Unavailable At Any Price

gold bar, money, priceStocking up is about more than just having something good in the (likely) event when our money becomes worthless. It’s quickly becoming obvious that there are many aspects of our lives today that will be faced with a crisis of existence, not costs.

My little brother has always been a particularly enterprising person. Somehow he learned the value in having something that other’s wanted but which was in short supply.  I particularly recall his savvy business skills on display every Halloween. After we finished our Trick or Treating marathon, we kids would inventory all of our candy on the kitchen table and attempt to trade items we didn’t want for items that we preferred.  Our standard of trade was usually kind for kind—one piece of hard candy for another or a candy bar for a candy bar—just a simple trade; but my brother always threw a wrench in the whole process. He would do a little bit of trading on Halloween night for his own purposes of eliminating unwanted treats, but he’d hold back the more favorable items that he knew we really liked. He believed that he could get more for his bounty once the sugar high and abundance euphoria had worn off.  Yep, at only 8 years old, this boy was shrewd. After a few weeks had passed, he’d start using his loot in exchange for getting out of a particular chore he didn’t want to do, or not telling Mom when he’d broken one of the rules, etc. I remember one time in which he caught my little sister at a particularly vulnerable time. She REALLY had a hankering for a king-sized Kit Kat bar, so she went to the store to purchase one with her babysitting money. Unfortunately though, the store said that they were out and wouldn’t get more in for a few days. Well, my sister was not going to wait a few days to get her chocolate fix, so she offered to pay my brother the full price that she would have paid at the store for his regular sized Kit Kat bar.  My brother spotted her desperation and went into negotiating mode that would have made any Chicago mafia member proud. Within seconds he had my sister offering to pay him TEN times what it would have cost her for a larger Kit Kat bar!  Ultimately, she got the candy she wanted, but in exchange for a week’s worth of delivering his early morning paper route!

As silly as it may seem, I think about this childhood ritual as I expand my readiness efforts, but especially when I’m focusing on Medical Preparedness and Food Preparedness. I recognize that many people stock up on food supplies or aspirin so that they’ll have it in the event of some catastrophic crisis. I suspect that this mindset might even be the primary motivating factor for a lot of people who “stock up.” But over the years I’ve noticed that more and more of what I’m investing in isn’t so much about preparing for a financial collapse or astronomical drug prices as it is to GET while I still CAN.
 

Let’s take the example of ammunition and firearms for a moment. While, yes, I admit that it ammo supplymakes me cringe to see what a box of 100 rounds of 9 mm costs nowadays, what’s even more disconcerting is that there are so many types of ammunition that have made it onto the endangered species lists! Thanks to being committed to self-sufficient living some time ago, I feel like I’m practically a millionaire in the making for owning more than a couple boxes of the endangered long rifle rounds! As I’ve learned and matured over the years in how I approach a self-sufficient life, I actually find myself making my purchasing decisions not because of a “society down” scenario, but for the realistic, everyday scenarios in which I may not even be able to purchase needed items or services regardless of how much money I would throw around. In other words, our everyday life is full of indicators that it’s not about what price we might have to pay for things, but whether or not we can even GET the things we want at ANY price. In recognition of this growing trend, I feel strongly that it’s important for all “preppers” to familiarize themselves with this realistic aspect of our prepared lives today. There are plenty of examples right now, today, which lend credence to this philosophy.
 

I’ve recently moved to a very small, rural town that I consider to be “out in the middle of nowhere.” Truth be told it’s still more “city-fied” than my husband would prefer, but it feels awfully rural to this city gal. Anytime I have to drive two and a half hours to get to the nearest Costco, I’m roughing it. OK? So, now that I’m in a new area I need to find a doctor who will see me. But guess what? It’s proving to be a rather impossible task.  They either want me to have a specific kind of insurance, or they aren’t taking any new patients, or they aren’t taking patients that fall within a particular level of care, etc.  I’ve exhausted the entire Yellow Pages listing in one afternoon. It’s no secret that doctors and other health professionals are leaving the profession in droves or that people are losing their insurance coverage left and right. But even before Obamacare came about, this nation had a serious shortage on medical care professionals! So my solution is to be very well planned so that I can maximize any trips I have to make to Civilization to make sure that I make the most of the time and expense that it requires me to continue seeing my previous doctor.  I now find myself making lists all month long so that I don’t forget any errand on our “Civilization Day”. *grin*

