Category: Food Shortage

Identifying Wild Mushrooms

Identifying Wild Mushrooms

How to Identify Wild Mushrooms

Initiating Mushroom Hunters

Identifying Wild Mushrooms might not seem very exciting – until you know that mushrooms are extraordinary beings that provide us with many uses that adorn our favorite dishes, color our clothing, restore devastated lands and provide bountiful health benefits. Still, these mycological creatures cause many to pause when harvesting them from the wild. With the proper tools and support for mushroom identification, you can open your horizons (and fridges) to the many wonders of our genetically closely related friend-the mushroom.

Firstly, I would like to paint you a picture of the Pacific Northwest in fall, during the first whispers of the Chanterelle harvest. You may overhear secretive conversations of local Mushroom Hunters, vaguely alluding to the location of personal harvesting grounds. If you dare to approach one of these individuals, you may receive a welcome invitation (especially if you’re from out of town) or a non committal reply about the whereabouts of these golden beauties. If you are dedicated you may find a willing local teacher to guide you. Yet, you, a rebel, are inspired to the point of Mushroom Identification Liberation (M.I.L) and aspire to become one of those secretive, wise and loving individuals I call-The Mushroom Hunters. If you smell the mycelium in your nostrils and envision your skillet full, your dye pot radiant or your vitality increased-you must start with a few simple guidelines.

What is a Mushroom?

A mushroom is essentially the fruiting body or the reproductive structure part of a fungus. In fact, it can be a very small part of the entire ‘body’ of that fungus. The body or vegetative (non reproductive) part of a fungus is called the mycelium. The mycelium is responsible for decomposing material into food and gaining mass to create the reproductive structure.  Essentially, what we usually see, harvest, eat, use for dyes or medicine is only this reproductive structure-the mushroom.

There are other fungi (that we despise) called molds that do not produce fruiting bodies, and are not worthy of our mushroom identification skills. Examples of these are our deeply adored foot fungus, bread molds, water molds, and mildews (Mushrooms Demystified, Aurora, 1986, pg.4).

Mushrooms emit spores that are the means for their reproduction. This is very important to understand in terms of mushroom identification. Making spore prints are one of the key tools in confirming mysterious mushrooms. Spores are held on gills, cups, pores and other structure on mushrooms until they are released into the environment.

With this very brief introduction to fungal physiology, let’s look at a diagram below to help ground you in mycological anatomy. I want you to take time and study this lovely drawing from our local specialist and mushroom extraordinaire, David Aurora (yes, this is your first assignment).

I equate David’s book, Mushrooms Demystified as the essential key to identifying wild mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest! (In other words if you live in the Pacific Northwest, get this book!).  Between my college courses, the backwoodsmen of the Upper Skagit and Mr. Aurora’s book, my education and adoration of the Kingdom Fungi has been thoroughly satisfying.

Find a Mushroom Mentor…

Many years ago, when I was farming in Washington State’s Upper Skagit Valley, I had the pleasure of hanging out with some pretty hardcore mushroom folk. None of these fellas had degrees in mycology or even went to college, but, boy, did they know their mushroom identification! How did I know to trust these foragers and was I willing to bet my life on their knowledge?

Make no assumptions, my friends — eating poisonous mushrooms can kill you. If you are studying mycology for identification or awareness purposes, wonderful!  If you are feeling the allure of becoming the type of Mushroom Hunter who seeks a bellyful, you must find a good teacher to support your virgin voyage into the exciting land of edible mushrooms. Books are great, websites are full of knowledge; but a good teacher is essential for your safety and continued success in mushroom foraging. Besides, if you are complementary and can carry a basket, your guide may take you to some amazing, secret harvest locations (which you will have to swear on your first born not to reveal!) and share with you the bounty of their expertise and knowledge in mushroom identification.

Many of my students engaged in identifying wild mushrooms are from out of state and wonder how to find a knowledgeable teacher in their area. There are numerous organizations, schools and clubs that can direct you to a mentor. At the end of this article, find a Resource section, listing organizations and websites to help you find a reliable source. Most mushroom people affiliated with a club or organizations are what I call diehard mushroom dorks who might even attend a yearly mushroom festival, and a good place to start. Or, you may be like me instead, and find a mentor in a small, backwoods mountain town. It is up to you to determine the fitness of your mentor for your needs. Some of my very best, most competent mushroom mentors have not come from academia or mycological societies. This doesn’t mean that they are any less able in helping you stay safe, have fun and avoid poisonous mushrooms. So, when you meet this mysterious (and oft times brilliant!) character, you might want to have a few questions in your back pocket to keep yourself safe. Here are some simple guidelines to assess a quality mushroom mentor for you:

