Maybe I should have called this the problem of the meat. Americans eat a lot of it. It isn’t good for our bodies or our pocketbooks. From the standpoint of managing you personal food supply and preparedness it is also the most expensive thing to purchase and the trickiest to store. I have a huge freezer and we are raising our own pigs but what do we do if the power goes out for a length of time. We would probably manage for a couple of days but the power was out in our town for 11 days last December. That was a disaster for some people, especially if they didn’t have insurance to cover the loss of food. We have been tossing ideas back and forth for months and have finally decided to buy a generator. We heat with propane and have a large tank. If we get a second tank and get it filled in the early winter, we will have enough to power a generator for quite a while. If a real disaster happened and we could see the power not being restored for a longer period, the generator would keep things running while we processed the meat and other food from the freezer. I have two pressure canners and if I ran both at full capacity I could put up 84 quarts a day until the freezer was empty. I could also run the dehydrator for the veges in the big freezer.
If you plan on storing canned meat for preparedness you have several options. There is quite a variety to chose from. Canned ham, chicken and seafood like crab, salmon and tuna are all good options. I store all of these. If I have one complaint it is that a lot of people store these things but then don’t eat and rotate them. Canned meat does not last forever. You need to be making the committment to learn at least two recipes for each of the canned meats you store and eat them on a regular basis.
Another tactic everyone should know is how to make complete proteins from grains and legumes, dairy and grains and seeds and legumes. This blog is not long enough to provide a set of recipes but there are many good vegetarian cookbooks out there that will do the work for you. There are so many benefits to eating meatless meals a couple of times a week. So many of the ingredients store well and all are generally a lot less expensive than a T-bone steak. The health benefits are priceless. My husband was a real meat and potatoes guy when we got married but he has learned to love a lot of our meatless meals. Tonight I finally made the flat bread pizzas topped with carmelized onions, shiitake mushrooms and feta cheese. I sauted the vegetables in tamari and balsamic vinegar. It was a fabulous dinner, especially as I made a peach crisp for dessert. Corn chowder has become a favorite cold weather meal. I add some chopped kale and it makes a gorgeous presentation. We are fond of chowders in general. We also like soups with home made bread or rolls. I put up a tomato sauce that is filled with all kinds of vegetables. I add black beans and serve it over rice. This has also become a family favorite.
There are a lot of other protein sources that should not be overlooked. Nut butters, cheeses and eggs are all good choices. I should also add that a small amount of meat goes a long way when added to something like beans. i guess the final thing to say is that you and your family will be well served to make play a supporting role in the family diet rather than the main character.