Picking Efficient Food For Prepping, Food Storage, and Survival

Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course and UrbanSurvivalPlayingCards.com.

Hopefully you had a wonderful Christmas and have had a chance for some down time between Christmas and New Year’s.

There were a couple of questions/comments last week on what I like to call “food efficiency.”  I’m going to briefly prime the pump on this topic today, invite comments, and write more on it if there is enough interest.

In short, if you eat foods that your body can burn and use efficiently, you don’t need to eat as much.  In the case of storing food for emergency situations, it also means that you don’t need to buy or store as much.

One example of this concept that many people recognize is the difference between low quality and high quality dog food.  When people switch from feeding their dogs low quality food to high quality food, one of the first things they notice is how much less poop there is to pickup.  This is because their dog is able to use and digest more of the food and there is less food waste that they need to pass.

What makes food efficient?  How do you absorb as much benefit as possible from the food you eat?  There’s a few factors…and they’re different from person to person.  This topic gets REALLY complex in a hurry, but the following factors will address the majority of the issue.

  1. Complexity of the food
  2. Glycemic index
  3. Enzymes
  4. Allergies
  5. Bacteria
  6. Bio availability

1.   Complexity of the food.  Foods that have more complex structures require more digestive energy to break down into usable components.  From a pure calorie/energy perspective, some foods take more calories to digest than they provide.  Lobster is one of these…so if you would try to live off of nothing but lobster, you’d slowly starve to death.  In general, protein requires more calories to digest than fats, which require more calories to digest than sugars.  Protein has other benefits besides calories, so the fact that it is more complex doesn’t mean that you should avoid it.

2.  Glycemic index & insulin response.  The glycemic index is a measure of how rapidly carbohydrates break down into glucose.  Foods with a high glycemic index break down rapidly and foods with a low glycemic index break down more slowly.

This is important because if your blood glucose levels get too high or rise too quickly, your pancreas will release insulin to regulate your blood sugar levels.  The problem with this is that the pancreas usually over reacts, releases too much insulin and causes blood sugar levels to drop lower than they were to start with.

Most people understand this intuitively and know that when they eat high fructose corn sweetener or refined sugarcane they get quick energy and then quickly drops off.  But if they have fruits and whole wheat bread, their energy levels go up nice and slow and stay level for hours.

3.  Enzymes.  Enzymes are very complex and amazing structures that can cause chemical reactions to happen more or less quickly.  In relation to food, enzymes break complex food particles down so that the intestines can extract as many nutrients as possible from them.

Different people make different enzymes at different rates and it causes the body to spend more/less calories digesting particular foods. So, it might take me 80 calories to digest and extract 100 calories from a meal that only takes you 30 calories to digest.

If you can figure out which foods your body is efficient at digesting, your eating becomes much more efficient. Also, many raw foods contain some of the natural enzymes required to digest them. When you cook them, you kill some/all of the enzymes and put more of the stress of digestion on your gut and causing you to get fewer net calories.  One free tool you can use to figure out the foods that are best for you is from my friend, Dr. Joe Mercola.  You can use it by going to: nutritionaltyping.mercola.com/PreTest.aspx

Enzymes are temperature sensitive and are killed off by cooking.  Many people, as a result, have switched over to a “raw” food diet.  Personally, we do cook a lot of our food, but we supplement with enzymes to take some of the strain of digestion off of our bodies. This, in turn, causes the food to “burn” more efficiently, which takes some of the load odd of our livers.

4.  Allergies. If your body identifies a particular food as a threat, then you won’t be able to digest it as efficiently as someone who’s body doesn’t identify it as a threat.  In fact, the reaction could cause your body to rapidly expel the contents of your gut, cause general inflammation, or even kill you.

5.  Bacteria in the gut.  With the help of enzymes, bacteria in your gut break down the food that you eat into forms that your body can use for building, repair, energy, and other chemical reactions.  Your gut has both good bacteria and bad bacteria in it.  It’s good to minimize bad bacteria and maximize good bacteria to get the most benefit from your food.  A couple of things that will kill the bacteria in your gut are antibiotics and Sucralose (Splenda.)  This lack of good bacteria will cause you to extract less from your food and have more waste.

In addition to avoiding things that kill good bacteria in our guts, we also take probiotics to keep our good bacteria levels high.

6.  Bio-availability.  This has more to do with supplements than it does with food, but it’s still important.  One of the best explanations of this is in Dr. Michael Colgan’s book, “Optimum Sports Nutrition.”  Dr. Colgan became relatively famous in the late 80s and early 90s by showing Olympic athletes how to achieve steroid-like performance gains without destroying their bodies.  My copy is 16 years old and WELL worn.  In it, he talks about the various forms of calcium, how much calcium is in that form, and how well the body absorbs it.

As an example, calcium carbonate is 40% calcium (60% carbon and oxygen) and only 39% of that calcium gets absorbed.  So, if you take 1000 mg of calcium carbonate, you’re actually only getting 1000x.40x.39=156mg calcium.

Calcium citrate is 21% calcium and 30% is absorbed.  Calcium lactate is 14% calcium and 27% gets absorbed.  This issue of bio-availability is present with every vitamin and mineral you take.

What happens to the rest of the pill?  Your body has to process it which puts stress on your liver, kidney, and other organs…all of which takes energy.

This is why I am continually pounding the drum for people to buy food that they already eat for their food storage.  And, if you want to buy pre-packaged long term food storage, to be darn sure that the food is compatible with your particular digestive system before you buy hundreds of meals.

This would be a great time for any nutritionists, biologists, or even chemists to chime in with either more technical explanations, expanded explanations of the factors mentioned, or other factors that I didn’t address by commenting below.

If you have a few bucks and a few minutes today or this weekend, check out your local stores for bargains on LED Christmas lights.  I picked up a few 50 light, 7.2 watt sets for $2-$3 apiece at Home Depot on Sunday.  (People who follow me at www.Facebook.com/SurvivalDave got this tip early this week and snatched up several sets apiece.)

Have a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve!

David Morris
SurviveInPlace.com / UrbanSurvivalPlayingCards.com

About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.

Comments

  1. AussieDave says:

    I am in a remote area of Outback Australia and therefore need to be partially self sufficient and also to be prepared in case the supply lines are cut, which in not an unusual occurance. I have found that there are some great foods that are high in nutrition, easy to prepare and store well.
    These include a type of grain/seed called quinoa. This cooks like rice, has all of the amino acids in it, makes a great base for a meal (like rice or potatos would).
    Chia seeds. The food with the highest concentration of essential Omega 3 fatty acids. This is like a dry grain, add to smoothies, cerials, sprinkle on salads, bake into the bread mix.
    Rice. Quality basmati rice is an excellent product to have on hand. Not particularly high in nutrition but great to put bulk into the stomach, especially for kids who do not understand food shortages and why they are hungry. Also spins out other foods you might have, like rabbit stew (or here Roo stew).
    Sprouts. Any sort of sprouts, alfalfa, mung bean, etc. You can have fresh sprouts within 2 or 3 days, great source of vitamins.
    Wheatgrass, easy to grow, plenty of antixidants, yopu do need a grinder/press to extract the juice and I recomend a hand juicer (works anywhere, with or with out power)
    Instead of manufactured vitamins (and please do research Codex Alimentarius David, The American Woman is on to this, see what Dr Rima Laibow has to say about this on youtube), I use sprouts and wheatgrass as stated above, but also substitute with a couple different types of dried seaweed. Natural products are easier to digest and assimilate than manufactured synthetic vitamins, and do less damage to the body as well.
    What I do is buy in bulk and use a sunbeam vac/sealer and bag down the products into say 4-meal quantities. I then get sealable plastic drums and place in them a months supply of food, not all of the same thing, but a variety of foods that with the addition of say water, will feed one person for 1 month. It also has some spices, mineralised rock salt, organic pepper corns, rolled oats cereal, etc, so you can make some decent meals. I also have brewers yeast, lecethin maca powder and other natural products to supplement the vitimin requirements.
    This way if one drum gets damaged, waterlogged or vermin infested I lose just 1 months supply, not all of one particular thing. This also allows me to later sell or trade food without having to reveal my entire stash, I can stash drums in strategic logations or have individual stock piles etc.
    I also have a 22 and a 308 incase I need to get some meat, roo or brumby or camel around these parts, however I am a vegan and this is only for emergencies or for others.
    Just some thoughts.
    AussieDave

