What We Learned Living on Our Food Storage for a Month

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By Kara Stiff

Before the stay-at-home order was even issued in my state, I stopped going to the grocery store. I despise shopping: the fluorescent lights, the spending of money, the inane conversations about children with strangers. It’s easy to convince myself not to go if people might be sick there. Since I have the luxury of doing so, I can leave what’s available for those who haven’t had the ability to stock up.

This is important. Stocking up when items are scarce is hoarding, but stocking up when there is plenty available is the opposite of hoarding. If I’m stocked up, I have the power to remove the pressure of my own consumption from the system just when the system is most stressed, therefore allowing others to get more of what they need.

I had never actually given our food storage and production systems a good test, though. Now I have, and I’ve learned some important things.

To be clear, my kitchen wasn’t perfectly sealed off from the world. A friend gave us some milk before the stay-at-home order, and my mom brought us some baked goods while I gave her beets and eggs. My husband bought cheese once. But other than that, we’ve been eating at home.

Organization really matters

We’ve been keeping a deep pantry for about seven years, ever since my first child was born and money was very tight. Back then it was just a giant Rubbermaid full of canned tomatoes, beans, pasta, and crackers. We called it the Zombie Apocalypse Box. It was easy to move, which mattered a lot because we moved five times in less than five years, first while pregnant, then with one small child, then with two.

Though it was mobile, the ZAB had serious limitations. First, it probably only constituted two weeks’ worth of supplementation to the regular pantry, which isn’t enough. Even worse, it was difficult to maintain because it was not easy to access and organize. I had to haul the heavy thing out and spread it all over the living room floor once a month to check the expiration dates and rotate stock. This was an impossible task when I had a baby who never slept.

As we finished building our house, the delightful prospect of never moving again sank in. I planned out the cabinet space and stocked what I figured was a month to six weeks of olives, tomatoes, pasta, coconut milk, peanut butter, canned mackerel, and other staples. I also packed some rice and beans for longer-term preservation. (More about a layered food storage plan here).

Not only is this organization much easier to maintain and rotate, but it also allows me to put a greater amount of food in an area not much bigger because the shelves make it easy to stack efficiently. Some things, though, are better off less accessible. This month I was able to keep back a bag of potato chips by hiding them from myself, and I greatly appreciated having them later.

Food storage isn’t enough

A stockpile cannot last forever, no matter how large. Humans are biological, and to survive we must have a place in the ecosystem. Modern industrial agriculture denies this. It tries to bend every flow of living energy into our own mouths, replacing resilient forests with vulnerable cornfields, swapping intricate wild networks for simple one-way streams to build ever more human bodies. Wild mammals now account for less than 4% of the mammal biomass on Earth, while humans, pets, and livestock account for the other 96%.

My family chose a parcel of land that was large enough to accommodate different levels of management. We have a sheet-mulch garden where we tightly control which species are welcome, and a fenced pasture and young orchard that are more of a compromise. Rabbits and raccoons are welcome in the orchard but not Bradford pear trees, and everything is welcome in the pasture except raccoons (geese deter them). These areas constitute only a small slice of our land, while the rest is pretty wild.

This spring, here is what’s available from our land: arugula, beets, and chard overwintered in the garden, French sorrel and a small amount of asparagus from our young patch, wild greens and onions, and eggs from the chickens. From last year’s production, we have goat, chicken, okra, and sweet corn still in the freezer, as well as pumpkins, sweet potatoes, flour corn, pickles, and salsa on the shelf. There isn’t any milk for people yet, because the first goat of the season only kidded yesterday.

Ours is a (mostly) adequate diet

One thing I learned in a month of eating at home is that what I figured to be a month of food really was about a month of food. Nobody is hungry here, and nobody is feeling seriously deprived. I did put myself into calorie deficit, but with my constitution that is easy to do, and happens sometimes even when I’m going to the store regularly.

We’re not suffering from lack of variety, either. All winter I’d been avoiding cooking with our beautiful blue homegrown dry corn because it’s a bit of work to haul out the grinder. Since we’ve been at home I’ve made cornflour, fry bread, Johnny cakes, tortillas, sourdough muffins and something I’m having a hard time naming. It was partly rice and fermented, like South Indian dosas but without the dhal, and it was partly corn like tortillas, and had eggs like crepes. Anyway, it was delicious, the children loved it and I’m going to make it again.

