Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About MREs, And Then Some

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Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) seem to make it into the stockpiles, bug out bags, and trunks of many preppers.  Yes, I have a few cases of them, too. Unfortunately, few people do the leg work to fully understand MREs and whether they are a wise decision for themselves. Below are some tips to help if you have considered buying these meals as part of your food storage and emergency plans.

Purpose of MREs

You should consider the source and purpose of MREs. Most of us are familiar with MREs as military food. Uncle Sam created them to fuel fighting soldiers in combat situations. The taste has to be decent enough to avoid revolt from the troops and to encourage them to eat the whole thing.  If the the troops aren’t eating, it is a waste of money, weight, volume, and more importantly, calories/fuel.

Equally as important as what goes into MREs, is what doesn’t get put into them. Uncle Sam does not want troops to have gas, loose stools and lots of bathroom breaks on the battle field.  You can expect a certain amount of constipation to be “built-in” to MREs.  Ingredients are not added to increase constipation, but they definitely remove any items or contents that would encourage a regular or loose stool. The objective with the MRE is to fuel the troops and for that fuel to be 100% eaten and converted into energy.


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Savings: 5 Ways to Get Fruit Trees For Cheap!

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Savings: 5 Ways to Get Fruit Trees For Cheap! Fruit trees are nearly mythical in some settings in America today. To happen across a tree that food grows on in an urban setting is absolutely amazing. We all have those stories of people who had an apple tree in their backyard. Its magic thing to those …

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Food Rationing: Only one pack of sugar per family permitted

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I was going through some of my old photos, found this one from back in Argentina when there was shortage and rationing of certain staples in stores.

1 kg of sugar per family group. 1 unit.  And it cost almost the equivalent of 2 USD back in the day. For a country in which the average person was making well under 500 USD that was insane.

It’s amazing how close we came to ending up like Venezuela, in a country that produces food to feed ten time its own population.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Hunting vs Buying Meat: The Traditional Hunter in the Modern World

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This article was originally published by J. Townsend  on harvestingnature.com

This whole thought process was derived from a conversation about the sustainability of hunting in modern times. Many people feel that hunting for food has outlived its use in modern America. Well, with the recent changes in our eating habits, as in searching out fast food instead of fresh food, hunting had been surpassed. There is still an emerging group which believe we should kick the fast food and revert to the traditional “Farm to Table” way of eating. I agree with much of this philosophy and wish to take it a step further. I am here to represent those who feel that a family can sustain a portion of their diet with game meat. I know many of you see this and think you would have to spend your every day hunting and fishing in order for that to work. Simply not true.

In thousands of rural areas (and some non-rural areas) there are people who either are supplementing their diets partially or fully with game meat. I have to admit that when I was younger there were many things that I though you could only shoot or catch to obtain. It wasn’t until I got to college when I realized that you could buy catfish from the store. I had believed, due to my outdoor upbringing, that if you wanted catfish, you went to the river/lake/pond to catch it.

I have also heard the argument that many people could not live a lifestyle where you sustain yourself on wild game. They say that they prefer to not see where their food originates. They cannot stand to eat food with bones in it or eyes staring at them. My only advice to these people is that they trust too much in the grocery store to get their food. Those same people have not seen the cramped dirty feed lots or the packed chutes of a slaughter-house. They could not handle the sights and many would revert to vegetarianism. Me, I prefer to get my meat from the wild.

I offer up hunting and fishing as an alternative to the dependency upon store-bought meat to those people who don’t mind processing your own animals or eating a fish that looks up at you from the grill. Simply put, hunting and fishing is a healthier and more economical way of providing the necessary proteins that you need for your diet versus going to the store and buying a package of ground what-ya-ma-call-it.  I don’t wish to deceive anyone, it is certainly a lot more challenging to track and kill and animal then it is to go to the super market. But where is the independence in that?

In the end, the total cost of hunting and fishing enough meat for a family of three will be substantially lower than the cost of buying a somewhat equal product at the store. You can sustain yourself by simply securing a selected amount of five different game animals (Deer, Elk, Turkey, Rabbit, and Wild Pig) and three different fish (Tuna, Catfish, and Trout). The animals you choose to hunt can be changed to suit your specific region. Let’s break it down.

The USDA recommends the average person (children, women, and men) consume 5 – 7 ounces of protein a day broken down into 2-3 servings. So we will use is 6 ounces of protein a day for the average person. This gives us 2184 ounces of protein consumption for the entire year. Converting this to pounds will make it easier for our calculations. The average human should consume 136.5 lbs of protein a year.

Here is an average breakdown of the yield from my selected game animals.



Live  Weight

Edible  Yield


Deer (Buck)









20lbs each




3lbs each



Wild Pig




Yellow Tail Tuna

30lbs each




2lbs each




5lbs each


Total = 435lbs of meat

435lbs of meat is enough to sustain three individuals for a period of about a year. As an alternative, if the choice to hunt an elk is not reasonable then you could exclude this from the equation. You would then have 85% of your total protein consumption for two people from game meat. The other 15% would include the consumption of other sources of protein such as eggs, nuts, and beans or the addition of another fish or game animal.  There is certainly room to play around with the figures. This model serves merely as a base line for the sake of debate.

Deer and Elk would take the place of beef in your diet. Turkey and Rabbit would replace chicken. Wild Pork will substitute store-bought pork and hand caught fish would replace that fresh/frozen purchased or canned. Average prices for the store purchased meats will be combined with the total yields of wild game and fish.




Edible  Yield

Total Game Yield


Deer (Buck)






Store Bought Beef (Average price $4.71/pound) x 255lbs = $1201.00




Edible  Yield

Total Game Yield








Store Bought Poultry (Average price $1.37/pound) x 40lbs = $54.80




Edible  Yield

Total  Game Yield


Wild Pig



Store Bought Pork (Average price $3.15/pound) x 90lbs = $283.50



Edible  Yield

Total  Game Yield


Yellow Tail Tuna









Store Bought Yellow Tail Tuna (Average price $18.00/pound) x 30lbs =  $540.00

Store Bought Trout (Average price $6.50/pound) x 5lbs =  $32.50

Store Bought Catfish (Average price $3.99/pound) x 15lbs =  $59.85

  Total: $ 632.35


Total Store Bought Meat for one year for a household of three = $2171.65

I know, you are thinking to yourself, that’s not that too bad for three people. Here is how we will figure the benefit of landing your own meat. This example works for me here in California. For others it may be cheaper or more expensive depending on where you live. There will still be a substantial difference in the totals.

The total for all the necessary licenses and tags for the state of California equals $164.53. The cost of a deep-sea fishing expedition out of San Diego is $46.00. California hosts a random drawing for the Elk tags so I chose Washington for my Elk meat because the state allows an open purchase. In Washington, a Non-Resident Elk Tag is $497.00 and a Resident Elk Tag is $50.00. So that gives us a Grand Total of $260.00 or $707.00depending on how you play your cards. That is a savings of $1688.00/year on average.

There are really only two variables present in the equation. If you do not have the necessary equipment then you would have to purchase such equipment prior to hunting or fishing. This would be an upfront cost which would diminish over time as you acquired the equipment. The second would be your success rate. This model is based upon a 100% success rate. Each year you would be hunting for your food for the following year. If you failed to meet the quota for a specific season then you could modify your plan to encompass other game animals or supplement the remainder of your diet with other sources of protein depending on the time of the year.

The health benefits are certainly present. Game meat has been proven to be leaner and more beneficial to your body than domesticated livestock. The condition from which wild game is harvested is much cleaner, environmentally safer, and healthier than its domesticated counterparts. As an added bonus, the general worry about injected hormones, toxins, steroids, and additives are eliminated. What you harvest is safe for your body. Now your food is as organic and local as it gets. Not to mention, the pursuit of game requires some level of active participation which forces you to live a more involved lifestyle as you pursue your food.

So, in the end, it is more sustainable, healthier, and more economical to hunt and fish for your meat versus purchasing them from the store. What are you waiting for? Grab you pack and get outside!

The Lost Ways is a survival book that shows you how to survive using only methods that were tested and proven by our forefathers for centuries. The best way to survive the next major crisis is to look back at how people did things 150 years ago. This book is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread—like people did when there was no food—to building a traditional backyard smokehouse. Watch the video below:


Source : harvestingnature.com


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Tales from the Turkey Woods

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Tales from the Turkey Woods Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below! This week I spent some time chasing turkeys through the woods and fields. The last eight years I have been on a mission, to kill a turkey. The last eight years I have failed. Eight years ago I started hunting. After watching … Continue reading Tales from the Turkey Woods

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How To Grow 90 Pounds Of Tomatoes From 5 Plants

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How To Grow 90 Pounds Of Tomatoes From 5 Plants Are you short on space in your garden? Do you want to grow more tomatoes in a smaller area? Do you want more tomatoes to sell, store, can or eat? This method of growing them could see yields up to 90 lbs from just 5 plants. …

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Survival Gear Review: Back Packer’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes

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2_shtfblog-survival-cache-best-survival-backpackers-pantry-multigrain-buttermilk-hotcakes-pancakes-spatula-organic-lodge-cast-ironThis past weekend, I had a bit of cabin fever – I needed to get out of the house, tromp around in the woods, start a fire in the snow. So I bundled up my 3-year-old boy, filled a backpack with a thermos of hot chocolate, a small container of olive oil, a Lodge 12” cast iron skillet, a liter bottle of water, a spatula, a bit of Maine real maple syrup, and the coup de grace – a package of Backpacker’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes. We gathered up the dog and stomped out into the woods, leaving Mrs. Drew to enjoy a few minutes of precious peace and quiet, sipping her coffee.

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

I’ve been starting my lil’ dude on making fires in the woods (never too early!) so I had him find a birch tree and peel some bark while I collected dry twigs and branches from the myriad white pine trees in the area; I scored and found a recently fallen small sugar maple to get some nice hardwood coals in the fire for cooking.

We set up the birch bark and dry twigs, and I showed my son how to scrape a firesteel for a small pile of ferrocerium shavings, and with one healthy blast on the Firesteel GobSpark Armageddon, we had a toasty little fire going. Once the fire was healthy and happy, I let him poke around in the coals with a long stick – an irresistible fireside hobby that comes to us while we’re young, apparently. The fire danced and snapped, my son slurped hot chocolate, my dog searched for squirrels, and I started looking into breakfast.

Pancakes in a bag?

I dug the package of Backpacker’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes out of my pack, and set to reading the instructions. Pretty simple: open the pouch, dump in ¾ cup of cold water, seal the bag up, shake until mixed. I could handle that. Probably.

3_shtfblog-survival-cache-best-survival-backpackers-pantry-multigrain-buttermilk-hotcakes-pancakes-organic-hemp-add-waterI opened the resealable bag of mix, and looked inside. First order of business was to locate the little oxygen absorber packet so it didn’t accidentally become hotcake ingredients and then remove all the oxygen from my stomach through a probably very unappealing chemical process. I dug around through the mix and located the errant hitchhiker, then poured my approximation of ¾ cup of cold water in the bag. I sealed the bag up, folded it over, and shook the shit out of the package. For good measure, I let my son shake it up, too. You can never be too careful.

Read Also: The KISS AR – 15

I opened up the bag and peered inside at its goopy contents. It looked pretty runny to me even after a couple good hearty shakings, so I used my spatula to mix things up a bit, scraping the sides of the bag to make sure I got all the mix. No improvement: I came to the conclusion that either my water-measurement eyeballing skills were far below par, or the mix was a little on the soupy side when properly made. No worries, though – I was committed at this point, and lil’ dude was giving me toddler hell about not having pancakes, so I oiled up the cast iron skillet and let it sit over the two wrist-sized hardwood logs I’d placed atop the campfire cooking coals we’d cultivated and poked at. In a few minutes, a sprinkle of water danced on the surface of the skillet, so I knew it was game time.

The Magic Of Campfire Cooking

Ahh, the beauty of a fire in the woods – pine smoke, crackling branches, clothes that retain that sweet smoky eau de campfire scent that drives the women crazy. However, when it comes to cooking pancakes on cast iron, that campfire becomes an evil beast that makes one jump to grab the spatula like a man who just sat on a rattlesnake that’s having a bad day.

4_shtfblog-survival-cache-best-survival-backpackers-pantry-multigrain-buttermilk-hotcakes-pancakes-spatula-organic-lodge-cast-ironI poured the batter from the pouch onto the oiled, heated cast iron skillet, and the batter practically baked on the spot; bubbles (a sure sign that pancakes are done) burst from below in seconds, shocking the hell out of me and ensuring that breakfast would be a bit quicker than intended. I lunged for the spatula, shook off the residual batter left from stirring, and hastily scraped the poor scorched hotcakes from the pan. A quick flip for the two pancakes I’d made, and I let the pancakes sit another fifteen seconds or so before popping them off the skillet onto a paper plate. Round one went to the skillet.

I pulled the skillet back off the volcano to let it cool, and thankfully the next round of pancakes was a little bit easier on me. I was a nice dad and gave the better-looking pair of hotcakes to my son, lest he hate campfire cooking for the rest of his life. I’m sure he’ll thank me for it later when he’s burning bacon and eggs over campfires for years to come.

I drizzled on some real maple syrup (that fake Mrs. Butterworth stuff is for commies) and gave the Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes a whirl.

The Verdict Is In

I know it’s hard to make something taste bad when it’s covered in the delectable nectar that is Maine maple syrup, but these Hotcakes were actually pretty damned good. They tasted very similar to whole wheat or buckwheat pancakes (if any of you have ventured into that territory), very rich and a little dense. These hotcakes were meant to provide a bunch of protein for the backpacker or camper, and they taste the part. They weren’t like scratch-made griddle cakes like grandma used to make, but considering they will give you honest long-lasting energy (plus a nice sugar boost if you put syrup, honey, or jam on them), with four 4-inch pancakes providing 15 grams of protein.

Related: Making Maple Syrup

My three-year-old son requested seconds, so I happily obliged. The hotcakes were pretty filling, and we sat in the sun next to the fire, recovering happily from the unexpected need to make fast food and sipping hot chocolate. The hotcakes were winners.

The Company

5_backpackers_pantry_logo_smBackpacker’s Pantry – just so you know – pride themselves in offering organic foods to their customers, and these hotcakes were no different. The ingredient list is comprised of all food, no preservatives or chemicals. The spelt flour, evaporated cane juice, baking powder, and cornstarch are all listed as being from organic sources. A good FYI for people with allergies: These hotcakes include milk,  eggs, wheat, and gluten – so keep an eye out. Nobody likes dealing with food allergies, especially out on the trail.

I wouldn’t throw this hotcake mix in a Bug-Out Bag or emergency bag – the hassle of needing large cookware and a spatula would be too much. However, keeping a couple packages of Backpacker’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes in a Bug-out camper, or in your house pantry in case you need a just-add-water breakfast, would be a great idea, especially if you have kids and need some calming comfort food. While I didn’t try it, the addition of berries or nuts would be a fantastic locally-sourced addition. Baking this mix in a dutch oven probably wouldn’t yield bad results either…I’ll have to try it out, now that I think about it. The Backpacker’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes are definitely a welcome addition to anyone who might want a kick-start to their day but not carry around the whole refrigerator.

