The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at labor shortages at meat packing plants.

Some Bad Gun Legislation Before Congress

In addition to the much-publicized H.R. 5717, the U.S. House of representatives will also be considering H.R. 6318 and H.R. 838.  These are “back door” gun rights deprivation bill. Frighteningly, H.R. 838 already has 90 Republican co-sponsors!  Please contact your congresscritters and strongly urge them to oppose these three bills!

New Executive Order on Protecting Power Grids

Just signed by DJT: Executive Order on Securing the United States Bulk-Power System

Coronavirus in Some Asymptomatic Patients Up To 40 Days

Peter forwarded this item: Experts Are Puzzled Over Why the Coronavirus Lingers in Some Asymptomatic Patients For as Long as 40 Days. Here is a snippet:

“With studies showing that asymptomatic patients can transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus, understanding how the virus leaves the body is among the most urgent mysteries facing researchers as governments in the United States and across the world begin to reopen their economies. Although studies show that the average recovery time from COVID-19 is two weeks, and nearly all patients are virus-free within a month, “less than 1% to 2%, for reasons that we do not know, continue to shed virus after that,” said Hsu Li Yang, a physician specializing in infectious diseases at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore.”

The Lockdowns: Homeschooling Gets a Boost

H.L. sent this: Poll: 52% of Parents View Homeschooling More Favorably Since Coronavirus School Closures. A pericope:

“Among parents participating in the poll, 52 percent said their view of homeschooling was “more favorable,” with 28 percent labeling their opinion as “much more favorable,” and 24 percent stating their view was “somewhat more favorable.”

Of those parents who responded with a “less favorable” opinion of homeschooling, 18 percent said their view was “somewhat less favorable” and 8 percent said it was “much less favorable,” while 22 percent either did not know their view or had no opinion.

When parents were asked “how prepared” they felt to facilitate their children’s online learning, 71 percent said they felt prepared, with 38 percent stating they felt “very prepared” and 33 percent responding they felt “somewhat prepared.””

Meat Packers are Quitting in Large Numbers

And another from H.L.: US meat workers are quitting as virus-ridden plants reopen. The articles opens with this:

“America’s meat-processing plants are starting to reopen, but not all workers are showing up. Some still fear they’ll get sick after coronavirus outbreaks shut more than a dozen facilities last month. Employees are taking leave, paid and unpaid — or just quitting. At a JBS USA plant in Greeley, Colorado, absenteeism is running as high as 30%. Before the pandemic, it was about 13%. The company is paying about 10% of the workforce — people deemed vulnerable — to stay home. Others aren’t coming in because they are sick.”

YouTube to Censor Anyone Speaking Against WHO

Reader D.S.V. sent us this, at Mercola; YouTube CEO Vows to Censor Anyone Speaking Against WHO

Expatriation from U.S. Hits an All-Time High

Interesting…  Number Of Americans Renouncing Their U.S. Citizenship Hits All-Time High. JWR’s Comments: Take note that:  “…the number for the current quarter is 40% higher than for the entire year of 2019.”   Apparently there was a memo circulated, and, ahem, we weren’t on the distribution list.  Calendar Q1 ended on March 31st, just as the pandemic hype was ramping up. So a select few (who?) must have had some early warning. Again… who, and warned by whom?

How to Keep Meat on Your Table

Linked over at the Whatfinger.com news aggregation site, a piece by Daisy Luther: Meat Shortages Go Mainstream with Rations and Menu Changes: How to Keep Meat on Your Table

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!




46 Comments

  1. The “ New Executive Order on Protecting Power Grids” reads only to protect it against foreign ownership or control. It doesn’t look like it actually stockpiles the replacement equipment needed for an EMP, hardening against an EMP or help in anyway against hackers.
    It’s something but not a lot.

      1. the rationale is point forward to ensure domestic production and not allow foreign equipment more likely to have degraded materials or back doors for foreign actors.

        also it is possibly predictive programming to let you the prepper know, cyber or emp maybe next since in fact the coup attempt failed, impeachment failed and now covid seems more like a fear tactic then an actual pandemic like ebola would be .

