Earthchangers College

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Food Storage :  Bulk Foods  and  Baking  Items

BULK FOODS

Another choice for food storage are bulk foods.  For  the most  part  they are more cost-effective because you are buying them in bulk quantities. Generally ,  they  would  be  purchased from membership warehouse  outlets that  buy  large  quantities and  pass on the  savings to members.

Once you purchase your  bulk items you  will have to transfer them to  long  term  storage  containers.  Whether it be 5 gallon  plastic  buckets, #10  cans or Mylar vacuum sealed bags, the  choice is yours.  Items that you can purchase in bulk are  rice, grains, beans, sugar , salt and flour. If you are not familiar with cooking from  scratch with these items, my  suggestion  would be  to  become  acquainted with their  use now. Cooking from  scratch and  with whole grains takes time  and practice.  Better to practice now and learn how  to  do it  successfully than experiment  when you  and  your family  are  hungry and  cannot  afford  to throw out a  botched experiment. These  items  can  be  very  versatile  once you learn to use them , they  are  healthier  for you,  as they  are  more  nutritious than the  ready  made  or  over processed  foods  that so  many of us use  to make  cooking  easier  and  faster as  well.

Please  remember that  Salt  and  Sugar  are  essentials.  Salt is  necessary for  good  health and  sugar  is  needed to assist in making things more  palatable as well as for  energy.  Unless you  have the  money  to  buy cases of  honey, sugar will be   your  best  asset in providing the necessary calories  and  energy needed in a  disaster situation :  when  every  calorie counts.  They  are  relatively  inexpensive in comparison to  most  other  bulk  foods.  Making it  rather  easy  to  stock up on these  two  very  essential  items. Salt  and  Sugar  will last  for a  very  long  time when  packed  correctly.  Mainly  a  cool, dry  place.  You  can  even  pack  salt  and  sugar  in  zippered plastic bags and place  them in  5 gallon  buckets  or  Mylar  bags.  I  prefer  the  5  gallon  buckets  for these   items.

**Another  thing  you  may  want to  consider  is that salt and  sugar  may   very  well be used   as  a bartering  currency during  a  crisis  when these items might not  be  readily  available.

Baking Items

Basic materials for baking, such as flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, oil and shortening, can be very  valuable in a survival situation. With these simple items, you can make anything  from bread  to pancakes. Powdered milk can be used to  drink or  cook. Oatmeal, wheat flour and sugar are item that  can  be  made  not  only  into  staple  baked  goods  but into  treats as well.

For those who  prefer the  convenience,  baking mixes mean you do not need to add eggs or measure ingredients not to  mention  ease of use. These mixes can be time and  labor reducing.  However, these  will be a bit more  expensive  as  opposed to  bulk foods, which  you  can readily mix  to  make the same things at  a much  lower price.  If  your  budget  allows  then  feel free to purchase the  pre-packaged and  make  your  life a  bit  simpler.

I personally  like  the process of making things from  scratch.  At first  you  will not  get  exactly  what the  recipe  says  you  should  have , lol.  I  always  find  a way to  use it anyway  so I  don’t have  to  toss it  unless it is  inedible.  In  cases like  those  the  compost  pile totally benefits  , so there is no loss.  We may not be  able to eat it  but  it  will serve to  make  compost that way in a   very  roundabout  way   we  get to  eat it anyway.

Honey stores for years and can replace sugar in recipes.  It has  a much  higher  nutrition  value than  plain  sugar, However  it is  much more expensive.  Rather than storing flour or meal, purchase the raw grain and a hand mill. Then you can mill your own flour whenever necessary.  This  way the  flour  will retain  all of  it’s nutritional  value  as opposed to  milled  flour  that sits  for months  or years. Red winter wheat, golden wheat, corn and other grains can be purchased in 45-pound lots packed in nitrogen-packed bags and shipped in large plastic pails.   Or  you  can  purchase your own in the  local  feed  store and package them yourself either at  home or with an LDS cannery.

Large canned goods can  get  very  heavy  and  become difficult to transport. This  should not  pose a  problem if  you are stocking up your survival retreat or planning to weather the  storm at home.  Large canned goods are easy to store and can keep you and  your  family well fed  for a  very  long time. Individual cans may be purchased, however sets of multiple items for  variety  or a case  that has  most of the components  of a meal are  more  popular.  It  takes  the  over thinking  of menus and what they will contain out of the equation. These sets are designed to provide a specific number of calories per day (1,800 per day is usually  what is  recommended) for a set period of time, anywhere  from three months to a year.  Remember, however, these sets are  calculated for  one  person.  If you have four people in your family or survival group, and  purchasing a one-year supply of food , then you  will have  to divide the  food  accordingly for each member.

