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Friday, December 31, 2010

Many natural disasters, and record wheat prices in London

Here are some of the headlines on the internet yesterday:  Flooding in Australia, snow in Phoenix, hurricane winds in Los Angeles, blizzard in North Dakota, water pipes frozen in Northern Ireland, and an earthquake in Indiana.

Any one of these things in our area would cause us to use our food storage and emergency preparedness supplies.  Do you have yours?

Here is another headline:
"London wheat price hits record £200 a tonne".

Wheat harvests are poor in many parts of the world, you may want to do an inventory of what you have and see if you need more.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Could you do without electricity for awhile?

What if a disaster took away our electricity, for a short or a long time?  Would you be able to function?  And if you have a generator, do you have gasoline for it?

We all need to collect non-electrical alternatives for the following:

1. lighting (flashlights, lanterns, candles, etc.)

2. heating (fireplace, kerosene heaters, propane heaters)

3. cooking and heating water (propane grill, fireplace, solar oven, etc.)

4. laundry (laundry detergent and a bucket, clothesline and clothespins)

5. actually there are a lot more but you get the idea.  And remember, with no electricity, stores can't do business.  So you would be living off your food storage.

There was an article today about the coming cycle of solar activity, which warned about the ways the sun can cause electrical grid failure on earth:

"At its angriest, the Sun can vomit forth tides of electromagnetic radiation and charged matter known as coronal mass ejections, or CMEs......"

"On Earth, power lines, data connections and even oil and gas pipelines are potentially vulnerable.
An early warning of the risk came in 1859, when the biggest CME ever observed unleashed red, purple and green auroras even in tropical latitudes.

The new-fangled technology of the telegraph went crazy. Geomagnetically-induced currents in the wires shocked telegraph operators and even set the telegraph paper on fire.

In 1989, a far smaller flare knocked out power from Canada's Hydro Quebec generator, inflicting a nine-hour blackout for six million people.

A workshop in 2008 by US space weather experts, hosted by the National Academy of Sciences, heard that a major geomagnetic storm would dwarf the 2005 Hurricane Katrina for costs."

I definitely hope this type of thing doesn't happen again.  But it is always good to be prepared.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Guiding Principles of Family Welfare, Monson 1986

Ensign » 1986 » September

First Presidency Message
Guiding Principles of Personal and Family Welfare
By President Thomas S. Monson
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

President Spencer W. Kimball further taught concerning self-reliance: “The responsibility for each person’s social, emotional, spiritual, physical, or economic well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church if he is a faithful member thereof.

“No true Latter-day Saint, while physically or emotionally able, will voluntarily shift the burden of his own or his family’s well-being to someone else.” (Ensign, Nov. 1977, p. 77.)

Perhaps no counsel has been repeated more often than how to manage wisely our income. Consumer debt in some nations of the world is at staggering levels. Too many in the Church have failed to avoid unnecessary debt. They have little, if any, financial reserve. The solution is to budget, to live within our means, and to save some for the future. Nowhere is the oppressive burden of debt more clearly taught than in the graphic counsel of President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.:

“It is the rule of our financial and economic life in all the world that interest is to be paid on borrowed money. May I say something about interest?

“Interest never sleeps nor sickens nor dies; it never goes to the hospital; it works on Sundays and holidays; it never takes a vacation; it never visits nor travels; it takes no pleasure; it is never laid off work nor discharged from employment; it never works on reduced hours. … Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you.” (In Conference Report, Apr. 1938, p. 103.)......

......Recent surveys of Church members have shown a serious erosion in the number of families who have a year’s supply of life’s necessities. Most members plan to do it. Too few have begun. We must sense again the spirit of the persistent instruction given by Elder Harold B. Lee as he spoke to the members in 1943: “Again there came counsel in 1942. … ‘We renew our counsel, said the leaders of the Church, and repeat our instruction: Let every Latter-day Saint that has land, produce some valuable essential foodstuff thereon and then preserve it.’ … Let me ask you leaders who are here today: In 1937 did you store in your own basements and in your own private storehouses and granaries sufficient for a year’s supply? You city dwellers, did you in 1942 heed what was said from this stand?” (In Conference Report, April 1943, p. 127.)

Undergirding this pointed call is the stirring appeal from our own living prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, wherein he has given specific suggestions for putting these teachings into action:

“From the standpoint of food production, storage, handling, and the Lord’s counsel, wheat should have high priority. … Water, of course, is essential. Other basics could include honey or sugar, legumes, milk products or substitutes, and salt or its equivalent. The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.” (Ensign, Nov. 1980, p. 33.)

As has been said so often, the best storehouse system that the Church could devise would be for every family to store a year’s supply of needed food, clothing, and, where possible, the other necessities of life.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Label boxes in the pantry

It is a good idea to write on the outside of each food item when you open it, and note when it is empty. Then you will know how long it took to use it up. Eventually, if you pay attention, this will help you know how much food to buy for your food storage.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Teenager and Food Storage- New Era, Nov. 1984

New Era » 1984 » November

“We are often told to start a food storage program. The prophets have counseled us about this for a long time. What can I as a teenager do to prepare myself and to help my family prepare?”

