Posts Tagged ‘food commodities’

Albert Edwards On The Surging Costs Of Food And Energy Eating Up American Wages

Albert Edwards On The Surging Costs Of Food And Energy Eating Up American Wages.

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Food Prices: A Problem Without A Solution – 24/7 Wall St.

Food Prices: A Problem Without A Solution – 24/7 Wall St..

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No Inflation? That’s Not What Food Prices Are Saying – CNBC

No Inflation? That’s Not What Food Prices Are Saying – CNBC.

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FEMA orders $1 Billion in dehydrated foods

FEMA buying up dehydrated foods.

From Off the Grid News Letter

“It really is a small world … especially in the preparedness and survival industries. With a community that prides itself on staying informed, you can’t really keep things secret for long. So it’s no surprise that we were among the first to get wind of some very unsettling news. In fact, it was so disturbing that we felt it was only right to share with you what we’ve learned.

One of the nation’s largest suppliers of dehydrated food has cut loose 99% of their dealers and distributors. And it’s not because of the poor economy. It’s because this particular industry leader can no longer supply their regular distribution channels. Why not? Because they’re using every bit of manufacturing capacity they have to fulfill massive new government contracts. Look, the government has always been a customer of the industry to some extent. But according to our sources, this latest development doesn’t represent simply a change of vendor on the government’s part. It’s a whole new magnitude of business.

And that’s not all.

Apparently, even though they’ve cut off their regular consumer markets, the industry leader I’ve just mentioned still can’t produce enough survival food to meet the government’s vast requirements. How do we know? Earlier this month, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) put out a Request for Proposal, or RFP, for even more dehydrated food. The RFP called for a 10-day supply of meals – for 14 million people. That’s 420 million meals. Typically, FEMA maintains a stockpile of about 6 million meals. Why the sudden need to increase the stockpile by 420 million more? (And that’s in addition to whatever our aforementioned industry leader is supplying.) It almost seems like they’re trying to stock a modern day “Noah’s Ark,” doesn’t it?

By the way, just days after the RFP went online, it suddenly went “poof” … vanished. Could it be that some high level official suddenly realized he was letting the cat out of the bag? That people aren’t stupid, and would recognize the implications of 420 million emergency meals? Has the government removed the RFP from the public process and approached potential suppliers privately instead? We may never know.

But here’s what we do know. This kind of spending by a minor government agency in this economy just doesn’t make sense … unless there are extraordinary circumstances behind it, circumstances we aren’t privy to. Because Congress has failed to pass a budget, the government is now operating under what’s called a continuing resolution. The practical effect of this continuing resolution is that the government stays in business, but all extras are curtailed. Agencies spend far less on travel and training expenses, for instance. And they certainly don’t start stockpiling supplies.

In this economic climate, you would expect FEMA also to be minimizing expenses. But clearly, they’re not. If you do the math, the approximate tab for 420 million meals comes to about a billion dollars.

What is so urgent that FEMA is spending a billion dollars on survival food?

Could officials be worried about extensive power grid damage from solar flares? (A big one hit last week and took out communications in China.) Are they worried about riots and demonstrations causing gridlock in communities? (The demonstrations in Wisconsin and Ohio have been peaceful so far … but look what happened in Egypt.) Are they worried about terrorist attacks? (Some reports say that there’s been more “chatter” lately on terrorist communication networks.)

But here’s the most important question. No matter what it is – are you ready for it?

Are the cans of soup and the extra jar of peanut butter in your pantry going to be enough? How long will it last you? Because let’s face it, in a true emergency, forget about finding what you need at the store. You know what it’s like when there’s even a moderate snowstorm in the forecast – no bottled water, no toilet paper, no bread to be found anywhere. The shelves are stripped bare in hours. Most people simply don’t realize how fragile the food distribution system is in this country. In order to squeeze out every penny of profits, most stores now use just-in-time inventory systems, which leave no margin for error. Any kind of natural or manmade catastrophe would cut supply lines to the stores and leave millions of people with no way of getting food. And it could be anything. Power outages. Riots. A terrorist attack. Flooding. Blizzards. Hurricanes.

If you’ve never gotten around to buying an emergency food supply, now is the time.”

