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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

sugar sweet sugar


SUGAR, SWEET SUGAR
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Note: I've ordered the latest book from Engdahl, "The Lost Hegemon".  This is a $20+ book and given his last failure I sure didn't want to risk the money on it.  Yet, given his history with wonderful books I had to try.  Don't spend your money just yet.  If it is worthy ( no reviews on Amazon as of yet ) I'll sing his praises and implore you to get your own copy.  His first book, "A Century Of War" is one of the best geopolitical books ever, in my opinion.
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Note: this is article 2 of 2 today.  A guest article was posted previously
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The traditional Mormon Four ( wheat, powdered milk, honey and salt ) was a great compromise between cost and variety.  I’ve always been a fan of wheat.  Powdered milk, for a time, was substituted by myself with dry beans but too long ago beans started going up in price due to a combination of farmland to corn ( we don’t have soil banks anymore, and what cropland we do have contracts with population growth.  It doesn’t expand anymore.  Even if land yields corn that can  both be animal feed and ethanol, that land isn’t used to grow other human crops.  That puts price pressure on all human feed plants ) and the Latino population surge as well as California farms drying up.  But you have to admit it is bizarre that animal protein is cheaper per pound than the inferior legume protein.  You are almost better off now going back to powdered milk.

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Honey, you might as well forget about.  Thanks to genetically modified crops as well as other pollutants ( Congress-asswhores were bribed and bullspit-ed on GMO’s being the saving grace of humankind and overpopulation.  All they are is a pollutant masquerading as food hiding a profitable patent ), bees are a dying breed and honey is liquid gold price-wise.  Salt is as dirt cheap as ever ( but will quickly go back to priceless in a lot in landlocked locales, so stockpile it.  No, water softener salt is not ideal.  But it will do in a pinch.  Get it?  Pinch of salt.  Whatever dude.  I’m not sure why I’m wasting my A material on you people.  It is better than nothing although iodine is needed daily so keep stockpiling grocery store one pound cardboard tubes of the fifty cent iodine salt.  The sodium chloride [NOT potassium chloride] bags will work in food preserving ).

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Wheat, surprisingly, has gone down in price.  I believe, per minion comments, that wheat climates and corn climates don’t mix, so wheat is not displaced by corn like a lot of other items are.  Plus, processed white flour is now more expensive than whole kernels so while Top Ramen and spaghetti noodles and what-not goes up in price ( I have no idea why unless whole grain bread is more popular than ever and white flour is no longer in surplus.  I can‘t imagine it is transportation or packaging cost.  Oil prices are dipping.  Perhaps company consolidation and increased debt payments.  Or, simply, pasta wheat isn’t available as before.  Although that doesn’t account for plain bread flour cost increases but not kernels  ), whole kernels stay affordable.  Who knows how long that will last, so take advantage. 

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Honey is easily substituted with table sugar.  I’m not sure of the difference between cane sugar or beet sugar price wise, but do try to go with cane if possible.  Less processing and a slight bit more healthy ( some would argue sugar is the root cause of all disease.  It might be, but eating sugar sure does improve the taste of that Fukishima radiation.  I say, all things in moderation ) according to some.  Now, I would argue that you should store more sugar on hand than just the baking supplement amounts in the Mormon Four.  Unless you think the stuff is pure poison, sugar is a great stockpile item.  First off, it is really no less healthy than white flour or white rice.  It is an empty carbohydrate, just as white flour or white rice is ( I‘m discounting the diabetes and similar health aspect, but see below ) .  There is no nutrients included, just calories.  Empty calories are okay for you, as long as they supplement your main food rather than become your main food ( which, sadly, too many Americans try to do ).   A big heaping bowl of wheat gruel is very healthy for you, and adding sugar to that does not subtract from those nutrients.  It just adds a lot of extra taste and calories.  Which you WILL need, eating all that damn wheat. 

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White rice has 1600 calories a pound, wheat flour 1500 and sugar 1700.  As rice and sugar are about the same price per pound, why not get that extra 100 calories by going with sugar?  Which, I believe I’ve mentioned, as a bonus has FLAVOR.  Of the three white foods, it is the only one with flavor.  Rice, at least to me, taste like bland dried glue.  Flour can give you variety.  But only sugar has both calories and flavor.  If you are going to stockpile processed foods, I’d stock sugar way before I’d consider TVP or other monstrosities. 

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I’m not necessarily recommending you make sugar a meal, such as workmen in old timey Britain did ( some would argue that slaves fed the Industrial Revolution as a large portion of calories in the form of Caribbean sugar fed factory workers cheap calories ).  Sugar is more than twice the price of wheat kernels ( but the same price as rice.  Yes, I still think something is up with the rice price increase ), so it is purely a supplement.  But as a combination of calories and flavor, it should be a very important supplement in your stockpile.

