3 Never-Go-Bad, Easy-Storing Crops That Kept The Cowboys Alive

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3 Never-Go-Bad, Easy-Storing Crops That Kept The Cowboys Alive

The Old West was a tough place to hammer out a living. Whether it was mountain men, cowboys, or buffalo hunters, making ends meet in The West was not for the faint of heart.

Men and women alike had to be self-reliant, self-policed, and self-motivated if they were to survive. It certainly didn’t cater to the weak. Cowboys were one group who were particularly adept at taking care of themselves.

A major reason cowboys became so self-reliant was out of necessity. There simply wasn’t anything to fall back on in the middle of a 1,000-mile-long cattle drive. Part of their ability to complete a drive was attributed to their toughness and their ability to handle problems as they arose. Another reason they were able to complete these long drives can be credited to their planning for the drive. A properly supplied chuckwagon was essential if the cattle drive was to be successful.

One area the chuckwagon couldn’t fail in was the food department. The entire outfit would be composed of around 10-15 people, and those people needed food each day. Not only did those 10-15 people need food, but they needed fuel to energize their bodies for the 18-hour workdays they faced when on the trail.

Although they occasionally ate the cattle they were trailing, they also needed food in the wagon. Chuckwagons were packed full of all kinds of ingredients cooks used to prepare meals. Many sacks of flour and cornmeal were brought along for the journey. They also needed vegetables that would store well in the heat and provide enough energy for the cowboys to keep working.

‘Miracle Oil Maker’ Lets You Make Fresh Nut Oils Within Minutes!

If you are planning your garden and are looking for foods that store well, you might take a page from the cowboys and plant these three easy-storing crops.

Beans

One staple in the cowboy’s diet was beans – a food high in nutrition and protein (see nutritional information below). There is an old saying that proclaims, “There are two kind of people in this world — those that do eat beans, and those that should eat beans.” There are a variety of bean choices out there, but if you want to grow what the cowboys ate, then try pinto beans.

3 Never-Go-Bad, Easy-Storing Crops That Kept The Cowboys AliveAs they grow, simply let them hang on the plant until dry. After that, they need to be removed from the pod and stored in a cool, dry place. Once dried, beans can last for years without spoiling. Before cooking with them, soak them overnight to reconstitute.

Potatoes

Potatoes have an array of attributes that would have made them popular in any chuckwagon. First, they would have stored well on the long cattle drives. Just keep them cool and dry.

Second, they are packed with nutrition (see nutritional information below). In fact, there are stories of people eating nothing but potatoes for six months, without nutritional defects.

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

If you are looking for an easy-storing and nutritious crop, plant a few extra potatoes this spring.

Onions

One popular book with recipes from the Old West – “The Cowboy’s Cookbook” – includes a breakfast recipe of fried potatoes and onions. The ingredients’ list is short: potatoes, oil for frying, onions, and salt and pepper. Many a cowboy would have enjoyed this simple meal behind a dusty chuckwagon.

Out on the trail, cowboys needed food that not only “stuck to their ribs,” but also offered energy with essential vitamins and minerals. These staple foods, paired with a steady serving of beef, would have kept the cowboys fit and healthy.

Nutrition facts

Pinto beans (1 serving)

            Calories: 245

            Fiber 62%

            Iron 20%

            Copper 41%

            Folate 74%

            Protein 31%

            B1 28%

Potatoes (1 serving)

            Calories: 278

            Carbs 63 grams

            Fiber 26%

            Protein 7 grams

            Vitamin C 48%

            Vitamin B6 46%

            Manganese 33%

Onions (1 serving)

            Calories: 64

            Carbs 15 grams

            Fiber 11%

            Vitamin C 20%

            Manganese 10%

What would you add to our list? How do you make potatoes, beans and onions store long-term? Share your tips in the section below:

The 9 Most Nutrient-Dense, Long-Term Storage Foods You Can Stockpile

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The 9 Most Nutrient-Dense, Long-Term Storage Foods You Can Stockpile

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

There are many foods that store well, and many foods that are super-nutritious or have high caloric value, but the number of foods that store well and are especially nutrient- and calorie-rich are much fewer.

Calories without nutrients won’t satisfy your body, leading to continual hunger that will cause you to eat more calories than you need, while nutrients without calories will lead you to eat your food stores more quickly. The below foods offer a balance of these two considerations.