  2. An American Woman says:

    Stock up on vitamins & Different supplements NOW…

    The new Food Bill is written, to make supplements and vitamins disappear. Soon it will be against the LAW to “sell or buy” vitamins & mega supplements–to the general public… You will Have to have a prescription for them (if that is allowed) and the cost will then be outrageous…

    The progressive part of the government wants to (CONTROL the entire United States food supply) so eventually THEY can starve millions of us to death! The same way it was done in RUSSIA & Germany and many other countries where the country was FORCED into a communist, socialist or even a dictatorship regime…

    • This is not necessarily true and I suggest that people do their research to see whether it is, in fact, written into the law or a theory extrapolated out like a loaded cornice of snow waiting to collapse.

  3. I so appreciate this ministry of yours, David, and the Christian perspective. One thing I really have trouble with is the secrecy of what I have gathered. I want to share with those who didn’t get the memo and trust that God will provide. However, I appreciate the wisdom and caution. Also, I went on the Mercola site and find it valuable only to get as healthy as possible for the current times, before the shoe drops, since it requires one to eat very healthy, fresh meat and vegetables, and raw dairy. That won’t be possible once things get tough. But there’s no reason not to buffer our bodies as much as we can while we have that chance. It’s a challenge to live in both worlds, however, especially with the rotation mindset.

    • Ann,

      You CAN share…and I believe Christians have a responsibility to share with those in need, but that doesn’t mean that you have to give openly. You can give food through your church, leave anonymous packages on doorsteps, and do other things to both help others and not put a target on yourself.

      As to trusting God…I don’t think that there is any more of an issue with being responsible and storing up food for future times than there is with being responsible and putting money in your retirement account. They’re simply 2 sides of the same coin.

      • Thank you David–I was referring to trusting God with the results of sharing with others, not always in a careful way. Having said that, I do see more and more the need to be smart about it. The garden making us a target has been on my mind, for sure, but I think I will still start some kind of garden for the interim of “just” runaway inflation, so we can still eat well as long as we can. Any thoughts on that strategy would be appreciated. Also, I am running out of room in my tiny house and wonder if I even can store enough.

        • Hey Ann,

          I’m not sure if you can ever store “enough.” You’ve just got to pick the number of weeks/months that you want to have food for. Stop when you hit it and reassess whether your time, efforts, and money would be better spent buying more food or spent on other items, training, or education.

  4. Get mobile! Simplify simplify simplify!

  5. Hey everybody, good to meet some folks who are interested in the realistic approach to survival. It’s out there for everybody, not just Rambo or mad max. Humans lived in so called survival situations for a much longer time than we have lived the way we do now. It’s only natural that we end up returning to a sustainable way of life that goes in accordance with the natural rhythms of life. Cannot keep taking more than we put back, will be very direct consequences for living this way.
    Anyway, off the soap box. I like having as many tools in my tool box as possible. Anything from wild edible medicinal plants to freeze dried foods to scavenging to MRE’s. When in a survival situation of any kind we will either give up or do whatever possible to overcome the situation at hand. Probably things that are not comfortable. Preparing myself mentally as well as physically and spiritually is very important. Do this however you choose but do it. Know thy self. Awareness is also key! Being aware of what is happening around you right now is important. Our instincts are the reason any of us are here today, learn how to feel out situations, places, and people that may be potential hazards or providers. Animals use their instincts to find water,shelter, available food, and safety on a daily basis. We too are part of that same life cycle. We just have to sharpen those tools of awareness and instincts that have been dulled by modern conveniences. Look around you always. Become aware of things you take for granted everyday. Imagine walking from your home to work or wherever it is that you go. Where is there food, water, safety. What if you had to do this without being seen, in daylight or night. We all played this game as kids, have fun with it. I don’t know what will or won’t happen. Whatever may be I wish you all safe travels and true happiness, maybe I’ll see ya out there on the road. We don’t need all these things any way. We need to know we aren’t alone and we need each other. Survival separates your Wants from your Needs, You best Want what you Need. Take care.

  6. David, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your site. I have finally convinced my “stubborn” wife to put a garden in this spring. She has always been against it for the beautiful lawn. I recently watched a show on the History channel called “After Armeggedon”. I highly recommend it. I’m relieved to know that I’m not alone in my prepper thinking. Thanks again!

  7. One last comment before I start packing for the trip back to Southern California.

    Do NOT eat potato sprouts or any part of the potato that is green. Best case, you get very sick, worst case you die.

    Speaking of potatoes; I forgot add that to the list of supplies. You can get #10 cans of potato flakes at Smart and Final. Be sure to get the one that only require water to reconstitute.

    God bless you and your plans

  8. Ok, David….here is some food for thought. In a previous discussion, it was indicated that we have roughly 72 hours worth of food on the shelves at any given time. Knowing that you live in Salt Lake City, I know that you most likely have a years supply of food in your cellar like any good Mormon. However, it seems that the majority here cannot say the same. Here’s the question(with additional parts added): With limited resources, limited space,limited funds, and most likely limited time given the scenarios which are playing out on a daily basis( no one knows when the ball will go up)…..what are some of the best possible suggestions to buy, prepare, store, preserve,and through some limited logistics decide which food sources most of us could acquire which could ensure our possible survival….granted this is a 50-50 shot at best and it’s difficult to say who makes it and who doesn’t, however, as the Boy Scout motto says,”BE Prepared!” Let’s get so adequate feedback and not prattle on the subject. Have everyone give their best detail for preparation and storage.

    • Jerry and All,
      David has already told you this, but it cannot be repeated too often. Start with the foods that you use every week. Stock up with a few extra cans of whatever you normally eat and rotate your stock (FIFO first in first out). When you are in survival mode DO NOT discard the fluids from your canned goods, use it to replenish your bodily fluids by either cooking with it or drinking it. If you have access to a Costco, Sam’s, or a Super Walmart (one with a food section) buy your supplies there. Both Costco and Sam’s have survival rations and will ship to most stateside addresses (buy online). MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are great and can be eaten hot or cold. They just take up a lot of space. Find them on line. Freeze dried and dehydrated are good, but require water for preparation. Speaking of which; get your water supply in hand. At a gallon of water per person per day this may pose a problem, but some is better than none. Remember if you have a tank type water heater, it holds a lot of water. There is a drain valve at the bottom; you may have to filter the scale out of the water.

      Oh, I just came back to add this section. I believe a good start is to buy (all of this from Costco) a 275 meal bucket, a bucket of rice, a bucket of pinto beans, a bucket of dry milk and a meat pack.

      David, I’m not trying to take anything away from your site, but here is an address for your readers to obtain more information and a source for long term food.
      www.patriotfood.com/Mountain_Man_Dehyd.html

      May the Lord bless you and keep you.
      May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious onto you.
      May the Lord lift up His countanence upon you and give you peace.

