WHAT IS FOOD?
Here's the surprise: Not everything we put in our bodies
is food. Seriously. Most of the stuff in the grocery stores today is not food. It is highly process, "enriched," and chemical laden whatever. If you don't believe me, just read the ingredients. (NOT the Supplement Facts List--see info on this topic).
Here's one way to figure out what is in your "food." In
a search mode, type in the name of the item like high fructose corn syrup, GMO corn, nitrites, nitrates, transfats, aspartame, colorings, MSG (by many names) soy products, cellulose and then add the words "dangers of." This is just a few
of the 100s if not 1,000s of additives. Doing research on your food might just save your life or lives of others in your home. Also, when I come across the words "artificial flavoring," "natural flavors," and the like, I contact the company
to see what it is. If they tell you it is proprietary, then you have the option to tell them you won't be buying their product. If you don't know what is in the product, you should consider that it could be very harmful
or something you do not intend to eat. Today, things are not what they seem. It is a good idea to be a wise shopper.
Here's another surprise: Meat glue or
transglutaminase. Ever wonder how they got certain meats to look like the real thing like turkey bacon, reconstructed turkey and chicken breasts, roasts, cold cuts. Hey, if you want to know more you can do a search for videos and documentation
on meat glue. Scary! Really scary!!
And yet, another surprise: Not all foods that some folks eat are considered food in the Bible. Our
Creator Yeshua/Jesus put a limit on things that are edible and things that are not. (See my separate teaching on this and the video link below) A thorough reading of Exodus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 will reveal the specifics. The Creator did this to
keep us from eating disgusting critters that were meant to clean up the earth of dead and germ-laden things.
Some animals are just not clean and we are told DO NOT eat them. If we do, our lives will be unhealthy and possibly not very lengthy. Some of these things that are not food are: swine (pork), rabbit, dog, cat, horse, insects, shrimp, snakes, lobster, oysters, squid,
clams and others. The Scriptures in the Brit Chadesha (what is commonly called the New Testament) that some people point to in defense of eating unclean things is not talking about "food." The Creator is not double-minded. He does not
tell us to do something one minute and change His Law the next. He tells us in many places in Scripture that He does not change. To make it EASY, I direct you to the video below-- "Are All Things
Clean?" by 119ministries. I think you will truly enjoy this short 10-minute teaching.
HOW DO YOU COOK YOUR FOOD?
Confused you? There are many ways to cook food and besides, who says you have to cook it at all? If you are having fruit and vegetables, you may eat them raw--they are better for you this way. I was
a vegan and a fruitarian many years ago. However, those days are long gone. Now I eat foods that I know the Creator made for us. Sometimes those things are cooked and sometimes eaten raw, except meat, of course. However, today, it is
also important that the foods have not been adulterated. This is a good time to have your own garden and a hoop house that allows year-round vegetables in most areas. (See GPRGarden under the MENU)
You also have the option of using an outdoor fire pit (see slideshow), a woodstove (see slideshow), a hearth, BBQ grill (one that uses wood is great) and many other such items. It is a good idea to familiarize
yourself with other methods of cooking. If you lose power or don't have any propane, you might be eating uncooked meals. Alternative cooking methods, knowing how to use them and having recipes that make it easier could be an essential in the near
future. Please take my advice seriously. My family and I have been through hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, ice storms, blizzards and earthquakes. Many of these have left us without electricity or propane for several weeks. Another good
idea--know how to start a fire without matches.
HOW DO YOU PURCHASE YOUR FOOD?
A grocery store is not the only place to purchase food. In fact, a grocery is there to make lots of money to cover their huge overhead. Some people like grocery stores because they use coupons, but I seldom
find a coupon for anything I purchase. For years, I have tried my best to stay away from packaged products. My suggestion--look for alternatives. Here are a few:
- Bulk buying through food co-ops. You can find these online. I have shopped with many of these throughout the years, UNFI and BreadBeckers being two of my favorites. The savings has
been incredible, especially since I had a large family. Some folks might say they can't afford to buy bulk. Well, in the long run, I believe you can. When you consider the price of a small 1 lb. package of brown rice and then buy 50 lbs of
it, you will see that the savings is much more than half of the grocery store small bag. Depending on your location, you should be able to find bulk buying co-ops for packaged foods (watch labels!), grains, beans, staples, meat and poultry and more.
- Shopping online. There are two great discount sites online that are real money-savers, especially when coupons are offered. They
also offer free shipping when you purchase a certain amount or sometimes free shipping is a coupon offer. These are two of my favorites: www.vitacost.com and www.swansonsvitamins.com
No membership is required.
