The Three Most Important Survival Skills According To Grandpa

The Three Most Important Survival Skills According To Grandpa | elderly-grandpa | PreparednessSurvival

Recently I asked some of the book festival authors the following question:  Given your background, knowledge and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?

It has been interesting to read the answers and I am always surprised that the responses are so different from each other.  That just goes to show you that we all live our lives within a different context.  We have different family situations, live in various geographical areas, have varying degrees of health and wellness, and span a wide range within the economic strata.

One of the more interesting responses came from Ron Brown, author of the Non Electric Lighting Series of books and eBooks. He submitted his response and then, after the fact, he submitted an alternate version.  By that time it was too late to include the alternate in the article.  Instead, I share with you today, the three most important survival skills according to Grandpa.

What skills did Grandpa need to survive?

We all want to “live a long time” but we don’t want to “get old.”  Funny thing, language. “Survival” is the same as “living.” If we don’t survive, we die. If we don’t live, we die. Same thing, no?

When the SHTF, modern technology (cell phones, microwave ovens) will disappear and our lifestyle will return to an 1800’s lifestyle, to Grandpa’s era.  What skills did Grandpa need to survive? Not just survive and hang onto life by a whisker, but survive and prosper?

The answer is simple. There are three skills that Grandpa took pains to learn: reading, writing, and arithmetic.

This is not a cute or silly answer. This is the real answer. You wanna survive in Grandpa’s era?  Learn Grandpa’s skills.

1. Reading

You will need the ability to read directions. “Turn the adjusting screw clockwise.” Today, my neighbor’s kid doesn’t know how to read an analog wall clock. She doesn’t know what “clockwise” means.

2. Writing

You will need to keep a diary. “A short pencil is worth a long memory.” What was the date you started the tomato seeds last year? And what were the results? And the year before that? And what was the variety name? And how much did you pay?

Cursive writing is three times faster than printing. It’s much more efficient than printing. My neighbor’s kid cannot do cursive writing. Nor can she read it. Nor can my doctor’s receptionist read cursive writing. She’s edjumacated. She’d have a hard time in the 1800’s.

3. Arithmetic

You can always hire somebody with a strong back for stoop labor. Always. You can today. You could in the 1800’s. But finding somebody who can “do” numbers. Without a calculator?  Different story.

The three skills that Grandpa valued – reading, writing, and arithmetic – are the same three skills that you, like Grandpa, would need to live in Grandpa’s era. Everything else you can figure out as you go along.  If you have those three skills.  Next question?

The Final Word

Perhaps because of my age and because I am not around young people much, it did not occur to me that the three Rs (the three “Rs”—reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic) were becoming lost in the digital age.  If what Ron is saying is true, however, then indeed, these are definitely skills that need to be promoted as survival skills.

In these days of computers, smartphones, eBook readers,tablets and Xboxes, it is easy to become seduced by technology. We all need to do our part to ensure that these three vital skills are not lost.

You can read Ron’s complete interview in the article Ron Brown and The Non Electric Lighting Series.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More!

Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | pickles-in-a-jar | PreparednessSurvival

When I recently did some organizing of my supplies, I was a bit surprised at the sheer number of canning jars I had placed into boxes.  By the time I got to the 20th box, I admitted to myself that I am clearly a canning jar hoarder.  That said, I don’t think I am in need of an intervention. Yet.  On the contrary, I think everyone should own more versatile and beautiful canning jars.

Canning jars, also commonly referred to as Mason Jars, have a long and colorful history.

The History of Canning and Canning Jars

Canning as a method of preservation was first created during the time that Napoleon was in charge of the French Army. The army wanted a way to preserve food so that soldiers could be better nourished.  The military offered a prize of 12,000 francs to the person who could come up with a solution to this issue.

It took 15 years for the prize to be awarded. After years of experimentation, Nicholas Appert, a Parisian candy maker and chef, won the prize in 1810 for his invention.  The same year, he published the first book of food preservation, called  L’Art de conserver les substances animales et végétales (or, in English, The Art of Preserving Animal and Vegetable Substances which you can view and download for free).

In the early 1800s, however, most people could not afford glass jars for food preservation, so they continued with their traditional methods until the Civil War, when John Mason invented the “Mason jar” with a reusable lid. Because of his ingenuity, to this day, many of us still refer to canning jars as “Mason jars” regardless of the brand.

Canning reached an all-time high during the 1940s, when the government declared canning the contents of your victory garden to be a wartime obligation. At that time, over 75% of American families preserved food by canning it, and over 12 million gardens had been planted across the country.

Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | can-all-you-can-270x380 | PreparednessSurvival


Once the war was over, however, people returned to shopping at the grocery store, and the number of people who canned dropped, and has continued to do so. Recently, though, as more people seek self-reliance due to climbing prices and terrible selections at the store, canning has experienced a bit of a renaissance and jars are back in style.

The Different Types of Canning Jars

The thing that makes jars so darned addictive is that they are as useful as they are lovely. Some antique jars come in shades of aqua, and some modern jars are available in blue, green, and purple.

Of course, one of the most frequent uses for jars is home preservation.  Not only can you preserve pickles, jams, and jellies, but you can branch out into pressure canning to preserve low acid foods like meats, vegetables, and entire meals. (If you are like me and have not yet gotten up the nerve to try pressure canning, read this! I guarantee you’ll be ready to take the plunge.)

Whatever you’re preserving, you need to choose the right jar for the job. Not only do jars come in different colors, but they also come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. This handy infographic can help.

Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | canning-jars | PreparednessSurvival

How else can you use canning jars?

Canning jars are good for a lot more than just food preservation, though. They can also be used in some of the following ways:

Straight shouldered jars can be used to freeze food – just be sure to leave room for expansion.

Store leftovers in them instead of BPA-laden plastic containers.

They make charming, country-style vases for flowers from the garden.

Wide mouth jars make quirky drinking glasses.

Fill a half pint jar with water for a floating candle. You can add food color to the water to make it match your decor.

Store dried foods in them. Use a Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer Jar Attachment to remove the air for long term storage.

Store cutlery in them on the counter – tie some ribbon around the jars to coordinate with your kitchen.

Paint a square on them with chalkboard paint so you can write the name of the food you are storing in them.  You can also purchase chalkboard labels for the lids.

If you purchase herbs in bulk (or harvest them from your garden) you can store the dried herbs in a canning jar.

Use smaller jars for sewing notions or small craft supplies.

Pour your own jar candles in them.

Store candy in them for an old-fashioned, decorative holiday display.

Glue coarse sandpaper to the lid and store matches in it for a water resistant container with a strikeable top.

And a bunch of other stuff!

Change up the lids and do neat stuff with you canning jars.

Of course, the nifty lids that are now available take the versatility of canning jars to a whole new level. Check out some of these tops you can get to make your jars serve different purposes:

These lids have a hole in them for straws, making this the perfect beverage container for outdoors:  Ball Wide Mouth Mason Jar with Sip and Straw LidsCanning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00GYB3I94 | PreparednessSurvival

These lids have a pour spout for easy dispensing of whatever dry item you’ve stored in the jars:  reCAP Mason Jars Pour CapCanning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00JV1CV1A | PreparednessSurvival

And these lids have a spout for dispensing liquids:  Magnuson mason jar pouring spout, regular size.Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B0085XYHV2 | PreparednessSurvival

These lids have cutouts. You can use them to hold scented items like potpourri, or you can use them to hold a homemade baking soda-based cleaning powderPewter Daisy Cut Out Lid for Mason Jars

These chalkboard lids can be used for labeling the contents of the jar: Chalk Tops – Reusable Chalkboard Lids for Mason JarsCanning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00S6Y4ON6 | PreparednessSurvival

These lids turn your jars into fermenting units: FARMcurious – Mason Jar Fermenting Kit

This lid is a soap or lotion dispenser. Mason Jar Soap/Lotion Dispenser Lid blackCanning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00IJOKGUI | PreparednessSurvival

This converter top turns a mason jar into an oil lamp:  Mason Jar Oil Lamp Burner Chimney Holders Turn Mason Jars Into Nostalgic Oil LampsCanning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B007WSL4MG | PreparednessSurvival

And finally, these lids turn your jars into adorable and useful little solar lanterns, either hanging or tabletop:  Hanging Solar Lid LightCanning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00E4WLZK4 | PreparednessSurvival or Hanging Solar Lid LightCanning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00E4WLZK4 | PreparednessSurvival

How do you use your canning jars?

I am a total canning jar addict and other than finding a 12 step program, will probably continue to hoard them as I see them on sale.  Finding additional uses is not an issue plus, later this summer when there is an abundance of fresh produce available, I plan to do some real canning and pickle making.

Are you a canning jar addict too? How do you use your jars other than canning in them?

The Final Word

A special shout out goes to Tiffany at at who gave me permission to share her infographic.  In her own words, her blog is about her “personal experiment to thrive in all areas of life (physically, mentally, spiritually).”  You might want to pay her a visit.

Thanks, Tiffany!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Subscribe to The Sleuth Journal Newsletter for Daily Articles!

The post Canning Jars 101 – Everything You Need To Know And More! appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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We Prepare For Survival But Is It The Main Thing?

We Prepare For Survival But Is It The Main Thing? | prepared | PreparednessSurvival

In the past, I have written about the never ending list of things to do, the frantic pace of organizing preps, and the never ending quest to learn just one more sustainable skill.  Couple all of that with the burden of truth and knowledge that keeps you awake at night, and you have a recipe for frustration, exhaustion, and burn out.