Aquaponics- Growing Food with Fish

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Aquaponics- Growing Food with Fish We often get much of our aquaponics information from first hand users that enjoy the benefits of this method of growing food and fish everyday. That is a great source. There is an incredible cohesive relationship between the fish and the plants in a well run system. Imagine producing fish …

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Barter will become the new economy after the global financial collapse, so make sure you have plenty of these items

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Following the global collapse of the world’s financial system, which no one knows when will happen but many believe is inevitable given the massive debt held by the world’s biggest economies, the concept of “money” will change virtually overnight.

Like post-World War I Germany, when hyperinflation made the currency – the mark – so devalued and worthless that German waiters in restaurants had to climb on tables to announce new menu prices every 30 minutes, the world’s currencies will similarly collapse, since they are all based on the U.S. dollar.

Five years ago an MIT study noted that an earlier analysis predicting a “global economic collapse” by 2030 had not changed and was “still on track” to occur. But the key is the dollar.

And more recently Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, predicted that should President Donald J. Trump fail to convert to the Church of Globalism, like the Deep State and the global elite want him to, they are more likely to crash the economy on purpose and blame him for it, in order to retain their own power and prevent him from draining the swamp.

While that reasoning is certainly sound – and most Americans probably would blame him – in many ways it won’t matter who is responsible, only that the economy as we knew it no longer exists. Which means what we typically used to obtain goods and services – money – is no longer valuable.

But our needs won’t change. We’ll still need food, water, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene items, ammunition, firearms, and other things in order to carry on with our lives as best we can. And though money might be obsolete, the things we need to live will still retain value.

How will we obtain them? Through a barter system.

Barter is a system of exchange where goods or services are exchanged for other goods and services. If you have something of value – even a skill – you can use it to trade for something you need that someone else has.

Here are some of the most popular items that you’ll need to obtain to use as currency in a post-collapse world so you can still get what you need:

— Precious metals like gold and silver

— Alcohol – believe it or not, this will be in high demand; buy small quantities though, like half-pints and single bottles

— Tobacco – even stale, someone will want a smoke

— Ammunition – all popular calibers like .22LR, 9 mm, .45 ACP, .223, .40 cal (Read : Top 5 Ammo Types for Your Survival Guns )

— Over-the-counter meds like Tylenol/ibuprofen, aspirin, allergy medications and antibiotic ointment (Read : 17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills)

— Bandages/band aids

— Bar soap

— Individual sanitary wipes

Water (in individual bottles); having your own water supply will become invaluable – and something you’ll have to guard day and night

— Hygiene supplies, especially for women

— Gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene

— Cooking oil

— Fishing gear and tackle

— Batteries (9V, AA, AAA, C)

— Food – individually packed like military meals ready to eat (MREs)

— Nails, screws, bolts, nuts, lumber

— Paper

— Books and magazines – yes, it will get boring during the apocalypse without electronic games, Facebook and Netflix

— Plastic sheeting and trash bags – for shelters and waterproofing

— Board games and playing cards will come in handy

— Tooth brushes

— Any prepper items like fire starters

— Disposable lighters, flints and steel

— Plastic storage containers (think Tupperware ®)

— Ziplock bags

— Zip ties


These skills will also come in handy to use as barter:

Medical skills – like EMT/Paramedic, nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors

— Construction skills – builders, carpenters, masons, electricians

— Military and former military professionals and veterans

— Farmer and expert gardener

— Automobile mechanic

Homesteader – someone who knows how to make soap, candles, and other consumables that you will need and use over and over again

— Gunsmiths and ammunition reloaders

There are others but these suggestions give you an idea of what will come in very handy in a post-collapse world, when things we take for granted now because we can drive a few miles to a store and get them with ease become very scarce – yet just as necessary for our comfort and survival.

One more tip: You should learn one of the valuable skills mentioned above or perhaps even a combination of them, to give yourself more barter value.

Source : naturalnews.com


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Bowhunting: For Food and Survival

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Bowhunting: For Food and Survival There is definitely an enigmatic mystique and awe when it comes to archery. Most people know what archery is, but few truly appreciate it. The amount of skill, dedication and practice that it takes to become a good archer is definitely underrated. Many people, when they try to shoot an … Continue reading Bowhunting: For Food and Survival

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When White Rice becomes a Luxury

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The Dias family welcomed us to their home, as Jennifer ate their first rice in a week.

Are you getting complacent with your preparedness? Not putting aside as much food as you used to?

Then you need to watch this short clip, its just one minute and ten seconds people, but it says so much more than I can in this post.

Venezuela: Where supplies are few and pain is everywhere

Check this video as well. The guy at 3:02, literally showing how many new holes he has made to his belt.

Yes, Venezuela again. A country destroyed by corruption, communism and downright stupidity. How on Earth do you turn a tropical, fertile, oil rich country into a hellhole where everyone in it is starving?

Food is key. So is knowing your politics, knowing when to escape these death traps in time.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

How to Buy and Eat Cruelty-Free Chicken

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In recent years, the price of chicken has dropped so low that shoppers today rarely worry about whether they can afford it.

What was once a luxury reserved for Sunday dinners has quickly become a staple meat for cost-effective meals.

Cheap Price, High Cost

While the rise of cheap chicken is thanks to lower costs of production and improved efficiency from factory farming, focusing only on the economics means that today’s poultry comes at a different kind of cost: one that concerns animal welfare, the spread of disease, and unnecessary pollution instead.

With these considerations in mind, modern-day meat suddenly looks far more expensive.

There’s good news if you’re looking for ways to source your chicken more sustainably.

Thanks to popular demand for higher quality food, it’s never been easier to find poultry that was raised without cruelty.

However, more options doesn’t necessarily mean that the search is simple.

Misleading industry terms and inconsistent labeling in grocery stores and restaurants can make it hard to know what quality bird you’re really eating.1The Guardian: Where Can I buy Safer, Healthier, More Sustainable Meat?

In order to learn how to find ethically raised chicken, follow the advice in this guide so that you know where to look.

Understanding Industry Lingo

If life were easy, all it would take to know the origins of your meat would be labels like “humanely raised,” “all natural,” or “free range.”

Unfortunately, the poultry industry has much to gain from looking more ethical than it is, meaning that the labels on most chicken products often imply far more than they legally mean.

  • For example, labeling a chicken breast as “cage free” is meaningless, as chicken cages are only ever used in the egg industry. In any case, even cage-free chickens are usually raised in stuffy and overcrowded conditions that leave them without room to freely move around.
  • In the same way, labeling a chicken as “natural” means even less. All this term legally means is that the food product was minimally processed after butchering and doesn’t contain artificial ingredients. It tells you nothing about how the animal was raised or about the “artificial ingredients” it was exposed to in life.
  • Even the term “organic” is often used to represent more than it means. Large farm lobbyists have been successful in diluting its meaning to ensure that it’s easier for them to meet the standards. This means that even organic chicken raised in factory-farm conditions and with minimal access to the outside world is at no risk of losing its certification.

Terms You Can Trust

Some food industry terms are far more meaningful than others.

The following terms make it easy to understand how your meat was raised because they have stricter standards and aren’t open to interpretation like other industry phrases can be.

Animal Welfare Approved (AWA): As an independent certification, this label ensures that the chicken in question was raised on a sustainable, pasture-based family farm. A directory of AWA certified products can be found here.

Global Animal Partnership: Consisting of a five-part certification system,2Global Animal Partnership: 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standard for Chicken Raised for Meat the Global Animal Partnership has a multi-tiered approach to animal welfare standards. Look for their 4, 5, and 5+ ratings to seek out the farms with the highest standards for humane treatment for their animals.

Certified Humane: As a leading nonprofit certification standard, Certified Humane certification ensures that the producers met the Animal Care Standards for their animals from birth to slaughter; never kept their animals in crates, cages, or tie stalls; and fed them a diet of high-quality food without animal byproducts or antibiotics.3Certifiedhumane.org

5 Tips for Buying Ethically Raised Chicken and Eggs

In many ways, the best ways to buy ethically raised chicken are hiding in plain sight.

You don’t need to change your entire shopping strategy: simply knowing where to look and the kinds of brands to buy is an easy way to source sustainable, delicious poultry.

Following are five strategies for finding suppliers of humane egg and poultry products near you.

1. Connect With a Local Farm

By far, the best way to understand how your chickens were raised is to visit them on the farm yourself.

If a farm visit isn’t realistic, a good alternative is to look up nearby farms online to see what they’re publicizing about their livestock conditions. When you find a farm with practices you approve of, you can connect with them at local farmers’ markets or as part of their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

Need help finding farms around you? These websites are a good place to start.



2. Befriend a Butcher

Quaint as the career may sound, butchers still exist, and they typically are a source for some of the freshest, tastiest poultry around.

Because butchers often buy directly from local farms, they tend to have a good idea about the conditions their animals are raised in. By visiting a butcher, you can gain insight about local farm practices and enjoy the flavors of meat cuts often not available in grocery storesall while supporting a local business.

3. Dig Deeper Into Your Store Selections

Shopping the meat aisle of most grocery stores can be a daunting process.

All the imagery of sunlit barns on beautiful farms makes it hard to imagine the chicken it contains actually came from an airless factory farm.

Knowing which brands are known for their high standards can be tricky, but a general rule is to stay away from big brands that dominate store shelves. Most rely on inhumane practices for raising their chickens and are best avoided if you want to hold them accountable for their actions.

A better choice is to carefully comb through the selection in order to find smaller brands with certifications you can trust, like Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane.

4. Try a Natural Food Store

Unlike regular grocery stores, natural food stores are far more likely to stock chicken from local farms and co-ops.

Because of their small size, it’s easier for them to carry limited selections of poultry from local farms that raise their animals with high standards.

You can find a co-op near you with the Co-op Directory Service.

5. Eat Smarter in Restaurants

When it comes to eating out, tracking down the origins of the meat on your plate is usually all but impossible. Now, that’s changing, thanks to an innovative new app called the Humane Eating Project.4Foodtank: Humanely sourced meals at the tip of your fingers; A new app supporting animal welfare 

Started by a San Diego nonprofit, the Humane Eating Project is a phone application with a database of over 16,000 restaurants that helps you locate ones near you that serve humanely raised meat or vegetarian food options.

The app also shows you maps to nearby restaurants and provides as much detail as possible about where the restaurant sources its food from and the certifications that it has.

Available for Apple, Android, and Blackberry, you can learn more about the Humane Eating Project from the app store on your phone.

6. Raise Your Own Chickens

For anyone with a few spare feet of yard space and a little ambition, one of the best ways to ensure your chicken is ethically sourced is to raise it yourself.

While local regulations5Extension: Developing Regulations for Keeping Urban Chickens may dictate how many (if any) birds you are allowed to have, an increasing number of cities across the country are legalizing small flocks of hens for homeowners.

Keeping backyard chickens is easier than most people expect.

A flock of four to six birds can provide a small family with eggs for most of the year, and the nutritional benefits are truly unmatched.

Compared to factory-farmed eggs, eggs from backyard chickens with access to pasture have 25 percent more vitamin E, 75 percent more beta carotene, half as much cholesterol, and up to 20 times more omega-3 fatty acids.6Mother Earth News: Benefits of Backyard Eggs

Backyard birds who will stay confined need a minimum of 14 feet of coop and run space per bird. If you’re planning to free range your chickens, they’ll need four square feet of coop space per bird. Ideally, you should also plan on having 871 square feet of available yard space per foraging chicken to help keep your lawn healthy and cut some of your feed costs.

Fencing made from 1/2 inch hardware cloth or electrified poultry netting makes it simple to create outdoor run spaces for backyard birds that both keep them safe from predators and allow your hens to supplement their diet with healthy fats and proteins. (And this added nutrition directly benefits the eggs, as well!)

By raising your own chickens, you can control the conditions they are raised in and the food they eat, ensuring they provide you with healthful meat and eggs from ethically raised chickens.

In Summary

Finding sources of humanely raised chicken might seem hard, but it’s far from impossible if you know where to look.

Don’t be afraid to shop in new ways and seek out local options near you, and you’ll be likely to find new sources for the kind of meat you can feel good about eating.

References   [ + ]

The post How to Buy and Eat Cruelty-Free Chicken appeared first on The Grow Network.

The Enemies of Food Storage

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The Enemies of Food Storage This is an article on food safety. In fact, I would encourage anyone who is truly interested in food storage, canning and other ways of growing, cooking and processing foods to take a course in food safety. It is great information for the smooth sailing of today or the rough …

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The Best Food to Dehydrate for Long Term Survival Storage

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The Best Food to Dehydrate for Long Term Survival Storage First you back stock your pantry and keep it at a level where it could sustain you and your family for 72 hours. Then you step it up a notch, get some shelving, and store enough food for a few weeks. Before long you have …

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What Makes An Organic Chicken Organic?

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A chicken is a chicken is a chicken—right? Many consumers still think so, but thankfully the tide is turning. Slowly but surely, our convenience-driven society is starting to ask the right questions about both conventionally raised and organic chicken.

No longer are they just concerned about price per pound.

Now, they’re also wondering:

How healthy was this chicken when it was alive?

Is this meat contaminated and going to make me sick?

Did this bird receive constant doses of low-level antibiotics?

Awareness Is Growing

This shift in the modern food system is leaving more customers than ever concerned about the life their meal lived before winding up on their plate.

Concerns about tainted meat1http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/the-high-cost-of-cheap-chicken/index.htm and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance2http://thegrownetwork.com/antibiotic-resistance/ means that sourcing clean, healthy, and sustainable poultry is more important than ever.

For this reason, many people are turning to organic certification as guidance for buying their chicken.

According to the Organic Trade Association, sales of organic poultry in the U.S. rose 11 percent in 2013,3https://www.ota.com/resources/market-analysis and the number continues to climb. Even so, organic chicken still makes up less than 1 percent of the total poultry market, meaning there is plenty of room for demand to grow.

While most conscientious customers equate “organic” with health, sustainability and humane treatment for animals, few have a solid understanding of what the term specifies.

To uncover exactly what organic certification legally means and what it only implies, let’s look at the facts.

The Meaning Behind ‘Organic’

The term “organic” is property of the USDA, meaning it has legal control over the kinds of products that are certified.

In regards to chicken and other poultry, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is the authority that sets the definitions4http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/02/what-is-organic-free-range-chicken-usda-poultry-chicken-labels-definition.html for common labels like organic, free-range, cage free and more.

The difference with organic food comes from the way it is produced. Per the USDA,5https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/What is Organic.pdf organic growing must “integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

By regulation, organic food must be grown or raised without pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and synthetic fertilizers, and be free from genetic engineering.

The Specifics for Chickens

Being organic is a lifelong process for poultry.

From the time they are two days old, organic chickens are fed a balanced diet of organic feed, live in generally clean housing that provides more than two square feet per bird,6http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/01/18/510474179/organic-chickens-get-more-room-to-roam have access to the outdoors, and are never treated with antibiotics.

In order to maintain their organic certification, chicken farmers need to follow strict standards and have their farms inspected regularly by the USDA.

Organic Chicken Growing Conditions

While many farmers find the requirements for raising organic chickens to be more than sufficient for promoting animal welfare, the mental image most people have of the life of a typical organic chicken is likely far from reality.

