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.
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.
A couple of months ago, a friend asked me how much cooking fuel to store in case of a t-plus event. At the time, I was a bit busy with other projects, and told him I’d get back to him. That night, after eating a healthy, nutritious meal which came from a #10 can, I got to thinking about how one knows their supplies will last. more