Seven Ways to Store Fresh Food Longer

Seven Ways to Store Fresh Food Longer

fresh veggiesAre there difficult days ahead?  Will there be food shortages, drought, and famine across the land?  What can I do to be prepared?

These are some of the questions I hear regularly from people as I am out-and-about.

Understandably, people all over are very concerned about what is going on in the world and are looking for ways to be prepare their families for the future.  Even the very wealthy are preparing for an uncertain future, as they are constructing elaborate “bug-out” facilities to provide safety for themselves and their families.

Obviously, I believe Preparedness is important.  In fact, throughout scripture we see how God offers preparedness planning.  Whether it was a flood or famine, God gave instruction to prepare.   Those who heeded the Call and instruction, were saved.

Regardless of what is ahead, I have great hope for the future.  That hope if firmly planted in our Returning Messiah.

20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

PSALM 33: 20-22

As we consider what may be coming in our future, there are prudent things we can (and should) do to prepare.  One of those things is to consider food storage.  Here are some seven suggestions for storing fresh food longer:

Experts say the average family throws out nearly 15 percent of all fresh foods they purchase each year. Depending upon where you live and the time of year, which could add up to quite a bit of money. It is important to find ways to store fresh food for longer. Here are seven ways to accomplish this.

  • Homemakers of years past had a root cellar to place root vegetables like potatoes, onions and carrots. They may have also used the root cellar to store home canned goods. Perhaps you do not have a root cellar, but you can use the same basic idea.  The goal is to keep these vegetables in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight. Storing them in the refrigerator will actually make them spoil quicker. An alternative is to store root vegetables in paper bags stored in the cabinet. Be sure to keep onions and potatoes separate or they will spoil.
  • Cheese is another food that spoils if not used quickly. Wrap cheese in wax paper before storing it in the refrigerator. This will allow the cheese to breathe but will not allow excess moisture to reach it. Be sure to keep each type of cheese separate from the others to stop flavors from mixing.
  • Fresh herbs are similar to cut flowers; they need water to stay fresh. Keep herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley on the cabinet in a glass with about an inch of water. On the other hand, non-leafy herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary keep best if stored in a moistened paper towel and then put in a reusable bag. Put the bag in the refrigerator.
  • Canning fruits and vegetables is another way to store them for a longer period. Home canning really is not difficult and you know what you have added to the foods. Store-bought canned goods, however, may contain chemical preservatives to maintain freshness. Jelly, jam, sauces, fruit halves or vegetables can be stored for a year or longer if they are processed correctly.
  • A vacuum sealer is also a good investment for storing food. This option may cost more than others, but vacuum-sealed foods can last for months past the normal storage time. When you vacuum seal the food and then place it in the freezer, your storage time increases even further. A quality vacuum sealer will cost between $100 and $300, but they are definitely worth the price when you consider how much food you can save.
  • If you have stored as much of your food as you can and you still have fresh fruits or vegetables that are starting to look too ripe, find recipes that will use the food rather than letting it go to waste. Your family will enjoy a great meal and you will have saved money by keeping the food out of the trashcan.
  • Finally, if you do find some of the food is too far gone to eat, do not simply throw it away. Start a compost pile for all non-protein leftovers or foods that have gone bad. Composting the food will at least provide nutrition for the soil in a flower or vegetable garden.

By using these seven ideas for storing fresh food longer, you can save money, keep food out of your trashcan and in the stomachs of those you love.

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Preparation through Emotional Unity

Shared by Jeff Rowland

Think about the emotional stability that would be lost be facing economic collapse.  Think about our emotional stability during all-out war.  Can we even imagine the emotional structure of a nation or of any people during famine or a breakout of disease?

Preparing the necessities for life is only part of true preparation. You can have everything you need for survival but if we haven’t prepared our heart then we will radically be changed in our personality and begin to respond to adversity in ways we had not previously known was in us. One of the things I have learned concerning walking out my own salvation through Jesus Christ is that I was not only introduced to Him as my Redeemer and Lord, but He started me on a journey to introduce me to me. The more I know about me the less impressed I am. I’ve learned my vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and what I see lets me know that I need Jesus more today than ever.

