Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

An Introduction To Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

Dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables is a quick and easy way of creating inexpensive long term preps. They are less expensive than freeze dried, or prepared dehydrated vegetables and they are quicker and easier to prepare than fresh vegetables. They also offer more flexibility in your preparation schedule as well as providing a good, uniform quality in the end product.   There are certainly some negatives to using them but the benefits outweigh the negatives by a wide margin.

The Cost Saving Of  Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen VegetablesAnyone on budget or is cost conscience knows that freeze dried or prepared dehydrated foods can be an expensive choice for long term food storage. Recently, an online store had #10 cans of freeze dried sweet corn on sale for $12.95. The suggested 23 servings per can cost $.56 apiece. That is on the low end, as regular prices can be upwards of 50% higher. In comparison, I recently bought all the store brand frozen veggies pictured to the left  for $.89 each, that’s five bags for just $4.45. Each bag contained ten servings, giving me a total of 50 servings. Broken down, that is $.09 a serving. Sometimes, you can even find store brand frozen veggies on sale for as low as $.69 each; driving the cost down even more.

Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables Gives You Flexibility

I think almost everyone would agree that eating preserved home grown vegetables is preferable to eating store bought. The problem is that once most vegetables are picked, you have a very narrow window to preserve them in before they go bad. For someone in a time crunch this could be an issue. You are also limited by the amount of your harvest. If you have small garden, you may not be able to raise the amount of vegetables it took to get the 50 servings in my example above. Store brand frozen vegetables, on the other hand can currently be purchased year round and stored in the freezer until you have time to prepare them. The only limiting factors to getting the best price is the timing of sales at whatever stores you frequent.

Ease Of Preparation When Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

The prep steps for dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables are dead simple.  There is no planting and growing. There is no harvesting. There is no cleaning and prepping consists of just 2 steps . Getting them ready is as simple as opening the bag and spreading them out on your dehydrator trays.

Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables Give You A Quality End Product

From the time the your frozen vegetables hit your kitchen, you have complete control over the quality of your process.  Don’t become complacent because you’re working with mass produced vegetables…keep a clean kitchen and start with quality veggies and you’re likely to have a high quality end product.

The Cons Of Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

Dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables does have some negatives. The biggest drawback is not knowing the source of the veggies used and all the associated concerns. If it came from your garden or a local farmer you can feel safe with the product. If it came from a big industrial farm through a multi-state or multi-country distribution system you don’t have such reassurances. Let’s be honest, for most people buying freeze dried or prepared dehydrated foods this isn’t a primary concern. If it were, they wouldn’t be buying foods from the store to begin with. The other concern about using store brand frozen vegetables is shelf life. Dehydrated foods don’t have the shelf life of freeze dried foods. Still, homemade dehydrated foods when packaged properly, can last 10 to 15 years. If done with exceptional care, they can last almost as long as their expensive freeze dried alternative. Even so, you should still rotate your food stocks to assure that you consume your foods while they still contain most of their nutritional content.

The End Bit On Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

Dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables is not being put forward as a complete replacement for freeze dried or prepared dehydrated foods.  Some items can’t be exposed to the heat used by most dehydrators, while others just aren’t practical. Trying to properly dehydrate something like broccoli, for instance, seems daunting to me. I am not even sure you can do it, let alone do it at home. Even so, when you weigh the positives and the negatives I believe that dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables is an inexpensive, quick, and easy way to bulk up your long term food supplies.

Check back with Prepography later this week for my Top 10 Tips for Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables.

Empowering – Today’s Quote

When you rob someone of their incentive to go out there and improve themselves, you are not doing them any favors…  When you take somebody and pat them on the head and say, ‘There there, you poor little thing… Let me give you housing subsidies, let me give you free health care because you can’t do that.’”

“What would be much more empowering is to use our intellect and our resources to give those people a way up and out…

Dr. Ben Carson via Hollywood Actor Couldn’t Help But Start Clapping After Hearing Dr. Ben Carson’s Take on Welfare During ‘The View’Dr. Ben Carson

Prepping As A Moral Imperative

“Prepping As A Moral Imperative” is going to be a little “evangelical prepping”.  That is a phrase coined by AJ. No, this isn’t a sermon on Christianity.  I do believe the Bible is very clear on being prepared and self-sufficient.  I am going to look at the matter in a more secular manner. The evangelical portion comes through my apologist’s attempt to draw more people in to “prepping”.  This essay frames the argument in a way that tries to appeal to the “rational being” in the non-prepper.

What is a Moral Imperative?