Food is as much work as you make it

All this yummy corn stuff takes a lot of time, though, as does picking wild salads and prepping meals ahead of time. It’s healthier, more interesting and more satisfying to cook this way, but I’m conscious that if this were the type of emergency that required me to also haul water or do other survival tasks, there wouldn’t be time in the day. In fact, there won’t be time tomorrow if my next goat births a whole litter, and she certainly looks like she’s going to.

As we ran out of things, the ones that went first were those that make meals quick and convenient: crackers, pre-made tortillas, cheese. This stuff is hard to store in quantity because it has quick expiration dates, and it’s time-consuming to make. If a pandemic got started in summer rather than winter, there would be a lot of vegetable and fruit mass coming out of the garden that would be quick and easy to slice and plate. But it didn’t, and there isn’t.

March used to be called “hungry month” before global supply chains made it possible to get a fresh strawberry every day of the year. We’re heading into the season where our local orchard runs out of apples, and it’s just not cost-effective to get them from the grocery store in the quantities we eat. What’s more, my local orchard has closed until summer, something I’ve never seen before. I’m not sure if they are protecting their elderly employees from coronavirus, or if their traffic was too low to stay open. Either way, breakfast and lunch will be more work without apples.

We’re not quite meeting our dietary goals

Diet has to satisfy a lot of requirements in order to keep us healthy. It has to fit the budget and go easy on the planet. It has to be delicious, or we’ll give it up and eat junk. Most of all, it has to strike a balance between meeting the needs of four very different people in our household: growing kids, people with diabetes risk, people with migraines subject to diet, people who have a hard time eating enough and people who have an easy time eating too much.

Like I said, no one is suffering, but with all the yummy corn products we’re eating a little more carbohydrate than I think is optimal for us. Usually, I would balance this with healthy fat, but it turns out that of all the things I stocked well, fat wasn’t one of them. We usually eat quite a lot of local pastured lard, but I had run myself out and our farmers’ market was closed for the winter, so I drew down our stock of coconut and olive oil faster than I planned. I didn’t run out, but it is something to consider.

What’s distressing about diet, going into an uncertain future where there may be supply chain disruptions and economic dislocations, is that a diet that works well enough for today may not keep on working year after year. In the past, I personally got myself a selenium deficiency that took years to develop, over a year to diagnose and months to correct, even with access to supplements that may not always be available.

Dietary deficiencies are no joke. They can have permanent effects on the body, and they sap the will to live. Some people do well for decades on vegetarian or vegan or other specialized diets, while others discover after years that what used to work fine has now ruined their health. Everyone is different, and I know of no sure way to tell ahead of time what is right for whom. Blood tests don’t tell the whole story; my tests looked normal, but my fatigue was crushing. The best I can do is try to feed us a wide variety and listen to all our bodies.

Stocking back up

When I went to stock back up before supply chains deteriorate further, only a few of the shelves at my local grocery store were sparse. Coronavirus has been moving more slowly in my state than others, so there hasn’t been panic in my lightly-populated rural area. It’s part of why we moved here: new developments get to this part of the world last.

There wasn’t much choice of flour, oatmeal, rice, or garlic. I adjusted my buying so as not to take the last thing of any type, and I swapped some generics for name brands because that was what was available, but I was largely able to get what I needed. I’m aware that may not be the case next month. In stocking back up I also leaned on local sources of food, trying to support those businesses and help keep them solvent during a difficult time.

I expected eating from stores to cost a little less, but I was surprised to be able to bring my stock of necessary items back up to full for about 70% of the cost of a typical month’s food. I would not have believed we were eating 30% of our food budget in chips, milk, butter, tortillas, fresh things like avocados and bananas, and cheese. But it’s true.

What about you?

What changes are you making in response to food shortages, and has it taught you anything?

About Kara

Kara Stiff grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and got her BS in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Maine. Now she lives with her husband, two small children and some number of goats on 17 acres in rural North Carolina. She documents her family’s journey toward resilience, community engagement and a lower environmental impact at low-carbonlife.org.

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  • Dear Daisy or Kara

    Can you expand more on the March is Hunger Month idea?

