I have to warn you up front…this article is NOT going to be popular with many of the major suppliers of emergency preparedness food supplies….or with people who have already stocked up on months or years worth of emergency preparedness food supplies. But facts are facts, however inconvenient they may be to anyone’s accustomed method for preparedness efforts.
Emergency preparedness food saving is NOT just for an end of the world scenario…. emergency preparedness is also for situations where food might not be available for while due to massive crop failures worldwide or losing your job etc.. there are many other scenarios besides the end of the world….and if the world were truly ending there would be no need to prepare to survive…
Emergency situations can end up being long term…there are many possibilities of things that could happen. It’s very hard to predict how long term you might have to end up eating the foods you are storing up on right now.
This article is also written primarily for health conscious individuals who want to prep to actually survive longer than just an immediate emergency situation. It would be sad to spend lots of time, money and effort into being prepared only to die from cancer or poor health due to the foods you stocked up on. This article is for people who are REALLY prepping to survive.
This article is going to examine the most common ingredients found in pretty much all of the non-organic emergency food supplies currently advertised on the majority of emergency preparedness sites.
So let’s get started with a random pick….here’s an ingredient list for a non-organic MRE of Chicken a la King with Noodles from a company that I won’t name.
INGREDIENTS: Cooked Chicken, Mushrooms, Pimientos, Green Peppers, Nonfat Dry Milk, Celery, Corn Oil, Wheat Flour, Chicken Base (chicken including natural chicken juices, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed corn gluten, dried whey, spice extractives and onion powder, autolyzed yeast extract, turmeric), Salt, Chicken Fat, Sugar, Modified Cornstarch. Yeast Extract, Safflower Oil, Natural Flavor, Onion Powder, Spices, Citric Acid, and Ascorbic Acid. Precooked Noodles: Durum Semolina, Whole Eggs, and Salt. Contains: Milk, Wheat and Egg
So let’s examine some of the worst offending ingredients individually:
Non organic meats
Most animals used for food today are confined to feedlots or cages for most of their lives, living in cesspools of manure and disease and fed grains like genetically modified, pesticide saturated corn and soy to fatten them up before slaughter.
Research reveals that factory animal farms are breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria which are then passed on to humans through the food supply. This happens because factory farm animals are routinely dosed with both antibiotics and vaccines, causing serious imbalances in their own intestinal flora and immune function. This makes these factory farm animals the perfect hosts for breeding drug-resistant superbugs such as S. aureus, a particularly nasty strain that can be fatal if ingested.
According to a nationwide study recently released by the Flagstaff, Arizona-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), meat and poultry from U.S. grocery stores have an unexpectedly high rate of dangerous disease-causing bacteria, including antibiotic resistant superbugs. In fact, almost half (47 percent) of all meat and poultry samples tests were contaminated with S. aureus.
What’s more, 52 percent of these contaminated meats contained superbugs, meaning the bacteria were resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics.That adds up to multi-antibiotic resistant Staph germs being present in about one out of every 4 samples of meat, chicken or turkey.
The research, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is the first national investigation of antibiotic resistant S. aureus in the U.S. food supply. The scientists collected and analyzed 136 samples of beef, chicken, pork and turkey sold under 80 brands across the country.
While it’s true Staph germs can usually be killed with proper cooking, the scientists pointed out Staph still poses a substantial health risk through improper food handling and cross-contamination in the kitchen. Infections with S. aureus can cause a range of illnesses from minor skin infections to life-threatening diseases, such as pneumonia, endocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and sepsis (infection in the bloodstream).
And should you get one of these antibiotic-resistant strains from meat or poultry, treatment can be difficult.
“Antibiotics are the most important drugs that we have to treat Staph infections; but when Staph are resistant to three, four, five or even nine different antibiotics –like we saw in this study — that leaves physicians few options,” Dr. Price stated.
The only reason these antibiotics are even needed in the factory animal farm operations in the first place is because animal farms are so utterly filthy and unsanitary. Have you watched The Meatrix animations yet? If not, visit www.TheMeatrix.com to learn more.
So you might think that if so much of the fresh beef and poultry is so widely contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria, maybe the packaged “processed” meat is safer for you, right?
You might want to reconsider that: Processed non-organic meat has many ingredients and is usually packaged for long-term shelf life….especially true if you’re buying non-organic MREs which are specifically packaged for long term storage.
Packaged non-organic meat is almost always preserved with a dangerous, cancer-causing ingredient called sodium nitrite, which is one of the most dangerous chemicals added to processed meat. Sodium nitrite causes cancer and it’s added to meat products primarily to turn them bright red (as a chemical food coloring agent). It also kills botulism, by the way, because it’s yet another chemical antibiotic agent.