  • How do they know what they know? Question what resources they use (books, other humans, websites, organizations and education). Who are their teachers? How long have they been identifying wild mushrooms?
  • ASK QUESTIONS! How do they know the difference between edible and poisonous mushrooms? Ask for specific examples of why they know what they know. For instance, what are identifying characteristics of a particular edible species in comparison to its poisonous or toxic look alike?
  • How do they handle a species of which they are unsure? Are they cavalier and eat large portions of them anyway, suggesting you do the same (perhaps before they take a taste themselves)? Are they patient, curious and careful to take many steps (which we will cover later) to identify a questionable species?
  • Do they know the ecosystem from which they are harvesting? Your mentor should know the place through which he or she is guiding you. The best mentors are true naturalists who understand the ecosystem (Pacific Northwest), habitat (south-facing, 50 year-old mixed conifer forest, understory salal and sword fern, at 600-foot elevation) and the substrate from which they are harvesting (these mushrooms are found commonly under Douglas Fir trees, in the fall — ten points if you guess the one species that fits the criteria!). This gives them (and you) a greater knowledge base from which to work, and will aid in your success at finding the right species, in the right place, at the right time of year, as well as limiting risks from poisonous mushrooms!
  • Trust your gut. If something is obviously ‘off’ about your mentor, do not risk your life! There are many other knowledgeable people out there. Reputations of mentors can be variable, depending on your information source. You are ultimately responsible for your health and choices. Do your homework. Freeze specimens and obtain an expert ID; go to a local organization, university or mushroom festival to find a qualified mycology teacher who can credibly take on identifying wild mushrooms. Take responsibility for your journey. Who knows, you may be an esteemed mushroom identification dork yourself in not too long!
  • When eating, go slow! If and when you try your first wild mushrooms, be aware that some people have gastric sensitivities to certain species. One of my mentors’ first taste of morel mushrooms (which I adore and eat with enthusiasm) lead him to spend his evening having an intimate conversation with his toilet. I have found this type of sensitivity to different species of edible mushrooms rare among my community, but it does exist. So eat a little at first and see how you feel — no upset, then dig in!

Prepare to Harvest Mushrooms

There are many ways to respect the life of a mushroom when it comes to harvesting. Here are some basic questions you should ask yourself before you grab your handy harvesting knife and lop off those succulent fruiting bodies. After you ask these questions, we will cover the basic technique of mushroom harvesting.

  1. First of all, ask yourself why are you harvesting this mushroom?
    Is it for food, study, fascination, or all three? This will help you determine your intent and evaluate the quality of the specimen you are harvesting. You should also be realistic about quantity. Do you really need 20 mushrooms for identification purposes? What about food? Be respectful, and don’t end up with a rotting bunch of mushrooms in your harvesting basket.
  2. How many of this species can I see, and at what stage are they in their development?
    Some mushrooms may already have released the spores that help ensure viability of their species before you harvest them. Since mushrooms themselves are only the fruiting body of an underground hyphal network, you are not taking the whole organism when harvesting. Still, I personally like to see a healthy colony or a large specimen before I gather! When you educate yourself about the lifecycle and growth habits of your intended species, you will feel more confident when harvesting. See Resources below for some good websites on fungal lifecycle.
  3. Where am I?
    This is a good question for multiple reasons. Most importantly, if you memorize the time of year, weather cycles and locations, you can come back year after year for a bountiful harvest. Also is important if you see poisonous mushrooms and want to avoid the area for gathering. Consider if you may be on private property, in a National Park or in someone else’s harvesting grounds. This may have long-lasting effects on your wallet, reputation as a Mushroom Hunter and your physical health as well!

Harvest Mushrooms

The following list is adapted from David Arora’s book, Mushrooms Demystified, and my college professors’ and my own experience. If I haven’t already said this (which I know I have), get David Arora’s books. They are amazing technical resources and are a hoot to read as well.

For the Field

  • Equipment: Journal, Pencil, Tape Measure: Record date, weather, location (elevation and micro habitat, substrate out of which the species is growing, stage of decomposition of substrate, all tree species you can see around your site, drawings of specimen, measurements, good jokes, code to crack location coordinates (you can email these to me as your advisor)Camera: This has been so helpful to me! Make sure you put a tape measure, a coin or a small troll in the picture to help evaluate scale
  • Container: David Arora recommends a basket and wax paper in which to wrap each mushroom, to keep them separate and free from getting mashed. I use little tupperwear containers with holes in them (otherwise, they cannot breathe and will rot quickly). This way I can carry them in my backpack and (as long as I don’t forget about them) they are still in good condition for ID by the time I get home. The key is to not mix specimens, as this will make sorting later quite difficult and potentially dangerous.
  • Knife and Trowel: A knife is my main tool for harvesting mushrooms I recognize. Slice them off at the base of the stem or neck where they connect to the substrate (ground, stump or tree). David Arora also strongly recommends having a trowel to dig into the ground for proper identification of the vovlva (see diagram ), which can be essential in keying out poisonous species like Amanitas (Mushroom Demystified, pg 12).