For example, though organic chickens are required to have outdoor access, there are few provisions about how much time they should spend outside or even how much space they need.

This means that many organic chickens live their lives in factory farm settings where “outdoor access”7http://homeguides.sfgate.com/difference-between-organic-freerange-chicken-79293.html is restricted to small cement pens that few, if any of the chickens take advantage of.

In fact, a study8http://www.organicagcentre.ca/Docs/AnimalWelfare/Soil Association/Welfare standards organic v free range.pdf from the UK looked at the ‘free-range’ tendencies of 800,000 organic birds and found that even though the birds technically had access to the outdoors for eight hours a day, fewer than 15 percent of the birds were ever outside at any time.

Because chickens evolved foraging under trees and tall greases, it seems they have little preference for the overly bright, open air spaces that conventional farms provide for them to range in.

Should You Choose Organic Chicken?

While organic chicken has grown in popularity throughout the world, some diners aren’t sure that it’s worth the cost.

Store brand chicken usually costs $1.50 per pound, but the price of organic chicken ranges from $2.50 to over $10.00 per pound.

Complicating the situation farther, nonorganic chickens are often plumper than organic birds, both because of their heavy diet optimized for weight gain and because they are processed with water to add an appearance of juiciness.9http://www.reuters.com/article/us-money-chicken-organic-idUSKBN0FM24Q20140717

Finally, while grass fed beef and pork has a distinctive flavor when compared with conventionally raised cuts, it’s much harder to taste the difference between organic and nonorganic chicken.

However, the higher price comes with some significant benefits, both for the environment and for those who eat it.

If you want your meat to be free from antibiotics, genetic engineering and raised in a way that takes the sustainability of the environment into consideration, paying for organic chicken is worth the cost.

Does Farm Size Matter?

As the popularity of the organic movement has grown, so has the size of the farms that provide organic meat.

In fact, large-scale producers now dominate the organic industry to the point that smaller growers are often crowded out.

This can make comparing organic practices between farms a little like comparing apples and oranges, as the commitment to sustainability can vary considerably based on the size of the farm.

Inevitably, larger farms often get away with more lenient practices.

Part of the problem comes because large farms can afford to hire lobbyists to shape the policies for organic certification.

Because large farms have the most to lose when organic regulations become stricter, they tend to push for looser standards10http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/business/organic-food-purists-worry-about-big-companies-influence.html so that they can maintain their profitability.

For this reason, large organic farms often more closely resemble conventional factory farms than the pastoral ideal that most organic enthusiasts prefer to picture.

Similar Terms and Their Definitions

While the term “organic” may be more loosely defined than most consumers prefer, it’s just one of over a dozen terms used to describe different ways of raising chickens.

Like “organic,” many of these terms also imply far more than they legally mean.

Most are designed for factory farm operations, and some brands (like Perdue)11https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YkbpH0gjKs&feature=youtu.be even pay to receive USDA certification that is exclusively for them. For this reason, it’s often a good idea to take the implied claims on chicken labels with a grain of salt.

Some of the most common classifications for grocery store chicken are below.    

Poultry Grades: Poultry grades are ways to categorize the physical characteristics of each bird, including the plumpness of meat, the distribution of fat, and overall bone structure.

All chickens inspected by the AMS are given a grade of A, B, or C, with Grade A poultry being the highest quality.

However, poultry grades indicate nothing about how an animal was raised and instead refer to the quality of the cut.12Serious Eats: Know Your Chicken. What USDA Poultry Labels Actually Mean

Free Range: To be considered free range, chicken producers must provide their chickens with outdoor access for at least half their lives.

However, the term doesn’t require birds to actually spend time outside,13http://homeguides.sfgate.com/difference-between-organic-freerange-chicken-79293.html meaning that “free-range” birds are often tightly packed into indoor coops with small cement paddocks that few, if any, of the birds spend time on.

This means that many of the birds labeled as free range in the grocery store may never have spent more than a few minutes outdoors, much less on pasture. However, similarly certified free range birds may have spent their lives on gorgeous green pastures- making the term largely meaningless for any real insight.

Cage Free: Legally used as a label for egg-laying hens, “cage free” refers to the fact that the hens weren’t kept in cages to make collecting eggs more efficient.

While all birds raised for meat are cage free, some brands still carry the label as an attempt to earn consumer credit for a practice that is already standard throughout the industry.

No Antibiotics Administered or Raised without Antibiotics: Because poultry is usually raised in enormous flocks, diseases can spread quickly.

For this reason, most conventional farmers use antibiotics to keep their birds from getting sick.

Chicken labeled ‘no antibiotics administered’ was never treated with antibiotics, meaning that the farmer responsible found other ways to maintain the health of his flock.

No Hormones: Using growth hormones and steroids on poultry has been illegal since 1959, so any producer that advertises that their birds are hormone free is taking credit for something that has long been standard in the industry.

Natural: This term refers to meat that isn’t overly processed and doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Because almost all poultry falls under the category of “natural,” the term is largely meaningless.

Fresh: To qualify as fresh, chicken can’t be cooled below 26 degrees Fahrenheit before being sold. 

In Summary

While the organic regulations for chicken don’t go as far as many people would prefer, they are a standardized way to get a sense of the origins of your meat.

Choosing certified organic chicken might not guarantee that your bird spent its days foraging for worms under the sunshine, but it ensures that it was raised on an organic diet, without antibiotics, and with access to the outdoors.

If you’re looking for a way to become more conscious about the food you eat, choosing organic chicken is a smart place to start.

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/02/the-high-cost-of-cheap-chicken/index.htm
2. http://thegrownetwork.com/antibiotic-resistance/
3. https://www.ota.com/resources/market-analysis
4. http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/02/what-is-organic-free-range-chicken-usda-poultry-chicken-labels-definition.html
5. https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/What is Organic.pdf
6. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/01/18/510474179/organic-chickens-get-more-room-to-roam
7, 13. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/difference-between-organic-freerange-chicken-79293.html
8. http://www.organicagcentre.ca/Docs/AnimalWelfare/Soil Association/Welfare standards organic v free range.pdf
9. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-money-chicken-organic-idUSKBN0FM24Q20140717
10. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/business/organic-food-purists-worry-about-big-companies-influence.html
11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YkbpH0gjKs&feature=youtu.be
12. Serious Eats: Know Your Chicken. What USDA Poultry Labels Actually Mean

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America’s Food Supply Chain Is Fragile. I Learned That The Hard Way.

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America’s Food Supply Chain Is Fragile. I Learned That The Hard Way.

Stock photo.

I stopped at a supermarket recently to pick up a few items. I live out in the country and stay pretty well stocked up on food and supplies most of the time, but I keep a running list and make a habit of crossing items off it whenever I happen to be in town.

I walked into the produce section and encountered a shocking scene. Instead of the mounds of fresh fruits and vegetables piled high like I’m accustomed to seeing, I instead was met with the sight of bare wooden shelves.

An expanse of empty shelves in a big regional chain store is unnerving. We all realize that it does happen in extenuating circumstances, such as a blizzard or hurricane. And it is not unusual to find very few choices of hams available the day before Easter or the hot dog buns sold out on the Fourth of July weekend. But to find produce suddenly stripped bare on a random Spring day? Americans are not used to that.

I had seen temporary signs posted in the entrance, asking customers to excuse the appearance inside and citing the reason to be a recent warehouse fire further south, but had not paid them any real attention. In a first-world society where goods are easily acquired and food is abundant, we can afford to be dismissive of such notifications.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Or can we?

America’s Food Supply Chain Is Fragile. I Learned That The Hard Way.A store worker advised me that it could be another few days before a shipment of fresh produce and other goods arrived. I often joke that where I live, in a rural area of a rural state, is “at the end of the food chain.” Food travels a long way to reach my grocery stores, often the width of the continent, sometimes leaving me with the choice of two-week-old peppers or rock-hard peaches. Even after crossing the state line, deliveries are made to stores in the handful of smaller cities further south before getting to my neck of the woods.

It Was Right Here in America

Suddenly, it was no joking matter. The warehouse fire made me realize what it really means to be at the end of the line.

“Wow,” I exclaimed to my husband after leaving the store. “It felt like I had stepped into Argentina.”

It could have been any food-insecure place on the planet. But it was right here in America, in a place where people expect to have access to anything and everything, all the time.

There was nothing urgent on my list, and I knew there was a full pantry of canned and frozen goods at home. Being unable to purchase the food on my list that day was nothing more than an inconvenience for me.

But it was jarring to be faced with empty shelves, and it led me to ponder what-ifs. What if the fire had been at a major regional hub instead? What if it had been something with an even greater impact, such as a widespread power outage or a couple of major highway bridges washed out by floods or a damaging earthquake?

If I had been scared, I would have run through the produce section and scooped up everything I saw, from rutabaga to endive, whether it was on my list or not. But then again, if I had been scared, chances are other people would have been scared, too. If the situation had been serious, there might have already been a run on the store by the time I arrived, cleaning out not only the fresh foods but the cereal and canned corn and boxed stuffing mix and frozen pineapple and everything else, as well. What then?

America’s Food Supply Chain Is Fragile. I Learned That The Hard Way.It is widely believed that grocery stores stock only three or four days’ worth of food at any given time. Modern transportation and computerized inventory management are generally considered reliable strategies for the 21st century.

If the three-day inventory rule is accurate, it is likely calculated using sales during normal conditions. In case of an emergency, there is no way to know how long the store’s goods would last.

Are Most Americans Prepared?

Another what-if I considered is this: even during the minor interruption of food supply that did occur, what if my cabinets were bare and my refrigerator empty? It was just a few days, and there were still plenty of alternative food choices in the store. And there are other grocery chains—although most towns within an hour’s drive have only the one—so it still would not have been truly life and death. But for those large numbers of people who do not keep at least three days’ worth of food on hand, something as small as a regional warehouse fire could have a significant impact.

The Next Generation In Solar Backup Generators Is Finally Here!

This tiny little glitch in the food supply chain was a powerful wake-up call — even for me, a person already cognizant of possible shortages enough to consider myself something of a prepper. The experience of being surprised by empty shelves on an otherwise normal day made the concept of true disaster feel real somehow, and drove home how very fragile our food supply chain really is.

I wonder if most Americans are truly aware of how very close to the precipice we live our lives. A look around the world at empty store shelves and looting and long lines — waiting for basic food supplies — should prompt us to acknowledge that it really could happen to us. A severe weather event, a worker strike, a drought, a flood, an electronic mishap, a grid-down situation — any number of things could come between us and our ability to attain affordable food, with little or no warning.

Of the many reasons for stocking up and being prepared for the unexpected, people sometimes overlook the simplest and most likely to happen scenarios. But these events can be extremely valuable. They can remind us that emergencies can and do happen when we least expect them and help us remain aware of our own need to keep an adequate household food supply on hand.

Food insecurity on a wide scale may be less likely here in America than in many other corners of the globe, but it is folly to be so complacent as to assure ourselves that it can never happen here. My recent encounter with temporarily bare shelves is an excellent testament to the importance of being prepared for the unexpected, from the tiniest of inconveniences to absolute disaster.

Do you agree or disagree? Have you ever experienced empty shelves? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Store Food Like a Pro Using Mylar Bags

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Humans need food for sustenance. All catastrophic end-of-world scenarios force people to think one way or another on how they can get food to survive.

You may have heard about Mylar Bags when you were looking for a way to store large quantities of food. You may be wondering how Mylar bags are different from any other bulk food storage options available in the market. How do you use one for storing rations?

Searching about it online can possibly raise more questions than answers. So in an effort to lift that veil of mystery surrounding Mylar bags, we discuss the most common questions and tell you all about using Mylar bags to store bulk emergency foods safely and efficiently.

Quick Navigation:


A. What is a Mylar Bag?

Let’s get something cleared up first. The word Mylar is not a brand name but rather one of the many variations of a material called BoPet. What is BoPet? If we were to prolong it, the name means “Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate”. Mylar is a trade name coined by a company called DuPont way back in the 50’s. This remarkable polyester film material was then used by NASA for their space programs.

BoPet is a film that’s produced when you stretch polyethylene terephthalate. It’s an amazing material best known for its superior tensile strength. Moreover, it was discovered that Mylar had excellent blocking abilities against moisture, gas, light and aroma. It’s a godsend for preppers because it could effectively block electrical waves as well.

Mylar is thin, flexible and light, but these properties belie the fact that it’s one of the most durable and strongest materials there is. You can see Mylar used to great effect in space blankets, insulators, solar filters and atmospheric helium-filled balloons.

Many materials for long-term food storage were used, but Mylar beat them all handily. This makes Mylar as the go-to material for people who want to keep their foods fresh and edible for years on end.


B. Why is Mylar Best for Long-Term Food Storage?

Mylar is better than other food storage materials such as vacuum-sealed, plastic, dry-packed and metalized bags. Think of Mylar as a clear resin made of light polyester material encased in aluminum foil. It’s like a portable, flexible tin can that stores large amounts of food.

It presents some advantages over traditional tin can varieties in a number of ways. Mylar is stronger, is certainly more flexible, and it keeps away elements that could prematurely spoil rations. It has all the good features of all food storage types- strong, light and sealed.

You can pack in food without worrying about breakage. The polyester film conforms on the food you put in, and it collapses when the air is removed. When you put in the food items and vacuum seal them, your food will be safe from the outside elements. You’re in full control when it comes to humidity, light and oxygen content. Survivalists should know that these three elements spoil food much faster than anything else food comes in contact with.


1) Mylar VS Metalized VS Dry Pack Pouch Bags

Dry pack pouches, metalized storage bags and Mylar have something in common- they are all alike! Don’t be confused when your seller refers to Mylar bags as such. All of these are made from the same Mylar material. Make sure to check whether the bags are food-grade. Mylar is just one brand of polyester film, like Xerox is a brand of a copier machine.

On Using Plastic Bags

Plastic bags as long-term food storage solutions are only good if you’re packing in salt. By themselves, salt is a hardy food ingredient that doesn’t require reinforced packaging, even when you need to keep it for a long time.

Plastic bags are thin by nature. They aren’t totally air-tight. They tear easily and they allow light to pass through. As you have probably learned by now, heat, moisture and light are your worst food enemies in long term aspects. Not counting food pests, fire, and other destructive acts of nature, of course.

2) On Using Vacuum Sealed Bags

Vacuum seal bagsVacuum seal bags such as the ones made by FoodSaver are great because they are convenient and easy to use. The air is sucked out of the bag to keep your food preserved and fresh. That’s where the advantages end. Mylar bags are more durable and tougher. Vacuum sealed bags may develop breaks 3, 4 years after they are put in long term storage.

Don’t rule out the usefulness of vacuum sealed bags though. They’re a good alternative for when you need to store food for short to medium lengths of time. You’ll just have to be diligent about rotating the foods you put in vacuum bags and using them as everyday meals when enough time has passed. Make sure to put in oxygen absorbers if you intend to store them for more than 12 months.

Mylar bags are the best in what they do- keeping your food safe for the longest time. You can rely on Mylar bags to store nutritious food when the end of the world finally comes.


