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How to Stock Your Disaster Pantry

Where do I start?

Start by adding a few storable items that you typically eat, storing some water that is safe to drink, and saving some money, if only a few coins each week. Then, over time, expand these initial efforts—as individual circumstances allow and where permitted—by storing a longer-term supply of basics such as grains, beans, and other staples.

How quickly should I obtain my food storage?

It is not prudent to go to extremes or go into debt to establish your home storage all at once. Gradually build reserves over time as financial resources and space permit.

When disaster strikes and your family, friends, and neighborhood need your help, the last place you want to be is stuck in a food line. A backup food supply that's easy to manage and won't break the bank is a cornerstone of disaster prep. The biggest question: How much food is enough?
FEMA and the Red Cross suggest a two-week supply. On its website, the Mormon Church advises a more world-weary approach, advising its flock to keep a three-month supply of food "that is part of your normal daily diet" on hand. It's not a bad goal, but the commercial food grid is usually up and running in much less time, so we suggest starting with a month's backup. How much is that?
"We need to debunk the one-size-fits-all solution to how much food you need," says survival instructor Cody Lundin, author of the excellent disaster-survival manual When All Hell Breaks Loose and pony-tailed star of Dual Survival. "Age, sex, weight, height all factor in. Just ask any mom with three teenage boys who play football if they will eat the same amount of food as her neighbors with younger kids."
The first step is to figure out the basal metabolic rate—the amount of energy a body uses at rest—for each member of your family. Keep in mind that in a disaster situation, people aren't usually at rest, so add more food to compensate. Visit a site like this one to calculate your family's BMR. Our sample family has a husband and wife in their 40s (4400 calories per day), and a son and daughter between 9 and 13 (2400 calories per day). We then added 1000 calories as a cushion, putting our requirements at 7800 calories per day and 234,000 per month.
Remember, you don't have to buy it all at once. Each week, add a few extra items to the shopping list until you've filled up your basement shelves to your satisfaction. We built up a sample store of goods for this photo as a guide to the sorts of foods that store well and could keep a family of four well-fed and sane through the aftermath.
  • "Canned goods are great for a disaster supply," Lundin says. "They're already cooked, they don't need to be heated, you can eat them right out of the can, and they've got an expiration date printed on them."
  • First in First Out (FIFA) is the time-honored rule of thumb when it comes to rotating food in and out of your disaster pantry. Use the year-old bag of white rice for regular meals and resupply your stock with a fresh bag.
  • Go for whole grains for health, nutrition, and satisfaction. "In my field courses we have 14 people, and on one night we eat the high-tech, freeze-dried, backpacker food that costs about $7 a person," Lundin says. "Then the next night we cook rice and beans in a pressure cooker for about $5 for the entire group. They are always hungry after the backpacker food, and after the rice and beans they always say they feel full and satisfied."
  • What's wrong with 250,000 calories worth of chocolate bars? If that's all you have, then nothing. But because we're talking about preplanning, we filled our pantry with enough food to build a 30-day diet made up of 55 percent carbs, 25 percent fats, and 20 percent protein. That puts us within the 2010 dietary guidelines suggested by the USDA for all age groups.
  • The downside of all that rice, beans, dried pasta, dried milk, and instant coffee is that it takes water to bring them to life. Our month's pantry requires 78 gallons of water.
  • Rice and beans can get old, so lay in some guilty pleasures for the kids. A $1 can of Kosher SpaghettiOs Meatballs is power packed with energy: 480 calories, 7 grams of fat, 11 grams of protein, and 32 grams of carbs.
  • Don't discount the need for coffee in the morning. The downside: It requires 8.5 gallons of water.
  • Don't forget your veggies.
  • Only in a disaster should cling peaches and applesauce count toward your fruit intake.
  • Peanut butter is loaded with protein and fats. Just don't forget about food and nut allergies.
  • Long a staple of preppers, dried milk can be used to create sauces, lighten your coffee, make yogurt, and, yes, fill a glass with milk.
  • Crisco is probably the most stable, easy-to-store fat in the history of the world, but canola oil works well too

Three-Month Supply
food storage
Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage.

