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.

Eating Bulk Food On A Daily Basis

At some point during your accumulation of food stores, you probably bought bulk food of some sort. We started buying 5-gallon buckets of rice, beans, oatmeal and other food a few years ago. The funny thing is we kept buying rice, beans and oatmeal in small quantities from the grocery store to eat on a daily basis.

In some cases, like oatmeal, this makes sense. In other cases, it’s cheaper to buy in bulk, so it’s kind of like jerking meat by the pound and still buying the stuff you regularly eat from 7-Eleven.

You might be different, but we were really kind of intimidated by the big buckets. Really, it was just a lot of unknowns. How do we reseal the buckets? How do we keep from losing 5 to 10 pounds to spoilage?

I realized the blunt answer is kind of like everything else with preparedness: It’s much better to have experience with these issues before an emergency than to learn it all when you are stressed.

When we opened our buckets, we discovered our local emergency-supply store uses an inner 7-gallon Mylar® bag to extend the shelf life to 20 to 30 years. (Yours may or may not have that. It would be smart to find out.)

The Crash Is Coming!The process of using food from our long-term stores is pretty straightforward. Here’s one way to do it:

1. Cut open the Mylar® bag. Make as small a hole as practical so you can easily reseal it.

2. Put a week or a month’s worth of food in a smaller container. You can use sealable plastic bags, widemouthed jars or empty plastic drink containers.

3. Burp the Mylar® bag in your plastic bucket to get the air out of it. You probably won’t need your oxygen absorber if you’re actively using the item. Of course, if you think it will take you more than a few months to use up the entire bucket, you might want to put in some oxygen absorbers. If you don’t have oxygen absorbers, you can substitute dry ice. If you don’t have dry ice, you can “float” the container with carbon dioxide from a carbon dioxide canister. I have found carbon dioxide tire inflators that are activated by a lever to be particularly good for this. Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air, it will go to the bottom of your container and push out the air. For most applications, one 12-gram carbon dioxide cartridge will be more than enough.

4. Seal your Mylar® bag. If you have a FoodSaver®, you can use it to both suck out the air and seal the Mylar® bag. If not, you can seal the Mylar® bag by pressing it between a 2-by-4 plank and a hot iron. You probably don’t want to use the same iron you use on your dress clothes. If you don’t have electricity, heat up an old-fashioned iron or piece of metal on a stovetop or in a fire. One trick you can use if you don’t have a FoodSaver® is to seal the Mylar® bag mostly closed and then suck out the remaining air with your mouth or with a pump like you would use on inflatable beds and toys. Once you have sucked out the air, finish sealing.

Gamma Seal Lid5. Close your 5-gallon bucket with a Gamma Seal® Lid. The plastic lid makes your bucket airtight. Just unscrew the lid when you want access in the future. The lids cost between $5 to $10 apiece, depending on how many you buy.

Canning is also a great option for taking bulk quantities of food and making them more manageable. One of the biggest advantages is you aren’t limited to food that comes in 5-gallon buckets. You are able to can food from anywhere — your garden, a local farmers’ market or your grocery store. Unfortunately, that is a topic that is beyond the scope of this article.

I alluded to something earlier, and it’s worth repeating. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. As an example, we can buy two-packs of oatmeal from Costco for slightly less per pound than we can buy it in bulk long-term storage containers. There are tradeoffs, of course. With bulk packaging, we have another solid bucket when we’re done, but we have to buy a Gamma Seal® Lid for it. The smaller containers from Costco are easier to store and are more portable.

That being said, don’t let the possibility of a better deal being out there stop you from taking action now. In other words, if you find yourself at a big-box store and have the option of buying something immediately or checking bulk pricing somewhere else, go ahead and get some supplies at the big-box store. You never know whether there will be a hiccup with the supply chain or if food inflation will cause the prices to go up before you have a chance to buy in bulk.

Are you an old-timer at buying foods that you use on a daily basis in bulk? Please share your hard-earned wisdom by commenting below. With the price of food going up on an almost daily basis, have you accelerated your emergency-food buying?

Milling Whole Grains Into Freshly Ground Flour

The most economical way to purchase wheat for food storage is to buy it in bulk, store it in 5-gallon buckets and grind it into fresh flour as you need it. Make sure the wheat you store contains less than 10 percent moisture content. This is very important because weevils and insects like moisture to reproduce. The dryer the grain, the longer it will store. Dry grain will also grind better in a mill. I like to buy wheat that has been triple-cleaned and is free of rocks, sticks, grass and insects.

It is best to find organic grains that are not genetically modified (GM). Whole grains can be purchased in any health-food or grain store. If you don’t have a grain or feed store near you, look it up on the Internet and find the closest food-storage and preparedness store near you. It is best to purchase the grain locally, because you will pay as much for shipping as you do for the grain. It would be good to get a variety of different grains and experiment with them. Whole grains are great to store because they last forever and provide carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, fiber and some naturally occurring fats. Because they are what we call complex carbohydrates, they are slow burning and provide extra energy in the body.

I grind up about a gallon of flour at a time and store the leftovers in a container in my freezer. It is ready for making breads, cakes, pancakes and other baked goods. By grinding it fresh each time I need it, the grain retains the nutritional value. Once the grain has been milled, it starts to lose nutrition the longer it sets. White flour in the grocery store has lost most of its nutritional value from being highly processed. The hull and bran are stripped away, and the flour is bleached to make it white. Then preservatives, whiteners, softeners and spoilage preventers are added. Processed food is dead food as far as nutrition goes.

I set up a baking center in my pantry where I can grind my wheat and grain. I keep together all the supplies needed for making bread — items such as honey, powdered milk, dried eggs, vegetable or olive oil, salt, vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer. I have gallon-sized containers with different grains in each one. I keep all the ingredients together, so they are handy to use. The only exception to the rule is the yeast. I keep it in the freezer, which extends the shelf life of the yeast. My wheat-grinder and bread-maker are on the shelf of my baking center. I have an electric wheat-grinder and a nonelectric hand wheat-grinder.

If you are storing the grain for long periods of time, it is good to use several oxygen-absorbers in the bucket. I use one 300-CC oxygen-absorber for every gallon of grain. I layer the grain and five oxygen-absorbers in a 5-gallon bucket so they are mixed in with the grain. If I am going to use the grain for grinding or cereal, I do not put an oxygen-absorber in the bucket, because as soon as you open it, the absorber will absorb oxygen from the air and will be useless. If I plan to sprout the grain, I do not put an oxygen-absorber in it, because it will kill the endosperm by depriving it of oxygen.

If a person is gluten intolerant (allergic to wheat), there are other grains that can be substituted in baked goods. The grains that contain gluten are wheat, spelt, kamut, faro, durum, bulgur, semolina, barley, rye, triticale and oats. The grains that do not contain gluten are amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, Indian ricegrass, quinoa, brown and white rice, sorghum, teff and wild rice. Grind all grains the same or mix them for a variety of texture, flavor and nutritional value.

If you are not used to whole grains, start slowly by incorporating the flour into baked goods. Use half whole wheat and half white flour at first. Because whole wheat and grains have fiber in them, they need to be introduced into the system slowly or they could can cause stomach upset until you get used to using them.

Electric And Nonelectric Wheat Grinders

There are many wheat-grinders available on the market today. I prefer to use an electric grain-mill (wheat-grinder) for everyday use. I make bread several times a week, and it takes more time to grind the flour by hand. However, I have a backup hand-grinder in case the power goes off and I need to grind flour or make cracked cereal. I also recommend a nonelectric grain-grinder called the WonderMill Junior for hand grinding. The electric mill is called the WonderMill. I also recommend the Country Living Grain Mill as the Cadillac of all hand grain-mills. It is heavy duty and very good quality. It is also the most expensive grain-mill. These mills can be purchased on my website.

The WonderMill Junior For Hand Grinding (nonelectric)

The WonderMill Junior for Hand Grinding (non-electric)The WonderMill Junior hand-grinder has an adjustable dial which allows the mill to grind a variety of grains into fine flours and coarse cereals. The WonderMill Junior is a valuable emergency-preparedness tool. The sleekly designed mill allows you to have fresh, nutritious ingredients for your recipes, even when the power is out. The easy-to-turn handle grinds grain into fine flour or coarse, cracked grains for cereals. The mill is designed in one piece, which prevents the hopper from coming off during the milling process. Simply exchange the stone heads with the stainless-steel burr heads to make peanut butter or to grind flax, any other oily or wet grains, herbs, spices and all kinds of beans and legumes. The base of the mill is set back, which allows you to place a bowl under the grinding head to collect the freshly ground flour. This mill sells for $219.95. You will receive free shipping from my website.

The Electric WonderMill Grain Grinder

The Electric WonderMill Grain GrinderThe WonderMill Company has teamed up with LG to make a Quiet Wheat Grinder. It is easy to use and clean, and it grinds the grain fast. This grain-mill adjusts from coarse to pastry-fine flour by adjusting the dial. It has a separator lid which is easy to clean and dishwasher safe, and the large, 12-cup capacity flour canister is perfect for flour storage. The wheat grinder can process most hard and soft grains and legumes, giving you more nutrition and a way to use your stored wheat, rice, corn and beans. The stainless steel mill heads are self-cleaning. The WonderMill Wheat Grinder comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on the stainless-steel, heavy-duty and long-lasting mill heads and a six-year warranty on the rest of the parts. The mill includes an instruction manual, warranty card and great recipes. This mill sells for $259.95. You will receive free shipping from my website.

The Country Living Grain Mill Hand Grinder (nonelectric)

The Country Living Grain Mill Hand Grinder (non-Electric) The Country Living Grain Mill is a high-capacity, hand-operated mill that can easily be adapted to a motor drive. It has an attachment to the flywheel which doubles as a v-belt pulley. Construction of the Country Living Grain Mill is a strong, cast-metal alloy with a super-tough, powder-coat finish that won’t chip or peel. It’s a very easy mill to use. The grinding burrs for the Country Living Mill are precision-engineered, made of high-carbon steel (not lower-grade iron) and 5 inches in diameter. (The flour remains cool in the Country Living Mill, so nutrient quality is preserved.) I recommend purchasing the optional power-bar handle for easy turning. The Country Living Mill produces 1 cup of wheat flour in about 1.25 minutes. The Mill is adjustable, so you can crack grain at a loose setting or adjust it down and get very fine whole-grain flour, coarser meal or cracked cereal, depending on your needs. This nonelectric grain mill sells for $395. You will receive free shipping from my website.

Making Bread From Freshly Milled Grains

Bread is considered the staff of life. Many people believe grain will make them gain weight. The processed and refined flours are what make people gain weight. As a nation, we eat way too much processed and refined foods. Our brains need the rich supply of B vitamins found in whole grains. There is nothing better than coming home to the smell of freshly baked bread, warm and just out of the oven. If you learn the skill of making simple homemade breads, it could very well save your life.

I have a philosophy that you can live on simple soups and bread. The pioneers had a pot of soup on the stove at all times and a loaf of bread in the oven. They even made do with what they had. I have read accounts of the pioneers walking across the plains with a coffee grinder and a bag of wheat in their wagon. They used the coffee grinder to grind the wheat and make it into cracked wheat cereal and flour.

My book Cookin’ With Home Storage has an entire chapter dedicated to using whole wheat and other grains. There are recipes for simple breads: tortillas, flat bread, scones, yeast breads, rolls, crackers, cornbread, dumplings, homemade noodles, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, cereals, quick breads and pretzels. There are certain ingredients for making bread that must be kept in the food-storage pantry. The bread baking supplies include wheat and other grain for grinding, salt, yeast, powdered milk, dried eggs, oil, sweeteners such as honey, white or brown sugar, maple syrup, agave or stevia. I keep my yeast in the freezer because it extends the shelf life of the yeast.

Sprout The Grain Or Let It Grow Into Wheatgrass

In the pyramids of Egypt, grain was found that still sprouted despite having been entombed for centuries. Sprouted wheat can be added to bread to give it a nice texture and added nutrition. When the grain is sprouted, it is 300 times more nutritious. If you use sprouted wheat in bread, do not let it sprout past the second day or it will turn to wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass is highly nutritious and, when put through a wheatgrass juicer, produces a great tonic for the body. People drink it to purify their blood and cleanse the body of toxins and poisons. It is very good for the health.

Recipe for Honey Whole-Wheat bread

5 cups lukewarm water

2/3 cup honey or sweetener

2/3 cup vegetable or olive oil

2 tablespoons active dry yeast or 2 packages

2-3 eggs or (3 tablespoons dried egg powder) (optional)

1 tablespoons salt

¼ cup vital wheat gluten (optional)

2 tablespoons dough enhancer (optional) or 1 vitamin C tablet crushed

12 cups whole-wheat flour

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2) In a large bowl, mix the lukewarm water, honey, oil and eggs together. Let it set for about 5 minutes to make sure the yeast will form bubbles and grow. If it doesn’t grow, the yeast may be dead, and you will need to get fresh yeast from the grocery store. Store all yeast in the freezer to extend the shelf life.

3) Add salt, vital wheat gluten, dough enhancer and six cups of freshly ground whole wheat or grain flour to the yeast and water mixture. Stir it well until the water is absorbed and it resembles a spongy, sticky paste.

4) Slowly add the remaining flour, one cup at a time and mix it in with a wooden spoon. When the dough pulls away from the bowl and holds its shape, it is done. If you do not need all the flour to make it pull away, do not use it all.

5) Grease your hands and the counter top with vegetable oil. Put the dough on the greased counter top and begin kneading the dough by pulling it and stretching it. Knead it for 10 minutes until it is smooth.

6) Divide the dough into six small loaves or three large loaves. Roll the dough to form the dough into the size that will fit in small bread pans to about half the height of the pans. Let the dough set on the top of the warm oven as it preheats. When the dough has risen above the bread pans by about 1 inch, the loaves are ready to go into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes for small loaves and 45 minutes for large loaves.

7) I like to make rolls out of the dough by pinching off a small amount of dough and flattening it out into a rectangular piece. Put melted butter on the top and fold the roll over. Place the rolls on a greased cookie sheet close together.

Peggy Layton is the author of seven books on the subjects of food storage and preparedness. The previous recipe and many others can be found in the cookbook Cookin’ With Home Storage. It contains more than 550 simple recipes using very basic pantry ingredients that can be stored long-term. This book contains authentic pioneer recipes and fascinating historical tips on how the pioneers really lived. There are chapters on all the basic foods that can be stored: wheat and grains, beans and rice, dried fruits and vegetables, dried pasta, powdered milk and dried eggs. There are charts on how to reconstitute dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. There are tips on how to incorporate food storage into your everyday diet. The book includes chapters on grandma’s home remedies, natural household cleaners, emergency baby food and pet food, as well as emergency food-storage and survival tips.

To purchase the cookbooks, electric and nonelectric wheat grinders and grain mills, bulk food storage, oxygen-absorbers or any of the other preparedness items talked about in this article, click here.

If you are interested in a great source for premade 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 eat: Just add water and cook. I find them delicious, convenient and easy. To learn more about eFoods click here.

 

Whole Wheat And Other Grains A Good Choice For Long Term Food Storage

Wheat and other grains are great choices for long-term food storage. They are inexpensive and can be consumed by humans and animals.

The most common grains are wheat, rice and oats. There are many others that are very nutritious and are higher in protein. These grains are quinoa, amaranth, kamut, spelt, millet and triticale. Other grains include red and white wheat, white and brown rice, wild rice, oat grouts, rye, barley, corn, buckwheat, Job’s tears, sorghum and teff.

Grains can be cooked in the whole kernel state and used to replace rice in recipes. I prefer to cook my rice or whole grain in bouillon water or chicken stock. I like to use a rice cooker to cook the grain. I put it on the setting for brown rice and it times itself. The grain tastes so much better, and it cooks the exact amount of time for the perfect texture.