Also important, of course, is learning different storage techniques, such as dehydrating, fermenting, vacuum sealing, and canning. These are beyond the scope of this article, but are skills you’ll want to acquire to ensure these foods reach their full storage potential.

1. Nuts

Hazelnuts are among the most nutritious nuts in terms of balanced nutrition, and store quite well. They are high in vitamins E, K, B6 and folate. Other high-nutritious nuts include Brazil nuts (high in the all-important saturated fats, magnesium and selenium), cashews (a good source of carbs, zinc and iron), macadamia nuts (high calories in general especially fat), almonds (high protein, fiber, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E and calcium), walnuts (high in fat and folate) pecans (also high in fat and very similar to walnuts), pistachios (high in potassium and vitamin B6) and chestnuts (high in carbs, fiber, vitamin C, folate, healthy fats, iron, calcium and manganese).

2. Seeds

Seeds are high in nutrients and are good sources of calories, including protein and fat. Good seeds include: chia (omegas, carbs, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium), hemp (good fats including omegas and high-quality protein), sunflower (vitamins E, B1 and B6, copper, manganese, selenium, magnesium, folate and niacin), pumpkin (magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, protein and many others), sesame (manganese, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin B1, selenium and fiber).

3. Moringa powder

This powder is available at health food stores and is a great good source of bioavailable nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E, in addition to protein.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

If you don’t feel like shelling out the money to buy the powder, then you also can find seeds online to buy and grow your own. If in a cold climate, you might even be able to get them to produce seed in one year if you start them indoors three months before the last frost. Hang them to dry, and crush them up or grind for storage.

4. Extra virgin coconut oil

Fat is crucial in survival situations, and coconut oil has a lot of high quality fat and, thus, calories. It can last at least 18 months if stored properly (don’t get the non-extra virgin stuff for long-term storage, as it won’t last as long), and can be used in many of the same ways as butter.

5. Dried fruit

The 9 Most Nutrient-Dense, Long-Term Storage Foods You Can Stockpile Fruits are high in sugar, which means high calorie content. Especially good are high-nutrition superfood berries like goji berries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries and currants, which are all generally high in vitamins, including vitamins C, K, A and folate. Also excellent are cherries (good for vitamin A and many health promoting compounds), mango (very high in sugar, vitamins A, B6, C and E, copper, and potassium), banana (vitamins C and B6, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin, plus sugar), grapes (raisins, which are high in sugar, B vitamins, iron and potassium), and many others.

6. Grains

Brown rice, wild rice and quinoa are among the most nutritious, and most can be stored for many years if stored properly. Grains are a good source of carbs, and most contain a lot of magnesium, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, selenium and manganese. Grains combine well with legumes (see below) to create full proteins.

7. Legumes

Dried beans, peas and lentils all can be stored for many years and are good sources of protein, carbs, fiber and many minerals and vitamins.

8. Honey

Honey is packed full of nutrition and keeps very well, for decades or even centuries. It also can be used to preserve other foods. It’s high in calories and sugar, but is also quite high in vitamin B6, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, iron, riboflavin, amino acids, calcium, copper, magnesium and many other nutrients.

9. Unwashed free-range farm eggs

Eggs, if left unwashed, contain a bio-film that helps to preserve them much longer. They can last up to three months out of the fridge and a year or more if refrigerated. Free-range eggs are higher in nutrients than caged chicken eggs, and also are high in vitamins A and E, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fat and iron.

What foods would you add to our list? Share your suggestions in the section below:

 

NASA scientist: Earth is overdue a dinosaur-killing asteroid strike, and we’re woefully unprepared.

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NASA scientist: Earth is overdue a dinosaur-killing asteroid strike, and we’re woefully unprepared.



What Skills Will Allow You To Do & Not Do.

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Medical Kit.

Medications.

Food bags & containers.

Water bottles or flasks.

Tools for hunting & defence.

Shelter & bedding.


What Skills Will Allow You To Do & Not Do.

The debate regarding equipment versus skills is ongoing, in my personal opinion, both are of equal importance. We are not just talking about survival; we must also be concerned with our quality of life. Yes learning primitive skills for long term survival are very important, but you have to think about what these skills can provide you with & what they can’t. For instance, if you need to cook a stew, then you need a fireproof container. You could experiment making clay vessels, you can also use animal skins & use the hot rock method. But how much easier is it to carry a metal kettle with you?