Spore Prints

Let the stains begin! OK, technically spore prints are not stained onto paper, but they certainly look like something that was dropped from a lofty location, and traveled at high velocity to land with a colorful splat! on your test paper. Actually, this is on a microscopic scale exactly what happens (minus the splat). Spore prints are used to help identify mushrooms by determining the color of the spore. You will need:

  • Air tight container: Use one large enough to cover the whole cap (spore producing part) of your mushroom. This keeps air out and helps reduce disturbance of the spores dropping from the gills or pores.
  • White and Black Paper: I like to put the mushroom cap, face down on one half white paper and one half black paper. This helps me take my best guess of what color the spores are putting out. Some mycologists suggest you only need to look at spores on white paper (because darker background colors distort) to get an accurate reading. Experiment and see what works for you.

The next part is very easy. Harvest a mushroom, take off the cap, place it face down (gills or pores down) on the paper, cover with the container and wait a couple of hours. Warning! I have had to take spore prints on the dashboard of my truck numerous times, because I was out in the field and did not realize how fast some of the mushrooms will release spores. Consider bringing paper with you into the field. If you try to get a spore print and nothing happens, the specimen has already released its spores. Try again: Go to a different elevation/location, or wait until next season. The excitement and glee you will receive out of doing your first spore print is worth it! I still remember my first spore print on a gray September morning in college; seeing its unmistakable splat-like form made me squeal with joy. Spore prints are cool. Try it and you’ll be hooked!

Spore color differentiates by species. Combining this information with other characteristics you learn from your field guides, mentors, local organizations and clubs, will help you become more confident on your mycological explorations. Additional ways to assist your mushroom identification are by looking at spores under the microscope and through chemical testing. These are advanced methods that are available to you via your research and local resources, based on your personal energy and level of mycological dorkiness (which I wholeheartedly encourage!).

This is what you should do now:

1. Study the drawing above
2. Purchase/or rent (library) a dichotomous key to mushrooms:

  • Pacific Northwest: Mushroom Demystified by David Aurora
  • Mushrooms of Northeastern North America by Alan Bessette, Arlene Bessette, and David Fischer;Mushrooms of the Southeastern United Statesby Alan Bessette, William Roody, Arlene Bessette, and Dail L. Dunaway;Mushrooms and other Fungi of the Midcontinental United States by D.M. Huffman, L.H. Tiffany, G. Knapus, and R.A. Healy

3. Observe mushrooms in the wild and identify parts!

Tools: Camera, tape measure
This is an opportunity to simply inspire you to employ your innate observation skills, and ultimately serve your goal of identifying wild mushrooms. Go out and see what you can find-no pressure! Let your time in the woodlands, side streets and old growth forests be a treat for you. In the midst of your enjoyment, turn on your awareness and see how many new mushrooms appear before you. You can also take pictures and record measurements of stalks and caps in your journal…your what?? See below!

4. Journal what you see:

Tools: Drawing Type, Write in the Rain Journal (or any type), pencil AND eraser
Essential tools for Mushroom Hunters! Here are some things to write down to help you in the days and years to come:

Date & Weather: Both date and weather will be key in your finding mushrooms in the future!

Location: (You can do this in hieroglyphics to be mysterious if necessary!)

Growth Habitat

    • What is the mushroom growing out of? The ground A log-what species? Your foot?
    • What is the habitat? What tree and shrub species are growing within a 50 foot radius of your mushroom?

Good Luck and Safe Hunting!

It is time for you, the novice Mushroom Hunter, to leave the nest (look up Cyathus olla), and find the resources you need to join the curious millions who have discovered our fungal friends!

20 Awesome Resources To Find Local Food And Family Farms Near You

Beet The Systemimage – https://durangofoodnotbombs.wordpress.com

As demand for local and raw goods continue to rise, more people are asking – where do I find local organic? Where do I find raw milk and join a herd share? Where are the farmers markets, co-ops and stands?

Search engines are actually terrible at locating these underground hubs, which makes it so frustrating to try and opt out of corporate chains, save money, and build your family’s health. If you’ve ever gotten a bunch of ‘Yelp’ listings for weight loss pills while searching, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve helped a few people find a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) but I found it by accident.

So where are they all hiding?

As it turns out, many of the farmers and markets you’re looking for have teamed up with certain websites to be mapped. Use this easy list to find yours today. They won’t all be on the same map, but you will be sure to find markets and family farms in your area that were previously invisible.

