Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Real Food Stockpile: Meats, Proteins, and Fats

May 19th, 2011 · 62 Comments · Frugality

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Powdered TVP made from soy just isn’t going to cut it on the real food diet. Let me count the ways…  Actually, if you need me to count the problems with unfermented soy, “meat substitute”, and powdered foods in general, maybe the concept of “real food” is foreign to you! Winking smile

TVP, by the way, stands for “textured vegetable protein.” Doesn’t that sound delicious? (photo source)

Many of the preparedness food storage solutions for meat are a far cry from a hamburger or a whole chicken simmering gently on the stovetop. They’re more likely to have no meat involved or be packed with additives and preservatives. MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) in their thin envelopes just don’t scream “farm to table” to me.

As I think about what we would eat if

(a) we couldn’t leave the house for a while or ran out of money
(b) the grocery stores didn’t get restocked
(c) the power was out (we’d still have our stove)
OR
(d) we were totally cut off from everything and had no power, water, or heat for cooking

I try to think about what we naturally have in the house that would be edible. Here are my best thoughts for meats, proteins, and fats. I’m certain I’ll forget or miss something, and I guarantee that there are options I don’t even know about – so please, fill the gaps in the comments and I’ll try to update the post as ideas come in. Thanks!

Storing Real Meat

As I mentioned yesterday, you can rely on many types of food preservation and storage, including canned goods, home canning, dehydrating, and freezing.

Here’s the meat we have on hand (or could have):

  • Tons of beef and chicken in the freezer– obviously this would be a problem in the event of loss of electricity for more than a day or so. My plan?
    • Thaw, cook, and eat. Yum!
    • Dehydrate: as long as I have cooking fuel, I can make beef jerky in the oven on 200F (recipe can be found HERE), and then that can last many days at room temperature (months if done properly and all the moisture is out).
    • Make stock: I’ll keep a pot of bones boiling as long as I can and continue to use the stock to make soups. If I had a pressure canner, I’d immediately can some stock, too. But I don’t.
  • Canned tuna and salmon – sure, BPA linings in cans are a concern, but we don’t eat canned fish often. I probably should stock up a bit more, because in a pinch, we could eat it right out of the can with no heat or electricity required. Starvation would be the only circumstance in which my husband would eat canned salmon. Even then, he might rather die. Winking smile The protein boost and omega-3s would help keep our family healthy if the rest of our diet is fairly compromised.Would canned chicken be another option? I just don’t think I’d want to use it very often to refresh and replenish my store, so this one doesn’t work for me well at all.
  • Dehydrated meats (jerky)– I don’t keep this on hand very well, just a batch at a time. If I wanted to get serious about preparedness, however, I could certainly dehydrate more. I’ve had troubles with the jerky molding, though, so I’d have to be ultra-sure I got all the moisture out and would probably cook the meat in the oven for a bit first before dehydrating. My Excalibur only goes up to 155F, which in reality is about 145F on the food, and that’s not enough to kill bacteria or anything.
    • Bonus: jerky can also be eaten without a heat source
    • My recipe can be found in the newly expanded Healthy Snacks to Go eBook along with over 45 real food snack recipes – click HERE to learn more.
  • If I were really smart and prepared, I’d get a pressure canner and home-can meats. But that’s just not part of my life right now, and I’m okay with that step waiting a bit.
  • How about freeze-dried meats? I never even realized this was possible, but what do you all think? You can see some examples here.
  • UPDATE from comments/Facebook: Consider corned meats. It worked for generations before refrigeration came along.
  • UPDATE: How about salt pork?
Storing Other Protein Sources

cover button - 300x388Beyond meats, we can get protein from beans, nuts, quinoa, and dairy, as well as small amounts in whole grains. (I’ll tackle dairy and grains in their own posts next week.)

How should we keep beans on hand?

