Monday, December 8, 2008

Part 1 - Food Storage Mistakes - Editorial

**Editorial means I make observations and my snide comments....

Mostly this means I am reading just about everything I can get my hands on... My computer and printer are about to go on strike and I fear for a big jolt just about each time I decide to let my fingers surf. The lady at the library is looking at me funny - I can tell she is trying to reconcile the sweet stay at home mom in pearls with the books I check out on guns, gardening, storage, survivalism. Even my Paypal debit card shakes when I pick it up and walk towards the computer - online book stores fear me....

ALL THIS TO SAY, there are a few mistakes people prepping make in regards to Food Storage.

1. Storing your food - You buy all this stuff - spend hard earned money and then you leave it in original containers/wrappers/bags or put your food in containers that do not extend the life of your food at the least or could make you sick at the worst....

Nasty things can get into your food if left in original containers - N.A.S.T.Y. things...bugs, mice, even water.

Random story, but when I was a kid, my mom kept perfect house, so this is no reflection on her...ABSOLUTELY NONE - anyway, I found this box of cereal in the back of pantry and proceeded to pour me a bowl and then pour milk on top. What floated wasnt cereal but little brown bugs. N.A.S.T.Y. This is what you DO NOT WANT to happen when you are depending on your food storage for survival.

Put your food in FOOD SAFE containers, air tight lids. Do not stack things that could break when they fall and never put items in trash bags or plastic buckets that have not been designated as food safe. Just FYI - trash bags have pesticides and other nasties to help things decompose when in a landfill - not something you want happening when your foods are inside.

Research long term storage options for foods - do you need to get all oxygen out? Do you need just a sealed lid? Do you need to absorb moisture? I could answer all of these questions, but then I would be writing a book and not a blog....

In regards to storage, count on many types of keeping items...canned, frozen, dried - dont put all your eggs in 1 basket so to speak.

2. VARIETY.... Look, I have seen all the sites that claim you can live on wheat, salt, honey and milk - not to mention water...but would you really want to? How many days do you think you would go before you just couldnt do another day? How long before your kids would complain?

Appetite Fatigue is getting tired of the same old thing to the point that you dont eat instead of eating the same old thing. It is more common in munchkins and old people. But to be honest, I dont fall into either one of these categories and I think I could "catch" it.

VARIETY is the spice of life and no more so than in prepping your food storage. Speaking of spices, YOU NEED THEM and A LOT OF THEM. This allows you to make the same old thing taste like many different things.

Store different kinds of beans. I love pintos probably more than the next person, but.... Just changing the color or the texture of the beans would suffice.

HAVE GOOD RECIPES...print them out, buy a cookbook or 2, write them down. PRACTICE NOW - get your kids used to eating this way now while stresses are low. You dont have to do this every day, but try at least once a week to cook a meatless meal.

Make sure you have basic baking items - oils, yeast, baking powder/soda, cocoa powder, different sugars, powdered eggs - these will deepen your pantry and allow you to make some "fun" items.

3. VITAMINS - you may be the best prepared nutritionally speaking, but stress does awful things to bodies, even little bodies and so just give them a little boost with a daily vitamin. Dont forget Vitamin C and the B's.

4. COMFORT FOOD - I am Southern and in researching, this "mistake" was funny to me. Comfort food to us is a GIVEN. Southern women go to food to make people smile, to make people feel welcome, to lift spirits, to soothe, to heal, to say "Im sorry", to say "I love you"....heck, even when we just break a name it.

When I started to make my initial lists - I bought my comfort foods before some of the more "important" items. Personally, I made sure I had all the items to make cherry cobbler, everyones favorite cookie, icing, breads, ice cream, as well as several of our favorite dishes.

Having these items will be even more important in times of huge stress - it is emotionally healing more so than physically healing.

This means all the more if you are prepping with CHILDREN.

For an activity - add a few items to your list that would make you feel better during crisis. Dont see it as a luxury, see these food items as a NEED...

Tomorrow PART 2 of mistakes....

1 comment:

mmpaints said...

Great post, excellent line of thought. Thanks for the reminder to keep focused on the important.