Monday, September 27, 2010

FEAR -- FIRE -- FOES -- AWAKE! S 510 could destroy local agriculture

Senate bill 510 continues to be a threat to local agriculture in the United States. A version has passed the US House of Representatives, and it is now before the US Senate. Fortunately, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has placed a hold on the legislation for now, but that could go away at any moment. NOW is the time to contact your US Senators and ask them to oppose this legislation.

It would also be helpful, if you are a member of any farm organizations, for you to contact their legislative people and ask them to lobby against the bill. Here in Oklahoma, contact Lori Peterson of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, at or the Oklahoma Farmers Union (now American Farmers and Ranchers) at .

Below is a version of a letter I have been sending out on this legislation. Besides the info below, I added info about the Oklahoma Food Coop. Adapt it for your own circumstances. The 12 points I cribbed from 12 reasons why the food safety bill from hell could be very dangerous for the US economy. I suggest you use these 12 points in your own letter, I tweaked them just a bit.

Begin sample letter. . .

Senate Bill 510 is pending in the Senate; a version has passed the US House of Representatives. While it is ostensibly about "food safety", in actuality it amounts to a major federal power grab over agriculture.

I am strongly against this bill for these reasons:

#1 All food production facilities in the United States will be required to register with the U.S. government. No food will be allowed to be grown, distributed or sold outside this bureaucratic framework unless the FDA allows it.

#2 Any food that is distributed or sold outside of U.S. government control will be considered illegal smuggling.

#3 The FDA will hire an army of new inspectors to enforce all of the new provisions in the bill.

#4 The FDA will be mandated to conduct much more frequent inspections of food processing facilities.

#5 The fees and paperwork requirements will be ruinously expensive for small food producers.

#6 S. 510 would place all U.S. food and all U.S. farms under the Department of Homeland Security in the event of a major "contamination" or an "emergency". What exactly would constitute a "contamination" or an "emergency" is anyone's guess.

#7 S. 510 mandates that the FDA facilitate harmonization of American food laws with Codex Alimentarius, which impinges on US sovereignity.

#8 S. 510 imposes an annual registration fee on any facility that holds, processes, or manufactures food. It also includes draconian fines for paperwork infractions of up to $500,000 for a single offense. Just one penalty like that would drive a small food producer out of business.

#9 S. 510 would give the FDA tremendous discretion to regulate how crops are grown and how food is produced in the United States. Basically, farmers will now be forced to farm exactly how the federal government tells them to. This could be a particular problem for small farmers selling direct to the public, many of whom are organic farmers because that is what their market wants to buy. It is feared that the U.S. government would soon declare that many organic farming methods are "unsafe" and would outlaw them.

#10 S. 510 will give the FDA the power to impose a quarantine on a specific geographic area. Basically the FDA would have the power to stop the movement of all food in an area where a "contamination" has been identified. This would be very close to being able to declare martial law.

#11 S. 510 will give the FDA the power to conduct warrantless searches of the business records of small food producers and organic farmers, even if there has been no evidence at all that a law has been broken.

#12 Many farmers are concerned that S. 510 would eliminate the right to clean and store seed. Saving and using your own seed is a traditional frugal practice of many farmers.

There's been some talk that the bill has been amended to make it more acceptable to small farmers, but I assure you that I am in contact with hundreds of Oklahoma farmers, many of whom are "small farmers", and they are united in their opposition. Many are afraid it could put them out of business I hope you would agree that any legislation that has the potential of reducing the number of farmers is bad legislation.

Please vote against this bill in the US Senate.

Bob Waldrop

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How much food is a year's supply for a family of four?

When starting a food storage program for your family, the most critical thing is to know how much food your family eats in a year.  If you are going to store what you eat, and eat what you store, the first step is observation of your own kitchen.

But to give an idea as to what this could involve. . . I went to the governments My Pyramid site which describes their recommended daily consumptions of the various food groups (vegetables, fruits, oils, dairy, protein, grains).  They have different recommendations for men and women, boys and girls of various ages.  The plan below is based on a family of four -- a mother and father, a teenage boy age 14-18, and a young child age 4-8.

I don't know that anyone actually eats to the government recommendations, or even if that is a good idea, since government diet recommendations are heavily influenced by politics.  So I caution folks against following these amounts without doing research into what your family actually eats. 