  • Dry beans – We eat a lot of beans around here, so buying in bulk and when they’re on sale is a good frugal strategy anyway. It makes me doubly happy to know that if we were stuck at home, I could feed my family for a long time on the bags of beans in our basement. Just be careful not to keep dry beans for more than 6 months to a year, so only stock up on what you might use in that time.It’s also important, of course, to KNOW how to use beans! If you’re in an emergency situation, that’s no time to be learning a new skill. Your family also needs to be used to beans, both for their emotional comfort in a time of stress and the physical challenge for some of digesting beans. Need help? Check out The Everything Beans Book for cooking info and tons of recipes to use.
  • Seeds to Sprout (an update from a reader): What a great reminder! You can have your own “living food” if you keep sprouting seeds (found at health food stores and mail order) on hand. You can even sprout lentils and eat them raw. How to sprout and the health benefits of sprouting.
  • Canned beans – Again, we meet up with BPA in the cans (Maybe? Or maybe only if they’re lined with white?). You can can your own beans to avoid that entirely. I do think it’s important to have some canned beans on hand, because if you don’t have enough water to rinse, soak, AND cook dry beans – that’s a LOT of water – you can just eat the already cooked beans out of the can. UPDATE: Hot packed canned beans
  • Nuts – Full of healthy fats, protein, iron, and energy, nuts strike me as the perfect preparedness food. They can be eaten without any preparation, don’t need a ton of fancy storage techniques if in their original, unopened packaging, and are easy to grab and go if you need to evacuate. A small handful can really ease a hungry tummy.Long-term storage of nuts is probably best in the freezer, especially walnuts on account of their unstable omega-3s. Once nuts are opened and soaked/dehydrated to become “crispy nuts” it is recommended that they be frozen. However, if you lose electricity or have to run, they can also be out of the freezer for quite some time before becoming problematic (days for walnuts, in my opinion, and up to a month or more for almonds).I generally have a lot of nuts on hand for the recipes in my Healthy Snacks to Go eBook, plus because they’re my family’s favorite “grab it” snack ever since Goldfish and Cheerios stopped showing up.
  • Quinoa – My husband hasn’t like quinoa much, but I bought a 5-pound bag because we need to extend our grains that are gluten free, and because quinoa is a really healthy grain (some say it’s just a seed, not even a grain) because it’s so high in protein. You will need to cook the quinoa, though, so it’s not perfect in every disaster situation. UPDATE: reader tells me you can sprout quinoa and eat raw. Cool!
  • Eggs – Scrambled eggs would be one of the things we’d have a lot if the electricity was out but we had fire. I’d also try to use up whatever eggs we have in the house (usually between 1-7 dozen) by making soaked baked oatmeal, grain-free pancakes, or other baked good-type dishes that could be stored at room temperature for a while.It’s possible to dehydrate eggs, but I’m not ready for that step yet.
  • UPDATE from comments/Facebook: Raise or buy the best quality eggs you can and preserve them yourself. How to preserve eggs Who knew? That is cool. This one is even better: preserving fresh eggs with mineral oil
  • UPDATE: Can your own homemade soups, too, if you have a pressure canner. Here’s one resource from a reader: http://www.homestead-acres.com/
  • UPDATE: Dehydrate entire meals and store in the freezer. I don’t have directions on how to do that, but I bet a quick Google search would work great. A reader describes boiling down homemade soup quite low, de-fatting it for long-term storage, then spreading the gelatin on dehydrator trays and drying out. Something I’m going to fiddle with…
Storing Fats

At any given time, I have up to a gallon of extra virgin olive oil and two or three gallons of coconut oil in my basement. As for preparedness, I couldn’t really increase the amount of olive oil I store, since we go through no more than 1-2 gallons in 6 months. Extra virgin olive oil is more susceptible to going rancid, and 6 months is the recommended shelf life.

As a saturated fat, coconut oil, on the other hand, has a shelf life of at least two years. You can use it in baking for any solid OR liquid fat, to saute, to fry, or even in your oatmeal. If you need a healthy fat for your real food stockpile, grab a few extra jugs of coconut oil. It’ll hold you through!

There are plenty of fats you should avoid completely. If you’re unsure where to draw the line between health and unhealthy fats, please see the Fat Full Fall series or the printable How to Use Fats chart.