    1. We noted this too… It’s a start, but we have a long way to go. Among others, Peter Vincent Pry has a lot to say on the matter. We hope and pray the President is working on this from behind the scenes, but we fear not nearly enough is being done to protect us from the devastating effects of an EMP should we suffer such an event.

      1. To me this is little more than politics and a snub at China more than an interest at actually fixing the current issue of hackers and possible issues of EMP. While I’m glad he did it I’m not seeing anything that makes me feel real good about the situation. It was the least of the issues at hand.

  2. The layered approach is still best and in meat, the current subject of shortage or possible shortage, it’s a deep freeze full, fresh, canned purchased and/or homemade, LTS, acquired with buying, raising, fishing, trapping and hunting.
    When I speak of hunting it’s not driving 1/4 mile in an ATV sitting on a timed feeder, set at 9:30 so it’s not too early, in a heated box with a tv for football that is resource intensive and not maintainable in a crisis I’m talking about real hunting.
    The big city or European model of daily or every few days of just buying to cook is too fragile as most in here understand. Even with this alleged meat shortage I can still be asked what I want for dinner rather than worry about if I have meat for dinner. The just re-enforces the way we live and that we are on the right path.
    Attempting to accomplish this in many aspects of my life is my goal so that timed crisis effects us as little as possible.

  3. Meat on the table was for most of history something a Rich Man could Brag about. Even in English Common Law the Kings forest was NOT to be hunted in nor trees taken aside from “Hook or by Crook” where dead branches could be pruned for peasants cooking. Even in America it was a WINNING Political Slogan “A chicken in every pot” meaning Sunday chicken and the leftovers eaten the next two-three days in 1920-1926 Great Depression era.

    As an Historical aside the Game Laws that keep us from killing off ALL the Deer (for example) came from or were more enforced by the massive destruction of everything that could be hinted during the Great Depression. So Hunting for your meat is likely to be less than successful after a few months.

    My Grandparents ran a trap line and ate from it as well as fed their chickens protein needs thusly and did very well during the Great Depression selling chickens, started pullets and eggs LONG after the corn shortages nearly destroyed their neighbors chicken production.

    Roman Army defeated the meat eating Barbarians of Germany eating mostly beans, whole wheat bread and a little olive oil. Even today outside the 1st World meat is a treasured SIDE DISH to the rice-corn-breads and vegetables.

    So in the spirit of how to “Survive” the Disaster of a lack of supermarket meats… How about white bean Alfredo over pasta? No pasta how about over rice or veggies? Cook up some white beans, mash-blend in some oil add the seasonings to taste and even my Picky Mother in Law cannot tell it’s NOT “Normal” Alfredo.

    Other beans do well processed the same way in Red sauces so that covers most Peasant Italian and Mexican Cooking.

    1. Have you ever noticed the Norman Rockwell painting?

      The one turkey family holiday?

      The one called freedom from want?

      There were 3 others. In the freedom set.

      Have you ever noticed that most old school traditional dinner recipient involve a quite small amount of meat? And that usually there was only a few nights a week or even month that a meat heavy dish like a roast or meat loaf BBQ etc was served. And, even then it was typically served with an even larger portion of side dishes most of which were vegetables. Until the 50s or so?

      Another further have you noticed \ did you know

      Gravy or sauces tended to be made in the same pan with the rendered fats and off cuts from the meat dish.

      This wasn’t done just for taste it was done to use all of the meat possible, to maximize calories from the food (here is did you know “fat is the most caloric part”) and make the meal more filling.

      And the reason this was done was because meat that you don’t harvest yourself has always taken a large portion of your food budget.

    2. According to my DNA results, my family has zero Roman heritage.
      This probably explains our aversion to a grain — pasta, bread, breakfast cereal — diet.
      For us, grains cause inflammation and brain-fog.
      For my heritage, a low-fat high-carb diet would be suicide.

      You mention a Third World diet of root vegetables and grains with occasional meat.
      I see malnutrition with obesity and diabetes (‘dia-besity’).

      I believe a ‘one size fits everybody’ anything is doomed to fail.
      And I understand the vegentarianist crowd is propagandizing their fad, but loud voices doesn’t mean it is functional.

