Foods Stores & Environmental Extremes

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HeadnHome, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. HeadnHome

    HeadnHome Member

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    Most of the discussions and documents I've read on putting food by focus on proper storage conditions, putting by what you normally eat, rotating your stock, etc. This kind of information is vital for the home pantry.

    What about the kinds of foods that can withstand -- within reason -- less than optimal conditions such as an emergency stash stored in the trunk of a car. I'm trying to develop a list that would survive a 3-6 month stint in the trunk. Over this kind of time frame you could -- at least, where I live -- go from below freezing to broiling temps.

    Any suggestions as to the kinds of emergency foods that could withstand such variation while maintaining a reasonable nutritional value? I am not talking about a huge stash of food, but a few days worth of fairly ready to eat products that can withstand 3-6 months of "store it and forget it" over the course of which I'd, hopefully, rotate it out during camping trips. I've lined up the usual suspects (dehydrated soups/stews, nuts, dried fruit, powerbars, etc.)

    What I'm curious about is your experience with foods that can take abuse, esp. with environmental extremes and still remain edible. Any suggestions or thoughts? Thanks!
     
  2. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    I think it would be better to have a 'bug out' box in the kitchen. Some sort of carrying case you can grab and go. I think the trunk of a car is NOT a good place to store any food, even canned, for that long.
     

  3. HeadnHome

    HeadnHome Member

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    I agree on keeping a bug out bag in the house ready to go. However, I travel 1K miles per week for work. I've had a few close calls with weather, playing dodge-the-deer, etc. Bug outbag in this case isn't really practical; that's why I'm trying to figure out what I can keep in the car. Thanks for the response!
     
  4. motivated

    motivated Well-Known Member

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    Datrex food bars.They taste like cookies 3600 calories per bar. Good for 5 years. SOS earthquake supply in Van Nuys CA they will ship. They take up a small amount of space in the trunk. They also have good water storage solutions.
    Best wishes putting together your gear.
    Jodi
     
  5. Daryll in NW FLA

    Daryll in NW FLA Well-Known Member

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  6. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    if you click on this link:
    http://www.KnowledgePublications.com
    it takes you to a fellow's website that tells you of many practical solar and energy ideas, as well as emergency preparedness seminars. You can download an audio seminar about emergency preparedness by going to "free stuff" and then scrolling down to "free family preparedness class". food is well covered. I suggest you give it a listen. It's entertaining and very very practical.
    In short summary to your question...He recommends getting flour, baking powder, salt, oil, canned goods, pot and pan, matches, d batteries, flashlight, radio, etc and sealing it in 18 gallon (or smaller) plastic boxes with silicone. the food will keep indefinately. The batteries keep for years. You can make fires with wood and easily and quickly make fry bread, hard tack, pancakes, tortillas, etc enough to eat well, share and live on for a long time. Kids like it, too. 10 lbs of flour will give you all the energy you need for 5 to 10 days of hard work. etc, etc.
     
  7. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not food, but I keep a blanket in a plastic box in the trunk. Also an empty coffee can and candle in case I end up stranded in the middle of winter.
     
  8. HeadnHome

    HeadnHome Member

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    Thanks for the info! The KnowledgePublications.com site looks great and
    I'm looking forward to listening to the files. I'll also check out the Datrex food bars.

    Has anyone run across any actual studies or discussions of experiences in terms of heat/storage-time trade offs?

    Most of the discussions I've found regarding rotation and food spoilage focus -- quite rightly -- on optimal storage conditions and published expiration dates. However, these discussions rarely quantify or provide the degree to which high temps or variable temps degrade particular food products. The only real research I've found on temp/storage-time tradeoffs have been for MREs -- a product I'm not eaning towards for now (even if I did, the literature makes it obvious to protect such an investment with optimal storage conditions -- they wouldn't last long in the trunk from what I've read.)

    Thus, the values that I'm chasing: which food products can withstand suboptimal storage conditions the best and for how long given a particular temp and time range.

    These questions relate not only to emergency food stores one might want to have in a car. Here in the New Madrid fault zone a very real environmental hazard is a major earthquake.

    Hasn't happened yet. It will eventually.

    The recommendations I've read on earthquake preparedness is to have a 33 gal trash can full of your emergency supplies stored, preferably, outside your home in a garage or outbuilding. My outbuildings get very hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Thus, knowing which food products can withstand what suboptimal conditions for a given length of time gives me a better understanding of how and when to rotate.

    The ideas suggested here sound great, but I wonder if there is any info out there that provides a quantifiable timeframe -- so far, I haven't turned up much.
     
  9. 9Pines

    9Pines Well-Known Member

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    Up here in MN we too get extreme weather changes. I use the spring and fall time change to change the storage around. I really dont have much stored over summer time for the reasons you've already mentioned. For winter time food storage I like to use dried things mostly. I will stock up the vehicles for winter time emergencies.. not so much in the summer. Summer time I will grab a duffle bag already packed and take it bck into the house with me when I get home. Nothing gets left in a hot car. And for summer its mostly water. I figure I have a bigger danger in the winter during a blizzard than I do in the summer time.
     
  10. ChickenHound

    ChickenHound Well-Known Member

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    In my truck at all times, I have several "protein bars", a jug of water, a can opener, a few small canned goods, a blanket, a lighter, and a 9mm. Those protein bars are supposed to have a shelf life of about 1000 years...unfortunately they taste like it. They don't seem to mind the temperature changes either.
     
  11. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I keep MREs in my vehicle kits. They go through huge temperature changes. I've tried some that had suffered through 6 years of that treatment and they were still fine. As a rule though I change them out after 5 due to the extreme temperature variations.

    My vehicle kits are pretty extensive but fit inside a medium duffel bag including a swiss wool army blanket. Or two. One can't have too many blankets. I try to have at least two in the vehicle in the winter. More if I have multiple passengers.
     
  12. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Angel-hair pasta. You can get the equivalent in Asian food stores made from soy-beans. Pasta in general - takes less cooking than grains, including rice. Lentils - not the red split-grain, but whole-grain brown or green lentils. Adzuki beans (small grains, minimal cooking). Dried fruit - sultanas, apricots, figs, apples. Filtered boiled water in gallon bottles - if nothing else it's useful for topping-up the radiator or windscreen washer.

    Rotate out every six months, eat, and replace with new stuff.