Fun With Food Storage

Several local ladies (each with their own great blogs on different aspects on preparedness) have gotten together and launched a site today that looks to be an excellent resource for preppers.  Head on over and check out Fun With Food Storage.  Looks like they’ll have some great information on how to get and use your food storage as part of your normal routine, and who wouldn’t want to accept help with that?

Twas the Night Before Christmas – Storage

Twas the month before Christmas
And all through the house
The storage was low
Hardly a crumb for a mouse.

The shelves were about empty,
Oh, what a plight!
The wolf’s at the door,
And no money in sight.

All the children were nestled
To keep warm in their bed,
Hoping that before long
They surely would be fed.

The prophet had counseled
“Each one be prepared,”
We had procrastinated the day,
Why hadn’t we cared?

ALAS! “Twas only a dream”,
But that didn’t’ matter
I jumped from my bed
Making a loud awful clatter.

Away to the basement
I flew like a flash,
Stumbling over boxes and bottles,
Along with some trash.

As I surveyed my storage,
With eyes all aglow
The security of filled bottles
All straight in a row

Filled my heart with a warmth
And my eyes with a tear
To think I had food
to last us a year.

This feeling of warmth
And security too,
Is what we as your friends
Wish for you.

So put gifts of storage
Under each Christmas tree
For those on your list,
Is our warmest plea,

Give honey, give sugar,
Give flour or wheat.
Give milk, give salt,
Give something to eat.

And you’ll hear them exclaim,
When Christmas is here,
“Thank-you so much,
It will be a good year.”

Author unknown (If you know, tell me :) )

This was handed out to my wife’s Relief Society (Womens Group at Latter-day Saint Churches)

Dried Spud Sale

This is from an email recently received.  It’s a great opportunity to get a few more spuds in place for your food storage.  It’s also nice to support a local business focused on our preparedness.  With 40lb bags, this is a great product to use with the previously posted Mylar Bag posts, and as part of your “Cesta Básica

Good news is:  Diced potatoes were delivered late last night!
Bad news is:  They delivered twice as many as I ordered!
Please tell your friends and neighbors about these potatoes!  We need to move them out.  :-)
Some details:
  • Dehydrated diced potatoes (peas and carrots sized)
  • Ingredients:  Idaho potatoes and sodium bisulfite
  • 40 lb bags $42
  • Great for casseroles, mashed potatoes, soups and stews, etc.
  • These are seconds—have some pieces of skin mixed in
  • Report from those who have sampled “Tastes sooo fresh!”
Rumor has it that Idahoan is not making new diced potatoes this year.  Walton Feed cannot get any, our supplier in California is desperate for diced potatoes but can’t find any.
They are a great storage item, very easy to prepare, and very tasty!
Have a great day!  Hope to see you!  :-)

Alpine Food Storage
216-4588 or 361-4933
11800 No. 6000 W.
Highland, UT 84003

Mylar Bag Wrapup – Issues with Mylar Bags

This will wrap up our series on Mylar Bag Food Storage. You can catch the previous posts here: a How-To Pictorial on Storing Food in Mylar Bags and Alternative Ideas for Mylar Bags.

This post will talk about some of the experiences, techniques and tips that readers and others have provided us.

MaKettle10 provides us with this info:

In a study done with mylar bags and mice, it took the mice about 15 seconds to sense the food was there, and get into the bag to start eating it. Good idea you have to put the mylar bags into the big plastic storage bins. I’d never store them in cardboard boxes for extended, long-term storage.

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Water storage and purification

I am aware of at least one individual on Utah Preppers that had doubts about this article ever seeing the light of day. Catching up on honey-do lists (building 2 can rotation systems, etc.) and everyday life was keeping me busier than I would have liked. Besides, seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water (well, except for Utah), so what’s the big deal?

The truth of it is, without water, your chances of surviving an extended emergency are greatly diminished.

“Humans can survive 3 days on average without water — less when it is very hot or one is very active (as opposed to weeks without food). A single day without water significantly reduces bodily and mental performance.” – Wikibooks – Outdoor Survival/Water

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Food Storage – Flavorings: Have you stocked up?

In a TEOTWAWKI situation very little will be available in the way of treats or delicious flavorings. Have you thought about making some preps to be able to provide a flavorful break from the bland day to day eating of rice, wheat and beans for over a year? More than just being able to provide something yummy to yourself and your family, good sweets will likely be a sought after barter item. The simplest treat to make and sell/barter would be hard tack candy. There are few ingredients to hard tack, we’ll get to those in a second. The most important ingredient in hard tack is flavoring!dscn0599

Now I want to digress for a minute and talk about Vanilla Flavor. Vanilla extract is a VERY time and labor intensive product to make. In fact, it is the second most expensive spice in the world next to saffron. The majority of the worlds vanilla comes from Madagascar – and it’s being destroyed! 80% of Madagascar’s Vanilla farms are currently being killed off by a deadly fungus! This most likely means that the already expensive flavor is going to skyrocket in price. Vanilla is one of the most common flavorings – it is used in baking all kinds of products and is also commonly added to powdered milk to enhance the flavor.

