Store What You Eat - Eat What You Store!
Wise advice for anyone who wants to put a little food by for those times when you may need it.
Unfortunately, Big Macs don't keep too well. And many times when you may need this food, the power may be out also, and without a good alternative energy system, there goes the fridge and freezer. If the time of year is right, you may be able to live off the garden, if you have one. Or perhaps you have an all-year greenhouse! Or many of you have domesticated livestock that can be butchered and preserved in a variety of ways.
But no matter which way you look at it, all of this preparation takes space, time, money and energy-resources that are sometimes in short supply.
It is imperative in these times we live in that you have at least a 2 weeks supply of food and water on hand at all times (preferably much more); there should be absolutely no excuses on this point.
So where do you start???
There are many great articles right here in the Rubicon itself for you to persue; everything from a simple storage system to an all-year stockpile program. All worth reading and implementing to whatever degree fits your lifestyle.
Personally, I would recommend that every single time you go shopping, you buy at least one extra can or dry good of whatever you are getting at the time. It doesn't cost that much extra and you will be surprised at how quickly your back-up food supply will start building up; you'll be putting in those extra pantry shelves in no time :)
I'd also recommend you splurge when you can afford it and get that case or 2 of MRE's'; they sure can come in handy when you need a quick, easy-to-pack meal.
If there is a food discount warehouse in your area where you can get your food by the case, I'd start budgeting in a 3, 6 or 1 year buying spree; it will definitely cut down on the monthly grocery bill in the long run; Put that next Christmas Bonus to good use.
Which brings us back to Store What You Eat-Eat What You Store.
I've come up with a few criteria I use for long-term storage of our food supply.
Whatever we do decide to store must be . . .
* Suitable for long-term dry storage, in case we don't have power
* It must be things that we normally eat, or we won't use it
* It must be high in nutrient value, for our health in the long and short terms
* It must be relatively easy to prepare
* It must be economical to acquire so we don't break the bank
* It must be preparable using more primitive methods
And this is one reason I really like wheat and other grains as part of our long-term food storage program; it fits very nicely into the criteria I have established above.
- I buy all of my wheat by the 50 Lb bag for around $10 from my local feed store; it is human consumable and a Hard Red Winter variety grown in Colorado; a 50 Lb bag will feed our family of four a variety of meals for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner for around 3 weeks, which works out to around .10 Cents a day per person-pretty darn economical. (though we actually just use it in a few meals a day-it isn't our main food source, but could be if we needed it to).
- It is very easy to store; I get the 5 gallon plastic food containers with sealable lids from our local Jalepeno packing plant for .65 cents each-these are used, food-grade containers. Look at your local restaurant supply for used pickle buckets, etc. I pour my wheat in and add some diatomaceous earth (get it at your garden store) to keep out any insects; works fine, though you can also use other storage methods if desired. Only thing we do have to do before use is wash it off, which we do anyway.
- It is highly nutritious. High in protein, calcium, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin and when you sprout it, it is very high in Vitamins, A, C and Chlorophyll. When combined with some Pinto Beans it makes a complete protein. It is a natural, live, nutritious food and beats overpriced, over-refined, over-chemicalized boxed or canned foods hands-down, when it comes to health concerns.
- It is easy to prepare in a variety of ways (which we will get into later) and if you have a heat source or a way to sprout it, all you really need is a little bit of water.
But . . . To really make use of it, you do have to make it a part of your lifestyle. If you have wheat set aside and don't normally eat it, the first thing you are going to notice is a drastic change in your digestive system. It is very high in fiber and most of you know what this can do. It normally takes 2 weeks to 1 month for your body to adjust, so start off slow. Some people are also allergic to wheat and its by-products; definitely not what you want to find out in times of Stress. (if you are allergic, try Spelt- another good grain).
When most people think of wheat for storage, they immediately think of bread. But there are so many other ways to prepare it. Hopefully, I can get you to take a look at incorporating a whole wheat, inexpensive, nutritious diet as part of your everyday eating patterns.
In this series of articles, I will go into a little bit more detail about the preparation and many varied uses of this marvelous food!