by Todd Walker
“Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.” – Michel de Montaigne
We’re advised to store what we eat and eat what we store by survival gurus. My problem with following this sage advice is that I no longer eat a Standard American Diet (SAD). Most of what is sold by long-term food storage companies goes against the grain (pun intended) with my eating habits and primal/paleo lifestyle. GMO wheat produced from the Industrialized Food Complex is the number one offender to my system. Sugar is my number two nasty. That just sounded awful.
I’ll try to avoid turning this into an infomercial for Primal/Paleo living. I follow the 80/20 rule promoted by Mark Sisson in his Primal Blueprint. I do have cheat days where I eat a pizza and draft beer with DRG and friends – without guilt. My primal lifestyle isn’t a diet. It’s a lifestyle of taking my health into my own hands – making the connection between what I eat and how I live to how I function. If our hunter-gatherer ancestors survived and thrived without SAD meals, we can too. A little reprogramming is required.
In any emergency situation, being in optimal health gives you a fighting chance to survive. In my Individual Preparedness Plan (IPP), my paradigm favors quality food over quantity. The more nutrients food contains, the less you have to eat. If you’re hungry 30 minutes after eating items from your cupboard, the cause may be that your conventional long-term food storage follows the USDA food pyramid. More and more people are waking up to this recommended eating disaster labeled “healthy” by our benevolent government. I personally eat the exact opposite of what the government tells me is good for my plate.
With that out of the way, what do I add to my food storage pantry?
I aim for a six months supply of food that’s fresh and high in nutritional value. Only 6 months? Yes. This reduces my need for storage space by eliminating all those buckets of GMO wheat, #10 cans of plastic cheese, Crisco that is one molecule away from said plastic, and sugar-filled drink mixes. I must admit, I bought a can of Crisco last week. Not for cooking, but to make an emergency candle. For cooking, I use tallow I render myself, coconut oil, butter and ghee, bacon grease, or lard. We’ll cover fats in a moment.
It’s difficult finding foods that store well, are nutrient-dense, and primal/paleo approved. James, over at Survival Punk, posted a Top Ten List of paleo foods he stores. I plan on expanding his list with a few of my own. Remember, we’re individuals. This is my IPP. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Even if you eat a SAD diet, try supplementing your larder with these items. It can’t hurt.
Chia – not the pottery pet
I first heard of this tiny seed when I read the story of Tarahumara Indian ultra-marathon runners in “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall. The ancient Aztecs called this seed “running food” due to increased endurance on long runs from a handful of chia. Spanish explores wrote that this ancient civilization valued this food more than gold.
I use chia seeds primarily on salads. They are a great pick-me-up so I keep some in my stand-up desk drawer at school as well. The uses are many and very beneficial. I don’t eat them by the handful. But they do offer a boast of omega-3’s in my eating plan. Even if you’re not a marathon runner, here are some reasons I stock this “running food.”
- They pack the highest concentration of essential fatty acids – four times the concentration of other grains. Natural News
- Chia is also touted as having the highest omega-3 content of any plant-based source, containing 64 percent alpha linolenic acid (ALA). Natural News
- Hydration: Chia consumption contributes to maintaining balanced hydration and electrolyte levels within the body, steadying water intake, assimilation, and absorption.
Superior in protein quality to wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, amaranth and soy, chia also offers a disease-fighting arsenal of antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetinand flavonols. Red Orbit
Now this item is right in my wheelhouse. For any sugar-burners still brainwashed into believing saturated fats are the cause of heart disease and obesity, put down your computer/tablet/fancy phone and walk away – NOW! What is about to follow will only enrage you and make you grab a can of high fructose corn syrup to ease your pain. I don’t want to contribute to your suffering.
The unavoidable truth is that we humans prefer (physiologically) fat over carbs to fuel our bodies. Our genes came from fat burners. The obesity epidemic we face today comes from all the glucose released from the high carb wheat and sugar of the SAD. Eating good quality fat will hit the reset button on your genes. So what do I store to make my larder fat?