The scriptures teach us a truth concerning the way we function as people. We do the things we do because we think the way we think, and we think the way we think because we feel the way we feel. The only way to change what we do is to change the way we think, and the only way to change the way we think is to change the way we feel. Now add the adversity that is sure to come in our lives and we have fed our emotions chaos and confusion which in turn will affect our thought life and will change our behavior. (more…)

When our Past is Past

Shared by Jeff Rowland.

Regardless of where we are in our lives everyone has something in their past that they often struggle with.  The past always rears its head when we are pressing toward a consistent walk in the Spirit of God.  Most are robbed of their present because they are still living under the bondage of their past.  As well we cannot look with hope toward our future if we are constantly going back to factor in our past to make decisions.  The past seems to affect every aspect of our life.  The sequence with which we look at things seems to be through the eyes of our past, then the present, then the future.  Somehow we need to be able to look at our future as a Child of God and factor our future into our present and this will release us of our past.

There is a problem as to why we cannot let go of our past.  The hurt our past has caused us and others should be enough of a motivator to let it go, but we seem to hold on to our past with a passion.  This perplexing problem has caused many in the body to lose control of their lives.  Paul teaches us in Phil 3:13 “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”  By these words we understand the things before can play a significant role in forgetting the things behind.

We live in a society that is constantly asking the question why we do the things we do.  Often instead of dealing with what we do we just want to find out why we do them.  Now we have a place to put our past.  I have learned through the years of pastoring and dealing with people that the past seems to take the blame for just about all of our present.  While there may be some truth from a psychological standpoint concerning our past dictating action in our present we must learn to get past our past.

One of the reasons that we cannot let go of our past is that it becomes an excuse for our behavior in our present

If the hurts of our past are gone then we are left without excuse to act the way we do or to hold on to an attitude that we are afraid we cannot break.  What would we do if we have nothing to blame for our behavior.  Then we are left to face the reality of our own selfish motives and sinful imperfections.  This would mean we would have to change our lives in order to live with ourselves and let go of the pain and hurt that brings about other behavior that is not consistent with our belief structure.

Another reason we cannot let go of our past is it often is the only victory we can remember in our lives

How many are still trapped living in the past victories we have experienced.  We should always remember the victories of our past but never let them to cause us to stop pursuing more.  Again Paul reminds us that we are more than conquerors.  A conqueror is one who doesn’t stop at one victory but presses on to new battles and new victories.  Some are looking for what God done in the past because they are hung on past victories and not living as a conqueror.

May God give us the strength to appropriate our future into our present thus destroying our past and go on to new battles and new victories fulfilling the soldier calling of being more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rev. Jeff Rowland offers more insights on Last Days Preparation on his website at:  www.jeffrowlandministry.com

Preparation Through Provision

Shared by Jeff Rowland.

It’s hard to talk about preparation without talking about provision.  Where our faith resides will determine where our provision will come from.  As well, our fear will define what we lean toward for our provision.

Part of proper preparation is to move from fear to faith.  We need understanding from a responsible perspective on the times we are living in and then the proper perspective on where our provision comes from.

A casual observation of the things that are happening in our world should lead all of us to the same conclusions.  We need to prepare.  However, if we inundate ourselves with the information that comes to us from the news outlets through all the various media then we can end up in great fear.  Although fear is a motivator to get us to action, fear can also corrupt our spirit.  Proper preparation should take fear away not add to our fears.

We understand that from the beginning of recorded time fear has played a major factor in the affairs of man.  The first response to sin when Adam rebelled against God was fear.  He said, “I hid myself because I was afraid.”  Therefore fear finds its source in wondering away from God’s prescribed order.

While responsibility would teach us to do our due diligence to prepare in the manner that many our teaching concerning the ability to sustain through the chaos that is certainly ahead, we must not forget how to prepare our spirit.  You can have all the necessities laid in store but if your spirit is broken then hope is gone and there is no life.  This is not God’s plan for his people, Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”  We must move from fear to faith in order to have life that is joyful and victorious in times of trouble.

