Monthly Archives: May 2010

  • M-R-Easy!

    By Angie Sullivan

    Don’t pass up storing some of the tastiest, easiest food storage meals available!

    Our preparedness journey has recently focused on the lightweight and compact food bars. Well, there’s another easy preparedness food that you’re sure to enjoy. M.R.E.s or “Meals Ready to Eat” were originally created for the U.S. government in the 1970’s for the Space Program, Military, Forest Service, and FEMA. But, these meals have come a long way since they first debuted. They are ready to eat, delicious, and if stored in a cool spot, can sport up to a 10 year shelf life from manufacture date! (I know a group of people who ate a 23-year old Beef Stew MRE and it still tasted good!) The meals are packed in triple layer plastic/aluminum pouches that can be opened without any tools. The food is precooked, and sealed to neutralize bacteria so the food is shelf stable even at room temperature.

    So, what does this mean to you? It means you’ve just been introduced to the “fast food” of the preparedness world! When you first pick up a M.R.E., you will find it is packed in a small box which protects the meal and makes it easier to stack. Inside the box there is a dark pouch. Rip open the pouch and you’ve got your choice of amazing entrées! There is Chicken Pesto, Beef Enchilada, and Cheese Tortellini to name a few. Your entrée can be warmed by using an M.R.E. heater, dropping the pouch in hot water, or even leaving the pouch on a hot rock. Don’t want to wait for it to heat up? Many are tasty even at room temperature!

    With M.R.E.s you can forget the mess kit, the water for reconstitution, and the recipe book. The meals can be eaten straight from the pouch and you can even choose sides and desserts to go with your delicious main meals. Sides like Garlic Mashed Potatoes and desserts like Lemon Poppyseed Cake are comfort food favorites completely prepared and ready for your family to enjoy. They even have pouches of peanut butter and jelly for that picky toddler!

    So, don’t hesitate to try out the amazing M.R.E! They are perfect for “beefing up” your emergency kit food, but your food storage shelves will also benefit from these fast foods because they are an ideal one week, one month emergency food supply. Oh, and did you know that you can even purchase an Emergency Backup Meal that will include an entire M.R.E. meal along with the M.R.E. heater? Now, what could be M.R.Easier?

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparednessd

  • You Can Eat Them Here or There, You Can Eat Them Anywhere!

    Want to store something that can be eaten in a boat, on a train, in the heat or pouring rain? No, not green eggs and ham! We’re talking Calorie Food Bars!

    We’ve spent a lot of time discussing food storage basics, but I wanted to take the time to let you know about a very simple food storage item that may come in handy in many situations, and especially as you prepare your cars and recreational vehicles for your summertime excursions. (Yep! Don’t forget about preparedness on the road!) They are commonly called Calorie Food Bars, and they are designed to offer quick energy and vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent addition to your car, boat, travel trailer, RV or emergency kit. Just open and eat!

    You might be thinking, “Why not just store a few granola bars in my car?” First of all, these food bars are higher in calories. Now, that doesn’t sound great for those of us wishing to lose a few inches, but in an emergency, calories are a critical unit of energy and finding a quick source of them is essential. Also, some Calorie Food Bars are designed to be non-thirst evoking. So, if you are trying to conserve that stored water, these bars won’t leave your mouth needlessly parched. In addition, Calorie Food Bars store well in a wide range of temperatures. They meet the standards of the U.S. Coast Guard, which basically means they can be left in your boat or car without spoiling in inclement and fluctuating weather. They are compact, vacuum sealed, and their thick foil packaging make them a smart choice for areas where storage is at a premium, or where lightweight options are preferred, such as school lockers, sports bags, or anywhere you wish to add an extra level of preparedness for your family.

    Manufacturers suggest you store a minimum of 3600 calories per person, giving you 1200 calories each day. It is best to divide the 1200 calories into 3- 400 calories meals. The food bars come divided into different caloric amounts and you can even get different flavors! Calorie food bars are designed for short term emergencies, and should be rotated approximately every 5 years.