So why am I mentioning this? I am mentioning this because weight matters if you have to carry it on your back when travelling on foot. There has to be some compromise between two principles, minimum weight & maximum self-reliance. When people are asked about the hunting tools/weapons, top of the list is usually high powered breech-loading firearms. These are fine for self-defence, but how practicle are they for long term survival? The larger the caliber, the more the ammunition weighs, & the more space in your pack it takes up. We need to prioritise, is it more important to carry a lot of weight in modern ammunition? Or is it more important to carry more medical equipment & supplies, vitamin supplements, more food & more water? If we are travelling alone, we can not carry both.

If we are only carrying a modern firearm & we intend to use it for hunting & defence, then the ammunition will not last long. We can of course avoid a fire fight by keeping a low profile, & we can save on ammunition by setting up a trap line for meat. But how secure will you feel knowing that when your ammunition runs out, you will be left with nothing with which to defend yourself or procure game? Your alternatives are: carrying an air rifle, carrying a traditional bow & arrows, or carrying a flintlock muzzle-loading gun/rifle & pistol. Another alternative for those in America might be to carry a modern sidearm in combination with one of the aforementioned hunting tools, or carry a bow & a modern firearm.


Weight is the all important factor, that & sustainability. Solid form medications have a long shelf life, so we need to take advantage of this. Dry foods too have a long storage capability & it is important that we carry as much food as we can. Eventually we hope to be able to take the time to forage for edible flora & hunt & trap game, but until that time comes, we are on the move & we need to keep a low profile.

Can primitive skills supply you with medications? Yes of course they can, but finding the herbs you need will not be easy, & especially so if you are already feeling ill. We need to think about our well being, our comfort. Any item that is sustainable & will make life easier is worth carrying, within reason. Skills will enable you to make a survival bow & arrows, but if you should ever come up against someone with a gun, you may have some difficulty surviving. Something that people often fail to take into account is the shock factor of a firearm, the noise & the impact of the missile. A bow against a firearm can not deliver this.

Anyway, the purpose of this article is to make you think before you leap. Think about the equipment you are going to carry & how it will best benefit your survival physically & mentally. Learn all you can about primitive skills, & if you plan to survive on your own retreat, then think about the living skills you will need to keep things in good repair.

When it comes to transporting equipment on foot, you can use a hiking trolley, but like all forms of transport from vehicles to animals, there will always be a negative side. The tracks you will leave to be followed, the places you can’t go, the noise you will make.

PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage

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PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” Audio in player below! On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart continues his discussion about stocking your Prepper Pantry. Last week, the program focused on growing your own food and heirloom seeds.  This week, we’ll focus on food storage … Continue reading PANTRY: Long Term Food Storage

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Useful Information For On The Trail.

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Not all of this will be relevant to your situation should you have to leave your home if or when the SHTF. But modern guerrilla warfare was based on the following 18th century rules, & I think they are worth taking note of.
Keith. 


Rogers Rangers Standing Orders 1759.

1.  Don’t forget nothing.


2.  Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute’s warning.


3.  When you’re on the march, act the way you would if you was sneaking up on a deer.  See the enemy first.


4.  Tell the truth about what you see and what you do.  There is an army depending on us for correct information.  You can lie all you please when you tell other folks about the Rangers, but don’t never lie to a Ranger or officer.


5.  Don’t never take a chance you don’t have to.


6.  When we’re on the march we march single file, far enough apart so one shot can’t go through two men.


7.  If we strike swamps, or soft ground, we spread out abreast, so it’s hard to track us.


8.  When we march, we keep moving till dark, so as to give the enemy the least possible chance at us.


9.  When we camp, half the party stays awake while the other half sleeps.


10.  If we take prisoners, we keep ’em separate till we have had time to examine them, so they can’t cook up a story between ’em.


11.  Don’t ever march home the same way.  Take a different route so you won’t be ambushed.


12.  No matter whether we travel in big parties or little ones, each party has to keep a scout twenty yards ahead, twenty yards on each flank and twenty yards in the rear, so the main body can’t be surprised and wiped out.


