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What You Need To Know About Food


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How long can you go without eating? What do expiration dates mean? What happens when you begin to starve? How much and what type of food should you have stores? This and more.

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What You Need To Know About Food

  1. 1. Food for Survival We can perhaps survive 45 to 61 days without food. But it isn’t good to try.
  2. 2. A person can go several weeks without food. That, however, is stretching it. I’ve gone eight days without any food; interestingly I stopped feeling hungry after a few days. However, the ability to function begins to degrade. When our output exceeds our caloric intake these are the symptoms: -physical weakness -confusion, poor judgment, and disorientation -weakened immune system -inability to maintain body temperature which can lead to hypothermia, heat exhaustion/stroke The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  3. 3. The Coast Guard has determined that with fresh water people can survive in a life raft 8 to 18 days without any food. The Coast Guard also believes you need a bare minimum of 800 calories a day for survival; but that’s sitting in a life raft, not being very active and just focused on pure survival. Note that number when I discuss emergency ration bars further on. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  4. 4. The human body can sustain a surprising amount of weight loss. When the body loses 20% of its weight, it consumes 50% less energy. Your body temperature drops and we become lethargic and apathetic, neither of which are desirable in a survival situation. Eventually, the organs begin to waste, except for the brain. Liver and kidney malfunctioning begins to occur. Diseases like scurvy and pellagra emerge. Scury is a lack of Vitamin C and leads to anemia, spontaneous bleeding, pain in the limbs and swelling. Pellagra is a lack of Niacin, B3, which leads to inflamed skin, diarrhea, dementia and sores in the mouth. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  5. 5. Women can sustain weight loss better than men. Each person will respond differently based on their physical condition and weight. Most people will die if their body mass index falls below half of normal. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  6. 6. Bottom line: have a minimum 3 day supply of non-perishable food for each member of your household. The same in your Grab-n-Go bag. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  7. 7. Non-perishables for three days minimum. Food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Don’t have food that will make you thirsty. Plan for infants and special dietary requirements. Note expiration dates. Click on image for a good supply from the company that made our Long Range Patrol meals in Special Forces. It’s what we have on hand and in our grab-n-go bags. Also good for camping. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  8. 8. I recommend investing in some emergency ration bars. They are a bit expensive, but you won’t mind the outlay when you need them. The ones I list all are 3600 calories, which in a survival situation equals 800 calories a day for three days. They contain a mixture of salt, carbohydrates, fat, protein and are usually enriched with daily requirements of minerals and vitamins. Some reasons to have these: 1. They have a five year shelf life, so you can store them. 2. They’re compact (but heavy) 3. They’re ready to eat (no cooking) 4. They can withstand wide temperature swings, which helps with storage. 5. They don’t make you thirsty. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  9. 9. I have ration bars in my vehicles, my Grab-n-Go bag, and in my ERP. I recommend storing some at work. Even just one packet in each place makes a big difference; and it’s less than two cups of extra-whatever-latte-frappe you order at Starbucks. Some things to consider: -Put them inside a large ziplock bag, because once you open the packet, the bars aren’t individually sealed. -They are emergency rations, not to be used if other rations are available. -They are designed for survival not activity. -They’re heavy so many don’t put them in Grab- n-Go bags, but I think the weight is worth it. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  10. 10. I have a variety of ration bars (click on each for link): ER Bar Grizzly Bear Emergency Food Rations DaTrex 3600 Below are some before going into a ziplock bag and into my Jeep. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  11. 11. Something to consider if you have time to prepare is trail mix, or what we called GORP in Special Forces. We were among the first to start putting M&M into regular mix. There are a number of varieties, but it's quick energy. However, the shelf life is limited. There are many variations. Having high protein bars is a quick source of energy and doesn’t require cooking. Click on images. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  12. 12. A small, portable stove. I use the MSR Dragonfly for camping and my grab-n-go bag. Make sure you have plenty of fuel. Click on image. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  13. 13. Pots to cook in with utensils. A simple set up that I use is below. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  14. 14. Food Expiration Dates There are several terms stamped on food. This is what they mean: SELL BY: How long a store should display the product for sale. This is a guide for the store. It is optimum quality date, but food is still edible for a while after. BEST IF USED BY OR BEFORE DATE: This is only about quality, not safety. GUARANTEED FRESH DATE: This usually refers to bakery items. They will still be edible after that date. USE BY DATE: This is the last recommended day to use the product at peak quality. It is still edible after this. PACK DATE: This is on canned and packaged goods. This actually might not be clear as sometimes its in code. It can be done by month-day-year as MMDDYY. Or it could be Julian calendar for the year, which means January is 001-0031. December would be 334-365.
  15. 15. Foods not to eat past their expiration date? Eggs. Deli meat. Mixed greens. Alfalfa sprouts. Oysters. Shrimp. Raw ground beef. Berries. Soft cheese. Chicken. So how long is food usually good for? Milk: a week after Sell By. Eggs: Three to five weeks after you buy them. Double-grade A will go down a grade in a week, but are still edible. Poultry and seafood: Cook or freeze within a day. Beef and pork: Cook or freeze within three to four days. Canned good: High acid foods such as tomato sauce can last to 18 months. Low acid such as canned green beans can last for five years. However, do not store these in a hot space. A dry, cool place, is best. Food Expiration Dates
  16. 16. Getting Food Scavenging Phase The primary way to get food in a moderate to extreme emergency is to scavenge. Remember, though, that others will be doing the same. Think through the food distribution network. Don’t go for the obvious targets like stores. Move up the chain. Distribution centers. Abandoned trucks. Crops still in the field. The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  17. 17. Gathering Food Unless you are an experienced hunter, consider trapping. It’s quieter and more effective. You can set multiple traps that are passive, while hunting requires activity. One of the most important things to have in your Grab-n-Go bag are snares. I keep snares in all my G-n-G bags, in my cars and in my house and ERP.
  18. 18. How To Use A Snare Anchor your snare. Use wire, such as from a coat hangar, slide it through the loop, and tie it around the base of a tree or post. Make sure the wire can’t be pulled apart or unwound by the animal as it fights the trap. Find a stick as the stand for the snare. Prop it up between the anchor point and the loop for snare. Have the slide lock of the loop about a half inch in front of the support. Essentially you’re hanging a noose down over the trail. Once you’re in place, push the stick down into the ground fixing it in place. The loop must be at the proper height for your target—where it’s head would go into the loop. This is from 3 inches to 10 inches off the ground. Set multiple snares to increase your odds. This is another way trapping is more effective than hunting. Check your traps every day. The animal will be dead because the sliding lock closes around their necks and either cuts off circulation or breaks their neck during their initial struggle to get free. Remember all that? Invest in a survival manual. Links at the end.
  19. 19. But let’s hope it doesn’t get to that. Get and keep a three day supply of food in your home. More if you can. This will make you more prepared than 60% of American households! The Procastinator’s Survival Guide
  20. 20. Print Book Free slideshows on survival, click on image
  21. 21. Information is the most important tool you can arm yourself with. I wrote these books specifically for those who’ve been uncertain about how to proceed. The one on the left is preparation and survival information.The one on the right is pocket-sized and focuses on survival information.
  22. 22. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret, and feeder of Cool Gus. He’s had over 75 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s sold over 5 million books. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world. He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains and other places, including time in the Orient studying martial arts. He now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs.