I’ve recently come across a couple of good ideas that can be “thought forward” to emergency preps. They share a similar theme, so I decided it was worth a post to combine them. Today’s idea is preserving fresh items (or pantry items opened prematurely) in the event you’re without electricity. Some might think this is a funny thing to prepare for, but if the lights go “out” my belief is that they won’t be coming back “on” all too quickly, so we’d better be ready to adapt.
Fresh Foods in Food Storage?
In addition to all the shelf stable food items we store, preparing a plan to grow fresh foods by learning to garden and sprout (so long as conditions allow it) is extremely important to consider. Nutritionally as well as for so many other reasons, having a bit of fresh food to eat, even in small amounts, would be (and I use this adjective most sincerely) *awesome*. The problem is, we’d likely have times in growing food where there’s a surplus; we can’t use it up fast enough and don’t want it to go to waste. Well, there are a couple of ideas I’ve come across to help in this area that I’d like to share.
Idea #1: Brake Bleeder
Thanks goes out to Survivor Jane for this first idea. She shared it on facebook a couple weeks ago. Here’s a pop quiz: on your honor, how many of you already knew about this repurposed tool? Well, to me, this was a new one.
Apparently, this is a brake bleeder tool who’s original intended use is to bleed car brakes (as if I have any idea what that means). But…(and this is the cool part)…it uses a non-electric vaccuum sealing mechanism to do it’s job. According to Jane, it can also be used (thinking forward to preparedness) as a non-electric vacuum sealer by being attached to a foodsaver lid adaptor/ vacuum tube where it can seal food in mason jars. What a great repurposed item! She says it can be purchased directly from Harbor Freight (and like stores, I’d imagine), but additionally I found it here on Amazon (59% discounted) for $30.
Idea #2: Handheld Vacuum Pump Technique
A second non-electric vacuum sealing idea I found is surprisingly inexpensive. Using a $5 handheld vacuum pump, a thumbtack and a piece of electrical tape, you can seal a glass jar. And what’s great about this idea is that it works with *any* jar you have so long as you have a lid that screws on; it doesn’t necessarily need to be a canning jar. As I think about all the jars I have in my storage, it would be great to be able to re-purpose the smaller sized jars to preserve smaller food amounts if needed. This video demonstrates what I’m talking about. Think it forward to how valuable knowing this (and having this tool on hand) could be if/when fresh foods are hard to come by and you don’t want yours to go to waste!
The original article can be read here. (Oh, and btw, if you’re reading by email you’ll need to visit this post on the blog itself to be able to see the video.)
Idea #3: Zeer Pot (aka Pot in Pot Refrigeration)
So, now you’re wondering “what about refrigeration”? Fresh foods (most anyway) need to be kept cool, right? Ideally, yes. My line of thinking here is simply to have a way to keep foods good longer than they usually could be kept without doing anything.
So, my answer to refrigeration without electricity are Zeer pots. Again, here’s a video explanation. This project is on my list of things to study out this year to see how far it can be utilized, which size is best (if there’s a difference in temperature retention), etc. And as a side note, for anyone who needs to keep refrigerated medications, you (especially) need to check this out! Zeer pots have been tested and used for years in underdeveloped countries, so I trust this idea enough to post about it.
Well, I hope I’ve given you some good ideas to consider. It’s great to know you do have options in preserving food without electricity.