13.  Every night you’ll be told where to meet if surrounded by a superior force.


14.  Don’t sit down to eat without posting sentries.


15.   Don’t sleep beyond dawn.  Dawn’s when the French and Indians attack.


16.  Don’t cross a river by a regular ford.


17.  If somebody’s trailing you, make a circle, come back onto your own tracks, and ambush the folks that aim to ambush you.


18.  Don’t stand up when the enemy’s coming against you.  Kneel down, lie down, hide behind a tree.


19.  Let the enemy come till he’s almost close enough to touch.  Then let him have it and jump out and finish him with your hatchet.


If or When TSHTF. Part Six. Going Bush. Gardening & Construction Tools.

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Gardening and Construction Tools.

When moving out bush with a view to long term living you need to have some idea in your head as to the type of area you are looking for. You will need permanent water if possible, a creek or a river. This may also supply reeds for shelter construction & other items. A cave would make a great shelter or even a rock shelter, but if these are not available at your water source then you will have to construct shelters.

These types of tools are generally bulky & heavy, but they can also double as weapons if you have people to carry them. Helves, handles & stails can be removed from the heads & the heads can be carried in a pack if this is easier than carrying the complete tool. Think carefully about the tools you will need. In a long term wilderness living situation you will need to produce gardens & construct shelters.

Here is a list of tools that I have collected for this purpose:

If or When TSHTF Part Five. My choice of the best gun for long term wilderness living. The Muzzle-Loader.

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Any muzzle-loader will give you an edge in long term wilderness living except the percussion lock. The percussion lock, also known as a caplock, requires fulminate of mercury caps for its ignition. This method is NOT sustainable. Tinderlocks & Matchlocks are good but they require a burning fuse at all times making you visible in the dark & the gun not so pleasurable to use as other later locks. The wheellock is good but does require Pyrite for its ignition & this is not always easy to find.

The flintlock requires a siliceous or igneous rock for ignition & this type of rock can be found in the bush if you know what you are looking for. I find the easiest way is to carry a fire steel with you & simply test the rocks you come across to see if they are hard enough to create sparks by striking the steel.

Above: This is English flint, a siliceous rock which can occasionally be found in coastal areas of Australia where English ships dumped their flint rock ballast before taking on a new cargo.

Above: This is agate which can be very common in places in Australia. Agate was used a lot in place of flint for flint & steel fire lighting. Agate is also a siliceous rock.

Above: This is quartz, very common in places & although it tends to fracture easily it is still a good rock to use for gun or fire lighting.

Above: Green chert.

http://www.aradon.com.au/green_chert.html;

Jasper.

This is obsidian, an igneous rock or volcanic rock.

Advantages of A Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

If or When TSHTF Part Four. Primitive living/survival skills.

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This is a basic list of skills for woodsrunners in our group. These are long term wilderness living/survival skills.

Woodsrunner’s Skills.

This is a list of basic skills in which I personally would expect an 18th century woodsman or woods-woman to have some experience with in our group.

The Survival Connection By Keith H. Burgess.

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The Survival Connection By Keith H. Burgess.

I will tell you a little about our group, who we are and what we do. Firstly we are an 18th century living history group, called the New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760. I started this group some 30 odd years ago, and we have an online presence in our official forum. Living History is about interpreting and recreating  past lifestyles, a little like Historical Re-enactment, except that we do not generally put on displays for the public and we go into the skills & equipment far deeper than the re-enactors do, and we emulate common personas in everyday situations rather than just military as re-enactors tend to do.

Part of our activities is Experimental Archaeology. That is the using of equipment, clothing & foods to establish exactly how an item was used. Sometimes this involves actually making that item. This can be anything from making fire in a primitive or period manner, to building a ship & sailing it on a trade route. Now there is another side that has been added known as Experiential Archaeology, which is the continuing use of the skills that we learn in experiments. We only wear period correct clothing, and we only use period correct equipment.

Not so much in Australia’s colonial past, but more in the New World colonial past, life was all about survival for those colonists who chose to live in the wilderness. They had to find or make some of their own tools, they had to often travel on foot to their destination carrying these tools and other supplies. On the way and once there they had to deal with the threat posed by natives and criminals. Everyone who was strong enough to hold and aim a gun was expected to know how to shoot. Plus there were a host of other skills needed to construct a dwelling, grow and hunt for food and to complete certain chores.

