I am very excited that a national “celebrity” is promoting the concept of food storage and self reliance. I have been following the comments on the Glenn Beck website and have noticed there are lots of questions but I feel very awkward about constantly posting answers. The questions range from where to store, to how to store, to what to store and then branch out to, what else to store in addition to food. It is with that in mind that I have decided to reinstate a day each week when I just answer questions. As I have done before, I will then include these in our newsletter each month just in case you miss a few.
For those who are new I think I should spend a minute telling you about me and my qualifications. I graduated from college with a degree in Home Economics Education with an emphasis in foods, and a minor in science. I understand the importance of a balanced diet and the necessity for good nutrition, especially during times of stress. I have FEMA certifications, a terrific board of experts I consult with when I am unsure of an answer, and I am an Amateur radio operator (K6CJN). I also host a radio show READY OR NOT every Tuesday night at 6:00pm Pacific time.
I am a research fanatic. I understand science makes discoveries about our food all the time. As the recommendations change my advice to you will change. For example, for years I talked about home canning butter. When studies showed this is dangerous I changed my position and now strongly counsel against it.
My most important qualification remains my four children and all the friends I have fed over the years. We have always lived on a limited budget and experience remains the best teacher, if you are determined to learn from it.
My pet peeves:
1. Anyone who tells you to guess or estimate what you need to store. RUN…You can know exactly what you need to store and I will teach you how. My food storage plan is based on portion sizes and includes all the food groups.
2. Anyone who tells you how much to store. RUN…Again you can know how much to store based on your own family needs, allergies, food preferences, etc. I will teach you how. Too many people waste money storing foods that will spoil before they can be rotated because they are items your family does not use often.
3. Dehydrated and freeze dried foods. These have a place in a great food storage plan but if anyone tries to sell you a years worth of food and it is all dehydrated or freeze dried, again, RUN. These foods, especially ingredients such as onion, peppers, butter and other ingredients make for a great food storage. Why do I feel this way? If you are not using these foods every day in your cooking you will not understand how to use them during an emergency. If your emergency is a natural disaster, EMP or other crisis that takes down the power grid, or a terrorist attack which effects the water supply, water will be very limited. If you consume dehydrated or freeze dried foods before reconstituting they will cause dehydration and can make you very ill and even caused death.
4. Just the basics. No, no, during a crisis I need my chocolate! Every good food storage plan must include the ingredients to make desserts and snacks. This is absolutely essential if you have children in your home. Children have a difficult time following a disaster. Your disaster may be a very personal one such as a job loss, unexpected bill, or a huge jump in grocery store prices. It may not be a huge natural disaster, but whatever the cause children will feel the stress and they need familiar foods to help calm their fears. Children may imagine their lives are about to take a dramatic change and having those comfort foods will reassure them that mom and dad have things under control.
5. Choose 7 meals. I don’t care if you are advised to choose 7 or 10 or more meals, and then to purchase the ingredients for those meals times 12 so you have 12 weeks of meals, it is a bad idea. Food fatigue is a real thing and eating the same menu over and over will become tedious. Children and seniors are especially susceptible and will quickly stop eating enough to maintain good health.
6. Let’s run out and get 100 pounds of rice. It is much wiser to begin food storage by accumulating a one week supply of everything and then expanding to a month and then two months and so on. What if your disaster happens three weeks from now and all you have is rice? If you have followed a plan of stocking a complete diet you will have meat and veggies and spices to make that rice a dozen different ways.
The one exception to this is free food! If you have a neighbor or friend who offers you free fruit and veggies from their garden by all means take it. Can it, freeze it or just eat it but never turn down food. If you can 50 jars of peaches and have no other fruit that’s great. You can add variety later. ,
7. You are a fear monger and just plain nuts! No I am not and neither are any of you. I hear this all the time but I can promise you that prices are going up (see the post from yesterday) and they will continue to do so. I have told those who have been long time readers that one of the reasons you have not noticed price increases is because portion sizes have changed. I saw another example of that today. I received a call asking me to bring a cranberry dish for 100 to a Thanksgiving dinner at church tonight. I had all the ingredients in my General Store but I also knew this is the week to replenish the cranberry sauce so off to the store I went. The can of cranberry sauce looked smaller to me and sure enough when I got home this year’s can contains 2 oz. or 13% less than last year’s. Of course this means the price of cranberry sauce has gone up 13%! Since I used my stash from last year I actually saved 13% even though the sale price was the same as the sale price a year ago. Those who store food are the wise among us. Where else could I have made 13% on my investment?
Monday I will begin teaching you just how to accumulate food storage that tastes great, meets you family’s needs and is affordable. In preparation I have decided to make you an offer that can’t be beat!
When you order a two year subscription to the Totally Ready Newsletter
I will send you a copy of my food storage ebook, Mother Hubbard:What She’s Doing Now
and a copy of the first 12 months of Totally Ready Newsletters (144 pages),
a $47.00 value for $24.00.
The ebook will answer the questions, where do I store, how can I afford this, what do I store and much more. The newsletter subscription will provide disaster preparedness tips, tutorials for survival, recipes and answers to many more questions. If others have told you, after listening to Glenn, that they want to get started consider purchasing this package as a holiday gift for them.
Get out your notebook and meet me here on Monday to get started!
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Back issues: Totally Ready Newsletters July 2009- June 2010