How to Safely and Sensibly Store Food and WaterBy Dr. Michael Cutler • Jan 13th, 2010 • Category: True Health Questions
Dear Dr. Cutler,
Because of the economic downturn, many people I know have become interested with stockpiling food and water. I paid little attention at first, but now I’m starting to think I could benefit from this practice. Would you please tell me what you think about the idea, and give me some tips on how to go about it?
Having a three-month supply of food, water, fuel and money is good insurance against a natural disaster or an economic collapse. Any widespread disaster will shut down food transport to your area, and it’s estimated that three months is enough time to either recover or relocate. Keep in mind—stored food can be consumed at any time, and it will be a blessing to have when you really need it!
Start by buying a few additional items each week until you have an extra week’s supply. This will give you an idea of what you’ll need for a full three months. Include some food items that you normally eat, but mainly buy canned foods and dried foods that you can make into a meal by simply adding water. Also, be aware of the shelf-life limitations of many foods…
- Olive oil has a shelf life of less than six months so switch it out every four months.
- Many canned food items can last up to a year, but you must always check for bulges or distortions in the can which is a strong indication of bacterial growth. If the content of any can has changed colors, throw it out. But if you see a foamy substance leaking from the can, don’t touch or even smell it—it could be botulism, which is deadly.
- If you keep dried nuts and grains dry, they will remain safe to consume for many years.
And don’t forget the water, which is also absolutely essential for an emergency. We can last weeks on water alone—but we can survive only a few days without it. You’ll need to store at least 14 gallons of water per person in heavy-duty plastic containers or two-liter bottles—NOT milk jugs. Keep this water in a cool, dark location. And if necessary, you can drink melted ice cubes from the freezer or even water from your water heater.
Take into consideration that you’ll need to kill any microorganisms in your stored water before you drink it. This can be done by…
- Putting in eight drops of chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
- Using a water purifier.
- Boiling your water for three to five minutes, but only as the last resort.
All the best!
Michael Cutler, M.D.
Dr. Michael Cutler
is a graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif. Dr. Cutler is a board-certified family physician with more than 18 years experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder and editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter—a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients. He is also a Medical Advisor for True Health™—America's #1 source for doctor-formulated nutrients that heal.
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