This Is How Much Food You’ll Need for the Next 6 Months

James Walton
By James Walton April 6, 2020 10:57

This Is How Much Food You’ll Need for the Next 6 Months

How long will the pandemic last?

This question has caused more panic than any other, since the beginning of the outbreak. We have heard everything from 3 months to 2 years.

Our president spat out ’18 months’ at a press conference. Of course, we have no idea what any of that means.

The question people really want to be answered is, ‘how long will it be till things go back to normal.’

No one knows. So, we must prepare and plan to have food for months whether the supermarket has some food or no food. We are preppers.

This is what we do. However, when you start making big plans like adding 6 months of food storage to your plan there are some things to consider.

Related: How to Build a 44-Day Stockpile for Only $2.40 a Day


I am going to tell you about caloric intake equations, nutritional balance, and foods that store well. Remember, your food storage plan is YOURS and it should be built around preference. One of the things I lean on heavily in my own preparedness plan is oatmeal.

It’s a multipurpose food and a highly nutritious complex carbohydrate breakfast that is great for feeding the body. It can be made delicious with a sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon. If you hate oatmeal than don’t store it!

You and your family should be storing the food you like to eat above all else. This is food storage lesson #1.

When I first started prepping, in 2011, I found tons of blogs telling me about the importance of hard red wheat. Everyone needed buckets of hard red wheat! If you didn’t have it, you were unprepared for the coming collapse.

I had never used hard red wheat before, nor did I have a grinder at the time. I bought a Super pail anyway because I was influenced by fear and by others who proclaimed its necessity.

Mind your preference when it comes to food storage.

My Top Food Storage Picks

These food storage items are my preference and I chose most of them because they are multipurpose and provide my family with a variety of nutrients. These are also supplemented by gardening though we calculate for needed calories without the garden.

The garden is caloric and nutritional bonus.

  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Cornmeal
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Oil

Calculating 6 Months of Food Storage

Let’s start with the basics. We should first calculate how many calories we are going to need, in total, to feed our families for 6 months. That is the most important step in this process. If we are unsure about the total calories needed, we will vastly underprepare because 6 months of food is A LOT!

The RDA is 2000 calories per person per day. Preppers could argue for 2500 to 3000 because of a greater workload in SHTF. Then again, you might want to take a rationing mindset and prepare for 1500 calories per person per day.

Related: How to Make 2400 Calorie Emergency Ration Bars Designed to Feed You for a Full Day


We are going to look at these equations based on a 2000 calorie diet just to keep it easy.

2000 calories per day X the number of people in your home. This will give you your daily caloric needs.

8000 calories per day for a family of 4 X 31 days in a month gives you 248,000 calories per month

For 6 months you are looking at 1,488,000 calories for 6 months if you are feeding a family of four with 2000 calories per day.

Nutritional Balance

Of course, things are a little more complicated than just stacking up calories to the roof. Have you ever heard of rabbit starvation? It can happen to people who don’t get enough fat in their diet from eating very lean rabbits only.

Rabbits are a great protein source, but you need other things to eat alongside them.

Your food storage will need to include things like fats and proteins in the right amounts to assure you have the proper nutritional balance. So, what does that look like? I am going to give you some figures for this nutritional balance. These numbers are for an active person. A sedentary lifestyle will require less.

Protein – A good average for protein intake is going to be around 80 grams. You will need less if you are a small person and as much as 100 grams or more if you are a big active person.

Carbs – The best balance for healthy carb intake is right around 100-150 grams per day. However, in a survival situation you might up that to deal with the rigors or simply to cope with the serious stress of it all. You might also be eating more carbs because that is what you have stored up.

Fats – I often wonder how many people put their bodies through utter hell by cutting all the fat out of their diet in the 90s. Fat is incredibly beneficial to your diet. You want about 400 calories per day from fat. Based on a 2000 calorie per day diet you are going to want around 55 to 80 grams of fat.

A great ration to remember is 30:30:40 and that is 30% fat/30% protein/ 40% carbs. Of course, this will be adjusted if you are dealing with some sort of carb excluding diet. However, for planning and prepping purposes keep this in your back pocket.

Learning to Cook

One of the core skills that all preppers should practice is cooking from scratch. When you look at the list of ingredients above you should be looking at a world of possibilities. You can make all sorts of bread, pastries, tortillas, tostadas and full meals with just those ingredients above.

I see that list as unlimited potential because I spent years making foods with those ingredients. Now is the time for you to become proficient with the mixing bowl and in front of the oven.

We all have at least one complaint about isolation. If you are feeling bored spend some time baking something new. Cook a big pot of beans and see how they turn out. We store a lot of rice and beans but most of America eats beans out of a can.

Related: The Lost Art of Scratch Cooking

Tactical training is cool, bushcraft skills get respect but food production and cooking have been the driving force behind all-conquering armies and civilizations throughout all of history.

6 months of long-term food storage is a pretty decent goal for any prepper. It’s very rare that we face a catastrophe that cuts us off the food supply for more than 3 months let alone 6 months. Of course, there is always the threat of that one event that changes the world forever.

Still, in a situation like that, you are eating off food storage while you set up your own inputs for food production. If the whole world goes offline you won’t be sitting around waiting for Walmart to open back up. You will either be hunting, farming, homesteading or some amalgamation.

Since I started prepping there are a handful of preps that truly help me rest at night. Food storage is one of those preps. Having extra food on hand for hard times is one of those things that I would have done even earlier if I knew how good it would feel to have that prong of my preparedness plan sharpened up.

You may also like:

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Meal Planning: A Month’s Worth of Survival Food with 2000 Calories per Day

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James Walton
By James Walton April 6, 2020 10:57
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  1. Lady Ike April 6, 13:24

    As one of your prepper followers (& fan!), I give thanks that I am able to ‘stay-in-place’ with all that I’ve been able to put aside over the past years. Your advice is so right on, especially about storing only things you really like and will eat. So again I sincerely thank you for all you do and your helpful tips. Keep up the good work; we need you. Back to tending by seedlings for my garden.

    Reply to this comment
    • Rick April 6, 16:00

      You are able to stay in place because you have electricity, water, and gas if you use that. In a real SHTF scenario you won’t have those niceties. You need to stock you bugout location.