There goes those words again.  Prepper burn out.

The truth is we all have a need for quiet, reflective, time whether we know it or not.  It is during that reflective time that we can think, really think, and focus on what is really important.  Is learning ten different ways to start a fire so important when all you really need is three?  And who do you believe?  Is there any one expert?  Or is everyone a beginner of sorts?

We prepare for survival but is it main thing?  In this article I present the latest think piece from contributing author Richard Broome.  Sit back with a cup of coffee and read about “the main thing”.  This is important.

The Main Thing

The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.Stephen Covey

It is a rainy day this early Sunday morning in Montana. The sun is slowly rising over the Bridger Mountains. I enjoy sitting quietly in the peaceful, dark pre-dawn of Montana, watching the sun come up over those magnificent mountains. In my home office where I do my writing, I look at them all day.

I can see fresh snow on them this morning. However, I don’t think the snow will reach us in the valley. No. I think just cold rain. This is a good day for a fire and another cup of coffee.

But today is not so peaceful. I am overcome with a sense of apprehension.

“Is the world literally getting ready to explode all around me?

This morning I turned on one of the Sunday news programs and listened to the discussion on how ISIS is claiming they now have sufficient money to buy a nuclear weapon. Both the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of the FBI have recently discussed the possibility of ISIS already operating within the borders of this country. This is chilling. There is no doubt in my mind that if ISIS ever gets control of a nuclear weapon they would use it. On us.

During this past year dedicated visitors to Backdoor Survival will know my previous “think pieces” have addressed several ideas: the coming cyber war that I see building day-by-day, the need I see to build a culture of preparedness in our country with the same societal intensity as we now do to foster our heath and fitness, the widening gap that I think exists between the increasing multi-level complexity and dangers of the global threat against all of us, that is in juxtaposition with our lesser level of national preparedness, and so on.

Sitting here and reflecting on world events this rainy Montana morning, I have come to the very unsettling conclusion that nothing is getting any better, but rather, steadily becoming much worse. I feel like I am watching two trains about to collide head on.

One train seems to be accelerating and going faster and faster. The engineer has his head out the side yelling for more steam. The other train’s engineer also has his head out the side and is looking at the danger ahead. He seems to be rubbing his chin and thinking, ”It is really another train? Maybe it will slow down? I think I had a clear track signal a few miles back?”

All while the trains keep on coming at each other, faster and faster.

Do you really have confidence that our national leadership is seeing the train wreck coming and will act before it happens? Or, do you feel as I do that the overriding philosophy seems to be: “Move cautiously. Let’s study the problem. Certainly someone else will see this and solve it. Why stick my neck out? To me this attitude is what drives the decision process for far too many right now.

You want a glimpse of this kind of mindset and leadership? Read my first novel, Leaving The Trees. Read the first part of the book and the scenes in Washington, DC. It is very accurate. Believe me. I have been in the room at very high levels and watched these kinds of deliberations. When writing this part of the novel I was trying to convey to readers that things could all come unraveled from the selfish decisions of a powerful few.

But, this is not the main thing. I believe, in a time of increasing threat and looming crisis to this country, that there is also another and even more compelling and critically important factor to consider, which could make all the difference.


And will you, as an individual, come to the internal conviction that for you, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”

To the point, are you able to answer the fundamental questions we must all honestly ask ourselves, “Am I prepared?”but more important, “How well am I prepared?”

Because I do believe most of you sense the train wreck is coming too, but it is a nagging, silent worry as you cope with all of the other demands in your life. You are probably like the frog in the pot of boiling water. The temperature seems to be rising. You can feel it. But certainly, “Someone will do something before you become boiled?”

I am not so sure. Personally, I think you need to hop out of the pot right now. When you do, get refocused on the main thing, which is the survival of you and your loved ones.

I want you to know that I have, like many of you, dealt with a high-pressure job and multiple, pressing demands on me. I have had to cope with the very same lifestyle many of you have now. This late in the day, unexpected client meetings that kept me at work later than I had planned, a killer commute home that night in terrible traffic with a sudden, unexpected text message to do child pick ups to support my spouse (who had her own unexpected work demands to meet), the last minute pizza deliveries for a quick dinner (which was typically eaten standing up while orchestrating homework and baths), and so on.

How do we do it? Somehow. But…we all know it takes an enormous amount of energy and commitment. It also gets us distracted from many things we should spend more time on.

So as you all go about your very crowded, very busy lives, you must also still find a way to take a deep breath and try to get focused on the big picture. It is so clear in everything we read and listen to. The world we live in is facing significant threats. You simply must get yourself out of the pot of boiling water, because I do not think others will do it for you.

I was on the radio twice recently. Once on Preparedness Radio and again on Freedomizer Radio.

One of the things I talked about was my experience in the military with readiness. Clearly, one of our most central concerns was the readiness of our military units to achieve their assigned mission. Both individually as a soldier and working together with others as a military unit, we always had to be certain we were prepared to do our assigned military task. We examined our readiness posture on a monthly basis from the individual to the largest military organizations.

We had a set of metrics for this that measured many factors to establish what we called a readiness assessment. “Did we have all the people we needed? Did they have working equipment with all the essential supplies on hand? Were they properly trained to do their specific jobs within several possible threat scenarios?”

We would use this analysis to develop a readiness indicator for every unit within a military command. From this kind of honest self-examination we were able to diagnose our actual readiness posture and then work on any shortcomings we detected.

Similarly, as a prepper, you cannot know where you are going unless you know where you are. There are core survival principles for food supply, water supply, shelter, health, safety and individual preparedness, which many have written books and articles about. However, are we able to agree upon some metrics and standards for preparedness like the military does for readiness? I think this would be very important now as we strive to keep the main thing, the main thing.

I mean more than just checklists, but rather how to rate your preparedness on some scale like: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert or any other scale that works. How would we describe each of these levels?

There is more than a little complexity to this kind of an idea. You have to think about this within the context of where you live.

I live in Montana. We have our advantages such as lots of firewood, fresh water, fish, and game. We also have our disadvantages, very tough winters. If you live in Florida, you have a different set of factors to contend with. One solution will not fit all, but there should be a core set of standards that would allow us to self-assess and also do what our military does so well, continually identify and shore up weaknesses.

Beginner. Intermediate. Advanced. Expert. Or…something similar?

I would be interested in what others on Backdoor Survival think about this. It is important to offer our advice to each other about preparedness.

Isn’t that one of the main things too?

Richard Earl Broome – All Rights Reserved –May 24, 2015


Richard Earl Broome is a contributing author and friend to Backdoor Survival. He has lived an extraordinary life rising from an Army private to an Army colonel who served on the White House staff for two Presidents of the United States as a member of their National Security Council staff.

He is considered a national expert on the subjects of preparedness, disaster recovery and survival. He is a frequent contributor of articles about the many threats facing our society, appearing frequently on shows to discuss issues such as pandemics, ISIS, and the cyber threat and how we need to meet the new threat realities facing all of us.

Now living in a small community in Montana, he is a member of the faculty at Montana State University where he teaches leadership. For more about Richard, visit my  About Richard page.

Also, note that his two books, Leaving The Trees and Good Crazy (Leaving The Trees Journey) (Volume 2)We Prepare For Survival But Is It The Main Thing? | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1500505781 | PreparednessSurvival , can be found on Amazon.  His next novel, Final Reckoning Day, will be out in the fall of 2015.

The Final Word

Something sorely lacking is a methodology whereby we can assess our preparedness efforts against a set of core standards.  Do you know of any such standards that can be applied universally to civilians not under the direction and rule of the military, government, or big business?

As citizens who embrace self-sufficiency, perhaps the best standard is the standard we set ourselves, based upon our unique needs and skill sets.  Like Richard, I am interested in your thoughts.  Think of it this way.  If  friends, relatives or co-workers came up to you and said they wanted to begin to prepare, what would you tell them.  What “gold standard” would make them preppers?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Subscribe to The Sleuth Journal Newsletter for Daily Articles!

The post We Prepare For Survival But Is It The Main Thing? appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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23 Awesome Uses For Lemongrass Essential Oil

23 Awesome Uses For Lemongrass Essential Oil | lemongrass | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Anyone who has used essential oils for a period of time will find that they reach for the same tried and true oils over and over again.  In my case, there are the go-to standards lavender, peppermint, rosemary and frankincense but in addition, there is Lemongrass.

Three years ago, I thought lemongrass was an herbal plant used in tea and in Asian cuisine.  While I still enjoy a soothing cup of lemongrass and ginger tea, these days lemongrass essential oil serves an important role in my first aid kit as well.

The lemongrass genus has over fifty different species worldwide, but only some of the species are suitable for utilization as essential oil.  The two most commonly used in essential oils are are Cymbopogan citratus and Cymbopogan flexuosus.

Historically, lemongrass has been used to treat fevers, inflammation and indigestion as well as a sedative. These days, it is used for an armload of other ailments as well as for purification and odor control.  Today I share 23 uses for lemongrass essential oil that will set you a a path of wellness.

How is Lemongrass Essential Oil Used?

Lemongrass is effective in resolving a number of first aid woes. It has anti-microbial properties and is also an anti-inflammatory.  As a powerful analgesic, it offers immediate topical pain relief and reduces inflammation.  In addition, it is  antibacterial and antimicrobial which means it can prohibit bacterial growth and it is effective in controlling a fever caused by infection.