I like to make wheat chili. I just replace the beans with cooked wheat. It still tastes like chili, yet has a chewy texture like cooked wheat. Cooked wheat can be added to soups and used as a topping on salads.

If the power goes out, you can boil water in an outdoor fire pit or use a Dutch oven to cook the grain.

Raw whole grains should be stored in airtight containers. Grain naturally has weevil eggs in it. But if the grain has no oxygen, the larvae will not hatch because they need oxygen to live. Using an oxygen absorber or vacuum-sealing the grain in pouches will keep it oxygen free. Grain will store for many years if kept cool and stored in a dark, dry environment.

Grains — including all the different types of rice, long and short grain, white, brown and wild — can be used for main dishes. Other types of grain such as quinoa and barley can be cooked up and either mixed with rice or served instead of rice with any meal.

Rice or whole grain eaten with beans completes the amino acid chain and forms a complete protein. This adds variety and extra nutrition to meals. Whole grain brown rice and other whole grains are much more nutritious than processed white rice and white flour.

Health Benefits Of Whole Grains

The health benefits of using whole grains include:

  • 30 percent reduced risk of stroke and diabetes.
  • Heart disease is reduced by 25 percent.
  • Better weight management.
  • Reduced risk of asthma, clogged carotid arteries, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, gum disease and tooth loss.

The fiber in grains is well known to help lower cholesterol. Doctors will tell you that it improves your health to eat oatmeal for breakfast.

Grain has been found in the pyramids of Egypt. When planted it still sprouted. Sprouted wheat can be added to bread to give it a nice texture and added nutrition. When the grain is sprouted it is 300 times more nutritious. If you use sprouted wheat in bread, do not let it sprout past the second day or it will turn to wheat grass.

Wheatgrass is highly nutritious and when put through a wheatgrass juicer produces a highly nutritious tonic. People drink it to purify their blood and cleanse the body of toxins and poisons. It is very good for the health.

Breakfast Cereals Using Whole Grains

I believe that if you have whole grains in your food storage, you can make hot cereal or mush for breakfast every day and it will sustain you. Keep your breakfast meals simple like the pioneers did.

I know a woman in my neighborhood who will be turning 100 this year. She has eaten whole grain cereal for breakfast every day of her life. She walks every day and is as healthy as can be. She attributes it to her whole-wheat mush for breakfast.

Store a variety of different cereal grains such as oatmeal, millet and whole wheat. Whole wheat can be cracked to make cracked wheat cereal. It is nice to have a wheat grinder that will crack wheat as well as grind it into flour. If you don’t have a wheat grinder, use your blender and only blend it until it is cracked in half or in larger pieces.

Whole-wheat breakfast cereal is made by cooking whole-wheat kernels in water with a little salt. You should use two cups of water and one-half teaspoon of salt for every cup of whole wheat. Just boil the water, add the wheat and cook the kernels until the wheat is soft. Eat it with honey, milk and raisins.

Another way to make whole grain breakfast cereal is to use a thermos. Start the night before you want to eat it and add one-half cup of whole wheat or grain kernels to the thermos. Add approximately 1 quart of boiling water to the thermos to fill it, then tighten the lid, shake it up and let it set overnight. The next morning you will have whole grain breakfast cereal. Serve it with milk and honey or sweetener. Add raisins or chopped up dried fruit.

Millet is one of the best grains to store for babies, small children and older people. It is easily digested and soft on the stomach. Millet is a small round grain and is also used in birdseed.

Oatmeal is great to store because it can be used so many different ways. It can be cooked and made into mush for a breakfast cereal. It can be made into granola, breads, cakes and cookies.

Cornmeal can be made into mush by mixing three cups of boiling water with one and a half cups of cornmeal and a half teaspoon of salt. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes until the mush is thick. Eat it hot with a pat of butter or honey and milk. Add raisins if desired. The leftover mush can be refrigerated and made into fried mush patties for lunch. Fry them in butter until golden brown on both sides. They are delicious.

How To Make Granola Using Whole Grains, Seeds And Nuts

Granola Using Whole Grains Seeds And Nuts

Dry Ingredients

7 cups rolled whole grains such as (regular rolled oats, rolled wheat or six-grain rolled cereal). Health food stores, food storage and grain companies sell these products in bulk.
1 cup wheat germ
1½ cups flaked coconut
1 cup sliced almonds, chopped cashews, walnuts or other nuts
½ cup roasted sunflower seeds
½ cup golden flax seeds
½ cup sesame seeds (optional)

Wet Ingredients

1 cup hot water or cranberry juice
½ cup coconut oil, olive oil or butter
1¼ cups honey, agave, molasses or maple syrup or (combination of all).
½ cup brown sugar (optional)
1 Tbs. of liquid or powdered vanilla or almond extract

Add Fruit Last

1 cup of raisins or Craisins®, or dried fruit chopped into small pieces (the fruit is to be added after the granola is cooked and dried).

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

In a separate, smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients until the sweetener is dissolved.

Make a hole in the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the center of the dry ingredients. Stir well with a large spoon until all ingredients are mixed well.

Spread the mixture evenly onto two ungreased cookie sheets. Place the cookie sheets in a preheated oven that is on the lowest setting (170 degrees F. or below).

Dry the granola for approximately three hours. Check the granola every hour and turn it to make sure it does not overcook and that it dries evenly on both sides.

Granola can also be dried in a food dehydrator on a low setting. If there is no electricity the granola can be dried in the sun. Cover it with a cloth to keep off the flies and honeybees.

When it is dry enough to store, add one cup of raisins, Craisins® or dried fruit chopped into small pieces. Mix well and store in an airtight container with lid. If you are going to eat it quickly, it will store fine in the container. However, because it contains butter or oil, it is best to store in the refrigerator if it is to be kept for longer periods of time.

Eat the granola with milk and fresh fruit like bananas and berries. I like to put the granola over the top of yoghurt and fresh fruit like a parfait. The recipe makes 16 1-cup servings.

Whole Grain Blender Pancakes

Whole Grain Blender Pancakes

¾ cup whole wheat or other grain
1 cup milk
¼ cup butter or oil
1 egg or (1 tbs. dried egg powder)
2 tbs. honey or sweetener
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda

If you do not own a wheat grinder you can still enjoy the delicious taste of whole grains by grinding the grain in a blender to produce coarse flour.

Add the liquid ingredients next and continue blending until the batter is mixed well. I like to let it set for a couple of minutes to get the flour to start absorbing the liquid, then add the sugar, salt and baking powder.

Turn the blender on high and mix well until it is free of any lumps and looks like a batter that can be poured into round circles. It should not be too runny and not too thick. If it looks too runny, slowly add small amounts of flour at a time to achieve the desired consistency. If it is too thick, slowly add small amounts of milk to thin it to the desired consistency.

Heat up a pan or griddle. Grease it with oil and pour batter onto the hot greased griddle. Cook until the underside of the pancake turns a golden brown. Flip it and cook on the other side. Serve with fruit, jam or syrup.

Next Time

This article is the first of a two-part series on using whole grains. In the next article I will be discussing how to grind the wheat into freshly milled flour using a wheat grinder or (grain mill). I will discuss the difference between the electric grain mills verses non-electric or hand-crank grain mills. I will include a few recipes from my cookbook on how to make simple, easy whole grain breads.

I have written seven different books on the subject of food storage and preparedness. My website is www.peggylayton.com.

The recipes in this article and many others can be found in the cookbook called Cookin’ With Home Storage. It contains more than 550 simple and easy recipes using very basic pantry ingredients that can be stored for long term.

This book contains authentic pioneer recipes and fascinating historical tips on how the pioneers really lived. There are chapters on all the basic foods that can be stored. These include wheat and grains, beans and rice, dried fruits and vegetables, dried pasta, powdered milk and dried eggs.

There are charts on how to reconstitute dehydrated and freeze dried foods. There are tips on how to incorporate food storage into your everyday diet. The book also includes a chapter on Grandma’s home remedies, natural household cleaners, emergency baby food and pet food and emergency food storage and survival tips.

To purchase the cookbooks, electric and non-electric wheat grinders and grain mills, bulk food storage kits, oxygen absorbers or any of the other preparedness items mentioned in this article, click here.

If you are interested in a great source for pre-made meals that can be stored for 15 years and tastes 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 to use. To learn more about these meals by eFoods Global, click here.

—Peggy Layton

Preparing For Hard Times Is A Way Of Life I Call Provident Living

I have been chosen by a film company to try out for a documentary on “prepping.” If I am chosen, a film crew will come to my house and film me in all aspects of my daily life.

I don’t feel like a prepper, I just live providently. When I refer to myself, I am also referring to my husband Scott and my children and most of my friends and relatives. It seems that everyone I know lives like this to some degree. I told my husband about it and he asked me, what is prepping? It seems it is a new buzzword for preparing for disasters or hard economic times. We are so used to our way of life that it is normal to us. We don’t consider ourselves preppers.

We have our yearly routine that we do to maintain a level of preparedness at all times. Because I am in the middle of filming the preliminary clips, I have been seriously thinking about how we live and how I could share this way of life with others who are just getting started and want to be more self-sufficient. I am going to list all the things that my family is doing to be prepared.

1. We Are Getting Out Of Debt And Staying Out Of Debt
The most important thing we are doing is getting out of debt and staying out. After all the research I have done on banks and the interest they charge, I realized that my money market account and my savings were never going to increase at the same rate as the interest the bank was taking out for my loans. I realized also that I need to be borrowing from myself instead of the bank, then I can pay myself back and I earn the interest. I am money ahead that way.

So I cashed out my money market certificates and my savings and I paid the highest interest-bearing debts first: Our credit cards, vehicle loans, a loan on a ring my husband and I bought and a flat screen TV that we purchased.

I paid off my mother’s house because she is getting older and making the payment every month is very hard for her. I could have used this money for my own debt, but I had a strong feeling that my mom’s house was more important and she needed to be out from under that pressure.

I came to the conclusion that I had my savings money in the bank and I also had my loan at the same bank. The bank was taking my savings and loaning it back to me and then charging me large amounts of interest. All of a sudden it dawned on me that this was not smart. So I used my savings and paid the high interest bearing loans first, and now I am making the same payments only to myself and I keep the interest for myself. That is how I can get ahead.

The way we started getting out of debt was by listing all monthly expenses and debts on a ledger. We concentrated on the smallest and highest interest bearing debts first. When we got the first debt paid, we took the money from the first one and added it to the second one.

For example, the first one was $100 and the second one was $200. When we paid off the first one, we began paying $300 to the second one each month until that one was paid in full. Then added the $300 to the third debt until it was paid off. We were still paying the same amount each month, but we were compounding the payments to get them paid off sooner.

Most people would say, “Good, I have an extra $300 this month,” and then go spend it or get into more debt. This plan takes discipline but can be done.

I must say that if you are on a fixed income or have no income, it is very difficult to get out of debt. That is why it is called the “Rat Race.” You spin your wheels and go nowhere.

You may have to sell some of your assets to accomplish this goal. I have put some recreational land that we own up for sale. If it sells, I will finish paying off our final debts.

My husband and I made a pact with each other that we would not use our credit cards for any purchase unless it is a debit and we have the extra money saved up for that purchase. We plan ahead and never get in trouble with credit card debt.

Our home is paid for and we are not a slave to a 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 also save up the property tax money each month so that in November when property taxes are due we have the money and it is not a burden on us.

We have a three-month supply of cash on hand (not in the bank) to pay bills just in case the banks shut down or have no funds. It is good to have small bills and coins for smaller purchases. Saving enough money for emergency bill paying takes time. We are frugal and try to save money wherever we can. We pay cash for vehicles and other purchases. If we don’t have the money, we don’t buy it. 

2. We Grow A Garden Every Year
We are avid gardeners. Every spring we grow a garden.

My husband grew up on a farm and learned to milk cows at an early age. He would get up by 6 a.m., do his chores, milk the cows and then go to school.

His father was an onion farmer. They also grew corn to sell at the farmers market so the children could have money for school clothes.

We grow a lot more food than we need. However, I have tried to scale down and it hasn’t worked as well, so we give a large amount of food away to our family and friends. We like to grow plants from non-hybrid seeds so we can save them from year to year and have a never-ending supply.

3. I Bottle And Dry Excess Fruits And Vegetables
During harvest time I bottle or put up fruits and vegetables. I make things like salsa, pickles, beats, broccoli, squash, soups, peaches and pears. We enjoy eating the food we grow all year.

I also like to dehydrate the excess produce that we have in our garden. I keep a dehydrator going all the time during harvest time.

I make sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini chips, dried onions, and dried fruit slices such as peaches and pears, raisins, plums and apples. I make fruit leather with a mixture of fruits blended into a puree. I have an herb garden that we use to grow fresh herbs for cooking. I dehydrate them to make herbal seasonings.

4. We Have A Year-Round Greenhouse
We have a year-round greenhouse that we start all our seedlings in and grow food in year round. It contains an 800-gallon water tank that helps keep the greenhouse from freezing or overheating. We have fish in the tank all year. If necessary we could grow fish to eat.

We love our greenhouse.

5. We Raise Chickens And Other Animals
We live in the city limits of a small rural community. The entire town is only one mile long, and the population is 2,500. We are allowed to have farm animals on our property.

Many of my neighbors raise horses, cattle, chickens, rabbits, pigs and goats. People raise animals for meat as well. The county fair is full of them waiting to be sold to the lucky bidder.

We purchase meat from the local ranchers in the area. My husband and I have chickens. We collect the eggs every morning and eat them fresh for breakfast. My husband believes that he is healthier because of the free-range fresh eggs he eats.

6. We Store A Year’s Supply Of Food
Because of the religious beliefs of our church and community, most people in my community and in the state of Utah store enough garden seeds, food, water, clothing, bedding, fuel, wood, emergency supplies and camping gear to be prepared for an emergency of some sort.

I am the queen of food storage. I have enough to supply an army. I keep it in different locations for security reasons.

I stockpile a lot of easy-to-make meals that can be cooked by adding water and bringing to a boil. These include things such as soup mixes and premade meals. I also store bulk foods like rice, dried fruits vegetables, wheat, powdered milk, beans, honey, bread baking supplies and all the necessary ingredients to make soup and bread.

7. We Have A Root Cellar
Our root cellar is a cement room similar to a basement, only smaller. It is about 10 feet deep and has a stairway leading to the room.

We keep all our winter vegetables in that root cellar: Carrots, onions, potatoes, squash and apples all store well throughout the winter. There is a building on top of the root cellar in which we keep buckets of dehydrated food.

8. We Have A Wood-Burning Stove In Our Home
A wood-burning stove is a necessity if the power goes off. You need enough coal and wood to build a fire in the stove to heat your home and stay warm.

The top of the wood burning stove is flat so you can boil water in a pot or even cook simple foods on the top of the stove. These stoves will heat entire rooms. If your power goes off in the middle of the winter, you can shut the doors to rooms that are not being used and just heat the part of the house that is absolutely necessary.

We built an outdoor fireplace that we could use to cook in if we had to. It is on our patio and it is nice to just relax by the fire on chilly nights. We also have a barbeque grill that uses propane. We store extra bottles of propane so we could use it if needed.

9. We Have Camping And Evacuation Equipment
We have a special shed on our property in which we keep all our camping, hiking, snowshoeing equipment. We have plastic totes full of Mountain House foods and eFoods pre-made meals. We keep tents, sleeping bags, cots, warm clothing (gloves, wool socks, pants and hats), extra bedding, wool blankets, kerosene lamps, Dutch ovens and a Sun oven.

We have guns and ammo also. We live near the mountains and if we needed to hunt for wild game, we could. We have alternative heating and lighting sources as well. We keep our 72-hour packs in this shed along with our portable water filters. We keep cans of extra gasoline in case we need to take off somewhere. It is a good idea to keep the vehicles full of gas at all times.