      JC

    • Jerry, don’t over think it. In WWII our military members ate canned rations for extended periods of time, in some cases years, with little or no health concerns. Same in Korea and Vietnam. Determine how many cans of what would get you through a day. Meat, vegitables, fruit, beans, Spam, or what have you. Avoid things that HAVE to be cooked or heated. Multiply that by number of days you want to store food for and go buy it. Buy a few GOOD can openers and a couple of cases of cheap bottled water and some snacks and you are all set. Get a radio and a few flashlights and extra batteries, and if the law and finances allow, a good .22 rifle and a box or two of ammunition. All of about $200 (the rifle and ammunition would add about another $200) and you are now more preparred than 75% of everyone you know. Other than the bottled water this will not take up much more room than a laundry basket. This is not the diet for a pro bodybuilder, or NFL Superstar, but will get you past the first couple of weeks of an emergency. Have you ever watched the TV show Survivor? The people there go 39 days on a hand full of beans or rice per day, and still do physical challenges. They all loose weight, but are still alive and well at the end of the show. On about day 21 most of them would think a cold can of Spam and a can of wax beans was a Christmas feast! I live in hurricane country and they told us for a week before Ike came in to get a few days food in the house in case stores were closed, or supplies low. I don’t think it was 10 minutes after the winds and rain stopped before there were people standing on the street crying for food and water because they didn’t make any efforts to prepare. Everything was back to normal in about 7-10 days, and if they had done like I said above, they wouldn’t have had a care in the world. Now if we are talking total melt down, “Beyond Thunderdome”, that’s a whole different kettle of fish.

      • Hey Rick,

        If you’ve got a stomach like a goat, then you’re in good shape. The soldiers that you mentioned oftentimes traded rations that they couldn’t eat for rations that they could…and that’s fine when you’re deployed with a group of guys.

        In an individual or family situation, you don’t really want to buy up a bunch of food that you’re not going to eat.

        In addition, if you figure out what kinds of “fuel” your body can burn most efficiently, you won’t have to spend nearly as much on food to last you the same amount of time.

        As an example, my gut doesn’t like onions. The end result is that meals that have onions in them go through my system less efficiently than meals that don’t have onions. It’s like burning dirty gas or gas with ethanol in it. It may get the job done, but it will take more to get the job done, the engine won’t run as well, and you end up with deposits that you have to take care of.

        • David, I agree with you. I didn’t say it was a perfect solution, just a $200 stop gap measure that will be FAR better than doing nothing. I ate MANY C-rations in the 70′s and then lots of MRE’s in the 80′s. When that was all we had they tasted better and better the more hungry you were. I would never say buy anything that you don’t like, but stock up on what you do like. I like green beans, corn, wax beans, peas, lima beans etc. Canned peaches, pears, fruit cocktail and such taste good also. I eat this now and always have, so in an emergency situation it wouldn’t be much different. Of course I have an unfair advantage over some because I have 20 cows in the pasture, a barn full of hay, a hog and a half in one freezer and a whole steer in another. We grow a big garden in the summer and can what we can’t use up fresh. My wife has really gotten to be quite the canner. We have a good clean well, generators, fuel, and lots of equipment on hand that others don’t. We have to be prepared at all times for power outages or else we don’t have water for people or animals, and freezers LOVE electricity. They told us after Hurricane Ike that we would be without power for 12 weeks. We got power back sooner than that, but we had to prepare for the worst. It was a GREAT test of our planning and skills. I can’t tell you how much my 20 years in the military (Army and Air Force) helped. That taught me to do more with less for longer periods of time than I ever thought I could. We are always a work in progress, and everyone else should be also. We are constantly adjusting our plan with each new lesson learned.

      • “Beyond Thunderdome” I think, is becoming more of a reality. If and when the bottom falls out, a lot of folks are going to take it in the teeth. I have a friend who feels that I’m in need of counseling because of my mind set. Yet, He has a house mortgage, 46 in flat screen he just bought with a blueray dvd player, a 2009 Honda Accord and a whole host of health problems which requires medications which strain his budget. His wife who has worked for Wally World for the past 10 years is facing a possible lay-off(she’s one of those full-time “overpaid”employees), he works as a security guard for the state and a few months ago…he said his county taxes may force him to lose his house. But I need counseling! Go figure……Welcome to the American mindset! I’ve downgraded my lifestyle since my bankruptcy 7 years ago and find living a lot easier! Fewer problems and less stress! I may not have a wife or kids, but that’s ok….fewer complications!

    • Hey Jerry,

      Your comment has funny timing. I just got an email from a guy in Ogden who was talking about how unprepared his Mormon neighbors are. In fact, according to their own internal stats, only 10-25% of regular Mormons have their year of food storage.

      It just goes to prove that it doesn’t pay to assume.

  9. Glenna Reeves says:

    Excelent letter, points out to me how much more I need to study.
    I went to Dr. Mercola’s site previously when you referenced it and got on the mailing list. I took the test and I am “MIXED” type. Now how do I apply that to my diet???
    You mention enzymes but what do you ask for when shopping? Just enzymes? What exactly should I look for? Iam taking probiotics and many other things. I am one of those people that spends $300 at a time usually when there is a good sale. I am started to stock lots of food supplements and I am watching the dates and rotating. Surprised to see your comment about Spenda, I am diabetic and use it for cooking. Have switched to Stevia for coffee and drinks.
    I am learning to garden in AZ and have lost lots of things to either heat or frost but I keep replanting. I have found some good seeds that I am starting to use and I want to learn how to save my own seeds. I saved some seeds from cantalope, watermelon and pepers that I bought in the store but I don’t know if those will be any good.
    My next big purchase will be a gun and lessons. I keep buying extras at the store and have found a Food Saver on a great sale that has been recommended. I bought rice in a large bag and need to break it down. Have not yet found a good source for buckets/lids that you recommended in your book. I bought the books you recommended before Christmas, my present to me!
    Thanks for all your advice. I especialy appreciate your Christian attitude.
    Have a happy, healthy, new year!

    • Glenna,
      Yea AZ. I’m sitting in Flag right now, 10 or 12 inches of snow 0 degrees.
      You’re the first to mention guns. I believe that every prepper should have one and be able to shoot, clean, and care for it/them. I have a safe full of them in Kalifornia and bring a couple with me to AZ. Before you buy a gun think about whether you will be able to kill with it. If you can’t bring yourself to kill an animal or a human threat then don’t waste your time and money on one. If you are set on getting a gun then I recommend your first one be a rifle chambered for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. Marlin makes a semi auto that I’ve seen selling in the $150 range. If you can afford one the Ruger 1022 is an accurate and reliable gun right out of the box. I have killed rabbits, squirrels, and even a couple of white tail deer with the .22LR. If your thinking about a shotgun, make it a 20 gauge. You get 75% of the power of a 12 gauge and only half the kick. And finally, find an NRA certified instructor for training and maybe if you’re lucky he will help you make an informed choice of firearms.
      Hope this helps.
      JC

      • Another good .22LR that can be considered would be one of the Henry Survival Rifles (AR-7). While they may only have 2 7 shot mags included, the best part about them is that you can disassemble the things and store everything short of extra ammo/mags in the stock, which also floats, which for those who are planning a possible bug out, this would totally fit into that category as far as guns are concerned.