With its strong lemony scent and earthy, grassy undertones, it is also effective in aromatherapy and especially when used in a diffuser. If you drink lemongrass tea like I do, that will make perfect sense since the aroma of even the tea is quite lingering.

Used topically, a carrier oil is usually recommended as lemongrass is one essential oil that can cause sensitivity or irritation if utilized undiluted on the skin, or “neat”.  A common dilution is 2 drops of lemongrass to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil but this is considered just a guide line and is quite conservative.  Still, this 2% dilution is a good starting point especially when using lemongrass for the first time.

23 Uses for Lemongrass Essential Oil in the First Aid Kit

1. Muscle and tendon relaxer:  When muscles and tendons tighten up, an application of lemongrass essential oil will typically bring immediate relief.  It works extremely quickly on those “knots” and spasms that can come on very quickly in the middle of the night.

2. Headache relief:  When it comes to headaches, and especially allergy-related headaches, lemongrass is a super star. It is also useful for individuals who are sensitive to Peppermint essential oil which is usually the recommended EO for headaches.

3. Arthritis joint pain:  Lemongrass works well to resolve joint pain and works especially well when mixed with Birch EO and Geranium EOs.  (See Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain.)   Since the use of birch essential oil is not recommended for people on blood thinners, lemongrass is an effective alternative.  That said, layering “the Birch” over lemongrass works surprisingly well to relieve deep joint pain.

4.  Pulled muscles:  By treating the inflammation created by a pulled muscle, lemongrass essential oil can bring immediate relief.  (An easy peasy pain relief formula is shown below).  This will also work on tender bruised areas.

5. Shock:  If you feel that someone is in shock, add 1 or 2 drops to a cotton ball and place the infused cotton ball under the nostrils.  Do this as soon as possible then, if you can, summon medical help.

6.  Treat wounds:  Blend a few drops with Witch Hazel or Saline to flush wounds. Afterward, blend with some BDS Simple Salve for an antiseptic application. Apply a bandage or gauze to the wound to keep it clean and free from dirt.

7. Heartburn:  Spread a couple of drops mixed with a carrier such as coconut oil or BDS Simple Salve over the throat and chest area to relieve heartburn.

8.  Indigestion:  A drop or two massaged into the abdomen will assist digestion and relieve the symptoms of indigestion..

9.  Sprains and sports injuries:  Lemongrass essential oil will treat both the pain and inflammations associated with sprains and sports injuries.

10.  Reduce fevers:  Use lemongrass to help fight the infection that causes fevers and also to keep the toxins from spreading. To use, blend with your basic Simple Salve (or even plain coconut oil) and apply to the back of neck, chest area, and the bottom of feet.

11.  Flea repellant: Lemongrass will repel fleas.  For dogs, apply to a piece of cloth (such as a bandana) or collar.  Since cats are more sensitive to essential oils in general, check with your veterinarian before using any essential oil on your kitty.

12.  Insect repellent: Insects don’t like lemongrass!  Apply to the edges of your clothing edges to repel climbing insects like ticks, or to exposed skin to repel mosquitos and other flying biting bugs. Just remember to dilute with a bit of carrier oil or salve when applying directly to the skin.

13.  Acne: Lemongrass is a mild astringent and is also antimicrobial. To help clear up acne, add one drop  to a carrier oil and dab on to affected areas once or twice a day.

14.  Athlete’s Foot:  Athlete’s foot is fungal skin infection and lemongrass can help address it. Utilize a drop of lemongrass in a carrier oil of salve, and rub on the feet a few times a day. If you wear shoes most of the day, try rubbing it on first thing in the morning, as soon as your shoes come off, and again before bed.

15.  Oily skin:  Utilize lemongrass in the same manner as that for acne, or utilize a drop in warm water as a skin rinse. The astringent properties of lemongrass have a naturally drying effect, without the potential over dryness caused by stronger astringents.

16. Stress relief:  One of the best ways to use lemongrass essential oil to relieve stress is via aromatherapy. Add 5 to 6 drops to your diffuser, or put a drop on your palms and inhale the scent. You can also put a drop on a cloth, or pillow for nighttime or travel aromatherapy.

17.  Fatigue:  Like stress relief, you can use lemongrass essential oil aromatically to mitigate fatigue.  A diffuser or even a few drops on a cotton ball will work beautifully.  Topically, mix a drop or two with a carrier oil and either massage into your temples.

18.  Anti-depressant:  Use a few drops in a diffuser daily.  I find it works great at night while sleeping.

19.  Anti-bacterial cleaning products:  Use lemongrass in homemade cleaning products to reduce bacteria in your home.  You can also use it in a diffuser to reduce airborne bacteria.  See this article on making your own DIY cleaning products. As an added bonus, lemongrass has a wonderful, and uplifting aroma.  You home will smell fresh and inviting!

20. Reduce high blood pressure:  Lemongrass is a vasodilator and can help reduce high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.

21.  Water retention: The diuretic properties of lemongrass can help clean and flush toxic wastes out of the body.  This can be done via topical applications such as in a salve or by adding a drop to your glass of water or cup of tea.

Note:  normally I do not suggest ingesting essential oils although with high quality oils, the practice is safe.  Always do your own research and if in doubt, consult a physician first.

22.  Insomnia:  Applying lemongrass to the bottoms of your feet at night is calming and helps induce a deep sleep.  Sipping a cup of lemongrass tea also helps.

23.  Body odor:  Commercial deodorants often contain lemongrass.  If you are prone to body odor, adding a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to your moisturizing body lotion or salve will help combat unpleasant body odors.

Lemongrass Pain Relief Formula

I personally use lemongrass essential oil in a roller ball mixed with fractionated coconut oil to provide immediate relief to painful muscle and tendon cramps in my hands, feet, and calves.

Lemongrass Pain Relief Formula
10 to 15 drops of Lemongrass essential oil
Fractionated Coconut Oil (or other carrier oil)
10ML Roller Ball (about 2 teaspoons)

Optional:  Add 5 drops of Clove essential oil

Add the lemongrass to the roller ball then top with a carrier oil.  I use FCO (fractionated essential oil).  Shake well before each use then apply copiously. Rubbing the area gently will accelerate the relief.

I find that I get better results with the roller ball application but you could also make up a salve using 2 teaspoons of BDS Simple Salve (or other carrier) and up to 15 drops of essential oil.

Side Effects of Lemongrass

Although considered one of the safer oils, lemongrass should always be diluted before applying it to the skin.  Even with low dilutions, it can be an irritant to some people so use a conservative amount to begin with.  If in doubt, perform a patch test first.

As with all essential oils, lemongrass essential oil should be kept out of the reach of children and pets, and should not be used if pregnant or nursing unless approved in advance by a medical professional.

A Word About Carrier Oils

Using a carrier oil makes an essential oil application so much easier and less wasteful.  Although I personally prefer coconut oil or BDS Simple Salve (which you make yourself), feel free to experiment with olive oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, or even an organic, unscented lotion.

Where to Purchase Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is widely sold both online and in health food stores.  I personally purchase therapeutic grade Lemongrass from Spark Naturals.  Their quality standards are high and because they sell direct and not through a membership or MLM program, their prices are affordable.

Spark Naturals also carries a number of supporting carrier oils as well as accessories such as roller ball bottles, dropper tops and more. Furthermore, you can use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL to get a 10% discount off your entire order.

The Final Word

It was close to two years ago that I tossed two drawers full of OTC remedies into a box in favor of essential oils.  To this day, I am still learning how to use the various oils to improve my health and to remedy everyday aches and pains.  Essential oils have become my band-aid of choice and not a day goes by when I don’t use them for one thing or another.

My own education continues.  A few months back I purchased a big fat book entitled “Essential Oils Desk Reference” and I use it almost daily.  If you can afford it, I highly recommend that you add this desk reference to your survival library.  Although it promotes another brand of oils, the information is presented in an unbiased manner and there is never a sales pitch one way or another.

It has been my pleasure to share this information about Lemongrass essential oil.  Over time, I will continue to share information on additional, less common, essential oils with a special focus on the less expensive, more affordable oils that can be purchased for $10 or less.

There are dozens of oils out there and I am convinced that we can all maintain our health and wellness during times of crisis with the proper selection of essential oils in our first aid kits.

Be well and stay safe!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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The post 23 Awesome Uses For Lemongrass Essential Oil appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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Finding Your Way Back Home Without A Map And Compass

Finding Your Way Back Home Without A Map And Compass | compass | PreparednessSurvival

When it comes to getting out of dodge, my hope is that I will never have to bug out. Ever. On the flip side of things, I also hope that I will never have to find my way back home following a major disruptive event.  Realistically, however, turning a blind eye to the realities of a disaster requiring a trek on foot to or from my home would be foolhardy.

The logical thing, of course, would be to have maps and a compass on board at all times. The first reality is that a disaster, whether wrought by Mother Nature or man, can happen when we least suspect it.  The second reality is that unless you are the exception to the rule, you probably do not have a compass and map with you at all times.

That begs the question: how do you go about finding your way back home without a map and compass?

Primitive navigation is not my thing.  I can find my way home with a chart and a compass rose, or an old Loran C (does anyone else remember those?) no problem.  And of course, a GPS is a cinch.  But I need to do better.

