8 Food Storage Myths

Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason April 23, 2018 06:30

8 Food Storage Myths

Storing food is a big part of prepping. Even if you have the land and resources to grow your own crops you need to assume the worst-case scenario of losing everything you’ve planted, and that means having enough food stockpiled to last until you can grow some more. In a nuclear scenario you’re going to have to spend weeks in a bunker, and you can’t nip out to pick some corn whenever you get hungry. A storm could flatten your crops, or hungry refugees could plunder them while you’re asleep. If you don’t have a large store of food, you’re not truly prepared.

The trouble is, storing food isn’t easy. Since the first farmers began producing surplus crops about 10,000 years ago, preserving food for future use has been one of humanity’s biggest challenges – and the consequences of getting it wrong are serious. If you’re lucky a mistake means wasted food; if you’re not it can mean potentially lethal food poisoning. It’s vital to store the right food and look after it properly.

Related: 11 Food Storage Lessons Learned from WWI

Unfortunately there’s a lot of advice on the internet that looks good but isn’t going to help you survive. A lot of people could be building up food stores that, when the SHTF, aren’t going to be the asset they thought they would be. To help you avoid dangerous errors, here are the eight worst food storage myths:

#1. All I need is freeze-dried food

Freeze-dried meals, whether it’s individual camping rations like Mountain House or one of the bulk emergency food buckets you can easily find online, are great. They’re simple to prepare – just add hot water – and pack in a lot of energy and nutrition for their bulk. Most of them taste pretty acceptable, too.

On the other hand, you don’t want to be eating nothing else but freeze-dried food for a long period of time. For a start, they’re highly processed and contain a lot of preservatives to give them their long shelf life. They also need a lot of water to prepare. The food itself might not be bulky and heavy, but the amount of water needed to turn it into meals is.

Your food store should definitely contain some freeze-dried food; it’s ideal to grab and take with you if you have to bug out. A week’s worth is plenty, though. Don’t rely on it for the bulk of your survival diet.

Related: 50 Foods to Dehydrate for Your Stockpile

#2. OK then, all I need is canned food

Canned food is another popular item to store, and again it’s a very good choice. Canned food lasts for years, it’s usually pretty versatile, and it isn’t expensive; you can pick it up cheaply in any discount grocery store. Most preppers have a large quantity of canned food in store. But is it all you need? No, it isn’t.

Modern canning methods preserve a lot of nutrients, but not all of them. Canned food is often low in Vitamin C, which doesn’t react well to heat treatment. As the cans get older they tend to lose more nutritional value, and the taste and texture can deteriorate too.

Related: 22 Cans You Can Purchase for $1 or Under

The best use for canned food is to build up a stock of basic ingredients that can be eaten cold if necessary, or used as the base for a proper cooked meal. Go for canned vegetables and meat rather than complete meals – they can be combined to add more variety. A can of ravioli will always be ravioli, but canned beef stew, corn, peas and beans can be turned into many different meals.

#3. Fine; I’ll store a load of wheat instead!

So if freeze-dried and canned meals aren’t a complete solution, how about going back to basics and stockpiling a ton of wheat? After all it’s one of the oldest storable foods, and with a bit of work it can be turned into many things – including that classic staple, bread.

Adding some wheat to your stockpile certainly makes sense – if you have the skills and equipment to process it. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t. It’s also not ideal if you’re forced to survive in extreme circumstances, like in your bunker after a nuclear attack. Even if you have the equipment to grind wheat in your bunker, it’s going to fill the place with dust. That isn’t just unpleasant; it’s dangerous. A single spark could be enough to ignite the dust and set off an explosion powerful enough to destroy your bunker and everything – and everyone – in it.

Store some wheat in rodent-proof containers so that, when you can grind it, you can make bread and other flour-based foods. Don’t rely on it as a major part of your diet, though.

#4. Beans, then

Dried beans are a common staple in prepper stores, for a whole variety of good reasons. They’re robust, less vulnerable to rodents and other pests than wheat or flour, can be used in a wide variety of recipes, and are a good source of energy and protein. Many people also believe they’ll last pretty much forever.

Well, not quite. Beans do last for a very long time, but eventually they’ll get so dry that it takes some real determination to turn them back into usable food. Even canned ones can get hard enough to need some time in a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker try simmering them for three hours with a teaspoon of baking soda added for every three cups of water.

