03 July 2010

The Frontier Diet: Learning to Live Through the Twilight

America and western civilisation are experiencing the twilight of peak influence and power. Debt and demography -- plus abysmally incompetent leadership -- are leaving western nations in a position where they will be unable to resist the inevitable crises that will hit them with implacable and increasing frequency. That means that you will be responsible for yourself and those you care about. It is critical that you prepare yourself for a variety of unfortunate circumstances.

Survival Blog is a repository of useful information, usually from people who have been through difficult life trials, and lived to tell about them. This entry details the "Frontier Diet," a spartan dietary approach to staying alive on the way to something better.
This I call the Frontier diet – four high-speed, low drag foods that can get where you are going without weighing you down....The four foods are: Coffee (or tea), hardtack, parched corn, and pemmican. All are easy to make at home, with the exception of the coffee and all offer excellent storage lives, ease of preparation, and all may be eaten cold if necessary. Each offers a specific set of advantages and they all can be used together to provide a bit of variety in your meals.

The coffee I am talking about is the commercial, freeze dried product found in small, one-cup packets. I would not consider any other type of packaging – the packets are air-tight, waterproof and frankly, I find the flavor to be superior. I suffered through many years with the “coffee product” found in C rations, Long Range Patrol Rations, and more recently in MREs. All were pretty nasty, at least in my opinion.

The value of coffee in the Frontier diet is in its use as an appetite suppressant. Strong tea (green, black or other non-herbal teas) will also provide the same effect. Tea normally requires hot water to provide a satisfactory product – though cold soaking tea bags for several hours will provide a drinkable product. Freeze dried coffee will quickly mix with water at any temperature.

... Hardtack or hard bread has been part of a soldiers ration since Roman times. Often reviled, always hated, hardtack (or sailor/pilot bread) serves to provide a long lasting, lightweight food that offers needed calories for travel. Commercially baked hardtack or hard bread is a staple in both Alaska and Hawaii. Modern commercial hardtack is seen as “Saloon Pilot” crackers in Hawaii and in Alaska as my favorite “Sailor Boy” pilot bread. Very long lasting when stored properly and eatable by itself cold, hardtack is improved with anything you might have, from peanut butter to apple sauce.

You can make your own hard bread, SurvivalBlog has several recipes already posted or you can use this one. Remember, if you add salt to your home made hardtack, it will reduce the storage life as the salt attracts moisture. Store in a cool, dry location and physically protect the product, lest weevils become part of your travel diet.

...Corn has been a staple of frontier ‘dining’ since before the United States was an independent nation. Made from dried corn, parched corn offers a very long term storage item, a useful addition to your diet and adds both calories and variety to the food you eat. You can make your own or purchase a commercial product. I will have to say parched corn is an acquired taste but offers many options as a food.

I make my parched corn in a cast iron skillet with just a bit of olive oil. Start with dried corn, heat the skillet and add the corn one layer (or kernel) deep. Keep the corn moving in the pan until it plumps and turns brown. If the corn starts to pop, reduce the heat slightly. Dump the parched corn in a bowl to cool. It is ready to eat. Add any spices or salt after the corn is cooked. The corn should be browned, plump and soft when you bite into it. If not try again. Start with small batches until you are happy with the results.

I pack mine in a wide-mouth water bottle (airtight container), and store in the cool location. I also grind some of the parched corn in the wheat grinder with the stones set in an 'open' position to give a course meal.

...The last item in our travel food bag is pemmican, food of trappers, fur traders and Antarctic exploration teams. A mixture of tallow and dried meat. It is a staple that has a long storage life. It may be eaten cold and contains nutrients needed to keep you going in tough times. The famed explorer Amundsen used pemmican made with dried peas, a key reason his party survived with the Scott expedition did not. Made from tallow and dried meat, pemmican is an energy dense food with excellent keeping properties.

Several folks have posted their recipes on the site, so use the keyword search as "Pemmican". If the thought of eating fat leaves you a bit queasy, you can try pemmican made with peanut butter.

This version of pemmican uses peanut butter rather than melted suet or lard as the binding agent, which is likely more palatable with the younger members of your family. Grind [or pound] the dried meat to a mealy powder. Add any dried berries, seeds or nuts if peas are not to your taste. Heat the peanut butter until softened. Blend all ingredients. When cooled, store in a plastic bag or sausage casing in a cool dry place. It will keep for months if stored properly. Some pemmican recipes call for honey, cayenne pepper and other spices. Experiment now, while you can. _SurvivalBlog
That is one person's short list of survival foods, ready for a quick getaway.

By all means, keep a good stockpile of food, water, supplies, power generation apparatus and fuel, etc. at your home. Most crises may allow you to stay home and tread water while society is rearranging itself into a more sustainable form. But just in case you have to run for it, be ready for that too.

Remember that you may not have much time to pack for the wild ride to safety. Have your bags ready to go, and consider keeping extra bags cached at likely locations -- workplace, schools, friends' or relative's houses, etc.

Food, water & water purification, fire starters, essential tools, emergency pharmaceuticals etc. Stick to barest essentials. Make sure your bugout food has a long shelf life.

Society is being progressively weakened by disastrous public policy and incompetent leadership. The particular shock that pushes things over the edge -- and makes it necessary for you to seek a safer environment -- cannot be accurately anticipated.

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Blogger gtg723y said...

My sincerest hope is that when the sun sets and the world falls apart there will be a coup-de-grace and martial law will be declared by a General that has not only sworn to defend the Constitution but has read it and loves it. A true military man will know how to cut his losses do what needs to be done, pick up the pieces and walk away with the stage set for the phoenix to do its thing. It is my supposition that what ever it is that pushes us over the edge will involve the violence at the border and the current administrations refusal to even acknowledge it.

Saturday, 03 July, 2010  

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