      Reply to this comment
      • Govtgirl April 7, 05:18

        Bugging out is not always the answer. Sheltering in place may be more prudent especially if one is lucky enough to live in a more rural setting. Then, you have everything at your fingertips. The real answer that no one like is-“It depends.”

        Reply to this comment
        • TheSouthernNationalist April 9, 13:39

          I agree with you on sheltering in place.
          Unless where you are at has been completely destroyed, then why leave?

          We had some folks in our group that talked about going out into the woods and live.
          Not me, why would I leave my home where everything I have is there?

          I’m staying put right where I am, I’ve got water, food, shelter, and other things I need.

          Reply to this comment
  2. Jose April 6, 13:27

    I would like to be optimistic about going back to our normal, BUT, I also would like to think that this pandemic will have changed the thinking of the majority and that the normal we go back to is a DIFFERENT one than the one we had. One that let’s us be more aware and more prepared to handle adversity in the future.

    Reply to this comment
    • Heidi April 6, 16:23

      not sure if people will get it, unless it hurts (them, a bit at least). So far they swallow everything the msm tells them. Which may make for a better/calmer/less disconcerting few weeks in social distancing practice for them.

      Reply to this comment
      • Ched April 12, 17:25

        It is working there are less patients right now going to the hospital the ones that who are passing away are the ones who were in there for awhile so we should try to avoid socializing in person which we could still do it by social media face time Facebook and many more social media website

        Reply to this comment
    • Govtgirl April 7, 05:33

      I agree. I foresee the following changes:
      1. Brick and mortar stores will have taken another step forward toward obscurity. Ditto with movie theaters.
      2. We will stock more toilet paper.
      3. Certain items like masks will not go back to their previous low prices. I think N-95s were $7.95 each near me. It will be interesting to see how much they come down. Son just bought 3 for well over $20 each.
      4. Personal space spheres will be forever a little bigger.
      5. Think we all got a little more fastidious.
      6. Crowded venues less appealing.
      I’m sure you and others can come up with more.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Spike April 6, 14:04

    Seems like you’re off on the Fat calorie calculation. 400 calories from fat is only 20% of your total calorie intake. I always thought 40-50% but I maybe high. Also, you state that we need 55-80 grams. Fat contains 9 calories/gram or 2.25 times more than protein or carbs. Your 55-80 grams equals 495-720 calories which also differs from your 400 calories stated.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Fred April 6, 15:32

    Would you please offer a quantity of each storage item for 4 people for 6 months?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 6, 19:00

      Fred: No one can give you the amount you should store for YOUR family. As the author stated, he likes oatmeal and therefore his diet is heavy on oatmeal. If your kids won’t touch the stuff, it would make little sense for you to stock up on oatmeal. Do you think you can force your kids to eat oatmeal? Well, that will be a battle royal every time you serve oatmeal.

      Cornmeal: Other than hush puppies and corn bread which I am not that fond of, I can’t think of a single recipe for cornmeal. I know that is a significant hole in any balanced diet, but for me to stock up on cornmeal would only be if I were going to use it for a trade item to folks who know and love it.

      He gives you the basic RDA requirements for a standard diet. You can see that on every product that has the calories listed. The percentages generally are based on 2000 calories per day. However, if you are male between 21 and 40 and chopping wood, fetching 5-gallon buckets of water and fending off marauders, you will burn more than that. C-rations ran between 3600 to 4000 calories per day if you consumed every single bit of the ration. MREs are about the same in caloric count. Both C-rations and MREs are heavy on protein because they contemplate that they will be consumed by young people engaged in strenuous physical activity. Nothing makes one burn calories like getting shot at.

      You’ve got the outline. It is up to you to figure out what your family will eat and how you will prepare it. No one can do it for you. There is no magic bullet to preparing for armageddon. Each of us must prepare for our own families.

      I will comment that a 1500 calories diet is a pretty lean diet and doesn’t lend itself to a lot of strenuous activity. I would urge you to go on line and find out the average caloric needs for the sex and age of your family members. If you have teenage boys, you will have to figure more calories if they are active. Even if presently they are glued to their computers, in an EOTW situation, they won’t have their computers and will have to contribute by the activities I mentioned earlier.

      Women generally don’t need as many calories as men, but again, that depends upon how much activity the woman is engaged in. Old farts like me can get buy on fewer calories than we presently suck up and it would be a lot better for our health if we did.

      Good luck. Get busy with your calculator. Use a spread sheet program to help you in your calculations.

      Reply to this comment
      • Rucksack Rob April 8, 13:17

        LC Chuck…
        Always appreciate your comments, you’ve never been snarky or rude. Your knowledge is strong, most likely from experience, not unlike myself (not that I’m bragging about my knowledge, just lots of life experience.) I’ve spent 24 years in the Army, all in combat arms so lots of field experience, I grew up in a Gov’t employee’s household who was very active in Civil Defense during the early 60’s, so preparedness seems to be in my blood. I’m old enough to collect Social Security but young enough to still be active and working. Even after ‘prepping’ for over 45 years, I still appreciate comments and tips from both older readers like yourself and younger doers who walk the walk and not just talk the talk. (There’s more to prepping than just guns and ammo) Thanks for everything.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 13, 00:05

          Rucksack: Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, unfortunately for me, most of my knowledge came from making the same dumb mistake too many times. The PA Dutch are quoted as saying, “Too soon old; too late smart.” I didn’t realize I was that well known in PA. While theory is great, nothing really rubs your nose in it like experience.

          Reply to this comment
      • ST April 11, 00:50

        Anyone who finds they’ve got a lot of cornmeal in their preps can look to gluten-free recipes for ideas.