10. We Have An Outhouse On Our Property
Our house sits on about a half-acre plot of land. My husband fixed up an old outhouse that was on the property when we moved here 25 years ago. The outhouse has a door on it for privacy. It has a hole dug in the ground about four or five feet deep and has a wooden box built on top of the hole.

The wooden box has a hole in the top with a toilet seat secured over the hole. We use an enzyme and bacteria product called Bio Clean to sprinkle into the hole and eliminate human waste and smells. You can purchase Bio Clean from my website www.peggylayton.com.

11. We Have A 250-Gallon Water Tank In Our Shed
Water is the most important item we have. Without water we won’t live long. We keep a 250-gallon tank in the shed where our camping gear is stashed. We have smaller 5-gallon containers to fill from the larger one.

This is a little bit about how we live. I hope it gives you ideas so you and your family can be more self sufficient.

Emergency Food Storage and Survival HandbookIf you are interested in a great source for pre-made meals that can be stored for 15 years and taste great, check out the eFoods Global meals available from my website. I have been testing out these emergency food storage meals which are 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. For more information, click here.

To purchase any of my seven books or any of the other preparedness items I sell, go to my website at www.peggylayton.com

–Peggy Layton

Growing A Backyard Organic Garden Is Good For Your Health

One of the best ways to get organic fruits and vegetables is to grow your own backyard garden. It becomes a very personal and sometimes even a spiritual experience.

One of the best ways to stay healthy year round is to eat in the season there of. This simply means that when certain foods are in season, you eat as much of them as you can and preserve the excess by canning, dehydrating and freezing.

Have you ever noticed that you crave seasonal fruits and vegetables? That is because our bodies need the nutrients that we get from the different foods that are grown in those seasons.

If you don’t grow a garden you can shop the local farmers markets and purchase the most organic foods you can find. This is the best way to avoid sprays, chemicals, pesticides, additives and preservatives and you will be able to save money on your food bill each month. Locally grown produce is better for you because it hasn’t been picked while still green and shipped thousands of miles to get to your local supermarket.

Even if you live in the city you can take advantage of the farmers markets and other organic produce when it is in season.  Most farmers sell off their abundant harvest at bulk rates. You can bottle or put up the excess food. This will ensure that you will have seasonal foods rear round. This is much more nutritious and it will keep you out of the grocery store and help you avoid impulse buying.

During and after World War II, the concept of the Victory Garden was introduced to the nation.  Individual backyard gardeners and farmers produced the same amount of food as did the entire commercial farming industry. It was a great success, and every family that participated felt a sense of accomplishment by doing it.

The economic crisis of 2011 is demanding the return of the backyard gardens as a way to ensure that each and every family is self-sufficient in hard economic times. Saving your own seeds from your personal harvest is a way to lower your cost of living. Eating the food that you have grown is the best nutrition that you can get. (Source: Heirloom-organics.com, Victory Gardens of WW II)

Getting Started Growing A Garden

  1. First you prepare a plot of flat ground that gets full sun during the day. Figure out how much growing space you have. Turn the soil over with a shovel and add compost or other organic material. Till it with a hand or motorized tiller to mix it up. Rake it to level it out.
  2. Plan out the garden plots and plant accordingly. A garden planned in advance will save you a lot of headaches in the future. Lettuce can be grown in tight quarters, but tomatoes need to be spaced about 2 feet apart. Growing and spacing requirements are provided on seed packets, in catalogs, and on nursery tags.
  3. You can grow vegetables in containers or in pots on a patio or porch. Lettuce is a great pot plant. Certain varieties of tomatoes will grow well in a hanging basket. Plants that climb and have vines, such as cucumbers and pole beans, can be trained up a metal fence, chain link or a trellis to take up less room.
  4. Grow the vegetables you enjoy eating. Some examples of vegetables to plant are beans, peas, tomatoes, sweet corn, onions, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, zucchini squash, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, spinach, melons and strawberries.
  5. If you are a beginner, you can purchase books on growing vegetables and gardening. Don’t be afraid to try growing something.
  6. Herbs such as parsley, thyme, basil, chives and oregano, and any other herbs you like to cook with, can be planted between flower beds.
  7. There are two planting seasons. Cool weather, as in the spring, and hot weather, as in the summer and early fall. The most common cool season crops include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach and turnips. Warm season crops include beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, zucchini and other squash and tomatoes.
  8. Starting your own seedlings in the spring and transplanting them in the summer is the least expensive way to get plants. However, you can purchase seedlings that are already started at any nursery.
  9. If you are going to purchase plants from a nursery, then these are the best ones to get: eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. These plants tend to do better when started in a greenhouse and transplanted in the garden later.
  10. The following seeds are best started right in the ground. Beans, beets, carrots, chard, corn, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, peas, pumpkins, zucchini and other squash and turnips.
  11. Squash and cucumbers are two of the ones that you can plant as either seeds or seedlings. I have had better results with them by planting the seeds right in the ground. It seems that the plants go into shock and take as long to grow as the seeds do.
  12. Seed packets do have a shelf life. Look for the seeds that have been packed for the current year.
  13. Purchase seedlings when your soil is ready to plant. Keep them watered and don’t let them sit around for more than a few days. Buy healthy-looking seedlings. They should stand up straight and be stocky, with green and not yellow leaves or any bug damage.

Sowing vegetable seedsChoose The Best Garden Seeds

Non-hybrid seeds: The best seeds to purchase are the Heirloom open-pollinated type or non-hybrid. Saving seeds is only possible with open-pollinated seeds. These seeds are also called Heritage seeds. These are the best kind of seeds to buy. You can save the seeds from year to year and dry them out, then plant them the next season and they will grow the exact same fruit, vegetable, or grain. Open-pollinated varieties display certain horticultural traits, such as: fruit color, leaf shape, flower color, etc. This means they are stable within the variety and seeds saved from these plants will be the same as the parent plant in subsequent plantings. The variety will not be cross-pollinated with any other plants of species.

Hybrid seeds: These seeds have been genetically modified to only produce one crop that is true to form. The following generations of plants cannot be counted on to produce the same variety. The hybrid is definitely cross-pollinated with another similar species that might have a different trait. The offspring will be genetically different than the parent plant. The scientists that cross-pollinate these plants are trying to come up with a better, more hardy plant, however the seeds can only be used once and that could possibly create a shortage of seeds. If you save the seed and plant them the next season, you might get some strange fruit that you don’t recognize. Most seeds purchased from a nursery or store is the hybrid type. If you are stocking up on these seeds, you will need to purchase them every year.

The Advantages Of Stockpiling Non-Hybrid Garden Seeds

Better Nutrition: Seed varieties are being bred for many reasons, but typically for disease and pest resistance, their look, transportability and other commercial reasons. Nutritional content is not one of the reasons, but profit is. When you grow open pollinated (non-hybrid) varieties you are growing original strains with much higher nutritional content than varieties that have been bred for color, storability, portability, etc. Growing your own garden ensures that the food you produce is much more nutritious than commercially-grown produce. When food is grown in Mexico or other countries, we do not have any control over how it is grown, what chemicals are used, what fertilizers and minerals are—or are not—in the soil. We also cannot control whether or how much radiation is used to kill the bacteria. The food
is picked before it has ripened and it is shipped hundreds, even thousands of miles before we purchase it. The plants are sprayed to keep them from ripening too fast in transit, then sprayed again to get them to ripen. Have you ever noticed that the vegetables in the grocery store taste blander rather than rich in flavor like their home grown cousins?

Variety: We can participate in saving many original varieties of seeds. Once the food supply has been genetically altered to the point that there are no more original strains of vegetables left, we will be at the mercy of the genetically altered seed companies like Monsanto. This won’t happen with non-hybrid seeds because we can save many varieties of our own seeds from year to year and we will be in control of these seeds.

Self-sufficiency: In hard times, recessions and depressions, FOOD IS SECURITY. You will be able to take care of your family and even friends if you have the skills to grow food. You will have better health because you will be ensured the highest nutrition available. You can save foods like potatoes, carrots, onions, apples and squash in a cool, dry garage and they will keep all winter as long as it doesn’t freeze.

Shortages of food: If food supplies are challenged and the food cannot be trucked for thousands of miles, home gardening is a way to ensure that your family will have the food to sustain them in a crisis. It can also be looked at as food insurance. The economic crisis facing the United States and the world right now is causing the price of fresh produce to go up. When an economic downturn drives inflation up, the cost of real goods, like groceries, skyrockets. It becomes unmanageable very quickly, with items like a loaf of bread costing 10 times more than normal. It sounds unbelievable but this has actually happened many times throughout history.  I have heard a prediction for years that when times get tough and our economy fails, it will take a wheelbarrow full of money to buy one loaf of bread.

Trade or barter: For a self-sufficient person to be truly prepared he must have plenty of non-hybrid seeds available for personal use, storage and bartering. Seeds are an excellent alternative investment to paper money, as well as gold and silver. You can’t eat money or precious metals, which means food is the best investment. Growing your own food is a skill that is invaluable. Organic open-pollinated seeds must be in the hands of the organic backyard farmers. There is a huge movement sweeping the country right now. The small organic farmers are banding together to collect, save, sell or trade their seeds. It is called seed exchange. This movement is preserving the hundreds of heirloom seeds so they are not genetically altered or cross pollinated and lost.

Emergency Food Storage and Survival HandbookPeggy Layton is the author of seven books on the subject of food storage and 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 that they built. During the winter, when produce is less plentiful, they grow food in their year-round growing dome greenhouse, and they gather fresh eggs daily from their chickens. Provident living is a way of life in their home.

To purchase a variety of heirloom garden seeds that can be grown from year-to-year with seeds that can be saved, go to my website, www.peggylayton.com, and click on the “Garden Seeds Non-Hybrid” link on the left sidebar.

I have been testing out emergency food storage meals that have a 15-year shelf life. These meals are packaged in Mylar® pouches, serve four people and are ready to just add water and cook. I find them delicious, convenient, and easy. For more information or to order go to www.peggylayton.efoodsglobal.com.

–Peggy Layton

Warning: Lack Of Food May be Hazardous To Your Health

One good reason to stockpile food is because global food prices are on the rise. Gasoline is predicted to reach an all time high of $5 per gallon. As the price of gasoline goes up, so does the cost of food.

The strange weather patterns are causing some of the shortages as well. Get ready to pay double or even triple the price for fresh produce after the worst freeze in 60 years damaged or wiped out entire crops in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Farmers experienced terrible crop losses.

It not only devastated the farmers, but now it is hitting us in the pocketbook. We need to stock up on staples such as bulk dry goods while we can, before the prices rise even higher on these items.

Following last week’s earthquake, the people in Japan have had to stand in line for five hours at the grocery store. They are limited to only five items per person. Fuel, water and food are in great demand and there are shortages of everything.

Are you prepared for a natural disaster like that one? If you are the one prepared you can help your friends and family if they are driven from their homes. I personally would much rather be the one handing out my food reserves than the one begging for food.

Water, Water, Everywhere And Not A Drop To Drink

The earthquake and tsunami in Japan demolished entire towns. There was water everywhere except in the grocery stores.

Without potable water, your dehydrated food will be no good. So store enough good drinking water for a minimum of three months; which is 90 gallons per person.  You can purchase water tanks that hold 250 gallons of water and stand 87 inches tall and 30 inches in circumference.

I keep mine in the corner of my garage and keep it full of drinking water at all times. I suggest a product called ION water treatment. It is a stabilized oxygen product. One bottle for $15.50 will treat 110 gallons of water and keep it safe from harmful bacteria for up to five years. These products are available on my website

The Best Investment For Your Money Is Food

The key to storing food for emergencies is to keep it simple. What I tell people is to plan one week of menus that your family will eat. Make sure that you plan this out very carefully. Write a list of your favorite recipes: seven breakfasts, seven lunches and seven dinners.

All the menus should contain ingredients that can be stored for two-plus years either in wet pack cans or dehydrated. For a three-month emergency food storage plan you take all the ingredients in your recipes for one week and multiply them by 12. This gives you an accurate accounting of what you need to purchase.

When you have stockpiled all the necessary ingredients, you can start over with new recipes for more of a variety. Then proceed to purchase another three months worth of food, using this method until you have a one-year supply. If you keep it simple and plan it out, you will be able to accomplish the goal fairly easily. A one-year supply of food turns into a six-month supply for two people or a three-month supply with four people. You better figure that if times are tough enough to use the food reserves, you will most likely be feeding other family members or friends.

Breakfast

Simple breakfast menus can consist of foods like oatmeal, cracked whole-wheat cereal, farina, cream of wheat, six-grain rolled cereal or rice cereal. You will need some sort of sweetener like honey, white or brown sugar, dried or canned fruit, maple syrup, stevia, agave or other something else if you prefer. Cinnamon is good on hot cereal.

Powdered milk is always a good substitute for fresh milk and can be used on cereal as well. You could eat hot cereal every day for breakfast and you would be just fine. Babies and children will do fine on oatmeal, millet, cream of wheat and rice cereal. These grains are easier on their delicate digestive systems.

Dried whole eggs or dried egg mix can be rehydrated and scrambled just like fresh eggs. Any egg dish can be made with dried eggs. The secret is to reconstitute the whole egg powder with one tablespoon of water to one tablespoon of dried egg powder. This is a substitute for any fresh egg called for in any recipe.  On my website you can purchase my book, Cookin’ With Dried Eggs. It has more than 100 recipes for egg dishes using dried egg powder.

Lunch

The best way to plan lunch meals is to store everything to make soup. These food items include dried and canned vegetables and bouillon for flavoring the soup. Grains and legumes like barley, rice, beans, lentils and split peas are always good and make hearty in soups.

I suggest that you have in your pantry everything you will need to make simple soups. There is a great variety of dried vegetables on the market. I keep in my pantry, dried vegetables like onions, peas, corn, broccoli, stew blend, carrots, celery, peppers and potatoes. There are premade soup mixes on the market that you just add water to. I like to store a creamy soup base that I can make into chowders and cream soups as well as sauces for pasta and rice.

Simple breads go well with soup. Dumplings are good in soup because they puff up when dropped into the hot soup. They are filling and taste great.

Other breads that work well with soup are cornbread muffins, flatbreads (like tortillas), bread sticks, rolls, scones and biscuits. These are all easy to make and require simple ingredients to make like flour, sweetener, salt, baking powder, yeast and water.

If you have these simple ingredients in your pantry you can make soup and bread. The pioneers lived on soup and bread. They always had a pot of stew or soup cooking on the wood stove. They added leftover scraps of meat, vegetables and grains to the pot.

When the men came in from working hard in the fields they enjoyed a warm and delicious bowl of soup. I have a philosophy that we can live on soup and bread, just like the pioneers did.

Dinner

Simple entrees like pasta with sauce, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese sauce, casseroles, one-pot meals, stews, chowders, rice and beans, potato dishes, rehydrated vegetables are great choices for dinner. Simple breads go well with entrees also.

Again I need to emphasize that all ingredients to make these simple meals needs to be something that can be stored. If we encounter a crisis it is almost certain that we will not have access to any fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables, dairy products or produce of any kind.  The rule of thumb for canned food items is that they will last on the shelf for about two years. Dehydrated or dried, as well as freeze dried products will last 15+ years. That is why it is a good idea to stock up on dried foods.

Simple breads can be included in the dinner meals. It is best to store whole grains, like wheat, for grinding into fresh flour for breads.

For the serious bread maker this requires a wheat grinder. Without a wheat grinder you will need to store flour as well as other baking items, like yeast, baking powder, soda and salt. Freshly ground wheat and other grains are much more nutritious when ground just before using. If you are gluten intolerant, you will need to store other grains that have no gluten. These include rice and rye.