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27 comments:

  1. I'm just sort of spit balling here James, having done very little research, but what about molasses? Apparently it's healthier than processed sugar. I saw a 5 gallon bucket for $25, and a 50 gallon drum for $125. It's said to have a shelf life of 8 months opened, 2 years not opened. But many have mentioned that they have been using the same bottle for 8 plus years, so keep it in a cool place, and apparently it holds up rather well. Anyhow, I thought that I would just throw it out there as an alternative. To me, it tastes absolutely horrible, but as always, starvation has a way of making the most hideous appetizing.

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    1. At five times the cost of fake, some things are worth it. Like butter rather than margarine. But to pay 5x for a horrid taste, no, the health benefits, to me, aren't worth it.

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    2. What you have price is what I call cattle sweetening. It is high in sulfur hence the off taste. It is used to help lactating cattle ,sows during nursing. I would PASS.

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    3. The price that I gave on the 5 gallon bucket is actually sulfur free. But it matters not, since the stuff is so nasty, I don't think I'd get it at any price, I was just throwing it out there as a potential option. I'd rather go with bee barf, but since it's so expensive, short of my acquiring a few hives, I don't see that happening either.

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  2. On bread vs. pasta, they use different varieties of wheat: the kind that goes into pasta is called durum wheat. It sticks together much better for making the shapes but does not rise very well. So, the decision on pricing for bread vs. pasta is made when the farmers plant their fields; after that it is not easy to switch.

    For corn vs. wheat, it is extremely hard on the soil to plant the same crop over and over. One popular rotation is corn - soybean - corn - wheat.

    For honey vs. sugar, if you can get honey from a local producer, it might be worth it. However, a study of honey from China found that something like 75% had no trace of pollen in them. Some were just fake sugar-water concoctions; the rest were sugar-water concoctions that they fed to bees and collected the results. In either case I doubt you are getting any significant benefits from the honey over sugar. Long-term. though, your best bet would be to raise bees or sugar beets yourself.

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    1. Last honey I had was near a year ago, from NZ. Too rich for my blood, even if it tastes like heaven.

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    2. So, the $4 container I bought at Walmart that listed only honey as the ingredient was lying? Tastes like honey to me, but I don't have a confirmed honey sample to compare with. How do you know if you have real honey or fake?

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    3. ghostsniper, if it is made in the USA it has to meet certain standards including a % real honey. If it doesn't list MADE in the usa, preferably local to you, it isn't worth it as it is just bee flavored sugar water.
      You are best off to find a bee keeper (apiary) locally and ask to buy some honey directly - offer to provide the containers.

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  3. All the basic food items are still low in price. They may have gone up a bit, but still offer a good value.

    I just bought a 25-pound bag of long-grain white rice. It was $12.95, 3-years ago it was $8.95. Yea it cost more, but that's a lot of rice. I have found I use 2-ounces of rice for a meal, 25 pounds comes out to 200 meals, not a bad price if you ask me. I use rice the same way I use noodles, I use it for a basic bulk filler to build a meal on. I don't see it as a food for the poor people as every meal I cook taste great as I only cook things I like.

    The same with beans, more costly then in the past, but still a good value.

    And we all need food to live so the price is almost a moot point, it's not like we can boycott the stuff.

    Spices and herbs to add flavor is a big part of making rice worth eating, (less glue like as you call it) and I stock a lot of them.

    I also have TVP stored, I bought a lot of it in #10 cans in various flavors. It takes on the flavor of the broth it's rehydrated in. I have made tacos with it and they tasted good. Yes the texture is different then ground meet, but still it was good to eat.

    And we need to understand that if SHTF does come or even 3-hour food lines (like Venezuela is going through right now) a TVP taco or a TVP stroganoff meal is going to taste like the best meal you ever had and people would be willing to kill (literally kill) for it. I also buy "Bob's Red Mill" TVP at the local Meijer store. It is unflavored but works for meals when soaked in beef broth then fried like ground meat.


    I've always found powdered milk a bit off tasting, but I read that a few drops of vanilla extract improves it. I tried it and yes it's better tasting.

    As far as salt, I have a lot stored and I live 60-miles south of one of the biggest salt mining opperations in the world. Under Detroit is a salt deposit that the tunnels are so big their is a train track system to remove it and dump trucks 3-stories high drive in and out of the place. I can't imagine someone post SHTF not making use of the place for trade.


    I read a report that most honey in stores (like 85%) of it) is from China and has had the pollen removed from it as pollen is how honey can be tracked to where it came from. I buy honey as it stores forever and while it's more expensive, I feel it's worth it. Anyone that buys honey should only buy it from a local source that you know is safe. I travel to mid-Ohio a few times a year and I always buy it from the Amish in the mid-Ohio area. I probably have a lifetimes worth of it...


