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Don’t Throw It Out! Even When You See Mold, These Foods Are Still Edible May 20, 2017

Everyone has had the unfortunate experience of throwing out spoiled food. It’s a sad experience that we all share. You opened up your fridge to grab a snack, only to find that it’s riddled with small moldy spots, and is exuding a funky smell. However, what isn’t shared is the reaction to that situation. That’s because there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who respond to the sight of moldy food by grimacing and immediately throwing it away, and those who wonder if that food can be salvaged.

So which is the correct decision? That’s highly dependent on what kind of food you’re dealing with, according to the FDA. The government agency has released a handy guide to determine which foods should be avoided when they begin to grow mold, and which foods can be saved by scraping off the mold.

According to that guide, the main thing you need to consider is how mold grows in certain foods. In some cases, it only resides on the surface of the food. In other cases however, the mold has roots that burrow deep into the food, and can’t be seen. When that happens, you can’t simply cut the mold away. Once the mold is visible, it’s probably burrowed into everything.

So which foods are most likely to promote this kind of deep-seated mold growth? It’s mainly foods that have a high moisture content, such as:

  • Leftover meats, lunch meats, bacon, and hotdogs
  • Casseroles
  • Cooked Pasta and other grains
  • Yogurt and sour cream
  • Jams

You also should avoid eating soft fruits and vegetables that have become moldy, such as peaches, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Hard produce however, such as carrots and bell peppers, have a much lower water content. If they become moldy, you can simply cut it away. The FDA recommends cutting out at least an inch of material below the mold.

Cheeses have a similar recommendation. Mold on hard cheeses can be cut out; again by removing an inch of material around the mold in every dimension. Soft cheeses, like brie, camembert, cream cheese, and cottage cheese, should always be thrown out.

However, there are some items that don’t have a high water content that should always be thrown out. Bread in particular, tends to grow mold with deep roots, despite having very little moisture. And though they don’t produce mold with deep roots, Peanut butter, legumes and nuts should be thrown out as well.

The only moldy meats that you can eat, are salami and dry cured hams. When these foods grow mold, it’s almost always restricted to the surface. Unlike hard cheeses and produce, you don’t have to cut away a huge chunk of meat to remove the mold. You can just scrub it off of the surface.

Of course, there’s a lot more you can learn about dealing with foods that have mold. Check out the rest of the FDA’s article, which contains an abundance of information on mold, and how to protect yourself from it.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 20th, 2017
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When Grocery Stores Go Empty, These Four Foods Will Help You Survive May 4, 2017

The only thing preppers fear more than masses of unprepared people during an emergency, is being one of those people. That’s why our ultimate nightmare scenario would be not having any non-perishable food on hand during a serious disaster. However, there’s plenty of reasons why an otherwise prepared person might not be prepared when the SHTF.

You could be out-of-town or out of the country, visiting family members who aren’t preppers. Or perhaps you’re having financial problems. So maybe you’ve had to dip into your food supply, or if you prefer buying canned food over freeze-dried food, you haven’t been able to restock items that have spoiled. Or perhaps you’re new to prepping, and you haven’t gotten around to building up a food supply.

Whatever the case may be, you should ask yourself, what would you do if you were one of those people who race to the grocery store at the last-minute during a disaster? Before you answer that, you have to consider the very real possibility that by the time you reach the grocery store, the shelves will be at least partially stripped.

The first food items that will sell out mostly consist of things that are already cooked or prepared in some way, including canned foods, frozen dishes, and bread. Fresh meat and eggs would also disappear pretty fast, despite the fact that they need to be cooked.

Ideally, you want to avoid this scenario altogether by prepping beforehand. In The Prepper’s Cookbook, Tess Pennington highlights key strategies for building an emergency pantry. This takes planning, so if you haven’t already done so, start today. Ideally, you want to store shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes. These are the 25 foods she suggests that preppers should have in their pantries.

Have a Back-Up Plan For the Grocery Store

If you end up having to rush to the grocery store during an emergency, you should be prepared to employ a different strategy for finding food. If, when you arrive at the store, there are already a lot of people grabbing the low hanging fruit like canned foods, bread, etc., don’t join them. You’re probably only going to find the scraps that they haven’t gotten to yet. Instead, move immediately towards the food items that won’t disappear as quickly, and can substitute the foods that everyone is going to fight over first.

To employ this strategy properly, you only need one thing. Something to cook with that doesn’t require the grid, such as a camp stove with a few fuel canisters. You’ll need something like that, because many of the food items that disappear later in the game, tend to need some preparation.

These Four Emergency Food Alternatives Can Keep You Alive

So with that said, what kinds of foods should you go after when you arrive at a grocery store later than everyone else?