        • Kudos MP…..I have an AR-7 Explorer rifle and a 12 Ga shotgun. The reason I chose these 2 is very simple: The ammo which runs out the quickest are 30-06, 308, 45, 44, 357, 38, 7mm, 9mm,….you get my drift. When ammo was scarce a couple of years ago, I was buying 22 and 12 without a problem. Keep in mind, when you are on the move….you can acquire 22 and 12 ammo in any little town with little difficulty. My friends make the argument that they don’t have the knockdown power when you face a crisis. As “Survivalist” of course, they plan to stand “their” ground “against all odds”. Years ago, my late father taught me that survival is just that…survival. Take evasive action and avoid confrontation…..live to see another day! Fight only when you no longer have a choice….when you are backed up against a wall. I’m a Native American, and how I see the coming crisis…it’s better to go to ground….then come up when the cordite clears the air. You can take a body count and then scrounge what you need. Always remember…whoever dies first…..we divy up your gear!(LOL)

          • Amen all the way, thats how I thought when it came to acquiring guns in the first place. Just about all the stuff I have is in common calibers that you can find in any chain store or like you say, in any small town store.

            I also think the same way with regards to confrotation, it wont make a lot of sense running head first into battles that may not make sense to fight in the first place. While I love guns and have a few military style guns, I choose not to make it the pinnacle of my “arsenal” to have guns that can wipe out small battalions since I’m only one man and all it takes is one good shot and I’m done for. Heck, most of the time if we were on the move, the confrontations we encounter might wind up being those that are fought among others, we end up stumbling upon someone else’s mess.

            The .22 would more than suffice for simple game taking and maybe even for stopping most people who themselves are only trying to survive. If all else fails, the 12ga is more than suffcient to “immobilize” a determined attacker.

            But summing it up, like you say, this is all about survival, not war, we don’t need to turn the whole thing into a glorified 80′s apocalypse movie with body counts climbing higher than a modern action movie, heh.

          • Bruce Jones says:

            If you’re going to “divy-up” the gear of the non-wurvivors, be sure you include a crowbar in your 3-day or bug-out bag to pop trunks along the highway :-)

      • I agree with JC. 22 long rifle is good because ammo is cheap, small and recoil is almost nonexsistent . Yet the .22 is a reliable food gatherer. (As to the earlier comment about eating rabbits causing starvation, this would only be true if rabbit was the only food you ate over a long period of time. Rabbit meat is high in protein and a beneficial part of a varied diet.) For an all around defense/food gathering gun, I agree with JC, the 20 gauge shotgun is a good choice. I use mine to hunt ducks and geese. I average more than 50 waterfowl per season. Ducks and geese are great additions to a balanced diet. For in town meat gathering consider an air rifle (pellet gun). Pigeons, Squirrels, even sparrows are all proven foods I have taken with an airgun. Not part of my regular diet but dire situations may call for an expansion of what we generally consider food. I have practiced taking and preparing some of the above animals so I know I can if necessary.

    • A good website for purchasing food storage buckets is:
      www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23220&catid=752.
      They have a wide variety of buckets. If you plan on using them for food or water storage be sure that they are rated FDA food approved as some other plastics leach into the stored stuff.

      We have been prepping for many months now and feel great about it. It definitely give you a good “proactive” feeling. This is something the LORD has impressed on both my husband and myself. Thank God that my husband and I are on the same page.

      May the LORD bless you Dave for your no-nonsense approach to surviving hard times. Thanks, we are enjoying the online course. Blessings to all!!!

  10. Kelly Loewen says:

    What does bug-out mean?

    • “Bug out” means to get out fast, like a bug that senses danger.

    • “Bugout Bag” is an item you usually carry with you when you may be faced with a crisis situation. It can be quite practical(just a few basic items) or quite elaborate. Preppers vary on their designs and needs. Depending on your location(if say you live in the city vs. living out in the country), you adjust your bag to your given environment. Say you live in the city, you don’t want to carry an Army issued rucksack…..unless of course you carry one with you everyday! Your bag should not attract attention. If you are physically fit, adjust the weight of the bag so that it doesn’t overburden you. Items to carry in your bag(city): small pocket radio, a few Chem light sticks, a couple bags of trail mix or nutrion bars, a mylar blanket for warmth, hand warmers, small first aid kit, whistle, a phone card (in case your cellphones go down, a good possibility the landlines will still be operational, You can call from a payphone), a roll of toliet paper, some scented towel wipes, a water bottle with bilt-in filtration, flashlight….these are basic items. If you live outside the city in the country….toliet paper, protein bars, combat casualty blanket, chemlites, flashlight, pocket radio, tarp and rope(for cover), good sheath knife, canteens with chemical treatment tablets, small first aid kit. Your pack shouldn’t be overly heavy…I limit mine to 25lbs. Makes it a lot easier on the joints and the body as a whole. Remeber, taylor the pack to your specific needs and keep in mind the location of the country you live in…adjust it to your environment accordingly. A “Bugout” bag is designed to help you meet a crisis headon withot losing your cool. Hope this helps.

  11. Sprouts. In eastern Washington the winter wheat crop would be good eatin and there is lots of it. I went to a grocery store that is closing (they say to remodel)and has reduced all the remaining stuff by 80%. I bought lots of canned goods and things that will make food better tasting. Potted meat?? Not sure what it is but meat may be hard to find—IE roaches and rats (YUCK) but if it keeps you alive its all good.

  12. Bruce Jones says:

    Good start, yes, name (good storage foods) names, please. F.Y.I, reading “Recipes for a Small Planet” by Ellen Buckman Ewald and “Diet for a Small Planet” by Frances and Jean Moore Lappe, you will find grain, milk product, seed, and legume combinations that your body will use to form complete proteins in your body. There is also information about using millet, a grain that leaves an alkali residue and counter balances the blood-acid (lower ph) effects of too much “unbalanced” grain in a survival diet. Millet is a maligned grain that has many benefits to humans. Whole grain storage, I noticed no one mentioned, goes rancid quickly at room temperature and exposed to oxygen. To store it and keep it fresh it is necessary to force nitrogen into the grain and seal the containers
    (no small feat). a dedicated grain-freezer, run off solar power is much more reliable. Personally I am storing small caliber ammunition, with a constantly falling population after a disaster, wild game will become readily available.

    • Wheat that was found stored in the Pyramids was found to sprout, albeit with very low germination rates. Hard Red Winter wheat doesn’t need nitrogen for storage – just cool and dry conditions. A bigger concern would be weevils. Some use Eucalytus leaves to preclude weevils.

      • Bruce Jones says:

        I will have to give the leaves a try, hadn’t heard that
        one. That plant doesn’t play well with any other plant, sociopathic
        aromoatic? :-)

  13. David,
    First let’s look at the contitions we may be facing. If it’s a short duration emergency, one can live on sodas and potato chips. Ya that is extreme, but true. If it goes beyond three days then the rules change because most households will be out of food as will the markets; the shelves will be emptied by a host of people who have suddenly become preppers.

    So for three days, this would be an inconvieniance; for three weeks discomfort; after three weeks real survival. After three weeks the food will be gone and perhaps the water, at which point we will have hunters and if you live in the city as I do, you will be the game. Well actually your food and water and other items that will make surviving easier will be the game.

    In the city, if you have a garden: TARGET. If you are growing veggies on your window sill: TARGET. If you look as though you have supplies: TARGET.

    Oh ya, this about efficient foods. When you are starving ANY food is efficient.

    • What about putting dirt in some plastic bins and locating them in the house but in the sun? If it rains, put things out to catch the rain. Then, water the plants. I like the idea someone else had to plant root plants in a way to make it look like overgrown weeds by fence, shrubs, etc.