Three-month supply items are foods that you normally eat, including canned and commercially packaged foods. Longer-term supply items are basic food items like grains and beans that have very low moisture content (about 10% or less), can be stored for long periods of time (20–30 years), and would sustain life if nothing else were available to eat. A portion of longer-term supply items may be rotated into the three-month supply.

Product Recommendations
The following suggested amounts are for one adult.


Quantity for One Month

Recommended Products

Long-Term Storage Life

11.5 kg./ 25 lbs

Wheat, white rice, corn, and other grains

30+ years

2.5 kg. / 5 lbs

Dry beans

30+ years

You may also want to add other items to your longer-term storage such as sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil. To meet nutritional needs, also store foods containing vitamin C and other essential nutrients.
Storage Conditions
Storage life can be significantly impacted by the following conditions:

  • Temperature: Store products at a temperature of 75°F/24°C or lower whenever possible. If storage temperatures are higher, rotate products as needed to maintain quality.
  • Moisture: Keep storage areas dry. It is best to keep containers off of the floor to allow for air circulation.
  • Light: Protect cooking oil and products stored in PETE bottles from light.
  • Insects and rodents: Protect products stored in foil pouches and PETE bottles from rodent and insect damage.

Packaging Recommendations
Recommended containers for longer-term storage include the following: 

  • #10 cans
  • Foil pouches
  • PETE bottles (for dry products such as wheat, corn, and beans)
These containers, used with oxygen absorber packets, eliminate food-borne insects and help preserve nutritional quality and taste. Oxygen absorber packets are available online at store.lds.org.
Under certain conditions, you can also use plastic buckets for longer-term storage of wheat, dry beans, and other dry products.
Warning: Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in packaging that reduces oxygen. When stored in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers, products must be dry (about 10% or less moisture content).

Dry Products for Longer-Term Food Storage

longer-term storage items can last 30 years or longer. Food New “Life-Sustaining” Shelf-Life Estimates (in Years)

Yes. Properly packaged, low-moisture foods stored at room temperature or cooler (75°F/24°C or lower) remain nutritious and edible much longer than previously thought, according to recent scientific studies. The studies, which are the first of their kind, increase the estimated shelf life for many products to 30 years or more (see chart for new estimates of shelf life). Previous estimates of longevity were based on “best-if-used-by” recommendations and experience. Though not studied, sugar, salt, baking soda (essential for soaking beans), and vitamin C in tablet form also store well long-term. Some basic foods do need more frequent rotation, such as vegetable oil every 1 to 2 years.

While there is a decline in nutritional quality and taste over time, depending on the original quality of food and how it was processed, packaged, and stored, the studies show that even after being stored long-term, the food will help sustain life in an emergency.

Wheat 30+
White rice 30+
Corn 30+
Sugar 30+
Pinto beans 30 
Rolled oats 30
Pasta 30 
Potato flakes 30
Apple slices 30
Non-fat powdered milk 20
Dehydrated carrots 20
  • Products intended for longer-term storage must be dry (about 10% or less moisture content).
  • Warning: Botulism poisoning may result if moist products are stored in packaging that reduces oxygen.
  • Dry products that are not suitable for longer-term storage due to moisture content, oils, or other concerns include:

Barley, pearled

  Meat, dried (such as jerky)

Eggs, dried

Nuts

Flour, whole wheat

Rice, brown

Grains, milled (other than rolled oats)

Sugar, brown      

Granola

Vegetables and fruits, dehydrated  (unless dry enough, inside and out, to snap when bent)

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Israeli Breakfasts - Don't Skip that Morning Meal

El Al's New Airplane Breakfast Photo by Anatoly Michalo Learn from those delicious Israeli hotel breakfasts - whether you are in Israel or anywhere else - and don't skip a healthy morning meal.. By Nili Abrahams, CHHC

Israel is famous for its breakfast. This fresh and colourful morning meal served at Israeli hotels and vacation destinations includes: an assortment of salads, cheeses, herrings, fruit and breads to start. It might possibly be the reason that Israel was ranked 6th by Bloomberg Rankings of the World’s healthiest countries in May 2012.

Israelis know how to start their morning right.

Are you trying to lose weight by skipping breakfast each day? Do you grab coffees a few times throughout your day rushing to just keep going? Do you find yourself binging at supper and well into the evening?

