Monday, July 6, 2015

Why Preppers Need Inventory Management

Little known to most survivalists - a lot of bulk food purchases get wasted for the wrong reasons.

This is why Vault-OS is going to fulfill a specific need of preppers most of them don't even know that they have right now.

If you miss rotation dates, don't buy on demand according to what you have in stock (inventory) and do not gauge your purchases according to your deficits (logistics) you are going to end up with too much of what you don't eat, too little of what you desperately need and nothing that is mandatory. It is a terrible thing to discover you have 10,000 expired potato & leek soup packets you will never eat and no protein after one month of cutting into your stocks.

Vault-OS had a screen working previously that was never displayed on this blog because I was still working on it. There was a summary barchart that would show you how equipped you were to feed yourself for 1-5 years at a glance. You could type in the number of members of your family/crew, their ages and genders and get a summary estimate of the differences between what you needed to have in stock to survive a year and the requisite gap you needed to acquire to make up the difference. I had this for several categories of supplies and nutritional support. I borrowed heavily from many ideas crucial to this site.

Going to get this running again as soon as I can, just involves some minor porting to Lua and JQuery for most of it.


Ave said...

This is true only if you consider the expiration date on the cans.

I open cans tens years past their expiration date every now and then, never had a problem yet.

When you consider this, then buying in bulk enables you to create a standardised pack of food. At work I retrieve cardboard packs that used to contain printing paper, their volume is roughly what is needed for one person to survive one week.

By buying bulk I can set up the contents of the weekly ration by calorie and diversity, and end up with a very precise inventory. I have made two series, one of eight weeks and the second of nine weeks.

With that basic requirement set, I now continue prepping up only by buying discounted, near-expiration food, leading to a very diverse stash of durable food (including delicacies) which has yet to be inventoried. It is much cheaper than even buying in bulk.

That said, dear readers, follow your own common sense, don't eat food that smells or tastes really bad when you open the decades-old can.

pdxr13 said...

"dear readers, follow your own common sense, don't eat food that smells or tastes really bad when you open the decades-old can."

More detail than this:
Wet pack canned food that is roughly-handled and showing visible dents should be short-cycled. No more than 1 year from getting it. It may not make it to the "Use By" date, with high-acid foods being double-emphasized. This is why buying full cases is a good thing- You get barely-handled cans with all the same date that have been protected by a sealed carton.

Let's assume you just got a box of "mixed cans" all thrown together from wherever and whenever, then handled like US Mail. Food bank is a good source of dreck like this.
1. Examine each can. Is it leaking? Dispose. Do not smell-taste-or open can, DISPOSE in sealed container.
Note "best by" dates and segregate cans more than 1 year past date. Don't throw them away, if they are in good shape, they are 99% good! If they are over a year past date, and have dents but are not leaking, they should be used soon. If you don't like what they are, give them away or trade for something with a long date and good seal. Yummy dented peaches in 20oz cans for your #10 cans of boring Mormon Cannery packed beans, whole-kernal wheat, and rice? Oh-Kay!

If you are blessed with a "ready-2-eat" type of canned food in a dented can, take some care before you use it. Peel the label off of the can and look for defects on the can- rust, pinhole, any leak that discolored the back of the label, which is often white to make this easy. Find leaks? See above and don't eat.
Open the can and note vacuum seal (yes? good!), smell contents (appropriate for canned chili?), look at the food in the clean pot (looks okay?). Cover the food in the pot, don't heat yet. Rinse out the inside of the can and examine it for defects. Perfect? Good. Pour the rinsing (drinking-quality!) water used on the can in the pot- chili usually needs extra water. Heat the chili to briefly boiling, then simmer for a few minutes. It's as safe as commercially-packed food gets.

As food ages in cans, it loses perishable vitamins. The calories are still there (Yeah!) but supplements and alternate fresh food is part of a good post-collapse diet.

Grogard said...

I always wondered if there is some way to purify rotten food. Maybe use it to grow mushrooms or something.

Grogard said...

Also, since a vault is presumably going to be air tight, I was wondering if you ever looked into having a storage room that can be entirely vacuum sealed or at least flooded with nitrogen/argon etc.