    • It’s SO important to realize what a target gardens make people. I don’t plan on looting, but I am moderately observant and can point out on a map where all of the front yard gardens are within a 5 block radius of my house…and the houses that have fruit trees in the back yard and gardens that grow higher than the fence or are visible to walkers.

      Thanks for mentioning that again. And living off of potato chips and soda comes right out of Haiti where a convenience store employee lived off of them for a few days until rescuers reached him!

  14. Eating for survival/fending off starvation requires the OPPOSITE mindset of eating “healthy” when food is cheap and abundant.
    Above all – you need CALORIES. Without calories, your body shuts down and you die. Period. Just ask the Boers in the British Konzetration Lagers or the Jews in the Nazi death camps. (It is a little known fact that the British developed the concept of concentration camps).
    Fat has more calories per gram/ounce than any other food source – be sure to store LOTS of fatty food. Do NOT store fat-free food, unless you want to starve.
    You won’t have to worry about high cholesterol or coronary artery disease when you weight 98 pounds, take my word for it.
    As for taking wild game/collecting edible plants – you DO realize you will be competing with thousands of other people in your area, don’t you? Some will have no qualms about dynamiting ponds for fish, or hunting pregnant does.
    I give natural food sources 3 months tops unless you live in the Northwest Territories of Canada.
    Here are some concrete suggestions:
    Peanut butter
    Olive oil
    Canned fatty meats (ham, spam, etc.).
    Lots of luck on finding plenty of leafy greens! And if you have a garden – are you prepared to defend it 24/7? From starving human, animal, and insect predators?
    You think you can have a place in the country you can bug out to?
    Think again. I had one. People in the country have a lot of time on their hands, a great deal of curiosity, and a dislike for locals. My place was robbed of everything of value on multiple occasions when I was in the city.
    Vitamins/minerals are important, and people suffer from deficiencies in our obese, food overloaded society. I suggest going to Costco or Sam’s and buying a couple of the biggest bottles of generic vitamin/mineral combo tabs and storing them in a cool, dry, dark place.

    Here’s a true story – when I was a kid, my parents were friends with a couple who were living on Suriname when the Japanese invaded. They were put in a death camp. A cockroach was a nutritious treat. A rat was a rare feast. They survived. I guess you could say the roaches and rats were “organic” :)

    • Surinam (known as Dutch Guiana at the time of WWI) is on the NW coast of South America on the Atlantic Ocean. The Japanese got no closer than Hawaii to the Americas.

  15. Do yourself a favor, try the 6 free meals offered by eFoods Global, you only pay S/H of $9.95

    Most people tell me they really need to do ” SOMETHING” to get prepared for a Emergency/Disaster, but they do nothing to help themselves prepare. They have their heads, firmly buried, in the sands of disbelief that it can and will happen in the USA.

    With eFoods you can use the food on a daily bases, it is that good and still reserve some for any unexpected disaster or emergency.. Shelf life is 15 years. Can you image eating MRE for 15 years

    After you begin to get eFood delivered on a regular bases then you can afford to worry about the finer points of what is better for you.

    You need to start now.

  16. With the LED Christmas lights,Should I get the colored are the clear?LOL
    I didn’t think of the LED Christmas lights.That is a good one.My wife got 10 boxes at Walmart 2 days after Christmas.I will put that in my inventory for lighting the house.I have 2 new car battries and a new alternator in a box on a shelf.I bought a soler battery charger when they fist came out.It takes 2 days to fully recharge a battery.

    Food storage shouldn’t be rocket science.Look at the foods you use every day.Now check out the exporation dates on the foods.We do it every time we go shopping for food.Your in the super market,we all check and see if it’s fresh or not.
    Now all you have to do is pick foods with a longer shelf life.Take peanut butter for exampale.Except the ones that can’t eat it,we use all the time.It has a long shelf life of 4 years.It packs the most protein of any food.1 teaspoon = 1 meal.Now don’t be getting the realy big cans of peanut butter,once you open it,it’s that much faster you have to use it up.I have 20 16 oz.jars on hand.When one gets used up,we get another jar to replace it.Remember to rotate by date.Their are hundreds of foods just like peanut butter that we use day to day that has a long shelf life.Find the ones that do and stock up on them.For the people that are on a budget? You don’t have to brake your self on stocking up.Every other time when you shop for food.Insted of adding that junk food you have on your list,you replace it with long shelf life foods with the most protien value that you would eat.Without even paying attention 4 months later you have stocked up on food.Me and my wife have been doing this for 24 years now. We have 9 children and never needed food.Right now I have enough food to feed a 1,000 people 3 meals a day for a week.I’m not factoring in what in my deep freezer or my 2 refrigarators.That stuff is 5 days tops without power.

  17. Suemarie I totally agree with all your points! The saddest part of all this is that the majority of folks- including many Bible believing Christians- refuse to believe that we are headed for unprecedented disaster. I don’t feel that my family is nearly prepared enough- especially since we live on the Canadian prairies where the winters are fierce. I don’t know what we would do for heat should the worst case scenario happen.
    For now I keep gathering information and supplies and rely on the Lord to take care of the rest.
    Kathy
    PS. David thanks for this site- it’s a huge help!
    PPS FYI for fellow Canadians who are trying to find a source of dehydrated food I have found Briden Solutions in Cochrane Alberta. Their service is excellent! Not as many products as US suppliers but no duty to pay. Be sure to request ‘discreet packaging’ so that parcels arrive unmarked.

    • Study what Provincial resources are available on Canadian pioneers survival methods on the praries. You may well find that they used some form of earth coupling. Generally, 10 deep into the earth is a point of temperature equilibrium (40 degrees F). The closer you get to this, the less you’ll have to heat. If you have a basement and can live in it, it all becomes much simpler.

  18. Dave-
    I enjoy your down to earth reality advise. My “army” son who is in Iraq as “intelligence” staff(-he is a trained interrogator and speaks fluient Arabic as an interrpretor), gave me your information-thought i would benefit from the simple realness of what you have to say. I am constantly “adding” to my physical storage and emergency supplies as well as spiritual preparations. (like prayer, scripture study, temple attendance, repentance, forgiving others, partaking of the sacrament to renew baptism covenants with Christ, living the commandments, not being immoral,etc.

    With my reading ,study and use of the foods I eat, I have surmised some important foods to store so may I share:
    1. I have bought several cans of healthy, produceable garden seeds that will reproduced themselves. I doubled my garden last spring and going to double it again to even larger this coming spring. I dry much of my food and of course I have barrels of water for drinking and rehydrating. I do not “can” or bottle food as its dead food-won’t add nutrition to the body. I like your explainations about the quality of food. I also keep the seeds from my own garden produce to store. I buy small paper bags and write what is on them and store them.