C. How To Use Mylar Bags For Storing Food

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your food and Mylar bags. The best and the most efficient use of a Mylar bag is when the size is just right for the type of food you’re packing in.

Mylar bags come in different thickness and size. To keep it simple and not get overly complicated, you can categorize your food and the corresponding Mylar bag to just two sizes- Small and Large.

The perfect size for small food storage are the 1-gallon sizes. You can put in small food items that aren’t needed in bulk, i.e., preserved fruits, dehydrated meats, cooking ingredients such as salt, baking powder and other spices.

Then, for the ones that are stored in bulk, i.e., wheat, beans, rice, etc. you’ll want to go for the large-sized bag. A 5-gallon Mylar bag is suitable for most of these food types. They aren’t too heavy and won’t take too much space. As a side bonus, 5-gallon Mylar bags can be paired with 5-gallon buckets, which will give you even more storage benefits.

The best range of thickness in Mylar bags are between 4.3 to 7 mils. The thicker a Mylar bag is, the more it can repel light and moisture. The only downside to this is that thicker bags are more expensive.

It boils down to how much light and humidity you want to keep out of your food. Standard 3.5 mils bags can still get penetrated by light, which could lead to a rude shortage just when you need food the most. Opt for Mylar bags that are at least 4.3 mils in thickness. This way you won’t have to worry about light and humidity entering your emergency food rations.


D. Using Mylar Bags With 5 Gallon Buckets

5-gallon buckets are great for protecting one of your most valuable assets- food. When thinking about long-term storage, you should always think about the worst things that could happen to your food and water, and come up with solutions to counteract them.

Light and humidity may not be able to penetrate your Mylar bags, but that doesn’t mean insects, rodents and bugs couldn’t as well. They can chew through Mylar material fast and leave it exposed to the outside elements. Plus, your 5-gallon buckets can double as extra storage for when the rations are opened.

The best 5-gallon buckets you can buy are the food-grade ones that have protective lids on top. Simply fill up your Mylar bag with the appropriate food, place it inside the 5-gallon bucket and close the lid. Your stored food will be impervious to light, humidity and any hungry rodents or animal that come your way.

Get thick, hard plastic buckets that can withstand gnawing, biting and chewing. Also, as a wise precaution, use only new food-grade 5-gallon buckets. You won’t want to put in your precious food rations into a non-food grade bucket, because a non-food grade plastic bucket has dyes and harmful chemicals that could seep into your food supply. Contaminated grains and food won’t be good for safe consumption.

Don’t buy second-hand or previously used plastic buckets because you won’t know if they’ve been used to store fuel, paint or chemicals in the past. The porous nature of plastic absorbs any chemical that has spilled to the material makeup, which in turn contaminates the food stored within.

Invest in a few more dollars and get new, food-grade 5 gallon buckets. After you fill your Mylar bags with food and put them inside the buckets, store them in a cool, dry place for optimum storage.


E. Oxygen Absorbers- How Do They Work?

Did you remember to place an oxygen absorber into each Mylar bag before storing them? But wait, how do these oxygen absorbers work?

Oxygen absorbers, or O2 absorbers get the extra oxygen inside Mylar bags when you seal them. It stands to reason that the bigger your Mylar bag, the more oxygen absorber you’ll need. They are measured in cc units.

Here’s how they work- you put in the appropriate amount of oxygen absorber before you seal the bag for storage. Once sealed, the O2 pack does its job of eating up any excess oxygen that’s still present in the bag.

O2 absorbers are important if you want food that can stand the test of time, because oxygen is a huge factor when it comes to your food’s shelf life. You’ll need to figure out the right amount of oxygen absorber to use. Too little and your food will have a reduced shelf life. Too much and you waste valuable money that could be used for other survival measures.

Oxygen absorbers come in different cc’s- 50, 100, 300, 500, 1000, 1500 and 2000 sizes. Let’s simplify the process of finding the right amount of O2 absorber to use by doing a simple computation and rounding up the results. Here’s a useful link you can use- https://youtu.be/Xl5-z77jDow

It’s better to add a little bit too much oxygen absorber than adding too little. The effect of not putting in enough oxygen absorber has far graver consequences than wasting a bit of money. You can also take the guesswork out of the picture and buy Mylar bags that have O2 absorbers included.


F. The Art of Sealing Mylar Bags

Here’s a quick overview on how to use a food sealer to pack your Mylar bags:

Have you got everything you need? Make sure you have the food you want to store, the 5-gallon buckets, the Mylar bags and a heat source for sealing.

Sealing your Mylar bags is one of the most important process in long term storage. A poor seal results in a reduced quality of food, which in turn degrades effective shelf life. Pay attention and you’ll get the art of sealing food in no time flat!

Here are the 3 things you need to know about effective food sealing:

1) The end result should be a debris-free Mylar bag that’s completely flat and has just the right sealing temperature.

Let me explain why this is. The flatter a Mylar bag is, the better seal you can get. Heat is applied to the open end of the Mylar bag, and the material starts to melt. The two ends co-mingle when both sides are at the melting point. It’s like welding two pieces of metal.

Intense heat is applied to one end to turn the material into heated liquid. Two heated liquid materials are brought together to fuse into one. When the heat source is shut off, the material reverts back to solid state and the ends form as one.

A pocket of air that stands between the two ends of a Mylar bag will directly reduce the effectiveness of the seal. The process might work out well at first, but upon closer inspection the seal will be at its weakest near the air pocket. You can be sure that the weakest spot in your Mylar bag will be the one to break first in due time.

2) Don’t skip the process of removing all foreign materials, even the minute particles.

The seal needs to be flat and clean. Try to be as thorough as you can, because a bit of dust or an unwanted piece of food will compromise the storage process. Getting one in-between the two ends of the Mylar bag greatly reduces the surface contact between the two joined points. This is not acceptable because air, light and moisture will seep in the weak spot. Food shelf life will be significantly reduced.

3) Control the heat during the sealing process.

The temperature and the timing is important in this one. Too much heat will melt your Mylar bags and render it unusable. Too little and the surface points will not join together, and you won’t have a proper seal at all. The bag will look like it’s sealed, but sooner or later the ends will come undone and your food will be exposed to the elements.

There’s one way to ensure the best sealing process available, and that is to invest in a good Mylar bag sealer. Investing means spending a little more as compared to buying alternative options such as a hair straightener or a clothes iron. This will pay off in dividends later on as you’ll have food that’s as fresh as the day you sealed them in. Remember that food will be one of the most valuable resources in SHTF situations.

It’s fine if you’re set on using a hair straightener or a clothes iron to seal your Mylar bags in. Just make sure to thoroughly test for a good seal afterwards. Check back after 6 months and see if the seals are still in place.

Here’s an easy method in using hair straightener to seal your Mylar bags- Fill your Mylar bag with food, put in the oxygen absorbers, then use the hair straightener to seal the end of your Mylar bag. Keep the bag flat and eliminate any foreign particles for the best seal. If you’re using a clothes iron, then you’ll need a flat area or a board to work with. Fill your Mylar bag with food, put in the O2 absorber, lay it flat on the board and gently iron the ends of the Mylar bag.

Finally, you can make use of a vacuum sealer to lock in your Mylar bags. These devices can effectively create a vacuum inside your food bag and seal them at the same time. You’ll notice though, that Mylar bags are smooth while vacuum-sealable bags are dimpled in nature. The dimples are so that the vacuum sealer can effectively work its magic.

The effectiveness of sealing Mylar bags using vacuum sealers are lessened, but there’s a trick you can use to seal them just like you’re using food saver bags. A vacuum sealer is also one of the best food storage tools for everyday use. If you have veggies, fruits or meat that you want preserved for a week or two, then may want to invest in one.

Here’s some more helpful tips on the art of sealing a Mylar bag:

1) Don’t overfill your bags with food.

2) Seal the top inch and nothing else. This will be a boon when you’ve opened the bag and want to re-seal it for later use. Don’t forget to include the oxygen absorber before sealing it up again.

3) When packing powdery ingredients like flour, wipe the inside edges to eliminate any material that could compromise the seal.

4) Check back your sealed Mylar bags a few days after. They should still look great and compressed by then. If not, then the seal didn’t work and the Mylar bag is compromised.

5) Seal noodles and pasta in their original packaging. Open up the package a bit first so the oxygen absorber will work its way inside the package.


G. Organizing Your Food Storage

Survivalists will do well to organize their bug out bags, vehicles and survival equipment. It should be an essential part of your discipline. Knowing what kind of food each bucket and Mylar bag has will save you the time and energy you can use for other things.

Label each Mylar bag and 5-gallon bucket with the food and the date you sealed it. The bags can be labeled using a sharpie. Allow sufficient time to dry so it won’t smudge. You can make use of sticky labels not only to organize your Mylar bags, but to organize the rest of your survival bags and storages as well.

Label boxes, packages and bottles with useful information. The time may come when you’ll not be present to help family members determine the correct box to open. It serves as a training tool for them to be more self-reliant.

If you have the extra time, include the information that came with the food package. A box of beans can be cut up and inserted into the 5-gallon bucket with the Mylar bag. You’ll have a detailed information into the food you’re storing. This is especially useful if one or more of your family members have food allergies.

Here’s a helpful video that walks you through the entire food storing process using Mylar bags, O2 absorbers, 5-gallon buckets and sealing the food in place- https://youtu.be/mR_vQcd3sb0


H. Creating a Step By Step Food Storage Action Plan

Mylar bags can sound intimidating, but with a little bit of knowledge and some how to’s, they can turn out to be quite easy to use. Once you have your oxygen absorbers, your 5-gallon bucket, your Mylar bags and your food, then it’s time to do a step-by-step emergency food storage action plan!

Step 1. Choose the food you want to store long term and buy them.

Step 2. Get your Mylar bags in both 1-gallon and 5-gallon sizes.

Step 3. Buy plenty of oxygen absorbers.

Step 4. Go to the hardware store and purchase new food-grade 5-gallon buckets with lids.

Step 5. Secure the best heat sealing device.

Step 6. Bring your organizational tools such as the labelers, the sharpies and the checklist to the table.

Step 7. Open your Mylar bags, put in food, add some O2 absorbers, seal them up and place them in 5-gallon buckets.

Step 8. Find a cool, dry place and store your Mylar bags in them.

Step 9. Rejoice! Your chances of surviving an end-of-days scenario has just gotten a little better.

How to Prepare an Electricity-free Kitchen

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There are a number of situations in which you may find yourself without electricity and you want to be prepared all of them. Depending on the number of people in your family or group, your setup needs may vary. Here are some options to explore for making sure that you can still prepare wholesome homemade meals in the event you find yourself without power.

Small but Powerful

For something small and compact that can travel easily, consider getting a Pocket Rocket by MSR. They are a longstanding staple of backpackers all over the world and can literally be assembled with one hand and weigh mere ounces. They pack enough heat to boil a couple cups of water in a few minutes. However, their gas canisters typically do not hold more than 6 hours of burning fuel and have to be replaced frequently. If you are looking for a small but portable way to boil water in less than two minutes for your dehydrated meal, a JetBoil may be your best bet in that arena. The size of a large coffee cup, they screw into the top of a gas canister for added stability and windproofing. JetBoils also come with attachments to turn them into a French press, a frying pan and a cooking pot.

Feast or Famine

For larger groups, you are going to want a stove and cooking area that has multiple burners and a larger surface. Stoves that collapse and are easily transportable, like the classic Coleman double burner, are a great option for a family of four or small group of people. What these kinds of stoves do not offer is a cooking platform or a food preparation area. If you are going to be stationary for a while, consider getting a table with legs and a side food preparation table. Stoves, like the Camp Chef Pro Series Deluxe Three, are equipped with propane tanks that hold a large amount of gas and are refillable and the dual platforms on either side are useful for setting utensils, condiments and cutting boards.


For the sake of longevity, invest in metal, rather than plastic, utensils. Melting or breaking a plastic spatula will render it useless. Metal utensils hold up for a long time — same goes for your plates and cups. Put together a kitchen box with long lasting supplies such as reusable towels (as opposed to one time use paper towels), waterproof matches and fire starter. It is wise to stock up on gas canisters or propane to ensure that you have enough cooking fuel in the event that you lose power and have to fire up one of your cook stove substitutes. If you don’t want to worry about fuel, consider getting a large griddle to turn any camp fire or heat source into a cookable surface as long as the area is flat.

Author Bio: W.M. Chandler is a Colorado native and works best with her head in the clouds. She is an avid researcher and enjoys writing about unfamiliar subjects. She writes passionately about nature and the outdoors, human connections and relationships, nutrition and politics. Twitter: @wmchandler1212

8 Reasons Why You Need Food Preparedness in Your Life

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As the political climate, acts of terrorism, and natural disasters threaten the peace and security of people worldwide, it’s not uncommon to feel uneasy and anxious about the future. While you don’t have control over much of what happens in life, making sure you’re adequately prepared in case of an emergency can help you regain some peace of mind. Here are the 8 reasons you need to establish food storage in your home today.

  1. Peace of Mind During a Disaster

    As mentioned above, perhaps the best reasons to have food storage in your home is for the peace of mind this preventative measure will give you during a disaster. Rather than having to worry about how and where to get food, you can rest easy that a major basic need is already taken care of.

  2. Food to Sustain During Financial Crisis

    In the event of a cut in pay or the loss of a job, you know you have a way to provide food for your family while you get back on your feet. Unemployment is a real problem these days, but you can shore up against financial windfall, providing you and your family some wiggle room in the event of a crisis.

  3. Comfort that Your Family Will Be Provided For

    A lot can be said about peace of mind and the comfort that comes with knowing you’re prepared for even the direst situation. Your family is your most important asset, and knowing they’ll always have food to sustain them is a great comfort.

  4. Ability to Help Others

    There are always people in need, whether due to homelessness, financial problems, or natural disaster. With the help of food storage, you can share what you have with others who are less fortunate. Share food with a neighbor, donate to a charity or a food pantry. There is a multitude of options, but you can’t use any of them unless you’re prepared first.

  5. Help During a Pandemic

    In the event of a pandemic, you could potentially be housebound for months. With long-term food storage built up, you can survive this time without the risk of being contaminated trying to get food or water.

  6. Peace in Social Chaos

    There is continued civil unrest around the globe, and as this social chaos inevitably increases, there may come a time your city is affected. In the event you won’t have access to food, whether from fear of leaving your home or due to the destruction of riots and looting, having food storage might be a lifesaver.

  7. Sustenance During War

    In times of war, food is more scarce; prices drive up, and rationing often limits what’s available. With food storage present in your home, neither of these scenarios need to be a worry for your family.

  8. Severe Weather or Natural Disaster

    During a flood, earthquake, tornado, fire, or any other natural disaster, you may be left trapped in your home for days or weeks on end. If you have food storage in your home, you care rest assured that your family will survive these troubled times until help and relief can reach you.

Peace in Preparedness

During times of turmoil, preparation equals confidence, and making sure you have adequate food storage is an excellent way to prepare. Stock up on canned goods, fill containers with water, and consider using mylar bags and vacuum sealers to help keep food fresh longer. Being prepared in the face of disaster gives you one less thing to worry about.

