Posts Tagged With: Food Storage

How to Build a Big FAT Pantry!

by Todd Walker

Part 3 in our series – The Essential Pillars of Preparedness for SmartPreppers

This is not your typical food storage article. You won’t find buckets of wheat lining our pantry wall. But you may find a few 5 gallon buckets of coconut oil.

Coconut oil. A must have for a FAT Pantry!

Coconut oil. A must have for a FAT Pantry!

Photo by The Organic Prepper

Food is what fuels your body to do all the pushing, pulling, lifting, and surviving – doing the big stuff. But doing the big stuff starts by feeding the small stuff – your cells.

Your body’s 100 trillion cells depend on proper fuel for rebuilding,  regeneration, and healing. Cells need real food to do this stuff.

I had planned on covering more than just healthy fats today, but felt friendly fat needed an article all to itself. We’ll cover more real food later in this series. Stay tuned!

The Big Fat Prepping Paradigm

For optimal performance, you wouldn’t put three-year old untreated, emergency gasoline in your vehicle and expect the engine not to skip, knock, and sputter. It’s a very good chance your ride will leave you stranded at a time you need it most.

And it doesn’t matter how pretty the paint job looks. It’s the things that are NOT seen that cause locomotion.

So, it stands to reason that we should take care of our tiny cells that are hidden under our exterior. Actually, our ‘paint job’ is made of cells too.

In an emergency situation, especially a long-term disaster, you’ll want your body to perform at optimal levels. Firing on only 3 cylinders of your body’s high-performance V-8 engine won’t get you very far.

To get the most out of your ‘motor,’ feed it real, nutrient-dense food.

You don’t have to look hard to see the fat myth alive and… err, getting fatter by the day. In spite of the history of our species and scientific fact, most people still believe fat is a killer and should be avoided like your crazy aunt at family reunions.

Your view of fat depends on what prism you’re looking through.

One dictionary definition of prism is…

~ a medium that distorts, slants, or colors whatever is viewed through it

The unavoidable truth, if you’re willing to dig deeper, is that we humans prefer (physiologically) fat over carbs to fuel our bodies. Our genes came from fat burning ancestors. The obesity epidemic we face today comes from all the glucose released from the high carb grains and sugar of the Western Pattern Diet.

Fat Fuels

When I first ditched grains and sugars I had a hard time figuring out what fats to eat. But once I found them and got fat adapted, my reset button on my genes (and jeans) got pushed. My personal diet consists of about 50% fat intake. So…

What do I store in my fat pantry?

  • Animal Fats. These are on top of my list. Tallow, lard, fat fish oil full of Omega-3’s (the fatter the fish, the better). Think canned sardines in olive oil – not water – preferably wild caught fish.
  • 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. This is shared for educational purposes only. Do your research and eat at your own risk.
Good thing you don't eat with your eyes!

Good thing you don’t eat with your eyes!

  • Coconut Oil. This oil is about 92% saturated fat and has an excellent shelf life of several years. I eat it, cook with it, and use it on my skin after shaving. Here are 160 more uses for this amazing oil.
  • Olive Oil. Buy the virgin oil.
  • Nuts. Loaded with healthy fats, nuts are always close to me at home and work. I eat a small handful in between meals if I get hungry. To keep them from going rancid, we store almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and other varieties in the freezer. If our electricity is lost for an extended time, nuts would come out of the freezer and could be eaten without a fire source.
  • Yogurt. We don’t actually store yogurt in the pantry. It’s a good source of fat, though. Learn to make your own organic yogurt so you never run out. And none of that low-fat stuff.
  • Eggs. The dark yellow yoke of yard bird eggs is what you’re going for. You can preserve your real eggs without refrigeration.
  • Butter. Canning butter is an option for longer storage. Can only unsalted butter.
  • Rendered Tallow and Lard. I render my own grass-fed beef fat. I have a butcher at an organic market that freezes the fat for me. I buy it very cheaply – $1.00 or less per pound. After rendering the fat, we store it in the fridge and freezer for cooking. An old preserving technique of pouring rendered fat over meat has been used for years.
Rendering tallow in a cast iron skillet - outside. It can smell up the kitchen.

Rendering tallow in a cast iron skillet – outside. It can smell up the kitchen.

  • Ghee. Choose products that are made from quality, grass-fed 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.

I haven’t personally tried the Fat Fuels listed below. I’ve heard good things about them. If you have, please share your experience with the rest of us.

  • Avocado oil
  • Palm oil
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Red palm oil

Fats to Avoid – No, Never Eat!

For optimal, long-term health, do not eat refined oils like canola, corn and soybean oil. Avoid all hydrogenated oils. I do own one can of Crisco. It’s earmarked for an emergency candle 😀

Here’s my attitude on food storage. The longer the shelf life, the shorter your shelf. DRG and I don’t aim to store food that will last 30 years in a dark basement. Ideally, we shoot for foods that last 6 months to a year. We store what we eat.

Got any tips on storing fat? Please leave them in the comment sections!

Keep doing the stuff,



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Essential Pillars of Preparedness Series

Categories: Food Storage, Preparedness | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Food Storage ~ How Many Food Independence Days Do You Have Each Year?

 A good friend of this blog, Caroline Cooper, shares her journey to food security. In the world of conventional prepper food storage, I don’t fit. I avoid grains and processed foods. Here’s a peek into my primal pantry if your interested.

Caroline’s food security program is very similar to ours. Take a look and let us know what you think. Is six months a good target for nutrient dense food storage?

How many independence days do you have each year?

by Caroline Cooper

independence days How many independence days do you have each year?