This is not the ideal weight loss plan. Skipping breakfast must mean that the body’s need and craving for food is ignored. A cycle of binge eating sabotages all efforts at staying nutritionally balanced. Many people overeat in the evenings because they are beyond hungry. Good intentions and weight loss goals can’t be met under these erratic conditions.

The first step to successful weight loss is eating a healthy breakfast. Many studies show that this meal lays the foundation for lifelong health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, improving sugar numbers and possibly preventing heart disease. Breakfast feeds the brain the nutrients it needs for learning, problem solving and improving short term memory while ensuring you feel more energized.

Going without breakfast may mean eating more throughout the day. And finally breakfast eaters consume more nutrients such as calcium and potassium than non breakfast eaters.

A healthful breakfast could consist of eggs, vegetables, fruit and a wholesome grain. You might enjoy a smoothie made with plain yogurt, berries and some ground flax seeds and chia. Leftover brown rice and steamed vegetables make a perfect breakfast. Mix up your breakfast choices to prevent boredom and falling back on old habits.

The possibilities for a creative start to your day are endless. So enjoy your tasty beginnings knowing that you are doing your body a great favour.

Nili Abrahams, Certified Holistic Health Coach at ChooseLifeNutrition, integrating Health and Wellness with Torah’s Wisdom.

And remember you can choose your best life one step at a time.

Israeli Breakfast Recipes

Making an Israeli breakfast at home is simple, and the results are delicious. This recipe is really just a guideline – use the specific kinds of ingredients (i.e. type of cheese, eggs etc.) that appeal to you.

You’ll need:

Cheeses – hard, soft, cottage cheese, labane
Olives – whole Israeli olives or other Mediterranean olives
Israeli salad – chopped vegetable salad
Eggs – scrambled, fried, hard or soft-boiled, an omelet…
Bread – freshly baked artisan bread, with a nice crust!
Butter, jams, honey…
Freshly squeezed juices
Tea (mint tea is especially fitting with this meal) or coffee

Directions:

Prepare the Israeli salad. Click here for recipe.
Prepare eggs. If you’re making an omelet, consider adding chopped fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro), chopped green onions, fried onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese…
Bring out the olives, cheese, bread and spreads
Serve with your beverage(s) of choice

And from About.com Israeli Breakfast:
Hummus:Hummus, a Mediterranean dip made of pureed chick peas, tastes best when eaten with fresh pita bread.
Tehina :Tehina, a thick dip with sesame seeds as its base, was brought to Israel by Jewish refugees from the Arab countries.
Labaneh:Labaneh, a homemade yogurt cheese, is just as popular a spread as hummus and tehina in Israel.
Baba Ghanouj :Baba Ghanouj is a dip made of roasted, pureed eggplant.
Shakshouka:Shakshouka, from the Hebrew word leshakshek meaning "to shake", is a popular, spiced, egg and tomato dish.
Israeli Salad:Vegetable Salad is enjoyed by Israelis three times a day - at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Mixed Cheese Salad :This Mixed Cheese Salad combines cottage and feta with cucumbers, peppers and onions.
Rugelach:Rugelach, which means "little horns", are small pastries made from rich cream cheese dough and filled with jam, chocolate, honey, or nuts.
Turkish Coffee:Turkish Coffee is surprisingly easy to make and an essential part of the Israeli breakfast menu.

The Real Message of Passover, Not Obama's Version

The Obama Democrats certainly consider his custom of holding sic Jewish Passover Seders good politics, which they probably are in the American Jewish reality.  But in terms of the true meaning of the Pesach Passover holiday, they've gotten it all wrong. And United States President Obama also got the Passover message wrong when he was telling us (and the world) during his recent visit to Israel that he sees a connection with the Arabs aka Palestinian demands for a state inside the Biblical Land of Israel and the Passover holiday.

THE JEWISH PEOPLE NEVER ASKED FOR A JEWISH STATE IN EGYPT!  So using the Passover narrative to support the Arab demands should only make some sense if the Arabs were to leave Israel and find some other land to demand.

