Prepping 101. Meat

Prepping 101. Meat

This week we continue with meat and protein storage, even with all the Wuhan Coronavirus news. We will stay the course and keep on the prepping 101 journey. Why? Well if for SOME reason we end up like China with home quarantine for all, you will need to have sustainable food on hand. Meat and Proteins are essential for survival. I’ll have to get a guest blogger to go into the vegetarian options.

What is the best prepper protein? Meat!


Meat is important to man’s survival. The word itself suggests we should eat it: “m-eat!” But if you were to look in the average prepper’s pantry there’s one thing that’s sparsely there when compared to other canned and dehydrated goods, and that’s meat. And we need to ask ourselves why?

Cost?

Difficulty?

Did you know that canned meat is the most requested item at food banks? It’s time to take stock of the meat in your larder to ensure your family’s survival and here’s more about why meat is the best prepper protein.

Vegetarian vs Omnivore.

Nice try. Ain’t going to happen. Not going to fall into saying one is better than another, (meat is). But, here are my reasons why we need to bump up those meat numbers. There are hundreds of reason to store meats in the prepper pantry. But, I’ll leave that to discuss among yourselves.

How much to store.

Now we get into the hard numbers. The LDS Preparedness Manual recommends 20 lbs dry and canned meats per person per year. I look at that number and think that may cover me for 3 weeks.

We know that SHTF means that we need to make sacrifices. MY thinking is that if we need to sacrifice things it needs to be in the “nice to have”category, ie 1 less deodorant stick to buy 1 more canned ham. More lives will be saved from a canned DAK ham than by smelling good.

The FDA……

As of 2017 The FDA has done some charting on how much meats we consume. According to the tables we eat 64 lbs of chicken, ( I think that is double that here in South Carolina!) 54 pounds of beef, 40 pounds of pork, and 16 pounds of fish/shellfish annually. That comes to about 175 pounds per person per year. A huge figure for a large family. But it is a doable thing to do.

The LDS manual is for a bare bones diet, and it advises 20 lbs. The FDA says we currently eat 175 pounds per year. We need to come to a easier number.

Or do we?

Wait. What?

The LDS diet is based on 2300 calories a day. The FDA reccomedns 2000-3000 calories per day. This seems like a lot. Y’all remember back to…

Prepping 101 What Belongs in your Prepper Pantry ?

The biggest question here is, How much? I look at prepping for life like I do prepping for camping. No, not for the enjoyable relaxing time camping is. The calories needed when camping. We all know we eat more when camping. Why? We are exerting ourselves much more than we normally do at home. YMMV. For most folks, Monday through Friday doesn’t offer a lot of exercise while working.

Now, some folks busts their asses physically at work. Some sit at a desk. I am sort of in the middle leaning towards sitting at the desk. But, a good rule of thumb is to double the amount of proteins needed to maintain health. We’ll do a post on the why, but I bet y’all can guess that in SHTF you won’t be sitting at a desk. Keep in mind Rule 1 above.”

MRE’s

MRE’s have about 1200-1500 calories per meal. If you have been in, you know this is not enough for a combat solider to survive on. The Army developed the MORE Ration Pack This adds another 1000 calories per day for BCT soldiers and will be added to combat soldiers rations.

Here is some math: 3 MREs at 1200 calories per meal =3600 calories. This was not enough to keep a trooper going. Another 1000 had to be added for 4600 calories per day. MRE’s are not good for long term storage. They have a limited shelf life. About 1-5 years. And, the military recommend that they NOT be eaten for more than 21 days at a time.

Y’all will note, I did put a link in for them. For all their issues, they are great meals to have on hand. I keep 2 in my EDC bag.

Most of us older preppers could do pretty well in a SHTF environment on 3600 a day. But when you add in the 19th century tasks of wood cutting, farming, livestock care, patrols, hunting, child care, and all the other things it takes to survive, that FDA standard of 2000-3000 a day is a little lean. And, that will not only make you lean. It will eventually KILL YOU. Say that with feeling this time.

IT WILL KILL YOU.

I so need to get a dietitian on staff here to help with this stuff!

Proteins. There are so many ideas on this. Who is right? 175 pounds of meat port poultry and fish is a hard thing for people to do.  20 lbs a year is a starvation diet

We are no were near the zip code of being prepared here in South Carolina. My family are like everyone else who are trying to balance prepping with just plain day to day survival. We will get to where we need to be. Now, back to the work.

Meat Preservation.