  • Instead of bread, go straight for the flour. Don’t worry if you can’t find any yeast. You can always make hardtack, tortillas or naan. You might also find that the sacks of dried rice and beans won’t disappear until after the canned foods go. When combined, these two make a complete protein and are perfect for emergency food meals. Keep cooking times in mind with the beans and go for small beans like navy or lentils.
  • If you find that the produce section is stripped bare, go to the supplement aisle instead. There you’ll find all of the vitamins and minerals that are normally found in fresh produce. Look for food based or whole food vitamins. You’ll also find protein powders that can at least partially substitute fresh meat. As well, look for seeds to sprout. Sprouts provide the highest amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes of any of food per unit of calorie. Enzymes are essential because they heal the body, cleanse the body, prevent diseases, enhance the overall functioning of bodily organs, aids in digestion, and removes gas from the stomach.
  • If fresh meat or canned meat is gone from the shelves, a substitute for is dog food. Though this may disgust most people, desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s really cheap and packed with protein. The only downside, of course, is that pet food usually doesn’t face the same health standards as human food. If it can be helped, go for the wet food instead of the kibble. Though you’ll probably be fine eating any dog food for a couple of weeks, dry dog food isn’t as safe as wet food. Plus, the cans of wet food will be much more hydrating.
  • And finally, instead of trying to find butter, which will be one of the first food items to disappear, try looking for alternatives. Remember, you need fats in your diet. Healthy oils like coconut oil or avocado oil provide healthy nutrition and canI be used for cooking, added to coffee, oats, beverages, and other foods. In addition, one of the most nutrient dense foods that are often forgotten during emergency food planning is in the health aisle. Look for granola and nuts. Nuts are calorie dense and full of fiber to help you stay full longer. Due to the high protein count of this natural food, it can be an efficient meat replacement too. Look for non-salted nut varieties to keep you hydrated longer. It’s packed with calories and can go weeks without spoiling when it’s not refrigerated.  Read more about the ideal bug out meal plan here. Alternatively, if all the healthy oils and nuts have been taken, look for some lard. It’s sometimes labeled “manteca.” It will probably be overlooked, but has just as many calories as butter, and lasts a really long time.

Of course, many of these items aren’t the best tasting or the most healthy. They’re certainly not ideal. But then again, neither is being caught in a disaster without your food preps. If you arrive at the grocery store before everyone else, by all means, go after the good stuff. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to beat the crowds, now you know what kinds of foods you should grab first.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 4th, 2017
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Here’s the Key to Urban Prepping That Most People Don’t Consider April 7, 2017

new york city wikimediaIf you live in a rural or suburban area, you have a very distinct advantage over your fellow preppers who are living in densely populated cities. It’s not that you don’t have to worry about hordes of desperate, hungry violent people. It’s not that you’re more likely to live near a wilderness with fresh game, or that you have friendlier neighbors who you can rely on.

Although certainly those are all advantages, your biggest advantage is that you have more space. You have more room to grow your own food if you want. You have enough space to stock up on a wide variety of supplies. That allows you to hunker down, and wait for the chaos to pass.

That’s a bit more difficult for urban preppers. A family living in a tiny apartment can’t stock up on enough food to last for three months or more, much less any other essential supplies. Or they can, but only if they don’t mind losing their entire living room.

While it’s a good idea for every prepper to stock up on as many essential supplies as they can, that’s just not enough for most urban preppers. They require a slightly different strategy. Rather than trying to figure out how they can stock up and isolate themselves from everyone else, what will give the urban prepper the greatest chance at survival is figuring out how they can trade with everyone else.

If you stop and think about what makes cities and rural areas different, it makes sense. In rural areas, regardless of whether or not there’s a disaster at play, self-sufficiency is one of the most important virtues. In densely populated cities, cooperation is more important. That’s because your neighbors aren’t a mile down the road. They’re right up against you, all the time.

So if you’re a prepper in a city, you have to think more about what you can trade with your neighbors for. Rather than just focusing on filling your apartment with bins full of freeze-dried food, you need to also think about stocking up on stuff that you can trade away down the road when your limited supplies run out.

Preferably, these trade items should be small. And to give you the most bang for your buck, they should be items that are cheap now, but will be worth their weight in gold after a disaster. Consider the following:

  • Water filtration and disinfection supplies are usually very compact and affordable. Take for instance, the crystallized iodine that is found in Polar Pure. That tiny jar is capable of disinfecting 2000 quarts of water, and only costs $20 (but don’t stock up on it too quickly. Crystallized iodine is used to make meth so that might look suspicious). Alternatively you can stock up on pumps and especially filters. None of these items are particularly expensive now, but in a crisis, most people will give their right arm for them.
  • Reloading supplies. Specifically, you should buy up a wide variety of primers. Brass casings can be reused, lead can be scavenged, and gunpowder can be made just about anywhere. Primers are incredibly cheap and compact, but this is an item that you would be hard pressed (pun intended) to find during a prolonged collapse.
  • Over the counter drugs would also be a great idea. They’re cheap, small, and have a shelf life that’s a lot longer than what you see on the label. Same with most prescription drugs. Though you can’t stockpile them for obvious legal reasons, if you’re ever prescribed pain killers or antibiotics and have some pills left over after you recover, you should hold onto them.
  • Sewing kits are another really cheap and portable item. We live in a throwaway culture, and you’d be surprised by how many people don’t have this sort of thing lying around. But if society collapses, everyone will have to squeeze as much life out of their clothes as they possibly can.
  • And finally, consider building up a supply of supplements, especially multivitamins. There isn’t going to be as much food to go around, and the kind of food that’s available probably isn’t going to be nutritionally balanced. There will be a lot of diseases showing up in the population that are caused by poor nutrition. Unfortunately, you can’t stock up on too much of this because supplements have a limited shelf life. But boy, imagine what someone with scurvy will give you for a handful of vitamin C pills.

Do you have any more ideas for small, affordable items that urban preppers should stock up on? Let us know in the comments.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 7th, 2017
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