James B. Holm, “Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, Nov. 1984, 16–17

A teenager can play an important part in a family food storage program. Consider these ideas:

1. Understand your family food storage program, its goals and time frame. If you do not understand it well, request a family home evening on food storage. Offer to prepare the lesson and request that your parents share their food storage goals, or as a family set goals and methods to reach those goals. Encourage family members to work towards family food storage goals.

2. Be willing to try new foods that have been prepared using key ingredients found in your food storage. Learn to like a variety of foods. Try using wheat, powdered milk, or other food storage ingredients in new recipes, such as those recipes found in the Church publication Essentials of Home Production and Storage (PGWE 1125).

3. Help with a family garden. Offer to take over part of it. Do more than your share of weeding without being asked. Help in the planning, preparation of soil, planting, weeding, and watering, and in the joy of harvesting and eating.

4. Help prepare food for storage. Help pick the fruits and vegetables. Help with the canning, freezing, drying, or pickling of the produce.

5. Take classes in high school on nutrition and preparation of food. Learn how to comparison shop, the times of year when particular produce is cheaper and more available, and alternative methods of storing and preserving.

6. Realize the purpose of a food storage program. Yes, we are preparing for the great disasters that have been foretold for the last days. However, each family meets financial crises at one time or another. Perhaps the breadwinner becomes unemployed or disabled. A physical illness or tragedy may strike. ......

7. At some point begin your own food storage program. As you plan to marry or to live on your own, it would be wise to begin storing food. It does not need to be complicated nor require a lot of money. Simply begin to store what you eat and eat what you store. Plan your menus for a week and double the food purchased for one day, placing it in your storage. In two months you will have food stored for at least a week. Buy staples in larger quantities. Preserve food when it is cheaper, stock up on sales, and ask Heavenly Father to help you.

Obtain the booklet Essentials of Home Production and Storage. Study it and follow the inspired guidelines contained therein. Begin storing basic, life-sustaining foods that will store over long periods of time. Expand your storage to include a variety of goods that you and your family enjoy and are used to eating, as your situation will allow. Keep nutritional needs in mind as you expand your storage and plan for any particular dietary needs due to diabetes or allergies, etc.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear- Hinckley Liahona Nov. 2005

Gordon B. Hinckley, “If Ye Are Prepared Ye Shall Not Fear,” Liahona, Nov 2005, 60–62

We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. … We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments.

We can so live that we can call upon the Lord for His protection and guidance. This is a first priority. We cannot expect His help if we are unwilling to keep His commandments. We in this Church have evidence enough of the penalties of disobedience in the examples of both the Jaredite and the Nephite nations. Each went from glory to utter destruction because of wickedness.

We know, of course, that the rain falls on the just as well as the unjust (see Matt. 5:45). But even though the just die they are not lost, but are saved through the Atonement of the Redeemer. Paul wrote to the Romans, “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord” (Rom. 14:8).

We can heed warnings. We have been told that many had been given concerning the vulnerability of New Orleans. We are told by seismologists that the Salt Lake Valley is a potential earthquake zone. This is the primary reason that we are extensively renovating the Tabernacle on Temple Square. This historic and remarkable building must be made to withstand the shaking of the earth.

We have built grain storage and storehouses and stocked them with the necessities of life in the event of a disaster. But the best storehouse is the family storeroom. In words of revelation the Lord has said, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing” (D&C 109:8).

Our people for three-quarters of a century have been counseled and encouraged to make such preparation as will assure survival should a calamity come.

We can set aside some water, basic food, medicine, and clothing to keep us warm. We ought to have a little money laid aside in case of a rainy day.

Now what I have said should not occasion a run on the grocery store or anything of that kind. I am saying nothing that has not been said for a very long time.

Let us never lose sight of the dream of Pharaoh concerning the fat cattle and the lean, the full ears of corn, and the blasted ears; the meaning of which was interpreted by Joseph to indicate years of plenty and years of scarcity (see Gen. 41:1–36).

I have faith, my dear brethren, that the Lord will bless us, and watch over us, and assist us if we walk in obedience to His light, His gospel, and His commandments. He is our Father and our God, and we are His children, and we must be in every way deserving of His love and concern. That we may do so is my humble prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Comments by some Non-LDS at the cannery, Small Storage spaces

I went to the Greensboro cannery yesterday with my son and his wife.  Some other members of the church were there too, and 4 non-members.  (Non-LDS are welcome at the cannery, and they do not have to be accompanied by an LDS friend.  They have to order ahead of time and make an appointment just like everyone else.)

As we all canned food together, I got into a conversation with the non-members.  "What is it that is causing you to want to store food?"

 Two of them said that they are physicians and work in the emergency room together.  They said that they can see the abuse of the system by people who are dependent on the government for everything, and they also see the financial troubles in this country, and they are fearful for civil unrest and violence which may erupt when the government is no longer paying for food stamps, etc.

Since we have been commanded to have food storage by our prophets for decades,  we may do it for religious reasons.  But it is also very interesting to understand what social and political events are starting to motivate non-members to store food.

