When TSHTF, How to Thrive Rather than Merely Survive

by Janet W

Many of us, when purchasing food for a SHTF scenario, simply look for the best bargains and lowest prices. These often involve case lot sales on national-brand or generic goods, periodic meat sales at our local grocery store, flatbed-size shopping trips to Costco, and bags and bags of white rice.

However, are these truly the best bargains? I would have to say no! Here’s why: Over the last 50-75 years, our commercially-purchased food has been doing us more harm than good. When you look at the alarmingly increasing rate of life-altering (not to mention life-ending) diseases such as autism, Type II diabetes, heart disease, cancer, (and the mental traumas – anxiety, depression, insomnia, and all the other stuff we can’t afford to endure when TSHTF), and many others, it becomes more and more clear that our lifestyles are contributing much more to our health (or lack of it) than anything else.

Think back to our ancestors – you don’t have to go all the way back to prehistoric days, although that’s not a bad start – but just a couple hundred years. Did you know, for example, that prior to about 1925, heart attacks were virtually unheard of? Autism was very rare. Type II diabetes (adult-onset) was similarly rare. Sleeping pills, anti-anxiety and depression medications weren’t available…yet somehow we survived. What were they doing back then that we aren’t doing now?

Well, first, and most obviously….our ancestors were much more physically active. Prior to the industrial and technology revolutions, so much of what we do today had to be done manually back then. They didn’t “garden;” they farmed. They didn’t throw the laundry in the washer/dryer and come back in an hour; they manually scrubbed the clothes (and the dishes and the floors and everything else). If they needed something, they built it by hand. In other words, they spent most of their day being active, whereas we spend most of our day propped in front of a computer or TV. A lean, strong body with high (activity-induced) metabolism is definitely what we WANT when TSHTF. But that’s another essay… J

Less obvious (and what we’re going to talk about today) is the quality of the food we eat. Our food today is filled with preservatives, sugars, chemicals, pesticides, added fat, genetically-modified (GEs) ingredients, and heaven knows what else. Our retail meat comes from animals which live very stressful lives confined in barns in usually horrific living conditions, eating food their bodies were never designed to eat (including waste products and by-products of their own species….yes, cannibalism), and growing up much faster and much fatter than they would have naturally. They are fed large quantities of super-fatty feed designed to get them to market more quickly. Consequently, they spend their lives on medications (to keep them alive) which absolutely end up in their meat…and in US. Their meat is also much fattier than the meat our ancestors ate – animals that graze or run or forage for their food have meat which is much leaner than the meat of those animals today which spend the bulk of their lives eating this fat-filled feed and unable to even move in a packed barn or “gestational confinement.”

Fruit and veggies are routinely harvested long before their prime so they don’t rot on the long journey between the grove/farm and our supermarket. They are sprayed with pesticides and poisons all their lives, and they are usually created from genetically-modified seeds and treated with food-grade shellac (WTF???) to ensure they are “pretty” on the grocery shelves. Remember how good our grandmothers’ homegrown tomatoes were? Have you tasted tomatoes like that from the grocery store lately? Nope – not in about the last 50 years. Even chain “organic” stores don’t generally offer the natural produce that is best for our health…because in order to keep their prices even remotely competitive, they have to buy from wholesalers who also mass-produce their products. They may not use chemical pesticides, but they still have to pick the produce way before they are ripe in order to get them to the grocery store by the time they are ripe. And even fish – one of the healthiest foods of all (or at least it used to be) – is filled with mercury and PCBs. Many nutritionists are recommending that even so-called “organic” fish (actually, there is no such thing) shouldn’t be eaten more than a couple of times of week, maximum. And how many cases of tuna do we all have in our stockpiles???

There is a ton of strong scientific evidence out there that these mass-produced “industrial” foods are very dangerous for our health. This isn’t something the mass media is going to explore or report on, because these food producers have very deep pockets and will sue for defamation at the drop of the hat (remember when the beef industry sued Oprah for saying not-so-flattering things about hamburgers?). This isn’t even something the FDA is going to protect us from, because these industrial food producers have such sway (through lobbying and heaven knows what else) in Washington. So it’s up to us to figure out what type of fuel we put into our bodies – we can’t just blindly assume either that some agency is looking out for us, or that it’s okay for us to just be sheeple and assume something is safe simply because it’s allowed to be sold on our grocery shelves.

And to make matters worse, medicine and science have advanced to keep up with us. (Is that a bad thing? Why yes – yes, it is! Let me explain why…) If we have high cholesterol because we are eating steaks that are about 100 times more fatty than cows were 50 years ago, they have a pill (or 3 or 4) for that! If we get Type II diabetes because we can’t stay away from carb- and sugar-heavy commercial breads, cheap white rice and pasta (that has had all the fiber stripped out), and sugar-filled candy and packaged goods, our doctor can handle that too. Isn’t it easier to just take a pill or two than to change our whole lifestyle? And if we get one or more types of cancer because we are filling our bodies with chemicals (that fly beneath the FDA’s radar because their concentration in our fruits and veggies somehow fall below some “safe” level – huh????), that’s okay – there are radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and surgery to fix that too.

But what about when TSHTF? Even if we insist on living on all these dangerous and fake commercial foods now, will we have all these crazy pills and medical treatments to keep us alive and functioning if we get hit by an EMP and have no electricity indefinitely? What about if we get hit by a pandemic and need to be as physically strong and healthy as possible to fight it off? Or even a worldwide economic collapse – folks, our health insurance will go away, and we won’t be able to AFFORD expensive health care, let alone these prohibitively expensive “crisis treatments” such as chemotherapy and radiation treatments and insulin, let alone the constant monitoring it takes to keep our conditions in check.

So I would submit to you that it’s just not good enough to stockpile food if the food will either do more damage than good, or if the food won’t keep us healthy and strong and able to live in a post-SHTF world.

But…but…I hear the protests and arguments already: 1) I can’t grow enough food in my garden to can or freeze-dry or dehydrate for a long-term SHTF scenario, 2) I have to buy my meat at Wal-Mart because there is nowhere else to purchase it affordably, 3) if I focus my resources on buying quality instead of quantity, I can’t stockpile enough.

Those are all valid concerns, but I would argue that the health benefits far outweigh the economic downside, and I’m going to show you how.

But the first (and hardest) thing we have to do is change our way of thinking. Most of us have a budget for food – it’s that portion of our income that we can afford to spend to feed ourselves. Did you know that the United States is arguably the least-healthy nation in the world, yet we spend one of the smallest percentages of our incomes on food? The populations of many other developed countries (France is one good example) choose to spend more of their income on food, and therefore, they tend to eat better, and yes, are healthier than we are. But how do we do this? Well, that’s the painful part. It means resetting our priorities – in other words, giving up one thing in order to re-dedicate that part of our budget to something else. For me, it meant giving up my weekly movies and diverting that money to buying more expensive natural food. For others, it may mean changing the way they eat overall, opting out of restaurants, or giving up/cutting back on some other budgetary item.

So yes, we all absolutely CAN afford to eat and stockpile higher-quality, healthier food…but it does require us to prioritize our health. Let’s break it down now.


