Monthly Archives: June 2013

Things You Must Eat To Avoid Malnutrition

While those of us living comfortably in the United States do not see malnutrition on a regular basis, it can and will pose a problem if an unprepared population finds itself dealing with a long-term disaster.

During the turbulent times of the Great Depression, malnutrition was at the forefront of health issues and as a result, many suffered short and long-term effects of this health problem. Equipping yourself with the knowledge of why we should store certain types of food, knowing the health benefits these foods possess, how they affect our bodies, and how our bodies respond when these types of foods become scarce will help you make better choices when investing in your food storage.

Vitamin deficiency, stunted growth, skin infections, hair loss, increased illness and even death are all contributing factors to being malnourished. Malnutrition can also occur from improper water treatment. Globally, untreated water is one of the leading causes of malnutrition and one of the four most likely ways you can die in a SHTF scenario. As a result, an individual who is malnourished can have severe, or prolonged diarrhea, renal failure, infection, or diseases that cause the malabsorption of nutrients in the small intestine. Children, particularly infants and those under five years of age are also at an increased risk for malnutrition due to a greater need for energy and nutrients during periods of rapid growth and development.  Elderly adults are also prone to malnutrition as a result of a decrease in both the appetite and intestinal function. Therefore, preventative measure should be put in place for these vulnerable age groups to ward off this health issue.

4 Food Types to Avoid Malnutrition

Concentrating on storing foods that have carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals can assist in maintaining healthy bodies and decrease the likelihood of malnutrition in a long-term emergency. To find out how much food your family needs for a long-term emergency, click here. Those that are preparedness-minded may want to take a more in-depth look at the question of why it is important to store these types of food.

Carbohydrates – Simply put, carbohydrates provide the body with energy. They also have a symbiotic relationship with proteins by protecting the protein stores in the body. The brain optimally uses carbohydrates for energy, but when there is insufficient carbohydrate consumption for several weeks, the body does not metabolize fatty acids completely and as result body protein will also be lost, and the body will generally become weakened.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, half your daily calories should come from carbohydrates, so you can determine how many grams of carbohydrates you need based on your calorie intake. At a minimum, an intake of 50 to 100 grams (1.8 to 3.5 oz.) of carbohydrates is required to prevent the development of ketones that the brain can use somewhat inefficiently for energy

Preps to buy: white rice, pasta, wheat, oats, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, sugars, honey, fruits, roots and tubers (cook these well) and cereals. For those with wheat allergies, click here.

Protein – Protein is a part of every cell in the human body. Also, equally as important, proteins provide the body with a special form of nitrogen that the body cannot get from carbohydrates or lipids. Proteins also help regulate the pH, or acid-base balance, in the blood, are necessary for the synthesis of many hormones and enzymes, and participate in important cell formation for cells vital for the immune system. In the case of starvation, excessive muscle tissue is wasted and results in diminished health.

Protein, like carbohydrates, provides approximately 4 kilocalories per gram of protein consumed, but requires much more metabolizing and processing by the liver and kidneys to put the energy from protein to use.  In general, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein.

Preps to buy: legumes, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, canned meats and fish, oatmeal, grains, wheat, quinoa, MREs, popcorn

Fats  – As much as we would like to eliminate fats from our regular diets, this food source actually plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function. They also serve as energy stores for the body. In addition, Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats. Fats are also sources of essential fatty acids, an important dietary requirement and also serves as a useful buffer towards a host of diseases. (Source) The USDA suggests that about 30-35% of your daily calorie intake should come from fat.

Preps to buy: whole milk, ensure, peanut butter, oil (preferably plant based oils), nuts and seeds

Vitamins and Minerals – Did you know that a staggering thirteen vitamins are considered necessary to perform crucial functions in the body? Vitamins and minerals are needed for overall health and provide protection against infection and diseases, help the body grow, help the body’s metabolism and assist in the removal of waste products. It is recommended to obtain your vitamin intake through fresh fruits and vegetables with a regular diet. However, when dietary sources are limited, taking vitamin supplements is an excellent alternative. Amounts vary for children, seniors, lactating or pregnant women, smokers, heavy alcohol drinkers, stressed, those with chronic diseases or those who consume less than 2,000 calories per day.

Because vitamin deficiencies tend to exacerbate over time, we are typically unaware of being deficient until secondary issues manifest themselves. Eating a balanced diet and taking a multi vitamin is one way to curb this issue and the physiological consequences that go with it. Some physiological consequences of deficiency include: dental problems, inflammation of the mouth and tongue (riboflavin deficiency); diarrhea, dermatitis (niacin deficiency); edema, weakness (thiamin deficiency); tongue soreness, anemia (biotin deficiency); fatigue, tingling in hands (pantothenic acid deficiency); poor growth, inflammation of the tongue (folate deficiency); poor nerve function, macrocytic anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency); and poor wound healing, bleeding gums (vitamin C deficiency).

Preps to Buy: Multi vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, vitamin powders, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, seeds to grow vegetables and for sprouting, survival bars

In summation, as our standard of living continues to diminish, malnutrition will be a more present health problem within our population. Investing in healthy and nutritious foods and learning how to properly store it for long-term use can assist you in maintaining your health and prevent the short and long-term effects of malnourishment discussed in this article.

Via: readynutrition


Best Practices for Long Term Food Storage

Archaic food caches have been found all over the world.  The fact that our ancestors planned for the unexpected gives us a clear picture into their unpredictable lifestyle.  Foods such as nuts, extra tools and foraging tools were put away for a time when they were needed the most (Source).  Of course, the lifetimes of these preps were contingent upon proper storage methods.

These days, we know much more about proper techniques for food packaging.  With the proper storage tools a person can store many different types of foods indefinitely.  Learning how to store food is cost effective, simple to understand and is a life saver if an emergency arises.

Many preppers like to choose a multi-barrier system to store their food.  This barrier system is for long term purposes, and will keep natural elements such as sunlight, moisture and air out of the container when sealed.

Storing Food in Containers

Any food that you plan to store indefinitely should be stored in food grade containers.  These containers will not transfer any non-food chemicals into the food, nor are there any chemicals within the container that are hazardous to humans.  Typically a food grade container has a #2 by the recycle symbol or the acronym “HDPE” stamp on the bottom (HPDE stands for “high density polyethylene”).  Before any food is to be stored, clean the containers with soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly.   5 gallon plastic containers are the most popular amongst those who store bulk quantities of food.

Additionally, make sure that the lid you purchase for your container is air tight and spill proof.  Lids with gaskets and gamma lids are great lids as they do not require a lid opener.  They are typically a little more expensive compared to the traditional bucket lid.  However, they are easier to open and close, and are worth every penny!

