Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Is Your Rice Safe?

Arsenic in Rice

Reports of arsenic in rice have alarmed consumers to the point that some are now not eating rice.  Unfortunately, rice is a great long-term storage item. It is the one food that is a staple world-wide. The more nutritious brown rice has even more arsenic because much of the concentration is found just under the husk which is not burnished off.
I discovered par-boiled brown rice has almost the same “keeping” quality of regular white rice so it seemed a good choice for prepping. The par-boiling process cuts the necessary cooking time so it conserves fuel which could be an issue in emergencies. 

I have not researched this issue completely, but what I did find published by The US Rice Commission at http://www.arsenicfacts.usarice.com provided a clearer picture of the situation. Frankly, the information was WAY over my head. It did help me understand why I had a problem with the “hype” about arsenic and rice. I figured that if arsenic was naturally occurring in soils and water, why aren’t ALL foods affected? Well, they are. The statistics on them have just not yet been widely publicized. People who are gluten intolerant consume much larger quantities of rice than others so this is an issue of concern. They may need to consider greatly increasing their selections of grains. However, those grains haven’t been scrutinized so carefully yet so they, too, could have high concentrations of arsenic.
The Rice Commission reports that no arsenic is used in fertilizers designed for rice growers. One of the ways arsenic gets in rice is through the absorption of the water used to flood the fields. Arsenic is naturally occurring in water but the concentrates rise due to run-off of fertilizers and chemicals we use in agriculture, industrial and home use. STILL, the EPA declares the levels are safe for human consumption. This is true for water and rice – white or brown. Arsenic levels are within acceptable ranges for every sample tested -- and they tested every variety of rice from every state and from each distribution center. Rice purchased from overseas was also tested. The variables seem to come from water sources in which the rice was grown.

It has been reported that about 30% of the arsenic in rice can be removed by rinsing it before cooking. Another way to lessen the amount of arsenic in rice is to cook it the way Asian people do rather than our American method of 1 cup of rice to 2 of water in which all the liquid is absorbed by the grains of rice. Asians use about 6 cups of water to 1 cup of rice and drain it prior to eating. This of course isn’t a great option if water shortages occur in emergencies.
So, what am I going to do? I am going to trust God’s faithfulness to His Word. Deuteronomy 28:1-14 clearly outlines the blessings that come with covenant with Almighty God. Jesus’ blood ratified that covenant for me so I could enjoy the benefits of being a child of God. My basket (of provision) is blessed. The bread that I knead is blessed. My storehouse is blessed and He insures that I have plenty of goods. He blesses the increase of my livestock and the produce of the ground. He opens His good treasures of heaven and gives rain in its proper season. Everything I put my hand to prospers. In addition, none of the diseases of Egypt (the world) will come on me. Mark 16:18 promises that if I drink anything poison or deadly, it will not harm me. I think I am covered.

I am going to rinse my rice and cook it in chicken broth as I’ve done for years and bless my food before I eat it.  I am going to continue to store rice and use it to feed those who neglected to be prudent and provide for themselves.
I suggest you do the research for yourselves – just Google Arsenic in Rice for information. My major concern with various publications is most seem to quote and reference the same primary source. I tend to lose confidence in single source conclusions. To our dismay, we have discovered that much of the “hype” concerning health risks from products originated from a competing industry and everybody got on a bandwagon headed in a wrong direction. Unfortunately correction only came years later after people had altered eating habits.

Let me know what you think.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Great Guide for Basic Preparedness Items

The following preparation guide was prepared by one of our readers. Unfortunately the pictures did not transfer, but you can go on the web sites and check them out. I've researched many of the products and find the information reliable with the price reflecting a non-sale price. If you want to bargain hunt, you might want to get on these companies' email list. They have good sales each month. As you make your "must-have" lists, check several sellers for their normal price so you know when it is jump-on-it item.

The last item on the list is a water bob. I highly recommend this for those living in hurricane prone areas. The $25 cost is so reasonable to protect your family in case of long power outages or water production contamination -- both high probabilities after hurricane damage.