      1. LargeMarge how did you happen to pick that online screen name?

        I have found in the vast majority of grain “sensitive” people the problem isn’t grain per say it’s the Roundup they use on it both to clear away unwanted weeds AND Oddly enough to Force Mature the standing wheat for a second harvest. GMO Wheat is also a possible issue.

        That said many of my friends I introduced to non-Roundup old style wheat and they enjoy fresh bread they grind themselves. I grow my own “Pancake Garden” and share that old style non-roundup wheat with friends and my chickens (sprouted).

        I’m not a vegetarian I am an omnivore. And aside from a few that eat American style constantly I’ve not seen few bean eaters that are fat or diabetic in South America. Those seem to be a American Diet thing.

        But don’t worry LargeMarge I am happy to see you eating whatever you like BUT when things get weirder in the Just In Time system Fussy Eaters will go Hungry. A few thousand YEARS of Humans eating mostly that 3rd world diet you disparage seem to show it is reasonably healthy as Obesity, Malnutrition and Diabetics are Darwin Awards over a few generations.

        Old Homesteader Good to hear from you! Have you tried the older wheat’s to see if they are troublesome for you friend? As long as my trap line and fish traps are working I shall stay away from earthworms for now.

        1. Michael,,,,,oh how I miss sweet rolls ,and biscuits and gravy. But that’s about it. A second slice of bread and I have trouble breathing. I have grown wheat , I notest a change years ago even wheat pollen in the air while doable is a problem ,barley and oats I can get by with ,i have given thought to the problem with wheat. Think the problem is indeed “the mad men in the lab”
          Boost yield at any cost ,i think that may soon change with lack of anhydrous ammonia and dry pril amo wheat won’t grow on much western land with out it ,,,much ground has been damaged and poisoned ,you would be lucky to find any soil life after a wheat crop using chemical fertilisers let alone herbicides same for corn ,in fact lets add spuds and onions too just not as bad ,
          My take is we have pushed the soil in our land too hard for this we will pay ,
          The book tells us to rest on the seventh day and to rest the land on the seventh year , WE WILL PAY A PRICE.
          As for me and my land ,,,,,,,
          If and when the time is right we have all the equipment for small grain ,corn ,and row crop ,seed might be a problem for a large scale but maybe not for a smaller operation,i know of old seed still good 50-75 years old

          Did you ever run under NH M? If so I have missed your in in put

          1. Old homesteader yes I am NH Michael aka Me2 at MSB. Been banned again thus not posting there.

            Sad because they are mostly a good bunch there. Wish I knew what I did to get banned twice now with out explanation even though I emailed and asked off line. At least Ken let me back in as Me2 for almost a year and even defended me from those that started saying NH Michael was back. I’ve never attacked anybody there, never used profanity, but I did bring up way too much history as an example of what really happens when things get tough.

            Back to the subject at hand Meat aka Protein Food. A desk jockey male needs some 56 grams of protein. A hard working male more to prevent loss of muscle mass and general poor healing. 65 grams of protein for example is around 4 cups of cooked pinto beans (most are similar) a lot of beans, However protein is in a lot of foods a cup of oatmeal for example is 6 grams, A loaf of whole wheat bread using about 3 cups (pre-grinding) wheat has about 78 grams so the Roman Army daily diet of 2 cups of cooked beans, a bowl of oatmeal and a small loaf of whole wheat bread was indeed a decent start to base your diet on. Adding greens, some fats and such rounds it out pretty well.

            Yes you could eat 8 ounces of beef daily to get around 60 grams protein and I do enjoy grilling a steak every so often BUT I cannot easily grow a nice 8 ounce steak as they tend to come in 1600 pound steer sizes and I am not so sure electricity for the freezer will always be easy to sustain. I can grow wheat and beans and they store well, just needing to be kept dry, and safe from rodents.

            Do some research friends, a white bean Alfredo with pasta has a lot of protein. The current cost for 8 ounces of beef is around 5.00 and I can buy a lot of pasta and beans for that amount. Also they store easily in a cheap 5 gallon pail if troubles knock out the power grid for a few days.

          2. If you can’t tolerate wheat it is not the fault of the wheat. You have a allergy or other similar health/DNA issue. Same as those who cannot tolerate peanuts or dairy.

