Storing Eggs for Survival, by J.D.

Nothing beats a fresh egg! Eggs are inexpensive and quite versatile. They can be cooked in may ways, added to dishes to make them richer and creamier, and they are a great protein source. Eggs also contain choline, which aids in proper liver function. Eggs also contain a host of other vitamins and minerals, so they make a great addition to your survival pantry.

Unless you have your own chickens, you most likely get your eggs from the grocery store. In the United States, the government regulates the food industry, so eggs have been sanitized and stored in refrigeration. They are delivered on a refrigerated truck to the grocery store and stored in refrigeration at the grocery until you purchase them and take them home, where you store them in the refrigerator. Eggs from your grocery can be weeks or even more than a month old by the time you purchase them.

In a situation where there is no power and the grocery stores are empty, how would you get and keep fresh eggs? I will discuss keeping fresh eggs for up to 8 months out of refrigeration by oil coating and proper storage. There are many sources on the Internet that talk about storing eggs in this manner. However, most of them state that store bought eggs can be used. I caution against this with store bought eggs because there is no way to know the age of the egg when you buy it and the natural coating has already been removed. This process should only be done with fresh eggs that you have collected yourself from your flock or from a local source where you can be sure of the age of the eggs and that they have not been previously washed.

Unless you have your own backyard flock of chickens, you may not have access to fresh eggs unless you did some pre-planning before things got crazy. More and more people are keeping backyard flocks. You even see city dwellers with chicken coops these days. Although I am certain when things get crazy, those chickens will be the first to be eaten! Roosters are not necessary for a hen to lay eggs. However, roosters are good for protecting the flock and they are necessary if you plan to grow your flock with baby chicks so you can continue getting fresh eggs.

Most hens lay one egg every 25 to 27 hours. The seasonal lighting and the age of the hen can affect this interval, but most hens lay an egg once per day. When an egg is laid by a hen it has a protective coating on the shell called the bloom. This seals the egg and protects it from being contaminated by keeping bacteria from getting inside the shell. The bloom is the reason that most chicken owners collect their eggs and can leave them on the counter for long periods of time without spoilage. When the bloom is removed, the eggs must be refrigerated to keep them from going bad. How do you know an egg is bad? One way is to float the egg in a bowl of water twice the depth of the egg. If it floats it is most likely old or bad. The best way to tell if an egg is bad is is simply crack it open. The smell of a bad egg can not be avoided unless you are wearing a gas mask! Rotten eggs stink! They usually have a strange blue or green tint to them also. What about salmonella? Eggs contaminated with salmonella can not be identified by looking at them, so it is important to fully cook any eggs you pan to store long term.

Now, lets get on with the process of long term egg storage. The first step is to collect the eggs. You want fresh eggs for this method of storage, so only eggs that are less than 24 hours old(meaning freshly laid) should be used. By keeping your hen’s nesting boxes clean and gathering eggs daily, your eggs should stay clean. If you do collect eggs that have mud, feces, or other visible dirt on them, use a stiff dry brush to try and clean them off. Any eggs that you can not clean entirely should not be used for long term storage. They can be refrigerated(if you are not in survival mode) used before the stored eggs, or dehydrated into powdered eggs.

After collecting and keeping only the clean eggs, you need to get food quality mineral oil. You do not want to use baby oil because it has been scented. Food grade mineral oil can be found in the health section of your local big box chain or health store along with the laxatives. About ¼ cup of mineral oil is enough to do a dozen eggs. I like to lightly heat the mineral oil to make it easier to coat the eggs, but heating is not necessary. If you don’t want oily hands, it is a good idea to use disposable gloves to cover your hands, but again, this is not a necessary step, just a preference. Just remember that the oil will make the eggs slippery so have your egg carton close by and and already opened!

When you are ready to coat the eggs, either with clean hands or gloved hands, dip your fingers in the mineral oil and rub it over the egg. Make sure to thoroughly cover the egg with the mineral oil by rubbing the entire egg. Make sure you coat the entire egg. There should be no uncoated spots! Place the coated egg point side down in the carton and continue this step with the rest of the eggs. Label your cartons with the date and store your eggs in a cool dry place. Heat and moisture will effect the long term quality of your eggs, so a basement or dry cellar is an ideal place to store the eggs.

Once a month turn the entire carton upside down to rotate the eggs. Do this gently so you do not crack the eggs. The purpose for this is to keep the yolk intact. As the egg ages, the egg white will get looser and the yolk will become more fragile.