Now it does not take a total genius to realise that the above situation is very much in line with our needs as modern survivalists. All the more so because modern equipment rarely teaches us anything other than this is a throw-away society that we live in. Where as primitive equipment teaches us much about flora, fauna and our environment. A typical example would be the difference between using the “real” flint and steel method of fire lighting that has been in use for hundreds of years, and using a ferocerium rod. Many people do not learn about plant tinders when using the ferocerium rod, or the difference between plant tinders and kindling. Making fire in the rain can be difficult with a ferocerium rod, but not with a flint and steel. The skills learnt by using the flint and steel extend to the making and use of the fire-bow, flintlock fire lighting and reading glass fire lighting.

With the 18th century knapsack and contents I carry, along with other simple tools, I can survive a lifetime in the wilderness. Can a modern survivalist with what is considered mostly camping equipment claim the same? I very much doubt it. So what we have in 18thcentury living history is tried equipment and primitive skills. But it gives us something else that is of the utmost importance in survival, and that is a reasonable level of comfort. I will gladly admit that most of what I carry on my person is for comfort and not necessarily required for my survival. I can survive without carrying any equipment with me into a wilderness, but it is a very hard life until one manages to make a collection of primitive tools to make life easier, and even then we are talking about a Palaeolithic lifestyle.

By carrying 18th century equipment combined with the period and primitive skills, I can at least guarantee that my level of comfort will never drop below that level. Where as if I were to carry only modern clothing and equipment, slowly over time as items failed to work or broke and clothing wore out, I would be cast into a very primitive lifestyle regardless of the skills I may have learnt over time. If I were using a modern firearm it too may have ceased to function, or I may have simply run out of ammunition. Those using modern compound bows would be no better off, as these tools require special arrows, bow strings and parts.

However, do not think that I am totally against the use of modern technology; I believe that if we are able to carry some modern items as well as our period gear, then that would be an added advantage. The more people you have, the more you can take with you, but if I have to leave something behind, it will be the modern firearms etc that will in time break down and constitute a lot of weight for little gain. Modern medicine is an absolute must carry, despite what you may know about primitive methods and herbal use. Regardless of what you carry, you must keep one thing in mind. There must be a compromise between maximum self-reliance, and minimum weight.

If you have to leave the city or if you are forced from your bush retreat, you will need to make the right choice of equipment the first time. You may never get a chance to correct any mistakes, so choose wisely. IF you are serious about preparing for survival, and for you this is not just a game or a pastime, then you need to forget about looking like someone in the military. The military always has relied on back-up supplies and equipment. You, we, will NOT have that option. Whatever we take with us must be practicle, hard wearing and last us the rest of our lives.

Does Freezing Food Really Kill Bugs?

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Does Freezing Food Really Kill Bugs?

Image source: canadacouponing.com

Picture this unhappy scenario. You open up your carefully prepared and stored food at a time of need only to find it infested with bugs.

Nearly all dried foods – including grains, cereals, beans, nuts, powdered milk, dried fruits, cured meats and spices — are susceptible to an insect infestation. How can you prevent this problem from happening to your important long-term food investment? Some people freeze foods before storing them. But does that really work? The answer: yes!

Freezing does work, with some caveats.

Your first step is to realize that storage containers can make all the difference in eliminating insect infestations.

Flimsy paper or cardboard packaging is no match for hungry bugs, so it is important that you store your food in strong, airtight containers. Insects can also eat their way through foil, plastic bags and plastic lids.

For example, a study by The Benson Institute showed that insects found their way into #10 cans containing insect-free wheat by way of their plastic lids. Using several packaging barriers to protect your stored food is a good idea.

How long do you need to freeze your dry goods for bug control — and at what temperature? Geri Guidetti, founder of the Ark Institute and a leading authority on survival gardening, suggests that you freeze food for a minimum of three days.

Another Benson Institute study suggests that the temperature at the center of the food container must reach -9 degrees F (-23 C) for two to four hours for best results.

In his book “When Disaster Strikes,” Matthew Stein writes, “You can freeze containers of food to destroy living insects, but this will not usually kill their eggs. Refreeze the container after 30 days to destroy bugs that have hatched. Freeze in an upright or chest freezer for 72 hours at 0 degrees F or lower.”