Desserts And Other Comfort Foods

I am sure if we are in a crisis we will want things like sweets and comfort foods. I store popcorn for that reason. It is easy to make and I really like it. Store your favorite comfort foods: things such as puddings, cake mixes, gelatin, drink mixes, condiments, hot chocolate mix etc…

Beans and rice might get old after a while and you will be very happy for something different. I store a large variety of herbal teas. To me, a glass of warm tea is very comforting.

A Three-Month, Six-Month And One-Year Supply Of Dried Foods Is Available

These units are designed to give you a variety of dried vegetables, fruits, legumes, dairy products, sweeteners, fats, bread baking items, grains for hot cereal and breads, beans and legumes, meat substitutes, cooking items like bouillon, creamy soup base, salt, soda and baking powder. This unit comes with a can opener and a free copy of my book, Cookin’ With Home Storage.

It would be wise to add to these units things like spices, sauce mixes, gravies and any other foods that your family likes and could not live without. These units are designed to give you peace of mind knowing that you have these storable items that can be rehydrated and used for meals. These units are available on my website.

Simple, Easy Meals: Just Add Water, Cook And It’s Done

eFoods is one of the best ways I have found to stockpile easy, simple meals that are ready to go. You just add water, cook for 15 minutes and the meal is done. This way of cooking is for the new generation. I encourage people to get a three month emergency supply of premade meals.

Some of the features of eFoods Global are:

  • Dehydrated from premium-grade, fresh raw fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, beans and legumes.
  • Complete meals with everything in them. All you do is add water.
  • Can be used every day for fast, convenient and healthy food.
  • Contain no genetically modified (GMOs) foods.
  • Contain no added monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • Contain no imports from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides.
  • Contain no hydrogenated oils.
  • Packaged for long-term storage in Mylar® pouches.

Another great feature: The company lets you try before you buy.

I like to store them in the heavy-duty boxes they come in. However, another good way to store these meals is in a five-gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid.

The packages include soups like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar. Entrée and other baking items include chicken pasta Alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, granola, powdered milk, wheat bread mix and buttermilk biscuit mix. Simply go here, click on TRY IT to receive three meals with 12 servings of sample food.

Each meal will feed two to four people per package. All you do is pay $9.95 for shipping.  If you have any questions I can be reached at 435-835-0311 or (cell) 435-851-0777 in Utah.

Cookin' With home StorageI have written seven different books on the subject of food storage. Many of them are cookbooks and my most popular cookbook is Cookin’ With Home Storage. It contains more than 550 recipes for using basic food storage items mentioned in this article.

Also included in this book are historic facts about how the pioneers actually survived on weeds, wild animals and herbs, how they dug homes called dugouts into the mountainside, how they lived without electricity, how they raised chickens, goats and cattle and how they survived by banding together and forming co-ops in which they bartered and shared food.

If you would like to see what dehydrated foods are available for purchase or to check out the books and cookbooks mentioned in this article, go to my website, www.peggylayton.com.

–Peggy Layton

Medicinal Benefits Of Redmond Clay

Many years ago in what is now Central Utah, a range of volcanoes erupted sending volcanic ash into the waters of the ancient Sundance Sea. The water in this sea evaporated, leaving behind a bed of mineral-rich bentonite clay.

Redmond Clay is one of the best brands of bentonite clay available on the market. It is a white sodium mineral-rich clay that comes from deep within the earth. It is from a Jurassic source. The land the clay is mined on is in Redmond, Utah, and people in the community have been using it medicinally for years.

For many generations native Indians carried a ball of this mineral-rich clay with them in their packs, some of which they dissolved in water and ingested with their meals. Clay, a product of Mother Earth, was a natural medicine used by the natives for fighting many stomach ailments, dysentery and food infections.

Historical uses of Medicinal Clay

Volumes of books have been written detailing how bentonite clay has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries without anyone ever being able to explain what makes it such a great healer. Dr. Ernst Meyer-Camberg, a European doctor, stated in his research papers on clay that it provides relief in a bad case of poisoning.

An author named Raymond Dextreit wrote a book called Our Earth Our Cure: A Handbook of Natural Medicine for Today. In it he details countless cases in which clay accomplishing amazing results. He says the clay acts symbiotically in the body.

In World War I, both Russian and French soldiers were issued clay as part of their rations. They would use it for illness and to treat cut and wounds. He says that the clay draws toxins to itself, thus making it a perfect poultice for cuts and wounds.

If taken internally in water Redmond Clay will pull toxins and poisons out of the body by absorbing many times its weight, and moving it through the system to be eliminated. People have reported that they feel relief from the flu symptoms by drinking the clay water.

Animals Eat Clay

Many cattle ranchers have big piles of the clay delivered to their farms for the animals to eat. The cattle naturally gravitate to it when they are sick. It is a form of self-medication for the cows. The farmers have noticed that it helps the sick animals.

Intestinal Problems

The Redmond Clay Company started experimenting with clay that was found in veins deep within the earth. They took all the previous research done by the European scientists and did their own research on the benefits of Redmond Clay. To their amazement, it helped people get better from all kinds of ailments such as diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, stomach ache, acid indigestion, hiatal hernias, acid reflex, diverticulitis, colitis, rotavirus, and helicobacter pylori bacteria.

External And Skin Problems

Redmond Clay has been successfully used for external issues like burns, bee stings, wounds, spider bites, acne, athletes foot, bruises, arthritis, cuts, diaper rash, eczema, infections, mosquito bites, sores that won’t heal, sprains, twisted ankles and inflammation.

Burns And Bruises

I use Redmond Clay for any burn. It takes the pain away instantly and heals the blister quickly. My daughter-in-law burned herself with a curling iron. It was very painful, but I made some mud, put it on the burn and bandaged it up. It was better the next day. It works for all burns, sunburns, cuts and bruises. My husband is a contractor and he had an accident and mashed his thumb. It turned black and blue and was throbbing with pain. I put the clay on his thumb, had him wear a latex glove over it and the next day his thumb was fine and the bruising was gone.

Diaper Rash

To use it for diaper rash, just sprinkle the dry clay powder on the baby’s bottom. It seems to clear up diaper rash very quickly.

Clay Baths

Some people take clay baths. To do so, sprinkle about one-half cup of dry clay powder in the bathwater, mix it up and soak in it for 30 minutes or more. It helps detoxify the body. It draws out toxins and infections from the skin.

Foot Bath

For a footbath, simply put three tablespoons of Redmond Clay in a pan of water and soak your feet in it for 30 minutes. It draws toxins from the feet and detoxifies the body.

In The First-Aid Kit

Because it has worked so well for all these other issues, I put Redmond Clay in my medical kit. I use it first, for relief rather than running to the doctor. Consequently I keep it mixed up ready to use in a solution of clay and water and have it in the kitchen cupboard and the bathroom cupboard.

The Redmond Clay Company has been around for 30 years and there have not been any cases of allergic reactions or adverse effects from taking the clay. The company says that with all the research that has been done, they are just scratching the surface of what the clay can do.

Because it has so many uses, I recommend you keep it in your 72-hour emergency kit, as I do.

Redmond Clay First Aid
Redmond Clay jar

Redmond clay comes in a premixed squeezable bottle that is ready to use, or you can buy the powder and mix it yourself.

To prepare the Redmond clay for external use, mix the powdered clay with just enough water to make a gel the consistency of mud. Use a glass cup or small glass-canning jar.

If you don’t use it all, then keep a lid on it. If it starts to dry up, just add a little more water and mix it up again. Use the mud like you would a gel, cream or poultice. Put it on about one-fourth inch thick and cover it with gauze, a bandage or plastic wrap and leave it on overnight.The next day you will be amazed at the result.

Internal Use

To use the clay internally, mix one teaspoon of the dry, powdered clay in a half of glass of water (preferably filtered water). Stir it up and let it sit for six to eight hours. Then drink it down.

If you have a hard time drinking the clay sediment at the bottom, just drink the clear liquid that is full of minerals, but it is better if you can drink the whole thing.

The clay goes through your intestinal system and absorbs poisons and toxins as it moves through, pulling them out of the body to be eliminated with waste material. It is good to make a large amount of clay water, let it sit for the prescribed time and then drink it several times a day, depending on how sick you feel.

Redmond Clay Daily DetoxRedmond Clay Daily Detox is a natural toxin-binding clay in capsule form for those who don’t want to drink the clay water. The capsules can be used every day.

The Healing Power Of Clay bookRedmond Clay works inside the stomach to bind itself to harmful toxins.  As it moves through the intestinal tract, it collects toxins and can help move along and eliminate trapped waste found along the inner wall.  Daily use of Redmond Clay can help support a healthy digestive system.  It is packed in 100 percent vegetable-based capsules.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of Redmond Clay there are two books I recommend. One is We Eat Clay (and wear it, too!), available for free, and the other is The Healing Power Of Clay.

Redmond Clay comes in powder form as well as premixed first-aid clay and facial mud for acne and facials. It also comes in capsules for internal use.

Redmond Clay, books, and other clay products can be purchased from www.peggylayton.com.

Purchase healthy, gourmet, ready-made meals prepackaged with a 15-year shelf life and requiring only the addition of boiling water. Watch the 10-minute video and click on the (try it before you buy it) button. You can try three free meals that serve two to four people each for just $9.95 shipping.

–Peggy Layton

Rice And Beans: A Good Choice For Long-Term Food Storage

Did you know that if you combine rice and beans in a meal, it could replace the need for meat or other protein?

Rice and beans each contain certain amino acids that, when combined, form a complete protein. This is good news because if you are in a crisis situation and can’t get to the grocery store to get meat, you can use beans and rice.

Beans and rice in the dry form are easy to store and will keep for a long time. That is why we call them staples. They should be in everyone’s pantry.

Rice and beans are nutritious and filling. I suggest that you stock up on these items because they could very well save your life.

If you have rice and beans along with the basic ingredients for making flat bread or tortillas — it only requires flour, salt and water — you can make burritos by placing the rice and beans in the center of the flatbread along with a dab of bottled salsa.  You could eat this every day if you had to. Some Spanish cultures live on rice and beans as a staple.

Rice

Rice is a staple of about 70 percent of the world’s population. Rice is one of the most compatible and versatile foods in the world. When dried, rice can be stored for many years. This makes it ideal for long-term food storage.

Rice blends its flavor beautifully to any meal. It is used in Asian, Mexican, Indian and American cooking. You can use it with meat and vegetables as well as with sauces, and in soups.

Rice can be combined with just about any other food. It is filling, nutritious and inexpensive. I suggest you store rice in either 1-gallon containers or 5-gallon buckets with tight-fitting lids. Rice will store for 15+ years if stored properly. To purchase rice and beans in No. 10 gallon-sized cans, click here.

I have estimated the amount of rice to store based on one cup of rice per day, per person. Because rice in the dry form will double when cooked in water, you will need one and a half gallons of dry rice per person for a three-month supply, three gallons per person for a six-month supply and six gallons per person for one year. If you have six people in your family you will need 36 gallons or six six-gallon buckets per year.

White rice is better to store than brown rice. It stores longer and will not go rancid as will brown rice. However, brown rice is highly nutritious and is a complex carbohydrate instead of refined like white rice. If you want to store brown rice for a long period of time, see the instructions below under brown rice.

Rice is first milled, then cleaned and husked. Its cooking possibilities are endless. You can steam it, bake it, braise it and fry it.

There is no need to rinse or wash the rice before cooking. It contains valuable vitamins and minerals that can be washed away. Rice is one of the most easily digested foods and is non-allergenic.

There are several varieties of rice available on the market. They are:

White rice: This rice has the entire outer coating of bran removed. Some brands are enriched by adding extra vitamins and minerals lost in the milling process.

Long grain white rice: This rice cooks up plump and juicy. It is used as a side dish like pilaf or used in soup.

Medium or short grain white rice: This rice tends to be moister. It is used in rice puddings.

Precooked or instant rice: This rice is also called instant or Minute® rice. It is precooked and dried out again. Because it is precooked, this rice cooks up quickly and is great when you are in a hurry.

Parboiled rice: This rice has been cooked under pressure, which drives the nutrients from the bran of the rice to the grain of the rice. This rice cooks more uniformly and doesn’t stick together, is easier to reheat and retains its qualities much longer.

Brown rice: This rice is in its whole-unpolished state. It retains all its natural oils, proteins and vitamins. It has a chewy consistency with a slightly nutty flavor and requires more water for cooking and about twice the cooking time of polished white rice. This rice is the most nutritious rice because it is the whole grain and not processed. This rice does not store well because it contains some oil in the hull.  It has a tendency to go rancid faster and is not a good choice for long-term storage. However, because of its nutritional value, it is the best choice for short-term storage. It is best to keep brown rice in the freezer until it is opened. Keep it in the refrigerator after it is opened and use it up within six months.

Wild rice: This is not a rice, but a seed of a long shallow water grass. It is expensive because of the process of growing and cultivating it. It is worth the expense for special occasions. It has a nutty texture and a great flavor and lends itself well to fish and game meals.

Rice flour: People that are allergic to whole wheat or white flour can use rice flour as a substitute.

Rice cereal: This is good for babies or children. It is easily digestible and can be stored for several years.

Beans

Beans were one of the first crops cultivated by man, along with peas, lentils and peanuts.

Beans are classified as legumes. Dry beans and legumes are regarded as an important staple in countries where fresh vegetables are not available during the winter months. Beans can easily be stored in a one-gallon container or a five-gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid.  They need to be kept dry and cool.

I suggest that you store a variety of beans. Start by purchasing a package of each of the different varieties. You should store more of the kidney, pinto and red beans.

There are many different beans on the market. They include; Soybeans, garbanzo, pinto, great northern, kidney, lima, black-eyed peas, black turtle, red beans, small white beans, navy, pink, lentils, split peas and whole dry peas.

These beans and legumes can be stored in the bags they come in. Place several bags into one plastic five-gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid. Beans are inexpensive and can be purchased for around $2 per bag. You can purchase a variety of beans in No. 10 (gallon sized) cans here.

Sprouting Beans

Beans can be sprouted and turned into a vegetable which you can use in salads. They are very nutritious when sprouted.

Sprouted beans are high in B complex vitamins, folic acid, niacin, iron, calcium and magnesium and provide protein and quick energy.

To sprout beans and legumes, first sort the beans to remove any dirt clods or rocks. Rinse the beans several times. Place them in a quart jar with one cup of beans to three cups of water. Let them stand overnight. In the morning, drain the beans and rinse them again.

Put a sprouting lid or a lid with holes punched in it so you can easily drain the beans. Beans should be rinsed and drained each day so that they do not go sour. After about three days of doing this the tails on the bean sprouts will be one-half inch long. Sprouts can be rinsed one final time and placed in a zip-lock baggie and stored in the refrigerator. Use them within a few days.

Bean Flour

As beans get old they are harder to cook. They don’t seem to soften as well as the newer beans. Older beans can be ground into flour using a hand or electric wheat grinder, grain mill or blender. This flour can be used to thicken gravies, soups and sauces. You can also make bean flour into refried beans by adding boiling water and a little salt. Cook the beans until they thicken up.  Store bean flour in the refrigerator.

Uses Of  Rice And Beans

Cookin' With Beans & Rice bookThere are many different uses of beans. I have written a cookbook called Cookin’ with Beans and Rice that features 154 pages of recipes for using beans and rice in meals. The book includes recipes for dishes like chili bean fudge, pinto bean spice cake, pinto bean punch, split pea soup, chili black beans and rice, refried beans, bean dip, Boston baked beans, beans and rice, enchiladas and much more.  The cookbook also includes many recipes for using rice. Some are chicken and rice casserole, oriental vegetables and rice, shrimp fried rice, Spanish rice, rice pilaf, wild rice, Indian curried rice, rice breakfast cereal, rice pancakes, rice salads, baked rice pudding and much more. There are also recipes that include both rice and beans.

