Keeping Water Safe With ION Stabilized Oxygen

Stabilizing oxygen is a proprietary process in which sodium chloride is added to purified water to increase electrical conductivity. The sodium chloride helps facilitate the process of manufacturing ION, a product that stabilizes the oxygen in the water by separating the oxygen molecules from the water. The electrolysis process starts with a saline solution similar to that used by most hospitals. This saline solution is made up of seven different salts collected from around the world. The entire process takes about 30 days. The end product is called ION (stabilized oxygen). It has a very high concentration of oxygen, safe pH levels, with very little sodium chloride remaining in the product.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Very Effective For Water Purification

ION stands for Ions of Oxygen Negative. It is the negative charge of the ion oxygen molecule that attracts and steals away the positive charge of any anaerobic bacteria in the water. It acts like a magnet attracting and attaching to the bad bacteria or foreign free radical, thus killing them. Anaerobic oxygen cannot live in an oxygen environment thus the ION treatment kills, and eradicates bacteria, some viruses, toxins, fungus, mold, parasites, toxic chemicals and inorganic substances that are either added to or leaches into our drinking water.

ION is great for wilderness water treatment. I take it with me when I travel to foreign countries or anyplace where the water is questionable. When ION is used in water that will be stored for emergency purposes, it will keep the water safe for at least five years. I believe every medical kit and 72-hour bug out bag should have a bottle of ION in it at all times. One bottle of ION will last for three months for one person. Every person in the family needs to have at least one bottle of ION for an emergency situation.

Dangers Of Non-Purified Or Untreated Water

When people drink untreated water, even from a stream in the mountains, it can be dangerous and even deadly if the following bacteria and parasites are present: cholera, typhoid, dysentery, flukes, leeches, giardia, cryptosporidium, hepatitis A and E. coli. The pathogens can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, weight loss, fever, abdominal cramping and extreme pain. Typhoid can cause extremely high fever and illness. Some of them are waterborne and get into the water through fecal matter. Giardia is a parasite that attaches to the intestines of humans and animals. Symptoms include severe headaches, inflamed liver, weakness, anorexia and jaundice. It can be fatal.

Filter Dirty Water Before Using ION

When you are filtering water, it is a good idea to remove as many large particles as possible to prevent clogging your filter system. If you do not have a water filter, you must use the clearest water you can find.  If you can’t find clear water, then strain the water through a bandana, cheesecloth, pantyhose or just a piece of cloth.

Another effective way to filter water is to use a 2-liter soda bottle and a coffee filter to filter out large particles and sediment. Cut off the top third of the soda bottle. Place the pour spout upside down inside the bottom of the bottle. Place the coffee filter in the top and filter the water through the bottle. After the water has been filtered use ION stabilized oxygen to kill bacteria in the water. ION and coffee filters should be in everyone’s emergency kit or 72-hour backpack.

Dosage Of ION Stabilized Oxygen

  • 8 drops in 8 ounces of water to purify water
  • 20 drops of ION per gallon to purify water
  • 20 drops in 8 ounces of water for flu, infection or illness
  • Halve the dose for children
  • Double dose for athletes in competition
  • 3-5 drops directly on wounds to kill bacteria
  • ½ bottle (1 ounce) of ION for a 55 gallon drum of water storage
  • 1 (2-ounce) bottle will treat 110 gallons of water storage

Is ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Safer Than Other Products On The Market?

It has a mild taste similar to sodium chloride (salt) without the harmful side effects of chlorine. ION (stabilized oxygen) is non-toxic to the skin or body and works very well for water purification. That is why it is so much safer to use than chlorine bleach, iodine, colloidal silver or hydrogen peroxide. All these products can be toxic when taken in large doses. ION (stabilized Oxygen) is non-toxic and will never harm you in any way.

ION Can Be Taken Internally

ION (stabilized oxygen) is well known for killing bacteria in the human body when taken internally and used medicinally as a health supplement. It should be taken at the first sign of flu, cold or any other bacterial infection. All you do is put 20 drops of ION in an 8-ounce glass of water, stir, let it set for a minute and drink it. It has been tested by many labs and has all the documentation to prove its effectiveness against harmful pathogens (disease-causing microbes).

Use ION to sterilize cuts, scratches and bruises; end tooth decay; stop pain and infection of wounds; treat emphysema; fever blisters; herpes; cold sores and first and second degree burns; alleviate headaches, back pain, arthritis and joint aches. ION has been used for bladder infections, kidney infections, sore throats, strep and food poisoning. ION detoxifies insect bites, spider bites, bee stings and mosquito bites. ION will not kill friendly flora or good bacteria. In fact, it stimulates the growth and development of beneficial bacteria.

ION is great for plants, root cuttings, transplants, sterilizing cooking tools and surfaces, extending the life of milk and juices, and making yogurt.

Our Bodies Require Oxygen To Rebuild And Repair

Our bodies are amazing in that they require oxygen in every process and function involved in the absorption of nutrients, the reproduction and repair of the healthy cells and the elimination of unhealthy or dead cells. Stabilized oxygen goes into the cells and gives them the much-needed oxygen to rebuild and repair the cells, which helps the body’s natural defenses of the immune system.

ION Has An Alkaline pH

The process of making ION is a 30-day brewing process, which removes the acid from the product and makes it an alkaline base. Alkaline base products are better for your health because bacteria and disease cannot grow in an alkaline environment.

Shelf Life of ION Stabilized Oxygen.

ION stores indefinitely on the shelf if kept in a cool environment and out of direct sunlight.

Water Storage Tanks

I own a 185-gallon water tank. I really like it, and it fits the needs of our family perfectly. This large, cylinder-shaped water tank is ideal for storing water. It tucks away into a corner of a room or garage. It easily fits through doors. It is gravity-fed and has an opening at the top to fill the tank. It has a drain at the bottom and a spigot-type faucet about a third of the way up from the floor to fill smaller containers. I always keep several 5-gallon containers close by just in case I need them. I use a bottle and a half of the ION for the 185-gallon tank and two bottles for the 250-gallon tank. I like to put the ion in at the beginning of the fill so it will mix properly with the water as it fills the tank. If you wait until the end, the ION will not get mixed in properly. ION will keep the water safe for up to five years.

These tanks come in 185 gallon, 250 gallon and 500 gallon sizes. They are tall and stand upright so there is no need to stack water containers on top of each other. This tank takes up less space in a garage or room than any other water storage tanks. Because it is gravity fed, it does not need a pump to get the water out. There are indentations in the tank so it can be strapped to a wall for extra strength in an earthquake.

The tankers are shipped from Utah. The shipping costs between $200 and $250, depending on where it is shipped. If you ship two tanks together to the same location, the shipping cost is cut by about 40 percent. Please call for a shipping quote.

This water storage tanker, ION water treatment, emergency medical supplies, 72-hour backpacks, sewage treatment, wheat grinders, food dehydrators, as well as many other self sufficiency and survival products can be found on my website www.peggylayton.com.

Information in this article is for educational purposes only. Always consult with a qualified medical physician. ION has had many great results and has testimonials from many satisfied customers; however, is not intended to treat any medical condition. It is sold only as a dietary supplement or water treatment.

Food Storage Meals In Mylar® Pouches

These ready-to-cook meals can be stored long-term and cooked quickly. Everything is in the pouch. You just add water and cook for 20 minutes, and the meal is done. The food comes in Mylar® pouches; each pouch makes four servings. The meals are sealed with oxygen absorbers in the pouch, which makes this a long-term food product that will last on the shelf for 15 years. To get three sample meals, click here. You pay only the shipping cost of $9.95.

–Peggy Layton

Be Prepared For A Blackout

During emergency situations, you may find your home and community in the dark. That can be a very frightening thing — especially for children. We have all experienced a power outage. We need alternative sources of light during blackouts.

Learn how to use sources of light such as candles, kerosene lamps, propane lanterns, etc. Practice with the family — especially the children — before a power outage occurs so that everyone knows how to use alternative light sources when needed. Become educated about the hazards of using these items and learn what to do in case of a fire. Your family must be protected from any accident that might occur from the use of fire in your home. Never go to sleep with any unvented oil, propane or kerosene lamp burning in your home, and never leave a candle burning unattended.

It is good to have several different types of alternative lighting in your home.

The following are items that are great for your emergency preparations.

Candles

Every family should have a year’s supply of individual candles. Candles that last a long time, such as 50-hour or 100-hour candles in solid or liquid form, are best. You will need candle holders or candle lanterns with a broad base and handle for the solid candles. I like to store a large supply of butane lighters as well as stick matches along with the candles. To increase the light from your candles, place them in front of a mirror or put some sort of reflective material such as aluminum foil behind them.


Kerosene Lamps

Kerosene, or paraffin, lamps can be purchased in any outdoor or sporting goods store. They are excellent sources of light and will burn about two days on one quart of fuel. Be sure to store plenty of extra wicks and wooden matches. Wicks need to be trimmed and maintained or they will put off excessive smoke and dim light. Keep a window cracked to allow ventilation in the room with a burning lamp. Be sure to purchase extra fuel for your lamp.

Propane Lanterns

These lanterns are for outdoor use only. They are an excellent source of outdoor light. They require mantles, so store a good supply of them along with wooden matches.

Solar-Powered Flashlights

I like the Solar Flashlight because of its features.

It works in extreme temperatures, hot or cold. It is fully charged right out of the box. There is no need to ever purchase batteries. It works for more than 100,000 hours. It is powered by the sun and natural and artificial light. It holds a single charge for three years without being exposed to any light. It is 100 percent waterproof, and it floats. It is made of 50 percent polycarbonate and 50 percent plastic. It is unmatched in durability with a one-piece construction so there is no chance to split at the seams. It withstands a strong impact and has a lifetime warranty. Check out the Solar Flashlight at www.peggylayton.com.

Headlamp

Headlamps are extremely useful for any emergency. They can be strapped around the head, which allows the hands to be free. Headlamps should be in every vehicle and in every emergency bug out bag.

Solar-Powered Yard Lights

These are nice for outdoor lighting. They are charged by the sun during the day and can be taken inside when they are fully charged. They give off a dimmer light than candles or lanterns but will work in an emergency.

Cyalume ChemLight Light Sticks

These light sticks are the safest form of indoor lighting available. These sticks can be purchased in most sporting goods stores. They are cased in plastic and must be bent to be activated. The sticks will glow a bright green color for up to eight hours.

The information in this article came out of the book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton. Check it out along with the Solar Flashlights at www.peggylayton.com.

–Peggy Layton

Pack A Bug-Out Kit And Conduct A Practice Drill

Every family should practice emergency procedures and conduct regular emergency drills, especially with their children, friends, neighbors and church or group members. Belonging to a like-minded group is very important. Meeting often to plan strategies is important, as is taking into consideration the elderly, young children, neighbors and other community members.

It is a good idea to conduct two separate practice drills by simulating being cut off from utilities such as heat, electricity, water, food, etc. for a weekend or a 72-hour period of time during which you do not go to the grocery store or purchase gas for the car. The first drill would be one in which you survive in place at your home; the second one would be one in which you leave your home and flee to a safer place (go camping to practice bugging out). Keep a notebook of all the things you wished you had and how difficult it was to stay warm, cook food and produce light. You would need to decide the most likely disasters that your family would face in your community. Some areas are more prone to tornados and hurricanes. Others would be more prone to earthquakes. Still others might be more prone to economic situations such as job layoffs. These practice drills will show you how well you would do if the grid went down.

What It Takes To Survive A Short-Term Emergency

Prepare a bug-out or 72-hour kit for the practice drills. Afterward, note of all the problems that you encountered and restock your 72-hour kit accordingly. Each family member should have a personal kit that can be carried with the items specifically organized for that person. Remember any special needs such as medication, baby formula, etc.

I suggest that you pack all these supplies either in a backpack, duffel bag, plastic tub with handles or a suitcase on rollers. Make sure it is a good suitcase with heavy-duty rollers or wheels because if you need to evacuate and have to roll the suitcase in gravel or on pavement, the rollers might break. With a backpack, your hands will be free to carry other items or even young children.

Basic Items For A 72-Hour Kit Include

  1. Food for three days that requires no refrigeration or cooking: things such as tuna fish in foil pouches, granola bars, dried fruit and meals ready to eat. I look for food that is lightweight and can be opened and eaten right from the can. Don’t forget the can opener.
  2. If you are using GOFoods premade meals, click here. If you can boil water, you can cook GOFoods meals with a small stove.
  3. Water (a minimum of 3 gallons). Use a 3-gallon container with a handle for water because you can just grab it along with the 72-hour kit and go.
  4. ION water treatment to kill bacteria. Click here.
  5. A lightweight water filtration unit such as the Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter.
  6. One change of clothing for each family member, plus several pairs of underwear and socks, a warm coat, a hat and leather gloves.
  7. A first-aid kit along with a first-aid book with basic instructions.
  8. Medication required for all family members. Extra insulin, aspirin, etc.
  9. Sleeping bags and blankets.
  10. Lightweight shelter such as a tube tent. Nylon rope or cords.
  11. Battery-powered radio with extra batteries.
  12. Flashlight (I prefer a solar powered flashlight click here www.peggylayton.com), hand warmers, light sticks, candles, matches and butane lighter.
  13. Copies of all-important paperwork such as passport, driver’s license and credit card information.
  14. Tools such as a pocketknife, small shovel, ax, duct tape and hammer.
  15. Child- and infant-care items.
  16. Sanitary items such as garbage bags, toilet paper, diapers if needed, wet wipes to clean up, hand sanitizer.
  17. Pen and notebook.
  18. Money in small bills and change.

72-Hour Pack For Young Children And Babies

If you have young children, pack a bag with items such as;

  1. Disposable diapers and small trash bags to dispose of the diapers.
  2. Wet wipes or towelettes.
  3. Baby lotion and diaper rash ointment.
  4. Baby formula and water for mixing.
  5. Bottles and nipples.
  6. Baby food and utensils.
  7. Any medications.
  8. Warm clothing, hats, gloves shoes and warm socks.
  9. Blankets.
  10. Small toys.

This list is a basic list of items that will be helpful. You need to add anything else to your kit that you need. Tailor this kit to your family. The goal is to be able to carry these items, so prepare lightly and make sure you are preparing the correct items for your family to have their basic needs met during a time of stress. This is why it is so important to practice the drills with your family so you are prepared.

Products I Have Been Testing

I have been testing some items for my 72-hour pack, and I feel like they are worth telling you about:

Solar powered flashlight:

  • Works in extreme temperatures, hot or cold.
  • Fully charged right out of the box. No need to ever purchase batteries.
  • More than 100,000 hours of use.
  • Powered by the sun, ambient and artificial light, indoor and out.
  • 100 percent waterproof, and it floats.
  • Holds a single charge for three full years without exposing it to light.
  • Lifetime warranty.
  • Mono Silicon Solar Powered with battery backup. Will charge using any light source. Alternative energy saves money.
  • Always ready to use, eco-friendly and can be stored anywhere.
  • Super-bright LED. Provides bright light with spot and wide path.
  • Made of 50 percent polycarbonate and 50 percent plastic. Unmatched in durability.
  • One-piece construction. No chance to split at seams. Withstands strong impact.

Jetboil Cooker:

Jetboil’s Group Cooking System (GCS) brings versatility to fast, efficient outdoor cooking. Throw in a can of fuel, snap on the lid, and you have everything you need for backcountry cuisine in one convenient, lightweight package. The pot heats quickly and evenly, so you can enjoy perfect scrambled eggs, rice, GOFoods and pan breads. Foldout rubberized wire handles and an insulating cozy make for safe and easy handling.

  • 1.5 Liter FluxRing® pot with insulating cozy and fold-out handles.
  • Adjustable burner with push-button igniter.
  • Insulating lid and bottom cover.
  • Quick-lock universal pot support.
  • Canister stabilizer.

Jetboil Hot Water Cup

 The ultra-compact 1-liter unit is ideal for dehydrated meals, coffee or tea on the go, remote worksites and emergency kits. Travel light and prep easy. The Personal Cooking System (PCS) is a complete food and beverage multi-tool you can hold in your hand that weighs about a pound. It lights with the click of a button; within two minutes, you’ve got two cups of boiling water ready for coffee or a quick meal. Pack components, fuel and accessories into the cup for convenient transport.

Features:

  • Liter FluxRing® cooking cup with insulating Cargo Cozy.
  • Adjustable burner with push-button igniter.
  • Insulating drink-through lid.
  • Insulating measuring cup bottom.
  • Fuel sold separately.

Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter

  • The Katadyn Hiker Pro comes with a removable filter protector to extend cartridge life in challenging conditions.
  • Thanks to quick-connect fittings, the installation and removal of input and output hoses are easy.
  • It also connects directly to hydration packs with ¼-inch drink tubes. Includes prefilter, bottle adapter and carry bag.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Water Treatment

  • ION is a stabilized oxygen product that I have found to be very effective in water treatment. Studies show ION will kill giardia, cholera and dysentery within a few minutes.
  • It doesn’t have any of the harmful side effects that are associated with chlorine or Iodine. ION has a high concentration of oxygen. High levels of oxygen will kill harmful bacteria.
  • The name “ION” stands for ions of oxygen with a negative charge. By removing the positive charge from the water, the process creates stabilized nontoxic oxygen.
  • Anaerobic pathogens or infectious microorganisms in the water cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. ION will not harm the normal flora in our bodies.
  • ION can be taken every day (five drops per 8-ounce glass of water). This will kill all harmful bacteria in the body such as the flu bug. It also oxygenates the blood which boosts the immune system so your body will fight infections. To purchase ION, click here. If you purchase 10 bottles at a time, you can get a discount. If you purchase 25 or more bottles, you can buy it wholesale.

GOFoods Meals Ready To Eat

  • As long as you have a way to boil water, you can cook GOFoods meals.
  • The company lets you try 12 free servings before you buy. Just pay $9.95 shipping and receive three free meals that serve four people per pouch.
  • These non-GMO foods do not contain MSG, trans fats, harmful chemicals or insecticides, and they have a 15-year shelf life.
  • GOFoods are for on-the-go families because they can be eaten today, stored for the future or shared with family, friends or neighbors.
  • It is dehydrated, not freeze-dried, so the prices are very reasonable. Each package of food is ready to go with everything except the water. It takes only 15-20 minutes to cook, and the food is delicious. The packages feed two to four people.
  • The Mylar® packages include breakfast items such as pancake mix, oatmeal, granola and powdered milk.
  • They also include soups for lunch like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla soup, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar.
  • Entrées for dinner and other baking items include chicken pasta Alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, wheat bread mix, buttermilk biscuit mix and more.
  • Click here to check out this great food with a 15-year shelf life.

To purchase any of the seven books I have written or purchase any of the products I have featured in this article, please check out my website at 
www.peggylayton.com.

–Peggy Layton

CPR For Your Food Storage

Food can be dead or alive. Foods that sprout are considered live foods, and processed food is considered empty and dead.

Most dehydrated fruits and vegetables sold in gallon-sized cans for the purpose of long-term storage are still alive because the drying process is done at a low enough temperature that the enzymes remain intact. Dehydrated and freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and legumes can be purchased at www.peggylayton.com.

Enzymes, the biochemical catalysts in each cell, orchestrate complex biological processes. Every transformation — every nutrient breakdown and transfer — involves enzymes. They are life.

Killing Enzymes

Canned food has no enzymes because, during the canning process, the food is heated to kill bacteria. Unfortunately, the process also destroys what is needed to digest it.

Fresh produce from the grocery store also might be dead. Produce, grain and foodstuffs that are shipped from areas outside of the United States often are irradiated to kill bacteria coming in from the country where the food was grown.

What is irradiation? Purdue University’s Department of Animal Sciences describes the process as such: “Irradiation is a method of preservation which uses ionizing radiation to destroy or inactive many of the microorganisms which cause meat to spoil and cause food-borne illnesses. Because irradiation does not destroy all microorganisms, food treated by irradiation must still be refrigerated or it will spoil.”