An imperative is a principal that a person is unable to resist.  Reason is what makes an imperative a moral choice. It becomes a moral “law” that must be followed. To act against this law is seen as self-defeating and against reason. We can test moral imperatives by applying a series of tests that German philosopher Immanuel Kant (below right) created in the mid-1700s. These tests either verify, or debunk the validity of a moral/ethical idea. Kant’s ultimate goal was to establish how much sway a moral argument should hold in a society.

Kant’s Formulas

Prepping As A Moral Imperative The first test is called “The Maxim Test”. A maxim is a statement of truth. A very simple and easily understood maxim is, “water is wet”.  A philosophical maxim is one that states a moral truth. This type of maxim is one that all should follow. Take lying, for instance. If the act of lying is morally right, then that morality must extend to everyone. Chaos would reign, if everyone lied all the time. This chaos would be self-defeating. Thus, as a rule, lying is bad. The second test is the “Individual As An End” test. This test is meant to determine if the imperative is benefiting the individual alone or others, as well. The greater good is served, if it passes the test; even if the individual benefits. A good example would the white lie. You are serving your own self interest of “being kind” when you tell a white lie. This is done at the cost of sacrificing the honesty being asked for. Only one person benefits from the white lie; you.  The third and final test is called the “Kingdom of Ends”. It combines the first two tests and applies it to the group. basically, a moral imperative is true, if the group can set down moral laws which apply to everyone equally. No specific sub-group, or individual gains from the application of this new moral “law”.

Putting Prepping As A Moral Imperative To The Test

Let’s apply Kant’s formulas to prepping as a moral imperative. The maxim of prepping as a moral imperative proposes that being prepared for an emergency is beneficial.  Not being so would be self-defeating. It reasons that a person who is concerned about their well being would take steps to protect against foreseeable emergencies. Even the US government promotes individual preparedness on its Ready.Gov site.   The maxim passes the first test, even by government standards.  The next test determines whether the individual is using prepping to benefit themselves alone, or if the whole of society is served by the act. The person who prepares is acting in a self-preserving manner. In the event of an emergency, they would no doubt benefit. Society also reaps rewards during a time of crisis from the prepared. The person who preps needs less help during a crisis. They use less communal resources and are better placed to help with recovery. In fact, the well prepared can give aid to others in need, when called upon.  Again, the idea of prepping passes philosophical muster. The last test helps us determine whether the morality of prepping benefits across the whole of society, when applied to every individual. If every individual in society applied the principles of “prepping”, then in times of crisis, society would benefit from the maxim. During the crisis, no one group benefits, to the detriment of another. No individual is better, or worse off than another, except to the extent in which they had prepared for said crisis. In the end, though, society is much better off should everyone be prepared to some extent, rather than some being prepared, while others are not. Prepography Logo; Prepping As A Moral Imperative

Prepping As A Moral Imperative, An The Appeal To Reason

I realize that I am most likely preaching to the choir. Chances are if you visit Prepography regularly you already feel that prepping is a moral imperative. Your take away from “Prepping As A Moral Imperative” can be a new tool to work on the hesitant.  If you don’t buy in to the whole prepping mentality, ask yourself this one thing, “Is what has been put forth in favor of prepping as a moral imperative reasoned, rational and logical?”   If the answer is yes, then ask yourself, “Why am I not becoming more prepared and self-sufficient?”

Cargo Container Home Infographic

Well, it’s official, after weeks of design and discussion, Rachel has put her foot down and refused to build a cargo container house for the Jackson family.  Doesn’t mean that Cargo Container Homes aren’t the neatest habitational upcycle available though!  Check out this Cargo Container Home infographic from Self Storage Finders.  I like the redneck versions better…but the high dollar conversions are interesting too.

Living in Storage Containers

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

I’m Not A Prepper!

Andrew’s Note:  Today’s article “I’m Not A Prepper” comes to us from Grumpy G as an addendum to the first article he wrote for Prepography, The End Of The World Starts At Home.  Grumpy G and I have been discussing some of his home food production techniques and he has graciously offered to share some of his techniques with our readers but he must have been getting a little grief for a comment he made in that first article as he asked for an opportunity to clarify his comments.  I find his perspective which I call ‘evangelical self-reliance’ refreshing and distinct from my own version of Stealth Prepping.  Both approaches seek to maintain Operational Security (OPSEC) but each system seeks privacy from a slightly different approach:

A.J. and I have been discussing some contributions I can make to the Food Preparedness facet of his Full Spectrum Preparedness discussions but before I do, I have to explain a comment I made in my inaugural post, The End Of The World Starts At Home.  The blasphemy I uttered was that “I hate the word prepper.”  I know it seems weird that on a site named “Prepography” a featured writer would declare “I’m not a prepper” but let me explain…

My dislike of the word “prepper” comes in two forms with the second form building on the first.

