Archive for category Food Storage

How War Affects The Cash In Your Pocket And The Food On Your Plate

rationsafeThis article was written by Lizzie Bennett and originally published at Underground Medic

Also posted at oathkeepers.org

I was born in 1960…yes, I know, I sound much younger! Anyway moving swiftly on…

Rationing finally ended in England in 1953, seven years before I was born, but my parents didn’t get over it quite that quickly. I grew up in a house where nothing was wasted, where there was always at least 10 pounds of sugar in the cupboard, nestling alongside tinned meats (plain nasty as I recall) a wide variety of canned fruit and enough canned soup to float a battle ship.

It was even worse down at Gran’s place in the heart of the Devon countryside. Living four miles from the nearest street light let alone shop, and living in a cottage with no running water or mains gas or electricity frugality was the order of the day.

Every bit of string was stored for future use, brown paper from packages folded and pressed in the back of the huge family Bible, and God help you if threw out a newspaper rather than cut it into the required sized sheets for future outhouse use.

Just like at home there was a cupboard so stuffed with tinned foods and home bottled jams, chutneys and pickles we could have survived for months no problems at all, and as they explained to me as I got older, that was the whole point.

My grandparents and my parents lived in fear of further food shortages…and it showed.

Without even knowing it, they were the preppers, the first I came into contact with, so blame them for my obsession with food security.

They remembered the times when money was short, but food was shorter still, when having money in your pocket made no difference to ordinary people. The rich could still get almost anything on the black market, but ordinary working people just couldn’t afford those prices.

For them it was a ration card. They were allocated a certain amount of almost every foodstuff, they got the card stamped when they collected that weeks portion of meat or butter or whatever, and that was it until the following week.

Even clothing was rationed the raw materials were in such short supply. I was raised on make do and mend.

As unscrupulous store owners jacked up the prices to levels unaffordable to the man in the street, working people turned to barter. Those with large gardens, which was far more common then than now, had two vegetable patches, one for the basic needs of the family and a second, the contents of which had been agreed upon by other gardeners as well as the owner of the plot. The idea was to not end up with three tons of carrots and no cabbages. The produce would be swapped when it was harvested, or given to others should the harvesting times not match, in the sure knowledge that you would get your ‘exchange’ veg within a couple of hours of it being dug up.

In rural areas vegetables and fruit, eggs and sometimes cheese is still ‘swapped’ for produce that you don’t have. Informal gardening ‘clubs’ where who grows what is agreed in the school playground or at the local pub are incredibly common outside of the cities and for the most part it works well. I didn’t get much choice this year, as the newcomer to the island and as I will be growing in raised beds I am tasked with producing extra carrots as they do not grow well in the ground here. My reward will be some very nice plums, apples and greengages from another gardeners fruit trees, trees that I don’t have at this point.

The local greengrocer is always ready to take home grown produce that’s surplus to requirements. No money changes hands of course, but a  dozen eggs a week for an agreed amount of time always comes in handy.

War isn’t just about the death and destruction wrought by guns and bombs, though God knows there was enough of that to last many generations of lifetimes. War comes in many forms, and not all of it involves tanks and missiles. War disrupts the general scheme of things, it alters the parameters we live within, in ways you wouldn’t consider.

Our just in time food supply chain for example, is vulnerable to disruption in so many ways. A cyber attack taking out the computer systems that control distribution would cause widespread panic and the storming of supermarkets.  A failure of the power grid, either due to cyber attack, a physical attack or a solar kill shot would cause mayhem in a matter of hours.

There are many ways that war can be waged against an enemy.

Even a conventional war thousands of miles away can exert an effect on the rest of us, more so if major players are involved. Markets usually fall when instability and uncertainty levels are high.  Any economic uncertainty or crisis is magnified, and recoveries are stunted. The price of essential goods start to rise, the money in your wallet buys less each week. More and more people drop below the poverty line, unable to feed their families. Unemployment rises and the state is stretched as the benefits bill increases.

The increasing costs of imported energy, as is the case with Europe getting a full 25% of it’s natural gas from Russia via Ukranian pipelines, results in fuel insecurity, which causes further price hikes. Eventually, the cycle breaks plunging people into fuel poverty.