To me, the Theory of Anyway shifts the structure of the discussion. Instead of asking “Do we have time to make the peach jam?” It asks the question as it should be asked: “Do we have the time to live rightly?”
Independence Days by Sharon Astyk

I just found a very enjoyable book at the Kamloops Public Library called Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation by Sharon Astyk. The book outlines why every household should have a program of food storage. The book would be best suited for someone new to the concept of food storage. The book is more about the why of food storage, not the how-to. If you are looking for more detailed how-to information, here are some of my favorite books about food security:
Create an Oasis with Greywater by Art Ludwig
Four Season Harvest by Elliot Coleman
Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times by Steve Solomon
How to Grow Food in Your Polytunnel: All Year Round by Mark Gatter
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Putting Food By by Janet Greene
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables by Mike Bubel
The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town & Country by Peter Bane
When Technology Fails by Mat Stein
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Sharon gives suggestions for how a householder could start a food storage program even with very limited financial resources. She is an avid gardener and processes the bounty of her garden by putting away food in a root cellar and processing food for storage by fermenting, drying, canning and freezing. This saves her a great deal of money. Food she doesn’t grow herself, she buys from local farmers, which supports the development of her local food system. She does buy some dried foods from other areas, but she makes a practice of never importing fresh foods.

Sharon addresses two very important issues surrounding food storage. The first issue is to buy as much of your stores locally as possible — especially fresh foods — because fresh foods take a lot of energy to ship and you are really importing water from one area of the country to another. Sharon makes a compelling argument to buy as much of your stored food locally as possible. But if you do need to buy foods from other places requiring shipping, focus those purchases on dried foods. This will reduce your carbon footprint and stop the practice of shipping water from dry areas of the country to wet areas of the country, which intensifies water shortages and resource conflicts.

The second issue of food storage is to buy foods your family will eat. She believes food stores should be made up of foods that your family eats on a regular basis. She doesn’t understand the practice of buying emergency rations the family does not intend to eat, a practice done by some emergency preppers. Thus, storing food intended for eating, means developing a method of rotation. Sharon walks the reader though how to put away and rotate 30 days of emergency food and water. She stipulates that her emergency rations could be eaten without cooking. Her suggestion for one person’s 30 days of food independence is as follows:
15lbs rolled oats, raw
30 16oz tomatoes, canned
30 8oz beans, canned
30 8oz assorted fruit, canned

sharon astyk menu 1 How many independence days do you have each year?

I used to get a breakdown of the macro-nutrients of Sharon’s emergency rations.

sharon astyk menu 2 How many independence days do you have each year?

Here is the micro-nutrient profile of Sharon’s emergency rations. A very small amount of cod liver oil and canned oysters would help with deficiencies in vitamin A, D and B12.

The Weston A Price Foundation would not consider eating raw oats a safe practice but would recommend soaking, souring and cooking the oats before eating. Most commercially canned beans and legumes are not normally soaked before canning and can be difficult to digest for some. (Here is Sarah Pope’s video for Proper Preparation of Grains and Legumes.)

This list of emergency rations does not appeal to me because it is grain-based and extremely high in carbohydrates. The rations wouldn’t work well for people on theSpecific Carbohydrate Diet either. The major benefit of these emergency rations is price. The rations would fill someone up and give enough energy to do work. No matter how limited someone’s financial resources, they could put together this list, and achieve 30 days of food independence.

My pantry has 6-12 months of food depending on the time of year, stored in a root cellar, freezers and dried storage area. In an emergency, I would do everything in my power to remain in my home.

But Sharon’s list got me thinking about what I would store for 30 days of emergency rations, if I couldn’t cook or had to leave my home. I almost never eat canned foods but I do have a few commercially and home canned items in my pantry.

This is the list I came up with for one person. It would be good for anyone on the SCD, GAPS or modified paleo diet. Sorry, I couldn’t keep it down to four items:
30 180g assorted cans: wild sockeye salmon, albacore tuna in olive oil and sardines
500g assorted homemade beef jerky, buffalo jerky or home-cured meats
1L organic extra olive oil
1L organic cider vinegar
1L home-cured green olives in brine and olive oil
1L lacto-fermented kimchi or sauerkraut
500g organic creamed coconut
250g organic coconut oil
1kg pastured butter
1kg raw hard cheese
500g mixed organic dried fruit: figs, plums, apricots and apple
500g mixed organic raw nuts: cashews, almonds, pecans and walnuts
1c organic sprouting seeds: French green lentils, fenugreek, radish and broccoli

salmon menu 1 How many independence days do you have each year?

This is the macro-nutrient breakdown of my emergency rations. I would be concerned about this diet for any length of time because it lacks in fresh foods.

I cannot imagine any situation where I could not work out some way to heat water and cook. In my Got-to-Go Kit, I have a way to purify water, a stove, cooking gear and a kitchen kit. (For more information please read Eating Nourishing Traditional Foods While Traveling.) I would have a way to sprout seeds if there were no fresh garden produce available or a way to wildcraft greens. I would have two thermoses for keeping water hot all day long. If I could cook, I would add:
1L dried homemade mushroom, seaweed and herb broth
4L homemade dried onions, squash, carrots and garlic (fresh would be better)

You may find my list of emergency rations expensive but my family would come out of the 30 days well nourished. Actually, their diet would be very close to their regular diet. My emergency rations are very high in fat and moderate in protein. The carbohydrates come from the dried fruit, apple cider vinegar, mushrooms, dried assorted vegetables and sprouts. Every family would have different emergency rations because everyone’s family is different. What would your family’s emergency rations look like?

Independence Days also poses another great question: “How many independence days do you have each year?” Independence days are the number of days each year you eat for free.

Free doesn’t mean easy or without effort. It means growing food in your own garden or trading food with neighbors or friends. It means getting free of the industrial food system and producing as much of your own food as possible and supporting the growth of a local food system. It means personal food security. This book got me hungry for my own independence days. It got me wondering how many independence days I could have each year.

Sharon challenges the reader to:

  1. Plant, harvest and preserve something as many days of the year as possible.
  2. Minimize waste by finding ways to reuse or re-purpose waste; recycle the waste of others by buying used or actually re-purposing the waste of others.
  3. Try cooking or preparing something new and work on managing your reserves as frugally as possible.
  4. Work on developing your own local food system. This action will improve food security for everyone in your community.