Butter is another saturated fat that it’s great to stock up on, but it does need to be refrigerated or frozen for long-term storage. You can only fit so much in those appliances, you know? In looking into the preparedness resources, I realized that clarified butter, also called ghee, is a great option for longer term storage. It’s available here (but not organic) or in many other places. (How to Make Your Own Ghee – although I admit mine didn’t last very well, so I wouldn’t count on it for long-term storage!) UPDATE: You can can or bottle butter! How cool is that? How to bottle butter.

Lard and tallow are also saturated, therefore more stable, but it’s still recommended that they be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, so they’re not a great option for disaster preparedness. If we lost electricity for a long time, my tallow could come out of the freezer while we address the things that are really going to be lost once thawed, then make fabulous French fries for about a week to use it all up.

The Golden Nugget

Sandra's bread sandwich (1) (500x375)

Peanut butter may be the best suited for real long-term storage. It fits in both the “protein” and “fats” categories, would help keep my family’s energy up, and would provide a superb morale booster as I know the kids would get a kick out of eating PB right from the jar!

Next time good peanut butter goes on a great sale, buy as much as you think your family could eat before the expiration date. Alternately, buy twice as much and make a note in your calendar of halfway to the expiry date. At that point, donate what you’ll never get through and watch for the sale again!

Be sure to look for “natural” peanut butter, and learn to read labels to avoid trans fat. You don’t want any “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” anything. The best peanut butter, in my opinion, looks like this:

Ingredients: Peanuts

It’s also possible to just buy peanuts and make one’s own peanut butter, but other than the chance of avoiding phytic acid, I can’t justify the time it would take for the pennies – maybe – that it might save.

UPDATE: Readers are concerned about reports of carcinogenic mold in peanuts. Organic might help…might not. It’s not an issue I’ve looking into, but I suppose it’s something to consider. Perhaps sunbutter or almond butter would be better options. Almond butter only needs refrigeration after opening, and if you’re starving, I can’t imagine it would sit around long anyway.

UPDATE: A reader tells us that Valencia peanut butter is mold-free because of the environment in which it’s grown.

What did I miss? Take a walk through your pantry and cupboards and tell me if you see any real food protein sources to add to the list!

Check out Doctor Prepper’s radio show Monday night (May 23rd) from 9:00-10:30 EST for my interview. We’ll be talking about making things from scratch and my rookie preparedness efforts. You can also download the podcast after the face and listen at your leisure.

Tomorrow: Real Food options for storing fruits and veggies, plus a giveaway for this month’s KS sponsor, Fertility Flower!

Happy People: Last Week’s Giveaway Winners

Last week featured two giveaways, for Cara’s grain-free menu planners and Sarah’s allergen-free OR nourishing (for anybody) menu planners. Fro nearly 400 entries, the three winners of a month of grain-free menu planning from Health, Home and Happiness are:

  • Jill –> cjwinger@…
  • Miranda –> gloriaphotography@…
  • angela kuhlmann

And the big winner of the full year to Heart of Cooking, out of 619 entries, is:

Alexis Dunigan

Congrats, ladies! I recognize a few regular readers here, and that always makes me happy. Watch your email for instructions on how to redeem your prizes.

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Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Emergency Essentials. See my full disclosure statement here.

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62 Comments so far ↓

  • Tonya

    do you real foodies ever delve into salting meats? watched a lot of salt pork being made as a kid & ate it as well.

    Katie Reply:

    Tonya,
    They lived on salt pork in some of the Little House books. Seems like a good method of preservation to me – got any resource links? Thanks! :) Katie

    Tonya Reply:

    only what i recall from my childhood.

    We had a large white crock that would be filled with water & salt to make a brine. The brine was “right” when a raw egg floated in it. The pork was added to the crock & a large plate or two overturned on the top. Then the top of the crock was covered with towels. The crock itself was stored in our “michigan” (unfinished) basement.

