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Get Prepped Newsletter: February 3, 2012

Ready Nutrition’s weekly newsletter focused on getting it’s readers prepared for life’s unexpected emergencies.



Welcome to the 33rd week of our 52 weeks to preparedness series. As you continue to share your thoughts and this newsletter, we continue to grow as a community. Speaking of growth, I have some great news! On February 9th, I will be discussing preparedness on the Lew Rockwell Radio Show.  I hope you get a chance to listen as I discuss prepping with Lew, a powerhouse in the alternative news sector. I will send out reminders on my Facebook and Twitter pages. For any Texans or Southerners out there, make sure to come say hi at the Self Reliance Expo in Dallas, Texas next weekend. It is a great way to see new products, as well as hear new opinions on prepping and homesteading.

This week in our newsletter, we are pressing on with concentrating on bulking up your emergency food storage by highlighting the importance of fats in your food reserves. We will cover some of the best fats to store and how long their shelf life typically lasts.

Do you feel compelled to help your friends and family become more prepared for emergencies that may come their way? They can easily begin their own preparedness journey using our food storage calculator 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. More important, do the best thing for them and send them the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series.

Best Wishes,

Tess Pennington

Be the change you wish to see in the world.


Week 33 of 52: Essential Fats and Oils

More or less, we live a very blissful reality where strenuous physical activity is not required. Due to this sedentary lifestyle, obesity has become a major health factor in our country. As a result, the government and multiple health organizations have advocated restricting fats in your diet. As much as we would like to eliminate these fats, in a SHTF reality, this food source will actually serve a purpose in our survival.  So, why are fats so important in your diet? How can our survival be dependent on our fat intake?

 Bear in mind, a 2,000 calorie per day diet equals 67 grams fat and 75 grams protein per day. No matter how afraid we are of fats, having substantial fat sources in our storage is vital. Here’s why:

  1. Fats are an essential component in any diet for proper vitamin absorption. Specifically, Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats.
  2. Fats also plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function.
  3. They also serve as energy stores for the body.
  4. Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, which are an important dietary requirement and also serves as a useful buffer towards a host of diseases. (Source)
  5. The USDA suggests that about 30-35% of your daily calorie intake should come from fat.
  6. Fats are one of the 4 Things You Must Eat To Avoid Malnutrition.

We need to be smart about our survival. In the article, Vitamins, Minerals, and Surviving, the author wrote about a man who died in a survival situation living primarily on small game:

I remember one old grizzled survival instructor who commented about the victim, “He starved to death on a full stomach.”

The instructor went on to say that the man might have survived, if he had the guts, if he had only known more about nutrition, “A rabbit is a lean critter. Not much fat on ‘em and a man in a survival situation needs fat and oils. See, that man was only eating the lean flesh of the animal. He discarded the other parts that may have kept him alive. If he had eaten the contents of the rabbit’s stomach, which contains essentially green leafy grasses, (vitamins B, C, E), the rabbits eyes (which contain salt), along with the liver, heart, and kidneys (which contain vitamin A), as well as other vitamins, he might have made it. I suspect he just plain didn’t know about it. Or, he didn’t like the idea of eating a critter’s innards. Keep in mind, in a prolong survival situation protein along won’t keep you alive”