When I started preserving eggs in this manner in 2014, I tested one egg each month for 9 months. I would take out one of the eggs and wipe off the oil coating with a paper towel and do the water float test. The first 2 months I did not notice much difference between the oiled eggs and fresh eggs. By month 3 I could start to see the egg white loosen and by month 5 the yolk broke as soon as I cracked the egg. In month 6 the egg floated so I was careful when I opened it. It did not smell bad, but it was quite loose and the yolk no longer firm. The taste was strange, it did not taste like a fresh egg. Month 7 and 8 the eggs were again loose and did not really make a “fluffy” scrambled egg, but they didn’t taste bad, just “off.” By month 9 I had my first bad egg so I ended the experiment assuming that the other 3 were not going to be something I wanted to eat. I was the only one who ate these first trial eggs just in case! We have a 6 person family so I would assume that we would consume more than 1 egg a month. My plan has been to preserve 2 dozen eggs a month so that it would not effect our current egg consumption and I would still be growing my food stores. We rotate these eggs by using them in baking or for hard boiled eggs, and replace them with freshly oiled eggs. This is especially nice during the winter months when the hens lay less because of the lack of light.

The first two months of eating survival eggs would be when you would want to make your fried, dippy eggs. After that, I recommend hard boiled, scrambled, or baked into bread, cakes, cookies, or muffins, as the the best way to enjoy them. Once oiled, you will not likely get stiff peaks on your egg white desserts, but they will work fine in other baked dishes.

Always follow safe handling instructions for eggs and thoroughly cook your eggs before enjoying them. This will eliminate any contamination of your eggs. Eggs stored in this manner will give you an alternate protein source and a bigger menu option from your emergency food storage.

Oiling eggs is a practice that has been tried and used in my home with my family. It is a process that is also explained in Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry. When eggs are in abundance, you can enhance your survival food pantry with the versatile egg. Just remember to only use fresh eggs, mark your cartons, and rotate your eggs monthly. Ideally eggs stored in this manner will last up to 8 months, but even if you extend their freshness to only five months, that still makes eggs a great addition to your survival pantry!

Letter: The Global Cyber War and DDOS Ping Attacks

For some background, I’ve worked as a UNIX systems administrator  for more than 20 years in the financial environment. This background includes working for major bankig and stock mark trading companies. I’m not saying that to impress, I am saying it so you know that I have a good amount of experience in the field.

Although logs and paths can be modified, a significant amount of scanning and denial attacks on both commercial and personal computer systems really does seem to come from Russia, China, and the Netherlands.

Now a layperson may ask:  “Why does China care about my PC, my Twitter account, or keeping me from accessing PayPal?” The short answer is that they don’t in most cases. I believe these cyberattacks should be seen in layers, however I must also say that what I discus next is my personal opinion and not the opinion of any company I’ve worked for. (As a side note: I have made this concern known – always getting the tinfoil hat look, in reply.)

What you are seeing are mass scale attempts to deny your personal access to information. In this layer of a cyber attack they don’t really care if a web user can access Facebook, PayPal, BofA or a stock market app. The intention is to prevent you from knowing the status of your accounts and financial information in general. Consider these attacks as test runs and learning on their end.

Why does this matter?  Because: Guess where your 3 am banking and stock trade environment backend computer support is located? [Probably in] Hong Kong. Yup, all of your personal and corporate banking information from every major financial company that I know of, all of your 401k and stock market trading info, along with IT infrastructure for those institutions are supported with full access, in glorious  China. Yes I know Hong Kong is legally somewhat “wink wink” on their own, and companies hire “bonded” Hong Kong companies to do this kind of support, but that is not the point.

My point is that a denial of access to front end information should be seen as a layer on top of a potential change in backend information. That change possibly being either numeric or outright data deletion. Yes companies have backups and redundancy, they have methods to address systems and data access issues, but late night (US) support for that is provided by the same people in Hong Kong.

Now I can’t speak for hacking= at a “television” layer but I would not be surprised if satellite and cable companies are having similar issues with either backend support or direct hacking attempts.

I am not saying put your cash in your mattress and close your accounts. I don’t. I have money in different banks, and in a 401k along with a few stocks. But I also have hard currency and items that are good for trade. A mass cyber attack that includes both a denial of access to your financial information along with mass backend hacking of that information would result in a complete destruction of the global financial system including the the financial state of the attack originating country. What I am saying is that the risk really is significant and to plan accordingly. – Best wishes from Bob in N.C.

JWR Replies:  Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Here is some confirmation on hackers co-opting The Internet of Things:  Hackers Used New Weapons to Disrupt Major Websites Across U.S.

Economics and Investing:

Fortune magazine reports: Apple’s Next Goal Is Killing Paper Money Once and For All. (Thanks to G.G. for the link.)

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Saudis, China Dump Treasuries; Foreign Central Banks Liquidate A Record $346 Billion In US Paper

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Michael Pento: Equity Bubble Has Run Out of Excuses and Time

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

Odds ‘n Sods:

Michigan: Anti-Gun Lawmakers Introduce Gun and Magazine Ban Legislation

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Reader D.S.V. sent this warning from Kim Komando: Card skimming malware infecting thousands of online retailers

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G.G. flagged this:  NSA Can Access More Phone Data Than Ever (Thanks to John N. for the link.)