That’s a good thing, right? We don’t want meat that will spoil and go rancid. But other foods are irradiated, too. The premise is that this will protect the consumer from harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Shigella and E. coli O157:H7.

The Texas Agricultural Extension Service notes that such bacteria are commonly found on many raw foods. Food irradiation kills harmful bacteria but also kills live enzymes in the food. It’s a double-edged sword. That is why it is vital to purchase organic food, locally grown or homegrown, and make sure it is chemical- and pesticide-free.

Enzymes Keep Your Body Running

Enzymes keep you going. The minute food is harvested or an animal is killed, enzymes jump into action to start breaking it down. That is not good if your food must be shipped a long distance. Most food breaks down within 12-36 hours.

Why is it important that enzymes break down the food? Enzymes start to break down the sugars and carbohydrates so that the food is easier to digest. Without this digestion process, your body has to produce its own enzymes to break down the food.

Chewing food well begins breaking it down for digestion, and the process is aided by enzymes in your saliva.

When we eat mainly processed, cooked and irradiated foods, we place the responsibility on our bodies to produce all of the enzymes to process the food.

The pancreas does the brunt of the work, by producing the enzymes and processing sugars that weren’t broken down. If we overtax the pancreas, what happens? Diabetes.

Dr. Edward Howell, who pioneered enzyme research, notes that when we don’t take in enzymes from their natural source (unprocessed food), the result is: shortened lifespan, illness and lowered resistance to stress.

Humans and animals that mostly eat cooked food have enlarged pancreases because this organ tries to increase its function. What decreases in size because it’s not being used or is not being given the correct amount of nutrition? The brain! Your brain actually shrinks when you eat a diet high in cooked foods.

Some enzymes such as proteases contribute to anti-inflammatory responses. They assist in reducing swelling and reactions to foreign invaders. Our autoimmune responses depend on adequate amounts of enzymes being on board.

Dr. Howell also found in his studies that most animals have digestive enzymes only in the passageway from the stomach down, but not in the mouth. The exception? Humans.

Why? Because animals in their natural environments eat raw food. When the animals chew raw food, the natural enzymes in the food are released.

Because humans don’t eat only raw food, nature helps them with oral enzymes such as amylase, which breaks complex carbohydrates down to sugars that can be available for the body. Lactase breaks down milk sugars. Protease breaks down protein. And sucrase digests sugars.

Columbia University’s Dr. Max Wolf and Dr. Helen Benitez discovered that using both animal- and plant-derived enzymes has a potentiated effect in healing.

New research by Michael W. Loes, M.D. reveals that oral enzyme supplementation may be the new aspirin alternative. Imagine the idea that giving your body naturally occurring enzymes in live food can heal your body.

In times of stress (like now) it is vital that you give your body the enzymes it needs if you want to be able to survive even more devastating and demanding times. The time to boost your body is now, before a crisis!

Get The Enzymes You Need

While almost 3,000 enzymes have been identified, it is estimated that more than 50,000 exist. Plants naturally contain just what we need in order to digest them. So how do we get enzymes into our systems?

  1. Grow your own food. The only way to ensure that you are getting all the enzymes a plant or animal has to offer is to grow it yourself. Carefully research the grain and animal feed that goes into your chickens, ducks, goats and cows. Consider your pets’ needs. If they eat enzyme-depleted food, their bodies will have the same problem.
  2. Shop organically. Organic meat and produce have many benefits, the main advantage being reduced chemical spraying. There are more enzymes in food grown organically.
  3. Take supplemental enzymes. Live greens will provide needed enzymes. If you don’t have live greens, the best thing to do is to add Live Greens Powder to your food storage. Keep it cold in a basement or in the refrigerator or freezer to extend the storage life. You can make a Live Green Powder drink or breakfast smoothie that will have high nutritional value.

Live Green Powder Drink

In a blender, mix:

  • 20 ounces of rice or almond milk, fresh milk or reconstituted powdered milk
  • 2 frozen bananas or ½ cup of frozen berries, freeze-dried fruit or frozen fruit
  • 2 teaspoons Live Greens with Peppermint for digestion support (Click here to learn more.)
  • 1-large scoop of your favorite vegetable protein powder
  • 1-small scoop of Sunfood powdered Organic Cacao Powder Raw Chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • 20 drops of ION stabilized oxygen, to boost the immune system and oxygenate the blood (Click here for more information on ION. I have amazing testimonials on my website of people getting better from all kinds of ailments because of stabilized oxygen, which helps the body’s immune system fight infections.)

The Live Green products sold at www.peggylayton.com are processed at a very low temperature. At an organic farm in the western Rocky Mountains, young plants are grown in high altitudes that are protected from lower atmosphere pollution access. The soil the greens are grown in is nutrient- and mineral-rich from previous volcanic deposits. Add the clean water from the Rocky Mountain reservoirs, and you have a high-quality product that is nutrient- and enzyme-intense. The Live Green Drink contains peppermint essential oils to aid in digestion. The included greens — alfalfa, barley, wheat, oat grass, spinach and yucca — are probiotic-cultured to add healthy bacteria to your gut to further promote digestion and bioavailability of enzymes. This 100 percent organic product has no chemicals, preservatives, fillers, artificial additives, coloring or flavorings.

I keep protein powder and greens as well as health supplements in my food storage. I rotate them and restock so they don’t expire.

The Live Green Drink costs $29.95. The ingredients in this pint container has 90 servings

One pound of Cacao Powder costs $16.99 (recommended for daily shakes to last about 2 months).

I am the author of seven books on the subject of food storage and survival. If you are interested in any of the books, the Live Greens Powder, Cacao Powder or ION stabilized oxygen to boost the immune system, click here.

–Peggy Layton

Lack Of Skills Can Create Fear During An Emergency Or Disaster

The better prepared you are and the more skills you have, the less fear and anxiety you will experience in case of an emergency or disaster situation.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the American Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the brochure “Food and Water During an Emergency” that warns: “If an earthquake, hurricane, winter storm, or other disaster strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water, and electricity for days or even weeks. By taking some time now to store emergency food and water supplies, you can provide for your entire family.”

To protect yourself and your loved ones, learn how to stay warm, build a shelter, find and filter water, and build a fire. Also, be sure to stock emergency food and other fundamental items in your vehicle and bug-out bag.

One time, my husband and I were caught in a terrible blizzard 150 miles from home. We were outside for more than two hours trying to load a trailer. Luckily, we had a flashlight, gloves, hats, rope and a tarp. I thought I was going to freeze to death. We had to keep going until we could get out of there. I vowed never to leave home without an emergency backpack filled with items that would enable me to have warmth, shelter, water, fire and food — in that order.

Stay Warm

It is very important to keep warm clothing in your vehicle as well as in a backpack that you can easily grab as you head out the door. Pack warm socks, a hat, a sweatshirt, waterproof gloves, a waterproof jacket and snow pants. Also pack a tarp, a sleeping bag and wool blanket. If you have these items, you can bundle up and stay warm if you get caught in a storm or natural disaster or if you get stranded inside or outside your vehicle. Even when the weather is warm, sometimes it gets chilly at night; so keep these items packed year-round.

Build A Shelter

You should always find water and build your shelter before you build your fire. A good shelter is important for several reasons. Not only does it shield you from the elements, it can also hide you from scary animals and provide comfort. If an emergency comes up in the middle of the night, your main concern should be to make it through the night until you can properly assess your situation and get help. It is important to remain calm and in control. Depending on the situation you find yourself in, you will need to find a way to build an emergency shelter.

  • Use fallen trees as a sleeping area that you can crawl into to get out of the weather. Use branches, leaves and other debris on top of the shelter so it stays dry like a thatched roof.
  • If there are no fallen trees, find one that has thick tree branches that provides a canopy-like covering to shield you from the elements.
  • Stack boulders and large logs as high as you can to break the wind.
  • Put branches and pine needles down to lie on and keep you up off the cold ground.
  • Get inside a cave or under an overhang to provide shelter from wind and rain. Stay close to the mouth of the cave so you don’t get lost, and be very aware of animals seeking shelter also.
  • Stay in your vehicle if possible. If the vehicle is wrecked and unsafe, find shelter somewhere near it so you can be seen and rescued.

Find And Filter Water

  • Carry water with you in your vehicle and in your bug-out bag.
  • When drinking from a stream, be very cautious. Never drink from stagnant water. Always find a free-flowing stream or water source. Do not drink the water unless it has been boiled or filtered.
  • If you cannot find a water source, look around for moss growing on trees. Because moss holds moisture, you can squeeze the moss and drip water into your mouth to stay hydrated.
  • A hiking water filter is the best way to filter water. A Katadyn water filter is small so it doesn’t take up much space. This filter should be with your emergency supplies in your vehicle or backpack at all times.
  • If you don’t have a filter, you must boil any water you drink or cook with. This kills the bacteria and makes the water safe.
  • I always carry a product called ION water treatment in my vehicle and bug-out bag. ION stabilized oxygen kills all anaerobic bacteria on contact. It is lightweight and comes in a 2-ounce bottle. Put eight drops in a glass of water and stir. ION should be in every medical kit, car kit and 72-hour emergency bug-out bag.

To purchase ION, click here.

Build A Fire

There are many methods you can use to start a fire without a match. Some are easier than others, and they all require a bit of practice. Practice building a fire when you go camping; it will help build your confidence.

Build your fire on dry ground that is flat and protected from the wind. Gather a large stockpile of tinder, kindling and larger branches and logs. The fire should be close to your shelter and close to a water source, if possible.

  • You should have alternative methods of building a fire with you at all times. Carry newspapers, waterproof matches or lighters in your vehicle and bug-out bag. Other items might include long-lasting candles, a long fire starter, flint and steel. And always have a flashlight and waterproof gloves with you in case you need to find wood in the dark.
  • A fire will not only keep you warm and dry, but it will give you a way to boil water to kill any anaerobic bacteria.
  • A fire can calm you down in a stressful situation. It brings comfort and peace knowing you can stay warm and dry.
  • Cooking emergency food over a fire is very important.
  • A fire keeps insects and animals away.
  • A fire can act as a signal for search and rescue.

Stock Emergency Food

  • Prepare two bug-out bags with food, water and a pot to boil water in. Keep one in the house and one in the vehicle. This will help to sustain your life until you can get help.
  • The “Food and Water During an Emergency” brochure advises: “As you stock food, take into account your family’s unique needs and tastes. Familiar foods are important. They lift morale and give a feeling of security in times of stress.”
  • Pack dried fruit, beef Jerky, drink mixes and other easy-to-open types of foods. I keep tuna in Mylar® pouches in my vehicle. If you have a cooking pot and water, you can cook ready-made emergency meals such as the ones I have talked about in other articles. They are called GoFoods. Everything is in the pouch except the water. They are easy to make and taste delicious. Check them out here.

This information came from my book Emergency Food Storage And Survival Handbook. Check it out here.

Nutrient-Dense Food: Your Secret Arsenal for Food Storage Success

In any survival scenario, the most valuable asset or currency you will need is food. Food reserves will be more precious than gold, oil and cash. We must have food to survive. Let’s face it, when you’re hungry, nothing else matters. If you don’t have nutrient-dense food, your food reserves will be insufficient.

Nutrient-dense food is your secret weapon. It is the single most important factor to catapult you from “someone who just has food storage” to someone who has a nutrient-dense food reserves.

It’s not enough to just have “food.” You should have food that has the highest nutritional density for the space that it will take up. This will ensure your family’s health will not be compromised in stressful times.

Pound For Pound And Dollar For Dollar

Money is getting tight for most people. We must be wise with each dollar we have.

The food-reserve decisions you make now will determine your wealth when food prices double and triple. Determining how much money you put into food reserves is like buying stocks. When it comes time to invest in your food reserve bank, there is one key investing tip that you must know.

One “dollar” doesn’t equal $1, and one can of “food” doesn’t equal one can of food.

A dollar spent today on dried fruits and vegetables is a stronger dollar than a dollar spent on a box of cereal. One jar of fruit whose juice you could also drink at another meal or add to pancake batter is not the same as one jar of food that is not as versatile and is limited in its recipe appeal. I believe that pre-made meals that you just add water to and cook are a great investment. You don’t have to open six to 10 cans and find a recipe to make a meal. When you need food reserves, you need them now and you need them convenient and easy to prepare with the minimal amount of heat and fuel. Each food-reserve choice must give you optimal return on investment, pound for pound and dollar for dollar.

Quantity Doesn’t Equal Quality

You may have a large food reserve, but is it quality food? In times of stress, you need the highest quality food available. To optimize storage space, each inch must yield the highest quality of food to justify occupying the space where it is stored. When it comes time to pack your 72-hour emergency bug out bag, every square inch counts. Lightweight, nutrient-dense food could save your life.

A “cheap” bag of processed food will not give you the nutrition needed. You need high-quality food in any stressful situation. In a worst-case scenario, there could be viruses in the air, irritants in your throat, bacteria to combat and gastrointestinal tracts that are not properly digesting food. If we eat nutrient-dense food, we will better combat illnesses caused by a pandemic flu or some other disaster.

I would rather have oatmeal or nine-grain cereal of the highest quality with a few dried apple slices than boxes of processed, poor-quality, sugary cereal. Why? Because each bite you put into your mouth will cost you — not financially, but you will pay with your health.

Digestive Enzyme Optimization

If your food is not living (whole foods), your body will need to produce enzymes and digestive juices to break the food down and make it bioavailable. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables are the highest quality because the water has been removed, and the enzymes are still in the food. Any grain, bean or legume that will sprout is a nutrient-dense food.

It takes more energy and digestive enzymes to digest processed, packaged food than high-quality, dried whole foods.

Food That Ignores Constitutional Law

All food reserves are not created equal. One can of dried food has greater nutritional value than other cans of wet pack food from a grocery store. Homegrown food that you dehydrate at home in your food dryer is better-quality food, because you can regulate what goes into putting up the food and the temperature at which it is dehydrated. Get fruits and vegetables from your local grocery store, farmers market or your garden. Even winter vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and onions can be sliced thin, dried and stored, then reconstituted in soups.

Imported food from countries with less-stringent inspection for insecticides, fertilizers, bacterial and chemical contamination have entered our country’s food supply and have proven to be problematic. Storing safe, clean food is essential.

When storing dehydrated food, it is best to look for the healthiest dried foods available. You want to get the most for your money. Read the labels on the containers. You should purchase foods that do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Hydrogenated Oils or Trans Fat. Organic food is usually more nutritious than other foods.

Cookin' With Home StorageUse canned stored food such as dried fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and beans in recipes from my food-storage cookbooks, which are available here.

You can purchase high-quality freeze-dried or dehydrated foods that are in gallon-sized cans. These non-GMO foods do not contain MSG, trans fats, harmful chemicals or insecticides, and they have a 15-year shelf life. Click here to check out all the different foods available.

I’ve been testing a line of nutritious fast-and-easy gourmet meals called GoFoods. This company has a new concept in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable, clean and convenient for daily use. GoFoods are for on-the-go families because they can be eaten today, stored for the future or shared with family, friends or neighbors.

I am very impressed with the food. It is dehydrated, not freeze-dried, so the prices are very reasonable. Each package of food is ready to go with everything except the water. It takes only 15-20 minutes to cook, and the food is delicious. The packages feed two to four people.

The Mylar® packages include breakfast items such as pancake mix, oatmeal, granola and powdered milk. They also include soups for lunch like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla soup, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili, and potato cheddar. Entrées for dinner and other baking items include chicken pasta Alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, wheat bread mix, buttermilk biscuit mix and more.

Click here to check out this great food with a 15-year shelf life.

Peggy Layton

The Puzzled Homemaker: What’s On The Menu For A Bioterrorist Attack?

In 2012, we plan for the worst and hope for the best. The threats are real and include bioterrorism and nuclear war. When all “heck” breaks loose, homemakers can use supplements to help their families survive.

The Missing Ingredient

For food to be truly nutritious, it must provide the minerals and other nutrients that our bodies need, especially in times of stress. When we are under stress for long periods of time, the body releases hormones to help deal with the stress. These hormones increase blood pressure and cause muscles to tense up.

In times of stress our body’s cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase along with our blood pressure. Our calcium/magnesium level is depleted when we are under stress. If we had to take off and walk several miles in a bug out situation, we could sweat out a great deal of our minerals. Illness such as severe diarrhea and vomiting can deplete us of our minerals. Diabetics have to be especially careful when the “tummy bug” hits because the flu can mess up the blood sugar and make them extremely ill.

Taking time to get healthy now is just as important as being in good health in the face of severe challenges.

When our nutritional needs increase in times of stress there are three things we can do:

  1. Eat healthier foods and store the best quality foods and supplements that will support our body’s needs in times of stress.
  2. Detox.
  3. Mineralize.

Proper nutrition is a key factor in getting through a tough situation.

Enzymes

Man does not live by carbohydrates, fat and proteins alone. Man (and woman) must have enzymes as well as minerals.

Enzymes are catalysts to break down the foods we eat, and enzyme activity is down in times of stress. Enzymes naturally occur in fruits and vegetables that are alive. If you don’t have access to live foods in a stressful situation, you will need to stock up on enzymes in the form of supplements from the health food store.

Minerals

What else does the body need? Minerals. Chances are you are depleted in much-needed minerals right now. Your body obtains minerals from the food that you eat. Does your current diet provide enough minerals?

Between 1900 and 1940, minerals in the soil were depleted by almost 85 percent. In 1936, the government issued Senate Document 264 and during the second session of the 74th Congress, lawmakers ordered this report to be printed by the U.S. Government Printing Office. It is interesting to read and applies to our plight in the 21st Century:

Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper mineral balance?

The alarming fact is that foods—fruits and vegetables and grains—now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed minerals, are starving us—no matter how much of them we eat!

Almost 70 years ago, the food that was being grown was not providing enough sustenance. The food itself was devoid of minerals. Why aren’t we doing any better now? The suggested solution to this problem is to put minerals back into the soil. Another solution is to put the minerals back into our bodies.

If you are not growing your own food, you have no control over what goes into the soil where your food was grown. Composting and building up the soil with organic minerals will help keep your backyard garden from becoming depleted. You can control this yourself if you are a gardener.

Are the synthetic minerals that are put into the soil the same as naturally occurring ones coming from organic composting? It was documented that 99 percent of Americans were deficient in minerals in the early 1900s. Has anything really changed? Oh, yes. We drink more soda and eat fast food. Our stress levels are elevated and our hearts are failing us.

Both the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (Sept. 2003) and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (October 2006) revealed a correlation between carbonated drink consumption and decreased minerals in the bones.[1]

Stress, disease, poor diet and soda consumption all increase our need for minerals.

Adding these missing minerals back into our daily diet in a naturally occurring form can be one of the most important dietary changes that we can make today to give us reserves in times of stress.

How Can We Increase Mineral Consumption?

  1. Research the origin and content of your current food supply. (Is this possible? With so many foods coming from different sources could we ever know their mineral profile? )
  2. Take a reputable mineral supplement. It is up to you to decide what mineral supplements are the best for you. Personally, I would stock up on vitamins and mineral supplements for times of stress. Find them in health food stores. It is best if you can eat organic foods that you know have been raised properly; however, that is very hard to do, especially in the winter when crops must be imported from Mexico and other countries.
  3. We could eat dirt.

This shocking suggestion was proposed by Jordan S. Rubin his book The Maker’s Diet, which gained popularity a few years back. He recovered from a serious wasting disease by including healthy soil in his diet. Have you ever heard of Bentonite Clay? He asserted that there are essential microorganisms in healthy soil that we need in our bodies and that we would naturally get if our food weren’t depleted.

Redmond ClayEat Redmond Clay Daily Detox

Last year, I featured Redmond Trading Company’s Redmond Clay as a way to detox the intestinal tract and remove harmful toxins. In times of bacterial and viral outbreaks, a strong immune system and an ability to absorb nutrients are needed.

