Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rural Women Preparedness Series: Featuring Survival Mom

I‘m finally finished telling about myself- I know, I know, it’s not suppose to be about me. I’m done. You‘ll just have to wonder what else I might be up toJ I’m excited to introduce our next RWR Preparedness Series contributor. Rural women meet Lisa- The Survival Mom. I want to mention Lisa offers a "skill of the month" on her site and loads of interesting survival skills.  It's challenging and fun.  Don't forget to check it out.  Thanks Lisa for sharing…  ~Kasse D. 

                                                              6 Tips for a Well-Rounded Food Storage Pantry

By Lisa Bedford, author of Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios and editor of The Survival Mom blog.

  1. As a rule of thumb, plan on approximately 20% of your food storage coming from the grocery store, 10% freeze-dried meals, and 70% bulk ingredients, which would include things like wheat, rice, beans, and freeze-dried produce and meat.

This will cover all bases: familiar, comfort foods, meals that are quickly prepared, and ingredients that can create hundreds of different recipes.

  1. Include sources of healthy fats in your food storage pantry. The human body was never designed to survive for very long without an intake of fats. Store healthy oils, such as olive, coconut, and palm. Their shelf lives can be increased by storing them in the refrigerator or freezer. If your pantry includes freeze-dried entrees, add a couple of tablespoons to those meals when you prepare them to add extra calories and fats, which they often do not contain.
Oils containing polyunsaturated fats contain more free radicals and become rancid more quickly. If you stock up on these oils (corn, vegetable, and canola, for example), buy them in smaller quantities and rotate them in your everyday cooking.

  1. Prioritize your food storage purchases and focus on buying ingredients rather than ready-made or convenient foods. You’ll be able to create dozens if not hundreds of different recipes, which will help keep your family healthy and stave off even a whiff of food fatigue.

  1. Don’t forget to stock up on comfort foods. Although Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or your favorite brownie mix aren’t on any food storage master lists that I know of, a serving of a favorite food can go a long way toward comforting anyone in a crisis.
Foods such as nuts, chocolate chips, and coffee beans can easily be stored long-term with the use of a vacuum sealing machine and a jar sealer. This can preserve your favorite candies and treats that can’t be preserved any other way.

  1. Store a variety of grains, not just wheat. Today’s genetically modified wheat is at the root of numerous health issues. Although most Americans consume it without any ill effects, a diet heavy in wheat can result in allergies, gluten intolerance, and celiac disease.
Wheat can be utilized in other ways, such as sprouting and cooking whole wheat berries that can be eaten as a hot cereal or added to soups and salads.
Add grains such as oats, barley, quinoa, and spelt to your pantry. Experiment with them now, if you’re not sure how to cook and incorporate them into your meals.

  1. Freeze-dried entrees are helpful in a power outage or an evacuation in which quick, easy meals are a necessity. However, they should make up only 10-15% of your entire food storage. Once opened, they don’t have an especially long shelf life and your family may balk after their 5th meal of Turkey Tetrazzini in a row!
If these meals are part of your emergency evacuation plans, store several days worth near your emergency kits/bug out bags so they are within easy reach if you ever have to grab the kids and run. Remember to include a portable cook stove, pot with lid, a can opener, and stored water.

  1. Commercially dehydrated foods contain about 90% of their original nutrients, in spite of reports otherwise. These foods are dried at very low temperatures and take up less space in a container, thus giving you more for your money than freeze-dried foods.
If you have never cooked with dehydrated or freeze-dried foods, give it a try now! They are super simple to use, and will give you an idea of which ones you want included in your food storage plans.

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