Life is one crazy adventure! FoodMuster is a gathering of my recipes, reviews, thoughts, creative attempts, and shenanigans! Mum to 4 crazy childlers, wifey, and a primary school teacher. Love sharing my finds online or local, feel free to contact me if you would like to me share your products or site. I believe in the beauty of humans and the world and I am a Mormon.
I have grown up being part of a LDS/Mormon family and still an active mormon today taking care of my own family. For as long as I can remember we have been councelled at church to be prepared by storing food and water that we can use in times of need. This could be a natural disaster, or if a spouse has lost their job or unable to work for a period of time. We are encouraged to do this so we can become self-reliant.
I'd like to share a personal experience that has shaped my understanding of why having food storage is important.
When I was about 10 or 11 my father lost his job and there was a period of time where he was not employed. My parents had some savings, but most of it covered the mortage and other living expenses that came with rasing 5 children. What I remember most of those times was my mother taking items from the store cupboard everynight and making things like chopped up spam in tomato sauce and rolled in pastry. Now you might read this and think yuck! But I loved it, we all did!! I also learned to love franks and beans! But my mum basically told me later in life that her food storage as simple as she thought it was back then, was what made the difference for them in their time of need, it was one less thing she had to concern herself with when things seemed so uncertain.
I have other friends whose parents relied heavily on their food storage to make sure food was on the table. It is their stories and my own that have inspired me to make this blog and share the spirit of self-reliance.
When I began looking into this I found some very helpful information. What I found was that I was extremely overwhelmed with how much food one would need to purchase and store to survive for 12 weeks. For example, I obtained a list from an Australian university site that said a single adult would need approx 10.5kg of flour to last at least 10wks. When you calculate what I would need for my whole family (2 adults and 4 kids) I approximately need to store around 40kg of flour!!!! That's a lot of flour! There are a lot of other things you need in much larger amounts. Basically, the point is the whole concept is rather daunting but it is achieveable because many people do it. I have decided to break this down for me and you, so that we can achieve the goal of storing food that we can have as our backup when we need it.
Traditionally, the kinds of food people have been storing have been rather plain, and most people buy things because they have been advised to but once they have it, they are not sure what to do with it. I will be helping you with this. I plan to provide helpful recipes that are easy to follow and easy to achieve and encompass a wide variety of modern/contempory foods but also keeping up with traditional storage items that are timeless, like wheat. Wheat can be stored for up to 30 years, and somtimes longer depending on where you store it. When you use it, it will need to be milled into flour. I will talk more about milling at another time.
Due to cultural diversity, we have become exposed to some amazing tastes and textures. As a result, what we and our families like have evolved so much over the decades. What was outlined traditionally as what we should have stored, is nolonger desired by the masses. I strongly advise you store what you know your family love and will eat. Image being in a situation where you have to eat what is in your cupboard and all it is sardines and ketchup!! Gross!!! Maybe a little exaggerated, but you get my drift?
The other important point is storing water. Water is so easy to store. It is good to have drinking water and also water for cleaning stored. You could be a situation where there has been a burst water pipe or main in your street and you won't have water for a day or two. If you have your water stored then it won't cause you panic. There could be a natural disaster of flooding or drought. If you have your water stored, again you can feel assured that your family can be provided for.
HOW DO I STORE WATER
This is the best way to start your food storage. Collect your emptied bottles of juice or soft drink, bigger is better. Wash them out and then fill them up with tap water. Drop in a teaspoon or two of plain(don't use lemon scented or anything like that) bleach. Cap the bottle and shake it around a little and store in a cupboard or garage, somewhere out of direct sunlight and doesn't get too hot. These bottles can be stored for up to a year. The bleach kills bacteria and as only a small amount is used, it is safe to consume. The water could also be used to water the garden. You can also store bottled water if you prefer this, but the other method saves you money. You can also purchase larger water containers from camping stores or even BigW. Wash them out and then do the same, but this time add a cup of bleach.
HOW LONG CAN FOODS BE STORED?
This does vary but I will outline the main foods that last the longest. These amounts are appoximates and will need to be stored at room temperature or 24C in air tight containers or vacuum pouches. I have been told by some people that their parents have stored their wheat for longer than 30 years and it is still good to use. The best way to know if your wheat is still good is to put some in dirt and see if sprouts. If it sprouts, its good. If it doesn't then its best to dispose of it. You need to make sure your wheat as been packed properly so that weevels don't attack it.
Honey can also be stored for beyond 30 years. It is best stored in a glass jar. It will crystalise but heating in boiled water will soften the honey back to being runny.
In my next post I will outline ways to begin planning for food storage and we will start with a plan for one month. This way you will see that it is achievable. Even if you stop at one month, you will know that you can do it again. If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I will be happy to help.