Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sucking isn't necessarily a bad thing!

I am a strong believer in food storage for preservation and preparedness.  I not a survival nut but I believe that each person/family is responsible to have a stock of food, water and other necessities to help them in the event of crisis . . . whether it be financial, natural or otherwise.  

"Let us be in a position so we are able to not only feed ourselves through home production and storage, but others as well"
-- Ezra Taft Benson, former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail."
-- Ben Franklin

One of the ways I do this is to  vacuum seal food stuffs to go into the freezer, refrigerator, pantry.   

Vacuum Sealing food is an effective way to extend the shelf life of many foods . . . fresh or prepared. Vacuum packaging extends the shelf life of perishable food by as much as five times its normal refrigerated shelf life.

In addition in preventing the growth of molds and aerobic bacteria, removing the surrounding oxygen helps to maintain the food’s odor, taste, color, and texture. 

Note that some bacteria can survive and reproduce in the absence of oxygen.    Anaerobic bacteria – such as foodborne botulism – can cause paralysis and even death.   The Symptoms of foodborne botulism usually appear 12-36 hours after eating contaminated food. Symptoms are symmetric and often include blurred or double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, slurred speech, and muscle weakness. Fever is absent, unless there is a complicating infection.   Medical treatment should be sought if food poisoning is suspected. Foods heated to 165ºF will kill most foodborne bacteria.

Vacuum sealers can be expensive, but the cost can be justified over the long term.  You can buy in bulk, reduce trips to the store, prevent freezer burn and decrease food waste.   Most types of food benefit from vacuum sealing - fresh, perishable and dried foods keep longer when vacuum packaged.

Vacuum sealing is also an excellent way to pack food for trips . . . like camping.  The air tight bags prevent water from leaking into the containers and ruining food.  Pack them in ice and go.

You can also microwave and simmer foods in the bags, which save preparation and mess.

As with other methods of food preservation – make sure that you label the contents and put a date on the package.    

This way you know exactly what you have in stock and the ability to properly rotate your stores.

“I know of no other way to prepare for these times of adjustment than to be certain that during times of employment, preparations are made for less prosperous times, should they occur. Start now to create a plan if you don’t already have one, or update your present plan. Watch for best buys that will fit into your year’s supply. We are not in a situation that requires panic buying, but we do need to be careful in purchasing and rotating the storage that we’re putting away.”
L. Tom Perry

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