- Buy-Out stores. There are a couple of these in our area. They buy out cases from other stores that are going out of business
or the merchandise was damaged slightly and can still be resold. I'm not fond of these stores, but some like them. They carry mostly packaged foods, which I tend to stay away from. I purchase mostly organic, and I find they seldom have any.
Also, be sure to watch the expiration dates, overly-dented cans, ingredients, etc. Expiration dates on canned foods are not always accurate. Some canned goods last well beyond their expiration date. If the dent is not on the edges or center
line where it is sealed, the dented can might still be good.
- Produce markets and co-ops. We have several "locally grown"
stands/markets in our area. This is a good way to purchase produce. However, the best way is to grow it yourself. Many times I have found folks who grow a lot of one crop (organically) and are willing to sell their product in bulk.
That's a good time to consider buying and canning.
- Roadside stands. Another thing to be watchful of is folks who go to the big city, buy quantities of corporate-farmed
produce and bring it back to sell at their stands. This produce is usually not organically grown and a high amount of pesticides and chemical fertilizers have been used. For me, the key is to check out the tomatoes. Home grown tomatoes are
not generally all the same size, same color and never rot. In the past, I have actually kept store-bought tomatoes in a basket for months just to see what they would do. One of them finally started sprouting from the inside and the tomato
popped open revealing oodles of tiny little tomato sprouts. Not good!
- Buying grains, beans and staples in bulk. There
are several places that sell these items exclusively. They can be shipped (pricy) or picked up at a warehouse. Sometimes items, some dehydrated or freeze-dried, come in #10 cans packed in cardboard boxes. If you plan to store these,
be sure you remember that mice and insects love cardboard. Take precautions. They won't be able to chew through the can (I hope not), but they will make a mess. Also, bulk foods may come in plastic bags fitted into paper sacks like animal
feed. These are highly susceptible to rodent and insect infestation. Consider putting the contents in 5-6 gallon food grade buckets with tight fitting lids and maybe oxygen absorbers for long-term storage. If your product already comes in
these buckets, you can purchase Gamma Seal lids, which makes for easier removal of the product. You will need a lid lifter to open and close the original bucket lid.
- Meat and poultry
butcher stores. I highly recommend purchasing your meat and poultry from local folks. In my area, there are four grass-fed butcher shops. Grass-fed or organic is the only way to go with meat and poultry. Be sure to ask the
butcher if he or she finishes their product with corn. If corn isn't organic, it probably isn't healthy. It must be non-GMO. I prefer to buy from those who are not feeding corn at all and allow the animal to graze naturally. Cattle
in the wild do not eat corn. Man introduced this into their diets to add fat to the meat. Many of these shops also carry grass-fed raw milk, cheese, yogurt and more. Often you can save money buying a whole or half cow and sometimes a
case of chickens. If you have the property, consider raising the animals yourself. Learning to "harvest" is not that difficult.
- Dehydrating food is fun.
This is another great way to keep foods around much longer. Please do research on this and read the book that comes with your machine. There are also numerous websites that have great ideas and recipes. I own an Excalibur and a tall American
Harvest. However, my absolute favorite is the Excalibur. Dehydrators are great for veggies, fruit, meats and more. However, I must warn you to know how to store these items after dehydrating because some will go moldy or spoil.
I try to dehydrate produce at a lower temperature, around 118 degrees, for a long time in order not to kill the vitamins and enzymes in the produce. And, the favorite around here is the chewy, thinly sliced pineapple rings. Leave the centers/cores
in because that is where the highest amount of bromelain is. This helps your body with digestion. You can even drizzle a good quality chocolate (cacao) over the top or hand-dip them. Actually, you can do this with any dried fruit.
(See www.markusrothkranz.com. Markus has some very good youtube.com how-tos.)
HOW DO YOU STORE
I have already touched on the idea of purchasing in #10 cans or 5-6 gallon food-grade buckets under Buying Grains... You can also do your own canning
and possibly save money IF you have access to good quality items to can. Canned products, if stored correctly, will last much longer than the books recommend. However, you must follow the proper procedure for safe canning. Ball Canning books
are an excellent resource.
- All food storage of cans, boxes, and buckets should be in a cool, dark location. Do not place your items on the ground (earth).
For some reason, possibly because the earth holds moisture, these items will absorb the humidity into them and cause spoilage. If the storage area has a concrete floor, I put pallets down first. Also, try to store your food where the temperature
will be nearly the same year-round.
