In part 1 of this article, we took a look at the carb-based diet logistics in a post collapse world and outlined some of the health and practical concerns. Additionally, I introduced the Keto diet. The Keto diet focuses on consuming 75-80% or more of your calorie needs from fat sources, 15-20% of you caloric needs from protein, and 5% of your caloric needs from carbohydrates. The human body uses two types of consumable (food) energy. Sugars/carbohydrates turn into glucose and fats, which turn into ketones. Since most individuals have never really been on a Ketogenic diet (except when they were newborn infants breastfeeding, this means most people are not fat adapted (their body forgets how to produce ketones as an energy source for the cells), and would have to go through a transitioning period if their high carbohydrate food sources depleted or became very limited.
We will now look at a dietary change to fit a post collapse world. Doing so in advance of a collapse has its clear advantages.
Transitioning Food Sources
Transitioning out of a high carbohydrate diet typically occurs when a person has started to deplete their glucose stores within their body. Usually this happens when a person’s body goes into starvation mode and the body starts to consume body fat for energy. The process of using fat as energy is called ketosis, and the body produces ketones via the liver. The transition phase from a glucose energy source to a ketone energy source can be extremely uncomfortable and sometimes referred to as the “keto flu”. This phase exhibits flu-like symptoms without actually being infected and typically lasts between seven and ten days. In a post-collapse world, this could result in limited functionality and leave the individual or group extremely vulnerable.
Moving To Ketogenic Diet Prior To Collapse
Moving to a ketogenic diet prior to the collapse could provide significant health benefits. The first benefit would be that the body would become fat adapted, which allows the person to move in and out of ketosis without dealing with the symptoms of the “keto flu”. This increases the adaptability of the individual or group and removes the 7-10 day vulnerability period. Additional health benefits include stabilization of insulin levels, cholesterol levels, reduction of epileptic seizures, and more.
High Fat Diet Logistics
Logistically, being on the ketogenic diet would eliminate the need for large amounts of land in order to harvest significant amounts of food over a long period of time. The focus on food sources would be livestock, such as chickens, kunekune pigs, and sheep. These are viable meat sources that graze and do not require as much land as corn, wheat, or rice, taking into account crop rotation and soil nutrient depletion. (Note: Kunekune pigs are graze animals, but they can also eat leftover fruit, vegetables, and sometimes meat). In addition to livestock, hunting and trapping would also be viable.
Having a garden for vegetables and possible feed is still a must. However, with livestock on hand or animal remains from hunting/trapping, replenishing the nutrients for the small amount of land is a much easier task. Storing blood from slaughtered animals to make blood meal will add nitrates to the soil, and processing animal bones from slaughtered animals to make bone meal will add nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to the soil. Manure from your animal can also be used to add additional nutrients to your soil and improve soil quality. This reduces the risk of nutrient depletion and will help maintain additional food sources for the long term. Also the requirements for the amount of land required to grow the food is considerably less.
Be mindful though that the larger the land requirements are for producing crops as a food source, the more blood, bone meal, and manure is required to maintain the nutrient integrity of the soil. This makes being in a high fat, moderate protein diet more viable, since the animal parts necessary to reintroduce nutrients into the soil are readily available, if you have prepared to live in this lifestyle prior to the collapse.
Storage and Preparation of Meats
Storage and preparation for animal meats can be easily accomplished and does not take up as much space nor is it as time consuming and labor intensive. In the event that freezing the meats is not an option, removing the fat and drying the meats is viable. Fat storage from animal meats is equally easy to accomplish via canning. Canned fat can then be used later for cooking. Fat or lard has a much longer shelf life and is not prone to spoilage as long as the fat is sealed and placed in a dark area for storage, making it edible for years. If the fat is spoiled (oxidized but not contaminated with bacteria since bacteria cannot grow in fat), the odor will be noticeable and can be thrown out or reused in another capacity.
Chickens and kunekune pigs are very good choices as a meat source in a post collapse world, due to the lack of space required. Kunekune pigs are also excellent sources of fat but have a longer growing period than other pigs. One acre can support four or five kunekune pigs for grazing. Moving them from one area to another to graze can be easily handled with a movable electric fence, which uses solar power. Any excess grass can be harvested, dried, and stored for winter use. Easy to come by, storable, and inexpensive anti-parasite products for both kunekune pigs are garlic powder as a dewormer and diatomaceous earth (DE) for everything else.
Some bacterial infections may still occur, but it is rarer in a clean pasture that has not been contaminated with an infected pig, so researching the common types and consulting your local livestock vet prior to the collapse is always a good idea. Chickens are pretty easy and can range the entirety of your property (except where you have the kunekune pigs); the kunekune pigs can and probably will eat the chickens. You can also add DE into their food for protection against parasites.
High Fat Diet Health
The health benefits of being on a ketogenic diet in a post-collapse world are considerable. The energy levels of the individual while in ketosis (but out of the transition phase) are stabilized. There are no peaks and crashes due to the lack of an insulin spike. Tests have also shown that individuals that are on a ketogenic diet improved glycemic levels with no adverse effects, for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. What this means is that the insulin levels start to normalize on individuals with Type 2 diabetes, when they go into ketosis.
Consult With Your Doctor
Please note that if you plan to start the keto diet before the collapse, you need to consult with your doctor, as your insulin medication dosage will need to be modified until your body acclimates. After the collapse, the likelihood of going into ketosis is very high, and that may cause issues for individuals with Type 2 diabetes while they are still using their medication.
Individuals with epilepsy will find the ketogenic diet to be highly beneficial as well, and it is currently used as a form of treatment in the more extreme cases where the individual’s seizures cannot be controlled with medication. In a post collapse world, those individuals should have a better chance at surviving and functioning versus being on a standard, high carbohydrate diet.
In summary, moving to a ketogenic diet prior to a collapse reduces many issues that arise with trying to maintain land conservation for food crop production. It also has lower land requirements to be more self sufficient (taking crop rotation and soil nutrient replenishment into account). Being in ketosis prior to the collapse also removes the vulnerability phase (keto flu), if the individual or group suffers from a period of starvation.
A ketogenic diet removes many inefficient or detrimental logistical factors that could compromise an individual or group’s food source if done improperly or not done at all. This includes soil nutrient replenishment, planting and harvesting practices, as well as removal of parasitic species (weeds, parasites, pests).
The time saved adopting this dietary change can be used to focus on other necessary areas needed for increasing survival rates. This can include maintenance and repair of equipment, increased security patrols and inspections, fortification additions, and additional resource gathering.
The trade advantage of meat products cannot be overstated. If an individual or group are in a position to be able to trade livestock animals that are alive and healthy, this will be worth a mint, as they can reproduce to provide more food and require much less effort, energy, and resources to grow and harvest.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 78 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 78 ends on September 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.