    The cuts used were bellies & maybe chuck roasts, but my memory is fuzzy on the latter. i do recall that when you fried up the belly (like bacon, but not smoked) the skin would fry up very crunchy & i liked to chew on it. :D

  • jessica Rasmussen

    I have a pressure canner and can meat esp tuna (as we live near the oregon coast). I also can soups, veggies, etc. Good for quick meals and emergency preparedness and no BPA as it is in glass jars. Just a thought.

  • FarmSchooler

    Ive been told that peanuts are the absolute poorest choice in nuts. Apparently they are very high in mold issues. Ive read MANY cancers are actually mold related. Then you have the fact that MOST peanut butters are full of highly refined sugar (that feeds cancer) and while peanut butter may keep you from starving in the event of a “situation” but are still not the best nutritional choice.

    I would add these resources to your list:

    Do not depend on your freezer to hold your meats. Freezers fail. Consider corned meats. It worked for generations before refrigeration came along. http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-making/curing/methods

    Eggs: Raise or buy the best quality eggs you can and preserve them yourself http://www.oldandsold.com/articles11/miscellaneous-recipes-13.shtml

    Bean & Seed Sprouts (store whole beans & seeds and sprout them…you NEED the living foods for the enzymes they contain…to be able to digest other foods even): http://www.healthyeatingadvisor.com/sprouts.html

    Hemp seeds & Chia seeds are excellent sources of nutrition and easily stored for extended periods.

    Hope that helps :o)

    Jennifer Reply:

    I know that almond butter is supposed to be refrigerated; are there any other nut butters that are not as high with mold as peanut butter but do not have to be refrigerated like almond butter?

    Katie Reply:

    Maybe sunbutter? I’m pretty confident almond butter would be fine a few days out of the fridge as you consume it in an emergency, but don’t quote me on that. :) Katie

    Julie Reply:

    Sunbutter seems to go rancid much faster than almond at room temp…

    Krissy Reply:

    I always buy sunbutter, and it has always stayed fresh. I buy it from Swanson Vitamins, they have a private label organic sunbutter. Only ingredient is organic -sunflower seeds, it’s the best price I’ve found.

    Rebekah Reply:

    I make my own almond butter, adding a bit of raw honey and coconut oil, and I never refrigerate it! It has always kept for at least two weeks (which is about how long it’s around, before we eat it all). It would probably last longer.

    FarmSchooler Reply:

    I keep/store all my nuts as whole as possible. We gather pecans annually in season. I just planted almond trees a couple of years ago. I buy bulk raw almonds, walnuts & peanuts thru our buying club and just keep them in a cool pantry in glass canisters until I want to grind them. My family prefer a handful of raisins and whole nuts to the typical PBJ, so I dont grind too many of the really. I like the idea of adding raw honey & coconut oil to the nuts before blending them. I would think that would cover a multitude of sins :o)

  • Kirstie

    Quinoa can be eaten raw – just soak it overnight and it will sprout little tails and is ready to eat.

  • Jennifer in PA

    I have never heard this about 6 -12 months on bean storage. Why not longer?

    Katie Reply:

    Jennifer,
    Just something that I think is even on the bean packages – that said, I think it’s just a gradual loss of quality, and I’m certain I’ve used beans older than 12 months. It’s a matter of “best” practice vs. “possible” practice. :) Katie

    Julie Reply:

    I pulled up this resource for length or product storage: http://www.providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,2251-1-1142-1,00.html. It shows bean storage at 6-8 years which I’ve noticed personally to be very accurate. This of course is under ideal conditions…not in a hot garage, for example.

    FarmSchooler Reply:

    Older beans, just like older seeds, dont sprout as easily. Older beans take longer to cook. A neighbor once told me that the beans shed stored for 5 years w/ O2 absorbers would NOT cook.

    My personal take on the matter is sort of like the story of the manna in Scripture…we are given what we need until the next harvest. To try to keep more isnt always the best thing to do. According to Gen 3:17 (for our sake) work (planting & harvesting) is just as much of our health as is eating…..thats my opinion anyway :o)

  • shannon

    “Starvation would be the only circumstance in which my husband would eat canned salmon. Even then, he might rather die. ”
    ha ha, same here with me and my husband. I was mortified the first time I opened a can and had to dig out the spine! Eww.