Redmond Clay Daily Detox also provides the minerals needed but missing in the standard American diet. In addition to being an essential component of a food-storage program for the future, it is a powerful adjuvant to restoring health now. Taking two capsules of the highest-quality mineral resource every day will clean out toxins that weigh you down.

Re-Lyte Cramp EliminatorRedmond Trading Company also has a product that eliminates leg cramps that is sold under the Re-Lyte brand. Athletes use it to help their performance. Mothers give it to their children when they have growing pains that cause them to cry because their legs cramp up. Re-Lyte is made from the mineral-rich Sea Salt from the Redmond Salt Mine.

Purchase these Redmond products at www.peggylayton.com.

Redmond Clay

The gifts of the Earth are for you to use. Redmond Clay is harvested from the site of an ancient sea right in the middle of Utah. The Sundance Sea has been buried for millions of years; the Redmond salt comes from a Jurassic source 200 feet below the Earth’s surface. The salt and clay mine are protected from the pollutants that absorb into regular salt extracted from the sea. With Redmond clay and salt, what is left from its concentrated mineral deposits for you is worth its weight in gold. Native Americans knew of its value. They carried “mud balls” made of clay with them and ingested small amounts of the mud with water to cleanse toxins and promote internal healing.

My Testimony

I have my own testimony of the power of Redmond Clay to heal. Just last week, I got up in the middle of the night to get some calcium magnesium supplements to help me sleep. I came into my dark bedroom and crashed into my grandson’s baby bed. I jammed my middle toe into the bone in my foot.  It was definitely broken. I tried to sleep but couldn’t because the pain would not subside. I hobbled to the bathroom and reached for my bottle of premixed Redmond Clay called First Aid. Applying it liberally around my toe and then wrapping it with gauze and tape to splint it, I hobbled back to bed. The pain subsided, and I was able to get to sleep. Redmond Clay reduced the inflammation dramatically, had an analgesic effect to reduce the pain and has eliminated the bruising.

Burn Relief

Another testimonial of Redmond clay is that my daughter-in-law burned herself on the forearm with a curling iron. It was a large burn and very blistered. I doctored her with Redmond clay that is already premixed called First Aid. I put a bandage on it and, within seconds, the pain was gone. It healed in a couple of days. If anyone gets a burn of any kind in our family, I always use Redmond Clay. The high mineral content helps heal much faster than anything else I have tried, and the pain leaves instantly.

Intestinal Problems

One tablespoon of Redmond Clay can be mixed in a glass of water and let set for an hour. It will settle to the bottom of the glass, then you drink the water full of minerals. For the diehards that can handle it, they drink the clay and water. It has been proven to help with all kinds of intestinal problems as well as colon issues like colitis, diverticulitis and many other intestinal tract problems. People who eat clay report better health and get rid of problems that plagued them for years. I sell a book on my website called The Healing Power Of Clay.

Keep Clay In The Medical Kit

This is a must-have for any home emergency kit. I have a 6-pound gallon bucket of Redmond Clay in my storage. I would not be without it. Redmond clay comes in powdered form, which you just add water and mix yourself. It also comes in a premixed squeeze bottle called First-Aid. It comes in capsules, called Daily Detox. Daily Detox is good for the intestinal track, absorbing 30 times its weight in poisons and toxins as it moves through the body.

One of the best ways to support an overtaxed immune system is to eliminate the toxins that are taxing it. You can detox and strengthen your immune system with minerals provided from the gifts of the Earth. To enjoy the gifts of the Earth and to store for future needs, check out Redmond Salt and Clay Products at www.peggylayton.com.

–Peggy Layton

Is Your Food In Storage Dead Or Alive?

You asked me for ideas on how to make food storage work for you. You asked for articles that were practical in 2012. So let’s take your food storage up to the next level: live food.

Along with prepackaged and convenience foods, you need some food that can be sprouted. Dead food in storage cannot sustain you.

The Raw Truth

You must have some food that is alive.

Q.  How do you know if it is alive?
A.  Test it. If it sprouts, it is alive.

Q.  How do you do that?
A.  Let’s go over the basics.

Whenever anyone asks me where to begin when purchasing food storage, I always tell them to start with the basics: grains, legumes and seeds. If you have these basic food storage items and they are alive, you will not starve.

You must eat your stored food regularly so that you are familiar with how it should be prepared. Doing so also helps you rotate food stores. If you don’t eat your stored food on a regular basis, your body will not as able to absorb nutrients from stored foods when you need them in an emergency.

Most people put food away, hoping that they never have to use it. This is a waste of money.

The presence of one enzyme makes food alive. You need to store some foods that are a source of live enzymes so that you can better digest your food. In times of stress, your digestive system tends to shut down a little; it needs enzymes to break down the food.

Grains Are Not Just For Bread

Q.  How do you get sprouts?
A.  From seeds.

Q.  What kind?
A.  Grains, legumes and others.

Q.  Which ones will sprout?
A.  On page 104 in my book Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook, there’s a great chart that shows all the grains and seeds that will sprout. If you don’t have one of these books yet, you can get yours on the website www.peggylayton.com.

Wheat is not the only grain that will sprout. You can also sprout grains such as barley, buckwheat, corn and rye. Grains high in protein are called super grains. These include amaranth, Kamut®, quinoa, spelt, millet, buckwheat, triticale and fenugreek. If you are gluten intolerant, you will want to take advantage of gluten-free grains such as brown rice, quinoa, millet and buckwheat.

Legumes that can be sprouted include: black beans, adzuki beans, great northern beans, garbanzo beans, navy beans, kidney beans, soybeans, pinto beans, red beans, lentils, mung beans and whole dried peas.

Seeds that sprout include: alfalfa, broccoli, cabbage, clover, radish, red clover, sunflower and salad blends. These seeds are totally different than the ones you plant in the garden. It is highly recommended that you have seeds for sprouting and seeds for planting a garden. Sprouting seeds can be purchased in health food stores and food storage suppliers.

Q. What do I do with sprouts?
A. Add sprouts to salads, omelets, shakes, stir-fry, bread, soups, casseroles or whole-grain bread. Or dry them and blend them into a highly nutritious flour. (Look for upcoming articles on how to do this.)

Q.  Are your seeds viable? Will they sprout?
A.  Test them to make sure.

How To Sprout

If you have quart jars or sprouting trays, you can sprout wheat, legumes and seeds.

Sprouting seeds soaking in jars
I use 20 drops of the product called ION stabilized oxygen in the water that I soak the sprouting seeds, grains, and legumes in. ION kills any bacteria that might be on the seed and it stops the growth of mold and fungus. Sprouts stays fresher longer and do not sour when ION is used in the soaking water. To purchase ION go to www.peggylayton.com

To grow sprouts successfully follow these steps:

  1. Clean and discard broken beans, dirt clots or rocks.
  2. Place the legumes or seeds in a widemouthed jar with a plastic lid that has holes in it for drainage. You can purchase the lids from a food-storage company or in kitchen stores and health-food stores. If you cannot find plastic sprouting lids, you can use fabric, nylon netting or screen material cut a little larger than the lid and secured with an elastic band or the ring that comes with mason jars. Fill the jar with water and rinse the seeds. Drain them through the lid or cloth.
  3. Fill the jar with water again and let it soak overnight. Use filtered water if you have it; you want to avoid chlorinated water soaking into the sprouts.
  4. The next day, drain the water from the jar of sprouts. It is not good if the water is cloudy or foamy, because that means fermentation has begun.
  5. The sprouts will start to grow. Place the jars in a warm place, about 60-80 degrees F. Rinse them twice daily, draining off excess water each time. It generally takes about three to five days for the sprouts to grow mature enough for use in a salad or stir-fry.
  6. Expose the sprouts to sunlight after they start to mature. Put them on a windowsill for a few hours to develop the chlorophyll that gives sprouts their green color.
  7. Harvest and eat the sprouts. Bean sprouts can be best eaten when the sprout pops its head out of the seed. All other sprouts are best when doubled in size. When the sprouts are ready to eat, rinse them again to wash off the hulls and any seeds that did not sprout. Sprouts can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days in an airtight plastic zippered bag with a wet paper towel under the sprouts. Sprouts go sour after three days. If you cannot eat them all, freeze them for use in stir-fry meals.
Alfalfa sprouts in a jar
Sprouts in a sealed bag

This information came out of the book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. If you would like to order this book, go to the website www.peggylayton.com.

After sprouting, the vitamins and minerals increase by 75 percent. I believe that sprouting is almost as vital to food storage as water is. That is why I recommend that these food items be purchased first. Sprouts are best if eaten raw in salads or lightly sautéed. Sprouting grains, legumes and seeds literally turns the food into fresh produce. It is like having an indoor garden when other fresh vegetables are not available.

I call this living food storage.

Man cannot live on sprouts alone, so I have the perfect companion meals: prepackaged meals in a Mylar® pouch that serve four people. All you have to do is add water and cook. I’ve been making these fast-and-easy gourmet meals by GoFoods that will store for a minimum of 15 years. The food is dehydrated, not freeze-dried, and the prices are very reasonable. It takes only 15 to 20 minutes to cook, and the cooking instructions are on each package. The food is delicious. The best part of this opportunity is that you can earn money by referring others. This extra money will help you pay for your own food reserves.

My Recommendations

This company has a new concept in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable, clean and convenient for daily use. It reminds me of the pre-packaged food from the grocery store like soup mixes, Hamburger Helper® and Rice-A-Roni® without all the additives, preservatives and chemicals.

Some of the features of GoFoods are:

  • The food is dehydrated from premium-grade, fresh raw fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains and legumes.
  • All meals are complete with everything in them. Just add water.
  • These meals can be used every day for fast, convenient and healthy food.
  • There are no genetically modified (GMOs) foods in GoFoods.
  • There is no added monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • No imports from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides.
  • No hydrogenated oils.
  • They are packaged for long-term storage in Mylar® pouches.
  • The packages include soups such as Cheddar Broccoli, Italian Chicken, Vegetable Beef, Tortilla, Corn Chowder, Minestrone, Chicken Noodle, Chili and Potato Cheddar.
  • Entrées include Chicken Pasta Alfredo, Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole, Beef Stroganoff, Au Gratin Potatoes, Instant Seasoned Potatoes, Santa Fe Fiesta Rice, Creamy Tuscan Pasta With Sun Dried Tomatoes and Thai Coconut Noodles.
  • Breakfast items include Pancake Mix, Granola and Powdered Milk.
  • Breads include Corn Muffin Mix, Cornmeal Dumplings, Wheat Bread Mix and Buttermilk Biscuit Mix.
  • There is a line of beverages as well.

GoFoods Pasta AlfredoFor this week only, Jan. 23-30, take advantage of a special 20 percent discount off GoFoods meals. This discount is good on the 1-month, 3-month, 6-month and premium food reserve packs. When you go to the website, you must use the promotional code PL201220.

The company even lets you try before you buy; simply go to www.peggylayton.mygofoods.com and then click on “Go” under “Try a Free Sample” to receive three packages of sample food that will feed two to four people per package. All you do is pay $9.95 for shipping.

To purchase any of my seven books or my other products: Sprouting trays, dehydrated food, water treatment and preparedness products go to the website http://www.peggylayton.com.

–Peggy Layton 

Water Treatments For Emergencies And Long-Term Survival

In order to live, we must have clean, potable, bacteria-free drinking water. Most of us think that when we turn on the faucet, we are getting safe, pure drinking water. We aren’t.

Our water is subject to a variety of impurities. Some natural impurities are radon, fluoride, arsenic, Iron, lead, copper and other heavy metals. Other contaminants can be fertilizers, asbestos, cyanides, parasites, herbicides, pesticides and industrial chemicals that leach in into our water. And our public water systems add substances such as chlorine, carbon, limes, phosphates, acids, ash and aluminum sulfate to kill anaerobic bacteria, adjust the pH and reduce cloudiness.

Water from streams and other sources of “unprocessed” water can contain contaminants from sources such as sewer systems and animal urine. Contaminated water can be hazardous to your health.

In larger cities water is processed to break down paper, heavy metals and other sediment into tiny particles. Processed water is far from pure. This is why it is so important to filter your drinking water with a reliable water filter.

Filter The Water

Filtered water can also be dangerous if the filters are not changed on a regular basis. Research has shown that bacteria can grow within the carbon filters themselves. Some solid substances can be removed, but no filter can prevent viruses, bacteria, pathogens, radioactive or chemical compounds and completely soluble pollutants from passing through. The Berkey Light™ Water Filter is probably the most complete system to eliminate most of these problems.

The Berkey Light™ Water Filter is a gravity feed unit that comes complete with two purification elements and a base. Black Berkey® Purification Elements are more powerful than any other gravity filter element currently available. Virtually no other filtration element can duplicate this performance. The units cost about $229. If you would like to learn more about the Berkey Light™ Water Filter, go to www.peggylayton.com.

Boiling Water

This is the cheapest way to purify water. Filter or strain the water before boiling. To do so, place a dishtowel or cheesecloth over the pot and pour the water into the dishcloth. Discard the remnants left on the cloth and boil the water in the pot for at least five minutes. This will kill the bacteria and viruses and purify the water so it can be used for drinking or cooking.

Adding Chemicals To Water

Hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, bleach and other bacteria killers use oxygen as their agent to attack anaerobes and detoxify harmful ingredients; however, the prolonged use of any of these bacteria killers can be harmful. Follow directions closely to avoid negative side effects (all of these additives will have a chemical taste to them).

ION ‘Stabilized Oxygen’

About 10 years ago, I discovered ION stabilized oxygen while looking for a safe way to purify water without chemicals. ION has no negative side effects, is non-toxic, has an infinite shelf life and kills bacteria on contact. It can also be used for medicinal purposes. My husband and I took ION on a trip to Mexico and put eight drops in every glass of water and juice that we drank. Others in our group were very ill with dysentery, but we did not get sick. Because it kills bacteria on contact, ION is also safe to use when coming down with the flu or a bacterial infection of any kind. ION is also good for safely treating internal and external pathogens.

Use ION to sterilize cuts, scratches and bruises; end tooth decay; stop pain and infection of wounds, insect bites, spider bites, bee stings; treat emphysema, fever blisters, herpes, cold sores and first and second degree burns; alleviate headaches, back pain, arthritis and joint aches. ION is great for plants, root cuttings, transplants, sterilizing cooking tools and surfaces, extending the life of milk and juices, and making yogurt.

I was skeptical at first about all these claims until I started using the product and saw firsthand what it did for my clients and me.

One client said her arthritis was gone after using ION for about two weeks. Another said she used ION to heal her wounded horse. A friend of mine used ION to treat a brown recluse spider bite. The bite healed after a few days of putting ION on it five times a day.

ION has been used for bladder infections, kidney infections, sore throats, strep and food poisoning. It detoxifies bee stings, mosquito bites, flu bugs and colds by taking 50 drops in a cup of water three times a day.

I always reach for the ION bottle at the onset of any flu or cold. I put 50 drops in a glass of water and drink it. I repeat this up to three times a day. I believe it knocks the cold right out and helps eliminate the symptoms, and I recover much faster. ION will not kill friendly flora or good bacteria; in fact it stimulates the growth and development of beneficial bacteria.

Taking ION every day will boost the immune system and help a person to stay well.

People use ION for all kinds of ailments. The reason it works so well is because oxygen must be present to kill harmful anaerobic bacteria and viruses. The key ingredient in ION is oxygen. It oxygenates the blood as it moves throughout the body. It kills bacteria on the surface of the skin where infection might set in. This is one of the key factors in detoxifying the body and riding it of poisons and toxins.

Food Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written (such as Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook or Cookin’ with Home Storage), the American Harvest food dehydrator, water storage tanks, ION water treatment (which provides safe water for five years), dehydrated or freeze-dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, Bio-Clean sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

Food Storage Meals in Mylar Pouches

These products are meals ready to cook, just-add-water type of food. The food can be stored long-term. These foods are quick fix meals. Everything is in the pouch. You just add water, cook for 20 minutes and it is done. The food comes in Mylar® pouches and has four servings per pouch. They are sealed with oxygen absorbers in the pouch, which makes this a long-term food product that will last on the shelf for 15 years. To get three sample meals, sealed in Mylar® pouches, that serve 12 people, click here www.peggylayton.mygofoods.com. You pay only the shipping cost of $9.95.

Peggy Layton

The Survival Pyramid: Helping Families Prepare

This Survival Pyramid was created by a friend of mine who sells food storage and survival products. Her name is Brenda Nicholson. In November, I flew to Florida to help her sell survival foods at the Tea Party convention. She published this Survival Pyramid and gave me permission to use it in this article.

Prepare For The Worst And Hope For The Best

There is no way we can know exactly what emergency situations might occur. If you break down the short-term and long-term emergencies and prepare for them in sequence, it will be easier and less overwhelming to put together emergency survival foods and other supplies just in case you encounter a power outage, tornado, hurricane, flooding, civil unrest or any other type of local disaster.

To stay healthy and survive any emergency situation, we must have adequate food and water. Prepare as if you are going on an extended camping trip. Think through the most likely scenarios that you could encounter where you live and prepare for them. My book, Emergency Food Storage And Survival Handbook, goes into great detail on this subject. Go to www.peggylayton.com to get the book.

Survival PyramidThe following is a list of things needed for short-term or long-term situations:

  • Bulk long-term dehydrated food or quick and easy-to-fix meals.
  • An alternative way to cook without power and cooking supplies.
  • Paper and plastic goods, such as: paper plates, plastic cups, garbage bags and silverware.
  • Alternative communication, such as a battery-powered radio.
  • Shelter for protection from the weather such as tents, tarps, Mylar® blankets and other camping equipment.
  • Sleeping bags, blankets and warm clothing.
  • Alternative heating.
  • Emergency lighting.
  • Sanitation and hygiene supplies, including toilet paper.
  • Medical supplies.
  • Fuel or wood for cooking outdoors.
  • Fishing and hunting supplies.
  • Cash in small denominations.

Step No. 1

Prepare for immediate disasters from one to three days. That is why the bug-out kit is also called a 72-hour kit. The water should be in a separate container with a handle for easy carrying. Smaller containers for each person would be helpful. It is recommended that everyone in the family have 3 gallons of water per person. (1 gallon per day).

The 72-hour bug-out kit can be put into a backpack. It should be lightweight and be easy to grab and go. It should include the following:

  • Three days’ worth of pantry or easy-to-open-and-eat meals.
  • High-calorie energy bars.
  • All other lightweight supplies for survival.

Step No. 2:

Prepare for short-term disasters for up to three weeks: things such as severe natural disasters, local and regional power outages, and food and water shortages. It should include the following:

  • Clean potable water (21 gallons minimum per person).
  • Bulk supplies of regular pantry food (63 meals). They should be easy to prepare. Freeze-dried and dehydrated meals are recommended.
  • All other survival items listed above.

Step No. 3:

Prepare for intermediate disasters of one to three months. This could include Food shortages, riots, strikes, natural disasters and other emergencies on a massive regional scale. Store the following:

  • 100 gallons of water (minimum) per person.
  • Bulk long-term dehydrated food or (90-180) emergency quick, easy-fix meals.
  • All other survival items listed above.

Step No. 4:

Prepare for long-term emergencies of up to four months, which could include massive natural disasters: financial or economic collapse; and no electrical power, lights, heat, plumbing or food supplies.

You will need the following:

  • Four months to one year supply of food.
  • An alternative long-term water supply or filtration system.
  • Alternative communication, such as Ham radios, scanners and battery-powered radios.
  • Off-the-grid power source, generator or solar power.
  • Alternative cooking and heating with propane or solar.
  • Wood for cooking outdoors.
  • Lanterns with fuel, flashlights, candles and alternative lighting.
  • Sleeping bags, wool blankets, warm winter clothing, wool socks and warm boots.
  • Tents, fishing, hunting and camping equipment.
  • Non-hybrid garden seeds and tools to grow a garden.
  • Extensive medical supplies and emergency medications.
  • Sanitation, medical supplies, non-food items and feminine hygiene supplies.
  • Paper goods, such as: paper plates, plastic cups, garbage bags and plastic silverware.
  • Antibacterial soap and wipes, hand sanitizer and cleaners.
  • Stash of cash.