It would be advisable that one purchase the largest set of these canned, dried foods one’s budget can handle. Then supplement the set with items tailored to you and your family or survival group. Also, MREs are excellent supplements, as prepared sets of #10 cans are typically vegetables, pasta and grains, while MREs are usually meat-based. Although there  are  some companies that  do  have the freeze dried  meats  available in  #10  cans if  it is within your  budget.

You may also want to add a few special items, such as hard candy, chocolate or desserts, to reward yourself , for quick energy or to  stave off  palate fatigue.

Don't forget to add vitamins and mineral supplements.   Fruits, green vegetables and other items rich in vitamin C and other nutrients may be difficult to come by and a  good multi-vitamin can  make all the  difference in  your  nutritional  intake.  Well  worth  having in  your  food  storage.

For those  who do not have  memberships  to  the  food warehouse  outlets: You can  purchase  extra  bags   and containers  of  these  items in  your  grocery  store.  There  are  some  supermarkets  who do  carry  the  economy  sizes and  even  25 lbs bags  of   flour  sugar  and salt at  reasonable  prices.  Thus making it  possible  for  you to   build up  your  food  stock  little  by little  as  your  pocket allows.

Do  not  discount  the  feed stores either.  They  sell  corn, wheat, barley  and  oats in  50  lbs  bags.  Yes they  sell  feed  for  animals ,  however, they are safe  to  consume.  If in doubt  ask the  store  clerk what grade the items are  and  could  they  safely  be  consumed  by humans.  They  will  tell you.  I have  purchased  a 50 lbs  bag of cracked  corn for the  wild  ducks in  our neighborhood for   $12 at  the  feed store.  That  was  last  year  though,  so I am sure it is  more  expensive  now.

***The  feed  stores  are also and  awesome place to look  for   hand operated appliances  like  meat  grinders, flour mills, food mills,  etc.  All of  which  will come in  handy when  electricity is not readily  available.

***There  is  no  set  rule to where or how  you  purchase your  food  supply  , as long  as  you  start stocking your  supply  as soon as possible.  The more food  you  have the better  off you  and  yours  will be.  With  enough  supplies  you  will not have to  worry  about  helping  those  who did  not  prepare or lost their  supplies  to a  disaster .  There is always that  elderly  neighbor  in the  house next door  or  across the  street.   You  see preparation  is beneficial to you ,  however it is  also a way to make  sure that you  can take care of others and  not put  your  family  or  group at risk.  As  the  saying  goes, “ an  ounce of  prevention  is worth a  pound of  cure”.  We all want to help those in need, so  better to  prepare  with them  in mind  as  well, so that there is no  surprise  when the time  comes.

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Replies to This Discussion

Many  of the  survivalists who  speak  about   caches  for  food  and  weapons advise burying the items.  The  place  them in  Mylar  packaging  and into well  sealed  5 gallon buckets.  The  safest   place  I  can think  of is  under you raised  beds in the garden.  The soil  has  already  been  turned over  and  well  to  be honest in a  Martial Law  scenario  they  will  search  everywhere.  If you have  empty  lots  around  your  property you  can also  bury  them  there.  Making a map  to  establish  where  you  have  placed  your  caches  would  also  be  necessary  so you  can  find them  when you  need  them.

If  I  find more  ideas  for  caches I will be  sure to  let  you  know.  Hope that  helps  to  get the  creative ideas  flowing so to  speak  :D

Here  is  a  suggestion  for  you .  Mylar  packaging can  be  very  expensive  and  every time you  open the  package you  cut  away a  piece.  Leaving  you  with  less and  less as  you  go along.  I  use  Space bags.  You remove the  air  form the  bags  via  the  special plug on the  side of the  bag and  your  food is  sealed.  You  add the  oxygen absorbers in the  zip locked food package  and  place  them  in a  Space bag  which has  been  placed in a plastic  tote container  or  5 gallon  bucket.  When you have  filled  the  Space bag  you seal it  vacuum out all of the  air,  close  the  container  and  viola!!

when you  open it  to  remove a package  , you  can  always remove all of the  air once  again  and  keep  the  rest of the  packages properly  sealed.  You  can  use  it  as often as  you  need  to as  long  as  the bag  does not  break  (  this is  why I  place it in a  tote or  heavy plastic  container  that  way  the  Space  bag is  protected on all  sides, thereby extending  it's life).