        Reply to this comment
        • red April 11, 21:42

          ST: Definitely 🙂 Some amaranth, red merlot, is coming up on its own. A good summer green and grain, as well. The blender makes short work of mesquite pods, corn, and oats. We’re not much for carbs, but like non-gluten grains once in a while, usually as tortillas. 1/3 starch to the flour works for corn noodles and tortillas. the doctor said she never saw anyone as bad on gluten as we are. niio

          Reply to this comment
  5. Vic April 6, 16:03

    I’m very new to prepping. Very new( like within the last year) and have spent most of 2019 learning and building a substantial stockpile. Everything from freeze dried food and pantry food to water and water filtration/purification, sanitary, reserve backup power and propane for cooking and various alternatives for cooking if the power goes out and heating.( although I’m struggling with that one not having the option to burn wood). Now I am trying to gather as much info on homesteading as I can (purchased “The Lost Ways” book). I honestly didn’t know what I was prepping for, only that unsettling and nagging feeling that something big would soon happen. Now, in the midst of this pandemic, it seems my efforts to prep have paid off. It is a good feeling to know I’ve taken care of my family during a crisis….well in the short term at least

    Reply to this comment
    • Arwen in NJ April 8, 02:01

      I wonder how many of us had that “unsettling and nagging feeling that something big would soon happen”? I have always been a bit of a prepper- not too hardcore but kept some gear in the car in case I needed to bug out, stocked up on sales, etc. However, starting last fall I started to get the “feeling” that I needed to ramp up- I joined a local prepper group to practice skills, started buying more “extra” stuff when it was on sale, etc. Just a gut feeling I needed to “be ready”…🤔

      Reply to this comment
      • Govtgirl April 8, 05:29

        What a great instinct! Please give us a heads up next time.

        Reply to this comment
      • ST April 11, 00:52

        So many people have said, and are saying, the same thing. That feeling. I had it, too-it closely reminded me of being in a hurricane cone.

        Reply to this comment
        • Cat April 18, 04:47

          I have been following prepping for years not just for a major event but one of those what if your income is lost because someone lost their job or gets hospital sick so it cuts the income. My issue and question is how does one find a preppier group in their area? So far I haven’t had no luck.

          Reply to this comment
      • Cat April 18, 04:46

        I have been following prepping for years not just for a major event but one of those what if your income is lost because someone lost their job or gets hospital sick so it cuts the income. My issue and question is how does one find a preppier group in their area? So far I haven’t had no luck.

        Reply to this comment
    • red April 8, 14:53

      Vic: Welcome! Do you have a camp stove? One that runs on alcohol would be best in case of SHTF. You can always make E85 with a solar still. niio

      Reply to this comment
  6. Paul R Laska April 6, 16:56

    Just to add to the value of fats…a dietician, for my diabetes education, told me to never use fat-free, always only low fat…because fats give food flavor, and fat-free lacks the flavors that we crave.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 6, 19:47

      Paul: A while back on this site we were talking about diet and fat in diet. I had just reading a book about folks crossing the plains. In one vignette a caravan took longer than they anticipated and they were reduced to eating their horses and mules. the only problem was, while they had plenty to eat, the horses and mules, due to hard work and lack of forage were extremely lean. The caravan members had no energy to perform the strenuous daily activities that crossing the plains required and it was due to lack of fat in their diet.

      Reply to this comment
  7. red April 6, 19:54

    Much thanks. While we thought we were prepared, this still nailed us. Mark me, in less than 2 years, the next one will strike. Anyone who watches the chicoms has seen the dnc open the gates for a new pan-demic-rat. Chicoms are on the list of watch nations for manufacture of bio-weapons. Dems support them, not America. Dems tried twice to open us to ebola and once to Marburg (an ebola). What’s next? Get ready, stay ready, not like us who slacked. Better to put up a dollar’s worth of beans and lard than nothing. Thank God we can and freeze out of the garden and buy sale things. niio

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jabba April 6, 20:01

    IMHO folks, Hold on to your stores. This winter was easy. I don’t think next winter will be. Garden as much as you can to feed your self this winter coming.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Prepper In Training April 6, 21:26

    This is TOTALLY off subject, and I would really like to hear opinions.

    I was surfing websites today, and one of my sites is east Texas foraging. Started reading about Sumac, since I have an over abundance of the stuff. The website didn’t go into much detail, so I dug deeper. I found and started reading about some of the beneficial qualities of the plant. In the section “Fights Fungal Infections”, it states:Sumac can fight against Aspergillus flavus ( the most effective harmful cell), especially a human pathogen. Aspergillus flavus can cause lung infection and shortness of breath.

    Just like Hydroxychloroquine, originally for Malaria, is being used for Coronavirus, does anyone think that Sumac could be used to lessen the effects of Coronavirus?

    Reading the whole article on, Sumac is “effective in the treatment of diabetes and obesity”. With the overload of information that is coming out about Coronavirus, and not knowing the full truth, people are dying because of the underlying health issues. So, if Coronavirus is a pathogen, and diabetes and obesity are potential contributors to death, is there any reason why Sumac should not be considered as a possible home solution for easing pains? I am not looking at this as a cure.

    Reply to this comment
    • IvyMike April 7, 00:22

      That website would likely sell you a load of horse hockey as happily as they sell sumac.
      To be more specific you’re talking about flame leaf sumac which is fairly common across Texas, a small shrub that grows in clumps and has beautiful red leaves in the late summer/fall and masses of rusty red berries. The berries have long been used as a tea made by cold infusion, and also dried for a spice. It surely has some traditional medicinal/ritual uses, but i would say love it for what it is, a pretty wild plant that is an important food source for wildlife. The birds seed it in my flower beds and I always move it to a spot it can grow wild.
      There is a smaller sumac called evergreen sumac with dark green glossy leaves all year, and red fruit in the fall, it is also edible. Sumacs with white berries are considered poisonous.
      Cutting out sugar will do a lot more for diabetes and obesity than sumac.

      Reply to this comment
      • red April 7, 11:21

        Mike: A little old lady who passed away at 101 years of age, and was a retired nurse, always added a spoon of lemon juice to a glass of water and sipped it before each meal. It helps the pancreas to function. In Mexico, where they have a huge population of diabetics and no medical care, Beans and lemon both are common, and both work.Mesquite, as well, is good to control the pancreas. We cut out all gluten, and do as much hard labor as possible. The nasty 4-letter words like work and diet are the key 🙂 niio

        Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 7, 00:48

      Prepper I.T.: The article is by somebody by the supposed name of Ally Eva. There is no information about this unknown person even if that is their real name. There is no information about their credentials to describe the wondrous qualities of sumac. So for starters you have an article by someone totally unknown to you that you want to base health information on. Does that sound like a good idea?

