Saturday, February 28, 2009

So Maybe I'm Not Technically Mormon...

But I think we all know I live the LDS lifestyle (okay except for the whole religious thing, my 2 cups of coffee, occasional glass of sangria... oh... and the swearing).

Well, the other day a reader emailed me suggesting I look into the closest LDS Cannery. With the ever growing rate of my bread baking, muffin making, and pizza dough production... I'm going through about 30 pounds of flour a month... this reader thought I might benefit from buying wheat in bulk and grinding myself.

Being well versed in LDS doctrine I knew about the food storage requirements... BUT... I did not know about the LDS Canneries. I spent all night researching them. Most of the *real* information I could find was not from the LDS Church (although I read all of that) but from crazy survivalists (and I am NOT surprised). It seems that up until Y2K non-members could shop at the Canneries and buy bulk items but that during the time leading up to Y2K non-members cleaned out the Canneries and now non-members are not permitted to shop there without an LDS escort.

Do any of you know anything about this? I really don't want to embarrass myself. The form asks for a member name & ward info... not that I would do this or anything... but do they need to see your temple card?... or... if you happened to know a members name & ward info... would that suffice? (of course I wouldn't do this... I'm just asking... like do they check a picture ID.... I WOULD NEVER DO THIS).

Also does anyone have a flour mill attachment that they use on their Kitchen Aid mixer? Like THIS one? Whether I can get the LDS bulk wheat or not I'm kind of curious about grinding my own fresh flour.


Haley said...

I find this fascinating... what ARE the food storage requirements? I'm off to google...

Amy said...

I have no idea...but you can order online I think. If you need record numbers of something let me know...

Jenn said...

I will ask in my ward if I can sponsor you across country. There re other places that sell bulk foods you can buy wheat from. I use my vita mix to grind wheat. its works wonderful. I use it for tons of other uses too. I have had mine for about 10 years.

Mrs Furious said...

Well they should keep a 3 months supply of basic food necessities on hand ... it used to be a year but it was lowered.

Oh... I'll look at the online form.

Yes I'm going to look into alternative bulk sellers that might be closer than the LDS Cannery anyway. I don't know if it'll be as cheap but I'd have to pay to travel so it could be a wash. A woman (I don't know) is LDS and lives a block away... I was thinking of asking if she goes up there and getting her to bring me back some wheat if she does.

wootini said...

How funny - just the other night I was spending time looking up the LDS food storage requirements! Believe it, there is a 200+ page document outlining the whole thing in exhaustive detail. It's a great resource for survival planning, actually.

The list for a year's worth of supplies is insane... I have no idea how people in small houses are meant to store all that stuff. It's a good idea to be prepared but I'm really curious as to how people pull off the storage aspect.

Mrs Furious said...

Why were you researching it?

I think they lowered the requirements to 3 months... maybe some people will way in on this.

julie said...

I'm confused. Do Mormans have to have a bulk suppy of food on hand? Like as a 'rule'?

And people grind their own wheat? This is fascinating.

Mrs Furious said...

Oh I don't want to step on any feet... but Yes. They are supposed to have a 3 month (I think) supply of food on hand to be prepared for food shortages that may arise at the second coming. They have non perishables and whole wheat stores longer than ground flour. The rules used to be a years supply and so people stored beans, grain, etc... now that it has switched to 3 months I think people have switched to storing non perishable stuff that they would normally eat.

Amy said...

You don't have to have any food storage as a Mormon, but it's encouraged. Um and I've never grond wheat in my life.
To get started, you're supposed to work toward a one month supply. After that you work up to a three month supply of food that you regularly eat in your household. Then after you have that you work up to one year of "food storage"--not the day-to-day stuff...but the real emergency stuff.

Mrs Furious said...

Thank you for the clarification.
My go to Mormon is out of town!!!

Once a couple of years ago I met a family that were crazy old school practically Amish evangelical Christians... they were fascinating... they carved their own beds!!! Seriously. Anyway they ground their own wheat (by hand)... actually they made their kids do it... and I was all "ooh that's extreme" and now I want to do it. Of course not by hand... I'm not that extreme (though I wish I was).