For this article, I called upon my friend and fellow blogger, Jim Cobb, to answer the question of finding our way back home when all we have with us is are wits and will to get there.

Primitive Navigation

by Jim Cobb

We’ve all been there at least once or twice.  Traveling through an unfamiliar area and realizing you have absolutely no idea where you are or how to get back on track.  It can be rather frightening, especially if you’re in a questionable urban area or perhaps out in the bush and the sun is setting.

Fortunately, over the past centuries mankind has learned a thing or two about determining direction using indicators found in nature.  We can use these naturally occurring clues to help us find our way.  We all know, or should know by now, that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.  So, if it is early morning or late afternoon, you should be able to orient yourself that way, if nothing else.

Perhaps one of the easiest primitive navigation tips to start with is to learn how to locate the North Star.

Many of us were taught this when we were kids but perhaps have forgotten it over the years.  Find the Big Dipper, which is usually pretty easy.  Look at the two stars that make up the outer edge of the “cup” on the Big Dipper.  Draw an imaginary line connecting those two stars and extending out beyond the “open” end of the cup.  That line will lead you to the North Star, which is also the last star in the “handle” of the Little Dipper.

Knowing where the North Star rests in the sky will help you find all four compass directions.  But, that only works at night, what about during the day?

Find a reasonably straight stick and jam it into the ground.  If you’re in the northern hemisphere, the shadow created by the stick will point in a northern direction.  Not precisely north, of course, but with a little time, we can improve on this primitive compass a bit.  Place a golf ball size rock at the top of the stick’s shadow.  Come back in 15-20 minutes and you’ll see the shadow has moved a bit.  Place another rock at the new location.  Do the same thing 2-3 more times and you’ll have a line of rocks that follows a generally east-west direction.  The shadow still points north so the rock line to the left points west and the line to the right points east.

If you’re lost in an urban area, you might not want to take the time to find a good spot to jam sticks into the ground and wait an hour to figure out compass direction.  There are, however, a few tips and tricks you can utilize to at least get yourself to a better location.

For starters, and this is sort of a “duh” type of tip but bear with me, building numbers increase as you travel away from the city center.  Now, the “city center” might not be the exact middle as seen on a map, it depends on where they started their numbering system.  But, in general, the numbers go up as you travel toward the outside border of the city.  In many areas, though this isn’t any sort of rule that applies everywhere, three digit numbers indicate you’re within city limits, four digit numbers mean you’re in the city suburbs, and five digits mean you’re out in the sticks.  Again, there are a ton of exceptions to that but it follows true more often than not.

If you pass a cemetery, it might be useful to know that gravestones generally face east.  The reason for this is that in Christian doctrine, when Jesus returns He will do so in the east so those who are buried and will rise again will do so already facing in His direction.

Along those same lines, most Christian churches, especially the older ones, were built along a west to east line.  As one sits in the church and faces the altar, one is facing east.  Given that many churches are built such that it is a straight line from the front door to the altar, you can surmise that facing the front door means you’re facing east.

Most satellite TV systems utilize satellites that sit in geosynchronous orbit above the Earth’s equator.  Therefore, most satellite dishes in the United States will face in a southerly direction.  Might be southeast, might be directly south, might be southwest, but knowing that much might be just enough to get you moving in the right general direction.

Now, all of that is quite fun and interesting but is meaningless unless you know the compass direction in which you should be heading.  Therefore, it is important to have at least a general sense of where you are and where you’re going.  For most of us, this isn’t too big of an issue in the grand scheme of things.  In our regular daily lives, while we might be in a hurry to reach our destination, it is rarely ever a true life-or-death situation.

Lost in the woods, though?  That can go from worrisome to downright scary pretty quick.  Evacuating an urban area ahead of a coming danger and getting lost along the way could also be problematic.

Knowing how to find basic compass direction in either of those situations could be quite crucial.


Jim Cobb is a recognized authority on disaster readiness. He has also been a licensed private detective for about 15 years. Previous to that, he spent several years working in loss prevention and security.

Jim’s books include Prepper’s Home Defense, Countdown to Preparedness, and Prepper’s Financial Guide (coming March 2015). He can be found online at and You can connect with him on Facebook at

A Compass is a Better Option

Having a compass and knowing how to use is always a preferable option.  I keep a mini-compass on my survival key ring, which, now that I think about it, I have not shared with you.

Finding Your Way Back Home Without A Map And Compass | Compass-Survival-Key-Ring-250 | PreparednessSurvival

I also have a prismatic sighting compass in my Bug Out Bag but shame on me for not putting it to practical use.

Finding Your Way Back Home Without A Map And Compass | Compass-Ring-250 | PreparednessSurvival

The Final Word

I live on a island offshore the mainland US.  If a disruptive event happened here, I would be able get home without too much difficultly by following the shoreline.  Hopefully there will be roads.  But off-island?  That would not be as easy. Setting aside getting a boat ride home when the ferries are not running, finding my way along an unfamiliar route would be difficult at best and impossible at worst.

Finding Your Way Back Home Without A Map And Compass | Anacortes-to-Roche-Harbor-460x165 | PreparednessSurvival

Finding my way from the mainland back home without a compass and a map will not be easy.
And now you know where I live!

 This summer, while hiking about, I plan to practice my primitive navigation skills plus bone up on the use a compass. Most assuredly, I do want to find my way home, no matter what.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Subscribe to The Sleuth Journal Newsletter for Daily Articles!

The post Finding Your Way Back Home Without A Map And Compass appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | pain-relieving-cream-recipe-3 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

A few months back I made a batch of Cayenne Salve.  It was simple to do.  After infusing the ground cayenne pepper in olive oil, I added some beeswax and was good to go.  My feeling was this: if a catastrophic disruptive event occurred, after a year or two I would exhaust my supply of pain relieving essential oils and then what?

The answer, I hoped, was to infuse spices and herbs in a carrier oil and use the resulting concoction instead.  If I could turn the results into a salve, all the better.

Fortunately, infusing spices and dried herbs is very easy to do.  It does take a couple of weeks but other than that, all you need is a carrier oil, your spice and herb mixture, and a covered jar.  It really does not get much simpler than that.

Here in my own household, my first attempt at creating a pain relieving cayenne salve was met with mixed results. I personally do not have many aches and pains so self-testing was not an option.  On the other hand, the Survival Husband is a walking pain machine.  The problem was that he was achieving such good results, fantastic actually, with “The Birch” salve, that he was loath to change.

Recognizing the importance of having an alternative to essential oils for pain relief, I took my missive out to readers via the weekly Survival Buzz.  I was thrilled to find a volunteer to test the salve and now, two months later, the reports are glowing.  This stuff really works on chronic pain resulting from woes such as arthritis, sore and stiff muscles, and more.

Test Results from the Field

When I sent my DIY Cayenne Salve to Dee in Oregon, I was cautiously optimistic about the results.  I knew that Dee was already a proponent of natural medicine and cayenne in particular.  It is one of the ingredients in the tonic she uses and also in the tonic that prevented me from having to have a root canal. (You can read about that particular adventure here and here.)

Initially she wrote and said that she had been “having fun watching reactions to people trying your salve. Only had one who didn’t like it.  Tried it on 8 different people and each found it worked well enough they want to know where they can buy some.  So….are you making enough to sell? “

Note:  Nope.  I am not selling anything.  This is so simple to make that you can do it yourself!

I needed more information, naturally, and asked about the type of pain that the Cayenne Salve appeared to mitigate.  Here is what she had to say:

As to your cream, I had a couple of people with arthritis in their hands who applied it.  They felt significantly less pain almost immediately. Enough so in a couple of weeks, I’ll be hosting them so they can learn how to make your salve.

Another who has aches and pains but no dx, she too, was helped enough so she could function w/o pharma meds during the daily chores.  One young woman in her early 30s was having pain in her hips (no knowledge as to why). She applied it to them on several occasions and she has said it works almost as good as my pain tonic. She’s tried both now.

I did have one who wouldn’t try it since I had told him it had cayenne in it.  As to myself, when my pain level gets to 7, using your salve and my tonic, eliminates the pain for hours.

There may be something to the idea that for some it takes a few weeks but I didn’t find any of that in my limited number to subjects.

In further research, it seems even used topically, it helps the circulation. Enough so that one person who has tingling in her hands and tried it, it helped her to get feeling back into her hands.  I do not begin to understand all this. I am still amazed.

How to Make Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief

This is another one of those DIY recipes that is so simple it is embarrassing.  I will first share the basic recipe that suggest some variations.

1/2 cup olive oil (or 1/4 cup each coconut oil and olive oil)
1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon beeswax pellets

Optional:  1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes

1.  The first thing you are going to do is infuse the oil.  This can be done in the top of a double boiler but I found it simpler to use a Pyrex measuring cup or mason jar sitting in a water bath on the stove.  Combine the oils and the cayenne in your vessel and set aside.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1cayenne-salve-ingredients | Natural Medicine Special Interests

2.  Heat the water until is boils then turn down the flame to low and let the jar of oil and cayenne steep in the water bath for about an hour.  Turn off the burner.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | cayenne-salve_34 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

3.  Stir up your infusion and let it sit for awhile.

4.  After an hour or two, or the next day it really does not matter, repeat the process in #2 and #3.

Optional:  At this point I got lazy and let my infusion sit around for a week.  I am not sure whether that made it stronger and more potent but it certainly did not hurt. Because I used half coconut oil, before proceeding to the next step, I gently heated the infusion so that it was liquid again.