      Secondly, there are no citations indicating studies that have been done to buttress the statements regarding the efficacy to this product. That’s another clue. Are you going to risk you health on statements out of nowhere about the curative powers of this plant? That doesn’t sound like a well-considered plan of action to me.

      Third look at the list of conditions this plant is supposed to cure. By golly, it even cures cancer. What kind of cancer? I have just finished reading a book by a medical doctor who traces the treatment of cancers (notice that is plural) from the beginning of medical history to the present time. 3500 years ago an Egyptian doctor said, “It’s always fatal. There is no effective treatment.” In his day that was the state of the art. “You’re gonna die!”

      One of the most significant take-aways from the book is that even a cancer like breast cancer which someone untrained in cancer such a I would assume is just one type of cancer, turns out to have many different forms treated with a myriad of modalities. The author spent considerable time discussing the various modalities of treatment for “breast cancer.” Even a form of treatment at the beginning stages may start to fail in more advanced stages.

      Reading that book revealed to me just how little I really knew about the subject.

      A statement that some plant treats “cancer” should be a warning flag that makes the whole article suspect. There are literally thousands of forms of cancer. They all take different forms of treatment. You don’t treat one kind of brain cancer as you do another kind. So some plant “treats cancer”? Give me a break. BOGUS ! ! !

      Lastly, while we all look for the magic bullet in treatment, there is no magic bullet. It is a myth perpetrated to stir up hope in desperate folks.

      Lastly, the biggest problem that I see with kitchen produced cures is quality control. Pharmaceutical companies spend enormous sums of money on assuring that every pill in the container is the same as every other pill. That is the only way to know what dosage cures or fails to cure a disease. If every pill is 25 milligrams and that dosage doesn’t work, we know that 25mg is a no go. So we increase the dosage to say 50 mg. Aha! The disease entity starts to recede. Will 75 mg make it recede faster? Oops, no the side effects with 75 mg make it an unusable dosage.

      Now you are whipping up a pound of sumac berries that you picked. Are all the berries at the same stage of ripening as the last batch that you used? No? Well, do you think that might make a difference in the strength of the solution you are making? Are you heating the berries at precisely the same temperature as last time? Did you measure the temperature you used last time? No? Well, how do you know the temperature you have the gas stove set at this time is exactly the same as last time?

      l hope you get the idea that it is pretty nearly impossible to whip up identical batches of a solution in your home laboratory. By the way, how did you do in chemistry in college? Did you get As or Ds? What, you didn’t take chemistry? But you certainly have taken a class or two in mixing compounds since then?

      So you take a chance that your batch this time is pretty similar to the batch you made last time. But it is all guess work, don’t you think? You are supposed to let the magic elixir sit in a dark closet for 30 days. Is the ambient temperature in the closet the same for all 30 days as it was for the last batch?

      I hope you can see that concocting home brews and expecting them to be efficacious as a medicinal is pretty daunting. How many times has a really expert cook said about her recipe, “I don’t know what happened, but this batch didn’t turn out as good as the last one”?

      The answer is because in our home kitchens we don’t have the kind of controls and don’t exercise the careful measurements that commercial establishments have and do, otherwise people would quickly stop buying their products. If your favorite cookie from Pepperidge Farms was different with every package you bought after about three packages you would stop buying, especially if the flavor varied widely.

      All that said, remember, the placebo effect is proven to be 30%. What does that mean? Well, what that means is that in any blind test, even in the group of folks who are taking a sugar pill, 3 out of 10 will feel some improvement in their condition with taking the sugar pill. The is 3 out of 10 every time all the time with every test. Our mind is a strange and wonderful organ. If you are in the 30% you WILL feel better. The condition won’t be cured but you WILL feel better for a while. If you aren’t in the 30% you won’t. So ten people eat sumac berries for arthritis. three of them will have their arthritis pain relieved for a while. The other seven nothing, no benefit whatsoever.

      Unless it turns out that sumac is actually harmful. I can’t recall when I have ever seen sumac juice for sale in a supermarket, so I wonder about its food or taste value. Perhaps it is hard to grow in commercial quantities there is always that aspect to any food product. It is okay for the occasional wild food harvester but in order to bring a product to market you have to have repeatable, reliable supplies. Perhaps commercial sumac cultivation is not that reliable. I don’t know the answer to that. I just know that it is not sold in any food markets I have been in. There may be some small company marketing sumac concentrate for sale in the limited market that “natural” or “health” food stores service. Again, I don’t know the answer to that.

      Diabetes and obesity go hand in hand. If you are overweight, the chances are you have diabetes to some extent. Lose that weight and exercise and voila! Your diabetes disappears. There is nothing magic about it. You do push aways — you know you push away from the table before you have eaten too much. You couple that with walk-aways where you walk aways around the block after dinner instead of watching Jerry Springer. Keep up that routine, lose that extra 50 pounds, you gain in several formats, you now can shop in the regular men’s shop you don’t have to shop in Big and Tall shop or as the tailor in a Japanese men’s store told me , “Oho, you go fat man’s shop.” Sumac won’t cure your obesity and diabetes and the associated arthritis from being overweight. You know the cure. I know the cure. Push aways and walk aways. Nothing magic about it. It is a sure cure it just takes that will and determination to do it.

      Fen-phen worked wonders at forcing folks to lose weight. The big drawback is it caused severe heart attacks, that’s why you can’t buy fen-phen these days. It did cure diabetes though. When you are dead you no longer have uncontrolled high blood sugar. It’s tough cure though.

      So I suppose if you add sumac berries to your diet instead of the double-double cheeseburger with the extra large fries and the El Gigante soda you probably will lose weight and with the weight loss, lose the diabetes and with the weight loss, your knees will feel better. Or you could just cut out the double-double cheeseburger etc. and achieve the same results.

      It’s tough. The doc tells me I should lose weight. The big problem is Ma Nature has programed us to gorge ourselves so that when short rations come we have enough stored away that like bears do when they hibernate, we live off of our stored fat and survive. The skinny one who can’t store fat starved and died. We don’t have to work nearly as hard to put on the fat as we use to have to work. Thanks Darwin for that, survival of the fittest. The folks who could easily store fat survived and passed on the gene; the folks who didn’t store fat didn’t survive and didn’t pass on the gene. Now when food is so abundant and so easy to obtain and so cheap and so tasty, overcoming our natural tendency to overeat when it is in front of us is one of the most difficult things in life for some of us. I feel your pain. My knees probably would stop hurting if I lost 50 pounds too. Certainly my diabetes would disappear and the tailor would no longer tell me to go to the fat man’s shop.