    THANKS AND also thanks for the info about the grains.That will benefit me now to understand some other literature I have read about not eating wheat except during times of famine or starving. I hear talk about using healthy seeds as bartering. I DO store can goods and grains for different reasons. For Others who are not accustomed to eating “green and raw, if someone wants to steal my food-they can have the dead stuff, its easy to prepare under stress while some of my other healthy food takes longer…..etc

    Hopefully, the food act that might be passed won’t stimey our private ability to grow food, but just in case: (and for better nutrition)
    2 I am storing lots of seeds for sprouting and I eat them NOW. There are some very delicious mixes for “salads” I find they are the sweetest the first 2-3 days of sprouting and after that as the “grow” they change and become more “green” tasting and not as sweet-maybe more bitter. This is a wonderful way to get the nutrients. Alfalfa for example sends down deep roots and draws up from the earths mineral stash, all we need. I eat them daily so my body is acustomed to the RAW and the taste. They are great for long storage-the longer they store the better they sprout.
    3. I have learned to grow wheat grass .Wheat is a superfood (not when used as flour for bread and etc) but as a juice. I bought an inexpensive wheat grinder for $139 which included the wheat and the supplies to make my first wheat grass production. Its my understanding one can live on the juice. I am alergic to wheat but once it becomes grass it changes and I can use it.
    4. I grow herbs in my garden. Herbs are usually thought of as Medicinal…and of course they are. They are healing to the body because they have the same components of food: vitamins and minerals and protein. So they are a wonderful wild food that we can survivie on. Just have to get to know them. Dandilion leaves for example are a food. You may want to kill them in your yard-but pick their leaves first.
    5 I have purchased for my survival storage, many dried herbs that are stocked full of the most potent minerals, vitamins and proteins that will help others when they become sick and can’t get medicine. Go to Dr. Christophers Herbal Legacy Newsletter newsletter@herballegacy.com and request the 10 most important herbs to store. It also defines just what is in them and what benefit they are medicianlly. Remember that herbs are food. The medical world gets sqeemish about the idea that you can’t “control” how much medicine you are getting with herbs to scare people from using them. I have said to my dr….can you tell me how much healing a carrot is going to provide or brocolli? Herbs are food and they heal the body with deep intensity just as the greens do and the colorful vegetables. God put them here on the earth to help us survive. Our bodies are alive and they need alive, raw foods with alive raw enzymes.
    5.Any supplements I take are made from “whole foods” and are not chemically produced. Those CP supplements put toxins into the body and make all the cleansing organs work harder.
    6 I have learned I can grow food in my window sills: lettuce, beets, onions, etc
    Its not a greenhouse, but if the gov won’t let me grow a garden outside, they would probably shut down a greenhouse. (sprouts can be grown in a dark pantry) because growing food in a window may not be permitted? DO I REALLY HAVE TO THINK ALL THIS OUT SO DETAILED.????

    The wonderful and amazing thing about the above storage is that it doesn’t take much space. And if it looks like danger approaching and someone wants to steal my food storage, I will allow them to “find” my canned goods and grains. But my seeds are safely hid where no man can find them. I would like the convenience of the easy to prepare foods-dump a can into a pan and heat it but I know I can thrive on my sprounted seeds (and the grains) I do buy I use to sprout also. Go to a health food store that has a bulk section and try some of their grains and beans FOR SPROUTING. Like mung beans-yummy. However even health food stores are requried to spray their bulk items by “YOU KNOW WHO” and they don’t all sprout as well AS if you buy seeds in the section just for sprounting. You can buy brocolit sprouts for sprouting.

    During the time of Moses when he saved Egypt from the 7 years of drought by storing their wheat previously for 7 years….do you supppose those people surivied on baked bread…YUK. Yes yummy to the whole wheat bread world flavor but YUK to our devestated digestive track. They made “ESSENE” bread most likely. Its spruoted wheat made into a bread that was baked in the sun or in our modern times could be made in our food dryers…or solar it with the sun to learn how.

    I find this entire process, not frightening but exciting and challenging. My son said that YOU would inspire those characteristics because you simplyfiy and just because of your own attitude. Thanks Dave for your dedication to helping us all prepare for these last days before Christ comes.All that is going on is just simply a cleansing of America. Its devsatating to those of us who love freedom and uphold our constitution. No different from the cleansing of the evilness that people fell into during Noahs time and were wiped out with water. We might be wiped out with nuclulear blasts or at least alot of bombing and fire.. Our food storage in fact may be as saving to us as the Ark was to Noah and his family.

    I hope people are preparing spiritually too, because that is what will truly give us the greatest survival-having the holy ghost with us to reveal to us what is most important for us to do, living the commandments of God will bless us with Gods hand to be with us to either help us fight our battles or to fight them for us by deterring the evil from our door. I pray for all of God’s children to exact from themselves a sense of sorrow for their wrong doing against God for He loves us so and just wants us all to return to be with Him. We cannot if we are
    living base, corrupt, evil lives. Return to the basics spiritually.

    • AutumnGal says:

      Suemarie, your letter is both informative and inspiring in this time of impending crisis. I’ve “found” so many wonderful people on Dave’s sharing site, like you who give so freely.
      Dave, you do a great job at “making us think” :-) God gave each of us our own gray matter to use for that purpose, didn’t He? I have always been concerned with the use of candles and can’t believe “I” didn’t think of the Christmas lights! Lol

      It is impossible to read your newletters and responses from others without becoming better educated, thus more prepared for the “when not if” time….
      Thanks to each of you… we are diligently preparing.

    • Joseph planned the storage of grain for Egypt generations before Moses was born. Moses, however was part of the generation that departed Egypt in a hurry. That is why the Passover bread is unleavened. If the everyday bread needed leaven, how did it rise if done the way you describe?

  19. One of the most nutrient-dense foods for survival can be grown in a few days and has the most bang for the effort is sprouting seeds…. bean sprouts and other seeds can be sprouted on your kitchen window seal… in 3-4 days… this can be a substitute when you can’t wait for your garden to grow or it’s out of season…

  20. Eric Seberg says:

    So how do I store a Big Mac? Just kidding, good article.

    • Big Macs need nothing additional to remain in their current state indefinately. Numerous scientific tests have been done with both Big Macs and fast food french fries to show just how well they do in a long term storage situation.

      In these tests, the food is stored–not in cellers, mylar bags, or cans, but under ordinary car seats and between car seats and the center column. When extracted months or even years later, the texture, nutritional value and even taste are almost identical to what they were pre-storage. I have participated in some of these tests and I can personally vouch for the results. ;)

      • Mummified Big Macs were found in the latest Egyptian tomb opened.
        The lettuce, tomatoes,pickles and mayo were dried out but the burger
        was intact and quite juicy. Must have been put there to feed the
        deceased on his way to heaven.

  21. Harold Mueller says:

    Mercola’s information is good but I have moved on to eating according to my blood type. I recently purchased “Eat Right for Your Type by Dr. Peter D’Adamo. I have been following this food plan for about 6 months and am healthier because of it. I expect my lhealth to improve even more when we hook up with reliable organic food procucers.

    • In general, this is a great book, but some people–Dr. Joe Mercola in particular–developed type II diabetes by following the guidance of this book.

      Dr. Mercola discusses this on his site and in his books on nutritional typing, but in summary, “Eat Right For Your Type” said that becaus of his blood type, he should be eating lots of grains and few meats. In reality, the best diet for him is a high protein, low grain diet.

  22. Good digestive enzymes from a health food store are a must when consuming processed food.even most of the (fresh ) food does not contain the proper enzymes due to poor soil management. The same beneficial bacteria and enzymes Dave spoke of must first be present in the soil.

  23. As alternative to storing a lot of foods I am collecting information on edible wild plants native to my area and plan on trying them out. An example is prickley pear cactus. Not only is the fruit edible but the pads are also edible and are sold in the produce department at the local walmart if you want to try them without going foraging. Yuca root is another item sold at walmart that is easy to find foraging and is cooked like a baked potato. A good low cost option for survival foods is a book on wild foods. It never spoils.

    • While I’m definately on board with learning about wild edibles in the area and any other area that I may find myself travelling to whether in good times or bad, along with how to fish, hunt, and even trap, having a good food storage would still be paramount for a few simple reasons.

