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Is Freeze-Dried Food Worth the Investment? December 31, 2016

Prepping and freeze-dried food are synonymous with one another. For years, the freeze-dried food industry have profited heavily on families wanting to get their pantries emergency ready. But is it worth all the hype and money?

There are many who wonder if the investment into this long-term food source is the right one for them and have asked questions like: Can you really survive the apocalypse with freeze-dried food? How long is the shelf-life when the #10 can is opened? Are these foods nutritionally complete? What other options are there for long-term food storage?

The Pros

There are many pros to having #10 cans of this long-term food source in your prepper pantry. Freeze-dried food is flash frozen and then put in a vacuum container causing the water vaporize, and leaving the food item with 98% of its water removed.Nutritionally speaking, the food retains all the nutrients that it had in its original form after the freeze-drying process and contains little to no additives. This process keeps a majority of the nutrition in tact. Gary Stoner, Ph.D., and the American Institute for Cancer Research have found that the antioxidant phytochemicals found in fresh fruits is about the same as in their freeze-dried versions. However, some ascorbic acid levels and the amount of polyphenol, a cell-protecting chemical in berries, were measurably reduced by freeze drying. Source

As well, the cook times are drastically reduced which is helpful during emergencies when energy must to be conserved. Moreover, many find that when they are in the midst of an emergencies, stress loads increase because of drastic changes and having these “just add water” meals ready to go cuts down on the stress of food preparation. It is estimated that 98% of moisture from the food is eliminated, thus reducing the weight of the food by 80%. Those who plan on evacuating will appreciate the lighter weight during transport – especially with all the other supplies they will have in their pack. Last but not least, the 25 year storage life makes this ideal for preppers who are looking for long-lasting food options. On a personal note, my family purchased freeze-dried food in 2004 and it’s still just as fresh as when we opened up the first can. Keep in mind, once your freeze-dried food can is opened, the shelf life quickly diminishes and you will need to throw it out in six months, and if you live in a humid area, the shelf life could be cut in half.

The Cons

While, the pros are great, it comes with a hefty price tag. You are paying for all of the specialized equipment and energy it takes to preserve the food for a long shelf life. One case of freeze-dried meals can set you back over a hundred dollars with shipping included. As well, having this type of food source for your long-term food needs will require extra space to store the food. An entire years supply fits into a 2 ft x 3 ft area, stacked 5 ft high. As well, food cans could be strategically hidden in the home, underneath beds, above kitchen cabinets and in the closet.

If you are going back and forth about whether or not to invest in freeze-dried food or dehydrated food, here’s a good answer. Because 98% of the water is removed from freeze-dried foods, it will take more water to reconstitute it for meals as opposed to dehydrated foods needing a fraction of the water. An article on Modern Survival Blog gives a great explanation:

“It does take more water to reconstitute freeze-dried food than dehydrated food. I randomly pulled out a few freeze-dried food packets that I have on hand here, so that I could read the directions. The average amount of water required is a bit more than 1 cup of water per serving (which you would heat up first). On the other hand, some dehydrated food can be consumed without re-constituting with water (particularly fruits or meats). My experience with re-hydrating foods that I have previously dehydrated, are that I tend to use less than 1 cup of water per equivalent serving of vegetables than a freeze-dried food.”

Also, keep in mind that many of the freeze-dried meals are high in sodium. Many outdoor enthusiasts and hikers complain that you have to drink so much water to overcome the thirst the meals create. Make sure you have extra water on hand if you plan on using this as your main food source. As well, the high sodium can cause your bowels to become sluggish. To remedy this, purchase some over the counter meds for constipation or look for low-sodium freeze-dried options. One website states that the real key is balance.

“If you are concerned about sodium content in your food storage items, keep in mind that you can balance out the higher sodium foods you consume in a day with lower sodium foods. For example, many freeze-dried vegetables contain low or no sodium. There are also many breakfast items, like granola or oatmeal, that have very little sodium, if any.

Just like with a fresh food diet, the key is balance. If the only thing you ate every day was chicken, you’d quickly find that your diet is not providing what your body needs. But when you add lots of fruits and vegetables to that chicken and you will begin to achieve a more balanced diet.”

In that same vein, I highly recommend you also investing in sprouting seeds to ensure you are getting some fresh vitamins into your daily diet.

How Much Freeze-Dried Food Do You Need?

In an emergency situation, your caloric intake will increase due to higher activity levels, thus you will be consuming more. Keep this in mind when determining what your caloric needs will be. Once you know that magic caloric number, you can begin to find out how many freeze-dried meals you need. The Ready Store has a good calculator to get an idea how the number of cans of freeze-dried food you would need to survive.

