preservation options

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by jafl, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

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    If you could grow or otherwise have access to a large amount of fresh produce, how do you go about deciding how to preserve it? For example, if storage space is limited or if you have to evacuate, drying would be your best option for the sake of saving bulk and weight. But if you do not have or cannot get water to reconstitute dried food, drying may not be a good choice. Canning would be OK if you have the necessary time, equipment, skills and storage space; the quality of the food is cook and you could use the liquid from canned goods as a source of drinking water, but canned foods wouldn’t be very portable. And you could only use freezing if you know you have a secure source of electricity and won’t have to evacuate.

    I realize the best strategy would be to preserve as much as you can while using as many preservation methods as possible so you could deal with any contingency. But if your budget, skills or time is limited, what would be a good ratio of dried, canned, frozen etcetera?
     
  2. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    Pretty open-ended question, jafl. If you're trying to preserve your 'normal' diet as much as possible, I suppose the first step would be to catalogue everything you would eat in a certain period (2 months?) and then determine the best individual methods of preserving those foods, allowing for substitutions to take advantage of similar preservation methods to save time & work... or for variety ;)
     

  3. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

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    My diet changes with the seasons; I don’t buy much “fresh” produce because the quality is always so bad. There are some things I eat but I cannot grow in sufficient amounts either because the growing season is too short or I only use them fresh.

    However, my question isn't so much about how make your stockpile match your diet, but rather which strategies to use in order to deal with emergency situations when you may not be able to stockpile and cook as usual. The last thing you’d want to do is have canned food, an electric can opener and no electricity.
     
  4. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    :eek: THAT would suck...

    buuuuuut... there are lots of manual can openers that are easy to operate, even one-handed!

    ... also, there are some canned good varieties that come with pull-ring tops ;)

    ok, seriously, here's a few sites I hope help:

    Food Storage Calculator
    (scroll down after inputting family member #s)

    some of the #s seem off (especially for water needed)

    Nutrition - Food Safety - Health
     
  5. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

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    The LDS calculator isn’t sophisticated enough to be useable. Infants, young children, teenagers, young adults and old adults each have a unique set of nutritional needs. Pregnant women and nursing mothers have yet another set of their own. But the LDS calculator gives you only 2 categories.

    I put in 1 person over the age of 7 and was told to have 300 pounds of grains. This seems rather an excessive amount. That’s over 3/4 pounds per day per person.

    Regarding fats and oils: counting methods should be consistent. The LDS calculator uses mass and volume to measure fats and oils so the total given in pounds is likely off. Also, I wouldn’t necessarily count peanut butter as a fat since it also high in protein.

    If you are where water may be scarce, such as Southern California or the southwest, I wouldn’t rely so much on dry beans, which would consume a lot of water in the cooking process. Also, soy beans can be used as a fat and as a milk substitute. You could also use soy in the form of textured vegetable protein meaning you wouldn’t need to store as much meat.

    You are right about the water. 14 gallons for 1 person for a year? You’d be dead in a month.

    Also, 1 gallon of bleach for a year is also absurd. This may not do a year’s worth of laundry for 1 person, let alone allow any for purifying water or cleaning up after certain kinds of disaster.
     
  6. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

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    When my parents lost power for 7 days after the remnants of hurricane Ike went through, they had to can all of the meat in their chest freezer. They used their generator only to run the major appliances. They have a larger generator now that can run everything, but at that time they had to prioritize. If you don't have a generator, consider making an investment in one. They also stockpile enough gasoline in a large drum to last at least a year.
     
  7. Magi

    Magi Active Member

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    Wow u dont buy fresh veggies in season. I love going to the farmers market in our small town. During the summer the variety is amazing. We got onions,spinich, bib lettuce so far at the market. They had many strawberries but my wife had just pick a flat so we wernt inthe market for them atm. Earlier in the season we got some nice aspargus. I think you can get great quality and a variety of produce at the farmers market. as for the ratio of freeze to can to dry. In our house hold it depends of the produce. we can the grean beans, freeze the peaches and strawberries, etc. I hope to dry more this year to improve the can/freeze/dry ratio.

    I hope to make a few batches of dried soup mix
     
  8. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

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    I choose to use a variety of storage methods. I freeze some, since this is quick and tastes good. However, I am not convinced that electricity will be available in a steady supply in the future, so I also can (home process) many things, including veggies, pickles, jams (and soon meat and soup bases). I am also drying (home process) a variety of products such as veggies, soup mix, tomato products, herbs and fruit.
     
  9. jafl

    jafl Well-Known Member

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    I live in a metropolitan area of over a million people. We have urban sprawl in the worst way, and even though much of the surrounding areas have not yet been paved over they are usually pine tree plantations. There isn’t a whole lot that is grown within 100 miles of where I live. We do have a few very specialized farmer’s markets where “local” growers come to sell their produce. But these markets are only open one or two days a week and they are as much arts and crafts markets as produce markets. The regular farmer’s markets are no different than the grocery store- vendors go to the same wholesale produce terminal and buy the same low quality, tasteless compost you’d get from Wal-Mart.

    To my knowledge nobody tries to grow these things here on a commercial scale- the growing season is too short- we can have 90+ degrees most days from late April to sometime in October. I grow onions and lettuce in my garden, but if we have a warm winter I usually cannot grow much.

    I’m hoping I can do this with some of what I have grown. I didn’t get any potatoes or carrots since I was a month too late planting due to my health. I don’t want soup without potatoes or carrots, but I don’t my home-grown vegs to associate with what comes from the grocery store.