Politics and Prepping: The Rising Cost of Produce

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy is an important Prepper skill to develop.  It allows you to prepare in advance for the rising cost of produce items we rely on daily.

Paying For A Wall Between The U.S. and Mexico

Let’s take President Trump’s proposed wall between the U.S. and Mexico. You know, the one Mexico is supposedly paying for? The one that for all intents and purposes might really  be paid for by a 20% tax on what American’s import from Mexico?

Now whether you are in favor of a wall or hate the idea, isn’t the issue.

The issue is a potential 20% increase of everything you purchase that crosses that boarder.

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

What Does The U.S. Import From Mexico?

In 2015 alone, the U.S. imported over $295 BILLION dollars worth of products from Mexico, according to government trade data. From cars to car parts, to electrical machinery and oil.  $2.4 billion worth of apparel.  $1.9 Billion in beer and tequila.

What really has my attention is the amount of of vegetables, fruit and nuts we import from Mexico.  $5.5 billion of vegetables and $3.9 billion of fruit and nuts.  All to potentially be subjected to a %20 price increase.

Bananas and Mangoes

Consider the products we simply can’t grow here such as bananas and mangoes. And then consider what other countries might do to block U.S. exports in retaliation.

And what about the fresh fruits and vegetables we depend on during the winter months? Where do we get a great deal of those? Yup. Mexico.

Can Your Grocery Budget Handle The Increase?

Did I mention the amount of tomatoes and avocados we import from Mexico? 78% of our avocados and 71% of our tomatoes according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  And it not just avocados and tomatoes either.   Herbs, spinach and lettuce make their way across the border to our tables every day.

Finally, according to Forbes, the restaurant industry is already seeing their stocks fall on the fears of increased food costs.

 

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables. How To Prepare For The Rising Cost Of Produce

Learn to grow your own.  Now is the perfect time to learn what grows in your area and how to start your own seeds indoors.   Growing your own food helps to tremendously off set the rising cost of produce.

As the season progresses we at Simply Preparing will help walk you through the basics of getting your first garden up and growing!

Learn how to preserve your own food.   It’s easier than you think.  I promise.

Dehydrating.  With just a few simple pieces of equipment you can dehydrate and store fruit and vegetables long term.  One of my favorite resources for dehydrating is the book, Dehydrate2Store by Tammy Gangloff.

Another excellent storage option is to freeze your bounty.   Did you know you can freeze avocados?  Yup! I have a freezer full of frozen avocados for my son’s blenderized diet and my guacamole addiction!

Carolyn Humphries book, How To Freeze Fresh Food At Home is a great book for beginners wanting to learn how to freeze foods.

Prepping With Freeze Dried Food.

Let’s face it.  With or without a wall between us and Mexico, food prices are only going higher and higher.  This is where the real value of freeze dried foods come in.  With up to a 25 year shelf life.  Non-GMO offerings.  Locally sourced whenever possible.

Each can of freeze dried food I purchase today has it’s price frozen as well.  Up to 25 years from now I can open a can of food that I paid 2017 prices for, and allows me to combat the rising cost of produce.  It’s like having money in the bank, but with a much higher interest rate.

It’s also pretty amazing how versatile freeze dried food is.  Take a look at all the produce used in one of my favorite soup recipes, Sausage Potato Soup!  Yum!

Understanding the relationship between politics and the economy will give you the opportunity to prepare for rising costs. As President Trump moves forward with building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, rising produce costs are becoming a reality. Make sure your food storage and budget doesn't take a hit with these strategies for prepping against the rising cost of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Not sure how to use freeze dried foods?  No problem!  You can take a look at the recipes found on my Thrive Website to get some great ideas.

Taking the time to understand what is happening within the White House will insure that your house is prepared to better weather the growing world wide unrest, the consequences of repealing the Dodd-Frank Act and the returning concerns with China’s economy.

Prepping For Basic Emergencies

Prepping for basic emergencies doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  It doesn’t have to be a huge expense.  I work with many people who immediately get that dear in the headlights look when the topic is preparing families for emergencies.

Prepping for basic emergencies can be as easy as taking a trip to your local grocery or big box store.  Or, in this case, simply let your fingers click through the Amazon Affiliate links!

Prepping doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming. Whether you are a doomsday prepper, or a mom wanting some peace of mind, we have your survival needs covered!

 

Let There Be Light

Nobody likes to be stuck in the dark.   I can easily stock up on the following illuminating items each time I’m out running errands:

Flashlights

Batteries

Light Sticks (Ultra Bright)

LED Solar Lights

Water.  And More Water.

Water is your friend, boys and girls.  Make sure you have 1 gallon of water per person per day.  More if you are hoping to flush toilets, or brush your teeth.

Ready to eat, shelf stable foods.

Quick and easy is the name of the game.  Peanut butter.  Crackers.  Those ready to eat packets of tuna.   Again, things you can pick up a little at a time each time you make a grocery run.  For longer term storage look towards rice, beans, pasta, and canned items.

Toilet Paper

You are not going to want to be stuck spraying your sweet patoot clean with a honey bear filled with cold water unless the apocalypse really is in full swing.  Until then stock up on the TP.