          3. Michael,,,,,,,,,Ken gave me a blast ,very tacky,,I would close with ‘Shalom ‘ the book tells me to knock the dust off my feet ,so I did ,good folks here ,,OBTW your wecome at my camp fire ,

        2. I would really like to learn more from you.
          I’m interested in growing wheat, and you seem to specialize in this grain.
          I have a small farm and have yet to utilize it to its full potential.
          If you have a Facebook or blog, may I please know how to follow you?

          1. Sorry Mesquite I don’t do Facebook too busy doing real things.

            There are many good homesteader blogs to follow. I don’t have the social skills to deal with the not so nice folks that visit so many blogs. So I don’t blog.

            Growing wheat is simple, growing enough to get commercial is more difficult. I suggest you pick up a copy of Small Scale Grain Raising by Gene Logsdon.

            Crop yield depends as you know as a small farmer depends on your soil prep, water and general care.

            I find a 10 X 30 plot a fun project that I can harvest and process easily for my pancakes and bread needs. I still have wheat berries from last year awaiting the grinder.

            I am not a farmer but a homesteader with an outside job so if a project is not fun I am not going to do it.

      2. Definitely! For instance, my body feels great when I eat a balance of vegetables, meat, grain. My sister on the other hand cannot eat like I eat. She has to avoid carbs/hi fat like the plague due to a rare heart/artery condition. I have a daughter who does excellent on a high fat/high protein diet (like Atkins). I think everyone needs to find the right diet for their bodies and not force what they think works on everyone else.

  4. Not in the story is how many meat packing employees are refugees or illegal aliens, or getting more on the added unemployment than they made ($600/wk on top of whatever the state has is not insignificant and are they going to claw that back if the employees are found to be slacking)?

  5. Speaking of beans. I had some 6 year old stored beans. They were very hard, even after soaking and then the normal boiling. I thought they were going to be inedible. My last ditch effort was break out the All American pressure canner. I did the beans for about a half hour to 45 minutes at 10lbs. and they were perfect. I had thought of grinding them but this is better.

    1. Roadkill I’m glad you brought that up. It made me double check with my wife on her burner top pressure cooker and check the seals etc.
      I remember the old folks when I was young talking bout “pot of beans on” all the time. They slow cooked them all day for 12+hrs.

    2. Totally. I pre-soaked some 10+ year old black beans overnight. Next morning rinsed and boiled for 10 minutes with some spices, scooped into the jars and canned per instructions. They were the most delicious black beans I’ve ever tasted! Been using them in chilis mostly. And just in case I was exhibiting “confirmation bias”, LOL, I shared them in the family and they had the same reaction.

    3. There’s also another option with beans of all sorts: You can learn sprouting. It’s possible to do it when you’re short on fuel, but long on prepare-ahead time — about 2.5 – 3 days, using just a glass jar, water, and a dark area in your cupboard. The proteins are still good, and the vitamins skyrocket.

  6. Re: Home Schooling

    Two things.

    I know of at least one working mom who is going to stay home after this and home school her kids. I wonder if there will be a significant number who do? I wonder how many mother’s will decide to be stay at home moms even if they do not home school?

    I have thought for decades that Americans have been on a treadmill of running around doing everything everywhere all the time with no time for contemplation or even sanity. As an example one of my wife’s stain glass students drove in to class late one Saturday morning and was going to work on a project for about a half hour and then drive 30 or 40 miles for some other activity for something like an hour or two and then drive another 30 or 40 miles for some other activity. All good activities but spread all over the county and all competing for her time. She was all stressed out by her leisure activities. And then what does the house she lives in look like when she gets home?

    I see this all the time. The continuous busyness doing so many different competing (usually good) things and not even taking care of ones house or person and sitting in the car putting hours and hours of time on the road scurrying from one activity to the next. I wonder if any of that will change long term?

    There is a lot of bad things happening with this coronavirus situation, but I wonder if some good might just emerge as well?

    IMO the problems in this country start from spiritual and family issues. Is it possible that God may be doing a spiritual and family reset in some people’s lives? I certainly do not pretend to know but I do wonder.

    1. Agree completely. Especially in the metro areas, life is a treadmill especially for moms and if you miss a step, it’s very impacting. I hate seeing what a couple of my daughters go through (and I went through it as well, but for different reasons). This shutdown has people really thinking about lifestyle. I’m glad to see it.