This is a biggie. If you live in a city, it can be a huge challenge to find meat that wasn’t raised in an “industrial” environment (with antibiotics, hormones, and heaven knows what else in the meat). Those of us who live in more rural areas often have access to local farmers or ranchers who raise their animals in a healthy way and who sell directly to the public (or in local markets). Here are some resources to find them:

Local Producers

Local Harvest – this is a terrific all-around resource for finding healthy food in your area. Just put in your zip code, and select what you’re looking for (farmers’ markets, family farms, etc.), and it will bring up a list of local resources for you: http://www.localharvest.org/

Mail Order

Fiedler Family Farms – you can order online and have your meat mailed to you: http://www.fiedlerfamilyfarms.com/pricelist.pdf

Prairie Pride Farm – beef, chicken, and port mailed to you in insulated containers: http://www.prairiepridepork.com/index.php

Radiant Life – packaged seafood: http://www.radiantlifecatalog.com/

Applegate Farms – all kinds of meat and other natural and organic products: http://www.applegatefarms.com/

And yes, naturally-raised, organic meat is always going to be more expensive. Let’s face it, it IS much cheaper to raise animals in the jam-packed conditions I described above than it is to let them roam free and eat the natural foods they were meant to eat. But I would argue that in defense of our health (especially post-SHTF when we can LEAST afford to be sick), the trade-off is worth it. Here are some ways to save money when buying natural meats:

  • Find a local ranch or farm that offers CSA shares. This means that each week (or month) during certain seasons, you can purchase a pre-selected box of food. The ranch or farmer determines what they can provide in each box so you usually can’t choose the cuts you want (most CSAs guarantee certain cuts will be included in each box). But you can then freeze, can, or dehydrate it.
  • Go in with your neighbors, friends, or network members to split a large order. Most farmers and ranchers offer cheaper prices on larger orders, so splitting a whole or half cow or hog with others will save everyone money.
  • Farmers’ markets – many farmers’ markets are not just for produce and veggies anymore. Often, you will find local ranchers and meat farmers there, you can often purchase backyard chicken eggs, or at the very least, meet like-minded farmers and customers who may be able to turn you on to a local meat producer you didn’t know about.

The bottom line is that YOU have to your own advocate. You have to set your own priorities, look after your own health, and prepare yourself and your family for a time when being strong and healthy and not dependent on the medical system is paramount to your survival. Yes, it will involve some trade-offs. Maybe we don’t buy so much ammo, but we stockpile healthier meats. Maybe we look at alternative sources of protein (such as beans, nuts, cheese, etc.). Note: Be VERY careful about using or stockpiling TVP (textured vegetable protein, which often comes in powder form and is very attractive to preppers)…it is made from soy, and recent research has found that an abundance of soy in our diets can cause its own set of medical problems (especially for those with digestive problems or gluten intolerance). See the References section at the end, and please do your own research as well to determine whether this is something you want to put in your body (fermented soy is generally okay).

Vegetables and Fruit (Produce)

Compared to meat, eating healthy veggies and fruits is MUCH more manageable. First of all, no matter where we buy it, produce is much more affordable than meat is. Even at the hoity-toity gourmet markets, produce is still cheaper than processed foods, cheese, and meat. Produce is not really something you’ll want to mail-order, but thankfully, it’s much more readily available locally. Again, your own garden (organically grown whenever possible – stay away from those poisonous chemicals, and always, always use heirloom seeds) or your local farmers’ markets will keep you well supplied with natural, organic, healthy, in-season fruits and vegetables.

Think the way our ancestors did – eat seasonally and locally. Buy huge flats of berries in June (when they are ripe, cheap, and plentiful) from your local farmers’ market and dehydrate, freeze, or make jam out of them. Buy enough local veggies in-season to can, dehydrate, freeze, or whatever for a whole year. If you have a prolific cherry or apple tree and your friend or neighbor has a nut tree or grapevine, trade what you have for what you need. Our great-great-grandmothers spent most of their summers “putting up” produce they grew, traded for, foraged, or bought from local farms (because that’s what supported their family through the winter) – that’s what we should be doing too, albeit for different reasons.

Even if you don’t routinely shop at your local farmers’ market, you really should. In addition to finding the best in-season produce available, you will also find local farmers who offer CSA shares during the growing season, and again, like-minded customers who can (and happily will!) share their sources with you. (And of course for NETSEC reasons, you don’t have to tell them you’re a prepper – just explain that you like to have fresh food all year long and are a big fan of preserving seasonal food for later in the winter).

Use the Local Harvest website I listed above in the Meats section to find your local farmers’ markets, CSAs, family farms, etc.

Remember, preserving fresh, organic, chemical-free, in-season, ripe produce is going to be MUCH healthier for you in a SHTF scenario than bland, mushy, tasteless, preservative-filled 3-for-a-dollar Walmart green beans are.

Oils, Shortening, and Grease

Be very, very careful in what you believe. Modern medical science tells us that meat-based oils are bad, and vegetable-based oils (canola, corn, safflower, etc.) are good. Shortening is bad (Crisco). But when you get into the science of it (which I won’t bore you with here, but will provide references at the end of this article), you’ll find that this just isn’t true. Again, go back to what our ancestors ate – they didn’t have all the fancy vegetable oils we have now. Depending on where they lived, they used lard (pure pork fat), tropical oils (coconut oil or shortening), nut oils (walnut, peanut), ghee (a type of butter made from the raw milk of a buffalo or cow), and/or olive oils for their cooking. And again, this was before heart disease, Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, and all the obesity-related diseases came along. You have to remember that the food industry lobbyists in Washington and that fund many of these “independent studies” are incredibly powerful and incredibly influential….and what is profitable for them isn’t always healthy for us, no matter what the FDA says…and they are driven by profit. So, do your research and listen to science, not rhetoric (no matter how mainstream it is at the moment).

Coconut oil (semi-solid in its natural form) is one of the best natural oils for cooking (and it’s great as a moisturizer and make-up remover too!). It imparts a sweet taste, so is best used in recipes that can handle a little sweetness. It also stores well for a very long time. Leaf lard (from the organ fat of pork) has also been used by human beings in cooking for centuries. It can be used in anything from pie crusts to frying. Olive oil is a no-brainer – probably the best overall oil you can consume, but because of its flavor, it’s best used in savory (rather than sweet) recipes.

The bottom line is to stay away from traditional “shortenings” like Crisco. These are made by hydrogenating oils, which are basically triglycerides, which contribute to heart disease and high cholesterol. Lard doesn’t do this, because it’s a natural product (did you know that lard used to be used exclusively in baking until Proctor & Gamble figured out it was cheaper…and thus more profitable…to create shortening?). So again, it’s not a matter of which is healthier; it’s a matter of convincing the public which is cheaper…and P&G did that very, very well.

Stay away from “artificially-created” oils (canola, safflower, etc.) and margarine. These are all fats created by Big Agriculture to create a “demand” for products (like soybeans, corn, and the like) which are cheap to produce, subsidized by the government, and provide huge profit margins. When it comes to ANY food, natural, tried and true is almost always better than something we humans have invented – after all, if our bodies thrived on it for the millennia before this last century when science and industry converged, it is probably the best thing for us.

You’ll see in the References section, a book called Real Food (by Nina Planck). I’m not going to go into all the science behind the statements I made above about “artificial” oils, because this essay is already way too long as it is, but if you’ll read that book, it will outline all the medical studies, scientific background, and proofs you’ll ever want.