With those caveats, however. . . here it is. . .
  • Veggies 2,084 15 oz cans
  • Grains 593 lbs
  • Fruits 1,564 15 oz cans
  • oils 12 gallons
  • dairy 251 gallons
  • peanut butter 13 quarts
  • nuts 13 lbs
  • beans 268 lbs
  • eggs 67 doz eggs
  • meat/poultry/fish 226 lbs
Using Oklahoma City supermarket prices, except for the meat which I priced at the levels prevailing in the Oklahoma Food cooperative. . . the price if bought all at once would be $5,453 plus sales tax, or $454/month.  The dairy I priced as bulk powdered milk.

For those who do their own canning, 1,564 commercial cans of fruit equals 683 quarts, and 2,084 cans of veggies would be 910 quarts. 

Not many of us could run out tomorrow and buy this much food.  But once you have developed your plan, you could start extending your household margins.  If you could finesse your budget so that you could spend an extra $100/month, in 4-1/2 months you would have an extra month's groceries on hand, maybe more, depending on the prices prevailing when you shop.

And then there is the contribution that your own gardening efforts can make to your plan.  Grow more, preserve more, and thus you will save more.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Why Bob is freaking out about food.

In a comment on my post of Sept 9 -- We are just one bad year on the farm away from horrific famine -- LizBeth asks me what I am seeing as I look ahead to write so strongly on the subject.

There isn't any one thing that I see, but rather, a constellation of events coming together that could very well create a quick-moving dysergistic spiral ("dysergistic" is the opposite of "synergistic") that could impact food security even here in these obese united States.

Folks should also remember that some people, right here in these united States, are already in a food crisis.  About three hundred people call me every month for a delivery of supplemental groceries to help them get through the month.  We typically deliver bags that contain 4-6 misc cans (usually 1 or 2 each green beans, corn, tomato sauce, fruit, and some kind of canned beans), packages of rice, dried beans, and pasta, 2-3 misc boxes (mac and cheese, hamburger helper, etc), peanut butter, sometimes canned or boxed milk, and cereal.  There may be an additional one or two "lottery" items (i.e. items we don't have enough to give everybody, but added together, everyone will get 1 or 2 misc somethings.  We occasionally have bags of frozen carrots, cauliflower, and boxes of frozen sugar pea pods.  We occasionally (2-3 times/year) have meat that I buy from Oklahoma farmers.  I save up the donations so that when we do have it, we have enough for everyone.  We occasionally get odd things, like a huge amount of ice cream cones (without the ice cream, just the cones).  For a while last year we were getting bags of frozen blueberries. 

We used to always have powdered milk to give away, but that went away 2 years ago and we rarely see it.  Occasionally there is some of the boxed shelf-stable milk, but that goes to families of 5 or more as we never have enough for everyone to have a box.  Once a year we usually get dried figs.

Most of this food comes from the Regional Food Bank, and is the surplus of the conventional agribizness food system.  And that is a very tenuous supply line.  Just before the authorization of the last ag bill, which in part funds the programs that move surplus foods to the nation's food charities, we were down to maybe only 8 food items per bag, which is about half a conventional paper bag of groceries.  If that charitable/surplus lifeline stopped, and I had to go to the grocery store and buy all this, I could spend $3500/month and not have much to give each family.

I deliver quite a bit of this myself, via a U-haul truck that I take to six public housing developments the third Saturday of each month (with some helpers, of course), and so I see the people.  For many of the people we deliver to, this is not a matter of a one or two time thing, it is every month, over a period of years.  They are elderly, sick, disabled.  Often the elderly are raising the grand children and/or great-grandchildren.  Not everybody gets food stamps, people fall through the cracks all the time.  We're delivering increasingly often to the growing number of motels in the area that rent rooms by the week.  Their kichens consist of hot plates, crockpots, electric skillets, and maybe if they are lucky a micro-wave oven.

That's my micro situation every month, and it is one of the things that keeps me focused in a very real way on food.

