Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Random Prepperish Notes...

With some occasional free time to do this and that, I note the following:

One serving of Minute Rice (or any other dry rice) is 1/2 cup.

One large (28 oz.) box of which is 14 servings, i.e. two weeks' worth.

It doubles in volume when cooked in water to one full cup.

It is the exact quantity (dry) to fill one 3"x4" ziplock craft bag.

Which is, coincidentally, the perfect size to fit into an old-school ALICE compass/first aid pouch.

Stored thusly dry, dark, and at decent temperature, its shelf-life is functionally "What's your life expectancy?"

It becomes food after a few minutes' immersion in hot water (boiling, for the non Minute Rice varieties).

Mixed with a cat food-sized can of smoked ham chunks, chicken, or even tuna, and it becomes a full meal.
With a packet of teriyaki sauce added, quite a tasty one.
A week's dinners like that (and more) will easily fit in an ammo can, butt pack, etc.
A standard military footlocker(12"x18"x30"), the size of your average living room coffee table, would hold over 5 months' supply of both the rice, and the meats, plus the sauce, at a cost to you of about $520 (footlocker not included), and supply 1/3 of the food needs of one person for that long.
Extrapolated outwards, one year's food per person would cost about $70/wk, and the meat alone would keep for 2 (ham) to 5 (tuna) years, or more, untouched. (For comparison, about the same as 5 cases of Bud, and less than two cartons of cigarettes in Blue states sell for). It's a fraction of most peoples' monthly car payment.
Most of a full year's food per person, six-seven footlockers full, would fit under most people's bed. (And provide even more peaceful sleep than the mattress, in so many ways.) Even if you live in a trailer, or a cracker-box apartment.
Somebody was telling me the other day how hard it was to put stuff aside for an emergency.
Tell me again why you can't afford to prepare for tough times. Like a hurricane, an earthquake, getting laid off, or a major illness/injury.
For $10/day. At full retail price.


RSR said...

Mafz iz hard... Not following your $ assumptions:

"A standard military footlocker(12"x18"x30"), the size of your average living room coffee table, would hold over 5 months' supply of both the rice, and the meats, plus the sauce, at a cost to you of about $520 (footlocker not included), and supply 1/3 of the food needs of one person for that long.
Extrapolated outwards, one year's food per person would cost about $70/wk.


For $10/day. At full retail price."

So is it $520 x ~3 to get to $70 per week? B/c $520/5=$104 per month or ~$24 per week (@ 21 2/3rd weeks for 5 months)...

Also, worth noting that due to MTHFR defects, etc, folic acid/enriched grains can be toxic to >40% of the population... AFAIK, no minute rice is available non-enriched, w/o folic acid. Might not be an issue if starvation is alternative, but worth noting.

Anonymous said...

I was pretty much brought up with long term food security and preparedness as a way of life being the child of depression era parents and from being descended from a long line of pioneer and rural types. It was just the way our families operated. One thing I do struggle with my wife about, who is otherwise very much on-board with "prepping", is that she has trouble accepting the fact that canned foods are perfectly fine to eat long, long past their expiration date. As long as the can isn't bulging or compromised it's fine. I opened a can of chicken noodle soup, ate it like normal and then turned the empty can over and showed her the date. It was 20 years old. I'd found it rolling around in a backpack in a closet. Tasted fine, texture of the noodles were fine. I'm sure there was some minor degradation in nutrition but it's Campbell's condensed soup ffs. It's about as nutritious as it was ever gonna be even after two decades.

Anonymous said...

When I used to eat more ramen (the inexpensive Top / Nissan variety), I would cut down the potion of the spice envelope to half the amount to reduce the sodium content. So over time, you can build an assorted inexpensive foil enveloped spice variety that is great for long term use for this dish. Spicy - beef - chicken - pork - shrimp - teriyaki - a great variety of flavors to prevent food boredom.

Tucking the envelope inside the baggie would make it easy to keep together. Might even want to include a plastic spoon in each package to be sure you have a utensil to cook and eat it as well.

Aesop said...