Food Liner

Research has shown that over time, slow amounts of oxygen seep through the walls of plastic containers.  Consequently, over time natural elements, and even insects can find a way inside the container.  To add additional protection, adding a food liner, such as Mylar bags will ensure that there are multiple barriers for the food to be protected in.  Investing in the thickest grade of Mylar would be a good investment for your food storage endeavors.  Simply because if properly cared for, mylar bags can last up to 20 years!  Additionally, the thicker grade Mylar makes a big difference in the taste of food.  The greatest part of investing in these food liners is that because they are so durable they can be reused over and over again.

For those who are investing in a shorter term food supply, many simply pour the food contents into mylar bags, add an oxygen absorber and properly seal the bag closed.  This will keep a short term food supply fresh over a given period of time.

Oxygen Absorber Packets and Dessicant Packets

Using oxygen absorbers greatly prolongs the shelf life of stored food.  Because it absorbs the oxygen from the container, it inhibits the growth of aerobic pathogens and molds.  Oxygen absorbers begin working the moment they are exposed to oxygen.  Therefore, it is best to work as efficiently as possible.  Oxygen absorbers come in different sizes, so pay attention to the size needed for the container.  Typically, 2,000 cc’s of oxygen absorbers should be added in one 5 gallon bucket.   Oxygen absorbers are not edible, not toxic and does not effect the smell and taste of the product.

Desiccant packets moderate the moisture level when placed in a food container.  They do not absorb the moisture. Please note that desiccant is not edible.  If the packet somehow breaks open and spills onto the stored food, the entire contents of the container must be thrown away.  There are certain food items that desiccant should not be added to.  Specifically, flour, sugar and salt.  These items need a certain amount of moisture to stay activated, and if desiccant is added to it, they will turn into a hard brick.


To prevent bug infestations, use diatomaceous earth.  Diatomaceous earth are the fossilized remains of diatoms.  They are organic and are safe to use on food.  Use 1 cup to each 25 pounds of food.

The Sealing Process

  • Place the Mylar bag into the 5 gallon container.
  • Add your oxygen absorbers or desiccant to the bottom of the bag to ensure all sections of the container are protected.  Also, remember you will be adding an absorber at the top of the Mylar bag as well.
  • Begin pouring contents into the Mylar bag.
  • When you have poured the contents into the Mylar bag and have hit the middle section of the being filled, shake the Mylar bag from time to time to make sure the food gets into the crevices of the bag.
  • Continue adding food to the mylar bag until you hit your desired amount.  I usually stop 3/4 to the top.
  • Next, begin folding the Mylar down in order to get trapped air to escape out the gap.
  • Once the air is out, begin sealing the Mylar.   A person can use a heat clamp or they can seal their Mylar bags with a simple at home iron put on the highest setting.  If the home iron method is used, make sure you have a hard surface such as a cutting board or book to iron on and slowly go over the Mylar bag.  Note: this method must be done gently and slowly or the Mylar will be damaged. Seal straight across the Mylar bag in a straight line.  Leave the last 2-3 inches unsealed in order to push the last remaining air out of the bag.
  • Once the trapped air has been pushed out, seal the last 2-3 inches.
  • Push the sealed Mylar bag into the container.  Optional: Add another oxygen absorber on top of the sealed Mylar bag.  Place the lid on the container and make sure the lid is on completely.
  • Store in a dark storage area, where temperatures, moisture levels and sunlight do not fluctuate.

Where Do I Purchase These Products?

  • The Ready Store – For smaller scale purchases
  • Amazon –  For smaller scale purchases
  • Ropak – For large quantity purchases
  • Sorbent Systems – For large quantity purchases
  • Call around to different restaurants around your area and see if they have any food grade containers with lids that you can have.  Typically, restaurants are happy to give these away as they have no need for these containers after they are used.  This could save you a lot of money investing in food grade containers.

Food is an investment into your future and your family’s livelihood.  Therefore, you must do all that you can to protect that investment for the long term.  Using the multi-barrier system will ensure that the food is stored in optimal conditions and that the contents inside are protected for the long term.

Via: readynutrition


Dehydrate Foods for Long Term Storage

Bulking up on food for long term food storage is always a good idea in the case long term disasters were to occur.  However, those who are preparing for long term disasters know that purchasing long term food sources such as freeze dried foods have the advantage of lasting for 10 years, but it can be costly.  There is another method that is both cost effective, and more nutritious.

For centuries, dehydrating food has been seen as a survival necessity.  Many believe this preservation method is the safest, most affordable and best way to preserve flavors of foods.  The dehydration process removes moisture from the food so that bacteria, yeast and mold cannot grow.  The added benefit is the dehydration process minimally affects the nutritional content of food.  In fact, when using an in-home dehydration unit, 3%-5% of the nutritional content is lost compared to the canning method which losses 60%-80% of the nutritional content.  Additionally, vitamins A and C, carbohydrates, fiber, potassium, magnesium, selenium and sodium are not altered or lost in the drying process.  Therefore, the end result is nutrient packed food that can be stored long term.

How Can a Person Use a Dehydrator

There are multiple ways that one can use a dehydrator.  They can dry vegetables, fruits, make jerky, make fruit or vegetable leather, dry herbs, make spices, dry noodles, and even make crafts such as dough ornaments.

Dehydrating vegetables and fruits  to use for long term storage is a great way of including needed nutrition into diets with minimal investment.  When dehydrating food, one should use fresh produce or meat.  Typically, when overly ripe fruits and vegetables are dehydrated, the texture is not as crisp.  For example, if one were to dehydrate over ripe bananas, the end result would be a chewy banana chip as opposed to a crispy banana chip.  If a person were to use the ripe fruits or vegetables, they could puree the produce and make fruit or vegetable leather to use later.

How Long Does Dehydrated Food Last

In most cases, dehydrated food can be stored for up to a year.  Once dehydrated, the food does not take up a lot of space, and can be stored in a more organized fashion.

  • Fruits and vegetables can last for up to 1 year, if properly stored.
  • Dried meats should be consumed within 2-3 months.  However, it is suggested that if dried meats have not been consumed after 1 month, they should be stored in the refrigerator to prolong the freshness.
  • Herbs can last for years.
  • Noodles should be eaten within 1 year in order to enjoy the freshness.

If a person wanted to rehydrate the food to use in cooking, add boiling water and cover with a lid for 20-30 minutes to expidite the process. It is recommended to add salt after the re-hydration process has been completed.