Best Types of Fats to Store

  • Infant formula – The oil content in this food source makes it a viable choice for a shtf fat source. An unopened can of powdered infant formula has a shelf life of 12 months. Once a can of formula has been opened, it should be used within a month and then discarded.
  • Ensure – This supplement drink has 6 grams of fat, which provides your body with 9 percent of the recommended daily intake. The powdered version of Ensure will last longer than the pre-made drink. Plan on a can of powdered Ensure to last the same as a can of infant formula, which is roughly about 12 months.
  • Oil – The plant based oils are best to store in your emergency supplies. A light colored oil, such as vegetable or olive oil can last up to a year, if stored properly. Once it’s opened, the oil could turn within a matter of weeks or months depending on how it was processed and the storage environment.
  • Peanut butter – Any type of butter made from nuts is a healthy source of fat and if stored properly can last up to 12 months.
  • Nuts and seeds – Because of the high oil content in nuts and seeds their shelf life is usually affected. Nuts and seeds typically last about 12 months.
  • Crisco – With a shelf life that ranges from 2-8 years, this fat source is the longest lasting. That being said, it is probably the most unhealthiest of the choices.
  • Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise has a relatively short shelf life of 6 months. Therefore, if you plan to stock up on this, ensure that it is frequently rotated in your food supply.
  • Salad dressing – Salad dressing lasts anywhere from 9-12 months.
  • Canned meats – Some canned meats, such as spam, fish and canned ham can also provide an adequate source of fat for your survival diet. Due to the high salt content of some of these canned meats, they have a relatively long shelf life of anywhere between 2-5 years.
  • Chocolate – Although chocolate is considered a high-calorie, high-fat food, it does provide some health benefits as well. Most of the studies done used no more than 100 grams, or about 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate a day to get the benefits. Studies have shown that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as provides more antioxidants than blueberries. A chocolate has a shelf life of 12 months, however, if the chocolate is repackaged in Mylar or stored in a plastic container, it could last much longer.

Those that live in a homesteading environment and want to provide their own sources of fat should consider the following:

Whole Milk – Milk from animals can provide essential fat to our diets, and can also be used for cooking, making cheeses and other dishes.
Eggs –  Eggs have 5 grams of fat per egg. I am including this in the list as I believe that fresh eggs would provide an adequate amount of calories, protein and fat if consumed on a regular basis.
Fatty fish –  If you have a water source on your property, consider stocking it with a fish source. Many homesteaders have found great success in stocking their ponds with : Tilapia, Channel and Blue Catfish, Hybrid Stripers, Largemouth Bass, Trout, Bluegill, and Freshwater Shrimp. Other sources of fatty fish are: salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, and sardines. Ensure that you have fishing gear to get those fish with.
Nut trees – Look for the dwarf variety of nut trees (and fruit trees). Dwarf trees bear their fruit earlier than the standard varieties, and can produce higher yields in a shorter period of time. They have also been known to be more adaptable. Mother Earth News has a great article if you are interesting in learning more.
Fruit trees – Specifically avocado and olive trees provide a substantial amount of healthy fats for the body. Obviously, the following examples are region specific and prefer a Mediterranean-like climate, however check with the USDA zoning map to see if you can can plant them in your area. Living in the coastal South, I have seen many gardeners who have grown avocado trees.

To learn more about these different sources of fat, click here.

In an amazing homesteading reference, The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emry, she indicates that fat can also be used as a preservation method:

“The fat seals the air out… After slaughtering a hog, the fat was rendered into lard. Those cuts of the hog that were not cured for smoking, or made into sausage, like the shoulder, were fried. While still hot, these slices of pork steak were preserved through the winter by larding . In a large crock, layer on layer of the fried steaks was covered with hot lard. This meat was then used through the winter by scraping the lard off each layer. The amount necessary for a meal was removed and reheated. The used lard was reused in pies or other baking or cooking and ultimately for soap.”

To conclude, in a SHTF reality our diets will be very different from how they are today. Our activity levels will be centered around physical activities to promote our survival and as a result, our diets should reflect those changes. Continuing to have fat in the diet can help physiologically, as well as psychologically. Ensure that you have incorporated enough fats into your survival supplies.

Preps to Buy:

  • Infant formula
  • Ensure powdered drink
  • Shortening such as Crisco
  • 2-gallons of vegetable oil
  • Mayonnaise/salad dressing
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned meat
  • Chocolate

 Action Items:

  1. Get smart about survival and research the importance of having certain food sources in your diet.
  2. Use the Ready Nutrition Food Storage Calculator to find out how much fats need to added to your storage supply.
  3. 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.