      One reason is the idea that, in the case of those of you who are stuck in the city or anywhere else that may not have large sections of woods or other similar areas, wild edibles may be few and far, you may waste more energy walking around hunting for a few calories of plants or other stuff than you’ll take in.

      Secondly, being in the urban areas, the last thing you’ll wanna do is be caught walking around looking for wild edibles. As funny as it sounds, if you look back to The Colony when that Becca chick got snatched cuz she was casually picking berries by an otherwise vacant building and didn’t pay attention, resulting in getting kidnapped. In real life, you’d probably be raped and killed, or worse, be followed back to your safe haven and then raped and killed, along with your friends/family.

      Thirdly, and this can even apply to those who are in rural/semi rural areas, if TSHTF, and everybody’s looking for ANYTHING to eat, it may be fair enough to assume that many of these resources may be stripped thin or completely clean after a short while, making it even harder for us to live completely off the land. At least with a stockpile of food, you can have multiple sources of food.

      Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, or something like that, having multiple ways of feeding yourself, every method or resource you have can supplement the other, this way you can stretch your stockpile further, get a well balanced meal, and if one source of food does start wearing thin, at least you’ll have other ways to help keep you fed while you figure out how to replenish your thinned out stocks.

      Hope this little bit of opinion helps. Happy New Year’s all.

    • Vic Ferrari says:

      Good idea E Man, but be careful where you get your wild plants. If you were in my yard you could pick dandelion leaves and plop them in your mouth (assuming the dog didn’t pee on them). In many other yards you definately would want to wash them very well because of fetilizers, weed killers, etc. Just make sure where you get them from is safe.

    • Mr. Former Scoutmaster says:

      Several years ago as a Scoutmaster I researched lots of edible plants and found some information that might possible be helpful in a survival situation. Cat tails are plentiful in many areas of the country. The roots (tubers) are edible roasted like potatoes, the brown part at the top can be scraped and the brown powder collected and mixed with white ashes from your campfire (if you dare build one when TSHTF); make a dough of this and roast it in coals. It is not very tasty but filling as dark, hard bread. The young shoots can be eaten like asparagus. Not being a nutritionist, I am not certain of the nutritional value of the cat tail plant.
      The inner bark of some pine trees can also be dried and ground into flour and then made into bread. I haven’t actually done this but a Special Forces Team from Ft. Bragg presented a weekend survival workshop to our scout troop and showed us examples of these breads.
      Yes, I know that taking the time to dry, grind and cook these “wild foods” may not be practical under many conditions but if it comes to truly living off the land these ideas might be helpful. One other remark they made was “you can eat practically any animal that doesn’t eat you first”. I have read since then that eating polar bear liver will kill you but I doubt that I will ever have that opportunity. LOL

  24. “Picking Efficient Foods” is your title, yet you picked NONE. You pointed out a couple things to perhaps avoid and regurgitated data that is all over the web but made no recommendations. You did, however, fill your page. Do the LED Christmas lights go in my bugout bag or on my pre-1970 truck or do I wrap myself in them and attach the leads to my hand cranked flashlight so I may be located in a crisis?

    • LOL. You called me out, Jim. I’m trying to get you to think and giving you the tools you need to make up your own mind rather than claiming that it’s my way or the highway. If you really want specific suggestions, I’ll put some together.

      Your post is great, though…it emphasizes the point I was trying to make, which is that different people process individual foods differently and you need to figure this stuff out on your own. Pay attention to your body and how it responds to different foods. Do the Mercola test (which also requires you to be in tune with your body). Do a blood typing test. Your ideal foods may be very different from mine.

      On the lights, wrapping yourself in them like Chevy Chase did on the cover of Christmas Vacation and attaching them to a hand crank sounds like a great plan. :)

      Another thing you could do with them is plug them into a battery/inverter or an Uninterruptable Power Supply (also known as a UPS or a battery backup) and use the LED lights instead of candles.

    • This is for the LED lights.Most store will sell off christmas lights at 50% to 75% off.Than means you can get a cheap way for you to light up you home,CHEAP.
      2.5 watts = 40 watt light bulb.So if the lights go out,you could light up your home with a car battry and inverter for a month.

    • Dave: Ditto on actually naming some foods commonly available. Micro designing foods for your personal metabolism might be the ideal but it’s an unnecessary discouragement for most people. It ‘s up there with all those emails that promise information on the latest health cure but only turn out to be teasers for a new book or website subscription.

      Instead, please provide a “beginners” list of foods suitable for most people that are relatively plentiful to buy in bulk and easy to store long(er) term. You can even use the melting dry ice at the bottom of the airtight container method (and tell folks where in the large warehouse store they can buy those large containers – hint: stock up bulk dry food for Fido also). It would be nice if these could also be foods good to rotate into your daily diet but focus on foods providing nutrients for a survival diet in a “no other food available or practical” environment. Thanks!

      1) Thanks for the warning about rabbits. They’d be a real temptation in my area. No wonder the wily coyotes in my neighborhood prefer pets.

      2) I really appreciate the (no frills) pre-1970’s truck but I’ll stick with the Pinzgauer. :)

      3) In a survival situation you’re unlikely to have access to your preferred, balanced diet so keep a supply of multi-mega min-vits.

      4) Take a hint from long-voyage sailors and keep a ration-able supply of your favorite “grog” on hand for morale. Hardtack optional.

  25. David I found a neat site for food/plant info at killerplants.com. It gives history of edible plants, uses, nutrition and fun facts. Its worth looking at. Also I know not to try and sell on your site, but Nutri-Lite supplements nad minerals are very good in all their varieties. They are the oldest multivitamin company in the US, just find an Amway dealer in your area.

  26. More excellent info to use when that time comes. Thanks for this article & all the others You have shared with Us

  27. “So what do I use the LED Christmas lights for, Dave?”

    Well Duhhhh…….. You decorate next years tree with em.

  28. So what do I use the LED Christmas lights for, Dave?

    • LED Christmas lights are good for general lighting when using alternative power sources, such as solar + battery + power inverter. I have a few in my hurricane supplies container. Even the larger C9 sized lights only pull 2.5 watts per string and provide a lot of usable light. I can run a string in my bedroom, kitchen, bath, living room, and entry doors off of my automotive “jumper box” with built in inverter all night for over a week.

  29. Another good thing to know is rabbits don’t have much fat on them…. I was told in a survival class 40 years ago that in a survival situation, no matter how plentiful rabbits happen to be … Don’t make them your whole diet…. I guess it’s kind of like the lobsters….

    • Rabbit’s don’t have the fats that your body needs.You can make rabbit a part of your diet,but you will need bubble the fat for every rabbit you eat.You have to facter it in as a -fat food.
      In other words you are right.You can starve to death eating rabbit

  30. Tried some of the eFoods. They seem to go down well but are lacking in the nutrition arena that you get from natural live foods.
    Should we thus be keeping large stores of supplements (vitamins etc) to ensure we get the nutrients and vitamins this way because the food is not providing it?

    • I have been training elite athletes and have been involved in the so called ‘health food’ business since the mid 70′s. I’ll tell you flat out 97%-98% of all supplements are a waste of money and do more harm to health than good. I always have my clients/athletes take blood test to prove my point; just don’t take my word for it. Should you decide to take sups be sure they’re organic. Even here you must be careful and research your chosen supplements.

      Eating raw is superior to cooked foods and organic is by far the best choice.

      During times of survival your hormones will severely be affected by stress, especially, insulin, cortisol and testosterone. Also, your blood ph will drop drastically causing a rise in acidity which in turn affects the function of the liver and kidneys. All these will work against your survival mode. Adrenaline will only last for so long before it becomes depleted through extreme stress.