Natural oils can be found fairly inexpensively. You only need three: Olive oil (buy extra virgin, and you can find it in bulk at Costco), lard (can be purchased locally or at most of the meat resources I listed above that sell pork products – do NOT buy the cans of lard in the supermarket near the Crisco, as those are hydrogenated too; just buy the real stuff), and coconut oil (for baking). Coconut oil can be a bit hard to find, but look in local health food stores, or order online (Tropical Traditions sells a high-quality oil at terrific prices: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/ ).

Processed Foods

Ah, the devil we know – processed foods. Processed foods are virtually anything that has been manipulated, modified, preserved, or otherwise had their natural state altered for safety, convenience, or cost reasons. Now, under this definition, everything from pasteurized milk to frozen veggies to whole-grain bread to Mac & Cheese could be considered “processed,” but for the purpose of this discussion, we are going to focus on the worst of the worst. Again, in a SHTF scenario, we want to have stockpiled foods that provide the best nutrition we can get, both to fill us up and give us energy, and to work with our bodies’ natural needs to keep us healthy and strong in the long run.

Most of the bad processed foods are made using chemicals, preservatives, the cheapest natural ingredients, all kinds of artificial crap, and lots of bad fats (pick up a package of darn near anything and you’ll find canola or safflower oil on the label…and we won’t even get into trans-fats), and tons of sugar. The bad processed foods are more about convenience and taste, and manufacturers will put anything legal in them to make them appealing to us. And “appealing” doesn’t necessarily mean “good for us.”

In our prepping, ideally we should try to stay away from packaged foods in general – dinner mixes, pasta mixes, baked goods (cookies, etc.), sugary cereals, etc. – a good rule of thumb is to avoid anything that contains more than 5 recognizable ingredients. We certainly don’t want to take any chances with our health at this time – we need foods that will provide us with nutrition, strength and good health. The second worst possible thing we can do for our prepping (the worst would be not prepping at all) is to fill our pantries and stockpiles with food that won’t provide the things we need and worse yet, may provide a lot of things that may hurt us.

So how do we reconcile this? Packaged/processed foods are cheap, designed to last a very long time, and are therefore apparently perfect for prepping…yet they are bad for us. There are two solutions here.

  1. Change our tastes. This is a hard one. As a lot of the studies show, many of the chemical additives in processed food (MSG is one that comes to mind) are actually physically addictive. Breaking that addiction is tough, but better we do it now than after TSHTF (will we really need that stress on top of everything else?). Additionally, our tastes become “conditioned.” This means that once we become used to eating stronger flavors, more salt/sugar, etc., regular food tastes bland without it. So we need to start now preparing our minds AND bodies for the change in diet that will come along with a SHTF scenario.
  2. Make “processed” food ourselves! This sounds a lot worse than it is. J It can be as simple as packaging our favorite dried herbs and spices together with smaller servings of whole-grain pasta to create our own “ramen.” We can preserve (via canning or in some cases, dehydrating) relishes and sauces to use later with our natural meat and whole-grain pasta or brown rice. Many flavors of sauce and soups can be canned, as can ground beef and chicken (throw some noodles and spices in a Dutch oven later, add your canned ground beef, and you have Hamburger Helper!). These types of “home-processed” foods are never going to taste the same as the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese we adore, but again, our tastes are conditioned to expect the strong cheese flavor of the fake cheese. Once we have been eating natural foods for a time, our tastes will revert back, and these foods will taste delicious to us!

Note: Don’t ever home-can foods containing dairy (milk, eggs, etc.). The risk of spoilage and/or botulism is much too high. If you want to can a favorite recipe that calls for dairy, can it without the dairy and add dry milk, eggs, or butter when you are ready to prepare the meal.

For more information about the health risks from commercially processed/packaged food, see the articles in the References section at the end.

Breads and Other Carbs

There is a school of thought out there (which doesn’t get widely published in mainstream media – again, because the food industry is so powerful and aggressive) which says that simple carbohydrates are treated the same way as sugar is in the human body…and is one of the main culprits in all of the insidious diseases I mentioned above (see the References section at the end of this article for a link to the research). So when we eat our normal diet, not only are we getting more than our share of the white sugars we routinely put in our coffee, our cereal, our baked goods, etc., the hidden sugars in our processed foods, but our bodies are also getting a huge load of additional “sugar” from all the bad carbs we eat.

Bad carbs are those that primarily come from “white” foods – commercial breads, pasta, rice, etc. These foods have had the wheat germ (the part that contains the fiber) stripped from them (to make them softer, tastier, more attractive, etc.) so they essentially offer no nutritional value whatsoever. They are filling (for a short period of time), and God knows we love them, but they are really, really bad for us.

They make us fat, they cause inflammation in our bodies (which is a big contributor to heart disease), they encourage insulin-resistance (which leads to Type II diabetes), and they strip us of energy (we’ve all experienced that mid-afternoon crash after our pasta lunch). So while they are cheap and plentiful, they really are NOT a good group of foods to stockpile.

Complex carbs and whole wheat (or whole fiber) foods are much healthier for us. While our ancestors ate only whole fiber foods, these have unfortunately become less attractive to us over time. I mean honestly, who can resist Wonder Bread, right? And whole-wheat pasta is downright butt-ugly and uncomfortably chewy, when compared to regular white pasta. But again, this is a situation where WE are responsible for changing our perceptions, changing our tastes, setting (and keeping) our priorities, and ensuring we are “eating to live,” NOT “living to eat.” Sometimes, the old ways ARE better, even if we’ve developed a taste for the new ways.

Stockpiling pasta and white rice is easy and cheap. All of our local grocery stores periodically have great sales on bags of different shapes of white pasta. Whole wheat pasta is a bit harder to find, tends to be more expensive, and doesn’t go on sale as often. But it can be argued that in a SHTF scenario, our focus will be on filling our stomachs, keeping us full as long as possible, and doing it in a nutritionally positive way. What I CAN tell you is that you will remain full longer (and gain much more consistent energy from) whole wheat foods than white foods. Maybe you only eat ½ cup of whole wheat pasta instead of the cup of white pasta you’re used to, but you’ll get more nutrition out of it and will stay fuller longer. So from a cost perspective, it’s fine to buy a little less of the whole grain pasta than the white kind, because it’s nutritionally denser. Same with rice. Buy the long-grain brown (whole fiber) rice instead of white rice, and you’ll come out about the same from a cost perspective.

I make my own bread to freeze. Some people don’t stockpile bread, but I love it, so it’s just sort of my thing. If you do too, you can experiment with different recipes to find one that is both nutritionally dense and tastes soft and good, but I like a combination of about half whole grain flour and half bread (white, bleached) flour. It’s more for taste than anything. I’ve made full whole-grain loaves, which were okay, but I prefer the half and half mix. In a SHTF scenario, I would definitely move to a full whole grain recipe.

A Last Word

And the last paragraph segues into three very good points:

It’s all about compromise. As much as we would love to eat a 100% healthy diet, in today’s world unfortunately, that would be very expensive and very time-consuming. And for some people that’s okay, but for the average person like me who has a family, a job, a household, and a “second job” (prepping!), we generally don’t have time to run all over the county looking for fresh, organic food and cooking/preserving it all from scratch. So set your priorities. For me, it’s about proportions – I try to stockpile as many “natural” foods as possible, but I also periodically buy commercial canned goods to supplement my stash. Eating 100% natural is, of course, optimal, but if I can only eat 75% natural or 50% natural, that’s going to keep me healthier and stronger than relying 100% on processed, fake, or chemical-filled food. Set your priorities and allocate your money and resources accordingly. For me, healthy meat is the biggest priority (because industrial meat is just so damn dangerous), so I allocate more budget to that, and offset that by buying some canned veggies here and there. As I said above, I love bread, so preparing delicious bread (half white flour and half whole-grain) is a good compromise for me.