A TON OF GREAT INFORMATION

A TON OF GREAT INFORMATION AT THIS SITE, so much I haven’t even gotten 10% into it yet.

http://www.energyconservationinfo.org/printflyers.htm

BETTER TIMES PRINTABLE FLYERS FOR FREE DISTRIBUTION
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5 USEFUL EMERGENCY FOOD IDEAS: SOURDOUGH, PICKLED EGGS, GLUTEN, BULGAR, ORAL REHYDRATION

5 USEFUL EMERGENCY FOOD IDEAS: SOURDOUGH, PICKLED EGGS, GLUTEN, BULGAR, ORAL REHYDRATION

Easiest sourdough bread: Make bread as usual, add an extra cup of flour (you will have to adjust the amount of liquid and other ingredients accordingly). After the second rising, pinch off about one cup of the dough, and put in a covered non-metal container in a warm place. When you bake the next day, instead of adding yeast, add the dough you saved from yesterday’s baking. This will take a little longer to rise, but it works. (Many cookbooks have other sour dough recipes.)

Without refrigeration, eggs will eventually spoil. Before this happens, pickle them: 1. Use quart mason jars. Boil the jars for 10 minutes and then keep them covered with hot water until they are used. 2. Hard boil the eggs and peel them. Take the mason jars out of the water and put the boiled/peeled eggs in them. You can add hot peppers and fresh garlic for flavor and color, also carrots, spices, herbs (cumin, dill, oregano, whatever you like). Anything added contributes flavor and is itself pickled. 3. Add 2 cups vinegar. Add water to fill to about ½ inch below the rim. Wipe the rims of the jars and put on a new lid and then screw on the ring finger tight. Note: lids should not be reused, but the rings can be used over and over again. 4. Put water in a deep pot (deep enough so the water comes up to the rims of the jars, look around for a boiling water canner). Place the jars in the pot so they do not touch each other (make sure they are up off the bottom of the kettle, some kettles have racks for this purpose, or you could put a towel in the bottom of the pot. Bring the water to a rapid boil, and keep the water boiling rapidly for 20 minutes. (This is called “processing time” and it starts when the water starts to rapidly boil, NOT when you turn on the heat). Use tongs to put the jars in the water and take them out. If you don’t have tongs and can’t improvise any, let the water cool naturally. Do not reduce processing time. 5. After the 20 minutes are up, turn off the heat and remove the jars from the water. Place them on a rack and allow them to cool naturally. Don’t try to hasten the process by putting them in cold water. As the jars cool, , the center of the lids will depress slightly. This is a sign that a proper seal has been made. If the center of the lids doesn’t depress, bring the water back to a boil and process for 20 minutes again. Once the jars are completely cool, store them in a cool dark place. You can remove the rings or leave them on. If you don’t need them, might as well leave them on, that way they won’t get lost and you’ll always know where to find some. Let the jars sit for a couple of weeks before using them. Once opened, use within a few days, or keep refrigerated.

Gluten can be made from whole wheat kernels. Despite the name, gluten is a very useful and nutritious food product that you can make without using fancy equipment.. It can be cooked in a variety of ways. 1. Mix six cups flour with water until it is the consistency of bread dough. If you don’t have flour, grind whole wheat to make flour. Let this dough sit for 20 minutes. 2. In a sink, basin, or bucket, place a bowl, on top of that put a pie plate, and on top of that put a colander (pasta strainer). The bowl should be larger than the pie plate. 3. Take a handful of the dough, and run or pour cold water over it while you kneading it (if you are pouring water from a pitcher, you’ll need an extra set of hands). Keep doing this with handfuls of dough. The water running off will be milky white with starch and have flecks of bran. The bran settles in the pie pan (dry it and save it, it has a lot of uses), and the white water in the bowl should be saved and used to thicken sauces, gravies, or soups. Keep kneading and rinsing until the water runs clear. What’s left after the water rinsing is wheat gluten. Form into small loaves and steam for about 30 minutes or bake in an oven. Slice into strips and marinate for 10-12 hours. Use beef or chicken bouillon, add hot peppers, the “Scarborough Faire” spices (parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme), soy or teriyaki sauce, hot chili sauce, sesame oil, garlic, whatever you have handy and tastes good and familiar. Then bake it or crumble it and fry in hot oil. If you don’t marinate it before baking, you’ll want a good amount of sauce in the recipe. It’s taste is very bland, so it needs a liberal spicing, or a flavorful sauce or gravy. Sprinkle the bran on breakfast cereals (including oatmeal and creme of wheat), and add it to baked products or casseroles. Be creative with your seasonings. The recipes below have some ideas..