First, the word prepper has developed negative connotations recently in some circles.  In these circles, prepper translates more as “That Prepper Guy”, as Prepography‘s editor, AJ describes him.  It’s not a flattering picture that the non-initiated create in their minds.

People enjoy talking about what they are passionate about.  Say in conversation it comes up that you have three months of food set aside (I know, major OPSEC fail but bear with me).  They ask, “Are you a prepper?”  You have prepared some, so you proudly reply, “Why yes, I am!”  Thanks to pop culture and sensationalistic journalism (I use the word journalism loosely) the mental picture many people paint is that negative image.  In their ignorance, they view you as a kook and anything you say thereafter is tainted by that “prepper” image no matter how pertinent, factual or well reasoned.   On the other hand, if in conversation you tell someone how you’ve canned, dehydrated and frozen your garden harvest, or hunted meat; those very same people will become curious and begin to ask questions.  In this teachable moment they become open to the possibility that maybe they can do these, dare I say it…preparedness activities as well.  I’ve piqued the interest of several people talking about hunting expeditions, tending my garden, and raising rabbits; all without using the word “prepper.”  By breaking the ice this way I’ve even managed to get a few folks to admit that being more prepared and self-sufficient is a prudent course.  A few have even taken steps in the right direction and asked me for additional guidance along the way.

My second objection builds on the “that prepper guy” stereotype as promulgated by some elements of our pop culture.  Many self-identifying “preppers” started down their path thanks to those very same pop culture references we’ve mentioned.  The fact that they are becoming more prepared is a good thing in itself.  However, the problem as I see it is that these pop culture influenced trendy preppers miss the preparedness point.  Sure, they’ve hit the local COSTCO, WalMart or online Mountain House sale and purchased three months of storage food.  They may even have bought a gun…which was most likely an AR…(or as I like to call them a “Barbie Gun.”  [Andrew’s Note:  I hereby and forever disavow any besmirching of Eugene Stoner, Armalite and Colt’s legacy by referring to one of the greatest firearms ever built as a “Barbie Gun”]  Maybe the new prepper has even shelled out the big bucks for their very own Bug Out Location (BOL).  At this point, many Johnny-come-lately preppers sit back and revel in the size of their stockpiles.  While material preparedness is important and an integral part of any preparedness plan they’re missing the most important facets of their preparedness plan.  Without knowledge, skills as well as resilience (physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual) these ‘preppers’ remain unprepared no matter how big the size of their stockpile.  Unfortunately, for many motivated by the current “prepper” craze, those preparedness efforts more in depth than opening their wallet is rejected because they don’t want to risk becoming “that prepper guy.”

The smart or intuitive among them understands that once the material supplies run out there will be nothing left.  In most survival, grid down, disaster situations this won’t be a problem because the event will be relatively short lived but in a truly catastrophic event the lack of knowledge, skills and resilience can be the difference between life and death.  Being prepared means than just having the stuff…it involves doing the things.  Gathering ideas, build knowledge, practice skills, improve your self…body and mind.  True preparedness means changing your lifestyle to be more self-sufficient.  It means mentally preparing for the worst even while hoping for the best.  These are some of the reasons that I like sites like Preography, The Survivalist Board, and The Survival Podcast; amongst others.  These sites are about leading a more prudent and self-sufficient life rather than just stockpiling preparedness supplies and toys.   In the end, you will most likely see me use the term “prepper.”  It is simply too hard to discuss preparing and preparedness without using that most descriptive of nouns to describe the preparedness minded individual.  Just understand that I am using “prepper” under my terms as a way to describe someone who is prudent, far sighted and attempting to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Andrew’s Note:  Regardless of what Grumpy G chooses to call himself I think he’s got a lot to offer Prepography‘s readers.  To read more about Grumpy G’s background and self reliance philosophy check out his author biography.

Top 10 Symptoms of Poor Man’s Disease

I’ve been unemployed, I’ve lived check-to-check and I once lived in such a bad neighborhood that I made a game of seeing how many prostitutes I could count on my way home from work (high score was 12) but I’ve never been poor.  I’ve been researching and reading a lot about World War II lately and thinking about that generation that endured not only the great depression, but also the TEOTWAWKI event that was World War II.  We are so wealthy as a society even in the midst of this recession (that Uncle Sugar tells us was over in 2009) compared to what my grandparent’s generation endured.  Most of our ‘poor’ today live like kings compared to even the typical middle class family of the 1940’s but some people still insist on being poor.  I call this insistence on being ‘poor,’ these attitudes that guarantee you won’t improve your situation, ‘poor man’s disease’ and below are the Top 10 Symptoms of Poor Man’s Disease. (more…)

Preparedness Lessons From The Amish

Recently I traveled to Amish country with my wife Rachel and a small group of friends.  Our guide was an “English” who has cultivated long term friendships within the Amish, Mennonite and other faith communities in his area.  I enjoy learning about other cultures and often find preparedness lessons in what I learn and observe…my recent trip was no exception and here are the Preparedness Lessons From The Amish community.

