Shortages, a 7-Year Food Supply, and Beating Inflation

(Continued from Part 3. This concludes the article.)

As discussed previously, I followed two important principles in achieving a 7-year food supply using basic foods. First, let “everything from scratch” be your motto, avoiding processed and genetically modified foods. Second, buy in bulk. These two principles together will contribute to good health and definitely get you ahead of the steep inflation curve. Take the time to read the book, Nourishing Traditions, that I refer to as the “food Bible”. It will help you understand the real nutritional needs (“nutrient dense foods”) of adults and children, give you recipes, and help you avoid fad diets and food cravings.

In the following paragraphs, I give examples of the things I’ve purchased and their current cost that got me to the 7-year food storage plan for one person. If you wonder about why I purchased a certain quantity of this or that, my choices were dependent upon: the most protein and fiber per buck, and what I personally like. Your choices will be different.

Beans/Peas/Lentils (435 lbs) using ~17 food grade buckets:

5 lbs of organic black eyed peas (I am also going to plant some of these) – $12.89

25 lbs of black turtle beans – $27.74

25 lbs of garbanzo beans – $30.93

75 lbs of brown lentils – $24.65 x 3 = $73.95

25 lbs of green split peas – $18.38

25 lbs of whole green peas – $22.02

75 lbs of pinto beans – $35.39 x 3 = $106.17

75 lbs of red beans – $26.75 x 3 = $80.25

5 lbs of organic soybeans (I am also going to plant some of these). – $8.93

100 lbs of white navy beans – $24.45 x 4 = $97.80

Total cost of $479.06

By my personal calculations and habits, I would eat 1lb per week of my choice of the above with some extra in there for visiting family. Now, 1 lb doesn’t sound like a lot of food in a week, but it’s just a component of a larger meal plan that includes, dairy, grains, meat, broths, vegetables, seeds, and fruit. Now onto the grains.

Grains (650 lbs) using ~26 food grade buckets:

175 lbs Hard Red Wheat – $16.09 x 7 (25 lb bags) = $112.63

50 lbs Hard White Wheat – $23.90 x 2 (25 lb bags) = $47.80

75 lbs Soft White Wheat – $13.64 x 3 (25 lb bags) = $27.28

60 lbs Wheat Montana Flour – $7.57 x 6 (10 lb bags) = $45.42

75 lbs Pearl Barley – $17.79 x 3 (25 lb bags) = $53.37

100 lbs Oats – $24.92 x 4 (25 lb bags) = $99.68

40 lbs White Corn Masa – $58.63 x 1 (40 lb bag) = $58.63

25 lbs Corn Meal – $20.28 x 1 (25 lb bag) = $20.28

50 lbs of Rice – $19 x 2 (25 lb bags) = $38

Total cost of $503.09

By my personal calculations and habits, which includes slicing bread, rolls,…

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Sens. Wyden, Booker, Warren Urge Department of Labor to Help States Abandon

In a letter to the Department of Labor, Senators Ron Wyden, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren urged the agency to help state unemployment agencies abandon flawed identity verification company The letter states that “the infrastructure that powers digital identity, particularly when used to access government websites, should be run by the government, and certainly not a company with a track record of misleading the public.” The Senators call for the Dep’t of Labor and General Services Administration to make, the federally run identity verification service, available to state governments, and to avoid the use of facial recognition for access to government benefits and services. 

Recently, an EPIC-led coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups urged federal and state agencies to end the use of and facial recognition. IRS dropped its plan to use after criticism from members of CongressEPIC, and many others. The company came under fire for forcing individuals to submit to intrusive facial recognition verification, subjecting people to long wait times for verification, and misleading the public. Individuals can join organizations pushing back against the use of face verification by signing this petition to Dump

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Shortages, a 7-Year Food Supply, and Beating Inflation

(Continued from Part 2.)

Food Basics

In 6 months, I was able to stock up on basic, healthy, foods for a single person relatively inexpensively. You won’t necessarily have to take what I did and multiply it by the number of people in your household because it depends upon food needs and tastes. I avoid “emergency food supplies”, which are basically either dehydrated or freeze-dried foods at a premium price, because the budget matters to me. I avoid processed foods unless I see an exceptionally good sale, and know that these items will be good for the purposes of bartering or charity. Most processed foods are “meal-sized”, which makes them handy to pass on to someone in need. Some processed foods, like peanut butter, are less expensive to buy than to make, although the cheaper brands are chock full of sugar and other oils, so look at the ingredients list before buying. The following is the process I followed in order to achieve the 7-year goal in 6 months while not breaking the bank. If you’ve got loads of money, you can do this in a few days.

But first, the best advice I can offer is to know how your family eats and start taking daily notes about types and quantities. If you save your grocery receipts, that’s a good way to eyeball it. In reviewing your grocery receipt, remove everything from your grocery list that is not a necessity, and focus on food. For instance, you won’t need that air freshener should SHTF, although you’ll wish you had it. LOL. I know someone who recently got very serious about providing nutrient-dense food for her large family of little ones while on a budget. I suggested that she read the book “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. It’s chock full of information about basic foods and the types the body needs in order to thrive. I recommend it for everyone.