Fear seems to touch believers and unbelievers alike.  I have never seen fear and concern in the hearts of people more than today.  Unbelievers that have their faith in government, money, security of jobs or relationships, now understand that all of these are crumpling and they no longer can find strength in any of their sources of faith.  Believers alike have exhibited faith in every source that unbelievers do because most have just a mere profession of faith in Christ instead of a genuine relationship with Christ which brings about real faith in him.

For years I have preached that God has already given us the provision before the need arrives.  I’m reminded of what Jesus told the woman at the well.  She was caught in the forms and cultures of her society.  She cited the feelings that Jews had toward the Samaritans and wondered why Jesus would have anything to do with her.  Jesus said, “drink of the water that I give you and you will never thirst again.”  The provision that comes through faith in Christ can prepare you not only for eternity but also for life today.  If we understood His power and the release of His power through the His Spirit in us I believe we could move from fear to faith and be able to bring order to a chaos that most can’t even imagine.

Amos the prophet of old said, “Prepare to meet thy God.”  Jesus said “I go to prepare you a place.”  The prepared place is for a prepared people therefore get plugged into His provision and your preparation can be complete in him.

Rev. Jeff Rowland offers more insights on Last Days Preparation on his website at:  www.jeffrowlandministry.com

Preparation Call and the Need to Share Love

Preparation Call and the Need to Share Love

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.   John 15:13

Preparation CallWith all the anger, fear, and violence around us, is it even possible to love in times like these?

With every new day there seems to be more pain, suffering, and dissension amongst peoples.  Innocent lives are taken by those who are driven by their own anger, hatred, intolerance, or extremist views.  How can we love in times when people are so consumed with themselves that they easily discard others – even family – when the relationship becomes an inconvenient burden?

We have to find ways to build relationships regardless of the lies that are hardening hearts and feeding self-preservationists.  We must never allow our efforts in preparedness to drive us to an isolated and ultra-protected lifestyle – dependent only on ourselves.   Being self-reliant in our lifestyle does not mean we must be self-focused to the exclusion of all others around us.

The truth is, if we are to find redemption in these difficult and uncertain times we MUST find love – and find the courage to share it.    I see the necessity to love – as part of the Preparation Call.  If we continue to harden our hearts toward others and deteriorate in our ability to love without conditions, I believe our lives will deteriorate into further bondage.  We are creatures created for relationships and to nourish those relationships we must have some reasonable ability to love.  Isolating ourselves will ultimately destroy us.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Preparation Call, and the need to share love” is not a suggestion that we should simply ignore the importance of preparedness and self-reliance.   By no means can – or should we – ignore the obvious responsibility to prepare our families for the things ahead.  The Bible clearly shows the importance of being prepared and understanding our responsibility of serving and loving others.  Preparedness is journey of Faith – and not a path that we walk in fear.

If you really listen carefully, you know that there is and abundance of fear and concern all over the world.  It seems that families (all over the globe) are pushing their preparedness planning because they see the uncertainties.  With bleak economic times, unemployment, natural disasters, rumors of wars, and distrust in politicians and government, people are very concerned about what lies ahead.  In every economic and social standing, families are beginning to prepare in anticipation of major disruptions in their “normal” life routines.

Unfortunately, what I am hearing is that many people are rushing their preparedness as a reaction to fear and, in some cases, conspiracy mongering.  In fact, many families are pushing forward with their preparation efforts because they are now hyper-sensitive to anything that sounds like doomsday news or end-of-the-world sensationalizing.

It seems with every news report that is released, more-and-more people are beginning to join the self-reliance and preparedness movement because they already sense that something is coming that will change life (as we know it) forever.  Certainly, in many ways that is a good thing.  I firmly believe we should all be getting prepared and more self-reliant, but I still have concerns about the path of fear that many families are jumping-on as they begin their preparedness.

Now more than ever, I see it is vital to prepare and to do so with courage and hope.  Contrary to what many critics suggest, Preparedness is not a pessimistic lack of hope for the future, but on the contrary, is very much an optimistic and prudent approach in protecting our families for what God has in store for us ahead.

So, with all the anger, fear, and violence around us, is it even possible to love in times like these?  The answer is an emphatic, YES.  We must.