Monday, September 28, 2015

Preppers and Their Gadget Fetish

Observing over the years the 'prepper' phenomenon rise out of the remnants of the cold war survivalist movement; I have observed that the current crop of preppers, have gotten into their heads that they can buy stuff and that alone will save them.

To which I have observed by the articles published in Rawles Survivalblog to be, rather naive in their outlook.

I have witnessed war up close and personal.  I have also spent many years in third world countries that are not at war.

One thing that I have noticed is that the American style prepper, has no idea how to make the basics from scratch.  The majority all prepare for SHTF but are totally unprepared for this current slow motion collapse that is currently the US situation.

By that I mean, the majority go out and buy their stuff, amass large quantities of pre packaged foods, and discuss arcane mall ninja topics in forums.

However not many of them could survive in a third world country that is not at war. By survive, I mean not being able to find a US style high paying job, or earn a living without a social safety net.

The majority could not adapt their way of living to sustain themselves on a smaller budget, or bother with learning how to make basic foodstuffs from scratch without resorting to the pre-packaged shortcut.

For example.  In my household we seldom shop at big box American style supermarkets.  We simply can not afford to eat the American way.  

Yet this does not affect what we eat.  We still eat the same things we ate before when I made the big bucks and shopped at an American style supermarket with the requisite $100 a week food bill.

The key is food preparation.  We buy the absolute basics. 

We make many food items from scratch, including food items you would not normally think to make from scratch.

We make tortillas from flour that costs about 25cents a pound.  We buy coconut oil in bulk containers for food service.  We make our own ketchup, mayo, noodles, tomato sauces, hot sauce, vinegar, and many other foods.  We buy pork that is still hot off the hog having been butchered mere hours previously.  We have that ground at the butcher, and we then proceed to make everything from sausage, to roast, to even pork floss, ham and bacon.

We make our own powdered sugar from regular bulk sugar, roast our own coffee, make our own rice flour, dog food, cat food, cakes, and a myriad of other items we previously purchased ready made.

Heck, we even make our own cheez whiz style spread from bulk blocks of processed cheese and real butter.  We make our own Parmesan style cheese too by aging cheap processed cheese that I inoculate with bacteria from real high dollar cheese.  

Let me tell you, processed cheese with the Brie mold on it, tastes so much like Brie, it,is difficult to tell the difference.

Saturday, I roasted raw peanuts and made a peanut version of nutela, along with the regular peanut butter.

As such, our food bill runs between $22 and $50 a week with an average in the $40.

However the American prepper you find in these forums would very well starve of they could not get their pre prepared stuff if they had to survive in a third world style poverty situation.  

One thing that ties the third world, war, and collapse together is poverty.  Buying stuff and storing it like a squirrel, will stave off starvation for awhile, but it does little to preserve their lifestyle when poverty strikes.  You can have all your gadgets. The esoteric knife, flashlight and other gadgets.  However stuff breaks, and food gets eaten. 

Then what you got? Especially if you got no skills to make stuff.


Farm.Dad said...

Well Said

Anonymous said...

So many so called prepper's fail to realize the cost savings by creating their own scratch. A good point in case is the good 'ole fashion #5 Yellow Dent corn that runs about $6.50 per 50 lb bag at my local Rural King/Tractor Supply stores. #5 yellow Dent Corn contains approximately 2200 calories per pound. Yes you have to Nixtamalize dent corns by ether soaking in a calcium hydroxide solution(wood ash or pickling lime), or you can do what the Native Americans did by parching their dent corns in hot wood ash. The making of Hominy is also made by the above soaking and cooking in the above calcium hydroxide solution.

When ever I am asked by anyone what a good starting point for prepping, I always direct them to the Fox Fire series of books. Sadly most want so-called modern information.

admin said...

I occasionally make hominy from scratch. On the tropical island I am at, there is no hominy available. Feed stores aplenty so I just make from scratch with the wood ash.

There is food grade lime, but I'm not really up to that kind of adventure hunting it down in the Indian part of town. Indians use it with their betel nut and chewing tobacco.

That said I make it only occasionally because the wfee does not like the mess, and I make probably 5 gallons worth of it and freeze most of it.

I do love tamales, but unfortunately if I want them I gotta make them totally from scratch instead of the maseca brand corn flour.

I have not had good success turning it into tortillas. However I have made Mexican Sope with it as well.