    Here’s my experience. I live in the Ozarks, where it’s not nearly as harsh as other parts of the country!
    And yet, we didn’t do as well as I had hoped. Like yourself, we always keep about 2 months of supplies. And they are excellent, such as annual purchases of 50 pounds of brown rice which we roll in DE and put in buckets. But we had two problems that became evident soon: 1) not enough daily calories for my husband, via FATS, who does the fencing, the composting, the heavy work, and 2) not enough “quality” fiber for me to stay “regular.” Many people swear that oats keep them regular, but NOT ME. This is why everyone should NOT DELAY in your own experiments. You don’t find out what works for you, until you try. Also, using single grains in winter can create an imbalance of minerals, and by the end of March, I was experiencing leg cramps! NOT usual for me! I had to start taking magnesium pills….and how much of a supply did I have of those???? My husband was using rolled outs, which he swears by for regularity, but for me, I had to soak and sprout them. That’s good…but my sprouting system turned out to be TOO SMALL, and not provide enough rotation for such heavy, daily use!
    So…..next, I turned to the meadow full of weeds in Feb-March. But I soon discovered that only the new fresh stems are chewable, or even palatable, making the daily harvesting, alone, even when I got quick at it, about 30 minutes. And that was just for the 2 of us. And when I added a bit of ACV and OO to make them palatable, that 30-minute pile diminished to miniscule. Other added labor, like sprouting, subtracted time in the day for early planting in the garden, taking care of our BROODERS, some of them born with wobbly crooked legs. Oh, dear.
    Early in February, we were also relying on our supply of apples for regularity. And then…we ran out of those. At the store, we avoided buying the gmo and sprayed ones.
    For calories for my husband, I was relying on potatoes, stored in the dark in the basement, but they began to get soft, and began to sprout, so I put all the remaining ones outside in the garden to save them, and get them going for summer.
    Sometime in mid-Feb, I noticed that the daily eating of the weeds, with ACV and OO, was depleting my precious supply of these too. So I switched to blanching them in a teensy bit of then adding a precious egg for fat, and a little sea salt and herbs. Eggs are precious in Feb, when the hens don’t lay very well, if at all. The blanched greens kept me regular, but this also became extremely boring! I learned that my supply of DRIED HERBS from my garden was TOO SMALL. A bigger variety of herbs would have made this paltry diet much more palatable!
    But none of my garden is covered. That has never been necessary in the Ozarks! So now, husband and I began talking about REALITY. He urgently began watching various youtubes, and he settled upon heavy-gauge livestock panels curved over at least one section of the garden to make a “greenhouse” for VERY EARLY spring. Urgently? Because suddenly, he realized that with SUPPLY CHAINS breaking, maybe he wouldn’t even be able to BUY more livestock wire, fencing wire, chestnut-tree-protection wire, tomato wire, wire for the brooders, wire, wire, wire, wire. The whole experiment was quite an eye-opener! His months of Dec-Jan-Feb are usually devoted to fence repair on this little but old place, and he had to forego this to ….consider the items at Tractor Supply that MIGHT SOME DAY be deemed “non-essential.” You see, we’re convinced that all of this is a “test” for what our government WILL DO, nationally. When that day comes, the “governors” won’t be given their own ‘options.’
    And Feb is too early for the local goat milk, or cow milk from calving, and so on. February was the “nasty month of powdered milk and powdered cheese.”
    This explains why my husband, 5-10 and about 165 pounds, lost 10 pounds! Oh, dear! I recommend this “experiment” to everyone! It really brought into clear focus the stories told by my ancestors of how Stalin killed about 10 million (can’t remember, I think this number is low) in just the Ukraine alone, in only about 4 years. But Ukraine was the Bread Basket! How could this happen? Well, we found out firsthand how it could happen, and as I already said, we live in the moderate Ozarks, where everybody has 5-20 acres, a few chickens, a few goats, a few cows. Even my electrician keeps 4-5 cattle on his little “meadow.”
    On or about April 1, the spring weeds popped out their flowers. Suddenly, with GREAT appreciation for God’s Earth, I returned to eating weed “salads” with ACV and OO, and they tasted FANTASTIC after the extremely challenging months of Feb-March.
    Last week (end of April) one of my relatives called–someone who also lives in the country, in Oklahoma—but who wasn’t BOTHERING to experiment, just relying on whatever they found in the grocery store. They cheerfully asked, ‘Aren’t you ready to get back to normal? Are you bored yet? We’re watching old movies here.” I would listen to this, as if they were calling from….outer space. I actually took my phone and stared at it while they were nattering on. Then there was a big silence. Finally they said, ‘So, what’ve you been up to?’ Somewhat speechless, I think I said, ‘Swamped.’ ‘Swamped?’ they asked. ‘Swamped? With what?’ But there was no point in explaining.
    So….in summary, ….we didn’t really make it very well through “March, the Hunger Month.” We didn’t even make it very well through February!!!