The main methods of meat preservation are:

  • Canning
  • Drying/Dehydrating
  • Smoking.

Drying and Smoking meat.

When we lived in Alaska I used to watch some Inuit friends and how they would filet salmon, moose, seal, even whale, and have it on racks drying. Our ancestors did the same for thousands of years, Drying racks are in the top things found in archaeological sites.

Done correctly dehydrating and smoking will preserve meat with out the need for electricity or fuel. Shelf life is in months to a year. It is the most sustainable method of meat preservation. And, the hardest to master. Jerky that we Americans love as a tasty snack, was for our ancestors their life. Literally.

This a old article. It covers drying meat in Africa and other countries. It is a valuable resources  Simple techniques for production of dried meat  The Foxfire Book series needs to be in EVERY preppers library. This is our set Foxfire 1-9

Canning meat.

This is the method we use the most. Canning is safe, easy, and allows you to put up a lot of food quickly. Your best friend for this is the Ball Canning Book  We buy meat when it is on sale and freeze it. Then once a month my wife and I can up 30 pounds or more of meat just to put up for SHTF.  Don’t forget the canner!

Canning jars are FRAGILE

We know. We’ve broken HUNDREDS while (mis)handling them in storage. But, there is a solution. The Jar Box! The Jar box is a plastic container that the jars are placed in and protects them from damage.
Pint Jar box  Quart Jar Box

Your cheap author here came up with his own. I took an office box  you know a Bankers Box. I took a 1″ piece of ridged foam placed in the bottom of the box. Put a dozen jars not touching in the box. Then, I took spray foam. The same spray foam we use to seal cracks in walls. and sprayed enough to fill the jars 3/4s of the way.

After extensive, scientific testing, we found that the glass canning jars would not survive a drop from the roof of our house. (@ 10 feet) But would survive a drop to the ground from the roof of a 1990 F250 4×4. (@ 6 feet) But there were some drawbacks. It was not an easy thing to get a meal out. It took a sharp knife. And, cleaning the jars was a chore. But, for a bug out situation when stuff is just tossed into a vehicle, they worked well!

Are there non home processed options?

Glad you asked! From your local Walmart to Aldi’s to Amazon. Take a look at your options. There are pre-canned meats from your local grocery store. Beef, Chicken Fish Shellfish are all good long term storage with zero work. We use Amazon affiliate links to help lowrr our cost of running the site. But there are times when local or WalMart is a better choice.

Keystone Meats. This is the link to WalMart for the beef. Further down the page, you will see the links to chicken, pork, and ground beef. We use them here at home, and they are not bad. Not quite as good as taking it out of the fridge, but tasty and they season well.

Don’t forget canned fish. Tuna, salmon, and mackerel are full of vital oils and fats we need. Canned fish is very shelf stable. So technically, they are also a shelf stable source of fats.

Retort packed foods at Walmart and Amazon are great to go in to the bug out bag. So far only fish and chicken is in the retort pouches. Someday Beef will be in them also.

Freeze Dried.

We can’t go wrong with freeze dried meats. There is some loss in texture, and some say a bit of loss in taste. That is a small price to pay for 25 year shelf life. Price is higher, until you take into account the amount in a can. There are dozens of brands out there. Our favorites are Augason Farms. And Nutristore

Augason Farms White meat Chicken. 16 ounce can leads about 7.5 lbs of cooked diced chicken.                                                              Nutristore  Beef chunks. gives you about 5.5-6 pounds of rehydrated beef per 14 ounce can.                                                                 Nutristore Hamburger. This gives you about the same as the beef chunks @5.5-6 pounds of hamburger.

While convenient freeze dried food has very long shelf life, it is expensive, and the selection is limited. We all can’t afford a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer machine  to make our own custom freeze dried meals. We recommend that folks focus first on building a supply of store canned meat, poultry and fish. Add in a can of freeze dried meats each pay day and start building up the canning supplies.

Practice

Also while we are in “The Good Times” buy an extra London Broil. Slice it thin, season to taste and dry it outdoors. I mention London Broil when it’s on sale, you can get it at a great price. Plus, its an easy-t0-work with cut of beef. Bonus: it is almost totally fat free. Fat free is a must for properly drying meat.

We haven’t forgot our vegetarian friends. I am looking for someone to help me write a blog post for that. I am a POOR choice for a vegetarian post!

We tell people all the time that food is medicine. Perhaps during your food storage preparation a little offering to Eir, Airmid, Hygieia or whom ever you see fit to help bless and protect your work.
Bjarni

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