  1. Learn about and employ the business theory of “economies of scale.” In its simplest form, it refers to the fact that improving efficiencies in whatever system you employ will reduce your overall costs. Translated to our prepper mentality, it means figuring out ways to make your shopping, preserving, processing, storage, and maintenance activities more efficient, and thus reduce the overall cost of your system. An example of this may be those huge flats of berries we bought on a bulk discount at the farmers’ market in June. Working alone, it might take me 2 whole days to make preserves out of 10 flats of berries (and how much jam does one family need, anyway?). But suppose I invite my neighbor over to help? I provide the berries, she provides the canning jars/lids. We each walk away with a bunch of jam in about half the time at about half the cost….and I can spend the second day I would have devoted to my jam-making to freezing all that corn I also bought at a bulk discount. Another good example a friend and I employ is “storage sharing” (this has to be someone you trust with your life, obviously). I have a whole garage in which to store my stockpiles. She, on the other hand, has only has a small room in her basement. So I store a lot of the space-intensive supplies (like toilet paper) for both of our families in my garage, and she stores all our batteries in her storage room. There are about gazillion variations of “economies of scale,” so get creative. Finally, another example may be time/cost-based. I.E., figuring out the cost of buying something already made vs. the time it will take me to make it myself can also add (or reduce!) inefficiencies. For example, I choose not to grow my own potatoes for storage because I can use the garden space for more expensive veggies. Instead, I go to the farmers’ market on the last day the market is open and buy a couple of huge 50-pound bags of potatoes from a local farmer for pennies on the dollar (they are practically giving them away at this point). I store these in the garage and they last about a year (in my cool climate – your experience may differ). In this case, it’s more efficient for me to buy them than to grow them because in the long run, I’ll save money in growing the things that are more expensive to buy.
  2. Related to the above, learn about and employ capitalistic buying techniques on natural food. I mentioned it above, but figure out how to buy in bulk (even if you have to share the cost with a friend, family member, neighbor, or member of your network) and cook or preserve the bulk foods in a way that is manageable for your stockpiling system or family needs. This can include everything from meat to produce to everything else. If you get into the habit of buying from family farms, the farmers’ market, or local ranchers, you can negotiate better prices when purchasing a lot at a time. For example, I make my dog’s food (she is of a particular breed that is HUGELY susceptible to cancer, so I don’t want her eating all the chemicals and preservatives in commercial dog food). Once a month or so, I go to the farmers’ market and buy bulk bags of chicken, and the veggies I use to make her food. The farmers there know me, are thankful for my loyalty, and thus give me a “special” price. Then I spend a weekend making a month’s worth of prepared dog food for the freezer and freezing the rest of the ingredients for next month (and the month after that, and so on). I priced it out and it actually costs less for me to buy in bulk and make it myself than it does to purchase commercial dog food. Plus, she’s getting a much healthier food! I also use capitalistic buying techniques when buying the natural meat I prefer my family to eat – if I buy a few packages of ground beef and some steaks and roasts, it ends up costing at least $2 more a pound overall than if I buy ¼ or ½ cow directly from the ranch. So I do, and either freeze it all or find a friend to go in on half of it with me (if I’m short on freezer space at the moment).

So the bottom line is – don’t just think in quantity; think in QUALITY. Expensive is not always better, but processed foods (no matter where you get them, even “natural” type stores) are almost always bad for our health. Think of the foods our ancestors ate, and try to incorporate them as much into your food supply as possible. Remember, we are stockpiling not just to SURVIVE, but to THRIVE.


· Dangers of soy (TVP) – http://www.foodrenegade.com/dangers-of-soy/

· “Artificial” food – Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck (available at all major bookstores, or here’s a link: http://www.amazon.com/Real-Food-What-Eat-Why/dp/1596913428/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339458945&sr=8-1 )

· Weston A. Price Foundation – a foundation dedicated to healthy, natural eating – http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/principles-of-healthy-diets

· “Bad” Carbs and their danger to our health – http://www.naturalnews.com/000885.html

· The documentary Food, Inc. (available most anywhere DVDs are sold or rented)

· Any book by Michael Pollan (particularly The Omnivore’s Dilemma – again, available at all major bookstores, or here’s a link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Omnivores-Dilemma-Natural-History/dp/0143038583/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339458985&sr=1-3 )

· Dangers of additives in processed foods – http://www.healthy-eating-politics.com/food-additives.html (although this site is billed as an “alternative food site,” the list on this page is inclusive and comprehensive, and based on hard science)

· Overall good article about how processed foods negatively impact our health – http://www.healthy-eating-politics.com/processed-foods.html

· Comprehensive article on food additives in processed (packaged) food – http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

· Canning your own “convenience” foods (plus a TON of other canning and food preservation techniques and instructions) – http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/canningconvenfood.htm


  1. For the most part I agree with all that you have presented. However, keep in mind that good record were really not kept 100 years ago, so we really don’t know the true sastistics of what people died of. One thing is for certain the life expectancy was about half of what it is now. and baby mortality was high as well as childhood deseases and death. Yes, we could eat better foods and be more active, but I can tell you that my grand parents on one side lived into their late 80’s and 90’s and didn’t expand to much sweat or energy in doing so, while my grandparents on the other side worked very hard and put a lot of equity into “surviving” per , yet they only lived into their late 60’s and 70’s. Genetics also plays an important role in how long you live and how well you live. So keeping in mind that “garbage in, garbage out” is an important consideration, there are also many other factors involved in good health and longevity. People eat according to their economics and availability of good, healthy organic foods. We would all like to have what is good for us.

    • Yup, I agree, M. Biccum. We can assume, however, that Autism was around and mental illness and anxiety, but it was not diagnosed and/or not treated, excepting by self-medication or self-destruction. Infants and children with real health (mind or body) problems did not live long, so we had no long-term care difficulties. Older folks with health problems died out and pneumonia was the “friend” to those of frail health. Yes… an active life and real food for the body is an excellent idea, but if those who are unhealthy living now were to die off, then the rest of us who are fit, trim and actively healthy would again be the norm for humanity.

  2. For fresh veggies if you live anywhere near the Sacramento area google Davis Ranch Sacramento . They are GMO free veggies and you can pick whatever is in season at .25 a pound. There is a 25.00 minimum. They grow corn , tomatoes,peppers squash,eggplant ect so if you want to can or dehydrate getting 100 lbs of fresh veggies for 25.00 is a great deal. Also a good outing with the kids,wife ect. For the record this is where sloughhouse corn comes from and it just doesn’t get any better than that.

    • I am 76 years old grew up on a farm now retired rancher we grew a garden and still do. we went to town once a month to get staples such as coffee sugar no much other. we canned to extend our growing season. did not depend on others. we bartered with others usually the came to get milk. here in Montana depended on canning and still do

  3. A most excellent article that tells us to look back at our ancestral roots for food choices. Well done!

  4. Bravo well said!

  5. Babycatcher says:

    Great article! Good job!