    • I would suggest having quantities of dried fruit to help keep you regular. Dried fruit is easy to store and lasts for years. Every fall I dehydrate apples, even ones that are going soft can be salvaged dried. I dry peaches in summer. Prunes, dates, raisins, figs are pretty inexpensive to buy. They provide good nutirents and fiber and it only takes a few pieces to satisfy. They can be reconstituted and used in cooked and baked foods. I bought some dried blueberries,cherries and strawberries at a mennonite/amish local bulk store.

    • Blackberries contain water soluble fiber. I can blackberry juice: In a quart jar 1 cup blackberries, 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet you like it). Fill jar with sterilized water (boil it 5 minutes to sterilized) leave 1″ headspace. Cap and Band. Process as you would fruit.
      We use this juice for intestinal ailments. Constipation. Diarrhea. Indigestion. Gas. Very effective.

    • You can preserve eggs for those low months by storing unwashed and cleanish eggs in water that has pickling lime in it. (Don’t wash the eggs) I use 4tbs/quart of water. I like to use the 1/2 gallon jars. You can store 15-18 eggs per jar and they last at least three to five months. I had some from October that we ate in march. No issues! I would not eat any eggs that had developed cracks.

      You could also dehydrate apples for those months when you needed some “regularity”. Hide them from everyone as they are addicting!

      • Also forgot to mention that I strain all my bacon grease and keep it to cook with when my preferred fats give out. I store it in glass jars and label it with the date. It lasts a long time (year or more) if you do a good job of straining out the bits of meat.

      • you can easily cook eggs, and freeze dry them and they will last years. No you don’t have to suffice with scrambled, you can over easy them or any way you like them. Add hot water, perhaps nuke for 30 seconds, and you got a fresh egg again.

        Also, and not trying to gross you out. I have had fresh eggs, right out of the hen’s butt basically. Ive put them in the refrigerator and sort of forgot about them for a while, about 8 months later, washed the egg (you always have to do that) cracked it and it was fine. Im sure it was not As super tasty as when it was fresh but was fine.

        If you are worried an egg is rotten before you crack it, put it in water, if it floats, hunk it is a rule of thumb.

        A A Ron

  • Since were seniors, 73 and 81, a n neighbor has sweetly brought in bread and milk several times. He knows my oven isn’t working and the help is appreciated.
    I’ve always kept a well stocked home. This newest one is smaller and had no pantry or even a broomcloset. Last fall I’d felt the need to restock and m a ke a storage area. I carved out an entry area and built in storage behind a bench. After thanksgiving company I canned the rest of the ham they left. Then a cheap turkey found the day after Christmas et. I canned meat, broth and soups. I purchased a lot of rice and dry beans at little at a time. Extra TP and pasta were set back each month. By the time the virus was known to be in the US I had my new pantry filled with a wonderful variety of foods.
    We’ve been eating from the pantry for over a month and have several more months of food on hand. Such a blessing.
    Now garden plants are starting in front of every window. Its only a little early to begin planting here. Late spring and early winter so have to plan carefully.
    I’ve been sick with a sinus infection and infected ears. For most of the last month of isolation so quick easy meals have been appreciated.
    We have ducks, chickens, and rabbits- we will eat fresh eggs and a rabbit now and then through the summer.
    To encourage three younger families to start saving back food I purchased 3, five gallon buckets and started filling them with items they w would use but things that would keep. Then I bought 3, 20 lb bags of rice and pinto beans. I gave each family a set and asked them to save those things and add to it… Just in case. They did, and have all said thank you this month.
    I’d talked about setting food back but until I showed them how easy it is they weren’t doing it. Those buckets had canned meats, fruit, Mac n cheese, rice a roni, 4 lb boxes of spaghetti, canned tomatoes, spices, just a mixture of things.
    Last spring when a grocery store had case lot sales I’d picked up canned chili, a case of tuna, a case of pineapple, corn, green beans et. Canned goods last a long time and a bookcase will hold a lot. I hadn’t canned many vegetables as we’d had a very poor growing season.
    A 10 lb bucket of lard, several jars of coconut oil and some vegetable oil will carry us quite a while. Serveral round containers of old fashioned oats and some brown sugar will make a lot of breakfasts.
    When I started looking I was pleased to find we can go months If necessary before restocking. It didn’t seem like that much when I bought a little at a time over many months plus the case lot purchases.

