Frugal Prepping: This Survival Food is One of the Highest Sources of Protein


by Joshua Krause, Ready Nutrition:
So, by now, Guys and Gals, there are many factions to prepping and they all have their time and place, as well as their use. If a light bulb “comes on” when reading the material, then the mission is accomplished. I have mentioned in many of the articles the importance of taking in protein and its use as both a nutritious energy source, as well as in tissue repair and cellular growth.

With the exception of the recommendation of certain supplements that I use regularly, most of what I recommend falls within everyone’s budget. Isn’t that the objective as a survivalist and prepper? To receive the most return on your investment? Well, this is no different here. I wish to recommend the sardine…yes, you read it correctly!…the sardine, as a part of your diet. Let’s jump right into it.

Sardines are a cold-water fish, for the most part. Oily fish from cold waters are the source of fish oil…your Omega-3 Fatty acids. Those Omega-3’s are absolutely wonderful to maintain many different functions in your body: antioxidants, tissue repair, healthy skin, and hair, to name a few. The sardine is a high-protein food that is very easily digested and packed with vitamins and minerals, including Zinc, which most people suffer from a deficiency of in their diets.

A seven-ounce can of sardines gives about 40 grams of protein. That’s quite a bit, considering it isn’t that much food! They’re mostly found canned, and therefore they’re good to store in bulk quantities when you’re able to get a hold of them. Your standard size can is about 3 ounces, and these come with mustard, hot sauce, or smoked, in either brine (a salt and water solution) or in oil. I prefer the latter. You can also find them in 15 or 16-ounce cans with tomatoes/a tomato sauce. I usually rinse this off and throw on some brown mustard.

You can also take these sardines, chop them up, and add them to a salad. There are a lot of people that do not care for the taste of them; nevertheless, I cannot recommend them highly enough as a ready source of protein that requires almost no preparation to eat. Experiment with some different sauces or dressings to eat on them, and this may help to alleviate their taste if you don’t care for it. The smoked sardines almost always have a better flavor, and I just eat them by themselves. These are also more versatile in a salad.

They fit really well into either a butt-pack or in the pouch of a rucksack to eat out in the field on a camping trip or hiking excursion. Throw a half dozen cans into your go-bag/bug-out-bag for your vehicle. Make sure they’re not sitting exposed to direct sunlight, as it can cause a temperature change in the can that may affect the taste. Lastly, if you own cats, they’re also a good thing as a backup source of food for them. In this case, get the plain or smoked ones: if they’re coated with anything, you may have to rinse it off…especially hot sauce or the like.

They’re really good to throw down after a workout a little after you’ve gulped down a protein shake. That protein will just soak up into your system, and it’s a quick one for you that you won’t have to fool with cooking. Consider the sardine as part of your arsenal for preparedness, for protein, and for a post-workout meal to replenish those muscles. Keep fighting that good fight, and give those little fishes a try!

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  1. That’s some good advice, and yes, I’ve got a bunch of sardine cans.
    I’ll say that I like the mustard sauce ones, but the ones that taste very good, more mild, and will supply the biggest number of calories and have the least amount of odor, are the ones packed in OIL.

    Fish packed in water, won’t sustain life as well as the foods packed in oil. When every bite is important to your survival, and winter is twice as difficult, you’ll need all the fat calories you can get.

    Even if you don’t eat all the oil, it still permeates the fish, AND, you could BURN the oil as a candle-fuel, etc. If you make up a pot of rice, you can toss the sardines & oil into the rice, and get survive better than if you had no oils in your diet.

    Trying to buy foods that are LOW fat, low calorie, is NOT the right way to survive the hard times ahead.

    And it’s NOT a good idea to buy foods in the large, number “10” cans, exactly because we may not have electricity to be able to refrigerate the left-overs during a hot summer.
    Best to get your canned goods, small enough to eat all of it before it has a chance to spoil.
    The really big cans, are only good if you’ve feeding 4-8 people at the same time.