Now, to change the subject:

Here is a list of a bunch of ways to hide food storage all around your house.

We can all find a way to keep more food in our houses! It just has to be a priority.

Monday, December 13, 2010

corrected link

I corrected the link I just posted, just refresh your previous post.

The world is starting to teach the wisdom of food storage

I think it is interesting that on this video, the statistician John Williams is encouraging everyone to have food storage.

This was broadcast on Dec. 8, 2010.  I hope he isn't correct, but if he IS correct we better all have our food storage sooner rather than later.

(I had the wrong link a minute ago.)

If you want to watch the part that is specifically about food storage, start at 5:40.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Preparing for an Ice Storm

(Photo I took in Cary, NC in 2001 or 2002, I can't remember.)

We have lived here for almost 23 years, and have gone through several big ice storms and snowstorms. Even a few inches of snow is bad here, because there are no snow plows to clean off the roads, so after even a relatively small snowstorm the roads all turn to ice.

When a winter storm warning is announced, make sure you do all your laundry and have lots of foods that don't have to be cooked. You probably won't have any power for a few days, so you will also need a source of heat.

Don't worry about the food in your fridge and freezer, it won't thaw out with the temperature so low.

Once Wayne was out of town and I tried to cook homemade biscuits laid on top of the fireplace shovel, holding it above the fire. My arm got so tired and so hot from the fire that we ate them half raw.

My friend stepped out of her door after an ice storm and fell on the ice and broke her arm and had to make her way to the hospital in a 4-wheel vehicle. My son and daughter both broke their hands sledding on the same day during a snowstorm, we also had to find 4-wheel drive vehicles to take them to the doctor.

Our electricity was out for only one or two whole days, but during some of the events our phone was out for longer. Other people's electricity was out for up to 3 weeks, depending on where they lived.

Our water supply was fine, I was even able to take a shower because we had a gas water heater, but the bathroom was ice cold.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Panic buying in England, Dec. 3, 2010

Hey, this could happen here too.  Make sure you have food storage and water storage, and keep more than a half a tank of gas in your car at all times---You'll be glad you did.

"Big Freeze:  Food and Fuel Run Out", Dec. 3, 2010
Food and fuel were running out in some parts of Britain as the big freeze continued to make deliveries impossible.
Supermarkets were battling to keep their shelves stocked with staple foods such as bread and milk and petrol retailers were running low dry on fuel as lorries struggled to complete deliveries in the icy conditions.
The Independent Petrol Retailers Association warned that up to 500 independent petrol retailers in Scotland and the east of England risked running dry by the weekend.
It stated that road tankers have been unable to leave the main terminals from two refineries from the Total SA (TOT) refinery at Lindsey and from the Jet refinery at Killingholme,  both on south Humberside, effectively "cutting the supply chain off at its knees".
Panic-buying was also adding to the problem as consumers stocked up on essentials.
Consumers have also been stocking up on shovels, water bottles and thermals as the big freeze continues to bite.
Marks & Spencer reported a 121% increase in sales of thermal clothing in the past week while Sainsbury's said it had increased its stocks of long-life UHT milk which has seen a 20% rise in demand.
Although the weather is expected to improve slightly over the weekend, further freezing conditions are forecast for next week.

read more:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Water Filtration Bottle

The Church is now offering a water filtration bottle on  One water bottle with two filters is $22, and will filter 100 gallons.  These would be great for Christmas gifts.

As a price comparison, I saw a Katadyn Hiker (a different style of water filter), on sale on for $44.99 in November, and it would do 200 gallons.  I think the usual price is $64.95.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Twas the Month Before Christmas

Twas the Month Before Christmas
Twas the month before Christmas
And all through the house
The storage was low
Hardly a crumb for a mouse.
The shelves were about empty,
Oh, what a plight!
The wolf’s at the door,
And no money in sight.
All the children were nestled
To keep warm in their bed,
Hoping that before long
They surely would be fed.
The prophet had counseled
“Each one be prepared,”
We had procrastinated the day,
Why hadn’t we cared?
ALAS! “Twas only a dream”,
But that didn’t matter
I jumped from my bed
Making a loud awful clatter.
Away to the basement
I flew like a flash,
Stumbling over boxes and bottles,
Along with some trash.
As I surveyed my storage,
With eyes all aglow
The security of filled bottles
All straight in a row
Filled my heart with a warmth
And my eyes with a tear
To think I had food
to last us a year.
This feeling of warmth
And security too,
Is what we as your friends
Wish for you.
So put gifts of storage
Under each Christmas tree
For those on your list,
Is our warmest plea,
Give honey, give sugar,
Give flour or wheat.
Give milk, give salt,
Give something to eat.
And you’ll hear them exclaim,
When Christmas is here,
“Thank-you so much,
It will be a good year.”
~~Author unknown

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Home Storage: Build on the Basics", June 1989

“Home Storage: Build on the Basics,” Ensign, Jun 1989, 39

The article was published in the Ensign in June 1989.