  • Two phrases really stuck out for me:
    “power to remove the pressure of my own consumption from the system” and “food is as much work as you make it”
    Personally, I don’t buy much from the grocery but my husband does. Basically for every $1 I spend, he spends $3. Why? Because I eat mainly a plant based diet and I have for many years maintained a quarterly stock up and grow in containers and sprout. For instance, I use 3# black beans and 1# lentils every 3 months, so in Jan I buy and then in April, etc. I buy WW wraps 20ct from Sam’s and have them sent to the house – 3 pkgs every quarter. I do grow sprouts and have enough seed to last at least thru the end of the year, having purchased most last Dec. I ordered seed for outdoor container growing in Feb as our season starts in March. Also, I don’t bake or really cook much except for a stir fry once or twice a week. My meals are oatmeal for breakfast, a bean wrap with fresh veggies from the garden for lunch and either 1.a large salad from the garden/sprouts with beans or tofu or 2. veggie meat and cooked greens. Once a week I’ll have 3. tuna or salmon (from a pouch and ordered 12 at a time in Jan) or 4. pasta with pasta sauce and lots of sprouts. For a snack I’ll have 1. pumpkin (from the neighbor’s 4 fall decorative pumpkins) 2. popcorn or 3. chocolate tofu pudding made with cocoa powder. I’ve eaten this way for about 9 years. It’s a way of life I can continue by myself – we’re in our mid 70s and I don’t drive, so I’ve thought thru the ability to have and maintain a good stockpile of food and other life necessities.

  • Where most people are starting to plant, I live in an area where it is to late. We have already had 100 F days. The wind has been anywhere from 5 miles an hour to 30 miles an hour. Here it isn’t if the wind blows, but when will it stop. Rain on our land is sparse. I have plants in the green house which was meant to house my citrus in the winter. I picked up a few extra citrus trees back in December (us citrus has micro citrus that produce a lot , but can grow in pots). The green house is to small for what I need. I am drowning in duck eggs. I give them away and use them to help feed my dogs. I am fair on my chicken eggs. I give them away, but not as many. Animal feed is getting harder to find. We may start butchering to reduce the need for additional feed. We brought half a cow last month from our butcher, but I think I should of brought a whole cow now. I still have a years worth of grains, but growing it here isn’t an option.

    On the wild side of life I do have cactus with prickly pears. The pears can be picked and juiced for jelly or drinking. I do have mesquite trees. The flowers can be used for tea, but are beginning to turn into beans. The beans can be crushed to make a flour. I have creosote bushes whose leaves can be used for medicinal purposes. I have one variety of cactus that are almost thorn-less. It is the kind they use in Mexico to eat. I have mormon tea plants growing here. I don’t hunt, but there are a lot of rabbits, quail and deer on my property. I went shopping two weeks ago for my monthly shopping, but not everything I need is there. I have ordered online, but that is on hold. The debit card got compromised and had to be canceled. Just waiting for a new card and payday.

  • Here is what I learned.
    First I should say that I keep quite a bit of “store bought” preps on hand. I’ve never really determined how long it would last, but I estimate I had about 6 months worth. I rotate (FIFO) and replaced when I used items, so it stays fairly static.
    That is until the pandemic hit. We are older with underlying medical problems, so on March 11th we made a bunch of phone calls to family and friends saying we were going to “shelter in place”. I have not left our place since.
    My husband goes into town once a week (Sunday afternoons) to the Post Office. Neighbors have brought us milk and eggs.
    Early on, I did an inventory of my supplies. I am marking off each item as we use it. So far, so good. We have had balanced meals and don’t feel deprived – yet.
    I will be interested to learn if 6 months was correct, or not. I have noticed some items are dwindling faster than I thought they would. Canned soup for dinners when I am too tired to cook of instance. And cans of tuna (only one left) for a quick lunch.
    I also have a huge supply, stockpiled over years, of dehydrated and freeze dried food. I don’t plan to get into that unless it becomes necessary.
    We have beans and cornbread once a week. My rationale with that is that I don’t want to wind up with only beans and cornbread, so I will balance it out.
    My husband has been to the grocery store once. We live in a very small town, and there are no cases in our county, so he thought it would be safe. (Mask and gloves worn). He replenished a few items and bought a number of things not on the list.
    A well stocked freezer has served us well, too. Back in February I had a feeling something big was coming, so I bought fresh produce and froze it.
    So far, I’m confident. However, I keep reading about meat packing plants closing and big stores in big cities being depleted.
    We are 50 miles one way from any town of any size. There was one incident of our only grocery store being overrun with out of town people, but that was only one time. Not sure that will be the case going forward. The police were involved in that incident, so hopefully it won’t happen again.
    My garden hasn’t produced yet other than lettuce and other salad greens, but it will supplement our meals soon. It isn’t huge, because at our age, we can’t manage very much.
    This is a learning experience for us. I’m glad we have been preparing for a while. That takes away some of the anxiety of this.