That brings me to another example.  When I first started studying alternative health care methods, I did so specifically in anticipation of a time in which hospitals wouldn’t function properly—perhaps they lost their power in an EMP attack, or the hospital was flooded or swallowed up in an earthquake. However, my attitude is very different today.  I don’t need dozens and dozens of bottles of my essential oils, tinctures, and herbs right now, but given the antagonistic and unlawful pattern of behavior that the FDA and USDA have been exhibiting lately, I feel that I can realistically see a time in the future in which the alternative remedies are made illegal to purchase—at any price. There’s already a dire shortage of many common and not-so-common pharmaceuticals going on in our nation, but look at what Spain and other nations are struggling with right now as a result of their economies tanking—they can’t even purchase the most basic medicines at any price because their money is considered “no good” by so many pharmaceutical companies now!

How about the massive food recalls that have impacted the supply of beef and other proteins? When such circumstances are combined with the skyrocketing prices for feed and fuel, as well as the drought conditions which have drastically reduced our cattle supply, it’s not unreasonable to anticipate that merely finding certain cuts of meat will be difficult, let alone being able to afford them! In fact, 4 different grocery chains in my state confirmed that they have stopped carrying several of the more expensive cuts of meat because they simply aren’t available at a price that their consumers will pay. As a result, I’ve actually been doubling my volume of meat purchases with Zaycon Foods lately—because I want to be sure that I have protein in the house even when it’s not found in the stores. (And yes, I’ve become a canning fool!)
 

Here are some other scenarios to consider which also demonstrate that stocking up on an vegetablesitem may be just as much about even FINDING it as it is to be able to afford it:

  • Safe food! It’s nearly impossible to purchase GMO free corn now. So I’ve stocked up on the organic that I’ve been able to find as well as heirloom quality non-hybrid seeds. And along those same lines…
  • Healthy food! I have been unable to find a good quality granola that doesn’t contain the cancer-causing ingredient of Canola oil—not even in the so-called health food stores. So, as a result, I’ve had to start making my own granola from scratch. These two examples are applicable to all kinds of preferred food and drink supplies, whether it be raw milk, organic products, items needed to cater to particular food allergies, or even produce that lasts longer than 2 days in the refrigerator!
     
  • It’s not enough that we try to avoid water full of radioactive particulates and prescription drug residues, with the historic drought conditions taking place throughout the nation, combined with the severe contamination events that have unfolded over the past 3 months, and the MASSIVE amounts of water rights and supplies that are being bought up by corporations such as Nestlé’s,  I’m genuinely concerned for family members and Preparedness Pro readers that have only addressed their Water Preparedness needs with filtration gadgets or water catching systems. Filters are useless if you have no water to filter, right?! Filters won’t work for most chemical or oil spills. Rain catching systems won’t even be sufficient to keep your cactus plant alive if you’re located in the middle of a drought-stricken area, right?! This is why I strongly suggest that folks take measures to actually store as much water that’s easily accessible without requiring exertion of great physical energy or facing harsh weather to get!
     
  • How about nutrients?!  Most people don’t realize that the published nutritional content measurements are completely archaic nowadays because the nutrients aren’t in the soil and so they aren’t in our food.  So, just take vitamins, right? Sure, nearly half of all adults take vitamins, but did you know that 99% of all vitamin supplements are synthetic (thanks to the USDA and FDA again by vitamin E pills, syntheticpermitting the term “all natural” to be on any vitamin product so long as 5% of the product is made up of natural sources. But here’s the kicker…the synthetic Vitamin E is not efficiently absorbed and used by the body; in fact, they tax the liver much more. In fact, the New York City Medical Academy published a study that showed that consuming synthetic Vitamin E blocked the body’s ability to absorb natural Vitamin E! 
     
