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All posts for the month February, 2017

It's disgusting - but not surprising - that a federal code protects the corporations instead of the consumers. Here's what we know.:

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

You probably saw the article last week about the massive recall of Sargento products. As it turns out, the Sargento products are only a drop in the bucket – there are 130 more products out there and the FDA is under a gag order not to name them, according to the website Food Safety News.

Today, Sargento added more products to the list. (You can find them below.) I think that they should be applauded for being the most open about the potential listeria contamination in their products.

Unfortunately, there are many more products out there that have been recalled for potential contamination, but we have no idea what they are. That’s because there is a clause in the federal code that prohibits the FDA from telling us which companies purchased cheese to be branded under their labels from the plant that has been affected with listeria. According to this clause, the names of those companies would be considered “confidential corporate information.”

The plant, Deutsch Kase Haus LLC, is based in Middleburg, Tennessee.

Food Safety News has tracked down some of the products that may be affected. This recall applies only to cheese, so other products from these companies are unlikely to be tainted.

I’ll only list the brands here:

  • Sara Lee
  • Saputo
  • Dutch Valley
  • Guggisberg
  • Biery Cheese Co.
  • MDS (a distributor of pre-made sandwiches and deli salads)

Some store brands are also affected, and included in the recall could be prepared foods from the deli that contain the tainted  cheeses:

  • Albertsons
  • Meijer
  • H-E-B
  • Randalls

Source: Food Safety News

I’m disgusted – but not surprised – by the fact that a federal code protects the corporations instead of the consumers.

My advice? Only buy cheese from local sources until this has all been straightened out. DO NOT purchase the corporate cheese products because, with this gag order, you have no idea if they are safe or not. Consider throwing out products you have on hand or calling the manufacturer to see if the recall applies to them.

Here is the information about the Sargento recall from my previous article:

EDIT: The recall list has been updated to include these additional products:

  • Sargento Sliced Colby
  • Sargento Sliced Muenster
  • Sargento Sliced Tomato & Basil Jack
  • Sargento Shredded Reduced Fat Colby-Jack
  • Sargento Sliced Colby-Jack Cheese
  • Sargento Shredded Chef Blends 4 Cheese Pizzeria
  • Artisan Blends Double Cheddar Shredded Cheese
  • Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby
  • Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco
  • Chef Blends Shredded Taco

Sargento has issued a massive recall on cheese due to possible contamination with listeria.

The affected products are:

  • Sargento Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Taco Cheese
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Colby-Jack Cheese
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Cheddar Jack Cheese

Listeria is a potentially deadly form of food poisoning that has become all-too-common in processed foods lately.

The Food Poison Journal says:

Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria) is a foodborne disease-causing bacteria; the disease is called listeriosis. Listeria can invade the body through a normal and intact gastrointestinal tract. Once in the body, Listeria can travel through the blood stream but the bacteria are often found inside cells. Listeria also produces toxins that damage cells. Listeria invades and grows best in the central nervous system among immune compromised persons, causing meningitis and/or encephalitis (brain infection). In pregnant women, the fetus can become infected, leading to spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, or sepsis (blood infection) in infancy.

Here’s the press release issued by the FDA:

Deutsch Kase Haus, LLC of Middlebury, Ind. has notified Sargento Foods Inc. that a specialty Longhorn Colby cheese they supplied to Sargento must be recalled due to a potential contamination of Listeriamonocytogenes. No illnesses have been reported.

The affected retail products are Sargento Ultra Thin Sliced Longhorn Colby, 6.84 oz., UPC 4610000228, with “Sell By” dates of “12APR17B” and “10MAY17B” and Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Nacho & Taco Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040041, with “Sell By” dates of “H14JUN17” and “H12JUL17.” These products were packaged at the Sargento Plymouth, Wis. facility.

Out of an abundance of caution, Sargento is also recalling the following products because they were packaged on the same line as the affected cheese:

  • Sargento Sliced Colby-Jack Cheese, 12 oz., UPC 4610000109 with “Sell By” date of “11JUN17B”
  • Sargento Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese, 12 oz., UPC 4610000108 with “Sell By” dates of “12JUN17B”, “09JUL17B” and “10JUL17B”
  • Sargento Chef Blends Shredded Taco Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040002 with “Sell By” dates of “H14JUN17”, “F28JUN17” and “D28JUN17”
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Colby-Jack Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040014 with “Sell By” date of “F05JUL17”
  • Sargento Off The Block Shredded Fine Cut Cheddar Jack Cheese, 8 oz., UPC 4610040076 with “Sell By” date of “F05JUL17”

No other Sargento branded products are affected by this recall.