Storing Dry Foods

Once food has been dehydrated, it should be stored in an area not exposed to a lot of light, such as a pantry.  It is recommended that any food that contains vitamin A not be exposed to light.  According to James Talmage Stevens’ book, Making the Best of Basics, Stevens recommends these general storage suggestions:

  • Freezer-weight, zip-lock bags are excellent for packaging dried foods.  Force excess air from bags as they are sealed.
  • Procure heavy-duty, food-grade, storage-quality, sealable plastic bags from local commercial packaging wholesalers.
  • Store dried food products in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight.  Use a Kraft paper bag inside larger plastic bags to shield dried foods from sunlight.  Paper used outside the plastic bags provides a nesting place for bugs or spiders.
  • Store only one kind of food in each individual package to avoid mixing flavors and possible cross-contamination should molds or spoilage occur.
  • Another method for storing dried products is to place dried food in a food-quality, plastic bag, then put i tin an airtight glass or metal container.
  • Discard moldy food.  Don’t take chances on botulism or a debilitating sickness over a few pennies or dollars.  Don’t feed mold foods to pets, either!
  • The problem of a few bugs in dried foods may be solved by spreading the infested dried food on a cookie pan, placing in tn a 300 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Bugs and eggs die, and the food is edible again. (Protein content is higher too).

In planning for a long term disaster, people are always trying to find foods they can look forward to that will give them optimum nutrition.  Having the necessary vitamins and nutrition will give a person mental clarity, and strength to carry on during a disaster.  After all, surviving and being healthy is what matters.

Via: readynutrition


LDS Church Terminating “Self Canning” at 89 Home Storage facilities

News Release – 17 June 2013

Concern Over Changes to Home Storage Centers Unnecessary

Salt Lake City – Over the past several weeks, misinformation and unnecessary concern has been circulating on blogs, over social media channels and by email regarding changes in operations at the Church’s home storage centers, which are located in the U.S. and Canada. No home storage centers are being closed, but the Church is making welcomed modifications in its operations at most of these centers that will help to better serve the needs of members of the Church, as well as significantly improve efficiency.

In all but 12 of the Church’s 101 home storage centers in the U.S. and Canada, patrons will no longer self-can products, but they may purchase these same items pre-canned or prepackaged at no additional cost.


The Church currently operates 101 home storage centers in the United States and Canada where food storage items such as beans, dry milk, wheat, rice and sugar may be purchased© All rights reserved.

These changes have been considered for some time as the Church has looked at the best way to provide home storage goods to Church members efficiently. Much of the discussion regarding this issue has suggested that this change is due to food safety regulation. While it has been a factor, the concern expressed regarding that issue has been overstated.

While many individuals have enjoyed self-canning at the Church’s home storage centers, the advantages of providing pre-canned or prepackaged goods include:

  • It’s more efficient and cost effective for the Church to produce and ship high-quality, pre-canned or prepackaged goods in bulk rather than ship the same goods and empty cans to a location where individuals can them on their own.
  • By offering the goods pre-canned or prepackaged, the Church utilizes less warehouse space.
  • Pre-canned and prepackaged operations allow for higher quality and safer preparation of home storage food.
  • It is much more costly to maintain and upgrade facilities that must meet food production standards (such as in a self-canning operation) than it is to maintain a facility that simply distributes pre-canned and prepackaged food.
  • Volunteer personnel time can be used more efficiently.

The following 12 home storage centers will continue to offer self-canning for the time being as the Church continues to monitor the goods and services offered at home storage centers and makes adjustments as needed:

  • Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
  • Mesa, Arizona
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Carrollton, Texas
  • Lindon, Utah
  • Logan, Utah
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Salt Lake City, Utah (Welfare Square)
  • Sandy, Utah
  • Springville, Utah
  • St. George, Utah

The remaining 89 centers will provide pre-canned goods. A list of all home storage centers is available here.

Vitamins, Minerals, and Survival

This article has been generously contributed by Simple Survival for your reading pleasure.

© 2004 Gary L. Benton

A few years ago, when I had first entered the military, I had the chance to read a copy of a survival journal written by a man that was discovered dead. The rescue team had brought out all of his gear, and then turned the journal over to the Air Force. The Air Force had copied the journal and distributed it to various sections to assist in survival training. There were many lessons to be learned from the dead man’s situation. The key to his death, or seemed to me anyway, was nutrition.

Most of us know little about nutrition, because many of are not very interested in the subject to start with. Generally, we have nutritious meals (or at least they are available), we take multi-vitamins, and we (as a country) may be a bit over weight. But, what do we, as hunters, fishermen, campers, and backpackers, know about survival nutrition? I suggest we know (and may not even care) much about the subject.

The man with the journal had died in World War II, and was not discovered until sometime in the 1950’s. His journal was not printed and distributed until the early 1970’s. While less was known about nutrition during the writer’s lifetime, there were things known that could have saved his life. However, I think, like most of us, he was neither interested nor very knowledgeable of the subject. In other words, he was typical of many outdoorsmen and women.

The dead man’s aircraft had crash-landed on a frozen lake up north (Alaska perhaps). I can’t remember exactly where he went down, and it is not very important where it happened, because his situation could be relived in many states or countries. The thing to keep in mind, his crash site was remote.

As I read his journal, I discovered a man with the guts and determination needed to survive. He was an experienced outdoorsman, with years of hunting behind him. He had also been trained, to a small extent, by the military. His journal showed a man of discipline, as well as a deep “will to survive.” Then, you are most likely asking, why did he die?

His journal indicated that while there was no big game in the woods around the lake, it was heavily populated by rabbits. He wrote of eating rabbits regularly, and then as time passed, describing how he was losing weight. Eventually his writing stopped completely. His last entry, if I remember correctly, was of his confusion of starving to death as he ate rabbit after rabbit. I remember one old grizzled survival instructor who commented about the victim, “He starved to death on a full stomach.”

The instructor went on to say that the man might have survived, he had the guts, if he had only known more about nutrition, “A rabbit is a lean critter. Not much fat on ’em and a man in a survival situation needs fat and oils. See, that man was only eating the lean flesh of the animal. He discarded the other parts that may have kept him alive. If he had eaten the contents of the rabbit’s stomach, which contains essentially green leafy grasses, (vitamins B, C, E), the rabbits eyes (which contain salt), along with the liver, heart, and kidneys (which contain vitamin A), as well as other vitamins, he might have made it. I suspect he just plain didn’t know about it. Or, he didn’t like the idea of eating a critter’s innards. Keep in mind, in a prolong survival situation protein along won’t keep you alive”

Over the years I have done a lot of thinking about what the man had written, reliving his fear of death, as well as what the sergeant had said. I have done a little research on nutrition and while I cannot even remotely claim to be an expert, I have found some basic facts we should all keep in mind about vitamins.