  • There was a terrible drought in the area that produces the Helichrysum essential oil that I HAVE to have regularly in order to function properly. As a result, it’s not likely that I’ll be able to purchase any Helichrysum from my supplier for as long as 6 months! The Frankincense essential oil that I use originates in Yemen. So you can bet that when I read of the uprisings going on in that area, I increased my stores of Frankincense in anticipation of an interruption in getting the quality of product that I want. Thank goodness I keep a good stash of every one of the essential oils that I use personally.
     
  • As if all of the storms we’ve been seeing all over the U.S. aren’t brutal enough, apparently there are millions of residents who are having to deal with it without the use of electricity or propane due to power outages AND stark shortages of propane! Propane inventories are only HALF of what they were this time last year in the U.S.! And yet, how much worse has the weather been this year over last?? Yikes! Again, just another scenario in which it won’t matter how much money you can flash around; if you don’t have it before you need it, it could easily be too late.

Hopefully, readers of this article will become a little more aware of their needs when considered from this particular viewpoint. More importantly, I hope that by being aware of these types of possibilities, you’ll find more peace in your preparedness efforts because you were able to anticipate your needs.

© 2013 Of COURSE this post is Copyright Protected by Preparedness Pro. All Rights Reserved. NO portion of this article may be reposted, printed, copied, disbursed, etc. without first receiving written permission by the author. This content may be printed for personal use only. (Then again, laws are only as good as the people who keep them.) Preparedness Pro will pursue all violations of these rights just as vigorously as she does any of her other freedoms, liberties, and protections.


Comments

Nope.

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Nope.

Impacting article! I have

Impacting article! I have not had to deal with crisis in health field and it is difficult for me to fully understand how frightening it is for someone with needs for specialized meds. My concern is sleep apnea. So I am checking out some meditation methods i read about in Prevention Magazine. Try as we may, there is not way we can cover all the bases like we really need to, but thanks to you and other prepping and sustaining advocates, we are much better off than we were two years ago. I hope you are enjoying ( or at least acclimating) your new digs. Keep up the good work. Blessings to you and yours.

I've been VERY successful in

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I've been VERY successful in working with clients who struggle with sleep apnea via alternative health methods. If you don't get the results you want, then contact us. Have a good one!

VERY good article, thank you.

VERY good article, thank you. Everything you wrote is correct, we are in a crisis now, only those that insist on wearing their blinders and ear plugs will turn the cheek.
Speaking of the weather, please check out www.geoengineeringwatch.org's video:
Geoengineering And The Collapse Of Earth 2014

nothing to do with medical,

nothing to do with medical, but a tip... a lady in our ward has a son who works for a plant in Calif. that process only tomato products. He said they will be doing only half of what they normally produce because of the drought.... any tomato products such as Ketsup, spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, etc.. will be affected... and the price will go sky high.........

I, too, make my "city" list

I, too, make my "city" list when I go in for a Costco run, but I'm only an hour and a half away. Four hours running around in the city is more than enough for me for a month. I hope you will get used to being out in the middle of nowhere - I love it! If you are now rural enough, get some chickens for eggs - so easy to keep, and some more for meat. Last year I ordered too many (50) so I sold some to neighbours (but I got the money while they were still alive because, God forbid, you sell home processed meat - and they all joined in on the processing). So freakin' tasty they're all asking me "so, are we doing chickens again this year?" You can control what's fed to them and let them run around in the sunshine like they're supposed to instead of being raised in a CAFO. And I tried canning some of the meat and it's wonderful. I've also got my non-GMO seeds for the garden and have been making granola for years - and in a pinch I just use raw oatmeal and add a little dried fruit. With propane what it is now and the electrical grid out for so many, I think it's time to invest in solar panels. After the Montreal ice storm in 1998, a wood stove became a priority. At least we can stay warm and cook on it if need be. I'm still not nearly as prepared as I'd like to be, but way better off than most (the ones I call ostriches) will be if there's any sort of major disruption. Thanks for all your wise advice.