Consumers can check if their product is affected by the recall by visiting info.sargento.com and using the “Product Check” tool. This webpage will be updated with the latest information about the recall. Consumers can also call Sargento Consumer Affairs at 1-800-243-3737 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Central Time), or submit questions to the “Contact Us” page at sargento.com.

Our unwavering commitment to safety is at the core of everything we do at Sargento. We are vigilantly monitoring this issue to ensure the situation is resolved in a timely manner, and are working in full cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration to rigorously investigate this issue.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Cheese Recall Affects 130 More Products … But The FDA Isn’t Allowed to Name Them

About the author:

Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her websites, The Organic Prepper and DaisyLuther.com She is the author of 4 books and the co-founder of Preppers University, where she teaches intensive preparedness courses in a live online classroom setting. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter,.

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icehouseBy Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

Those who plan to create ways for off-grid refrigeration usually plan to build when the snow thaws, but I’m doing something a little different – I’m planning on building one now.  The main problem for me right now is that I have four feet of snow on the ground, and it’s a little hard to do a layout or any kind of excavating for it.  But what of it?  That doesn’t mean I can’t plan now, nor undertake it before the winter months disappear.

Off-Grid Refrigeration

Icehouses were used extensively in the U.S., especially in “pioneer days,” where they would be the main way of keeping meats and vegetables cool and “refrigerated” in a manner to not require canning, smoking, or drying them.  These icehouses were combined with root cellars/canning cellars to be structures heavily-insulated with earth to keep everything cool and from spoiling in the spring and summer months.  I also mentioned an “icebox,” meaning a refrigerator that was not dependent upon electricity, but had a large block of ice inside of an insulated “box” that kept the food inside cool and from spoiling prematurely.

For those without enough property or in an urban/suburban area, an icebox might be a good thing to have, at least as a backup for the refrigerator.  If you have a little bit of ground, then you may be able to build an icehouse.  I plan on beginning mine about the end of March to the beginning of April.  See, living in Montana, where there are no building codes in rural areas, I’m not hindered by the need for permits or the usual parade of bloodsuckers from local or state governments or neighborhood (incarceration-hood, is more appropriate) associations.  Thus, the benefit of living in a remote state, I can build whatever I want and nobody can say anything to me.

Use This Easy Method to Make Large Blocks of Ice

If you don’t have this, then you’ll have to negotiate around whatever “primates” are blocking your path and secure whatever permits you believe necessary if you want it done.  I’m going to wait until the time I mentioned and then clear out the ground and the snow, use a “C” to dig (a miniature backhoe) the icehouse out, and then build it during the winter months.  The reason is that I will make about a dozen and a half “molds” to fill with water for my ice-blocks, using large bins.  When the water freezes and huge blocks of ice are made, I will then place them inside of my icehouse and cover them up with lots and lots of sawdust.  Each block will have about 20 gallons of water, and this will be (at 7.6 lbs. per gallon) about 150 lbs. apiece.  A lot easier to let the winter freeze up those blocks!

Building an Icehouse

I plan on placing in a drain into the floor (PVC drain tile) with a small slope, and then tamping the earth back into place.  Then I’ll separate the main chamber for the canned goodies from the ice chamber in the rear and slightly lower than the main room.  Stacking the blocks up and then covering them all with sawdust, it will adhere to the time-honored principle of the frontier days…it will keep all spring and summer, and have to be replaced in the fall (it’s below freezing here in September…we only have about 3 to 4 months without ice and snow).

I’m going to use the earth and rocks excavated and then mound it up, as most of the efficient designs I have seen are with rounded or semi-rounded forms/tops.  The only true modern “accoutrements” I plan on having are a good door and door-frame that is sturdy, and I’m considering some kind of interior flooring system.  Any suggestions or personal experiences?  We’d love to hear them, and perhaps you’ll be able to float me some information I can use.  I have a few not-so-near neighbors that are diabetics and use insulin…what could be better than being able to preserve their insulin for them in my icehouse if the SHTF and they lose electricity?

An icehouse or icebox for you and your family may be a good thing to do to enable that your refrigeration lasts…beyond the lifetime of the power plants and power stations…. if the SHTF.  Bottom line: do what you can with what you have.  Better to get into the batter’s box and take a swing then not to take a chance.  Keep fighting that good fight!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: Off-Grid Refrigeration: Creating an Icehouse in Winter

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

 

 

By Theresa Crouse – SurvivoPedia

One of the things that we as preppers and homesteaders are most proud of is using what we have on hand. If everybody operated like we did, there would be a lot less waste on the planet, and a lot more creativity. We re-use and repurpose so many items that we’ve taken it to an art form, so why not do the same with our water storage containers?