To purchase beans and rice packaged in No.10-sized gallon cans, which are ideal for long-term food storage, ION stabilized oxygen for water treatment or to purchase a copy of this book and others I’ve written, go here.

To purchase healthy, gourmet, ready-made meals prepackaged with a 15-year shelf life and requiring only the addition of boiling water, go here. Watch the 10-minute video and click on the (try it before you buy it) button. You can try three free meals that serve two to four people each for just $9.95 shipping.

Make Your Own First-Aid Medical Kit

A standard first-aid kit is very important for emergencies. You must keep this kit accessible so you can get to it easily.

To make a first-aid kit, collect the items in the following list from around your home and purchase any of those items that you don’t have. As always, you should tailor this kit to fit the needs of your family.

Assemble them into a small suitcase or other container. Ideally, it should be waterproof. Keep all items in sealable bags to keep moisture out. Once it’s complete, store it in an easily accessible area of your home or garage. You should also make a smaller first-aid kit to put into your 72-hour kit.

The following list is a suggestion for what to store in your homemade medical kit: Add anything extra that your family needs. If you have a small child or baby, include the following baby items: Diapers, diaper rash ointment, and anything else a child would need for a medical emergency.

  • Cold Medicine.                                          
  • Ibuprofen.
  • Acetaminophen (Include baby dosages if applicable).
  • Aspirin.
  • Antacid.
  • Syrup of ipecac.
  • Diarrhea remedy.
  • Asthma inhaler (if needed).
  • Cough medication.
  • Antibiotic (if possible).
  • Antibiotic ointment.
  • Antibacterial wipes.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Bandages, all sizes (100 count).
  • Instant cold and hot packs.
  • Sun screen/block.
  • Lip balm or lip medication.
  • Triangular bandages.
  • Assorted gauze pads.
  • Sterile gauze.
  • First aid tape.
  • Elastic wrap or compression bandages (2 or more).
  • Butterfly closures.
  • Cotton balls and swabs.
  • Small scissors.
  • Thermometer.
  • Sanitary napkins.          
  • Disposable diapers.
  • Tweezers.
  • Small Splints — Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors.
  • Needle and thread.
  • Waterproof matches.
  • Plastic spoons.
  • Safety pins
  • Small notebook with pens.
  • Multi-purpose knife
  • Flashlight (with batteries).
  • Can opener (if needed).
  • Blanket — lightweight
  • Space blanket.
  • Essential personal medications.

No first aid or 72-hour kit is complete without ION. ION is a water treatment that kills bacteria on contact. It has an indefinite shelf life and eight drops will treat eight ounces of drinking water. If you get stranded in your car and can only find snow, pond, lake or river water to drink, ION will make it safe.

But it has other uses besides water treatment. ION also kills bacteria on wounds, cuts, and scrapes. ION can also be taken internally to help the body recover from the flu.

One bottle of ION will treat 110 gallons of stored water. It is great for use in water storage barrels. It can be used wherever the food or water is questionable. It will keep the water safe for five years.

Ion (Stabilized Oxygen) and premade medical kits can be purchased here.

Personal Medications
It’s very important that you include personal medications in your medical kit as well as your 72-hour kit. If you have to evacuate quickly and don’t have your mandatory medication, it could mean life or death. Most people cannot go more than three days without their medication.

Talk to your doctor and explain that you need an emergency supply of medication and keep it with your 72-hour kit or medical kit. Some medications expire within a few months so they need to be rotated.  Painkillers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin and powdered antibiotics are good to have on hand.

Cleaning Products And Soaps
Keep these items in a separate 5-gallon bucket that you could grab and go if necessary.

  • Disinfectants and bleach.
  • Washboard and tub.
  • Laundry soap.
  • Emergency clothesline or rack.
  • Hand soap and antibacterial soap.
  • Paper towels or hand towels.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Extra water for washing hands and clothes.

Bathroom Sanitation
A 5-gallon bucket can be used as a toilet. You can purchase bucket liners or use small garbage bags as liners. The Luggable Loo emergency toilet has a screw-on lid that fits over the bucket and has a toilet seat on top of it. If you don’t want to make your own sanitation kit you can purchase one here.

To make your own sanitation kit you will need to assemble the following items:

  • Five gallon bucket.
  • Toilet seat lid (screw on or snap on type).
  • Plastic garbage bags to fit the 5-gallon bucket with ties.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Anti-bacterial wipes.
  • Personal hygiene and feminine products.
  • Small fold-up shovel.

Outdoor Outhouse
What would you do if there was a natural disaster and the water was shut off to your house. How would you flush the toilets? How would you bathe? It would be like camping in your back yard.

If you live in an area where you have a little extra space on your property, an outhouse can be constructed by digging a hole about three feet deep. Put over the hole a wooden box with a toilet seat-shaped hole cut out of the top. Build a small tool shed-type enclosure around it. Be sure to vent it.

An alternative is to construct a makeshift room built like a tent with a curtain hung around it for privacy. To eliminate smells and toxic human waste I recommend a product called BIO-CLEAN. This dramatically reduces odor and flies. Cleaning and disposal of the pit becomes much easier and more sanitary.

BIO-CLEAN is a blend of bacteria and enzymes. The bacteria are 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.

Make Your Own Emergency Car Kit And 72 Hour Pack

Emergency kits are very important because they can save your life.

To be properly prepared you should make two kits, one goes in your car and the other goes in your house to be kept somewhere handy, so you could grab it and go if necessary. These kits are a challenge to make because you want to pack everything necessary for survival, yet make it as lightweight as possible so it is easy to carry.

The Car Kit
I got stranded one time in the middle of the night on a freeway. My friend and I had to walk about a mile. We found a flashlight that was very weak. It was frightening to walk that far in the dark, and it was very cold. At that moment I decided that I would get a car kit and be prepared in case that ever happened again.

A car kit can be put together with items from around the house, or you can purchase the items needed. Gather in one place all items that you have and place them in a container that can be kept in the trunk of the vehicle or the back of a truck. A container with a tight-fitting lid is important so no moisture gets into the kit. You will need to add to this list for personal items that you and your family may need.

The following items should be in a car kit. It contains a list of items to get you started, but the list should be tailored to fit your needs:

  • Three-day supply of water.
  • Lightweight wool blanket and emergency reflective blanket
  • Three-day supply of emergency food and snacks for several people.
  • A small stove such as a Jetboil® with fuel if your kit contains meals that need to be cooked. (Such as the eFoods meals I talk about in the article.) Mountain House® pre-packaged meals and MRE’s (meals ready to eat) are good for the kit.
  • Waterproof matches.
  • Sharp pocket or multipurpose knife.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • 100-Hour Candle.
  • Road flares or light sticks.
  • Reflectors.
  • Extra car fuses.
  • Tire chains (if you live in a region that sees snow).
  • Tools and a small shovel.
  • Hand and body warmers.
  • First aid kit.
  • Waterproof ponchos.
  • Toilet paper and baby wipes.
  • Emergency Money — $20 in quarters and small change.
  • Extra money in small bills like $10s, $5s and $1s.

Tip: Did you know that if you get stranded in a snowstorm or stuck somewhere cold, you can cut up the seats in your vehicle and take out the foam padding and wrap it around your feet, hands, head and other places that lose most body heat the fastest? You can then tie it up the wraps with a shoelace or other fabric of some sort. It could save your life.

72-Hour Emergency Kit
A 72-hour emergency kit is designed to contain the items that you would need to survive for a three-day period. This kit should be tailored to fit your families’ needs.

Each family member should have his own kit. This could also be called a “Bugout Kit” or a “Grab and Go Kit.” During many types of disasters it is common to ask people to evacuate their homes quickly. Many times people live in temporary quarters such as public schools or emergency evacuation sites. You may only have one minute to grab your belongings and go. You need to think very seriously about what you would need. Store the 72-hour kits so you can get to them quickly and easily.

You can purchase a pre-made 72-hour kit with a lot of great products in it at my Website or you can make your own kit by going around your house and accumulating the items that would be most helpful in an emergency. In many instances you already have these items in your home. It’s just a matter of collecting them into a plastic tote, suitcase with rollers or a backpack.

Think about an emergency situation in your community. If you were left without water, lights or heat and no way to cook or stay warm, what would you need to survive in your home? If you were forced to evacuate your home, what would you need to take with you? Make your list. What you choose must be easy to carry and as lightweight as possible in case you have to walk.

As you make your list, you might be surprised that you have most of what’s needed. All you have to do is get it together, put it in a plastic tote, suitcase with rollers or backpack and keep it in a closet or somewhere easy to get to in an emergency. You must tailor make this 72-hour kit for each individual person. Don’t forget important medications, warm socks, hats, gloves, warm clothing, a coat and a lightweight blanket. These things are all on the list. Having this 72-hour kit ready will give you a great deal of peace of mind. The following list will give you ideas. Assemble one kit per person:

  • Backpack, suitcase with rollers or plastic tote (to put the kit in).
  • Personal medication (extra supply).
  • One gallon of water per person or 12 water pouches.
  • Water purification tablets or ION water treatment.
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio.
  • Lightweight wool blanket or space blanket.
  • Waterproof matches.
  • Can opener (if needed).
  • Flashlight with batteries.
  • Multipurpose pocket knife.
  • 50 feet of nylon cord.
  • Tube tent shelter.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Small first aid kit.
  • Candles.
  • Emergency light source or light stick.
  • Warm socks and clothing.
  • Warm gloves and hat.
  • Warm coat.
  • Paper plates and cups.
  • Plastic utensils.
  • Small cook stove with fuel (Preferably the Jetboil®).
  • Pens and small notebook.
  • Money in coins and small bills (enough for three days).
  • Hand warmers.
  • Personal sanitary items.
  • Lightweight poncho.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Two (at least) plastic garbage bags.
  • Whistle.
  • Hard tack candy.
  • Food that is easy to cook or ready to eat, non-perishable and lightweight, three days per person. I especially like the eFoods Global meals because they are ready to go. Just add water, boil for 15 minutes and eat. These foods can be purchased here.

Tailor the kits for each person. If you are making it for an elderly person, child or animal, you need to really think it through and add all necessary items that that are needed.

I like to keep a bottle of ION water treatment in my 72-hour pack and my purse at all times. If food or water is questionable, it can be treated with eight drops of ION per cup. It will kill all harmful bacteria.

For Children, add these extra things to a child’s pack

  • Books to read.
  • Games or puzzles.
  • Coloring book.
  • Small stuffed animal.
  • Comfort foods.
  • Warm clothing, hats, gloves and a warm coat.
  • Warm blanket (lightweight)

For Babies, add these extra things:

  • Baby carrier, such as a backpack or front pack.
  • Diapers.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Water.
  • Juices.
  • Formula.
  • Baby food.
  • Rice cereal.
  • Bottles.
  • Toys.
  • Spoon.
  • Blanket.
  • Extra clothing
  • Warm coat, hat and gloves

For the family pet, add these things:

  • Pet carrier if necessary.
  • Pet food for three days.
  • Water.
  • Warm Blanket.

The most difficult thing to carry is water because of its weight. Purified water pouches are available and easy to carry in a backpack (12 per person) or a heavy plastic bottle full of water can be easily carried (the 2-liter soda bottles are the best).

Space blankets are lightweight and will keep you warm. A lightweight wool blanket is the best.

Making your own 72-hour kit or car kit can save you money because it is just a matter of gathering supplies into one location. Take an inventory of what you have and what you need. Purchase the items that you need and keep your 72-hour kit in a place where you can grab it and go if necessary. All of the information in this article was taken from my book, Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook.

If you need pre-made 72-hour kits or other preparedness supplies, and books on the subject of food storage and survival you can visit my website here.

Emergency Food For Short Term And Long Term Storage

If you need food that is easy to prepare by just adding water, click here and watch the three-minute video. Then you can purchase the food online in two different packages: A Variety Pack or an Essentials Package. The variety pack has 72 servings of 18 different soups, entrees, and breakfasts. The Essentials package includes three cartons of the prepackaged meals which includes 380 servings of 27 soups, 24 entrees, six breakfasts, and four baked goods. You can also sign up for the once a month Variety Pack.

This will auto-ship food to you each month. After one year you will have a stockpile of 15 boxes with 1,152 servings of good quality food. That comes out to about .91 cents per serving. If you can boil water, you can make an eFoods meal. They were designed to be simple enough for a child to make.

I am very impressed with their 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 only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and it’s done. The food is delicious. The packages feed two to four people and come packed in Mylar® bags for long-term storage of up to 15 years. The cooking instructions are on each package.

I use this food every day and it really helps me save money at the grocery store because I don’t impulse-buy any more. You can use it every day, store it for an emergency or share it with others.

Please call me if you have any questions about the program. I can be reached at 435-835-0311 or cell 435-851-0777 in Utah. The Website explains the entire program and has photos of the food. To check it out, simply click here. Email me here. To purchase my books or any of the other preparedness items I sell go to my website.

Starvation Insurance

If you are prepared you will not fear.

People spend a lot of money on insurance of all kinds: Life, health, hospitalization, vehicle, property, liability, home, flood, earthquake, catastrophic, malpractice and business. Typically at the end of the year if you have not used the insurance it starts over for the new year with new deductibles. You plan for the worst and hope for the best. If you have not used it, what do you have to show for all the money you have paid into these different insurances?

Have you ever thought of starvation insurance? Ask yourself the question, “Can my family survive on the food I have in my cupboard?” Food for peace of mind is the only way to insure that you and your family do not starve. At least if you have food put away as a form of insurance you can eat it and it still holds its value.

What are we insuring ourselves against?

  • Loss of job.
  • Natural catastrophes.
  • Economic collapse.
  • Stock market collapse.
  • Gas prices increasing.
  • Food prices increasing.
  • Hyperinflation.
  • World war.

We All Have Basic Needs

We all have needs. The need for survival is a natural instinct in human beings. We want to not only survive, but thrive. This includes the very basic needs of breathing, drinking water, eating, going to the bathroom, warmth, shelter, have the financial wherewithal to pay our basic bills and to fulfill our emotional needs such as: Safety, love, companionship and belonging.

 If these basic needs are not met we end up in a traumatic situation. Our emotional needs become overwhelming, our world starts to close in on us and we panic. When you have a lot of people experiencing this at the same time, it causes an energetic panic that spreads into anarchy.

When preparing for a self-sufficient lifestyle, one needs to take all these things into consideration. I am going to review the steps to being self sufficient that I have already covered in previous articles as well as things that will be covered in future articles. Make a plan and focus on it. Pray about it. I have had miracles happen when I know what I want and I ask God to help me achieve it.