Then there's the macro situation, and there isn't anything there to calm me down. 
  • In eight of the last ten years, the world has consumed more grain that it produced.  The giant grain stockpiles of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s are gone. 
  • We had a major food crisis world wide in 2007-2008, which saw many Asian countries banning the export of rice, and there were riots throughout the third world.  This coincided with an energy crisis and the beginning of our present financial crisis.
  • The world's big financial players have discovered food.  Hedge funds, insurance companies, and big banks are speculating in food and driving the price up for consumers, while the farmers often get little if any of the price gains.
  • The world's climate is seriously impacting food production.  Australia had a ten year drought that ravaged their food production capacities.  Russia banned the export of grain through the end of next year and they were the world's third largest grain exporter.
  • Sovereign wealth funds and wealthy corporations are buying millions of acres of farmland in poor countries to produce food for export.  They aren't doing this because they think food will be plentiful and cheap in coming years.
  • The evidence seems to be that conventional agriculture has about reached its maximum food production capacity on the land presently under cultivation.  And the land area of world food production is declining, due to urban sprawl, desertification, drought, and other grim happenings.
Besides these bullet points, I continue to be increasingly alarmed by the on-going devolution of our financial and economic systems. 

And then there's peak oil and climate instability. 

Any one of these issues would be a big deal by itself, but coming on us all at once, the situation could get terrifying very rapidly -- much quicker than most people think would be possible.  The reason there's been so much doom and gloom over the past two years is because "something wicked this way comes" -- there is a lot to be doomed and gloomed about.  The one economic site where I read every post is The Automatic Earth, and they recently posted an interview with one of their principles -- . The folks at Automatic Earth are considering the interaction of peak oil, climate instability, and economic irrationality.    I sent the link to my group, which has 7400 or so members and has been discussing peak oil since 2001, as a "special notice" with the note -- if you don't read anything else this week, read this.

And I recently read an excerpt from an interesting book, The Coming Famine, that was published in the NY Times.  The author does a good job of pulling together many of these threads. 

In the 20th century, most famines were caused by politics and finance, not by absolute shortages of food.  Going forward, we still have the potential problem of famine caused by politics and finance, but we are also increasingly at risk of famine due to absolute shortages of food.

Like the energy and the financial crises, a food security crisis would come upon us quickly and without much warning.  There won't be time to rush out and buy a large amount of food, because it might not be available and if available, would you have the money?  In the best of times, few households could afford to go and buy a year's worth of food in one big shopping excursion.  Sure, mobbing a Wal-Mart in the throes of a major food panic might be an interesting if dangerous adrenaline rush, but I suggest safer methods of getting your excitement fix if that's what you crave.

The time to stock up on food is before the food crises hit. 

That's why I have temporarily stopped putting money from my payheck into my savings account each month and started buying more food.  And I've also ramped up my home food production for the fall season. 

Few of us would sleep well at night if we didn't have fire insurance on our houses.  We don't buy insurance because we want to have a fire, but because we are concerned about the consequences if we do.  Yet tens -- hundreds! -- of millions of people go to bed every night with hardly anything in the way of food storage in their kitchens.  They go to the store four or five times/week to buy food or eat out or get take out.  I am unlikely to reach hundreds of millions of people through this little bobaganda blog, but I feel a responsibility to those who do read my stuff to lay things out as clearly and as urgently as I can.  A grocery store only has a 3 day supply of food on its shelves, it stays full thanks to a constant stream of trucks on long supply chains kept moving by a busy processing industry.  But at any given time, there are probably only a couple months of food working their way through the various parts of that system, thanks to just-in-time inventory systems.  There are a hundred things that could happen in a heart-beat to stop the smooth workings of that system, and where will people be if that happens?  Between the proverbial rock and a hard place, that's where.

Store what you eat, eat what you store, sleep well at night.

Procrastination is the thief of time and could be a harbinger of hunger.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We are just one bad year on the farm away from horrific famine.

Got food storage?  Got household food production?  Got a local food system?

The recent news that Russia has extended its embargo on grain exports for another 12 months is a reminder that the world teeters on the edge of massive food shortages.  It is not an exaggeration to say that we are just one bad year on the farm away from horrific famine.

This makes household food storage and production, and local food economies, all the more important.  Don't wait for the food crisis to erupt to start storing food, increasing your household food production, and supporting your local food economy.  It will be too late at that point.  The time to grow our local food sustainability is BEFORE the food crises hit.