First, I suggest all of us carry a small container of good quality multivitamins in our survival kits. They are light and easy to carry. Keep them in the original bottle, because it protects them from sunlight, which can decrease their effectiveness, and it keeps them dry. But, what are the basic essential vitamins for us if we are in a survival situation and do not have vitamins along. Many professionals and “armchair” survival “experts” may disagree, but this is a group of vitamins I think we should be concerned about.

  • Vitamin A, (retinol). We get this vitamin from milk products, animal fat, carrots, and leafy green vegetables. Why do we need this vitamin? It helps keep your vision working well, your immune system up and working, and assists in the functioning of most major organs. Where do you find it? From animal fats, contents of the stomach of plant eating animals, wild green plants in the field.
  • Vitamin B complex, (B1, B2, B3, B5, and B12). All meats, green plants (vegetables), dairy products, gains and cereals (you can get them elsewhere as well, but they are not a source readily available to most survivors, i.e., brewers yeast). Why do we need this vitamin? They are needed for the nervous system, maintaining healthy skin, the cell production process, digestive process, respiration, bone marrow production, and to assist our metabolism. Where do you find it? Once again, by eating green leafy plants (try dandelions or banana leaf), the flesh of wild animals (including the stomach contents if the environment does not allow you to forage for fresh green veggies), pine nuts, walnuts, and perhaps even wild grains or rice.
  • Vitamin C, is found in fresh fruits, vegetables. Remember that citrus fruits and tomatoes have high levels of vitamin C. Why do we need this vitamin? It helps to build healthy tissues, tendons, and assists in absorbing iron. It is essential for healthy teeth and gums as well as for healing wounds or fractures (which may be experienced by survivors). Where do you find it? If you are lucky enough to attempt survival in a jungle, then citrus fruits may not be much of a problem. One source I use in mountains or in general locations is pine needles. The needles on pine boughs can be brewed to make a rough tasting tea. While not that tasty, it does the job of providing vitamin C as well as keeping the drinker warm.
  • Vitamin D, can be found in eggs, dairy products, and fish with fatty flesh (tuna, salmon, sardines, oysters, and others). Why do we need this vitamin? It assists in the building of bones and cartilage. Also, it is used to regulate the absorption of phosphorus and calcium in the body. Where do you find it? During your searches for food look for bird nests. While the eggs you find will not belong to a chicken, they will serve the same purpose as far as vitamin D is concerned. As far as I know, all eggs are eatable and should be eaten if available. Additionally, set fish traps, make a dip net for smaller fish and try your hand at fishing. There may not be much of a problem procuring salmon if you are along streams and rives they run on. Thousands of salmon move on our nations waterways each year. If you catch too many of them, make a drying rack and save them for future needs.
  • Vitamin E, is in rice and green leafy vegetables. Why do we need this vitamin? This is one of the least understood vitamins, but it is known to assist in the prevention of muscular dystrophy. So, it seems this vitamin may be associated with muscular functioning. Where do you find it? Look for wild rice. Surprisingly, it is out there. Remember, rice grows in wet locations so check long the banks of small ponds or lakes. You may get lucky and find a source. Keep in mind to constantly search for sources of food and vitamins around your survival site.
  • Vitamin K, is produced by our intestinal tract. It can also be found in egg yolks, leafy green plants, fish liver oils, and other sources. Why do we need this vitamin? It assists in the clotting of blood. The last problem a survivor needs is the inability to clot a bleeding injury. Where do you find it? Look for eggs as we suggested earlier, search for various green leafy plants, and it need be, build up the courage to eat the contents of an animal’s stomach. The contents of the stomach can be added to soups without affecting most people very much, especially if you don’t tell them or they don’t ask.

Other Considerations are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and minerals.

  • Carbohydrates are found in a variety of food sources. They are found in sugars, honey, fruits, roots and tubers (cook these well) as well as in cereals. Why do we need them? They are excellent sources of energy and help prevent the nausea often caused by the breakdown of body fats in the body. Where do you find it? Look for bees (honey), wild apples, cattail roots, or even wild potatoes. Cattails will most likely be the easiest to find.
  • Fats are an excellent source of energy and are found in most animal and fish. Additionally, some plants may contain fats, as well as eggs and nuts. While some “survival experts” suggest fats can be found in fungi (mushrooms) I do not recommend eating them. They are not easy to identify by most people and overall, have very little nutrition. They have the disadvantage possibly of being poison if the survivor is unsure of its identity. Why do we need them? Fats give us our energy in a concentrated form. A key consideration here is the availability of water. Fats take water to digest, so make sure you have sufficient water when you ingest fats. Where do you find them? Animal fats are the easiest way. Keep in mind, wild game has less fat than farm animals. Also, during the winter months or early spring, wild animals may contain less fat. In the fall, after eating well all summer, wild game is usually the fatter.
  • Proteins are found in meat, eggs, fish, nuts, and grains. While also found in dairy products, you are unlikely to find a cow in a survival situation. Why do we need them? They supply amino acids, which are necessary for good health. Where do you find them? Attempt to locate wild eggs, fish often, gather nuts and grains if possible, and eat wild meat.
  • Minerals, minerals are need for good overall health. Some, not all, of the minerals we need are sodium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, and sulfur. Why do we need them? They all play a role in maintaining good overall health. Where do you find them? Salt water may be boiled to produce sodium, or the eyes of the animals you kill will contain salt. Other minerals will be in the foods you eat and it should not be a problem as long as you eat a variety of foods.

While all of this information may seem overwhelming to you, you are most likely getting most of these vitamins and other things during the course of a day. We are just not aware of what is in most of our meals. Those of us who take a good quality multi-vitamin daily are getting our requirements of both vitamins and minerals.

When in the field, and forced to procure food, make sure any plants you harvest are known by you to be safe to eat. You may find almost any of the vegetables and fruits in the wild that are for purchase at your local market. Remember to wash them, but do not soak them in water (prolong soaking can reduce the vitamin content). I suggest boiling them in soups or stews to retain most of the vitamins that would otherwise be lost. While the ideas of eating some of the foods survivors are at times forced to eat may be repulsive to some, what is the option?