Related: 50 Days of ‘Survival’ Calories with Rice and Beans

#5. Once I have X months of food, I’m prepared

Once you’ve decided how much food you need, and stockpiled it, you can relax. Right? No, not so fast. Just having the food isn’t enough; you also need to maintain your store and make sure you have everything you need to turn it into nutritious meals.

Food supplies need to be inspected regularly to make sure nothing is deteriorating. Check packaging – especially cans – for damage or signs of pests. Rotate canned goods when you buy groceries; if you buy canned corn, add it to your stockpile and take the oldest cans from there to use. That way you’ll know the oldest food is fine, while replacing it with new.

You also need to know what you’re going to do with the food. Can it be used to prepare recipes that you and your family will actually like? Is anyone allergic to any of the ingredients? Can it be easily prepared with the utensils and facilities you’ll have available after the SHTF? Don’t just buy whatever food is the cheapest; have a plan for post-apocalypse meals.

#6. I can store my food supply anywhere

It’s tempting to stuff any odd corner with extra food, but it might not contribute a lot to your reserves in the long run. Even long-life food needs to be properly stored. High temperatures will degrade texture, taste and nutritional value. Freezing conditions can burst containers. Cans will rust in the damp.

If you do find rusted cans among your supplies they need to be checked. If the rust can be wiped off to show sound metal underneath, the can should be fine. Heavier rust could mean tiny holes have opened up, allowing air into the can and setting the scene for a dangerous bout of food poisoning – throw it away.

#7. I know how long my food will last; the expiry date is printed on it

Pretty much all food now comes with an expiry date printed on the packaging, and most people take that as a reliable indicator of how long it can be safely stored. If you’re new to prepping and starting to build up a food reserve it’s natural to look at the expiry dates and pick food with the longest ones to stockpile.

The problem is that the expiry dates are only a very rough guide. They’re usually very conservative, so food that’s long past the expiry date is still safe to eat. On the other hand they’re also based on the food being stored in ideal conditions. If it’s exposed to temperature changes, moisture, sunlight or pests it can deteriorate a lot faster.

Food that’s past its expiry date won’t usually become dangerous unless air is getting into the packaging, but it can lose taste and texture as well as becoming less nutritious. Always store food in the best conditions you can – a well ventilated root cellar is perfect.

#8. It’s emergency food; It doesn’t matter how it tastes

If you’re hungry enough you’ll eat pretty much anything. Even the pickiest eater will start to shed their preferences as the rumbling from their stomach gets louder. It’s possible to take this too far though. Food that nobody likes might deliver essential energy and nutrients, but it isn’t going to do a lot for morale – and when you’re in a life or death situation, morale has a huge influence on whether you make it or not.

Related: $1.70 a Day – 90 Days Emergency Food Kit

It might be tempting to pick up a load of food that you’re not too keen on if it comes at a tempting price. Don’t jump in, though. Think about how you’ll feel when you’re eating it for the tenth day in a row. The point of your food stockpile is to keep you healthy and well-motivated, so make sure it can provide meals you really want to eat.

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Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason April 23, 2018 06:30
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40 Comments

  1. Andy April 23, 11:16

    “#5.Once I have X months of food, I’m prepared”

    Change months to years and you might be closer. I get tickled at folks that think 3-4-6 months worth of food is preparation.

    Stop and think about it….IF society breaks to the point you need 3-4 months worth of food to live, what about all the folks that DON’T have it ?

    Well clearly they are going to starve or kill each other (and maybe you) over what is left. That means the food production/distribution system is gonna be broken for a long, long time. SO what is your plan for after your supply runs out ? All you’ve done is delay your own starvation.

    Let’s assume this SHTF situation begins in late summer or fall. Too late to get much out in the way of garden. So you have 6-9 months before anything can be raised with enough calories in it to keep you alive……I’m not talking salad greens. AND this is assuming you have seed, tools and a place prepared to garden.

    No…..you want to be “prepared”, you better have YEARS worth of food put up, and hope to extend by supplementing with garden, critters, hunting, fishing, and so on.

    Reply to this comment
    • Bill April 23, 23:04

      I could not agree more with you.

      I grew up on a dairy farm where we had around 250 cows and we grew a lot of our own food as well as for our animals, and ESPECIALLY now, I know what it takes to grow food, and how failure will be massively high.