      Reply to this comment
      • Prepper In Training April 7, 04:39

        I appreciate the input from both LCC and IvyMike, and take all comments as being a positive attempt at imparting knowledge and wisdom. I hoped I had made myself clear by stating that I was not looking for a cure, but was wondering if the possible benefits of respiratory problems and assisting in diabetes/obesity issues might make a positive contribution to someone’s well being.

        Cancer was never mentioned by me, because the definition of cancer changes depending on who wants to make the most money. There will never be a “cure” for cancer other than bankruptcy.

        I personally need to lose my winter coat, but I am no where near being obese, and other than a 3rd cousin, diabetes does not run in my family. I have practiced sensible eating and a moderate exercise regime for many years. While not in the shape I desire to be, I can still hang with someone half my age.

        I don’t want to sound “snarky”, but unlike Jethro Bodine, I went a little further than a 6th grade edjycashun. I was blessed with an over-abundance of hindsight, and a generous amount of common sense. I posted info from one website, but I looked at multiple others. Each website gave basically the same information, so I saw no perceived harm in selecting one out of many. Obviously, I was incorrect in my assumption that others may dig a little deeper than one level in addressing their response to my question.

        If the answer is “no, I have no knowledge in the matter, but, here is some information I found to help’, then that is a great response. But, if your answer is “you are not all that intelligent for listening to someone that you don’t know”, then I must question why I or anyone else should look to our peers on this site to give desired assistance.

        LCC, I have been on this site long enough to know that you normally give good, valid answers, backed up with empirical data. This response was more condescending than helpful, and I was honestly surprised that you chose the response that you gave,

        I will take all comments under advisement, but I cannot rely on them at this time to be anything other than personal beliefs and biases. When possible, I will choose a natural solution over big pharma, no matter how much money was spent trying to perfect the non-cure. I was just looking for a fresh set of eyes to find the non-biased, empirical data.

        Oh well, maybe my next question will elicit a more assistive response.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 13, 00:39

          Prepper: I’m sorry you found my reply condescending. I certainly didn’t mean it to be. I went on line and read the article about sumac and in that article it mentioned that it cured cancer. That’s where the cancer came from. To me, any “cure” that mentions that it cures cancer is a huge red flag.

          Next, while there is no question that many plants have some curative powers, What I tried to point out, but apparently unsuccessfully, is that whipping up some plant potion in our kitchens is really hit and miss. In order to have a workable medicine, it needs to be quite precisely the same as the previous batch and the succeeding batch. Most of us just don’t have the controls in our kitchens to make each batch precisely the same as others batches. Most of us don’t have the training to know how one goes about making a precise batch of something.

          I gathered, apparently incorrectly from your post that you were seeking some shortcut for obesity and diabetes which in many adults are cause and effect. The adult is obese and has diabetes. If they lose weight and exercise the weight and diabetes disappears.

          You are certainly correct that perhaps you shouldn’t take advice from me. Notice, however, I didn’t offer any cures for anything except obesity and diabetes which is so well known that it almost goes without saying. On the other hand, the article you referenced did offer remedies and those were based on nothing. I asked questions. I try not to give authoritative statements, but try to pose advice in such a way as the reader will think about my statements and think about the subject rather than blindly accept advice from a really unknown source. While I try to maintain some anonymity, those who frequent this site certainly have read enough of my posts to know that I try my best to ask questions that make you think and post suggestions either based on my own personal first hand knowledge so that readers don’t go off trying to invent round wheels. If I have already made that mistake, I try to share that and offer what I found to help remedy that mistake.

          If I read something that I know is wrong, I won’t hesitate to point it out. In another article someone wrote in and described making a 50% solution of IPA to kill bacteria and viruses. That is just plain wrong and I wouldn’t want anyone to follow that advice. A 50% solution of IPA is a proven ineffective solution. IPA must be 60% or better in order to be an effective germicide.

          So my apologies that I offended you. Didn’t mean to. Hope my explanation doesn’t make the situation worse, but clears up the misunderstanding.

          I have often said that it doesn’t surprise me that the Israelis and the Palestinians have trouble getting along. We both speak the same language, don’t have a long history of animosity between us and are trying to achieve the identical results, namely passing along information to help others reach a state of readiness for occurrences such as we are experiencing now. The Israelis and the Palestinians don’t have the background, so every after “Good morning, Benjamin” it’s all downhill from there. Between the shared history and the subtle language differences where there is no exact translation, how can they possibly reach an understanding?

          I once worked on a case that involved the Japanese language. There was an American attorney with Japanese ancestry who spoke fluent Japanese. The interpreter translated the Japanese word “mochiron” as “certainly”.
          The Japanese lawyer objected to the translation that it didn’t convey the exact meaning of “mochiron” as used by the witness. That the word “mochiron” as used in the context of the answer was more positive in meaning than the less positive “certainly”. He insisted that the translation should have been “absolutely,” a more positive assertion.

          Fine line, isn’t it? As I understand the word “mochiron” either translation is acceptable along with a couple other translations. How to differentiate? Inflection? Sentence structure? Anyway, the attorney made his point to the panel that were listening to the testimony. the byplay always impressed me with the importance of using the correct word, the precise word. Words do count. I guess my post is a prime example of that.

          Reply to this comment
    • Arizona Dave April 7, 08:22

      Sorry, I can’t comment on the Sumac, don’t know anything about it.
      I read yesterday a similar story on a potential cure, but it’s untested. It was some sort of animal de-wormer. It’s a long shot, but would I gamble on one tube? Maybe. I don’t know. I’d rather tackle what I can right now. They’re are people buying Hydroxychloroquine from Africa and other countries right now. A choice between the 3? I’d pick what’s working now.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck April 13, 00:50

        I for one would not be buying hydroxychloroquine from Africa or many other countries for that matter. I know our FDA fiddles and fools around and has set up almost insurmountable obstacles to testing new drugs and approving drugs already in use for new cures and they certainly have made mistakes in the past — can you say thalidomide? That fiasco has made them gun-shy about approving new drugs. Given all that, we pretty well can have confidence that drugs they finally do approve will not be either totally ineffective or highly dangerous. That said, drugs are dangerous. That’s why they are effective. They have to be taken in accordance with the instructions. I have first hand experience with that. My mother was killed by an overdose of coumadin given by a caretaker whose English was a distant second language. Again, a misunderstood communication.

