Posts tagged: food

4 Unconventional Uses For Mustard

4 Unconventional Uses For Mustard

Mustard is a great addition to anybody’s kitchen. Not only is it a potent ingredient that will better the taste of pretty much anything it touches (almost anything), but it’s also very healthy. It’s very rich in selenium, nutrients and antioxidants, making it reputable for combating inflammations and relaxing muscles. A single teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds packs about 85mg of omega 3 fats (the good type of fat), 25mg of potassium (K), 29mg of phosphorus (P), 18mg of calcium (Ca) and about 10mg of magnesium (Mg). With so many beneficial elements, no wonder people have been consuming it since antiquity. To Romans were the first to add the mustard seed to their diet, by mixing the ground mustard seeds with wine; the overall result was a condiment which was vastly used in Roman cuisine. The Egyptians saw it also a symbol of good fortune, so they tossed mustard seeds in the tombs of the pharaohs, so they’d have good luck in their next life. The medicinal benefits however, were fully understood later on, in medieval times. The French monks used a mustard-based paste, which was used in treating many ailments: it was used for back pain and muscular relief, for toothaches, as digestive stimulant, for improving blood circulation and clearing up the sinuses. As you can see, it’s an all-purpose tool, and next, I’m going to explain further uses for mustard.

1. Smell Remover

The potent and active enzymes found in mustard will take out any unwanted odor from almost anything. Whether it’s sweat, food smells or even the smell of some disappointing perfume or fabric softener, worry not! Just make a mixture out of 3 gallons of hot water and 1 – 2 cups of dried mustard. Mix it well and add some to a spray bottle. You can spray you car tires, the rims, the underbody of the car, the trunk and the car mats. After the bad smell is gone, you can spray with water and clean with a piece of dry cloth. You could also try spraying the solutions on smelly pieces of clothing, but mustard spots are ussualy very tricky to remove.

2. Natural weedwacker

If you have your very own garden and you’re reluctant to using chemical agents in dealing with your weed problem, you’ll be glad to know that mustard is the eco-friendly way of getting the job done. If you want to, you can event plant mustard every here and there, but I’s even easier to scatter mustard seeds all around the garden. When the mustard seeds come in direct contact with the soil, they’ll discharge some specific nutrients. These nutrients make the soil hostile territory for all sorts of weeds; you’ll reduce your weed problem dramatically. However, mustard can be detrimental to some plants that you might not want gone from your garden, so do some reading on the subject a bit.

3. Burn relief

Mustard works really well on relieving the pain caused by burning accidents, no matter how deep the burn. The first thing you’ll need to do is to get your burned area under cold, running, water. This will alleviate some of the initial stinging sensation and will also clean the burned area. After 20 – 30 seconds, stop the “water treatment” and grab a hold on the jar of mustard. Any type of mustard will do, just spread some all over the burned area and wait a few seconds. The pain should cease in a matter of seconds. Keep in mind though that this is a temporary pain relief solution, not a treatment; you should get yourself checked by a doctor a.s.a.p. to avoid complications.

4. Emergency dishwashing soap

If you’ve run out of dishwashing soap or liquid and you still have tons of dishes to do, once again you can turn to mustard. No need in making that extra trip to the market;

if you have some mustard powder (paste works too) and some baking soda, you’re fine. Just add the two together (2 parts mustard, 1 part baking soda) and mix them up. Apply the resulting mix on the dishes (which have been previously washed with water) and let it sit for 5 – 7 minutes. Once the time is up, simply rinse them with water. You’ll be amazed at how sparkly they’ll be!

I am sure that you’ve understood by now the importance of having some mustard around the house, be it paste, powder or seeds. Mustard van do so much more than making your hotdogs tastier, it will get you out of all sorts of predicaments.

DIY Fertilizers: The Cheap & Easy Way

DIY Fertilizers - The Cheap & Easy Way

As I’ve touched on the subject of survival gardening many times before and I’ve advocated growing your own, private vegetable or even fruit garden, I’m sure that my suggestions have resonated with many of my readers. And if you share my view that your private garden will be your main source of getting fresh produce once the big markets close down, you’ll like what you’ll “see” next. Of course, serious gardening requires some knowledge, skill and preparation. You’ll need a bit of practice, as I’ve said before, to actually get the desired results. And you’ll need a bit of financial investment too. But even so, survival gardening can still be run on a tight budget, especially in the fertilizer department. The last thing you’ll need to throw your many at is professional fertilizing agents. Don’t get me wrong, these products work, they get the job done, but there are plenty alternatives you’ll find around the house that will work just as well. And most of the stuff you can use as fertilizer would normally be considered waste, and you’d be throwing it away without being aware of its life-sustaining properties.

First and foremost, you need to understand what fertilizer actually is and why it is so important. Plants, in order to grow and develop require certain amounts of nutrients. Sometimes, what the soil provides just isn’t enough. Fertilizer is added to make sure that plants won’t stagnate and that the crops will be plentiful, counteracting a possible depletion of nutrients in the soil. There are 3 major ranks of nutrients that your garden will need:

  • Rank I nutrients (that are needed in large quantities): P (phosphorus), K (potassium) and N (nitrogen)
  • Rank II nutrients (that are needed in moderate quantities): Mg (magnesium), Ca (calcium) and S (sulfur)
  • Rank III nutrients (that are needed in small quantities): Fe (iron), Mn (manganese), Mo (molybdenum), Zn (zinc) and B (Boron)

If you wish to have healthy and nutritious plants, you’ll have to assure that they get most of these beneficial elements during their development. The lack of nutrients won’t allow the plants to develop normally and may even cause their premature death. So fertilizer it’s a must! Let’s have a look at some of the best DIY fertilizers you can find around the house.

