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Could You Really Survive the Apocalypse by Eating Freeze-Dried Food?
IO9 ^ | Mar 23, 2012 | Keith Veronese

Posted on 03/23/2012 4:00:55 PM PDT by DogByte6RER

Could you really survive the apocalypse by eating freeze-dried food?

Is it really a good idea to store freeze dried food for a long-term survival situation? It may be an attractive proposition for the survivalist in you, but you probably didn't bargain on what exactly the process of freeze drying involves — and its price.

HOW TO CARRY A TON OF FOOD ON YOUR BACK

The process of freeze drying plays with the properties of water within food. When freeze drying, a cooked portion of food is flash frozen under a vacuum. At low pressure, all but 2-5% of the water in the food sublimes, moving quickly from a solid to gas form. The evaporation of water in this process allows the food to maintain its shape and decrease the weight by up to 90% -a big plus for those who need to "bug out" in a hurry due to a disaster.

You can even freeze dry ice cream.

SHELF LIFE OF FREEZE DRIED FOOD

Freeze dried foods last a little bit longer than dehydrated ones. Most freeze dried foods that you buy are sealed under nitrogen in resilient packaging, allowing for anywhere from a two to twenty-five year shelf life. Freeze dried fruits are on the lower end of the shelf life spectrum, lasting a little over two years.

Once the seal on a package of freeze dried food is broken, the shelf life clock is ticking, with most palatable for six months. There's a rapid falloff in shelf life if it's stored in a humid area.

POST-APOCALYPTIC EATING IS EXPENSIVE

Freeze dried foods are rather expensive - $1 to $2 per serving of a side dish like macaroni and cheese and $3 for a serving of ground beef. These are bulk prices - individually packed entrees cost $6 to $8 a piece.

One is easily looking at $10 to $15 dollars a day per person to sustain a diet of freeze dried food. Remember, this is food you might end up eating for hundreds of meals if a breakdown of society never comes.

Dehydrating food yourself is a slightly cheaper alternative, but requires a large amount of work and is far more susceptible to contamination.

THE WATER PROBLEM

In addition to price, another problem rears its head with freeze-dried foods. Freeze dried food must be reconstituted in order to be eaten, necessitating a large (and clean) water supply in order to dine — and that's on top of the clean water you need for drinking.

Clean water will likely be in short supply in a post-apocalyptic survival scenario. Water can be boiled or stored in advance, while bleach and iodine are useful in killing pathogens like Giardia lamblia in fresh water. But that's a lot of work to decontaminate your water, and you might want to use that water for drinking rather than reconstituting up your freeze-dried ice cream.

Making matters worse is the fact that eating freeze dried food without reconstitution could hypothetically cause you to dehydrate.

THE VERDICT: THE POST-APOCALYPSE WILL NOT BE FREEZE-DRIED

Surviving a long-term disruption in the food supply with freeze dried food would take enormous planning, a considerable amount of money, and one variable - a good, steady water supply. So it's probably not a good long-term solution after civilization falls.

If, however, you are concerned about preparing yourself for a small disruption in the food supply due to a hurricane or other natural distaster, storing some freeze dried food in the house might be a good idea. 72-hour food kits are sold on Amazon and in some big box stores.

In the meantime, don't forget about the canned food lying in your pantry. Canned goods are hefty, but they are safe for several years and, in the case of vegetables like corn and green beans, also contain a water supply. It might not taste good, but in a pinch, asparagus water could keep you alive.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Food; Health/Medicine; Miscellaneous; Reference; Society; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: apocalypse; cookbook; freezedriedfood; itstheendoftheworld; justaddwater; postapocalypse; prepperping; preppers; recipes; selfreliance; shtf; survival; survivalping
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If it turns out to be a zombie apocalypse, I'm breaking out the zombie jerky. Otherwise, I'll stick to Soylent Green with a beer chaser!

1 posted on 03/23/2012 4:01:09 PM PDT by DogByte6RER
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To: DogByte6RER

My husband probably could. During Katrina, he ate MREs and he loves them. He still eats one every now and then from the supply he has left from the storm.