      I look at it like this, the big one hits late spring when crops are in, but they’re killed by whatever attack. So no food the first year.

      That means I have around 18 months where I have to live off of what I have stored.

      Next year I’m able to plant and since most people have little to no experience in growing anything except their waist line, you can count on year two being at a near fail as well, but a serious learning curve.

      Year three is when you start to figure things out for the situation you’re in, and probably get a fair harvest, but you’ll still be in need of stored food from before the big one hitting. I’d bet you’ll still need at least 50% of your food coming from stored food and 50% coming from a garden.

      The fourth year is when you’ll start to break even or close to it.

      By the fifth year you should be able to grow what you need and survive, but all this is betting that hail doesn’t wipe out a crop, or a tornado or flood or whatever else.

      So 5 REAL years of food storage, in my opinion, is where you have a real chance of survival if it is a long term event. I know a lot of people have their little gardens where they think they’ll be fine, and I hope they are, but growing up on a farm and actually growing all our own veggies, eggs, and meat, it’s NOT easy at all.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Hoosier Homesteader April 23, 12:28

    This article points out many things to be considered when selecting food stores. It has a lot of good information for those who are new to prepping.
    There is, however, one point I read that actually made me chuckle to myself, and that was about the grain dust and the danger of explosion. True, grain dust in a sufficient quantity CAN ignite. But, I can safely say that concern for grain dust explosions is not on my list of concerns. When I grind wheat or corn, I’ll only make up what I need. The amount of dust created isn’t worth mentioning.
    Over all, there’s a lot of good info in this article, but unless you’re grinding enough grain to feed a county, I think the explosion concern is a stretch.

    Reply to this comment
  3. OK April 23, 14:51

    If you do your own freeze drying it does NOT have chemicals in it. Use Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and it works great. Also mason jars are awesome. Harvest Right sells the Freeze dryers and they work awesome. Veggies, fruits, meals, anything you basically dry comes out awesome.

    Reply to this comment
  4. pop April 23, 15:28

    Be a little leery of canned food with pull tops

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 23, 16:37

      I don’t know where this bit of urban legend started but look at the dates on pull top cans. The dates are consistent with other canned items. It would not be to the manufacturer’s benefit to have canned goods that did not last until the use by date. They would have to recall millions of cans at considerable expense.

      Additionally, Australia makes considerable more use of pull tops than the U.S. does. They have been using them for longer than we have. If the Aussies were having trouble with can life on pull top cans don’t you think the internet would be full of it?

      Of course one needs to check the can at any time before it is used to detect signs of spoilage. I don’t just pull a can off the shelf, open it up and gulp down the contents. I always examine any can I use for signs of deterioration. It doesn’t matter, pull top or stamped top. The stamped top of a can can get bad just as easily as a pull top.

      If you have some actual data that indicates that there are problems particular to pull tops, it would be most helpful to post a link to that data. If there are studies that have been done that have been peer reviewed that indicate that pull tops go bad more easily than stamped tops that would be helpful. If there have been government recalls of pull top cans, knowing the date of the recall and type of product involved would be very helpful.

      Just posting a general statement with no supporting information is not helpful. If it is your personal opinion that pull tops are somehow second rate, tell us that it is your opinion and give us some supporting information for that opinion.

      Reply to this comment
      • Lucy April 24, 05:54

        This is my experience with the pull top cans. #1: They are miserable to open. Sometimes I hammer a punch into them, then wrestle with them with some long bar, like a round file, to pry them open. I try to do it in the sink, because whatever liquid is in there will slop out. #2: Despite what I just said, I have had to throw away more of the pull tops than of the can opener types. They have developed visible leaks around the pull top part of the lid. I try not to bash them around, but maybe I have, somehow. Or maybe they were dropped in the store before I bought them. Now, did they last until their expiration dates? Umm, I don’t know. I often use cans that are past their expiration dates, so I have not been paying adequate attention. I will try paying attention next time. Maybe that will be like carrying an umbrella, so it doesn’t rain, and I will not have the problem any more!

        Reply to this comment
        • Homesteader April 24, 13:35

          Do you not know that they make can openers for those pop tops? It slips in the ring, then you use it like a fulcrum to pop it right open. There are several designs available. Wal-Mart used to carry a couple different ones in their stores. If you have a kitchen store near you, they’re sure to have one. My arthritic fingers don’t like pop tops but with one of those openers, they aren’t a problem.