Egg shells

As the old saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. But after the omelette is done, don’t throw the egg shells away, they’ll make a great addition to you gardening plan. Egg shells contain a great amount of Ca (calcium), which is extremely important for cellular growth and development. Calcium is one of the elements in the soil that get depleted fastest while plants are growing, so adding some back into the circuit would be extremely beneficial to you garden. Grind the shells into a thin powder and sprinkle them on the ground; that should do it. The shells also contain N and phosphoric acid.

Banana peels

The banana peel is yet another object you’d be tempted to discard right away. But bananas are rich in potassium (K), and so are its peels. Adding banana peels to your garden would ensure rich and well-developed crops, as potassium (K) is a rank I ingredient, which plants can’t get enough of. Not only is it beneficial to all sorts of fruit and veggies, but ornamental plants are loving it also. Don’t throw the peel on the ground directly, rather rip it into shreds and place it in the hole before planting for optimum efficiency.

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are an excellent source of magnesium (Mg) potassium (K) and nitrogen (N) and would make great ”food” for the plants. But adding them to the soil will increase the overall pH, so it’s generally recommended to use them more for plants who strive in a more acid environment like tomatoes, avocados, blueberries, azaleas etc. Before scattering them on the ground, it’s best if you let them dry first. You should scatter them lightly, around the plants.

Fire ash

As long as you have ash leftovers from the fireplace or if you’ve been camping all night, you also have a good means of fertilizing your garden. Ash is rich in potassium (K) and calcium carbonate, which will do wonders for growing fruit and vegetables. The ash method works best for plants that love alkaline surroundings; so don’t use the ashes on acid loving plants. And if the ashes are the result of a fire to which charcoal or lighter fluid was added, don’t use them. The residual agents will harm the plants. So use 100% wood ashes only.

Hair

Yes, that’s correct: hair. Any sort of hair will do, be it from people, dogs cats and pretty much any other creature you can think of. Hair is naturally packed with nitrogen, so if you’ll sprinkle it across the garden, you’ll supply the growing plants with a much needed nitrogen (N) boost. Get hair wherever you can find it: scrap it off brushes and save the trimmings from cutting your hair; you can also visit your local barber shop for great amounts of hair that they would otherwise just throw away. Just offer to get it off their hands for free and they’ll most likely let you have it.

And there you have it, some of the easiest and cheapest methods of ensuring the right nutrients for you survival garden. Not only are these methods cheap and convenient, but they’re also very efficient. If it was money that was in your way of getting your hands dirty and your thumbs green, problem solved! You can now have your garden, and on a budget too.

By My Family Survival Plan

Amazing: Insects Solving World Hunger

Amazing: Insects Solving World Hunger

The total of human population at the beginning of 2016 is roughly around 7.6 billion. And if it’s one thing that’s characteristic for us, is the speed in which we’re depleting our resources; not only are we fast, but we’re constant as well. There’s plenty of us already, and in the near future, there are many things we’ll need to learn to do without. The world reserve of petrol won’t last more than 20, maybe 30 years before its completely depleted. But even more important, it’s finding an alternative for when the food runs out. You can live without petrol and other commodities, but you can’t live without food. The best solution at hand is to throw aside culinary “traditions”, toughen up and accept the fact that the insects solving world hunger. They are the best source of food for dark days! Whether you’re the survivor for a massive World War, scouting the remains of a destroyed society or you’ve been stranded in a hostile environment, you’ll still be surrounded by insects. Most insects are good for eating, just don’t go for the poisonous and venomous ones. It’s their high concentration of protein (can go even up to 75% protein), but also saturated fats (the good kind of fats), minerals and fibers that put them at the top of the list; about 70% of the world’s population is living of insects already, so how long until the rest of us join in? Even the UN launched and official recommendation which encourages insect consumption. Not only is insect consumption healthy, but insect farms would be far less costly and pretentious than any other type of animal. If I’ve got your attention, let’s see some of the best insects across North America that you can get your hands on if SHTF, or if you simply want to experiment.

ANTS (the Formicidae family)

There are plenty of ants to choose from. They’re widely spread and within reach all the time. Just take a bit of patience to scout around the place and you’ll find some sooner or later. Most of the ants you’ll come across are harmless. But if you come across red ants, means you stumbled across some fire ants. They’re bite is really painful, so be as cautious as possible. If we’re talking about an extreme survival case, you can simply reach in the anthill and grab the ants or even better, use a container. I’m sure that if you’ve been starving for a while, you won’t mind their vinegary taste or the fact that you ingurgitate some soil. But if you have the time, boiling is the way to go.

