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Food Friday: Preparing food in times of emergency

Guest Post by Kathryn Dunmore, Red Cross Blogger

In times of disaster, Red Cross advises you and your family to have an emergency preparedness kit to sustain you for 72 hours, until help can arrive. This should include items like battery-operated flashlight, water, extra set of house keys, some cash, personal hygiene products and non-perishable food.
This Food Friday, let's take a look at what I would be dining on should a disaster occur and I had to rely on what was in my emergency kit for sustenance. 
Pictured below is a photo from our friends at the Red Cross in Saskatchewan featuring some emergency kit food items. I’ve taken a look at the non-perishable food items in my kit and here’s what I came up with, taking into consideration my kit doesn’t include a stove-in-a-can so no heat or electricity with which to cook.
kitfoodcontents.jpgLuckily I packed a lot of canned goods, such as fruits, vegetables, puddings (can’t go 72 hours without rice pudding) and beans. I open the canned ham, with my trusty manual can opener, and mix it with some olive oil, a bit of Italian salad dressing (in my opinion, I find this dressing versatile but feel free to mix it up with a dressing of your choosing), and salt and pepper (to taste). I use this ham spread on crackers (I have a preference for the vegetable crackers available but use the spread on anything of your preference). 
Then I open my cans of chick peas, green beans and kidney beans and mix them with vinegar (1/2 cup), vegetable oil (1/2 cup), some sugar (1/4 cup), and salt and pepper (to taste). This Three Bean Salad, as my mom calls it (although I’ve also heard it called Mixed Bean Salad), has been a family favourite for years. I'll finish this meal off with some chocolate - it's high in energy, as if I need an excuse.
Not sure what to pack in your kit when it comes to non-perishable food? This site has some freeze-dried options (even gluten free!) but below is a list of some food suitable for an emergency kit:
  • milk and juice (in cans or boxes)
  • canned food (fruits, vegetables, meats, puddings)
  • beans and lentils
  • dried sausages
  • dried fruits and vegetables
  • granola bars
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • cereal
  • peanut butter / nut spreads
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