As we approach the new year, it would be good to have a master preparedness plan. Anything you can do on this list would be helpful. It takes dedication and focus to be a Prepper. My husband and I have been working on it for 25 years. We set new goals every year. We are always planning and working toward the next preparedness project. Just take the first step then move to the next. You will feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that you are making progress toward having your family prepared.

Emergency Food Storage nand Survival HandbookFood Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written (such as Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook or Cookin’ with Home Storage), the American Harvest food dehydrator, water storage tanks, ION water treatment (which provides safe water for five years), dehydrated or freeze-dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, Bio-Clean sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

Food Storage Meals in Mylar Pouches

These products are meals ready to cook, just-add-water type of food. The food can be stored long-term. These foods are quick fix meals. Everything is in the pouch. You just add water, cook for 20 minutes and it is done. The food comes in Mylar® pouches and has four servings per pouch. They are sealed with oxygen absorbers in the pouch, which makes this a long-term food product that will last on the shelf for 15 years. To get three sample meals, sealed in Mylar® pouches, that serve 12 people, click here www.peggylayton.mygofoods.com. You pay only the shipping of $9.95.

Dehydrate Fruits, Vegetables To Preserve The Harvest

Drying excess produce is one of the easiest, most inexpensive and oldest preservation methods available. I really like the fact that my homegrown food does not go to waste. I also like that it has no chemicals, additives or preservatives in it.

Dried fruits and vegetables supply useful amounts of necessary fiber in your diet. Because of their high natural-sugar content, dried fruits are rich in iron and other minerals. Dried beans and peas are high in protein.

Home dehydration has been a favorite of mine for years. I make dried pear, apricot, plum and apple slices to snack on in the winter. I dry onions, green beans, zucchini chips, tomatoes and bell peppers. Sun dried tomatoes are great for using in tomato sauce or any other recipe that calls for them. Other vegetables that can be dehydrated include: herbs, dried beans, peas, carrots, corn, beets, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potatoes, green beans, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. The fruits I like to dehydrate include: peaches, pears, apples, pineapple, strawberries, apricots, cherries and berries.

Preparing Food For DryingPrepare Food For Drying

Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly and cut off all blemishes. Slice the fruit into bite-sized pieces so it will dry evenly. Cut apples, peaches and pears into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Remove pits from apricots, cherries and plums. Cut grapes, cranberries and blueberries in half or dry whole. Dried grapes and cranberries are called “raisins” and “craisins.” Cut bananas lengthwise into long slices or crosswise into round 1/4-inch pieces.

Pretreat To Prevent Loss Of Nutrition And Color

Pretreat fruits and vegetables to keep them from going dark after drying. Soak fruits in a sulfite dip. Dissolve sodium bisulfite in water, using 1 teaspoon for each gallon of water. Soak the prepared fruit for five minutes in the solution before putting the fruit on the drying trays. I soak my fruit in a product called Fruit Fresh. Lemon juice or ascorbic acid mixed in the soaking water will also help with keeping the color bright on fruit as it dries (1 tablespoon per 1/2 gallon of water).

Blanching Vegetables

I don’t pretreat tomatoes because they will become mushy. I add a little salt to them before drying. Other vegetables can be blanched in a boiling pot of water by placing them into a wire basket or colander and submerging them into the water for about five minutes. The blanching will stop the enzymatic action that causes poor color and texture if you dry the vegetables without blanching. Blanched vegetables also reconstitute more easily than ones that haven’t been blanched. Drain the excess water off the vegetables and place them on the drying trays, being careful not to overlap them. Then, start the drying process.

American Harvest Food DehydratorFood Dehydrator

I have tested several dehydrators; my favorite one is the round American Harvest brand by Nesco. There is a snack master version that is smaller and a regular-sized dryer that can be added to with extra trays. My rectangular food dryer doesn’t dry food as quickly, and I must rotate the trays more frequently for even drying. The air circulates better in my round food dryer. Check it out at www.peggylayton.com.

Dehydrating depends on low heat, low moisture content and good air circulation. The temperature must also be controlled when you dry food in a dehydrator. Start out between 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce the temperature as the food dries. It takes from six to 12 hours to dry fruits and vegetables in a dehydrator. I use my food dryer every day during the harvest season.

I take the food out of the drier or the oven when it feels dry. Vegetables should be dried until they are brittle, and fruits should be pliable. If some of the food is dry and some is not, remove the dried food and let the moist food continue to dry.

Drying Food In The Oven

You can also use a conventional oven set on the lowest heat to dry food. Drying time in the oven can take four to 12 hours depending on the food being dried. It is hard to get food to dry evenly; however, if you take care to make sure the food is cut into evenly sliced pieces, it will help. Dry no more than five pounds of prepared fruit or vegetables at one time. Place fruit or vegetables on trays that let the air circulate from below, as well as from the sides. Cake racks work well for this. If you do not have cake racks, use cookie sheets and turn the food every hour or so. When using cookie sheets, the drying process will take longer because the air cannot circulate around the food.

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or put it at the lowest possible setting. It should be between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer placed inside the oven to check the temperature. Slightly prop the door open to keep the oven from getting too hot. You can use an electric fan placed in front of the oven door to speed up the drying. Turn foods over and stir every half hour or so because, as foods become dry, they tend to scorch easily. Switch the position of the trays every hour so the front will be in the back. Doing so helps dry the food more evenly.

Herbal Salt

I like to blend dried onions, red and green bell peppers, parsley, and any other herbs I have in my greenhouse or garden. Once the food is dried, I put it in the blender and pulverize it into a powder, mix it with a little salt to taste, then put it in a shaker bottle and use it for seasoning food.

Dried Herbs And VegetablesMaking Fruit Leather

Fruit LeatherFruit leather can be made in the blender or food processor. Applesauce and overripe fruits work great for fruit leather.

To make fruit leather, puree your fruit. Cook apples, pears, peaches and nectarines before pureeing. I like to mix fruits together to make the puree. Any fruit will do — even bananas and pineapples. Be sure to drain the juice before blending. Pour the fruit puree about 1/4-inch deep on special fruit leather drying sheets, or drying trays that have been lined with plastic wrap. Since the center does not dry as quickly as the edges. Pour the puree only 1/8-inch deep toward the center. Dry at 135-140 degrees Fahrenheit until the fruit feels pliable and leathery. Check the center to make sure it has no wet or sticky spots. Once it is dry, it can be rolled up. Wrap the fruit leather in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container. Store containers of dried food in a cool, dark, dry place (60 degrees Fahrenheit or below is best).

Yogurt Roll Ups

I like to dry yogurt on a piece of plastic wrap until it is pliable, then roll it up and eat it as a snack as well. Add toppings such as crushed nuts, chopped raisins, candy sprinkles, etc. to the yogurt before starting the drying process.

Storing Dehydrated Food

Dried foods must be cooled to room temperature before storing. If the food is too warm, it will sweat and cause moisture to form in the container. If there is any moisture present in the dried food, it might grow bacteria or mold. Check the food to see if it looks or feels like it is still moist. If so, put it back in the food dehydrator until it is completely dry.

I like to store dried food in canning jars or zipped baggies. Small packages may be stored in a larger container with a tight-fitting lid in a cool, dry place. The refrigerator is a good place to store them if you have room. Label each one with what it is and the date it was dried. It is best to use up the fruit within two to five months; however, if the food is kept in an airtight jar, it will last about two years.

Reconstituting Dried Fruits And Vegetables

Dried fruit makes an excellent snack. I take it to work as a snack to keep my energy up. Reconstituted fruits are good to put in oatmeal cereal or in cakes and pies. Once reconstituted, they return to almost their original size, shape and appearance. In a saucepan, pour just enough boiling water over the dried fruit to completely cover it. Simmer about 15 minutes or until the fruit is reconstituted back to normal. You can soak the fruit for a few hours before cooking. Cook the fruit in the same water that was used for soaking. Sweeten to taste near the end of the cooking process. Most dried fruits do not need any extra sweetening.

Food Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written (such as Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook or Cookin’ with Home Storage), the American Harvest food dehydrator, water storage tanks, ION water treatment (which provides safe water for five years), dehydrated or freeze-dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, Bio-Clean sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

To get three sample meals, sealed in Mylar® pouches, that serve 12 people and have a shelf life of more than 15 years, click here www.peggylayton.mygofoods.com. You pay only the shipping of $9.95.

Bottle Excess Food To Preserve The Harvest

Canning and preserving your own food is a great way to save money and ensure that your family consumes only healthy foods that contain no harmful preservatives, additives or pesticides. Preserving food at home is becoming popular as more and more people are realizing that home-canned food is far superior to that of store-bought.

There are several names for food preservation, such as: canning, bottling, preserving, putting up or putting food by. The preserving process involves sugaring or salting and boiling to kill any bacteria that might be in the food, then sealing it by placing jars into boiling water, which seals the lids tight on the jars.

Benefits Of Canning Your Own Food

Foods that are preserved at home are by far the healthiest you can provide your family. You can cut your food bill and save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year by canning and preserving your own food. The process of canning food is fairly easy; and you can rest assured that the food your family consumes is fresh, healthy and contains no harmful pesticides, chemicals, preservatives or additives. You control the amount of sugar and salt in foods that you preserve at home. I feel a great sense of accomplishment when I bottle my harvest.

If you really want to get into preserving food, I suggest you purchase one of the great books on the market that explains the process step by step. There are instructions on the Internet as well. To learn how to preserve food, click here. The Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving is a great book to have.

Preserving The HarvestCanning Or Bottling

Most of our grandmothers knew how to can food. Their pantries were filled with preserved fruits, jams, jellies, vegetables, stews, soups and meats. As the years have gone by, people have become more dependent on grocery stores and fast food restaurants. However, people now are realizing that we must get back to our roots and grow and preserve our own food to be healthy.

The canning process is one way we can preserve our harvest. The process stops or slows down spoilage of homegrown foods, preventing the growth of bacteria, yeast, fungi and other microorganisms, as well as slowing the rancidity of fats. Canning provides a typical shelf life of about two to five years if the jars are kept in ideal conditions, which are cool, dark and dry.

Sugar Or Sweetener

Use sugar to preserve fruits. Make a syrup with sugar and water, then pour the syrup over the fruit. Then seal the jars by using the boiling-water method. When I bottle fruit, I like to use pineapple or apple juice as the sweetener so that I am not adding extra refined sugar to my fruits.

Pressure-Canning

Foods with low acidity (a pH higher than 4.6) need sterilization with a higher temperature (116-130 degrees Celsius). A pressure canner must be used to reach temperatures above the boiling point. Foods that must be pressure-canned include most vegetables, meats, seafood and dairy products. The only foods that may be safely canned in ordinary boiling water are highly acidic food with a pH lower than 4.6, such as fruits, vegetables or other foods to which lemon juice or vinegar have been added.

Preserved FruitEquipment Required For Bottling Or Pressure-Canning:

  • Bottles (better known as canning jars): The most popular sizes are pints and quarts.
  • Lids and rings for the jars: The lids are best if they are new, however the rings can be used over and over. Lids and rings can be purchased from any grocery store, usually during canning season.
  • Wooden spoon with a long handle: This helps pack the fruit into the bottles.
  • Jar-lifting tongs: Tongs keep the hot bottles from burning your hands.
  • Thermometer: For making jams and jellies.
  • Canning pot: This pot can be purchased in any grocery store or kitchen store. This pot must be large enough to hold six or more jars of food and deep enough to cover the jars with water. This method is used for processing some fruits and vegetables.

Apple PieApple Pie Filling

This recipe came from www.freshpreserving.com.

Try this easy recipe and feel the satisfaction of bottling apple pie filling at home, just like our grandmas used to do.

You will need:

12 cups sliced peeled cored apples, (about 12 medium apples) treated by soaking them for 15 minutes with ½ cup lemon juice in a large size bowl of water to prevent browning. Drain the water off before proceeding.

2-3/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 cup ClearJel® (cooking starch used for preserving)

1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2-1/2 cups unsweetened apple juice

1-1/4 cups cold water

1/2 cup lemon juice

7 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

Directions:

  1. Wash all jars, lids and bands in hot, soapy water. Rinse well. Place the jars in a pot of hot water to temper them so they don’t break when they are put in the boiling water. In a separate small pan, heat water and put the metal lids in the hot water until you are ready to use them. You will need a wire rack on which to place the jars inside the pot, so that the jars do not touch the bottom of the pot. If you do not have a wire rack, you can line the bottom of the pot with a kitchen towel folded over so that the bottles do not touch the bottom of the pot.
  2. Prepare the apples, using the best-quality produce possible. I like to sort through and use up the apples that are going soft first. Peel the apples and cut them into apple pie-sized slices. Blanch the apple slices (6 cups at a time) in a large pot of boiling water for about one minute. Remove the apples with a slotted spoon and keep them in a bowl.
  3. In a separate large, stainless-steel saucepan, combine sugar, ClearJel®, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in apple juice and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, and cook until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Add lemon juice and boil for one more minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Drain any excess liquid off the apple slices and immediately fold them into the hot mixture. Before canning the apple pie mixture, continue cooking until the apples are heated through. (ClearJel® can be purchased from kitchen or food storage stores that sell canning equipment. Or click here.)
  4. Spoon the cooked pie filling into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles by running a butter knife into the mixture in the canning jar. Clean the rim of the jar, center the lid on the jar and apply the band until it is tight.
  5. When the jars are ready to process, place them into the pot of simmering water with either a wire rack or folded towel on the bottom. The jars must not touch the bottom of the pot or they will crack and break. Make sure the water comes up over the top of the jars.
  6. Usually, seven quart-sized jars will process at once. Cover the pot with the lid and bring the water to a rolling boil. Begin the processing time. Process the jars in boiling water for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove the jars and place them on a kitchen towel. Do not touch them for about 12 hours. Check the seals and if the lids are concave and do not bounce back up when pushed down then they are sealed. If the lid does not seal after 24 hours and it can be lifted off the jar easily or if the lid pops up when depressed, it can be processed again. Clean the rim of the jar and check to see if there is a broken piece of glass on the rim. If so, then throw that jar away.

In addition to the classic pie, this apple pie filling allows you to quickly make luscious desserts such as apple turnovers, apple crisp or apple dumplings.

Food Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written, books on preserving food, such as Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook or Cookin’ with Home Storage, water storage tanks, ION water treatment, dehydrated or freeze-dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, Bio-Clean sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here and click on Go Shop. Select samples on the left hand column and order them to try before you buy.

Keep Food Reserves Safe In A Crisis

I have heard people jokingly say that they don’t need extra food reserves because they have guns. They casually say, “I will just come to your house.” I believe that people will do whatever they have to do to get food for their family. How will we protect the food reserves we have worked so hard to purchase, store and secure?

We really need to think about this question. Where would be the safest place to store food, water, extra clothing, cash and other necessities? We need to protect these things not only from bugs, rodents and other animals but from looters as well.

Precautions You Can Take To Protect Your Food Investment

I read a true story about a woman who came home from work and found one of her neighbors hauling out bags of groceries from her kitchen pantry. The neighbor was unemployed and financially strapped, so she broke into the house next door and took their food. She was caught and charged with burglary. She was put in jail and is being prosecuted. As times get tougher, more people are going to be unemployed and will do whatever it takes to feed their families; looting will become more prevalent. Many good people will be suffering the consequences of not being prepared with food reserves.

If you have food reserves, I caution you to take stock of your current situation and decide where you should keep your emergency food. Some of the food you purchase needs to be rotated, such as canned goods, dried eggs, powdered milk and perishables like winter squash, potatoes and other vegetables. The food with the shortest shelf life needs to be accessible so it can be rotated and used faster. I suggest you keep long-term food storage in a room that has a lock and key. It might be necessary to lock it with a dead bolt. Hide an extra key somewhere that you will be able to get to in a disaster. Tell your family how to access the food. If someone comes to you asking for food, you can give it out as you wish and not have it taken from you by looters.

Many people have guns to protect their families and themselves from predators and looters. All guns and ammo must be kept locked up as well in a gun safe or a locked room.

I think locking up all emergency survival items is very important. Keep in mind that if there was a crisis and you needed to get to your stockpile quickly, you must be able to find the key easily.

I have friends who keep their food in basements; others keep their food in metal storage containers. Most people keep their food in their kitchen pantry and probably would not be able to make more than a few days’ worth of meals if they had to. We have a root cellar with a food-storage shed on top of it. I also keep food in our basement, in the pantry and in the garage. Wherever you decide to keep your food reserves, you must guard them like you would any other valuable asset.

I believe everyone needs a heavy-duty safe that can be bolted to a cement floor from the inside. I have some friends who went to Hawaii for a vacation. When they returned home, they were shocked to find their safe busted open in their back yard and all their valuables, including $8,000, gone. The safe had been in a bedroom closet. Had the safe been bolted down properly (from the inside) to a cement floor, the thieves would not have been able to take it.

Why Should We Store Food Reserves and What Are We Preparing For?

  • A disruption to food production resulting in food scarcity.
  • Rising fuel prices, which can result in trucking strikes.
  • Harmful outbreaks of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses.
  • Loss of jobs due to rising unemployment.
  • Loss of homes due to foreclosure.
  • Natural disasters due to changing weather patterns, which include droughts, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and freezing ice storms.
  • Hyperinflation.
  • Terrorist attacks, social unrest, anarchy and war.

There are a lot of good reasons to store food. Food in the pantry is better than money in the bank. I believe in a food savings account. If the banks have any kind of problems, we may not be able to get our money out. What will we do?  Some of our savings is better off being in a food savings account in our pantry or basement. Food reserves bring a sense of security and peace of mind. I like being self-reliant. It gives me independence, freedom and a sense of security that if needed, I could take care of myself and my family for an extended period of time — especially if there were no grocery stores open and no one else to turn to.

My reserve of food is a form of starvation insurance. This type of insurance holds its value. Once you pay for it and put it away, you can still eat it. It could save someone’s life.

  • Did you know that 2 percent of the population of the world grows the food and 98 percent of the population depends on that food? That is true dependency.
  • In Africa during the summer of 2011, more than 29,000 children under the age of 5 died due to malnutrition and starvation. Children in America are also going to bed hungry. What would happen if the welfare system shut down due to lack of funds? What would government-assisted families do?
  • I worry about my seven children and their families and how they are going to make it financially in hard times. They don’t have the finances to purchase the extra food. I encourage them to stockpile extra food, but it just doesn’t seem to be a priority. Some live in apartments, some are in college, some are newly married, some have young children, and some have new homes with high mortgage payments.
  • Millions of Americans are losing their jobs because of the economic situation our Nation is experiencing. Some people still have jobs, yet can’t even afford food to feed their family. Three million people in the United States are unemployed and will go from the workforce to the welfare lines this year. This can happen quickly to anyone.
  • Millions of Americans are losing their homes as a result of mortgages being overinflated. Making mortgage payments will soon be the last thing on the minds of Americans. The No. 1 thing on people’s minds will be where they are going to get their next meal. We are in the midst of an economic crisis that is devaluing the American dollar and could turn hyperinflation into monetary collapse.

The National Inflation Association predicts that by the year 2015, the U.S. dollar will lose all of its purchasing power and empty grocery store shelves will be common in America. For every economic problem the U.S. government tries to solve, it always creates two or three much larger problems in the process.

Families will need to help each other. Multiple generations of families might need to live together. Young adults might need to move back home with their parents to avoid being homeless. Every parent should store for himself first and then for his extended family members that might need help. Then, store extra for their friends and neighbors in need. This will take sacrifice and focus. A food savings account builds over time, just like savings in a bank account does.