Fuel, like food starts to be rationed. This leads to a reduction in productivity from industries considered to be non-essential. Anything produced by those companies will only be freely available until the stock holding has gone, and what is available will be sold at higher prices than usual. Once the stock levels have dropped those items will become scarce as the manufacturer works reduced hours due to reduced fuel. Workers will be laid off or face reduced hours, and with that reduced pay.

Petrol and diesel prices will rise quickly, just today oil rose 2% on the volatility in Ukraine.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of what awaits a sizable proportion of the global population in wartime conditions.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking a war half a world away won’t affect you, because one way or another, it will.

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The Pantry Primer: Meal Planning While You’re Building Your Stockpile

fullpantry

This article was written by Daisy Luther and originally published at The Organic Prepper
Also posted at oathkeepers.org

It’s really easy to get sucked into purchasing food for the here and now, and to forget about creating a stockpile.  We live in a “just in time” society, where people in metropolitan locations often grocery shop that very day for the evening meal.  Many people are completely reliant on the delivery of foods to the grocery stores, and their subsequent ability to purchase that food and bring it home.

When you are starting with bare cupboards, you can break down your shopping into two types:

Shopping for weekly groceries
Shopping for the stockpile

The weekly groceries are the fresh items that you get for the meals you are making throughout the week – I call this “right-now food”. Your meat, dairy products, eggs, and produce make up the bulk of it.  The stockpile groceries are the larger purchases of items that you are putting away in the pantry for later use, as well as the staples that you need to cook from scratch – this is your “later” food.

It’s hard to cook from scratch with an empty pantry.

I’m a big proponent of cooking from scratch.  It tastes better, it’s more frugal, and it’s far healthier.  Readers probably never thought they would see me recommending packaged food of any type.

However, in a bare cupboards situation, it is a little bit tricky, particularly in the first week or two, to make everything completely from scratch.

When I say I am starting with completely bare cupboards, I mean COMPLETELY BARE.  Just to reiterate, here is the picture of my pantry.

Before yesterday, I did not have a single spice, not even salt or pepper.  Nor do I have any pantry basics yet, like white vinegar, baking soda, yeast, or sugar.  If I were to go and stock my cupboards totally with those items, it would take the entire weeks’ budget, and I wouldn’t be able to afford the actual food ingredients like fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy products.

For example, if I wanted to make a loaf of bread and a pot of  beef and vegetable soup tomorrow, I’d have to purchase all of the ingredients separately. Think about the list of ingredients required for this:

Flour
Salt
Sugar
Yeast
Milk
Oil
Broth
Ground Beef
Barley
Assorted vegetables
Tomato paste
Garlic
Onion
Spices
Salt and Pepper
and to make it a little nicer, butter and Parmesan cheese

Within a month, I should have enough basics to make this practical, but right now, that meal would cost a large percentage of my budget for the week.  So, in light of this, I have to take some shortcuts.  Thus, I bought a few grocery store canned soups, some granola, and some crackers.  As soon as I get settled, I’ll be able to grab a package of bacon and pressure can some home cooked beans, make some broth, and begin bulk purchasing produce to make my own spaghetti sauce.  For now, though, I need a few inexpensive off-the-shelf meals to make it possible for us to put aside the money for these purchases. Furthermore, I’m a big proponent of having some no-cook things like crackers and peanut butter on hand in the event of a power outage.

I haven’t completed the shopping for the first week, but here are some of the meals I have planned, assuming I can find all of the items at a reasonable price:

Mexican beans and rice
Vegetarian tacos
Roasted chicken with couscous and vegetables
Yogurt, granola, and fruit
Chicken sandwiches and squash soup
Oatmeal with fruit
Homemade chili with crackers
Peanut butter and crackers with veggie sticks

I can’t express strongly enough how important it is not to be married to your menu.  If, for example, I go to the store and chicken is outrageously expensive but ground beef or pork tenderloin is on sale, then I will roll with it. I’ll modify my menu and base it around the items I can get at a good price.  Meat and produce are the times that have the most fluctuation, so always be prepared to improvise.