  • If you plan to bake a lot during an event, be sure to stock a lot of yeast. We still can’t find it in our area, for love nor money. An article said that commercial bakers can get it, but apparently the rest of the world can’t. I believe you can freeze yeast, but maybe Daisy can state if that is true or not.

    • Why not make your own sourdough starter? When you get it working well, you can smear it onto parchment paper to dry completely and put the flakes in the freezer for when you let your starter die, and you won’t have to restart from scratch.

  • I had forgotten my sons new milk allergy. He likes soy and not almond or oat, so we ran out. I learned we waste another $10 a week in paper towels. I have since made tea towels for the kitchen.

  • Good discussions. Have been living with some of our food storage. Very handy in that if something is missing when preparing meal can usually find it in our storage stocks. Potentially save a trip to store to wait in line with mask etc for one or two items. Forgot how much I liked Ritz crackers in tomato soup!! We are learning different ways to cook tuna and canned chicken.
    Here in NC oddly enough Raeford Farms is selling bulk chicken out of refridgerated truckss at schools.
    Haven’t bought any but quite popular. Getting the feeling of a Great Depression coming on.
    People loosing their jobs, talking about how to get food from some sort of line. People talking about moving in with others to save money etc. We will see.

  • Question on one sentence. Bradford Pear trees not welcome in the orchard ?
    If so, Why ? Or was the word “the” left out in that sentence ? Thank You for all the good information. Blessings to your Family.

  • A Permanent black marker used to label the cans, bags, etc. with the expire date in large print makes the process easier as you go along. (trying to read those tiny dates often needs a magnifying glass) And remember canned and some bagged things (like rice last 30 years, Store in sealed containers to keep mice out), can be used up to 5 years after the expiration date. I used Wolf Brand CHILE with 2013 expiration dates in 2019, and it was STILL GREAT.

  • Im trying to post a write up and it keeps telling me page is missing try again?
    Am I shadow banned or something?

    • I bought a Freeze Dryer ohh last October and have been having a lot of fun with it. It’s a food dehydrator that uses cold instead of heat to freeze dry foods. I am finding that freeze drying has a LOT of advantages over canning.
      1. If done properly, it can last up to 25 years.
      2. you are not limited to what you can keep, unlike MRE’s, you can freeze dry about anything your little heart desires.
      3. since YOU are the one processing the food, if you use fresh, you know whats in it, and not some mystery chemicals that the MRE might have.
      4. if you store cooked foods, then prep is little more than pouring hot or cold water on them and waiting a minute or two to rehydrate. Ok, yah some stuff was a lot better microwaving or heating up a bit more.
      5. The flavor of freeze dry was in many instances just as good as the fresh.
      6. Freeze dry you store in well, plastic baggies, much lighter and literally you can throw them in a closet i you want, and if you drop one, unlike a mason jar, it won’t shatter.
      7. A lot less chance of Botulism if you screw up the process.

      If it were to really hit the fan, which we are not out of this yet, and supply chains might be messed up for a while here, having your own store of food is a great way to keep your family safer, and at least fed. I have to say, simply because of the variety and easy of storage, freeze drying I find to be superior. The only thing is, you can’t dry oils, or fats very well, they don’t turn out, (honey is a horrible mess too but that does not go bad so…), everything else you might want, is fair game.

      Another use for the freeze dryer, you can vacuum distill water if you need for drinking. While this will not kill bugaboo’s, it will remove a lot of other impurities, and a tiny bit of bleach can take care of the rest, or just heat it up. The bags you use can easily handle a gallon of water so you might even be able to just can your own water or bag your own for storage. It may not taste super yummy when you get to it but you’ll know it’s clean at least.