Long-Term Food Reserves

Go Foods Whole Wheat BreadI have mentioned many times before in previous articles that I am involved in a company called eFoods Global. The company changed its name to Go Foods Global. It is a way of announcing their products as an on-the-go, just-add-water type of food. The food can be stored long-term, it can be shared with others, or it can be served tonight for busy families. These foods are quick fix meals. Everything is in the pouch. You just add water, cook for 20 minutes and it is done. The food comes in Mylar® pouches and has four servings per pouch. They are sealed with oxygen absorbers in the pouch, which makes this a long-term food product that will last on the shelf for 15 years.

  • New products that were announced at the national convention: instant stick packs of Kona Coffee, Orange Passion Green Tea and Tropical Energy Drink. The new entrees are Thai Coconut Noodles, Santé Fe Fiesta Rice and Creamy Tuscan Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes.
  • The other entrées that are available are 3 Cheese Alfredo Pasta and Cheese, Au Gratin Potatoes, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Cheddar Rice, Hearty Chili with Cornbread Dumplings, Seasoned Mashed potatoes, Vegetable Beef Stew, and Wisconsin White Cheddar with Pasta Shells.
  • There are breads such as Pancake Mix, Southern Buttermilk Biscuits, Whole Wheat Bread, and Cornbread Muffins.
  • The breakfast items include Almond granola and Natural Oatmeal.
  • The soups include Cheddar Broccoli, Chicken Noodle, Potato Cheddar, Southwestern Tortilla, Sweet Corn Chowder and Western Potato Chowder.
  • There is a snack called dried Tropical Fruit Mix.
  • They have a variety of other items like non-hybrid Garden Seeds, The Berkey Light Water Filter and the Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter.
Go Foods Pasta AlfredoGo Foods Potato Chowder

I suggest that you take a portion of your monthly food budget and purchase a stock of food for yourself. You can use Go Foods every day for meals or store them for an emergency.

Go Foods Global is now shipping to Canada. There is an opportunity in the United States and Canada to be an independent business owner and sell the Go Foods Global food. If you love these foods and want to help others get prepared with emergency food reserves, this opportunity is for you. This is how anyone can start a food reserves business and earn enough money to purchase food for himself. Check it out at www.peggylayton.mygofoods.com

Food Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written, such as Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook or Cookin’ with Home Storage, water storage tanks, ION water treatment, dehydrated or freeze-dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, Bio-Clean sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

Emergency Sanitation

What do you do if there is a disaster in your community? You will not be able to flush the toilets or run water down the drains if a flood, hurricane or something else overwhelms the sewer system. During a disaster situation, public services could be disrupted for many days. If the sewer system backs up or is unusable, you will not be able to use your toilet. Doing so could be very dangerous to your health. Failure to properly dispose of human waste can lead to epidemics such as typhoid, dysentery and diarrhea. The spread of disease is imminent unless you take precautions and make emergency sanitation facilities.

Your first task is to make some sort of temporary toilet for your family. Almost any covered metal or plastic bucket will do. If you have nothing but a garbage can, you can use it as a toilet. You can also dig a hole and squat over it, and then bury the waste. It is like glorified camping; be creative and do like the pioneers did.

We went on a river-rafting trip down the Salmon River in Idaho with 12 people for one week. We used what was called the groover. The groover got its name because in World War II, the soldiers used their rocket boxes as toilets. They sat on them and got grooves in their behinds. Our groover was always secluded in the trees or bushes. Sometimes, a jacket or tarp was hung around it to give more privacy. It had a regular toilet seat on it that was adapted with a metal piece on the underside that slid on and off the rocket box. When not in use, the rocket box liner was sealed tight with a twist tie and the lid was locked in place. It was loaded onto a raft each day and taken with us so no trace was ever left behind. We had a separate bucket for the urine, which was dumped into the river. Before we launched each day, our groover captain would yell out the final call for everyone to get their groove on.

Make Your Own Portable Toilet

You can easily make your own portable toilet. You can store the supplies inside the bucket. If you need to, you can grab the bucket by the handle and go. The (5-gallon) buckets with toilet seat lids can be purchased from my website at www.peggylayton.com.

Supplies Needed

  • Two buckets (5-gallon with lids): one for urine and one for solid human waste.
  • Two plastic portable toilet seats.
  • Several rolls of toilet paper.
  • Paper towels, wash clothes and hand towels.
  • A 2-liter bottle of water for washing hands.
  • Hand or baby wipes large size (two packages).
  • Sanitary napkins and personal-hygiene items.
  • Biodegradable (if possible) heavy-duty (13-gallon) trash-can liners to line the 5-gallon buckets.
  • Heavy-duty twist ties to seal the liners shut when not in use.
  • Large garbage bags for trash.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Face masks.
  • Small collapsible shovel.
  • Plastic quart jar of laundry detergent, Borax, lime or a jar of Bio-Clean.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Small bottle of bleach with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Spray bottle to mix 1/8 cup bleach to 1 quart of water (label it) and use it to disinfect.
  • Spray bottle to clean the body.
  • Soap, hand-held mirror and personal hygiene items.
  • Diapers, if you have a baby.

 

You will be setting up a makeshift bathroom somewhere secluded outside. If your house is still intact but the sewer system is backed up, you can keep the buckets in the house. Sprinkle the human waste with 2 tablespoons of lime, Borax, laundry detergent or Bio-Clean after you are finished using the toilet. This controls the smell and bacteria. It is best to use one bucket for urine and the other for waste. Disposable wipes or toilet paper can be put in with the waste. The bucket with urine can be dumped more often, and the one with waste in it can be sealed with the heavy-duty twist ties and once per day disposed of by burying.

To avoid the spread of disease, bury all human waste by digging a hole at least 2 feet deep. Bury the entire bag of human waste in the hole and cover it up with the dirt from digging the hole. The biodegradable liners are the best for the environment.

If you cannot flush the toilet or the sewer is backed up in an emergency, it can still be used. Be sure to turn off the water coming into the toilet by turning the little handle on the pipe behind the toilet. Remove all the water from the toilet bowl. You can double line the toilet bowl with a heavy-duty garbage bag and follow the same procedure as you do with the buckets. When it is full, tie it up and dispose of it the same way as mentioned above.

If you live in an apartment and have no land to bury the bags, double bag them and then seal them the best you can with the twist ties. Place them in a large garbage can until the city can collect the trash and dispose of it.

Bio-Clean

Bio-Clean is a blend of bacteria and enzymes. The bacteria are all natural, not genetically engineered. The enzyme concentration is the most powerful on the market. Bio-Clean is non-poisonous. It creates no heat or fumes and there is no boiling involved. It does not attack live tissue or inorganic materials, only organic wastes like human excrement, grease, hair, food particles, paper and cotton. This makes Bio-Clean safe for people, plumbing and the environment.

Bio-Clean changes the waste particles into water, carbon dioxide and mineral ash, which become harmless in the outhouse, cesspool, pit or waste system. These elements are then available to use as compost in the garden. I found out about Bio-Clean from my husband who is a plumbing contractor. He sells Bio-Clean to customers for use in septic tanks to keep them from backing up. Bio-Clean is available to purchase on my website www.peggylayton.com.

 

Use A Spray Bottle To Clean Your Body

Keeping the body clean in an emergency is very important. Use a spray bottle with a small amount of antibacterial soap in it. Use paper towels or hand towels to wash up. Water needs to be boiled in emergency situations. Set up a way to boil the water. Let it cool down before putting it in a spray bottle. Be sure to put a washcloth to wash up with and a hand towel to dry off with in the sanitation kit.

Avoid Intestinal Ailments

  • Store drinking water, 1-gallon minimum, per person, per day. Store it now so you will have it ready in case of an emergency.
  • Know how to turn off the water-service valve to your home so no contaminated water can come into your home. Have a backup plan for emergency drinking, cooking and washing water in case your municipal supply is cut off.
  • In emergencies, boil contaminated water for five minutes. Keep hands clean and all food that has been exposed must be washed with clean water. Keep paper plates, cups and utensils in your grab-and-go kit so it minimizes the need to wash dishes.
  • Avoid using foods or liquids that might be contaminated. When in doubt, throw it out.

 

ION Water Treatment

 

I use a product called ION stabilized oxygen in all liquid to kill bacteria. It will keep the water safe for up to five years. It has been found to be very effective in water treatment. Many studies have been done on this product and it is concluded that ION will kill giardia, cholera and dysentery within a few minutes. It doesn’t have any of the harmful side effects that are associated with chlorine or Iodine. ION is a high concentration of oxygen.

One 2-ounce bottle will treat 110 gallons of water.

ION can be used medicinally to fight bacteria in the body. It can be used on cuts and wounds. ION will not harm the normal flora in our bodies. ION can be taken every day (five drops per 8-ounce glass of water). This will help boost the immune system by introducing stabilized oxygen into the bloodstream. It can also help you if you suffer from a bacterial or viral infection. During times of sickness caused by a bacterial or viral infection, take 50 drops every three hours diluted in a glass of water. The ION goes into the stomach and fights the bacteria or virus.

To purchase ION go to my website www.peggylayton.com. Click on ION water purification. Double click on the picture of the ION and all the information will come up on the many medicinal uses as well as water treatment. If you purchase 10 bottles at a time, you can get a discount. If you purchase 25 or more bottles, you can buy it wholesale.

Water Tanks For Emergency Water Storage

 

Water is king. Water storage is actually more important than food. Without good, clean, potable water, you won’t be able to eat the dehydrated food you are storing, keep yourself hydrated, wash dishes or clean yourself.

I keep water in several locations. I have a 185-gallon water storage tank that sits in the corner of my camping-equipment room. It needs to be located in an area that won’t freeze or overheat. The ideal temperature to store water is room temperature or below (65-45 degrees Fahrenheit). This water tank can be purchased on my website www.peggylayton.com.

I also keep smaller 5-gallon containers filled with water and ready to grab if needed. Any food-grade plastic container can be used to store water. The bottles that apple, cranberry or grape juices come in are ideal for water storage. Never use milk jug type containers because they are made to break down after about six months, and they will start to collapse and leak.

Food Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written (such as Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook, or Cookin’ with Home Storage), water storage tanks, ION water treatment, dehydrated or freeze-dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, Bio-Clean sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

 

Prepackaged Food Storage Meals With A 15-Year Shelf Life

I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day. I make the eFoods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping or hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient, and you don’t waste food that way.

This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on Take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out here.

— Peggy Layton

Be Thrifty and Simplify: Your Hedge Against Hard Economic Times

Are you in financial trouble? Are you unemployed? Are you in danger of losing your home? Are your debts draining your income and savings? Are you worried about the future? What will your children and grandchildren do if we have an economic collapse?

Perhaps you are one of the millions of people that want the government to fix this problem. The truth is that the fix begins with us. We can take control of our own situations and change how we deal with the problems the government has gotten us into.

I read an article about being thrifty in a magazine called The Philadelphia Trumpet, March 2011. I was very impressed with the article, which quotes Benjamin Franklin many times. The author, Dennis Leap, suggests several things that we as individuals can do to improve our own situations in hard times.

Don’t Wait For A Handout

Get out and make your own way. I know there are exceptions for people who have disabilities, however, if you are able to and can work, do it. Hard work is what this nation was founded upon. People are healthier mentally if they are working to pay their own way in life. Make it happen for yourself and you will feel happier and more satisfied than if you wait for someone else to give it to you.

Get Out Of The Habit Of Borrowing

Pay for what you get and don’t borrow or go into debt for anything other than a home and a vehicle. If you can possibly save up and pay cash for these things you can put the interest money in your own pocket and your savings will grow.

Be Thrifty

Being thrifty means using money and resources wisely and carefully. A thrifty person has self-discipline. It must become a habit to be thrifty and live within your means. Controlling spending builds character and self-control. There are two types of people in this world, producers and consumers. If you earn more than you spend, you are a producer. If you spend more than you earn, you are a consumer. Using credit cards and going into consumer debt is one of the things taking our nation down the road to economic collapse.

Live Simply

We live in a consuming society. The government’s answer to this issue is to give out stimulus packages designed to promote spending. The government says, “spend, spend, spend; that will save our nation.” Leaders want us to fill our houses with more stuff that we don’t need. They say that will fix the problem. The truth of the matter is that we need to buckle down and conserve our money and resources and take care of what we have. To avoid waste, we need to purchase quality items in the first place and take good care of them. That way we only need to purchase the items once.

Less really is more. We don’t take any of this with us when we die, yet we work so hard to pay for it while we are here. The truth is that if we lived more simply, we would have time for relationships with friends and family and we might just enjoy our lives a little more. Franklin taught that a full life is made rich with happy experiences and not stuff.

What To Do When Food Supplies Are Low

Many people in our nation are a bit overweight and could actually reduce their intake of food by half and still be fine for an extended period of time. Water is essential for short-term survival, but food is not. We can go for a few days on rationed food and still be OK. There is an exception to this for pregnant women, children and people with diseases that require their blood sugar levels to remain constant.

Ideas to help conserve on food reserves:

  • Purchase items in bulk and look for sale items that will give you more for your money.
  • Use coupons for items you normally purchase. Don’t buy something you know your family won’t use.
  • Learn to cook from scratch instead of purchasing pre-made foods that cost a lot more.
  • Don’t eat out so much; this will save you a lot of money. Fast food is an unnecessary expense that can be avoided by planning ahead.
  • Pack a nutritious lunch and take it to work with you. By not eating out every day you could easily save $200 to $300 per month. That money could be used to pay down debt or put into savings.
  • Look for less expensive cuts of meat and items that are on special.
  • Consume less junk food and sweets. Not only are they expensive, they also contribute to being unhealthy.
  • Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits by growing your own garden.
  • Bottle or can excess food that is in season.
  • Store fruits and vegetables in a root cellar or cold storage to use throughout the winter. Don’t waste any food. Use leftovers and make soups or stews from scraps of meat and vegetables left over from other meals. A high percentage of our leftover food from meals could be used again but is thrown out instead. I give all my unused food to my chickens. It helps me justify throwing it out. Leftovers can also be composted.

Ideas to stretch the dollar and conserve your hard-earned money:

  • If you’re buying a home, choose one that meets your needs but doesn’t put you in a financial bind. Don’t try to impress others with lavish purchases.
  • If you have less stuff you won’t need as big a house. If you live simply, it will be easier to clean your house.
  • Do as much of the home repairs and fix-up as possible yourself.
  • Do your own lawn mowing and trimming if possible rather than hiring it out. With a smaller home and less property there will be less maintenance, and the exercise you get will be beneficial to your health.
  • Get a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Car pool, walk or ride a bike whenever possible.
  • Rent movies instead of taking the family to the theater. You can watch a lot more movies and enjoy your time together as a family.
  • Give up unnecessary expenses such as a TV in every room, all the extra channels on the satellite or cable, and fancy cell phones with Internet charges attached.
  • Conserve energy by shutting off lights in the house and using more efficient light bulbs.
  • Weatherproof doors and windows to reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • When purchasing new appliances, furnaces or water heaters, choose energy-efficient models.
  • Shop for quality clothing on sale or shop bargain centers such as thrift shops. Many people donate perfectly good clothing and you can benefit from it. Quality classics last longer and do not need to be replaced as often.
  • Make a budget and stick to it.
  • Pay yourself 10 percent of every check and stash the cash. It will make you feel better to have a reserve of money just in case you need it.

Are you a producer or a consumer? People who have a good work ethic will find themselves in a position to help others that are in a bind. Having enough to share with others who are in need will not only bless others’ lives but will enrich our own. Peace of mind comes from knowing that in hard times you are the one giving instead of receiving.

Food Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written (such as Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook, or Cookin’ with Home Storage), water storage tanks, ION water treatment, dehydrated or freeze dried food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 years, wheat grinders, sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

Prepackaged Food Storage Meals With A 15-Year Shelf Life
I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day. I make the eFoods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping or hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient, and you don’t waste food that way.

This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on Take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out here.

— Peggy Layton

Make Your Own Solar Cooker

A friend of mine introduced me to the concept of making a solar oven out of three square mirrors inside a box or crate. The idea requires the use of mirrors inside the container to  reflect heat to the pot or Pyrex® cooking dish so it doesn’t burn or melt the box, crate or wood. It is safe this way.

I like to put the solar cooker on a table outside or on the cement sidewalk just to be safe. The mirrors are reflective, so keep them away from buildings and aim them south toward the sun, because mirrors can start fires. Rotate or refocus them every half hour to keep the food cooking evenly.

This cooker has two glass bowls, one on top of another. You will need a Pyrex® bowl and lid as well as an inner bowl made out of black enamel or glass, or even a small cast iron pan without a handle. The inner bowl traps the heat and cooks the food, while the outer bowl acts like a greenhouse, keeping heat and moisture inside the pot. You can use oven roasting bags. This will eliminate the need for an outer bowl or pot. I like to stock up on the roasting bags and keep them in my food storage.

Homemade Solar OvenThis solar cooker is inexpensive. I purchased my mirrors at Wal-Mart and used a heavy-duty cardboard box, with two sides cut off. The box works fine unless it rains. Wood would work, too, unless it got too much rain and started to warp.

My friend is very resourceful; he has used broken mirrors as well as scrap material that he salvaged. In event of some emergency, we may need to find broken mirrors and pieces of wood and make do with what we have. I believe it is imperative that we have skills that help us be better prepared in case of emergency. Learning how to make and use a solar cooker is one of those skills.

Windshield Sun Shade Oven

Use any type of reflective material such as a reflective Mylar® windshield visor, Mylar® bags, tin foil, Mylar insulation, aluminum, etc. Wrap it around in a half-circle or funnel so the bottom is open to the sun. Make sure the back is taller, so the sun can reflect into the bowl or cooking pot. Aim the oven to the south and watch the sun so it is focused on the reflective material. You can cut pieces of cardboard or wood and wrap tinfoil around them as well.

Homemade Solar OvenI decided to try it out, so I dug some new red potatoes from the garden, washed them and put them in the pot with water. I put the lid on the pot, put the pot in a turkey-roasting bag and tied it up with a twist-tie. I placed the pot on the cookie rack in the center of the Sun Shade Oven. In an hour the pot was boiling, and within three hours my potatoes were cooked. It was amazing and lots of fun. With a little creativity and skills we can improvise and learn to cook outdoors.

How To Build A Solar Cooker

Materials needed to build a solar cooker include:

  • A reflective Mylar® accordion-type folding car sunshade or insulation material that has Bubble Wrap® covered with reflective Mylar® material.
  • A cake rack or grill.
  • 6 inches of Velcro®, strips of duct tape or aluminum tape.
  • A black pot, Dutch oven or black enamel roasting pan.
  • A plastic roasting bag.
  • A small outdoor table, if needed.
  1. Lay the sunshade down so the notched side is toward the bottom. If using insulation, cut it into a rectangular shape that can be folded to provide 2 feet of reflection on three sides and a piece across the bottom.
  2. Cut the Velcro® into three 2-inch pieces. I like the Velcro® that has a sticky back on each side. I didn’t have Velcro® so I used aluminum tape, however duct tape will work as well.
  3. Space the Velcro® on the bottom of the sunshade. Put one piece on the right side and the other piece on the left side. The goal is to make a funnel shape out of the sunshade or tape the sunshade into a funnel with a flat bottom. I had to fold it over and take darts in the material to get it to lay flat.
  4. Put the Velcro pieces together. Set the Mylar® sunshade on top of an outdoor table or on anything that lifts the solar oven off the ground and can be turned and refocused toward the sun. I tried it on the cement sidewalk low to the ground, and it worked fine.
  5. Set the cake rack or grill in the center of the funnel so the pot will have a stable place to sit. The rack will keep the pot up away from the Mylar®. This allows the sun to reflect on the bottom of the pot and lets air circulate around the pot.
  6. It is good if you attach a temperature gauge to the inside of the pot so you can tell how hot it gets. Use a candy thermometer if you have one. This step is not necessary unless you are baking bread or something that you need to stay at a constant temperature.
  7. It is necessary to use a black pot or a roasting pan with a lid. If baking, you can use a cookie sheet, cake pan or bread pan. It is best to use the dark pans because they hold the heat. Put them inside a roasting bag and twist-tie it shut. Use a plastic roasting bag to enclose the pot. This keeps the heat inside the bag and helps the heat remain constant. These bags can be used over and over until they fall apart or get too dirty to clean. Just rinse the bags in between cooking with them.