    2. This is not my original idea, but I totally agree with it: Government schools have proven they are non-essential. Pennsylvania state Democrats do not even want schools to open in the fall. It’s Republicans who are pushing the idea that government schools must open.

      It will not affect my immediate family, as we have been homeschooling for 19 years and still have 3 years left until the youngest graduates high school.

  7. JBH!
    From your post: “I have thought for decades that Americans have been on a treadmill of running around doing everything everywhere all the time with no time for contemplation or even sanity.”

    Absolutely agreed, and appreciated your insightful thoughts on this. We have seen this ourselves, and many, many years ago lived this treadmill ourselves. We know it from experience. Wild horses could not drag us back to that life. We pray that there will be a great awakening in this time of the pandemic, and that more people will connect with what is truly and fundamentally important in life — their own lives, and the lives of others around them too.

    1. Telesilla, you say so eloquently: “We pray that there will be a great awakening in this time of the pandemic, and that more people will connect with what is truly and fundamentally important in life — their own lives, and the lives of others around them too.”

      I see you have thrown off the shackles. Congratulations.

      Carry on in grace

  8. I have to smile when they talk of home schooling. I do believe there’s a whole new appreciation for those who have home schooled their children. It is work ! I homeschooled all 5 of ours. Of course, if you’re planning on home schooling your children you’ll customize your curriculum to fit you and your children’s needs and not try and be someone else (their current teacher). Hopefully this time with their children will create better bonds in their families.

    1. Ya gotta make your own revolution. On a daily basis.

      Benjamin Franklin is credited for saying, “War is when the government tells you who the bad guy is. Revolution is when you decide for yourself.”

      Carry on in grace

  9. Local bulk meat processors in our parts are now taking orders for beef and pork for late august. Our area is full of cattle and hog producers. The butchers are overwhelmed with orders.

  10. I’d like to hear from ex-pats living in other countries. How are they doing there during Covid? I heard El Salvador completely shut down. How are the locals treating the Gringos?

  11. Just posted summary of TAPS act HR 838 on our state’s 2nd amendment FB page. Asked members to contact the one congress critter from our state and ask him if he’ll be deeming what is considered concerning activity of American Citizens. What as asshat.

  12. One guy ,,,,,yes problems with some peanuts can tell quick if GMO or not , As for dairy products almost choke on cow milk ,can do cheese or yogurt a little ,goat is ok ,kind of funny I sold milk and cheese from my cows ,when working with milk I had to be careful not to get milk on my skin or I would get a rash or sores ,,think has something to do with what cows ate ,just not worth the trouble to fight it

    1. If you are allergic to foods then clearly you shouldn’t consume those foods. We all agree about that. But it isn’t the food that is the problem it is the individual.

      I had to sit in the rest room with a boy scout while he alternately threw up and crapped because he consumed a very small amount of cheese. His father showed up after a few hours and took over the “watch”. But speaking with the young man (6’2″, 215 lbs) and the dad they both knew he couldn’t tolerate any dairy but the young man wanted some of the pizza the scouts had made in a cardboard oven. Clearly it wasn’t the cheese’s fault or the Boy Scouts fault or even the cardboard oven’s fault. It was simply a allergy.

  13. Re: homeschooling…

    Some of the schools are requiring that the students go on-line daily and log in to get their assignments and lessons from the same teachers Who were teaching them before the schools closed. In my view, that is not actually “homeschooling.” That is “remote schooling.” They are getting the same information from the same teachers they would be getting it from if school were open, they are just getting it on their own schedule via their computer from home. Definitely not homeschooling in the traditional sense. In other words, they are still being indoctrinated by the liberal educational system.

    The parents might be checking to make sure they are actually sitting at the computer, watching and listening, doing the homework and they might be there to help with questions the kids have, but many of the parents have not taken over the education of their kids. They have just taken on the job of truant officer and proctor. Hopefully, many of them are paying attention to what the teachers are teaching and will remember this when schools open up again. Maybe, when September 2020 rolls around, more of those parents will get involved in the PTA or PTO at their kids’ schools or, better yet, will get involved in theIr local School Boards and will be able to institute changes that actually improve the schools.

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