Why you should bookmark and try them all – not all the hubs will be organic, some are just local. Some don’t provide raw milk but could lead you there. Some have other resources like healthy body care, organic delivery or restaurants serving your favorite farm finds worth looking into. Some of the websites don’t share your political perspective or stance on health and were possibly supported by agencies and organizations you don’t care for. But that’s okay, take only what you need and leave the rest.

20 Resources to Find Local Food, Farms, Markets, Stands, Co-ops and more!

Farmerspal – Click the map or your state to find organic, markets, grocers, online shopping and more. Make sure you like their Facebook page for other great resources.

FarmMatch – Unique because whoever you are, you can put yourself on the map to be matched with producers in your area. Create your food profile today.

LocalDirt – Helps you buy right from the farm. It’s also a marketplace that allows you to sell and trade. Got eggs? Sell them to your neighbors here. It also allows groups and co-ops to set up bulk orders right there. This one is worth revisiting time and again to check out all its features.

Weston A Price Chapter Leaders – This is my favorite, because it puts you in touch with passionate people who give their time to connect you to your CSA and quite possibly raw milk and dairy. They will have the latest sources. Weston A. Price Foundation is a wealth of knowledge for traditional foods and health.

Real Milk Finder – Also from Weston A. Price, this locator could help you to your raw milk and dairy herd share source. Please keep in mind, raw milk availability really depends on your state laws. And not all of the herd share programs are listed there so be sure to read the next important list item.

Meetup – This seems like a weird place to get the connections but it makes sense. Meetup allows groups to safely connect online and publicly meet to enjoy hobbies, clubs, politics, education – anything. It’s just people meeting up, doing what they love, learning or just having fun – I attribute so many happy, life-changing times to this website. This is how I found my CSA! I went to a nutrition wholefoods meetup to take free natural food classes. The woman running it was a Weston A. Price chapter leader who graciously led me through the entire process and got me connected to raw milk and pasture-fed foods. Wherever people who are passionate about their lifestyle meet, you are sure to pick up a wealth of resources and support. You should check it out to find like-minded people and get out there. I’ve made great friends this way. Some people find their soul mate!

Pick-A-Pepper – Real local food right at your fingertips. Use your zip to find your farmer or food artisan AND become a vendor.

Eat Wild – #1 website for all things grass fed. Their map includes Canada and connects you with grassfed wild foods, even companies who ship directly to you.

LocalHarvest – Another mapping site that allows you to find CSAs, Co-ops, open farms, markets, delis, stores and more. Thankfully, it’s been around for awhile. Unfortunately, that could mean some of the info is outdated. Always good to call ahead – don’t be afraid to talk to farmers and ask questions.

Homegrown.org – Created by FarmAid (another educational farm source), offers lots of education and provided some of the links in this article. It also has its own map to find local fare. FarmAid also has a list of open Winter Markets worth checking. They also list two maps to find wild catch and pastured cattle and dairy farms. Local Catch and HomeGrownCow.

Organic Consumers Association – Plug your zip code in and you’ll be in touch with not just healthy GMO-free food sources but all kinds of natural health businesses – even skin care, acupuncture and more.

AquaponicsRealTimeFarms – Nicely designed, simple to use map shows farmers, artisans, restaurants, markets and more right in your town. Also search by ingredient or certified organic. Very eye-opening!

FarmPlate – Holy cow! Find everything in your area including apiaries, bakeries, stands, herbalists, confectioners and more. They’ve got it all.

Market Maker – Is another cool marketplace to buy and sell healthy homegrown.

EatWellGuide – Find local sustainable food. Is supported by lots of big partners so you know the locator will work great.

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food – This comes from the USDA in an effort to be more “sustainable” and local. Maybe it’s to deflect from the tens of billions of dollars going into Big Agri subsidies, the small farm crushing fines of the Food Safety Act, or the GMO deregulation that will run roughshod over local and organic fare. It makes me nervous that the federal government wants to get super cozy with local and have it compassed on a map. But, it does offer a stunning visual of a variety of farms and markets, not just USDA supported ones. You can also find markets near you here. Enjoy it – you paid for it.

EatLocalGrown – Wouldn’t it be great to know if your food has GMOs or not? Eat Local Grown agrees and locates sources near you. They also have informative beginner’s articles, new food provider listings, and over 1M Likes on Facebook.

Stronger Together Co-op – Find just food co-ops all over the US.

Food Routes – Has an outreach called Buy Fresh, Buy Local with chapter leaders who will help you do just that.

WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms is a buddy to Permies.com (awesome permaculture resource) and a volunteer exchange. People volunteer to learn and work an organic farm and they can get room and board in exchange. Some would call it a free vacation. It’s an opportunity to travel, see what it takes to cultivate, and…find a farm!