TERMINTES (the Termitoidae family)

Termites are colonial insects, just like ants, they can often be found in large number at ones and their diet consists mainly in eating wood (xylofagous diet). In many places around the world, they live in regular fortresses; termite mounds that are run by all sorts insects devised in social ranks: workers, soldiers, scouts and the queen. However, the mound type structures are no longer found in North America; only fossils are left. Finding termites is really easy, just look for any signs of decaying wood, tree stumps and most of all, damp dead wood.

CATERPILLARS

The caterpillar is not a genus of insect, but rather a transitional form for all sorts of butterflies and moths. Before reaching adult state, moths and butterflies are found in caterpillar form. They don’t have wings, are rather slow by nature (which means they’re easy to catch) and are full of all sorts of nutrients and beneficial substances: vitamin B, calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, copper and iron. Whether they’re hairy or not, they’re still a fully nutritious food source. Some reports I have come across suggest that some of the caterpillars you might come across are potentially toxic, but I have found nothing conclusive in this regard. But just to play it safe, I strongly advise you to stay away from the brightly colored ones. In nature, bright colors mean imminent danger.

CRICKETS / GRASSHOPPERS / LOCUSTS (the Orthoptera order)

The insects in this order are some of the most popular amongst people. And with good reason too. They’re everywhere, easy to catch and sometimes swarm in large numbers; they can be devastating to crops, so if you add humans to they’re natural predatory lists, means less damage they’ll be able to produce. Start eating them, before they’ll eat what you worked so hard for. Besides, they are very nutritious; they have a good overall taste, which is similar to peanuts. Frying them accentuates the flavor, and because they’re packed with protein, you can also dry them up and grind them into a fine powder, which you can store in a cool and dry environment.

Be warned, procuring insects is not as easy as it seems. You really need to know what you’ll be going against. If it’s small and it’s crawling, it’s good to eat. BUT if you see bright colors, stay away. Bright colors mean that the insect is probably poisonous or venomous, so move on and keep looking. You also must be aware of you “hunting ground”. You should gathering insects from urban areas or large crop fields, as these are very likely to have been sprayed with all sorts of insecticides, which can be very toxic.

By My Family Survival Plan

The Benefits Of Coffee In Your Survival Stash

Can you imagine starting off each day without having that first cup of coffee in the morning? I can’t, and I’m pretty sure that most of you can’t either. And in all fairness, how could we? It’s hard to be responsible and functional adults without that boost and the “friendly kick in the rear” that coffee gives us. Caffeine gives us just a bit of energy to get us started through the day and on top of it all, the habit of having a cup of coffee is social activity that often times brings people together, by opening the door for socializing and small talk.

If coffee is such a necessity in our day-to-day average lives, imagine how much more we’re going to need it in a survival situations, when social structures will fall and we’ll be forced to fend for ourselves. Life will be infinitely harder and stressful, as we’ll find ourselves in a struggle for procuring the simplest necessities, like food and water. You’ll need to keep your strength up, have a clear head and keep your wits about you. And there’s no better way of boosting yourself than to add some coffee to your survival provisions.

Coffee improves your health

Coffee has been known to have beneficial effects when it comes to human health; but this only applies to fresh coffee that you brew at home. The processed one tends to lose its beneficial traits. According to a study released in 2012 by the National Institute of Health, coffee drinkers have a higher life expectancy. And it’s no wonder if you consider that the drink is a major source of antioxidants, which reduce overall inflammation and the danger of succumbing to respiratory cardiovascular diseases. The study previously mentioned also states that coffee drinking prevents other afflictions as well, like diabetes, strokes and infections.

Coffee boosts energy and mental alertness

And we’re back to what coffee does best: gives energy when there’s need for it. The caffeine is plentiful in the coffee beans, and this is the main source of energy that gets us started in the morning. It stimulates the adrenal gland that releases cortisol, a steroid hormone, which acts upon the sugar reserves stored in the liver. The result is a burst of energy, which won’t last for very long, but it will be more than enough to get you up and running, especially when will power just isn’t enough. Coffee is being consumed by humans for ages. In certain zones Africa, hunters wrap coffee berries in animal fat. They consume them for extra energy when they’re out hunting, to increase stamina and awareness. Apart from the energy boost, this wonder drink also increases mental alertness; it gets you thinking clearly and very aware of your surroundings. That’s why preppers shouldn’t go without it when SHTF. Because of its wonderful properties, coffee has been a part of the military way of life for decades now. Caffeine consumption has been encouraged greatly amongst our troops, even if it comes in the form of tea or caffeine-based chewing gum.

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Coffee improves morale and reduces depression and suicide rate

Having a cup of coffee every once in a while can be a great morale booster, as well as energizing. Especially in a survival scenario, when the whole world will seem to have been turned upside down. Coffee, just like other familiar rituals, will give you a sense of normalcy which will make the ordeal just a bit more bearable. The smell and taste of coffee will work towards keeping your morale up, just as well as it will keep you alert at all times. If you’re spirit is up, depression will be kept at bay. Studies have shown a direct correlation between low rates of depression and suicide amongst those who drink two or more cups of coffee a day. So if you want to make your doomsday experience a bit more bearable, don’t forget to add coffee to your survival stash. But use it wisely, as reserves will be limited.

If you’ve been convinced by now, waste no more time and start stocking up on the wonder-beans as soon as possible. Coffee products don’t have a very long shelf life and it’s not native to North America. The best option you have is to procure freeze-dried coffee that you can store for long periods of time. When you need it, just take it out, roast it and grind it yourself.