Can You Survive Solely on Freeze-Dried Food?

So, the question is can you survive an apocalypse with freeze-dried food? Yes, you can, but the real question is do you want to?

While there are pros and cons to investing in this long-term food source, above all, you are investing in food freedom and the livelihood of your family or group. My preference is to have a little bit of everything and believe in having a layered approach to emergency food sources. You can read more about it here. We plan on using our supply of freeze-dried food after we finish our perishable foods. During the time we are using up this portion of our emergency food, we plan on getting fresh food sources established.

Ultimately, when people set out on the path to preparedness they turn to freeze-dried foods for a fast approach. After all, it is the healthiest and longest lasting emergency food source. Based on the price alone, it is difficult for many of us to use this as a sole emergency food source. There are less costly food storage options such as using a dehydrator to dry out food and is completely customizable to your dietary needs. As well, the further a person journeys into preparedness, they want to attain total self-sufficiency and look for ways to growing their own food sources through gardening and livestock.

My advice to all of you is to keep your budgets in mind before you decide to purchase bulk emergency food. You don’t want to go broke getting a food pantry set up. Prep for emergencies with the layered approach mentioned above, keep your options open and keep researching better ways to get your family ready for life’s uncertainties.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 31st, 2016
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You’re Wasting Millions of Gallons of Water Each Year and This is How You Can Change It

water conservation
ReadyNutrition Readers, we covered a few basics on the importance of taking in enough water during the winter months.  We’re going to take it a step further and talk about the importance of supply and conservation.  Many of the western states, California and Nevada being a couple of examples have been experiencing droughts over the past summers.  With a lowered amount of precipitation during the winter and spring months, aquifers have declined, as well as several rivers that supply tremendous segments of the country.  A prime example is the mighty Colorado River, which generates power and provides drinking water for tens of millions of people.

Fresh water is no longer able to be considered as a simple natural resource that is infinite in nature.  Only three percent (3%) of the world’s water supply is fresh, and 2/3 of this amount is to be found tied up in glacial ice (the North and South poles).  The world’s animals and plants are therefore dependent on 1% of the world’s water supply.  In drought years, this can present a problem.

The average American family uses approximately 170 gallons of water per person each day.

The bathroom is responsible for ¾ of this amount: every time the toilet is flushed, 5 gallons of water is lost on average.  When you stop to consider there are about 315 million people in the United States who flush that toilet about 2-3 times per day, the amount of water is staggering.  To be sure, this water isn’t “destroyed,” but it is difficult to recover and render drinkable again.

Pollutants are introduced into our water supplies by industry and farming, and these pollutants seep into the groundwater to contaminate the water supplies and the crops that are raised upon them.  It is estimated that 338 billion gallons per day are drawn from surface and subsurface water resources.  90 billion gallons are for people, livestock, and crops.  The remainder?  It goes to industry, mining, and hydroelectric/nuclear power plants.

So, what can we do?  A good deal, actually.  There will be differences with you, the Readers as a percentage of you use your own wells, and others use a municipal water supply.  The conservation can be done by both groups, however, as conservation starts at your front door.  The reasons are not so much as being part of a “green” movement as they are of preserving resources for your own family’s use.  If you are responsible for your own resources, it benefits a community as a whole.  Self-responsibility (not legislated responsibility) is the method for conserving your resources and supplies…this is part of preparation.  There are a number of methods.

Firstly, be aware of information and resources that can help you.  Contact the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in Washington, D.C., for information pertaining to water usage and ways to control it.  Yes, they’re a government agency, however, it is your tax dollars that fund them…you may as well pick up some useful information they have garnered…that you already paid for.  It is free to obtain, but you paid for it to be researched: use it!

If you decrease your time in the shower by just 1 minute per day…this will save 700 gallons of water per month.  By estimating how long you shower, you can add to this water savings drastically by planning your showering time.  VICTORIA AMAT CVRAM.  “Victory loves Preparation,” as the saying runs.  Most toilets have water-conserving features that affect the water flow.  Placing a half brick or a brick in your toilet tank does not interfere with the toilet’s function, but can enable you to save anywhere from 8-20 gallons of water per person, per day.  That is quite a bit of water, if you’re unable to compost your waste products.

Composting brings up another valuable point.  There are plenty of composting toilets available, if it is within your ability to do effectively.  Obviously if you live in a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan, you’re not going to be able to employ a composting toilet in your unit.  There will be a difference if you live in a remote area and on your own property with no zoning/neighborhood requirements limiting what you can do.  Research what will work for your area.  Also, refer to the articles I wrote previously on rain-collection for a water supply, and different measures for establishing water points and water storage for your home and family.