In the Home:

This week I have been doing a major re-org of the house. I have no idea how my home and specifically, my closets have become so cluttered and unorganized. I become a very scary version of myself when my environmental wellness goes awry. Needless to say, I have been doing some pre-Spring cleaning.

Family Preps:

This week I found a few deals at the grocery store. I bought 4 boxes of cereal that were on sale as well as some organic apple cider that still has the “mother” in it. Having the mother, I can learn to make my own.

In the Garden:

My sister has decided to plant a garden and I have helped her in setting up her beds, talked about companion plants, composting and how to acquire earthworms. I love gardening, so it’s nice to see someone else finding the passion as well.

My cabbages that I planted this fall are finally ready. We picked one and I made a stir fry with it. What is it about fresh produce from the garden tasting better than store bought? I think that’s why I work so hard at it. The taste is worth the trouble.


 Survival Food: Fat Sources For a SHTF Diet


Who’s watching the Super Bowl this weekend? I know that was a ridiculous question. I thought that instead of preparedness facts this week, I’d send out some Super Bowl facts for you to throw out this weekend.

  1. For the first time in NFL history, we’ll have two former Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks starting against each other. Eli Manning, who won Super Bowl MVP back in 2007, vs. Tom Brady, who won Super Bowl MVPs in 2001 and 2003.
  2. It is expected that 325.5 million gallons of beer will be drunk by Americans during the Super Bowl and eat a total of 90 million pounds of chicken wings!
  3. This is Bill Belichick’s fifth Super Bowl appearance, right? Well get this, Belichick is now second in NFL history for most Super Bowl appearances.
  4. As the New England Patriots won three Super Bowls in four seasons, from 2001-2004, that makes the Patriots an NFL dynasty.
  5. Tom Brady, who is Peyton Manning’s biggest rival, and Eli Manning, who is Peyton Manning’s little brother, will both be playing against in each other in Peyton’ stadium for Super Bowl XLVI.
  6. Brady will also be tied for most Super Bowl wins of all time with quarterbacks Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.
  7. Did you know that the single most expensive ticket from the 2011 Super Bowl was $15,946, for a seventh-row seat on the 50-yard line?
  8. The shortest Super Bowl commercial of all time was a half-second long during Super Bowl XLIII, back in 2009.
  9. The longest Super Bowl commercial lasted two minutes, starring Eminem driving a Chrysler 200 throughout the city of Detroit.
  10.  The most expensive Super Bowl commercial cost a total of $3.5 million for this weekend’s upcoming Super Bowl. I wonder what it is?

Have a great weekend everyone!


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

This week’s question addresses how much long-term storage of coffee:


I cannot go through TEOTWAWKI without coffee. I heard that coffee lasts about 1 year. Do you know any tricks to extend the shelf life?




I’m with you on this one! Coffee is a must-have for me in the morning and I cannot imagine starting my day without it. You are correct in that roasted coffee lasts about 12 months stored. However, here’s a trick you might find useful: If you purchase “green” coffee beans, that is, unroasted coffee beans, the shelf life can extend up to 20 years! Buying green coffee beans and storing in sealed containers/packages with oxygen absorbers can assist in keeping the coffee beans fresh while stored. This would also make a great bartering item in a long-term emergency.

Green coffee can be purchased at websites such as:



With the green coffee beans, you will have to roast and grind them yourself. YouTube can give you some video tutorials on this subject. I have used my whirley pop to roast coffee with great success. You can read more about it here. If I may, I’d like to offer an important piece of advice on roasting coffee beans. You need to be very attentive to the beans while they are roasting and make sure that they do not burn. If they burn, the flavor of the coffee is affected. And regarding a coffee grinder, if the electricity goes out, you may want to consider having a back up and purchasing a manual grinder. I bought mine at www.Cabelas.com.

Hope this helps and Happy Roasting!

Tess Pennington

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on February 3rd, 2012

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