From Brigham Young’s time to the present day, latter-day prophets have counseled Church members to store food for times of need. Recently, the First Presidency spoke again on this subject:

“We continue to encourage members to store sufficient food, clothing, and where possible fuel for at least one year. We have not laid down an exact formula for what should be stored. However, we suggest that members concentrate on essential foods that sustain life, such as grains, legumes, cooking oil, powdered milk, salt, sugar or honey, and water. Most families can achieve and maintain this basic level of preparedness. The decision to do more than this rests with the individual.

“We encourage you to follow this counsel with the assurance that a people prepared through obedience to the commandments of God need not fear.” (Letter to priesthood leaders, 24 June 1988.)

If families would think in terms of storing only foods basic to survival, or if they would supplement the food storage they already have with the basics to build it up to a year’s supply, the task would be simpler than they might think. They would then be prepared for food emergencies.

A year’s supply of food storage is beneficial in several ways:

1. It provides peace of mind as we obey the counsel to store.

2. It helps ensure survival in case of personal or natural disaster.

3. It strengthens skills in preparing and using basic foods.

Once you have stored the basic food items, you need to regularly include them in your daily meals.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What are some of the Calamities?

General Conference Oct. 1973, in the Ensign Jan. 1974, p. 68

"Prepare Ye", by President Ezra Taft Benson.

What are some of the calamities for which we are to prepare? In (Doctrine and Covenants) section 29 the Lord warns us of “a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the crops of the earth.” (D&C 29:16.) In section 45 we read of “an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land.” (D&C 45:31.) In section 63 the Lord declares he has “decreed wars upon the face of the earth. …” (D&C 63:33.)

In Matthew, chapter 24, we learn of “famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes. …” (Matt. 24:7.) The Lord declared that these and other calamities shall occur. These particular prophecies seem not to be conditional. The Lord, with his foreknowledge, knows that they will happen. Some will come about through man’s manipulations; others through the forces of nature and nature’s God, but that they will come seems certain. Prophecy is but history in reverse—a divine disclosure of future events.

Yet, through all of this, the Lord Jesus Christ has said: “… if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (D&C 38:30.)

What, then, is the Lord’s way to help us prepare for these calamities? The answer is also found in section 1 of the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein he says:

“Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;

“And also gave commandments to others. …” (D&C 1:17–18.)

He has also said: “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.” (D&C 1:37.)

Here then is the key—look to the prophets for the words of God, that will show us how to prepare for the calamities which are to come.

And I will add my testimony here, if we look to the prophets and get our food storage, get out of debt, have financial reserves, we will be blessed during the hard times to come.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let's do these things because they are right- Kimball, 1977

Ensign » 1977 » November

Welfare Services:
The Gospel in Action
President Spencer W. Kimball

As you know, in the recent past we have placed considerable emphasis on personal and family preparedness. I hope that each member of the Church is responding appropriately to this direction. I also hope that we are understanding and accentuating the positive and not the negative.

I like the way the Relief Society teaches personal and family preparedness as “provident living.” This implies the husbanding of our resources, the wise planning of financial matters, full provision for personal health, and adequate preparation for education and career development, giving appropriate attention to home production and storage as well as the development of emotional resiliency.

I hope that we understand that, while having a garden, for instance, is often useful in reducing food costs and making available delicious fresh fruits and vegetables, it does much more than this. Who can gauge the value of that special chat between daughter and Dad as they weed or water the garden? How do we evaluate the good that comes from the obvious lessons of planting, cultivating, and the eternal law of the harvest? And how do we measure the family togetherness and cooperating that must accompany successful canning? Yes, we are laying up resources in store, but perhaps the greater good is contained in the lessons of life we learn as we live providently and extend to our children their pioneer heritage.

Think of the learning that accompanies a family council on the family budget. How do Mom and Dad feel when a teenage son who, because he is included and understands the budgeting process, volunteers part of his summer’s income to help replace that tired refrigerator?

We speak of literacy and education in terms of being prepared for a better occupation, but we cannot underestimate the present pleasure of our reading in the scriptures, Church magazines, and good books of every kind. We teach of emotional strength in terms of family prayer, kind words, and full communication, but we quickly learn how pleasant life can be when it is lived in a courteous and reinforcing atmosphere.

In like manner we could refer to all the components of personal and family preparedness, not in relation to holocaust or disaster, but in cultivating a life-style that is on a day-to-day basis its own reward.

Let’s do these things because they are right, because they are satisfying, and because we are obedient to the counsels of the Lord. In this spirit we will be prepared for most eventualities, and the Lord will prosper and comfort us. It is true that difficult times will come—for the Lord has foretold them—and, yes, stakes of Zion are “for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm.” (D&C 115:6.) But if we live wisely and providently, we will be as safe as in the palm of His hand.

I hope that in our priesthood quorums and Relief Society meetings the concepts of personal and family preparedness are being properly taught and with the kind of positive approach that we all respond to.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cannery trip on Dec. 14

I had to cancel the Dec. 9 trip, I am now going to the cannery with my son and his wife the morning of Tues. Dec. 14.  I am willing to pick up food for you (this offer is for Morrisville Ward, and Green Level ward if I have room), please contact me if you want to buy some.

