Do It Yourself
Appetite Fatigue: It Hits More than Just Your Waistline
When most people think of long-term food storage they instantly visualize pallets of MRE’s and freeze dried food.
Add beans, corn, and wheat to the list of items and that’s about all most people believe can be stored for any prolonged period of time.
But did you know that there are some foods that last forever without ever having to be canned, frozen or dehydrated?
If you’re new to food storage, these staples are a great way to start.
They are the longest lasting foods in the world and most of them are relatively cheap and while they are often tossed in a pantry and forgotten about for months or years, when SHTF they instantly become some of the best bartering commodities available.
These items are often referred to as “forever foods.”
Next time you’re grocery shopping, be sure to grab some of these items, put them in the back of the pantry and forget about them. If you ever need them, they’ll be safe and ready to eat .
These foods are some of the very few exceptions to the FIFO (first in first out) method of food storage.
Sugar (brown, white & powdered)
How many of these items have you thrown away just because they were old?
How much money do you think has been wasted tossing out “bad” pantry items that were still as good as the day they were packaged?
All of these items are a must have for both their longevity as well as their bartering value after a crisis.
You need to store as many of them as you possibly can before anything happens… BUT, even having all of the above items will not be enough to feed you.
Unfortunately there is ABSOLUTELY no way to live off of these items alone.
Your body needs fresh foods in order to maintain its optimum efficiency and anything less peak performance will put you one step closer to a death sentence.
If you are in a relatively safe area where shelter is provided and water is available, the next step that you need to focus on is preparing and storing any perishable foods that you have available.
When my parents were trapped in a storm cellar for over a week without power after hurricane Rita, they had MRE’s but only one flavor, pasta primavera.
After only three days the children were already refusing to eat the packaged meals.
Nothing was wrong with the food, the children were simply appetite fatigued.
Appetite fatigue is a completely mental block that seems silly but the effects can be devastating .
In a stressful situation, your body is thrown into overdrive and you require hundreds of more calories to maintain peak performance.
Refusing to eat simply because you don’t like the taste can quickly wear down your physical and mental acuity in a matter of days.
Luckily my family was out in the countryside and had a crew of persons with backwoods knowledge.
My grandmother and aunt scavenged the garden for fresh vegetables that were not damaged beyond recognition.
My uncle and father were able to cross a small patch of forest into a meadow where they were able to hunt a few jack rabbits and squirrels.
While they had food and water stored, fresh food was much more appealing and the added activity of hunting and gathering gave them a way to occupy their minds while they waited for the switch to be flipped and life to go back to normal.
It was another four days before any help arrived and almost two weeks before the rolling blackouts stopped and power was fully restored.
The only way they were able to keep their morale high and their bellies full was by a combination of the strong bond that my family possesses and the knowledge and skill of how to cook and store food outside.
It was this experience and story that really hit home with me and forced me to take a step back and realize that I needed to have this knowledge myself.
I had a basic idea of how to do these things but a “basic idea” can be deadly when it comes to food safety.
How sure are you in your ability to store your own food?
And if you think that the stockpile of MRE’s and freeze dried food you have is enough to get you through any type of crisis, think again.
Rations are heavy and take up a huge amount of room. They can also be plagued by pests if you happen to have mice or rats that can chew through the Mylar.
If your home or storage location becomes insecure your 25 year food storage system instantly becomes your, “however the hell much I can carry right now” food storage system.
Are you still completely sure of your planning? Check out these for inspiration:
9 “Crazy Simple” Tips To Build Your Emergency Food Supply
How to Store Food Using Oxygen Absorbers
Top 10 survival foods that you can get on your next grocery trip
So whats your plan to avoid appetite fatigue?