Some researchers say freezing will not kill all insects. If you try the freezing method to prevent an infestation, it is a good idea to inspect your food for bugs on a regular basis. Early detection of a bug problem can prevent all your of food supply from sustaining insect damage.

Here are other options for ridding your dry food of bugs:

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth. Image source: Wikipedia

Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) can work as an effective natural pesticide. Use one cup of food grade DE for every 25 pounds of grain for long-term storage. Layer the DE throughout the grain for best results. An added bonus is that DE is highly absorbent, so it protects dry foods from moisture that might cause food to clump, grow moldy or germinate.

Dry Ice

Dry ice also can kill bugs in your dry foods. “The Family Preparedness Handbook” by James Talmage Stevens suggests two techniques for this method.

For the “on-top method,” place a quarter-pound of dry ice on an insulating material (such as Kraft paper) on top of a nearly full five-gallon container. Press the lid down on top of the material firmly but gently to allow air to escape.

After a half hour or so, look for the dry ice to have evaporated completely. When the dry ice has completely evaporated, remove the insulating material and seal the container.

The “on-bottom” method is another option. Place a quarter pound of dry ice under the insulating material. Press the lid down so air can escape. After about 30 minutes, check to see if the dry ice has evaporated. When the dry ice has completely evaporated, remove insulating material and then seal the container.

How do you kill bugs for long-term food storage? Share your ideas in the section below:

Food Storage, another look!

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Food Storage, another look!

food storage roomFood storage is easy, storing food to get the most length of storage out of it and to keep it as safe as possible while not taking up the entire house with towers of cans can be a bit more work! However, since food is essential for life, it’s worth doing it right and taking a bit of time. Once you get used to doing it, it becomes habit.

My first and foremost rule to storing food for the longest shelf life and no pest issues is this: IF IT COMES IN A BOX OR PAPER BAG, REPACKAGE IT! There are many bugs that live on the glue in those packages. Pests of all kinds can get through regular store packaging and decimate you food preps. How do you repackage it to ensure long life and safety is a question I am often asked. Here is what I do after a normal shopping trip:

Food Storage another lookI arrive home with a great sale item, last week it was Betty Crocker Scalloped Potatoes on sale for $0.78 a box! I got 18 of them. Way too much for just putting on a shelf and hoping for the best. I got out my scissors, my vacuum sealer and bags. I opened the package, cut off the directions, put the bag of potatoes and sauce mix in the bag along with the directions. I partially vacuumed the bag (so as not to crush the taters) and then sealed it. After I had them all done, I took them to my pantry and tossed them in the bucket marked “flavored potatoes”. Done. (yes, I put a piece of tape with the date on it too)

I do this with pasta, beans, some sugars and rice. Simple, easy and effective. They should be good, safe and ready to go for 5 years.

11-6-15 Mylar-bags-in Food StorageLong Term Food Storage is basically the same, but I use lined 5 gallon buckets and oxygen absorbers. For instance, I got bags of whole wheat that I will use when my flour runs out. I got a mylar bag, and put it in the bucket, opened it up and added the wheat. I tossed in about 2000cc’s of oxygen absorbers. I then hand expressed as much air as possible.

I  use my iron to seal the bag almost to the end. Then I fold up the bag and expressed the last bit of air and seal to the end. I put the lid on the bucket and mark the bucket with the contents and the date. I do this with white sugar, oats and cornmeal. Most of it will last for 20 years.

I can stack the food storage tubs, which are filled with meal size packages. I can also stack the buckets which are mostly filled with single bulk items. These are tucked away in all sorts of places. I am lucky to have a dry basement, but many people use spare bedrooms, home offices, closets or under the bed space. At times, I have used drapes over my tubs and used them as end tables. I know one person who pulled her couch out from the wall and stacked her tubs, put a cloth over them and calls it her “sofa table”.

Much of my food storage is normal, every day stuff that we eat daily or weekly. These are mostly canned goods. For those, I have a rotation system like a grocery store. I put the new items I purchase in the back and bring the rest forward. The expiration dates are already on them, but if you want, you can use a marker and put the date you bought it on the can. I have learned that most items are good well beyond the “best if used by” date. If you are uncomfortable with that, then buy the items with the farthest away “use by” date and make sure you keep rotating. (tip: look at the back of the shelf in the grocery. Sometimes they have different dates from what is in front). By storing what we eat and eating what we store, I rarely have a problem with anything going “out of date”.
Protect your food from freezing, moisture and air. If you can do this, it usually is protected from pests as well.