Gamma Seal lids on sale

These lids are on sale at Emergency Essentials for $6.49 each.   I really like having these Gamma Seal lids on my food storage buckets.  They screw on and off, and I only keep them on the buckets that I am currently using.  (All my other unopened buckets still have the standard lids, you have to get those off with a special tool or break all your fingernails.)

I only own about 7 of these, in all different colors.  To attach them to a bucket, you have to take off the old lid, hammer the new ring onto the bucket, and then screw the removable center on and off.  The ring is on there permanently.  When the food inside the bucket is gone, I will dump more food in.

Friday, December 3, 2010

More problems for sugar crop

I just got a heads-up on something that has just happened to threaten next year's sugar beet crop.  Do you have your year's supply of sugar yet?  And remember, if sugar shortages happen, all other foods with sugar will go up:  cake mixes, candy, barbecue sauce, etc. 

Federal judge orders sugar beet stecklings destroyed

A federal judge has ordered genetically modified sugar beet stecklings, which grow new beet seed, to be destroyed.
The decision raises questions about the 2012 seed supply and may have further complicate rules that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed for the 2011 growing season. 
Stecklings are root stock planted in the fall, uprooted during the winter and then replanted to produce seed the following season.....

The beet industry has argued that a complete ban on the Roundup Ready technology until May 2012, when the full environmental impact statement is slated to be completed, will cause significant disruptions to half the domestically produced sugar supply. A USDA report estimated that up to 37 percent of sugar beet production would be lost under a ban. Beets provide about half of the domestically produced sugar.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Old Margarine Powder, Old Milk Powder

I decided to start opening every old can in my food storage.  I figured it would either be good, and I would eat it, or it would be bad, and I would throw it away, thus clearing a space for some new food storage.

So I opened this can of margarine powder from 1988, and used this milk powder from 1991 (which I knew was good, because I've been using it for a few months already.)

I made some buttercream frosting, from powdered sugar, margarine powder, milk powder, and water.

My oldest son was visiting, so I offered him a snack of graham crackers with the frosting.  I was curious to see if he would notice any difference with the taste.  He ate it happily with no comment.

So, the verdict is that 22 year old margarine powder still tastes fine in buttercream frosting.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Provident Living Challenge for December

Do one of these by the January evening Relief Society meeting and get a prize!

Challenge #1:  Count up all the weight of your shelf stable “grains”.  Determine whether you have a three month supply, which equals 100 pounds per person.  If you count it all, you get the prize.
This would include wheat, rolled oats, hot cereal, cold cereal, crackers, graham crackers, macaroni, egg noodles, spaghetti, cornmeal, cake mixes, white flour, rice, brown rice, minute rice, pancake mix, popcorn, alfalfa sprouting seeds, etc.  Anything that is made of grains. If you want to, you can also count the bread in your freezer, but that is not technically “shelf stable”. 
Remember, the church teaches us to get a three-month supply of things we normally eat.  The “grain” group of foods takes up the most space, and you should already have a lot of it.
STORAGE:  What are you doing to keep out bugs?  
Your three-month supply is usually in normal grocery store boxes.  These need to be rotated regularly, they can be easily invaded by bugs.  Or, the bug eggs might already be inside them.  One lady said that she wraps the box openings  of her cake mixes with clear packaging tape, to prevent bugs going in or out.  She said she would rather have one box with bugs instead of all of the boxes getting ruined.
Flour, cornmeal, rice, pancake mix, etc, which come in big bags need to be dumped into canisters or large Tupperware containers so the bugs can’t get inside.
I am assuming that your long-term storage (wheat, rice, etc.) is in sealed #10 cans or in large plastic buckets to prevent bug damage.

Challenge #2:  Get a year’s supply of salt.  You need 5-8 pounds per person for a year.  This is the cheapest part of food storage, and it takes the least amount of space.   It costs 25 cents per pound at Sam’s.  Buy iodized salt, so that you can also obtain the necessary nutrient iodine.  (Non-iodized salt is used for canning.)
Some of you might say, “We don’t use much salt.”  Let me point out that currently we are all eating mostly store-bought foods, and it isn’t obvious how much salt is actually in our diets.  If you ever had to start baking and cooking all your food from scratch, you would need this much salt for a year, and would be very sorry not to have it.

(Notice the photo above:  I put a label that says I opened this 4 lb. box in November 2008.  It wasn't all used up until Sept. 2010.  So at this point my family is only basically using 2 lbs. per year, but like I said, most of our foods are purchased at the store, with the salt already added.)
Storage of salt:  Because it is so inexpensive, I am not worried about it too much.  I assume that if the salt becomes clumped together, I will just dissolve it into water or hammer it and then use it in recipes.  Other than getting stuck together, it will last forever. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cannery Trip Dec. 9

(This offer is for Morrisville ward only, and Green Level ward if I have room.)

