7 Different Types of Bushcraft Knives And Their Properties

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Do you know about bushcraft knives? Do you know where the name originated from? Do you desire to own a bushcraft knife? Bushcraft knives got its name because Australia was also known as the bush country in the past. It is simply the means of survival in the Australian outback. The art and skill is […]

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Will Big Data Make Your World Unrecognizable?

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What is the biggest threat to your current reality? Some might say a disaster, war, or economic crisis. While these things would change the world for those who are effected, they aren’t certain. Some might say the most dangerous threat is one that is certain. One thing that is certain to change the world is […]

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How to Assemble an Ultimate Survival First Aid Kit

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Do you have the right medical supplies and equipment on hand to take care of yourself and your family if the SHTF? If you answer anything except a highly confident, “absolutely,” then you are not prepared. Don’t let a simple cut, sore throat or something far more severe take you out. Create an ultimate survival first aid kit. The […]

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Easily Grow a Survival Garden

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It only takes a quick scan of daily news headlines to realize that our world is teetering on the brink of disaster, from several fronts. If you are one of the millions who made the wise decision to prepare for the inevitable, you likely have a supply of necessary equipment and food. However, have you […]

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Antibiotic-Free Meat: A Buying Guide

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Finally, a straightforward guide to help you buy antibiotic-free meat.   If you’re not raising your own livestock, here’s how you can be sure there are no antibiotics in your meat… 

Today, the steak on your plate was raised from a baby calf to butchering weight at speeds that would astound your ancestors.

“Bigger, faster, cheaper” is the mantra of the commercial meat industry, and one key to their success has been the widespread use of antibiotics.

Livestock fed a steady diet of growth-promoting antibiotics can put on weight at impressive rates, but recently scientists are sounding the alarm about the consequences of feeding these powerful medications to essentially healthy animals.

Concerned with the rising risk of antibiotic resistance, many scientists believe that feeding significant doses of antibiotics to livestock has dire rammifications for both human health and modern medicine. The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously.

The risk of creating superbugs (microbes so powerful that known antibiotics can’t keep them in check) is too real to ignore, and warnings are coming out that unless we begin to take antibiotic resistance more seriously, modern medicine may lose its effectiveness in the next hundred years.[i]

The stakes are high, so take the time to educate yourself about the use of antibiotics for livestock to learn what’s really happening to the animals that become your dinner.

The Mixed Blessing of Antibiotics

buying antibiotic-free meat

Antibiotics are medicines that destroy bacteria, making them useful for controlling, treating and even preventing disease and infections.

In the decades since their discovery, antibiotics have saved millions of lives because simple cuts are no longer a death threat, and invasive surgeries and once unthinkable organ transplants are now routine.

Unfortunately, almost eighty years of global antibiotic use is starting to reveal some downsides.

Because antibiotics work by killing off entire populations of bacteria within your body, they essentially destroy all bacteria within range. However, bacteria are living organisms that have random genetic variances that equip a few out of millions to survive the onslaught of specific antibiotics. These surviving bacteria then become the ones that propagate, and consequently spread their resistant genes.

Over time, entire populations of bacteria become resistant to multiple forms of antibiotics, which makes them SUPERBUGS.

Because they are resistant to most common antibiotics, superbugs are incredibly difficult to control. They are responsible for an estimated 700,000 deaths annually, and that number is expected to rise to over 10 million by 2050.

For this reason, the World Health Organization recently listed antibiotic resistance as a major global threat for the 21st century.[ii]

Out Of Control:  Superbugs and the Meat Industry

sourcing antibiotic-free beef

 

[UPDATE, December 15, 2017: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Feed Directive Final Rule went into effect on January 1, 2017. The rule aims to reduce antibiotic resistance by eliminating the common practice of using “medically important” antibiotics to promote animal growth and feed efficiency. However, with the approval of a veterinarian, livestock producers may still feed these antibiotics in therapeutic dosages to prevent the illnesses fostered by the less-than-desirable living conditions often found in commercial operations. For more information on this topic, I strongly encourage you to read Angie’s well-balanced comment below. She offers an excellent perspective!]