        Reply to this comment
      • red April 19, 02:43

        AZ Dave: How are things going? Germany says smokes are far less likely to get corona. So far, the c. dashboard shows a very sharp reduction of cases in Arizona. Heat and low humidity kill vital infections, our sun burns them away. If I lived close to Tucson, I might worry, it’s a sanctuary city. niio

        Reply to this comment
  10. Mom x 8 April 7, 00:15

    Really love reading all you post….until now. “Our president spat out 18 months….what does that mean…?”
    Regardless of how you feel about our president, derogatory phrases at this time or anytime is in bad taste. We, as a nation, have enough on our plates without adding more to the flames.

    Reply to this comment
    • Blue Butterfly April 7, 20:13

      “spat out” really bothered me and seemed to convey more than “the President gave a quick reply” or ” the President answered briefly” etc. I have almost never made a comment on-line but I thought that was totally inappropriate. This is one of my favorite sites and I was disappointed.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Govtgirl April 7, 05:38

    James-Great article. Very big picture. Everyone lists beans, but some of us haven’t a clue how to cook them. I made baked beans 1x 20 years ago and that was with bacon, etc. available. Need to rectify that now.

    Reply to this comment
    • red April 7, 11:09

      Gov: they’re a daily here. We soak them like for sprouts, but book them as soon as the tip shows. Changing water on 3 lbs of dry beans is not a lot of fun, but the water is loaded with good things for plants. Another thing, bean flour. Beans like pintos were originally bred for flour, which is mixed with other flours. the blender makes short work of grinding 🙂

      Reply to this comment
      • Govtgirl April 7, 19:33

        Thanks! A goal of learning to cook beans probably sounds like learning to boil water, but it’s a good one.

        Reply to this comment
        • Arwen in NJ April 8, 02:09

          Haven’t tried it yet, but have read if you have an electric pressure cooker (like the Instant Pot or Power Pressure) there is no need to soak the beans before cooking. Have been meaning to try it, as dry beans are so much cheaper than canned, but as I am usually pretty spontaneous about wanting to throw together a pot of chili dry beans never fit my schedule… 😉

          Reply to this comment
          • red April 8, 13:12

            Arwen: Les gas with pre-soaked/sprouted. We soak about 3 lbs at a time. It takes several days, changing water at least once a day. Water his high in nutrients for plants, so it goes in the garden–but not on legumes in case of plant diseases. Beans are cooked till tender, then bagged, half-gallon, and frozen. They go under anything being roasted for lazy man’s refried beans. We do not put beans in chili, but serve them on the side.that’s traditional chili con carne, Peppers with meat. But, any way you make it, chili is good. I just had breakfast and now you got me hungry again 🙂 niio

            Reply to this comment
    • ST April 11, 00:53

      There’s a billion recipes. I try to eat beans once a week, so we’re not only used to eating them, but we stay in practice for cooking.

      Reply to this comment
      • Govtgirl April 11, 06:28

        That once a week thing is a great idea!

        Reply to this comment
      • red April 11, 21:50

        ST: Daily, sometimes 3 meals a day. It’s Indian Country 🙂 Lazy man’s refried beans (lazy because the women sneer at me how I make them 🙂 is cooked beans under a roast with spices and plenty of fruit–chili peppers. for sugar-free but sweet baked beans, two lbs pintos cooked, in the bottom of a roaster. two quarts cooking salsa (strong onion smell) on that. Meat over that. Beef is best. Cover with chilis of sweet peppers, skin side up. cover, slow roast. When nearly done, uncover and let the peppers blacken. You now have American Indian baked beans. It’s not something we eat a lot of because of carbs. but, it’s popular. niio

        Reply to this comment
  12. Govtgirl April 7, 05:51

    Very interesting. Perhaps you should bring that to the attention of your local county extension agent or biology dept of local college. My brother-in-law called today. He is the head of a hospital E/R in Florida. He just heard that coronavirus is very hard on people with weak hearts. They have had an influx of heart-related emergencies and never considered there might be a Covid-19 connection. After all, all they see there are heart attacks, falls and three-wheeler accidents. There is so much we don’t know. I believe that every plant God put on this earth has a purpose. It was astute of you to think of this.

    Reply to this comment
    • red April 8, 13:19

      Gov: Interesting article. Mt. Sinai Hospital complex, NYC, is injecting corona patients with blood serum from recovered patients, and it’s working. As they say in aggie now, what was old is new. this treatment was not used for so long, few remembered it. So far, 100% recovery rate. BTW: Yes, How To boil Water is vital in beans. Slow simmer, stir on occasion, take from heat when tender. It’s what happens later to the beans that makes them eatable 🙂 niio

      Reply to this comment
      • Govtgirl April 8, 21:15

        Thanks, red, for the info. I have a gas stove and tend to cook too high on it. So, due to your guidance, won’t boil them to death.
        My husband and I are Sherlock Holmes fans and you learn a lot about Victorian England. So, I am aware of the whole milkmaids and smallpox thing. The sad thing is how slow we are to look at these older ways.
        This is why we need books like the Lost Ways series. It is also why the government ( and I don’t usually call on the Feds to solve problems), but the government, maybe the NIH, should be spearheading a drive to gather some of the ancient wisdom. Languages disappear and the information that their vocabulary explains disappears with them.

        Reply to this comment
        • red April 9, 12:38

          Gov: the books are out there, reprints from century old farm machinery manuals to how-to for new brides. You can also find old books online in digital format, some back to 1700. Thrift Books has a lot of paperback reprints cheap. Millennials are to be thanked for that. Even how to train and use draft animals (draft horse primer). niio

          Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck April 13, 01:01

          And the meaning of words can change. Take the words “social intercourse.” One hundred years ago that generally meant having a dialog with someone. What we do on this website is social intercourse. Say what?

          The meaning has changed just a bit in the intervening 100 years. So updating some of the old texts while there are still those of us who remember the old meanings would be more than helpful.