I  have  stored  50 lbs bags  of rice and beans in the  large  space  bags and  let me  tell you  one  year  later  the  rice and beans are in  great  condition.  Now that  money  is tight  I have  had  to  use  my  food  cache  a lot  more than  just  rotating.  It  has  served as  my  main  food  supply and  everything is in  great  condition.  Considering  it was only  stored in the  Space  bags  with  no  oxygen  absorbers in a  room with no  air  conditioning with the  Texas  summers.  It  has  surpassed  my  expectations. And  since  you  only have to invest  in the  bags  once  as long  as  you take  care of  them  you will  not have  to  buy any to  replace them for  a  very  long  time.  I  have   purchased   quite a  few and  keep  them in  my  cache for when  they  can  no longer be  purchased.  /They come  in various  sizes  depending  on the size  of the  containers  you  plan to use.

I  hope  this  helps ....................

Good idea desertrose. I found out you can get the food grade buckets at home depot.

Thanks Pat.  I do  try to  come  up  with  comparable  means of  storage for those on a very  strict  budget  as  I am one  of  them .  ;) 

Yes  you  can find  them  at  Home  Depot. You  can  also  inquire  at  local  bakeries.  Almost  everything they  receive  with the  exception  of  flours and  powdered ingredients  comes in  food  safe 5  gallon  containers.

Hi, Everyone... I have been thinking about this food storage, such as rice, for example.  A lady I met at the grocery told me she uses dicotamous clay, or however you spell it... put a little bit in the bag of rice, and it kills all the insects, etc... Is that how you do it?  DR... I really appreciate your suggestions of the space bags.. ingenious!  and cheap, so to speak..

Hiding... Under the couch... under the daybed... under the beds... I know...simple  minded here...lol...  For true... at the 2000, when we were to to hoard.. and I did... my ex husband decided he was going to be a good boy and come 'home'... ok.. stupid me let him... all he wanted to do was rip me off... but, he never looked under the day bed where I had plastic containers filled with pounds and pounds of dried goods... All he got away with was my car, and my friend took me to another state to 'bring that back home'.... needless to say, he was an @@@h***.... ahh... good times... good times...

So space bags it is, then...and oxygen packets... I have seen them on line... Also, saw stainless steel buckets on Craig's list... I should go get them... $5 each...

Thank God we have a little time to do all this.. extra stuff... It will work out OK, I am thinking..  Good part of the ex husband story is, I am now totally over him, and ready to  move on to my next @@@***  hahahha....

oh  wow  stainless steel  buckets  at  $5 each is a  bargain,  Dianna.
You  can use  diatomaceous  earth mixed in with any dry food items. It can even be used in the garden to eliminate most of those nasty creepy crawlies that do not share well when it comes to veggies.
You can also use bay leaves in the dry food containers to deter insects. The essential oils are very strong but very safe for human consumption.
You can read about diatomaceous earth here http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp

Earthworks LLC has a sale on Amazon.com where t hey sell the 50lbs bags of diatomaceous earth at $25 shipping and handling is about $32 which would bring up the final total to about $57.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00025H2QS/de12-20
However it is 50lbs and whatever you do not use in your food supply you can utilize in your garden. Another thing you can use it or is for detoxification of your body and organs as well as colon cleansing. So it's value is varied and extensive..

I hope this helps Dianna!

Oh My, Yes... truly helps.. I was at a loss as to where to get the Dic... earth...

One thing I have been thinking about is this.. Yes... we like to make/bake from scratch.. but, I have been getting those ... just add water mixes to make soups, chili... because I figure might not have so much time to clean, chop, and dice to make something if people are starving.. so better make it quick.. I especially like Bear Creek soup/stew/chili mixes... they are very tasty, and for me, I do not make the whole package as it makes a generous pot full.. enough for a family... I take it down to 1/3 of a portion at a time... That is my thought on the ready (almost) food stuffs... 

The 6.5 gallon buckets are on Craig's List... used for lard.. stainless steel with a vacuum lid... $12 clean, or $6 if you clean out the lard yourself... but not plastic...steel... might check.  

A friend of mine sells me honey for $17 a gallon...organic.  and it does store 'forever'...

Just a thought... so glad you are 'back' DesertRose... still praying for your health, and all of you on ECC.. that we get through this together...

Please Do Not Use Antibacterial Hand Soap

This is certainly not a new request, but one that has recently received more study and publicity. I wrote a while ago on environmental problems caused by soap in lakes, rivers and streams. The addition of the chemical antibiotic Triclosan to so many consumer products is just compounding the problems.

http://willtaft.com/please-do-not-use-antibacterial-hand-soap/

Most people put the mylar bags into the five gal buckets.  Which I think is best but some just put the grain into the bucket.

as long as you  have a  rubber  gasket  seal on  your bucket  you can just place it without the mylar.  Otherwise it  will not  be airtight.

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