  6. A lot of good information in this article! People think I’m a bit nutty for all the effort I put into my little hobby farm. BUT, a big reason for doing it is the quality of food I produce is much healthier than what you can buy at the local grocery store. It is a LOT of work, but that is also why I do it—-it is a healthy, active lifestyle! I am fortunate that my spouse is able to work to support us and I can devote my time to developing my little farm (it’s on just a couple of acres!) It is truly a good life and worth all of the effort. If the SHTF, I believe I can grow enough to feed us….and if it doesn’t hit the fan, we’re still healthier and eating better because of it.

  7. Anonamo Also says:

    Well said…
    Very good point about the soy. It changes the male hormone into estrogen!
    You Noted the theories are good, and able to impliment in some places, but they will not work…100% for everyone.
    I am very rural. Most gardens did poor this year, including mine. Good thing I have food available I can buy…even GMO can be utilized to get through in a pinch., If you are selective and know which problems can be minimized with system detox and know how to do it.. I am able to do some, but am not a herbalist, but a learner of the things I found useful for us.
    .. our Shtf event has already begun. We are making some changes.. but they are slow and deliberate, and all take time.
    These are things I have already started to do, began several years ago, and it is a process. Stopped buying most mixes, and mac and cheese boxes. years ago, keep a few, and use those for extenders..Using an extra 1/2 lb of pasta, with a box can make that 50cent box make a side/ for 6… I buy our preffered pasta and some kind of cheese sauce… vary it..(no it is not organic or farm raised, not available here.. I don’t have goats or cows yet.. goats/rabbits/chicks will be coming, but All need a shelter and a fence.) Just not there yet.
    We won’t ever give up white rice, Don’t like the longer cooking times and flavors of the brown.. We like for breakfast cereal and to serve certain other things over.. It is our choice. Brown rice would go rancid before we can use a single pound of it!..I do keep instant brown rice on hand and will use it in 2 recipes, can’t find anything else it is acceptable in…so I keep it packed with ox absorbers,. BUT we have changed the amounts of processed foods we eat and are more conscious of additives. Use less flours, more quiona and wheat berries.. The potatoes available now are long storage, they are turning green and rotting in the high humidity bags, available in 3 grocery stores yesterday..( I did not buy any) Changed all our oils out .. on Olive, coconut, sunflower, and real butter, some real lard ..primarily rarely use anything else.
    ..overall. eat less bread, higher protein because of health issues.
    The farmers market that is local to us, has a pre-determined price for every item sold… there are no “bargains”. Would require 60 mile drive to get to another… Have transitioned necessarily to frozen, with canned for back up. some home canned from private sources… not “Farmer’s Markets” but local grown…usually end of season when freezers are full.
    Plan to try different set of gardening techniques this winter… for a few vegs with benefit of grow lights. will attempt tomatoes, peppers,cukes, squash, pole beans.. Have some fish want to expand that with some tanks/tubs.. I eat wild greens, but others can’t eat, would cause massive blood clotting… Trying to figure best way to go with potatoes.. see all kinds of low producing potato trials, but nothing with high yeild for the space, and space is and will be limited for those… considering raised beds, tower type, will have to build and fill with materials from off site.. bermuda too prevalent. Have fix for that, but will take time that I need to get into production.

    • I don’t use brown rice in place of white rice, but use it in soups, where it tastes great. White rice with stir fries and such.

    • Uncle Ben’s PARBOILED brown rice will last almost as long as white rice with 80% of the nutrition of raw brown rice. Take onions, fry in fat until golden, dump rice in skillet and 1/4 cup water, stir like a madwoman, getting all the rice coated in the onion flavor. Add chopped tops of green onions.

      You can cook the rice in broth or add bouillon cubes/grains. This is so cheap and delicious. For Christmas, I added chopped green and red bell peppers just before putting it on the table.

      I took this to Christmas parties, all sorts of potlucks where people had much more money than I. Everyone loved it. People commented when they came into the friend’s house about the aroma.

      White rice is like eating more sugar.

  8. tractorgirl.. says:

    I posted this somewhere but I can’t remember where..so here it is again…..I just noticed that Hanjin shipping company has been turned away from California docks because of their bankruptcy problems ..stocks of products may become scarce in stores…just as it has been written about recently…the shelves may become very empty soon…..stock up now..

    • tractorgirl,
      You posted it last week, here. I remember because I am puzzled as to what comes from China that will no longer be on the shelves? Surely, the shelves won’t be empty! I avoid food from China like the plague.

  9. Emily Summer says:

    One thing that is not mentioned is growing sprouts. I get organic sprouting seeds in bulk and they need no special storage. Sprouts can sub for veggies in a pinch and are full of vitamins and add crunch. There are many varieties of seed other than alfalfa. We try to buy everything organic that we can and belong to a co-op that delivers in most of the USA. I would not give up white pasta as I can cook lots of great, nourishing sauces to go with that. Whole wheat flour will go rancid quickly, so I buy organic wheat berries and grind my own flour. I also buy organic white flour in 50 lb sacks. We have always cooked from scratch and don’t eat processed food. There is canned butter and cheese available from Australia from grass fed cows. Yes, more expensive, but in terms of health, not so much. This was a very good article, thank you.

    • yoy survive on your bean sprouts and wheat berry flour ill do just fine on deer elk and bear,oh the deer and elk have been eating out of farmer jones wheat field and its not non-gmo and its beeen sprayed,oh just goes to show you no matter what you do your

      • Curley Bull's Grand Daughter says:

        Dear Sir,
        I am 12 years old and very much enjoy this web site. Please do not use the “F” word. I am not the only young person that likes to read the postings and comments on this site.
        Thank You Very Much,
        Curley Bull’s Granddaughter

        • Curley Bull says:

          Don’t think I could have done it any better than that. Jaycee is quite mature for her age. Hooo-Rah!!!

  10. Great article! I believe that we should do our best to eat original foods that we prepare ourselves and avoid eating anything you can’t pronounce or anything treated with something you can’t pronounce. If you think it sounds like too much work, start small and do what you can.

    • PS – I try to follow these sorts of ideas for day to day eating now, and hope to follow them should an SHTF situation develop. However, I’m also hedging my bets with some professionally prepared freeze-dried/dehydrated foods that violate the unpronounceable food rule above. I’ve had crops fail now, while I can still get out to other farms or a grocery store. It is only smart to plan for crop failure in an emergency situation.

  11. Bermuda grass is horrible when it comes to root vegetable and will spear right through a potato..and your mouth if you are not careful. You might try placing garden cloth where you want to plant your root veggies ad then cover with good soil, straw and/mulch or thick layers of newspapers. Keep “hilling” the potatoes with the same and keep it moist-not wet. A raised bed could work, but now is the time to replant for fall potatoes. Good luck

  12. Sorry to be a naysayer, but while the overall idea of the article is good, there are numerous inaccuracies and/or false statements. A couple of the “science” claims are just wrong. One simple example is the claim that Autism rates are now highter which is wrong. We now identify and further classify medical conditions than we did 100 years ago. The term “retarded” was used, but covered everything from Autism to Downs syndrome. Too many others to cover in that long article.

    • An example of what you post is this. When my Grandfather was a young man they locked him up in a TB Sanatorium. He ran away and lived well into his 90’s. He had Asthma, not TB. It confirms that not all diagnoses were correct and that record keeping was accurate or even kept.

      • Read Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. The South knew how to hide their relatives that would be in “special” classes today. Southern writers relay stories of people considered retarded or crazy. Yes, I put those people in my stories, too.

    • OK . . .