Homemade Solar OvenThis oven acts like a slow cooker; if you leave it all day, your meal will be ready when you get home from work. Point the cooker in the direction of the sun to the south. Set it early in the morning pointing so that it will face the sun at noon, when the sun will be the highest. Let it set all day and enjoy a meal in the afternoon.

This solar cooker can be folded up and stored flat. It is lightweight and works really well. If you used duct tape to shape it, simply remove the tape and store the solar oven flat. Keep an extra role of tape to use the next time you cook with the sun.

Food Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in the commmercial SUN OVEN® and accessories featured in my recent article Cook With The Sun Using The SUN OVEN® or any of the seven books I have written (such as Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook, Cookin’ with Home Storage or Root Cellaring), 250-gallon water storage tanks, food-storage containers, ION water treatment, dehydrated food storage sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 or more years, wheat grinders, sewage treatment or 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

Prepackaged Food Storage Meals With A 15-Year Shelf Life

I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious, and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping, and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day. I make the eFoods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping, hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient. You don’t waste food that way. This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on Take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out here.

–Peggy Layton

Cook With The Sun Using The SUN OVEN®

We have no idea whether we will be hit by a natural disaster, a manmade disaster or even an economic collapse. With the SUN OVEN® you can be assured that you will have a way to cook no matter what happens.

The SUN OVEN® can be used anywhere there is sunlight. It can be used in the coldest part of the winter as long as the sun is shining. The ideal time to use the oven is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On a cloudy day, it will take a lot longer to cook, similar to a slow cooker.

The SUN OVEN® bakes, boils or steams any kind of food with the power of the sun. You can hard-boil an egg inside the SUN OVEN® without water. Just place the egg inside, and it will cook in about 20 minutes.

The SUN OVEN® is economical. It requires no fuel. And cooking with the SUN OVEN® reduces air-conditioning costs in the summer, because you are not heating up the kitchen with the conventional oven.

The even temperature of the sun allows it to cook evenly and never burns the food. There is no need to stir the food as you are cooking it. Because there is no airflow, the food stays moist and never dries out.

The SUN OVEN® works just like your home oven. It will reach temperatures of 350° to 400° F.  Yet it is totally safe, and there is no danger of fire.

The SUN OVEN® is easy to use and portable. It can be used in the back yard in case of a power failure. This makes it ideal to have in case of some sort of disaster.

The SUN OVEN® comes with a black enamel roasting pot with a lid. Enamelware is used because it is dark and holds heat, which allows the food to cook faster.

The SUN OVEN® is composed of an outer box made with very durable PVC plastic and an inner box made out of aluminum that has been sprayed with black, non-toxic powder coating to absorb the heat, which is easy to clean. The oven has a leg you can adjust to get the right angle of the sun. It also has a leveling tray inside, which you can adjust as needed to keep the pot from being lopsided if you’ve adjusted the oven’s leg.

The inner lining of the SUN OVEN® is made of insulation similar to that used in pizza ovens. It is so well insulated that it traps heat inside the box and allows it to cook anything in a small roasting pan that you normally would cook or bake in an oven. It has reflectors that fold out to reflect the sun and heat up the black inner box.

There is a tempered-glass door that locks to keep the heat inside the box. The glass heats up, so it is important to use oven mitts to reach into the SUN OVEN® when removing food. The glass locks down and heats up, which deters animals from getting inside to eat food that is being cooked.

The SUN OVEN® reflectors are made of anodized aluminum. They will never rust or oxidize, and they are 86 percent reflective. They fold down, lock and lay flat on top of the oven. The oven, which weighs only 21 pounds, has a handle and can be carried like a small suitcase.

The SUN OVEN® has a temperature gauge that allows you to regulate the heat.

Two Ways To Cook In A SUN OVEN®

  • As if you were cooking in a conventional oven: Check the SUN OVEN® every 20 to 30 minutes and refocus it toward the sun so it will get the same amount of heat.
  • As if you were cooking in a slow cooker: Put the food in the pot, place it in the SUN OVEN® and focus it facing south for midday sun. Leave it in from early morning until afternoon, and it will be done when you get home from work. There is no need to worry about the food burning or overcooking. It just keeps it warm, moist and fresh for hours.

Being Prepared To Cook In Case of Emergency Can Reduce Fear and Anxiety

The SUN OVEN® pays for itself in a short time. Thousands of SUN OVENS® have been sold and families are prepared with an alternative way to cook, steam and bake. The fuel the SUN OVEN® saves offsets its cost. The regular price is $269.95. It comes with the enamel roasting pan and lid. I own one of these ovens, and I have enjoyed using it and experimenting with breads and one-pot meals.

How much fuel and wood do you have set aside for preparedness? With the SUN OVEN® you won’t need any fuel or wood for cooking, just the power of the sun.

If you don’t ever need it for an emergency, you can use it to have fun with the children and grandchildren on a campout or just a fun backyard picnic. Make snacks like s’mores, dried fruit and fun desserts.

The SUN OVEN® Does Much More Than Cook

Some other things you can do in the SUN OVEN are:

  • Boil and pasteurize water.
  • Dehydrate fruits and vegetables.
  • Heat water for cleaning or bathing.
  • Kill bugs that may have infested your grain, beans, rice or other food storage.
  • Sanitize dishes.
  • Soften honey.
  • Sprout grains, seeds and legumes.

SUN OVENS® are being sent to Third World countries where the women must search for twigs, sticks and wood to cook because their resources are being depleted.

In my next article, I will explain how to make your own solar cooker or oven. It is less expensive and can be made with surplus materials.

If you are interested in the SUN OVEN® and accessories as well as cookbooks, you can check it out on my website.

Food Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in the SUN OVEN® and accessories featured in this article or any of the seven books I have written, such as Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook or Cookin’ with Home Storage, root cellar storage, 250-gallon water storage tanks, food-storage containers, ION water treatment, dehydrated food sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 or more years, wheat grinders, sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

Prepackaged Food Storage Meals With A 15-Year Shelf Life

I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious, and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping, and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day. I make the eFoods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping, hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient. You don’t waste food that way. This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out here.

–Peggy Layton

EDITOR’S NOTE: Peggy Layton and her family were featured in the TLC special “Livin’ For The Apocalypse,” which premiered on Aug. 28.

Build A Root Cellar To Store Vegetables

I have found that for us to be self-sufficient we must be able to store vegetables and fruit in a cold storage or root cellar. The root cellar provides a safe, stable year-round storage facility for many different types of vegetables that we grow ourselves or would normally find at a farmers market in the fall. If you do not have a garden, then take advantage of the farmers markets and the inexpensive abundance available at harvest time.

Root CellaringWe have a huge garden with many different vegetables that can be kept for winter eating. Last year, my husband built a root cellar. He got the plans from a book called Root Cellaring, Natural Cold storage of Fruits and Vegetables, by Mike and Nancy Bubel. This book is amazing, and we found it most helpful. It is available on my website www.peggylayton.com.

I stock up on all kinds of winter squash to store in my root cellar. We store food that we grow on our property such as potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, onions, apples and squash. I also store everything to make my homemade salsa such as tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and, of course, onions. We live in the mountains at about 5,500 feet. When it freezes in the fall, I always have tons of green tomatoes still on my vines. So I pick them green and place them in shallow boxes with newspaper on the bottom so if they do start to rot, the newspaper absorbs the moisture. I continually sort the tomatoes into rotten ones that might have gotten a little bit frozen and ripe red ones. As the green tomatoes ripen, I make canned salsa. My peppers stay fresh as well in the root cellar, because it stays cool just like a refrigerator. By Christmas time, all my tomatoes have ripened, and I have canned several large batches of salsa. It saves us a lot of money, and we don’t go to the grocery store as much in the winter.

I like the fact that I am not at the mercy of the produce that is shipped to us from Mexico and other places. I know that my food has been organically grown without pesticides or any chemical fertilizers. I believe that my family is healthier because we eat this way.

Building a Root Cellar

What kind of root cellar would be best for your family and property? There are several different types of root cellars. The size really doesn’t matter either. The location, depth of the cellar and its size totally depend upon your space and your needs. The underground cellar lends itself easily to the dirt and rocks that surround it.

When deciding on the size or type of root cellar, consider how much produce you want to store. Is it for your use only, or do you intend to share with other family members and friends? If times get tough, food will be more precious than gold. Since you can’t eat gold, you might consider selling or bartering some of your food.

A simple 5-by-8 cellar provides plenty of room for one person or two. An 8-by-8 cellar offers enough room for the average extended family, and a 10-by-10 cellar offers more than enough room for multiple families. Our root cellar is 6 feet by 12 feet.

The Pioneers Built Root Cellars

In the olden days, the pioneers had root cellars on every piece of property that was homesteaded. They were usually dug either into a hillside or as a deep pit, like an underground room. The pioneers either formed walls by stacking rocks and cementing them with natural clay that hardens as it dries or using just the dirt and sand to insulate them. A ceiling was put on top using cedar posts very close together and sealed with burlap, plastic or waterproof fabric, then covered with dirt on top. The cellars had a door or a hole on top with a ladder to get into the pit. The hole was covered with a large piece of wood to keep the snow out. This type of cellar keeps a constant cold temperature year-round. The pioneers were very innovative. They placed a large, flat slab of rock on other rocks that served as legs, which provided a table for the milk from the cow, eggs from the chickens and anything else that needed to stay cold like a refrigerator. The rock would get cold and stay cold year-round. The root cellars were always vented, so they had circulation to keep them dry inside and bring cool air into the cellar.

Root Cellar pitThe ideal temperature in a root cellar is about 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Our root cellar heats up to about 50 degrees in the summer. That is when most fresh produce has rotted or been thrown out to the chickens. As it cools down, it will keep produce very nicely.

In The Basement, Under The Porch, Surrounded By Cement

If you are building a new home, you can plan for a cold storage or cellar that is attached to your home or adjoining a basement. If you do not have a basement, you can take an outbuilding and insulate it really well to use as a cold storage. Some homes have a wine cellar. This type of room is ideal for keeping fresh produce because it is underground and stays cool. Just remember to vent it so you have air circulation. The photo below is a cement room under a porch that has a dirt floor in part of the room for a potato pit.

In The Ground, With A Food Storage Building On Top

This is the type of root cellar we built, and we really like it. The only drawback is that it cost a lot more money than we expected: about $6,000. The photo below is of our root cellar with a stairway that goes down to the cellar and a food storage room on top of the cellar.

Root Cellar pitIt attaches to the other shed that we keep all our camping and evacuation equipment in. It looks fairly normal, and no one would know it was a root cellar if we didn’t tell them. My husband decided to use cinder block for the walls. He backfilled behind the walls with sand to insulate the room even more. The ceiling is made of cement with a lot of rebar. It has worked out well and keeps everything cool and dry. The next project is to build shelves for the crates of potatoes, apples, carrots, beets, etc., to sit on. The shelves must be made of pretreated lumber so the wood doesn’t get moist, rot and fall apart.

Built Into The Side Of A Hill

A dugout is the cheapest type of root cellar to build; however, extra care must be taken to make sure it is well insulated. Your cellar is better protected during the winter months because the earth top and sides are great insulators. The snow in the winter is also a great insulator. The floor of the dugout should be graded on a slight downward slope, so rain or snowmelt will drain away if it seeps into the cellar. The floor of the dugout should have at least 4 inches of sand or rock to help with drainage and allow any water that might get into the cellar to seep into the sand and keep the cellar dry. The dirt that surrounds the cellar keeps the produce cool year-round.

Using leaves or grass clipping on top of root vegetables

I remember my grandparents telling stories about the Great Depression. They would take all the leaves and grass clippings from the yard and cover the carrots, beets and turnips with the mulch. When they wanted to harvest the root vegetables, they would just lift the leaves with a shovel and dig the carrots, beets and turnips. The root vegetables were just fine with a pile of leaves on top of them for insulation.

If you have access to bags of leaves or bags of mulch, put them directly over the carrots, beets and turnips. When you want to dig them up, just brush the snow away, lift the bag of mulch off the vegetables and dig. Put the bags back over the root vegetables and keep them there until you want to dig again. This makes it easier, because all you have to do is lift the bags. It keeps the ground insulated enough that it will not freeze the vegetables.

You can dig a big pit to keep potatoes or apples in. Line the pit with a tarp or heavy duty plastic. Lay the apples in the pit, being careful not to smash them. Cover the apples with another tarp, and pile all your fall leaves on top of the tarp for insulation. When you want apples, just lift the tarp and leaves and grab what you need. Cover it back up with the leaves for protection.

Another idea for a cold storage is an old refrigerator or freezer buried into the ground with the back of the refrigerator toward the bottom of the hole so the lid will lift up. This will insulate the crops enough to keep them from freezing in the winter.

I have seen people bury large metal garbage cans with lids on them in the ground. They put sand in the bottom of the cans. Carrots, beets and turnips keep well in sand. You can also pull up cabbage by the roots and stand them up in the sand with their roots down.

Building Materials: Wood

Always use pressure-treated lumber when building shelves, or the wood will eventually rot and fall apart. If you are going to go to all the work of building shelves, it is wise to spend the money needed to get the better wood.

The food storage room that we built on top of our root cellar is made of wood. Its well-insulated walls measure 2 inches by 6 inches. The floor, which is also a ceiling for the room below, is made of cement. It has a slanted roof that extends past the building so the snow and rain won’t seep into the walls. It has about 4 inches of gravel so the water will drain away from the building.

Building Materials: Dirt, Gravel, Sand Or Cement

Our root cellar has a dirt floor mixed with sand and gravel. It absorbs humidity and keeps potatoes from rotting. Just lay the potatoes in a dirt pit, and they will be fine. Potatoes love the dirt. I sort through my potatoes periodically and discard any that are rotting.

The walls of our root cellar are made of cinder block, which is similar to cement. The ceiling is made of cement with rebar in it. Cinder block, cement, stacked-rock or dirt walls all work well for the cellar. What you’re trying to achieve is a well-insulated room.

Tomatoes, peppers, onions, squash and apples need a dryer environment. Carrots, potatoes, beets, cabbage and turnips need a more humid environment. You might need two rooms that have different humidity levels. The room on top of our root cellar is well insulated and has a cement floor. It’s just right for onions, squash and apples. Keep apples and onions away from each other or on opposite sides of the room. Otherwise, they will spoil.

Tending Your Root Cellar

Root Cellar pitRoot cellars need vents to keep airflow going through the cellar. It helps keep the temperature constant and release any gasses that come from the food as it ripens. This allows fresh air to circulate throughout the cellar to keep the food fresh, dry and cool.

We are in process of building shelves along the sides of our cellar room where we will put crates full of fruits and vegetables. The crates we will use have slats on all sides and the bottom. That allows the air to circulate around the vegetables and fruit. Keeping the produce dry and cool will make it last longer. We plan to use stackable crates that are made to last, with screws to hold the sides together. The crates come in a kit with all four sides prebuilt. All you have to do is screw them together. To order the kits go to www.peggylayton.com.

We have a thermometer with a humidity gauge in our root cellar. We check it frequently each month throughout the year and it only fluctuates for 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit from summer to winter. That is the perfect temperature.

We have lights in our cellar. We leave the lights on during the coldest months of the winter to warm up the room just a bit during freezing weather. The dirt on the sides and top of the cellar keep the room insulated and protect it from freezing, too.

I like to check the produce every few days as I use the food in the cellar. If I see signs of spoilage or mold, I get rid of the food immediately. We have chickens, and they love the discarded food. We learned the hard way about mold on our winter harvest. We covered our squash with a wool blanket so it would not freeze, and it caused all the squash to mold. So remember: Produce must have airflow. Without it, you might lose your whole crop.

If your cellar gets too warm or too cold, you can open the vents or even stuff them with socks to cool down or warm up the room. Play around with leaving the door open at night to cool off the room, then shutting it during the day. Try to keep the temperature constant if you can regulate it.

Emergency Foor Storage & Survival HandbookFood Storage And Self-Sufficiency Products Available

If you are interested in any of the seven books I have written, such as Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook or Cookin’ with Home Storage Cookbook; root cellar storage box kits; 250-gallon water storage tanks, food-storage containers, ION water treatment, solar “Sun Ovens,” dehydrated food sealed in gallon-sized cans with a shelf life of 15 or more years, wheat grinders, sewage treatment, 72-hour packs or emergency medical supplies, click here.

Prepackaged food storage meals, with a 15 year shelf life

I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious, and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping, and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day; I make the eFoods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping, hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient. You don’t waste food that way. This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out here.

–Peggy Layton

EDITOR’S NOTE: Look for Peggy Layton on the upcoming TLC special “Livin’ For The Apocalypse,” which premieres on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 10 p.m. EDT.

 

Storing and using dried eggs and powdered milk

When I go to the grocery store, it’s usually because I am out of milk, butter, sour cream, yogurt or eggs. Fresh eggs and fresh dairy products are hard to store and highly perishable. My husband and I have chickens and gather fresh eggs every day. But what do you do if you don’t have chickens or a cow or a goat, and what if you live in an apartment or an area of the city where raising animals is prohibited?

I believe dried products are the answer. You will hear them called dried, powdered and dehydrated. These are all terms for the same process. The water is removed, and the product is dry. It’s fairly simply to reconstitute them; you just add water.

The following items are available on my website. I can ship them to you in gallon-sized cans that are prepackaged in a case of six cans for long-term storage (five or more years). They have oxygen absorbers in them to preserve the food and increase the shelf life. The products available for purchase include: dried whole eggs, scrambled egg mix, powdered milk, dried buttermilk, sour cream powder, butter powder, cheddar cheese powder and mac-and-cheese powder. At www.peggylayton.com, you can pick and choose any six dried products to make up a case.

Any recipe calling for eggs or milk can easily be converted to use dried and powdered milk and eggs. I have written two books that are very informative: Cookin’ With Dried Eggs and Cookin’ with Powdered Milk. The egg book features recipes for scrambled eggs, omelets, egg custards, French toast, pancakes, waffles, crepes, egg noodles, mac and cheese, quiche, egg pie, breads, salads and desserts.

The powdered milk book explains how to make whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, buttermilk, quick and easy cheddar cheese, feta or farmer cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, cream cheese, cheese sauce, milk beverages, sauces, soups, chowders and puddings. The book also includes recipes for simple suppers. Both books are available on the website.

Dried eggs can be stored long-term

Whole Dehydrated EggThe only practical way to have a supply of eggs on hand for long-term storage is in the dried form. They can be reconstituted with a small amount of water to make them the consistency of liquid eggs. These reconstituted eggs can be used to substitute for any egg called for in a recipe. Because the product is real egg, it must be treated like fresh eggs. Kept in a cool, dry place away from moisture and cook thoroughly. I like to keep dried eggs in the refrigerator in quart jars with tight-fitting lids.

Dried eggs are made from fresh grade-A eggs that go through a special process to dehydrate or freeze-dry them. They are 100 percent eggs and can be used in baked goods or scrambled eggs, just like fresh eggs.

The shelf life of dried eggs

Dried EggsOnce dried eggs are opened, they need to be used within one to two years. If unopened and kept cool, the eggs last five to 10 years. It is important to purchase the dried eggs that have been nitrogen packed or that have oxygen absorbers in the can to remove all oxygen. Oxygen left in the can increases rancidity and the loss of nutritional value.