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Since Cabela’s has been acquired by Bass Pro Shops, they now appear to be deeply discounting a lot of their “Cabelas” logo-marked camouflage clothing

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” – Revelation 19:5-6 (KJV)

Letter: Misadventures of a Green Thumb

Dear SurvivalBlog Readers:
I’d like to address the idea of “prepare for the unexpected” using a real life example that happened to me. I hope this humorous example leads you to take some steps, however small, to begin taking steps to fill the gaps in your preparedness planning; because for all the good intentions you may have, a totally unexpected event could take place that makes it all worthless.

So for me, I have never had what had been called a “green thumb”. I never have actually had a return from my spring and summer garden that I feel was worth the investment in seeds, tools, etc, let alone time spent in caretaking the darn thing. However, I recognize that if some event takes place then I need to have built some skills around this gardening thing, and not expect to wake up the day after and expect to make a garden to provide for my family.

Year after year, my practice garden has left me disappointed. Not that I have tried, and read some books, talked to the older generation in the neighborhood that can seemingly grow vegetables out of their cement driveway…but just no luck. Point one – it is important to practice and learn what works and what does not work before your life may depend on it. Get the tools, prepare the soil, and learn what works for when you “really need it”!

Now this brings me to point two. Even if you think you have it altogether, prepare to be able to go with alternate plan should you lose it on a sudden unexpected event. Remember, the topic of this article is intended to be preparing for the unexpected.

Two summers ago, I did actually to have one tomato plant that had some very large, beautiful tasty looking tomatoes. I watched them grow and turn from that green to ripe looking dark red. Secretly rejoicing that I finally produced something edible from the backyard, I was thinking of cutting that big slice of tomato for a hamburger that we were planning in the backyard barbecue that summer evening. Honestly, I was thinking of the big red slice on the hamburger bun more than once that morning after checking the garden before making a trip away that was going to take a few hours that afternoon.

Later that afternoon, we got home from whatever that errand was, I fired up the grill and started to gather things for the barbecue. As it got close the point where the burgers were ready, things were going along great, my daughters were laughing at me because they knew that dad’s one prize tomato was on my mind. Imagine my shock and horror when rounding the corner from the grill to the garden and coming upon my pitiful plant that had no tomatoes on the vine – but just a huge fat green caterpillar there, sitting in the sun and unable to move because he was so fat from eating my prize, and cleaning up a few smaller ones on the plant as well.

Needless to say I was furious. I probably acted like an idiot. My daughters would confirm that in fact I surely did act like an idiot based on what I did afterwards – but back to the topic. So while it is important to prepare and plan and practice skills, also be aware that your best plans can go bad and it’s always good to have a backup plan, or two, or three. If you are on the fence about whether you should begin prepping, be encouraged that you must start to strengthen any weak areas in your role as family provider; and furthermore, realize that inherent risk that even your best plan may not be enough, due to unforeseen circumstances. So, doing nothing simply is not an option.

We had a family of cardinal birds that constantly were flying back and forth between a tree in my yard and a tree in the neighbor’s yard directly across. I got my revenge on the caterpillar. I threw that fat little thing in the road directly in between the trees and watched as the birds made him their lunch. I know, pretty drastic–and very untypical of me. Being so upset that my plant I had been working with for weeks was ruined made me a little bit vengeful.

Use this example as a call to action to begin your prepping and remedy the weak links, but always be aware that your plans may go south and have an alternate plan. You cannot anticipate some things that will complicate your plans, just like I didn’t anticipate coming home to a missing tomato and fat caterpillar.  Regards, – T.B.

Letter: Ammunition Purchasing OPSEC

Good morning! 
I have a question regarding Operational Security (OPSEC) and buying ammunition.  I’ve tried to do my search due diligence at the SurvivalBlog site, searching multiple term combinations, but I still may have missed an existing article.  What are the most prudent OPSEC considerations for buying ammunition, other than not ‘flapping yer gums’?  Online sellers offer the best prices, but in -tore has benefits as well, though it’s much more expensive.

Thanks for your time.  – Cliff

JWR Replies: In essence, you will need to pay more, if you want to keep your privacy.  My advice is that f you want to maintain a low profile then make your ammo purchases with cash at gun shows. The prices there are generally higher than via mail order, but lower than at storefront gun shops. 

Economics and Investing:

The Contagion Deutsche Bank Is Spreading Is All About Derivatives

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Mark O’Byrne: Euro Will Collapse…As It Is A House Of Cards

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Silver Eagle Demand Returns With A Vengeance As Political & Economic Turmoil Increases

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SurvivalBlog and its editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for details.

Odds ‘n Sods:

Study: 1 in 2 American Adults Already In Facial Recognition Network. (Thanks to H.L. for the link.)

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Another DDOS Ping Flood attack: Many sites including Twitter, Shopify and Spotify suffering outage.

And this article explains how it might have been done, by harnessing the processing power of hijacked The Internet of Things linked devices: When the Entire Internet Seems to Break At Once

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Conspiracy Theorists Vindicated: FBI Docs Reveal “Shadow Government” Protecting Hillary Clinton

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against Ammon Bundy heads to jury

Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.  Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.” – Psalm 139: 1-6 (KJV)