    • Autism is not necessarily a disease, more of an evolution or shift in human conscious behaviors. (Son is autistic- unless you spent much time around him youd never know.) Have spent 14 years researching, helping with groups that work with autistic kids and more…however, that being said…comparing western and eastern medicines, ancient and modern medicines…is apples and oranges…

      Yes mistakes are made, good lord a woman who enjoyed sexual relations used to be put in a crazy house. …lol and lobatimized as in thousands of woman pre 1954/5ish …

      Yeah. So, do mistakes happen. Absolutely. ..do i trust the fda…heck no- anyone who trusts government has several screws loose, in my opinion.

      This being said…facts matter, and the facts show a very simple reality, we live longer/ overall healthier now than we did 50 years ago and so on.

      This doesnt make the article wrong or bad, just means always do your research, there are many sides to every story.

  13. could the author post the dog food recipe?

  14. Whew, this article is way too much. We’re trying to encourage folks to prepare. Every week some left thinker wants to rewrite the proper manual of prepping. I’ve actually taken a moratorium on reading most prepping sites. I’ve just grown weary of someone trying to put a new spin on common sense preparation. I understand why many folks are overwhelmed by it all. To the author, please save this new thinking for yoga class, or your wine and cheese party’s. Creekmore??????please!!!!!

    • So rewrite it and submit it the way YOU think it should be . . .
      Let us compare . . .

    • Rokflyer says: ‘Whew, this article is way too much.’ …

      Yes, of course, by all means – ignore the Fair Warning.

      In the past I would have raised a counter-argument to Rokflyer’s perspective and tried to use reason and facts and posted links to enlighten Rokflyer and Joe. Since that time, I’ve begun to think thier attitude is a good thing. The word, ‘winnow’ comes to mind, as I’m not getting a Freedomista vibe from those comments, at all.

      I think I just had a second epiphany this week. (The first being, how so many people are attached to, ‘The Apparatus’ like it’s a infallable god or a pacifier.) Thanks for that, Rokflyer! I do hope you, and those of your persuasion, come around, however; I might be A-ok if you don’t, as you seem to be wrapped in The Illusion and unable to un-suck yourself from it all. …Enjoy the ride while it lasts. Prepping isn’t, ‘everything’.

      And, as NOT ME says: ‘So rewrite it and submit it the way YOU think it should be . . . Let us compare . . .’

      Yah, I’m still shaking my head at this bit, ‘a new spin on common sense preparation.’ Yeesh, Janet W. did a pretty good job of outlining what worked for humans for 5000 plus years, then along comes, ‘Joe-blow’ and his band, ‘the naysyaers’ calling it all, ”a new spin on common sense preparation.’ Psft.

      Janet W. doing what looks like close to an 80/20 thing – and the Paleo and Primal lifestyle – Rocks! Thank goodness it’s catching on. I noticed the subject has its own section on an end cap at a major bookstore chain in my city. People are wising up in spite of those who suckle The Apparatus of the technocrats. Let this be a wake-up call. Search the names; Jon Rappoport, Dr. Mercola, Bill Sardi or Mark Sisson if you want to get a glimpse of how, ‘science’ is whacked, sold-out, and feeding you lies. As a famous battery commercial once said, ‘Go ahead. I dare Ya.’

    • Rokflyer,
      Buzz off friend.
      You don’t have to agree with everything posted, but unless you can respond with consideration and kindness…your perspective may not be welcome.

      • Rokflyer,
        Don’t throw it all out. There has to be something correct in her article. Tell the group why you think something in her article is wrong. I gave my take on rice, but some will not believe or don’t want to change. That’s okay.

  15. Great article, Janet W.
    I have to say that I showed this article to my wife and she was glued to it for a long time & taking notes!
    We actually get our beef one half a cow at a time today.
    We get to feed the cow, water it when the creeks are low, and I help my brother load it up when it’s time to go to the slaughter house.
    We’re now growing a garden and for a guy that hated most vegetables growing up, it’s welcoming today to eat them when you grow them yourself.
    We enjoy learning the art of canning today and taking a firm stance to taking better care of ourselves.
    From the looks of the notes my wife was taking, I’m sure we’re going to make a few more changes she liked from your article.
    Thanks again & good job!

  16. I like the KISS version: if you eat it, grow it.

  17. Rokflyer says: ‘Whew, this article is way too much.’ …

    Yes, of course, by all means – ignore the Fair Warning.

    In the past I would have raised a counter-argument to Rokflyer’s perspective and tried to use reason and facts and posted links to enlighten Rokflyer and Joe. Since that time, I’ve begun to think their attitude is a good thing. The word, ‘winnow’ comes to mind, as I’m not getting a Freedomista vibe from those comments, at all.

    I think I just had a second epiphany this week. (The first being, how so many people are attached to, ‘The Apparatus’ like it’s a infallible god or a pacifier.) Thanks for that, Rokflyer! I do hope you, and those of your persuasion, come around, however; I might be A-ok if you don’t, as you seem to be wrapped in The Illusion and unable to un-suck yourself from it all. …Enjoy the ride while it lasts. Prepping isn’t, ‘everything’.

    And, as NOT ME says: ‘So rewrite it and submit it the way YOU think it should be . . .
    Let us compare . . .’

    Yah, I’m still shaking my head at this bit, ‘a new spin on common sense preparation.’ Yeesh, Janet W. did a pretty good job of outlining what worked for humans for 5000 plus years, then along comes, ‘Joe-blow’ and his band, ‘the naysayers’ calling it all, ”a new spin on common sense preparation.’ Psft.

    Janet W. doing what looks like close to an 80/20 thing – and the Paleo and Primal lifestyle – Rocks! Thank goodness it’s catching on. I noticed the subject has its own section on an end cap at a major bookstore chain in my city. People are wising up in spite of those who suckle The Apparatus of the technocrats. Let this be a wake-up call.
    Search the names: Jon Rappoport, Dr. Mercola, Bill Sardi or Mark Sisson if you want to get a glimpse of how, ‘science’ is whacked, sold-out, and feeding you lies. As a famous battery commercial once said, ‘Go ahead. I dare Ya.’

  18. Dang, I can’t seem to get my comment to post, did I use a dirty word like, Dr. Mercola? Is it verboten here?
    I’ll try one more time. … You know, ‘they’ do say people have control behind the scenes of what is allowed to be posted on the Internet and what is not. This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed certain words and phrases weren’t allowed to be posted on the Internet. Funny, that.

  19. Maybe it’s due to some kind of, ‘cross-talk’? I don’t know (I worked my butt off today and am tired as all-get-out, can you relate?) but here’s take three:

    Rokflyer says: ‘Whew, this article is way too much.’ …

    Yes, of course, by all means – ignore the Fair Warning.

    In the past I would have raised a counter-argument to Rokflyer’s perspective and tried to use reason and facts and posted links to enlighten Rokflyer and Joe. Since that time, I’ve begun to think their attitude is a good thing. The word, ‘winnow’ comes to mind, as I’m not getting a Freedomista vibe from those comments, at all.

    I think I just had a second epiphany this week. (The first being, how so many people are attached to, ‘The Apparatus’ like it’s a infallible god or a pacifier.) Thanks for that, Rokflyer! I do hope you, and those of your persuasion, come around, however; I might be A-ok if you don’t, as you seem to be wrapped in The Illusion and unable to un-suck yourself from it all. …Enjoy the ride while it lasts. Prepping isn’t, ‘everything’.

    And, as NOT ME says: ‘So rewrite it and submit it the way YOU think it should be . . .
    Let us compare . . .’

