Critical Food Storage Mistake #2
This news letter courtesy of:
Welcome to this week’s Survive The Coming Collapse Newsletter, brought to you by UrbanDisasterWaterPurification.com, the best researched and most highly acclaimed book on making water drinkable in an urban environment after a disaster. Learn more by going to UrbanDisasterWaterPurification.com.
Survival Diva here, picking up the thread of last week’s post. I briefly mentioned appetite fatigue in “The Mother of All Food Storage Myths”. Although this subject is not spoken of often enough, it deserves a post of its own and why this subject was included in my preparedness book Survival: Prepare Before Disaster Strikes .
Appetite fatigue is the condition of choosing not to eat instead of eating the same food that you’ve had for the last 5, 10, or 100 meals. Sadly, there is little written about it; yet it has the potential be deadly. This syndrome is most pronounced in the very young and the very old, but it can affect anyone.
It may seem like a stretch that while preparing for a time when everything around us has been turned upside down, we also have to juggle adding a variety of flavors and textures to avoid appetite fatigue. After all, food storage is meant for survival, and in a crisis you’d think everyone should be grateful for food storage when grocer’s shelves are bare, right? Wrong!
Even during times of war, studies have shown there is a certain percentage of people who just can’t stomach eating the same meal for weeks or months at a stretch and they will eventually choose hunger. Hunger equates to fatigue and illness or worse.
(David’s note: Naysayers, like myself, are quick to point out that tribal people in Africa have been known to eat ash cakes–or whatever other semi-edible plant matter they can find—for months at a time. Two things to keep in mind. #1, they have been conditioned since birth to eat whatever they have in front of them. #2, there’s a form of natural selection that happens as tribesmen grow up…picky eaters die young, and anyone who makes it to adulthood doesn’t care about trivial matters like “variety”.)
Not only does Appetite Fatigue pose a threat to the sufferer, but over time, it will pose a threat to the group as a whole. During an extended crisis, each one of us will be a valuable asset for the survival of the group, whether that group consists of immediate family or an extended group. When we suddenly have to hand wash laundry, cook with staples, draw water, garden, preserve food, hunt, fish, and patrol and protect property during unrest, each one of our skillsets will be valuable. At such a time, high energy levels and the health of each individual will make or break the outcome of a group’s survival.
How to avoid Appetite Fatigue
The good news is there are inexpensive steps you can take to avoid Appetite Fatigue. Instead of cooking with just beans and rice, or opening the same canned meals such as Chili and Stew, or eating the same home-canned goods or MRE’s…mix it up!
You can start by adding a selection of flavors and textures to meals that will improve meals and avoid Appetite Fatigue. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. Adding a variety of spices to your food storage is one solution. If you buy spices in bulk, available at some of the bigger grocery stores, it will drastically cut the cost. We pay dearly for fancy packaging and labeling! Forego that expense by storing bulk spices in home-canning jars or containers that can be found at Dollar Stores. Just be sure to label them and store them with your other food storage, away from light, high temperatures and moisture.
(David’s note: Pay particular attention to both the spices that your family likes best and spices that are known to have health benefits, like oregano, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, ginger, basil, juniper, nettles, mint etc. Although not a “spice”, I’d include honey in this list as well.)
Another method to spice up meals is to add tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, dehydrated tomatoes, or canned soup such as cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, or cream of celery and the like to homemade soups, casseroles, and pasta dishes.
Right now, most stores are holding their annual flat sales. Good timing if you’re looking for a way to add interesting flavors and textures to your food storage. You can expect to save 50% or more by shopping flat sales!
One of the easiest ways to shake up your meal plan is going online to recipe sites– especially ones who cater to preparedness that will take into consideration you’ll be cooking with bulk food storage. Make sure to print these recipes and keep them in a folder. In a grid down situation, recipes you’ve saved on your computer will not be available! I keep my printed recipes behind clear plastic sleeves in a three-ring binder for safekeeping.
My personal plan is to serve economical everyday beans and rice soups, but I will mix it up a few times a week with homemade pizza, Mexican dishes like tamales and enchiladas, various seafood pastas, oyster stew, and traditional spaghetti (which will include mock meatballs made from wheat).