    • @Craig
      But then, as a solar energy promoter, you know that we all can and should have a small bar type refrigerator that is solar / battery powered for just such an emergency. If so, then #10 cans are perfectly acceptable. 🙂

      • @Ed, As somebody who has spent hours and hours researching and comparing “energy star” ratings and Kw-Hr consumption of hundreds of refrigerators & deep freezers, I can promise you that your little bar-sized refrigerator eats up 30-100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} more energy than my 17-18 cubic foot family sized model that I bought a few short years ago.
        You really got to get the bar-sized fridge out of your thinking as being an energy saver, they are not. (They don’t bother to put the better compressors/condenser system, nor the better insulation in those small fridge units.)

        My full sized (but not huge) family sized fridge (top freezer), is rated at exactly 375 kw-hrs per year. Just barely over 1kw-hr per day. Those mini-fridges, are typically eating up, from 400-600kw hrs per year, even though they are only about 4 cubic feet of interior space.

        Next time you’re in any store that sells refrigerators, open up a bunch of them, and read the yellow energy tag, and compare them. You’ll find which ones are like mine.
        Then look at the little 3ft tall model energy tags, and you’ll be very disappointed at them.

        I wonder what the energy consumption of the camper-motorhome refrigeration systems consume?
        If they take more than 1kw-hr per day, then it’s just more economical to put an energy efficient 17-18 cubic foot model in there.

        The full size (energy efficient) fridge, with an R/V battery and inverter, will get more hours of running time than the same setup that has the 3ft tall fridge.
        A deep cycle R/V 12v battery, at full charge, can give you, about 50amp-hrs of power. (those batteries are rated at about 100a-hrs capacity, but you really can only use about 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of it… that’s if my memory serves me well.)
        So, 12vdc X 50amp-hrs= 0.6kw-hrs. That’s enough for about 10-12 hours of fridge cold time before you need to recharge the battery?
        That’s why all the RV’s out there, typically have 2 or more batteries.

        Perhaps the 12vdc camper fridges that often cost $700 might be more efficient? Does anybody have the real numbers of Kw-hrs consumed by those 2-way or 3-way refrigerator? (and the cubic foot capacity?) I’d like to know.

        You are 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} correct about the Vaseline being so much better for corrosion control.

  2. I almost forgot.
    You can use the fishy oil to bait animal traps, or to make your fishing lures attract those fish better, AND… if you’ve got a cat or a dog, they’ll LOVE having some fishy oil on the dry food.

    If you’ve got no oil to protect your guns from rusting, you can use that same fishy oil to protect your gun. Yes, it will stink, but at least it won’t rust.

    For the guns, car doors, house items, garden tools, etc, it would be better to use shortening, Crisco, lard, etc. (The fishy oil will attract bugs, flies, bees, etc, but we gotta keep our inventiveness and imagination working at 100{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to help get thru what ever comes our way.)

    Even the OIL from the side of your nose can be smeared onto little things to add a bit of lube. I’ve used that trick on the “joints” of “break-down” fishing rods, to prevent the socket joint from seizing up in the forest, fishing on a small stream, far from where the car was parked.

    Ever had a hard time getting those fishing rod sections apart and worried about breaking them? Put the rod behind your knees, grip the 2 sections behind you, with your hands OUTSIDE of your knee area, and expand your knees outward and it pushes your hands apart in a straight line to separate those pole sections evenly.

    Yes, human faces also produce SALTY sweat, but on a COLD face, we produce no sweat but still make enough oil for a few little things.

    • I find that in many cases, a thin coating of petroleum jelly works great as a grease. It is very low in toxicity, cheap, virtually odorless and works well. I would use this on my guns rather than fishy oil that could warn an enemy of my presence when I am trying to be stealthy or evade them. Not that fishy oil doesn’t have its nutritional value, of course.
      Same goes for tuna. Packed in oil, it can be mixed with the oil and spread on bread or crackers for eating, with no mayo required. Problem now is that very few people will eat fish that is packed in oil, so prepping with it has problems with use and turnover. After the balloon goes up, people will be thrilled to have enough food to eat regardless of what it is. Until then, not so much. :-/

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