Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How Much To Store



The experts at the FDA have said that the average adult will consume the following amounts of fresh food per year.

Meat - 150 to 200 pounds per year
Flour - 200 to 300 pounds
Sugar or honey - 60 pounds
Fats or Oils - 60 pounds
Salt - 5 pounds
Powdered Milk - 75 pounds
Vegetables and Fruits - 600 to 700 pounds
Water - 375 gallons
The figures above are nice guidelines, but they need to be considered from the technical angle of preserved foods rather than fresh foods.

Meat: Under adverse conditions, people can easily get by with less protein than 150 pounds of fresh meat per year, as that averages to almost a half pound per day! A canned, cooked one pound ham, for example, would be a real treat once a week, and easily feed a family of four. For weekday meals for a family of four, a 5 ounce can of tuna, canned chicken, 12 ounce can of luncheon meat, or 12 ounce can of corned beef can be used in a casserole (or whatever) and provide the required protein.

Flour: The listed amount of 200 to 300 pounds of flour per year is fairly realistic, as in catastrophic conditions people would be making their own bread and pasta, for example. Using a hand cranked mill to produce flour from whole wheat is a sure way to limit the amount of flour required, as it is hard work!

Sugar or honey: The recommended 60 pounds is the absolute minimum needed, in reality far below the actual amount desired, as sweeteners are the carbohydrates needed for energy, and survival is hard work. The 60 pounds listed by the FDA does not take into account home canning, for example, and people will need to make jellies and jams and can fruits, all of which require a considerable amount of sugar or honey.

Fats or oils: Again, this is an absolute minimum amount needed, as 60 pounds of fats or oils does not go far when used in baking, frying, and other uses. In hard times, people actually require fat in their diet in order to do hard work. In every country in which food is rationed, cooking oils are one of the first items of scarcity. Indeed, in Russia last fall cooking oils were almost impossible to find, even though not specifically rationed. Corn oil stores for years, and so does plain, inexpensive hydrogenated lard.

Salt: Whoever at the FDA dreamed this up must have been a nutrition Nazi. Five pounds of iodized table salt would be the recommended minimum per person per year, but what about making kraut, salt preserving meat, or preserving fish in a barrel of salt? For those needs, a family should have at least 50 pounds of fine grade, non iodized salt, available for less then $5.00 from a feed and seed store. Salt is essential to life! Remember the salt caravans from the old days in Africa and the middle East? Salt was worth more than gold!

Powdered milk: The 75 pounds recommended per person is fine, but for cooking needs a couple of cases (48 cans) of canned, condensed milk is an absolute necessity.

Vegetables and fruits: In hard times, greens and fruits can indeed be a vital food item, as they provide the vitamins and minerals our bodies require to remain healthy. Storing vegetables and fruits is where a food dehydrator really shines. Combine the dried veggies with fresh greens from a garden and canned fruit juices and sauces, and the 600 pound per year amount becomes far more attainable. Fruit juices may also be canned, and they contain essential vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy.

1 comment:

jessielavon@yahoo.com said...

how to can butter
1. Use any butter that is on sale. Lesser quality butter requires more shaking (see #5 below), but the results are the same as with the expensive brands.

2. Heat pint jars in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals. One pound of butter slightly more than fills one pint jar, so if you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars. A roasting pan works well for holding the pint jars while in the oven.

3. While the jars are heating, melt butter slowly until it comes to a slow boil. Using a large spatula, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the butter from scorching. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes at least: a good simmer time will lessen the amount of shaking required (see #5 below). Place the lids in a small pot and bring to a boil, leaving the lids in simmering water until needed.

4. Stirring the melted butter from the bottom to the top with a soup ladle or small pot with a handle, pour the melted butter carefully into heated jars through a canning jar funnel. Leave 3/4" of head space in the jar, which allows room for the shaking process.

5. Carefully wipe off the top of the jars, then get a hot lid from the simmering water, add the lid and ring and tighten securely. Lids will seal as they cool. Once a few lids "ping," shake while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle easily, because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and white on the bottom. In a few minutes, shake again, and repeat until the butter retains the same consistency throughout the jar.

6. At this point, while still slightly warm, put the jars into a refrigerator. While cooling and hardening, shake again, and the melted butter will then look like butter and become firm. This final shaking is very important! Check every 5 minutes and give the jars a little shake until they are hardened in the jar! Leave in the refrigerator for an hour.

7. Canned butter should store for 3 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf. [It does last a long time. We have just used up the last of the butter we canned in 1999, and it was fine after 5 years.] Canned butter does not "melt" again when opened, so it does not need to be refrigerated upon opening, provided it is used within a reasonable length of time