Steps To Self-Sufficiency

  1. Store enough water for everyone in your family for a three-month emergency. This is a minimum of 90 gallons per person. I sell a product on my website called ION. It will safely treat 110 gallons of water by killing harmful bacteria on contact. It keeps water safe for up to five years. I sell 125-gallon, 185-gallon, 250-gallon, and 500-gallon water storage tanks. Learn more about these products by going here.
  2. Purchase a three-month rotatable food supply, such as canned goods and all items that your family is used to eating. Use your favorite recipes to determine what to purchase.
  3. Store quick meals that are easy and require only water to make. I recommend the company called eFoods Global. You can learn all about eFoods here.
  4. Store dehydrated and freeze dried foods that have a long shelf life. These bulk items include:
    • Dried fruits and vegetables.
    • Dried beans and legumes.
    • Dried grains such as, wheat, rice, pasta and barley.
    • Flour (a wheat grinder is very helpful in making flour from whole wheat).
    • Sweeteners such as honey, sugar, maple syrup, stevia or agave.
    • Spices such as salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder and cinnamon.
    • Gravy, seasoning packets and sauce mixes.
    • Dairy products and eggs, such as: Dried milk, dried butter, dried cheese powder and dried eggs.
    • Bakery items such as different types of mixes.
    • Beef and chicken bouillons.
    • Bread baking items such as yeast, whole wheat to grind into flour.
    • Baking items such as: soda, salt, baking powder.
  5. Store enough blankets, clothing, coats, gloves, sleeping bags, etc., to keep warm in case the power goes off for an extended period of time.
  6. Store all non-food items that you could not live without such as, soaps, toilet paper, baby diapers, wipes, personal hygiene items, toothpaste, paper plates, silverware and cups and all other necessary items.
  7. Have an alternate method of cooking and boiling water such as, a jet boil, a wood or coal stove, propane camp stove, sun or solar oven, fire pit, outdoor barbeque grill or fireplace.
  8. Figure out an alternate way to go to the bathroom. We live in a pioneer home that was built in 1860. We have restored it and have an outhouse on our property. It works very well and has been used for more than 100 years.
  9. Build a 72-hour emergency kit for everyone in your family. This should include everything you would need to survive for three days if you had to grab it and go. It is also called a bug-out kit. It is a good idea to have a car kit in the car for any type of emergency while you are driving. There are other kits as well such as a medical kit for medical emergencies and a baby or toddler kit with baby items for an emergency. The book I wrote Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook has a chapter on how to make these kits and what to put in them. You can purchase this book by going here.
  10. Have on hand firearms and enough ammunition for hunting wild animals for food and to protect yourself and your family.
  11. Learn self-sufficiency skills such as:
    • Growing a garden.
    • Saving heirloom seeds to plant the next year.
    • Building a green house for an extended growing season.
    • Building a root cellar.
    • Canning and preserving food in bottles.
    • Grinding grain and making your own bread.
    • Dehydrating excess food yourself.
    • Sprouting grains, beans, legumes and seeds for maximum nutrition.
    • Raising chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, goats, mutton, pigs or beef.
    • Learn to hunt deer and elk for food.
    • Learn to butcher, wrap and freeze or bottle the meat to use year round.

This will save you a lot of money at the grocery store and you will have the skills to survive any type of economic crash or disaster, whether manmade or natural. People will have to band together and help each other.

Bartering will become a way to do this. Everyone has different skills. If you have food stored and can use it to trade for other things that you need, then you will be using the new currency of the future. Food is the best investment you can make for your future.

As Americans, our addictions drive the world’s economy. We need to simplify our lives, control our personal spending and use any extra money we have to pay down debt and purchase the necessary items to become self sufficient. It will take some planning to get out of debt. I will be addressing this subject in another article.

Because I am in a business of helping people become self-sufficient, I have had many people call me who are on fixed incomes and ask how they can possibly squeeze any more money out of their budget to purchase a stockpile of food, water, fuel, blankets, clothing and all the other necessary items needed to be independent and self-sufficient. I have found a program that I am very impressed with. It is called eFoods. Their mission statement is Serve, Store and Share the food. This company has a new concept in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable and convenient for daily use as well as storing food for up to 15 years for future use.

Some of the features of the eFoods are:

  • The food is dehydrated from premium-grade fresh raw foods.
  • There are no genetically modified food items (GMOs).
  • The food has no hydrogenated oil.
  • There is no added monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • The food is not imported from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides.

Just click here and watch the three-minute video then you can purchase the food online in two different packages: A $99.95 Variety Pack or a $349.95 Essentials Package.

If you purchase the Essentials package you will receive three cartons of a variety of the essential foods. Then sign up for the once a month carton of food to be sent to you automatically for $99.95 plus shipping. After one year you will have a stockpile of 15 cartons of food. This includes meals ready to cook including soups: cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla soup, 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, instant seasoned potatoes, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, granola, powdered milk, wheat bread mix and buttermilk biscuit mix.

I am very impressed with their 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 only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and it’s done. The food is delicious.

The packages feed two to four people and come packed in Mylar® bags for long-term storage of up to 15 years. The cooking instructions are on each package. This food was designed for a child to be able to cook it. I use this food every day and it really helps me save money at the grocery store because I don’t impulse-buy any more. You can use it every day, store it for an emergency or share it with others.

You can purchase food for yourself as a preferred customer or you can join the company as a distributor and pay a $29.95 once a year fee to have your own Website and share the food with others. This is called an IBO, or Independent Business Owner. You will make commissions on sales and have your own personal Website and back office.

You can earn food credits by referring others. This is called an EIBO, which stands for Essentials Independent Business Owner. You must purchase the Essentials package and the IBO kit. These weekly food credits that you earn can be redeemed for food, can be gifted to others and can be used as currency to purchase preparedness items in the forthcoming eFoods Global online shopping mall.

This is a way that someone can work part-time in their own home business and earn enough money to pay for their own stockpile of food as well as earn extra money to help pay down debt and become more self sufficient.

Please call me if you have any questions about the program. I can be reached at 435-835-0311 or cell 435-851-0777 in Utah. The Website explains the entire program and has photos of the food. To check it out, simply click here. Email me here. To purchase my books or any of the other preparedness items I sell go to my website.

Food — The Currency of the Future

This is the final article of my series on Dehydrated Foods in which I discussed: The Advantages Of Storing Dehydrated Foods, How To Store Bulk Foods, What to Store, and How Much to Store.

Right now an unprecedented number of Americans are returning to a practice of our self-reliant and independent forefathers: Storing supplies of food. The events and circumstances we are facing here in America are unfamiliar to most of us. But they are so serious that we each must choose wisely how we will face our future. You can’t control earthquakes, floods, or the real estate meltdown, but if you have food and water reserves you will have personal solutions to how these things affect you and your family.

History has proven over and over again that food and water is the solution to almost every major problem, particularly those involving independence, freedom, security, and yes, even survival. Runaway inflation in 1923 Germany followed the same inflationary path that the United States is presently on. With runaway inflation the price of a loaf of bread doubled daily until it cost so much that it was impossible to purchase.

Just recently, the National Inflation Association released a report with projections of future U.S. food price increases due to the massive monetary inflation being created by the Federal Reserve’s $600 billion quantitative easing. This report was written by NIA’s President Gerard Adams, who believes food inflation will take over in 2011 as America’s greatest crisis. According to Adams, “making mortgage payments will soon be the last thing on the minds of all Americans. We currently have a currency crisis that could soon turn into hyperinflation and a complete societal collapse.”

This is one of the primary reasons that more and more Americans are putting away supplies of food and water. It always has been, is now and forever will be that food and water are what we depend on the most to survive and having plenty of each is the most comforting source of safety and security for every human being on our planet.

Let’s look at a few other good reasons to build your food reserves….

  • Legislation to prevent people from gardening is being proposed and a Doomsday Seed Vault is being built in Norway with the intent of being the only source for seed to grow food worldwide.
  • Global warming — whether real or fabricated — will likely be used to control fertilization of crops and tax many farmers out of business.
  • Christians searching the Book of Revelation believe that there will come a day when no one will be able to buy or sell without the “mark” (most consider this the ID card.) The National ID card is expected to be required in order to buy food.
  • Imported food from countries with no safety standards for insecticides, fertilizers, bacterial and chemical contamination have entered our country’s food supply and have proven to be very dangerous. Storing safe, clean food is essential.
  • The financial and emotional impact of job loss and illness are hugely reduced with a strong savings account in the form of food.
  • In the case of quarantines, martial law, disasters and emergencies, if people do not have their own individual supplies, they will be dependent and helpless like the miserable conditions people faced after hurricane Katrina.
  • With a food supply you can help your neighbors, family members, or anyone in need.
  • Storms and weather could make food impossible to transport, destroy crops and isolate some people from food supplies.
  • The gasoline prices are predicted to reach $5.00 per gallon in the near future. When this happens the price of food will go up by about one third. It will put trucking companies out of business and make it almost impossible to get necessary supplies needed for everyday life.

In any of these scenarios, the most valuable asset or currency you will have is food and water. It will be more precious than gold, silver or cash. Having food and water reserves is our greatest need. Let’s face it, when you’re hungry, nothing else matters.

Alternative Cooking And Other Equipment Needed

Another thing to consider is alternative sources of heat and cooking equipment. Make sure you have a propane stove with enough propane for three to 12 months, and don’t forget the matches. Store a lot of them. (Two large boxes per month.) A wood stove is a big investment, but it will come in real handy if there is no heat or power because you can also cook on the top of the stove. Any other outdoor or camping stove will work as well.

Menu Planning

It is very important to plan out one week of menus and calculate all the ingredients used for every recipe. These menus should all be your favorite recipes and only what you know your family will eat. When you are finished with the menu, then multiply the ingredients used by 12 (because there is approximately 12 weeks’ worth of meals in a three-month period of time, give or take a few days). That is how much you will need to store of each item.

These foods would get you by in a short-term emergency without having to change your diet and run the risk of getting sick from foods you are not used to eating. For a one-year supply of food, multiply the ingredients by 52 weeks. I recommend that you add pre-packaged convenience foods like eFoods. I will explain how to order them at the bottom of this article.

One-Week Menu Planning Chart

This chart is a sample to help you plan a week’s worth of menus and itemize all of the ingredients you’ll need to purchase to have a 3-month supply of the foods that you normally eat. This chart came out of my book, Food Storage 101. Where do I begin? Make your own charts for every day of the week. You must tailor your list to your family’s eating habits and according to the way you normally eat. If you are using eFoods or convenience meals, just insert the name of the meal into the dinner menu plan.

How Much Of The Bread Baking Ingredients Does It Take To Make Bread?

I want to get you thinking about how much food it would take to sustain life for an extended period of time. I did the calculations on how much of the bread baking ingredients it would take to make one loaf of bread per day per family and it was shocking. I took my favorite recipe and calculated all the ingredients. It makes two loaves of bread per batch. I need 90 loaves for a 3-month supply of whole wheat bread. If you have a larger family, you might need two loaves per day.

Keep in mind that homemade whole-wheat bread is different from store-bought bread. Most families can eat an entire loaf at one meal, combining it with a pot of soup or casserole of some kind.

This is what I found out:

For a 3-month or 12-week supply I will need to store this amount:

  • 30 cups of powdered milk
  • 11½ cups honey or sweetener
  • 3 cups salt
  • 15 cups vegetable oil
  • 6 cups dried egg
  • 6 cups of dried yeast
  • 20 gallons whole wheat flour or (combination of white and whole wheat)

For a 1-year or 52-week supply I will need to store this amount:

  • 8½ gallons of powdered milk
  • 3 gallons of honey or sweetener
  • 13 cups salt
  • 4 gallons of vegetable oil
  • 1¾ gallons of dried egg powder
  • 1¾ gallons dried yeast
  • 82 gallons of whole-wheat flour or a combination of (white and whole wheat flour) this equals approximately 16½ 5-gallon buckets.

This is a lot of food and ingredients for making bread. Each family is different, and you must tailor your plan to fit your lifestyle, what your family eats and how much they eat. If you do not eat bread, then don’t store the ingredients for bread. Use your own favorite recipes that can be made either with dehydrated, dried or canned foods that are storable.

Take into consideration that you will have fresh food in season, and if you grow a garden and bottle your own food, include these foods into your plan. Rotating the food will use up the products within the time of the shelf life. As you use them up, you will need to replenish the ingredients. It will take some planning. Each adult needs between 1,500 to 2,500 calories per day; especially those that are active, walking or working hard. A crisis is no time to change your diet.

The Best Way To Build Up A Food Reserve

I have been asked this question many times. “What is the quickest and easiest way to build up food reserves for three months to a year?”

Here are my recommendations:

I’ve been testing a line of nutritious fast-and-easy gourmet meals by eFoods Global that will store for a minimum of 15 years. 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®.

Some of the features of eFoods Global are:

  • The food is dehydrated from premium-grade, fresh raw fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, beans and legumes.
  • All meals are complete with everything in them. All you do is add water.
  • These meals can be used every day for fast, convenient and healthy food.
  • There are no genetically modified (GMOs) foods in eFoods.
  • 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 company lets you try before you buy; simply go to www.peggylayton.efoodsglobal.com and watch the three-minute video, and then click on TRY IT 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.

I am very impressed with their food. I like the fact that there is no MSG in the food. I am very sensitive to MSG and get sick within 20 minutes if I eat foods with this additive in it. I have never been sick eating the food from eFoods global.

It is dehydrated, not freeze-dried, so the prices are very reasonable. It only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and it’s done, 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 a 5-gallon bucket with a tight-fitting lid.

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

The best part of this opportunity is that you can earn food credits and money by referring others. These weekly food credits can be redeemed for food, can be gifted to others and can be used as currency to purchase preparedness items in the forthcoming eFoods Global online shopping mall. I personally want to redeem my food credits for boxes of food to help my seven adult children in their efforts to stock up.

Please call me if you have any questions about the program. I can be reached at 435-835-0311 or cell 435-851-0777 in Utah. The website to check it out is http://www.peggylayton.efoodsglobal.com. Email me at splayton@sisna.com

To purchase any of my seven books or my other products: Dehydrated food, water storage, water purification and preparedness products go to http://www.peggylayton.com.

Dehydrated Food: What to Store and How Much to Store

This article is a continuation of the last two in which I discussed The Advantages Of Storing Dehydrated Foods and How To Store Bulk Foods.

The basic food items recommended for storage and the quantities to store are listed below. These are only suggestions. Every individual and family is unique in what they like and will eat. If you don’t drink milk or eat meat, wheat, sugar or any other food item listed, then you will need to adjust the amount of these items that you store.

Grains: (300 lbs. per person per year or 75 lbs. for three months.) I recommend that you have a wide variety of whole grains. Make sure your family will eat wheat. Some people are allergic to wheat and find it out when they have to eat it on a daily basis.

Some other grains to choose from are rice, oats, corn, six-grain and nine-grain cereals, farina, germade, barley, buckwheat, rye and super grains like: quinoa, amaranth, triticale, Kamut®, spelt and millet. Included in the grain category are all pastas such as: macaroni, spaghetti and linguini.

White rice verses brown rice: Brown rice doesn’t store very long. It will go rancid if it is not kept in the freezer. The shelf life is six months in room temperature. If it is kept in the freezer it will last a couple of years.

White rice is the best choice for long-term food storage. White rice stores years longer than brown.

Legumes: (75 lbs. per person per year or about 19 lbs. for three months.) Store a variety of beans. This includes black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, great northern beans, small red beans, lima, dry peas, soy beans and lentils.

Beans are a great source of protein and, when combined with rice, become a complete protein. Beans can be used whole, sprouted or ground into flour to make thickeners or refried beans. When combined with rice in a meal, it makes a great meat substitute.

Milk and dairy products: (60 lbs. per person per year or 15 lbs. for three months) This includes non-fat powdered milk, dried eggs, dried cheddar cheese powder, buttermilk powder and dried butter powder.

Sweeteners: (60 lbs. per person per year or 15 lbs. for three months) Sweeteners include honey, sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, agave and stevia.

Fruits: 30 lbs. dehydrated fruits per person per year or 8 lbs. for three months) This includes dried items such as apple slices, apple bits, applesauce, raisins and fruit mix and all wet-pack canned fruits, as well as fresh fruits in season.

Vegetables: (40 lbs. of dehydrated vegetables per person per year or 10 lbs. for three months) This includes dried items such as bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, sweet corn, onions, peas, potato slices, potato dices, potato flakes, potato pearls, tomatoes and tomato powder and all wet-pack canned vegetables as well as fresh garden veggies.

Fats and oils: (Two gallons of oil and two large Crisco®-type cans of shortening per person per year or one-half gallon of oil and one-half can of shortening for three months) Other alternatives include dried butter and shortening powder, cooking oil, such as vegetable, olive and coconut oil and peanut butter. Good quality extra virgin olive oil, first run cold pressed, or coconut oil will store for up to five years.

