Category: Sustainability2

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Uploaded on Dec 5, 2007

Peak Moment 87: In summer 2006 Judy Alexander embarked on an experiment to see how much food she could grow, and how many neighbors could benefit, from the garden around her house. Check out her homegrown rainwater collection and irrigation system – watering her 60+ edible crops. Meet the bees, the chickens and the worms. And catch her joy in producing so much food for so little effort.

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(NaturalNews) Some organic food experts are worried that the term used to describe non-genetically modified crops and produce may soon become nearly meaningless, thanks in large part to undue (read corporate) influence on the Department of Agriculture.

According to Jerome Rigot, PhD, writing in a blog posted at the Cornucopia Institute, which promotes food safety backed by science, it may no longer be accurate to rely on the USDA’s “organic” labeling as remaining “true to its mandate of assuring consumers that food under this label is truly healthy and grown or raised with minimal impact to the environment,” as well as respecting “the health and well-being of the workers and animals involved.”

Rigot notes that, among other concerns, Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, recently downgraded its rating of the Agriculture Department’s organic seal and label. The director of the Consumer Safety and Sustainability Center for the magazine, Dr. Urvashi Rangan, testified to the National Organic Standards Board in late 2014: “Organic is slipping. And as a result, we have downgraded its rating from highly meaningful to meaningful.” He further noted that the rule of the magazine “is to help educate people about what organic means as well as what it doesn’t mean.”

Regarding these concerns, Rigot wrote:

As an example, the Cornucopia Institute filed formal legal complaints with the USDA in December 2014 against 14 giant poultry and dairy CAFOs (read: concentrated animal feeding operations or “factory farms”) for allegedly violating the USDA organic regulations requiring outdoor and pasture access. Each complaint was summarily dismissed, without an investigation, by the enforcement division of the National Organic Program (NOP), which stated, “The NOP has reviewed these complaints and has determined that investigation is unwarranted.”

Inept, corporatists or lobbyists

The determination was odd, says Rigot, because literally hundreds of high-res photos, satellite imagery and state regulatory documents were submitted as evidence to the NOP which, together, should have produced more than enough doubt to motivate someone to launch an investigation.

A former NOSB board member who manages the country’s first certified organic dairy farm, Kevin Englebert, was clearly disappointed by the NOP decision, seeing it as a lapse of the organization’s responsibilities.

“For the NOP to not even investigate these facilities means one of three things: 1) the personnel who made that decision are inept, 2) they are too close and friendly with corporate lobbyists and multimillion-dollar certifiers that are involved in the process, or 3) the most likely scenario, corrupt politicians are preventing them from enforcing the law,” he said, as quoted by Rigot, who intimated that elements of all three reasons might be at play.

He noted that the National Organic Program is a very small part of the Agriculture Department. However, many large corporations have a significant vested interest in organic foods, especially the processed foods industry (including General Mills, Smuckers, Coca-Cola, etc.), and similar to GMO corporations, they’ll do whatever it takes to expand their bottom line.

“Circumstantial evidence makes it reasonable to conclude that the same type of undue industry influence that appears to have prevented Vilsack and the USDA from acting quickly to end the Salmonella outbreak [in 2014] and limit the health toll is behind efforts to dilute the federal organic standards, control the NOP leadership, and limit or obstruct the ability of the congressionally authorized National Organic Standard Board from doing its job efficiently and with integrity,” Rigot wrote.

For more breaking news regarding organic agriculture, check out, powered by

Compromised board members

In September 2014, we reported that the Cornucopia Institute had conducted a study to examine the voting records and backgrounds of the 15 members of the NOSB.

The board is an advisory body created by the secretary of agriculture to make recommendations aimed at preserving and protecting the organic farming industry. What’s more, the board is also required to maintain and update the National List of Approved and Prohibited Substances – a list that identifies substances and other compounds that cannot be used in organic crop and livestock production.

The NOSB’s seats are supposed to be filled with members representing farmers, environmentalists, public interest advocates, handlers, retailers, scientists and a USDA certifying agent. However, Cornucopia found in its study that corporate representatives were filling seats intended for farmers and other independent organic industry stakeholders, often leading to decisions that were not beneficial to the organic food and livestock industry.

Details surrounding that study are posted here.


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Wheat Berries – Long Term Storage – Part 1




Wheat Berries – Long Term Storage – Part 2

Wheat Berries – Long Term Storage – Part 3



Long-Term Survival Food Storage: Whole Wheat Berries



Making Bread from Home Ground Wheat


Easy Wheat Sprouting nothing special needed


Wheat berry recipes

by ingredients, cooking time, nutrition facts, collections


59 wheat berry recipes

Berry Berry Streusel Bars

Berry Berry Streusel Bars

 Raspberry jam and blueberries make these berry berry streusel bars packed with goodness and yumminess. Perfect for breakfast.

about 1 hour ago

Arugula, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad

Arugula, Chickpea and Wheat Berry Salad

 Wheat berries, chickpeas, roasted bell peppers, and arugula are tossed with a refreshing and flavorful dressing. It fills you up with lots of goodness and yumminess.