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January 31, 2013 at 5:37 AM
The key to all of this is to be sure you vary your storage “flavors”. A lot of it is mindset. Maybe you can have one meal hot and the next cold – same thing. Maybe some practice now would be helpful. I know that when I cook, I make a large quantity of food to have lots of leftovers when I am too busy to go in and make another meal. Just a bite of yesterday’s dinner is enough. Condition yourself now. If you are a person who doesn’t like leftovers, then you need to change that mindset because it makes it so much easier if all hits the fan. Eat because you are really hungry, not to pass the time because you are bored or the clock says “dinnertime”. It makes all the difference. If I concentrate on whether or not I “feel” like eating something, then I can usually come up with other things I would rather have. However, if I come into the house with a growling stomach and wonder what I have handy to satisfy my hunger, then I am much more likely to be satisfied with whatever is handy. I usually find that when children get hungry enough they will eat rather than starve. That applies to most people, too. Is the same thing over and over what you would most desire? Of course not, but I haven’t seen too many people starve who have a ready supply on hand of even just one kind of food. Just vary your storage if you need variety. If you think you just love, love, love tunafish it will pale after the 30th meal of it. Just don’t eat it 30 times in a row and you will still love tunafish after the course of 6 months.
Here is a hint! Be sure that whatever it is that you are storing, you can prepare for a meal if you have no electricity or gas to cook it. That may very well be the case if an emergency goes on and on, or you are suddenly taken off the grid. Can you eat it as is? That may be the most important key to think about. Even with a sun oven you might be at a loss if you go a stretch of weeks without seeing the sun.
January 31, 2013 at 10:56 AM
In stressful situations, we, you and I, need to think of food as fuel for the body. It doesn’t matter how it tastes. As long as the food is edible (not spoiled or contaminated), you are a winner.
Spurning edible food because of an offense to the taste buds is anti-survival. I’m not sure what the point is of boring food. Hunger is a great spice and sauce.
January 31, 2013 at 11:07 AM
I completely agree with you, but it is a psychological factor in survival, humans crave new sensations and eating the same thing over and over dulls the excitement of eating and makes it much less appealing. Is it practical, No. Does it still happen, absolutely. I doubt that anyone has ever died from appetite fatigue but it definitely does wear on you.
February 1, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Joe, I think that when you see others around you with no food to eat at all, or you are so busy that food and what it tastes like – or if you had it yesterday or not, will not really matter. I do believe in appetite fatigue. However, when things hit the fan, there will be so many things to think about that the flavor of your food will be inconsequential. I do think it is something that needs to be brought to mind, because if you are a person who is a picky eater now, you better come up with a mighty different mindset before you need to test it out in real life. I can only speak for myself, but a little appetite fatigue might be the best thing for my waistline! LOL
January 31, 2013 at 9:01 AM
When I started buying our long-term food supplies, my wife said “Maybe we should open a few and see wha they taste like”. I replied “If you’re worried about that it isn’t time to open them.” I think you have to be a realist about “short-term” disruption like this story. You don’t need to eat every day, especially if you are just sitting around in relative comfort/safety waiting for normal to return. In a case of true long-term privation, you will eat whatever you have. I guarantee it.
February 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM
“Store what you eat and eat what you store.” — Jack Spirko
January 31, 2013 at 2:36 PM
I’ve found, with a wife who cooks great, that having a supply of different spices as part of your storage can alter the same ingredients into completely different tasting meals. Make sure they’re vacuum sealed so as not to spoil. I’ve also found with MRE’s,that they smell terrible when cold but once you’re heated up even the worst ones are at least palatable. I’ve found that a good long term source of fuel for cooking, if you don’t have access to dry wood, is charcoal briquettes. You can store them in a 5 gallon bucket (in a mylar bag as well) for an indefinite time as long as moisture is kept away. I am always amazed at how few briquettes are needed to cook a meal in a dutch oven. There are multitudes of cookbooks out there for dutch oven cooking. It’s worth looking into. I remember a story told to me as a child about “Stone Soup”. The village was dying from starvation so the wise elder told them he would make stone soup. He placed a stone in the pot then had everyone in the village bring something edible to put in it. Some brought potatoes, some brought carrots, lettuce, small portions of meat, turnips, etc. When all was said and done the village had food that was more than palatable, all made from a stone.
January 31, 2013 at 4:49 PM
Well, all I can say is I’m glad I live out away from town, and have deer, elk, turkey, rabbits and all sorts of meat running around. Fresh vegetables that might be hard to come by but we have a well for water (spring fed) plenty of firewood as we are surrounded by National Forest. Lots of different spices already stored, and plenty of ammo to kill our food with. Don’t like canned veges but if I have to they will do. Dried fruits are good and am working on those. Have to keep working on things
February 1, 2013 at 2:18 AM
Jan, do you operate that well with an electric pump? Might want to put a hand pump aside just in case.