Magical Miracle Tape

I’m pretty sure this post says it all.  Duct tape is truly the stuff miracles are made of.

Black Contractor Bags

Not garbage bags.  Not leaf bags.  On the box it will state ‘contractor’ bags.  Those are what you want.

Over The Counter Medications and Prescriptions

Aspirins.  Allergy Medication.  Cough Syrup.  Prescription meds.

A Basic First Aid Kit

Chances are you’re not a doctor, nor do you play one on T.V.  You aren’t going to be performing a tracheotomy or needing to crack someone’s chest to massage their heart.  A basic First Aid Kit will serve you well.

Prepping doesn't have to be stressful or overwhelming. Whether you are a doomsday prepper, or a mom wanting some peace of mind, we have your survival needs covered!

Taking Prepping to a Higher Level

Can you take preparedness to a higher level?  Of course!   Most people start with the basics, get the bug, so to say, and then continue to grow their preparedness goals.  The point is that you don’t have to jump onto the Expert Level to make sure your family can make it through a rough time.  And every thing listed above can be purchased either at your grocery store or a big box store, on sale, and often with coupons.

Start simply.  Pick up a few items each time you get paid. Sell some of your stuff that you are no longer using, and put that money towards a prepping goal.    Put your foundation in place and then work to meet your personal preparedness goals.

Self sufficiency is a mind set, an every day way of thinking.   It’s a journey to a simpler, less worry filled life.

Where are YOU in your emergency preparedness goals?  How can I help you achieve those goals?

Post-Election Survival Checklist

Unlike any other election in history, the 2016 Presidential election stands to  go down in the books as the election that divided the country.   After the last vote has been counted, and the winner announced, a peaceful transition of power may be more than can be asked of our weary nation.   It’s time to start thinking about preparing for possible post-election survival needs.

Making matters even more stressful, are warnings of terror threats being reported by CBS News.

Rather than living in fear of what the future may bring, I’ve complied a Post Election Survival Checklist to help families through a potential trigger event.  I’m a big believer that preparedness brings peace of mind.

A checklist to prepare for post-election survival

A Post-Election Survival Checklist For Uncertain Times

-Sit down with your family and review your emergency plans.  How will you get to your meeting place if chaos breaks out?

-Getting through any post-election survival chaos will take community, so take some time to plan with your like minded neighbors.   You’ll have their backs and in return, they’ll have yours.

-Test out your communication devices.

-Inventory  your food storage because  NOW is the time to make sure you are well stocked food wise  .

– Make sure your water storage will get you through at least a two week period.

-Confirm that you have enough personal supplies such as toilet paper, feminine supplies, diapers, etc.,  to make it through at least six weeks.

-Update your First Aid Station by refreshing your supplies as needed, focusing on OTC medications as well as basic first aid supplies.    While you’re at it, make sure to get any prescriptions refilled.

Black Contractor Bags.  If garbage collection gets interrupted you’re going to need to have a place for any garbage that won’t fit into your cans.  Also, black contractor bags have countless survival uses.

Post-Election Survial: What you need to know!

Kids, Pets and Getting Out of Dodge

 

-Have activities ready for kids in case everyone is stuck at home for a long period of time.

-Remember Fido by picking up any pet supplies needed for the next  several weeks.

-Fill up all the gas tanks on all your cars,  then if you need to get the hell out of Dodge, you won’t  have to stop to fuel up first.

-Speaking of cars, if you have any election bumper stickers, then you may want to remove them.  No need to give anyone who hates who you voted for any ideas of whom to blame.

-Get some SHTF Cash out of the bank, remembering to ask for small bills only.

 

 

If The Lights Go Out In the Post-Election Survival Chaos

-Check your supply of candles, lighters and matches.

-Do you have flashlights, furthermore,  do those flashlights have batteries?

-Keep your cell phone and other devices charged up.

-If you have a propane heater or another secondary source of heat, make sure you have enough fuel for it.   Otherwise, make sure you have enough blankets, hand warmers and other cold weather items.

 Prepare NOW.

Civil wars are caused by a loss of trust in government, as a result,  self reliance in times of concern is our most valuable asset.

Interested in learning more about how to prepare for emergencies?  Here are a couple of great resources:

The Prepper’s Blueprint:  The Step by Step Guide To Get You Through Any Disaster

Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide

 

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Water Storage and Flint, Michigan.

Water storage has been on my mind since the state of Michigan’s crisis with safe drinking water that began several months ago.  Flint’s tap water became contaminated with too much lead after the city switched it’s water supply in 2014 to save money while under state financial management.

Ensuring residents have safe water to drink has been a struggle. You can’t boil lead out of water.  People have been told to not drink the water until it has been determined to be safe.  Guard members have finally been called in to assist the police and volunteers to hand out bottled water, filters and water testing kits.

Then to really add insult to injury, the residents of Flint are still being required to pay their water bills.  You know, for water that is too dangerous to drink.  Think toxic waste dangerous.  Swell.  All I can say is thank goodness for celebrities.