After physically measuring both food cans and rice boxes (which the latter have a good bit of air inside), I learned I could fit 15 boxes of rice and 160 or so cans in a footlocker. With room in between and at the ends for all the teriyaki packets to match. But the rice would outlast the meat (by two months), so I rounded both down to 150 portions@, or 5 30-day months. (Not that anyone would want to lift the 90# box at that point.)

Then priced both on the internet. On avg, tuna goes for $2/can, chicken for $3, and ham for $4. So the average for an assortment would be $3/can, plus the rice. Which ain't much more ($4-5/box, IIRC).

But that's only one meal/day. Break down the daily cost, then factor x3 meals (breakfast and lunch can be had for less, on average, than dinner), x $365 days = $70/wk.

Or, $10/day. Per person.

And that's without noting that the same $4 can of smoked ham or $2 tuna can at the supermarket or WallyWorld tastes just as good when you buy it for <$1/can at the 99 Cent Store.

Point of fact, I lived (mostly) on one $20/wk sawbuck trip to the 99 Cent Store, for about three months, during a bout of unemployment, plus to see how it'd work out, and use up some old stored food.

I was missing a few things I hadn't thought of, and missed a couple of things I'd have liked but didn't want to splurge on, but I didn't starve by any means. Didn't even lose weight. (Darn.)

But vs. starvation, for <$70/wk/person, you can live like a king, and for a modest investment eat the same foods you normally do, with a cushion of a year or more, and simply rotating stock. I am most of the way to a substantial amount of food sitting around now, blow more on gas for the truck, books, and the occasional DVD than I do on the extra food each week, and it literally fits in a space smaller than the area under the bed.

Come the day, a 20' conex would hold 40 years' worth of stores for one person, or 10 years for a family of four, and a 40' would be closer to a lifetime supply, of everything, with room to spare for everything else, before I even start stockpiling more 5-gal. buckets of wheat, oats, rice, beans, sugar, salt, etc. which cost far less in bulk.

It all started when somebody at work mentioned how they couldn't manage to keep much extra food on hand (which is BS), and me concurrently wanting to pre-measure my occasional rice into packets so I can just grab one to make a dinner without needing utensils and measuring cups. Being able to live out of one old-school ALICE buttpack for a week or so is a handy thing, and putting a couple of meals into an empty canteen pouch for weekend or daytrips means you'll never read about me starving to death after getting lost in the woods and losing my mind.


Sherm said...

I let my wife worry about this stuff. I turned by back and the next thing I find is that we have enough food put by for four people for a year. There's even a #10 can full of hard candy somewhere because "treats are important."

The little one pound Danish canned hams have a very long shelf life. Spam didn't even have a shelf life listed until someone in government told Hormel they had to put something!

Phil said...

The packets of Idaho brand flavored dehydrated potatoes are about the same size as your rice bag, are really tasty, can be eaten right out of the bag by just mixing in some hot water, are cheap and will go a long ways towards avoiding appetite fatigue.

Appetite fatigue is a very real thing BTW.

Aesop said...

Thanks for the tip. I have some boxes of dehydrated potatoes here somewhere, just hadn't gotten around to playing with them yet.

Anonymous said...

For whatever it's worth, family members have said, "if anything happens, I'm coming to your place" (we are very well equipped and set up to last for more that one year without ever leaving our small valley if 'something' ever happens). I tell them, fine, but bring a million calories (about what it will take to get through a year). I get the stink eye in return. Not feeding the stupid and lazy here - it takes about an IQ of a mouse to figure out how to purchase (over time) good long lasting food for 'that day' .....
If 'that day' comes, I think we (or at least me) are going to be burning calories like crap going through a goose .....

Anonymous said...

I'm currently playing cat and mouse with the colony of rats that decided they'd like to eat my stored food.

They have eaten 8oz packets of pouch meat. They ate a 6 # bag of pancake mix. They ate a bunch of quick pasta meals in foil pouches. They've eaten pasta. They've spoiled dozens of sauce packets. The meat creeps me out the worst....

I've gotten 7 of the little bastards so far, all but one with gel traps. Snap traps are useless. For 7 years I didn't have a problem but this summer they found me.


(even then the $ cost isn't huge, but if I didn't see the damage (and they ate from the bottom of the bags upward, many looked fine but were empty) I might be dependent on empty bags.)