And those food crises will come upon us, just as certainly as the energy crises and economic crises are upon us.  Indeed, the energy and economic crises, coupled with increasing climate instability are toxic politics, will drive the coming world crises.

Here's an article that gives more details about the coming food crises.  (Note that I am using the plural for crisis, since what we will see are multiple food crises erupting around the world.

Horrific famine coming?

Few people would have the money to seriously stock up overnight.  But most of us can set aside some extra food every month.  One 25 pound bucket of grain/month over a year's time is 300 pounds of wheat, and that's a lot of flour and biscuits and breads.

Here are some links that talk about the annual and seasonal sales cycles in conventional supermarkets.

The Annual Grocery Price/Sale Cycle
Guide to Grocery Sale Cycle
How to understand your store's sales cycles

For local food shoppers, best prices and availabilities will be strictly seasonal.  No farmers market will have a great price on tomatoes in January in the northern hemisphere.  Meat prices often will vary depending on demand and inventory.  If a producer has animals coming on to processing, but he or she still has quite a bit of inventory, then that's the time to notice sales.  It always helps to cultivate relationships with specific farmers so that you can find out such information, since local food producers rarely have advertising budgets.

As with anything else, you will need to develop a plan and implement.  Decide on a monthly budget for food storage and increase your family's food storage each month.  Use your calendar to develop your local food production.  And always try to support your developing local food system with some of your grocery dollars.  I have always believed that one day our local food systems will be all that stands between us and hunger, and everything we can do now to support and expand that system may make a critical difference later.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homeless kitties need a good home.

So a few weeks ago, a beautiful long-haired tortoise-shell cat started hanging around the house.  She wasn't feral, likes to be picked up and petted and etc.  One day I noticed, "she's getting fat".  Then I thought, "No, I bet she's pregnant."  The next day, I opened the door and she ran in quick like a flash and disappeared.  We couldn't find her anywhere, although admittedly my house has a lot of places where a cat could hide.  I had about decided that she had gone out side, when a few hours later I heard the cry of a kitten.  Then another, and another, and another, and so it came to pass that we acquired a litter of 5 adorable kittens and her mother.  After about a week, she moved them outside through an open window.  We are keeping two of the kittens, as our two cats are fairly elderly.  So we have 3 extra kitties who are at their Most Cute stage, that need a home, and we'd like to find ahome for the Momma too.  My existing cats seem to tolerate the kittens fine, but they don't like Momma.

The kittens are not feral either.  We've been playing with them and petting them and feeding them.  They are weaned although they still grab some of Momma's milk whenever they can, she is however cutting them off pretty quick these days.

The black kitty is female, one of the greys is male, the other female.  Both of the greys have a bit of the tortoise-shell pattern/colors.

Anyway, here are their pictures.  If you would like to give one (or all!) of these adorable kitties a good home, let me know at .

Kitty the Mother

Kitty the First

Kitty the Second

Kitty the Third

Highlights of the September food coop board meeting

Since it takes a while for the minutes to circulate around and be approved and thus published at , I thought I would send a few unofficial highlights of the September board meeting on Sunday.

(1) Consent docket -- approved (see below).

(2) Producer transparency procedure -- tweaked a bit and approved, it remains voluntary.

(3) Increase share price -- deferred to early next year

(4) Financial report -- lost about $2K in July, mostly due to increased expenses for painting/repair at op center. July sales were $64,245, up 16.7% over July 2009; Unofficial August sales were $72.261, an increase of about 12% over July 2010.

(5) Management boundaries tweaked a bit, Delivery Day floor manager changed to Delivery Day manager and elevated to senior management, reporting directly to the board.

(6) On farm processed poultry; pending a revision of the standards, producers are allowed to sell on farm processed through the coop provided they contact each member who orders from them before the order closes to explain the alternative delivery arrangements (i.e., such products will not be delivered via the regular coop system).

The consent docket for this meeting consisted of:

(1) accepting new members and issuing stock for them.
(2) Authorizing funds for website redesign.
(3) approval of the minutes of the previous meeting.
(4) Authorize the activation of the Audit Committe, which means the president would appoint members of an Audit Committee to start the process of getting us ready for an audit.) Call for 5 volunteers.
(5) Authorize signing up for officers and directors/errors and omissions insurance for the coop.
(6) Appoint a committee consisting of Dawn Mahiya (Pres), Chelsey Simpson (VP for Customers), Leah Aufil (member of the board) and Bob Waldrop (member of the Board) to review the 6 month performance of the General Operations Manager.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Compendium of Useful Information

As the situation spirals down, we’re all going to need to learn new skills and remember old knowledge in order to successfully adapt to the realities of a future with less fossil fuel energy, more climate instability, less money, more war and violence and continued economic irrationality and toxic corrupt politics.

Thus, I have compiled the Compendium of Useful Information, whose links lead to more than 2 gigabytes of, as the name implies, useful information for a troubled future.

Visit it online and learn, save, print, copy, preserve.

And don’t forget to tell your friends.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The September Bobaganda

OK folks, I am ready for fall. For my money, fall is the best time of year in Oklahoma. So let’s all join together and sing our way into the changing of the season. It may not be officially “crisp weather” just yet, but it’s not far away and after the heat of August I am ready for a change. So, all together now, follow the bouncing ball. . . let’s sing my Autumn Carol, to the traditional tune O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree).

(1) O Autumn season, golden bright!
We hail the harvest welcome sight!
The air is crisp, the moon shines long,
It's time to raise our voice in song
The squash and pumpkins, taters sweet,
Peppers, greens, and nuts we greet.

O autumn season, golden bright!
We hail the harvest welcome sight!

(2) The heat of summer is now past,
We wait the time of winter's blast.
The children are in school today,
The farmers work to reap the hay.

Peach preserves and apple butter,
Set our hearts to be aflutter.

O autumn season, golden bright!
We hail the harvest welcome sight!

(3) There is no kinder time of year,
Than Autumn bright without a fear,
The peaceful times upon the land,
Bring hope and health, a time so grand.

So raise a glass of Autumn cheer,
A cider strong, a mug of beer.

O autumn season, golden bright!
We hail the harvest welcome sight!

One question I’m hearing a lot these days is “where are the eggs?” You wouldn’t know this from the supermarket, but egg production varies with the weather. In the deep cold of winter, and the stifling heat of summer, chickens do not want to work so hard. So they don’t, they take a break. And so it comes to pass that there aren’t so many eggs for sale this month, which comes on the heels of the August heat and the ladies haven’t gotten over their summer slump and started in on their fall production. It’s always a good idea to check the website regularly, as some producers may list eggs towards the end of the order cycle as they become more certain about how many eggs they will have on hand. And of course, demand for locally and humanely produced eggs has soared through the roof on the heels of the gigantic egg recalls and the vivid television pictures of the deplorable conditions in the commercial egg factories.

The present egg situation leads me to the next fall topic, which is “On putting food by.” There are times of the year when egg production is really heavy. Indeed, we have actually had orders in the past year where there were still eggs for sale at the closing of the order.

One of the most basic principles of a local food system is that customers must “put food by” when it is plentiful, so they will have something to eat when food production is not so plentiful. So as egg production ramps up, buy extra eggs and freeze them for use later. In other words, buy the eggs for your Thanksgiving and Christmas baking and cooking in October. Here is everything you need to know about freezing eggs -- – and be sure to read this before you freeze eggs as you don’t just pop them into the freezer in their shells.

The same is true with veggies. Last month I bought a large bag of pickling cucumbers, and they are now becoming refrigerator pickles. Shortly after delivery day, we finished off a gallon jar of pickles I bought at the store. So being in a hurry, I simply sliced up the cukes, and added them to the now empty pickle jar (which was half full of pickling juice), together with a couple of habaneros (since we like everything hot), and topped off the jar with apple cider vinegar. Then into the refrigerator it went, and in about another week they should be ready to go. They will probably last about hmmm 1 week, given the way we eat pickles around here. This is probably the easiest method of making refrigerator pickles.

Pickling and fermentation are two very healthy ways to preserve summer produce for winter eating. At the end of this bobaganda is a list of links on pickling and fermentation. Buy extra this month and start putting food by for your family.