The root of the problem of antibiotic resistance comes from an overuse of antibiotics themselves, and one of the ways that antibiotics tends to be overused is with livestock.[iii]

While humans need a prescription to gain access to antibiotics, farmers aren’t under the same requirements for their animals and can administer them with minimal regulation. (Please see the update at the beginning of this section.) In 2011, almost 30 million pounds of antibiotics were used for animal production, which was almost four times the amount used by the national human population.[iv]

Why are so many antibiotics given to animals?

In past decades livestock producers began to use them as a preventative measure to keep their animals healthy against infectious disease, something that became increasingly important as factory farms kept animals in tight living conditions.

They later found that small daily doses of certain antibiotics made animals grow bigger and faster, often gaining as much as 3 percent more weight than otherwise possible.[v]

Consumers may like cheap meat, but feeding excessive amounts of antibiotics to animals has some dire consequences for human health.

The growing threat of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria from the overuse of these drugs can compromise the effectiveness of treatments for humans, putting the reliability of life-saving drugs at risk for the people that need them most.

China and Colistin: An Example of Bacteria Gone Bad

Antibiotics meat China

To understand the true threat of antibiotic resistance, you only need to travel over to China to get a glimpse of what the damage can be.

Recent reports have shown that Chinese strains of E. coli (a diverse, often dangerous strain of bacteria) is showing resistance to an old form of antibiotic called colistin.[vi] Discovered in the 1950s, colistin fell out of favor when antibiotics with fewer side effects were discovered. However, as preferable medications continued to be compromised by antibiotic resistance, colistin use became widespread again. Unfortunately, even this trusted antibiotic is becoming vulnerable to E. coli superbugs.

The growing problem with colistin resistance is traced back to the Chinese meat industry, where over 8000 tons of it are given to pigs and chickens every year to enhance their growth.

Strains of resistant E. coli have been found in meat, livestock and even people around the world, and the threat is real that the colistin resistant gene in E. coli could spread to other dangerous bacteria as well. The danger doesn’t just stay near farms, either.

Manure tainted with drug-resistant bacteria often infects nearby water systems.

And flies often carry the bacteria to cities far away, sometimes even to already vulnerable hospital patients.[vii]

Sick From Tainted Meat: 

Modern medicine losing its potency has dire consequences for everyone on the planet, and the effects for your health should be a top concern.

Widespread antibiotic resistance in livestock means that dangerous pathogens aren’t always killed off before meat makes it to your plate. A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.

Antibiotics meat ecoli

A 2001 report from the New England Journal of Medicine found that 20 percent of ground meat in supermarkets contained salmonella, and 84 percent of that salmonella was resistant to one or more antibiotics.[viii] The situation is similar for poultry. Consumer Reports tests of chicken from 2006 and 2012 revealed that over two-thirds of their samples were contaminated with salmonella, 60 percent of which was resistant to forms of antibiotics.[ix]

Though the meat industry believes these statistics aren’t concerning, because people thoroughly cook their meat before eating it, partially raw meat, unwashed cutting boards, or thawing meat juice that leaks onto other foods in the refrigerator are all ways that pathogens can spread.[x]

More Drug-Resistant Diseases

Humans and animals swap diseases all the time. A full two-thirds of human diseases first began in animals, and drug resistance that starts with animals can also jump the species boundary.[xi]

Evidence is now growing that resistant bacteria from antibiotic treated farm animals can spread to the humans that eat them. This means that ingesting drug-resistant bacteria in meat that wasn’t fully cooked might make you ill with a disease that antibiotics are powerless to treat.[xii]

antibiotic-free meat: antibiotics in agriculture

The problem is only growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that over two million Americans become sick with drug-resistant bacteria every year, and more than 23,000 end up dying.[xiii]

The connection between the increased use of antibiotics for meat production and the loss of effectiveness of human medicine is becoming better understood, and the evidence is clear that feeding unregulated amounts of antibiotics to livestock is only going to harm human health in the long run.

The threat of looming antibiotic resistance is real, but those in authority aren’t always acting in the public interest. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,[xiv] the FDA has buried research findings that revealed 18 types of antibiotics currently used on livestock that carry a high risk of increasing the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for diseases that affect humans.

Even worse, many of these medications don’t reach the FDA’s own safety standards, yet they are used widely on livestock across the country.

Best Ways to Source Antibiotic-Free Meat:

In recent years, consumer outrage against antibiotics has created positive changes in the food industry.

Three of the largest chicken producers in America (Tyson, Perdue and Foster Farms) recently stated that they intend to reduce the amount of antibiotics fed to their healthy birds.