Meats and meat substitutes: (35 pounds or more of canned meats per person per year or 8 ½ lbs. of canned meats for three months). (Beans and rice can be included as meat substitutes.)  If you are vegetarian, you will need to plan meat alternatives and other non-animal protein type foods. My personal opinion is that you need to have a wide variety of canned meats such as: tuna, salmon, chicken, beef chunks, ham and freeze-dried meats.

Sprouting seeds and beans: (20 pounds per person per year or five pounds for three months.) Some of the different sprouting seeds include; alfalfa, broccoli, radish, mung, red clover, adzuki, sunflower, garbanzo, lentils, sprouting peas, salad blends, etc. These must be specifically for sprouting. Sprouting beans, seeds, legumes and wheat is the best way to have salad greens year round. Sprouting increases the nutritional value by 300 times. A seed, grain, bean or legume turns into a vegetable when sprouted. Sprouting can save your life.

Gardening seeds: (Preferably non-hybrid) Store all varieties of garden seeds that you like. Keep your packets safe and sealed in a plastic bucket away from mice, insects and moisture. Hybrid seeds are genetically altered and will germinate for one season only. If you want to save seeds to plant for the next year, store heirloom of non-hybrid seeds. They are much harder to find, but you can look them up on the Internet and find companies that specialize in these seeds.

Flavorings and adjunct foods: All baking items such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, salt, flavoring, spices, bouillon, soup bases and sauces.

Condiments and fun Foods: These foods include things such as; jams, jellies, drink mixes, gelatin, sauces, ketchup, pickles, relishes, olives, salad dressings, mayonnaise, candy, puddings, dessert filling, box mixes, popcorn and canned juices, etc.

Baby Food: If you have a baby or little children, they are the top priority in a crisis. Store everything you need for them including food and non-food items such as formula, diapers, wipes, extra clothing, warm blankets etc. Don’t forget baby bottles and nipples and spoons for baby food.

Store some bottles of commercial baby foods. However, once the infant can tolerate solid foods, he or she should be able to eat the foods the rest of the family is eating as long the foods are mashed or thinned with milk.  Store some evaporated whole milk which could be added to the nonfat dry milk and reconstituted.

If allergies to cow’s milk are common to the family, then rice cereal may be used in the development of a formula. Sometimes nonfat milk is tolerated whereas whole milk would not be. In my book, Cookin’ With Home Storage there is a chapter on emergency baby food and pet food.

Pet food: Take into consideration what you would feed your pet in the event of a crisis. Store enough commercial dog or cat food for a three-month supply. However, animals can eat some of the same foods that we have stored for ourselves.

Cats are carnivores and eat mostly meat and vegetables. Cats have a hard time digesting grains. Dogs, on the other hand, do well on meat and vegetables mixed with rice.

Birds need the seeds and grains. They can eat some vegetables. Chickens can eat the same grains that we store for ourselves. They will eat table scraps from fruits and vegetables.

Any other animal that needs special food will have to be considered in planning your food storage.

Nonfood Items: Consider all necessary non-food items you may need. I suggest you go through your house and get all like items together in one tote or container.

Label what is in the container and keep it handy if you need it. Use containers that stack on top of each other to save space. If your paper products, medical supplies, vitamin and mineral supplements or personal items are scattered all over the house and you can’t find them, then you don’t have them. Being organized is the key to being prepared.

Be sure to include all paper products like paper plates, napkins, paper cups, plastic utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, tissue, baby wipes, garbage bags, zip lock baggies, waxed paper, plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

Store antibacterial cleansers, laundry and body soap. Store extra personal hygiene items such as combs, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and cream rinse, lotions, makeup, razor blades and shaving equipment.

Store personal hygiene items such as feminine napkins, baby diapers, baby wipes, salves and creams for diaper rash and infections. Don’t forget medical supplies. These items might include; aspirin, ibuprofen, adhesive bandages, gauze, tape ointments, petroleum jelly, cold remedies, cotton balls, cotton-tipped swabs, scissors and all types of first aid items.

You need a supply of personal vitamin and mineral supplements such as vitamin C, calcium and any other product that you take on a regular basis. This also includes personal medications. If you are taking medications that are mandatory to life, you must store enough for at least three months. This is where the home pharmacy comes in. I know it is difficult to stockpile any type of prescription medications. Talk to your doctor and ask if you could get some extra meds on hand.

Special Diets: If you are on a special diet of any type, you definitely need to take this into consideration when planning out your food storage program. Again, store what you eat and eat what you store.

I personally store a lot of canned meats like tuna, salmon, chicken, beef and dried eggs because I need protein in my diet. If you are hypoglycemic or diabetic, you will need extra protein. Without protein you could become very sick.  Most all food storage items are either simple or complex carbohydrates.


Water: Storing water is one of the most important things you can do. You can live for days without food but you must have water to survive. All dehydrated food needs water to be rehydrated. You will need to store a minimum of 30 gallons per month per person. A three-month emergency supply would be 90 gallons. You can read my previous article on How And Where TO Store Water for more information.

 I recommend a product called ION for water purification. It is a water treatment that will kill giardia and dysentery on contact. It takes eight drops per gallon, and one bottle will treat 110 gallons. I keep this product handy because it will also kill bacteria on wounds. If you begin to feel as if you are about to come down with the flu you can use it medicinally by putting 20 drops in a  cup of water and drinking it.

On my website I sell a 250 gallon water tank that is 86 inches tall and 26 inches in diameter. It fits in a corner of a room or garage. I recommend it very much because it takes up a lot less space than 55-gallon drums. You would need five of them to equal one 250-gallon tank. It has a spigot to pour water with a drain at the bottom and a hole with a lid on top to fill the tank. The quality of the heavy gauge plastic is food grade and will not break. It is an excellent way to store water.

This information was taken from my books, Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook and Food Storage 101. Where Do I Begin?

All dehydrated food storage items, water treatment and storage containers mentioned in this article, as well as all seven books I have written, can be purchased at www.peggylayton.com.

How To Store Bulk Foods

Last time we talked about dehydrated foods. This week we’re going to discuss the best ways to store your bulk foods.

First, select only the best food grade containers that will exclude light, oxygen and moisture. This will greatly extend the shelf life of your food. The best storage containers are the No. 10 double enamel gallon-sized cans and the food grade plastic buckets. However, you may also store food in canning jars with tight-fitting lids as well as heavy plastic containers such as soda bottles and apple juice, Gatorade and fruit juice containers. Plastic or glass gallon-size jars and Rubbermaid® type containers with lids work well also. The stackable containers will save space.

No. 10-Size Double Enamel
The No. 10-size cans hold approximately one gallon and are ideal for smaller quantities of food. You can purchase plastic lids to put on the cans after they are opened.

Most food storage companies use these types of containers. They are nitrogen-packed with an oxygen absorber packet sealed inside the can. These packets absorb free oxygen from the air around them and chemically bind it. This removes the oxygen from inside the can, which helps prevent insects from hatching or even living. This also prevents rancidity from occurring.

The atmosphere inside the can is mostly nitrogen, which is ideal for long-term storage of foods. If the oxygen level is below 2 percent, the food will stay good for a lot longer. You can order a wide variety of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods that are packed in the No. 10 cans with an oxygen absorber in the can. They are packed for long-term storage and are ready to go in a heavy cardboard box that holds six cans and stacks on top of each other. To see the many different foods available go to my website.

Oxygen Absorber Packets
The oxygen absorber packets look like a tea bag or sugar packet. This method is a relatively new procedure and is proving to be one of the best ways to keep foods fresh. They must be used up within 15 minutes of being opened and exposed to the air.

These packets absorb the oxygen from the container and trap it in an iron powder, salt and moisture mixture. This is the safest way to remove oxygen. These oxygen packets can be purchased from my website.

5- or 6-Gallon Plastic Buckets Or Pails
These buckets have tight-fitting lids with rubber gaskets. They are ideal for large quantities of grains, beans, legumes, sugar, flour, etc.

You can purchase an inner liner that is made from a metallized foil, which will keep the light from harming the food and causing it to deteriorate. It also acts as a moisture barrier and keeps rodents out. The bucket with a metallized liner, when sealed properly with a tight-fitting lid, is a very good method of storing food.

To seal the Mylar® liner, line the bucket with the bag and use one oxygen absorber packet per gallon of grain, beans, dried food, etc. Pour one gallon of dried food or grain in the bucket, then add an oxygen absorber, add another gallon of food or grain and continue until the bucket is full. Then get out as much air as possible. Lay the bag as flat as you can. The bag will be much taller than the bucket.

You can use an iron to heatseal the end of the bag. This way you can use the bag over and over again. Pierce a hole in the corner of the bag and hold the bag below the seal so you don’t suck up the contents of the bag. Suck all the air out with the hose or a smaller attachment to the vacuum that can be inserted into the end. When the air is sucked out and the bag looks vacuum-packed, hold the end and seal it with an iron. Do not let air back into the bag.

Note: Never use buckets that have contained chemicals, paint, Sheetrock™ mud or kitty litter, etc. Restaurant food grade containers are ok; wash them well and rinse with bleach and water.


Gama Lids for 5-gallon buckets
There are special lids available for 5-gallon buckets that have a center section that screws on and off. It makes it nice to open and close the lids when using bulk foods on an everyday basis. I use these lids and love them.

I keep my buckets of wheat, rice, beans, pasta, etc. handy so I can use out of them every day. I also keep a smaller container of these products in my kitchen cupboard, so when I run out I just fill it up from the bucket. The buckets are stored in my pantry.

Mylar® Bags
The ones previously mentioned can be purchased from my website. [link www.peggylayton.com] The heaviest Mylar® bags in the large size are the best for lining the buckets. The bag can be sealed with a hot iron. Oxygen packets can be inserted before sealing. However, I have stored a lot of food in buckets without Mylar liners.

As long as the buckets are sealed properly, they will be just fine. If I know that I am going to sprout the beans, legumes or grain, I do not put an oxygen absorber in the can or bucket. Lack of oxygen will kill the enzymes that are alive in the kernel and they won’t sprout. I will talk about the importance of sprouting in another article.

Methods For Storing Grains

Bay Leaves Method: An alternative to using oxygen absorbers is to use bay leaves. They can be spread throughout the container or food or grain. Use two bay leaves for small amounts up to one gallon, or five leaves in the 5-gallon buckets. It keeps the weevils and other bugs out, because they don’t like the smell of bay leaves.

Freezing Grain Method: If your buckets of grain are placed in the garage for the winter, the freezing temperatures will probably kill any weevil that is present. You can also deep-freeze grain in 10-pound bags and leave it for a week to kill the bugs.

Diatomaceous Earth Method: Diatomaceous earth (DE) can be mixed into your stored grains and beans to control insects without having to remove the dust before consuming it. For every 40 pounds of grain or beans, you mix in one cup of DE with it. Coat every kernel and mix it in small batches. Cover your mouth so you don’t breathe the dust in, as it can irritate your lungs.

The DE you want to use is sold as an organic garden insecticide. There are several different types of DE. Make sure you get the kind that is approved for human consumption and not the swimming pool type. You can find DE at places like home and garden stores and Intermountain Farmers Association stores.

The Causes of Deterioration

Oxygen: Oxygen is the one thing that will rob the nutritive value from the food. All living food contains enzymes which when exposed to oxygen start to break down. The nutritive value is lost, little by little, as it breaks down. That is why it is very important to remove the oxygen from the containers before you package them. It’s also good to store grains as a whole grain rather than a cracked grain. Once the kernel is cracked, it dies and the rancidity process begins. Grain will store much longer in its whole grain form.

Bacteria: Bacteria, yeast and molds are controlled by processing, canning, dehydrating, drying, freezing, etc. Bacteria is the most common cause of spoilage, so it’s important to keep all food properly processed. Once beans, meat, vegetables, etc. are opened, they must be used up quickly to prevent spoilage. Once I open dried eggs, I like to keep them in the refrigerator in quart jars with lids so no moisture gets into the bottles. A rule of thumb is to use any can of dehydrated food within one year of opening it.

Insects: Insects grow in food (and especially anything made with grains such as flour) because the eggs or larvae are already in the product before you package it. The rodents deposit their waste product in the food and eat it as they reproduce. Again the oxygen absorbers will remove the oxygen and prevent insects from living. Lack of oxygen kills bugs and larvae.

Shelf Life: Rotate your food and use it within the estimated period of time determined by research done on each product. There is a shelf life chart in my books; Food Storage 101, Where Do I Begin? and Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook.

When the food is stored too long, two things happen:
  • The nutritional value breaks down.
  • The color, flavors, texture and smell change and people will not eat it.

Light
As you find containers for your bulk food, try to get containers that are dark and cannot be permeated by light. The two most common containers that allow light in are glass jars and plastic buckets or bottles. If these are used, they need to be stored in heavy cardboard boxes in a dark room.

Humidity And Moisture: Dehydrated foods store well when the moisture is removed. The moisture levels of dehydrated food should be less than 10 percent. The food will be hard, not leathery. Be sure to keep all containers up off the floor and away from anything that is high in humidity like dryer vents, water heaters or anything that could flood and damage the food or rust out the cans.

Temperature And Location
A cool dark place is a must. The temperature of the room should stay constant throughout the year. Find the coolest place in the house — usually it’s a basement, if you have one.

Try to find a place that stays between 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. I know this is impossible in climates where the temperature fluctuates from season to season, but the lower the temperature, the longer the shelf life. However, you want to stay 10 to 20 degrees above freezing. Most basements are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and will cut the shelf life down a little.

If you store your food in a garage or shed where the temperature fluctuates, you can cut the shelf life down even more. Where I live it is popular to have a cold storage room located in a basement and built under a porch. Usually it has a dirt floor, which maintains a cooler temperature. My husband built us a root cellar that is well-insulated and stays a constant temperature year-round.

eFoods Global
A company that I recommend for fast, easy, nutritious gourmet meals that will store for up to 15 years is eFoods Global. This is a new concept in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable and convenient for daily use. If you would like to try the same six meals that I received, simply go to http://peggylayton.myefoods.com, watch the three-minute video and then click on the WIN button. After you receive your six meals for $9.95, you can order a shipment of food to be delivered to you once per month. This is more cost-effective, and over a few month’s time you will have enough good-tasting nutritious meals stored for an emergency. 

Food storage 101, “Where Do I Begin?” and many other books may be purchased on my website, www.peggylayton.com. You can also contact me via email or by phone: 435-835-0311.

The Advantages Of Storing Dehydrated Foods

The next step in our food storage plan is for you to make a list of the foods that your family eats on a regular basis and purchase enough food for a three-month supply. As we talked about in a previous article, Food Storage 101: Where do I begin?, one of the best ways to stockpile food is in the dried form. It is lightweight and can be reconstituted to its original form by adding water.

I tell people to start with everything to make soup and simple breads. My philosophy is that you can live on just soup and bread.

Soups are easy to make, and if you are in a time of stress you want something that is simple to prepare. Dehydrated vegetables are easy to use when making soup. Grains such as barley, quinoa and rice can also be added to soup to make it more filling. Dehydrated vegetables, bouillons and grains will store for a lot longer than wet pack soups.

Studies have been done on the shelf life of dehydrated foods and, surprisingly, the food has been lasting longer than originally expected, which was between five and 20 years. Wet pack foods only last two to three years after being canned.

A good rule of thumb is to rotate any dried dairy products within five to seven years. All dried fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes should be rotated within seven to 10 years and all grains within 20 to 30 years. Wheat will last the longest.

Dehydrated Foods

We use dehydrated foods every day, whether we know it or not. They are called “convenience foods,” and include things like Rice-A-Roni, Hamburger Helper, Bisquick®, macaroni and cheese, Pasta Roni®, Tuna Helper, potatoes au gratin, instant oatmeal, instant soups like Lipton Onion Soup and Cup of Noodles, powdered milk, gravy mixes and anything you “just add water” to.