Great analogies, Kellene,

Great analogies, Kellene, thanks for helping others think about these important issues in other scenarios. Your poor sister!! Having two brothers, and all three of us with paper routes, this story brought back a few memories that I had suppressed, hahahaha! We are looking at 14" of freshly fallen snow here in VA this morning and it is still coming down. We are cozy, safe, and ready. You can't put a price on that. =D

Holly, I'm sorry to have

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Holly, I'm sorry to have brought back childhood trauma. Hee hee

I appreciate your article.

I appreciate your article. This has been my goal for several years - to get those things that will not be available - those things that we can not produce ourselves.

Now, let me use this example to formulate a question. We use baking soda to brush our teeth and hydrogen peroxide as a gargle and mouth wash. These are 2 products that we can not produce. Do you have any thoughts/suggestions/opinions as to how many years worth of these products to store? This has been a big puzzle for me. There are many things that we are dependant upon - metal to make tools, rubbing alcohol, Ben Gay, olive oil and coconut oil are not products from Kansas, chocolate, belts for our baler, baling wrap or wire, oil for our vehicles, and on and on. I'd love to hear your opinion. Many thanks for all you do for all of us who follow your articles.

Oh, yes, I have another question. How will we be able to pay our electric bill and our phone bill (assuming we will still have electricity and phones for a while) AFTER the collapse of our money system? If the banks are gone and our money is worthless, is it even possible to have electricity and phones because of this? These are bills that are not paid locally.

KIC, instead of worrying

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KIC, instead of worrying about the shelf-life of those two items, I'd suggest investing in Redmond Clay. It's modest in price and can be used for a gajillion things including toothpaste and all you have to do is add enough water to make it into a paste. It's a must have for my skin care, first aid, nutritional supplement (for me and the dogs), detoxing bath, etc. (substitute for Ben Gay) I believe hydrogen peroxide has a half life after 1 year. As for other things, everything can have a fabulous shelf life if stored in cool, dark, and dry environments. I have pecans, walnuts, and almonds that are 8 years old and still taste as faulous today as they did when I brought them home. However, keep in mind that anything that has chemicals in it or synthetics, will degrade so much faster than comparable products will without the chemicals/synthetics. ;=D

I love the opening of this

I love the opening of this article. I laughed because I see my kids doing this very thing right now to each other. Where did they learn that skill? Ha, their Mom! So crafty are those little ones.

Also, I have to tell you that walking in this path has been so rewarding. So liberating! I feel more confident every day b/c I know I am going with my instincts and not fighting them. I have learned so many things from you that words can't express. In return, you have helped me inspire others to become more aware, more prepared so that there is not panic. Once you take the fear out of the unknown there is no room for panic.

You have shown me skills on how to obtain my needed items without a huge budget. I have used skills you have written about to save money and get what I need. Time I have, money not as much as I would like. So I have used the time I carve out for this, to learn how to use my money the best way I can. As well as refine the skills I have that I thought were not useful. I have found they are useful and they very well could be a skill to help me "barter" for my needs if the time comes I need to use them.

Thank you!

I have been stocking up on

I have been stocking up on supplements & over-the-counter medicines for 18 months. Minerals are more stable than vitamins. I live in an apartment with my disabled brother, so space is at a premium. I have some powdered milk, but I purchase coral calcium powder to supplement our calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D needs. I take bladderwrack capsules for iodine (I have hypothyroidism already). I stash potassium chloride powder; preppers put away a lot of salt but forget about potassium needs. If it becomes difficult to buy enough fruits and vegetables, then its likely to deplete the body's potassium stores, which can result in hypertension, heart attacks, stokes (especially in hot climates like Houston). I have 2 years of 3-lb jars of coconut oil for its health benefits. I just recently started consuming alfalfa powder and love it, so I will order extras soon. I order my supplements from Swanson Vitamins; they have a sale Feb. 12th-18th order $75 get $15 off (I already placed an order today). I do switch from the plastic jars to mason jars with oxygen absorbers to extend the viability. I also suggest buying large bottles of acetaminophen, anti-diarrhea, etc. Physical health and spiritual health are the 2 most important things to have in any crisis.