Lastly, Sharon asks the reader to take on Pat Meadow’s Theory of Anyway as your own and “do the right thing” three times a day with each meal you feed your family:
“95 percent of what is needed to resolve the coming crisis is what we should do anyway, and when in doubt about how to change we should change our lives to reflect what we should be doing “anyway”. Living more simply, more frugally, leaving reserves for others, reconnecting with our food and our community — these are things we should be doing because they are the right thing to do on many levels… Pat’s Theory of Anyway… points out that the way we live must pass ethical muster first. We must always ask the question, is this choice contributing to the repair of the world, or its destruction?”


Categories: Food Storage, Real Food | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Healing Broth: Fungus, Seaweed, Sage and Sea Salt

Why should a man die who has sage in his garden?
Old English proverb

Today’s article was originally published at Eatkamloops by Caroline Cooper, one of our valued contributors at Survival Sherpa, and reprinted with her permission. 

Healthy Household: Healing Broth: Part I

fungus mushroom broth Healthy Household: Healing Broth: Part I

Here is my personal blend of fungus, seaweed, sage and sea salt. Have fun and create your own blend to help balance your unique endocrine needs.

“Cur moriatur homo cui Salvia crescit in horto?”
Why should a man die who has sage in his garden?

Old English proverb

Food can be medicine. Special broths can have a healing effect when drunk on a regular basis. Here is just one healing broth that will be especially good for peri-menopausal and menopausal women. Healing broths can be a good substitute for caffeine containing beverages which can become troublesome as a woman ages.

This powdered broth can be brought on a road trip or stored as in an emergency food. You can drink the broth by itself or simmer it in some bone broth.

3 parts dried wild-crafted fungus, powdered (choose from list below)
3 parts dried organic sage, ground (optional)
1-2 part sea salt, ground
1 part seaweed, powdered (chosen from list below)

Grind each individual ingredient by itself and in small amounts. Use a Vitamix machine, coffee grinder or food processor. The finer the grind the better the powder will dissolve in hot water or bone broth.

Store broth powder in a glass jar. Remember to date and label the jar with your chosen ingredients and the amounts used. Don’t be afraid to try different combinations. Actually, this is a good idea because you will get a better range of micro-nutrients.

Use one or two teaspoons in each cup of hot water or bone broth. Add more salt if you like a salty broth. Don’t be afraid to use sea salt to taste. If you are wondering if salt is safe to consume please read these two essays: The Salt of the Earth by Sally Fallon Morell and Salt and Our Health by Dr Morton Satin.

Choose your Fungus:

  1. Maitake has a complex immune stimulating effect and is reported to help the liver clear viral and environmental contamination. Maitake helps the body better absorb nutrients like zinc and copper.
  2. Shiitake has a rich, smoky flavor and is loaded with nutrients, essential amino acids and a highly potent antioxidant, l-ergothioneine. Shiitake contains lentinan which is reported to have a anti-tumor effect.

Choose your Seaweed:

It is reported that seaweed being naturally very high in iodine can improve a woman’s progesterone to estradiol ratios, decreasing estrogen dominance, by increases your free Triiodothyronine (T3).

Here is how different seaweeds can be used to help balance endocrine function. Choose your seaweed with these guidelines in mind or just use your favorite seaweed.

  1. Arame (Eisenia bycyclis) was traditionally used to reduce fibrocystic breasts, uterine fibroids, excessive bleeding and ovarian cysts. This seaweed can reduce acne and excessive facial hair common to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
  2. Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) is an excellent adrenal adaptogen. It appears that the seaweed helps lengthen, short menstrual cycles, and relieves symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) by supporting progesterone production when a woman is estrogen dominant. The seaweed is reported to help with osteoarthritis and inflammatory joint conditions.
  3. Dulse (Palmaria palmata), is very rich in iodine and iron. This seaweed can help with constipation and cyclic mastalgia. It is reported to have an antiviral action against the herpes virus.
  4. Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) is traditional used for low sex drive. It is reported to support Triiodothyronine (T3) levels which is involved with the conversion of high-density lipoproteins into progesterone pathway and not into the cortisol pathway.
  5. Kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) like all brown seaweeds is rich in alginate and can chelate radioactive materials and heavy metals from the body. The plant is very high in iodine and can help normalize adrenal, pituitary and thyroid health. It is reported to be a blood purifier and can relieve arthritic stiffness.
  6. Wakame (Alaria esculenta) can help with constipation and lower blood pressure. It is reported to have an antiviral effect against cytomegalovirus and herpes virus.

For more recipes please see Healthy Household: Staying Clean Safely and Saving Money.


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Categories: Herbal Remedies, Natural Health, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

6 Essential Zen-like Hacks Guaranteed to Declutter Your Preps

by Todd Walker

I’m adding a new law to Newton’s Laws of Motion. A Nobel Prize in the Physics of Prepping should be coming my way soon!

Here’s a summary of my new law…

The Law of Horizontal Surfaces: All objects in motion tend to stay in motion until they find a horizontal surface to rest upon.


Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that everything with mass in the universe is attracted to everything else that has mass in the universe (paraphrasing here).

Apply this law to my Law of Horizontal Surfaces for yourself. I think you’ll confirm my findings.

Here’s an experiment you can do at home, work, or anywhere horizontal surfaces are found. Add people to the environment and note how quickly the non-cluttered horizontal surface attracts objects – of all shapes and sizes. Very un-Zen. Especially when you need to find a tool or, in some cases, your infant you put down “somewhere.”

Preppers are known to collect stuff. And everything has a use…someday. But if you can’t put your hands on what you need, when you need it, it won’t be as useful as you once thought.

It’s called spring cleaning. Some would call it practicing Zen habits. Cleaning the clutter. Simplifying.