By My Family Survival Plan

7 Peculiar Uses For Pepper

7 Peculiar Uses For Pepper

Pepper is a wonderful spice and a well-known ingredient that no respectable household, restaurant or fast food joint can do without. It’s probably the second most used seasoning (second to salt) and it originates from plants included in the Piperaceae family. The common pepper dust or beads come from the plant’s fruits, which are dried, crushed in a fine and spicy dust or simply used whole; the whole dried fruit is known as peppercorn. The usage of pepper in both gastronomy and medicine dates back since antiquity. The term “pepper” is derived from the Dravidian term pippali, which was later turned into peperi by the romans; the used peperi for both the black pepper and the long pepper. In today’s modern languages, the term shifted into pfeffer (German), poivre (French), pepe (Italian), piper (Romanian) and of course pepper (English). What gives pepper its bite is a chemical called piperine.

Pepper has a long established reputation in the kitchen, but having some around can solve a lot of problems around the house. There are many unusual uses for pepper which will give great results. Here’s what you can use it for:

1. Keep ants away

Ants are naturally attracted by sugar compounds, so as long as you give them a reason, they’ll come invading your kitchen or wherever else they might find something sweet to take back to the colony. If you have some pepper in hand, you can sprinkle it every here and there, where you might think I’d get in the ants way. If the ants encounter pepper along their trail, they’ll most likely g thrown off and they’ll turn back.

2. Keep garden parasites at bay

Your garden won’t be safe until you take some measures. Your plants are in danger ever since they begin sprouting; as soon as they’re out, there are all sort of bugs that are ready to feast on the fruits of your labor. To keep these pesky parasites away, just mix black pepper and flour (equal parts) and sprinkle the mixture around the plants.

3. Keep away squirrels from the bird feeder

If you have a squirrel problem around the bird feeder, you can solve it by simply adding some cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the spice around the feed, and you won’t see squirrels around ever gain. This won’t bother the birds that have a natural tolerance for the pepper; not only won’t they feel it, but the high amounts of vitamin A found in the pepper will also improve their plumage.

4. Brighten the colors of your clothes

If you wish to keep you clothes looking like new as long as possible or simply bring back to life some of the older clothes with faded colors, you don’t need any fancy and expensive products to get the job done. If you have some pepper around the house, just add a teaspoon of the spicy dust to the wash. The pepper thrown in the mix will keep bright colors as strong as ever and will prevent them from running too.

5. Migraines

If you find yourself having a strong headache for no apparent reason, some are claiming that pepper can save the day. Just get a regular glass of water and add half a teaspoon of pepper, mix it up good and drink the concoction. If you have a smaller glass, ¼ teaspoon of pepper will suffice. If in 40 minutes time you have had no results, repeat the procedure.

6. Clear up your sinuses

If you’ve caught a nasty cold or if your sinuses are acting up, you may be able to ease up the situation by adding some extra pepper you or meals. However, if you’re intolerant to spicy food, there’s another solution for your problems: you can get eucalyptus drops and mix them up with liquid pepper; put them in the steamer and they’ll do wonders for your clogged sinuses in no time at all.

7. Detoxify the liver

If you’ve been having liver problems lately or if simply you want to give your liver a hand, you’ll need to mix up the following in a small glass: 1 cup of flat, filtered water; 1 entire lemon (or lime) squeezed; 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or other natural sweetener) and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. You should have this drink every morning, before breakfast.

Thanks to its natural properties, the common pepper s far more than a simple food spice. It can be used as pest repellant, as a fabric brightener and even as a natural remedy for various afflictions. Having some around the house can be very convenient if you should ever find yourself in the need for any of its uses.

How To Improvise A Fishing Rod

How To Improvise A Fishing Rod

Every serious fisherman knows the importance of owning the right fishing rod. Whether you’re fishing for sport or you’re simply trying to feed yourself, there’s no better way than doing it the old fashioned way. But in a SHTF situation (whether you’re lost in the wilderness or you’ve found yourself trapped in an end-of-days scenario) you might not have you trusted fishing rod on you. But you won’t necessarily need to. You’ll need nothing more than a knife; having a small tackle box with the right assortment of hooks and some spool of monofilament will make things easier. If you’re lucky enough to have these items on you, you’ll need to improvise the fishing pole only, which it’ll be more than enough to feed yourself in desperate times. If not, well, you’ll need to improvise the whole thing. The rest of the materials you can easily find in your surroundings. And here’s how to do it.

The pole

The first thing you’ll need to find is the pole; any 6 – 7 foot-long branch will do, as long as it’s no thicker than a human thumb. Once you’ve found the right one, you’ll have to break it off from the tree. Once this is achieved, you’ll need to break it again to the desired length. If it’s dry enough, you can snap it in half against your knee or against any hard surface; but if it’s not dry and it’s still rather flexible, you can try cutting it with the knife. Using dead branches is a bad idea because their durability is very low and break easily. You can test the tip by banding it to the point of snapping. If it snaps, fine; the more it does snap, the stronger the remaining pole gets. As soon as you got the pole to the desired length, use the knife to remove any remaining branches, leaves or shoots. Make it as smooth as possible in order to improve weight and handling.

