shed, pantry or a basement that maintains a temperature between 40-60 degrees F. Most homes are around 70 degrees–which is okay–but in general, the lower the temperature, the longer your food will last.

Store your cans off the ground – Leaving your canned food on the ground exposes them to condensation, floods, and temperature changes. Shelves are your friend.

Physically rotate your food as often as possible – In other words, crack open the older cans first and replace them with newer cans. Don’t let cans of food go forgotten in the back.

If you want to learn more about home canning, check out these 9 things to know before you start.

Conclusion

Whether you’re stockpiling for the apocalypse, canning for winter, or eating from cans on a regular basis, make sure you really ingrain these signs into your brain!

Teach your partner and teach your kids these signs, too. They are survival skills that could save you and your family from enduring a serious illness.


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

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

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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)

How do you know if your canned food has gone bad? If only it were as simple as checking the expiration date! Sorry friends, but that expiration date is just