This is my last day of Spring break. I can’t wait to get back to school to rest up. Dirt Road Girl and I uncluttered every horizontal surface in our home and my shop. Even vertical surfaces, closets, cupboards, and storage shelves are organized.

Here’s six tips to help you combat the Law of Horizontal Surfaces and live clutter free

A.) Chunk it. Your time, that is. If you don’t have a large block of time, and depending on badly the Law of Horizontal Surfaces has taken over, take it one step at a time. Defy the Law by focusing on one area or zone in your living or work space. This lessens the chance of you getting overwhelmed and quitting.

B.) Chuck it. Your non-essential stuff, that is. Just let it go. Especially the stuff hidden in your junk drawer. We all have those. We hauled a couple of loads of this stuff to a local charity this week. Things I didn’t think I could part with have now found a new horizontal surface to occupy…just not in our space. I’ve noticed that my load is lightened physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually somehow. Peace is a good thing.

Here’s one strategy for clearing a junk drawer. Dump the contents into a box, label it, and then put it in hiding for a month or two. If you don’t need that useful junk in the box during that time, chuck it.

C.) Handle it once. Don’t just wipe all the accumulated clutter in a box and go dump it in the spare bedroom closet. You’re planning on organizing your that closet too, right? Once you put your hands on the objects of clutter, move it once. Find a permanent home for the stuff.

DRG says I’m a borderline hoarder. Not true. I might be able to use that small stripe of chicken wire one day. But the thing about keeping it is that it sits on the limited horizontal space in my shop and attracts more objects.

D.) Pick your battles. The best strategy we’ve found is to pick an area that really grates on our nerves. The spot that makes our shoulders knot up and blood pressure spike. Once you get this place cleaned and organized, let your momentum take you to the next room or counter top.

At one point last week, we realized we needed to tackle my shop. We moved shelving from the house to simplify our living space. I chunked some old shelving in my shop and added the larger shelves from the living room. This allowed for more useful horizontal space in my shop for long-term storage items. A win-win-win for house, shop, and preps.

E.) Make it a habit. Once you’ve got a your space clutter free, keep it that way. Stand back and feel the peace in your de-cluttered space.

But we all tend to backslide into clutter. The Law of Horizontal Surfaces is fierce and doesn’t care. Handle objects once and put them back in their space. When my kids were little, I’d take toys left lying around the house and toss them in a box in the garage. They couldn’t rescue their toys from the box prison for a full week. If they forgot about the toy, it usually got tossed or given away.

F.) Quit your squawking. Stop whining and organize your prepping items. You’ll notice a huge difference in the amount of stuff that becomes useful when it’s de-cluttered.

For example, there’s an old duffel bag in my shop packed with miscellaneous prepping stuff – B.O.B. items, camping supplies, tools, rope, etc. Not anymore. I dumped it on the floor and went through it. I found stuff I’d forgotten I had. It was like Christmas in April.

Get some boxes or bins and separate the pile into categories. Now I can walk to a shelf and find the container of jute twine and other cordage when I need it. Have a labeled container for every category of useful stuff. The rest, chunk it.

In our digital world, our computers and phones are not exempt from the Law of Horizontal Surfaces. You can’t find that excellent article on building community. You filed it under something. But what? Apply these same tips to simplify your digital world.

Checking and responding to email, messages, social media feeds, and comments can be a black hole in your time. Getting organized to handle the clutter will free up your time and get your life simplified. There’s an app for that, right?

Horizontal surfaces are essential. They fight the other immutable law, the law of gravity. There in lies the problem… the pesky Law of Horizontal Surfaces. It takes a little time and effort on your part, but it’s possible to defy this law. And remember, momentum is you best friend.

Keep doing and de-cluttering the stuff!

What’s your best practices for organizing and de-cluttering? Please share them in the comments section.

If this was helpful to you, please share it with your friends. 

Categories: Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

How to Make Turkey Jerky with 3 Ingredients (That’s Super Easy and Tastes Like Thanksgiving)

Source: Mark’s Daily Apple

How to Make Turkey Jerky (That’s Super Easy and Tastes Like Thanksgiving)

pic1 1

I’m pleased to have our friend David Maren of Tendergrass Farms pen today’s guest post. He’s written this great how-to for making your own delicious pastured turkey jerky. And don’t miss the coupon code that he’s generously provided below!

Most folks who make turkey jerky just make beef jerky out of turkey. They tend to use lots of teriyaki sauce, sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to mask the turkey-ness of the turkey. To each his own, but in my opinion this is a real shame. After all, turkey is super scrumptious! Especially if you go to the trouble of getting some good quality pastured turkey, you’ll want to preserve its essential turkey flavor as a special feature of your turkey jerky. We’ve discovered an extremely simple way to make delicious, high-protein, sugar-free, turkey jerky that will not only taste and look nothing like beef jerky, but will also magically transport you back to your childhood Thanksgiving dinner table. In fact, between you and me, I think it tastes a lot like buttery mashed potatoes and gravy. But no worries – it’s about as primal as primal can be.


This recipe is the very pinnacle of culinary simplicity. You’ll need:


  • Turkey breast, at least about 2 LBS (preferably from a good pastured turkey)
  • Salt and pepper
  • An oven (no fancy dehydrator necessary)
  • A few kabob skewers (or wooden chop sticks)
  • Nothin’ else!

It’ll take about 10 minutes of prep time and then the jerky will need to be in the oven for 6 to 10 hours (depending on your oven and how thinly you cut the turkey strips).


You should really think about supporting a family farmer by purchasing some decent pastured turkey breast to make your jerky with. has a helpful directory of grass-based farmers across the USA, Canada, and beyond that would love your support. If you can’t find any local pastured turkey sources our little cooperative online meats shop, Tendergrass Farms, offers pastured turkey breast that we can ship right to your doorstep.

