The pressure’s on!

One of the first things on most people’s minds when thinking about survival is food.  While water is even more important, and we will be talking about that soon, water just doesn’t hold the excitement factor that food does.

Also, we’ll be talking later about the various types of food we should be setting aside, but today, let’s just jump directly to the “meat” of the subject – preserving meat!

But, I don’t like jerky!

There are a number of ways to preserve meat, including drying, salting, pickling, and freezing, to name a few.  I think we can discard the idea of freezing for the long term because freezing requires a steady supply of electricity or a long-term trip to the Arctic Circle, neither of which is likely to happen during a national emergency.  We can certainly use the other methods, but when done, we still have dried, salty, or pickled meat.  These may be tasty for a while, but eventually their appeal is likely to wear off – sooner rather than later, at least for me.  Enter the pressure canner.

Why would anyone use a pressure canner – they’re scary!

Every day, people climb into a 3,000-pound moving bomb, sitting directly on top of the equivalent of a couple thousand pounds of TNT, moving at 60 or more miles an hour with only a few feet between themselves and a similar bomb right next to them, and think nothing of it.  But when it comes to operating a device with so many safety features on it that it would be very difficult to make it explode on purpose, most people back off in a hurry.  Why?  Because they don’t understand the pressure canner and they’ve heard a lot of scary stories.

Food safety is no joke!

Food spoilage is a serious issue, especially when you are trying to stay alive.  Our atmosphere is a veritable sea of bacteria, molds and yeasts, but they don’t affect us that much (hay fever aside) until they start growing in our food.  These contaminants can cause serious illness or even death.  Words like e.coli, salmonella and campylobacter are becoming commonplace in today’s world.  If you think these illnesses are severe now, just wait until there are no hospitals to go to, and no doctors available.

All of these types of spoilage are prevented best by religiously using the proper preservation techniques (as well as cleanliness from farm to table).   We must make certain we are canning in the proper medium, at the proper temperature, and for the proper length of time .  Wouldn’t it be really sad to survive a national disaster, only to be poisoned by your own food?  We will be talking about how to get it right very soon!

What are your experiences with canning? Do you prefer a different method of food preservation for long-term storage? And if so, what types of meats or main dishes do you have available for your family to eat in disaster circumstances? Please let me know your experiences!  Comments are open!

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2 Responses to The pressure’s on!

  1. isopsycho says:

    My main food stock is the MRE and freeze dried items at the moment. My wife and I camp and hike allot and these are the easiest to work with while being on active duty (the constant moving makes canning and preserving nearly impossible). We do plan to try our hand at canning this summer/fall since my duty dwell time will be three years, possibly six. After reading what exactly it takes to pressure can, I realized I’ve been doing something like it, just need to add the jars and lids (pressure cooking foods to save time…).

    I plan to get the garden up this summer so I can can some fresh veggies!

    • Georgene says:

      I have never tasted an MRE! I am not sure I am missing out on all that much, from what I hear, though. It will be interesting to see what all I manage to get canned this summer. Bought some jars yesterday, but I haven’t decided what to put in them. Remember to be very careful when canning low-acid foods (most vegetables). They are very dangerous if not done correctly. We’ll go through the steps soon.

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