You won’t necessarily have to add the amount of meats and sea food called for in a recipe designed for normal times. Right now, you can rush to the store for an extra can of salmon, or oysters, tuna fish, ham, chicken, or beef. But adding a small portion will make a world of difference to the flavor and texture of meals.
Here’s a moneysaving tip: When I first started adding meats to food storage, I went in search of canned bacon, as several recipes called for it. The cost was astronomical! I settled for real bacon bits in the glass bottles. It isn’t nearly as expensive as specialty canned bacon and it still adds wonderful flavor and texture to soups and pasta dishes.
(David’s note: Not everyone eats bacon, but if you do, another option for post-collapse bacon is to make your own. In many areas of the country, there’s 24/7 open season on feral hogs. In other areas, you may want to have a handful of pigs or pot bellied pigs to use to convert table scraps to meat. In either case, have a good supply of pink salt, celery salt, or celery and salt on hand so you can kill the parasites that aren’t killed by the bacon making process.)
Storing cheeses like parmesan and other cheeses is another step to spice up a bland meal. Look into home canning cheddar cheese or storing dehydrated cheeses—you may be surprised over the selection available. If you do decide to investigate home-canning cheese, also check out home-canning butter or look into adding dehydrated butter or margarine to your food storage.
(David’s note: We store and regularly use ghee, which is clarified butter. It is easier to store successfully than “normal” butter. If you’ve got a whey or casein allergy, ghee has the added benefit of not having any whey or casein in it.)
If your meal plan is made up predominately of canned goods, think about diversifying those canned goods. There are many canned meals other than chili and stew which will solve to problem of having to eat the same meals day after day.
The same approach goes for MRE’s. When possible, store a variety! Many preppers add canned or dehydrated fruits and vegetables along with their MRE storage to add different flavors and textures which also provide important vitamins and nutrients.
Don’t Forget Comfort Food!
We all have our favorite snacks and treats that should be added to our food storage. We may not be able to store a years’ worth of ice cream (although, a hand-crank ice cream maker would help), you can add popcorn, trail mixes, raisins, hard candies, cake mixes and many other comfort foods that your loved ones enjoy. They offer a feeling of normalcy, even during a stressful time.
Plan for Surprises
As David recently pointed out, it may be that your loved ones have allergies to certain staples, especially to wheat. Unfortunately, it is also possible an allergy won’t develop until AFTER you’ve begun cooking with staples. This has shown to be true in studies done on individuals who were suddenly eating high concentrations of wheat when wheat wasn’t a big part of their normal diet previously. The best approach to avoid an unexpected allergy is to introduce these foods now, before an emergency. Should sensitivity to certain staples become an issue, it will give you time to adjust your food storage to avoid illness.
(David’s note: Although I don’t know of any scientific tests, there is wide anecdotal evidence among the natural medical professionals with whom I consult that there are two components to the food allergy problem…one is an actual allergy to the food itself. The second, and more common, is a sensitivity to the chemicals used to grow the food. What they (and I personally) have found out is that if you remove the food from your diet for a few months and then gradually start eating the organically grown version of the food, the food allergy will cease to be a problem. Do not do this if your food allergy causes swelling and/or anaphylaxis.)
Practicing cooking with food storage will not only reveal problems, it will help your loved ones adjust to the differences between the ingredients you typically use now in your recipes now and the ingredients you plan to use in times of an emergency.
As I write this, I’m compelled to add one last FYI. When you’re looking for recipes, please make sure to save at least one (I recommend several) sourdough starter recipes, so you are able to bake bread—a staple for just about everyone, even in good times! If you’re scratching your head, wondering what I’m talking about, let me explain. Yeast has a relatively short shelf life, and when you run out of yeast, how will you bake bread?
Enter sourdough starter. Contrary to what you may have heard, it does not require refrigeration! Just the opposite. It thrives where it can be allowed to grow in a natural environment like your kitchen counter.
So have you planned ahead for variety of flavors and textures that will avoid Appetite Fatigue? Have you set aside comfort foods to help you and your loved ones get through an extended crisis? What spices and seasonings are you storing and why? Please share your thoughts by commenting below.
Also, over on the forum, Valarie has a great post called “Comfort In A Combat Zone” that’s definitely worth reading.
God bless and stay safe,
Survival Diva and David Morris
To view the comments, or, to add your own, click here