In fact, in the spirit of family farm generosity, we’ve created a coupon code that’ll give you four (4) free jumbo boneless skinless roasts of our pastured turkey breast with all orders over $199 (a $99.96 value), which will also qualify your order for Free Shipping. Head over to the Tendergrass Farms site and once you’ve added $199 of our grass fed beefpastured porkpastured chicken, or pastured turkey to your cart, just view your cart and apply the coupon code FARMERS-RULE-123 and four 2 lb. pastured turkey breast roasts will be automatically added to your cart with a price of $0.00 (expires 9/30/13, limited to 150 redemptions). Pretty cool, huh? I guess we just figure what comes around goes around.

Tip: If $199 sounds like a big first order just grab a couple friends from the gym and place an order together.

Once you’ve procured some good turkey breast, the first step is to cut it into very thin slices. There’s no danger of cutting them too thin, so just get a nice sharp knife and cut the pieces as thinly as you can. It’s best to keep them as even in thickness as possible to help them dehydrate at the same rate.


The second step is to sprinkle the turkey strips with a little salt and pepper. Salt and pepper the turkey just a little more than you would any other food that you were about to eat. The purpose of the salt and pepper is simply to bring out the natural flavor of the turkey, not to mummify it!


Read the rest here

Categories: Food Storage, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 Healthy Fast Food Meals in Mason Jars



Editor’s note: I’m working a post that’s requiring lot’s of research and thought. My brain hurts. Daisy is pinch-hitting for me today. As always, she is a heavy hitter when she steps up to the prepper plate. Although I don’t eat the sides she suggests (pasta and bread), these three recipes are healthy “fast food” dishes you can make and store in your pantry. Enjoy!

Mason Jar Meals: “Fast Food” for Preppers

by Daisy Luther

I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating – canning is the perfect way to provide “fast food” for preppers.

Last night we got home from 2 days of traveling.  We were tired and hungry.  It was so nice to pop a lid off a jar and heat up a tasty, nutritious and filling meal in less than five minutes, without worrying about all of those nasty additives that a store-bought can of soup would contain.  The instant gratification from a home-canned meal is wonderful on a day that you just don’t feel like cooking, and invaluable when disaster strikes and you are unable to use your usual methods of preparing a meal.

You can preserve your own recipes easily – find the guidelines HERE.

Canning meat – HERE.

Canning beans – HERE

Soups, stews and chili can help you quickly produced a well-balanced meal.  Click the preserving tab at the top of the page for more recipes.

Some meals need only a quickly boiled carbohydrate like rice or pasta to make a satisfying meal at the drop of a hat – here are 3  tried-and-true canning recipes to enjoy…

Hungarian Goulash


  • 4 pounds of stewing meat (beef, pork, etc.)
  • 4 tbsp of REAL Hungarian paprika (must be the real stuff for an authentic flavor)
  • 2 tsp of dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 onions, quartered
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 4 carrots, sliced into coins
  • 6 potatoes, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of red wine vinegar
  • Water as needed


  1. In a bowl, mix Hungarian paprika, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and begin to sauté your onions and garlic.
  3. Dip your stewing meat in the spice mixture, then place the meat in the stockpot to brown with the garlic and onions.  Brown lightly – the meat does not have to be thoroughly cooked.
  4. In quart jars, layer your meat and vegetable mixture, carrots, peppers and potatoes.
  5. Add 6 cups of water, vinegar and the jar of tomato paste to the stock pot and mix with any drippings or spices that remain after browning the meat.  Bring this mixture to a boil.
  6. Ladle hot liquid into sanitized jars over the layered contents.  Use a table knife to remove any air pockets in the jars. If necessary, top up with water, allowing 1 inch of headspace.
  7. Lid the jars and process in your p-canner for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, based on altitude.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:  When heating your goulash, whisk in 1 tbsp of flour in order to thicken the sauce.  Once it is hot, stir in a half cup of sour cream or yogurt and heat only until the sour cream is warmed through.

Serve your goulash over egg noodles, potatoes, spaetzle or dumplings and don’t forget a side of fresh sour dough bread!

Beef Stroganoff


  • 3-4 pounds of stewing beef or sliced sirloin
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water to deglaze pan


  1. In a large stockpot, sauté beef, onions, garlic and mushrooms in butter until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and enough water to deglaze the stockpot.  Use a metal utensil to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen the flavorful pieces there.
  3. Add 1 cup of water and stir well, bringing to a boil.
  4. Ladle the stroganoff into sanitized jars, distributing the sauce evenly across the jars.
  5. Lid the jars and process in your p-canner for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, based on altitude.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:  When you are ready to serve the beef stroganoff, stir 1 cup of sour cream or plain yogurt into the heated sauce.  Serve this over rice or noodles.

Chicken Cacciatore

The rich herbed tomato sauce and the tender chicken will not last long on the pantry shelves – as soon as you serve one jar of it, your family will beg you to make it again!

To make life even simpler, this is a raw-pack recipe!


  • 3 pounds of boneless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (a mix of breasts and thighs is nice)
  • 2 cups of red and green peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups of onion, cut into 8ths
  • 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 cups of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 tbsp of oregano
  • 2 tbsp of basil
  • 2 tbsp of thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Layer chicken, peppers, onions, mushroom and garlic in quart jars.
  2. In a large stockpot bring wine, tomatoes, and herbs to a boil.  Ladle hot liquid over the layered ingredients in your sanitized jars.
  3. Lid the jars and process in your p-canner for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, based on altitude.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS:  When preparing the cacciatore, stir in a small can of tomato paste when heating to thicken the sauce.  Serve over pasta, with a side of garlic bread.

Author bio: Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at


Categories: Food Storage, Frugal Preps, Real Food, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , | 37 Comments

How Dropping the F-bomb Can Save Your Life

by Todd Walker

Spring Break keeps MTV busy bleeping F-bombs on air.


Courtesy of


The language of drunk and delirious co-eds is NOT my subject matter here. Nope, the F-bomb you need to drop is…

Fructose. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) to be exact.

