Saturday, April 25, 2009

Q&A #10

Every once in a blue moon we will post some questions that readers have asked with some (hopefully) good answers. Please be patient as we try to answer all your questions. More questions? Email us!

Previous Question and Answer Posts

Other Informative Posts:
All About Oats
All About Beans
Let's Talk About Wheat
All About Rice
All About Rice Storage

I have a question about storing water in my emergency and car kit. Especially in the car, it gets really hot where we are in the summer. I have heard it isn't safe to drink out of bottled water that has been hot. Is this true? Is there something else I can store my water in for the car.

I did a little research (aka google search) and came up with a few things here or here or here
and it looks like the FDA stands by it being safe to drink. But there are a few things you can do if you feel strongly about it. First of all, there are different types of plastic water bottles (you'll have to look at the links because I can't remember) that leach less chemicals than others. So when you are buying bottled water you can check to make sure you are getting the right kind. Also, it's best to keep the bottles out of direct sunlight, so if you have a cover for your trunk, or just want to lay a blanket over the top of you water you can do that.

Here's my opinion, if leaving water bottles in the heat was super dangerous, there would be a warning on the water bottles. But there's not, so I don't worry about it. BUT drinking warm water isn't necessarily refreshing, so although I keep a case of water in my trunk during the summer (yes a whole case!), I also NEVER leave my house without three bottles of ice cold water (for me and my two girls). If I'm going somewhere for a long time, and it's going to be really hot, I'll fill up my cooler with ice and stick some water bottles in it. But when it comes down to an emergency situation, I'm just happy to have water, hot or cold.

Remember, your car kit is for emergencies. But you can always plan ahead when you know you'll need water, and during the summertime it's easy to get dehydrated, so take a cold water bottle around with you and save your car kit water for when you forget!

I am keeping my emergency backpacks in the garage, where it also gets hot in the summer. Any idea there?

I keep my 72 hour kits in my guest room because it's too hot in the garage in the summer. When I have guests come I move them into my room. It's inconvenient but that's all.

I inherited wheat in a bucket from someone else. I have no idea how old it is and what the temps were in the past homes.

Yikes! I have no idea. Is it properly packaged? Wheat properly canned (with oxygen absorbers) will last for 30 years. Without, it is only 10-15 years. This guy has a lot of information on that subject. If it were me, I'd make something from the wheat and see what it tastes like. The older it is, the less nutritional value it has, but I don't think (OPINION) it would make you sick. Please don't sue me if you get sick.

Does anyone know how to can dried beans once they have been cooked.

Cooked beans must be canned using a pressure canner because of their low acidity. Check with your local extension service to see how long and at what pressure, because that varies with your altitude.

Cooked beans can also be frozen in ziplock bags or tupperware containers. Whenever I cook up beans, I make a big pot and then freeze them in 1.5 cup servings (about one can). Then the morning I need them I just take them out of the freezer to defrost.


Cecily said...

We used bucketted wheat that was older than 15 years and never had a problem. There are women I know who regularly dig into their "dead man's wheat" (wheat cans they have inherited after a neighbor died), and many of those cans are older than 30 years.

That said, I have read that wheat that has been exposed to the ergot fungus can lead to hallucination. Not likely with modern agriculture, but if you start seeing mulit-colored visions after eating it, throw the rest away.

Sharron said...

I have wheat that I helped my mom can (in honey cans)using dry ice in the spring of 1964. It is fine and has been stored in all kinds of places. It is lower in gluten than the wheat grown in the last 30 years, so I add a little more gluten flour when I make yeast bread. It is fine when making fast breads and cereal.

Bobbi Jo said...

That is a great idea. I love all the answers to these questions about our food storage. Thank you for all the wonderful information you give us. Hugs, Bobbi Jo