2 minutes ago

Israeli Wheat Berry Stew

 Try this delicious rendition of stew that’s made with great northern beans, wheat berries and a bit of cumin and turmeric.

Oatmeal and Berry Pancakes

Oatmeal and Berry Pancakes

 These delicious pancakes are full of yumminess and goodness. They are moist in the inside, and slightly crispy on the outside. Berries give you some juicy explosion in every bite. They are perfect for breakfast.

about 9 hours ago

Mixed Berry Coffee Cake

Mixed Berry Coffee Cake

 Moist, fruity and very tasty! An ideal cake you can have with a cup of coffee or tea.

28 minutes ago

Warm Crepes with Berry Sauce

Warm Crepes with Berry Sauce

 Warm, juicy and fruity. These warm crepes are served with freshly made blueberry-raspberry sauce. Delicious and also good for you.


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Bulk Food Storage Containers
Bulk Food Storage Containers jpg  /

Guest Post by Dan Sullivan

Let me ask you a question, when was the last time you read an article on survival food and said to yourself:

Yeah, I almost forgot about this food… It’s perfect! I’ll definitely get me some?

Although there are plenty of lists with survival food on the Internet, a lot of preppers are missing a few good ones that have amazing shelf life (if properly stored, usually in cool, dark, dry places, away from rodents).

That’s what I want to do in this article so here’s my list of foods that ultimately allow you to rotate your stockpile less often…

#1. Spam

You either love it or hate spam but I think we can all agree most people like it, right? First of all, Spam is a brand. Its main ingredients are pork, ham, potato starch and salt and it became popular during World War 2 because of it has great shelf life (which, according to the manufacturer, is infinite).

The really cool thing is that it’s also dirt cheap, around 5 to 10 bucks for a can on Amazon.

#2. Hardtack crackers

Put whole wheat flour, water and salt together and you’ve got crackers with 50+ years of shelf life! Amazing, right (as long as you store them well)? As their name suggests, these crackers are pretty hard to chew on. You’ll need to soak them in water, milk or even soup for at least 5-10 minutes before eating them.


#3. Pemmican

This is another fantastic food that lasts a very long time. How long depends on the storage conditions and the quality of the ingredients. Again, lots of recipes out there, you just need look them up.


#4. Canned Pink Salmon

I say pink salmon because it has one of the highest shelf lives of all canned foods: 3 to 5 years. Obviously, you can extend it even more if you store it under the right conditions, in a cool, dark place, away from moisture etc.

If you want, you can make your own at home but you will need a pressure canner, the jars need to be sterile, the lids have to be brand new and the recipe has to be followed to the letter. One wrong move and you could compromise your cans.


#5. Wheat berries

I’m not sure you noticed but the first four foods from the list don’t need to be cooked in order to be eaten. This is great if you’re worried that the smell might give you away in a post-SHTF situation where food will be scarce.

However, there are other foods with amazing shelf life, such as berries, that do require you start your propane stove.

Wheat berries are, in fact, the kernel of the grain except for the hull. Few people know that they have a much longer shelf life than flour, which is why I’m adding them to this list. White flour is good, it will last you 8 to 12 months, more if you store it properly. That’s more than enough if you rotate your stockpile once or twice a year.

But if you’re really looking to hit maximize shelf life, you might as well store it in the form of wheat berries. Just put them in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and then everything in food-grade buckets.

Of course, in order to turn them into flour, you’re gonna need a hand cranked grinder… and that’s something that may be a little harder to find one post-collapse.

#6. Dried pinto beans

OK, so pretty much all dried beans are going to last a very long time in proper conditions but I did promise you foods with an unbelievable shelf life, right?

A 2005 study by Larson, Sloan, Ogden and Pike found that dried pinto beans retain “total protein quality” over long periods of time. Of course, you’re gonna want to eat them long before the maximum 30 year shelf life they can give you. They’ll be as hard as a rock and you’re probably going to need a pressure canner to cook them.

#7. Dehydrated potato slices

These potato slices can last 25 years according to some manufacturers. It makes sense, since they have 0 fat and enough sodium. You can make your own potato slices at home, of course, but you can also just buy them and keep them in their original containers.


Well, this is it for now; I hope I’ve given you some pretty good ideas on what foods to add to your stockpile. Just remember that stockpiling them is not an excuse for you to rotate your stockpile less frequently simply because you’ll know they last long. Rotating your stash is important to make sure that, when it hits, your preps will last you as long as you need them to.

