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Don’t Know What To Stock For Emergencies? 10 Foods That (Almost) Never Expire

Don’t Know What To Stock For Emergencies? 10 Foods That (Almost) Never Expire

People often make fun of me because I am what some may call a “mini-prepper” of sorts. By no means am I prepared for a long term food or water shortage, but my family is prepared to hold out for a few weeks. I simply do not have the space or financial resources to create the type of prepper setup that some folks have out there. Ours is limited to some MREs (meals ready to eat), water, and bare necessities in the event of a short term disaster, power outage or food shortage.

After seeing the way that things were during Hurricane Sandy, I knew that we needed to prepare. After only 3 or so days of shortages, people in NYC were becoming desperate and dangerous. My stash is not huge, but I suppose it is better to have something small, than nothing at all. For those of you who may be thinking about pillaging my home in the event of a disaster, I will also add that I have the means to defend my provisions. I’m just saying, don’t try and rob us!

All that being said, the following is a list of foods that you can acquire for long term storage, or simply if you don’t cook that often. These foods will stay edible for a very long time!

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White Rice

Not all rice is created equal. You would expect that brown rice and white rice would both last for a very long time. However, you would be wrong. Due to the oils found in the brown rice bran layer, it will last at best 6 months. However, white rice can last up to 30 years! Wow, that sounds like an easy decision to me! Although I would question how it can last so freaking long! That’s going inside of us! Woah! In order for this product to last the projected 30 years, you want to keep it in oxygen-free containers in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Honey

Allegedly the oldest jar of honey that has been discovered is 5,500 years old! Say what, who knew that honey could last this long? Well that is correct. The flowers and bees come together to produce this amazing concoction called honey. It is highly acidic and very low in moisture which creates an environment that is not very conducive to bacterial growth. Although honey can take in moisture from the air, when heated, strained and sealed properly, it can last indefinitely. This one is new to me, and I need to pick some of this stuff up! I can use it to sweeten up those dried MREs I mentioned before!

Salt

This one should be a given, I mean we use salt to preserve other foods after all! It is only logical that the salt itself could last for a long time. The commercial salts that we buy can only be expected to last about 5 years or so; this is due to adding iodine. Although who would go longer than 5 years using the same salt in an emergency type of scenario? 5 years should be more than enough time to sort things out, or get eaten by zombies.

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Soy Sauce

This is another item that should come as no surprise. Soy sauce’s shelf time is debatable depending on what is added to it, but even after being opened, it should keep for years in the fridge.

Sugar

The recurring theme here seems to be moisture. Sounds to me that if we can keep the moisture out, the food can last longer. That being said, how you store the sugar, and how much moisture it interacts with will determine how long the sugar will last. However, experts state that even old sugar is still edible once softened up. So hey, pour some sugar on me!

Dried beans

Now, I know from my own personal experience growing up in a poor household that these can last for a very long time. Whenever it was time for food, and we were in a bit of a financial pinch (which was often), we’d soak these in water for a few hours, and then cook them. Researchers state that even after 3 decades, though the quality of the beans may have decreased, they can still be edible! 3 decades, people! If any emergency lasts longer than 30 years, we have bigger problems than running out of food.

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Pure Maple Syrup

Words like “forever,” should not often be used. Our time on earth is so limited in the grand scheme of the universe, and forever is a mighty long time. However, that doesn’t stop Utah State University from stating that pure maple syrup could pretty much last forever. The makeup of this and other sugars ensures that it resists microbial growth better than many other food items.

Powdered Milk

Though not as yummy, this product will last much longer than fresh milk. We all have probably smelled ‘milk gone bad’. It happens relatively quickly, so it’s worth trading in some taste for duration. Such is life, and I doubt that you will be too worried about taste during a global emergency!

Hard Liquor

I learned this one through my own experiences as well. Don’t ask me why, but I often drank the flavored drinks as opposed to the pure hard stuff. However, I realized that the ‘fruity’ drinks would quickly become gross, while the real deal stuff would keep! It makes sense, adding fruits and the like would then put the liquor at the mercy of those items’ shelf lives. Keep the hard stuff, and so long as you are ready and willing to take a shot, the shot will be there for you!

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Pemmican

Now here is an item that I never heard of until recently. Sounds like beef jerky to me, but it’s called Pemmican. The Native American tribes invented Pemmican. Powdered dried meat, mixed with berries, and rendered fat produces a food that you could eat raw, stewed, or fried. Of course, given today’s health standards and so on, the recipes have been modified. Personally, I’d go for the dried meat by itself, but many swear by the staying power of this product.

If you’d like to try something other than MREs, these are some foods that you can add to your emergency stash. If you have any to add, please share them with me via Twitter! For further details on these products check out this article!

Featured photo credit: Phillip Stewart via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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