- If freezing or refrigerating items, remember the food vacuum packer. I have a Food Saver, the one for hunters. There are many
on the market, but my recommendation is--don't buy a cheaper one. If you purchase Food Saver, you can request to be on their mailing list for special offers (BOGOs) for their rolls of you-cut-the-size bags. These bags are reuseable, so
I cut them a little larger in the beginning. When they get too small, you can use them to package seeds, matches for camping or other small items. This is especially nice for backpack things for camping or hiking. I don't vacuum
pack seeds--I just seal the bag with the sealer part of the machine. Be sure to add labels with ingredients and a packing date to each bag. You will forget--believe me--especially when the item has been stored or a year.
WHAT IF THERE IS "NO FOOD?"
And, that is a very imporant question.
There are several things that can happen to keep folks from obtaining food supplies. That is why it is crucial to plan ahead. In my short life, I have been through hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, ice storms, blizzards and earthquakes.
Do you have any idea of what happens when there is no food in the grocery store? Have you ever witnessed empty shelves? I have. In many cases, there only needs to be a threat of a storm and folks rush out and buy everything they can get their
hands on. What if there is a truck strike? What if the power goes out for an extended amount of time? What if, for whatever reason, you can't get to a store? So, whatcha gonna eat?
Well, hopefully there was some planning going on before these things befall you and your family. Hopefully, you planted a nice spring/summer garden and a fall/winter one, too. Hopefully you considered planting
storable produce like winter squash, which stores for months in a cool location. And maybe you purchased buckets or cans of foods or did some home canning. But, if not... There is still another alternative. It is called
foraging for your food.
Do you know that many of the "weeds" in your yard or on your property are edible, as long as you didn't foolishly
spray poison on them? Do you know how to identify these edible AND medicinal plants? Do you know which ones are poisonous? If you don't have any in your yard, would you know where to find them? Have you considered transplanting
from one location to your yard? Do you own a book that gives you this information? Please, don't rely on the internet. Please don't just go eating stuff in your yard. BUT, what if there is no electricity to get on the net?
When you viewed the slideshow above, you saw a salad, a pretty one. This is a wild "weed" salad. Everything from my yard that is edible,
which in some cases I purposely planted, was used in this salad. Would you know what to eat from your property?
Here is probably the most helpful book I
have seen on this subject: Free Food and Medicine Worldwide - Edible Plant Guide by Markus Rothkranz. There is also a DVD set by the same name, which is really helpful, but if you can only afford one or the other, go with
the book. No electricity, no information.
So, you live in the city? Well, consider moving. I can't say more. After surviving one major hurricane
in 1992, I learned that people in those circumstances sort of lose it. There was no food and no way to obtain any because the roads were a mess with chunks of broken glass, boards with nails and other hazardous materials. By the way, the grocery
stores were destroyed. Folks were running around with guns threatening each other and stealing from folks at gunpoint. And, the police were so afraid that they would stay in their squad cars and wouldn't get out. Forget protection.
So, you now have a plan, right? Please be sure you know what to do with what you have. Don't buy something, like organic wheat berries, AND NOT HAVE
A GRAIN MILL to grind the grain. Or, you bought the book, but left it on the shelf. Practice now. Whether you are cooking on the hearth, a woodstove or fire pit, it is a good idea to know how and what to do before you really have to use them
long term. It is a great idea to know where those healthy weeds are. This can be a family project, homeschool classes or just a fun way to learn something new. But, don't procrastinate. Not a very good idea.
WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING?
AND, while you are at it... Have you
considered water? City water is highly contaminated with chemicals and more. A good topic to research. Think: What am I drinking? bathing in? brushing my teeth with? This is a serious thing to consider. I recommend a water
filtration system like a whole-house system that doesn't need electricity or a Big Berkey, an AquaRain or a distiller like Waterwise. Many of these companies also sell shower and sink filters. Without pure, clean water, you and your loved ones
could become sick--very sick. This is not a scare tactic. Your body was not made to drink or bathe in poison everyday, several times a day.
YIKES! I haven't had one of those in decades. I know they used to contain incredible amounts of sugar and chemical flavorings. Now, from what I have read on cans and bottles, this sugar has been replaced with HFCS or high fructose corn syrup,
which is not corn syrup at all. And, even if it was, it probably would have been made from GMO corn. HFCS is dangerous. The best way to be in the know is to do a search for the chemical or additive name and add the words "dangers of."
By the way, as far as I know, ALL artificial sweeteners are not fit for human or animal consumption.
FRUIT JUICE. Most canned or bottled
juices probably contain one or more of the following: chemicals, additives (like colorings and flavorings), sugars and usually plenty of water. The pulp has been removed. It is really better and healthier to make juices yourself. Fruit
juice acts in the body like sugar. It has been known to rot children's teeth.
A nice glass of pure, clean water is much better for your health!