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Get Prepped Newsletter: February 27, 2012



Happy Monday Everyone,

I hope that all of you have started your week off on a good note. I just got back from an amazing mini-vacation in Austin, TX visiting one of my best friends. I was lucky to get a lot of hiking in and soak in some of the local scene. There are times when getting away is just what the doctor ordered to get your heart and your head back to where it needs to be.

As you may know, I spoke with Lew Rockwell, a leader in the alternative news sector last week about how prepping can be economical and worthwhile. We also discussed our current prepping topic, and how to effectively stock your preparedness pantry. Lew was such a pro and I really had a great time. The podcast can be heard here [1].

For the last two newsletters, we have been delving into long-term storable food sources such as essential fats [2] and proteins [3] to help you add variety to your shtf diet. In our 35th week of this series, we will discuss the role that carbohydrates will play in a shtf diet. Next week, our discussion of essential foods continues where the tasty subject of storable sugars and sweeteners is discussed. Who would want to sit out TEOTWAWKI without something sweet to snack on?

Do you feel compelled to help your friends and family become more prepared for emergencies? They can easily begin their own preparedness journey using our food storage calculator [4] on Ready Nutrition and create a customized chart telling them how much food storage would be required to sustain their family in the face of an emergency. Moreover, do the best thing for them and send them the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series [5].

If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter [6] or Facebook [7]. I love to interact with the preparedness community, because, after all, we are all in this together!

Best Wishes,

Tess Pennington


Be the change you wish to see in the world.




Week 35 of 52: Surviving with Carbohydrates

Have you ever noticed how many options and varieties of food there are at the grocery store? In a previous article [8] on food pantry preparedness I wrote, “Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all it’s pleasure.” To put it simply, having a well-rounded food storage pantry will cut down on culinary boredom, as well as balance your diet.

With this in mind, when the veritable “S” to hits the fan, you will want variety. By diversifying your emergency pantry will ensure you have plenty to choose from. Remember, food has more than one purpose. It comforts us, powers us with nutrition, and provides us with energy to withstand what may come our way. Choosing the right carbohydrates helps ensure power within diversification. Even if you don’t eat many carbs now, in a survival situation, activity levels increase due to the escalated necessity of physical labor (i.e. chopping firewood, planting a survival garden, standing guard or securing a perimeter, hunting, hand washing clothes or dishes, etc.). Harsh weather conditions can also play a role in the amount of carbohydrates we will need to consume. Bear in mind that the colder the temperatures there are, the more carbohydrates you will require.

U.S. guidelines suggest that between 45 and 65 percent of your calories come from carbs. The best carbohydrates are those that are complex carbohydrates and come from natural sources that contain a lot of fiber, such as from fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low fat milk. These types of carbohydrates take longer to break down into glucose and give you the most nutrients along with your calories. As a whole, we underestimate how many carbohydrates we need stored for a long-term emergency. For example, one adult should have the following different types of carbs in their food pantry: 150 lbs. of wheat, 50 lbs. of rice and 25 lbs. of pasta to live off of for one year. To get an idea of how many carbohydrate sources you or your family will need, use the food calculator [4] at Ready Nutrition.  Those of you who have allergies to wheat or prefer to have  a variety of carbohydrate sources, consider these alternatives [9].

When putting this food source away, remember that you will need a mill to turn your carbohydrates into flour. Therefore, start researching and saving up for a quality mill now. These can be a costly, but a necessary preparedness investment. Initially, when my family started preparing for a long-term disaster, we purchased a low cost hand-powered grain mill for around $70. We practiced and used the low cost grain mill until we had money saved up to purchase our primary mill. Those of you who may be wondering, we invested in a Country Living Grain Mill [10]; and although the cost is on the higher end, we feel satisfied with our purchase. Not to mention, now that we have two working mills, we have designated our old a back up grinder to our primary one.

Many preppers like to choose a multi-barrier system to store their food.  This barrier system is for long term purposes, and will keep natural elements such as sunlight, moisture and air out of the container when sealed. To learn more about this storage process, click here [11].

For the last four years, my family and I have stocked up on long-term food items from a variety of places, including super stores, the LDS food storage warehouse, emergency preparedness websites such as Emergency Essentials, Five Star Preparedness and the Ready Store.

From a survival standpoint, if you must forage to find carbohydrates, know in advance which wild food sources [12] are available in your area. When food is scarce, chaos and fear begin to set in. However, instead of panicking, step outside and go for a walk and more than likely, food will be right around the corner or right under your nose. Consider the following:

Do you remember when we first began the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series? Our goals were to find multipurpose preparedness items that will help you conserve space, provide versatility and give you the biggest bang for your buck? Well long-term storable carbohydrates are in this classification. Did you know that there are over 20 different types of grains? How’s that for a variety! Because I want for you all the make the most of your investments, most of the suggested carbohydrates have a lifespan of 20 years and longer.