    Rebekah Reply:

    You don’t have to dig out the spine, you know… extra calcium! ;)

  • Erin

    We have added chia seeds and sprouts to our diet and they store pretty good. I plan to do more pressure cooker canning from your beans book recipes Katie. Sites such as these from the extention offices suggests beans be canned “hot packed” so just o be sure thats how I do it.
    Great info here http://extension.oregonstate.edu/community/food-preservation

  • Lauren

    I absolutely love that you’re doing this post. My husband and I are of the same mind-set and try to be as prepared as possible, but I”ve really struggled with how be prepared regarding food. If you store what you eat and eat what you store, I don’t eat the typical preparedness food! I appreciate all the insights and tips you have here.

    FarmSchooler- I never heard of preserving your own eggs and am thrilled to follow your link. Thanks!

  • Abbey

    I had never heard of this before, but my husband mentioned how he misses his grandmother’s canned beef.

    So, I looked it up just now and found several recipes for home canning beef and http://www.homestead-acres.com/ has a blog that includes recipes for home canning your own soups.

    Could be another thing to rotate into the stockpile.

  • Julie

    A few things… Both butter and beans can also be bottled in jars easily. Also another option is dehydrating whole meals in your dehydrator. They can then be sealed and stored in your freezer for an emergency; they would just need to be rehydrated. With any dehydrated/freeze dried foods it is super important to have enough water available to rehydrate otherwise the food is worthless.

  • Katie (PuraVida Homesteader)

    FYI – Info on dehydrating from Alton Brown, granted he doesn’t go into meats, but I thought the information was interesting…

    http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season11/dried_fruit/witheringbites.htm

    Also, here’s some info on organic methods of purifying/preserving water: (granted they are advertising too, but I thought the info was important to keep searching…)
    http://www.organicsurvivalistsite.com/water-purification-and-storage/5-methods-of-purifying-water

    Maybe better suited on one of your older posts! But this one was great today too! :)

    Brittany Reply:

    I saw the Alton Brown clip too and found it very entertaining. :) And helpful, since I don’t own a dehydrator!

  • Emily

    One day, I’m going to learn to make biltong.

    Thanks for reminding me about BPA in cans – almost bought canned fish a couple wks ago, but decided not to. Now I’m REALLY glad.

    FYI in my and DH’s experience, sprouted raw quinoa just goes right on through.

    Katie Reply:

    Emily,
    Someone else pointed out, and I think she is right, that the only cans with BPA are the white-lined cans, and often canned fish doesn’t have the lining. So we might be safe! I love canned salmon, which is the least expensive and definitely the easiest way to find “wild Alaskan salmon.” Thanks! :) Katie

  • Lisa

    You can store water in jugs or pop bottles on the top shelf of your freezer. It turns it into a giant cooler. My friend lost electricity due to a hurricane and her food stayed frozen for 4 days until the electricity came back on.

  • Alexis D

    YAY!!!

    You have just made my day, week, month!!!

    Thank You :)

  • Heather

    The pressure canner is a useful thing to have around. I bought mine for $12 at an auction, 20 years ago, and learned how to use it by following the directions. When I have sufficient garden produce to make it useful, it gets used for that. More often, it gets used to keep us in preparedness/convenience foods. Beef or chicken bits in stock (this can be a base for lots of other meals). Taco meat made to our recipe. Spaghetti sauce. Ham and beans. Soups. Etc. We have one of those big electric “roaster” pots, and will make up a giant batch of something in it, and then can it up for when a quick meal comes in handy. I need to do a bunch of such canning in the next few months, before the new baby comes!