Large corporations like McDonald’s,[xv] Wendy’s and Popeyes are also taking a stand against fluoroquinolones (a family of synthetic antibiotics) and are refusing to buy birds that have been treated with them.[xvi]

However, there’s still no way to know for sure if these brands are sticking to their promises and keeping antibiotics out of their products.

Antibiotics chicken meat

If you want to reject antibiotics in your meat, you’ll need reliable ways to source antibiotic-free alternatives.

(Assuming you’re not ready to start raising your own livestock, which is what we ultimately recommend.)

Reading The Labels:

Antibiotic free meat

To ensure that the meat you eat doesn’t contain trace amounts of dangerous bacteria, you need to familiarize yourself with the following methods of identification.

  • Country of Origin: Depending on where your meat is sourced from, it might automatically be safe from antibiotics. Since 2006, European Union has banned farmers from using antibiotics to promote growth and instead regulates their use to treating disease only.[xvii]
  • USDA Organic: When organically-raised animals become sick, they are treated with antibiotics and sent to a conventional production system where they are no longer labeled as organic. This means that any meat product with the label USDA Organic is guaranteed to be free of antibiotics, both for promoting growth and for treating illness.[xviii]
  • ‘Raised Without Antibiotics’, ‘No Antibiotics Administered’ and Similar Variations: These labels signify that the meat in question came from animals raised without antibiotics, often in conditions comparable to organic (but uncertified). For extra reliability, look for labels accompanied by a “USDA Process Verified” shield, which ensures that the company in question paid to have their claims verified.

Labels to Avoid When Buying Antibiotic-Free Meat

There’s lots of money to be made selling shady meat, which is why healthy sounding labels that are actually meaningless abound in the supermarket. If you really want to source meat that’s free from antibiotics, be sure to avoid these convincing, yet empty, claims.

  • Antibiotic-Free: The USDA has never legally authorized the use of the term “antibiotic-free”, so if you see it on packaging it has no legal meaning.
  • Natural: The USDA meaning of natural is very loose, and only implies that the final product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain added colors or artificial ingredients. Antibiotics are fully allowed in “natural” meat, making the term meaningless if you’re trying to avoid them.
  • No Antibiotic Residues: Though this isn’t a USDA-approved claim, it’s often used on labels to refer to the fact that antibiotics were not used for the last days or weeks of the animal’s life so that traces of the chemicals would have time to naturally work themselves out. However, the label “No Antibiotic Residues” usually implies that the animal was fed significant amounts of antibiotics earlier in life.
  • No Antibiotic Growth Promotants: Not only is this claim not approved by the USDA, it’s also intentionally misleading. Animals that aren’t given antibiotics to aid their growth levels might still get them regularly to stay healthy in their crowded cages, meaning their exposure levels are far higher than the label implies.[xix]

The growing threat of antibiotic resistance is likely to only get worse.

To cut out the biggest source of antibiotic use and keep the planet safe, do what you can to buy antibiotic-free meat.  Better yet, raise your own livestock.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the continuation of modern medicine might someday depend on it.

(This article was originally published on March 31, 2017.)

antibiotic resistance

Sources

[i] The Biggest Threat to Modern Medicine- Antibiotic Resistance

[ii] World Health Organization: What to Do About Resistant Bacteria in the Food Chain

[iii] STAT- The Livestock Industry is Key in the Race to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

[iv] Consumers Union: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health

[v] Frontline: Modern Meat

[vi] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[vii] Flies are Spreading Antibiotic Resistance From Farms to People

[viii] The Isolation of Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella from Retail Ground Meats

[ix] Consumer Reports: The High Cost of Cheap Chicken

[x] Superbug Resistant to Last Resort Antibiotic Arises in China

[xi] 13 Animal-to-Human Diseases Kill 2.2 Million People Each Year

[xii] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xiii] Center for Disease Control: Antibiotic/Antimicrobial Resistance

[xiv] NRDC Petitions FDA: Agency’s Weak Attempt to Curb Antibiotic Abuse in the Livestock Industry is Failing

[xv] McDonald’s Now Serving Chicken Raised Without Antibiotics-Mostly

[xvi] Frontline: Modern Meat

[xvii] European Commission: Ban on Antibiotics as Growth Promoters in Animal Feed Enters into Effect

[xviii] USDA: Organic

[xix] Consumer Reports: Antibiotics in the Meat Industry

 

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Have You Considered Your SHTF Communications Plan?

