I have friends interested in both the homesteading and prepper lifestyle that my family leads. One of the issues that has crept up on more than one occasion is the fact that so many food storage kits and components don’t work for people with dietary restrictions involving gluten, whether that’s a gluten allergy or conditions like celiac disease, which are not the same thing. Gluten, just in case you don’t know, is a protein found in foods processed from certain grains, the common example being wheat. It gives dough it’s elasticity and makes the final products chewy. For some people, Gluten presents a minor digestion problem, for others it can make them violently ill or worse.
When helping these friends work on their food storage plans, we’ve usually ended relying more on commodity-style foods to avoid gluten-containing ingredients in entree-based kits. That means ditching the buckets red wheat, and opting instead for amaranth and oats, and also including more canned home-cooked entrees to ensure no gluten sneaks in. The plus side to going canning route is the significant drop in expense to assemble a prepper pantry over the course of six months to a year instead of shelling out more money for a huge kit.
Don’t get me wrong, for some folks, the kits are the perfect choice, they were for my family when we moved to our current location a couple of years ago because we have didn’t our productive gardens yet. That brings up the final component to their gluten-free prepper lifestyle, the fresh produce from their own gardens. I can stress enough about how vital the nutrition from fresh produce is for your body, especially during the stressful times during and the recovery from a t-plus event.
For those that don’t like to cook or aren’t adventurous enough to (wait, you’re a prepper and not adventurous enough to try cooking?) then you can find gluten-free #10 can food storage for various vendors, but I don’t think they are manufactured in a gluten-free facility, something which many celiac disease sufferers need because they’re just that sensitive to it.
I did find one place, an affiliate of the Prepper Guide since the start that actually does make gluten free food storage in a gluten-free facility:
I just read through this week’s edition of the APN newsletter. Something struck me as a stupid contradiction in it, which I thought I’d share. First, let me just say, I love what the APN is doing, and how they’ve managed to maintain most of the sanity through some rapid growth without letting the nut jobs, which usually end up polluting something like that, take over. I always feel the need to put up disclaimers whenever I voice my opinion because I find that most people only really support freedom of speech until is pushes them out of their comfort zone, then it’s evil, bad, in poor taste, I mean, my gosh, think of the children! You get the point.
A recipes for what I can only describe as deep-fried dough, was featured, including the advice of using peanut or vegetable oil to fry dollops of this dough. Now, I know it didn’t specifically state that this was for a SHTF scenario, but I think many people will probably think that whatever recipes are featured as something to eat, when on an APN resource, will probably assume that it’s alright to eat from storage food in a t-plus event. I know there will be plenty of people who disagree, but seriously, I’ve seen how most people act during an extended loss of power and other such scenario, and people can act really dumb. I guess the dislike of seeing fried dough recipes on a site dedicated to prepping (or it’s newsletter), stems from seeing so many major food storage kits come with hot chocolate drink powder and call it some kind of comfort. I don’t know of any rational prepper who seeks comfort in hot chocolate in their everyday lives, and thus would equate having some WTSHTF as a calming influence.
The contradiction comes two panels down, featuring the ‘infographic of the week’ which discusses healthy food, and features plenty of veg, a bit of actual chocolate, and other honestly healthy foods. These are the foods one needs to be eating as a prepper. Nutrition isn’t a cut and dry subject, I know that, and I’m no expert, but since I started prepping, and through that mindset have taken steps to improve my health so that I know I can actually do the physical tasks that may be involved with surviving a t-plus events. Vegetable and nut oils do not hold up when heated for cooking, animal fat works so much better. If you’re in the habit of using it before SHTF, you’ll be more likely to use it, and be healthier for the effort. The enemy to nutrition as far as I have seen in my changes in eating habits has been processed “white” carbs, which pretty much accounts for most of the aisles at your grocery store, and a lot of the #10 cans food storage kits contain.
Don’t take my word for it, do your own research, your mileage may vary.
At the behest of the Obama administration, the Labor Department is considering applying child labor laws to family farms. The new rules would essentially prevent children from participating in a majority of the work, which would in turn prevent them from learning the family business, animal husbandry and would separate them further from the traditions of their families and the cycles of nature.
To make matters even worse, the federal government would no longer recognize or accept the safety and training certifications by groups like the FFA and 4-H, but would instead institute it’s own training course program. Once again the federal government is sticking its nose into affairs in which it has no business doing so. Families who have been farming for generations are going to be impacted the most because as usual, giant corporate farms will be exempt from any of the new rules or regulations.
This is just another example of the continued attack by the federal government on the supply chain which provides the healthy food we eat; they’re trying to guarantee that GMO, pesticide-laden, ‘junk’ food is the only option at your store and when you think you can get around it by growing your own, they drown you in stupid rules and regulations and make it damn near impossible to accomplish.
What makes this whole thing disgusting is that it has all be done through executive orders, rather than putting it to a vote in Congress. While most of us are unhappy with some that group about something, it’s still the group that this kind of stuff is supposed to go through…otherwise, why not just make the President a King and be done with it?!
Write your representatives, call them as well, and put pressure on them to draft legislation to reverse this ridiculous application of the law. Your children learn by doing the things you teach them, how has it ever been wrong to teach them to grow food and raise livestock?