Farmshed CNY – This focuses on the New York area but it is so comprehensive, if it grows beyond it could be the most thorough finder known. Type your city and search up to a 50-mile radius.

So there you have it – over 20 places to locate local food and the farmer right in your area. Did I leave out an important resource? Do you have any questions? Please share your resources and questions below and please let us know if any of the links above helped you with your search.

Many of you have reached out to me since this was originally published last year, telling me this guide helped you find your food source – Thank you!

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

2013 A Year Of Food Crisis

When Man Becomes Zombie

The Good Old Days Are Over

meltdown-financial-collapse-black-hole-340x226

Do you remember “the good old days”? It’s a simple question, but a question that induces different images to different people. I have found myself spending a lot of time lately thinking of the way things used to be and hoping that someday our country can somehow get back to those days again. Looking at our current state of affairs in this nation and around the world, there is only one conclusion that can be made…the good old days are over.

I wrote this article because children being born today, in my opinion, will not be able to look back and remember the near future as “the good old days”. As I write this, the US national debt is at $16.2 trillion with unfunded liabilities of $123.3 trillion. With Uncle Ben’s QE3 promising to print fiat money perpetually can there be any doubt that the days of the US dollar being the world currency are numbered. Everyone reading this article has a share of $442,881 of the nation’s debt and liabilities. If your children or grandchildren can’t read yet, please tell them that they also owe $442,881 as well and thank them for supporting our wasteful spending that got us to this point. Source: http://usadebtclock.com/

But don’t worry, there are elections coming. Surely the American public can see the dire straits our nation is in and elect leaders who can recognize and deal with the nation’s problems and bring us back to becoming a nation of producers instead of consumers, right? Leaders will be elected who will make the extreme sacrifices necessary to bring forth a United States where the outstretched hands of the masses will be filled with charitable donations from a robust society instead of being empty, waiting for them to be stuffed with their entitlement from the government, all the while feeling as though they earned it because they stand unproductively on dirt within our border.

I have to apologize for the last paragraph; I have always wondered what it would feel like to write fiction. The hard cold reality is that there is no possible orderly way out of the financial mess our society is in and the above mentioned dirt was probably the last thing made in the USA. To break it down simply, here are some simple and easy to understand economical facts:

  1. You need to produce more than you consume or you are broke.
  2. You cannot pay off a credit card with a credit card without consequences.
  3. There is no possible way the nation’s debts and unfunded liabilities will ever be paid.

Currently, the Federal Reserve purchases the vast majority of the US Debt. There simply aren’t many buyers left who believe it to be a sound investment anymore. In 2011, congress waited until the last minute to raise the debt ceiling after much political wrangling back and forth. Was there ever any doubt by anyone that it would happen? Is there any doubt that it will happen again? What happens when it hits $50 trillion? As long as we have the ability to continue to print more money to fund our yearly deficit and make payments on the interest of existing debt, it will continue. As it continues, the US dollar will continue to be worth less and less. Commodities such as food, gas and all physical goods purchased will get more and more expensive, leaving less and less purchasing power for the American people.

You don’t have to be Nostradamus to predict that we are on the cusp of a major financial collapse. I’m not only talking about the United States, I’m talking about the world. The can has been kicked down the road almost as far as it can be kicked and we just passed a dead end sign. We will soon see massive inflation or hyperinflation, riots in the streets as we have seen around the world and as I have heard stated many times, people with nothing left to lose will lose it.

So what can we do? The answer can be summed up in one word. Prepare. Prepare as though it may happen tomorrow. Prepare as though your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on it, because it does and they do. Start exercising and working out to prepare your body for the tough times coming. Prepare yourself mentally so that when it hits the fan you don’t find yourself in the panicked state that 95% of the public will be in. Prepare to be warm when it is cold outside or cool when it is hot outside. Prepare a plan of what you and your family will do at different levels of collapse. Prepare to eat when grocery store shelves are bare. Prepare to drink when the tap fails to deliver water. Prepare for what to do when your neighbors or family or friends show up at your doorstep because they were too busy watching television. Prepare to defend what needs to be defended. Prepare prepare prepare.

Realize that at this point there is nothing you can do about the debt of this nation. There is nothing you can do to change what is coming in the Middle East. Regardless of the result of the upcoming election, neither candidate has dared utter the words broke or sacrifice. Your only job at this point is to get yourself and your loved ones you choose to help through what is coming, whatever it may be. This isn’t being selfish. This, my friends…is survival.

I truly believe that when the dust settles, we will emerge as a great and free nation. Life will be hard, but there will be more meaning to the tasks of the day. Communities will be stronger. People will be healthier. Families will be closer. To get from this point to that, there will be much misery, but the greater the struggle, the greater the victory. It is up to us in the prepping community to get our families and loved ones through the upcoming collapse. I pray that someday, my children and grandchildren will be able to look back and say “Those were the good old days.” because I chose to prepare.

Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

Take refuge my friends.

God Bless,

By Norse Prepper

www.shtfplan.com

Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week #6: Tuna Pizza

Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week #6: Tuna Pizza

I was just dying for a pizza the other day, but not any kind… I was craving for the pizza my mom used to make me when I went home for holidays. I remember how amazing it smelled when she took it out of the oven… and the taste! I wouldn’t even put ketchup or garlic sauce on top, it was that good!

I don’t know what made me remember all this, but I just had to cook one of those divine pizzas. And what do you know? My usual recipe inspiration, busycooks.about.com, had a tuna pizza recipe in their survival food recipes category. I didn’t have any tuna cans in the pantry, but I went to the store and got four. This way, I’ve updated my stockpile with a new type of canned food.

And not any type of food, but one with a whole lot of health benefits. Just check out a few reasons why you should eat tuna, according to symptomfind.com:

1. It’s very nutritious: “You always hear about eggs and various meats being a high source of protein, but what about fish? One of the nutritional highlights of tuna is its high protein content. How high in protein content? Try 23 grams in a serving size of three and a half ounces. Talk about a good source of protein to help keep those muscles strong. Protein is also good for the blood, skin, hair and nails.

2. It protects your heart:“Tuna can help you avoid the risk of having a stroke. A recent study has shown that adults who include one to four servings of fish as a part of their regular diet had a 27 percent lower risk of having an ischemic stroke. Five or more servings of fish per week reduced the risk of stroke to 30 percent.”

3. It lowers your blood pressure: Tuna has omega-3 fatty acid, which helps prevent high blood pressure. Studies have shown that foods, like tuna, that contain omega-3 fatty acids helped test subjects maintain healthy blood pressure. Those who have yet to develop high blood pressure experience an even stronger beneficial effect from omega-3 fatty acids.”

4. It lowers your cholesterol: With just two servings of tuna a week, you can lower your triglyceride levels. Why is that a good thing? Triglyceride in the bloodstream indicates the amount of fat being carried. If you have a high level of triglyceride, you are probably also experiencing “bad cholesterol” and low levels of “good protein.”

5. It boosts your immune system: “Tuna is a good source of selenium, an antioxidant that helps improve the body’s immune system. The immune system is a vital part of the body that is integral for fighting off sickness, diseases and infections.”

After reading all this, I’m seriously thinking of eating tuna more often… starting with this delicious pizza. Here’s what you need to cook it:

● 1 Boboli® pizza crust

● 15 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained

● 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar

● 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves

● 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

● salt and pepper to taste

● 6 oz. can solid pack white tuna, drained

● 1 (7 oz.) jar roasted red pepper, drained, chopped

● 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, well drained

● 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

These ingredients will be enough for 4-6 people. Now it’s preparation time!

First of all, clear your schedule for 20 minutes. Then get a medium bowl and throw in beans, vinegar, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.

Next: Mash beans to get a sort of sauce, but leave some texture in the mixture. Spread the bean mixture over the Boboli® pizza crust. Put tuna, red peppers, and tomatoes on top. Sprinkle cheese over all and it’s ready to go into the oven. Enjoy it with your family!

creamy-mushroom-soup
kids-special-sweet-potato-salad
butterbean-salad
brown-bread-sandwich
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Freeze-Dried Food: How is it Different?

Freeze-Dried Food: How is it Different?

We have no way of knowing what will happen in the future. Whether it is a decade, a year, or even a week from now, life throws unexpected obstacles in our way every day. Because we cannot know what will happen, we have no way of preventing disasters that may occur.

One thing that we can do however, is prepare. Food is one of our essential needs as humans, so it goes without saying that it is the one thing that we need to have in extra supply. The main problem with this however, is that most food doesn’t last forever.

There have been many solutions offered up for this problem, one of which is freeze-dried food. But what is freeze-dried food? Is it the same as “real” food? Is it different in terms of nutrition and taste?

In order to answer these questions, read on as we take a look at a few of the facts and differences between freeze-dried food and regular food. You should then be able to decide if you want to add freeze-dried food to your food storage supply.

The Freeze-Drying Process

Although freeze-drying sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, the concept itself is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. It is only the process itself that has changed over time. Where in previous years, fruits and vegetables were laid out in the sun to dry, it is now done quickly and more efficiently using cryogenic freezing and vacuum drying. The whole goal of the process is to extract and dispose of as much water as possible. This simply means that the food itself will last much longer than regular food.

So What are the Nutritional Differences?