    I really don'r see food prices as an issue (yet) as it's still low priced compared to what it was (percentage of income wise) in even the 1950's. So I stock up on long-term storage food now while it's less expensive.

    I also don't worry about calories too much as like most of us in developed countries I get more then enough of them.


    Question: There is a camping / survival store close to me and they are selling "Mayday Bars) these are hard cookie type bars having 3600 calories per bar. They are supposed to be 3-days of food. I have not bought any yet, but I did look on U-Tube for reviews and they say the bars taste like dry cookies. Not bad like you would think. They sell for $4.99, that seems OK for a survival bar that last 5-years and can be put in a auto (good temp wise from -22 to 149 deg F) or even in a bucket in the basement. They say they don't make you thirsty, but being a dry cookie I don't see how it can't?

    Has anyone tried these, and if so, how did you like them?

    Chuck Findlay

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    1. Look at S.O.S. brand on amazon they are coast guard approved for life boat rations.

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    2. "And we all need food to live so the price is almost a moot point, it's not like we can boycott the stuff."

      Good point, Chuck. :)

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      One point on TVP. My mother had breast cancer that had something to do with her estrogen receptors. TVP and soy has estrogen so I stay away from it.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    3. The Mayday Bars say Coast Guard approved on the package. I do wonder how a dry food can not cause you to be thirsty? I know when I eat something dry I like to chase it down with a bit of water. Probably a good idea to expect the need for extra water if you store these things.

      Chuck Findaly

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    4. The dry keeps it shelf stable longer. I'd tape a bottle of water or two to each pack to be safe.

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    5. On eating soy. Check out the article ( "stupid wheat tricks" ) on my home page at bisonprepper.com
      If soy is not processed as described, for the reasons given, you don't process the nutriants. That, along with the estrogen issue ( which I believe is BIG ), should concern all that want to pay $30 a can for poison.

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  4. I agree that storing refined Sugar is a good idea long term.
    Sugar is NOT something to cycle through - the eat what you store and store what you eat does not apply (much) to the following things - Ammo, gas masks/ air filters, water filters, salt, refined sugar.
    But just as you wouldn't want to consider yourself well prepped without a lot of re-usable water filters, so to you should not think you are well prepped without lots of sugar and salt. Both kept dry in air tight containers can be used by your great grandkids should you not ever need them, so why not store them now while affordably cheap.
    The big key for sugar and salt is keeping them dry in air tight containers. Even if they cake into a brick the brick can be broken up and used.

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  5. One good thing on sugar storage is no Mylar bag needed moister absorbers only. It has high trade value for real food add a stockpile of cocoa and you a womans best friend. For trade it is second only to coffee. I buy it for 42$ a hundred so it wont break the bank. A good supply will help get you to the other side of collapse and maybe set you up in business post collapse.

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    1. Wally/Kroger seems to be around 55c a lb. The neighborhood store down the street is 65c but that is heavy duty plastic rather than paper sack. Is your source a national chain?

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    2. Restaurant depot is 21$ a 50. Sam's is 11.70 for 25#.Local grocery sale is 4# for 1.69

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    3. A friend of mine told me a story about her father during WWII. I guess sugar was rationed and if you had over your allotted amount, you were suppose to turn it in. Well, her dad put their extra sugar in canning jars and hid it in the chicken house.

      Sugar -- easy to store, last forever, fairly cheap, good barter item. What's not to like?

      Idaho Homesteader

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    4. Sounds like they rationed testicles back then, too. Not that you could fight a crazed society bent on killing Nips. FDR did a good job tapping into the hate and discontent produced from his kind starving the masses ten years prior. Poor deluded fools.

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    5. This needs to go into my "best of bison quotes" folder. It's why I follow you my good man.

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    6. “Here to help. And Thank You.”

      I should probably post more often under my name James, so that you know who the heck it is making these comments. I've been a follower for years, and you probably don't even know who I am, though by now you might recognize the writing? I usually post anonymously because of all the trolls that used to be here. I guess that was mostly back in the days of the old bison survival blog? That site used to attract a lot of trolls for some reason?

      But it's really hard to find anyone with any critical independent thoughts anymore. That's why as long as you're around, I'll keep following.

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    7. Some folks have three names. Real, e-mail and blog moniker. Hard to keep everything straight, and that is on a day my memory works properly. Bison Blog had no comments moderation, hence the trolls. I think I lost half my readers when I went to moderation.

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  6. I'm a backyard beekeeper - 2 to 3 hives(varies season to season) -- besides the honey, wax is also rather useful. And honey does have practical use besides food.

    Costs for beekeeping can be steep to start - but the ongoing costs don't necessarily have to be much.

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    1. Doesn't that describe pretty much any hobby? At least you can eat your results.

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  7. Yes, exactly - similar to keeping chickens, upfront costs but can be viable ongoing

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