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Avian/Bird Flu FOOD Prep

Last week I wrote an article about basic preparedness for the possibility of a bird flu pandemic. Today's will give more info on what foods to store.

Fruits/Veggies: If you don't grow any yourself, that's ok. We buy a lot of dehydrated foods from http://www.justtomatoes.com/. My VHTS loves the dried blueberries, blackberries, mango, peas and soybeans. My favorite are the bananas, strawberries, raspberries and cherries, and Hubby likes the tropical mixture that has pineapple and kiwi. They also have pomegranate, cranberries, peaches, carrots, green onions, tomatoes, corn and much more. The prices are pretty reasonable, especially if you get the larger sizes. We also get a good supply of dried onion, garlic, spinach, parsley and soup veggies from our local health food store, Vitamin Cottage. Gather what you can, and either process by canning, freezing or dehydrating. Have a good supply of foods that your family will actually eat. Remember quick-cooking grains like rice, oatmeal and millet (preserving fuel), and plenty of protein like dehydrated eggs, peanut butter, jerky, nuts and seeds. Be sure to include in your diet (for their anti-viral properties): Onion, Garlic, Shiitake Mushrooms, Green Tea, Cranberries, Turmeric Spice, Red Wine.

Supplements: Stock up on: grape seed extract, grapefruit seed extract, fish oil, ginger, cranberry concentrate, (odorless) garlic oil, high quality multi-vitamin, 1,000 mg vitamin C, 25 mg zinc, and 50 mg selenium. We also are stocking up on echinacea, golden seal, mullein and feverfew. Get lots of ibuprofen and acetaminophen (different classes of drugs so if each says to take one or two every 4 hours, then take 2 ibu and 2 hours later take 2 acet then 2 hours later take another 2 ibu and so on.) We've also heard conflicting reports about colloidal silver - you decide.

Store water: can't emphasize that enough. Usually it's recommended to have one gallon per person per day for drinking, cooking, and cleaning (body and other). I've tried to get by on 2 liters (a re-filled soda bottle) and sometimes do ok.

Cleanliness: You MUST keep yourself clean to help your immune system. And face it.... you do NOT want to use your bottled drinking water for cleaning. It's certainly understandable. So we store (and use regularly just to be in the habit) baby wipes (sometimes). We buy a big box at a time at Wal-Mart of the cheapest unscented baby wipes we can find. It takes no time at all to swipe one over a growing 12-yr-old boy's face, buzzed-haircut-head, hands, underarms and, er, other places.

Storage: When we get a large container of dried pomegranate seeds from http://www.justtomatoes.com/, we divide them up into small snack-size baggies, seal, and store all in a mason jar. When we finish one, we open the jar, pull out a snack baggie, and close the jar back tightly. One baggie lasts a while. ... ... ... ... ... Store tomato paste instead of tomato sauce (less space). Use a lot of peanut butter? Get the dehydrated peanut butter powder and use some of your water stores to rehydrate (check out http://www.beprepared.com/). Not enough storage room? Look under your bed: you can fit quite a few cans under there. Or your linen or broom closet. In the spare bedroom/bathroom. Or fill up a long-lasting great-sealing trash can with super-sealed stuffs and bury it in your backyard (make a map!). Make a list of what you actually use on a regular basis, acquire your stock (a little at a time is fine) and start writing out recipes. Forgot to add salt to your list? Get some. Forgot you need a little cumin for your favorite rice dish? Pick up some on your next grocery trip. Now is the time to experiment and make sure you have the things stored you need to provide nutritious meals for your family members (and pets) in case you are forced to live off of what you store. (Note: this is the essence of why people come to this website: to have enough food stored in case of blizzards, power outages, economic disasters, or pandemics. Your comments as to what you are preparing are appreciated!)

What can YOU think of?

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