Freezing, canning, and dehydrating are also readily accessible ways to preserve the summer’s bounty. I have dehydrated zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, carrots – typically as shreds, which I then use in winter soups, stews, and casseroles. In my freezer I have frozen hot peppers and tomatoes, and quite a bit of cooked greens (mostly Swiss chard). And yes, it has good local meats in it too, and I have a back-up for the electricity in the form of a marine battery and an inverter.

There was a time when hardly anyone would want to go into winter without enough food to feed their family until the next summer’s harvest. Food these days is abundant and readily available, but we often forget how rare this has been in history, and how fragile the system is that brings us sort-of-fresh strawberries in January, flown 6,000 miles from the southern hemisphere.

So now’s the time to buy. There won’t be any cucumbers or okra available through the food coop in January. Get what you will need in January in September and October, and put some by for eatin’ later in the winter.  (If the coop producers are sold out, be sure to check your local farmers' market and any roadside stands in your area.)

Don’t forget long term storage items either, like buckets and bags of wheat. Beer and bread made civilization possible.

God help me, I bought a supermarket chicken. It was only five dollars. Hey, we’re all entitled to moments of craziness and weakness. I certainly got what I paid for. The first thing I noticed was that more than half of it disappeared when I defrosted it, lots of water in that bird and as we all know, water is heavy. Somehow, that had never happened with any of the chickens I have bought through the coop. Then there were the big globs of yellow fat. The meat had a greasy taste to it (I roasted it). So as it turned out, I paid almost as much as the price of a coop chicken for not-very-good chicken (factoring in all the water the processor injected that bird with in order to drive up the weight and create the illusion of a cheap chicken).

One thing that became obvious very early in our history is that the Coop’s meat market is very diverse. While we have a lot of producers selling beef, you’ll notice that they all have a bit different take on beef production – from breeds to pastures to feeds.

But we don’t stop at beef. There’s lamb, and goat, and bison, and pork. I count 18 different ideas from various producers on pork sausage. Italian, mild Italian, hot Italian, chorizo, hot breakfast, mild breakfast, medium breakfast, English bangers and etc. Not to mention the beef, bison, and lamb sausages. Don’t like any of them? Well, buy some ground pork or ground beef or ground bison or ground lamb and make your own (you’ll find links at the end of this bobaganda on making your own sausage). Buy a cured ham, or buy a roast and make your own.

Is your budget tight? Well, mine is. So we eat a lot of ground meat. I can fix ground meat every night of the week and folks don’t get tired of it because (a) the ground meat is so tasty, and (b) there are about ten gazillion different ways to prepare ground meats. No time to make a meatloaf? That’s fine, instead of making it into a loaf, make it into patties and pan fry. Need something to take for lunch? Make your own pizza pockets. Make your own dough, or buy dough through the coop, pinch off a golf-ball sized piece, roll it flat and then in a circle. Place a spoonful or two of your favorite savory ground meat and sauce or gravy mixture and some shredded cheese or ricotta cheese in the middle, moisten the edge of the dough with water, fold over and pinch the seams shut. Bake until golden brown, freeze or refrigerate for eating later. Zap in the microwave or warm in the oven. Voila, your own convenience food at a fraction of the cost of store-bought “Hot Pockets”.

You want contented cows, our dairy people have contented cows. And the taste of the resulting dairy products proves the point.
Start with our famous yogurt cheese. This, btw, is a low carb delight, which means its good for folks with issues with their blood sugar. Most of the carbs in yogurt are in the whey and yogurt cheese is made by straining whey out of the yogurt. So besides being very tasty, yogurt cheese is the best choice for folks who are watching their weight and trying to stabilize their blood sugar. You want a tasty, quick treat? Mix equal parts of yogurt cheese and ricotta, add some cocoa, a drop or two of vanilla, and a bit of sweetener. Voila, almost instant tasty dessert and low in carbs (depending on how much and what type of sweetener you use). Or use some mashed berries or peaches instead of the cocoa and add no sweetener. You can run it through a blender or just mix it with a spoon – a blender will make it “more smooth”, spoon mixing will produce a little more chunky result, but either way the taste is perfect.

Note that the carb counts of yogurt in general are less than whole milk – assuming of course it is real yogurt with real live cultures and it hasn’t been junked up with high fructose corn syrup. If you read labels carefully, you might find something in the supermarket, but a better choice is to buy through the coop.


