MESSAGE FROM TESS
I have so many things to share with you this week. I am excited to offer a space where you can help our community simply by sharing your person preparedness story. Stories from like-minded preparedness folks, such as yourself, can help the community become more resourceful and ultimately, more prepared. You can learn more here. So, get those stories together, we can’t wait to hear from you!
On a personal note, to those of you who have sent some questions to me in the “Ask Tess” section of this newsletter, I apologize for not responding. I have had some major computer issues for the last few weeks, and I cannot access my emails at that address. For the time being, if you have a question, feel free to ask me through my Facebook account. I will be happy to help in any way that I can.
For some of you, the topics of long-term storable food may be getting tired, but I promise you it’s a very important part of the preparedness foundation, and its essential for you to understand why certain foods are so important for your family’s well being. That being said, in our 36th week, we are going to discuss something very sweet to my heart: the tasty subject of storable sugars and sweeteners. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going sit out TEOTWAWKI without something sweet to remind me of easier times. In this week’s Prep of the Week, we will discuss the versatility of different sugars in your preparedness supplies, which ones have the longest shelf life, and some sweet options that you can consider for your homestead.
Stay tuned for next week’s Prep of the Week, where we make sure that you have all of your basic kitchen essentials stored away for a rainy day. You’ll also learn how some of your basic kitchen supplies can be used for emergency medical uses, cleaning alternatives and which one’s have the best bartering power.
We want to help get you and your family on the right track to preparedness. Using a food storage calculator, like the one at Ready Nutrition, can help you learn how much food you need stored for an emergency. Moreover, help them and send the 52-Weeks to Preparedness series.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.
PREP OF THE WEEK
Week 36 of 52: SHTF Sugars
I might get a lot of flack for posting this, but before the haters get all up in arms, be honest with yourself, do you honestly want to sit out TEOTWAWKI without sugar or honey?
I realize there is a long list of diseases attributed to refined sugar in our diet. According to the American College of Sports Medicine a mere 5 to 6 percent of your daily calories should come from sugars. But, have you ever considered that there may be more than one reason for storing these sweet supplies for a long-term emergency? Some uses include:
- Curing/Food Preservation
- Medicinal Use
We are all a bit particular when it comes to our favorite sweeteners. Good thing there are so many options! That being said, this article’s sweetener list is meant to be a general overview of some of the more popular storage choices. If there is a sweetener that you prefer, by all means purchase some for your preparedness pantry. Since we are stocking up for long-term preparedness, I will be discussing the sweeteners that have the longest shelf lives. The four most popular long-term sugars to store are:
- Honey – Sugar lasts forever if stored properly. Many honey harvesters say that when honey crystallizes, it can be re-heated and used just like fresh honey. Because of honey’s low water content, microorganisms do not like the environment. Uses include: curing, baking, medicinal, wine (mead).
- White Sugar – Like salt, sugar is also prone to absorbing moisture, but this problem can be eradicated by adding some rice granules into the storage container. Sugar lasts forever if stored properly. Uses include: sweetener for beverages, baked goods, preservative, curing agent, making alcohol, gardening, insecticide.
- Maple Syrup – Maple syrup is another consideration for your food storage. Because of it’s high sugar level (which is antibacterial), it lasts practically forever. The higher the quality and sugar level, the longer it lasts. Uses include: Baking, medicinal, food preservation, curing agent.
- Molasses – This product is a by-product of the refining process of sugar cane into table sugar and it actually possesses health promoting properties. Molasses can last up to two years unopened. Uses include: Baking, preservative, food preservation, curing agent, soil amendment.
Although many of the above listed items can last a lifetime, if you are planning for extended or long-term emergencies, it is advised that you educate yourself on some other sugar options. The following list are some sugar sources that you can grow or raise yourself in a homesteading environment:
- Sugar beets – Learning how to extract the sugar from beets can be tricky. During wartime, many people used ordinary red garden beets to make sugar. To learn more about this process click here: Making sugar from sugar beets. Please note that getting sugar from beets will require a lot of fuel, so prepare accordingly.
- Sugar cane – This is a region-specific plant and one that thrives in tropical-like weather conditions. However, the entire plant can be used. The tops and remaining pulp can be eaten or fed to livestock.
- Bees/honey – There are also many books on beekeeping that can be quite useful. Sometimes it is difficult to keep the bee colony thriving, so find a person in your area that is willing to share his or her experience.
- Sugar maple trees – The sap from the sugar maple tree will produce maple syrup. There are many how-to articles and videos on the Internet that can take you step-by-step through the process. Please note, on average you will need 400-500 gallons of sap to make 10 gallons of maple syrup.
- Stevia – A fairly easy to grow herb that is good for sweetening drinks, simple syrups and making jams. Here’s a trick to keep your stevia producing its sweet leaves: when you see the plant trying to flower, cut the tops off.