Anyway if I do it I'll post a full report since I believe it will have a big impact on my bread flavor.

wootini said...

I looked up the requirements b/c I had heard that they a good guideline for survival planning for anyone... not that I want to go all hard-core survivalist by any means, but living right outside DC I'd like to be better prepared than we are now. Remember that frugal blog I mentioned a couple of weeks ago - Room Farm? The interview with the author's grandfather re: the Depression made me start thinking about it more, especially thinking about what could happen in the aftermath of a massive failure of the banking system. Our deposits are insured, yes, but in the situation of a widespread failure, how long would it take for any assistance to arrive? Anyway...

I have water stored (which has actually come in handy once or twice) but only 3 days' worth. And a small amount of non-perishable food, first aid, etc.

So that's what made me think of LDS, because instead of just a blanket statement about having food for a certain amount of time, I had heard that there are very detailed planning instructions.

Still - storage and cost is a problem. Costwise, you could build up your reserves slowly, but storagewise - we live in a teeny tiny townhouse near DC with 4 people and a dog. No space!

Re: wheat grinding, did you read the Little House books growing up? In The Long Winter, the family grinds wheat in a coffee mill to survive!

I'll be interested to hear if you get any wheat to grind & how it works in your bread!

Mrs Furious said...

The Long Winter is one of my favorite books! I reread all of her books about 2 years ago and became pretty obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder and read several biographies as well. I was shocked at how rough their life actually was... The Long Winter comes closest to portraying that. The hardships were just incredible.

re: food storage... that makes sense.

I'll let you know about the wheat. I would like to find organic wheat... I know there is a local-ish mill maybe they'll sell it in bulk to me.

Mrs Furious said...

how much water do you have saved? What kind?

katieo said...

You can order several items online and have them shipped directly to your door. You could just call your neighbor and have her order them for you...or any other LDS friend and then have it shipped to your house. (If you were to just fill in your name and the ward number, they would certainly NOT check your picture or anything like that...but they do have all records on might get another visit from the missionaries when the flour arrives, lol!) Anyway, it sounds like you've seen the form, let me know if you need me to sned you a copy, I've got it in PDF form. I've done it before just because it's worth the extra hassle of getting a babysitter and taking the time to go up there (at the time gas was super expensive too). I've found it cheaper than other bulk suppliers only because it's already canned and packed ready to store (or use). If you get it at Costco you've got to figure out how to store it. (But I do think checking out the local mill is a fantastic idea.)

And just add to what Amy said, having food storage is not a requirement of being Mormon (or even being a devout Mormon). It is guideline that if followed, members believe they will receive blessings, especially that of peace of mind in tough times. (tough times which include many more circumstances than the second coming: job loss, natural disaster, bad economy (HELLO), etc.) But there are certainly situations where it just isn't possible (as in member living in huts in south America, or even teeeeeny apartments in NY). But that's one of the reasons we believe in setting something aside; to be able to help others.

re: small spaces. We live in an old 1600 sq. feet house with barely any just get creative. We have a little crawl space under our stairs where we store as much as we can, the rest goes in the garage, in the winter it's not a big deal, in the summer we rotate through it more often.

re: the wheat grinder. Everyone around here says to invest in both kinds: electric and hand grinder. The hand grinder you can get for pretty cheap, (but is very time and muscle consuming)- the electric you can get for about $250 (something to save up for I suppose) I don't know much about the Kitchenaid attachment, but i do know of some women grinding it up in their blenders for shorterm use (if you've got a hearty blender).

re: water storage, I have a huge drum in my garage and will buy trays of bottled water when they go on sale. Lots of people just fill up old pop bottles around here...but then you have to rotate it more often. Commercially packaged typically will taste and last quite a bit longer.

okay, can you tell I feel strongly about this? lol! I know you were just wondering about the cannery but when I was a teenager we lived on our food storage for several months when my Dad lost his job. In addition to their food storage, my parents had also saved up enough money (also in the LDS preparation guidelines) that we continued to live the same lifestyle that we had before he lost his job.