I have over a dozen cans of dehydrated/freeze dried food open which I use in my everyday cooking. No need to get used to the taste or find ways to make it varied and palatable; we already have.
February 1, 2013 at 10:30 AM
Jan, The Idea “M”, Had for a Hand pump is a great one, But for those freeze Dried foods, Try going to Amazon, & get a HAND Operated Vacuum Pump & reusable rubber seals. We got one years ago & it helps keep dried foods , like Powdered eggs Fresh between uses & with the BELL Jar Attachments, Fresh Strawberries keep longer in a Vacuum.
By the way, if you’ve invested in a ” Wood Burning Stove for Heating & cooking, A simple Hanging Food(meat, Fish & Vegetables) Dryer can be made with Steel Screen & Re-bar For a Frame. By the way, If you have the money, A Heat Powered Fan is a Great thing to own, It helps spread the heat around the house & Helps dry everything out, faster.
As for that spring fed Water Well, Just to be on the safe side, you might want to invest on a Large S/S/ Water Filter anyways, Just to be safe.
Here is a Free-B., using a 30 gal Steel Drum, or Plastic in a pinch, Poke Many Small small Holes in the Bottom Like a sieve, next fill Can up with OLD DEAD EARTH, Like the Dirt Under the bed of Leaves or Rotted Logs, Using a Steel Bucket under the Can, Pour water( Non Drinking River/Lake) into the dirt & catch the muddy water at the bottom, until that bucket is full, set out some shallow cookie sheets in the sun & pour the muddy water inside the tins & allow the water to evaporate,Once the water has dried up, you should see some fine Brownish Salt in the bottom of the tins, if not, DO not wash the tins, just keep adding that muddy water or collect some more.
The reason behind this Madness? You are making your very own, SALT PETTER. Once collected & washed & filtered (Refined) you can use the SALT to CURE Meats & Fish, Or You can even Make your own Gun Powder for Cap & Ball or Flintlock Rifles.
January 31, 2013 at 5:57 PM
I have eaten dried dates that I’d had in the back of the refrigerator for nearly 15 years. They were fine. But keep an eye out for mold just in case. I personally would not use corn syrup. It is highly processed and very unhealthy. Honey is healthful and really does keep forever. I am still eating honey I’ve had for 33 years.
January 31, 2013 at 8:20 PM
paracord can be used for lifting yourself and others from a well, hole, etc. to the surface.
January 31, 2013 at 8:50 PM
A long time ago, way back in my per-teens, My Mother was the bread-winner in our Recently Divorced family.
one week of Her Canning Co., Going on strike, Saw us kids (2 boys & one baby Sister) Eating White Navy Beans & Ham Hocks, For Both Lunch & Supper, Just Plain Oatmeal for breakfast & if our Neighbors came over, maybe a little clover Bee Honey.
However, one day I made a Mistake, I Questioned my Mother’s serving Beans, Every day, For the past week. A Simple Question that saw me eating BEAN Soup for the next MONTH. NO MEAT, ( While everyone else had Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes & Pork Gravy, or Chicken Gravy, Biscuits, Eggs, ( MOM was getting Paid Better after the Strike ) By the end of my 30 Days Punishment, I was told about Her Family, When she was a Kid, Growing up in the Great Depression & Being Thankful for eating Moldy Bread ? ( Mother’s) and stale cheese!
My point is, SO What, If Kids or Adults are Sick of eating the same old thing , Day after Day, Let them go without for a few meals, it’ll do them good! By the way, There are many Hundreds of Natural growing Spices, In every Forest, you just need to Know the Good From the bad!
The same goes for Alga or Sea Kelp or Seaweeds, Knowing the proper ones can not only Season a Soup but Most can be used in Cured as well.
Many So Called Weeds are a Great Source of Minerals, Needed in our Diet, And don’t forget about being a source of Natural Growing Vitamins., God Created this Whole World, & Gave us Cures for ALL of our Ills, All we have to do is See them, Instead of rejecting them as Quickly as you Reject HIM!