Another dangerous chemical added to virtually all processed non-organic meat is Monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is a dangerous excitotoxin linked to neurological disorders such as migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, loss of appetite control, obesity and many other serious health conditions. Manufacturers use MSG to add flavor to dead-tasting processed meat products.
If you eat packaged non-organic meat, you’re definitely eating cancer-causing chemicals.
On top of all the antibiotics and cancer causing preservatives in non-organic meats, if you eat non-organic chicken, commercial poultry producers often supplement chicken feed with roxarsone, an arsenic-based food additive, in order to bulk them up and prevent parasites from forming in their systems. So if you eat non-organic chicken you’re also likely getting arsenic poisoning as well.
It’s another reason to only eat organic free-range pasture raised beef, chicken or pork (if you eat those meats). Only organic, free-range animals that are not injected with antibiotics are safe from the kind of chemical abuse routinely used in factory farm operations.
If your MRE food packs do not use organic meats this is what you will be ingesting.
Non-organic dairy and eggs are obviously subject to most of the same hazards, bacteria and toxic substances of non-organic meat from which they came.
Non-Organic Vegetable Ingredients
None of the vegetable or grain ingredients in the typical non-organic MREs are organic either (obviously). So what’s likely on them? Roundup pesticide! (Poison)
Roundup pesticide is systemic, meaning it’s taken up inside the plants exposed to it. Using veggie washes on your produce may remove some surface pesticides, but Roundup is likely in the actual vegetable, grain, fruit, or nut if it’s sprayed on a field before plants are grown, or if it’s sprayed around fruit and nut trees.
“It’s the most abused chemical we’ve ever had in agriculture,” says veteran plant pathologist Don Huber, PhD, professor emeritus of Purdue University. “We’re using chemical quantities we never would have imagined in the past.”
GMO “Roundup Ready” crops, like most of the soy and corn grown in this country and also the majority of all other non-organic crops grown commercially, tend to contain higher concentrations of Roundup. That’s because farmers are having to use two to five times more of the chemical than a normal herbicide application, to kill weeds growing resistant to the overused chemical.
Roundup kills human cells
In 2009, a study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology outlined Roundup’s ability to kill human umbilical cord vein, embryonic kidney, and placental cells in concentrations typically found in food or livestock feed. This study was important because it found the entire Roundup formulation (the stuff actually sprayed on food and in our yards), was more damaging than the active ingredient glyphosate itself.
In other words, the so-called “inert” ingredients in Roundup apparently make it more deadly. Those other ingredients, such as surfactants, allow the pesticide material to cross barriers that would otherwise protect living tissue from it. “The pesticide ingredients bypass the liver, where they would normally be cleaned out,” explains Warren Porter, PhD, professor of environmental toxicology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Roundup may make us infertile
We hear a lot about harmful estrogenlike chemicals in household products, but Roundup, Porter explains, may increase exposure to male hormones. Studies in monkeys have found that glyphosate exposure in utero disrupts the enzymatic activity of hormone-regulating aromatase.
This can create higher levels of male hormones like testosterone in women, a main symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women in the U.S., and many women spend thousands of dollars on fertility treatments to conceive.
Genetically Modified Foods
GM plants, such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. And the inserted genes come from species, such as bacteria and viruses, that have never been in the human food supply.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not safe. They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.
Gene insertion is done either by shooting genes from a “gene gun” into a plate of cells or by using bacteria to invade the cell with foreign DNA. The altered cell is then cloned into a plant. These processes create massive collateral damage, causing mutations in hundreds or thousands of locations throughout the plant’s DNA.
In addition, the inserted gene is often rearranged, it may also transfer from the food into our body’s cells or into the DNA of bacteria inside us and the GM protein produced by the gene may have unintended properties or effects.
The primary reason companies genetically engineer plants is to make them tolerant to their brand of herbicide. The four major GM plants, soy, corn, canola, and cotton, are designed to survive an otherwise deadly dose of weed killer. These crops have much higher residues of toxic herbicides. About 68% of GM crops are herbicide tolerant.
The second GM trait is a built-in pesticide. A gene from the soil bacterium called Bt (for Bacillus thuringiensis) is inserted into crop DNA, where it secretes the insect-killing Bt-toxin in every cell. About 19% of GM crops produce their own pesticide. Another 13% produce a pesticide and are herbicide tolerant.
Unlike safety evaluations for drugs, there are no human clinical trials of GM foods. The only published human feeding experiment verified that genetic material inserted into GM crops transfers into the DNA of intestinal bacteria and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have their GM proteins produced continuously inside us.
If the antibiotic gene inserted into most GM crops were to transfer, it could create super diseases, resistant to antibiotics.
