Archive for the ‘Food’ Category
Posted by nwnikkie on June 20, 2012
Posted by nwnikkie on April 18, 2012
Bees feeding off tea trees native to New Zealand, produce a type of honey that’s known as “Jelly Bush Honey” in Australia and “Mankuta Honey” in New Zealand. Now, scientists at the University of Sydney’s School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences have found this particular type of honey has some amazing curative properties.
Until now, Manuka Honey has been sold in health food stores as a natural medicine. That is probably about to change. New research has shown the honey kills every type of bacteria scientists have thrown at it, including the antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ plaguing hospitals and killing patients around the world.
Professor Dee Carter is one of the research team that made the discovery. She said a compound in the honey called methylglyoxal is the key ingredient to the effectiveness of the honey. However, methylglyoxal on its own is toxic but when it combines with what are, as yet, unknown compounds it causes “multi-system failure” in bacteria.
Manuka Honey Unique to New Zealand
Honey bees collect nectar from Manuka bushes (also known as Tea Trees) which grow in remote areas of New Zealand. According to Manuka Health the discovery of the anti-bacterial properties of methylglyoxal was made by Professor Thomas Henle at the University of Dresden, Germany.
The curative properties of various types of honey have been known to indigenous cultures for thousands of years, and dressing wounds with honey was common before the advent of antibiotics.
Posted by nwnikkie on February 8, 2012
Cheese wax prevents cheese from developing mold or bacteria and it keeps moisture in. Simply use a combination of dipping and brushing with a natural boar’s hair brush to apply the melted cheese wax liberally to your block of cheese let it harden, and store at a mild to cool temperature. Cheese treated with cheese wax will store for up to 25 years. It will continue to age, but, it won’t get moldy (even if it does in parts, you can simply cut off that part, and re-wax over it.)
When preparing your cheese blocks for dipping select/cut cheese block sizes that you and your family can easily consume within 3-5 day period in order to avoid it going bad once you’ve cut into it.
Blocks of cheese or cheese wheels (cut into sizable pieces)
Boar brush (or other brush with natural bristles)
A double boiler set up – the pan you choose to melt the cheese wax in will be your designated cheese wax pan as it is near impossible to clean afterwards
Sharpie for labeling
Masking tape or paper for labeling
Posted by nwnikkie on November 28, 2011
The answer is right under our noses. How much information can you handle in 3 minutes about health, wild and local medicinal plants? Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a serious brain fill. This is all about natural healing from weeds and wild edible plants in your area. If I or my parents knew all this when I was young, things would be a lot different !
Posted by nwnikkie on November 2, 2011
Using Three Simple Old Fashioned Methods
Food Safety Precaution BASICS
1. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling any type of food.
2. Rinse the raw food thoroughly before processing and storing it.
3. Use clean food processing equipment.
4. Always wash the utensils before using them on a different food item to prevent a problem of cross-contamination.
5. Use clean storage containers.
6. Examine the food carefully and discard any food that has mold or bruises or slime or insects or other problems.
7. The shelf life of the food will not be extended forever, but it can be increased by a few weeks to a few months (or longer depending on the food item and the preservation method).
The Three Traditional Food Preservation Methods
These 3 simple ways preserve food using old fashioned techniques do not require the use of any special chemicals, salt or equipment:
1. In the ground.
2. In a root cellar.
1. In the Ground
(Appropriate for Carrots and Radishes in the Fall)
Leave the vegetables in the original ground where they grew during the summer.
This technique works well with carrots and radishes.
Mulch the ground above the vegetables with a thick layer of straw.
However, if the weather has not yet turned cold and you leave radishes in the ground then they will go to seed.
2. In a Root Cellar
(Appropriate for Some Vegetables and Some Fruits)
A root cellar is a cool dry dark place underground where the temperature remains between 40°F to 60°F (or 4°C to 15°C).