The fishing line

If you happen to have some monofilament fishing like on you, your job gets much easier. If you don’t, sewing thread could get the job done as well. But in sewing thread isn’t an option either, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and look for thin green vines in ground cover or in the undergrowth found around various bushes. The greener the vine, the stronger it will be. If you find a vine that’s about 10 feet, look no further. Remove any tendrils by pulling carefully so you don’t damage the line. For safety, the line should be tied midway down the pole and wrapped as many times as possible towards the tip, where a simple overhand knot will suffice for holding it in place. This way, if the pole breaks, you can immediately catch the line with your hands.

The hooks and the bait

Some professional hooks will work extremely well, provided of course you brought some along. If not, you can always use paper clips, safety pins or soda can tabs. Another viable option is to carve your very own V-shaped hooks out of wood (green wood preferably). A one end you’ll need to carve a groove, in the hook-eye area. This will allow you to tie fishing line onto. As bait you can use pretty much any insect you can get your hands on. The easiest things to get are the earthworms, which can be found underground, under rocks, around moss and in other moist areas. Once you’ve baited the hook, you’re pretty much ready to go. From here on in it’s all about patience and skill.

When it comes to fishing is a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, fishing areas are very important. It’s absolutely necessary to procure the maximum amount of fish with as little resources as possible. So it’s not all about the gear that you have or that you’ve crafted. It’s just as important to know where, when and how to fish. If you’re fishing in stagnant waters, you’ll need to go after still pools. The stillness of the water will make the bait as visible as possible, thus increasing your chances of catching something fast. When it comes to running waters, the area behind exposed boulders would be the best location to catch anything, as fish have a tendency of gathering in such places. You might also want to consider bank fishing, as standing on the water’s edge can also be a very productive fishing method.

As you can see, improvising and entire fishing pole is a rather difficult task, but not impossible to achieve. As previously stated, having line and hooks on you will spare you a lot of trouble. But if not, you’ll just need to put some extra effort into it. Just follow all the steps and you’ll have your DIY fishing rod in no time.

By My Family Survival Plan

7 Unusual Uses For The Usual Egg

7 Unusual Uses For The Usual Egg

Chicken eggs are a part of everybody’s diet; well, everybody who understands the importance of a balanced diet that is. Not only are they tasty, easy to handle and prepare, but they’re also extremely versatile in the kitchen: you can eat them raw, boiled, fried and in billions of combinations for billions of recipes. Yes, eggs area edible, we’ve figured that part out already. But just because they’re good for eating, doesn’t mean that they’re not good for anything else. You’d be surprised to discover that the good ol’ egg is not the boring item you’ve known all your life. There are plenty of other good uses for the egg and they have nothing to do with appeasing your hunger. Because of its wonderful properties, the egg (egg white, egg yolk and eggshell) can be used for the following purposes:

1. Make candles out of eggshells

An emptied eggshell will make an excellent support for a candle. Just drill a hole in the upper side of the egg and once this is done, simply start peeling the eggshell little. Pour out the content (the white and the yolk) and stop peeling when you’re left with 2 / 3 of the eggshell. You can pour melted wax gently and start a candle from scratch in the eggshell or you can improvise one. Just add a candle inside and, preferably, surround with melted wax.

2. Temporarily plant seeds in eggshells and egg cartons

Get an egg carton and have it filed with half eggshells. Next, fill up each and every single half shell (or as many as you need) with soil and press the sides inside it. Because the eggshell contains many nutrients, the plants with develop better this way, especially in the incipient phases. Once the seedlings reach 3 – 4 inches, you can take them out of the eggshells and transplant in normal gardening conditions and settings. The remaining eggshells should not go to waste; you should crush them and add them to the compost. Not only will they give a boost of calcium to the soil, but they will also deter slugs and other pests.

3. Increase your calcium intake

The calcium found in the eggshells can also be beneficial to human beings, especially to those who have deficiencies in the matter. You have to get some empty eggshells and bake them at 250° for about 25 minutes. Once the baking is done, take them out and let them cool. Once they’ve cooled, you’ll have to grind them shells into the finest powder you can. This is in fact a DIY food supplement that you can add to your juice or smoothie; if your pet has calcium deficiencies, you can add it to the dog / cat food as well.

4. Make better coffee

Get your hands on some dry eggshells and crush them. You don’t have to crush them into the thinnest powder, so don’t waste time on doing it. Now take the crushed shells and add them to your coffee just before brewing. The calcium-rich shells will greatly improve the overall taste of the coffee, as it will absorb a great deal of its natural bitterness. After you’re done with the coffee, don’t throw the leftovers away. The grounds and the shells can be added to your compost heap and re-used for gardening purposes.

5. Cleanse your skin

Science has proven that egg whites have an amazing effect when it comes to clearing up complexions, tightening skin and destroying acne. If you need some skincare and you don’t have any professional skin products in reach, you can make your very own remedy by combining an egg white with half a tea spoon of lemon juice. Beat the concoction gently, place it on the area you wish to treat and let it sit until it dries. Once is dry, apply a second layer for maximum effect. After the second layer is applied, let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes; once the time is up, wash your face with warm water.

