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Why Not to Rely Only on Frozen Food for Preparation

[ 17 ] December 4, 2011 |
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I know some folks who almost entirely rely on freezing food, including all of their meats and veggies. I even know people who freeze their grains. While freezing is a convenient and important part of food-saving, you should always try to include a variety of methods in your plan, including drying and canning. I have always thought canned meat would be “gross” for some reason, but I will be giving it a try the next time I process a deer.

Speaking of deer, the one I killed and processed a couple of weeks ago is on its way to the dumpster today while my wife disinfects our freezer. Along with the deer, other casualties include 3 T-Bones, 13 packages of ground beef, and dozens of packages of frozen fruit, veggies and bagels. It looks like I will be doing a better job of labeling the circuits in the breaker box too…

Dead Freezer

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About Everett: Everett writes about voluntary simplicity. This blog catalogs his search for "the good life" as he tries to strike a balance between work and play; freedom and responsibility; simplicity and comfort. View author profile.

Comments (17)

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  1. Anna says:

    That’s awful! I’m so sorry to hear it! Makes me want to go check our freezer….

  2. Laura says:

    Hugs, hugs and more hugs to you and your poor wife! I know EXACTLY how you feel, though not a curcuit….ours just died.

  3. Herb says:

    Unfortunately, I went through the same thing some years back, When three of my kids were still in diapers. Stressful times, to say the least. I have canned some meat, actually meat meals, but comfort-wise, I still lean toward frozen and fresh meat. It takes time to get used to this. All I can remember is my Dad calling canned meat ‘chop meat’, refering to the meat that was given out to folks on welfare by the government.

  4. Laura thanks for the hugs! I still don’t know if it was the freezer causing the circuit to overheat due to a short, or if the circuit was just overloaded. I’ll probably have to pay to have an electrician come in on this one.

    Herb we’ll still be freezer too, but I’ve heard from a lot of people that you can can meat that tastes really good if you use a pressure canner and mix in some rice, veggies, stock and whatnot. Then it comes out like those cans of commercial beef stew, chicken noodle soup, etc… Sounds pretty good to me! But I don’t know if I could sit there looking at JUST meat in glass jars on our shevles and then eat that same meat six months later. We’ll see!

    Anna I take it your freezer was fine? The weather is getting cold enough that you’ll be able to just leave the freezer off outside before long!

    E.

  5. withheld says:

    Glad to see you murdered an innocent animal for nothing!

  6. Withheld you are an idiot. And a cowardly one at that for not even bothering to use your name. I didn’t murder an innocent animal for nothing. I killed a doe for food. I don’t sport hunt. I don’t care about trophy bucks or collecting racks; I don’t keep deer heads on my wall. I feed myself and my family like human beings, as fellow-animals, have been doing for many thousands of years. I’m not going to get into a vegetarian / vegan argument with anyone because, frankly, your argument is so ludicrous as to be not worth my time.

  7. Herb says:

    @ withheld- I seriously doubt you could grow enough food to be a vegan year-round (a major failing of those who push plant-based diets only); I know I can’t, and I farm! You would have to live in an area like Florida or California, and you still run the risk of cold destroying your food supply. Plant based diets are idealistic, for those who have a lot of money. If you are talking about buying veggie burgers or that tofu cheese stuff, you’re no better than the people buying pop tarts with fiber or the other junk food. It’s still processed food! Get back to reality!

  8. Idjut says:

    this sucks. maybe hook it up to a solar panel ?

  9. jason kramer says:

    i lost two hogs i buchered cause the wind blew the door on my freezer open on over 100 deg day :( so i understand

  10. dawnwinds58 says:

    I have worried over this issue quite a bit, freezer/refrigerator dependency. We are just in the beginning of moving off-grid in the planning stages and under construction. Our initial move will be to get all refrigeration onto renewable power. We want to build a system which takes all of it off the grid with the ability to expand to other systems in the home later. Cooking is propane only already and we’re working on a deal for a very nice woodburning cook stove, a real user not a decorative piece. Both of us have cooked and heated with wood before so it isn’t that difficult for us to return to what we already know.

    The stove can be backed up into a stone nook that ties into the passive ductwork of the house, much like interior trombe walls, returning radiant heat into the home in winter and manually closed to the house and venting in the summer.