There is speculation that there will be a global currency reset by January 2015 (Christine Lagarde/IMF was stressing this goal at Davos meeting end of January); the American dollar will loose its reserve status, which will result in a devaluation and foreign countries will be resistance to accepting our dollars for trade. This means many items that come from other countries, such as herbs/spices, shoes, clothes, etc. will be difficult to acquire. So it just makes sense to buy now while prices are reasonable and these items are still available.

I'm sure you're aware that

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I'm sure you're aware that vitamins and minerals perform very different functions in the body, right? Also, I suspect that the calcium, magnesium and Vitamin D are synthetic forms.  (@20 minutes in the sun will give you all the natural vitamin D you need each day, by the way.) Also, instead of stocking up on salt AND minerals, you can purchase salt that hasn't been stripped of its minerals.. such as that produced by the Redmond company. The vitamins I use and stock up on gives me the equivalent of NINE servings of vegetables a day. Free radicals are very important to protect oneself from and that's only done by consuming a supplement not only high in ORAC value, but also which creates that high ORAC value by including a BALANCE between the 5 components which create the ORAC value--otherwise the body won't absorb it properly. With the two changes to your nutritional habits that I've just mentioned, you shouldn't need much of the over-the-counter synthetic options. A brief review of the Swanson Vitamins website conveys that the products consist of synthetics. The US /FDA allow vitamins to be labeled as "natural" so long as 5% of the item contains natural sources of the vitamins. Unfortunately though, even that 5% is mitigated because in many cases, consuming the synthetic will block your body from absorbing the natural. It seems from you comment that you are new to our page, so I welcome you. I'd suggest that you read our articles on the Ten Principles of Preparedness so that you can see not only the ten aspects that must be addressed in our readiness, but also see the proper prioritization of those principles.

I went to the BeYoungEO.com

I went to the BeYoungEO.com website to find the ORAC supplement; I put "ORAC" in the search tab but it did not bring up any results. I also tried looking through the 40-page brochure, but "ORAC" did not leap out to my eyes. Do you mind telling me the specific name of the product so I can research it?

I did go do the Redmond Clay website to get the nutrient/chemical profiles of the clay and the Real Salt. It appears to me that I would need to consume massive amounts of the clay and Real Salt to take in the milligrams of calcium, magnesium, and potassium I would personally need. As far as vitamins are concerned, I personally do not try to stock up on those because they seem to become foul tasting at the 1 year mark.

By the way, I have subscribed to your e-letter for about 3 years (started with the article on canning meat), and I greatly appreciate all the information/insights you have put into the articles. You have been instrumental in my prepping journey.

Beth, I'm so sorry. I should

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Beth, I'm so sorry. I should have done that for you. The good news though is that right on the front page of the site they have the info on the Masaji. You'd have to have 680 oranges to equal the ORAC value of one bottle of Masji. Dept. of Defense did a shelf-life study on over the counter and pharmaceuticals. You've got 60+ months of shelf-life if they are in a cool, dry, dark place of storage. At the very least, one can stock up for a year. The RealSalt and Redmond Clay would not be sole sources of nutrients. I mentioned them merely as supplements because at least the items there can be ABSORBED whereas synthetics can not.

I am very interested in your

I am very interested in your sleep apna alternative methods, eager to try other things besides generators. Also in what all can be done with Redmond clay. As for hydrogen peroxide it can be used to clean with way after its lost its fizz. Thanks for all you do.

YOu can do some in-depth

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YOu can do some in-depth research on Redmond Clay, but suffice it to say I've stopped a long time ago investing in hydrogen peroxide and instead using more shelf-stable items such as the Redmond Clay for medicinal, first-aid, skin care, nutritional, and other purposes. I can clean with vinegar just as easilly as I can clean with hydrogen peroxide and vinegar has a heck of a lot of uses too. *grin*

Kellene,

Kellene,
I am doing a 'fast dance' trying to learn as much as I can about essential oils. Can you reccomend reading materials for for the beginner. I'd like to have hard copies to study (texts, manuals) that list a selection of the most critical oils, how to choose quality (best manufacturers, distrubutors), how each is most beneficial and proper dosages. I know this is a huge undertaking to address in one response but I am confident you have the answers. Just get me started. Thanks!