You may be removing the water, but most evidence goes to suggest that you are not removing any of the nutritional value. Freeze-dried foods actually contain most of the nutrients that they had to start with. There is evidence to suggest that they still contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients, so there is no need to worry about freeze-dried food being unhealthy.

But What About Taste?

The thing that gives freeze-dried food the edge over regular dehydrated food is that freeze-dried food usually contains spices and seasoning. What this means is that you do not lose any flavor in using freeze-dried meals. Many reviews available online actually state that freeze-dried meals are preferable in terms of taste as well as convenience.

Should I Look into Buying Freeze-Dried Food?

Food storage is important. That does not mean that you have to stock your house with flavorless, unexciting food. With freeze-dried meals, you will actually be able to enjoy good food that lasts forever. Not only will it last forever, but the way that it has been processed means that it takes up far less storage space than regular food. It is just one option, but freeze-dried food is definitely worth looking into for your food storage needs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week #3: Butterbean Salad

butterbean salad

photo source: www.agriculturesource.com

Today’s Emergency Food Recipe is deliiiicious and embarrassingly easy.

busycooks reveals the secrets to making a prefect butter bean salad in no more than 15 minutes.’ And the best part is: you can cook this meal pretty much anywhere: at home, when you’re out of time, or outdoors, when you’re camping or when there’s no power source.

But besides being versatile and easy to make, it’s also very nutritious and great for your health. Butter-beans have little known benefits that help your body work at its best, with almost no effort at all.

You may not know this, but…

… butter-beans have tiny amounts of fat.

They’re some of the healthiest veggies because the amounts of unhealthy fat is almost in-existent. But that doesn’t mean they make you feel weak, because…

… butter-beans are high in calories.

This means you’ll be fresh and energized all throughout the day. All you need to do is eat a yummy salad and you’re good to go. It’s light on the stomach, but it gives you the buzz. And that’s not all:

… butter-beans are also high in iron.

Actually, they’ve got a quarter of the daily recommended dose. But why is iron so important for you? Well, iron helps your body get oxygenated. This way, you’ll think faster and clearer, your blood will be healthy and you’ll avoid that annoying feeling of weakness at the end of the day.

Now let’s get to our easy peasy recipe. Here’s what you need:

  • 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 11 oz. can shoe-peg corn, drained
  • 14.5 oz. can zesty chili diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 small red onion, chopped

If you want more protein, just add some chicken or fish (especially tuna).

Now it’s time to mix everything in a large bowl. First, mix vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and some parsley. Then add the rest of ingredients and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for an hour or two. But you can also serve it right away, together with your family. It will be more than enough for 4 people.

And if you still have doubts that it’s absolutely delicious, just take a look at what these people are saying:

“Tasty and easy,

A great dish to make when car camping! I didn’t bother to wash off the beans (I just drained the cans) and it still turned out well. I’d recommend throwing in a pepper if you like spicy foods, but otherwise the recipe is great as is!”

“Easy and flavorful,

This salad was so easy to make. We served it on mixed salad greens right out of the bag and it was delicious.” (

busycooks

Can’t wait to hear your opinion about it! Hope you really like it.

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USA: Back To The Wild Wild West This Fall

Yesterday, I was surfing the Internet, reading the latest news, when I stumbled upon a very interesting article on CNN. It was called “Why 2013 will be a year of crisis”, written by David Frum (CNN contributor).

I don’t know if you’ve read it, but if you did, I want to ask you something. Didn’t you just feel like nodding with every single sentence you read? Because I found myself doing just that, from top to bottom. In just 600 words, this article sums up an almost morbid prediction about the coming worldwide food crisis.

Here’s just a few key notes:

Prediction: 2013 will be a year of serious global crisis. That crisis is predictable, and in fact has already begun. It will inescapably confront the next president of the United States. “

“The drought has ruined key crops. The corn harvest is expected to drop to the lowest level since 1995. In just July, prices for corn and wheat jumped about 25% each, prices for soybeans about 17%.”

“Surveys for Gallup find that the typical American family is spending one-third less on foodtoday, adjusting for inflation, than in 1969.”

“When grain prices spiked in 2007-2008, bread riots shook 30 countriesacross the developing world, from Haiti to Bangladesh, according to the Financial Times”

And he ends the article with a conclusion that, as David puts it, is anything but reassuring::

“Will 2013 bring us social turmoil in Brazil, strikes in China or revolution in Pakistan? The answer can probably be read in the price indexes of the commodities exchanges — and it is anything but reassuring.

But what about Americans?

Let’s take the average American and put him face to face with the harshest food crisis of the century. Now, I won’t even compare his situation with the sufferance South Africans deal with, as we’re dealing with two completely different worlds here. I’ll just stick to comparing the before the crisis – after the crisis life of a regular Joe.