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter




 The ER™ EMERGENCY READY Flashlight and AM/FM Radio with Weather Band



$750 - Bee Prepared - 1 year food supply, can by additional one off items



Human Powered Generators

Pasted from <http://www.k-tor.com/>



The Pocket Socket is a powerful charger. It has a 10W generator. The Pocket Socket charges your mobile device at the same rate it would charge in a standard 120v household electrical outlet.

Calorie ER Food Bar                     http://www.quakekare.com/3600-calorie-emergency-food-bar-p-19.html




Thermal Blanket





Thermal Sleeping Bag





Power Box



Expect: 150.00 - Coming soon

The Power Box is a pedal-powered generator that provides consistent electrical power on the go! It is perfect for anyone who needs to charge a portable electronic device immediately, but does not have access to a wall outlet. From the business traveler to outdoor enthusiast, commuting student to emergency personnel, the Power Box is a great eco-friendly source for backup power. Fully functional anytime, anywhere, it lets you charge a wide variety of electronic devices, including, but not limited to, your cell phone, mp3 player, camera, GPS, or tablet. Coming Soon!




Water Preserver Concentrate




Mayday Water Pouches (case of 100)





Sanyo SEC-N16SETEVP NEW eneloop 1500 Super Power Pack


$55 - need to purchase C & D Size Batteries



Good options for side foods and items.





GLOBAL SUN OVEN, non electric





Water Bob










Friday, December 14, 2012


The other day Dear Hubby and son drove a load of bees – in their hives of course – to a warmer climate in South Georgia. The farm they are now residing at is primarily hydroponic. The greenhouses are amazing and the produce is organic because it does not grow in the soil. I am now the proud owner of three lovely heads of lettuce which are growing in my hydroponic kitchen bowls.
There is a very easy and inexpensive way to develop a system that will allow novice farmers to produce crops using recycled water and a few minerals. We hope to get ours up and running after Christmas. The lettuce is beautiful and buttery. I have been making salads with the outer leaves and thoroughly enjoying my “home-grown” crop.

The farmer also has long rows of blueberries planted in pine mulch. DH brought back 6 to add to our small row. This is a fruit that is easy to grow and requires little attention. The farmer covers his with bird netting because a large flock can ruin the entire crop. They don’t just eat the them, they peck holes or knock the berries off the bush. We noticed birds like to just punch holes in our apples rather than work on just one. This year we’ll rig a net ourselves and see if we can save more of the crop. We lost all of the muscadines and scupernons. Seems one day they were almost ready to harvest and the next they had all disappeared.

This South Georgia farmer is beginning to do more with containers. Most of us have a small sunny patch somewhere on our property – or porch that will work for a variety of plants. I want a couple of kitchen herb pots. I am also thinking of burying a clay pot or two of mint so it won’t be so invasive.
This spring I’m going to transplant some of the lemon balm that grew WAY too prolifically at the house we now rent. Our steep hill needs something to stop bank erosion. It gets full sun so should make an ideal location for perennial herbs. Now getting water to the area is going to take a bit of ingenuity.

Most herbs are hardy and will thrive in less-than idea soil. As water restrictions and costs increase, finding plants that can be sustained with little maintenance and attention will produce dividends. We will have the ingredients for tinctures, salves, flavored oils and teas. In addition we can pretty-up some of those stubborn bare spots in our yards.
If we begin now looking at ways we can move into self-sufficiency, we will be ahead of the game if food becomes scarce. In addition, having a product we can sell will always be a blessing. May I suggest you set your faith to acquire a pressure canner and dehydrator. Estate sales tend to have items that younger generations are not interested in, but are gold for those who are prudent preparers. Canning jars are often available heaped in boxes for pennies. I have an ancient oblong (fits on two burners) water canner that someone was throwing away. It holds much more than a modern canner and will probably last another three or four generations.