The meal you cook today can help you build your stockpile.

When meal planning during the building phase, your meals should either be simple and inexpensive, or they should contribute to the creation of the stockpile.

Sometimes the meal you cook today can actually help you in building your stockpile.

Take a whole chicken, for example.

If whole chickens are on sale, it can be an amazing investment for your stockpile. You can get a lot of mileage out of a chicken if you practice some black-belt frugality.  Turkeys are even better, and when they go on sale around the holidays, I buy at least two if I can afford it.

First, enjoy a roasted chicken.  Throw in some inexpensive veggies like potatoes and carrots, or cook a big pot of rice or couscous to go on the side.  This is a nice Sunday dinner that, depending on the size of your family, may leave you some leftovers for one more meal.

Second, try a meal that is light on the meat for using up the rest of the meat. I generally make a casserole or pasta dish to use the rest of the “better” leftover chicken.  Right now, it is just the two of us, so we can get enough chicken for sandwiches before the casserole.

(Alternatively, you can take the rest of the meat and add it to jars when you can the broth, as discussed in the next paragraph.)

Then, make broth for canning.  Simply pop the carcass into the crockpot with a head of garlic and a couple of onions. Cover it with water and simmer it overnight (8-12 hours).  You can add some herbs to the pot also – but not sage. (I learned this the hard way – when canned, the flavor of sage turns very bitter.) Follow these instructions for canning turkey broth or if you have some extra meat, these instructions for “Chicken Needs Noodles” soup.  You absolutely positively MUST have a pressure canner to safely preserve your homemade broth – no exceptions!

Another meal that will add to your stockpile is homemade soups or chilis.  This will provide you with “right now” food and “later” food – and both will be a wonderful home-cooked meal.  Make a great big pot of whatever soup you fancy, leave some out to eat right now, and pressure can the rest.  Here are instructions for  two kinds of chili, split pea soup, beef and cabbage soup, southwestern chicken soup, autumn vegetable stew, or, you can forget the recipes and learn how to can your own recipes.

Look through your favorite recipes

I am taking a look at my favorite recipes and searching for the ones with the least number of ingredients.  This is another good way to cook from scratch while building your stockpile.

Haystack cookies, for example, are a quick no-bake treat that will only require the addition of cocoa and vanilla to my shopping list, because I already have oatmeal, peanut butter, and sugar.  Also, I have no qualms about making these relatively healthy cookies breakfast when served with a glass of milk.
Haystack Cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups of oatmeal
¾ cup of sugar
¾ cup of milk
5 tsp of cocoa
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 cup of natural peanut butter

Directions:

Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper.

In a sauce pan, stir together all of the ingredients except for the peanut butter and the oatmeal.

Heat until these ingredients are combined then add peanut butter, stirring constantly until boiling gently.

Boil for one minute, stirring intermittently.

Remove from heat and pour into a bowl containing the oatmeal.

Stir to combine, working quickly before the mixture can solidify.

Make the cookies by placing large spoonfuls of the mixture onto the paper-lined baking sheet.  Press them down gently with the back of the spoon.

Alternatively, use your hand to roll balls of the mixture and then press down – this will make the resulting cookies a bit rounder if you prefer a tidier looking cookie.  (Be careful, though – the mixture is hot, that whole boiling thing, you know!)

Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator overnight, uncovered, to allow cookies to become solid.

Store in an airtight container in cool conditions – keep them in the fridge if the weather is warm.  Reuse the waxed paper by placing it in between the layers of cookies.

Other recipes with few ingredients are potato soup, a pot of beans and rice, tomato soup, or a crockpot roast with potatoes and carrots. Think simple when you are building your stockpile and save the fancy stuff for later when you are well-supplied.  If you have to constantly run to the store every day for extra ingredients, you are defeating your purpose.  You’re spending extra money on gas, you are spending valuable time, and it’s hard to keep your budget under control when you are constantly adding $5 here and $5 there.

Use the envelope method for budgeting

And speaking of keeping your budget under control, consider the envelope method for creating your stockpile.