Not all sweeteners are created equal. If you eat pre-packaged foods (think long-term food storage), drink sodas or fruit juice, you’re likely ingesting HFCS. So what? Well, you might want to rethink this behavior. Research shows the not-so-healthy (horrible, actually) consequences of this cheap sweet.

Adipose gone wild!

Adipose gone wild!

  • A Princeton study shows that rats with access to the HFCS packed on the pounds (dangerous adipose fat) faster than those that ate other sugars – High adipose fat levels are markers for heart disease.
  • Increased risk of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is linked to fructose. Kool-aid, fruit juices, and nondietary soda (I have no clue what nondietary soda is) intake raises your risk of liver damage.

There’s economic benefit to using HFCS. For years plain table sugar (sucrose), a molecular mix of glucose and fructose, was the sweetener of choice for beverage companies. Growing up we only had 6 oz. or 12 oz. bottles of soda. I’d sit in the barber’s chair at our local gas station and drink a RC Cola with peanuts floating in the drink. I know, a barber’s chair in a gas station. Our one-armed gas station owner didn’t cut hair. The chair served as a local gossip seat. It was a one-horse town.

Pull up to any Stop-N-Rob convenience store and you can supersize that HFCS concoction. Big Gulp anyone? Add an ice cream novelty bar, or even a ‘healthy’ carton of milk, and you’ve got the makings for a destructive F-bomb.

The Industrial Food Machine figured out a ‘cheaper’ way to sweeten things up. Subsidized corn. Corn and soy were being propped up by our government. The use of HFCS expanded. So did America’s waistline. Now, the inexpensive sweetener is in almost all processed foods. It would be difficult to walk down the aisle of any grocery store and not find random items containing HFCS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that six out of 10 Americans are overweight and 31 percent are obese. That’s number is double from 30 years ago. Could the increased use of HFCS be the sole culprit of our obese nation? Not hardly. But it certainly adds a bulge to the fat equation.

It’s everywhere!

I ran across a post a popular prepping online community that even promotes and praises the benefits of eating junk food loaded with F-bombs. They call it ‘comfort food’. I’m no stranger to comfort foods. My choice is organic dark chocolate with almond butter spread on top as an occasional evening treat. The problem occurs when we make HFCS a large part of our daily diet. Even some ‘health’ food impostors are loaded with King Corn’s sneaky syrup. If you eat store-bought bread, fogettaboutit. It’s in there too. Agave syrup is marketed as a healthy alternative to sugar. Avoid it at all costs. It’s 90% HFCS. It’s a dirty little sweet secret.

Check out Dr. Mercola’s article exposing the bitter truth about the F-bomb.

This report will show you how the sweetness of high-fructose corn syrup comes with a dear price to your health, possibly worsening the illnesses you’re already experiencing! Without knowing it, the HFCS in your body may be setting the stage for health problems including:

  • Diabetes. Know how HFCS worsens diabetes, which is mainly rooted in insulin problems.

  • Metabolic syndrome. Learn why you should say no to HFCS-containing soft drinks and other foods that may cause this condition.

  • Damage to your immune system. Acquaint yourself with how asthma, food allergies, multiple sclerosis and other immune system problems are triggered by use of sugars such as HFCS!

  • Speed-up aging process. Know through this report how HFCS and other sugars and grains accelerate the aging process.

  • A load of dangerous mercury poisons. Find out how mercury is found in samples of commercial HFCS, and get the shock of your life with the many life-threatening conditions mercury poisoning entails!

Who’s benefiting from this sneaky F-bomb of a liquid? Big Agra and our Big Pharma controlled medical complex. Other liquids might be more dangerous in our foods, like diesel, but not by much. So what’s a preparedness minded individual to do for everyday meal plans and food storage to ensure optimal health?

  • Drop the F-bomb. HFCS doesn’t send signals to your brain telling you to stop eating. If you’re experiencing constant sugar cravings, take it as a signal that you’re not feeding your body what it needs. What it needs is NOT more sugar. Especially the F-bomb type. For the sweet tooth cravings, choose natural sweeteners like raw local honey, stevia, or incorporate healthy berries into your snack.
  • Read labels. If you can’t pronounce it, avoid it.
  • Eat nutrient dense, whole foods. Avoid processed, pre-packaged meals.
  • For food storage ideas, here’s what I suggest.
  • Get to know your local farmers. Search for those who raise grass-fed animals, free-range poultry, and non-GMO chemically grown fruits and vegetables.

Dropping the F-bomb from your diet will save you money on medical bills and put you on a path to optimal health.

Cheers to resilient health and preparedness!

Keep doing the stuff,



As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please share it. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook page.

Any information on this site may be shared freely, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Categories: Food Storage, Healthcare, Natural Health, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Charcuterie: Off The Grid Food Storage For Meats

Ever eat cured raw pork?On my list skills to learn is the lost art of off grid meat preservation. I can meats, store meat in the freezer, and have some canned seafood in our primal pantry. What happens when the fragile electrical grid goes down? Leaning to cure meat for long-term storage would be a great skill for bartering, building resilient preps, and, well, it’s just plain cool to see meat hanging from the ceiling in your basement or root cellar.

Caroline Cooper has an interesting article on her blog (eatkamloops) about a technique I’ve never heard of or was able to pronounce. Click here for the proper pronunciation. It’s fun to say and sounds like it’d be fun to make and eat.

Any of y’all ever tried making charcuterie? I’d like to hear from you.

Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Source: eatkamloops

cured pork 1 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Charcuterie adds a wonderful element to winter pantry food. A small slice of cured meat goes a long way with its rich flavor. With traditional charcuterie there is a natural order to when the cured meats are ready and when the cured meats should be eaten.

“These dry-cured meats and sausages, almost always sliced thin, are dense and chewy, with a strong, dry-cured flavor and smooth, satiny fat. When we eat them, we’re most often eating pork that’s never gone above room temperature, let along come close to the 150F recommended by government. And yet, properly prepared, these are perfectly safe to eat. There really is nothing similar to eating cured raw meat — it has a flavor and an effect like no other food.”