          Reply to this comment
      • Kdonat April 24, 21:53

        From personal experience I think where the problems start with the pull top cans is when something heavier is stacked on top it can compromises the seal. Also, if the contents are acidic, like tomatoes or pineapple, that can compromise the seal as well.

        Reply to this comment
  5. Clergylady April 23, 16:00

    Preperation is a package deal. Heating, cooling, food, safety, a plan, action, a place, knowledge, practice, skills, and if possabile a whole group to also depend on. If civilization disappears, in a while you need to rebuild the co-op farm/ town, tradesman/farmer trade or market to meet multiple skills and needs. No one has or knows everything. A barter system and truly replaceable things will be more important than fancy guns and unreplaceable ammunition. Things that can be wornout or used up will become usless after a while. The guy that can make goat or horse harnesses or shoes will be in buiness while the service station owner will be going out of business.
    If civilization as we know it returns great. But be prepared to have a product or skill you can create trade with.
    A generator may become useless. Making dishes or cookware from native clay may become of value. Making bricks, or charcoal could be very useful. Medical or herbal knowledge will always be needed. Log or cobb building skills will be valued as will anyone who can cut or shape wood with old fashioned skill or tools. If everything returns to the modern norm quickly… enjoy it.
    I’ve always been of the opinion getting out of cities was a wise move. Knowing how to produce and preserve food was prudent. And simple living was just more rewarding and peaceful. Throw in owning your own land, producing your own power or knowing how to live without it, and getting out of debt should be considered imperatives.
    For millenia people lived in caves, dugout, sod, adobe, mud, stone, log, or skin or woven cloth homes. They heated with wood, charcoal, peat, dry dung, gathered sticks, and natural steam vents in the earth. They cooled their bodies with shade, a swim/bath and water evaporation. Wet material over doorways and other opening and aligning to fresh breezes cooled homes as did avoiding opening facing the hottest sumer sun . Openings to the east and facing the winter sun brought in natural light and winter warmth.
    Where are you going to get water? A stream? A well? A spring?
    How are you able to access your water supply? Pipe with gravity to you? A hand pump, solar pump or hand winch? Carry containers?
    Will your water require purification? How will you acomplish that? What materials will you need and how do you aquire them? What can you make? What skills do you need?
    Being prepared is not simply stocking your pantry or making a root celar. But that is a begining point.

    Reply to this comment
    • shawal April 23, 16:52

      Good to be reminded that although food is a main concern, other skills will be beneficial in the long run. Thanks for the post.

      Reply to this comment
    • Wannabe April 24, 01:12

      Don’t think ammunition is not replaceable clergylady. Give me your spent brass and I can have you ammo in no time. The key is the brass. This is why I tell everybody when you shoot pick up your brass casings and keep them or better yet give them to me. Even the primers can be reused. Bullets can be cast from melting lead and having proper molds and lubed to keep leading the barrel. Great bartering tools as well.

      Reply to this comment
      • Clergylady April 24, 17:44

        If I had empty brass you could have it.
        Lately I’ve been playing with a slingshot and arrows. I figured another new skill was good to add. Next tool/toy I am looking to add will be a crossbow. I was a good archer as a teen. I am looking for something not too hard to draw. My sons crossbow uses a foot to help draw it.
        I don’t reload and don’t know anyone close that does. I used to watch a friend do it. A neck injury took a lot of my dexterity so I didn’t try it. I do still shoot now and then just to keep in practice. For a while an aquaintance was using old brass in jewelry making so I have it to her.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 24, 21:24

          There is a new crossbow out with a different kind of spring arrangement. It is very powerful but doesn’t require a lot of effort to cock. If I find out it’s name I will post it for you. It reportedly fires a bolt faster than all but the most powerful crossbows which are a bear to cock. It isn’t cheap, however.

          Reply to this comment
  6. JakeTP April 23, 16:37

    Don’t forget to prep for trading. I don’t drink but I have lots of Everclear in stock. High proof alcohol will trade very well because it has dozens of uses including drowning your sorrows.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 23, 16:42

      Absolutely! Fire starter, antiseptic, anesthetic, degreaser— the list goes on. Those are uses just off the top of my head.

      A previous poster mentioned that alcohol should not be used as an anesthetic because it causes bleeding. I haven’t researched that yet, but there are occasions when an anesthetic could be used to reduce pain and the cause of the pain would not be bleeding.