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  Be Honest About Your Current Communications Plan For most preppers quantifying is a problem. We buy stuff and we store stuff, but do we have a true definition of what “prepared” is?  The truth about being prepared is that we cannot quantify what we will need. I will let you in on a little […]

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Food Storage for Beginners

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Food storage for beginners – If you are in the ‘beginner’ stage of food storage, it can all be overwhelming. Where do I start? What kinds of foods are best? Where do I find the best prices? How much do I need?

Comfort Foods for Food Storage

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Comfort foods are not necessary but may be comforting during stressful times. And why have them? Comfort foods are basically ‘treats’ that you usually give to your children after school, to tie them over until the next meal, to keep them occupied when you’re busy or . . . just because you love them.

Practice Advanced Urban Survival with Skill Over Gear

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True Urban Scenario While the wasteland model of the urban sprawl tends to grace the pages of books and big screens. I envision a much different scenario. Rather than a world of desolation I see nearly the opposite. There are 8 and a half million people in New York City. How many of these people […]

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Survival Supplies & Gifts

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Besides adding to your own survival supplies, remember what great gifts freeze-dried food or other survival supplies will make to adult children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors – everyone. There are even gifts for kids — light sticks, flashlights, freeze-dried ice cream and MORE!

How to Survive World War 3: Useful Tips & Tricks

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There are many possible scenarios where a third world war might arise: ideological or religious reasons, as well as a lack of resources. So what are you going to do in an SHTF situation, especially one when nuclear or microbiological weapons are used? You need to be prepared for everything that might happen, so you’ve […]

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Learning Survival Archery – Is It Necessary for Preppers?

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Using the bow and arrow has been at the heart of human existence. From simple designs used for hunting to more advanced bows, empires have even been constructed around them. In the modern world, it’s easy to think that there is no place for such primitive tools, but regardless of the day and age, humans […]

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Cold Weather Primer: A Refresher If You Will

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To survive in cold weather like anything else it takes a certain skill set, proper materials i.e. clothing, shelter and it takes practice/training. You need to know before you have to know that what you are doing and wearing will keep you alive. First, as a reminder, the human body puts out heat, a considerable […]

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Review: Quality Emergency Foods From Valley Food Storage

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Before writing a review, I wanted to see what they offered on their website, so I clicked on their link and read every page. I was impressed. They have done extensive testing of the many types of foods for storage for their own families. They were not impressed with what they found in other foods.

Prepping For a Power Outage

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Power Outage – No phones. No lights. No running water. What would you do if the whole country went dark and you didn’t know if or when the power would be coming back? What you need to know when the power goes out unexpectedly.

Prepping For a Power Outage

Power Outage – No phones. No lights. No running water. What would you do if the whole country went dark and you didn’t know if or when the power would be coming back? What you need to know when the power goes out unexpectedly.

Prepping For a Power Outage

Power Outage – No phones. No lights. No running water. What would you do if the whole country went dark and you didn’t know if or when the power would be coming back? What you need to know when the power goes out unexpectedly.

Grid Down Preps: Alternatives and Solutions

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America’s power grid is aging and Congress has known this for years. Reams of federal agency reports have been presented that confirm that if a man-made attack (cyber war, terrorists), a solar event, or weather, took down the electrical grid, thousands or even millions of Americans will die.

A Firearm Is a Weapon but Not All Weapons Are a Firearm

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The kids are playing on the floor surrounded by toys. You are putting lunch on the table when the door crashes in. It is a smash and grab, and the intruders are inside in seconds. You have a firearm in the home however, as a responsible gun owner it is locked up. Anyone that owns […]

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Test Your Flood Preparedness

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Flood Preparedness – Floods are a natural disaster that can happen no matter where you live, but especially if you live in a low-lying area, near water, at the bottom of a hill/mountain, or downstream from a dam.

Evacuation Planning

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Evacuation planning is important so everyone in your family will know exactly what to do in case there’s a fire, earthquake, flood, terrorist attack or other disaster.

4 In 1 Tactical Pen

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Tactical pens are for writing just as other pens are. But when the word ‘tactical’ is used to describe anything, you can safely assume that it has other uses not associated with writing.