It has been less than 100 years since the link between foods and diseases has been identified to some degree. British biochemist Fredrick Hopkins, in 1906, proved in his studies the association between vitamins (though not called that yet) and the human body. He found a “missing link”. His research indicated that a body not only needed proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, water, and fats to develop, but it also needed what he called “accessory factors.” Further research by others has shown these “accessory factors” were in fact what we today call vitamins.

Primitive man had no knowledge of vitamins, but his instincts were fairly good. Often, after the killing of a buffalo or large game, he would eat parts of the liver or other internal organs raw, almost immediately. I have read of explorers who did the same and they described a deep “animal like craving” for the bloody meal. Additionally, Native American ate most parts of the game they killed. Were they merely being thrifty with the game they killed or did the act serve some other unknown urge? I think this urge to eat most of killed game was a body’s need for life saving essential vitamins and minerals.

If you are ever faced with a true life and death survival situation, remember this article. Keep in mind to constantly be looking for a variety of foods, thus a variety of vitamins and minerals. Eat plenty of green leafy plants (if you can safely identify the plant), gather eggs, nuts, pine needles and other sources of food. Set out fish traps. Consider eating the parts of an animal you would not usually consider a “prime cut.” Survival is not for the weak of heart. Those who do what ever is needed still have no assurance of survival. Nonetheless, the will to survive, continuous hard work, and constantly procuring sources of food can increase your chances of survival. Take care and I hope to see you in the field.

Via: readynutrition


The Ins and Outs of MRE’s

Within days after Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of Louisiana, unprepared inhabitants were given MRE’s (meals ready to eat) and high calorie bars by emergency agencies to avoid starvation. This emergency food provided the hungry population with1,200 calorie/a day meals to not only alleviate the hunger, but to provide needed calories and nutrients, and regulate body functions. As unhappy as some of these individuals were for getting MRE’s and high calorie food bars, it saved their lives.

The Ins

MRE’s and high calorie food bars are an excellent alternative food source if no food is available. Although this type of food source is meant to be a temporary source of food and has an acquired taste, it is handy to have on hand when you are in a pinch. During emergency situations, your activity levels significantly increase, if not double. Therefore, more calories will need to be added to the daily diet.

Ideally, in an emergency situation we want to have foods on hand that are high in calories, vitamins, nutrients, and proteins; but in certain cases, we must turn to alternative emergency foods. MRE’s and high calorie bars not only provide a body with high calories, but are a light weight alternative to use in bug out bags, carry in vehicle bug out bags, and to have on hand in case the primary emergency food source is unavailable. As convenient as these meals are, they should not be your main emergency food source. I like to think of MRE’s as my back-up for my back-up. When purchasing these types of food sources, ensure that you find MRE’s or high calorie bars that are:

  • Between $5-$7 per meal
  • Are non-thirst provoking
  • Provide high calories (at least 1,250 calories)
  • Have a long lasting shelf life (5 years or more)

The Outs

Because MRE’s are high in fats and low in fiber, they have a tendency to constipate the consumers. Ensure that you have some stool softeners in your medical supplies to help with this problem. Store MRE’s in a cool, dark area where you would normally store your food reserves. If MRE’s are exposed to temperature fluctuations, their expiration dates decrease by 50%. Buying cases of MRE’s could be on the expensive side due to the bulkiness of the MRE’s. On average, a case holds 12 MRE’s. If a person is going to buy a case of these, they should not plan to spend more than $50-$60.

Some of the more popular MRE’s and high calorie food bars are below:

  • 3600 Calorie ER bar – This bar has 3 days’ worth of nutrients and calories, thus being a great light weight alternative food source and is also non-thirst quenching. This bar is ready-to-eat and does not require any water to consume it.
  • Datrex bars – These are very popular and come in 3600 calorie units. Each bblock of the bar gives you 200 calories each (18 blocks). Datrex food rations are used by the American Red Cross and the U.S. Coast Guard. They are immune to heat or cold and the taste resembles a coconut cookie.
  • Mainstay Food bars –  These bars come in 3600 calorie units. But each bar in the block gives you 400 calories (with 9 bars) instead of 200 calories as with the Datrex bars. These food bars are approved by the US Coast Guard and Department of Defense. These have a very popular vanilla/lemon flavored ‘cookie dough’ taste and have been rated #1 for taste according to Nitropak. Mainstay is Kosher-approved and it meets the dictates for Halal. Another benefit is that each bar exceeds the RDA requirements of vitamins and minerals.
  • MRE’s – MRE’s are completely self-contained, easy-to-prepare meals you can take with you anywhere on the go, in a boogie-bag or even backpacking or camping. MRE’s have a decent shelf life of 3 – 10 years so they are also a good option for emergency food storage. MRE’s are durable and give you a high calorie meal  – which is needed for intense physical situations like camping, relief work or emergency situations.
  • Mayday bars – This bar offers 2, 400 calories, which is equivalent to having meals for two days and is ready-to-eat.
  • Make your own –  An alternative to the alternative is to make your own 2,400 calorie survival bars. This recipe is easy enough to include the kid’s help. In fact, have them pick out their favorite jello flavor for a customized survival bar. Click here for the recipe.

Having a supply of MRE’s and high calorie bars in your preparedness supplies can help assist in sustaining your immediate needs if you happen to be in an emergency situation where you are away from your supplies or in a bug out situation.

Via: readynutrition


The Aging Population & TEOTWAWKI

This article is by Enola Gay of  Paratus Familia

Often left out of emergency planning is planning for aging, either for ourselves, a family member or a friend.  As we age there are many changes physically as well as in our lifestyle.  Our muscles weaken and our flexibility lessens. Even the muscles in the throat weaken so swallowing becomes difficult.  Our balance is not as sure as it once was.  Many people develop arthritis that worsens to the point dexterity declines.  Skin thins, bruising and skin tears appear. Circulation decreases affecting body temperature so it is hard to keep warm.  Breathing can become an effort.  It becomes more difficult to remember some things and it is not unusual to repeat yourself.  For the most part as we age we don’t exercise as much as we did when we had families to care for – the lack of exercise is a threat to digestion and also one factor in muscle weakness.  Hearing declines.  Some folks rely on multiple medications to treat illness.  On the positive side, older people have gathered a lifetime of experience and wisdom.  Many have faced hardship and disaster and have prevailed so there is less “panic mode” and more “we can do this”.  They have experienced the power and bounty of God firsthand and have learned to lean on Him and become prayer warriors.

What are some practical things that can be done to prepare for the aging process during TEOTWAWKI?