About the Author:
Rachel Libby is a content crafter. She has a passion for writing and providing people with mountains of knowledge. In addition, Rachel also works at Big Leap and enjoys all things marketing and helping businesses grow. Speaking of mountains, you can find her exploring the wild terrain of Utah in her quest for adventure and cool Instagram photo opportunities.

5 Excellent Reasons To Keep Backyard Chickens

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Ah, those versatile backyard chickens!

All of us who aim to grow our own food and medicine could use a little help sometimes, right?

Maybe someone to aerate, till, and weed the garden, and remove some of the peskier bugs.

It’d be great if they could make our kitchen chores easier by reducing waste and providing healthy food for our families.

They need to be affordable.

And if they can also offer peace of mind and maybe even some entertainment—all the better!

If all that sounds like a skill set you could get behind, then you already know where to look…

…those friendly backyard chickens!

Read on to learn more about the benefits of keeping these fabulous home and garden helpers!

Benefit No. 1:  Eggs, Meat, Manure, and More!

Eggs, meat, manure, pest control, and the joy of keeping them are some of the biggest reasons folks raise backyard chickens.

For instance, did you know that your average dual-purpose backyard hen can produce more than 180 eggs a year—and about one cubic foot of highly prized manure every six months?

if you’re looking to put meat on the table, you’ll be glad to know that same chicken can achieve a slaughter weight of up to eight pounds in as few as six weeks.

You can also use every part of the chicken—not just its meat. Its bones make nutritious stock, you can use its feathers for composting or craft materials, and the rest can provide nourishment for other carnivorous animals, such as dogs.

As omnivores with a strong preference for live insects and sometimes small critters, chickens can help with overpopulations of grasshoppers, wireworms, cutworms, Japanese beetles, brown marmorated stink bugs, small mice, and more.

They are also fascinating creatures to watch and can provide endless entertainment.

Benefit No. 2: Eliminating Waste

But how about recycling?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture 31 percent (or 133 billion pounds!) of our available food supply is wasted by retailers and consumers annually.

Most of this waste occurs because consumers—that’s us—just don’t want to eat it. Maybe the fruit was bruised, the leftovers were unloved, or the baking became a debacle.

Whatever the reason, perfectly safe foods end up in landfills at alarming rates.

Since chickens have no concern for the aesthetics of food and have fewer taste buds than your average human, they make great “recyclers” of unwanted, but still safe, edibles.

If every household or community had backyard chickens, we could potentially eliminate 21 percent of the post-recycling waste overwhelming our landfills. (Note that feeding chickens kitchen scraps is illegal in the United Kingdom unless you are vegan, so this benefit may not apply equally in all circumstances.)

Benefit No. 3: Garden Helpers

Backyard chickens are also great workers if managed in a manner that respects their inherent behaviors.

  • For example, with their powerful scratching abilities, backyard chickens can be used to help break down a compost pile.
  • Using electric netting or runs, they make great Weed Eaters along hard-to-mow fence lines.
  • In winter, backyard chickens can help prepare your garden beds for spring. As they scavenge through mulch and organic debris looking for overwintering pests, they will essentially be doing light tilling. And, of course, they’ll be fertilizing your soil along the way!

Benefit No. 4:  Healthy Chickens Means Healthy Meat and Eggs

If these great reasons to keep backyard chickens haven’t totally convinced you, then how about peace of mind?

We all know factory-farmed broiler chickens and egg layers are not raised using ideal methods when it comes to chicken well-being. But these conditions also contribute to potentially problematic effects related to human well-being.

For example, from 1944 until 2015, arsenic was an FDA-approved feed additive used frequently for speeding chicken growth, enhancing skin pigmentation, and preventing parasite infestations.

It was believed that the arsenic ingested by chickens would remain organic and be excreted prior to processing, therefore posing no risks to humans.

However, new scientific testing proved that inorganic arsenic—the kind that causes lung, bladder, and skin cancers and contributes to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive deficits, and adverse pregnancy outcomes—did build up at greater levels in chickens fed arsenic and was likely transmitted to humans during this period.

Although arsenic does occur in nature and there are certain times when it might be useful (e.g., as rat poison), intentionally feeding it to chickens on a regular basis to make them fatter has proven not to be the safest idea.

Benefit No. 5: You’re In Control

When you raise your own backyard chickens, you get to choose what they eat, how they live, and how they are treated if processed for meat.

You also control the cleanliness of your chicken coop and can play a direct role in ensuring your chickens’ health as a means of contributing to your own good health.

Getting Started With Backyard Chickens

Raising backyard chickens is not difficult, but it does require commitment and certain skills.

People all over the world have done it successfully for thousands of years without all the technology we have today. However, as a result of modern food conveniences like grocery stores and fast food, many of us have lost our connection to food-raising traditions and need a little help reconnecting with our heritage.

To learn more about raising backyard chickens for eggs, meat, and fun, be sure to check out our latest film + book here. 

The post 5 Excellent Reasons To Keep Backyard Chickens appeared first on The Grow Network.

Inside Chicken Factory Farms—The Awful Truth

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Despite the enormous amounts of chicken meat getting churned out daily, few people have any idea what’s really involved with raising chickens in a commercial setting.

Every year, more than 9 billion chickens1http://www.upc-online.org/chickens/chickensbro.html are raised and slaughtered in the United States, which accounts for roughly 95 percent of the land animals butchered for food each year.

The Factory Approach to Raising Chickens

As the meat industry has grown, the large companies that monopolize it consistently find ways to shield consumers from the reality of their meat. Though consumption of chicken meat has more than doubled per person since the 1970s,2https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-consumption-and-nutrient-intakes.aspx few people outside the industry have ever seen the inside of a chicken farm.

While it’s easy to imagine that most chickens spend their lives scratching around in lush pasture, the truth is quite different.

To understand the way that 99 percent of chickens are raised in the United States, you need to look closer at the factory farm.

Origins of the Factory Farm

Until the 1950s, raising chickens for meat was a costly process, so most people made do with the occasional chicken dinner as a Sunday treat.

Eggs were the prized commodity, and chicken meat was considered a bonus byproduct of raising eggs. Most coops were small, housing about 60 birds, and these birds had constant access to the outdoors to nest, roost, dust bathe and enjoy other natural chicken behaviors.

By the 1980s, the egg industry scaled up and began to shift from standard coops to massive complexes that often housed a half million birds per coop.3http://www.factory-farming.com/factory_farming.html

While these measures increased productivity and made economic sense, they came at a cost to the birds’ quality of life with overcrowding, disease and high death rates.

At the same time, advances in breeding produced the ‘broiler,’4http://www.upc-online.org/books/prisoned_chickens_poisoned_eggs_2009.pdf a chicken breed that gained weight faster and more efficiently than other varieties, making it perfect for the standardized conditions factory farms use when raising chickens.

Within a matter of decades, chicken moved from a luxury good to a standard meat that most families could afford to eat almost daily.

Conditions on Factory Farms

By nature, chickens are intelligent and social birds.

They prefer to live in groups of 30 in well-defined pecking orders, and they can recognize their flock mates and bond through communal activities like dust baths and prowling pastures in pursuit of bugs.

Hens are also extremely maternal and spend large portions of their lives sitting on eggs and raising their young.

Unborn chicks even chirp to their mothers through their shells.

In almost every way, factory farms stifle natural chicken instincts and force them to live in ways that are highly unpleasant for their physical and psychological health.

Some of the common issues plaguing modern chicken farms are described below.


Space is money in factory farms, so most broiler chicken facilities tend to be extremely crowded, often allotting less than one square foot per chicken.5https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/24/real-cost-of-roast-chicken-animal-welfare-farms

Not only does this make it impossible for chickens to roam, scratch or find any privacy, it thwarts their natural tendency to set up a hierarchy. This inevitably causes social tensions, and chickens respond to the stress by pecking each other and fighting.

To prevent the birds from injuring each other, chicken farmers simply debeak baby chicks with a hot blade (without any anesthesia) mere hours after they hatch.

Not only are most chicken farms critically short on floor space, they are also dark, stuffy and even dangerous.

Chickens evolved in tropical forests,6http://www.upc-online.org/books/prisoned_chickens_poisoned_eggs_2009.pdf and they like nothing more than fanning out their feathers on a hot summer day.

Yet, most factory farms are windowless, meaning that the thousands of birds in each house live out their days in a dusty, ammonia-filled space without ever seeing the sun.

Raising chickens for meat - watch the film.

Questionable Breeding Practices

Most chicken eaters tend to prefer white meat, so the breast and thighs are the most valuable part of each bird.

In the past decades, chickens have been bred to capitalize on this trend, and the resulting broilers have drastically enhanced breasts and thighs, to the point that these body parts outpace the growth rates of their leg bones and organs.

While broiler skeletons are only 85 percent formed at six weeks old, their bodies are required to support far more weight than a regular bird.

This means that most broilers become so heavyset at a few weeks of age that they can barely walk, and some break their legs or suffer heart attacks from the strain.7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17435038

It’s not unheard of for some birds to die of thirst, as their overinflated bodies can make it physically impossible for them to reach their water nozzles.

It turns out that extra fat is bad for the consumer, too.

Studies conducted in London found that modern broiler chickens have three times the amount of fat they had 35 years ago,8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19728900 mostly due to their carbohydrate-heavy diets and inability to roam around.

Pressure in the egg industry to produce cheaper cartons can also lead to physical problems for hens. Because of genetic selection for birds that start laying eggs younger, some hens struggle to lay eggs when their bodies aren’t fully developed.

This can lead to prolapsed uteruses,9http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/prolapse-vent-causes-treatment-graphic.html or a uterus that gets pushed partway out of the body and immediately becomes vulnerable to infection and disease.

Because of the expense of treating illnesses like this, most prolapsed hens are left to languish until they die.

Animal Abuse

Of the 300 million laying hens10http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/chickens/egg-industry/ in the United States today, over 95 percent of them spend their lives in wire battery cages, most of which provide less than the size of a sheet of paper in living space.

This provides far less room than a hen needs to turn around, flap her wings, preen, or bathe.

These hens are crammed eight or nine in each cage, and the cages are stacked on top of each other, meaning that feces and food spills on the hens below. Fresh laid eggs drop through the wires of the cage for easy collection, therefore stifling the hen’s instinct to brood.

The inability to exercise and constant egg production means that calcium leaches from the hen’s bones, often causing them to break.

Resting against metal wires also causes injuries to her skin and feet, and most hens get severe skin abrasions on their sides. The combined stress of captivity and copious egg production ensures that most hens live for two years or less.

If the living conditions in egg farms are bad for hens, they are deadly for roosters.

As male chicks can’t lay eggs, they are considered to have no value and are suffocated, electrocuted, gassed, or ground up as soon as they are sexed.

Low-Quality Feed

In the wild, chickens spend much of their days foraging for sprouts and insects, meaning that their diet provides them with plenty of nutrition.

Unfortunately, factory farm conditions provide little opportunity for similar diet supplementation.

When factory farms are raising chickens, they feed them only GMO grains, and their rations are often mixed with ground up bits from other animals,11http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/23/cheap-factory-farmed-chicken.aspx including the carcasses of cows, pigs and even other chickens.

Antibiotics Overuse

To keep birds healthy in overly crowded and poorly ventilated conditions, they are fed copious amounts of antibiotics.

This helps control for bacterial diseases that otherwise thrive in coop conditions and helps birds retain water to add on weight before butchering. Widespread use of antibiotics in the meat industry is leading to global problems, including the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.”12http://thegrownetwork.com/antibiotic-free-meat/

Spread of Disease

It’s naïve to think that the all chickens in the grocery were healthy when they died.

In truth, many factory farm chickens are sick for much of their lives due to living in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions.

These birds spend their lives walking through piles for their own excretion and feathers, burning their eyes from the ammonia that results. This means that factory chickens have weakened immune systems, making them more susceptible to catching diseases from other chickens.

These conditions make the salmonella bacteria easy to spread, occasionally resulting in contamination for humans from uncooked meat.

Sometimes, infections become so out of control that an entire coop of chickens needs to be put down to prevent an outbreak from exploding.

In northwestern Iowa, such a fate met the chickens of Sunrise Farms.13http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/24/inside-sunrise-farms-avian-flu-chicken-slaughter.html

Some of the birds in the 3.8 million flock contracted a case of bird flu, meaning that every bird in the facility was condemned to death and that the facility itself was quarantined indefinitely.


Allowing large concentrations of animals to live together in cramped conditions inevitably leads to pollution problems, and commercial chicken farms produce a tremendous amount of waste every year.

According to research, a one million-bird hen house produces 125 tons of wet manure14https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/null/?cid=nrcs143_014211 every day, meaning that every truckload of feed that comes on a farm requires another load to carry waste away. This manure is often stored in massive piles where it can leak into the water system and create toxic conditions for nearby ecosystems.

Raising chickens for meat - watch the film.

Are ‘Free Range’ Farms Any Better?

As customers have gotten more informed about the true conditions factory farms provide when raising chickens, many companies have adjusted their poultry and egg production to be “free range.”

At first glance, this seems like a victory for chicken welfare, but is it?

In truth, there is no uniform standard about what it means to be raising chickens “free range.”

Chickens only need to be kept cage free and have access to the outdoors to qualify, even if they are packed onto overcrowded coop floors and their “outdoor space” is a cement pad that few birds ever venture on.

This means that the majority of ‘free range’ farms are as cramped and windowless as any other.15http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2007/05/the-difficult-lives-and-deaths-of-factory-farmed-chickens/

Video: A Glimpse Inside

Ready to see inside a chicken farm yourself?

Getting photos or video footage inside a chicken coop is never easy, as the large companies that own them find it better that their customers have little idea of what’s really going on.

Farmers are often reluctant to speak up, as publicly complaining about the company they are contracted with can leave them in a lot of trouble, and often leads to hefty fines and broken contracts.

That’s why this footage from Craig Watts is so valuable.

Risking his business to reveal the truth, Craig allowed a film crew into his coops to get a look at what really goes on inside.

If you want an insider look at the way Perdue is raising chickens, watch this video to see for yourself.

In Summary

Raising chickens cheaply comes at a high cost for the planet, your health, and the well-being of the animals involved.

If you want to make a stand for healthier and more humane poultry practices, it’s important to know the reality of the dismal conditions within chicken farms today.

And consider raising your own backyard chickens … for eggs, meat, or both.   (Watch “Raising Meat Chickens – The Film” to see exactly how it’s done.)

Raising chickens for meat - watch the film.

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.upc-online.org/chickens/chickensbro.html
2. https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-consumption-and-nutrient-intakes.aspx
3. http://www.factory-farming.com/factory_farming.html
4, 6. http://www.upc-online.org/books/prisoned_chickens_poisoned_eggs_2009.pdf
5. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/24/real-cost-of-roast-chicken-animal-welfare-farms
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17435038
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19728900
9. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/prolapse-vent-causes-treatment-graphic.html
10. http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/chickens/egg-industry/
11. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/23/cheap-factory-farmed-chicken.aspx
12. http://thegrownetwork.com/antibiotic-free-meat/
13. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/24/inside-sunrise-farms-avian-flu-chicken-slaughter.html
14. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/null/?cid=nrcs143_014211
15. http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2007/05/the-difficult-lives-and-deaths-of-factory-farmed-chickens/

The post Inside Chicken Factory Farms—The Awful Truth appeared first on The Grow Network.