Dehydrated foods are second only to fresh foods. They are processed under a high vacuum and low drying temperature that removes most of the water. The product is more brittle and hard rather than leathery like dried fruits such as raisins, figs, prunes, pineapple, apricots, etc.

Dehydrated foods, when harvested and preserved properly, will retain their vitamins, minerals and enzymes because the food has not been cooked or canned, processes that kill the enzymes that are so vital to the digestive process. So dehydrated food is “live food.”

Dehydrated food is lower in weight and is much easier to store than wet pack food. It fits in cans and buckets and when reconstituted will yield at least double or triple its weight.  And dehydrated food is less expensive than wet pack food because you aren’t paying for all the water.

Food packed in No. 10 cans fit six cans per box and stack nicely on top of each other. If you label the boxes as to what is in them, you can see at a glance what you have.

Dehydrated food can be rehydrated to restore it to its natural state. The taste is still great and the food value is excellent. Dehydrated food stores well for long periods of time if properly canned. Most items keep for seven to 30 years.

Any product that has powdered milk or dried eggs in it has a shorter shelf life. Rotate these items before the expiration date is up. The suggested shelf life of dairy products is five to seven years.

I have been asked many times what the difference is between dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. Dehydrated foods are dried until the product is dry and leathery and most of the moisture is out of the food.

Freeze-dried foods are flash-frozen and then the water is extracted out of the product using a special evaporation process. It retains its original shape and is much lighter in weight.

Freeze-dried foods are ideal for backpacking. Freeze-dried foods are more expensive than dehydrated food, but the flavor is wonderful.

You may recognize the name Mountain House Foods®. These foods are already in a pouch and ready to eat. You just add water and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. They are nice to have in your 72-hour grab-and-go pack in case of emergency. However, the cost is prohibitive for use for extended periods of time, especially if you are on a budget and trying to get enough food storage to sustain your family for at least a 3-month period.

Reconstituting Guidelines
A good rule of thumb for reconstituting fruits, vegetables and meats is to add about three times the amount of boiling water to the product. Then let it set for at least 20 minutes. If cold water is used, the product must sit in the refrigerator for about four hours or overnight.

If you have added too much water, you can drain it and use it in cooking. If your food  looks like it needs more water, then add more. To speed up the reconstitution process, add the dried product directly to soup and cook as usual.

Dehydration causes the cell walls of the food to collapse. Some products, like tomatoes, cannot be reconstituted to the texture that they were before. However, they can be used in seasonings or in recipes such as tomato sauce or soups. It’s very easy to reconstitute food; you just “add water.”

A company that I recommend for fast, easy, nutritious gourmet meals that will store for up to 15 years is eFoods Global. How does chicken veggie alfredo pasta, chili with cornmeal dumplings or white cheddar pasta shells sound?  How about beef stroganoff, tortilla soup or, my favorite, cheesy chicken rice casserole.

 

Some of the features of eFoods Global are:

  • Dehydrated from premium-grade fresh raw foods.
  • No genetically modified foods (GMOs).
  • No added MSG.
  • No imports from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides.
  • No hydrogenated oil.

This is a new concept in storable foods that are delicious, nutritious, affordable and convenient for daily use. If you would like to try the same six meals that I received, simply go to http://peggylayton.myefoods.com, watch the three-minute video and then click on the WIN button. After you receive your six meals for $9.95, you can order a shipment of food to be delivered to you once per month. This is more cost-effective, and over a few month’s time you will have enough good-tasting nutritious meals stored for an emergency. 

On my website you can purchase many different varieties of dehydrated foods already packaged for long-term storage. They come in No. 10 gallon-sized cans. When the product is reconstituted it yields about three to four times the amount in the can.

These packs contain dehydrated fruits like apples, banana chips, pineapple, strawberries and peaches. They have dried vegetables like carrots, onions, corn, peas, bell pepper, tomato flakes and potato slices, dices, flakes and hash browns. They also contain powdered milk and dairy products like cheddar cheese powder, dried eggs, butter powder, buttermilk powder, plus shortening powder, meat substitutes, soup mixes, rice and other grains, popcorn, spaghetti and egg noodles, six- and nine-grain cereals, rolled oats and granola.

The beans include pinto, small red, white navy, split pea, lentils and refried. The packs also include drink mixes like peach and apple drink, as well as chocolate milk mix.  There is salt, baking soda, sugar cookie mix and white bread mix.

The packs also include five-gallon buckets of wheat, flour, cornmeal and sugar. And you get one of my cookbooks for free.

There are premium year-supply packs that include entrees that are ready to eat. This includes some Mountain House freeze dried meals. Some of the meals are beef stew, beef stroganoff, beef teriyaki with rice, chicken ala-king, chicken and rice, chicken and noodles, spaghetti and meat sauce, vegetable stew, chili mac, lasagna with meat sauce, wild rice and mushroom pilaf and mac and cheese, fried rice, chili, scrambled eggs with ham or bacon and granola with blueberries.

These foods come in three-month, six-month and one-year variety packs. I have personally worked with all these foods and have chosen the ones that I recommend. If you are interested in any of these packs, you can go to my website and order them.

I also recommend my new, updated cookbook, Cookin’ With Home Storage. It has more than 550 recipes for using storable foods like dehydrated, freeze-dried and pantry food items. It also has charts on what food to store, how much food to store and how to store it. There are also historical tips and information on how the pioneers really lived.

This book teaches how to incorporate food storage into your everyday diet. It also contains Grandma’s home remedies, emergency baby food and recipes for pet food free of all the additives that are found in commercial baby food and pet food.

This is my No. 1 selling book.

The next best selling book I have is Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook.

These books, along with many others, including Food storage 101, “Where Do I Begin?” can be purchased on my website, www.peggylayton.com
You can also contact me via email or by phone: 435-835-0311.

In my next article I will cover how to store bulk foods.

How And Where To Store Water

What would you do if your water supply became contaminated? Natural disasters can interrupt the flow of clean water. Following a disaster, some people may not have access to food and water for days or weeks. You can live for days without food, but you must have water or you will dehydrate. Whenever there is a crisis, water is the first thing to go.

Amount Of Water To Store
Each person in your family will need a 72-hour emergency supply of water. This is approximately one gallon per person per day, or three gallons, plus an additional three gallons for washing, cooking, sponge bathing, laundry, dishes etc.

I recommend a three-month supply of water if possible. This is approximately 90 gallons per person for drinking and 90 gallons for extra cooking and washing. Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more. Store a little extra for them. There are several ways to store this much water.

Containers
Many types of containers can be used for water storage. My favorite way to store water is in heavy plastic or glass containers.

Make sure all containers used for water storage are food grade with a high quality PET rating and have never previously held chemicals or poisons. All containers need to be cleaned thoroughly because whatever was in the container will leach into the water and make it taste bad. Bottled juices or soda etc… should be rinsed thoroughly.

All stored water needs to be checked occasionally for cloudiness and leakage. If the water looks or tastes bad then change it. If you have any questions about the purity of the water, then purify or boil it before using. If the water tastes flat, you can pour it back and forth between containers to aerate it or whip it to introduce more oxygen into the water.

Heavy Glass Or Plastic: Glass canning jars, glass containers and two liter soda bottles work the best. Gatorade, apple juice or cranberry juice bottles are great also. I save every heavy plastic jug that comes into my house and I store them in my basement as well as the garage. I fill them with water to about one inch from the top to allow for expansion in case the bottles freeze. I seal them with tight-fitting lids.

Bleach Bottles: Plastic bleach bottles can be used by filling the bottle with water and sealing it with a tight fitting lid. It is recommended that you do not drink the water stored in bleach bottles. You can use the water for cleaning or washing hands. Label it with a black marker. Keep these away from children so they don’t accidentally confuse the real bleach with water and drink it. Bleach will dissipate after a certain amount of time if the lid is taken off the container and it is left exposed to the air.

Bottled Water: Bottled water can be purchased in grocery stores. They come in boxes and can be stacked. You can purchase larger quantities at discount prices.

Tap Water: Tap water that comes from a municipal water system contains enough chlorine to be safe for long term water storage. Just fill your containers with tap water and store then away from sunlight, preferably in a cool dark place like a basement or garage.

Polyethylene Barrels: Commercial water storage barrels are available and they come in several sizes. To store a large amount of water, 55 gallon drums made from plastic polyethylene can be obtained at most food storage companies. If you use a 55 gallon drum, and fill it with water, it will be so heavy that it cannot be moved, so it will need a permanent location. You will also need a pump or spigot to get the water into smaller containers.

There are smaller drums that hold five to six gallons of water. They weigh about 40 pounds and need a pump also. These are nice because they can be moved more easily that the 55 gallon drums.

Glass Containers: Water can be stored in quart size jars sealed by the water bath canning method. Fill the jars with water leaving a head space of about one inch, then tighten the lid and ring onto the jar. Boil the jars in a water bath or use a steamer canner. Store the jars with cardboard in between so they don’t break. If you are using a boiling water bath be sure to put a wire rack on the bottom of the kettle so the jars do not touch the bottom and break. Pint jars require 20 minutes boiling time, quart jars require 25 minutes. You can also pour boiling water into a canning jar and seal it with a lid and ring that has been boiled in water. Let it set on the counter until it cools off and it will automatically seal itself.

Assorted Water Storage Tanks250 gallon super tanker: This large cylinder shaped water tank is ideal for tucking away in a corner of a garage or room. You will feel safer with having a larger quantity of clean safe water to use. This 250-gallon or 125-gallon water tanker is shaped to easily fit through doors or set on the floor of your garage. With two locations for nozzles and being set up to be gravity fed, there is no need to worry about pumps. The larger tanker is equipped for 250 days of water storage (based on one gallon per person per day).This super tanker is sold on my website www.peggylayton.com and is shipped from Salt Lake City, Utah.

Milk Jugs: Milk jugs are not good containers to store water in. After about six months they start to biodegrade, collapse and leak. Even the 1 gallon blue containers that you can fill up at grocery stores don’t last for very long. They are not heavy duty enough. You will have a big mess. I’ve tried this method and I don’t like it.

Where To Store The Water Supply
Store your water supply in several locations so you can get to it easily. I like to store most of my water in smaller containers because it’s much easier to carry around. Just recently, we had an opportunity to use our stored water. A main line up the road from our house broke and the water was shut off for most of the day. We put two-liter bottles of water in every bathroom for brushing teeth and washing hands. We put several in the kitchen for cooking and cleaning. The towns’ people were calling each other to warn everyone about this problem. As my friends all called me, I was happy to report that I had plenty of water stored and our family would be fine.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of storing clean water for emergencies. If you use contaminated water for drinking or cooking, it can cause many different symptoms like stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and even death. Life threatening illnesses include hepatitis, cholera, amebic dysentery, viral infections and typhoid fever. It’s much better to take precautions and disinfect your water before you use it.

After A Disaster
In an emergency situation, immediately shut off the water supply to your home. It’s a good idea to locate the shut off valve before you need it and teach everyone in the family to do it immediately after a disaster. The main gas valve must be shut off also. You can drain the pipes and collect the water that is left in your water lines. Just turn on the faucet that is located in the highest room of the house to let air into the lines. Draw the water from the lowest faucet of the house.

Supplemental Sources of Water
The water in the hot water heater is available for use. Be sure to shut off the incoming water or intake valve to prevent the contaminated water from mixing with the safe water. To take water out of the tank, open the drain valve. A hose can be attached to this valve and the water drained into containers.

The water in the tank of the toilet, not the bowl, can be scooped out and used if needed.

Liquids for drinking can be obtained from canned fruits, juices, vegetables and soft drinks, or anything that has been water-packed in the canning process.

Snow can be melted and rain water can be used, if you have a collection barrel. Be sure to disinfect the water before drinking. Boiling it vigorously for five minutes will kill all bacteria.

Swimming pools or spas contain treated water. Boil it before using. Lakes, streams, ponds, rivers and ditches contain water that can be used if it is clarified and treated with one of the methods I’ll describe below. To clarify, strain the water through a cloth placed over a bowl or pot. This will take out impurities.

As water sits over time, disease organisms tend to die. So the longer it is stored the safer it becomes and the less chance it contains bacteria, if it has been safely stored using one of the following methods. But remember, there is no way to purify water that has been contaminated with radioactivity.

Boiling Method: The safest method of purifying water is to boil it vigorously for five minutes. To improve the taste of the water after it has been boiled, pour the water from one container to another and aerate the water. Do not use cloudy water if you have a choice between clear or cloudy. Cloudy water is caused by bacterial growth. Cloudy water must be strained through a cloth to remove the particles. Then boil or treat the water with chemicals.

Chemical Sterilization Using Bleach: You can purify water by adding any household bleach that is not more than 1 year old. Bleach loses its effectiveness after a year. The most common bleach solutions contain 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite. Add the bleach solution to the water and mix thoroughly by stirring or shaking it. Then let it stand for 30 minutes so the bleach can do its job. Do not use lemon scented or perfumed bleach.

The following table shows the proper amount of bleach to add to the water.

Amount of water
to Purify

Amount of bleach to add to clear water

Amount of bleach to add to cloudy water

1 Quart
1 Gallon
5 Gallons

2 Drops
8 Drops
½ Teaspoon

4 Drops
16 Drops      
1 Teaspoon

Tincture Of Iodine: You can use ordinary 2 percent tincture of iodine, which you may have in your medicine cabinet. To purify small quantities of water add three drops of tincture of iodine to each quart of clear water or six drops to each quart of cloudy water. Stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes. This water will be a brownish red color and will have a slight taste of iodine. Pregnant women and people with thyroid problems should not use this method.

Water Purification Tablets: Water purification tablets release chorine or iodine to purify the water. You can purchase them at most sporting good stores or drug stores. These tablets have a shelf life of five years unopened.

Halazone Tablets: Halazone tablets for emergency water disinfection are commonly carried by emergency medical technicians or paramedics. They can be purchased in drug stores. The shelf life of these tablets is only two years, so check the label to see how long it has been on the drugstore shelf before you purchase it. Keep these tablets tightly sealed. If the tablets turn yellow or smell bad, do not use them. Again allow the water to stand at least 30 minutes before using it. This gives the chemicals time to work.

Home Purification Devices: Do not rely on water purifiers to substitute for stored water. If you use a water filter or home purifier you must still purify the water by boiling or using a chemical. Reverse osmosis devices and home distillers cannot be relied upon to remove grossly contaminated water. Even though these devices are not reliable to remove contamination, they can remove chlorine or iodine after the water has been safely disinfected. Using a water purifier will greatly improve the taste of the water.

ION is a stabilized oxygen product
ION: ION is a stabilized oxygen product that I have 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.

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 help boost the immune system by introducing stabilized oxygen into the bloodstream.

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

Because ION is nontoxic, it can be used medicinally and can be used every day to prevent illness. It can also be applied topically on wounds to kill any harmful bacteria. It’s great to put in the medical kit. One bottle of ION will treat 110 gallons of water. To use, add 20 drops of ION to a gallon of water. It’s small enough to carry in a purse and use every day.

There are many kinds of toxins that ION will neutralize. Bee stings and bites from spiders or snakes are all toxic. Dropping ION on the injuries will neutralize them almost immediately. ION can be mixed with Tea Tree Oil or as a carrier to help drive it deep into the skin.

ION should not be used full strength. Diluting it down with water (five drops of ION to 8 ounces of water) is the best way to use it. If you water your plants with the diluted ION water, they will thrive and grow bigger.

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.

This information was taken from my books Food Storage 101. Where do I begin? and Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. To purchase any of the seven books I have written or purchase dehydrated food that has been sealed for long term storage in 1-gallon cans or 5-gallon buckets, please check out my website at
www.peggylayton.com. My next article will cover dehydrated food, what to store how much to store and why you should make dehydrated food part of your long term storage plan.

— Peggy Layton