No. This doesn’t involve BYU football or sports of any kind. This is the University City 1st Ward Relief Society President’s experiment to expose some food storage myths or perhaps better stated…misconceptions, and from there seek to find some solutions. Here are a few of them:
Misconception #1 – If we take the advice given us by our prophets, we will have been obedient and then blessed…to never HAVE to use it.
In the hard economic times the nation finds itself in, there is wisdom in choosing to be frugal before you are compelled to be frugal. Many of us eat rice and beans on a regular basis, but with limited time, we might find ourselves using instant or pre-cooked rice or already-cooked canned beans. These are called convenience items and you have to pay for someone else making your life easier. But if we get ourselves into the habit of planning ahead, soaking and cooking our dry beans is way more economical and the 20 minutes it takes to cook rice will fly right by as you prepare the rest of the meal. While you’re at it, cook for two meals at the same time. Tonight’s left over rice becomes tomorrow’s fried rice.
Misconception #2 – Buying food storage that has a 20 – 30 year shelf-life DOES NOT mean that you buy it (in case of HARD TIMES) and let it live out it’s usefulness by sitting on a shelf for 30 years, only to kick yourself for never needing it and then throw it away and start all over again.
Try a “hard-times-are-here” experiment. September is Hunger Action Month. They are asking us to pledge to try eating on $4.45 stipend – the average daily allotment given for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. They claim that it is difficult to do, but I know it can be done, and you will probably eat more healthy foods if you cook from scratch and leave all those box to plate meals off your weekly menu. I’m not saying that it is easy, but with advance preparation and a good positive attitude, not only will you eat better, but you will have enough funds left over to start that pantry and long-term storage. If lack of money isn’t your issue, this will also increase your ability to be generous with those that are less fortunate.
Misconception #3 – Since I don’t ever use wheat, there’s no need for me to buy it.
Here’s the story about wheat: Wheat is a grass that originated in the Fertile Crescent region of the Near East, but is now cultivated all over the world. It is the 3rd largest produced grain (about 600 million tons annually) , with maize (almost 800 million tons) in first place and rice (about 650 million tons) coming in second place. Around the world, wheat is the leading source for vegetable protein in human consumption because it has a higher protein content than either maize (or corn, majorly used as livestock feed) or rice. You find wheat of some sort in much of what you eat: cereal, crackers, pasta, cakes, cookies and tortillas…did I mention bread? It also stores well and in proper conditions it will keep indefinitely. Rumor has it that wheat found in a pyramid was tried and sprouted…if they couldn’t take it with them, those Kings and Queens certainly left a better treasure behind than just shiny things!
Misconception #4 – I have everything BUT wheat, but I don’t worry…someone is surely going to want to trade some of my really good stuff for wheat when THAT time comes. (My personal mantra!)
Well, if you are going to store things, you might as well store the most important item to your health and well being. Wheat is good for you and if you don’t store it, you won’t be practicing how to use it. Introducing wheat into your diet should be on a gradual basis since we are used to such refined foods that too much fiber can cause digestive trouble. But with time and a little effort, our bodies will adjust.
I’m sure that I could come up with a dozen other excuses that I have personally used at one point in my life, and I’m sure there are as many as there are people making them. Here is one of the biggest ones:
Misconception #5 - I just can’t afford it.
Well, folks…we can’t afford not to. Go to Google and type in “rising wheat prices” or “rising sugar prices” and you will see that there are parts of the world where those rising prices are causing riots. I’m not an economist and I don’t like to spread gloom and doom, but this is all about being prepared. Besides, after grinding my own wheat, baking a loaf of my delicious bread and cutting off a slice and eating it, it is a blessing indeed to know how to use it and love it!
So this all started with a tailgate teaser.
There are families that are old hat at this process. But we also have a lot of young families in our ward that are just now getting into buying for their family’s food storage. If you haven’t done that before, you may not know what to do with it once you buy it. So I thought it would be fun to make up some finished foods that contained one or more ingredients from the FHSC…Family Home Storage Center. Suzie made a delicious apple crisp using dried apples, oats and whole wheat flour (you’d have to grind your own). We also had Potato Pearls, refried bean flakes (hydrated), black bean chunky salsa, hot chocolate and whole wheat bread…
If you can’t tell, it’s black bean puree, used in place of the oil. But that’s another story, another day!
After the tasting, we all went into the cannery and canned…
some were more excited than others! I lost track of how much was actually canned, but it was a LOT! All in all, I think it was a successful night and I’m looking forward to doing it again…really soon.
*New School Year’s Resolutions – just keeping you posted!)