5.  After the second session, get out your cheesecloth and strain the infused oil into a clean glass cup or mason jar.  Hopefully you will remove most of the spice which, while not a bother, can feel a bit gritty on the skin.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1cayenne-salve-straining-380 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1-cayenne-salve-leftover-gunk | Natural Medicine Special Interests

I actually set the cheesecloth on top of a small strainer to “double strain” but this is totally optional.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1-cayenne-salve-adding-beeswax014 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

6.  Add the beeswax and return your infused oil and beeswax mixture to the water bath.  Set the burner on low and allow the beeswax to melt, stirring occasionally.  You want a nice slow melt.

7.  When done, pour your liquid salve into a jar or tin and allow it to cool.  I have no qualms using plastic jars (like these) but given a choice prefer glass jars.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1cayenne-salve-sets-up-quicky | Natural Medicine Special Interests

The salve sets up quickly.  This is within minutes of pouring it into the jar.

This will make about 4 ounces but can easily be doubled or tripled.

Here’s the thing: the smell is not too pretty.  That will not matter during SHFT but to sweeten things up plus add extra pain-relieving benefits, you can add 8 to 10 drops of clove bud or peppermint essential oil to the salve.  You will want to do this before you add the warm liquid to your jar or tin then stir it up a bit after the fact.

Resource:  The Miracle of Cloves and Clove Oil and The Miracle of Peppermint Oil: 20 Practical Uses for Survival

Although I have not tried it myself, you could substitute ginger or turmeric or even combine one or the other with the Cayenne.  Both spices have their own healing properties that would be useful in a salve.

The last variation I will propose is making your Cayenne Salve in a stick, or lotion bar form.  The only change in the formula would be to use 2.5 tablespoons of beeswax pellets.  For some, rolling on the salve may be more desirable then dipping your fingers into a jar.  I have purchased empty stick containers to use for this purpose but you can also re-use old deodorant containers.

Resource:  Learn about making lotion bars in the article Make Your Own Healing Lotion Bars

How to Use Cayenne Salve

This salve is great for aches and pains, including joint pain from arthritis, sore muscles, stiffness swelling an inflammation.  It is probably not a good idea to use on open wounds, though, because it may sting.  Also, it may stain so be mindful of your clothing.

That said, one thing you can do to prevent staining is to really rub it in well.  You want to massage it gently into your muscles and not simply let it sit on top of the skin.  It you skin becomes stained, use a bit of vinegar to clean it right up.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it may take a week or so to begin to feel relief:

“Pain may get slightly worse at first, but then may get better over the next few days. Capsaicin should be applied regularly several times a day. It usually takes 3 – 7 days before you notice substantial pain relief.”

On the other hand, from what Dee says above, she has not found that to be the case.  Bottom line?  Everyone’s body is unique and your mileage may vary.

Dee also offered up some additional information on cayenne (aka red pepper or Capsicum annuum or frutescens):

Now, 2 things which people should know: 1. Cayenne works to relieve pain but it’s also a blood thinner internally, so if you’re anemic, this isn’t something you should take w/o consulting with your doctor. If you’re on some form of blood thinner, again, consult with your doctor. 2. For those who produce too much iron in the blood (hemochromatosis), this will ease that condition because cayenne binds iron to it as it passes through the body.

For those interested, here’s an article to help you understand better, then consider what Gaye is offering to inform you about:

A Word About Cayenne

For my salves, I used the standard household spice that you can pick up at the grocery store.  For storage purposes, I recommend buying in bulk then packaging the excess in a Mylar or metalized bag with an oxygen absorber in the same manner as the rest of your food storage.  For salve making purposes, a pound of cayenne will go a long long way.

If you are lucky enough to have a cool, dark basement, storing in mason jars with an O2 absorber will also work.

More of a challenge for long term storage will be the oils but, then again, you could use 100% coconut oil which has a very long shelf life. There really is a reason I purchase coconut oil in 5 gallon tubs!  In a true, long term SHFT situation, oils of any type will become precious over time but if I had to, I would get over the negative connotation and use rendered animal fat.  There will always be options, just not those we are accustomed to.

The Final Word

Truth be told, I still believe that using essential oils for pain relief should take priority over an herbal remedy.  They are many times stronger and more powerful, they do not leave a residue, and smell nice.  That said, how much can you store?  A five year supply of essential oils is pricey plus, if you lack a cool dark storage area and your home gets hot and humid,  the shelf life might become limited to just a few years.

The nice thing about Cayenne is that it is inexpensive, plus, you can grow it yourself.  While I will not give up my essential oil salves unless forced to, it is good to know that I have some alternatives.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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The post Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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Survival Nutrition 101: What Is Bio-Availability?

Survival Nutrition 101: What Is Bio-Availability? | canned-storage-food | General Health PreparednessSurvival

As someone who has stored a lot of food for long term emergencies, I can easily recognize the temptation to load up on simple to prepared packaged foods. Many of these food items are highly processed and loaded with chemical preservatives to extend their longevity, past due dates notwithstanding.

All you need to do is pick up a package of Twinkies and you will see what I mean.

How much do you know about survival nutrition?  In an exclusive article for Backdoor Survival readers, my blogging colleague and friend, Daisy Luther talks about survival nutrition and bio-availability.

Survival Nutrition 101: What Is Bio-Availability?

Have you ever talked to another prepper who has highly processed food stacked to the rafters?   Things like Ramen noodles, mac-and-cheese, canned stew, and sugar-laden desserts, with nary a whole ingredient in sight?

They always say, “Well, it’s better than going hungry.”

Actually, that isn’t really the case.

If the point ever came where you were completely dependent on your long-term food storage, you’d better hope that you have food that will do more than satisfy a rumbling tummy.

A Lesson in Bio-Availability

When you eat heavily preserved foods, your body can’t break them down to use the nutrients in them (if there are nutrients left, after all that processing in the first place.  This is called “bio-availability.”

Compare the ingredients of a pack of Ramen noodles with a pack of plain pasta.

Great Value Ramen Noodles (chicken flavor)

Ingredients:  Flour Enriched, Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron Reduced, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Folic Acid (Vitamin aB), Palm Oil, Vegetable(s) Oil Partially Hydrogenated, Potassium Carbonate, Salt, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Caramel Color,Citric Acid, Onion(s) Dehydrated, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Succinate, Garlic Powder,Soy and Corn Protein Hydrolyzed, Maltodextrin, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Alginate,Sodium Carbonate, Soy Sauce Powder, Soybean(s), Spice(s), Tocopherols, Wheat, Disodium Inosinate, Flavoring Natural


Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta

Ingredients:  Semolina Enriched (Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (Vitamin aB) ), Wheat Durum Bran, Durum Flour, Wheat Germ Durum


Homemade pasta

Ingredients:  Flour, water, olive oil, salt

It’s very clear which is the better choice of digestible, bio-available nutrients.  If you can’t make it from scratch, definitely go for the less-processed option. The video below compares how homemade noodles from good ingredients and Ramen noodles go through your digestive system.

It doesn’t get clearer than this:

Do you see how it is impossible for the digestive acids in the body to break down those foods?  They remain recognizable most of the way through the system until they are ready to be excreted.  This means that the few nutrients that may be present are not made available.

This is the reason that North America is full of malnourished fat people – those who rely on processed food must consume far more of it in a vain effort to get the nutrients they need.  They crave food because their body is crying out for vital components.

Think about what the aftermath of a disaster would be like, and then think about facing these challenges with Ramen noodles and a bag of Doritos.

Here Are the Issues You Will Face That Require Readily Available Nutrients

High Stress Levels

Stress is a physical state that can put you at risk for all sorts of medical problems.

When you’re under stress, your body releases the hormone “cortisol” which can absolutely wreak havoc on your body.  Cortisol serves a very important purpose: it inhibits the production of insulin and floods your body with glucose to provide energy for a fight-or-flight response. This is great for the short term, but when it’s dispensed over an extended period of time, it can cause blood sugar issues, diabetes, weight gain, and gastrointestinal problems.  As well, and this is where your diet comes into play, it can suppress your immune system.

You’ve probably dealt with cortisol’s effects on your immune system before.  Have you ever been in a high-stress situation with far too much on your plate, and then gotten sick with a cold or flu? You probably said, “This is NOT the time for getting sick!” because you had so much to do.

Here’s what has happened inside your body:

Cortisol functions to reduce inflammation in the body, which is good, but over time, these efforts to reduce inflammation also suppress the immune system. Chronic inflammation, caused by lifestyle factors such as poor diet and stress, helps to keep cortisol levels soaring, wreaking havoc on the immune system.

An unchecked immune system responding to unabated inflammation can lead to myriad problems: an increased susceptibility to colds and other illnesses, an increased risk of cancer, the tendency to develop food allergies, an increased risk of an assortment of gastrointestinal issues (because a healthy intestine is dependent on a healthy immune system), and possibly an increased risk of autoimmune disease. (Source)

Now, imagine a disaster situation.  You’re definitely going to be stressed and at risk for all of these concerns.  You don’t want to load up on foods that exacerbate blood sugar issues because of high, empty carbohydrates, or foods with high levels of sodium that will increase your blood pressure and thus your risk of heart attack or stroke.