Dried eggs should not be used in uncooked beverages or foods such as eggnog, salad dressing or ice cream. Cooking the product thoroughly will kill any salmonellae or other bacteria that might be in the product.

Reconstituting dried eggs

There are two ways to use dried eggs (make only the amount of eggs called for in the recipe):

  • Method No. 1: Measure the dried egg with a measuring spoon. One fresh egg equals 2½ tablespoons of dried egg powder mixed with 2 ½ tablespoons of water. Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the egg over the top. Whisk it together until it is smooth.
  • Method No. 2: Combine all dry ingredients, sift and measure the dried egg before combining it with the dried ingredients. The extra water needed to reconstitute the egg is added to the wet ingredients in the recipe.

Recipe for scrambled eggs or omelet

1 cup dried whole egg powder
2 tablespoons powdered milk
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until well blended.
  2. Pour mixture in the bottom of a frying pan with a little oil.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon each of other ingredients if you wish, such as dried cheese powder, dried bacon bits, reconstituted green pepper, mushroom and onion.
  4. Let the egg mixture cook until it can be broken up into scrambled eggs, or use it as an omelet and turn it to cook the other side.

Powdered milk for long-term food storage

100% real instant Non-fat milkPowdered milk was developed out of necessity. For years, man tried to find ways to preserve milk, because it will not keep in its natural state. The dehydration process was developed to preserve the nutritional value for longer periods of time. Powdered milk is made from 100 percent fresh milk that has gone through a process to remove the cream and water. The non-fat instant powdered milk contains no fat, which results in half the calories, yet retains the natural calcium, phosphorus, minerals, essential protein, carbohydrates and lactose, or milk sugar.

Powdered milk is made by removing some of the water, creating highly concentrated, thicker milk. This thick milk is then sprayed onto a revolving heated drum. The drum has a chamber containing hot air that pulls the water away from the milk, leaving powdered, or dry, milk.

The advantages of using powdered milk include:

  • It needs no refrigeration
  • It can be easily stored and used for long-term food storage.
  • It prevents waste.
  • It mixes and measures easily.
  • It is low-fat and contains only half the calories of fluid milk.
  • It’s economical.

Any recipe calling for fluid milk can be converted to using powdered milk by following the instructions on the label and adding water to reconstitute it. Powdered milk can be added dry to the dry ingredients in any recipe. Just add to the wet ingredients in the recipe the amount of water necessary to reconstitute the powdered milk.

Storing powdered milk

The ideal temperature for storing powdered milk is 40 degrees F. It needs to be in a cool, dry place away from moisture and light. The galvanized gallon-sized container the milk is stored in is ideal because it has an oxygen absorber that removes the oxygen and extends the life of the milk. Powdered milk can be kept on a shelf in a container with a tight-fitting lid for six months to a year. If you open a can or box of powdered milk, repackage it into quart jars with tight-fitting lids. I like to keep my powdered milk in the refrigerator so it will keep longer. Light will cause deterioration of the milk as well. If the flavor is changing and you smell an odor, make cheese with the powdered milk. I add sun dried tomatoes and basil to my cheese, and it is delicious.

To make powdered milk taste better, reconstitute it and chill overnight. Whip it in a blender to incorporate more air into the milk. I used to mix half and half regular milk with reconstituted powdered milk and put it in the milk jugs so my children didn’t notice we were using powdered milk. This is how I would rotate the milk. My daughter still teases me today for this.

Here’s how to incorporate powdered milk into recipes:

  • Use 1/4 cup powdered milk to 1 cup of potatoes. Powdered milk in mashed potatoes makes the potatoes creamier. Use the potato water to get the right consistency of liquid.
  • Add 1/4 cup powdered milk to each cup of cooked cereal before you cook it.
  • Add 1/4 cup powdered milk to meatloaf for each pound of meat and mix well. Powdered milk will add tenderness and flavor by absorbing and holding meat juices.
  • Powdered milk produces better browning in baked goods.
  • Powdered milk can be sifted with dry ingredients for cakes and breads, or mixed into flour for sauces and gravies. Just add the liquid to the wet ingredients. It works as well as reconstituting it first.

Yogurt from powdered milk

2 cups instant powdered milk
2 tablespoons plain yogurt from the store
3 cups lukewarm water

  1. Blend all ingredients in the blender or whisk until it is dissolved.
  2. Place it in glass jars in a warm area of your kitchen. It can take anywhere from four hours to a day to thicken up and make yogurt. Do not stir or disturb it for the entire time. Placing the jars in an oven that is set at the lowest temperature (110 to 120 degrees F) will speed up the process.
  3. When the yogurt is finished, chill it in the refrigerator. You can add fresh fruit and ½ teaspoon of vanilla per quart jar of yogurt.

Cookin' With Dried EggsYogurt is fermented milk. Bacterial microorganisms change the lactose of the milk to lactic acid. This helps preserve the milk longer. It can be kept in the refrigerator for a month. Yogurt is good for you and contains friendly bacteria, which aids in the digestive process.

If you are interested in purchasing any of the dried dairy products or books talked about in this article, click here.

Packaged meals

I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious, and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping, and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day; I make the e-foods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping, hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient. You don’t waste food that way. This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out here.

–Peggy Layton

Setting Up A Food Storage Pantry

I strongly suggest you find a place in your home or on your property somewhere — either in a basement, spare bedroom, closet, junk room, under the stairway, heated garage, out building or root cellar — and turn it into your own home grocery store and pharmacy. Somehow, get shelves in there: Build them, have them built or buy them pre-built. The room needs to be well insulated so it doesn’t freeze in the winter or overheat in the summer.

My pantry is located in the utility room next to my kitchen. I had about 2 feet of wasted space between the door and the wall, so I had two sets of rolling shelves built to fit in the space. They pull out and can be loaded from the back so the cans roll down and get rotated before their expiration date. This is where I keep the food that our family uses on a daily basis. These rolling shelves hold case goods that I purchase when the grocery stores have case lot sales and other items that we use on a regular basis. (see photo below)

 Kitchen Pantry

My freezer is also located in this room, and I keep it stocked with the meats and frozen vegetables. I always store yeast in the freezer for making bread as well as other items like nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds, and butter. Even cheese can be kept frozen to extend its shelf life.

I call my pantry “my home grocery store.” I set it up like a well-stocked storehouse so I can shop at home. It is convenient and saves me money by eliminating impulse buying. I encourage you to set up your own home grocery store. I have covered the subject of what to store and how much to store in previous articles. It is recommended that you “store what you eat and eat what you store,” otherwise you might get sick. A crisis is not the time to change your family’s diet.

My Dehydrating, Sprouting And Baking Center

On each side of my rolling shelves, I have regular shelves on which I keep my baking items. After I dry the food, I put it in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and store it on the shelves in the pantry.

I like to dehydrate excess fruits and vegetables from my garden and orchard. Every year, we have an abundance of apples, pears, peaches, apricots, cherries and plums. I take the pits out, slice the fruit and place it on the dehydrating trays in my commercial dehydrator.

I even dry tomatoes, onions, cabbage, corn, peas, beans and zucchini. I really like to make zucchini chips by slicing the zucchini into thin, round slices, sprinkling Italian herbs on them and dehydrating them. We eat these chips as a fun snack.

 Kitchen PantryI also sprinkle Italian herbs on slices of tomatoes and dry them. They are great to snack on or use in any recipe calling for sun-dried tomatoes

One of my favorite things to do is to dehydrate the tops of the onions we harvest. I cut them into 1-inch pieces and dry them. I crush them up and use them when I need extra flavoring for omelets, spaghetti sauce or anything else that needs onion seasoning. I store the onion tops in plastic containers.

I also like to dehydrate vegetables (such as zucchini, green and red peppers, and onions) and herbs together. I put them in the blender after they are dry and make an herbal seasoning that can be mixed with salt to make herbal seasoning salt. It is very good on all foods, and I use it like salt.

I like to make bread, so I have a wheat grinder, bread maker and tortilla maker. I also have many grains that I use to make multi-grain bread. I put the grains in gallon-sized, see-through containers so I can see what I have and can find them easily. I like to keep them in an easy-to-access location; because if I can’t find my products, I probably won’t use them. Being organized is very important and helps me rotate my food. This ultimately helps me save money because I am purchasing in bulk, storing what I eat and eating what I store.

The top shelf of my pantry was designed to hold my canning equipment, sprouting jars, roaster pan and other seasonal equipment.

My Extended Pantry

 Kitchen Pantry

Your extended pantry should contain all the food and non-food items necessary to replenish the kitchen pantry. My extended pantry is in a well-insulated shed that my husband built on top of our root cellar. It is close to our house, so I can get to it year round. A closet under a stairway, garage or storage room would work well also for extra items. Just make sure it doesn’t freeze or overheat.

Every time I go to the grocery store, I get two of each item that I normally buy, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, pickles, olives, cream soups, mayonnaise, salad dressing, spaghetti sauces, mixes, etc. I put one away and use the other. I keep adding more and more of a variety of items to my home grocery store. It is so nice to have food items on hand when I make meals. This saves me time, since I don’t have to run to the grocery store because I am out of something. If we did have a situation where I could not get to the grocery store for an extended period of time, I would have what I needed.

Planned menus can eliminate the panic feeling you get when you know you should store food and you don’t know where to begin. I have included a chart in my book, Food Storage 101. Where do I begin? for planning menus for two weeks. It asks you to list every ingredient to make sure you have each item on hand.

If you plan your food storage program out carefully, you can avoid impulse or panic buying, which will save you a lot of money and grief. Anticipate your needs for a three-month period of time. Buy bulk foods in larger quantities and store them in plastic food-grade buckets that have airtight lids. See my previous articles, Dehydrated Food: What To Store And How Much To Store and How To Store Bulk Foods.

My Long-Term Food Storage

 Kitchen Pantry

My long-term food storage area is in my basement. I store six large cases of toilet paper and various other paper products like paper plates, cups, paper towels, plastic utensils etc.

I also store large quantities of dehydrated vegetables, fruit, mixes, sauces, rice, soup mixes, powdered milk and baking items in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and in a place that stays a constant temperature of around 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hot or cold fluctuations in temperatures can destroy the nutritive value of the food and shorten its shelf life. A well-insulated basement or cold storage area, garage or shed is ideal. I realize that some people don’t have a basement; that’s why it is so important to plan a space that can stay cooler than the rest of the house.

Buckets Of Wheat, Rice, Beans, Pastas, And Sprouting Seeds

 Kitchen Pantry

I keep all my bulk foods in buckets. All my mixes, grains, beans, pastas, sprouting seeds, e-Foods, prepackaged meals, baking items, sauces and gravy mixes go in buckets as well. This keeps mice from getting to the food and any other critters that can burrow through packages.

I label my buckets with what is in them and the date they were purchased. When I run out of rice, beans, wheat, etc. in my pantry, I get another bucket from the basement to replace it. I know what I have and how much is there so it can be rotated and replaced. It’s a good idea to keep an inventory sheet with what you have on hand and how long it takes to use it up.

Packaged Meals

I have been storing packaged meals called eFoods. They are ideal for long-term food storage because they are packaged in Mylar® pouches that serve four people. Everything is in the pouch except water. Just add water and cook the food for 15 minutes, and it’s done. The meals are delicious, and the company will let you try samples of the meals before you buy. Just pay $9.95 for shipping and you get three meals that serve four people. I find them very delicious and easy to make. That is what you need in a crisis situation. I don’t just save them for a rainy day; I make the e-foods for meals when I am in a hurry, in the mountains, camping, hiking or feeding a crowd. I have decided that premade meals are the best food storage you can buy. They are fast, easy and convenient. You don’t waste food that way. This company has a program through which you can get one box of food per month. They call it “auto-shipment,” and it’s great! All you need is 10 minutes to set it up, and your food storage will be on auto-ship. Each month, you get a box of food delivered to your home. Go to the website, click on take the Freedom Tour, sign up for the free food and enjoy. Check it out at www.peggylayton.efoodsglobal.com

Water Storage

 Kitchen PantryWater is king. It is actually more important than food. Without good, clean, potable water, you won’t be able to eat the dehydrated food you are storing.

I keep water in several locations. I have a 185-gallon water storage tank that sits in the corner of my camping-equipment room. It needs to be located in an area that won’t freeze or overheat. The ideal temperature to store water in is room temperature or below (65-45 degrees Fahrenheit).

If water heats up in plastic containers, it will leach the plastic into the water and can be harmful to your health. Do not leave bottled water in a vehicle in the heat of the sun for the same reason.

I also keep smaller 5-gallon containers filled with water and ready to grab if needed.

Any food-grade plastic container can be used to store water in. The bottles that apple, cranberry or grape juices come in are ideal for water storage. Never use milk jugs because they are made to break down after about six months, and they will start to collapse and leak.

 Kitchen Pantry

Stabilized Oxygen

I use ION (stabilized oxygen) water treatment in my water tank and containers. It kills all bacteria and keeps the water safe for five years. One 2-ounce bottle will treat 110 gallons of water.

The Goal

The goal is to acquire a three-month, well-rounded stock of food, water, medical supplies, non-food items, sanitation items, warm clothing, fuel, lighting, shelter and anything necessary for survival, so you will be prepared for any situation. Keep these items in a place where they can be easily found if needed

Emergency Food Storage and Survival HandbookThis information came from my books Food Storage 101. Where do I begin? And Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. For more information about the products mentioned in this article, such as ION water treatment, 185-gallon water storage tanks, eFoods long-term dehydrated food storage, as well as the books I have written, go to my website.

–Peggy Layton

It’s Never Too Late To Be Prepared

How prepared are you? How long could you live away from your home? What if you were given 10 minutes to evacuate? Are you prepared to be without a grocery store and pharmacy for a few weeks? Would you have enough food and water to survive for a few days, even a few weeks, in the event it took this long to get help?

This has happened to thousands of people across the United States. Do you believe natural disasters could not happen to you or your family? Maybe it is time to ask yourself: What am I prepared for?

We have heard much about recent natural disasters, such as tornadoes, droughts, flooding, earthquakes and tsunamis. The price of oil has gone up, causing the price of gas to rise. The cost of some commodities has doubled.  Some parts of the world are experiencing terrible droughts, while other places have been hit with massive flooding, which may result in no food being grown there for many seasons. What are these people going to do?

Demand for preparedness items is also on the rise. There is no better time to prepare for a disaster than now. Don’t make the mistake of thinking events like those described above will not affect you. Now is the time to make a plan and prepare for any disasters or hard economic situations your family could face. If you don’t act now, you may regret it later.

Food Storage Brings A Sense Of Security

Creating a stable storage of food will give you a greater sense of security. There is an LDS scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants, which reads: “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30). It is important to do your best to be prepared, so your family can eat healthy and nutritious food — no matter what happens.

I always think of my adult children, living in city apartments. Security and peace of mind in times of a disaster or crisis can be one of the greatest assets we have. An adequate and well-balanced food supply, including clean water, is a major part of economic security, and possibly the greatest key to survival.

Self-Reliance

People unite in hard times when they share or trade food and other supplies. When a tornado struck our community, I was amazed at how we pulled together to help one other. The Federal Emergency Management Agency had to tell our city to stop cleaning up the mess so they could assess the damage.

With proper food storage, we are better prepared to endure times of hardship without becoming dependent upon the government, church, family or others. I believe I need to prepare for my family first, and then prepare for others who may need my help.

Acquiring the skills to produce and prepare food and other items essential for life in a disaster creates the security and stability our families need. If a disaster does occur and we are forced to temporarily change our normal lifestyles, we can do so with a minimum amount of stress and panic if we have prepared.

Basic Food Storage

I recommend having a two-week to three-month supply of food on hand for an emergency. Emergency food is quick and easy to fix, usually requiring only water and cooking to prepare. Some emergency meals are ready to eat, such as MREs and canned tuna or other fish.

Start with basic food storage. These foods include items such as dehydrated fruits and vegetables; beans and other legumes; wheat and other grains; powdered milk and other dried dairy products; premade mixes; baking items such as salt, sweeteners and oil; and enough non-hybrid garden seeds to grow a garden for at least five years. It is best to store foods you know your family will eat, ensuring that no food is wasted. In other words, store what you eat and eat what you store. It is a good idea to become familiar with dried foods and the healthy and nutritious ways they can be prepared. I have written a series of cookbooks on the subject; they are available here.

Peggy Layton's Kitchen PantryYour kitchen pantry should be filled with things you use on a daily basis to prepare meals and paper products. An extended pantry can be created in another part of the house or garage, and it should contain larger quantities of food and paper products as well as personal hygiene products, first aid items and medicines. Long-term food storage items are sealed for 15 years or more; they can be stored in a basement or cool dark room away from the kitchen. Set up your pantry, extended pantry and long-term food storage as if it were your very own grocery store and pharmacy.

To figure out how many food and non-food items you need to store, keep inventory of what you use and how long it lasts, and then figure out how much a three-month, six-month and a one-year supply would be. If you use one can of coffee per month, then you know you need to stock three cans for a three-month supply, six cans for a six-month supply and 12 cans for a year’s supply. Keep track of your inventory of laundry detergent, soaps, personal hygiene products, first aid items and paper products (like toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, tissues, napkins, etc.) as well. You will want to stock up on anything that improves your quality of life and would be difficult to obtain in an emergency.

Also, remember to store enough pet food to last in a crisis. Animals are like children to most people; they need to be fed as well.

Water Is No. 1

Without clean, potable water, the dehydrated food storage products you store cannot be reconstituted. It is imperative that you make sure you have a water storage plan in place to provide at least a couple weeks of water for your family. I recommend you store a minimum of 1-2 gallons of water per day, per person. You will be glad you did.

In other parts of the world they regularly deal with illness and death due to a lack of clean drinking water. Make sure you have water storage containers made from heavy, food-grade plastic to ensure your family is getting the safest water possible. I purchased a water storage tank that holds 250 gallons of clean, potable water. This tank takes up a minimum amount of space, and the heavy plastic will not collapse or break down due to sunlight or harsh weather.

ION Water Treatment

ION is a stabilized oxygen product that is very effective in water treatment. Many studies found that ION will kill giardia, cholera and dysentery within a few minutes. It doesn’t have any of the harmful side effects associated with chlorine or Iodine. ION contains a high concentration of oxygen; high levels of oxygen kill harmful bacteria.

My husband and I take ION to Mexico and other countries when we go on vacation. We use it in all of our drinks, and we do not get sick when others in our group do.

I do not claim that ION will cure anything, however I personally would not be without it in my medicine chest or medical kit.

ION water treatment will keep my water safe for five years or longer. It will kill bad bacteria in the water. I am so impressed with my water tank and the ION to go in it that I sell them on my website. The water tanks and ION water treatment can be purchased from www.peggylayton.com.

Dirty Water From A Lake Or Pond

What do you do when you only have water from ponds, lakes, rainwater or irrigation, and it is not safe to drink? Boil the water, of course. Boiling will kill pathogens, sterilizing your water. If the water is dirty, strain it through a dishtowel into a bowl or cup before boiling it or adding ION. This can remove much of the dirt and debris before the water is sterilized.

Storable Gourmet Meals That You Can Serve or Store For The Future

Many times, I have been asked: “What is the quickest and easiest way to build up food reserves for three months to a year?” I’ve been testing a line of nutritious and easy gourmet meals from eFoods Global, which can be stored for a minimum of 15 years. They offer a new concept: storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable, clean and convenient for daily use. It reminds me of the pre-packaged food from the grocery store, such as soup mixes, Hamburger Helper® and Rice-A-Roni®.

Features of eFoods Global include:

  • Food dehydrated from premium-grade, fresh raw fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains and legumes.
  • Meals complete as they are — all you do is add water.
  • Meals can be used every day for fast, convenient and healthy food.
  • Meals contain no genetically modified (GMOs) foods.
  • No added monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • No imports from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides.
  • No hydrogenated oils.
  • Meals are packaged for long-term storage in Mylar® pouches.