2 posted on 03/23/2012 4:04:01 PM PDT by murron (Proud Mom of a Marine Vet)
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To: DogByte6RER

Water is the problem. I’m on a well that is deeper than hand powered pumps can manage. Insufficient rain and creeks.

I’m stocking soups and the like that need no water. There’s a weight penalty, but all these things involve tradeoffs.


3 posted on 03/23/2012 4:04:07 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: culper jr

ping


4 posted on 03/23/2012 4:05:52 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: DogByte6RER

Interesting...thanks.


5 posted on 03/23/2012 4:05:58 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper (And yet...we continue to tolerate this crap...)
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To: Kartographer

ping


6 posted on 03/23/2012 4:07:31 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: DogByte6RER

For some people, getting water is not a problem.


7 posted on 03/23/2012 4:07:47 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: murron

My husband probably could. During Katrina, he ate MREs and he loves them. He still eats one every now and then from the supply he has left from the storm.

MREs are like a home cooked meal ,freeze dried is like eating sand from a dirty cat box ,not saying I’ve ever eaten sand from a dirty cat box


8 posted on 03/23/2012 4:08:04 PM PDT by molson209
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To: DogByte6RER

Anybody who lives anywheres near a small body of water could probably supplement their diet quite well on small fish and various crustaceans. The only advantage I can see to freeze-dried is the shelf life, but in fact canned goods can last just as long, if not longer.


9 posted on 03/23/2012 4:08:11 PM PDT by djf (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2801220/posts)
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To: DogByte6RER

I’d rather have it and not need it, then need it and not have it. But thanks for coming by.


10 posted on 03/23/2012 4:11:38 PM PDT by Wingy (Don't blame me. I voted for the chick. I hope to do so again.)
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To: DogByte6RER

“Water can be boiled or stored in advance, while bleach and iodine are useful in killing pathogens like Giardia lamblia in fresh water. But that’s a lot of work to decontaminate your water...”

Why is this a lot of work? Seems pretty easy and cheap too. Why don’t more people store water this way, instead of buying it? Honest question...


11 posted on 03/23/2012 4:12:30 PM PDT by APatientMan (Pick a side)
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To: DogByte6RER

SOYLENT GREEN “Now with more GIRLS!”.. Hilarious!


12 posted on 03/23/2012 4:12:44 PM PDT by FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
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To: DogByte6RER

Freeze Dried food for eats? No problem...very tasty.


13 posted on 03/23/2012 4:14:36 PM PDT by First A Patriot (Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God)
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To: murron

Remember to keep your pets FAT.. Just sayin’


14 posted on 03/23/2012 4:15:43 PM PDT by FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs
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To: molson209
freeze dried is like eating sand from a dirty cat box

I've eaten a lot of freeze dried and dehydrated foods. I'm fine with them, and I'm a culinary school graduate.

Maybe it depends on how you cook them.

/johnny

15 posted on 03/23/2012 4:16:01 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: molson209
...not saying I’ve ever eaten sand from a dirty cat box.

Fess up; you're among friends.

16 posted on 03/23/2012 4:17:11 PM PDT by gundog (Help us, Nairobi-Wan Kenobi...you're our only hope.)
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To: DogByte6RER

If weight or storage space was not a problem, canned food would be better in most cases.


17 posted on 03/23/2012 4:17:36 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

You can tie a clear plastic bag or ziploc to the end of a branch and let the evaporation collect. If one tree yields 3 cups a day, that’s three cups, anyway...


18 posted on 03/23/2012 4:18:22 PM PDT by txhurl (Thank you, Andrew Breitbart. In your untimely passing, you have exposed these people one last time.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Then pull your water up by hand

No fun but works


19 posted on 03/23/2012 4:19:18 PM PDT by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: txhurl

Where I am in NM the humidity is routinely single digits. The trees moisture content is less than kiln dried lumber.

It’s dry.


20 posted on 03/23/2012 4:20:52 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: gundog

...not saying I’ve ever eaten sand from a dirty cat box.

Fess up; you’re among friends.

well our dod loves it , but then he goes around with those brown bits between his teeth ,not to mention his breath


21 posted on 03/23/2012 4:22:57 PM PDT by molson209
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To: Steve Newton

400’ up a 2” pipe?