I wish we had some good local food diners with take-out. I’d get the blue plate special with great regularity. But wait, we do have local food diners AND we have all kinds of take-out!. Most of us like to cook, but everyone has those days on occasion where you either just don’t feel like cooking or simply don’t have the time. Sure, you can make all kinds of goodies to heat and stash them in your freezer, but not everybody is up to that kind of quantity cooking. Comes now the wonderful chefs and bakers of the Oklahoma Food Coop. Together, they constitute one of the most incredible restaurants of all time. I have tried many of the prepared foods available from the coop, and they would not be out of place on the tables of the finest and most expensive restaurants in town. There’s nothing wrong with take-out, but do yourself, your family, your health, and your local economy a favor and get your take-out from the coop.


From body care to gardening, and on to the fabric arts, cook books, toys, games, and most points in between, the Coop’s “Mercantile” producers have a wide variety of artisan products for your shopping pleasure. It is, after only, only FOUR COOP DELIVERY DAYS until Christmas. Don’t wait until the last minute for your family’s holiday shopping. That’s a good way to stress your budget. Spread your holiday shopping out over several delivery days – shopping is always fun, so you might as well have some every month! Take some time to browse the departments and shelves in the non-food floor of our Cooperative Cyber Food and Mercantile Store, and find perfect gifts for all you love. Beat the rush! Make your list and check it twice. Figure out who’s been naughty and nice. Coop gifts are coming their way.


With times being what they are, supporting our local economies is more critical than ever. With the health care system being what it is, taking control of our health destinies are more important than ever. One of the most prevalent emotions running through the population these days is a feeling of helplessness, that things have somehow gotten out of control, and we are powerless before these great changes that are going on all around us.

Well, I will tell you the truth: that is a damnable lie of the devil and don’t you for a minute believe that its true. We the people are not powerless, we are not at the mercy of tremendous impersonal forces beyond our control. Or at least, we don’t have to be.

Two months ago, my blood sugar was running out of control. My fasting blood sugar was in the 200-220 range, and had spiked to over 240. Now its running 110-120, and hardly ever spiking over 140. And this improvement has been achieved without any medication, but instead by controlling my diet (counting those carbs!), and losing weight.

Five years ago, my utility bills were out of control. A lot of hard work later, I am no longer at the mercy of giant utility companies that see me as simply a bottomless bank account for their personal enrichment.

That’s because I have a plan for how I and my household will adapt in the coming years.

Everyone needs a plan to make it through the future. Now is the time to talk with your family, to read up on the issues, to research the alternatives, to create a lifestyle that will protect the quality of your life as we go into this age of peak energy and its decline, economic irrationality, and climate instability.

As we walk this journey together, the Oklahoma Food Cooperative is an essential aspect of our mutual adaptation to the realities of the future. We offer our own version of the convenience of the big box supermarket. You can turn in your order at a time convenient to you. You can have some of the best access available anywhere in the nation to locally and sustainably produced artisan food and non-food items. You can be confident in the safety of the food you feed your family. You can do your part to increase the security and well-being of your family while also creating a strong and resilient local economy that will help us continue to meet our needs no matter what those “giant impersonal forces” throw at us in the future.

All this, and tasty nutritious food too, is a bargain.

So let’s keep those bon appetitin’ good times rollin’, you hear?

Bob Waldrop, bobagandist






USDA on Fermentation and 8 pages linked on page


USDA info on pickling and 67 urls linked on this page


Storing dehydrated foods

Solar dehydrator Dehydrator.08

Dehydrating and curing

Solar food drying

Food dehydration options

Drying Chillis

How to make the Dry-it semi-continuous tray dryer

How to use the Dry-if semi-continuous tray dryer

Engineering drawings for small tray dryer

Tray Dryers

USDA info on dehydration And all pages linked on this page


Freezing convenience foods you make at home

USDA info on freezing foods and all urls linked on page


How to make salami

jowl bacon
honey cured bacon
corned beef
boiled ham
smoked ham
beef sausage
Jimmy Dean sausage
sausage making tips

Sausage making

Meat smoking and curing faqs

meat smoking chart

download more pages here

USDA standards on percent of salt and ntirates to be added to cured meats

These links are from my new online Compendium of Useful Information, access to 2 gigabytes of information on sustainable and resilient living.