    Yah, I’m still shaking my head at this bit, ‘a new spin on common sense preparation.’ Yeesh, Janet W. did a pretty good job of outlining what worked for humans for 5000 plus years, then along comes, ‘Joe-blow’ and his band, ‘the naysyaers’ calling it all, ”a new spin on common sense preparation.’ Psft.

    Janet W. doing what looks like close to an 80/20 thing – and the Paleo and Primal lifestyle – Rocks! Thank goodness it’s catching on. I noticed the subject has its own section on an end cap at a major bookstore chain in my city. People are wising up in spite of those who suckle The Apparatus of the technocrats. Let this be a wake-up call.
    Search the names; Jon Rappoport, Dr. Mercola, Bill Sardi or Mark Sisson if you want to get a glimpse of how, ‘science’ is whacked, sold-out, and feeding you lies. As a famous battery commercial once said, ‘Go ahead. I dare Ya.’

  20. Yup, I hit refresh three times and my comment wont appear, no cuss words, no links, wow.

    All I get is creeped out by that image of the u.s. soldier turned into Darth Vader’s Storm Troopers in the upper right hand corner.

    I hope it’s just some kind of Lag.

  21. OhioPrepper says:

    it becomes more and more clear that our lifestyles are contributing much more to our health (or lack of it) than anything else

    I agree with this; however, I don’t think the culprit can be laid on our processed food as much as other factors.
    White rice and potatoes are not necessarily bad for you as long as you include other things like beans, small amounts of lean meat, and as many fresh or frozen vegetables as you can afford.

    What were they doing back then that we aren’t doing now?

    This is I think a simple one, and the answer is real work. Going back even a few generations’ people did physical labor and were in good shape. My FIL was a farmer and had bacon and eggs for breakfast most of his life, with the exception perhaps on some Sundays when the family splurged and bought pastries. By some standards his culinary habits were not very good; but, as a farmer, he was always active working with animals or in the fields, planting, harvesting, etc.
    In his late 60’s we would go hunting together and although he move slowly, he often outlasted those of us who were younger from the standpoint of stamina.
    Even those who try to get more exercise to be more healthy can be seen trying to get the close parking space so they con’t have to walk far into the building to exercise.
    Obesity, especially among our youth, has IMO more to do with lack of real physical education and too much electronics (games, phones, computers) than with diet. As a kid I ate like a horse and likes soda and pastries like any kid; but, my days were spent outside running or hiking in the woods and I was not at all fat.
    A local ham doctor friend and I were discussing this very thing a few days ago and he mentioned how many of the things we had on the old playground are gone, such as the monkey bars. Between the lawyers and those who want to protect our little fragile children, we are coddling them to an early fat death.

    With the prepper movement catching on, I’ve purchased some of the bargains for long term storage food, and although most of it looks to be nutritious enough, many of these products do contain a lot of sodium. This in itself isn’t necessarily bad; but, must be noted and acknowledged.

    In short, I think our couch potato and cubicle dweller lifestyle, along with too much fast food is much more detrimental than many of the foods we eat, per. se.
    One heeds only to note the both Wendy’s and McDonalds do offer fruits and salads. We only need to choose the healthier option.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      One additional thing I forgot in my initial points was medical science. We often read comments on this forum about large pharmaceutical companies that pursue profit above all else, and that we should all be looking to herbals for our healing efforts. While herbals can and do have a place, prior to 1928 and the discovery of penicillin, followed by subsequent additional antibiotics, our mortality often killed us before things like cancer could do us in.
      I was joking with a doctor friend and told her that many of our major diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, etc. were the result of modern medical science. She asked what kind of conspiracy I was trying on her, and when I explained, she wholeheartedly agreed.
      In the mid to late 1800’s, a 16 year old farm boy who got hurt in the barn, would often develop tetanus or sepsis from an infection. Today a tetanus shot or an antibiotic keeps that 16 YO alive, where he lives into his 80’s and succumbs to other diseases like cancer or Alzheimer’s.
      Again, this is a many faceted problem and simply pointing to our food supply, doesn’t really cover all of the issues.
      Many of the problems we see especially in old age, is that we now live long enough to encounter those maladies.

  22. I am highly suspect, of anything I can’t make in my kitchen. The strange things in our food, are there because we have the best government money can buy. Big paid for government, has encouraged industrial farming and industrial food processing. I need to get some American Guinea Hogs; a small, docile, old time lard hog. They can be raised largely, on pasture. I trust lard.

  23. mom of three says:

    I’m bad I do get Crisco, but… I only use it in pies, or an occasional frying chicken. Pies, I make three times a year chicken, just a couple of time’s too. I will look into other oil’s, and lard. I agree we are getting fatter because people are getting lazy and eating seveal meals out a week and not making it special anymore . I read most of the ingredients, on the food I buy. We are blessed to have meat that is locally raised, same with fruit, and berries. It comes down to moderation, and choices. I believe that our genes come into play too we are exercising as much and tablets, computers, and phone’s take up alot of time if we don’t control it..

  24. I have been reading everyone’s reply/posting and everyone makes good points in one way or another. I do not discount the original post at all but only say that “one shoe doesn’t fit all.” She had lots of good info. and points. The trick is how to balance out what you need, can do, according to location, availability of goods, age, health and other factors. I do suspect that a lot of preppers are maxing out their credit cards on the advice or strength o what others post as the “right way” to prep. We-all of us need to discern who we are and where we wish to one or two years from now. I fault no one in their quest for security and or survival, but sometimes think preppers tend to take it to the extreme. Peacefully waiting for any backlash.

  25. The article is good as far as it goes. I agree, do your own research, but I will also suggest you research your sources. Everybody has an agenda. Snake Oil Salesmen are naturally going to use their “research” to bad mouth Big Pharma and Vice-verse.
    As noted by another poster, 100 years ago, people didn’t live long enough to die from “modern” diseases. 100 years ago “Consumption” was a leading cause of death.
    My one big concern with the article is that it has very little to do with a major SHTF and nothing to do with TEOTWAWKI. Buying fruit and veggies from a mail order organic farmers market is not going to be an option. Filling your freezer with organic free range meat from the farmer down the road is also not likely to happen.

  26. BC said as long as there is good bacon and beer he will survive. Lol
    Thanks for all of the good links. I have a lot of farms near me that sell meat and veggies and I may have to check these out more.

  27. You make a lot of excellent points, but some inaccuracies detract from the article. The leading cause of death in 1925 was heart disease, per the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/lead1900_98.pdf). Heart attacks were not rare, surviving heart attacks were much more rare.

    Diabetes isn’t listed as a cause of death in 1925, but it still was likely prevalent. Those people weren’t dying at young ages for no reason.

    • No one in my family dies of heart attacks, so it probably isn’t relevant to my family. I will never know what would have taken my uncle if he had not died in an industrial accident at age 16 in 1918. He would probably died of cancer like his brother, my father. My great uncle on the other side of the family died at one year in 1900 of typhoid or cholera, forgot which. We have child labor laws, OSHA, and sanitation standards to prevent these type deaths now.

      F00d definitely plays a role in health–variety of food, free from pesticides, and good choices. I may die of a few of my food storage choices, but I am betting on canned chicken rather than Spam. Actually, my hen eggs are the better bet.


  28. Chuck Findlay says:

    The to thrive rather than merely survive idea is almost all about your outlook on life.