6. Moisturize you skin

If egg whites are great for skin afflictions, egg yolks do wonders for dry skin. They are rich in lecithin, which is very effective against dry skin. You’ll have to make a face mask following this recipe: mix an egg yolk, ad 3 teaspoons of honey; stir gently until you’ve obtained an homogenous paste. Apply the paste on the face, in a thick layer. You have to let it dry and sit for about 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes are up, remove the mask by washing it with warm water.

7. Glue for paper and light cardboard

If you need to glue some paper, cardboard or some other light materials and you don’t happen to have any glue around, a simple egg white will suffice. Just break an egg, separate the egg white from the egg yolk, dip a brush in the egg white andspread it gently on the surfaces you want to glue together. The egg white contains proteins that tend to get very sticky when they dry up. It works excellent for paper or light cardboard at least; not recommended for heavier materials.

Believe it or not, the many uses of eggs do not even stop here, I’m sure there are plenty more tasks that the apparently-average egg can fulfill. Maybe many haven’t even been discovered yet. All in all, it really pays having some eggs around the house. Whether you’re looking to achieve some wacky goal or you’re simply trying to grab a bite to eat, a couple of eggs could be just the thing you need; especially if there’s some bacon involved.

By My Family Survival Plan

The Benefits Of Chewing Gum In A Survival Situation

The Benefits Of Chewing Gum In A Survival Situation

Chewing gum / bubble gum is a pop-culture element so rooted into modern society that it’s impossible for our generations (the gum-chewing, bubble-blowing generations) to envision it otherwise. As kids, we used to go for the sweet flavored types, the ones that came into a multitude of colors or flavors. As adults, if we lost our sweet tooth along the way, we changed directions when it comes to chewing gum. We mostly go for the minty ones, which are great for oral hygiene.  No matter your age or social status, for some reason or another, at some point in space and time, you’ll find yourself the benefits of chewing gum.

You might think that the product in question is a characteristic of modern 20th and 21st century society, but that’s far from truth. The “ancestor” of chewing gum originated in antiquity, and it can’t be attributed to a single civilization. The Greeks were chewing on mastic tree sap, the Egyptians had a mixture of sap and spices (cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh etc.) and the Mayans and Aztecs chewed Sapodilla tree sap. The habit of chewing gum (or its various alternatives) stood the test of time because, apart from flavor and texture, chewing has its benefits.

Enhances memory capacity and overall concentration

It has been demonstrated that chewing gum can do wonders for both the memory and the ability to concentrate. There are caffeine-based chewing gums that are best suited for the job, but any sort of gum will do well too. An NBC report has shown that chewing is in direct correlation with memory enhancement and improved test scores, due to the increase of physiological activities like blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate. The increase of blood flow in the brain means higher oxygenation, which makes for better brain functions. Because chewing increases mental alertness, is also highly recommended for kids with learning problems or mental disabilities. Mental alertness is always beneficial, especially in a survival situation where you’ll need to be aware of everything that goes on around you, to make fast decisions and act quickly as your survival depends on every step you take.

Relieves stress and boosts morale

According to his scientific study, chewing gum is a very powerful nerve tonic, because it helps calm down the nerves and alleviates negative moods. It’s exactly for this reason why chewing gum is included and distributed amongst the soldiers that find themselves in a war zone. Chewing gum helps reduces the levels of cortisol , which is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland as a response to high levels of stress or to low levels of glucose in the blood stream. Increased levels of cortisol can be beneficial on short-term periods, but on longer periods of time they can be detrimental to cognitive functions and can even lower the immune system recovery. Because chewing gum contains small amounts of sugar, it can also serve as a small reserve of energy. Having a pack of your favourit gum on you will not only supply you with that tiny bit of energy, but it can also increase your morale and distress your jaw muscles and lower anxiety. So leave some room in your survival kit for a couple of packs of gum.

Suppresses hunger, thirst and aids digestion

The military (and trained combatants in general) use chewing gum as a means of suppressing hunger when the opportunity of eating is not available. The same principle can easily be applied in a survival situation, especially if SHTF and you find yourself a bit short on food supplies. The Zoft Gum is a very potent appetite suppressant and you can get 5 packs for about $10. Believe it or not, not only is there a gum to fight of hunger, but there’s also one that can quench thirst. The Quench Gum was primarily made for athletes in order to keep them hydrated as much as possible during periods of physical effort. It’s packed with 5mg of potassium (K) and electrolytes. The Quench Gum is available on the market in costs about $9 – $10. Chewing gum can be very supportive when it comes do digestion. Chewing constantly will increase the levels of saliva, which in turn will boost the quantity of digestive acids in the stomach. This is achieved with the aid of xylitol, which is found in most chewing gums.

Chewing gum based life hacks

Apart from chewing, there are a lot of other unorthodox uses for gum.

  1. Bait – surprisingly, you can use chewing gum as fish bait, just chew it a little and place it on the hook; it’s very efficient for catfish and it can also lure crabs if you place it on the crab line!
  2. Radiator patch – this is a good temporary solution for a leaky radiator; it may hold long enough for you to reach a mechanic
  3. “Magnet” – it can be very useful if you’re trying to retrieve small objects from an nearly unreachable place; just place some gum on the end of a stick or a piece of string and you’ll be able to recover that lost ring or keys in no time
  4. Window fixer – if you have a lose window pane, don’t worry too much about it; get a stick of ordinary chewing gum, chew on it a little and simply place it as putty
  5. Repel bugs – extra minty gum will repeal mealworms and other bugs from getting into your flower; of course, provided you previously placed a small piece of gum in there first

You’ve probably been chewing gum for some years know, without knowing the benefits that ordinary chewing gum had to offer. Now you know, as the wonders of chewing gum are irrefutable. No matter who you are or where you’re at, always have a pack of gum on you; you can never tell how and when it will save the day.