10 Ways To Save Money Raising Chickens

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10 Ways To Save Money Raising Chicken Of the many benefits that come along with raising chickens, there are a number that can actually effect your wallet. Chickens cost you feed, bedding and the occasional meds for keeping your flock as well as other rare costs. For the most part they are such a giving …

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The post 10 Ways To Save Money Raising Chickens appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

I’m back!

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It has been a bit difficult the last 12 months but I am trying.  Lots of stuff to catch up with all of you.  I am not dead nor have I given up I just got lazy and my juggling skills were just a bit lacking for life and posting.   Sorry, I really dropped the ball and I don’t think ignoring my Blog was the best answer!  If we are lucky, we live and learn.  Just some quick updates .  Mom is still living with me as housing prices are a tad high and she is waiting for “DAD” to get her off the Mortgage contract.  Yeah it’s a long story but this is a quick update so “No Drama”  is allowed.

The garden is looking awesome and I managed to start plants this year.  Celery seeds are small rascals and you should be careful how you start them.  Mom says we will need tweezers just to separate the plants.  Never let a person with poor tactile skills start your pots for celery or any other small seeds!   Over all Mom and I are doing darn good.  Mom is enrolled in a Master gardeners class and I added a few more raised beds.  I started a 3 sisters garden last year and it failed.  This year I have new beds in the making for the 3 sisters garden.  I’m also trying out a new drip irrigation system.  Early days on trying a new system but the theory looks sound. We got a new dog and he is young and a terrier.  He has been great as he makes Mom giggle with his antics.

I added 2 new raised beds in the backyard and went hardcore adding edible beds in the front yard beds.  Early days for the “Cole” crops but so far so good!  Pics of the dog and pics of the garden.

Mom calls him Jackson and he is devoted to her.  He is a very sweet little terrier and not yappy.

Jackson the terrier.

I’m building new firewood racks and loading up on fire wood.  This last winter was brutal.  So I’m looking at buying a couple of garbage cans and filling the with sand and salt for next winter.   I thought I was prepared for winter I was wrong!


Sort of a short post to say I am back but I should have more3 pics and plans for what I am trying to do in the future.


3 Ways To Determine If Old Food Is Edible

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3 Ways To Determine If Old Food Is Edible

Image source: Pixabay.com


Whether you stockpile food in your pantry, basement, root cellar or your bug-out bag, the biggest problem is that some or most of it will go bad at some point. Plus, the bigger the stockpile, the harder it is to manage, and this only increases the chances of you having to throw food away.

Let’s assume you’re rotating your food at least twice a year. The only thing left to do is to look for signs of spoilage.

Spoilage is caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, mold (microscopic fungi) and yeast, if and when they have the right conditions to thrive and multiply. The list of issues is not that big: oxygen, light, humidity and temperature can cause a variety of bacteria and fungi to develop.

Always ask three questions when checking whether food is good to eat:

What Does it Smell Like?

Smelling is a good way to determine whether meat and dairy are spoiled. If it smells rancid or sour, you might as well throw it away.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

The smell test, though, only works for some foods (such as milk, meats and cooking oils). Just keep in mind that not all bacteria smell bad. Which leads us to our next test …

What Does it Look Like?

If it smells OK, then examine it carefully. Look for discoloration or mold forming anywhere on the surface.

Yeast and molds are more likely to form on fruits, veggies and other acidic foots that have been stored improperly or for long periods of time.

Bread, cheese, fruit and vegetables all can be affected by mold, which could look like grey fur, white dots or a white dust. Keep in mind that the mold also gets inside the food, not just on the surface. Although the right thing to do would be to throw the entire piece of fruit or veggie away, many people have reported that throwing away only the infected part worked well for them. Still, I recommend the first option.

3 Ways To Determine If Old Food Is Edible

Image source: Pixabay.com

Besides mold, you should also be on the lookout for yeast (false yeast to be precise, because true yeast is the kind used for fermentation). It can develop on high acidic foods or foods high in sugars. Expect to see it in fruit juice bottles, fruit yogurts, and so on. Yeast can be easily identifiable under close examination, but just because it looks good, don’t expect it to taste good.

Speaking of visual cues, you should be extra careful with canned food. If the lid is dented, bulged, cracked or if there are bubbles around it, you should immediately throw away the can. In fact, you should make sure not even your pet would be able to eat it. It’s most likely infected with a toxin called botulism. Bacteria from botulism are nearly impossible to spot because they’re so small, yet they’re more dangerous than yeast and mold.

Also, keep in mind that discolored food inside food also is a sign of spoilage. Plus, in the case of store-bought canned food, always check the expiration date and use an organizer for your #10 cans or even make one yourself. Although the shelf life can range between two and five years, I would strongly recommend you eat and replace them after a year.

What Does it Taste Like?

If food tastes bad, you’ll know right away. But don’t use the taste test for canned food and meat. If they’re infected with bacteria, the danger is greater, so taste-tasting is a bad idea.

Of course, just because food tastes bad, it doesn’t mean it’ll make you sick – at least, not according to the director of the Center for Food Safety from the University of Georgia in Griffin, Ga., quoted by ABC News — but you probably don’t want to take that chance. As the article suggests, one way to ensure proper food storage in your fridge is to keep it a 40 degrees Fahrenheit and, of course, to eat it in a timely manner.

Though it would take a sample and a lab to be absolutely sure a food is safe to eat, for preparedness purposes you just have to follow the above advice and the No. 1 rule: When in doubt, throw it out!

What is your advice on checking the edibility of food? Share your tips in the section below:

6 Experts Give Their Top 3 Gardening Tips on How to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden

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6 Experts Give Their Top 3 Gardening Tips on How to Keep Pests Out of Your Garden Starting and maintaining a garden takes hard work, patience, and some basic awareness.  Don’t let garden pests ruin all that hard work, and your beautiful garden, by taking some preventive steps that are easy and effective.  BugsBeGone site …

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An Illustrated Guide to Cooking on a Campfire

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An Illustrated Guide to Cooking on a Campfire There is nothing better than the smell of a campfire burning! There are endless uses for a campfire: a source of warmth, a way to dry clothing when camping, and one of the best uses – cooking. Food cooked over the campfire creates a unique flavour and …

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The Most AMAZING Garden Veggie EVER!

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The Most AMAZING Garden Veggie EVER! The title reads like some sort of terrible infomercial but it seems these homesteaders are onto something. They have found an incredible veggie that you most likely never heard of that really produces. Its one of those rare breeds that doesn’t have issues with pests, doesn’t have issues with …

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Link – What I Learned Living off a 30 Day Emergency Supply of Food

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Interesting series of posts.

My goal was simple: to see what it would be like to live off a basic food storage kit for 30 days. I had no ulterior motives; I just wanted to see if I could eat what was in the box for 30 days. Sometimes I like to experience things or challenge myself in ways some people might think is odd. To me, I just see it as a fun experiment. Might be a bored housewife thing. Might be a quirk in my personality. Either way, I was actually oddly excited to try this. I was curious about so much.

Not all 30-day kits are the same, though. The Wise brand kits turn up in Costco and a few other places, and I’ve not really heard anyone say too many nice things about them. Mountain House makes a few different kits and most people are have neutral/good comments about them. Augason Farms makes a 30-day kit that I recommend as an entry-level way to try a variety of their products. It’s a broad selection of small cans (not pouches) with about 20 different items. I catch these on sale every once in a while and they make outstanding gifts.

Mountain House offers a few variations on this theme…2-, 3-, 4-, 5, and 14-day kits of pouches. I’ve sold the 3-day kits before and they’re an attractive and convenient option. (By the by –$50 Rebate when you buy the 14-Day Emergency Food Supply + Free Shipping!

All these kits, and this is touched on in the link at the begining of this post, are best when you use them to supplement or augment an existing stockpile of food. Rice, pasta, grain, whatever….these kits help stretch things out and prevent appetite fatigue.

In my opinion, where these kits really shine is in portability. If you have just got to go, go, go and it’s a matter of taking whatever you can grab and throw in the back of the truck in five minutes, thats where these things shine.

Anyway, I’ve seen a few people online do similar types of ‘dietary challenges’ and I thought it would be interesting to bring it to everyones attention.


How to start foraging … Without killing Your family!

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How to start foraging … Without killing Your family! Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below! Last year i was super excited when my wife came inside and told me that she thought she found a patch of Morell Mushrooms in our backyard. I ran outside to look, and yes! There were lots of … Continue reading How to start foraging … Without killing Your family!

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What Preppers Are Storing That Will Kill Them!

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What Preppers Are Storing That Will Kill Them Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio in player below! Could you be stockpiling something that will ultimately kill you after SHTF? Odds are, you have been storing this stuff for years. What is this potentially deadly and exceedingly common prepping item? If you guessed prepackaged food storage, … Continue reading What Preppers Are Storing That Will Kill Them!

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11 Most Popular Survival Foods

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One of the cornerstones of survival, finding enough food to keep you and your loved ones alive when times get tough, is arguably the most important challenge you will face. In survival situations, though, some foods will make the cut while others are best reserved for softer times (sorry chocolate cake lovers). When it comes […]

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Darwin couple rescued from WA desert. What To Carry With You When Going Bush.

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The Darwin couple were saved from WA’s Gibson Desert. Picture: AAP

Things/Items to carry with you at all times when going bush: (1) A good winch, preferably a hand operated winch. (2) A post hole shovel. This shovel can be used to dig yourself out by creating ramps from the bog. It can also be used to bury your spare wheel to use as an anchor for winching your vehicle out of the bog. (3) Plenty of drinking water. You can survive for up to 3 weeks without food if you are fit, but you can only survive 3 days without water. Hotter conditions and exertion will shorten the time you can survive without water. (4) Food. (5) A 4 litre container of engine oil. (6) Extra fuel. (7) A good medical kit. (8) Tool kit. (9) Wool blankets. My Father always carried a wool rug in his car. This was a carry-over from the days when our cars had no heaters. It is however still relevant, because deserts can get cold at night, and if it is winter it can get cold wherever you are in Australia. (10) A good tyre pump. We have an electric one. If purchasing an electric pump, make sure you get a good one. This is a classic case of “you get what you pay for”! (11) A “snap-strap”. Just in case someone else comes along and is able to pull you out. (12) A high lift jack. We call them “wallaby jacks”.

5 Backyard Meat Animal

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5 Backyard Meat Animal This is just a great article. When I see an article like this I often think it will be a short list of 5 animals and a short paragraph on each. Even then you wind up getting some great incite on a subject. This article is much more. The author really …

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Growing Mushrooms in a 5 Gallon Bucket

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Growing Mushrooms in a 5 Gallon Bucket   I started growing Shiitakes almost 5 years ago and I can tell you they are one of the nicest surprises of the fall and spring season. Its surprisingly easy to grow mushrooms but most people don’t do it.  This method from Instructables offers a new and even …

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Why You Should Plant Fruit This Year!

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Why You Should Plant Fruit This Year On the Homestead Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below! Going on 6 years of homesteading, I have learned some big lessons. Don’t get goats. Infrastructure is king. Don’t buy livestock on craigslist. But of all the lessons learned, one of the biggest regrets I have… Spending … Continue reading Why You Should Plant Fruit This Year!

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Alternative Food Garden: Straw Bales

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Alternative Food Garden: Straw Bales Though not everyone like to garden or grow food, everyone does need to eat! From a preparedness point of view, it makes sense to have the knowledge of several different food garden methods. It’s even better when you are able to practice them so you don’t have to try and …

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How Compost Heals Your Soil

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How Compost Heals Your Soil Its all about the soil. If you plan on growing a survival garden or would like to start seeing real results from your current garden I have to tell you step one is great soil. I spent years trying to push my clay based soil into becoming something more than …

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25 Make Ahead Camping Meals

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25 Make Ahead Camping Meals It may seem like 25 make ahead camping meals wouldn’t be much of a topic for SHTF. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many opportunities for make ahead camping meals. The most obvious of course is the food storage department. The meals that are shelf …

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How to Can Beef Stew

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How to Can Beef Stew I love these canned chickens and canned beef stews. For me they close the loop on sustainability. Its one thing to be able to grow or rear it, its another to be able to process it, its another skill set entirely to be able to prepare it. Then, to be …

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62 Wild Edibles with Pictures

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62 Wild Edibles with Pictures What an amazing resource. Don’t just read this article but bookmark it as well. It might even be worth saving it all into some sort of PDF format you can print in color. To a guy who loves foraging this article is a dream come true. You can spend two …

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Early American Dairy

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Early American Dairy

Published on Apr 10, 2017

Today Hannah Zimmerman from Historic Locust Grove sits down with Jon to discuss the history of early American dairy, as well as demonstrating the process of making butter.

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Make Your Own Butter

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Make Your Own Butter Most people think that butter is something magic that can only be found in refrigerated display cases. The fact is we have been making butter for a very long time. Its a skill that is not often taken advantage of because the access to heavy whipping cream is limited to what …

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Best Animals to Hunt During SHTF

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Best Animals to Hunt During SHTF Host: Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! As with most topics we have a lot of what if’s? Food storage with preppers is a big deal and we think we have enough. We prepare for so long the amount we think we’ll need, but alas … Continue reading Best Animals to Hunt During SHTF

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How To Make Yogurt At Home Easily With Or Without A Yogurt Maker

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How To Make Yogurt At Home Easily With Or Without A Yogurt Maker If this is the first time you are hearing about making yogurt at home, it may just sound like a joke. But it is real. You can easily make yogurt at home with or without a yogurt maker. There are different ways …

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Spring Scouting for Deer

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Spring Scouting for Deer Springtime is one of the best times to get out! After a winter of hiding and shivering its time to get back to work. This is a short article and a great video on scouting for deer. If you plan on having any hunting success the scout is so important. There …

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Bushcraft Gear – 7 Of The Best Bushcraft Tools For Survival

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bushcraft gear - survival knife cutting

Bushcraft Gear For The Serious Survivalist

The ability to invent, create and use tools are one of the major ways humans differ from animals. Bushcraft gear is the group of tools we first invented as a species. The gear we first crafted from sticks, stones, and bones found in nature. In order to make knives, arrows, spears, fire, shelters, etc.

The best bushcraft gear is the tools that give the ability to make a large array of other tools. For example, having a bushcraft knife opens up a world of possibilities to build hundreds of other useful tools and items.

Before humans became advanced engineers and scientists, we played by the rules of nature. If you go back far enough in history, survival was an everyday endeavor; it was the only lifestyle we knew.

There was no comfortable couch waiting for us at home, or steamy hot shower either. There were no grocery stores and no prepackaged food to meet our hunger pains.

And worse yet, no indoor plumbing so when “nature called”, we were already there because the wild was our home.

Living in those circumstances required a very particular set of tools and skills. What we today call bushcraft.

So What Is Bushcraft?

Over the years we’ve refined and perfected our instruments of survival. And bushcraft became an art form, much like martial arts or rock climbing.

For centuries the tools have remained unchanged while our computers and iPhones seem to evolve every few weeks. However, bushcraft gear and tools are timeless.