Weakness and Balance

  • Have a walker available – most walkers fold for storage and can be put under a bed just in case they’re needed
  • Purchase or make a cane – again easy to store and a stout stick can make a great walking stic
  • If your climate is cold and snowy in the winter time, purchase TRAX, a rubber and cable and sometimes spikes device that slips over the bottom of shoes – this will eliminate slipping on ice
  • Keep the area free of clutter to remove the chance of tripping
  • Place sturdy furniture along pathways so there is something to use as handholds as the person walks from place to place
  • Encourage exercise to maintain muscle tone
  • Put water, etc. into smaller containers so it is easier to lift

Swallowing and Teeth

  • Purchase a baby food grinder (preferably non-electric although a blender will work when power is available)  to puree food to an easier to swallow texture
  • If dentures are used, ensure there is a supply of cleaner, denture adhesive and some kind of non-toxic glue for denture repair


  • Ensure several items of warm clothing is available that can be layered i.e. several sweaters, sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc.
  • Expect to keep the house warmer than is comfortable for young people.  An aging person will be chilly when everyone else is hot
  • Encourage exercise – helping with chores – for example, bringing firewood in using a canvas sling is excellent.  It helps run the household and frees other workers for heavier chores even if just two or three pieces of wood are carried at a time


  • Purchase rubber finger caps at an office supply store to make turning pages easier
  • Find a Reacher:  most drug stores carry these devices that enable people to put their socks on or pick up something dropped on the floor without bending and risking a fall
  • Make sure that shoes and boots are available that can just be slipped on the feet  and don’t require shoelaces to tie or buckles to buckle
  • Clothing that does not require buttons, zippers and hooks is wonderful – again, sweatshirts and sweatpants or skirts with elastic waists work easily


  • If someone takes prescription medication including insulin, secure a stockpile of as much as you are able.  Talk with your physician about obtaining at least a year’s supply.
  • Check with Canadian pharmacies – some medication that requires a prescription in the US may not require a prescription through those pharmacies
  • Pay attention to prescribed dosages and give only those dosages
  • Obtain a Merck manual to check contraindicated medications i.e. which should not be taken in conjunction with which others

Breathing and Sleeping

  • Many older people sleep much better in a recliner, that is, in a sitting position with their legs extended
  • If a recliner is unavailable you can accomplish the same thing using a straight back chair inverted on a bed.  Turn the back of the chair upside down on the bed with the top of the back toward the person and pad the back of the chair with a blanket and pillows
  • Encourage exercise to expand lungs


  • Recommended supply:  Hot Water Bottle with enema attachment
  • Recommended medications:  Laxatives and Anti-Diarrhea
  • Mild foods – not spicy
  • Encourage exercise

Hearing and Sight

  • Procure medical tools and wax removal wash to remove ear wax
  • Look directly at the person and speak clearly
  • Have magnifying glasses available
  • If glasses are worn, have at least one spare pair on hand


  • Check hearing and sight and follow above
  • If person unable to talk, make a book of pictures (illustrating toilet, bed, food, drink, happy, sad, clothing, sweater, etc.) so a person can point to what is wanted/needed.
  • Have a small dry eraser board with marker on hand in order to communicate in writing
  • Listen  – stories can repeated many times – enjoy them instead of saying “you told me that already”


  • Thins as we age so skin needs more moisture.  Keep lots of lotion on hand and lotion soap like Dove or Oil of Olay
  • Keep skin covered i.e. long sleeves, long pants, socks, etc. so when an arm or leg is bumped the skin won’t tear or bruise as much.
  • Have steri-strips on hand to butterfly skin tears

Social Interaction

In many cultures the elders are revered as a source of knowledge.  Take problems to them and ask for advice.  Older people can do many chores:  cooking, cleaning, repairs, child care, loading magazines and tell you “how to” in many areas.  It is so important to be needed and a working part of the family.

This article has been graciously donated by Enola Gay of  Paratus Familia

Via: Ready Nutrition


Signs That Massive Economic Problems Are Erupting All Over The Planet

by Michael Economic Collapse Blog

This is no time to be complacent.  Massive economic problems are erupting all over the globe, but most people seem to believe that everything is going to be just fine.  In fact, a whole bunch of recent polls and surveys show that the American people are starting to feel much better about how the U.S. economy is performing.  Unfortunately, the false prosperity that we are currently enjoying is not going to last much longer.  Just look at what is happening in Europe.  The eurozone is now in the midst of the longest recession that it has ever experienced.

Just look at what is happening over in Asia.  Economic growth in India is the lowest that it has been in a decade and the Japanese financial system is beginning to spin wildly out of control.  One of the only places on the entire planet where serious economic problems have not already erupted is in the United States, and that is only because we have “kicked the can down the road” by recklessly printing money and by borrowing money at an unprecedented rate.  Unfortunately, the “sugar high” produced by those foolish measures is starting to wear off.  We are going to experience a massive amount of economic pain along with the rest of the world – it is just a matter of time.

But for the moment, there are a lot of skeptics out there.

For the moment, there are a lot of people that are declaring that the problems of the past have been fixed and that we are heading for incredibly bright economic times ahead.

Unfortunately, those people appear to be purposely ignoring the economic horror that is breaking out all over the globe.

The following are 18 signs that massive economic problems are erupting all over the planet…

#1 The eurozone is now in the midst of its longest recession ever.  Economic activity in the eurozone has declined for six quarters in a row.

#2 Italy’s economy has now been contracting for seven quarters in a row.

#3 Industrial production in Italy has fallen for 15 months in a row.  It has now fallen to its lowest level in about 25 years.

#4 The number of people that are considered to be “seriously deprived” in Italy has doubled over the past two years.

#5 Consumer confidence in France has just hit a new all-time low.

#6 The number of unemployed workers seeking a job in France has hita brand new all-time record high.  Many unemployed workers in France are utterly frustrated at this point…

“I’ve sent CVs everywhere, I come to the unemployment agency every day, for 3 or 4 hours to look for work as a truck driver and there’s never anything,” said 42-year old Djamel Sami, who has been unemployed for a year, leaving a job agency in Paris.

#7 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole has just hit a brand new all-time record high of 12.2 percent.

#8 Youth unemployment continues to soar to unprecedented heights in Europe.  The following is from an article that was recently posted on the website of the Guardian that detailed how bad things are getting in some of the worst countries…

In Greece, 62.5% of young people are out of work, in Spain it’s 56.4%, then Portugal with 42.5%, and then Italy with 40.5%.

#9 Youth unemployment is being partially blamed for the worst rioting that Sweden has seen in many years.  The following is how the Daily Mail described the riots…

Sweden is reeling after a third night of rioting in largely run-down immigrant areas of the capital Stockholm.