    We have a root cellar and a smokehouse; we dehydrate foods for storage. Only what can’t be preserved any other way is frozen or refrigerated. We raise Heritage Red Wattle hogs, Pilgrim geese, Jumbo Pekin ducks, Buff Orpington and Jersey Black giant chickens. Yes we do hunt as well, deer, rabbit, and squirrel. We also fish. We eat meat, but also grow 2 to 3 acres of garden every year and raise grains and corn to feed our livestock fresh from our land. Vegan is fine for those who want to be. I’m glad for you, but don’t push your lifestyle morality on others. I don’t force anyone to eat what we eat. Try to respect that.

    As a meat eater it is my responsibility to promote fair and cruelty free husbandry of livestock. I control their treatment and how they die. It is my job to see them want for nothing and to have their life ended as quickly and as gently as possible with the least possible stress or fear. Can your Wal-Mart meat expect the same? Production meat is treated cruely and inhumanely for the sake of a dollar. I choose a different path.

  11. katlupe says:

    Exactly what happened to you is why I warn people who use freezers exclusively. We have lived for over five years now without any refrigeration, except for our pantry and root cellar working together. I have an ice chest for some items.

    For the most part, I can all our meat. When our system and kitchen is enlarged (working on it right now), we will add a Sunadanzer refrigerator and freezer. Even then, I will can our meat and most of our food. Anything can happen with electrical appliances and I prefer not to depend on them.

    I cannot imagine anyone not liking the home canned meats. They are very good and have nothing in them that you don’t put in. You can put them in most any casserole type dish. I also can soups, stews, broth for gravy, meat for our dog, etc. I will be using the Sundanzer freezer for foods like our berry harvests, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, steaks, etc. Certain foods that are just better frozen.

    Do not put all food in a freezer whatever you choose to do. In an emergency, you would not stop to can the food that is thawing in your freezer. People tell me that all the time. Sometimes you have to evacuate your home and come back a week or so later to all your food being ruined while the power was out.

  12. [...] post on another blog caught my eye, Why Not To Rely Only On Frozen Food For Preparation. Many times it is not even a power outage that causes this loss. It could be the freezer breaks [...]

  13. Laura says:

    katlupe, I would love to learn to can meat, do you have any book/website/other recommendations on where to start?

  14. dora rose says:

    Hi everyone!
    I am looking into more sustainable living options. Congrats to all of you that hunt for your family. We do too and last year my father in law unplugged our freezer and forgot to plug it back in and we lost deer and shrimp. I just cried.
    So I understand. Being Korean, we dry alot of things and then reconstitute later. Just a thought.
    Good luck

  15. Angela says:

    Hi Dawnwinds58 and Off Grid Ebert, as a vegan myself, I appreciate your efforts to be more animal friendly. I am disappointed in the rudeness sometimes displayed by some vegans – most of us really are a friendlier lot. Yes, for the planet and from a perspective of compassion, I would prefer more people eat a vegan diet and create vegan products, but I won’t be rude to people who aren’t. I grew up in a family that hunted to supplement our food stores. I often helped my mother to skin the jack-rabbit and squirrels my dad shot, and was the official “fish cleaner” in our home. Through my own journey from those times on, I’ve found, for me, that I have to go another route, and that is to eat vegan. By the way, it is possible for a family to survive quite comfortably on a vegan diet, if you have at least an acre or so to grow vegetables, few nut trees, fruit tress, and some grains. I’m surprised at what you can grow on a small bit of land – even in less hospitable climates. Herb is right about cold (or heat in some areas) possibly destroying your vegetable, fruit and nut trees, and grain crops. On the other hand, my dad saw some pretty lean hunting years, and I’ve heard of farmers losing hogs and cattle to disease – mad cow’s disease is a good example. We had to depend on the kitchen garden, and the much less affordable grocery store. In the end, providing your own food, puts you in nature’s hands to some degree, and you just have to hope for the best.

  16. Angela says:

    Off Grid Ebert, I’m really sorry to hear about your loss of food when your freezer went out. It’s hard to deal with having to throw out ANY food, but especially that which you worked hard to store.

  17. Terri Geer says:

    I’m so sorry about losing all that food! That would be a major stress point for me.

    I read in a magazine (I don’t remember the name, sorry) about putting large garbage cans with lids in the ground for keeping vegetables and other food cold. Since the lids are air tight there are no bugs, and the ground keeps them cool, if not frozen.

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