Chickless Caciatory: Add poultry seasonings, powdered chicken bouillon, cumin, thyme, rosemary, garlic, savory and salt to the freshly made gluten and bake in a loaf pan at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. In a fry pan, saute onions, bell peppers and mushrooms, celery (whatever you have, if you are using dehydrated, re-hydrate in hot water before sauteing). Slice the gluten in 2 inch diameter pieces, and put in the pan. Slowly cook on both sides until it cooked all the way through. Cover with spaghetti sauce and let simmer for about 20 min. Serve over pasta or rice.Vegetable “liver” and onions: After making the gluten, flavor with soy sauce, garlic, onion powder and salt and bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.. Put some oil in a pan and saute onions (cut in strips) and mushrooms. Remove the mushrooms and onions, slice the gluten in patties and slowly brown on both sides. Add a mushroom gravy (cornstarch variety is best) and simmer for about 45 minutes or until most of the gravy is absorbed by the gluten, turning often to avoid burning. Serve with the cooked onions and mushrooms. Scallops gluten: Season gluten with lemon thyme, pepper, garlic, cumin. Heat a deep fryer (hot enough for french fries). A deep fryer can simply be a heavy pot (such as a pressure cooker or Dutch oven) with oil in it. French fries are a perfect side dish. Form the gluten into balls, and deep fry. Serve with tarter sauce. Meatless Loaf: Make gluten, grind it, mix with chili powder, bouillon, garlic, onion powder, and a handful of oatmeal or cooked bulgar. Form into a loaf and put in a loaf pan. Cover with tomato sauce. Bake at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Chicken Fried Steakless Cutlets: Make a Meatless Loaf, don’t cover with tomato sauce before baking. Let cool, slice, dip in milk and seasoned flour (do this 2 or 3 times, add black and/or red pepper and salt to the flour). Put some oil in a skillet. Fry with medium heat until brown on both sides. Make a white cream sauce flavored with some spices or herbs, or a brown gravy, or mushroom gravy, and serve with mashed potatoes.

Bulgur wheat: In an emergency, authorities may distribute bags of grain. One way to prepare whole wheat grains is to process it as “bulgar wheat”. Bring to a boil one part rinsed whole wheat kernels plus two parts water, then simmer until the berries are tender (about one hour). Spread the berries on a cookie sheet and bake in a 225° F oven, stirring occasionally, until dry (about one hour), or dry in the sun. Grind in a blender, or grain grinder, or crush with a rolling pin, to the consistency of cracked wheat. To make the bulgar wheat pilaf: saute onions and garlic and bulgar wheat in oil. Add 2 parts broth, stock, water with boullon, to one part bulgar wheat, plus dried herbs such as sage, thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley. Cooked or stir-fried vegetables and/or chunks of mat can also be added. Be liberal with the seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until liquid is absorbed. Cream of Bulgar: Grind dehydrated bulgar to the consistency of flour, cook and use like Cream of Wheat.

Oral rehydration solution: In the event of severe diarrhea and dysentery, or loss of fluids due to excessive heat, make and administer an oral rehydration solution (common store names for oral rehydration solutions are Gatorade and Pedialyte). Give the dehydrated person sips of this drink every five minutes, until he or she begins to urinate normally. Keep giving the drink often in small sips, even if the person vomits. Not all of the drink will be vomited. Combine ½ tsp salt and 8 heaping tsp (or 2 handfuls) of powdered cereal and dissolve in 1 liter of boiled and cooled water. Powdered rice is best, but corn meal or wheat flour or cooked and mashed potatoes can also be used. Boil this mixture for 5 to 7 minutes to form a watery porridge. Cool quickly and give to the sick person. When using, make it frequently, especially in warm weather. Without refrigeration, it can spoil in a few hours. Another recipe for an oral rehydration drink is: one-half level teaspoon of salt, 8 level teaspoons of sugar, mixed with one liter of water. A half cup of fruit juice should also be added if available.

AMDG! Text (c) 1999, 2001 by Robert Waldrop, Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City. Permission is given to reproduce this flyer for free distribution. The information is compiled from sources deemed credible, but readers use it at their own risk. http://www.justpeace.org These notes are not meant to provide all the details for these projects, but rather to suggest ideas for coping with a prolonged disruption in the food production and distribution system.

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