I'd suggest you putting the

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I'd suggest you putting the term "essential oils" in the search bar on our site and read the articles that I've written. In addition to getting a fresh understanding of the fundamentals of essential oil use, you'll also find the few books that are out there that are accurate and very helpful. Stay tuned for our live webinars announcement too which will specifically teach about essential oil preparedness.

Be Young carries them. They

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Be Young carries them. They also carry a product that has the highest ORAC value of any other product in the health and wellness industry. No one even comes close to the 1.4 MILLION ORAC value that each bottle holds. (Free radicals are only kept at bay with ORAC constituents.) If you "enroll as a Sharing Partner" you will get the wholesale prices--it's free to enroll. OR you could get them directly from me--which I only make available via wholesale prices so that no one can honestly try to claim that I'm only trying to make a buck and not really concerned about the health and wellness of our readers. Otherwise you can just pay the retail price as a customer at Be Young.  If you enroll or purchase as a custoemr from them, they'll ask for a Sharing Partner number. Use 8285 (beyoungeo.com)

Hey Kellene,

Hey Kellene,
Thanks again for the timely reminder. Started my sharing partner today. I so appreciate you!!!
Brenda

I'm so excited for your

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I'm so excited for your future with these phenomenal products. I've seen them change the lives of literaly hundreds of people that I've been a part of. It's a lifechanger, for sure.  

Kellene, thank you so much

Kellene, thank you so much for all your great articles. There's so much we need to know in order to be at all prepared for whatever disaster may come our way. I really appreciate knowing about the Redmond Clay and ORAC. I'm definitely going to invest in these. Like you, I have been getting the wonderful meat from Zaycon and also doing a lot of canning. Question: Will you have time to come up with a cookbook full of recipes using all these good things? Also, I'd love to know how you make your granola!

Susan, if I had gone ahead

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Susan, if I had gone ahead with the NYC publishers, you would have had my book in your hot little hands a year ago, but...I had a terrible feeling about moving forward with them and kept getting all of these little "warnings" in my head. So I decided to self-pu blish. Then another publisher came around and claimed that it would be nothing like working with NYC. And they were true to their word...however, they created a whole new mess of legal problems. So...after going the rounds, I'm back to doing it all myself and that just takes time unfortunately. But I AM committed to having it out this year! By the way, you can get the Redmond Clay from FiveStarPreparedness.com That's my hubby's business.

Soooo much to learn in such a

Soooo much to learn in such a short time. Please share your recommendations of companies for oils, vitamins and how the heck to use them. You have such valuable info. All info I read over and over to absorb. I work 60 hours weeks and just don't have the energy for the time this kind of research takes. Thank u, thank u.

Thank you so much for valuing

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Thank you so much for valuing the work we put in to providing these nearly 1,000 articles over the past years. It's nice to hear every once in a while. You'll be REALLY excited when we announce some exciting improvements that we're doing next week! So keep checking back!!!

I can not wait. You are

I can not wait. You are articulate, educated in your topics, and I am so very grateful. I only wish I lived closer to participate in some of your trainings.

You mentioned not living

You mentioned not living without Helichrysum essential oil. I remember reading something about you having fibromyalgia, which I also have. Is that was you use it for and which symptoms? I am looking for alternatives to get off the scripts for fibro. Does 5Star sell it or who's brand has best quality? Thanks, love this page.

Yes, that's a VERY important

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Yes, that's a VERY important oil for anyone who suffers from chronic pain. Helichrysum contains constituents that target the nervous system. Be Young is the only brand that carries the same medicinal quality but...they are out and they won't be getting any more in for months because the crop failed this past season and they insist on only using the source that they have been using because nothing else has had the constituent content that the Board of Standards in France has designated as "medicinal quality". That being said though, an essential oil is great, but a person will have a MUCH better effect and even REVERSE their ailments when they start with a chemical and synthetic free nutritional supplement daily. I use a daily regimen of nutrition in addition to the oil. You can order from Be Youngeo.com (they'll ask you for a reference number--use 8285) and be put on their back order at least and get it wholesale. Or you could purchase at the wholesale price from me in which I'd send you a sample until the full sized bottles come in. I've got 8 bottles and I'm working hard to make them last until the new supply comes in.