If the gene that creates Bt -toxin in GM crops were to transfer, it might turn our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories.
Animal studies show that DNA in food can travel into organs throughout the body, even into the fetus.
Lovely stuff huh??
So when an ingredient says it’s “modified” generally this means genetically modified.
One of the common ingredients found in the typical packaged MRE is modified corn starch…..which means not only is it genetically modified but guaranteed to have heavy duty amounts of pesticide (poison) in it as well.
Wheat Flour / Gluten Issues
Many of the pre-packaged MREs contain wheat. Wheat is one of the worst grains a person could eat due to the extremely high amounts of gluten in wheat which promotes inflammation in the body and also causes the gut to become leaky –the gluten increases a chemical called Zonulin, which opens the gaps between cells in the lining of the GI tract…the more wheat a person eats, the more leaky their gut gets.
The only difference between someone with Celiac Disease and a healthy person is that the effects of the increased Zonulin last longer and thus cause the body to become sensitized to the gluten and then the person not only has leaky gut, but they also have a destructive immune response to the gluten.
But a normal healthy person still gets a leaky gut for a few hours after eating wheat. Leaky gut predisposes to the development of all sorts of other problems (bacterial imbalance, yeast overgrowth, food allergies, etc.) and it can deplete the immune system and lead to the development of other autoimmune diseases, etc. Most LLMD’s who recommend a wheat-free diet do so because of the inflammation wheat promotes.
Not only do typical MRE ingredients almost always contain wheat but the wheat is also not organic as well. Non-organic wheat is completely saturated with heavy duty pesticides (poison) and is also, in most cases, genetically modified as well. If you do eat wheat despite the gluten issues you should definitely only use organic wheat….but that’s not what you’re getting in the typical non-organic MRE….you’re getting massive amounts of heavy duty pesticide and genetically modified wheat.
Caramel coloring is actually a mix of sugars, ammonia, and, in some cases, sulfite. When heated at high temperatures, this combination turns into 2-methylimidazole (2-MEI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) – proven cancer inducers.
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is a division of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Researchers there ran two government studies. They found that the coloring caused cancer in lab mice and rats.
In the NTP studies, mice and rats were fed the additives. They were then observed over a two-year period. Researchers found that 4-MEI caused lung tumors. And 2-MEI was associated with liver and thyroid tumors.
Rats didn’t fare any better. They had higher rates of leukemia and thyroid tumors. Researchers also witnessed abnormal behaviors like hyperactivity, excitability, and difficulty walking in female rats.
Regulators divide caramel colorings into four categories. Caramel I and II are not made with ammonia. They are used in some alcoholic drinks and vegetable extracts. They are safer than Caramel III and IV, which contain 2-MEI and 4-MEI.
Carmel III is often used in baking, beer, soy sauce, gravy, and other products. Caramel IV is the one found in colas. It’s also considered the most toxic.
This is a whole topic all on its own. Soy very high in estrogen and also one of the most genetically modified foods on the planet…also heavily saturated in pesticides (poison) if the soy is not organic. See the article: The Shocking Effects of Soy on Both Sexes!
“Textured Vegetable Protein” or TVP (soy flour, caramel color, soybean oil, salt, hydrolyzed corn-soy-wheat protein and autolyzed yeast (aka: MSG)
MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
MSG is a toxic chemical containing processed free glutamic acid. It has been scientifically proven to cause brain damage, affect how children’s nervous systems form during development causing learning or emotional difficulties in later years and to potentially permanently damage a critical part of the brain known to control hormones causing endocrine problems.
MSG can also cause skin rashes, migraine headaches, irregular heartbeat, depression,
difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, and a multitude of other neurological reactions and is also linked to Alzheimer’s.
MSG also spikes insulin…it triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates causing insulin resistance and obesity. It makes your brain think you’re hungry so even though you may have just eaten you feel hungry again even though your stomach may be full.
Not only is MSG scientifically proven to cause obesity, it is an addictive substance! The MSG manufacturers themselves admit that it addicts people to their products. ‘Betcha can’t eat just one’, takes on a whole new meaning where MSG is concerned!
MSG makes you addicted to the foods that it is in. That is the primary reason food companies put it in food…to make you addicted to their food and buy their food. It’s all about money…they care nothing about the damage done to the consumer in the process.
Manufacturers are acutely aware that many consumers would prefer not to have MSG in any of their foods or cosmetics.
What you may not know is that the food and cosmetic industry hides and disguises MSG under many different names so it won’t be recognized by the consumer who knows about the dangers of MSG by using “clean labels,” i.e., labels that contain only ingredient names they think consumers will not recognize as containing MSG…names such as “hydrolyzed soy protein.”