Today living in a remote off-grid wilderness is much the same as it was for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Our bodies need the same securities: fire, shelter, food, and water. And the tools used to secure those needs are impressive in their simplicity and functionality.

Now, in today’s society, we typically don’t get to choose when and where and under what circumstances we end up stranded in the wilderness. So a collection of bushcraft tools does you no good stored in your garage.

For example, if you go down in a plane over the high country, you’re not going to have many bushcraft tools with you. (And if somehow you do, kudos, that’s impressive).

So I’ve compiled a list of the best, most essential bushcraft gear. I’ll describe their purpose, where you can buy them and a brief explanation of how to improvise each. But first, let’s get one important definition out of the way:

Bushcraft is the art of surviving in the woods. The official definition is:

“The skill gained by or necessary for living in bush country.”

But I’m going to applying the term more generally in this article. I am not limiting it to surviving “in the woods or forest” but to in the wilderness at large.

Surviving in the mountains, lost in the woods, stranded on an island, or traversing a desert. Bushcraft is the art of survival anywhere. And bushcraft gear is useful in any survival situation.

Bushcraft Gear – The 7 Essential Tools You Must Own and How To Make Them In Nature

1 – Survival Hatchet

If you haven’t read Gary Paulsen’s book, Hatchet, you need to do yourself a favor and get it now. The book follows a young man, stranded in the wilderness with nothing but his trusty hatchet.

He then uses this hatchet to survive through a winter in the wild alone. It’s an incredible example of how versatile and useful bushcraft gear can be.

With a quality survival hatchet, you can cut wood for fire, shape branches for arrows/bows to hunt for food or build a shelter. The possibilities are endless! Which is exactly why I bring a hatchet with me on every excursion I go on.

For the most part, using a hatchet is relatively straightforward: just hack away. And, if the hatchet’s edge is sharp enough you can also use it to shave and score wood.

There are tons of places to buy a hatchet. Any outdoor store or hardware worth visiting will carry an assortment of hatchets.

And if you search online, you’ll find a selection of brands, shapes, weights, and styles to choose from. You’ll be able to find the right hatchet for you regardless of your style, need, or budgetary restrictions.

Don’t worry there’s a hatchet out there for you.

Wetterlings is my favorite company for hatchets and axes. These hatchets are high-quality but they are not the lightest (nor the cheapest).

If weight is your primary concern, then go with this Friskers 14-inch hatchet. This hatchet one only weights 1.4 lbs due to its light (yet still strong) Nyglass (nylon/fiberglass composite) handle construction.

Improvising a Hatchet

The most important part of any hatchet is the head. It needs to be thick and sharp. However, it doesn’t need to win a beauty content.

There are a lot of things that you can use to achieve this. Scrap metal and sharpened stones are usually the best improvisation options.

Once you have a hatchet head selected, lash it securely to a handle using cordage. When you are sure the head will not come flying like a lethal projectile, it should be good to go.

Here’s a video showing a stone hatchet without using cordage.

2 – The Fixed-Blade/Folding Survival Knives

Few tools in a bushman’s pack are as versatile as a survival knife.

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There is a reason the knife has been one of the most prominent survival tools throughout history. Knives are extremely functional.

They serve a lot of different purposes:

• Cutting
• Digging
• Self Defense
• Poking Holes
• Splitting or Batoning
• Perforating
• Shaving
• Using As A Utensil For Eating
• Skinning
• Flathead Screwdriver

In generally, if you think you can use a knife to do it, you most likely can.

Knives come in all shapes and sizes. Some fold, some are fixed, some are double edged, and others only single edged.

Some come attached to multi-tools, while others are as basic as possible. Some are expensive while others are cheap. Some are sleek, and some are just badass looking.

It all depends on what you’re looking for from your bushcraft knife, to decides which one to invest in.

If you want a big “screw-off” hunting knife, check out Kabars (the official knife of the US Marines).

If you want a super lightweight, reliable, folding pocket knife, you can’t go wrong with a Benchmade Knife.

For a fixed blade knife I like Helle knives and blades. They are traditional Norwegian made and reliable.

Improvising a Knife

Improvising a fixed blade cutting tool is far more efficient than wasting time, energy, and resources trying to make a folding knife.

Sure, you can do it. But if you’re in a survival situation and need to make something functional, go with a fixed blade knife. Fix blade knives are easier to make, and they get the job done.

The concept behind improvising a survival knife is similar to making a hatchet: you need a handle and a blade.

Blades are relatively easy to come by, just think like a jailbird and shive up. Use sharpened scraps of metal, sharpened stones, even glass can work.

Handles can be either fastened to the blade with cord/tape or made entirely by wrapping tape around the end until you have something to grip. (A note on using glass: not all shards of glass will work well as a knife blade – but some forms of glass, like obsidian, are better than even the sharpest metals).

Obsidian blades were commonly used by the Maya people, and are SO sharp they cut on a molecular level. Obsidian can still be found naturally today, so keep your eyes open.

3 – Survival Saws

When you are dealing in the wilderness, efficiently cutting wood is a lifesaving skill. And even armed with a hatchet and a pocket knife, you are not going to be removing felled trees from across trials. You won’t be able to cut precise lengths of wood for home building.

For that, you need a saw.

Saws are an ultimate bushcraft tool. Even if, in your day to day life you never need a saw, when bush crafting you’re undoubtedly going to use it. And use it often. That saw is going to be essential, I guarantee it.

There are so many types of specialty saws:

• Coping Saws
• Veneer Saws
• Hacksaws
• Crosscut Saws
• Keyhole Saw
• Fret Saw
• Table Saw
• Rip Saws
• Bow Saws
• Band Saws
• Meat Saws
• etc.

But no one is realistically going to lug their table saw with them in a “shit hits the fan” scenario. So here is a short list of my favorite survival saws.

Forester Survival Pocket Handsaw – This saw fits in your pocket, it’s lightweight and effective at cutting branches. Yes, it would be tough to bring down a tree with this one, but hopefully, you won’t have to.

Gerber Saw Folding Gator – Comes with a fancy little pack making for easy packing. The saw is a lightweight bow saw, with easily replaceable teeth.

Gerber Vital Pack Saw – This is a small, super packable backpacking saw. It will easily fit into some unused nook or cranny of your pack.

Ultimate Survival Technologies Saber Cut Saw – Yeah, the name is a mouthful, but the saw is minimalistic. It looks more like a loop of wire than anything that could detach tree limbs but don’t get fooled. This survival tool is adept at doing exactly that.

How to Improvise a Saw

Improvising a saw in nature is a bit tricky. Saw blades are both precise and unnatural as far as bushcraft gear goes. So you won’t find them lying around in nature.

The closest thing to making an improvised saw is to make a wire saw.

To do this, you will need two key rings, and a length of coarse wire (electrical fencing wire, stripped electrical wires, etc.). Measure out roughly 3 feet of wire and slip the first key-ring halfway along the wire.

Start twisting the wire around itself from the middle (so that you can use the key-ring as a handle). Continue twisting until you get to the end, and incorporate the other key-ring.

The twisted coarse wire should function as a wire saw. But remember this improvised version is nowhere near as effective as the real deal. But it’s better than nothing in a pinch.

4 – Flint and Striker

Fire is the granddaddy of a survival essential. I never leave the house without a lighter on me. I keep packs of matches in every backpack I own and bring a flint and striker on most trips.

I don’t usually use the flint/striker because I don’t usually need to. But the age-old spark making duo has saved countless lives over the years.

The best part about a striker and flint is that they even work if they get wet. So if you want to keep an emergency fire starter on your boat, you should use one of these. If you plan on backpacking through a coastal region, use a flint and striker instead of matches.

Lots of outdoor manufacturers and survival companies make flint and striker setups. Some are cheap and lightweight; others are a little more expensive and flashier. But they all serve the same purpose, and they are all reliable.

All-Weather Emergency 2-IN-1 Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar

Basic, simple, lightweight, reliable, cheap, easy to use, makes fire. What more could you ask for in a survival tool?

Traditional Hand Forged High-Quality Carbon Steel Fire Striker

Fancy, a little heavier, but very elegant. This handcrafted artisan flint and striker set up is for those who do not mind spending a little extra.

Survival Magnesium Fire Flint Steel Fire Starter Ferro Rod with Wood Handle

At only $8.99 (at the time of this post) this is by far one of the more economical ways to go. Buy a bunch of these and store one in your car, one in your bug out bag, and one in your backpacking pack.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
Improvising a Flint and Striker

The best part about this piece of bushcraft gear is the fact that it does exist in nature.

Unlike a saw or a knife, you can find the materials for a flint and striker laying around. Find two rocks that spark when banging them together. And then get banging.

Or, use a piece of metal to strike against a stone at an angle to generate some sparks.

Not all stone will work, so you may have to try a few different types. But sparks are possible to make in nature without any man made supplies.

5 – Compasses

With luck, you will never get lost in the woods without a compass. They are essential not only to bushcraft but all outdoor activities.

Whether you are hunting, hiking, fishing, kayaking or camping having a true sense of direction is key.

It makes it easier to explore the unknown and find your way back safely. There is nothing worse than getting lost; compasses help you avoid that.

However, investing in a compass relies heavily on how much you want to spend and how you’re planning to use it.

I keep a simple Suunto compass in my hiking backpack and transfer it into my other bags if I need to.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

But when I was mapping out geologic formations in Boulder we used a very high-tech, multi-purpose compasses. Specifically, one known as a Brunton Pocket Transit Geo Compasses.

Now obviously, these are not made for survival, but it illustrates the variety available.

Find one that serves your needs and fits your budget.

Improvising a Compass

Despite being a clever article of technology, the compass is simple to recreate in nature. And it requires only a few basic supplies.

Find a quiet pool of water – preferably a bowl, but in a pinch, a still puddle will work too. Get your hands on a metal needle. A sewing needle works but small lengths of wire also works so long as the metal is magnetic (i.e. contains iron, cobalt or nickel).

Next, place the needle on something that floats (a leaf or a small chunk of cork or on a small piece of wood) and gently set it into the center of the still water.

Make sure there is no breeze or wind.

The needle should align according to Earth’s magnetic field. This alignment indicates North and South. Magnetic needles are a tried and tested method, but requires a bit of patience and very stable conditions (i.e. still water and air).

6 – Whetstones

Equally important to any bladed bushcraft gear, are the tools which sharpen them. Whetstones have been around for as long as bladed tools have, and are vital to maintaining a sharp blade.

Here is a good video to learn the techniques of sharpening knives.

Get the stone wet, and run the blade backward along the rock’s surface at a consistent 20-degree angle. Repeat this until the edge begins to sharpen.

Whetstones are available at most hardware stores and outdoor stores. Wusthof, Accusharp and Culinary Obsession whetstones are a few common brand names available.

Make sure you get a whetstone with a coarse grit side and a fine grit side. These are by far the best for honing your blade edges.

Here are a few more unique ways to sharpen a blade.

Improvising a Whetstone

Almost all whetstones you find on the market are made from artificial stone. Plus, the material particles are all the same size and grit found in nature.

Finding sharpening stones in the wilderness is difficult. You need something very flat, smooth, and dense.

I have heard of people using cinder blocks to hone a rough edge, or flat river stones high in quartz. But finding a random rock that will work well to sharpen your blades is going to be a difficult undertaking.

7 – Fishing Line and Hooks

These two items are so light, cheap, and packable that every survivalist should carry them.

Hooks and line fit into small zip locks and weight close to nothing. And fishing is an essential bushcraft survival skill.

You don’tt have to have a full fishing rig to catch something; you just need a line, a hook, and some bait.

Fishing line and hooks are available nearly everywhere:

• sporting stores
• outdoor stores
• hardware store
• everything store
• dollar stores
• reuse stores
• military surplus stores
• even many grocery stores

But instead, I recommend you snag a FREE paracord grenade from Survival Frog. It includes all the bushcraft fishing gear you need. As well as some fire-starting tools, cordage, and a carabineer!

Click Here Now To Claim Your Free Paracord Grenade
Improvising Fishing Lines and Hooks

As far as bushcraft gear goes, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. So you need to get your hands on some thin line, and a few aluminum can tops.

The can tops can be cut or broken/bent into a near-perfect improvised fish hook. Find some bait, and you are ready to cast your line.

The Final Word

Of any life skill, I would argue that Bushcraft is one of the most important. Kids who grow up never learning how to use a hatchet or to widdle things with pocket knives are not missing out.

They also are not being adequately prepared to handle themselves in the real ‘real’ world. There is always time to learn, though. It is never too late to get out into the wild and start practicing bushcraft. Who knows, you may even master the art.

Of course, no bushman was ever successful without their trusty bushcraft gear. The gear essential to the trade. And without them, you will struggle to survive in the wilderness.

The bottom line is owning key bushcraft gear is an essential preparation. But knowing how to improvise any one of these bushcraft tools is equally important. Because you never know when you might get stranded in the remote wilderness.

-Will Brendza
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The post Bushcraft Gear – 7 Of The Best Bushcraft Tools For Survival appeared first on Skilled Survival.

5 Perennial Vegetables You Only Need To Plant Once and Enjoy Forever

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5 Perennial Vegetables You Only Need To Plant Once and Enjoy Forever Grow a great survival garden with these perennial veggies and rest assured that they will grow and grow year after year! I found a great article that tells us 5 vegetables that you only need to plant once and they will keep coming …

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The post 5 Perennial Vegetables You Only Need To Plant Once and Enjoy Forever appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Do You Really Have Enough Food?

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Do You Really Have Enough Food? Preppers love to use calculators to figure out how long their food supplies will last. There are grain calculators, calorie calculators, personalized calculators for the size of your family – all sorts of calculators. But despite careful computation, there are a few factors that people frequently leave out of …

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Two Amazing 100 Year Old Mead Recipes

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Two Amazing 100 Year Old Mead Recipes Mead or honey wine is the oldest alcoholic drinks known to man. It is made from honey and water via fermentation with yeast. It may be still, carbonated, or sparkling; it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. These recipes are for educational purposes only. We do not take responsibility if you make these recipes wrong and become sick! Do your homework and research making your own alcohol, it can be very dangerous and even deadly! Old School Mead Recipe This old but very delicious mead recipe makes around 1 gallon of mead. That is

The post Two Amazing 100 Year Old Mead Recipes appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Sugar and Soured Health

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Sugar and Soured Health Bob Hawkins “The APN Report“ Audio in player below! The last APN Report was all about lowering the amount of salt in a diet as a good way to lose weight. Not so much of a diet but more of a lifestyle choice & awareness of what is in the foods we … Continue reading Sugar and Soured Health

The post Sugar and Soured Health appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Global Famine: UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War II Is Happening Right Now

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Global Famine: UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War II Is Happening Right Now   Food storage is an important part of any prepper or survivalists fan. We all fear starving to death in times of need or disaster. When you read an article like the one here you get a reminder that …

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The post Global Famine: UN Announces That The Worst Food Crisis Since World War II Is Happening Right Now appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

We are talking pigs!

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We are talking pigs Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below! Raising pastured pigs can be a fantastic way to put some meat on the table, and even have some product to sell your local community. But raising pigs isn’t right for every homestead. Should you raise pastured pigs on your homestead? What will … Continue reading We are talking pigs!