    -  Angie Sullivan

    As you can see, this compact, reliable, and resilient food source is something you can definitely trust to help your family become more prepared away from home. So you CAN eat them in a boat, or on a train, despite the heat or pouring rain! You will like these Calories Bars, you will see…quick food storage, just trust me!

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: angie sullivan, Passport to Preparednessd

  • Sugar, Spice, and Some Fat Would be Nice!

    Your food storage pantry will not be complete without sugar, salt, and fats!

     

    We have a few more items to discuss on our journey through the basics of food storage. We have already learned about grains, legumes, garden seeds, and milk. The last three of the 7 basics are sugar, salt, and fat. Without these three vital ingredients, many of our food storage recipes would suffer from a serious lack of flavor and texture!

     

    Salt

    Salt is a staple in every kitchen. It is in virtually every recipe as salt influences the flavor of food. It enhances the natural flavors of grains, vegetables, and even fruits! It can deepen the flavor of desserts, and give extra oomph to a bland starch. If you have ever tasted a loaf of bread or other baked item where the salt was omitted, I’m sure you’ll agree it that the finished product left much to be desired! Salt has also been used for centuries as a preservative. In addition to being an integral part of most recipes, it is also a household staple in many other ways. Salt can be used as a cleaning abrasive, and when mixed with water it makes a brine which can be used to clean out foul smelling food containers and help make that greasy and stinky garbage disposal fresh again. Salt mixed into a paste can be used as toothpaste and as a scrub for the skin. When mixed with water as a mild solution, it can be a mouth gargle and eye wash. Salt is helpful in the laundry too, as it can freshen clothing and can be used to help remove persperation stains. I recently read in a magazine that sprinkling salt will keep ants out of the kitchen! Who knew that salt was such a versatile item? Also, make sure some of the salt you store is iodized because it provides a much needed micronutrient , iodine. Salt is a mineral so if properly stored it should last indefinitely.

     

    Sugar

    Storing sugar and honey will provide you with another recipe staple. Like salt, sugar enhances and develops the flavor of many of the basic foods that you will be storing. One of my favorite breakfast cereals is six grain rolled cereal, but without a pinch of salt and a healthy tablespoon of sugar, it wouldn’t appeal to me very much! Sugar is a simple carbohydrate and provides energy for the body. Honey is a wonderful storage item because it is a concentrated sugar, so you can use less than a refined sugar. Be aware that honey is not recommended for children under the age of 1 by most Pediatricians. Honey is a great addition to cereals, breads, and a drizzle on many of the basics makes them much more appealing. Don’t forget that along with white sugar and honey, you can also store brown sugar, which has a deeper flavor as it is a combination of white sugar and molasses. Like salt, sugar if properly stored should last indefinitely.

     

     

     

    Fats

    Living in a world were fats are considered the bad guys of the food world, it seems that storing oil or other fats isn’t very important. Well, in the context of food storage, fats are very important! Did you know that Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, which means that they need fat to be digested, absorbed and used within the body? Fats are sources of essential fatty acids, another important dietary requirement. Though low fat diets are preferred, eliminating fat completely from the diet would be harmful to the body. In regards to food storage, fat is extremely important. It helps add flavor to foods, aids in the cooking process, and is an effective energy source. You can choose to store fats in oil form and shortening is also a good food storage item. Butter, margarine, and shortening powders are also available. Be mindful that liquid fats purchased at your local grocery store will need to be rotated every few years. Dehydrated products can be stored longer, especially if they are kept cool and dry. Despite the fact that many of us are diet conscious these days, please don’t neglect this important food storage item!

     

    As you can see, our basic pantry would simply be incomplete, and quite frankly, loose much of it’s palatability without the addition of these three essentials. So, please add them to your list because sugar, salt, and fats will go a long way in making everything taste better!

    -Angie Sullivan

    Posted In: Uncategorized Tagged With: Passport to Preparedness, angie sullivan

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