MFSP

10 Uses For Coca Cola You Weren’t Aware Of

10 Uses For Coca Cola You Weren’t Aware Of

This family-friendly soft drink has been around for over a century. It originated in US Georgia as a medicine drink at the end of the 19th century (invented by John Pemberton), but a few years later (at the beginning of the 20th century) it was bought and rebranded by a business man (Asa Griggs Candler) to become the longest-standing and most common brand in the world. Its popularity is undisputable. We might not all like it, but we all know it and we all tried it at least once. Believe it or not, Coke can be used for many other reasons, apart from human consumption. Due to its interesting properties, the fizzy drink in question can be very handy around the house. You can use it to clean stuff, defrost surfaces and even as pesticide. It’s still up for debate whether the drink is harmful for humans or not, but this is a discussion for another time. Don’t drink it if you don’t trust it, but take a look at this 10 uses for coca cola, the wonders it can do in everyday life situations.

  1. Rust remover

Coke is a fizzy drink, and it’s filled of phosphoric acid, which can loosen rust from every surface as long as that object is exposed for a long enough period of time. If we’re talking about rusty tools or other pieces of metal that you’re trying to clean up, you can simply fill a recipient that’s big enough with Coke and place the object you wish to clean inside. Let it stir for a while; after you’ll take it out the rust will be easy to clean if you scrub it with some tin foil and wipe off with a cloth (works especially well on chromed surfaces). It also does wonders on rusty bolts: just spill some cola over the bolt, let it sit, wipe it and give it another go. You’ll be amazed of how well it works.

  1. Oil stain remover

Oil stains are a pain in the neck. It takes only a moment of carelessness for your pavement or garage floor to get stained forever. If you’ve dropped that pesky motor oil (or any type of oily substance for that matter) and made a mess, don’t worry. Just go out and buy a Coca Cola bottle. Spill it over the oil stain and give it a couple of hours to work its magic. When you’re done waiting, simply whose off the stain from the pavement. Because it works so great, some people even use Coke to clean their car engine’s; and with great results too.

  1. Pots and pans cleaner

If you have old and burned pots and pans that have been worn out with time but you still can’t let them go, you’ll be happy to know that a Coke treatment can make them (almost) brand new. To remove those pesky burn stains, simply pour the wonder-soda into the damaged pot or pan and simmer for a while. After you’re done, empty the pot or pan and rinse with water. Wipe it clean and there you have it! Coca Cola works not only for burned spots, but also for cleaning all sorts of build ups and scales.

  1. Coin cleaner

If you’re a hardcore coin collector and want to make your new additions shine like there’s no tomorrow, just fill a glass or jar with Coca Cola and dump the coins in. In about 10 -20 minutes the excess muck will have been dissolved, so dump the soda and take the coins out one by one and wipe them clean. They’ll be shiny and clean.

  1. Defroster

The soda does wonders for defrosting any type of surface, as the acidic compounds melt ice in no time. So defrosting you car windows (or any type of window for that matter) will be no problem at all. Just pour the drink all over the windshield / windows etc. and watch the ice melt in under a minute. After the ice is turned to mush, you can just wipe it off with a cloth or just let it come off on its own in a matter of minutes.

  1. Window cleaner

It can clean windows just as well as it can defrost them. It’s good for any shinny surface for that matter, thanks to the high
amount of citric acid it holds. Normal window cleaners are citric acid-based as well, so there’s not much difference. You can pour Coke over a piece of cloth and wipe the windows with it or put Coke inside a spray bottle, spray it all over and then wipe the surface clean. The choice is up to you, but the outcome will be the same: cleanliness.

  1. Stain remover

It works perfectly well as any other expensive stain remover available on the market. You can pour the soda in the wash, alongside detergent and it will work just fine in removing the stains from your clothes. Also wine stains or blood stains from carpets or similar surfaces won’t be a problem if you pour coke on them as soon as possible. This procedure is not recommended for light fabrics, because Coca Cola is brown. It might remove the red, but it will leave a brown spot in its place.

  1. Toilette cleaner

If you’re out of toilette cleaner but you happen to have some Coca Cola lying around the house, perfect! Just pour the soda inside the toilette bowl and let it sit for a few minutes, just like you would with you regular product. After the time is up, scrub and flush like always. Your bowl will be so sparkly, that no one will be able to tell that you used a fizzy drink instead of a professional product.

  1. Gum remover

If by some reason or another you end up with gum in your hair, the only reasonable thing to do is to cut it off. Well, not really. Just pour some Coke over the “warzone” and wait about 5 minutes. The fizzy drink will break down the stretching properties of the gum and it will make it much easier to pick up and wash off.