22 posted on 03/23/2012 4:23:22 PM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: DogByte6RER

Here’s a tip for those of us with a goodly supply of canned goods in the pantry - use colored labels to denote storage date. Bright red for 2012, yellow for 2013, etc. Makes it easy to rotate your stock into the normal eating stream, plus even kids can figure it out.

Another great idea for people low on space is alternate your cabinets - fill one up, put new stock into the next cabinet and only eat out of the one you previously filled. Switch back and forth and you’ll probably have a good solid week’s worth of food always on hand.

As for those who think they’ve got a great water supply nearby (pond or other body of water), you have to assume that water is going to become heavily contaminated in a very short period of time. Bodies of water are on maps, and people think nothing of just pulling up near a water supply and camping it out, without the slightest thought towards hygiene or protecting that water supply from contamination. Only consider underground water sources as being likely to survive roaming people.


23 posted on 03/23/2012 4:26:54 PM PDT by kingu (Everything starts with slashing the size and scope of the federal government.)
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To: molson209

Oh, sure....blame the dog. (I used to have a dog that would fart and then get up and move about ten feet and just sit down and act as surprised as everyone else when the smell spread.)


24 posted on 03/23/2012 4:28:04 PM PDT by gundog (Help us, Nairobi-Wan Kenobi...you're our only hope.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Tijeras_Slim said: "I’m on a well that is deeper than hand powered pumps can manage. [...] I’m stocking soups and the like that need no water."

My hand pump is located at 170 feet with a static water level of about 80 feet. Is yours deeper than 300 feet?

Also, is there a concern that the soups may be too salty? It might be best to buy very low salt soups and plan on adding salt as needed.

25 posted on 03/23/2012 4:28:34 PM PDT by William Tell
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To: DogByte6RER

Can’t be any worse for you than a heart attack Mac.


26 posted on 03/23/2012 4:31:01 PM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: DogByte6RER

I’ve approached the problem in a variety of ways, from dried, freeze dried, canned, with lots of flour and corn meal. We also have several gardens, and live in an area where water is easily accessible through the well or though the river, and elk are always near by. We are planning on building some self cleaning chicken pens (yeah sure) and raising enough chickens to supply fresh eggs. My wife knows a lot of people on the neighboring reservation, and they are always giving her bulk foods from the government give away programs. We have plenty of dried eggs, and milk, pretty much whatever is left over that people don’t want.

If the starving hoards don’t come, and shoot us right away, we might survive.


27 posted on 03/23/2012 5:07:10 PM PDT by pallis
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To: DogByte6RER
Water can be boiled or stored in advance, while bleach and iodine are useful in killing pathogens like Giardia lamblia in fresh water. But that's a lot of work to decontaminate your water, and you might want to use that water for drinking rather than reconstituting up your freeze-dried ice cream.

Nonsense. I have been treating well water for almost two decades. Our system injects bleach into a holding tank. After 20 minutes the water is treated. From there it goes to the sink filters.

Further, a gravity filter will easily provide your water needs if the water is questionable.

Freeze dried food is for the deep, deep larder. Storage in a #10 can, kept in a cool dark and dry location is almost indefinite. These foods are for rounding out food storage preps including dehydrated and canned.
28 posted on 03/23/2012 5:14:27 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Time to beat the swords of government tyranny into the plowshares of freedom.)
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To: APatientMan
bleach and iodine are useful in killing pathogens like Giardia lamblia

Not reliable for killing Giardia. Found out the hard way the iodine doesn't always work. Boiling best.

29 posted on 03/23/2012 5:51:30 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: DogByte6RER

Well, to be honest, any kind of processed packaged food, unless you have a warehouse, is temporary short to mid range to a year. This gives you time to find more canned goods, but it gives you time to start planting sustainable sources. Also finding sustainable sources (ie an apple tree nearby).

As for water Big Berkey filters will last a long long time. Prefiltering out stuff before putting that water into a filter will make it last longer.

In the end there really isn’t any great options for survival long term unless real constitutional government like we had in the beginning of this country, are put in place again. It unfortunately may not work as well as back then almost everyone was Christian and could be counted on controlling (self-governing) themselves.