Let me know what God is telling you about making some adjustments in your life because of what is coming.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Learning to build fires


I have been saving cardboard egg cartons to make dryer lint and paraffin fire starters. You stuff the egg sections with lint, pour paraffin over it and cut it apart after it hardens. I plan to use ruined decorative candles that I let melt out of shape when I stored them in the garage (an expensive lesson learned about summer heat build-up). I am waiting for a little time with the 10 year old grandson to work on a couple of projects.
We plan to saturate cotton balls in petroleum jelly and stuff a bunch in sandwich bags. We are also going to make fuel for our Buddy Burners. I have been saving tuna cans. Cardboard boxes are cut down to just below the height of the can and rolled to fit inside. Then you pour paraffin into the can just below the top of the cardboard. I made these 60 years ago in Girl Scouts and they worked well enough to cook our dinners on the top of a #10 can with punched air holes.

By the way, a Buddy Burner should work inside also. I have a foot square piece of tile that I use as a counter protector when I'm dealing with pressure canners, soup pots, or roasting pans. I put a thick towel under it to keep the counter top from getting scratched. I coul set the entire thing on the tile, and cook away. The flame from the tuna can shouldn't produce any more heat than my gas stove on high. We'll have to see about that because dear hubby manages to set the alarm off every time he cooks a pound of bacon in the oven. At least we know the batteries are good! If figure if I crack the window any smoke produced by the burning cardboard would be pulled outside. Since I live in Georgia, it rarely gets so cold I couldn't cook outside. However, If I had a couple feet of snow outside, I'd probably opt for an indoor "kitchen."

If you are just going to boil water, use the can lid to snuff the flame. Once the wax hardens again, you can slip a pocket knife blade under it and pry it up so you can use it again. You have to be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp edge, but it does work. I have many scouting stories that helped contribute to the idea I am a bit clumsy and a tad accident prone. I would like to believe that half a century later I have developed grace and agility. However I will confess that I always carry bandaids.

To get back to the fire starter article.....I have some slightly rancid Crisco that we are melting to pour over pine cones. I’ll add some candle fragrance (if I can find it in the basement) and they will be placed in baskets for starters for a fire in a fireplace. This is a particularly nice thank you gift for all those who brighten your life throughout the year. Of course they have to have a fireplace in the house for them to appreciate it. Otherwise fudge is a good substitute. Or maybe both.

Rather than mess up a good boiler, just rinse out a tin can and set it in a couple of inches of simmering water to melt your wax or paraffin. I am going use a coffee can for the pine cones. I’ll wrap some twine around the cone so I’ll have something to hold on to as I dip and the string will work as a wick once the wax hardens. Several layers of newspaper on the counter should make a good drying rack. I will put down a couple of garbage bags first to keep the wax from saturating the ink and staining my WHITE counters. I am learning to be prudent!
Today I found a really great idea using make-up remover pads. They can be soaked just a few seconds in melted wax. Fish them out with tongs or tweezers and lay them flat on aluminum foil to harden. To use, just tear enough to expose the cotton fibers and light. One burns about 4  minutes which will get a fire going nicely. They can also be torn in half if your wood is dry and the day isn’t windy. Bunches will pack flat in a baggie making them ideal to carry in a backpack. Of course you might not want to store said backpack in the trunk of your car in the summer.

Other suggestions have been to cut squares out of waxed milk or orange juice cartons to make fire starters. Another prepper wraps a 4 inch strip of newspaper around cotton twine and soaks it in wax. Some people mix sawdust with the wax to pour into egg cartons. I think I am going to try to make a Buddy Burner out of sawdust and wax since my husband is a woodturner and generates a lot of “product.”
If you have little ones at home, consider having an “experiment” day and make up a variety of fire starters and test the burn time and efficiency of your creation. My grandson gets points for science experiments at school. He has to make predictions and chart the results, then give a report. If we are going to be prepared for possible changes in our lifestyles, we will have to help teach our children and grandchildren how to be contingency thinkers. What kid doesn’t like to play with fire?

Do you have other ideas about creating a stash of starters if we find ourselves cooking over open fires in the back yard? I heard that hand sanitizer squeezed on some dry tinder would act like lighter fluid (for a brief moment – who wants to waste precious sanitizer if you have no water and can’t run to the store).