Charcuterie: The Craft and Salting, Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman

cured pork ribs 4 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Raw cured ribs are the first cured product to come out of the cellar. Sliced thinly, the sweet meat of the ribs is a wonderful contrast to the salty cure. One rib will satisfy.

I just wanted to share a few pictures of the cured pork my husband Shaen made with the expert mentoring from Joe Trotta. Charcuterie is not an easy craft to learn from books. Charcuterie is a craft best passed down from the older generation to the younger generation. If you are interested in learning the craft, I have no books for you, or courses you can take. You will just have to look around and find someone knowledgeable in the craft and someone willing to mentor you in the techniques. If you can find someone to show you how to cure raw meats, the process becomes simple, and the stress of wondering if you are doing it right, is greatly reduced.

Two warnings. Hurry up and learn. Many of the people who know these techniques are older. Many have children that do not value the wisdom that came from the old country and have never learned the craft. These old techniques are dying with the people, and unless we learn their knowledge, the knowledge will pass out of this world. If you are a professional cook or chef, you will have to empty your cup of knowledge, if you want to learn traditional charcuterie. Everything you think you know about FOODSAFE is wrong regarding these foods. If you come to traditional cured foods with your own ideas of how to do it right, you will likely miss the mark, and mess up the process. Saying “Oh my God, that isn’t safe,” is meaningless and disrespectful to someone who has eaten these foods their whole life.

cured pork bacon 5 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

This is raw cured bacon with sea salt and paprika. The sticks help keep the bacon flat and stop it from curling. This is the second cured product out of the cellar. Very few people have enjoyed the flavor of raw bacon. It can be cooked but you will miss the satiny smoothness of the fat.

“Dry-curing results in a beautiful type of sausage, the most individualistic, idiosyncratic, and temperamental sausage there is, precisely because of its reliance on atmospheric conditions, which change all year round, and the presence of varying microflora in the air.”

cured pork 2 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Soppressata is the third cured product out of the cellar. Soppressata is made from raw pork, sea salt and paprika which is stuffed into the pig’s intestine. There is no curing salts or other ingredients. Soppressata’s flat appearance is from pressing to help remove air from the salami.

But when your sausage has dried just right, and you slice it thin, and the interior is a glistening deep crimson red with bright pearly chunks of fat, it is incredibly exciting. This is real mastery over the food we prepare. To make a home-cured pork sausage, with just salt and pepper for seasoning, is a deeply gratifying experience, like making a great wine.”

cured pork 3 Pantry Foods: Charcuterie

Soppressata is hung by it’s string on clothes hangers cut into hooks. Soppressata with its white coat is an eerie sight in the cellar. The white coating is safe to eat though traditional Italian sausage makers like Joe wipe the soppressata with vinegar and water to remove the coating.

Mastering the technique of transforming raw meat and fat, whether a sausage or a whole muscle, into something delicious without using heat, enhances your ability to work with all food. This is true craftsmanship, craftsmanship aiming for art, a craft reliant on the cook’s skill and knowledge and, perhaps, a little bit of divine intervention.”

Divine intervention indeed. Or maybe just allowing for the peaceful co-existence of humans with their helpful bacterial friends. When you cure long-term your household will become colonized with helpful microbiota. If you would like to learn more about traditional Italian curing please see: Pantry Foods: Fast Cured Green Olives.

Categories: Barter, Food Storage, Lost Skills | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Smashing the Big FAT Lie for Resilient Prepper Health

I bet Christopher Columbus felt like a proselytizing Jehovah Witness knocking on random doors to raise money for his ‘foolish’ voyage.

“You plan to do what!?” [sneering chuckles ensue]

“Why yes. I believe the earth is round and my ships won’t fall off that flat Earth map of yours.”

Folks holding on to myths and lies seldom desire the truth. The usual response is polite silence and eye-rolling when you turn your back. Occasionally, some myth-clinging soul launches an assault to defend the un-defendable – until a paradigm shift takes place. And even then, there remains bitter myth clingers. The flat Earth was thought to be domed by a bowl-shaped firmament – until science and Chris proved otherwise.

Many generations took the flat Earth model to their graves since Greek astronomers first proposed the spherical Earth paradigm in 6th century BC. Which brings us to today’s topic of people (preppers too) bitterly clinging to nutritional myths.

With an abundance of myths floating in the shallow end of humanity’s pool, it’s easy to see how we as preparedness minded folk embrace what ‘experts’ tell us are the best way to survive anything from short-term disasters to a mutant zombie biker apocalypse. I’ve read a wide variety of advise concerning ‘healthy’ diets for survival. I rarely agree. I’m not stirring the pot of conventional dietary wisdom just to create controversy (I lie – yes I am), I’m just knocking on as many doors as possible to share a new prepping paradigm that not only increases short-term survival, but will help you thrive long-term.

“Sometimes you need to take a sledgehammer and crush what’s written in stone!” – John Paul Catanzaro

First up on the myth busting block: Eating saturated fat will make you obese and give you heart disease.

How did fabulous fat get falsely accused? Before I was born, Dr. Ancel Keys used questionable science to perpetrate what many consider to be the greatest nutritional/scientific myth ever. I remember following the low-fat craziness back in the 80’s. I tried living the lie for over two decades. I was in the middle of the herd, following the “expert” advice as late as 2002 from the Food & Nutrition Board: “Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet.”

Through flawed logic and selective science, Dr. Keys sold the Lipid Hypothesis – which American’s gobbled up (including me). Primal Docs hammers on this artery-clogging myth:

The lipid hypothesis was developed by Ancel Keys in the 1950s. This theory states that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease. With questionable evidence, Keys went about writing articles and promoting this hypothesis throughout the medical world. Meanwhile, hundreds of subsequent studies testing this hypothesis have found differing conclusions. Despite the lack of evidence this notion took off throughout the healthcare world and was fueled by the vegetable oil and food processing industries that sought to benefit from this key finding.