    I went through a motorcycle accident (broke every limb I had, broke LOTS of bones, scraped off a lot of skin, to this day {26-years later} the pain and discomfort is still there on a daily bases.) and was not able to work for over 6-months. I lost a job because of not being able to work.

    My wife walked out just after the accident, taking my son with her.

    I lost a home that took both of our incomes to pay for. (Made a promise to myself that I would NEVER buy a home again that I personally could not pay for, and to never go into debt again.)

    It was a very unpleasant and painful time in my life that I don’t want to ever go through again. But even at the low times (and it was a low time) in my life I was still able to get by and even enjoy things.

    I got out of camping when I got married because we bought a home and I needed to work. Also it was a fixer-upper home. I liked doing the work, but it bit into hobbies like camping and target shooting. Not blaming the wife for this as it’s what we both wanted, a nice home.

    But when she left, I could not work I had time on my hands so I got back into camping and target shooting. I took my son with me (on the weekends I got to see him) and we both really enjoyed the camping. Even at a low point I was able to enjoy life, I think many of us are afraid of change, and really afraid of a downward change in our ecnomic status. Having lived through it I am not at all afraid of a downturn in the economy at all. I know I will survive it and even be able to still enjoy life.

    I think a big part of the fear people have about the prospect of a down-turned economy is the debt they have and the idea that they won’t be able to survive debt and could have everything they own (or rather the bank owns) taken away.

    Being out of debt is one of the most important survival things there is. Debt is slavery that ties you to the system and a job and gives you few options that a debt free person has.

    If there is civil unrest and you have a lot of debt over your head you will go to work because you have debts that must be paid. You will end up going to and from work exposing yourself to danger that you may not otherwise be exposed to. Also you leave your family to fend for themselves while you are busy making money to pay debts.

    But a person with no debt can bug-out or even weather the storm in-place at home and likely be out of the line of fire.

    And for an extended bad ecnomic event (like the 1930’s depression) you can live a more stress-free life (and therefore) much happier life if you don’t have to work all the time to then have to give it all away to the banker. You can do things that bring enjoyment to your life.

    A lot of people lost their farms during the 1930’s, farms they owned outright and not in debt. The reason was taxes were still require to be paid on them. Not trusting that the US dollar will always be valued as it is now, I have planned for this by putting up a lot of silver that I can turn into cash for taxes if needed. Again having a home is a deciding factor on your ability to thrive rather than merely survive.

    Outlook on life is everything.

    I think it was Einstein that said “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.”

    I intend to (and do) react in a positive way that improves my life. Decide today that you will prosper (and take action to make it happen) and it’s likely you will do just that.

    As far as food there is an ever increasing number of people on the planet, so I don’t exactly buy into the idea that our food is killing us. As stated above, getting out and doing things (or not getting out) is a big factor.

    Health care is another area of concern that could go away in a bad SHTF situation and effect your health and outlook on life. But with some planning you can greatly improve your chances of remaining healthy.

    Learn about modern medical practices (get books on it) buy medical supplies.

    Learn about herbs and stock up on them right along with modern meds and you should be able to handle many med issues.

    Watch U-Tube videos (and download them for off-line viewing and also burn them to a DVD so you have a safe EMP resistant copy) of medical and herbal content so you can look at them later if needed. No one can remember or learn everything, but having a video library could be a life saving thing. Video library’s are nice in that they are heavy in content and at the same time take up little space.

    A $50.00 solar panel and an old laptop (probably free as no one wants old computers) can give you the ability to view electronic content even post-EMP.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Another thing I do but didn’t touch on above to making a person happy is making money. It’s a fact of life that we all need money, and come SHTF that will not change.

      Figuring out how to make money in a bad economy will make your outlook on life much better.

      I have found a few ways to do this. One being is to be self-employed as a handyman / home repair guy. Post-SHTF things are still going to need repair. I also strive to always learn new skills, get more tools (many bought used) and come up with ways to make money that don’t require a boss that for sure doesn’t have my best interest at heart.

      Not everyone can be self-employed, or at least think they can be self-employed. So try to come up with other ways to make money.

      I buy a lot of things at garage sales, thrift stores, and even pick up wood furniture off the curb that needs a bit of repair.

      Every week I find things that I can sell for a profit. I have a rule that things have to sell for at least 3-x what I bought them for so I don’t waste time just moving things around without putting money in my pocket.

      I have a workshop (it’s called a garage) to repair things, but a lot of things I repair in the house at a desk I have set up as a workstation.

      All the things I buy, repair if needed and re-sell are off-grid (handyman work is on-grid) and basically works as a SHTF income. I feel this adds to my surviving and enjoying life as like everyone I need money. Not as much money as most people, but I still need it.

      I see very little mention (as in pretty much ZERO) of the need to have money post-SHTF. But think about how many times you pull out the card and swipe it or reach for some dollar bills.

      That need for money will be there when it hits the fan. I don’t understand why people don’t think about this important issue. But it doesn’t seem to be on the prepper list of concerns, it may be that people just don’t have any idea how to make money other then going to work every day and slaving away for a boss man?

      I see a lot of talk about barter, but for the most part this is a prepper fantasy. Barter is not easy because it’s really difficult to have the item the other person wants or needs while at the same time they have what you want. This is why money was invented and it’s very handy stuff.

      DO NOT underestimate the need for money. And come up with a way to make it that will work post-SHTF. You may not need as much of it as you do now so your income stream (s) will not need to produce what your jobs do (Again debt comes into play with your need for large amounts of money.) so even a modest income may work for you. Don’t just come up with one way to make money, come up with as many as you can. A doz of them or more is a number to shoot for, I have at least that many.

      Plumbing, electrical, bathroom, kitchen remodeling, installing doors, windows, painting (for some reason people don’t like to paint even when it’s easy and simple), pretty much everything in a home or a rental property I fix.

      Welding, auto repair, making wood furniture, repairing wood furniture, repairing appliances, and the buying and reselling of things from garage sales. I’m sure I missed several things I do to make money. While any one of these may not provide a big income (example I could not live as only a plumber because I only do it every 10-days or so) but all of them together keeps me much busier then I really want. I have trouble getting all the work people call me to do. I don’t think that will be the case post-SHTF, but I think I will do better then most people as I have built a reputation (and a client base of people that call me) for getting things done.

      • Chuck,
        You remind me of my father and brother with your many areas of expertise or skills. I told a friend that no one with me would ever starve to death or even be hungry. The reply was, “That’s for sure.” I have food of all sorts and can cook anything. Plus, I can sew, make, or repair any type of clothing. I can make patterns and have a ton of material and supplies. I know it all sounds like “just woman’s work,” but it complements what many guys can do. Of course, a man can mend clothes, too, but not on the scale I can. Yes, I have made money at sewing, altering, and all manner of plain and fancy sewing, even wedding dresses and my undergarments. Since my car and house are paid off, my monthly bills are all I have. No one can repossess anything I have, but I suppose I could get my electricity turned off.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          No one can repossess anything I have, but I suppose I could get my electricity turned off.

          Yes they can, the government can take your home if you don’t pay the tax on it.

          This is why I mentioned a nest egg of silver that I can convert to the cash of the day to pay taxes if needed.

          During the 1930’s people lost their farms and homes to taxes.

          Plan for this so you can survive it in your home and not be thrown out of it.

  29. Barbara Torres says:

    This is some great information. Thank you!
    I would love to have your recipe for your dog food.

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