- Sorghum – Sorghum is a grain cultivated for it’s sweetness. Amish folk love this grain and use as a syrup. It is also a popular grain to grow in impoverished regions of the world, and remains a principal source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Grain sorghum has been utilized by the ethanol industry for quite some time because it yields approximately the same amount of ethanol per bushel as corn. Take note: Some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide, hordenine and nitrates lethal to grazing animals in the early stages of the plant’s growth.
Have you noticed the price of sugar increasing? In all honesty, the price of everything is going up! Sugar in many parts of the region has gone up 22% in the past 12 months, so stocking up on it now would be a good investment for the future. Hard assets such as sugar, wheat, beans, and food preservation tools are an investment one could make that will have a reliable return on investment, as well as securing one’s future. Further, these types of investments could make lofty sums in a bartering situation.
The following is a general list of long-term sugars that can be stored:
Preps to Buy:
Fruit drink – powdered
- Get smart about survival and research the importance of having certain food sources in your diet.
- Further, research how versatile this food source can be for your food pantry and for your overall survival.
- Use the Ready Nutrition Food Storage Calculator to find out how many sugar items you need to add to your storage supply.
- Bear in mind, daily caloric intakes are different with each person, so research how many calories you need to stay at your optimum health.
- Those with special needs (such as pregnant women) are advised to get more nutrition and calories daily, so keep this in mind when purchasing.
- Learn how to package and store your bulk foods for long-term storage.
- 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.
WHAT WE’RE UP TO
In the Home:
Road trip! As we speak, I am on my way to tour an old town in Texas with the kiddos. The kids are officially out for spring break, and I want to start their week off with a little adventure. So we are headed to explore a battleground, go through an old jail that has a torture chamber (something my son is really excited to do), and walk through a restored pioneer Texas town. We’re going to have such a good time!
Have any of you set food aside or stored extra food to prepare for extra guests showing up during a long-term emergency? Lately, I have really been putting a lot of thought into having some reserve supplies set aside for my extended family. Like some of you, a majority of my family is not on board as far as long-term preparedness needs go, and I can either prepare accordingly for this or have them take a bite out of my own supplies. I have started saving money to begin a new preparedness supply , one that my extended family can rely on. Luckily, I have the 52-Weeks to Preparedness model to follow so I can ensure that they have a good preparedness foundation. Let the prepping begin!
In the Garden:
I think the worst part of gardening is the weeding. I have been clearing out garden beds all week. Rather than doing it all in one fail swoop, I am doing micro-movements and making small accomplishments. This helps me stay motivated to the on-going task. Once the beds are finished, I can begin my favorite part of gardening, the planting and watching of my garden grow.
STATS AND FACTS
It’s National Clean Up Your IRS Act Month
I find this rather amusing, but it does bring to light that we need to ensure that our taxes are in order. Our overall goal in preparedness is to be self reliant. Being in debt keeps us dependent on the system we are trying to break free from. By being financially prepared means we can break the shackles of financial enslavement and take another step closer to being self reliant!
A few ways you can do this is:
- Find practical ways to simplify your lifestyle. (In other words, this is a huge lesson in self control.)
- Have at a minimum 3 months pay saved up to fall back on. Trust me, emergencies come out of the blue and having this saved up will help the emergency not be so burdensome.
- Throw brand loyalty out the window! By choosing the generic items, mean you are not paying extra for the fancy logos.
- Start cooking for scratch. This will not only help you save money, but it is a great time to learn and develop your cooking skills. Who knows, you may find a new passion in the joys of cooking.
- Unplug your appliances when they are not in use. This will reduce your electricity charges by 10%, simply by unplugging the kitchen appliances, tv and computer.
LETTERS TO TESS
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s question addresses food storage:
I just stumbled onto your website and I have a few questions about my food storage calculations. Great idea by the way! I had no clue where to even start as far as how much I should be stocking. I’m fairly new to “Prepping”, I’ve always stocked up goods but not more than a month’s worth so I’m sorry if my questions seem ignorant lol!
I’m wondering how practical it is to stock up on things that my family won’t eat such as Lima Beans. Is there something I could stock up on that could substitute that would be equally nutritional?
What would one do with soy beans, meal wise?
Thanks for your time
I know how overwhelming prepping can be, so feel free to ask me any question you want.
As far as your question goes on storing foods that your family doesn’t really eat, while it isn’t practical on a day-to-day basis, storing up extra items could be good for a long-term scenario, and also be used in a bartering situation.
If you are planning on storing foods for longer-term, these articles may be helpful:
Soy beans can be ground up to make a flour alternative, can be steamed and eaten, added to soups, sprouted for extra vitamin intake… there are a lot of different ways to use soy beans. Do some research on your own and google “soy bean uses” or “soy bean recipes” and you will get a lot of different answers.
Feel free to ask me any questions, I want to help as many people as I can get prepared.
Thanks so much for your question.
Be the change you wish to see in the world.