Enter Big Pharma, FDA, and the Industrial Food Machine. Do the powers that be really sit around and come up with schemes to destroy our health and lives? Is this just another loony conspiracy theory? If so, the ‘conspiracy’ has wrecked individual’s health for the last 50 years. I recall eating bone marrow at my lunch table one day with my fellow teachers. Eyes were aghast and faces cringed as I carefully extracted the core with one of those small crab-eating utensils.

“Won’t all that fat you eat clog your arteries?” one teacher managed to utter – in between forks of chocolate cake.

In a relatively short time span, the lipid hypothesis began to be ingrained in our collective psyche. This twisted advice became more than one doctor’s two-cents’ worth. With the help of the FDA, Big Pharma, and our corporate Industrial Food Machine, the scheme to demonize saturated fat worked. Idiots in the media sold out without real investigation into their claims.

Try this on your next doctors visit. Tell him/her that you’ve adopted a lifestyle of eating 50% of your calories from saturated fats – even if you don’t – yet :). Go ahead and arrange for someone to pick you up from the nearest emergency room after your ride in the ambulance.


In the spirit of Shovelglove, grab your sledgehammer and join me as we smash the “Saturated Fat Stone Tablet”. Don’t have a sledgehammer handy? Just click with your mouse.

After clearing the floor from all the pieces of broken stone, you can start building health and resilience into your preps and lifestyle. I guess storing fat has been the biggest challenge for me and Dirt Road Girl. It’s hard, but not impossible. You can check out our food storage plan here.

The absolute best way to get saturated fats into our diet is to have the source available, either local farmers/ranchers, or owning animals ourselves. I also make tallow from grass-fed beef fat for cooking and making pemmican.

Since we don’t live in a tropical oasis full of coconut trees, we stock up on five gallon buckets of coconut oil. In case you haven’t heard, this is amazing stuff and well worth adding to your larder! Check it our here and here.

Folks, this Big FAT lie has cost American’s millions of dollars and their health. The man-made ‘healthy’ trans-fat oils we were told to substitute for real fat should be avoided at all costs.

Now for a big FAT breakfast/brunch with DRG.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa


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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Natural Health, Preparedness, Real Food | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

20 Things I never throw away

While I don’t personally store all the wheat, sugar, and noodles that Kris describes, I am a hoarder of containers. Maybe these ideas will stretch your idea muscle a bit.  It certainly did mine.

Doing the stuff,



Source: The Survival Mom

Guest post by Kris

Everything has a purpose—sometimes two or three of them!  For most seasoned Survival Moms, some of these “reuse” ideas are already habit.  But for those of us fairly new to frugal motherhood or the Survival Mom lifestyle, here are 20 things I never throw away:

For Storage:

2-liter bottles, gallon vinegar jugs, etc.—Use to store water (room temperature or frozen). Be sure to date and rotate every six months.

Huge coffee containers—I refill with whatever needs to be moved into rotation: brown sugar, instant oats, flour, powdered milk.  These fit into my everyday pantry a lot easier than 5-gallon buckets.  I can also fit about a dozen Ramen Noodle packages into one to make them less accessible for my tiny, four-legged nemeses.

cardboard box 20 Things I never throw away

image by tew

Plastic peanut butter jars—The large ones can nicely fit a couple of bags of split peas, chick peas, or other bean varieties I don’t usually buy in bulk. Or, if I’m moving longer-term food into rotation, these are perfect (and I can see what’s in them).  Also great for storing treats like dehydrated corn (which the kids eat like candy!), venison jerky, chunks of rock candy, or opened pretzels.  I hate when that half-eaten bag goes stale!

Plastic food tubs—Perfect for leftovers—especially ones I’m sending home with guests.  I also use the tiny sour cream tubs to store homemade lotions and my fledgling attempts at homemade yogurt. They’re also nice for dividing up paint and paste for craft project because tossing them is cleanup.

Empty spice jars—Refill with your own dried spices at the end of the growing season.

Fancy wine, vinegar, or other glass bottles—I make my own fruit-flavored vodkas with the cheapest, bottom-shelf stuff.  Then I pour it into pretty red wine vinegar bottles, attach a recipe for a fancy drink, and give as hostess gifts. Fun meets frugal.

Mason Jar boxes—Okay, I’m probably not a genius, but I sure felt like one when I discovered this.  I almost feel like I should whisper it to you.  If you slice the plastic down the very middle and just slide the new jars out the slit, you can restock the box with filled jars, label the side of the box with masking tape, and stack as high as you dare. The boxes are pretty stable, especially with the added support of the stretched-tight plastic. And it’s a lot cheaper than buying those plastic storage stackers.

Cardboard boxes-Yes, you can store linens and off-season clothes.  BUT you can also store valuables at the bottom, label the box “winter sweaters” or whatever, and stack that box at the very back and bottom of the closet until you can afford that 36-gun safe.  I’ll bet no burglar is going to rummage through your sweater box.

Baby food jars—We don’t have babies anymore, but the jars are still in faithful service.  My husband screwed the lids into a scrap of 2×4, which he then mounted to the wall of the garage.  The top is a storage shelf.  He can unscrew the jars from the lids to access the screws, nuts, bolts, nails, and other “boy things” stored in the jars, which he can see without rummaging through drawers.  He could actually be a genius. (Tip: Use two screws instead of one; our prototype featured jars that spun in a circle every time we tried to unscrew them.)

Food Items:

Bacon Fat—It just makes everything taste better! Strain it through a rubber-band-secured cheesecloth into a canning jar, and some Southern cooks swear you can keep it forever.  Mine never lasts longer than the next pot of beans, jar of green beans, or fried egg breakfast.

Read the rest here

Categories: Frugal Preps, Preparedness, Self-reliant | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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