It’s really easy to see a great deal, make a large purchase, and then realize you don’t have enough money to pay an important bill or to take care of another necessary expense.

When you figure out what you can afford to spend on food, put that money in an envelope earmarked specifically for that.  If you have a little left over at the end of the week because there weren’t any good bargains, leave it in the envelope and put it towards a large bulk purchase later. alternatively, when you are out of money, stop shopping. It really is that simple.  When you buy food or other items for your stockpile, pay for these things separately and tuck the receipt into your envelope.  This will help you to keep track of your spending.

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Northern California Sheriffs Leading The Way Back to the Constitution – Full Video

Northern California Sheriffs are leading the way back to the Constitution.  This is the full video of a recent event in Northern California.  Thank you Sheriffs for waking up and fighting for truth, freedom, and liberty.

http://RTR.org | Americans are pushing back all over the country. It’s very clear that a revolution is in full swing. Tea Parties have been organizing to fight the bailouts and taxation. Occupy Movements have be springing up to fight against Wall St corruption at the hands of the Federal Reserve. Americans are pulling their cash out of Big Banks and supporting local Credit unions, as we move into a heated election season where it looks like it’s anyone’s game.

In today’s exclusive special report Gary Franchi is joined by Former Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack. They discuss the County Sheriff Project, a movement that will compound the effort to push back against an over reaching Federal Government, a movement that needs your support.

There are a few things you can do to support the County Sheriff Project:

1st. Visit their website at http://CountySheriffProject.org and make a financial contribution

2nd. Simply share this video to your social networks and email lists.http://on.fb.me/sharvid

3rd. Give your local Sheriff a copy of Sheriff Mack’s book “The County Sheriff: America’s Last Hope” available at http://SheriffMack.com, and tell them about the County Sheriff Project.

Website: http://CountySheriffProject.org
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/County-Sheriff-Project
Share it: http://on.fb.me/sharvid

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Rawesome Foods Raid – Venice, California

The Fight For the Right To Eat What You Want

In the Summer of 2010 armed government agents raided Rawesome Foods, a Venice, California health food co-op. What were the agents after? Unpasteurized milk, it turns out.

Raw milk raids are happening all over the United States. The Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk consumption can cause health problems, but a growing community of raw foods enthusiasts are ignoring government recommendations and claiming that they are getting tastier, more nutritious food by going raw.

Reason.tv visited Rawesome to examine the circumstances of the raid and discovered that this particular raw foods case stretches across county lines and involves at least five separate government agencies, despite the fact that not a single member of Rawesome has complained or been harmed by the raw foods. In fact, members have to sign a contract stating that they understand and accept the risks of consuming raw foods before they are allowed to step inside.

Rawesome Foods Raided… Again!

On August 3, 2011, Rawesome experienced another multi-agency raid, but this one resulted in the arrest of the establishment’s owner James Stewart.

Stewart, and Sharon Palmer, the farmer who supplies him with raw goat milk, are being held on bails in excess of $100,000 and are each charged with four felonies and several more misdemeanors. Some examples of the charges are “processing unpasteurized milk,” “improper labeling of food,” and “improper egg temperatures.”

The government has kept pursuing Stewart and his club for years, despite a lack of any reports of illness or injury from consumption of his foods. Rawesome members argue that they are part of a private club, not subject to government regulation, and that they are being persecuted for their alternative lifestyles.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office would not comment for this video.

Today’s RAID on RAWESOME FOODS : Video Montage

Police Begin “Guns Drawn” Raids on Organic Food Stores in California

An Interview on Republic Broadcasting Network:

Common Sense Revisited Archive Interview by Todd McGreevy with guest Corey Eib on Third Rail Blog

Corey explains how the California Health Department “official” who issued the search and arrest warrant on Rawesome Foods owner James Stewart, Michele Lecavalier, does not have an oath of office on file, as required by California state law. His research and documentation is here below:
http://www.easu.org/rawesome.html

The Rawesome Foods raid in 2010 made headlines all over the internet and mainstream news alike.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/03/rawsome-raid-_n_917540.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/033224_Rawesome_Foods_search_warrant.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/08/04/the-rawesome-raid-and-ra…

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