The company lets you try before you buy. Simply go to www.peggylayton.efoodsglobal.com, take the Food Freedom Tour and claim your free samples of eFoods to test and try before you buy. You will receive three packages of sample food, which will feed two to four people per package. Just pay for shipping.

I am very impressed with their food, especially the fact that it contains no MSG. I am very sensitive to MSG and get sick within 20 minutes if I eat foods containing this additive. I have never gotten sick eating meals from eFoods Global.

It is dehydrated, not freeze-dried, so the prices are very reasonable. Each meal takes only 15 to 20 minutes to cook, and the cooking instructions are on each package. The food is delicious!

I like to store them in the heavy-duty boxes they come in. However, another good way to store these meals is in 5-gallon buckets with tight-fitting lids.

The packages include soups like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar. Entrées and other baking items include chicken pasta Alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, seasoned instant potatoes, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, granola, powdered milk, wheat bread mix and buttermilk biscuit mix.

For most of us it is not too late to get prepared for an emergency. Stocking up now will save money for the future when the prices go up.

To purchase any of the seven books I have written, dehydrated food, water storage, water purification or preparedness products go to www.peggylayton.com. Or e-mail me at splayton@sisna.com.

 

Gardening Hints And Tips

Gardening season is upon us, and the garden must be tended in order to have a successful harvest. Gardening is one of the more popular leisure activities in the United States. An average backyard garden will cost about $30 for seeds and about $50 for organic potting soil and fertilizers, yet it will yield more than $600 in fresh, organic produce. That is a great investment, not only for our finances but also for our health.

5 Reasons To Grow A Garden

  1. Health is the main reason people grow gardens. The food we plant, grow and prepare for our families is healthier than produce purchased from the grocery store. If we grow our own food, we know whether it is organic, since we control the fertilization, pest-control and harvesting methods. Gardening is great for mental health, too. Working hard in a garden gives us pleasure in accomplishing something wonderful.
  2. Stress relief occurs when we do something meaningful that makes us happy. Planting and digging in the dirt relieve stress and make us feel better.
  3. Connecting to the Earth slows us down and grounds us. The soil, the worms and the living plants are fascinating to watch. When we slow down long enough, we become aware of the miracle of life.
  4. Self-sufficiency is another great reason to grow a garden. With the cost of commodities rising rapidly, gardening can offset the high cost of food. This puts more money in our pockets to use for other necessities.
  5. We save money by going to the grocery store less often. It’s possible to save hundreds of dollars per growing season, which really helps with the food budget.

Location

If you live in a cramped space and have a small yard, you can still grow a garden. Look around and see if you have places to put tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, etc. Flower gardens are ideal, because you can plant vegetables between flowers. Some flowers help with bug control. For example, marigolds ward off some garden pests.

The location of your garden is important. It needs to be a sunny, well-drained location, rich in compost and soil texture. Plant taller plants on the north side of the yard or garden so they won’t shade shorter plants. Plants can be planted along fences, patios and corners of lots, even in the yard. A strip of grass can be removed from the lawn and worked to become a raised vegetable bed.

Raised Beds

PHOTO OF RAISED BEDS IN GARDENRaised beds are ideal for small areas.  You can either shape the dirt into a hill or use a wooden frame around the grow bed. The frame is made of 2-by-4 planks placed in a rectangular shape. Use two 2-by-4 planks stacked one on top of the other to make the bed 8 inches tall, or use two 2-by-8 planks stacked one on top of the other to make the bed 16 inches tall. Make the bed 3 feet wide and as long as your space allows. The soil in the raised beds can be added to and maintained even if the texture of the surrounding soil is poor and has bad drainage. Make your raised bed level even if your garden spot is on a slope, so the water will remain in the bed and the soil will not wash away. Cultivate the soil 2 inches deeper than the height of the grow bed. Add mulch, compost or organic matter, and then dig down and turn the soil. Use a pitchfork to break up dirt clots. Rake it into a nice, level bed. Once that’s done, it is ready for planting.

Continue to add more compost so the soil improves each year. My husband is in the process of putting wood chips between the rows to keep the moisture in and the weeds out.

Container Gardening

If you are an apartment dweller and long to have a garden, try container gardening. Herbs and vegetables are great for containers, because they can be moved indoors when the weather gets too cold. Onions, radishes and lettuce mixtures can be grown in containers. Tomatoes and sweet bell peppers can be grown in large pots on the balcony. Zucchini and cucumbers can be trained to grow up a trellis or wire fencing. This way, they grow in a smaller space and the vegetables can be picked easily.

Soil

Use organic, inexpensive material such as vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, tea leaves, manure, chicken droppings, mulch, potting soil, leaves, grass clippings, sawdust, wood shavings, straw or hay to make a nutrient-rich topsoil. Avoid using anything that might have weed seeds in it. Peat moss, perlite or vermiculite can be used in composting, but they are more expensive and have no nutritional value. The better the soil, the more worms will be attracted to it, which is a good thing. Worm castings and worm holes help develop nutrient-rich soil as well.

Every year, new compost made from all-organic materials must be added to the soil. It is good to mix the compost in a pile as you add to it and let it rest for the year before putting it on the garden — especially if it contains manure or chicken droppings. Manure is considered hot and can burn plants if it’s used fresh. That is why you mix it with compost and let it set for a year.

We have a compost pile near our chicken coop so when we clean out the coop we can add the droppings to the compost pile. Mixing it often allows it to decompose throughout the year.

Till the garden by hand

PHOTO OF U-BARMy husband prepares the soil by hand because he likes to break up dirt clots and rake out the beds before he plants. He likes to use a D-handled spading fork and a U-bar digger. A small tiller can also be used to till the soil and prepare it for planting.

Seeds

The best types of seeds to store are called non-hybrid or heirloom seeds. They can be saved from year to year and will be true to form each season. To learn more about non-hybrid garden seeds, refer to my article Growing A Backyard Garden Can Be Good For Your Health.

The hybrid- or regular-type seeds that can be found in most garden centers are good for only one season. You need to purchase seeds from year to year. The seeds cannot be saved because they are genetically altered. Their offspring the second year will look like a crossbred vegetable.

Keep garden seeds in a container with a lid so mice don’t get into the seeds and eat them. It is best to keep them in a cool, dry, dark container to avoid light exposure. The cooler the temperature, the longer the seeds will last. Seeds have a shelf life of up to five years. To extend the shelf life, keep them in the refrigerator or freezer.

Herbs can be started from seed or can be purchased from a nursery and planted in an herb garden or around decorative rocks and flower beds. Fresh herbs have great flavor, and they are good for your health.

Planting

Certain plants do well if started indoors or in a greenhouse first and then transplanted later. These plants include tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and onions. Some plants do just as well if started in the ground. These include corn, spinach, lettuce, squash, cucumbers, peas, radishes, Swiss chard, carrots, potatoes and garlic.

Corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers need warm soil before germination can take place. Onions, spinach, lettuce, peas, cabbage, radishes, broccoli, cauliflower and Swiss chard may be planted early in the spring. A second crop can be planted in late July or early August to extend the growing season.

Watering

The frequency of watering depends on the texture of the soil. In dry climates, more frequent watering is very important. Gardens with sandy soil require more watering than those with clay-based soils. Sandy soil does not hold moisture so you will need to water more frequently. After the garden has been planted, it is really important to keep it moist so the seeds will germinate. Carrots are very touchy. They must be kept moist every day to germinate.

My husband puts finely chopped wood chips around our plants and grow beds to hold in the moisture. You could also lay black plastic or newspaper, covered with dirt or chips, around plants to hold in the moisture and keep weeds from growing. Because plastic is an inorganic material, it must be removed in the winter and replaced the next spring. Straw will hold moisture also. However; we tried using straw last year, and it had grain seed in it. As a result, we had an outbreak of oat grass and had to do a lot of extra weeding. If you are using straw, sift through it and use only the stems of the straw.

We have found that it’s best to water either early in the morning or just before dark. Whenever we watered the plants during the day, the leaves got burned from the sun reflecting on the water.

Metal Cages And Fencing Wire

PHOTO OF WIRE FENCING AND WIRE CAGESWhen we plant peas, we put tomato cages around them — at least three across — and as many as needed for the length. The peas grow straight up and cling to the metal for stability. As the peas reach the top of the metal cages, we put up a higher fence to support them as they grow taller. This makes it easier to pick the peas, and the plants do not fall over. (See the photo at the right.)

We put up metal fencing for the pole beans, cucumbers, melons and squash. They also climb straight up, which takes up less space. The plants cling to the fencing, which gives them stability and makes it easier to pick the vegetables. All the tomatoes and peppers have cages around them to protect them from the dogs and cats running through the garden. The tomato cages give the tomatoes stability as well.

I once heard that metal around a garden conducts electromagnetic energy during a rain or electrical storm, which stimulates the growth of the vegetables.

It is a good idea to put a fence around the entire garden to keep out deer and other animals. We live near the mountains, and many of my neighbors have a serious deer problem. At night the deer come from the mountains and graze on anything they can find. Many gardens have been completely eaten before they matured. It might be a good idea to have an outside dog near the garden to scare off the nighttime predators.

We lock up our chickens in their run during the months we are planting and harvesting our garden. The chickens will scratch the soil and find all the seeds we have planted. When the tomatoes are ripe, the chickens will peck at them and eat holes into the fruit.

Weeding

PHOTO OF WEEDING WITH A SMALL WEED RAKEWe get the baby weeds before they even have a chance to grow. A small rake made for weeding the garden is the best. It is small enough to go around the plants and loosen the dirt. This disrupts the root system of small weeds, and they die. We do a lot of weeding early on, which saves us many hours of weeding. Weeds use up the nutrients in the soil, so you want to stop them before they grow.

We put wood chips or sawdust on the walkways between the grow beds. This keeps the moisture in the garden, and the weeds don’t grow through it. Taking care of the weeds early on saves much frustration later.

Pest Control

Raising a completely organic garden means not using any chemicals in the soil or on the plants. There is always a problem with pests such as tomato hornworms, cutworms, aphids, whiteflies, ants, etc. To kill insects, mix a solution of water and a few drops of dish soap into a spray bottle or a large sprayer and spray the plants with it. When you spray it on the plant, make sure to spray the underside of the leaves where aphids hide. After spraying the plants with the mixture of dish soap and water, rinse the plants with warm water to remove the soap and the dead bugs.

Diatomaceous earth is used as a mildly abrasive insecticide that can be sprinkled onto and around the base of plants. Diatomaceous earth can be purchased in home-and-garden centers. Do not use the one for swimming pools. Get the one for plants and vegetables.

A friend of mine raises ducks to eat grasshoppers, earwigs, worms and other pests. Ducks will eat the insects and not necessarily the vegetables. Ducks are less harmful to produce than chickens. However, chickens will eat any insects they can find, so that might be an option if you can keep the chickens from getting into the vegetables.

We Love Having a Garden

I believe tending a garden is like therapy for the soul. We love the fresh, organic vegetables we get from the harvest. We feel happy that we do not have to depend on the grocery store for our fresh produce. And we know that our food is organic, with no sprays, chemical additives or preservatives in it, which is much better for our health.

Emergency Food Storage and Survival HandbookPeggy Layton is a freelance writer and the author of seven books on the subjects of food storage and emergency preparedness. She and her husband grow a backyard garden every year and live off the land during the growing season. Peggy bottles and dehydrates excess produce. Peggy and her husband keep winter vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, squash, onions and apples in a root cellar they built. During the winter when produce is less plentiful, they grow food in their greenhouse. And they gather fresh eggs daily from their chickens. Provident living is a way of life in their home.

If you would like to purchase emergency supplies, books written by Peggy Layton and a variety of heirloom garden seeds, click here.

Are you interested in emergency Food Storage Meals packaged in Mylar® pouches with a 15-year shelf life? They serve four people, are ready to just add water and cook, and are delicious, convenient and easy. Go to www.peggylayton.efoodsglobal.com.

 

 

How To Get Out Of Debt, Stay Out Of Debt And Save For Your Future

If we are stressed about money while we are healthy and able to work, think what it will be like to try to support ourselves when we are older, not so healthy and not able to work as much as we have in the past. Who will support us then?

People are working two or three jobs, and bankruptcies and foreclosures are at an all-time high with little hope in sight. We need to change our financial habits and get a handle on our debts. If we understand the value of money and its power, we can use it to our advantage to make our lives more productive.

Can you imagine how much money you could have at retirement if you saved up the money for all your purchases (including a modest car and home) before you bought them, then saved the rest of the money that you would have paid in interest to the bank? You could be your own bank, and you could collect all the interest. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could teach this concept to our children?

A Modern-Day Plague
We live in a throwaway society. We purchase anything and everything our hearts desire. To do so, we use credit cards, finance through banks or use other means. Then, when an item breaks, it goes in the garbage and off to the landfill. We don’t bother to fix it.

I read an interesting book called Affluenza, by John De Graaf, David Wann and Thomas H. Naylor. It is about the disease that is consuming our nation right now. We want to live like the affluent, so we do whatever it takes, which includes using credit cards and going into debt for things that make us feel good for the moment. Our children grow up with shopping mall fever. They must have the latest, greatest electronic devices, computers and cell phones (much better than their parents).

As a result of going into so much consumer debt, we now have a rash of bankruptcies, the stress of excess and the addictive virus, hoarding fever. We actually buy things to make ourselves feel better. When it all piles up around us, we build garages or rent storage units to hold and organize our stuff. All of this causes side effects like working too hard, lacking meaning in our lives, losing emotional connections with loved ones, having unrealistic expectations and experiencing dissatisfaction.

Affluenza could very well be a modern-day plague sweeping across our nation. An epidemic of great proportions has hit all our families. We are getting deeper and deeper into debt. We are in the rat race. We must ask ourselves: Why are we working so hard and not getting ahead? What are we doing it for?  Are we teaching these bad habits to our children?

Calculate Your Living expenses
Create a chart to determine exactly what amount of money you need to sustain your lifestyle. Evaluate this chart to see how you spend on interest-bearing payments. Develop a plan to cut the spending. Every dollar you cut back is a dollar in your savings account.

Think about the possibility of scaling down and not needing so much to sustain life. Evaluate entertainment, vacations, impulse purchases and other wasteful spending habits. Make a commitment to cut up the credit cards and pay cash for everything. If you need a card to make purchases, use a debit card. If you don’t have the money in the bank to purchase what you want, don’t buy it.

Getting out of debt takes a firm commitment and discipline from everyone in the family. This chart will help you evaluate exactly what is needed and what can be cut out of your life to simplify living and stop the accumulation of debt. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, it is how much you save that counts.

Your chart should contain the following categories:

  • House Payment
  • All Utilities
  • Telephone
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Auto Payments
  • Gasoline
  • Insurance on Autos
  • Health Insurance
  • Medical and Dental
  • Education
  • Fixed Debts
  • Credit Cards
  • Entertainment
  • Other
  • Other
  • Other
  • Total Per Month
  • Total for Three Months
  • Total for Six Months

It is a good idea to have a three-to-six month supply of cash on hand (not in the bank) to pay bills just in case the banks have problems and you cannot get your money out. It is good to have small bills and coins for smaller purchases. The stores might not be able to make change for a $100 bill. It takes time to save enough money for emergency bill-paying.

If you are already in debt or must have some debt, the following chart is the recommended amount. Do not exceed more than 36 percent of your monthly income for debt expenses or you will be in financial trouble.

  • Car Payments: 6 percent of monthly income
  • Housing: 25 percent of monthly income
  • Credit Cards of any kind: 5 percent of monthly income

If you can get out from under the pressure of debt, you will give yourself a 36 percent raise and have that extra money to put into saving for your future.

Debt Elimination Program
I have been researching a program to get out of debt in about one-fourth the amount of time it would traditionally take. This includes the home mortgage and all other debts. It takes discipline and focus. This can also be called behavior modification. A person must be willing to take a certain amount of money each month and apply it to debt and keep applying that exact amount each month until all the debt is eliminated, even if it takes seven to 10 years. You can purchase the software on my website.

The software has you list all your monthly living expenses and every debt that you must pay every month to meet your monthly bills. It will calculate the amounts of the debts and the interest rates. It recommends that you pay off the smallest and highest-interest debt first, then the next smallest up to the largest. Any extra income such as tax returns, bonuses, inheritances, sale of properties, etc., will be applied to the debt as well. This is called the snowball effect. The software has a rapid payoff calculator and spreadsheet.

Here is an example of the snowball effect on a person’s debt:

DebtAmt. OwedInterest Rate MonthlyPayment
Dental Bill$5008.5 percent interest$100 per month
Credit card No. 1$2,50018.5 percent interest$500 per month
Credit card No. 2$5,00021 percent interest$100 per month
Car$15,0006.8 percent interest$595 per month
Home Mortgage$75,0005.8 percent interest$850 per month

 

Say the smallest debt is a dental bill of $500, with a monthly payment of $100. The next lowest is a credit card with $2,500 at $18.5 percent interest. The next is another credit card with a $5,000 balance at 21 percent interest. The minimum payment on the second credit card is $100 per month. This will get you every time if you make only minimum payments. If you paid the $100 per month with accruing interest, it would take more than 20 years to pay it off. Ouch! So it must be accelerated.

When the dental bill is paid off, add the $100 you were paying for that bill to the amount you pay monthly for the first credit card. After the first credit card is paid off, add amount you were paying on the first credit card to the amount you are paying on the second credit card until it is paid off. When second credit card is paid off, add the amount you were paying on the second credit card to the car payment until the car is paid off. Then, take the amount you were paying on the car payment and apply it to principle on the mortgage payment. You will accelerate your mortgage payments by paying large principle payments. That reduces the payments again by about a fourth of the time it would have taken if minimum payments were made.

The software calculates the amounts owed, the interest rates, the amounts paid, the reduction in debt and the amount you will save on interest by using the rapid payoff calculator and spreadsheet. The calculations can be adjusted if something unforeseen happens and you incur extra debt. It keeps you disciplined and focused on debt elimination. Ultimately, when all your debt is paid off, it helps you save for your future by paying yourself the interest and principle you would have paid to the bank. It is amazing how things happen to help with the goal of debt elimination and saving for the future.

I believe there is a universal force from God that helps us accomplish our goals. It is like the law of attraction that is talked about in the movie “The Secret.” Amazing things start to happen when we are clear about what we want. “Ask, and ye shall receive,” (John 16:24).

About 10 years ago, my husband and I were trying to get out of debt, and I prayed seriously about it. We were flying home from a trip and I was pondering about what to do, when it came to me very clearly. I believe I was shown a vision of how to get $70,000 dollars to pay off the balance owed on our home. I wrote it down in a notebook step by step as I was shown. I went to work doing the things I was shown. It took about six months to accomplish, and I had our home paid off.

Our home is paid for and we are no longer slaves to our mortgage company. It feels so good to be debt-free on our home and know that we won’t be kicked out if times get tough and we get into financial trouble. We now take our mortgage payment and save it. I was so amazed at how it worked and how everything fell into place for me.

I still use the following process:

  • I state my goal of what it is I want to accomplish.
  • I visualize that I already have it.
  • I thank God every day that I already have it.
  • I act as if it has already happened.
  • I do not try to figure out how it will happen.
  • I do not doubt that it will happen.
  • I just know that it will, and it does.

Emergency Food Storage and Survival HandbookPeggy Layton is the author of seven books on the subject of Emergency Food Storage and Survival.

Debt Elimination Software, Books And Emergency Supplies
If you are interested in the Debt Elimination Software talked about in this article, any of the books, emergency supplies, wheat grinders, ION water purification drops or emergency food storage, click here.

Food-Storage Meals
Are you interested in a great source for pre-made meals that can be stored for 15 years and taste great? I have been testing out emergency Food Storage Meals, packaged in Mylar™ pouches. These meals serve four people and are ready to just add water and cook. I find them delicious, convenient and easy. Click here.