First, let’s take the root of all evil: the worst drought in 75 years. The media has been raging on this subject for months now, but I personally doubt Americans actually understand what this drought means to our economy (with some exceptions, obviously).

80% of our crops are currently destroyed, but 95% of Americans are still completely unprepared for the coming crisis. I’m sorry, but I’m just going to deem that as sheer ignorance. I just can’t tell what they imagine they’ll be eating in two months’ time… And how they’ll afford it, since prices simply will NOT stop rising.

Last month, predictions said food prices will rise yet another 20% by November… but a surprise came along that forced specialists to change their estimates to the worst:

“U.S. gas prices at highest ever for Labor Day weekend”

gas

source: foxnews.com

On Monday, Gasbuddy.com reported an average of $3.80 per gallon of regular gasoline, “the highest price ever recorded during a Labor Day weekend.”This not only means you’ll be thinking long and hard before taking your car out of the garage… but it also means food prices will shoot for the stars in less than two months’ time!

Never have I imagined thinking of a 20% rise in prices and go “Ah, the good times…”. But knowing what awaits us before the autumn ends, I get shivers down my back… And i’m one of those “preppers” with a solid 3-month stockpile and an indoor garden. And I still worry for the future of my family. After all, who knows how long this crisis will last?

So what will average Joe do just two months from now, when food will no longer be a commodity, but a luxury product? Who will they go to for help? FEMA? Obama? The same people who left “more than 100,000 people without power”after Hurricane Isaac struck on Monday? Days have gone by and those poeple are still in pitch dark as you’re reading this.

So who’s going to take care of 313,000,000 Americans after the food crisis ravages the US?

My friendly advice to you, American patriot: get ready NOW and stock as much food as you can for your family, because you’re going to see some violent riots on the streets of your town…

I honestly hope you’ll stay safe and secure. God help us, cause no one else can!

www.MyFamilySurvivalPlan.com

Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week #2: Kids’ Special Sweet Potato Salad

SWEET POTATO SALAD

photo source: http://hanimcooks.tumblr.com

I’m back with this week’s emergency food recipe and YES, this time it’s a nutritious treat for the kids.

Of course, it’s not just for the little ones, you can make this simple salad for your whole family and friends. Heck, bring everyone in and serve them this delicious munch! But I can tell you this: kids looove it. And that’s because it’s half meal, half dessert. And you know just how much kids love desserts…

And it’s not just about the taste. Sweet potatoes are very healthy and nutritious. In fact, there are 5 major benefits you get from eating sweet potatoes:

1. They protect your body against illnesses. That’s due to the high amount of vitamin C. As I said in the previous Emergency Food Recipe Of The Week, vitamin C is crucial during a crisis, because it helps you fight off illnesses and makes you feel energetic. Also, it helps children develop strong bones and teeth and eases digestion.

It’s an important resource for the ladies, too, as it keeps your skin elastic and young. And recent studies show that vitamin C protects you against toxins that may build up in your and lead to cancer.

Vitamin B6 helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases, including the prevention of heart attacks.

2. They’re a stress reliever,thanks to vitamin B6. This vitamin is well-known for reducing stress levels, but also for reducing the risk of developing degenerative diseases, such as heart attacks. Very useful in times of crisis, when stress reaches record levels.

3. They actually make you feel happier.Yep, it’s scientifically proven. Sweet potatoes contain vitamin D, critical for the immune system and for the proper functionality of your body.

Now here’s something you may not know: Your body normally produces vitamin D when you’re exposed to sunlight (more in the summer than during the cold season). If you don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, you may develop the seasonal affective disorder, which is a lot like depression, only you can cure it by taking sun baths… or by taking vitamin D.

4. They help your metabolism work better.Let’s all thank good old iron for that, which is crucial to red and white blood cell production, a good immune system and getting long boosts of energy that take us through the day.

5. They keep your heart healthy.They contain potassium, which regulates heartbeat and nerve signals. It also controls the activity of the kidneys.

Now let’s get to our recipe. Here’s what you’ll need to cook this savory salad:

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans sweet potatoes (you can drain them if you find it necessary)
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 4 green onions (sliced)
  • 1 green bell pepper (diced)
  • 5 oz. mix of Dijon mustard and salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup Miracle Whip salad dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Getting all these items is actually the most difficult part. It’s all dead simple from here: justput everything in a large bowl, then mash the potatoes as well as you can. Mix the mashed potatoes with the rest of ingredients and chill it the fridge for an hour. with mix and mash with potato masher. Serve immediately, or chill in the fridge for an hour or two.

It only takes 15 minutes to prepare and an hour to make it refreshingly delicious. Then it’s just perfect for filling 6 people’s tummies. Enjoy!

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