I keep thinking of how much less stressful things might have been if residents would have had a supply of water storage instead of having to scramble and depend on the government.  As a matter of fact, it’s being reported that Michigan officials knew last year that Flint’s water might be poisoned, but chose to keep that possibility to themselves.  Sweet, eh?   The FDA is conduction a full review of the situation.

water storage

I’ve written about emergency water storage on the blog and Barb created this information filled post to help you calculate your family’s water storage needs.  It’s a good time to review both posts.

Here are a few more things to consider when storing water.

*Don’t use empty milk jugs for water storage.  The plastic is too thin and will break down within a few months.  Bacteria from the milk can become lodged in the plastic of the jug and then transferred to your water.

*Do not store your water near gasoline, kerosene, pesticides or similar substances.

*If you have a pool, you have water you have water for cleaning and bathing, but NOT for drinking.  While pool water has been chlorinated, it most likely has other chemical in it that are not safe for drinking.

*Properly stored water does NOT go bad. However, it may taste funky.  To solve this issue, just pour the water from one container to another several times, back and forth.  Or store things such as Kool-Aide, lemon or lime juice, to help with the taste of your water.
The time to prepare for an emergency is now.  Not after things fall apart.   Do your research.  Make your plan.  When you are prepared you don’t have to worry about any crisis down the road.

How is your water storage coming along?   What techniques work best for you when storing water?

Photo credit: rakerman via VisualHunt / CC BY

How to make goat milk yogurt.

My son, Parker, follows the SCD diet for his ulcerative colitis.  This diet calls for yogurt.  Goat milk yogurt is our yogurt of choice.   Either powdered goats milk or fresh goats milk will work just fine.  This recipe also works for cow’s milk.   It’s important to know you can replicate any foods required for a special diet when the shtf, in one of it’s many forms.  

goat milk for goat milk yogurt
It’s actually a pretty simple process.   I used a gallon and a half of fresh goat milk and put it into a a clean pot, allowing it to slowly warm up to 180 degrees.  Make you that when you check the temperature you stir the milk so that you get an overall reading.  You’ll want to keep the milk at 180 degrees for at least 2 minutes.

Next, take the your pot of milk off the hot burner and onto a cool one.   I often just place the entire pot into a sink of ice water to hurry the cooling process.  You want to let your milk cool to 100 degrees.

Once you milk has cooled to 100 degrees, pour a bit out into another container.    Add your yogurt ‘start’ to that small bit, stirring to make sure there are no lumps.  Then pour your newly mixed ‘start’ into the large pan and stir some more.  You want to make sure the starter and milk are well mixed.

cooking thermometerHeat your milk to 180 for at least 2 minutes and then allow it to cool to 100 degrees.

I used about 1/4 of a cup of yogurt starter.  What is a yogurt starter?  It’s simply a bit of yogurt I’ve saved back from my previous batch of goat milk yogurt.

goat milk yogurt start

Is this your first batch of yogurt?  No worries.  You can purchase a container of plain goat milk yogurt and use that.  OR you can use the packaged yogurt starter.    Simply follow the directions on the package.

Next  I poured the soon to be yogurt into clean half gallon mason jars.  We use a LOT of goat milk yogurt so I tend to make a lot at a time.   Feel free to start with a smaller amount!

Next I screw on the tops and rings and place each half gallon into my Excalibur dehydrator.  Yup.  You can make yogurt in the Excalibur.  Sweet, eh?

I keep my yogurt fermenting at about 100-115 degrees for at least 24 hours.   After the 24 hours have passed, I put the yogurt into the fridge to chill for about 24 hours.

What?  You don’t own an Excalibur?  Worry not.  You can use a yogurt maker, or even put your covered pot of milk and starter into the oven and use the oven light as a heat source.  Or how about using your crockpot?

Do you have someone on a special diet the likes of which you will need to replicate in case of a time of crisis?

Why You Should Store Food NOW.

I’ve had people ask me why they should store food now rather than waiting to see if a crisis event takes place.    Many would rather have their money earning interest in a bank so that if the s-ever does hit the fan, they have the finances to deal with their new normal.  Having a stash of cash is important in an emergency situation.  However, I believe that the time to get your tangibles is before the crisis, not after.  There really are times when food is more valuable than money.

Store Food

 

How do I come to this conclusion?

* You can’t eat money.  In times of crisis, store shelves will be wiped out in the blink of an eye.  It won’t matter how much money you have on hand if there’s nothing around to purchase.

* Items from your food storage will be highly valued barter items.  Cash stands a huge chance of being devalued to the point of worthlessness.

* Food prices are only going up.  And up.  And after that, they’ll go up some more.   When you store food now, using a variety of techniques, it’s like money in the bank that is actually earning interest in the form of  being exempt from rising food costs.

* A one dollar package of humble garden seeds will increase the value of that buck 20x in the form of fresh veggies, compared to vegetables purchased at a grocery store.  Where else can you increase the value of that greenback in such a dramatic way within one mere growing season?

Nobody can control the economy.  But we can control how it affects our lives.  Storing food is one way to prepare for what ever uncertainties the future may hold.

Do you store food in case of emergency?

*Photo Credit:  Visual Hunt

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