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one-quarter cup

Over on “Food Storage… A Necessary Adventure”, there is a recent post called Have you seen a 1/4 cup lately.

One Number by 427 on flickr
One Number by 427 on flickr

It put a few things into perspective for me. Of course you should go read the post, but the basic rundown for me was that the minimum amount of food for longer term survival comes in the form of 1/4 cup of rice, and another 1/4 cup of beans, in dried form. How much is a quarter cup, really? We all have measuring cups that size, go check it out. It is really little.

This should give us all some hope for the possibility of storing enough for ourselves. A 25lb bag each of beans and rice gives just over 300 days of *minimal* sustenance! Not only does that show us how easy it can be to get started, but as the poster notes, that also gives us a great understanding of how we can provide some charity in the worst of situations. I know I plan the food for my family, and in the worst of cases, I would need to focus on keeping those resources for my family. But inside we all want to help others. Even if we’re not giving much, just a quarter-cup of dried beans and rice can keep a person alive. Understanding that from our side makes it easier to share.

Now you need to learn how to make the best use *of* that little amount.

Alternative Storage Techniques using Mylar Bags

We recently covered the step-by-step process of storing food in Mylar Bags and went over some of the advantages of them, key of which is protection from air and moisture. It’s pretty clear that you can store most any dry food in Mylar Bags, but what else can be stored in them? A Mylar Bag is an easily portable, strong, waterproof bag – there are lots of things you can store in them! Here are a few ideas (we welcome any other ideas!):

  • Cough Drops – wintering TEOTWAWKI will probably lead to a cough or two, better be prepared for it! We purchased 20 bags of 50 cough drops each from the dollar store. Each Mylar Bag received 2 big handfuls of drops. The normal shelf life of a Halls cough drop is 2 years. I think I’ve probably at least doubled that by storing them this way.


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Cesta Básica

For several years I lived in the amazing country of Brasil (yes, that’s how to spell it right :) ).

Stack of Cesta Básica's ready be sold
Stack of Cesta Básica's ready to be sold

One of the many things I learned while living there was about a product called the Cesta Básica (Basket of Basics).  This product is the lifeblood of many Brasilian families, making up the core of their grocery shopping.  What it is, is simple.  It is a package containing an assortment of basic food items, designed to meet the basic needs for a given amount of time.  Which products it contains, and how much would vary by store, but largely were the same.  This was an extremely common item for several reasons.  The first of which is the basic brasileiro’s diet, which starts with beans and rice, and almost anything else is extra.  Which type of beans was largely a regional choice as the default, but alternative ‘versions’ of the packages could easily be found if you preferred another regions flavor.

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How To: Adventures in Food Storage with Mylar Bags

There are several options available to us for long term storage of bulk food – 5 gallon buckets, #10 cans and Mylar Bags are some of the most popular. In this post we’ll be going over the advantages and disadvantages of Mylar Bags and how to use a Mylar Bag Sealer. Specifically, we’re going to show how to turn all of this:

2200 pounds of food

Into This:

packaged food

Continue reading “How To: Adventures in Food Storage with Mylar Bags”

The post where we go all Doom and Gloom

I suspect that most readers of this blog are more intelligent than the average reality show addicted, talking head worshiping American that thinks that everything going on in the world and economy right now is just a hiccup that will go away in the spring. You know, the ones that we preppers are pretty sure we’re going to have to fight off from killing us and stealing our preps WTSHTF. But, just in case any of you are slightly toeing the line with the popular hero-worshiping of the Socialistic head of the ‘Office of the President Elect’ thinking somehow he’s going to Change anything but his mind, or that somehow he’s going to bring Hope to the country – I bring you this.

There are very few mainstream articles being published right now that are presenting a realistic top-down view of the entire situation with the economy. The quotes I’m going to present to you here are from mainstream publications but the key point of them is that these are quotes from high level analysts and executives in widely respected financial companies who are remarking that things are bad, very bad and they are going to get much worse.

The following snippets are from this excellent article from Bloomberg:

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Home Canning – In #10 Cans

I came across this great post today on the Safely Gathered In blog about canning your own food at home in #10 cans. The blog itself is well written and provides a lot of really great info about Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness. They have weekly posts on Tuesdays that guide you in purchases to build up your 72 hour kits and food storage. If you have a hard time deciding what you need to purchase, or you feel overwhelmed by everything you need to buy to be prepared, these kind of guides are invaluable!

Today they have a great write-up on canning food you’ve purchased in #10 cans. They have several pictures that walk you through the process of using a canner at home to dry pack food you’ve purchased at the store. This can be wheat, rice, pasta, sugar, salt, or any other dry food you can buy in bulk.

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