Good luck! :)

Amy said...

Let's see; where to start. The other Amy covered a lot of this stuff but Mormons aren't "required" to store; it's more of a sincere recommendation that is reiterated a lot. And they do highly recommend a year's storage. Some of us get pretty creative about where we actually store this stuff, especially the 5 gallon buckets of wheat and other stuff.

I've heard the Kitchenaid attachment is not worth a crap though. The Kitchenaid motor, while adequate, is not designed to grind wheat on a long-term basis, and it's quite expensive so although I have a Kitchenaid, I bought a different grain grinder that also does things like rice and beans too. See my post

I didn't realize the canneries were only available to members but knowing what I do about how fast some of tho different items go, it makes sense. Sometimes you can't even get on the list for some items for months! It sounds like you have plenty of offers of help but I can also offer that to you and would be happy to!

I also didn't buy my wheat from the church. I bought it from an independent dealer. Look around - it still might be pretty expensive because of the shortage but it can certainly be found.

Mrs Furious said...

Awesome answer. There really isn't that much info on the LDS site about ... in depth style.

Good to know about the KitchenAid... I really don't want to burn out my motor!!!

Thanks guys!

wootini said...

Mrs. F, no way! I did the same thing, only it was more like 5 years ago. Re-reading the books through the eyes of a parent gave me an incredibly different perspective on the hardship and danger the family endured. OMG, Ma giving birth to Carrie in a teeny log cabin with a virtual stranger/neighbor as her only attendant?? I'm sure you'll agree that after going through childbirth that takes on a whole new meaning...

Almanzo and Cap Garland's amazing journey to save the town (which seems to be historically accurate)? Did you know Cap died in a freak accident a few years later?

I was pretty disappointed in the quality of the existing biographies on Laura Ingalls Wilder. Please let me know if you found one you'd recommend.

Have you read any of the books to Kid? I've read the first two to Lydia.

Katio and Amy, thanks for the additional insight and information, and suggestions for storage! I have a question for you both; does your storage consist of things you'd normally use in everyday cooking, and do you then rotate through it to ensure it doesn't go bad?

Mrs. F, I just buy the 1 gallon jugs of water when the go on sale at the supermarket or Target or wherever. It's a little easier to store for me than the flats of individually packaged water. I believe the rule of thumb is 3 gallons per person per day (and don't forget canine :) ). I have actually used this on more than one occasion - we lost power due to a hurricane and then lost water due to lack of adequate power backup at the pumping stations. Good times.

Mrs Furious said...

Yes, the year Kid was 4 I read all of the books aloud to her (except some chapters of The Long Winter that I thought were too intense).

I agree I haven't found a good biography of her. They all were kind of the same and once you found out the basic info about how the books are not a chronological depiction of their growing up years that's just about the only new revelation you'll get.. well that and how horrific their early married years were and how unfortunate things ended up being.

And no I don't recall knowing that Cap died.

We were so into it that we wanted to go on vacation to the dugout (not really the original one) where you can stay. Even Mr F read the whole series that year. And I HIGHLY recommend the books on Cd. We have most of them on iTunes and I'd be happy to send you copies. They are fantastic and we all enjoy listening to them on long car rides.

Christy said...

I feel like I've stumbled into a scene on Big Love.

wootini said...

NO WAY! You can stay in the (recreated) dugout? I have wanted to do a Little House sites tour for the longest time. De Smet is still there, and has sites relevant to the books marked - I believe the Surveyor's house (the original) is still there! And Rocky Ridge farm...

Mrs Furious said...

I was doing research on this about 2 years ago... now I can't find the dugout place. But I do know that somewhere in MN near Walnut Groove you can stay in a dugout and play the role (kind of like a B&B type deal) you get all the stuff that they would have had and can stay overnight. I'll keep looking for it. You can visit the real dugout site at Plum Creek but it's been caved in.

And I would so like to see the Surveyor's House... I loved the part when they first got there and found all the food rations left behind!

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