Happy New Year! I took a break last week to visit family, it was great. We only ended up with one bloody nose on the whole trip. That wasn’t even on one of my children, it was a cousin, though it really was caused by one of mine. Sledding. And no one got hurt when we went sledding on what my kids affectionately call "Death Hill" later in the week. Oh, wait, I did plow down a 3-year-old…. Oops. My sled went diagonally instead of straight.
SO…… onward and upward…...
How's your food storage?
With the new year, I have a new challenge for you: If you haven’t got your 3-month supply yet, have it in place 3 months from now.
I promise that if you determine to do it, without going into debt, a way will be provided, and you will have more peace and security, knowing you are following the prophet’s counsel.
Those of you who are past that step, congratulations! I am so happy for you! What do you need to do next? See the Family Home Storage pamphlet. Set a goal and do it. If I can help you with anything, please let me know, I'd love to help.
Here’s the first mini-challenge to meet the 3-month one-
Sit down with your family on Sunday or Monday, during Home Evening works great, and get your kid’s input on their favorite meals. Plan a menu for anywhere from a week and a half to a month. Then go to the Three-Month Supply Excel Spreadsheet or video on how to use it. It will calculate all your quantities for you!
Did you know food is a great investment? You’ve may have seen this quote before; here’s a small piece of it, from J. Reuben Clark of the First Presidency (April 1937 Conference): “put your money in foodstuffs and wearing apparel, not in stocks and bonds…”
Now here’s what food has done over the last ten years: Corn- $215 worth of corn in 1999 was selling for $380 in 2009. Wheat- $261 worth in 1999 cost $540 in 2009. And that doesn’t even account for inflation! (if you want the source, it’s at http://futures.tradingcharts.com/historical/CW/1999/0/continuous.html )
In other words, buying your wheat for food storage was half as hard in 1999, only we didn’t know that at the time, did we? But wouldn’t you still rather pay today’s prices than next year’s? At the LDS Church Home Storage Centers you can still buy wheat at 3-years-ago's price. The price of powdered milk there was a good price fifteen years ago! See Current Prices list. Or watch for sales at local stores, find a local grower, or check out sites like Walton Feed.
If you’re worried about not rotating through your food fast enough, people have found wheat in Egyptian tombs and granaries that still sprouted. And made good bread. The proper storage temperature certainly helps. And what about canned food? Here’s what I found online. (If you go to this site, they’ve got the history of canning, if you’d ever wondered about it…) from http://www.internet-grocer.net/how-long.htm
“In 1820, William Perry (Parry) took an expedition in search of the Northwest Passage, toward the North Pole. He took with him some canned meats. At the time, food canning was about a 10-year-old technology.
At least one can of meat was not used and wound up in a museum in England. In 1938, it was opened and found to be edible. It was fed to a cat which suffered no ill effects from eating the 118-year-old meat.
Now, we're not saying that our canned meats, canned cheese and canned butter will last 118 years, but we're pretty confident that you can get at least a 15-20 year shelf life out of them, in light of this article. (The manufacturer offers a 3 year guarantee.)
And another- The steamboat Bertrand was heavily laden with provisions when it set out on the Missouri River in 1865, destined for the gold mining camps in Fort Benton, Mont. The boat snagged and swamped under the weight, sinking to the bottom of the river. It was found a century later, under 30 feet of silt a little north of Omaha, Neb.
Among the canned food items retrieved from the Bertrand in 1968 were brandied peaches, oysters, plum tomatoes, honey, and mixed vegetables. In 1974, chemists at the National Food Processors Association (NFPA) analyzed the products for bacterial contamination and nutrient value. Although the food had lost its fresh smell and appearance, the NFPA chemists detected no microbial growth and determined that the foods were as safe to eat as they had been when canned more than 100 years earlier.
The nutrient values varied depending upon the product and nutrient. NFPA chemists Janet Dudek and Edgar Elkins report that significant amounts of vitamins C and A were lost. But protein levels remained high, and all calcium values "were comparable to today's products."
NFPA chemists also analyzed a 40-year-old can of corn found in the basement of a home in California. Again, the canning process had kept the corn safe from contaminants and from much nutrient loss. In addition, Dudek says, the kernels looked and smelled like recently canned corn.”
That said, don’t ever use a can of low-acid food that is bulging. That means bad things are growing inside- botulism, for instance. If you have a can of tomato sauce, tomato paste, or tomatoes that is bulging a bit or squirts when you open it, that is NOT from botulism: instead, it's from the electrolysis occurring between the acidic tomato and the can. (Not the best thing to eat every day, but okay occasionally.)
But don’t get stressed if you still have cans of green beans that are two years past the “best by” date. I’ve got some canned milk that was dated 2001 (in 2010); I can’t tell a difference between it and my newer stuff. Still, the goal is to “STORE WHAT YOU EAT, AND EAT WHAT YOU STORE”. Not to just let it sit. Just do your best, and, as President Kimball always said, "DO IT"! You will be blessed.