And never have truer words been spoken than “This is NOT the time for getting sick!” In a potentially post-SHTF world, you must also consider that a lack of modern sanitation will lead to more disease. It is possible that less medical care will be available in the near future, as the economy continues to collapse upon itself.   You may not be able to rest and recover, which could lead to a minor illness becoming very serious. A strong, well-nourished immune system will help to fight off illness and keep your family healthy.

Heavy Workload

Most of us aren’t accustomed to a day filled with heavy physical labor. Gone are the days when we plowed fields without the aid of machinery, built structures, or carried buckets of water.

But in a long-term scenario during which the grid is down, we might be faced with those activities once again.  Few of us are physically fit enough to just jump into the lifestyle, ready to go.  Now, imagine, trying to do this fueled only by a box of mac-and-cheese.  Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?

If you are using your muscles, they’re going to demand fuel in the form of protein. Protein is vital for repairing the damage done to muscles during heavy physical activity. If you supply your body with proper protein after a bout of physical labor, you’ll be rewarded with a stronger body. If you try to fuel heavy lifting with empty carbs, you’ll be provided a short burst of energy, followed by a crash of complete exhaustion. Your body will actually cannibalize itself searching for protein for the muscles.

High Energy Demands

This goes hand-in-hand with heavy workloads above, but the nutritional requirements are a bit different.

Think back to a time when you stayed on your feet moving around all day long. (This is especially true if you spend your normal workdays sitting at a desk.) Maybe you went to an amusement park, on a long steep hike, or were on foot in a city, doing some sight-seeing.

Do you recall how tired and hungry you were that day?  You probably wouldn’t have been satisfied with a bag of chips, right? If you’re anything like me, you wanted a steak dinner, complete with veggies and a baked potato. Your body was crying out for fuel.

Now, think about tilling a field manually, or bugging out through the mountains. Such high energy demands will require high-quality carbohydrates such as potatoes, whole brown rice, or oatmeal.

Build Your Food Supply to Meet These Challenges

Stock your pantry with whole foods that the body can break down through ordinary digestive processes.  Look for items that have less than 5 ingredients, all of which are easily pictured in your mind’s eye.  Have you ever seen a TBHQ or a Disodium Guanylate?  No?  Then you shouldn’t eat them.

Keep a wide variety of macronutrients.  Your body requires protein, carbohydrates, and fat to function optimally, as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals.  Your stockpile should contain a wide variety of food in order to supply these nutrients.  It is important to stock whole grains, fruits and vegetables, carefully sourced meats or other protein rich items, and healthy fats.

Buy the best storage foods you can afford. The long-term storage aspect can make it challenging to have good sources of all of these nutrients.  But using home preservation, purchasing the best quality foods you can find, and producing some of your own food can help make your supply far more nutritious.

Your Pantry is Your Lifeline

In a crisis situation, your food storage pantry could become your lifeline, as you begin producing your own food.  The production of one’s own food is a culture shock all on its own.  Think about the tremendous amount of work that goes into a loaf of bread, from seed to flour.  Now, think about trying to perform that kind of hard manual labor with inadequate nutrition.   If we call upon our bodies to do that, we must properly fuel ourselves.

In a potentially post-SHTF world, you must also consider that a lack of modern sanitation will lead to more disease. It is possible that less medical care will be available in the near future, as the economy continues to collapse upon itself.  A strong, well-nourished immune system will help to fight off illness and keep your family healthy.

Many people make the mistake of building a food supply merely meant to keep their stomach from growling in hunger.  That mindset could help you to survive a short-term disaster.  But if a crisis situation turns into a different a way of life, you will need a food supply that feeds and nourishes the systems of your body, not just one that keeps hunger at bay. You must prepare to fuel yourself for building a new, more self-reliant lifestyle.

Otherwise, once the noodles run out, so will your hopes of survival.

The Final Word

As with many of the articles on this website, this one is designed to make you think about the choices you have so you can come to a decision as to which fork in the road you wish to travel.

When it comes to food storage and survival nutrition, sure, a degree of compromise is in order.  But, at the end of the day, wouldn’t you rather lean toward the healthier and more physically sustainable food-source?  I know I would.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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The post Survival Nutrition 101: What Is Bio-Availability? appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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What To Look For When Shopping For Food Storage

What To Look For When Shopping For Food Storage | beans | PreparednessSurvival

With all of the varying complexities of food storage and food storage companies, it may be difficult to sort through and prioritize what is important and what is not.  I don’t know about you but with the dizzying array of things to take into consideration, you just might want to throw you hands up in dismay and yell “help me!!”.

I do not claim to be an expert but over the years, I have learned some things about food storage and food storage companies.  Setting aside the very real concern of where to store everything which is a separate topic altogether, today I want to break down what you should look for when shopping for food storage.

13 Tips for Shopping for Food Storage

How many calories are needed per day to feed your family

Before you even begin to investigate specific food storage products, you need to do some homework.  How many calories per day will it take to sustain the caloric needs of your family?  You may already know the answer but if you don’t, try one of the many online calorie calculators.  I happen to like this one on the American Cancer Society website.

Resource:  Free Online Calorie Counter

All you need to do is answer a few question based upon your age, current weight and lifestyle, and you will get an approximation of what you need to maintain your current weight.  Do this for every member of your family.

Two things to keep in mind are that if you are currently robust in size,  you can use your optimal weight instead.  If you do however, keep in mind that if you are ever called upon to use your food storage, you might transcend for a moderate activity level to a high activity level.  Your calorie needs will increase accordingly.

Be mindful of the stated “Servings per Package”

This is important.  If a meal packet states that it contains 500 calories total and is contains 3 servings, then know from the get go that is probably not realistic.

Say your calorie needs are 2,100 calories per day.  That would break down into 700 calories per meal.  Will 500 calories adequately feed 3 people in that situation?  Doubtful.

Of course add-on items such as beverages and snacks will add to the overall calorie count.  So, using this example, a 500 calorie meal packet or pouch is not a bad thing but rather something to be mindful of.

Note:  for the purpose of this article I may refer to a meal packet but the same principal applies to servings per tin, per box, per package or whatever.

Shelf life is important but not the be all end all

There is more to food storage than shelf life.  Sure, it is great to purchase items that are already packaged for the long term but don’t get caught up with purchasing 25-year food items.

Price, the availability of space, and the environmental aspects of that space may dictate a more aggressive rotation of your food stores.  Also, the ages of your family members will play a role as well.  Remember that tastes, eating habits, and calorie need will change over time.

All that being said, unless it has turned rancid or is contaminated by vermin, most foods are still edible well beyond their stated shelf life.  This, by the way, applies to canned goods used day to day and not just food storage.  So, although a consistent food rotation program is a good practice, don’t beat yourself up if that can of peaches is 5 year beyond the “best eaten by” date.

Survival Basics: The Six Enemies of Food Storage
16 Food Storage Tips for the Space Challenged Prepper

Consider Portability

Do you plan to shelter in place, head to a well-stocked retreat, or bug out?  Or combination?  If there is any possibility that you will need to evacuate your home, consider portability for at least of portion of your food storage.

Consider a a minimum, a three day provision of freeze dried meals in lightweight pouches.  The last thing you want to have to do is cart around a 40 pound bucket of food as you bug out following a disaster.

Compromise and find a happy medium.  Purchase the more pricey freeze-dried meals to stow in your emergency kit.  You may also want to store a three to five day supply of freeze dried meals for post-disaster bug in use.  But beyond that?  Consider the value of having beans, rice, oatmeal, instant powdered milk and other bulk food items.

Be informed of the nutritional value of your food storage

During times of stress, you want food that is as wholesome as it can be given the circumstances.  Seek out nutritious calories from many different food groups.  An occasional treat or sugary dessert will help mitigate food fatigue, but at the end of the day, protein, vitamin and mineral rich foods will be better for you and help you keep a leg up on sickness.

Another question to ask is are the nutritional claims verified?  If you are seeking non-GMO foods, are they Non-GMO Project Verified.  Likewise, if organic foods are important to you, are they USDA Certified Organic?

There are a lot of claims companies make that take advantage of loopholes or unregulated area in food law. The GMO-Free one especially. If it is not Non-GMO Project Verified, and they claim GMO-Free, then you know they aren’t doing it correctly. Go in with your eyes wide open to ensure that you get what you pay for.

Is the meat in the product real?

Does the food advertising and packaging imply meat content but lack a USDA mark? I recently learned that you can track down the final company of origin of a meat product from the number on the USDA mark on the packaging. The mark is only there for foods that contain real meat or poultry.

Resource:  How to Find the USDA Establishment (EST) Number on Food Packaging

Does it taste good?

This is often perceived as a stumbling block.  That said, many food storage companies offer sample packs for very little cost, and sometimes for free.  If you have any doubts, purchase a small quantity and do a taste test.

Is the taste acceptable?  Or is it too salty or too bland?  How does it smell?

Before making a huge investment in food storage, if you have any doubts, try before your make any large quantity purchase.

What is the quality of the packaging?

Food packaging is something very near and dear to my heart because the last thing I want is for my food storage to spoil.  For this reason, I often repackage food myself either in Mylar bags and buckets or more recently, in large mason jars stored in a cool, dark location.  Regardless of how I store the food, I always include an oxygen absorber.

When purchasing packaged food for long term storage, make sure the company states that oxygen has been removed from the packaging by using an oxygen absorber or by nitrogen flushing.  If you are purchasing a bucket or bulk food, ensure that the product is sealed inside a metalized bag.