30 posted on 03/23/2012 5:54:43 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Invest in a generator(preferably propane/gasoline fueled),water is important enough to warrant it and propane stores well,just keep the carb set up for gasoline use as well.
31 posted on 03/23/2012 5:57:33 PM PDT by nomad
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To: Tijeras_Slim

2”??

Your well head has a pipe of just 2 inches?

Then I don’t know.

My well has a 6 inch pipe that you can run a hollow tube through and bring up water with a pulley system

Im sorry I dont know


32 posted on 03/23/2012 6:45:58 PM PDT by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: DogByte6RER
Could you really survive the apocalypse ..

Not sure I see the point, actually.

33 posted on 03/23/2012 7:18:54 PM PDT by tomkat (FU.baraq)
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To: DogByte6RER

‘exactly the process of freeze drying involves’

‘When freeze drying, a cooked portion of food is flash frozen under a vacuum. At low pressure, all but 2-5% of the water in the food sublimes, moving quickly from a solid to gas form.’————

Yeah, SO?


‘Freeze dried foods are rather expensive - $1 to $2 per serving of a side dish like macaroni and cheese and $3 for a serving of ground beef. These are bulk prices - individually packed entrees cost $6 to $8 a piece.

One is easily looking at $10 to $15 dollars a day per person to sustain a diet of freeze dried food. Remember, this is food you might end up eating for hundreds of meals if a breakdown of society never comes.’——

Well that may be the price currently, but compared to the price of food since the ‘age of Obama’, I say it’s a great deal to buy food that lasts 25 years and doesn’t need refrigeration, at today’s price, because the raping that’s been done of our treasury and citizenry by Obama, tax cheat Geithner, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer, Ben Bernanke and the black caucus will be felt for generations to come.

I love freeze dried foods. So easy,ready in minutes, tastier than dehydrated, in some instances, such as the banana’s, and has a long shelf life.

Best be buying now, before Obama ends food production all together or turns off the water in more places than California, or deems it necessary for prices to skyrocket or deems it that the citizenry are not allowed to eat meat. Congress is working on doing just that.


34 posted on 03/23/2012 7:23:14 PM PDT by Freddd (NoPA ngineers.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

You mean you’re supposed to add water?

Dang, I’ve had some freeze dried stuff when I was a kid...it was kind of crunchy...as I recall, it actually looked more appetizing than MRE’s. I think I’m glad we didn’t add water.


35 posted on 03/23/2012 8:02:18 PM PDT by scrabblehack
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To: appalachian_dweller; OldPossum; DuncanWaring; VirginiaMom; CodeToad; goosie; kalee; ...

Preppers’ PING!


36 posted on 03/23/2012 8:31:39 PM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: DogByte6RER
Kill it and grill it.

At this point you ain't going to work, might as well hunt.

37 posted on 03/23/2012 8:50:01 PM PDT by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
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To: DogByte6RER
Freeze dried foods are good if you think you are going to have to be mobile so weight/bulk are considerations.

In other words if you have a Grab-it, (and you should) then the place for freeze dried foods is there.

It is of little or no value for your shelter in place or your off site location.

This is one area where you (IMHO) should not invest. Canned food will do you better and the cans are useful even after they are empty.

38 posted on 03/23/2012 9:07:59 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Would you sing if someone sucked YOU up the vacuum cleaner hose?)
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To: Doomonyou
Or, better yet, trap it and grill it. Trapping is silent and requires less time and energy, and doesn't draw so much attention. You can find any size/type of trap you want at "Tractor Supply Company". (And don't be surprised if game gets real scarce, real fast).

Regarding sanitizing water, everyone would be well advised to research the use of calcium hypochlorite for that purpose. Boiling is best, but may become impractical and dangerous.

But, most important of all is MINDSET. Don't plan to "hole up"...plan on taking and keeping geographical areas. If not, when you finally do emerge from your spider hole you're going to find yourself in "Somalia".

39 posted on 03/23/2012 9:12:00 PM PDT by The Duke
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To: The Duke
Or, better yet, trap it and grill it.

Well I said "Kill" not "shoot", but I catch your drift. : )

Good points on the rest.