Friday, December 7, 2012


I want to share a little bit more about the disturbing news about super-bugs that are managing to defeat the strongest antibiotics.  These are particularly epidemic in health care facilities in some parts of the country. People who enter a hospital for a simple, routine procedure can become ill for months. Seems these bugs are transferred by carriers who were previously in patient rooms, ICU’s and even operating rooms. Many are nursing or assisted living home residents who are frequently transported to hospitals. Few are tested for the bacteria so continue to expose others to it.

Hospitals have not been able to cure the patients because the “bug” mutates as new and stronger antibiotics are tried to stem the disease. It can resist all of them. There are no figures for those who have died due to these superbugs because small health care facilities don’t have the funds for testing so the true cause of mortality is undetected. Strict isolation procedures can prevent its spread from patients who are known to carry the disease. Unfortunately relatively few people are tested prior to admission so the hospitals don't know which patient needs special precautions.

At the present time there is NO cure. This article has information about several drug-resistant superbugs. http://biopharmainvestor.blogspot.com/2010/10/outbreak-ndm-1-and-msra-are-deadly.html. There are other articles of interest on the Internet. Just Google “superbug.”

When I read about these new diseases, I immediately thought PLAGUE which the dictionary defines as an infectious and often fatal epidemic disease.  We are blessed to be able to enjoy the benefits of our covenant with God which clearly states in Psalm 91  we will be delivered from the noisome pestilence (verse 3), we will not be afraid of the pestilence that walks in darkness (verses 5 & 6) and  verse 10 which promises no evil will befall us, neither shall any plague come near our dwellings. Verse 7 reminds us that a thousand may fall at our side, even 10,000 at our right hand, but it shall not come near us.

These new diseases are rampant among those who have been prescribed many and various antibiotics. I have begun to investigate what we could do to deal with illness without resorting to prescription medicines. I am a novice concerning alternative medicines. I can remember only one illness that I admitted defeat and got an antibiotic during a span of about 30 years. I am blessed with wonderful health and have tried to train my body to respond to the Word of God. I remind my body it was created by Father to be in health. I encourage my natural defenses to go into overdrive and defeat any illegal invaders.

Many of us have been looking at natural or alternative medicine as a good preparedness practice. These new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are propelling me into a higher gear. Because we raise bees, we always have a ready supply of honey which may be our number one defense against some infections.  Herb, a fellow prudent preparer, sent this article about the benefits of honey and sugar. This may be a great kick off to more understanding of the plants and products God provided to help us live in a healthy manner. Check out this article:  http://www.endalldisease.com/honey-sugar-outperform-antibiotic-ointments-in-treating-wounds-and-burns/

If we begin now to deal with minor injuries like cuts and scrapes using honey or sugar, we will have an understanding of how to best use these products and how our bodies are likely to respond to treatment.  In the event of a major disaster where medical help is not readily available, we can offer an alternative to family and friends who are injured. If you haven’t had a first aid course, it would be wisdom to get certified. Disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes create situations where people are injured by falling debris or hurt during clean-up. We, as the Body of Christ want to be at the forefront of relief ministry. In order to be effective, you must know what to do and have the materials available to help.

If God is speaking to you about health issues, please share them with us. I am particularly interested in the use of essential oils. These are completely foreign to me, but Father keeps bringing them up so there are things for me to learn.



Friday, November 30, 2012

New drug-resistant bacteria

A new reason to take a look at natural medicines – especially the ones that seem to boost our immune systems and provide the essential ingredients our body needs to thrive and ward off illnesses. There is a super-bug CRE that is at this moment incurable and spreading at an alarming rate in health care facilities.  We are confident the Word of God is true and that Father sees to it His Word comes to pass. Healing and health is part of our New Covenant that comes with salvation. The stripes of Jesus procured our healing. We must remember that NOTHING is impossible for God so CRE is defeatable by the Name of Jesus – it must bow. You might want to take a look at the link below. There are some elements in the article I find disturbing. Health care officials are saying they need a national data bank on everyone to track the spread of dangerous diseases. A pandemic would create an environment that is conducive to this taking place.

So these things need to be a matter of prayer. We need to build our faith with the Word and begin putting our whole spirit, soul and body into agreement with what it says is ours by right of New Birth and Father’s covenant with His children. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He changes not! Take a look at Deuteronomy 28. The first 14 verses are what we are guaranteed by being in right standing with God. The last part of the chapter is what happens when we break covenant. Praise God, Jesus ratified and guaranteed the covenant for us.