      For my own edification, Jake, what state did you buy the Everclear in?

      Reply to this comment
      • CJ April 23, 17:04

        We have Ever clear here in Ohio too. 150 proof. Some states allow a higher proof. Alcohol can thin the blood some, so bleeding could be an issue, but a shot for pain should not be an issue.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 24, 04:05

          Okay, this is the second mention of alcohol and possible bleeding problems, so I decided to do a little research on the topic.

          According to an article “The Hematological Complications of Alcoholism,” chronic over consumption of alcohol leads to many complications among which is blood thinning which can lead to reduced clotting. Synopsizing the 50 page article written by an MD, too much booze is bad for you. The are many unhealthful sequelae from too much booze. A few that are mentioned are bleeding from the rectum, blow-out of a blood vessel in the brain, excess blood flow during menstruation, bleeding from the gums—the gross list goes on at length. There are more complicated sequelae that were over my head. I haven’t written my PhD thesis on hematology yet. Now that I think about it, I haven’t even started my undergrad studies in hematology yet.

          There was an interesting article that talked about “moderate consumption of alcohol.” According to that article there is a sweet spot for drinking booze. Hit that sweet spot and it is healthful and good for you. Go over that sweet spot by just a little bit and you are screwed. It is called a J-curve for the mathematician readers of this list.

          I didn’t find anything that said that four ounces of Wild Turkey just before your buddy uses the hacksaw on your leg because it is green and purple and twice its normal size is going to have a deleterious effect on your overall health.

          My take-away: If you regularly have 10 to 15 ounces of 14% cab per night, please be careful when you are chopping wood or using the chain saw and try very hard not to get shot. AND it probably won’t hurt to have a healthy belt just prior to a major limb amputation.

          An anecdote from my past, I broke my ankle playing a game. We stopped for pizza and beer after the game and I had a carafe of wine with the pizza. I felt so good, I thought I could skip going to the E.R. — until I stood on my broken ankle. WOW!!! When I didn’t walk on it, I didn’t have any pain, so I have first hand knowledge that alcohol does anesthetize one under certain circumstances.

          Reply to this comment
      • BelovedLeah April 23, 20:32

        Most package stores carry it. I live next to a military installation and their Class 6 (package/liquor store) carry it. Pretty cheap, too. But then, maybe it’s a southern states thing.

        Reply to this comment
      • Lucy April 23, 22:03

        Everclear in NY State is 190 proof. I use it to preserve my herbs. Can’t imagine drinking it!

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 24, 04:10

          It’s hard for me to believe one can buy it in NY and can’t buy it in the PDRK. Have the NY state legislators missed an opportunity to further intrude in their subjects’ lives? Is it possible that the legislators in the PDRK have intruded more into their subjects’ lives than the legislators in NY?

          I am going to have to go to a few more liquor stores and see if it is really impossible to buy high proof Everclear in the PDRK.

          Reply to this comment
          • Lucy April 24, 06:00

            Maybe the PDRK’s philosophy is something like, “We, the government, will take care of you, and not let you kill your kidneys/gullet/stomach by drinking this rotgut straight, because you don’t have enough sense to protect yourselves.” And New York’s philosophy is something like, “Spend money. Kill yourself any way you like, as long as we get yer dough.” Less altruistic, even in principle.

            Reply to this comment
    • Homesteader April 23, 23:02

      Glad someone else has thought of stockpiling alcohol for trading. A few years ago, I bought a bunch of cheap pints of whiskey. Maybe by the time they’re needed for trading, they will have mellowed some and not make you want to put your fist through a wall just to get it down.

      Reply to this comment
  7. CJ April 23, 16:59

    Very good article, and Clergy lady makes many good points. Stockpiling food aND water is just the begining. I dehydrate some, can some and freeze some. Most frozen foods can be canned, but the consistency may not be ideal. But, how can you can something in a crisis unless you are prepared. I keep a sleeve of lids on hand, just in case. We have a generator to use sparingly for our pump, but also have a stream we can pull from. Our garden is in view if someone wants to walk the 1/2 mile to get to it, but the berries, grapes and honey is not. Plus we have a non electric security system to alert us, and some very reliable furry alarms. Having been a group cook, I can stretch things if need be. Knowing how to do things and keeping your head will go a long way in surviving.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Lucy April 24, 01:51

    Good article, Fergus. Clear, well thought out, no confusing typos, food for thought, thanks!