 

I had not heard that Canola

I had not heard that Canola oil caused cancer. I thought it was on the list of "healthy" oils, so I'm surprised. What vegetable oil do you recommend instead for baking? We already use olive oil for dressings and cooking.

Either make your own

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You understood it that way because the U.S. Gov't PAID to market your mind to that opinion.

Either make your own vegetable oil, or use coconut oil, grapeseed oil, palm oils, a premium quality Extra Virgin olive oil, butter, or lard. That will cover ALL of your oil needs for cooking, baking, frying, dressings, etc.

Dear Pro,

Dear Pro,

I like your articles very much - I am very impressed by your depth and width of knowledge. I have just opted for reading those instead of working today... :S :O Oh dear...don't tell my boss...

Before I get any further, let me add I come from a region where a lot of the skills that appear new or even wacko to Americans used to be norm (wood stoves, home made preserves, herbal medicine; I acquired my first washing machine 7 years ago when I had my first kid and am used to the idea of carrying water from the well and washing dishes in a bowl etc). I am guessing (could of course be totally wrong) that in terms of preparedness people from my part of the world are a step ahead of you guys. Which does not mean there's little to be learned. What I have learned from you has been very valuable.

But this brings me to something that kept nagging me through those hours of reading your and some other preppers' texts.

Firstly. You do not mention social preparedness much - you do refer to some sort of neighbourhood arrangements but only in passing. Wouldn't you think that social aspects of being prepared are vital to achieve ANYTHING long term?

This leads me to the next thought. You are aware that the financial and medical decisions of today impact upon your ability to be prepared in these terms tomorrow. However, all those preparations and plans appear to generate an extremely individualistic approach to life today. Perhaps you could offer some insights into this - I am hoping this impression is simply and utterly wrong. Overall, however, from what I have learned from my desperate search through prepping literature (and a lot of it is only about being so macho that the mere smell of your underarms will scare away any problems and attract solutions), such individualism is the norm. This makes me wonder whether it contributes to a society that is unable to survive as a social entity even slight blips bring it to its knees - which is how USA appears to be today, at least from afar.

And this, in turn, brings me to my final point. You refer to various disasters, and I suppose over there in the States financial meltdown seems to be what people are currently most afraid of, along with certain natural catastrophies. There is, however, no mention of one collapse that should be tackled today, head on, as later it will impact nearly all of the earth in a way that will make long term survival totally hopeless a quest. This is environmental collapse as a result of global warming past the 2 degrees celsius mentioned over and over again in climate change literature. Already now, at less than 1 degree warming, we are seeing massive increase of storms and floods in all areas exposed to oceanic wind currents, and the States should be already very much familiar with this. Yet, to prevent these problems worsening beyond any imagination (and large parts of your continent becoming completely uninhabitable), we need to prepare not simply for our own fleeting safety in a societal collapse. No, we must demand change now - to ensure that we have preserved an environment in the future where we can grow our own foodstuffs and keep the roof on the house. With increasingly violent storms and unpredictable weather patterns this cannot be relied on and no amount of individual prepping is going to allow one to survive.

Do we not need to step out of our individualistic preparedness efforts into the open of the social, public, political world, or into whatever else it takes, to act together and to channel our efforts and energy not (only) to stocks that keep us afloat today and in 5 years, but to changing our societies from inside out? If we started right away, a lot of the excellent skills that people like yourself are proposing for the disastrous events could be an everyday normality: using substantially less fuel and water, for instance. But also consuming less, and NOT insisting on driving your car everywhere (so that your extra set of clothes would be handy....), or on jetting around the country and abroad.

It seems you, and people like yourself have undoubtedly brilliant skills, but there is one element missing to allow survival. No man is an island. You cannot live healthy fulfilling lives without the society. Please, prepare more than yourselves and people who happen to run into those pages so well written. Please prepare by contributing into changing American society from the energy hungry, consumerist monstrosity that it is today, into what would generate a new hope for long term - a new, leaner, greener place which can show the way to a world built on more sustainable foundations.

Thanks again for your site and if you managed to read all of my rambling, thanks for that!
May

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