          If I told Govtgal’s husband that she and I were sharing social intercourse now, if he didn’t shoot me, he would most assuredly punch me out. There are more, but that is one that has stuck in my mind since reading about it and others.

          Reply to this comment
  13. Arizona Dave April 7, 07:29

    I like reading the comments a lot. I’m in Arizona, east valley. I haven’t really had to dip into my long term food yet. The only thing I opened was a #10 can of Honeyville’s bacon TVP so far. I was surprised by the taste, and nice smoky bacon type smell. However, it does tend to work like most beans, since it’s primarily made of soy. What I mean by “work like beans”, is it’s exit strategy on the body. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good protein substitute. I bought it 6 or 7 years ago, and it is as fresh as if it were made yesterday. I plan on trying other products during this time as well, and taking notes. I’m somewhat optimistic that the over all situation during this crisis is like a “trial run”. However, I’m also pretending like I have no long term food, and shopping as normal as I can to pre-virus. There are things I’ve learned during this shutdown, and where our strengths and weaknesses lie. Surprises? Yes. Strengths? Some. The good news is we haven’t had to go to alternatives of toilet paper. I just found like 6-8 rolls (wrapped) in a camping tote in the garage. What I would love is to see people share what they didn’t expect to see, and what preps they now consider useless, etc…. We can honestly learn from each other!

    Reply to this comment
  14. CAGal April 7, 16:00

    Hi Folks,
    I currently live in CA but am seriously considering selling and moving back to Texas after living here for 30 years. I love CA and esp. the weather but close friends and family are in Texas. Being widowed now for a year, I now realize how alone I am here. Sooo, I think this will sadly be the best choice for me. I am prepping the house for sale as soon as things are where I can list it and sell it for a decent price. Then I plan to hopefully pay cash for a modest home and a few acres in the Texas Hill Country.

    Having said all that, I recently started prepping back in January. When I realized I was entirely on my own and I could only depend on me. I think I now have enough food for me and the zoo for about 4 months. But…the beauty of being in CA is that I also have two lemon trees, one orange tree and a never ending supply of kale. I get most of these year round here and can supplement my stored food with these. I planted the lacinato kale about 5 years ago and it has miraculously been growing non stop. It’s a cut and grow harvest, where I cut a few leaves or a big handful for a meal and it keeps growing. It’s great added to bean soups or stir fried with some onion. I highly recommend growing it if you don’t already. Plus herbs will also greatly supplement the flavoring of our stored foods. Parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, chives and basil are ideal. I don’t kill my dandelions…I harvest mine and add to salads, stir fries, smoothies and sauerkraut. Same with my patch of violet leaves.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say, great article and I LOVE reading everyone’s comments…I often find lots more info in the comments than in the articles. Thanks for all the input!!!
    Stay healthy friends!

    Reply to this comment
  15. Govtgirl April 7, 21:48

    Smart of you to prep your house for sale now. Hopefully it will sell quickly and well. Will you become TXGal?

    Reply to this comment
  16. Arwen in NJ April 8, 02:11

    Haven’t tried it yet, but have read if you have an electric pressure cooker (like the Instant Pot or Power Pressure) there is no need to soak the beans before cooking. Have been meaning to try it, as dry beans are so much cheaper than canned, but as I am usually pretty spontaneous about wanting to throw together a pot of chili dry beans never fit my schedule… 😉

    Reply to this comment
  17. Arwen in NJ April 8, 02:16

    Was wondering if anyone has a software program for home storage inventory that they would recommend?

    There used to be a couple of good programs that would allow you to keep track of expiration dates, storage location, etc.- you could even scan bar codes to enter items into your inventory, which was easy to do when putting up things that were just purchased. Sadly the programs don’t seem to have been updated for newer operating systems and I can’t find anything comparable that is current. 😕

    Reply to this comment
    • Govtgirl April 8, 05:25

      There’s an app in the App Store for the IPad called Home Food Storage which is highly rated and has bar code scanning. It is dated March 2019 so fairly current.

      Reply to this comment
    • Rucksack Rob April 8, 13:47

      Go to the LDS website, I believe they have a printable inventory list for food storage. And while there download the FREE ‘LDS Preparedness Manual’. (I’m Catholic,NOT LDS) It has a ton of food storage information and is well worth printing when you can (225 pages approx). There is very little religion in the texts, just a few proverbs associated with preparedness. It’s worth your time and every penny you spend on ink and paper.

      Reply to this comment
  18. Someone April 10, 13:43

    I find it funny when I see comments – that express a real paranoia – about stocking toilet paper. Many years ago I stopped spending good money on this item. After external hemorrhoid surgery, I followed the medical recommendation to avoid using toilet paper, and explained how to avoid the penetration of tiny wood splinters (!) – after all, it is made of that-. and I started to do my hygiene with the old and good. . . water and soap. My BOB has, as an eventual substitute, a small and reusable towel.

    Reply to this comment
  19. Someone April 10, 13:51

    Many, for sure, will consider my comment to be outside the subject of the article, but how to deal with the result of eating 1,488,000 calories?

    Reply to this comment
  20. Ched April 11, 15:57

    Most of us is at home now I recommend record back and or eating try to eat a late breakfast that way you do not eat lunch until after 3 you could skip dinner just have a salad and some fruits.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Ched April 11, 16:00

    Will most of us are working from home and at home .We feel more comfortable wearing sweats and slacks at least once or every 2 days trionaid tight jeans just to make sure you’re not gaining weight . By being in PJS on sweatpants all the time videos not realize we’re gaining weight!

    Reply to this comment
  22. Ched April 12, 17:07

    I have a question how long could we freeze food for?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 13, 01:12

      Food frozen doesn’t “get bad” as long as it says frozen. What happens is that it loses its taste. Meat become dried out and ice burned (not really burned, but that is the term used for it.) It gets tougher because it is dried out. Probably be all right for use in stew. Food slowly loses its food value over prolonged periods of time. When you start to get into prepackaged food, there might be some change due to all the chemicals that generally go into prepackaged food. I am not enough of an expert to comment on that.

      Natural foods, fresh green beans and other natural food, frozen as long as they don’t thaw, will still be edible 10 years from now. The caveat is that maintaining food frozen for ten years is tricky. If the electricity goes out, then even if the food thaws just a little bit, dangerous conditions can develop.