  1. Pain reliever

IF you get stung by some nasty creatures (bees, wasp, jellyfish etc.) you’ll be a world of pain. You probably know the main approach to jelly fish stings is urine treatment. Fortunately, making a fool of yourself in public won’t be necessary if you happen to have some Coca Cola on you. Just open the bottle or can and pour it over the affected area. Thanks to the chemical structure of the drink, the pain inducing substances will be neutralized a couple of minutes.

Whether you like Coke as a drink or not, is not up for debate. But having some around the house will undoubtedly come in handy at some point or another. I always keep a couple of bottles, just in case. You never know when you’ll run out of cleaning props or pain relief ointments.

By My Family Survival Plan

3 Of The Most Common And Dangerous Foodborne Diseases

Dangerous Foodborne Diseases

Food! We all do it, we all eat. Not only because we have to in order to survive, but also because we like it. Most cultures are unique when it comes to culinary treats, with at least a couple of dishes to set them easily aside from the rest of the world. Cooking may come in different shapes and sizes, but the raw material is (more or less) the same everywhere. We need organic material as fuel. But the organic material we ingurgitate may sometimes be infected by pathogens that will cause us harm. The food of beverages that contain certain bacteria, viruses, parasites or even chemicals will cause great distress and irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Most of the gastrointestinal afflictions are acute; they manifest themselves rapidly, with fever diarrhea and vomiting and won’t last more than a few days, even without medical treatment. Others, on the other hand, will manifest themselves way more severely, and will cause a rapid death if left untreated.

Salmonella

This tiny bacterium (Salmonella enterica) is one of the most common and wildly spread foodborne pathogens on the face of the Earth. It lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and it’s transmitted to humans through food that hasn’t been properly washed and that previously came in contact with animal waste. What makes it dangerous and so wildly spread is the fact that it’s practically impossible to detect. Diseased animals manifest no exact symptoms; nor will the food products that get tainted. It’s not resistant to high temperatures, so cooking the food properly will destroy the proteins that make up the bacteria. If not, hell will soon follow. Within 12 to 72 hours from infection, the pathogen will make itself “visible” through acute abdominal pain and cramp, fever and diarrhea. The diarrhea is severe in this case, so drinking plenty of fluids is a must, in order to avoid dehydration. In a strong and healthy individual, the disease shouldn’t last more than 5 – 7 days. Medication is necessary only if the infection has already spread to the intestines; also if the infected person has a compromised immune system or is an elderly citizen, that will have problems fighting the disease on his own. It can sometimes lead to a complication known as Reiter’s syndrome or reactive arthritis, which causes painful joints, painful urination, eye soreness and chronic arthritis. The best way to avoid salmonella infection is it to cook your food carefully, especially meat and eggs.

Salmonella enterica

Trichinosis

Also known as trichinellosis, is a disease that’s easily contracted by humans that consume meat infected with the larvae of the trichinella worm (Trichinella spiralis), be it from domesticated pigs or other wild animals. The larvae are incased in a cyst in animal meat. After ingestion, it gets in a human host, where the digestive acids found in our stomachs dissolve the cyst and release the worm. They mature in a couple of days in the small intestine. They will mate, lay eggs and from these eggs small worm will result that will make their way to muscle tissue (through the arteries), where they’ll incase themselves in cystic form again. In an attempt to fight the invasive creatures, you’ll body will suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, acute stomachaches in the first 2 – 3 days after eating the tainted meat. After the worms have matured and start reproducing (2 – 8 weeks), you’ll also experience fever, chills, coughing, eye-sealing, headaches, itchy skin, joint pain and irregularities of the digestive system (constipation or diarrhea). It’s a disease that should not be left untreated. The best way to avoid getting trichinosis is to cook meat at about 160°F, temperature that will destroy the cysts. You can also freeze you pork for 20 days in order to kill the worms, however this might not work when it comes to game animals.

Trichinella spiralis cysts in muscle mass

E.coli

The Escherichia coli is a large group of bacteria, out of which most are harmless. The one that’s able to cause havoc is called the O157:H7, and is part of the STEC group (the E. coli that produce the Shiga toxin). They’re mostly found in the intestines and stomachs of ruminant animals (cattle) but also in sheep, goats, elk, deer etc. When the animal is eviscerated, the intestines might get cut and spill out on the meat, immediately infecting it. The most common method of spreading the bacteria is through ground meat, but it was also found in milk and other dairy products. Vegetables or fruits that come in contact with infected animal waste will also get tainted. Although it doesn’t manifest itself in any way in the animal hosts, in humans it can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and even bloody diarrhea. The infection spreads rapidly, so that about a third of the people infected will get hospitalized; about 10% of those that get hospitalized will die. It’s most dangerous when it comes to children ages 5 – 10. They risk of developing hemolytic-uremic syndrome as a result of the E. coli infection, which can lead to kidney failure. You can avoid E. coli infection by regularly washing your hands, washing vegetables and cooking your meat at a temperature of at least 160°F.

The O157:H7 E. coli

To avoid getting dangerous foodborne diseases, hygiene is a must. Always wash your hands, your food and avoid eating from unreliable sources. If you manifest any of the symptoms that I’ve listed above, check with your doctor immediately and don’t leave anything to chance. Most of the incipient symptoms are common in most type of food related infections, so it’s hard to tell on your own whether you’ve contracted something that’s life-threatening or not.

By My Family Survival Plan

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