And so far it’s still legal to hide MSG under these different names.
Here’s a List of Food Additives that ALWAYS Contain Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG):
Any “hydrolyzed protein”
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed Pea Protein
Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
Hydrolyzed Plant Protein
Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten
Plant Protein Extract
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Whey protein concentrate
Whey protein isolate
Here’s a List of Food Additives the Frequently Contain Processed Free Glutamic Acid (MSG):
Natural Beef Or Chicken Flavoring
Any “flavors” or “flavoring”
“Spices” “Seasoning” “Flavoring” “Natural Flavors” etc..(all very vague…and usually MSG)
Anything “enzyme modified”
Anything containing “enzymes”
Soy sauce extract
Anything “protein fortified”
* Glutamic acid found in unadulterated protein does not cause adverse reactions. To cause adverse reactions, the glutamic acid must have been processed/manufactured or come from protein that has been fermented.
The following are ingredients suspected of containing or creating sufficient processed free glutamic acid to serve as MSG-reaction triggers in HIGHLY SENSITIVE people:
Modified food starch
Lipolyzed butter fat
Brown rice syrup
Reduced fat milk (skim; 1%; 2%)
most things low fat or no fat
anything Vitamin enriched
The following work synergistically with MSG to enhance flavor. If they are present for flavoring, so is MSG:
If you write or call to ask whether or not there is MSG in a product…
If you want to find out if there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in a product, you must ask the manufacturer for information about “free glutamic acid.” Don’t ask about “MSG.” Manufacturers find it convenient, when speaking to consumers, to tell them that there is no “MSG” in their product, meaning that there is no ingredient called “monosodium glutamate.”
Even if a manufacturer tells you there is no MSG in a product, there may be autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed pea protein, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, enzymes, and a whole slew of other ingredients that contain or create processed free glutamic acid (MSG) during manufacture.
If you are told that all of the MSG in a product is “naturally occurring,” thank the manufacturer for that meaningless information, but explain that all processed free glutamic acid (MSG) is referred to as “natural” by the FDA — so “natural” tells you nothing. In fact, as the word “natural” is defined by the FDA, the food ingredient “monosodium glutamate” is “natural.”
It is the amount of processed free glutamic acid in the product that will determine whether or not you might suffer an MSG reaction. (Everyone has a different tolerance for MSG.)
If the manufacturer claims not to know whether or not there is processed free glutamic acid (MSG) in his or her product, ask that the product be analyzed for free amino acids, including free glutamic acid. There are tests for measuring free glutamic acid. The AOAC Official Methods of Analysis (1984) gives one method. There are others.
Take a look at pretty much any of the pre-packaged MREs on the market and you will see one or several of these hidden forms of MSG in the ingredients.
Here’s a picture of an MRE ingredient label for Stroganoff from a different company that will remain nameless. See how many times you can spot an ingredient that’s a hidden form of MSG:
Not only are there multiple ingredients of hidden MSG but also cancer causing caramel color, all non-organic ingredients, which means you’re eating Roundup pesticide / poison, genetically modified ingredients, antibiotics and growth hormones in the dairy, gluten etc…. and I could go on and on.
Need I say more?
You can do this all day…just click on the ingredients for pretty much ANY of the pre-packaged non-organic MRE’s and see for yourself.
So what are your options?
One of your best options is to start creating your own MREs using organic healthy ingredients.
Investing in a good dehydrator is a great first step. You can dehydrate your own favorite organic meats and vegetables and create some really great MREs.
Here are some ideas:
For pastas you can pre-cook organic brown rice pasta then dehydrate it so all that needs to be done is add hot water.
You can do this also with cooked organic brown rice or quinoa already pre-cooked in your favorite organic healthy seasonings.
Once cooked another idea is to sprinkle the cooked rice or quinoa with some coconut aminos mixed with coconut nectar for a healthy teriyaki sauce on them and dehydrate all of that along with your favorite meats and vegetables for a teriyaki style MRE.
You can dehydrate your own meat bone broth for a healthy, organic MSG free bouillon…Here is a step by step how to on this. CLICK HERE
You can make amazing cream sauces out of pureed steamed garlic and cauliflower that go great over pastas….mix it with some diced organic pasture raised chicken and some organic red peppers and peas for a fantastic healthy chicken a la king MRE….or cauliflower cream sauce with asparagus or any of your favorite vegetables.
How to make the cream sauce base is already posted…check the How to Create Your Own Healthy MREs Category on the sidebar.
My favorite is a Thai coconut soup MRE that I’ll be posting soon….but the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
Once you’ve created your MREs seal them in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber and you’re set with some healthy, organic and quite delicious MREs that you can feel good about eating and feel good that you’re more prepared in a healthy way as well.
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