1. The depth of the root cellar below ground will vary between 1 to 3 feet depending on the frost line in the area where you live. The frost line is how deep the ground freezes in winter.
2. Humidity must be controlled.
3. Insects and rodents must be kept out.
A simple root cellar can be made from a clean empty food grade 55 gallon drum. Plant the drum sideways below ground under at least 12 inches of dirt. Put the food in the drum and then attach the drum lid. Shovel some dirt against the lid to keep it cool inside the drum. The drum will stay cool and it will keep out the air and insects and rodents. Do not place the fruit or vegetables directly against the sides of the drum. Instead store the fruit or vegetables inside wood boxes inside the drum.
Apples, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes release ethylene gas while in storage and this gas will cause other foods to ripen and spoil more rapidly. Therefore they should be stored by themselves and not with other foods.
Posted by carnifex676 on September 27, 2011
When it comes to wilderness survival, large scale disaster, or even just camping outdoors we often try to do things in the same manner as we are accustomed to doing them at home. However what works well enough in civilization does not necessarily translate smoothly to a wilderness or disaster scenario where familiar supplies of every sort are limited or non-existent.
Solutions are available to most outdoor and survival problems, if only we have the knowledge and inventiveness to use them. But because we usually spend most of our time in civilization where specialized tools and products are readily available, we loose some of the edge in our abilities to utilize the common items we find around us in the wilderness.
Often it is simply a matter of key pieces of information missing in our expertise, which once provided suddenly gives us a powerful new way to accomplish necessary tasks. Survival Topics maintains that the best survivalists are experts at repurposing what is available to them under field conditions.
|Wood Ash Soap
You can use wood ashes instead of soap to clean your mess kit and cooking gear
Shown here is a greasy pot with food residue that we want to clean, a bottle of water that has been treated to destroy disease causing organisms, a pile of wood ash, and a scouring pad
Important: do not wash your gear with 200 feet (60 meters) of any source of water
Consider the daily chore of cleaning your mess kit after a meal. There can be no doubt that the proper cleaning of your mess kit and cooking gear is an important wilderness or disaster survival task; when it comes to the food you eat and the cooking gear and utensils that come in contact with it, a lack of proper hygiene can lay you low in short order.
Easy Access to Soap is Limited
In a disaster or wilderness survival setting you will often lack soap with which to wash your camp cooking gear and mess kit. Soap takes up weight and space, which is a very important consideration when every ounce and every cubic inch of your gear must be measured against what is most important for your survival. Especially when you are on foot the less you carry the better off you are; hard decisions must be made on what you bring with you and what is left behind.
On extended stays in the wilderness or during a large scale disaster re-supply from outside sources is usually not available. You are likely to eventually run out of any soap you have so an alternative means for cleaning your cooking gear and mess kit is preferable.
When practicing survival skills in the field I usually do not bring soap to clean my mess kit and cooking gear. To save on bulk and weight, I would forgo using any soap I had in favor of rubbing and swirling a mixture of water, mud and sand on cooking utensils in order to scour off caked on grease and food particles. Although sanding down cooking gear certainly removes food residues, it often doesn’t eliminate all the grease. And the mess kit and cooking gear sure take a beating.
For many years I was content on using the sand and mud method to clean my cooking gear when in the wilderness. But one evening while sitting around the camp fire after having washed the remains of the evening meal from my mess kit with the usual mud, sand, and water mixture, the smoke sudden cleared from my eyes and the world seemed fresh and new. I had independently made a discovery that had already been known for centuries. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by nwnikkie on September 13, 2011
Stock up now….while you can, and beat the 30% price inflation on Peanut Butter and peanuts. It has just been anouced over the past couple of days that peanuts and peanut butter will have a dramatic price inflation due to the crummy crop season.
Peanut Butter has great survival benefits including:
- Of the fat in PB about 47% is mono-unsaturated, about 27% polyunsaturated, and only 20% saturated. (compare to olive oil which is nearly 75% monounsaturated oil)
- There is a good amount of protein in peanut butter, about 15% of the calories in PB are protein calories.