      Having my own foods turned out to be a huge advantage. As the author of this post mentioned, it leaves what little stuff is left, for the others who don’t think ahead, to buy to stay alive, but also alleviates a lot of the hassles YOU would otherwise have to go through.

      There may be other’s out there but about the only home freeze dryer I have found is from a place called Harvest Right. There are some other commercial units out there but for most of us, those are beyond affordable.

      One thing I have learned is, some foods, preparing them already spiced up, sometimes didn’t work out as planned on the re heating phase. I think I may just add spices later as I am actually preparing the meal instead of throw water on and eat.

      Now for my indulgence. Scallops, sauteed with butter, garlic, some cajun spices, then freeze dried and bagged. They were like little scallop cheeze balls /cheeze puffs. When you rehydrated them, they tasted JUST like you took them out of the skillet, but dry, crunching on them, it took a few seconds for your saliva to rehydrate them but when it did, the flavor exploded in your mouth, they were awesome, and Id say good protein too? Fish dehydrated very well too, cooked first of course, add water heat and eat. or add boiling water and eat. Shrimp also did well. So there is your protein if you don’t want to freeze dry hamburger and steaks. If you are in a spot where you can actually fish yourself, this is an excellent way to store them, especially if it hits the fan to the point where you no longer have a freezer. Even totally dried out and munched on, fish is not too terribly bad when cooked decently.

      Final note. Maybe keep a bottle of multi vitamins handy too. No it absolutely will NOT replace a good meal but might supplement a bit to help keep you healthy through this.

  • I’ve always had a stock of food to last at least a year or more and the most valuable of all supplies “2 years worth of northern ultra plush” 188 rolls … 4 25 k litre water filters and 50 gallons of bottled water 8 zero water purifiers … now i gotta go restock a months worth of all that … also sat on 100 n 95 masks i mostly gave away … Lesson Learned ? Prep Prep Prep … Peace out …

  • For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would tolerate a rabbit in an orchard, or a raccoon anywhere on the place.

    • Sometimes they are not as easy to catch as one would think. I had a few that took about a week to finally get rid of. Air rifle for 2 of them, another method for the final one.

      Rabbits serve one purpose, more protein in your meals. Trash Panda’s are just generally destructive and need to go as well.

      A A Ron

    • I’m not sure what you’re referring to however I’m happy to answer your question.

      The water itself is basically good indefinitely. The issue is that sometimes the plastic breaks down. You’ll notice some companies have much flimsier plastic than others – those bottles break down faster and can leak all over your storage area. The other concern is that with extremes of temperature, chemicals from the plastic can be leached into the water.

      You can store it for years in good conditions (a dark, cool, dry area) although the FDA says that 2 years should be the max. I hope this helps.

  • I’m sure there is good information in there, but the text randomly moving around constantly due to dynamic ads makes it unreadable. I have migraine disorder, maybe some can keep up with the dancing text but I cannot. I know you need money, but you are defeating your own message.

  • The latest “lockdown” from this plandemic happened early enough in the growing season for me to put in a garden which went a long way in helping stretch our stockpile.
    Having dehydrated plenty of strawberries,apples,and apricots I had a nice variety for my morning oatmeal.
    I had froze eggs which I used in my baking and kept the whole eggs for hubby’s morning breakfast sandwich.
    We only use milk for coffee or cooking/baking so powdered milk didn’t matter for us and I have dozens of half gallon jars vacuum sealed of it in storage.
    Before the april “lockdown” I was using the Kratky Method of hydroponics ( no electricity needed) to grow greens which worked great.
    I just recently ordered 1lb bags of seeds for sprouting. I had already had a nice multi-tray for sprouting but never got around to using it. I plan to this winter.
    I have been dehydrating all the veggies I can to use in soups which is a great way to get vitamins and it fills you up very well too.
    I was glad I had buckets of rice and oats in mylar and O2’s.
    I’ve been adding back to the stockpile each time I go to the store now.
    I have to say that I think a good multivitamin goes a long way in helping to keep you healthy. I recommend people think about starting to take them and to stock extra. Also Vit D and Zinc ( if you can find it)

  • I was curious about your comment about developing a “selenium deficiency”, and searched it. It looks like I have one too. I would love to know what you are taking or doing to recover. I have been having chest pains, pressure, shortness of breath, fatigue, etc. off and on for years, and no doctors could help me. I pretty much pray, search and treat myself with nutrition, and help from the Great Physician. Thanks.

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