Buying food locally / containers coming out ears : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

I'd be interested to know why so many people are mail-ordering their food from Walton's and Emergency Essentials - I can't figure it out.

I've looked over their catalogs and, especially after you factor in shipping, they're much more expensive, and they don't build y2k awareness with your community's suppliers. Almost all of the products in their catalogs are available within 100 miles of ANYONE in the US, through Mt. People's Warehouse distribution to natural foods and grocery stores. MPW also has a buying club program - 500$ minimum order, plus 5% shipping, if you're out of a normal distribution area. phone: 1-916-889-9531. Just tell them you're buying for y2k please - they're my distributor and their plan to handle thousands of food items' y2k complications was to visit their offices on January 3rd and "just reset the date" on the PCs. That was in December. I hope things have changed...

If you like the nitrogen packed foods, you can do a similar thing yourself - instructions are in many places on the web. Search the phrases "oxygen displacer" or "oxygen replacer", "food storage", etc. and you'll find instructions (better than mine, here) for taking approximately 4oz of dry ice/5 gallon food pail (with sealable lid) to flush out the oxygen in pails of dried foods. This seems only moderately useful - certainly for the largest amounts of staples.

I'm a big advocate of glass jars. Putting mixes, nuts and flours in one gallon glass jars, placing them in a steamer with loosely fitting canning lids, heating (not too hot!), and then removing them and tightening the lids creates a vacuum seal and airtight environment that preserves vitamins. Freezing them beforehand kills any hatchable eggs - 3 days is good.

I have a web page, linked to my y2k page - - takes you to my store's pages (a little behind, but better soon). Check out the food, gardening and health care sections for a lot of information that I've found useful. The link is to the Red Barn Natural Grocery. If you find new, good URLs, send them to me and I'll add them.

Rules of thumb from long term storage advocates:

1. Start using your stored food now - get used to recipes; experiment while everything works; practice and refine rotation; be a fanatic with sterility.

2. Learn how to replace your stored food from more local sources. This often means changing your diet. EXAMPLE: I have great difficulty acquiring local grain, a good source of easily digestible carbohydrate. Hard winter wheat, often used in our breads, does not grow well in the pacific northwest. It's also very familiar to people, and probably most likely to be in short supply. There are other alternative flours to use: soft white wheat, but you need to have become a fan of biscuits, and figured out how (not hard) to make your own ghee and can it (clarified butter - stores without refrigeration, good protein and oil source, used in India a lot); rye flour, rice flour, bean flour, barley flour, etc. It's better to understand how to use these flours NOW, rather than later. If you have a supply of gallon jars filled with these variety flours, you will also have variety in your meals - in times of stress, having this variety is VERY important to stimulate the appetites and create a feeling of abundance. In our area, beans grow well. They are easy to dry. With the right recipe, bean flour can be added to other flour, extending it, and creating a nutritious meal.

3. Learn to make foods in forms that are familiar, but take less energy - Bread, Cereal, Soup, Stew, Vegetables baked in a Crust, etc. Again, practice NOW while you have a lot of running water to clean pots, and the ability to put inedible mistakes in the compost. EXAMPLE: Bread is common, but the way we currently make it takes lots of energy to prepare (i.e., oven baking) and doesn't keep as well, unless you're using sourdoughs.

However, tortillas are easy, but take a little practice, a few definite tools, and a 'system'. Essene bread, with its sprouted seeds and grains and low temp cooking, is wonderful, but again takes a bit of practice. Biscuits can be an art, and with the right tools, camp biscuits filled with bits of smoked tofu, re-hydrated vegetables, seeds and green foods powder could be incredibly nutritious. With honey and fruit, they become a treat that kids love.

4. Get Containers...Most important thing! Save them till they're coming out of your ears.

-- cynthia (, November 08, 1998


Mitch Barnes spotted this thread in the Time Bomb! 2000 forum. It's called "Oxygen absorbers & dessiccants prepackaged - found supplier." (Things that help preserve the life of stored food.) msg.tcl?msg_id=000EA0

-- Bill (, November 08, 1998.

Food Shelf-Life Recommendations survival/prep/shlflife.html

Tonja Bento, President
Northern Virginia Y2K Community Action Group (NOVA Y2K)
Burke, VA 22009

-- Bill (, November 08, 1998.

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