Re-posted with permission from APN

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6 Food-Storage Mistakes That Even The Experts Make

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6 Food-Storage Mistakes That Even The Experts Make

Image source: coxshoney.com

Long-term food storage is a common-sense approach to ensuring that you and your family can survive a catastrophic event that significantly affects our food supply. But there’s more to it than just stacking cans in the attic. In fact, that may be the worst place to store any kind of food.

A lot can go wrong if you have food in storage for years and simply assume that everything will be okay when the day comes that you need to open those cans.

There are fundamentally six things you should consider with regards to any long-term food storage plan:

1. Consider nutrition.

There are some fundamental considerations you have to think about with regards to long-term food storage. The first is diversity. Storing 200 #10 cans of macaroni and 50 #10 cans of dry milk is not a nutritious solution. You have to think in terms of nutritional diversity. Many companies offer pre-packaged solutions for three months’ to one year’s worth of food. If you can’t afford a large package offering, look carefully at what they include so you can purchase a diversified collection of foods over a period of time.

The World’s Healthiest Survival Food — And It Stores For YEARS and YEARS!

You should also keep a running tally on what you have stored.  You may think you have it all figured out, but you don’t want to find out the hard way that you have too much of one item and barely enough of something that may be more essential. A good way to make this assessment gets to the next point.

2. Eat what you store and store what you eat.

Failure to follow this simple suggestion may be the biggest fail for anyone stockpiling food supplies. While many products in hermetically sealed, #10 cans will survive for years and years, some in 5-gallon buckets aren’t as dependable. I opened a five-gallon bucket of sugar after six years and it was permeated with mildew.

You’ll also find great value in this practice of eating what you store. We’ve never bought a box of macaroni and cheese in the last 10 years when we figured out that a can of macaroni and a can of cheese powder was essentially the same ingredients.

Eating what you store also gives you experience with how to prepare these foods and combine them with available fresh ingredients to create a pattern of recipes you and your family will enjoy.

3. Watch out for heat.

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The standard recommendation is to store your foods in a cool, dark place. That’s why an attic is a bad idea. Not only is it sometimes inaccessible on a regular basis, but the heat that can develop in an attic space will quickly compromise the shelf life of any stored food. A dedicated pantry is ideal and a basement is also an option. Darkness is not as critical as ambient temperature, because most long-term foods are hermetically sealed in cans, but direct sunlight at any time can raise temperatures.

4. Watch out for moisture, too.

If your basement is damp, that’s a problem. Even though cans are sealed to prevent moisture from affecting the contents, oxidation or rust from moisture can affect the integrity of any metallic item over time. Moisture can also permeate food even if it’s sealed. This was my experience with the five-gallon bucket of sugar. A bit of dampness in my basement was all it took to compromise the entire bucket.

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You should also take your cans out of the cardboard boxes if you have purchased foods in bulk. The standard package is six #10 cans in a box. That’s great for shipping, but cardboard absorbs moisture and can continually compromise the cans inside. Get the cans out and do whatever you can to keep them free of moisture.

5. Use common sense when opening food.

When we eat what we store we have to remember that the minute a can is opened, it is subject to the standard shelf-life of any consumer packaged goods. Most #10 cans come with a plastic lid and you can even buy additional lids if you lose one, but resealing a can with a plastic lid doesn’t mean you can return it to the storage area for another five years. Once it’s opened, you need to consume it on a regular basis.

6. Rehydrate your food properly.

What allows most foods to have a long-term shelf life is dehydration. In order to prepare most of these foods, the addition of water or some form of liquid is required to rehydrate the foods. Failure to rehydrate properly is perhaps the greatest fail when it comes to the enjoyable consumption of long-term foods stores. We’ve prepared an article on this subject that gives you guideline for various rehydration methods and food types. (Recommended: The Right Way To Rehydrate Long-Term Storage Food.)

This gets back to the fundamental concept of eating what you store and storing what you eat. You’ll gain valuable experience with various types of stored foods that will ensure that you can prepare meals that not only sustain you nutritionally, but that you’ll actually enjoy.

What would you add to this list? Share your suggestions in the section below:

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