- Pemmican. Here’s my recipe. Prepared and stored correctly, it’ll last for years. My recipe included dried blueberries. For a better recipe, click this link. Again, this is for educational purposes only. Do your research and eat at your own risk.
- Coconut Oil. Excellent shelf life of several years. I eat it, cook with it, and “beautify” with it. Here are 160 more uses for this amazing fat. I use it on my skin after shaving my head and face. I’m using less in Novembeard.
- Olive Oil
- Ghee. Choose products that are made from quality butter. Making your own is cheaper. Butter contains 16% water and milk fat solids that cause it to spoil if not refrigerated. Ghee is almost pure fat and will last a couple of years in a dark, cool pantry.
Fermented foods have sustained humans for thousands of years. When it comes to our gut flora, exposure to bacteria is a good thing. Fermented foods offer the sterile gut a healthy dose of probiotics to help balance our intestinal flora. In a prolonged emergency or TEOTWAWKI event, the skill of fermentation will become very useful – even life saving.
- Sauerkraut. Easy to make at home and full of probiotics. All you need is cabbage, salt, and storage containers. Here’s how I make homemade sauerkraut.
- Yogurt and Kefir. No, it doesn’t store well. So, find a local source for raw milk before TSHTF. With this milk, you can make your own kefir and yogurt. I buy raw milk for my “pets” at my local farmers market from time to time. Milk from a cow, goat, or sheep can be used. If you can’t get by the milk police, the “safe” homogenized variety will work. Coconut milk is another alternative. Acquire a kefir culture and you’re in business.
- Kombucha. From Mark’s Daily Apple: “Kombucha is a fermented beverage (fermented tea, to be exact), which means it can introduce beneficial bacteria into your body.” Action Note: On my list to make.
To store these long-term (6 months for me), freezing is the best option. Electricity is needed. I’m studying other options of storing meats long-term (salt cured, smoked, etc.). As I mentioned earlier about finding local sources for milk, the same is true for meat and protein (eggs). I’ve got a local source for Water Buffalo 3 miles from my house. He told me he doesn’t raise animals, he raises grass. He’s a grass farmer. His grass-fed protein-on-hoof is just the by-product of his pastures.
- Eggs. I realize that finding true cage free eggs that are unwashed may be impossible for most. They’re worth the search for storage purposes. A local farm or neighbor’s backyard chicken tractor may be your best option. Be sure the protective, natural coating hasn’t been removed by washing. These eggs will store for several months in a cool space. Just wash them before eating.
- Protein in a can. I stock sardines and other fish since they have a long shelf life.
- Jerky. Make your own here.
We can’t always have fresh veggies at our house. That’s when we dip into the canned stuff.
- Vegetables. Tomatoes, tomato paste, beets, and other pallet pleasing veggies
- Coconut milk
- Maple syrup
- Bacon. Yep, it comes in a can. For DIY’ers, try this procedure.
- Spices that we actually use
- Seeds for nutrient rich sprouts. This is a great use of the wheat you’ve got stored.
- Sea weed. Long storage life for minerals we need for health.
- Raw, Local Honey. Lasts forever and has so many uses.
- Salt. I like sea salt for our table and cooking. I buy other salt for different purposes and possible barter items in a collapse situation. Remember any wars being fought over this mineral?
- Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s great for what ales you. I drink a mix of this, raw honey, and water a few times a week.
- Vodka. It makes a great martini and can be used for tinctures.
- Containers. Don’t forget these. Store a wide variety of mason jars, freezer bags/container, wax paper, etc.
- Dried Fruit
- Teas. I sweeten mine with raw honey.
There is no finish line in preparedness. Our best preps should focus on a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. Ditch the latest snake oil diet and try living a lifestyle that reflects our true, primal nature. Optimal health, functional fitness, knowledge, skills, and a Individual Preparedness Plan will go a long way in keeping us alive.
That’s the target, right?
I really appreciate you stopping by. Please share this with anyone who might find this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, I’d like to hear from you.
The next installment in the IPP series will cover what might be the most important, yet most neglected prep ever.
Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,
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