I will be going to the Greensboro cannery on Dec. 9 with my son and his wife.  If you want to come with us, or if you need us to pick up something for you, please contact me.  You will need to go to,11677,1706-1,00.html  and print out a price list (click on Home Storage Center Order Form) , and send it to Brother Midkiff, then give me a check made out to the cannery (I'll find out what to write on the check.)  I will be taking my van so I will have room.

If you wonder why you would want to buy food from the cannery: This is the most inexpensive way to buy all of these commodities.  

Here are a couple of price comparisons:

#10 cans:
Cannery Powdered milk: $7.05
Emergency Essentials powdered milk: $12.95
Walton Feed powdered milk: $11.60

Cannery 25 lbs for $14
Sam's club:  50 lbs for $29.00

From what I have seen, every food item is either a lot cheaper or a little bit cheaper than you can get it anywhere else.

You can get food in #10 cans, or in mylar pouches, or in bulk bags.  The #10 cans cost more but are ready for long term storage.  I don't know about the mylar bags, but the bulk bags need to be dumped into buckets when you get home, to keep out bugs.

Here are the items offered by the cannery:  Black beans, Pinto beans, White beans, Nonfat Dry Milk, White Rice, Granulated Sugar, Hard Red Wheat, White Wheat, Dehydrated Apple Slices, Dehydrated Carrots, Macaroni, Quick Oats, Regular Oats, Dry Onions, Potato Flakes, Spaghetti, and a few other things.

Please consider ordering something for me to pick up on Dec. 9.

FHE- Emergency Prep Scavenger Hunt

Ensign » 2002 » September

Random Sampler

Emergency Preparedness Game-
Windy L. Hasson, “Emergency Preparedness Game,” Ensign, Sept. 2002, 73

To involve everyone and make preparing for an emergency seem fun instead of daunting or upsetting, we decided to have a scavenger hunt as part of family home evening. Together we could gather items for an emergency preparedness kit. Considering family members’ individual needs, I made a list of supplies for our search. For starters, the baby would need a bottle, formula, and diapers, while my husband would need sturdy clothes and work gloves. I also found ideas from information I had saved from Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment lessons.

At the start of our family night, we discussed possible natural disaster situations and the importance of being prepared so we don’t have to be afraid (see D&C 38:30). After our discussion, we divided our family into teams and gave each group an empty laundry basket and part of our list. Then we had our scavenger hunt throughout the house, collecting the needed supplies.

The children had a great time gathering the items and choosing which clothing to include. Within an hour, we had items for a complete emergency kit—tailored for our family’s needs. What once had seemed an overwhelming task became a fun activity for our family, and we now feel better prepared should an emergency arise.—Windy L. Hasson, Celeste Ward, Las Vegas Nevada Sandstone Stake

The Church offers helpful suggestions for preparing emergency supplies in a booklet titled Essentials of Home Production and Storage (item no. 32288; U.S. $.75), available in distribution centers. Regarding emergency storage, the booklet advises everyone to have portable containers with the following: water; food requiring no refrigeration or cooking; medications and critical medical histories as needed; change of clothing, including sturdy shoes and two pairs of socks; sanitary supplies; first aid booklet and equipment; candles; waterproof matches; ax; shovel; can opener; and blankets (see p. 7). The booklet also recommends preparing a portable packet with valuable family documents, such as family history records.

Monday, November 29, 2010

1st Quarter Earnings reports indicate rising food prices

It was interesting to read the 1st Quarter Earnings reports of Dean Foods and Saralee.  

In the following quotes from their financial reports, you can read that butterfat (a key component of Dean Food's products) increased 70% in price in the past year, and that made their profits go down 33%.

And Saralee mentions "sharply increasing commodity prices."

These reports to their investors are kind of hard to understand,  lets see if I can reword what they might be saying:   "We didn't make as much profit as we planned, we can't give you as high a dividend as we planned, because the prices of our raw materials (commodities) went up so much.  But we will raise our prices in the next quarter and then we will make profits and be able to pay better dividends."  

I am not pointing this out to criticize the corporations, they have to pass on their costs in order to stay in business.  I am pointing this out as evidence that I'm not making this up.  

The message to consumers is this:  Prices on food are going up.   So it would be wise to buy your food storage now.

Nov. 9, 2010- Class II butterfat, a key component of the Company's creamer, cultured and ice cream products, increased 26% from the previous quarter and was 70% higher than in the third quarter of 2009.
Consistent with previous quarters, retail pricing for private label milk remained well below historical levels and fluid milk industry pricing remains highly competitive. Widened price gaps between branded and private label offerings drove continued consumer trade-down to lower-margin private label products. This, combined with overall volume weakness and rapid butterfat inflation drove Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar operating income in the third quarter of $116.5 million, a 33% decline from $174.9 million in the third quarter of 2009.

Nov. 9, 2010-  “As anticipated, our first quarter operating income came in below the prior-year period.  We see our price 
increases coming through across the board, but in the first quarter they still lagged sharply increasing commodity 
prices.  We are confident that the additional price increases we have announced will mitigate commodity inflation 
for the full year. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Time to get our houses in order- Hinckley, 1998

Ensign » 1998 » November

To the Boys and to the Men
President Gordon B. Hinckley

I wish to speak to you about temporal matters.