    Let’s keep in mind that there are LOTS of reasons for prepping. From TEOTWAWKI, to a solar smackdown like the Carrington Event in 1859 (another of which we missed by a week in 2012), to a high altitude electromagnetic pulse set off by a nuke, or a “local” tornado, hurricane, earthquake, flood, tsunami, forest fire — what did I leave out? — to a purely personal job loss, divorce, illness. While no one should feel complacent [ever] at having 72 hours of water, nonperishable food, shelter, heat, it’s something. And we don’t always know how long the power outage or the ice storm or the fire or whatever will last. Sometimes we luck out and have the opportunity to learn better ways from shorter events, as left coast chuck related after the big California forest fire. Sometimes we don’t. Let us keep our humility and open hearts.

    Reply to this comment
  9. God's child April 24, 09:50

    An ice storm in February left us without power for 67 hours. Our wood stove warmed us plus a burner on the propane cook stove. I had stored water and we had food to eat. The thing I found frustrating was no phone service. No way to call or text because it all went down. No land line or internet. My husband missed his tv. Oil lamps can give a bit of light, but the smell!!!!! So after the fact we purchased a propane lantern and some extra propane bottles so he can read after dark.Our son told us that our local electric co-op received so many complaints, demands etc. Ugly!Ugly people. You see, in recent years many folks have moved to the country…within five miles of town. City folks just don’t understand country life.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 24, 16:17

      Make sure you are using the correct oil in oil lamps. I was surprised to learn that there are several grades of kerosene and lamp oil. It is a much more complicated subject than I would have ever thought. It is a topic that needs a whole article all by itself to cover.

      How many BTUs are contained the the substance make a difference. What is commonly called kerosene and the BTUs contained roughly is as follows: lamp oil, K-1, K-2, diesel fuel, JP. If you have a true oil lamp such as you see in some restaurants, and you burn K-1 or K-2 in it, you will definitely have a kerosene smell. If you have a kerosene lantern that uses K-1 and you burn K-2 or diesel in it you won’t be able to stay in the house. You can burn heater kerosene (K-2) in a kerosene lamp if you use the lamp outdoors.

      It sounds to me as if you used the wrong kerosene in your oil lamp.

      An interesting note: I was in Home Depot looking for K-1 kerosene. I had to ask three employees before I even found one that knew what I was talking about. I found it very difficult to believe that they didn’t know what kerosene was.

      Reply to this comment
  10. Clergylady April 24, 17:24

    Lol, times change. I used to buy kerosene 25 gal at a time. It was our main heating source. Now I just buy an occasional bottle of lamp oil if I go to walmart or a dollar store. I do have several old lamps.
    My husbands dimentia leaves him disoriented. I now keep some cheap solar yard lights in the windows so he can see to get around. In my rabbit room I have a solar motion light set on its longest setting. The solar panel is outside and the motion sensor and light are inside. It is near the doorway between two rooms and lights both rooms quite well. I really like LED lights. Lower power usage and brighter, longer lasting bulbs.
    I have newer solar and battery powered lanterns, yard spotlights and flashlights with LED bulbs. They are plenty bright to read by.
    About pull top cans of any ilk… I use a long screw driver to first raise the pull tab, then put it through the hold in the tab and use the rim to push against to raise to lid. Or I make use of my best can opener and let him do it.
    I hurt my arm just over a week ago. I can’t turn a can opener, start the ignition on the truck or shift the 5 on the floor in my car. Driving is a circus… truck is automatic so reach over and shift to park, drive or reverse with my left hand. Husband has to turn the key to start or turn off the ignition. He no longer drives but I’m thankful for every bit of help right now.
    You all might have laughed if you’d seem the accident happen. I was bagging trash on the floor of an old mobile home. We had just finished getting the last walls torn down. Bag half full I stepped to a new pile of trash. Suddenly my right foot was on the ground, my left foot was still on the old floor and all my weight had landed on my right wrist and forearm. Not a scratch or bruise on my body or leg but my arm had taken the whole thing. I was swelling and turning purple. Stubborn me, I bagged 8 more 55 gallon bags of trash holding the bag by two finger tips and filling the bag left handed. Finally I gave in and went to emergency. They gave me a painpill and took an exray. 90 minutes later I left well wrapped in a wide ace bandage and my arm in a sling with instructions to take my tramadol faithfully for a few days then go see my Dr.
    Not broken, getting better but still crazy painful. Probably won’t drive an hour to go see my Dr. Finally went without the ace bandage yesterday and the colorful arm has faded back to a more normal color. Purple, yellow, and green gained the comment, ” hey Grandma, you look psychodelic”!
    I finally managed to turn the truck off yesterday. Hubby is still my best can opener. No stick shift yet! And I still have about 4 bags worth of trash up on that floor waiting for me. Hmmm. Any volunteers? :)🐴