Sure, you can buy the fancy water containers at your local Walmart or Target, but they’re expensive and you’re not much bang for your buck. Why not reuse something that you’ve already paid for and are just going to throw away anyway?

Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: 8 Tips On Reusing Containers For Water Storage

backpack

By Jeanie – Modern Survival Online

Unlike the bug out bag with everything (or almost everything) you need to survive away from home, the Get Home Bag (GHB) has what you need to help get you home in an emergency. Without further ado, let’s talk about what it should look like and what to pack in it

How Big Should the Get Home Bag Be?

This will depend on the season, and the emergency you are preparing for – a winter GHB will be a bit bulkier than a summer GHB.

The GHB should be carried with you to work/recreation and not left in the vehicle. Obviously if you are travelling in the vehicle it will be with you and easy to grab should you need to get out quickly. It doesn’t need to be huge but its compartments should have the basic stuff to enable you to get out of a situation, rescue others if need be and make it home safely within 24 hours. If you load too much into it you are going to be jettisoning half of it as the further you walk, the heavier a load tends to get. Ideally, the GHB should not weigh more than 8 pounds when packed.

Continue reading at Modern Survival Online: Get Home Bags 101

By The Prepper Journal

I am asked regularly what equipment people should have or need for tactical or hostile situations. I am not a gear-queer and tell people to make maximum use of what they have in their everyday environment, there is no need for camouflage knife, forks, and spoons. I am a great believer in the saying that “The more you know, the less you need” and I tell my students always look for equipment that is multi-use or think how something can be adapted for multiple uses.

Let me ask you a question… What makes equipment tactical? For me all that makes equipment tactical is the word “Tactical” which, is overly used these days by stores and manufactures to sell Chinese made junk. Apart from firearms and ammunition a lot of useful equipment can be found in most hardware or kitchen stores. The advantage of kit from hardware or kitchen stores is that it’s meant to be used and worked with, not just talked about, and played with as is the case with a lot of tacticool kit. For example, I always buy my flashlights from hardware stores, they are generally a lot cheaper than tacticool flashlights and take AA batteries etc. that are more widely available than fancy lithium batteries. From a tactical perspective, you don’t need powerful flashlights, they need to be powerful enough for the job, you want to see, not be seen!

Camouflage and tactical black kit may look cool when you showing it off to your buddies but, try finding the camo flashlight or zippo you dropped in the bush when you need it… As, long as kit does not shine or reflect light it will be fine. When buying, equipment think about if you drop it, which you will, would it be easy to find! In potentially hostile environments all but essential equipment needs to be packed or in your pouches or pockets, so your orange spork should not be tucked in your hat band!

The below personal tactical gear list is taken from a proposal I put together for counterinsurgency / tactical team in West Africa a few years ago, this should give you a few hints on kit etc. I have made some explanations on why I have included some of the items, and not every item will be applicable to everyone in every situation, so use this as a guide and adapt it.

Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Tactical Gear List List & Considerations for SHTF

 

The Silent-But-Deadly Weapon Missing From Most Survival Caches

By Rich M Off the Grid News

If there’s anything that will bring up controversy in the world of survival and prepping, it’s a discussion about weapons. Everyone has their own ideas about what’s the best, and most of those ideas are based upon some pretty sound reasoning.

The truth is there is no one perfect weapon or even set of weapons that is the perfect solution in all situations. What is ideal in one scenario might be the worst possible choice in another.

Then there are the individual factors that have to be considered. Not all survivalists are created equal. Each is an individual mix of skills, abilities, thoughts, needs and capabilities. Something that might be an excellent weapon for one person might be the worst possible choice for another, simply because he or she doesn’t have the strength to use it properly. What might be ideal at one point in our lives may turn out to be less than ideal as we improve our skills.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: The Silent-But-Deadly Weapon Missing From Most Survival Caches

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

Are you thinking about your future, your retirement? Are you wishing that you could retire sooner rather than later? Are you wondering how it will even be possible to retire?

Well here are five steps to consider before you retire – five things that will help get you there sooner…

1. Get Out Of Debt BEFORE you retire
2. Downsize your expenses BEFORE you retire
3. Understand the tax implications of where you retire
4. Save and/or invest as much as you can before you retire
5. Acquire unique skills for supplemental income ‘after’ you retire

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: 5 Steps BEFORE You Retire