In the last 48 hours violence has spread to at least ten suburbs with mobs of youths torching hundreds of cars and clashing with police.

It is Sweden’s worst disorder in years and has shocked the country and provoked a debate on how Sweden is coping with youth unemployment and an influx of immigrants.

#10 An astounding 10 percent of all banking deposits were pulled out of banks in Cyprus during the month of April alone.

#11 Economic growth in India is the slowest that it has been in an entire decade.

#12 Suddenly Australia is experiencing some tremendous economic challenges.  The following quotes are from a recent Zero Hedge article

-“We’re seeing a much sharper contraction in the Australian economy than we’d anticipated four or five months ago”. Coffey MD, John Douglas. The engineering group has seen its shares, which traded above $4 in 2007, hit 10c last week.

-“By 10am, the Fitness First gym in the city is packed full of brokers who’ve had a gutful of sitting at their desk doing nothing – salary cuts are starting and next it will be jobs” Perth broker

-“Oh mate, the funding market is dead. You are now seeing a few deeply discounted rights issues for those that are reaching desperate levels ….. liquidity has completely disappeared” Perth broker

#13 The financial system in Japan is beginning to spin wildly out of control.  The Japanese stock market has now declined about 15 percent from the peak, and many believe that the yen will continue to get weaker and that interest rates in Japan will start to rise significantly.

#14 Global cash flow is declining at a rate not seen since the last recession.  This indicates that we could be headed for a global credit crunch.

#15 Real wages continue to decline in the United States.  Even though we are being told that the U.S. is experiencing an “economy recovery”, real weekly earnings have declined from $297.79 in 2010 to $295.49 in 2011 to $294.83 in 2012.  (The preceding calculation is based on 1982-1984 dollars)

#16 Wall Street is buzzing about the fact that “the Hindenburg Omen” appeared at the end of last week.  So exactly what is “the Hindenburg Omen”?  The following are the criteria that are used to determine whether it has appeared or not…

1. The daily number of NYSE new 52 Week Highs and the daily number of new 52 Week Lows must both be greater than 2.2 percent of total NYSE issues traded that day.

2. The smaller of these numbers is greater than or equal to 69 (68.772 is 2.2% of 3126). This is not a rule but more like a checksum. This condition is a function of the 2.2% of the total issues.

3. That the NYSE 10 Week moving average is rising.

4. That the McClellan Oscillator ( a market breadth indicator used to evaluate the rate of money entering or leaving the market and interpretively indicate overbought or oversold conditions of the market)is negative on that same day.

5. That new 52 Week Highs cannot be more than twice the new 52 Week Lows (however it is fine for new 52 Week Lows to be more than double new 52 Week Highs).

When the Hindenburg Omen makes an appearance, it supposedly means that the U.S. stock market is likely to experience a serious decline within the next 40 days.

#17 As I wrote about the other day, the SentimenTrader Smart/Dumb Money Index is now the lowest that it has been in more than two years.  That means that lots of “smart money” has been getting out of the market and lots of “dumb money” has been pouring in.

#18 Margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange has set a new all-time high.  The following is from a recent Market Oracle article

Margin debt—that’s the amount of money borrowed to purchase stocks—on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) reached its all-time high in April. Margin debt on the NYSE registered at $384.3 billion as the key stock indices hit new record-highs. (Source: New York Stock Exchange web site, last accessed May 29, 2013.) The highest margin debt ever reached prior to this was in July of 2007, when it stood just above $381.0 billion. At that time, just like today, the key stock indices were near their peaks and “buy now before it’s too late” was the prominent theme of the day.

Whenever margin debt spikes like this, a stock market crash almost always follows.  If you doubt this, just check out the chart in this article.

Wall Street has had a good couple of years, but it has been a “false prosperity” that has been pumped up by reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve.  Just like all of the other stock market bubbles that we have seen in recent years, this one is going to burst too.  And as Marc Faber recently pointed out, this bubble has been particularly beneficial to the wealthy…

The Fed has been flooding the system with money. The problem is the money doesn’t flow into the system evenly. It doesn’t increase economic activity and asset prices in concert. Instead, it creates dangerous excesses in countries and asset classes. Money-printing fueled the colossal stock-market bubble of 1999-2000, when the Nasdaq more than doubled, becoming disconnected from economic reality. It fueled the housing bubble, which burst in 2008, and the commodities bubble. Now money is flowing into the high-end asset market – things like stocks, bonds, art, wine, jewelry, and luxury real estate.

Money-printing boosts the economy of the people closest to the money flow. But it doesn’t help the worker in Detroit, or the vast majority of the middle class. It leads to a widening wealth gap. The majority loses, and the minority wins.

The fact that the U.S. stock market has set new all-time record high after new all-time record high in recent months means very little.  At this point, the stock market has become completely divorced from economic reality.  When this current bubble bursts, the adjustment is going to be very painful.  Wall Street will likely whine and complain and ask for more bailouts, but they may find that authorities are not nearly as sympathetic this time.

Much of the rest of the world is already experiencing the next major wave of the economic collapse.  Reckless money printing by the Fed and reckless borrowing and spending by the federal government may have delayed the inevitable in the United States for a little while, but those measures have also made our long-term problems even worse.

There was one piece of advice that Ben Bernanke included in his commencement speech to students at Princeton recently that I thought was particularly ironic…

“Don’t be afraid to let the drama play out.”

Will he take his own advice when the next great financial crisis strikes the United States?

That seems very unlikely.

Unfortunately, things are not going to be so easy to fix this next time.

What happened back in 2008 was just a preview.

What is coming next is going to absolutely shock the world.

Via: thesurvivalistblog


Syria Ravaged By Outbreaks of Disease: Typhoid, Cholera, Measles and Tuberculosis

The World Health Organization is warning of an increased risk of disease epidemics in Syria and neighboring countries as summer approaches.

The WHO says outbreaks of diseases carried in water – specifically hepatitis, typhoid, cholera and dysentery – are inevitable, given the severe disruption to Syria’s health system.

Cases of diarrhea and hepatitis-A have more than doubled since January.

There have also been outbreaks of measles and typhoid.

According to the WHO, at least 35% of the country’s public hospitals are out of service, and in some areas, up to 70% of the health workforce has fled.

Almost 4.25 million Syrians who have had to leave their homes are living in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions, with concerns about the provision of safe drinking water and safe sanitation.