As a backdrop for what I wish to say, I read to you a few verses from the 41st chapter of Genesis.

Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, dreamed dreams which greatly troubled him. The wise men of his court could not give an interpretation. Joseph was then brought before him: “Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:

“And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:

“And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed. …

“And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine: …

“And I saw in my dream … seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:

“And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:

“And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: …

“And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, … God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

“The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. …

“… What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.

“Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:

“And there shall arise after them seven years of famine;

“… And God will shortly bring it to pass” (Gen. 41:17–20, 22–26, 28–30, 32).

Now, brethren, I want to make it very clear that I am not prophesying, that I am not predicting years of famine in the future. But I am suggesting that the time has come to get our houses in order.

So many of our people are living on the very edge of their incomes. In fact, some are living on borrowings.

We have witnessed in recent weeks wide and fearsome swings in the markets of the world. The economy is a fragile thing. A stumble in the economy in Jakarta or Moscow can immediately affect the entire world. It can eventually reach down to each of us as individuals. There is a portent of stormy weather ahead to which we had better give heed.

I hope with all my heart that we shall never slip into a depression. I am a child of the Great Depression of the thirties. I finished the university in 1932, when unemployment in this area exceeded 33 percent.

My father was then president of the largest stake in the Church in this valley. It was before our present welfare program was established. He walked the floor worrying about his people. He and his associates established a great wood-chopping project designed to keep the home furnaces and stoves going and the people warm in the winter. They had no money with which to buy coal. Men who had been affluent were among those who chopped wood.

I repeat, I hope we will never again see such a depression. But I am troubled by the huge consumer installment debt which hangs over the people of the nation, including our own people. In March 1997 that debt totaled $1.2 trillion, which represented a 7 percent increase over the previous year.

In December of 1997, 55 to 60 million households in the United States carried credit card balances. These balances averaged more than $7,000 and cost $1,000 per year in interest and fees. Consumer debt as a percentage of disposable income rose from 16.3 percent in 1993 to 19.3 percent in 1996.

Everyone knows that every dollar borrowed carries with it the penalty of paying interest. When money cannot be repaid, then bankruptcy follows. There were 1,350,118 bankruptcies in the United States last year. This represented a 50 percent increase from 1992. In the second quarter of this year, nearly 362,000 persons filed for bankruptcy, a record number for a three-month period.

We are beguiled by seductive advertising. Television carries the enticing invitation to borrow up to 125 percent of the value of one’s home. But no mention is made of interest.

President J. Reuben Clark Jr., in the April 1938 general conference, said from this pulpit:
“Once in debt, interest is your companion every minute of the day and night; you cannot shun it or slip away from it; you cannot dismiss it; it yields neither to entreaties, demands, or orders; and whenever you get in its way or cross its course or fail to meet its demands, it crushes you”
(in Conference Report, Apr. 1938, 103).

I recognize that it may be necessary to borrow to get a home, of course. But let us buy a home that we can afford and thus ease the payments which will constantly hang over our heads without mercy or respite for as long as 30 years.

No one knows when emergencies will strike. I am somewhat familiar with the case of a man who was highly successful in his profession. He lived in comfort. He built a large home. Then one day he was suddenly involved in a serious accident. Instantly, without warning, he almost lost his life. He was left a cripple. Destroyed was his earning power. He faced huge medical bills. He had other payments to make. He was helpless before his creditors. One moment he was rich, the next he was broke.

Since the beginnings of the Church, the Lord has spoken on this matter of debt. To Martin Harris through revelation He said: “Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer. Release thyself from bondage” (D&C 19:35).

President Heber J. Grant spoke repeatedly on this matter from this pulpit. He said: “If there is any one thing that will bring peace and contentment into the human heart, and into the family, it is to live within our means. And if there is any one thing that is grinding and discouraging and disheartening, it is to have debts and obligations that one cannot meet” (Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham [1941], 111).

We are carrying a message of self-reliance throughout the Church. Self-reliance cannot obtain when there is serious debt hanging over a household. One has neither independence nor freedom from bondage when he is obligated to others.

In managing the affairs of the Church, we have tried to set an example. We have, as a matter of policy, stringently followed the practice of setting aside each year a percentage of the income of the Church against a possible day of need.

I am grateful to be able to say that the Church in all its operations, in all its undertakings, in all of its departments, is able to function without borrowed money. If we cannot get along, we will curtail our programs. We will shrink expenditures to fit the income. We will not borrow.

One of the happiest days in the life of President Joseph F. Smith was the day the Church paid off its long-standing indebtedness.

What a wonderful feeling it is to be free of debt, to have a little money against a day of emergency put away where it can be retrieved when necessary.

President Faust would not tell you this himself. Perhaps I can tell it, and he can take it out on me afterward. He had a mortgage on his home drawing 4 percent interest. Many people would have told him he was foolish to pay off that mortgage when it carried so low a rate of interest. But the first opportunity he had to acquire some means, he and his wife determined they would pay off their mortgage. He has been free of debt since that day. That’s why he wears a smile on his face, and that’s why he whistles while he works.