Once you understand how and what your family eats, think seriously about modifying the diet to remove processed foods. Removing processed foods will not only improve your health, it will save you an enormous amount of money. For instance, a Rice-a-Roni box of rice pilaf in the smaller box (6.5 oz) might cost $1-1.50. If you bought 10 of those, you’d have less than a couple of pounds of actual rice that you paid $10-15 for. Whereas, you can buy 20lbs of rice for a few dollars more – anywhere from $17-$20. Wouldn’t it be worth it to learn how to make rice pilaf from scratch? What about Red Beans and Rice? You get the picture.

Another example, I purchase organic wheat berries that have a long shelf life, rather than flour, and grind the wheat into flour. It costs about $17 for a 25lb bag of wheat berries. If you don’t want to fool with grinding, you can still get ahead of the game by purchasing flour in bulk. There is a non-GMO brand called Wheat Montana that you…

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EPIC Testifies at House Hearing on Need for U.S. Privacy Law

EPIC Deputy Director Caitriona Fitzgerald will testify before the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on House Administration today in a hearing regarding “Big Data: Privacy Risks and Needed Reforms in the Public and Private Sectors.” “The United States faces a data privacy crisis,” Fitzgerald will tell Committee members. “We need comprehensive, baseline privacy protections for every person in the United States, changes to the business models that have led to today’s commercial surveillance systems, limits on government access to personal data, and strong enforcement of privacy protections.” Fitzgerald will advocate for the establishment of a U.S. Data Protection Agency. EPIC Board Member Shoshana Zuboff will also testify. Watch the hearing at 2PM ET here.

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Forget about “redecorating”, ladies! Your kids or grandkids need to eat.

(Continued from Part 1.)

For many of us, the following are well-known concepts that we try to implement in our day-to-day living. I share my spin on them. I don’t cover OPSEC in this series because there are individuals with far more security experience than I, who can speak to it. Suffice it to say, I have implemented layers of security.

The Basics: Water, Shelter, Tools, Energy, and Food

Water: If you live in an urban or suburban area, your sources of water are very limited. However, you can get smart about water storage, storage containers, water filtration, and even identify alternative sources of water. You can identify lakes, streams, reservoirs, and even dig a shallow well, as long as you have developed a method of hauling, filtering, purifying, and storing the water. Even if your area doesn’t “permit” rainwater catchment, develop a system to do it anyway. It won’t matter what the rules are should SHTF. Even in my situation where I have 2 wells on the property, I experienced a complete failure of the system that lasted about 2 weeks. We loaded 5 gallon buckets in the truck and made numerous trips to an available spring to fill them. We used buckets of water for flushing toilets, filled the bathtub for bathing children, and filtered water for drinking and cooking.

had a larger portable water tank and cistern on site so I was able to pay to have a truck deliver 500-1,000 gallons of potable water while we waited for the well repairs. The things I had on hand that made the “emergency” less of an emergency were lots of buckets, a Berkey water filter, bleach, knowledge of where a couple of local springs were, and a working truck. Before I moved to the country, I stored at least 50 gallons of water, in 1 gallon jugs, in the basement. The rule of thumb is 3 gallons per day per person for basic drinking, food prep, and sponge bathing. That does not account for washing clothes, flushing toilets, or anything else that needs water. At this location, I have a lot of farm animals to water, so things can quickly spiral out of control when there’s no water. The other day my pipes froze and I did not have enough water stored to cover the basics! I got lazy. Don’t do that. Attend to your water needs as a first priority in your planning.

Shelter: I assume all who are reading here have a place to live and if not, may the Lord hear your prayers. My idea of Home has changed dramatically. I no longer put money into the perfect looking home. It’s kind of sparse, actually. I buy furniture from the thrift stores and refinish where possible. I invested in really good mattresses for the beds because without good sleep, a person cannot function in a stressful environment. My choices are very easy on the budget and I know that you can’t eat decorations.

My focus…

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MeriTalk: Congress Should Pass Data-Privacy Legislation, Witnesses Say

Data privacy is one of the critical challenges of the digital age; consumers are frustrated by the frequency of data breaches and the lack of accountability in the misuse of personal information, technology companies are overwhelmed by the tsunami of new data-protection obligations and growing restrictions on personal information usage, and all are confused by the multitude of ever-changing laws and regulations.

“Without clear and enforceable data protection rules, there has been widespread overcollection, abusive data practices, and targeting that threatens our rights and institutions. Robust data privacy standards are essential to ensure the protection of human rights, human dignity, and the healthy functioning of our democracy,” said Caitriona Fitzgerald, the deputy director for the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

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Suburban Survival: How to Survive and Thrive in the Burbs

When considering all of the challenges and planning that you’ll have to attend to when it comes to prepping it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking it is a black and white situation.

suburban houses

Most articles you see on the subject are oriented towards those who dwell in the cities, and subsequently how they are going to get out of said cities when SHTF, and those who live in rural or remote areas, and how to best sustain their way of life under the circumstances.