  • Karen Pruneau

    For BPA free jar lids try this site, http://mightynest.com/blog/canning-with-weck-glass-jars

    Heather Reply:

    For BPA-free lids that fit standard (cheap, sometimes free) jars, try http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/

    I haven’t tried these yet, but I have seen good reviews from people I respect, and I will be buying them, rather than more disposable lids, as I use up my stash of disposables. (When canning, the food shouldn’t be touching the lid, anyway, so I haven’t worried about the BPA in lids issue that much, but lids that I don’t have to keep replacing are an idea that makes me happy–I don’t even want to think about how many little metal lids I’ve bought in 20 years!)

    I think the Weck jars are beautiful, but, when regular jars are so much cheaper, and often free, the Weck jars are just awfully spendy.

  • Lanna

    I could swear I commented the other night. Sigh. I hate when that happens. I have home-canned tuna, chicken, spiced/flavored chicken (so it’s not so blah), ground turkey, ground beef, butter, and I have some bacon I need to can up this week. Also want to try canning cheese as well – having the option of shelf-stable goodies is nice. :)

  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    My kids could LIVE on tuna, dried fruit, almond butter (or almond anything), jerky, and eggs. The first four being completely shelf-stable. I have a lot of dried beans around, a freezer full of meat, usually plenty of eggs and milk (and butter), beef tallow. Soon I’m buying a whole pig, so I’ll have all that meat plus lard. I like to keep brown rice and/or wild rice around, spices, stock, sucanat, soaked/dried oats, sprouted wheat, etc. I think we could live weeks off what we have, if we needed to. If I had a pressure canner I’d can ready-made (homemade, obviously) soups, and LOTS of them. To me, that would be the ultimate in nutrition and variety. I don’t have a pressure canner though. For now we’ll stick to tuna and almond butter (plus my beans and such).

  • cirelo

    Katie,
    I was curious your thoughts on how emergency preparedness lines up with New Testament comments like: “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” I’m really not being facetious, this is something I’m discerning and wondered whether you’d considered. Where does prudence end and “worrying” or not trusting God begin? What is a good and proper balance. Is it right to stockpile more than we need?
    I don’t know the answer but I think that there is enough warning in the NT about the subject to pause and reflect. I actually have the same questions about retirement plans. :)

    cirelo Reply:

    Mt 6:31 31″Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’

    For a specific reference.

    Heather Reply:

    I’m not a religious expert of any sort, but I would file it under “The Lord helps those who help themselves”. More than once, we’ve had a full pantry and a full freezer go very far toward tiding over a period where money was tight, due to unemployment or whatever. When you’re so broke that you have to decide between buying toothpaste and toilet paper, well you probably have baking soda in your pantry somewhere–and you’re not missing any meals. And, remember, the brokest time in that scenario is often once you’ve gotten a new job, but haven’t yet gotten a paycheck, because you have to buy gas and whatnot to earn said paycheck–but you don’t have much of anything to buy it with.

    cirelo Reply:

    Well, the problem I have with “the Lord helps those who helps themselves” take is that that verse is not in the Bible and is a very Protestant saying not a Catholic reading on things. I do appreciate your thoughts but I’m curious what would be a Catholic interpretation on the subject.

    Rachel Wisdom Reply:

    Cirelo, I really appreciate your civil attitude in questioning how to balance preparedness with trusting in God’s provision. The easy answer is that it is a matter of conscience. I cannot give you a Catholic interpretation on it, but you might want to consider the OT laws regarding the sabbath year, where God’s people were actually commanded to prepare for a year of rest every seventh year by storing up food. A previous commenter mentioned the prohibition from storing manna, but perhaps that is a very incomplete picture when taken in the context of all of scripture.

    (A couple of thoughts: The Israelites were a nomadic people without ability to do any long term storage while they were in the wilderness. Also consider that they were allowed to save a portion of manna for the Sabbath day.)

    Jennifer Reply:

    Proverbs has multiple verses that praise ants for “storing it’s provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.” Part of it seems to be referencing not being lazy and working hard, but it is also referring to having food for later. Also, the story of Joseph in Egypt was one where God specifically told them to save back grain during the years of bounty to save for the years of famine. God doesn’t always seem to tell people when the hard times are coming, but he does call on us to be prepared to help others when people go through difficult times.

    cirelo Reply:

    I think Rachael (and Jennifer too) that you make an excellent point with your OT examples, but I think the question does need to be taken further.

