Food Storage for the Clueless by Clark L. KiddMore like 2 1/2 stars, but Ill round up because the authors do manage to insert a sense of humor into whats really a pretty dull topic.
I was hesitant to admit to reading this because I dont want to contribute in any way to that special brand of crazy the authors refer to as siege preparation. As Ive said many times, if anarchy reigns and were to the point of shooting each other over a tin of pork and beans, Im not interested in being around anyway. On the other hand, I am a fan of what the authors call practical storage. I just didnt have a name for it.
Im certainly no stranger to having a full pantry. We used to wonder if my mother starved to death in a past life because of the amount of food she kept on hand. We had a walk-in pantry, the biggest available consumer refrigerator, and two HUGE freezers packed to bursting. When room gave out, she started putting food under the beds and in my grandmothers freezer. This was for three people. It was beyond weird. I remember as a teenager as visiting friend gaping wide-eyed at our pantry and saying, Is your family Mormon? Nope, just operating under the neurosis of a food hoarder.
The thing is, when practiced in moderation and with some strategy behind it, the practical stockpile will get you through an lean period. The Hunger Games may be fiction (for now), but in just the last few years, Ive seen an ice storm close down the town and knock out power for 3 days and Ive known periods of zero income due to job loss or illness that have lasted as much as a year. Recently, an emergency meant no income for a couple of months. Thanks to things like a stocked pantry of versatile ingredients and my own (possibly inherited) obsession about never having less than a couple dozen rolls of TP in the house, we were not reduced to forming looting gangs or trolling the streets with assault weapons in search of weaker humans from whom to extort ramen noodles or dish soap. We may have had to get creative with meals as the pantry thinned out, but it wasnt traumatic. What it did, however, was get me to thinking about how to get smarter with my pantry because we dont eat a lot of packaged foods, and fresh veggies dont keep very long. When I saw this book pop into the librarys acquisitions, I thought it might have some tips about how to store food people might actually want to eat and how to work it into rotation without resorting to either re-enacting The Long Winter from the Little House books where they spent hours a day hand-grinding wheatberries to keep from starving OR eating a lot of Crap-a-roni. And it does...to a point.
The authors, who are LDS and thus practice food storage as part of their religion, take a lot (and by that I mean most) of the hard information from on-line resources such as FEMA, USDA, and the University of Utah website. Truth told, those sites probably have the information better organized and easier to use because the formatting in this e-books charts was awful. What the authors add is some humor and a lot of anecdotes about their many blunders as they learned about food storage. They also add some good arguments for considering practical storage over the siege mentality and point out various problems with certain practices: rancidity, vermin, container breakdown, usability under duress, etc. One of the things I knew about but have seldom seen mentioned in preparedness information is the fact that people under stress are less likely to eat any old thing just to get calories and will actually refuse food that isnt familiar to them. That old chestnut about how someone will eat anything if they are hungry enough? Not always true.
Perhaps three of the most useful takeaways from the authors are these:
1. If you dont know how to use something or cant use it, it doesnt do you any good. All the dried beans and wheatberries in the world arent going to help if you have no way to grind them, dont know how to cook them, dont have enough water to soak them, or are allergic to them.
2. Stuff goes bad. Cans rust, plastic breaks down, oils go rancid, flours (yep, ALL of it) contains eggs and/or larvae. (What? You didnt know this? You just thought I was nuts that I put all my grain in the freezer for three days after buying it? Jokes on you. Youve been eating weevil eggs all this time and didnt know it. Dont believe me? Google granary weevils.)
3. If you dont have water, very little else is going to do you much good for long. I admit this is where I utterly fail and being emergency-ready. We refuse to pay a buck a bottle for essentially the same thing that comes out of the tap, so I never have bottled water in the house. We use a Britta pitcher and call it good. If our water were to be compromised, wed be screwed. Considering the big ol quake fault line that runs near here, not smart.
I cant say I found anything in the book I didnt already know. I cant even say it changed how Ill stock in the future because were trying to eat more fresh foods, not less, and the idea of having to work a bunch of dehydrated or canned stuff into our meals is counterproductive to our everyday goals. Im probably take their advice on the water and some of the freezer tips. Thats about it. (Oh, and it did explain the LDS apparent obsession with fruit leather and Jell-o.)
There was other stuff that just made me do an eye-roll. The buy bulk! tip is great if your religion says breed as many kids as you can, but pretty useless for small families. And, to be fair, the authors admit that if the stuff is just going to go bad before you use it, there is zero savings.) The use coupons! tip is a non-starter unless you live on junk food or buy a ton of heavily perfumed cleaning stuff. I find maybe one coupon every six months for something we buy. Not a lot of coupons out there for broccoli or chicken. To the tip about making sure you have a backup supply of medication on hand, I ask, Have you ever TRIED to get insurance to approve that? Hell, our insurance company wouldnt even approve a refill a week early when we were going out of town. So, your mileage on their tips may vary, especially if you eat a lot of packaged foods, love canned soups, and arent on expensive meds.
The LDS have been doing this food storage thing for a long time, so at least on paper have a handle on it. I may not agree with any part of their theology, but I admit I respect their organizational skills. The practice of a 72-hour kit is brilliant. Accepting that the word emergency could as easily mean a illness or unemployment as it does an earthquake or
HOW TO—Get Started Storing Food Today
Food Storage Starter Kit
Food Storage. I get a lot of questions about preparedness through comments on my blog, on Facebook posts, and via email. And for good reason! Today, I want to clear up any confusion and make it clear that these facilities are a fantastic resource for anyone and everyone seeking to build up their food storage! Each LDS Cannery was a location where anyone could go to self-can their own long term food storage on site.
Home storage centers help Church members and others build a basic supply of food for their longer-term home storage needs. Several prepackaged items are.
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What can I buy at a Home Storage Center?
The starter kit, which can be obtained at any of the Church's home storage centers, provides basic food necessities to have in times of adversity. Many members throughout the U. For decades, the Church has been operating canneries—now known as home storage centers—to help provide affordable resources to individuals and families striving to become more self-reliant.
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Find a location and view hours. Home storage centers help Church members and others build a basic supply of food for their longer-term home storage needs. You may want to download copies of the home storage center order form for reference or for preparing your order. Sale prices are in Home Storage Centers only and last for 2 months. Please contact your local Home Storage Center for additional information about the current sale items. All items, except 25 pound bulk bags, can only be returned or exchanged within 90 calendar days after purchase. Bulk items cannot be returned or exchanged.