Technology Mix:  Amish communities carefully select what technologies to adopt.  I won’t go into the spiritual side of why the communities make their decisions but suffice it to say that they live with a mix of modern technologies like solar panels intermingled with anarchistic technologies like horse drawn buggies and kerosene lanterns.  As a prepper you must also decide on what mix of technologies you employ in your daily life and just-in-case preparations.  Some preppers think that they’d be lost without a generator, deep freeze, electric heaters and electric lights.  Others are willing to heat with wood, store food in root cellars and rely on LED flashlights and lanterns recharged by solar panels.  Choose the best solutions for your environment, experience, physical abilities and financial resources.  Mix and match technologies to fulfill your needs.  The Amish are much less reliant on modern technology than anyone reading this article but even the Amish aren’t unwilling to learn and adopt certain modern technologies…take this same approach in your preps by learning and including antiquated technologies and practices when appropriate.

Community is Key:  Your immediate community represented by family and faith connections makes up for the inability of any one household to be fully self sufficient but the greater community represented by neighbors, co-workers, business colleagues and acquaintances is just as important.  In the community I was in the Amish, the ‘English’ and the other communities have a symbiotic relationship where the Amish provide craftsmanship (construction, furniture, crafts, etc.) and quality foodstuffs while the ‘English’ provide transportation (drove Amish work crews to the city for construction work), markets (conduit to get Amish goods to the tourists and channel the tourists to the Amish services) and communications (facilitate Amish access to the internet to purchase necessary items that can’t be procured locally as well as provide telephone service to the phone booths outside most Amish homes).

A Little Tolerance & Decorum Go A Long Way:  You’d expect that with so many immersive faith communities sharing such a small community that there would be constant conflict between those living the ‘right way’ and those living the ‘wrong way.’  In my short foray into the Amish communities I often found myself surrounded by an eclectic mix of Amish, Mennonites, Methodists, Baptists and the unchurched.  Even my normally rowdy travel mates fell into a comfortable, culturally neutral  pattern of behavior where everyone not only tolerated each other’s differences, but accommodated their views of modesty and decorum.  I found the small community I visited much more civil and less fractured than communities I’ve visited and lived in that were much more homogeneous in their demographics.

Reputation is Everything:  When dealing with others across the void of radically different cultures you must be even more scrupulous in fostering and preserving your good reputation.  The person you’re buying from or selling to may not understand who you are or where you come from… he may virtually live in another century technologically…the only thing he or she may know of you is how you treat with him.  Your reputation is your most valuable asset and may someday represent the difference between life and death…protect it accordingly.

These are the lessons this tourist took away from my Amish community visit.  I’d be interested to know what preppers that live alongside the Amish day-to-day feel they’ve learned from their Amish friends and neighbors.

Next time I want to learn more about Amish appliances like kerosene powered refrigerators and washing machines…might come in handy some day.,

We’ve Got To Suffer! – Today’s Quote

As John Wayne’s character put it in the The Big Trail: ” We’re building a nation!  We’ve got to suffer!  No great trail was ever blazed without hardship…That’s life!

John Stossel  via Whatever happened to GRIT? | Stossel’s Take Blog

Whatever happened to GRIT? – Today’s Quote

Thomas Edison’s teachers …told his mom he was “too stupid to learn.” His attempts to build a light bulb failed a thousand times. When he finally succeeded, a reporter asked him, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention …with 1,000 steps.”

That’s grit.

John Stossel via Whatever happened to GRIT? | Stossel’s Take Blog

Intentional Living

I recently had a conversation with a Prepography reader about the concept of intentional living.  The concept was new to that particular reader and he encouraged me to introduce it to my other readers with a short article.  I’m certainly not an expert on intentional living and it’s still more a goal than a habit but every month I get a little better at living with intention.  Here’s that brief introduction:

  • Like many workers I can easily find myself a slave to my need to fulfill my financial obligations…
  • Like many business owners I can easily find myself a slave to my business instead of its master…
  • Like many military reservists I find myself spending increasing amounts of off-duty time meeting the certification and training requirements that increase every year…
  • Like many parents I can easily find myself a slave to my children’s needs and whims…
  • Like many husbands…well you get the picture.

Intentional Living (more…)

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