What are “preppers”? Well, there are many definitions for this term but for this article I am going to discuss a growing group of people who simply believe that they need to become more self sufficient.
Self sufficiency is what many believe made this country great and some believe we have gotten too dependent on someone else to take care of us, namely the government.
Now, don’t get me wrong, preppers aren’t some nut case who is stocking up on guns and ammunition, they are simply people who have lost faith in our government. Not only do they doubt in the ability of the government to really take care of them, many of them don’t really believe that it is the responsibility of the government to take care of them.
So, what should you stock up on, what do you need to do to help make sure you and your family are prepared? Well, since no one knows what type of emergency you may face, natural disaster, terrorist attack, depression, etc. it makes sense to try and form a well rounded plan for preparedness.
Here are some ideas of the things that you can start working on:
1. Food. In the event of a natural disaster or even a terrorist attack, food may become a little scarce. You can start right now by buying a few extra cans of non perishable food items every time you go to the grocery store.
To make sure none of it goes bad, you can rotate it so you use up your older items and replace them with new. Add things that can be eaten cold or that don’t need much preparation.
Also, try to stock up on wood or charcoal or propane, etc. These will make it possible for you to cook.
And, when it comes to food and water, don’t forget about your pets. Make sure you have plenty of food for them too.
2. Water. You can start filling up 5 gallon jugs of water, or buy some extra bottled water every time you go shopping. Again, you can rotate it so that you use it before it gets too old and then replace it with new, fresh water.
3. Medicines. Having a well stocked first aid kit is just common sense. Things like pain relievers, bandages of various sizes, anti infection ointments, gloves, sanitizers, and a sling. This is a good basic kit. You can add other things to it as needed. Again, make sure you take note of the expiration dates on any products and rotate them out as needed.
Also, try to have at least one month of any prescription medications you may need to take.
4. Shelter. Investing in a tent and some tarps can not only provide some fun recreation with your family, if something ever happens it can keep you all safe and out of the elements too.
5. Stocking up on extra soaps, shampoo, deodorants, etc. can make whatever emergency you may face a little less unpleasant. Just like with food, water and medical supplies you can stock up a little at a time and rotate through your supplies so nothing is kept too long.
Of course, there are other things that can be helpful to have such as extra gasoline, some type of weapons for protection, and even some books or things to read.
None of this is to scare you, but preppers know that doing some simple things to make sure they can take care of themselves and their family if the need should ever arise is the best peace of mind they can have.
Anyone shopping for bulk survival food kits, like those three, six or 12 month ones has been swept up in the whole “X number of servings” hype surrounding them, and while that type of information isn’t completely irrelevant, it’s only one part of what you should be considering when shopping for these types of kits. You should also be concerned with how much room it takes up, how much food is in a serving and how many calories is in that serving. Nutrition, believe it or not, is as important in kits that contain complete “just add water” meals or MREs because they’re almost always balanced meals with lots of the same good nutrition is if you made the meal yourself.
The way I look at it, the most important thing that you should be concerned with for your food supply is that it contains enough calories to support the type of activities that you’ll be doing in a t-plus event. Ideally your food supply will be what you consume while waiting for your renewable crops to grow. If the t-plus event is not so severe that you don’t need to grow food, then your food supply just needs to last as long as the event. If you are in a “sit and wait” mode then obviously your caloric intake can be reduced, if you’re doing agricultural work or hard labor, then obviously your caloric intake needs to match that so that you don’t begin to suffer from poor nutrition.
The second thing to make sure of is that the food tastes good enough to eat for as long as you’re going to have to eat it. You may buy a sample of food from a particular vendor and believe that it is tasty enough at the time, but consider if you have to eat it for six months straight, how does it taste then? I’ve personally been eating food out of #10 cans and such supplemented by fresh produce either grown or store-bought to see just how likely it is that I could stand stored food for an extended period. To be completely honest with you, I think I’ve chosen the right brands and selection of meals and could probably subsist on the stuff for a very long time, as long as I did have the fresh produce to supplement it.
So if I could offer you one piece of advice regarding purchasing stored food that comes in #10 cans or some other type of storage container, it would be that you need to see the nutrition label and serving size information before you buy. Also, consider whether a serving is enough food for you for one meal. I’m in the process of developing a basic one week, one month, and three months survival menu that I will offer for free on this website that takes serving size into consideration because I’ve discovered that many of the companies that produce food stored in #10 cans complete meals (i.e. Mountain House, et al.) don’t really provide enough food for a normal humans consume per meal. So what I’ve done is combine the ready-made entrées with a couple of supplemental items in each meal that not only helps increase the calories and nutrition of the meal, but also makes it feel less like you’re eating out of a can and more like you’re eating “normally”, which goes a long ways towards feeling better about your situation.
sometimes those of us who’ve been doing this for a while, and by that I mean planning and preparing and practicing, take for granted that those just coming on board to the idea of “prepping” will automatically know to consider these kinds of things. However after talking with people who have no idea what prepping is, it’s become very clear that it all needs to be spelled out. Not from a condescending I know more than you do standpoint, but from a completely educational standpoint. It’s in everyone’s best interests for as many people as possible to get on board with the idea of prepping at least for the most likely and practical T plus events such as power outages due to storms, relocation due to hurricanes or tornadoes.