- In the “natural” brands of peanut butter, there is very little sugar, less than 1 gram per 2 tablespoon serving in many brands.
- There is very little sodium in most brands of peanut butter.
- Peanut butter is rich in magnesium.
- Peanut butter also contains Resveratrol, a potentially healthy polyphenol.
- Peanut butter is very high in calories because 71% of the calories in peanut butter are from fat.
- Peanut butter and peanuts provide vitamine B3 and E magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, arginine, and high levels of the antioxidant p-coumaric acid.
And for some new articles on the reason for crummy crops….
Posted by nwnikkie on September 12, 2011
Provided by Honest Food Guide.org
Posted by nwnikkie on August 12, 2011
The mini greenhouse can be built for less than $50 and an hour of your labor.
I built mine out of some left over 2 x 4’s. The greenhouse is 4 x 6 feet and 2 feet tall. It took 7 2 x 4’s . The reason for the 6 foot length was to reduce the number of 2 by’s and to not be too heavy. The 2 foot leftovers are used in the construction as well.
Steps to building the mini greenhouse:
- Cut two 2” x 4’ x 8’s in half to give you a quantity of 4 pieces of 2” x 4” x 4’
- Cut 2 feet off of 5 2”x 4” x 8’ to yield 5 pieces of 2” x 4” x 6’ and 5 2” x 4” x 2’.
- Screw or nail together two separate rectangles of 4 by 6 feet.
- Connect the rectangles together using the 2 foot sections of 2 by’s
- Use some scrap pieces of lumber to add a little height to the middle of the top.
- Connect the final 2” x 4” x 6’ to form a taller ridge in the middle (connected to the two scrap pieces in step 5)
- Cover the frame with 6 mil clear or milky plastic. I used some scrap lumber to hold the plastic to the frame along the long sides.
- Recommended: strengthen the corners or any sharp edges with shipping tape. The rubbing and flexing of the plastic on the corners will eventually cause some tears in the plastic without some reinforcement.
Using a Mini-Green house:
Put your plants in the mini green house and prop up one edge with a brick or scrap piece of lumber. If you don’t prop it up the plants can easily overheat.
Keep the plants watered and bring them inside when there is a danger of freeze or a frost. The green house does offer some protection from frosts (I left my plants in the green house during one night that had a non-forecasted frost and they survived) but it may not be worth the risks.
The mini greenhouse offers a lot of the advantages of a full size green house including increasing late winter and early spring temperatures enough for germination and good growth and increases the humidity. You can’t beat real sunlight to get plants off to a good start. It also prevents strong winds from stressing the plants.
The mini-green house is light enough to be able to open it (I roll it over on it’s side to water or move the plants) but still heavy enough to not blow over in strong winds. It does not have built in temperature control or heat but appears to work quite well in North Texas to help get your plants off to a good start. And best of all, it doesn’t cost thousands of dollars. After the danger of frost is over, it will go in the barn to be used again next spring.
Posted by nwnikkie on August 10, 2011
I have included this in another post but I have decided it is way too important to be buried inside another post. Here is a post of its own.
EDIBILITY OF PLANTS
Plants are valuable sources of food because they are widely available, easily procured, and, in the proper combinations, can meet all your nutritional needs.
WARNING – The critical factor in using plants for food is to avoid accidental poisoning. Eat only those plants you can positively identify and you know are safe to eat.
Absolutely identify plants before using them as food. Poison hemlock has killed people who mistook it for its relatives, wild carrots and wild parsnips.
At times you may find yourself in a situation for which you could not plan. In this instance you may not have had the chance to learn the plant life of the region in which you must survive. In this case you can use the Universal Edibility Test to determine which plants you can eat and those to avoid.