Where to Find Water in an Emergency

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How to find an emergency water supply. How do you purify water for storage? Where am I going to store it? It takes up a lot of space and it’s heavy. How much IS enough for my family? How much per day per person?

Summer Clearance Sale!

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The Ready Store Clearance Sale!

Here at The Ready Store, we sometimes buy too much and some products are seasonal – either way, it’s to your benefit!

We have slashed the prices up to 80% off and are passing the savings along to you! We want to make food storage and emergency preparedness as simple and affordable as we can.

Check out the available products to save up to 80% OFF – Can’t beat that!

May 24, Fire Piston

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Learn about the fire piston – a tool for fire starting that has prehistoric origins and is still in use today because of its effectiveness and portability.

May 24, Fire Piston

Learn about the fire piston – a tool for fire starting that has prehistoric origins and is still in use today because of its effectiveness and portability.

Mother’s Day Special All Week Long!

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Mother's Day Special

Mother’s Day Special!

Who does most of the grocery shopping in your house? Who makes sure you’re well fed by preparing healthy meals? Who loves you more than anyone else?

I would guess for most of us – it’s Mother. Help her out with a gift of the most delicious and healthy emergency food anywhere. She will thank you and you will enjoy making her happy.

So here’s your chance to get 20% Off on all your favorite items!

Click Here Now!

25% Off This Easter Weekend!

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Valley Food Storage

HEALTHY, GREAT TASTING, long lasting food!

Life is unpredictable, but your food should always be delicious and full of nutrition. With Valley Food Storage you can be sure that no matter what happens you will have a hot great tasting, wholesome meal ready when you need it.

Mar 29, Human Tracking

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Learn about the basics of human tracking – one of the oldest skills on earth, which continues to be used for search & rescue, law enforcement, and military purposes.

Test Your Survival Gear – Go Camping!

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You’ve spent the money to buy survival gear you might need when the ‘stuff hits the fan’. Are they still in boxes fresh from the store? Now is a great time to unpack them and learn how to use that survival gear. And what’s the best way to use them? Well, the fun way is to take them camping! Here are a few suggestions:

Winter Survival Or 3 Ways To Die in Winter

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I know that’s a very negative and unpleasant statement, but we need to think about it and prepare — so NO ONE dies. But let’s face it, winter is a more dangerous time and we need to be prepared. We all know that winter comes somewhere on this planet all year around.

Overstock Items Are Selling Fast!

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The Ready Store

The Ready Store is making room for exciting new and upcoming products. This is why they are clearing out products and offering closeout pricing to help move these items as quickly as possible. Once these items are sold out they’ll be gone for good so take a look and stock up now. They have a very limited amount of inventory remaining on these select items so you must act now!

How to Dehydrate Your Own Foods For Just-Add-Water Meals

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Dehydrating food at home is a great way to preserve fruits and vegetables and even make your own jerky. Dehydrating foods at home can be a fun and rewarding skill. Save money by buying fruits and vegetables in season and in bulk and dehydrate them yourself. Or, even better, grow them in your own garden. When you dehydrate your own foods, you will know for sure what goes into them.

Now Available – Meats! at Valley Food Storage

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Yes! I have tried them. There are no additives – just meat. I put a whole cup into my spicy, black bean and kale soup last night for dinner. The beef chunks tasted like a delicious roast beef just prepared.

And they’re all on sale right now. At about $1.80 per serving – how can you go wrong! Grab some before the sale price disappears.

Food Storage Recipe Club

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Wondering how to use all that food you have stored? Learn what to sustitute for fresh when it’s not available. Join us for easy-to-prepare recipes to use your food storage.

Jan 27, Survival Clothing

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One of the most vital pieces of life-saving outdoor gear is survival clothing – clothing that performs well in the wilderness. Learn about specific types and principles of effective outdoor clothing.

Teaching Children Knife Safety

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Being comfortable using a knife will increase your chances of survival. Whether you are camping, building fires, or hunting and preparing game, knowing how to use a knife is essential. By teaching your kids about knife safety early on in their lives, they will become seasoned veterans by the time they reach adulthood.

Do Government Policies Affect Prepping?

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Many, many times governments make decisions based on their political loyalties and political survival. Many decisions are unwise and, obviously, do not benefit the American people. Decisions and actions made by government absolutely affect lives during and after a crisis when help is desperately needed.