    Reply to this comment
    • Lucy April 24, 17:46

      Oh, Clergylady! I don’t think I would have laughed, except maybe with relief that you hadn’t broken your body, just got naturally psychedelic! You are a case study in adaptability, persistence, dogged determination — or is that plain cussedness?! — and goal orientedness. An exercise in creative survival every day, it sounds like. I find it uplifting that you look at what’s good in a situation that would leave others in tears. Yes, it is great that your husband is able to turn the truck on and off, and open the pull tops, and help you some. That is a blessing. Still. You are a beacon, we see.

      What state and country do you live in, just in case you get any volunteers?

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    • left coast chuck April 24, 21:32

      Claude: If you find someone who really knows about kerosene, it might be a good column for your website. It should be somebody who really understands the difference between lamp oil, K-1, K-2 and the other grades of kerosenes and their uses. I read a web article on it but am still not sure I really understand all the differences except I know that for kerosene lamps indoors K-1 is the prime choice. Other stuff will work but K-1 gives you the best results with the least odor. Lamp oil will work but doesn’t give off as much light due to its low BTU content. However it doesn’t smell when burning which is why restaurants use it for “ambiance”. Now you have just about exhausted my data banks about kerosene. Oh, don’t put kerosene in a gas tank and vice versa, don’t put gasoline in a vehicle that burns diesel which is different from kerosene— has more BTUs. Now you really know everything I know about the topic which is darned little.

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  11. Clergylady April 24, 21:30

    Lol. New Mexico, USA

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    • Lucy April 25, 01:23

      Sigh. Guess I won’t be volunteering just yet, Clergylady! That would be one fierce long hike! I hope you encounter someone close by to lend a hand. And to make you laugh, too. I think that speeds healing!

      Reply to this comment
  12. Clergylady April 24, 22:35

    Everclear is available here. I tasted some called “fireball” that was cinnamon flavored. Its a wonder I still have a tastbud after that. I did put a few quart jars away….
    I do have gallons of vinegars put away also. Good for pickling, making assorted salad dressings, souring milk, and good for skin problems from soothing a sunburn to healing up runny sores that aren’t healing well. It is even a descent hair rinse mixed with water then well rinsed. Leaves just washed hair hair shinny, soft and clean.
    I had never heard of a tool to assist with opening pull tops. I will have to look for that.
    An article explaining the differences in kerosene grades and uses would be interesting.
    The crossbow sounds interesting.
    My current study is solarpower. If getting my newest mobile home hooked up on grid is going to cost over $6000 to the local co-op, I might as well invest in an off grid system to start with. The home isn’t a big electrical user anyway. It has propane heat, water heater, clothes dryer, and cookstove.
    My rocket stove will move with us. I currently do part of our cooking, heat all of our water, and heat my home with it. It burns wood, chips from my chipper, or pellets with the gravity fed hopper. Showers, baking, and occasional drying are all that will use propane. All light bulbs will be LED. I will be looking for a refrigerater. I aim to keep power use low. I’ll have to go battery backup and ground mounted. New laws are making life expensive and complicated but we will get through that.
    I enjoy the discussions and comments here. Glad for the articles to get each discussion started.
    I’ll be watching for info on the crossbow. Solar suggestions welcome.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 25, 03:23

      The crossbow that I mentioned is called the Raven R9. You can get more information about it at http://www.ravencrossbows.com. No MSRP was mentioned in the article, so I suspect it is going to be expensive. However it is reputed to puss a 400 grain bolt at 390 fps and will hold a 3″ group at 100 yards which is no mean feat. Few crossbows can make either claim. By the way, I have zero financial interest in the company. Until I read the article I had never even heard of them.

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  13. Clergylady April 25, 06:12

    Thanks for the info on the crossbow. I will look it up.

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