I urge you, brethren, to look to the condition of your finances. I urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt to the extent possible. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from bondage.

This is a part of the temporal gospel in which we believe. May the Lord bless you, my beloved brethren, to set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts. That’s all I have to say about it, but I wish to say it with all the emphasis of which I am capable.

I leave with you my testimony of the divinity of this work and my love for each of you, in the name of the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Melting Hardened Honey

Honey lasts almost forever, but it does crystallize over time.

How do you turn it back to liquid?

I had a bottle of crystallized honey, so I cut off the top (it was too tall to fit in my microwave) and microwaved it for about 3 minutes at a time.  I kept pouring off the liquid and putting the jar back into the microwave to cook some more.

I am storing the liquid honey in this other container now, and we just get it out with a knife or spoon.

You can also set the container of hardened honey in a pot of water and cook that on the stove.

I have also been successful at liquifying honey just by setting the jar out in the sun for a few hours on top of a foil pie pan (to reflect the sun more.)  (Of course this would work much better when it is hot outside.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Report on Youth's Emergency Prep Activity- Part 2

This is Part 2:  On October 19, 2010 our ward youth had an Emergency Preparedness drill in three homes, as their joint activity.  (Family #1-Anonymous, Family #2- Blake and Amelia, and Family #3-Mike and Mitzi.)  

The youth split up into teams with their leaders and visited the homes, and gave each family the following tasks.  The groups earned points according to what tasks they could complete.

Example: "The oil on the stove catches fire.  What do you do?
Earn points: 1 pt for finding the baking soda
1 pt for putting a lid on the pan
1 pt for finding the fire extinguisher
1 pt for each child meeting outside at a pre-determined meeting spot
1 pt for each child knowing how to call 911
Family #1- Our kids did NOT know what to do when oil caught fire, so the Young Men explained what to do.  Our kids remembered our family meeting spot, it is the court in front of the house.
Family #2- Blake and Amelia: We have a fire extinguisher.
Family #3-Mike and Mitzi: We got out the baking soda, we need to get a fire extinguisher, and our kids knew to go to the neighbor’s mailbox.

Example:  Your vehicle is stalled on the freeway on a very hot day, or you are stuck in your car somewhere in an ice storm.
Earn points: 1 pt for having a blanket in trunk.
1 pt for having any food in the car.
1 pt for having any water in the car.
1 pt for having flares, or cell phone, or paper/marker to write on in the car (to let passersby know you are in trouble)
Family #2-Blake and Amelia: We had water in the car, and we scrounged all the goldfish that had fallen on the floor.
Family #3- Mike and Mitzi:  When I’m pregnant I always keep food in the car, and a case of bottled water.  I keep blankets in there, and crayons and coloring books.

Example:  There is a nuclear disaster at the Shearon-Harris Nuclear Power Plant.
Earn points: 1 pt for knowing which way to evacuate.
5 pts for each 72 hour kit you can grab.
1 pt for having a predetermined way to meet spouse away from home.
Family #2- Blake and Amelia:  We don’t have our 72 hour kits ready, but I have our important papers together.
Family #3- Mike and Mitzi:  We didn’t know which direction to go.  We have one 72-hr-kit.  Now we have decided to meet at a relative’s house in Virginia.

Example:  A tornado is reported coming straight for your house.
Earn points: 2 pts for each family member to all huddle in a safe place, interior bathroom or closet, or basement or crawlspace.
5 pts for owning a weather alert radio.
Family #1- We huddled in a safe place, in an interior bathroom.
Family #3- Mike and Mitzi: We huddled in our big food storage closet under the stairs.

Example:  The water supply has failed.  There is no running water.
Earn points: 5 pt to  flush a toilet with stored water.
5 pts if you own (and can find) your water filter or water purification tablets or bleach.
5 pts if you own 100 or more paper plates or paper cups.
Family #1- We need to improve our water supply.
Family #2- Blake and Amelia: We have a water filter and purification tablets.  We have lots of drinking water.
Family #3- Mike and Mitzi: We have water in the garage.  We have bleach, and paper cups and plates.

Example:  Your child cuts his leg very badly.
Earn points: 1 pt for finding your first aid kit.
1 pt for having a large bandage.
Family #2- Blake and Amelia:  We have a duffle bag full of first aid.  He could do IV’s, he can staple heads or glue heads, and he even has a baby-catching kit.
Family #3- Mike and Mitzi: We have a first aid kit.

Example:  Your house catches fire at night while you are sleeping.
Earn points: 5 pts for testing an alarm by holding a match nearby, making the alarm sound.
5 pts for every upstairs bedroom that has an emergency ladder.
1 pt for every person that meets at the predetermined meeting place outside your house.
Family #2- Blake and Amelia:  Our kids knew to meet at our predetermined spot.
Family #3- Mike and Mitzi: The kids loved the alarm, wanted us to do it again.  We don’t have a ladder, the kids knew where to meet.

Good job to everyone.  This was a good emergency drill, and taught the kids and the adults a lot.