      If you have a frost free freezer, one of the ways it remains frost free is to de-ice every so often. I haven’t tracked such defrosting, but I notice with ice cream, sometimes it is softer than at other times. I think this is due to the frost free mechanism coming on. I also think, but have no testing to back up such opinion, that the life span of frozen food is shortened in a frost-free device. That’s why my freezer is the old fashioned kind. When I want to defrost it, I have to take the food out, put it in an ice chest with dry ice and manually defrost the freezer.

      I can’t cite any scientific proof for my theory, but that’s the way I try to control for possible frost-free degradation.

      I hope someone else has a better evidence-based answer than this one.

      Reply to this comment
      • red April 14, 04:45

        chuck: do you like to eat lederhosen, leather britches? that’s probably the only reason we raise green beans 🙂

        Reply to this comment
  23. Cassielue April 12, 17:36

    I am new with this web site and new with prepping in the way that it is talked about here. I will soon be 50 years old and have spent alot of my life in the country. Where we live in rural Tennessee, when power goes out in a large area, depending on the circumstances, it could be as long as 2 weeks before it is back on. Because of this I have learned to heat, and cook with a wood stove or cook on an open fire. I was taught how to can, grow my own food, butcher my own animals, hunt my own wild game, and find and filter water if needed. I live in an area where everyone talks about another big earthquake like the one in 1819 that created Reelfoot lake. Am I ready?? Probably not. But even stock piling food and water will not help if an earthquake takes everything out.If there are things I can do that may make it through that (because bugging out’ll be too late for that) please teach me.

    Reply to this comment
    • red April 13, 15:36

      Be welcome. A lot of folks discuss that earthquake, and some have nightmares it’ll happen again. Again, welcome. May it be a second home to you as it is with many of us.

      Reply to this comment
  24. Govtgirl April 12, 18:31

    Cassielue, Welcome! You have come to the right place as there are many very knowledgeable people who post on here and then there are those of us who profit from all their experience. Your skills are impressive so you are way ahead of the game.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Sabel April 16, 06:05

    P.I.T. – Sumac is also a spice used in Middle Eastern or Persian cooking. I don’t know if it comes from the same plant because I have not taken the time to look for the information.

    CAGal – I understand that Hill Country is beautiful and seems to be fairly green so I assume it gets its fair share of rain. However, the panhandle area (SE corner) has land at reasonable prices, fairly low population density and not unpleasant weather. We had temps in the 70’s last week and snow on Monday night! And lots of our neighbors have the same mindset we do, as far as politics, the 2A, gov’t intrusion. Our nearest neighbors are at least 2 miles away, the nearest gas station is 25 miles away. Social distancing? That’s what we do every day. Anyway, just food for thought.

    Ched – The length of time frozen food lasts can also depend on the way it is packaged prior to freezing. I have noticed over the years that meat will get freezer-burned edges if it isn’t wrapped up as airtight-ly as possible. I used to wrap up pork chops individually in freezer paper before putting them in a plastic bag and then freezing them. Now, I use the Press & Seal plastic wrap to wrap everything individually before putting things in plastic bags and freezing them. And a few years ago, we bought a vacuum sealer so now I will sometimes wrap things in the plastic wrap, then put them into a resealable vacuum bag, vacuum it, then put it into the freezer. That way, I can remove two pork chops, then close and re-vacuum seal the bag to go back into the freezer.
    I have found that many veggies, even store-bought bags of frozen veggies, get stale if left in the freezer too long. How long is too long? I don’t know. But if you haven’t looked at it in the last 3 years, you probably weren’t all that interested in eating it, anyway. I have also noticed that ice cubes get stale. We don’t use ice very often, so I bought some of the silicone ice cube trays and after I freeze a tray, I remove the cubes and put them into a plastic food storage container with a lid. They seem to last longer that way.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Arizona Dave April 18, 21:32

    I just found on Amazon diced beef from Nutristore…a 6 pack of #10 cans, back in stock, and ordered some. I keep a long term list on Amazon.
    I’m personally working on re-doing my personal long term supply for health reasons. One of those being diabetes. I though this might be helpful for those who may be undergoing something similar.

    When I first started buying long term supplies about 7 years ago, I was only doing a calorie count for my family and I, but since then, I’ve noticed what we eat on a daily /weekly/monthly basis is different than what we have in long term supplies. With that in mind, I’m keeping a list of what we regularly purchase, and building a suitable supply for what is to come. After all, what good is it to have items you’d probably never eat? With that in mind, I’m going through a 3 phase process:
    1) A list of what we regularly eat.
    2) Matching that with a long term supply
    3) donating to the local food banks (to save room and make room for the new supply)

    This might take me a while, but I’m going to take notes during this process, and maybe it’ll help others that are prepping.

    I made my biggest mistake on pre-packaged kits. They can be loaded with too many carbs for a diabetic, someone who’s gluten free, another condition, or have foods you’d never use. There can be different needs for each individual within a family unit. Some even store food for feeding others they know, such as churches, communities, etc…

    Following other articles on this site such as “how much food you’ll need for the next 6 months”, and others, have helped me rethink this process.

    I want to thank everyone of you for your input.

    Reply to this comment
    • Govtgirl April 18, 22:20

      Arizona Dave,
      Your comment was very interesting. I admire your willingness to do this review which had to be a big job. Perhaps there was an article on supply management, but if so, I missed it. I’m not necessarily talking about spreadsheets for the really well-stocked, but maybe talking about monitoring what you have, what to do to make sure everything is still viable, but how to recognize holes in your stores or, like for you, recognize the need to tweak what you have. Thanks for your article?

      Reply to this comment
  27. Govtgirl April 18, 22:22

    Thanks for your article!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Arizona Dave April 21, 03:27

      I didn’t write this article, left coast Chuck did. I am working on a potential article, and if someone beats me to it, that’s all right by me. I’m first researching all data listed above, someone with more than one concern, and see how it all fits. I would like to say, thank you for your input in many articles. I just wanted to clear up any misunderstandings for potential readers. I appreciate this particular website’s slant of gathering information on how things used to be, during an age where many younger would throw off this knowledge as non-essential.

      Reply to this comment
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