  Preps to Buy:

[In Quantity]

*These items have a 20 year+ shelf life

Action Items:

  1. Get smart about survival and research the importance of having certain food sources in your diet.
  2. Further, research how versatile these foods can be for your food pantry.
  3. Use the Ready Nutrition Food Storage Calculator [4] to find out how much protein you need to add to your storage supply.
  4. Bear in mind, daily caloric intakes are different with each person, so research how many calories you need to stay at your optimum health.
  5. Those with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get more nutrition and calories daily, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
  6. Learn how to package and store your bulk foods for long-term storage [11].
  7. Store your purchased products in a suitable environment where it is not exposed to natural elements. Click here to learn about your food’s worst enemies [13].


In the Home:

Did I mention to you all that we plan on moving in a few months? The inevitable time has come to start the pre-cleaning for the move-out. This week, I have motivated myself to commence the scrubbing of the tiles. For any of you who have been privy to this mind-numbing task, it is not something one looks forward too. Next on the list is dusting the fans… sigh.

Family Preps:

It’s funny how television can influence your prepping purchases. Lately, we have been watching a lot of the 24 series. In every episode, the lead character, Jack Bauer uses his handy monocular to assess the situations. We realized how ideal this little tool would be in a bug out bag. It is light weight, compact and provides a needed service for long range viewing.

Some of the specs we were looking for were:

We are still in research mode for the best monocular that will suit our needs. Does anyone have have a good monocular they can suggest?

In the Garden:

The seeds I started two week ago and are steadily growing. I wanted to make use of an old metal bench frame, so I converted it into a trellis for a container garden for my pole beans. You can see a picture of it on my Facebook page [14]. The kids also wanted a flower bed, so we used a pile of bricks and made a new flower garden.


Prepping to Survive: The Nautical Series Pt. 1 [15]

Prepping to Survive: The Nautical Series Pt. 2  [16]

The 5 Most Expensive Preps I Own [17]

Prepping to Survive: The Nautical Series Pt. 3  [18]


Certain foods can stand the test of time, and continue being a lifeline to the families that store it.  Knowing which foods last indefinitely and how to store them are your keys to success. To learn more about these forever foods, click here [19].

  1. Honey – Uses: curing, baking, medicinal, wine (mead)
  2. Salt – Uses: curing, preservative, cooking, cleaning, medicinal, tanning hides
  3. Sugar – Uses: sweetener for beverages, breads, cakes, preservative, curing, gardening, insecticide (equal parts of sugar and baking powder will kill cockroaches).
  4. Wheat – Uses: baking, making alcohol, livestock feed, leavening agent
  5. Dried corn – Uses: soups, cornmeal, livestock feed, hominy and grits, heating source (do a search for corn burning fireplaces).
  6. Baking soda –Uses: teeth cleaner, household cleaner, dish cleaner, laundry detergent booster, leavening agent for baked goods, tarnish remover
  7. Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa – Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods
  8. Non-carbonated soft drinks – Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods
  9. White rice – Uses: breakfast meal, addition to soups, side dishes, alternative to wheat flour [9]
  10. Bouillon products – Uses: flavoring dishes
  11. Powdered milk – Uses: beverage, dessert, ingredient for certain breads, addition to soup and baked goods.



Do you have a preparedness question? One of the perks of my job at Ready Nutrition is to address questions and/or concerns that you may have with your prepping endeavors. Feel free to ask anything that is on your mind because no question is too big or small. You can email questions to: getprepped@readynutrition.com [20]

This week’s question addresses long-term food packaging:


Ive read a bunch of articles on your site, and they have been really helpful. I just had a couple of questions regarding the article: 11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime [19].

– What type of rice can last long? All of the kinds Ive seen at my local stores only have a shelf life of 1 year.

– What type/brand of instant coffee can last that long? Again, all the ones at my local store have a listed shelf life of less than 1 year.

– How do you store Gatorade, juices, etc… to make them last longer?

thank you


Hi Kris,

Thanks for asking these great questions. I know that a lot of readers are probably asking themselves the same thing.

What type of rice can last long? All of the kinds Ive seen at my local stores only have a shelf life of 1 year.

It’s all in the packaging! The packaging that rice is placed in at the grocery store is in a very think plastic bag thus making it vulnerable to critters, and natural elements such as sunlight. By re-packaging the rice in a 4.5mm thick food grade mylar bag and sealing it, it is packaged in a more durable bag that will keep the natural elements and the critters out. This can be done with any number of dry goods such as: beans, pasta, cereal, oats, flour, etc. If you plan to repackage your food, consider adding oxygen absorbers into the bag to help keep your food fresh.

What type/brand of instant coffee can last that long? Again, all the ones at my local store have a listed shelf life of less than 1 year.

Any brand of instant coffee will last a lifetime. I have Folgers instant coffee stocked myself, but any brand will do. You do not need to repackage instant coffee. Unlike other dry goods, instant coffee is high-vacuum freeze dried. Ensure that you keep it in a cool, dry, dark place and it should last.

– How do you store Gatorade, juices, etc… to make them last longer?. 

As mentioned above, keep juices and other food storage pantry items in a cool, dry, dark place. To learn more about your pantry’s worst enemies, click here [13].

Thanks again for your question and I hope this helps.


Tess Pennington

Be the change you wish to see in the world.