40 posted on 03/23/2012 9:24:28 PM PDT by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

Build ya an air well Slim......;o)

http://www.rexresearch.com/airwells/courneya.gif

Mine is like the pic I linked to. On humid days I can fill the cistern up, it’s 200 gallons. make other water traps like dew tarps etc and then make your rain gutters work for ya with some water barrels under em. A 12 x 12 tarp with 1/2 inch of rain will produce 30 gallons.

http://www.rexresearch.com/airwells/airwells.htm

link here is the main page of some good ideas for water on the homestead.

Stay safe !


41 posted on 03/23/2012 9:29:24 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: Freddd
I once repaired a home made freeze dryer used for saving documents from flooding.
It was an office water bottle stuck inside a top freezer with the mouth
sticking out the side. The mouth was cut back allowing for a 8in opening and
a plain metal plate with a rubber seal around it stuck to it being held in place
by two latches.

Very simple to make. The vacuum pump is the expensive part though. Over all the
whole system would cost about $700 on the DYI cheap.

42 posted on 03/23/2012 9:55:28 PM PDT by MaxMax
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To: MaxMax

Have you heard about a zeer for storing produce? It is still being used in Africa today. It is probly several thousand years old.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfKgOpJc7Ps&feature=related

I wonder if meat and chese could also be used.


43 posted on 03/24/2012 1:25:37 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: molson209

“,freeze dried is like eating sand from a dirty cat box “

You’re supposed to add hot water to them before eating.


44 posted on 03/24/2012 2:56:47 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: DogByte6RER
U.S. Economy Dead Man Walking, The Crash Of 2012
45 posted on 03/24/2012 2:57:35 AM PDT by blam
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To: Tijeras_Slim

I have muddy water about 2’ down here in florida. If I get ambitious I can go about 60’ and hit crystal clear aquifer water.


46 posted on 03/24/2012 2:59:46 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: APatientMan
“Water can be boiled or stored in advance, while bleach and iodine are useful in killing pathogens like Giardia lamblia in fresh water. But that’s a lot of work to decontaminate your water...”

Why is this a lot of work? Seems pretty easy and cheap too. Why don’t more people store water this way, instead of buying it? Honest question...

Hey, if it's the apocalypse, really, what else are you going to be doing, anyway?

47 posted on 03/24/2012 3:11:40 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Tijeras_Slim

I have a deep well also. When we first moved into the house intense water usage would draw it down and we had to wait for it to recharge. I put in a buried 1400 gallon cistern which I fill from the well as a buffer. I then pump from the cistern to the house. In a SHTF situation I have a generator and sufficient gas to allow me to fill the cistern several more times. After that the roof will become our water source.


48 posted on 03/24/2012 5:12:25 AM PDT by Starstruck
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To: Doomonyou; Kartographer
>> might as well hunt <<

You might want to re-think that. The only reason wild game is still plentiful is because it is regulated via seasons and bag limits. Once the food supply is cut, wild game will quickly disappear.

We are planning on raising rabbits for protein because of their fast reproductive rate and they don't need a whole lot of space.

Another thing we're planning is using rat traps to catch squirrels.

I dismissed the hunting option long ago.

Back on subject, we're storing both freeze-dried foods and bulk rice, flour, yeast, etc., and canned foods. The canned foods will be eaten first, then the freeze-dried, then the bulk stuff.

Remember, your stores are just to buy you time until you can get your garden growing and livestock old enough to harvest.

Folks with security skills might team with local farmers to provide security in exchange for meat.

AD

49 posted on 03/24/2012 6:51:08 AM PDT by appalachian_dweller (Live each day as if it's your last. It might be.)
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To: Freddd

If you can get some good tasting freeze dried food, and eat some of it now why not? Just think of how much food an average person wastes in their lives, so looking at it this way, incorporating freeze dried food can reduce food wastage now, thus saving money (of course this depends on the person’s rate of food wastage, and I know that some people never waste food) At the very least, the freeze dried food can act as an inflation hedge. Same thing with vodka, red wine etc.


50 posted on 03/24/2012 7:49:01 AM PDT by grumpygresh (Democrats delenda est; zero sera dans l'enfer bientot.)
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