Another thing you need to remember is to not neglect your other preps such as water, medicine, tools, clothes and so on. Stockpiling is comfortable and easy but you’ll also need to focus on your skills, for instance.

Good luck!

Dan F. Sullivan



Look for more of Dan’s  informative articles on his site

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How to (and how not to) Dehydrate Potatoes February 2013




Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes The Homestead Survival

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The Métis




  • A single buffalo supplied the Métis with a large amount of meat. Therefore, they needed to find a way to preserve some of that meat to keep it from going bad.
  • Most of the buffalo meat was used to make ‘pemmican’, which lasted for year without spoiling.
  • Pemmican was usually made from buffalo meat.
  • Drying the meat ensured that it did not go bad.
  • How to make pemmican:
    • First, the buffalo meat was cut into long strips.
    • The strips were then dried on racks, either over a fire, or in the sun.
    • The dried buffalo meat was then pounded into granular form.
    • Once in granular form, it was placed into animal-hide bags.
    • Hot buffalo fat was poured into the bags and mixed with the dried meat.
    • Wild berries were added to the mixture for flavour.
    • The hide bag were sewn shut, and the pemmican kept for years.
  • Pemmican was a nutritious and filling snack, and was eaily transported on long trade journeys.
  • Pemmican recipe
    • Ingredients:
      • 2 lbs of buffalo meat
      • ¼ cup of berries (blueberries or saskatoon berries)
      • 5 tablespoons of animal fat
    • Steps:
      • Cut meat into long strips
      • Hang meat in the sun to dry
      • When dry, pound strips into flakes
      • Mix together flakes and dried berries in hide bag (or bowl)
      • Add melted fat (hot)
      • Add berries (optional)


Learn More About The Metis Here


Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Food


Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Food – Episode2 – 18th century cooking S5E3


Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Food – Episode 3 – 18th century cooking S5E4



Pemmican Episode 4 – 18th century cooking with Jas Townsend and Son S5E5



How To Render Fat, Part 1



How To Render Fat, Part 2

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Ship’s Bisket – Hard Tack: 18th Century Breads, Part 1. S2E12



Making High Protein Hardtack



Simple Hardtack Recipe


How to Eat 3 Year Old Hard Tack





Off The Grid News

Written by: Tricia Drevets Off-Grid Foods

Image source: HomeDepot

Image source: HomeDepot


During the summer there is nothing better than picking fruits and vegetables from your garden and then enjoying them at your dinner table that evening. The taste, freshness and convenience cannot be beat.

But how can you continue to enjoy fresh homegrown produce when they’re not in season? One way is with a root cellar.

It is with the use of root cellars that our ancestors provided nutritious food to their families all year round. Long before refrigerators were in every kitchen, most homes included some sort of root cellar that was designed to preserve nature’s bounty.

Root cellars today can take many forms, from very basic to more complicated. But all of them provide a cool, ventilated, humid and dark space to store fresh food. Foods that do well in a root cellar environment include apples, pears, oranges, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions, garlic, winter squash and nuts.

Read More Here


Planning a garden in advance can help you enjoy local, homegrown food year-round! Estimate how much to grow or buy and learn how to achieve food security with these guidelines.
By Cindy Conner
October/November 2012
A well-planned garden can provide your family with the freshest, most nutritious produce, plus a more secure, self-reliant lifestyle.
Photo By Matthew T. Stallbaumer

Providing high-quality food for your family year-round takes foresight and planning, plus healthy doses of commitment and follow-through. Whether you grow as much of your food as you can or you source it from local producers, the guidelines here will help you decide how much to produce or purchase. The charts linked to in “Plan How Much to Grow” later in this article will also help you estimate how much space you’ll need — both in your garden to grow the crops, and in your home and pantry or root cellar to store preserved foods. Here’s a step-by-step plan to help you make the best use of your garden space (or farmers markets) to move toward homestead food self-sufficiency.

1. Establish Your Goals

Make a list of the foods you and your family eat now — and note the quantities as well. The charts linked to in “Plan How Much to Grow” further along in this article assume a half-cup serving size for fruits, vegetables and legumes, and a 2-ounce serving for dry grains. If your servings differ from the charts, be sure to adjust your calculations accordingly.

Decide what you’d like to grow, noting the foods your family prefers and recognizing that not every crop will grow in every climate. Research different crop varieties: Some crops — such as melons — require long, hot days to mature, but certain varieties need fewer days to reach maturity, which allows them to be grown in areas with a shorter growing season.

Don’t be afraid to start small and build gradually toward food self-sufficiency. A good starting goal might be to produce all of a certain crop that you use. An early milestone for me was growing all of the green beans we needed for a year and all of the ingredients for the spaghetti sauce I canned. Maybe you’ll aim to eat at least one thing from your garden each day. Keep your goals in mind as you’re planning a garden.

Read More Here


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