      Maintain lots of green veggies and your favorite fruits, however, keep fruit to a minimum. Eliminate whole grains from your survival package, for they suppress hormone production & create a high level of acid in the blood.

      Eggs, straight from the hen, not store bought, raw milk which isn’t pasteurized or homogenized and salomon are your best animal proteins & healthy fats. Vegan protein powders such as organic hemp & organic rice protein are great. Stay away from soy products, they suppress hormones and reduce blood ph.

      Hope this helps!

      • Hi Stephen!
        Just to thank you for the interesting information.
        Best,
        Carlos, in Norway.

      • Stephan, very interesting. Does freeze drying alter the nutrition value of green vegie’s like broccoli ? I know fresh raw would be much better but was wondering about the #10 provident pantry cans for bad situations in winter months.

        Thanks

        • There are different methods of freeze drying. The first which is the most common is a spray application using chemicals and heat. This application destroys a great deal of the nutritional value.

          The second method is also spraying, however, instead of using chemicals maltodextrin and citric acid are used along with heat. Maltodextrin often converts to MSG through processing as well as citric acid, depending upon what it was derived from. Another drawback to this process is that freeze dried fruits and veggies will contain up to 50% starch leaving only 50% real food.

          The 3rd method is freeze dried through low temps where the water content is rapidly removed from the food source without any chemicals. This is certainly the best and maintains nearly all the nutritional value.

          Organic is always superior to conventional food.

      • I think everything you said here is inline with my experience and what I have researched. The problem is getting to that raw milk, there are no wild salmon in Texas, and hemp and rice protein are only found in health food stores, probably the first to go in disaster (but at least you can stock up on these depending on their shelf life)

        • Hi Craig,

          Texas happens to be one of the states where raw milk is not readily availble. The best way to find a source is through cow share programs where you buy into owning a cow. These cows are animals which are raised organically and the species of cow is one that is meant to provide milk for human consumption.

          Many peolpe do not know that most cows, especially, those that are raised by industrialized farming, are not meant for us to drink. The molecular structure is very different than those which are raised for raw consumption.

          Regarding protein powders, go online and you can find these sources at very reasonable prices. Be sure you purchase organic protein. Non organic protein powders generally come from sources which contain chemicals, GMO’s, binders & fillers. Also, they are processed through heat and extracted by using hexane, alchohol and petroleum chemicals.

      • Stephen, I like all what you say except I have a problem with advising people to use raw milk, no pasturization. I have a relative,in his 70′s now, who almost died because his mother traded her vegetables from her garden with a neighbor who gave her unpasturized milk for him, the baby. She had told me that they were lucky the Dr. was able to pull him through. Pasturization came about for an extremely important reason and this was the reason. We have a huge amount of germs/vungus coming our way soon that will be amazingly strong. But, even if that somehow doesn’t happen, there are enough strong microbes out there now that would be attracted to the milk as it is coming from the cow and whereever else before it comes across our lips or babies’ lips.. Do away with the raw milk advise, please. It is not good advise. It’s a killer!

        • Hi Shirley,

          I understand your concern over raw milk. I have been involved with the politics of raw milk since the late 70′s. If you have studied and researched raw milk as I have you might have a better understanding. Please do not think I’m attacking you, I’m not. I do my best to educate people with respect and they make the final choice.

          We raised our children, 6 of them, on raw milk & my wife was raised on a farm and drank raw from childhood. It is true that you do not jump into giving young children and the elderly raw milk due to their weakened and developing immune systems.

          Any raw milk consumption must be from A2 cows and not A1 cows. The difference in species makes a great difference in quality and health. Many people do not know this. Unfortunately, over 80% of the pasteurized milk you buy in the store comes from A1 cows. Also, you must know the source from which the raw milk is coming from due to the health of the cow or goat.

          I subscribe to weekly newsletters from the FDA and the Center for Disease Control and you will be amazed at the number of people who die and are hospitalized from drinking pasterized milk every year. The numbers & percentages are many, many times greater than from raw milk consumption.

          Along with these facts, the number of recalls on pasteurized milk is numerous every year and rarely has raw milk been recalled per decade!

          I would never suggest any food source if I felt anyone would be in danger of their health or life.

          I hope this will help and I am more than happy to provide answers and comments to your questions and concerns.

      • Becky Chinn says:

        I have been using soy protein for over a year in breakfast shakes w/ home made rice milk or real juices such as: Odwalla/Naked/fresh orange
        I do not respond well to whey proteins. This is the first time I have hard of rice protein. Have not seen it in the stores where I shop. Is it avaliable in stores or only online? If so, where?
        Thanks, Becky

        • Hey Becky,

          I’m just the opposite…I avoid soy protein (because of it’s estrogen mimicking properties and because my body doesn’t like it.) like the plague and my body uses whey protein quite well and I use it every day.

          It just goes to show that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

        • Hi Becky,

          Rice protein can be purchased online at very reasonable prices. Be careful which product you buy. Many rice proteins contain hidden soy. Also, only buy organic rice protein. Most of them taste fine with a very neutral taste. A few brands, I will not mention by name, are horrendous tasting.

          I do not know if I can mention brand names or where to purchase on this site. I will have to wait to receive David’s permission.

          Regarding whey protein: There are many reasons you do not respond well and most people don’t. The first is because nearly all whey protein is derived from pasteurized milk from species of cows which milk is not for human consumption. The molecular structure is very different than from cows which are raised specifically for us to drink.
          Next is that the protein comes from cows which are pumped full of anti biotics and synthetic hormones and are fed food which is loaded with corn and soy. Here’s the real killer; 80 million tons of chicken poop, feathers and other by products are processed into cow food every year in the U.S.
          The last issue is that the whey goes through a high heat process and chemicals such as hexane and alchohol are used to extract the protein.

          I hope this helps.

      • I read with interest your comment on supplements. I agree that a lot of supplements on the market are not all that they should be. Since the supplement industry is not regulated, they can put any claim on the bottle, and get away with it. However, there is a company that goes to great lengths to insure that their products are the best that is possible. They went so far as to approach a university to do something called a “Landmark Study” Since Shaklee has been around for over 50 years, there are a lot of people who have been taking their supplements on a regular basis for years. The study was to compare 3 groups of people those who take no supplements, those who take other kinds of supplements, and those who took Shaklee supplements. Shaklee had no control over the outcome. The University found that Shaklee users were far healthier than those who took other supplements, or who took none at all. If you go to the Shaklee website, you can find more information there. As far as being ready for survival, Shaklee is a great resource-they have great tasting meal bars, and meal replacement drinks. Since my husband and I have started Shaklee supplementation 12 years ago, we have experienced a big difference in our health and energy. If and when things get bad, taking personal responsibility for your own health is important.

    • Vitamins are important. Most people don’t eat a proper diet in which to get all the nutrients their bodies need daily. I would think this would be amplified in a survival situation since you will be eating “stored” foods and you will likely be expending more energy and, (for obvious reasons) be more stressed.
      However, as with food, vitamins have a limited shelf life and also come in varying grades of quality.
      My best suggestion would be to buy good quality vitamins initially in a 2 or 3 month bulk and then monthly thereafter. With this amount on hand, you can rotate through them on a first in – first out basis. This should allow you plenty in the event you need them as well as (hopefully) bettering rounding out your nutrition in the mean time.
      Unless you’re taking $300-$400 per month worth (and I know of a few that do), the weight of a couple of extra bottles vitamins shouldn’t break your back.

    • I find chia seeds easy to store and the nutritional value is very good.

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