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Discussion Starter #1
I only have X amount of time and money. In the big picture, I feel those resources would be better served by working on renewable food sources than buying canned foods.

25 years ago up until recently my main food prep was canned and dried foods. A can rotation system was put in, but was still buying more canned foods than my family was eating.

I recently decided to shift gears and go with renewable and freeze dried foods.

I still keep canned foods on hand, but not cases of them. More like a couple of weeks of canned foods and in very select items.

Examples:

  • Peanut butter
  • Spam
  • Canned beans
  • Tomatoes


This may not be for everyone. I live on a farm and have fig and pear trees and have a garden. Rather than buying canned foods, I am putting resources to my fruit trees, chickens and fencing off a few acres for goats, sheep and maybe cattle.
 

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I have two to four year supplies of many canned foods based on the rate that I use them now. This means that I don't need any quick emergency supplies because I can just speed up the rotation. I have a gas freezer so I'm not dependent on electricity for frozen food. It's not quite as dependable as canned, but it's close.

Neither orchards nor gardens are practical where I live. I consider my five chickens to be a source of high quality eggs, in other words, gourmet food. I do have some Mountain House food, but rarely eat it at home. I spend a good bit of time caring for my chickens.

My "garden" consists of herbs and hydroponic tomatoes grown indoors. I do have some miniature citrus as well, but not enough to provide adequate Vitamin C.

Different climates and different preferences determine how a person prepares.

I don't intend to let survivalism become a Procrustean bed.
 

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Why would you even want to mess around with botulism?
Who said I wanted to mess with botulism?

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/botulism-found-canned-foods-pantry-safe/story?id=30565079

Why is it found in canned goods?

The bacteria Clostridium botulinum releases the toxin that causes botulism as part of its natural anaerobic process, meaning it multiplies in an oxygen-free environment, like a sealed can, Schaffner said.

"Back in the day when there was a lot of home-canning, people didn't always meticulously follow protocols," Schaffner said. "The spores were not killed and given that this was now an environment in a sealed container, the bacteria could multiply and produce the toxin."

With the advent of commercial canning and better understanding of botulism to put food safety procedures in place, he said it's now rare to have a canned good-related botulism outbreak.

What can you do to stay safe?

Unless the Ohio potluck investigators find that the food that caused the illness was commercially canned, Schaffner said people have nothing to worry about. But if they see a can that is puffy or dented, discard it.

"Spoilage of one kind or another likely occurred," he said. "There's no reason to subject yourself to any kind of chance of getting sick."
 

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In my research I found that one of the emerging sources of botulism is baked potatoes that are left out too long. Makes sense as botulism, like tetanus, is in the soil. I feel much more comfortable eating my own canned meats and produce than I so ordering a loaded bakes potato at a restaurant. For my own purposes, I'm fairly certain I'm more likely to die from falling off the porch and breaking my neck than from botulism.

"There's more than one way to skin a cat."
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was under the impression as long as the can wasn't bulging or damaged it was still good to eat years after the expiration date? Why use freeze dried food instead of canned food?
Over the long term, say 10 years, you would not want to eat canned foods, they would taste nasty.
 

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This is what I'm going to be doing too kev. I want a years worth of pasta (we love pasta), and a years worth of canned and dry goods. Most of my focus is going to be on my garden, saving seeds and chickens.

My stored foods are mostly going to be just in case the garden fails or all the chickens die at least we have over a year to get us to the next harvest or find a new source of food.
 

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I just had a nice breakfast of grits and bacon. The grits were 11 years old. Tasted great. I've routinely eaten canned meat which was 6-8 years old without a problem and tasted fine. Same with canned corn. Green veggies seem to suffer the most in a can but luckily, greens are the easiest thing to grow even indoors.

That said, nothing is better than fresh food grown on your own. Fantastic and economical way to feed your family, just as our grandparents did.

But I do have one concern with counting on it too much. Nuclear war could present a problem with our ability to grow anything and dry or canned goods would be essential.

Just my thoughts.
 

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Why use freeze dried food instead of canned food?
A good reason to favor freeze-dried foods over canned foods is that freeze-dried foods require less storage space per calorie than canned foods.

My food-preps stockpile includes both canned foods and freeze-dried foods. I plan to have both, always, but I'm currently eating some of my canned foods and replacing them with LTS freeze-dried foods so I can squeeze more stored calories into the limited amount of storage space I have.
 

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would really depend on where in the world you live as to how much you need to put back. in a worst-case scenario in my neck of the woods, SHTF hitting immediately post-harvest, you might have to go as much as 6 months before gardens are going to produce enough to fill your belly.
 

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I was under the impression as long as the can wasn't bulging or damaged it was still good to eat years after the expiration date? Why use freeze dried food instead of canned food?
Like anything else, variety is good. All methods of preserving have their advantages and drawbacks. Canned goods are readily available, affordable and most things can be done safely at home.

But some canned goods don't last long - basically anything acidic starts eating through the metal over time. (Tomatoes, sauerkraut, fruits, things like that.)

Anything home-canned in glass runs the risk of breaking, especially if you live in earthquake country. I know a woman who had an incredible pantry full of home-canned goods - until a storm blew a tree into her house and she lost most of it in one moment.

Over time, the vitamin and mineral values of canned foods decrease. The food would still be edible years down the road, but it would have lost a great deal of its nutrient value. The texture also deteriorates - the older it gets, the closer it resembles pet food.

And some things just don't can well. Spinach, chard, members of the cabbage family can be canned - but the results aren't that great. Try to find a way of canning fruit without adding sugar in some form - a big deal for any family that has a diabetic or someone else who needs to watch their carb intake.
 

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I no longer store anymore canned food either, dehydrated or freeze dried only. Its funny how when you first start out and read here the changes you make.

Like from buying Hypochlorite to trying to decide the best way to get rid of the damn stuff.
 

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I took a guy backpacking last year. It wasn't his first time but hadn't back packed since he was a kid. He says "so I should grab a couple of cans of food to eat?" I told him to go to Wally world and pick up a couple of freeze dried meals. He had a rough time with the hike because of the elevation. Once we got to the top he thanked me for advising him not to bring canned food.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

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I'm curious how people plan to irrigate crops and provide water for livestock in a SHTF situation? Unless you live directly adjacent to a natural water source, or on a well... Preserved foods are really your only option right?
 

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I'm curious how people plan to irrigate crops and provide water for livestock in a SHTF situation? Unless you live directly adjacent to a natural water source, or on a well... Preserved foods are really your only option right?
Most of the US gets enough rain to grow crops without irrigation. (Although irrigation can improve the harvest during a dry spell.) In my particular area, most farms have a livestock pond for watering animals, and they rely on rainwater to fill them. Ponds, lakes, streams and rivers can be abundant depending on the region.

Rainwater harvesting is fairly straightforward for those who want to have a backup supply in case of drought, if they live in an area with seasonal variations in precipitation or they don't have a natural body of water in the area.

Most people who live outside of town limits are on a well. How well they can access their well water without power is going to depend on a lot of factors.

But an extended drought would make annual restocking iffy.
 

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This is what I'm going to be doing too kev. I want a years worth of pasta (we love pasta), and a years worth of canned and dry goods. Most of my focus is going to be on my garden, saving seeds and chickens.

My stored foods are mostly going to be just in case the garden fails or all the chickens die at least we have over a year to get us to the next harvest or find a new source of food.
That ^^^^^ is my plan also.
For several reasons.
 
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