So how do you tell if the food is packaged correctly?  One test is smell.  If you can smell the food when you open the pouch or bucket then you know that the packaging is not properly protecting the food. The molecules that cause smell are bigger than oxygen molecules. If smells get through the packaging, you know for a fact oxygen can too.

Recently there have been some studies of the various packaging methods used by different food storage companies.  The results, to me were surprising.  Although some companies fared better than others, I feel that regardless of the company or manufacturer, our overall reliance on Mylar or metalized bags by itself may be faulty.  More and more I am recommending that we place such bags or pouches in buckets or sealed tubs not only to decrease permeability, but also to keep out pests.

That brings up another point:  pests such as mice are attracted to smell.  If they can’t smell it, they don’t know its there.  As far as I am concerned, this is another reason to package food items in bags, and then in a bucket of plastic tub.

Survival Basics: Using Mylar Bags for Food Storage
Survival Basics: Buckets, Lids and Gamma Seals
Survival Basics: Using Oxygen Absorbers for Food Storage

The integrity of the company selling the food storage items

This may be one of the more difficult aspects of food storage to evaluate.  One of the first questions to ask is “How long has the company been in business? Are they looking to make a quick buck?”  Be weary of a new company that pops up with weeks of a major, public disaster or disruptive event.

Avoid fear-mongering at all costs

You might be surprised at the number of companies that started up right after Katrina, Sandy, and the more recent Ebola scare.  These companies used (and continue to use) fear-mongering to promote their products.  If you examine their web sites, you may find no mention of a physical location or corporate presence.

If a companies advertising is based on fear or you feel any sort of pressure, run for the hills!  There are plenty of credible choices out there both online and locally.  Move on.  Please.

Don’t ignore price but don’t become obsessed with it either

The only saying “you get what you pay for” does not always hold true when it comes to food storage purchases.  As stated above, some companies will prey upon your fear and charge you way too much for too little of an inferior product.

A better way to approach price is to look at price per meal or price per serving.  Just be mindful that the price per service will be based upon your own calorie calculation and not those of the company selling you the product.

After narrowing your choices, identify the other factors that are important: tastes, shelf life, packaging, and special nutritional considerations such as non-GMO, organic, or gluten free.

Be sure to also scrutinize shipping and handling costs and make those costs part of the total price proposition.  Free shipping is sometimes truly free and sometimes not.  You need to compare apples to apples and look at total costs.  The results might surprise you.

On the other hand, most companies have fantastic monthly sales.  Shop those sales and even with shipping costs, you will save a ton of money.

Resource:  Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials (as an example)

At the end of the day, trust your supplier

Read reviews, try small quantities before you make a large purchase, and most of all ask a lot of questions.  Any reputable food storage vendor will have knowledgeable staff on hand to answer your questions by phone or by email.

There are no dumb questions.  If at all in doubt, ask.  One other thing: ask about their satisfaction guarantee.  Look for a 30 day guaranteed and again, take advantage of it by taste testing a small portion of your purchase.  Just remember that once you open a can, bag or bucket, it must be property resealed with O2 absorbers unless it is going to be consumed within a year.

Free Food Deal – Get a 100% Free Sample from Mountain House

So here is a free food deal that is a little known secret.  Did you know that you can request a free sample meal from Mountain House (officially OFD Foods Inc.) just by asking?  I have confirmed this with my contact at Mountain House, and now want to share it with you.

To request your free sample, all you need to do is call 1-800-547-0244 and ask.  Or, if you prefer, reach out online via their customer service form here.  A hint though?  Calling is a lot simpler!

That’s it.  This is a free lunch. There are no shipping charges and no handling charges. Free is free.  I was specifically told that they would love to have Backdoor Survival readers new to freeze dried foods call them up and request a sample. Thrilled, actually.  Of course it does not hurt that Mountain House has received top scores in independent third party testing of emergency survival meals.

Why do they do this?  Their attitude is that companies can talk all the marketing speak they want but what really sells is the product itself.  I could not agree more.

Note:  I have no financial relationship with Mountain House and am sharing this information with you because I love their products. MH Chili Mac?  That is my number one freeze dried meal favorite!

The Final Word

If you have made it this far, congratulations.  You now know more about shopping for food storage than 95% of the population.  Just keep in mind that as you shop, taste preferences differ from person to person.  What is good to one person, may be mediocre to another.  Make an evaluation of what is best for you and your family based upon the tips I have outlines and you really can’t go wrong.

Finally, I do want to put a plug in for the many fine food storage companies and purveyors that support Backdoor Survival with their ads.  Because of them, this website is and will always be free for everyone.  I do not accept donations but instead, ask for your support by shopping with my sponsors.

Whatever you decide, please know that building food storage is an individual thing.  Three months, one year, two years?  How much is enough?  Go with your budget and your comfort level.  You really can not go wrong as long as you just do something!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Subscribe to The Sleuth Journal Newsletter for Daily Articles!

The post What To Look For When Shopping For Food Storage appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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Treating Psoriasis With Essential Oils

Treating Psoriasis With Essential Oils | essential-oils-for-eczema | Natural Medicine

One day, a few years ago, I happened to notice that my husband Shelly was wearing a long sleeved shirt on a hot summer day.  When I questioned him, he gave be a funny look then rolled up his sleeve to show me a large, unsightly, and extremely crusty patch of something on his elbow.  Not knowing what it was, I suggested some heavy duty moisturizer and left it at that.

When this dry, itchy patch on his elbow did not go away, it was time for a trip to the doctor who diagnosed psoriasis and prescribe a prescription steroid cream. Mind you, this was before I became a total convert to natural remedies and the use of essential oils for health and wellness.

The bottom line is this:  at the time, little did I know that we would be able to succeed at treating psoriasis with essential oils.  But, in truth, that is exactly what happened.

Conquering the Woes of Psoriasis With Essential Oils

I will let Shelly aka the Survival Husband tell you the story in his words:

A number of years ago I was diagnosed  with a case of plaque psoriasis on my right elbow.

There are multiple types of psoriasis with the most common being plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis is a disease of the immune system.  What happens is that the immune system over produces inflammatory cells. These skin cells build up, rise to the surface, and form raised red patches often with silvery scales know as plaque.

There is no cure and the recommended treatment is a prescription drug ENBREL.  This drug has major side effects so I chose not proceed with this remedy.  After discussing this with my doctor I was prescribed a steroid prescription ointment which didn’t do much to control the psoriasis.

What I didn’t realize is that any stress can exasperate the condition.

Enter Gaye my wife aka “Survival Woman”.  In late November of 2013, she  started applying oregano essential oil and her Miracle Salve to my elbow and I started to get immediate results. I began applying it twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.  This seemed the control it somewhat.

Since then, Gaye has put the oregano essential oil in a small container with a rollerball and the Miracle Salve in a small container so I can apply this remedy during the day a couple of times in addition to my morning and night ritual. By doing so, I have greater control and don’t have the unsightly visual usually identified with psoriasis.

Needless to say, I have become a advocate in the healing properties of essential oils. There are many uses for essential oils; do your research and find out for yourself.

I should note that Shelly wrote this over a year ago but, for one reason or another, I did not share it here on the website.  Then, in January of this year, more than one reader sent an email asking if I had an EO solution for psoriasis.  Boy did I!

Over time, I have refined the formula that Shelly uses to control his psoriasis.  It has worked well for him and except for one brief period of a few days last fall, the psoriasis on his elbow is in total remission and has not shown up elsewhere on his body.

The Essential Oils Psoriasis Buster

Here is the two part protocol for using essential oils to conquer psoriasis.

Psoriasis Roller Ball Formula
36 drops Oregano essential oil
5 drops Patchouli essential oil
Fractionated Coconut Oil (like this)

Add your oils to a 10ML roller ball bottle.  Top with fractionated coconut oil.  Apply on affected areas once or twice a day.

Psoriasis Salve
3 teaspoons DIY Miracle Healing Salve
32 drops Bergamot essential oil

Mix together in a small jar.  After applying the roller ball formula, layer some psoriasis salve over the affected areas to seal it in.

This is a two-part formula.  You start with the roller ball then layer the salve on top.  This will add moisture plus it seals in the more liquid roller ball formula.

You can download a printable version here.  In addition, a recipe to make the DIY Miracle Healing Salve is here.

Note:  When I started out using essential oils, I was very exact in my measurements but these days? Not so much. Keep in mind that often times more is not better and everyone’s body may react differently to a particular formula.

How and Why Does this Work?

Two of the oils, oregano and patchouli, are powerful anti-fungals.  I don’t know the science behind it, but my guess is that the anti-fungal properties play a role in the success in busting through plaque psoriasis.  As far as the bergamot, I knew that it was a terrific stress reliever and felt that the added boost would be beneficial.  I proved to be right, in Shelly’s case, at least.

Here is a brief description of each oil and its health benefits, excerpted from the Organic Facts website (a good one to bookmark if you are interested in natural remedies).

Oregano:  Some of the most impressive and important health benefits of oregano include its ability to protect the immune system, prevent the onset of chronic disease, improve digestion, detoxify the body, strengthen the bones, improve heart health, increase energy levels, and even protect against diabetes.

Patchouli:  The health benefits of Patchouli Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicide, insecticide, sedative and tonic substance.

