This guest post is by Janet W and entry in our non-fiction writing contest .
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 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/
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/ ).
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
This contest will end on August 7 2012 – prizes include:
First Place : 1 Year Subscription to AlertsUSA, 1 Radiation Safety Package consisting of the following; (1) NukAlert Radiation Monitor and Alarm (5) Radsticker Peel and Stick Dosimeters (1) Box Thyro Safe Potassium Iodide. All courtesy of AlertsUSA. A $150 gift certificate for Federal Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo. And a British Berkefeld water fillter system courtesy of LPC Survival. A total prize value of over $700.
Second Place : A six pack Entrée Assortment courtesy of Augason Farms, a Nukalert courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply and a WonderMill Grain Mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $550.
Third Place : A copy of each of my books “31 Days to Survival” and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of The Survivalist Blog dot Net and “Kelly McCann’s Inside the Crucible Set” courtesy of Paladin Press. A total prize value of over $200.
Contest ends on August 7 2012.