As I meditate on the Word, I am asking Father to guide me in making wise decisions regarding my health and general well-being. I am just at the research stage. If anyone has experience with herbal medicines they can grow, please share. We may one day decide we prefer to by-pass the medical institutions in favor of staying home and treating the problem with some of the old remedies. Antibiotics may not be the wonder-drug we’ve all come to rely upon.

Linda Hayes

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The weather outside is getting chilly

                                             Preparing for Winter

Winter is approaching. We are having morning temperatures below freezing. In the South, we tend to just ignore it because by two o’clock we’ll be turning on the air-conditioning when we get in the car. Unfortunately tank-tops and flip-flops make a bad combination if you have car problems after the sun goes down.

It is time to get serious about having a container with winter gear. Most of us don’t pull down the box with gloves, hats and scarves until after Christmas. This year let’s be smart and prepare.

Clean out your glove box and make sure you have a pair of driving gloves and ear muffs (they don’t mess up your hair). You can scrape the windshield without freezing. Most of us rather shiver than go inside for a coat. After all, the car will warm up quickly.

Get in the practice of filling the car when the gas gauge reaches half full. This preparedness practice doesn’t add to the fuel budget. It is just a bit inconvenient because we’ve gotten used to waiting until the last minute to take the time to fill-up. It might prevent a dangerous situation if you get stuck on the expressway in a traffic jam running on fumes. Besides you never know when you might get a phone call about an emergency in the middle of the night. There is peace of mind to know you can hop in the car without fretting about a low fuel light.

Make sure you have your Winter Kit well-supplied:

·         Hat, gloves, scarf for those who typically ride with you

·         Reflective blankets (enough for all passengers) Look in Sporting Goods section

·         Rain gear (Cheap folding ponchos will work in a pinch)

·         Extra jackets

·         Flashlights and extra batteries

·         Candle in a container and matches (Just a small candle generates a good bit of heat)

·         Water bottles (pour about an inch out to prevent it from bursting if it should freeze)

·         Snacks (peanut butter crackers, granola bars, etc.)

·         Plastic drop cloth

·         Duct tape

·         Small towel so you can wipe down the windows if the defroster doesn’t work well

·         Wet wipes and paper towels to clean up the spill if you have to stop suddenly because someone skids on black ice.

·         Small first aid kit

·         Maps

This isn’t your car emergency kit or 72-Hour Go Kit.  It is just what you need to have for winter traveling. The extra clothes are also handy to have if temperatures suddenly drop when you set out on a beautiful mild morning. The water and snacks help out when your shopping trip takes longer than expected and the kids get cranky.

If you have children, be sure you include ENTERTAINMENT stuff. I ALWAYS have a book or an extra Bible in the car. That way I don’t get antsy if dear hubby takes extra time at one of HIS stores. He always has audio books on his MP3 player so is content while I browse Hobby Lobby or grocery shop.

If you don’t keep a cell phone charger in your car, consider investing in one. Ours tends to stay in DH’s truck. This is simple prudence. I just haven’t remembered to pick up an extra one. I also need to buy an extra can of de-icer for the car. Because the sun so quickly melts our ice, I just give the windows a quick spray before I leave the house in the mornings. Even in Georgia, ice storms can blow in at any time.

If you drive a van or a station wagon, it can take a while to heat up the vehicle. I have a gazillion throws in the attic. I’m putting one in the car for those in the back seat who are a bit chilly. Frankly they are a good idea to have any time. Lately I’ve been to meetings where I froze. I even have a nice winter poncho that would look stylish if I needed to wrap up. It goes in the car tomorrow! I just got up from the computer and pulled it out so I would not forget it when I packed for a weekend meeting tomorrow.

Have you noticed that you are thinking of more and more ways to be prepared for the NORMAL emergencies now that you are preparing for THE BIGGIES. We can trust God to enlarge our thinking and bring what we need to remembrance.

I am sure there are other items you have thought of that need to be in your Winter Kit. Please share them. Together we are better!