This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com I’ve been wanting to try dehydrating fruit but I do not have room for a food dehydrator. There is just not enough space in my small apartment for another gadget. But I there is a way to dehydrate fruit without a food dehydrator – just use your oven! I had a couple of apples that were a bit past their prime but still in good shape. They were perfect for my apple chips […]
If you opened up a pantry belonging to any prepper, you’d most likely find a veritable cornucopia of dried foods within. It’s pretty much a staple for preppers. Unfortunately, dried foods of all kinds often come packaged with preservatives that aren’t so healthy. It can be a real challenge to find long-lasting foods that you would want to eat during an emergency, that aren’t also filled with toxic preservatives.
Among those preservatives, there’s one that most people aren’t aware of. It’s called sulfur dioxide, and it’s found in more foods than you probably realize. It can be found in wine, jam, fruit juices, shrimp, instant coffee, pickled foods, processed meats, and powdered potatoes. And the one food that probably contains the most sulfur dioxide is dried fruit. It’s typically added to all of these foods, not only to prevent bacterial growth, but to preserve the color of the food.
So is sulfur dioxide something that you need to worry about? That really depends on who you ask. The FDA has deemed it safe for most people. I say “most people” because some folks are more sensitive to it than others. About 1 in 100 people have some degree of sensitivity to sulfur dioxide, and people who are asthmatic are 5-10 times more likely to have a sensitivity.
When these individuals consume this preservative, they may face nausea, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and sometimes full-blown asthma attacks. Occasionally this leads to death. And just because you’ve never had any harmful symptoms from eating these foods, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of the woods. You can develop a sensitivity to sulfur dioxide at any point in life. It’s also important to note that even if you never have this kind of reaction, sulfur dioxide might still hurt you. A study conducted in 2004 found that sulfur dioxide, when fed to mice, would damage their DNA and cause cancer.
With that said, it may be a good idea to avoid this preservative entirely. If you avoid processed foods, then you’re already on the right track. You can also avoid sulfur dioxide by buying organic products. At the very least you should be checking the labels on anything you buy. Any food item that contains this preservative in more than 10 parts per million is required to be labelled as such to protect people who are sensitive to it.
And if you really love dried fruit and want to make it a staple in your emergency food supply, you can also make it yourself in your oven. You can dry fruit in the sun. And if you’re a real fanatic for dried fruit, you can buy a food dehydrator.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
Stockpiling foods is a way of life for homesteaders and survivalists, and choosing long-lasting foods is essential.
But there are quite a few commonly stockpiled foods that have a short shelf life – and instead of lasting a few years may last only weeks or months.
Let’s take a look at seven:
1. Brown rice.
Brown rice finds its way into many foods stocks, but it actually does not last very long. Due to the fact that brown rice has a high amount of oil, it lasts for only three to six months at room temperature. On the other hand, white rice lasts far longer because it does not have a similar oil content.
2. Dried fruit.
Dried fruit is very beneficial to have in a survival situation. It gives us nutrients such as vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and iron. Unfortunately, dried fruit is something that needs to be rotated regularly if put into a stockpile.
Rotation needs to be done anywhere from three to 12 months. Figs, on the shorter side, last only three months and on the longer side, raisins can last for 12 months.
3. Peanut butter.
Peanut butter is a food loved by many people, and it also is commonly added to stockpiles. Peanut butter gives us potassium and protein, which is a great substitute to proteins in meat. The longevity of peanut butter varies: All-natural peanut butter only lasts about two months, while regular peanut butter lasts for about one year.
4. Whole wheat flour.
Whole wheat flour contains the endosperm, germ and bran. On the plus side, it includes lots of dietary fiber, B vitamins, iron and copper. Unfortunately, whole wheat is not something that will last very long in the stockpile: The life span is only around 4-6 months. This is due to the fact that when the whole grain is used, the essential oils in it degrade and go rancid.
Nuts are big in protein, fast to grab, and easy to store, but the longevity of nuts is not very long. On the shorter end, pistachios only last for about three months and on the longer end almonds can last up to 12 months. Nuts are something that a homesteader or survivalist needs to rotate every half a year to a year.
Having cornmeal in the pantry is a great idea; for the gluten-intolerant person, this is a great source of starch. Its other benefits include zinc, which enables the body to heal from an injury, and iron, which improves the immune system and keeps the red blood cells healthy. Cornmeal, though, is not a long-lasting food. Its shelf life is only about nine to 12 months.
Yeast can be used for fermenting beer and making bread, but the shelf life of yeast is only about two to four months. This means that it will need to be used within a fairly quick amount of time or rotated every few months.
Choosing the longest-lasting foods for the stockpile is not easy, but when done right can produce a stockpile that can last years.
What would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below: