8 12 2008

I wanted to recommend a book called “Making the Best of Basics” by James Talmage Stevens.

It’s a great resource and primarily covers food storage – why, what, how, how much, and what to do with it. It explains how to calculate your storage needs based on the size of your family, and there is a spreadsheet to help make the process easier.

We’ve found the recipes in the book helpful also, one of my sons made some great bulgur dishes out of some of our wheat. I can honestly say that I’ve never had a better tasting “Taco TVP Bulgur” or “Bulgur and Bulgur Sausages” than the ones my son made using the recipes in this book.

Part of the motto of the book is to “store what you eat” and “eat what you store.” And that’s great advice.

I bought the book about ten years ago, and it can be purchased here: http://www.nitro-pak.com/product_info.php?products_id=311&osCsid=fa

The Amazon page is here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1882723252/


Costco Emergency Food Kit

4 12 2008

This looks like a handy supplement to your food storage. Its not gourmet and its not a “complete meal”, but it is inexpensive food in a bucket that lasts 10-20 years.

Costco Emergency Food Kit

Emergency Food Kit
275 Servings
Weather Proof Bucket
Item # 104893

Shipping & Handling included *

Costco Emergency Food Kit

Basic preparation will impact the probability of your family’s survival in an emergency. Delicious and easy to prepare. Each bucket contains 275 servings of Pre-mixed and Pre-seasoned 100% vegetarian and vitamin fortified food. With a 20 year long shelf life, this kit is perfect for the preparation of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes or even for a camping or hunting trip.

* Easy to Prepare
* Must have water and a heat source
* 275 Servings
* All Meals 100% Vegetarian and Vitamin Fortified
* Sealed in convenient Weather-Proof bucket for easy transport
* 30 Servings – Potato Bakon
* 25 Servings – Corn Chowder
* 25 Servings – Ala King
* 25 Servings – Cacciatore
* 25 Servings – Western Stew
* 25 Servings – Country Noodle
* 25 Servings – Rice Lentil
* 45 Servings – Whey Milk
* 25 Servings – Blueberry Pancakes
* 25 Servings – Barley Vegetable
* Total Weight: 23 lbs.

For best taste and nutritional value, use product before:

20 years of manufacturing date when stored at 60° F (16.6° C)

10 years of manufacturing date when stored at 70° F (21.1° C)

Building an “Emergency Fund” of Food

4 12 2008

Check out this good guest post on food storage on Money Saving Mom. One of the comments was interesting:

I do this too and find it helpful. We just lost over one month of pay because my spouse’s company just folded and couldn’t pay their employees – his entire monthly paycheque and $500 worth of expenses just gone. I’m so glad that I have been prepared both with the emergency fund and wise grocery shopping. Times are tough but we’ll get by.

Then go to Safely Gathered In and check out some of the informative posts there. The current one is on canning food in #10 cans, which is cool though I have no idea how expensive the equipment is. Also I don’t know what you could put in #10 cans, but what if your church could have a big lasagna (or whatever kind of food) canning party, where everyone brings a dish and you could put away canned meals for a kind of food bank at the church?

When Your Friends’ and Family’s Plan Is Simply “To Show Up At Your House” In An Emergency

29 11 2008

As soon as I read this, I could relate:

I have a big family (household of 8/9) plus many auxiliary family members in close geographic proximity. One of my concerns has been that these family members have absolutely zero interest in food storage. I know that if there is a problem, their plan is to just show up at my house.

That will upset my household food storage plan which is dependent on the number of people here (with some leeway of course) and it may be impossible if there is something like a quarantine for bird flu or anything else. In addition, I have an emergency bag containing all important family papers, water filter, etc., and a plan to go to mother-in-laws house 1.5 hours west of here if there is a need to bug out (such as a nuclear accident at Indian Point). I cannot show up at mother-in-laws house with 8 hungry mouths to feed and no food.

So what this blogger did was to prepare some emergency buckets for friends and family, and I thought it was a great idea. Go read the post for the list of items and pictures, and modify as you think appropriate. (Be sure to share any good suggestions you might have!)

Mylar Bags

29 11 2008

I’ve used mylar bags inside buckets for storing wheat, sugar, beans, pasta, etc. You place the bag in the bucket, fill with food, drop in an oxygen absorber, and seal with an iron.

However, a concern I have is whether the aluminum will leach into my food. Aluminum is not something I really like having in my food or body, whether in my pots and pans, beverage cans, or deodorant. Though I probably still get more than my share, I’d like to cut back on my exposure where practicable. So should I be concerned with the aluminum present in Mylar bags?

Brief Food Storage Videos

29 11 2008

Long term food storage part 1:

Long term food storage part 2:

Long term food storage part 3:

“Feed” Grains, Anyone?

22 11 2008

Some members of our church have been asking about purchasing “feed” grains from local mills. These are grains that are sold as animal feed, and need to be “cleaned” to some extent, which apparently means separating out chaff, rocks, bugs, etc. Someone also said that they need to be frozen for a couple of weeks to kill the weevil eggs. Here’s what one local mill is charging for these:

wheat soft red $15.25 /50lb (no hard wheats)
rolled oats $19.65 /50lb
race horse oats $17.75 whole oats, triple cleaned
steam rolled barley $.35/lb
flax (didn’t get a price)
corn $8 /50lb
rye: $.36/lb

So our questions are:

    Do these prices make “cleaning” them worth it?
    If not, should we be looking for better prices?
    Are there any other caveats we should know about “feed’ grains?
    Is there a way to estimate the weight differential – for example if you clean all the garbage out of a pound of it, do you end up with 50% or 99% of the original weight? I would be interested in comparing the costs after adjusting for that.
    Do the food-grade grains not have the weevil eggs issue? (And how do they do that?) I’ve never done that with any grains that I’ve stored.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

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