Remember the following when collecting wild plants for food:
Plants growing near homes and occupied buildings or along roadsides may have been sprayed with pesticides. Wash them thoroughly. In more highly developed countries with many automobiles, avoid roadside plants, if possible, due to contamination from exhaust emissions.
Plants growing in contaminated water or in water containing Giardia lamblia and other parasites are contaminated themselves. Boil or disinfect them.
Some plants develop extremely dangerous fungal toxins. To lessen the chance of accidental poisoning, do not eat any fruit that is starting to spoil or showing signs of mildew or fungus.
Plants of the same species may differ in their toxic or sub toxic compounds content because of genetic or environmental factors. One example of this is the foliage of the common chokecherry. Some chokecherry plants have high concentrations of deadly cyanide compounds while others have low concentrations or none. Horses have died from eating wilted wild cherry leaves. Avoid any weed, leaves, or seeds with an almond-like scent, a characteristic of the cyanide compounds.
Some people are more susceptible to gastric distress (from plants) than others. If you are sensitive in this way, avoid unknown wild plants. If you are extremely sensitive to poison ivy, avoid products from this family, including any parts from sumacs, mangoes, and cashews.
Some edible wild plants, such as acorns and water lily rhizomes, are bitter. These bitter substances, usually tannin compounds, make them unpalatable. Boiling them in several changes of water will usually remove these bitter properties.
Many valuable wild plants have high concentrations of oxalate compounds, also known as oxalic acid. Oxalates produce a sharp burning sensation in your mouth and throat and damage the kidneys. Baking, roasting, or drying usually destroys these oxalate crystals. The corm (bulb) of the jack-in-the-pulpit is known as the “Indian turnip,” but you can eat it only after removing these crystals by slow baking or by drying.
Universal Edibility Test
|There are many plants throughout the world. Tasting or swallowing even a small portion of some can cause severe discomfort, extreme internal disorders, and even death. Therefore, if you have the slightest doubt about a plant’s edibility, apply the Universal Edibility Test before eating any portion of it.|
|1 Test only one part of a potential food plant at a time.|
|2 Separate the plant into its basic components – leaves, stems, roots, buds, and flowers.|
|3 Smell the food for strong or acid odors. Remember, smell alone does not indicate a plant is edible or inedible.|
|4 Do not eat for 8 hours before starting the test.|
|5 During the 8 hours you abstain from eating, test for contact poisoning by placing a piece of the plant part you are testing on the inside of your elbow or wrist. Usually 15 minutes is enough time to allow for a reaction.|
|6 During the test period, take nothing by mouth except purified water and the plant part you are testing.|
|7 Select a small portion of a single part and prepare it the way you plan to eat it.|
|8 Before placing the prepared plant part in your mouth, touch a small portion (a pinch) to the outer surface of your lip to test for burning or itching.|
|9 If after 3 minutes there is no reaction on your lip, place the plant part on your tongue, holding it there for 15 minutes.|
|10 If there is no reaction, thoroughly chew a pinch and hold it in your mouth for 15 minutes. Do not swallow.|
|11 If no burning, itching, numbing, stinging, or other irritation occurs during the 15 minutes, swallow the food.|
|12 Wait 8 hours. If any ill effects occur during this period, induce vomiting and drink a lot of water.|
|13 If no ill effects occur, eat 0.25 cup of the same plant part prepared the same way. Wait another 8 hours. If no ill effects occur, the plant part as prepared is safe for eating.|
CAUTION – Test all parts of the plant for edibility, as some plants have both edible and inedible parts. Do not assume that a part that proved edible when cooked is also edible when raw. Test the part raw to ensure edibility before eating raw. The same part or plant may produce varying reactions in different individuals.
WARNING – Do not eat mushrooms in a survival situation! The only way to tell if a mushroom is edible is by positive identification. There is no room for experimentation. Symptoms of the most dangerous mushrooms affecting the central nervous system may show up after several days have passed when it is too late to reverse their effects.