30 years or more
Monday, February 7, 2011
FOOD OPTIONS FOR DOOMSDAY
I must be getting concerned about doomsday. While I'm not quite anywhere close to moving to a sustainable retreat on the Big Island, I wondered how best to survive where I live in Honolulu if the worst happened.
I'm at the top of a tall building, so I should be reasonably safe. Should I buy a gun? I've thought about it.
It rains a lot and I can capture it for my needs. I have a 1000 square foot access to sunlight, so I should be able to grow anything. I made a cursory check about how best to be prepared in a world without electricity, and here are my dozen preliminary thoughts in no particular order:
1. Spam...yes, cans of Spam will be good for decades. I bet you did not know, though, that most of the “stuff” on your shelves are only good for a year or less? Some can goods would be edible at 5 years, but others with high acidity (juices, many soups) for not more than a year and a half.
2. Velveeta cheese can be stored at room temperature, but hardly forever.
4. Sugar, ghee (clarified butter), and soy sauce are useful.
5. How long can bottled water be kept? A long time. Store in glass in the dark, but boil first if from the tap.
6. Salt can be used to preserve game and vegetables.
8. There are all kinds of survival blogs.
9. Dehydrated foods are only good for a year or so, Hostess Twinkies for 25 days (incidentally, don’t microwave them for more than 45 seconds, for they explode), and beef jerky for two years.
10. Food irradiation merely doubles to triples the shelf life. This preservation technique remains controversial.
11. You can order a 200 meal kit for $95 (45 cents/meal) from Amazon.com. Yet, the one review was disappointed, for each meal is at 160 calories. You need about 500 calories to live, but three times more if you do anything. Your caloric input depends on your weight, activity level, age and more, but multiply your pound weight by ten to give you a good start to barely keep you alive. I calculated my needs at 1885 calories at The World’s Simplest Weight Loss Plan.
12. Some final thoughts during the transition when you do have electricity:
a. Freezer foods at zero degrees F (standard, which is 32 F below freezing) last for a long, long time, but quality (enzymes, for example, representing flavor, break down rapidly, but so do bacteria, which is good) degrades in a month or two.
b. Watch out for botulism (from a bacterium), but anything cooked at 250 F for three minutes should neutralize the toxin. However, don't give HONEY to infants.
The Dow Jones Industrials increased 69 to 12,162, while world markets were mostly up. Gold climbed $3/toz to $1352 and the NYMEX petroleum is at $87/barrel, with the Brent Spot at $99/barrel.