But as you are probably already guessing from the title alone, there is a huge sector of people that live somewhere in the middle, all too literally! I am talking about, of course, the suburbs.

Those orderly sometimes quaint and sometimes modern sprawls of residential homes that spring up outside of major cities and often serve as transition points between major metropolitan areas and the rural reaches.

Though sometimes lumped in with cities for our purposes, this is a mistake, as the suburbs present unique advantages and disadvantages for survivors across a variety of survival domains and situations.

Knowing how to best take advantage of suburban environment strengths while minimizing or avoiding the weaknesses of suburbia is paramount if you are one of the many millions who live there. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to plan your efforts accordingly.

Bugging In is Often Best

Preppers, like most people, are vulnerable to falling into a pattern of binary thinking: Right and wrong, good or bad, best or worst.

Everyone likes nice and tidy solutions to problems or answers to questions, but so much of the time real life just doesn’t work that way!

Much of the time, many things are on a sort of sliding scale of acceptability, including our solutions to problems. Factoring that into our own planning, sometimes a “B-” solution right now is better than an “A+” solution eventually.

One of the biggest shortcomings I see in my travels is the notion that if you live in an urban or suburban area you had better plan on bugging out as a matter of course, a default response, whereas the opposite is true if you live in a rural or remote area.

In actuality, bugging in, not bugging out, should be your first choice for dealing with any disaster or other crisis event if you are able. Yes, even when talking about built-up areas and suburban areas in particular.

Too many preppers also commit an error in thinking by consider the process of bugging out in a vacuum: You are in a dangerous place, or a place that has been badly affected by some disaster, natural or man-made.

It follows that you want to get away from that place to a place of safety, and so a bug out is necessary.

This is an entirely understandable deduction, but so often misguided and not coherent with reality.


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The Russian Fertilizer Export Ban is Going to Hit Your Wallet HARD –

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All eyes are on Russia and Ukraine right now, wondering who will attack first. Whether or not this turns into a hot war (and I really, really hope it does not), the Russians have implemented a policy that will hit every American. There is now a Russian fertilizer export ban through April 1 in an attempt to tackle inflation, as well as to increase control over their own domestic crops.

This will affect every part of the American economy, from the food we eat to how we fill up our gas tanks. Understanding why involves fitting many different pieces together, but trying to understand what’s happening now will prepare us for what is likely to happen this growing season.

Where does our fertilizer come from?

The United States is a net importer when it comes to fertilizer. We are known as the “World’s Breadbasket,” because of our productive Corn Belt, but it wouldn’t be nearly so productive without our reliance on fertilizers from other countries. For example, in September 2021, the United States exported $360 million worth of fertilizers, and imported $659 million worth. This means that, for one month, we’ve got a negative trade balance of $299 million worth of fertilizer. We need that $299 million worth of fertilizer for our farms to produce the way we expect them to.

And from whom do we import much of our fertilizer? Russia. Why would the Russians restrict their exports like that?

The last thing I want to do is start blaming the Russians for everything. I’ve gotten to a point where I think a lot of the blaming the Russians is simply politicians trying to distract us from other problems. The Russians have their own set of problems; they are dealing with inflation (like us), and they think controlling their exports will help.

But it does put us in a bind

An investigation that took place during 2020 and 2021 by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission found Russia and Trinidad and Tobago guilty of unfair price practices, and imposed duties on them. I am nowhere near fluent enough in trade disputes to have a strong opinion on whether or not this is a good idea. I do know that hitting vendors with additional fees often makes them take their business elsewhere. And plenty of nations besides the U.S. are happy to buy fertilizer.

The U.S. is a net importer when it comes to fertilizer, but we’re not the biggest. As of 2020, both Brazil and India imported more fertilizer than…

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STAT: As states push their own privacy laws, health tech companies fear compliance nightmare

Health tech companies worried that an emerging patchwork of state privacy laws will drive up regulatory costs are joining privacy hardliners in the call for one nationwide standard to govern how they handle patient data. 

Massachusetts legislators advanced a data privacy bill earlier this month, and if it passes, the state will join Virginia, Colorado, and California at the leading edge of enacting their own consumer privacy laws. These — and many measures being discussed in state legislatures around the country — are designed to grant consumers control over the sharing, storage and sale of their data, including the growing ecosystem of health apps that don’t fall under the federal patient privacy law HIPAA. 

Read more here.

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EPIC Urges NIST to Foreground the Competitive Advantages of Privacy in Study on the Advancing Tech Economy

In comments for the National Institute of Standard and Technology’s (NIST) ongoing Study To Advance a More Productive Tech Economy, EPIC urged the agency to recommend that Congress adopt baseline privacy laws governing artificial intelligence, internet of things devices, and drone delivery. EPIC argued that strong privacy laws will help U.S. companies distinguish themselves as more privacy protective options in crowded international markets. EPIC’s regularly provides NIST with comments on a range of topics including risk management for artificial intelligence and federal identity verification standards. EPIC’s Deputy Director Caitriona Fitzgerald recently testified before Congress on the importance of a federal comprehensive data privacy law.

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