    First, I do agree that a lot does come down to individual conscience and also that things will be done according to needs and abilities.

    Second, the story about Joseph I was thinking about too, but I see it in terms of government support. I do think the gov. has a responsibility to provide help in times of trial, I see that story as a good example.

    So where I am still stuck is how do we read these Old Testament calls to prudence in the light of the New Testament, which warn against stockpiling goods. Take this verse from James 5: “Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. ”

    Do verses like this make you nervous, as an American especially? We have so much, shouldn’t we be sweating a little bit more? Are we the rich James is referring to?

    I am turning this subject around from varying angles I certainly have no qualms with preserving the harvest. I myself buy in bulk (for economical reasons) so I do have food on hand that would last some time. I think that, a)I’m uncomfortable with the idea of preparedness becoming an idol of sorts, a preoccupation rather. And b) I’m uncomfortable with preparedness being self-serving rather than being something that could help serve others, or something that even detracts from others in some way.

    And my daughter just threw up on me. This could be an interesting night.

    Katie Reply:

    Cirelo,
    My daughter did the same thing yesterday (although thankfully I wasn’t at the computer)!

    I do feel similarly to you on the “preparedness could become an idol” issue, and I hope to encourage (and practice) more simple prepping, just a few steps I’ll take beyond regular old stocking up. I think there’s a balance to be found between not doing anything to be ready and doing too much.

    Here’s a response on the faith question that I wrote Monday: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/05/13/lets-get-ready/#comment-93612

    I’ll jump in on this conversation – an important one! – more later. Now it’s time for breakfast…
    :) Katie

    Brittany Reply:

    “The Lord helps those who help themselves” is no more a Protestant saying than a Catholic one. ;) I think the reference actually comes from a Hercules myth, if I remember correctly.

    Your question is a good one though, and one that I have wrestled with myself. I thought this post on Homestead Revival did a great job exploring that topic : http://homesteadrevival.blogspot.com/2010/03/spiritual-aspect-of-prepping-biblically.html.

    Personally it helped me clarify where the balance is between being wise and overly worried.

    cirelo Reply:

    Not a protestant saying but in the vein of “protestant work ethic.” I see Catholic social teaching as being a bit more understanding of the un-self reliant.

    Tonya Reply:

    an excellent question. If i had to describe the real food movement in one word, it would be worry. if i got a few more words, it would be lack of faith. treating everything from food to the dirt tracked in on shoes as suspect.

    cirelo Reply:

    And it shouldn’t be! It should be about good eats. :)

    Katie Reply:

    cirelo,
    I’m finally getting the thread of this great conversation in order (it often goes backward in my dashboard!). The balance is so important, but I don’t know what the “official” Catholic view on prepping is. Might not be one. Might be one!

    However, I have to toss out my personal opinion on retirement funds – my first thought when you said that was that it’s not fair to those around you, whether your kids/family or the entire country/gov’t, b/c they would have to support you when you are older… I try not to be “scared” about retirement time…even though I am! …but I do think it’s important to save up something for that point. ??? Ah, if only I had all the answers. ;)

    More on the food thing as I read down…
    Katie

  • Amanda

    @cirelo,
    I, too, have considered your question when I read blog posts on preparedness. And while I am a Protestant, not a Catholic, I think the important point is discerning where “worry” and “planning” intersect and when worry takes over. Which is individual in some cases. Scripture gives examples of the virtue in planning ahead (from the Proverbs or how God used Joseph to stockpile mass amounts of grain for the coming famine)…and there is wisdom in planning with the knowledge you have (if I live in a common hurricane area, itd be wise to have supplies on hand).
    But when you start to try to prepare for “the unexpected” there essentially is no end to ALL the things you *could* prepare for…and that’s when the Matthew passage must be applied and we bend our knee in confidence that He who clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the sparrows WILL care for us if/when disastrous times come.
    Just some thoughts. Balance is important, no? : )

