Last week it was my privilege to attend the Ready Set Prep Summit sponsored by FoodInsurance.com. This was a by invitation only event that was held in Dallas, Texas and attended by over 16 members of the online preparedness and survival community. Food Insurance called us “forward thinkers”. Imagine that!
The agenda included a social and networking event where I became acquainted with the owners of some really cool websites. I was thrilled to not only to meet some new folks but also a few of my online friends that I have been working with these past few years. During this time I was able to chat with almost everyone individually and to share our common ideas and philosophies not only about prepping but also about their own sub-niches within the prepping space.
The next day there were presentations by industry experts, a food tasting and some insightful website evaluations from some marketing and social media gurus.
The focus throughout the summit was the mainstreaming of prepping and the responsibility we share for delivering actual and factual solutions to our readers. As you know, this is something I feel passionately about so when one presenter suggested – no encouraged – us to discontinue and drop the term “prepping” from our vocabulary, I had to stand up and disagree.
Our day ended with a visit to the Glenn Beck Blaze TV studio where Mark Hyland, the CEO of Food Insurance plus the panelists participated in a live broadcast of the March 21st show. No matter what you might think of Glenn, he was warm and gracious and spent a few minutes chatting with us and posting for photos.
WHY MAINSTEAM PREPPING?
I have given quite a bit of thought to the mainstreaming of prepping. One reason I feel that prepping has come into its own is that right now, things are crazy difficult and crazy uncertain. In times like this, people want something to cling to that they can control.
Gathering supplies, growing food, learning DIY skills and becoming self-sufficient are things we can all do on our own. We can do these things with the satisfaction of knowing that we have majority control over their outcomes in a world where so much seems beyond our reach.
And I don’t know – for me at least it means that I can take charge of my life instead of being someone else’s puppet. Does that make sense? Do you feel the same?
THE TASTE TEST
As I mentioned above, we were treated to a blind taste test consisting of five different freeze dried meal samples from five different companies. This was truly blind. As you can see in the photo, we were given little numbered cups and were asked to rate each on a 1 to 10 scale plus add our comments.
The results? The product supplied by our host, FoodInsurance.com came in first. I honestly believe that even they were a bit surprised at this but it is true. As our group compared notes after the fact, we agreed that the Food Insurance product was the tastiest and that it had the best texture.
In addition to tasting the meal type products, we also sampled some freeze dried pineapple and freeze dried corn. Oh my gosh – they were so sweet I could have snacked on these all day long. I did learn something, though. That is that if you eat too much of any un-reconstituted freeze dried product, it can and will expand in your stomach and cause some digestive distress.
OUR HOST – FOOD INSURANCE – AND A GIVEAWAY!
I can not say enough good things about our host, FoodInsurance.com. They paid for our travel and put together a day of relevant activities for us without once asking us for a thing. Of course I am sure they would like us to recommend their product line (more about that later) but not once did they bring that up.
Instead they focused on learning about readers and our own expertise when it comes to preparedness.
So what is Food Insurance? Food Insurance offers short and long term solutions to your food storage needs. This includes gourmet meals in pouches with a 7 to 10 year shelf life and the same meals and individual items (such as that delicious FD pineapple and corn) in #10 cans. They also have two-week and one-month kits plus gluten-fee and vegetarian meals plans. All kinds of stuff, really.
Something else that they did at the Summit was to present us each with one of their lightweight, weather resistant backpacks plus a portable water bottle and filter. Not being bashful, I asked if I could give away the same backpack and water bottle to one of my readers. And of course, being the nice folks that they are, they said yes. So how cool is that?
OK – HOW DO I WIN?
To win the Food Insurance backpack and water filter, all you will need to do is to submit a comment at the end of this article telling me about your greatest food storage challenge. That’s it – easy peasy.
The giveaway will run until April 14th and as always, the winner will be selected at random.
Please note that Food Insurance will also be sending out a special promotion to everyone that enters the giveaway contest although you can be easily able to opt-out of future emails.
WEBSITES TO VISIT NOW
Here is a list of the attendees with a link to their websites. I hope you will take a few moments to visit each of them to see if there is something useful to help you along your own path toward preparedness.
Common Sense Preparedness (Presenter)
Food Storage and Survival
Off Grid Survival
Prepper Podcast Radio Network
Solutions For Preparedness (Presenter)
Survival And Prosperity
Survival Common Sense
The Doomsday Moose
Waging War On Debt (Presenter)
Food Insurance (Host)
THE FINAL WORD
There is widely held mindset that a disaster or a crisis is something that happens to other people. I call that Disaster Denial.
Of course you know and I know that crisis events happen all the time and can include all types of scenarios – from job loss, to sickness, to natural disasters, to civil unrest and more. And even though people see and witness these events as they unfold around them, they still think that it will never happen to them – only to someone else.
Being prepared is something we all need to do to regain control of our lives in an out-of-control world. By being in control, we can prevail in spite of the mayhem round us. That, to me, is why prepping is moving in to the mainstream.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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From the Bargain Bin: It has been a while since I shared some of my favorite food storage items. Whether you are just getting started or a seasoned pro, here are the items you will need when purchasing food in bulk for long term, SHTF needs.
Mylar bags & Oxygen Absorbers: What I love about Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers is they protect against every single one of the food storage enemies. Prices do vary but for the most part, they are inexpensive and easy to keep on hand. And while you can seal them up with a FoodSaver, some tubing and a common clothes iron, I find it infinitely easier with a cheap hair straightening iron that you can pick up $20 or less.
60 – 300cc Oxygen Absorbers: This is one area where you want to make sure you are getting a quality product. Currently, a pack of 60 (in three 20 unit packs) is about $10 with free shipping- this is about $5 less than normal and a fabulous deal.
Mylar Zip seal Food Storage Bags: These are the zip seal bags that I used to package up my butter powder. These are extra heavy, 5 mil bags. I found that the zip feature made packaging extra easy. The jury is still out as to whether the zip feature is worth the extra cost.
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer: As long as the unit has an accessory port (and this one does), and inexpensive FoodSaver will work just as well as the fancier models. That is my two cents, at least.
FoodSaver Jar Sealer: Already have a FoodSaver? If so, check out this jar sealer which can be used to vacuum seal your Mason jars. This is a great option for short to mid term storage of items such as beans, rice, sugar and salt. Store your jars in a cool, dark place and you are set with the added advantage of removing a small amount for current use without having to disrupt your large Mylar bag or bucket of food.
Sharpie Permanent Markers: Sharpies were invented for preppers! And without question, Amazon is the cheapest place to buy them. Typically, the price on Amazon is less that $8 for a dozen.
Avery Color Coding Labels: These are perfect for labeling your emergency storage foods with the date purchased.
Sign up to receive your free the TOP 50 Must-Have Emergency Items list and other exclusive preparedness tips and special offers from FOOD INSURANCE.
Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.
I eat a lot of fruit (usually three whole fruits a night as a bedtime snack) and in a SHTF situation, fruits will be something I will really miss. The Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials is something I use all year round. With the grocery store a 20 mile round trip journey, I like the thought of being able to rehydrate my own fruit, in the quantity I want, at a moments notice.
The selection includes Apple Dices, Bananas, Peaches, Pineapple Dices, Blueberries and Strawberries.
But not to be left out, there are veggies too. The deluxe supply of Freeze Dried Vegetables includes 18 #10 tins of the following veggies in various quantities: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Green Peppers, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Potato Dices, Spinach, and White Onions.
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