Bergamot:  The health benefits of Bergamot Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as a deodorant, vulnerary, vermifuge, antibiotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, sedative, analgesic, antidepressant, disinfectant, febrifuge, cicatrisant, and digestive substance.

More information about Oregano essential oil can be found in the article 25 Ways .to Use Oregano Essential Oil for Health and Wellness.

Here are instructions for DIY Miracle Healing Salve.  (Don’t worry, it’s easy.)

A Word About Essential Oils and Roller Ball Bottles

When selecting the oils to use in these Psoriasis formulas, be mindful that you want to use 100% pure, undiluted, essential oils.  I get mine from Spark Naturals because I feel that they are the best quality I can buy at a reasonable price.  If you are interesting in giving them a try, you will enjoy an extra 10% by using coupon code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.

Resource:  Oregano Essential Oil, Patchouli Essential Oil, and Bergamot Essential Oil

I get my roller ball bottles from both Spark Naturals (my essential oil vendor of choice) and Amazon. You can probably find them at craft stores but since there are none close to where I live, I must purchase them online.

Resource:   Cobalt Blue Glass Roller Bottles – Pack of 6

You will find it useful to know that 10ML is approx. 1/3 oz or 2 tsp. In a pinch, you could probably use one of those small travel bottles that are ubiquitous. Instead of rolling it on, you could dab it with your finger.

The Final Word

As with all things related to essential oils and natural remedies, what works for one person may work differently for another.  That said, I have provided samples of these formulas to friends and it has worked for all of them.

If you or someone you know suffers from the woes of psoriasis, I hope you will give this a try.  Feel free to experiment by using one formula or the other, or do as Shelly does and use both.  And definitely – report back with the results.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

Subscribe to The Sleuth Journal Newsletter for Daily Articles!

The post Treating Psoriasis With Essential Oils appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important | cookbooks | PreparednessSurvival

A couple of months ago I was going through some old boxes tucked into the hidden recesses of my garage and I stumbled upon a box of old cookbooks.  Since I learned to cook long before the age of computers, most of my self-taught efforts came by way of these cookbooks.  I started to collect cookbooks in high school and little did I know then what I know now: old cookbooks are important.

As I flipped through some of the pages, it became evident that these old cookbooks are real treasures.  They were written before microwave ovens and Cuisinart’s, and before many of the processed foods that are now commonplace were available on grocery store shelves.  These were the days of scratch cooking, often with just a handful of local, readily available ingredients.

Today I walk down memory lane and explain why you should keep your old cookbooks and why, if you don’t already have them, you should scout some out on the cheap cheap at garage sales, thrift shops, and eBay.

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks are Important to Preppers

1. You can read printed cookbooks books off-grid.

With a printed cookbook, you can learn to prepare food without needing a computer, iPad, Google, or This will be important if the time comes when power is not readily available, or, if it is, it is difficult to come by.

Taking this one step further, the food that we have available to eat following a disruptive event may be different than what we normally eat. Learning to prepare unfamiliar foodstuffs is an important survival skill and one we want to have in our back pocket.

2. Learn to cook totally from scratch.

Before the early to mid-20th century, most people cooked from scratch because there was no other option.  At the same time, chores and household duties kept housewives busy with cleaning, laundry, sewing, and child-rearing.  Cooking had to be simple, and time efficient.  Old cookbooks – the types intended for housewives of the era – focused upon simplicity and efficiency.

3. Old cookbooks make no assumptions about your kitchen.

Kitchens of years gone by included basic pantry staples as well as bowls, spoons, knives, some cast iron pots, a stove and an oven.  Stand mixers, Cuisinarts, microwave ovens, blenders, and bread machines did not exist or, if they did, were mostly tools for the newly rich and the wealthy.

As a result, recipes in older cookbooks required very little in the way of specialized equipment.

4. Old cookbooks focused on the virtues of thrift, wholesome eating, and elimination of waste.

This is true whether they were written in the 1800s, early 1900’s, pre WWII, or the 50s and 60s.  One thing to keep in mind is that the older the book, the more likely its focus on fuel economy, be it coal, charcoal, wood, or something else.

5. Ingredients in the recipes are commonly found and are typically basic, pantry items.

When you read a modern, 21st century recipe, you may often come across oddball ingredients you never heard of before.  Chances are these strange and obscure ingredients will not be available if the stuff hits the fan.  With older cookbooks, you do not need to search for exotic ingredients at a gourmet grocery or online.  Not only that, you will recognize them by name and not need a dictionary or Google to figure them out.

6. The number of ingredients to cook a particular dish are nominal.

The ingredients required to prepare the various recipes (in really old cookbooks they were called “receipts”) are far fewer than the recipes of the current era.  This is likely due to the fact that most cooking supplies were procured locally, limiting the availability of items from the far-flung reaches of the world.

I don’t know about you, but when I see a list of 10 or more ingredients, I give up.  In older cookbooks, it is common to find recipes that use six ingredients or less.

7. The recipes are practical with the intended goal of putting food on the table.

These days, cookbooks include gorgeous photos that entice and entertain you.  (They also cost upward of $20 or more.)

Older cookbooks focus on the job at hand:  putting breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table along with some snacks and dessert items.

8. Old cookbooks provide a glimpse into times past.

Todays world is fast-paced and technology driven.  It is both fun and educational to look back to simpler times.  Granted, folks living through those times may not have thought times were simple, but without a doubt, a world without email, Facebook, the Internet and a myriad of other distractors was definitely slower and kinder.

By looking into the past, we get a glimpse of what life, in the kitchen at least, might be like if a catastrophic disruptive event such as an EMP throws us back 150 or more years.

What Constitutes an Old Cookbook?

I am glad you asked!

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important | My-Old-Cookbooks | PreparednessSurvival

To my way of thinking, an old cookbook is one that was published before the 1970s.  I have quite a few from the 60s, including a 1969 Betty Crocker that is literally coming apart at the bindings.  In addition, I own a 1939 Boston Cooking School Cookbook that was my father’s when he was in the Navy.  It is interesting that both made use of canned goods but very few other processed foods.

Moving back in time, pre-WWII cookbooks are especially interesting because they utilize extremely low, cost, depression-era ingredients.  In addition, they emphasize the use of home-grown vegetables to supplement the meager fare that was available at the time.  Although published in modern times, my favorite depression-era cookbook is Clara’s Kitchen8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important | ir?t=continmoti-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B005LVOA2M | PreparednessSurvival which I reviewed in the article Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.

Really Old Cookbooks – Resources

For a close look at cooking the old-fashioned way, you will want to seek cookbooks from the 1800s and early 1900s.

The good news is that many if not most are in the public domain.  Many have been digitized and can be viewed or downloaded for free online.  The bad news is that if you are in an off-grid situation, they will not be readily accessible unless you have solar or some other means for charging your electronic devices.

That said, here are some links where you can download copies of some really old cookbooks to get a feel for what old-time food preparation was all about.

8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important | GH-Womans-Home-Cookbook | PreparednessSurvival

The Good Housekeeping Woman’s Home Cook Book, Arranged By Isabel Gordon Curtis, Chicago: Reilly & Britton, c1909.

Toward the end of the 19th century and throughout the 20th various forms of media – newspapers, magazines, radio, the movies and TV -all became involved in the publishing of cookbooks. This volume represents the many and diverse types of books in this category. It well represents a cookbook published by a national magazine.

The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, By Fannie Merritt Farmer, Boston, Little, Brown And Company (1896).

The Settlement Cookbook, By Lizzie Black Kander, Milwaukee: [S.N.], 1901

And my favorite, The Frugal Housewife, Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy, By Lydia Maria Francis Child, Boston: Carter and Hendee, 1830.

The Frugal Housewife was first published in Boston in 1829 and was reprinted at least four times in the next two years. By the eighth edition of 1832, the name had been changed to The American Frugal Housewife to differentiate it from the English work of Susannah Carter(See The Frugal Housewife – 1803). The book went through at least 35 printings between 1829 and 1850 when it was allowed to go out of print because of the publication of newer, more modern cookbooks and also because of Mrs. Child’s increasingly public work in the cause of anti-slavery.

The strong emphasis on the virtues of thrift and self-reliance and on frugality, a continuing theme in American cookbooks, reflected Mrs. Child’s New England heritage and her concerns for the nutritional effects of the 1820’s depression in the United States.

For more really old cookbooks, visit the Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project.

The Feeding America project has created an online collection of some of the most important and influential American cookbooks from the late 18th to early 20th century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library’s collection as well as searchable full-text transcriptions. This site also features a glossary of cookery terms and multidimensional images of antique cooking implements from the collections of the MSU Museum.

The Feeding America online collection hopes to highlight an important part of America’s cultural heritage for teachers, students, researchers investigating American social history, professional chefs, and lifelong learners of all ages.

The Final Word

For most of us, storage space is precious and what extra storage we do have, is filled with extra food, water, ammo and first aid items.  In my own home, space behind doors, under beds, and under the living room sofa and chairs is crammed with all preps of all kind.  If someone were to look, they would think me a packrat.

Still, with space at a premium, I have pulled a few of my old cookbooks from the garage and set them aside with the rest of my “stuff hits the fan” preps.  I may not need them to teach me how to cook beans and rice, but sure as day, I will look to them to come up with ideas for using the food that I do have to create palatable, if not tasty and interesting meals.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

The post 8 Reasons Old Cookbooks Are Important appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.

Source: Alternative news journal

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