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Preppers and the food that can kill you!

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Preppers and the food that can kill you! Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! As for the title this is not misleading! Prepping without thought will get you seriously hurt or killed. So many of us have the illusion that we will be a Rambo type that can go around shooting … Continue reading Preppers and the food that can kill you!

The post Preppers and the food that can kill you! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Small Plot Gardening Tips

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Note: Tips quoted from other sources are marked with a link to the original source. Unmarked tips are from me.

The point of this article is that you can grow at least some of your own food, even if you only ave a very small yard. Even if you have no yard at all, you can grow some veggies and herbs in containers on a patio or balcony, or in windows.

1- With any type of gardening, it is important to plant crops that you and your family actually like and will eat. Planting foods that you dislike, no matter how productive, will simply be wasted space (unless you plan on selling or trading them, an unlikely goal for those with very limited space).

2- Tomatoes are probably the most productive crop you can grow. Since they are tall, however, you should take care not to plant them where they will shade the shorter plants in your garden. Tomatoes are a good choice because they are packed with useful nutrients, store well (canned, frozen, or dried) and are a basic ingredient used in many dishes.

3- Green leafy vegetables, such as loose-leaf lettuce, turnip greens, spinach, mustard and kale all make excellent choices for small plot gardening. You can grow a lot in a small space. And they are all highly nutritious.

4- “There are all sorts of herbs that can be planted in containers and moved around as you please. And a lack of space doesn’t mean that you can’t grow some fruit or berries. Try raising strawberries in a strawberry jar, plant a fig tree in a container, or grow a compact blueberry bush in place of ornamental shrubs.” — veggiegardeningtips.com

5- “Many vegetables, including peas, pole beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, and tomatoes, will naturally climb a support or can be trained to grow upwards, leaving more ground space for other crops. Support structures include cages, stakes, trellises, strings, teepees, chicken wire, or existing fences let your imagination take over!” — Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

6- “Vegetable breeders have been emphasizing smaller plants for container and small plot gardening. Although some of the dwarf or mini plants produce smaller fruits, often a greater number of fruits are produced, yielding a good total harvest. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and peas are just a few examples from the mini ranks. Some new cultivars of vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers have compact, trailing growth habits ideal for growing in hanging baskets.” — Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

7- Water less often but more deeply. Frequent light watering will result in shallow root development. When needed, water only once or twice a week but thoroughly enough to soak the soil down to at least six inches. This will encourage deep root growth.

8- Most small plot and intensive gardening techniques naturally discourage weed growth, but weeds are still likely to appear in your garden. Pull weeds as soon as you notice them. Weeds are easier to pull when young and pulling them earlier will help prevent them from spreading.

9- “For minimum maintenance and weed control, apply an organic mulch around the plants after the soil has warmed. A mulch also helps retain moisture in the soil. Grass clippings (3 to 4 inches), straw (4 to 6 inches), and sawdust (1 to 2 inches) are excellent mulches.” — Small Plot Vegetable Gardening

10- “Do not sow seeds too deeply or they may not germinate. Place carrots, radishes, and lettuce no deeper than 1/4 inch. Large seeds such as peas, beans, and cucumbers can be sown 1 to1-1/2 inches deep. Vine crops can be planted six seeds in a cluster or hill and then later thinned to four plants per hill.” — Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

11- “Thin seed rows to their proper spacing after the plants are 1-2 inches tall. Thin the plants with scissors rather than pulling them so you won’t disturb the other plants. Use the thinnings for salads.” — Small Plot and Intensive Gardening

12- Grow only a few varieties. Trying to grow a little bit of everything creates more work and yields less food. Since your space if relatively limited, try growing only a few favorites, or look to grow whatever costs the most at the market in your area.

13- Most herbs do really well in small pots. The pots can be moved around to take full advantage of sunlight, and even taken indoors in the fall to extend their productivity. Some herbs to consider: parsley, chives, mints, basil, dill, oregano and thyme.

14- “To select your vegetable garden plot, consider what vegetables need to thrive. Vegetables and fruits need 6-8 hours of sunlight daily. The vegetable garden plot should be well-drained and convenient to water (vegetables require 1 inch of water weekly or 75 gallons per 100 square feet).” — Preparing a Garden Plot (no longer available online)

15- “Soil that is loamy, well drained, and high in organic matter is ideal for your vegetable garden. Visit your local cooperative extension or health department and pick up a free soil-test kit. The ideal pH for vegetables is 6.0 to 6.5. The test tells you if your soil needs lime added (available at your local gardening center).” — Preparing a Garden Plot (no longer available online)

5 Homemade Rat Traps to Keep Your Food Storage Rodent-Free

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5 Homemade Rat Traps to Keep Your Food Storage Rodent-Free A rat in the pantry is a quick way to ruin your day. They can gnaw through containers like they arent even there and make short work of all your hard work. Luckily for us, the same drive that pushes them to infiltrate our homes makes …

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Dutch oven Tri-Tip

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New video from Gary!

Published on Mar 24, 2017

Here is my version of Dutch oven Tri-Tip! You will appreciate this version with its overnight seasoning, seared crust and onion base. No soggy Tri-Tip here.

Rub: Oakridge BBQ “Santa Maria Grill Seasoning”

Find more from Gary House at:

Cooking Outdoors • Learn Grilling, BBQ, and Dutch Oven Cooking




Cooking Everything Outdoors RSS Feed:


More great recipes, tips and techniques available on the Cooking-Outdoors.com website or the Cooking Everything Outdoors app!

The how-to show of backyard Grilling, Dutch oven and Camp cooking. If it can be cooked indoors, I can show you how to cook it outdoors!

If you want to learn how to use Grills, Dutch ovens, Fire Pits, Foil cooking and Camp cooking, then this is the show for you! Great product reviews and new ideas. Grill it, bake it, smoke it, fry it, we can do it.

Questions? Comments? Email Gary: info@cooking-outdoors.com

Please leave a comment and a rating, thank you!

Visit http://www.Cooking-Outdoors.com for even more recipes, tips, tricks and really good times!

“Get Out of the Kitchen, Light the Fire and Start Cooking Outdoors!”

“Cooking Everything Outdoors” ® 2017


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Product Review: Valley Food Storage

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Valley Food Storage recently  asked if I would be willing to review some of their products. I said “send me what you want me to review, and I will give it an honest review on my website.” The following is that review. Please note that Valley Food Storage did not pay me to do this review. 

Valley Food Storage (website: https://valleyfoodstorage.com) provides healthy long-term food storage (freeze-dried foods, powdered foods, and related items). By healthy, they mean:

  • No GMOs
  • No Artifical Preservatives or Chemicals
  • No Fillers
  • No Hydrogenated Oils
  • No MSG
  • Many Gluten-Free Options
  • Many Dairy-Free Options 

Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality and taste of the products they sent me to review. I also really appreciate the emphasis they place on providing healthy options. A quick look at their website revealed that their prices seem to be among the most affordable in the industry (several other similar companies are extremely expensive by comparison). Here are the individual reviews of the five products they sent me:

Pasta Primavera – Simple to make. Just add water and heat. The pasta primavera has a good taste, and was not at all powdery (which is my experience with another company’s pasta). I’m not much of  pasta person, but my mother is, so I had her try this also. She really liked it, too. 

Freeze-Dried Coconut Milk Bites – WOW!! You eat this straight out of the bag as a snack. I loved it, and will likely order some just to eat as a snack.  Tastes great. I also added  some to my coffee, which both sweetened my coffee and gave it a coconut flavor. Excellent. 

Freeze-Dried Vanilla Greek Yogurt – Tastes exactly like vanilla Greek yogurt, which it is, of course, just freeze dried. You can eat this straight out of the bag, too. It is quite sweet, so it will satisfy any sugar craving you might have.

Freeze-Dried Strawberry Slices – You can reconstitute the strawberries, or eat them straight out of the package. I tried them both ways, and they tasted like strawberries. Very good.

Pineapple Chunks – Like the strawberries, you can either eat the pineapple chunks straight out of the bag or reconstitute them with water. Either way, they taste like pineapples! 

If you are looking for long-term food storage options, check out Valley Food Storage. Their list of products is extensive, and not just food items, but also water storage & purification, and other emergency supplies. 

10 Requirements for Long Term Food Storage

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10 Requirements for Long Term Food Storage   This is a very simple article that details some very important pieces of the food storage process. Its a full article that doesn’t talk about the actual food to be stored. Rather, it focuses on how to store and plan to do things the right way with …

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EcoSolarCool new Solar Refrigeration

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EcoSolarCool, Solar Refrigeration,Refrigerator, Solar, Off-grid,

Stay cool with the new EcoSolarCool’s refrigerator models

EcoSolarCool have kick-started 2017 with the release of two new Solar Refrigeration models. The new additions to the upright product line aim to minimise the daily power consumption of cooling appliances. Refrigerators are one of the most energy consuming appliances in the home, accounting for up to 25% of household energy cost. EcoSolarCool want to change this, “providing constant, reliable and energy efficient cooling at great value.”

Two New Models

Both of EcoSolarCool’s new models are approved by UL250 and CSA to US and Canadian standards. These are the only solar refrigerators in the world to hold this approval. Plus this is for the whole unit and not just the compressor. Both models have the most up to date and advanced Danfoss DC compressor and are manufactured in Europe. The power consumption for the models is also at a record low for the solar/DC appliances industry at 201 kWh per annum! This is also amongst the lowest in the AC refrigeration appliances market.

The ESCR260GE Metallic Grey model has a total capacity of 260 litres (9.2 cubic feet). The refrigeration compartment is larger in comparison to the freezer compartment at 235 litres (8.3 cubic feet) to 25 litres (0.9 cubic feet). The freezer is located at the top of the unit and the refrigeration compartment at the bottom. This model weighs in at 121.3 lb (55kg) and is 23.7 x 25.2 x 57.1 inches.

The ESCR355GE Stainless Steel model has a total capacity of 354 litres (12.5 cubic feet). The larger refrigeration compartment (258 litres/9.1 cubic feet) is located at the top of the unit, and the freezer compartment (96 litres/3.4 cubic feet) at the bottom. This model weighs in at 163.2 lb (74kg) and is 23.7 x 25.2 x 78.8 inches in size.

Features of Both

Both models have adjustable internal temperatures and reversible doors. The temperature range for the cooling compartment is between 0°C/32°F to 10°C/50°F. Whereas, the freezing compartment temperature can reach as low as -18°C/-0.4°F. For operation, both models need a solar panel, a 12 volt AGM, lithium or deep cycle battery and a 15 amp 12/24 volt solar charge controller. The battery ensures the refrigerator will continue running through the night and on not so sunny days. Whereas, the solar charge controller regulates the electric charge from the batteries and the solar panel(s). To find out how many solar panels/batteries needed to run your solar refrigeration appliance, check out EcoSolarCool’s blog post.

The refrigerators are perfect for a wide variety of situations from RVs, to cabins to on and off-grid homes.

Both refrigerator models can be bought from a local dealer or the Solar Power estore. Prices advertised on the EcoSolarCool website are $1,299.00 for the smaller Metallic Grey model and $1,650.00 for the larger Stainless Steel model.

EcoSolarCool Products all have these…

All the solar powered refrigeration and freezer appliances sold by EcoSolarCool have a 4.4 inch thick lining of polyurethane insulation. All products also have a built in energy-saving mode feature to make sure the units don’t guzzle more energy than what it needs. Plus, they also have an automatic shut off to ensure the appliances have a long service life. All units have a two year warranty and operate at an input voltage of 12/24 volts.

If you want to find out different methods of keeping food cool then check out this post.

You may also like to find out more about how solar refrigeration works in more detail, check out these articles:

What is a Solar Refrigerator?

Low Energy Refrigeration

The post EcoSolarCool new Solar Refrigeration appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Is Your Home SHTF Ready?

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Is Your Home SHTF Ready? Host: Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! Is your home SHTF ready? We will find this out and perhaps give you a few ideas of what you could do or expect if you’re not “Home Ready”. With the growing threat of everyday random violence even the best … Continue reading Is Your Home SHTF Ready?

The post Is Your Home SHTF Ready? appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

5 Tips to Start Your Apartment Garden

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5 Tips to Start Your Apartment Garden What I like most about this article is that it addresses an issue that many frightened preppers deal with. I am talking about those stuck in condos or apartments that feel like they have no ability to grow their own food. These restrictions could be do to space …

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Pressure Canning Asparagus at Home

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Pressure Canning Asparagus at Home Asparagus is one of the those amazing gifts of spring. I put it on par with the English pea and arugula as those first blessings from the garden. If asparagus is cooked too long it can become terrible. In fact, for many years I thought asparagus was what came out …

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Top 10 Barter Items Every Prepper Should Have

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Top 10 Barter Items Every Prepper Should Have Along with those items that you store for your own personal use there should always be a little bit stowed away for the purposes of bartering. You know the average American doesn’t have much cash stored in their home. Once that cash runs out, if the ATMs …

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How Cherokees Used Trees for Food, Medicine, and Craft

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How Cherokees Used Trees for Food, Medicine, and Craft There are those articles that stir ideas, that offer small smatterings of information often prefaced with a bold title. These articles are very important to the content of the community. This article is not that type. This is a well crafted and thoughtful article filled with …

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Growing Vegetables In Pots – Choosing Plants That Thrive

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Growing Vegetables In Pots – Choosing Plants That Thrive Not everyone has the chance of having a lush vegetable garden. Most of us have to deal with the lack of gardening space or arable land. Living in an urban environment requires for you to find alternatives to your gardening plans. However, there is always a …

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9 Ways our Homestead Cooks Off Grid

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9 Ways our Homestead Cooks Off Grid I learned early in my prepping career that stoves can die on you! Particularly electric stoves. They are just not the best single option for the average home. The power goes out and now you are stuck with eating out or eating cold. When you talk about a …

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Two Old Salts Talking About “Salt”

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Two Old Salts Talking About “Salt” Host: Bob Hawkins “The APN Report“ Audio in player below! What bears scrutiny more important than anything else, is the food we eat, and what effects it has on our wellness. If you haven’t seen a photo of me, you may not realize that I’m “fluffy”, in other words, I’m … Continue reading Two Old Salts Talking About “Salt”

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Why Your Carefully Calculated Prepper Food Supply May Not Be Enough (And What You Can Add)

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We all prep for different future scenarios. Some of us worry about losing our jobs. Others live in drought-stricken areas and put extra food back to see them through the … Read the rest

The post Why Your Carefully Calculated Prepper Food Supply May Not Be Enough (And What You Can Add) appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Is a Family Cow “Worth It”?

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Is a Family Cow “Worth It”? Host: Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below! Owning a family cow is a huge responsibility. A recent guest on the Homesteady show (here) compared it to marriage. A cow requires daily care and attention. A family that wants to own a cow will need to be able … Continue reading Is a Family Cow “Worth It”?

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7 things to remember about cooking in SHTF scenario

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Just about every prepper has stored some food and water in case of a major disaster. That’s one of the first things you began to stockpile right? But did you ever stop to consider ways and means of cooking your food in a serious SHTF scenario? Unless you have a month’s (or more) worth of […]

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