The story of the Jewish People in Egypt was very different.  It's more like the story of Naomi and Ruth, which is read on Shavuot, the Holiday most connected to Passover.  We are required to Count the Omer, the forty-nine days, seven weeks from the second night of Passover to right before Shavuot.

In both stories, the Jewish People or main characters started off in the Land of Israel.  We must begin the Passover story as a prequel, to show how we ended up in Egypt.  By ignoring what precedes Jewish slavery to Pharaoh we can't fully understand what the holiday is really about.  Over a hundred years earlier, there wasn't a large Jewish People, there was just a family.  Jacob was the father, and he had twelve sons from four women.  One of his sons, the favorite-being the elder of his favorite wife, had disappeared under suspicious circumstances.  His other sons claimed that the boy had been killed by an animal, but he didn't believe them.  No body and no closure. 

Jacob was a very wealthy man, so a number of years later when the area was cursed by famine he sent his sons to buy food in Egypt. And to make  a long story short, it ended up that the missing son was the very high official in charge so selling food during the famine.  Pharaoh probably didn't want the son to possibly leave Egypt and join his family, so he invited the entire clan to live in a very fertile location in Egypt.

The Jewish time in Egypt had started as a privileged one, but at some point everything went downhill and they became slaves.  Conditions became unbearable for Jews and they cried out to G-d to make life easier.  G-d appointed Moses and told him that he would take the Jewish People back to the HolyLand.  And that's where the Passover story comes in.

In Megillat Rut, The Scroll of Ruth, we have a similar scenario.  The story starts with Naomi, whose husband Elimelech decides that  his family must flee the famine and go to nearby Moav.  Just like with the Jewish People in Egypt, it turned out disastrously.  He and their sons die leaving Naomi poverty-stricken and alone with the two childless daughters-in-law.  Naomi then decides to return to the HolyLand alone, but one daughter-in-law, Ruth, insists on joining her and her fate as a Jew.  At first Naomi is shunned, but  Ruth ends up the great-grandmother of the greatest Jewish King, King David.

To simplify both stories:

  • Jews leave HolyLand for economic reasons.
  • Jews have great hopes that their new lives will be better, and maybe they are for a while.
  • Jews end up poverty-stricken, suffering.
  • Jews end up realizing they must return Home to the HolyLand!
That's it in a nutshell.

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from Rabbi Lazer Brody A Quick Breather

My beloved rabbi and spiritual Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a told me some amazing things today:

1. Despite all the reports of the imminent nuclear bombs in Iran's hands, the people of Israel have nothing to worry about. The Rav said, "Hashem, with one little grin, can wipe out their whole nuclear program." The Rav then said that Iran, Syria, Hizbulla and Hamas are meaningless to us, only sticks in Hashem's loving hands to prod us to do teshuva, for our own good. This is of course on condition that the Nation of Israel makes a serious effort to get closer to Hashem.

2. Hashem loves us more than we can ever imagine, but we don't believe that - that's our main blemish in emuna. Since our emuna is weak, we don't pray enough. Our prayers are not effective because we don't believe in the power of prayer, in Hashem's love, and in the fact that Hashem wants to give us everything.

3. When I told the Rav about the two particular GRAD missiles that landed in our neighborhood - one 200 meters from our apartment and the other about 350 meters from our apartment, both in parking lots of densely populated areas, he said that these are examples of Hashem's love - He's waking us up with a jolt, but doing so in a way that so few get hurt.

4. The Rav says that the current lull in hostilities here in Israel is Hashem's delay of the Geula: Hashem doesn't want to bring the Geula with dinim or stern judgments. Rather, Hashem wants to bring Geula with mercy, b'rachamim, and with joy. But, Hashem needs for more of us to do teshuva and strengthen our emuna to do so. No one knows how long this "quick breather" will last. Many speak about difficult timees ahead, but teshuva, emuna, and lots of prayer can mitigate all the difficult things.

5. The Jews abroad must make Aliya as soon as possible. The only justification for remaining outside of Israel is to spread emuna with total dedication.

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MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL IN THE LAND AND ACROSS THE WORLD,

build the third Temple and reveal the King Messiah at every moment in our days.
HARAV NIR BEN ARTZI WARNS: "JEWS, COME UP URGENTLY TO YISRAEL"
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that belong in the Holy Land of Israel.
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