    Erin Reply:

    SMILES from an older women:}, I think our Father in heaven is smiling as He hears you young Moms consider how to prepare to care for people and yet not worry but rely on God to provide all your needs….. might want to provide them via a well stocked pantry that you’ve trusted Him to help you build up but not lost sleep to accomplish. Stay in the Bible and in prayer He is guiding us:}

  • Juliette

    Ok, that’s even worse! Eating the spine! SHUDDER! digging the spine out of a can of something I would have to swallow without hitting my tongue SOLELY to survive, just might put me over the edge..but leaving it in for the sake of calcium is quite possibly more than my psyche could handle! .shannon’s husband & I can comisserate on this one!! :>D

    cirelo Reply:

    The first time I opened a can of salmon I freaked out and threw it in the trash. Then I gave myself a stern talking to and said that sort of silliness wasn’t allowed. Now I just blindly dump the whole can in the food processor with some cream cheese, hit go, and voila, ignorance is bliss.

  • Krissy

    What about pemmican or Tanka Bites? Katie, perhaps some day you should try to do a series on how to make these? I have not even tried pemmican yet, but we really like Tanka Bites. Great series!!!

    Katie Reply:

    Krissy, I reviewed Tanka Bites in the fall…but what’s pemmican? Thanks! :) Katie

    cirelo Reply:

    Pemmican is awesome, it’s a delicious way to dry meat, though I’ve never made it myself. I did notice “Nourishing Traditions” has a recipe for it.

  • Krissy

    Katie,
    I have read about it on U.S. Wellness Meats website.

    Here is what they say:
    Beef Pemmican – Regular Bar
    Looking for rocket fuel for performance athletics? This is your power bar! It is a combination of grass-fed beef jerky, grass-fed tallow, a touch of honey, dried cherries and sea salt. A tried and true historic Native American recipe. Bars weigh approximately 3.2 ounces each and on average contain 20 grams of protein, 380 calories each and 4 carbohydrates.

    Ingredients: beef jerky, beef tallow, water, cherries, honey, sea salt

    That’s all I know:)
    Krissy

    Katie Reply:

    Thanks! That does sound a lot like the Tanka bars. :) Katie

  • Jennifer

    The solution to the toxic mold in peanut butter is to buy only Valencia PB. Valencia peanuts are grown in an environment too dry for the mold to survive. Several brands (I get Arrowhead Mills or OANB) have organic Valencia PB.

  • Jennifer U

    You mentioned pressure cooked meats. My husband hunts and does his own butchering. I take the little pieces of less than tender meat and pack it into canning jars with a little salt, pepper and garlic and pressure cook it for about 90mins. It is delicious! Another great thing about making your own canned meat is if you have something in the freezer that is about to go bad then you can pressure cook it and it will be good at least another 6 months!
    Pressure cooking Moose or Deer really seems to turn the stew meat into tender loin tips!
    Give it a try!

  • cirelo

    What about live animals as provision, too much water? Rabbits seem space efficient and easy, maybe fish if you have a pond. Didn’t the dad raise fish in a tank in that silly movie “Blast from the past.”

  • Rachel Ramey

    How does ghee compare to butter, nutritionally? It’s a better keeper.

    Katie Reply:

    Rachel,
    Should be more healthy, if anything – ghee is simply butter with the excess water and milk solids boiled off so that it has a more stable cooking temp and keeps longer. Basically butter minus the dairy. :) Katie

  • Katie@Gluten-Free Food Storage

    We can a lot of our own meat: beef, chicken, bacon, other pork. Also some stores carry salted hams around Christmas time. Those stay good for a while out at regular temps. We store dry beans but every year I can about 120 pints of beans, different varieties. Canning dry beans is super easy and will save you tons of money vs. buying canned beans.

  • Hannah

    For BPA free food storage options, check out this site: http://www.liveesp.com/storage/food-storage-view-all/

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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