“All the risk factors that enhance the transmission of communicable diseases in emergencies are present in the current crisis in Syria and its neighboring countries,” said Dr Jaouad Mahjour, director of the department for communicable diseases at the WHO’s regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean. We are anticipating a number of public health risks from water-borne diseases, specifically hepatitis, typhoid, cholera and dysentery. Given the scale of population movement both inside Syria and across borders, together with deteriorating environmental health conditions, outbreaks are inevitable.”

The WHO says cases of measles have reappeared in Syria, due to problems running national vaccination campaigns.

The number of confirmed cases of measles in the first quarter of 2013 reached 139, compared with no cases in the whole of 2010 and 2011, says the WHO.

There have also been reports of measles, tuberculosis and cutaneous leishmaniasis – a disease carried by insects – among displaced Syrians in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.

“Jordan had previously reported zero cases of measles for three years, and was planning to officially declare that it was measles-free,” said Dr Mahjour. The situation will deteriorate if prevention and control measures are not scaled up soon.”

Medical facilities are often actually targeted during conflict as a way of depriving the enemy of medical assistance. Inevitably this hits civilians even harder than the military who are far more mobile and often have doctors in their ranks.

ANY collapse situation, natural or man made leads to the kind of problems Syria is now facing. Katrina, Haiti and the Indonesian quake were all followed by outbreaks of disease, as were the Kosovo and Bosnia conflicts.

Via: The Daily Sheeple


Signs That The Next Great Economic Depression Has Already Started In Europe

by Michael Snyder: Economic Collapse Blog

The next Great Depression is already happening – it just hasn’t reached the United States yet.  Things in Europe just continue to get worse and worse, and yet most people in the United States still don’t get it.  All the time I have people ask me when the “economic collapse” is going to happen.  Well, for ages I have been warning that the next major wave of the ongoing economic collapse would begin in Europe, and that is exactly what is happening.  In fact, both Greece and Spain already have levels of unemployment that are greater than anything the U.S. experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Pay close attention to what is happening over there, because it is coming here too.  You see, the truth is that Europe is a lot like the United States.

We are both drowning in unprecedented levels of debt, and we both have overleveraged banking systems that resemble a house of cards.  The reason why the U.S. does not look like Europe yet is because we have thrown all caution to the wind.  The Federal Reserve is printing money as if there is no tomorrow and the U.S. government is savagely destroying the future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have by stealing more than 100 million dollars from them every single hour of every single day.

We have gone “all in” on kicking the can down the road even though it means destroying the future of America.  But the alternative scares the living daylights out of our politicians.  When nations such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy tried to slow down the rate at which their debts were rising, the results were absolutely devastating.  A full-blown economic depression is raging across southern Europe and it is rapidly spreading into northern Europe.  Eventually it will spread to the rest of the globe as well.

The following are 20 signs that the next Great Depression has already started in Europe…

#1 The unemployment rate in France has surged to 10.6 percent, and the number of jobless claims in that country recently set a new all-time record.

#2 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole is sitting at an all-time record of 12 percent.

#3 Two years ago, Portugal’s unemployment rate was about 12 percent.  Today, it is about 17 percent.

#4 The unemployment rate in Spain has set a new all-time record of 27 percent.  Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the United States never had unemployment that high.

#5 The unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 in Spain is an astounding 57.2 percent.

#6 The unemployment rate in Greece has set a new all-time record of27.2 percent.  Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the United States never had unemployment that high.

#7 The unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 in Greece is a whopping 59.3 percent.

#8 French car sales in March were 16 percent lower than they were one year earlier.

#9 German car sales in March were 17 percent lower than they were one year earlier.

#10 In the Netherlands, consumer debt is now up to about 250 percent of available income.

#11 Industrial production in Italy has fallen by an astounding 25 percent over the past five years.

#12 The number of Spanish firms filing for bankruptcy is 45 percenthigher than it was a year ago.

#13 Since 2007, the value of non-performing loans in Europe has increased by 150 percent.

#14 Bank withdrawals in Cyprus during the month of March were double what they were in February even though the banks were closed for half the month.

#15 Due to an absolutely crippling housing crash, there are approximately 3 million vacant homes in Spain today.

#16 Things have gotten so bad in Spain that entire apartment buildings are being overwhelmed by squatters

A 285-unit apartment complex in Parla, less than half an hour’s drive from Madrid, should be an ideal target for investors seeking cheap property in Spain. Unfortunately, two thirds of the building generates zero revenue because it’s overrun by squatters.

“This is happening all over the country,” said Jose Maria Fraile, the town’s mayor, who estimates only 100 apartments in the block built for the council have rental contracts, and not all of those tenants are paying either. “People lost their jobs, they can’t pay mortgages or rent so they lost their homes and this has produced a tide of squatters.”

#17 As I wrote about the other day, child hunger has become so rampant in Greece that teachers are reporting that hungry children are begging their classmates for food.

#18 The debt to GDP ratio in Italy is now up to 136 percent.

#19 25 percent of all banking assets in the UK are in banks that are leveraged at least 40 to 1.

#20 German banking giant Deutsche Bank has more than 55 trillion euros (which is more than 72 trillion dollars) of exposure to derivatives.  But the GDP of Germany for an entire year is only about 2.7 trillion euros.

Yes, U.S. stocks have been doing great so far this year, but the truth is that the stock market has become completely and totally divorced from economic reality.  When it does catch up with the economic fundamentals, it will probably happen very rapidly like we saw back in 2008.

Our politicians can try to kick the can down the road for as long as they can, but at some point the consequences of our foolish decisions will hunt us down and overtake us.  The following is what Peter Schiff had to say about this coming crisis the other day…

“The crisis is imminent,” Schiff said.  “I don’t think Obama is going to finish his second term without the bottom dropping out. And stock market investors are oblivious to the problems.”

“We’re broke, Schiff added.  “We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit; look at the debt to GDP ratio, the unfunded liabilities. If we were in the Eurozone, they would kick us out.”

Schiff points out that the market gains experienced recently, with the Dow first topping 14,000 on its way to setting record highs, are giving investors a false sense of security.

“It’s not that the stock market is gaining value… it’s that our money is losing value. And so if you have a debased currency… a devalued currency, the price of everything goes up. Stocks are no exception,” he said.

“The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering,” he noted. “It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode.”

So please don’t think that we are any different from Europe.

If the United States government started only spending the money that it brings in, we would descend into an economic depression tomorrow.

The only way that we can continue to live out the economic fantasy that we see all around us is by financially abusing our children and our grandchildren.

The U.S. economy has become a miserable junkie that is completely and totally addicted to reckless money printing and gigantic mountains of debt.

If we stop printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished.

If we continue printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished.

Either way, this is all going to end very, very badly.

Via: thesurvivalistblog