There is also information on water purification methods in these articles that details how to go about making your water drinkable.  I also suggest free resources such as www.howtopedia.com for downloadable, free plans on water collection points and storage methods, as well as how to obtain water from different sources.  The conservation is not a mere “greening” but an exercise in supply and logistics…stretching your resources to the maximum of their conservation and employment.  In this way, you are continuously preparing and honing a survival skill that will come in handy on a daily basis, and when the SHTF.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 31st, 2016
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Plans to Evac Trump out of Manhattan? Clue to Keep Prepping! December 30, 2016

ReadyNutrition Readers, if you recall, I have continued to write articles that ask for you to maintain your readiness posture and continue to prepare. Christmas is winding down, and the next hurdle to come is the New Year, followed by the Inauguration.  If you’ve been “out of the loop,” then get back into it and do not allow anything to sidetrack you.  A serious development happened this past week to substantiate my pleadings with you.

Prepare for the worst-case scenario with this best-seller

Less than two weeks ago, a mysterious flight of a C-130 Hercules American military aircraft was conducted over Manhattan, with several circling laps and passes.  This flight was seen by a tremendous amount of people.  According to the article, “Mysterious Military Flyover Above Manhattan Was A Trump ‘Emergency Relocation’ Drill,” Zero Hedge suggest this is significant.

“According to DNAinfo, the military airplane and two helicopters doing loops over Midtown last week were conducting an “emergency relocation” planning mission in case they needed to extract President-elect Donald Trump during an emergency or attack.

Citing sources, DNAInfo said that the flyovers were part of an “emergency relocation drill” designed to identify locations, primarily in Central Park, where a chopper could touch down near Trump’s home inside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, and safely evacuate Trump and others from the city.

“It was the military doing their homework,” one source said. “They were making plans how to remove him, mapping plans and strategizing,” added a second source.

In the event of an emergency, the president would be whisked by the Secret Service north to the park, and then flown in a helicopter to the nation’s capital or a secret government site in Virginia or West Virginia, sources said. The aircraft models spotted during the exercise can fly long distances without refueling and can also refuel in mid-air if necessary, sources said.

Surprisingly, the NYPD was given only short notice about the flyovers, and were never informed that the military would be using a plane as large a C-130 with its 130-foot wing span. “They should have told people they were doing recon, and going to fly at low altitudes, instead of keeping it a secret,” a law enforcement source said. “People were scared, and rightly so.”

 Readers, this is serious.  Never before in the history of the United States have such measures been initiated for a president-elect.  What does this tell you?  Well firstly, it informs you that the world situation is not as picture-perfect as the positivist media would lead you to believe.  It also tells you that the election may be over, but Trump is not in the Oval Office yet, and there are still dangers he could face in the course of the next month.

An EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack and a nuclear conflict would almost certainly see New York City as a primary target.  Donald Trump still lives in New York City.  Certainly, these measures are practical; however, when have you ever seen them before…for a presidential-elect prior to taking office?  And of this magnitude?

Bottom line: If we’re so “safe” in the U.S., then why the extra precautions, and what do the powers-that-be know that we don’t?

In the blink of an eye, the world can change.  Do not lose your focus, and focus also on the “big picture” both nationally and internationally of what is happening around you.  I gave you a “caveat” before, and I stand behind it.  Here it is:

The next world war will be initiated by an EMP attack upon the continental United States, followed by a limited nuclear exchange and conventional warfare.

Remember this: the men and women who initiate such a war will all be in deep underground bunkers with their families, heavily-guarded, with years of supplies and equipment…all paid for by you and I, the taxpayers…while the rest of the world is ravaged by war and apocalyptic cataclysm.  Do not lose sight of these facts and that the world can change in the blink of an eye.  Continue to garner the necessities while you still can: long-term food supplies, medicine, defensive equipment, water purification materials…do not stop.

Also, keep in mind that if there is a national catastrophe (natural or man-made) that takes out New York City, such as a war, the Inauguration will be postponed indefinitely, Obama will declare Martial Law and implement plans for COG (Continuity of Government), and will remain in “office” for an indefinite period of time…such as forever.  There is still almost a month before the transition occurs.  Do not relax your efforts, and keep an eye on what is happening.  Keep fighting that good fight, stay frosty (meaning “alert,” not akin to the snowman), and take care of one another!  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 29th, 2016
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