I Would suggest a Good Book on National Herbs, Where they Grow & How To Recognize Them! Always Get the Books with COLORED PICTURES, Some have picked Poisonous Plants by mistake. & STUDY IT Carefully!!
Also Pick up several packs of Survival Wild Food & Herb Cards, They could save your Life.
February 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM
One thing about those M.R.E.’s Keep as many of those Water-Heating (UNUSED) Packs as you can. They come in handy, to Chase out Rabbits that have gone into their holes.
February 1, 2013 at 1:18 PM
Very interesting, the comments too. Lots of very useful information here. My only concern was with one of the comments, a certain sentence was completely unnecessary… “God Created this Whole World, & Gave us Cures for ALL of our Ills, All we have to do is See them, Instead of rejecting them as Quickly as you Reject HIM!”
…. its unnecessary to bring god into it, but that would still be acceptable if it wasn’t for accusing us of rejecting him. That’s just rude and offensive. However I do get the point, yes there is everything we need to survive out there.
February 4, 2013 at 9:03 AM
With respect to appetite fatigue, just think about your dog or cat and the day-after-day-after-day repetition that they go through, eating the same DRY food you give them. What is the result? Overall, they are healthy and happy. They even look forward to feeding time. If you are hungry enough, you will too.
As for Rowan’s comment about Albert’s comment being rude and offensive, I say get over it, Rowan. Personally, I’m tired of everyone being offended at every mention of God, or related thereof. You being offended offends me. So now we’re even.
February 4, 2013 at 9:50 AM
Although I agree with the first part of your comment, I think you’ve missed my point… although I did say it was rude and offensive, I didn’t say I was offended, this is because I see these comments often. It is an unnecessary offensive action that forces their beliefs on others, I find that rude.
You say everyone is offended at every mention of God, no, its not that at all for me, I am perfectly happy discussing God when that is the topic of conversation, but when someone tells me I’m rejecting something I don’t have to believe in, or even someone who already believes in God, both I think would find it rude.
As for being “even”…. I think you should get over it, I’m only making my point and intention clear, nothing more.
February 5, 2013 at 1:14 PM
This is exactly why I have over (NO!-I ain’t gonna count ’em) individual spices and spice mixtures from all over the world, with some emphasis on the Mahgreb and Latin America. Penzey’s has a good starter catalogue, and World Market in Seattle has things many have never heard of. Kalustyan’s in NYC has a vast array of spices-several varieties of paprika alone. It is a tresure trove. And Gernot Katzer-Google him-is full to the gill’s of herb and spice information.
MRE’s aren’t bad-they are high quality meals. But the seasoning-blah. It’s like my Grandma’s: salt and pepper and a few others from her German heritage. Pretty bland over all.
February 5, 2013 at 1:15 PM
This is exactly why I have over 100 (NO!-I ain’t gonna count ’em) individual spices and spice mixtures from all over the world, with some emphasis on the Mahgreb and Latin America. Penzey’s has a good starter catalogue, and World Market in Seattle has things many have never heard of. Kalustyan’s in NYC has a vast array of spices-several varieties of paprika alone. It is a tresure trove. And Gernot Katzer-Google him-is full to the gill’s of herb and spice information.
MRE’s aren’t bad-they are high quality meals. But the seasoning-blah. It’s like my Grandma’s: salt and pepper and a few others from her German heritage. Pretty bland over all.
March 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM
I understand the idea that we should not be fussy about our food and be grateful for whatever we have available, but what is wrong with putting back a variety of foods? I know people who refuse to store nothing more than beans and rice. I find that troublesome, but I’m not the one who has to eat the stuff. As one of the other readers commented, I have stored back foods we already eat and know that we will continue to eat. I have been mindful of the fact that one can get tired of eating the same thing over and over and am planning to use a variety of recipes to make the same stuff taste different. The point of the article is to store back according to how you would like to eat rather than forcing yourself to eat the same thing over and over. Unless you don’t care- then suit yourself. After that, if anybody gets fussy about what I serve then I echo the sentiments of others here…it’s their problem, eat or go hungry. I don’t appreciate picky eaters and I wont cater to them. As for me and my house, I want to enjoy the food I eat regardless of the circumstances we are in. However, if it does come to the place where I have to eat the same thing all the time just to survive, I will do what is necessary.
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