Episode-362- Call In Friday 1-22-10 — 22 Comments

  1. Great show today Jack.
    I’m sure you know this but I just wanted to add a word about hard tack or the jaw breaking survival biscuits for anyone who doesn’t know the story on these and is wondering how you eat such a hard chunk of food.
    Back in the day they would break it into a chunk small enough to fit in a mug and soak it with hot coffee until it turned into a kind of porridge. The alternative was to put it in a mug of rum or whiskey and carefully heat it into a porridge.
    Thanks for all you do Jack!

  2. You can also just heat it in a bit of water. Mostly I think in the Civil war era they soaked it in coffee to make both items more palatable.

  3. I don’t think the recipe link for the australian Tahirua biscuits produce anything like the HEB’s being handed out in Haiti, they say the HEB’s can be crubled up and heated with water or milk and made into a gruel. They seem to be available across the pond but not over here. Still looking tho!

  4. @Rich,

    I am sure that recipe will be a basic gruel if you do the same thing with it. What else would you expect a whole wheat biscuit to turn into?

  5. @Jack,

    The biscuits you mentioned sound like the war biscuits send by mothers to the sons in World War 1 called Anzac (Australian New Zealand Army Corp) Biscuits or at least similar. You could mix the recipes easily.

    These biscuits really are mixtures of long shelf life foods like butter, coconuts, wheat, sugar, syrup, oats and a little water when it’s baked moisture goes and you have a long life biscuit.

  6. Jack,

    EM5 ( is the supplier of those High Energy Biscuits to the WFP. I looked but I wasn’t able to find an online distributor. EM5’s primary customers are NGO’s so it looks like they only ship in bulk to those types of organizations. FYI, The parent company of EM5 is Vita Pakistan Limited (

  7. hi jack, I am listening to you from Germany.I have a comment to the question about how to get to the food and other things for that matter when the house gets destroyed.They sell some barrels out of plastik we call Maischefass over here. It is used in winemaking so I think they are safe for foodstorage. there are many pictures on googel. They come in different sizes and are watertight. Good for burying in the garden. That is my plan anyway and I hope it works since I have not tried it yet.
    good job, love listening, hugs gabriele

  8. A bisquit with a nut butter in it (tahini) will go rancid, sooner than later. We would have to come up with a way to get additional fat and moisture into the recipe, while removing the tahini.

  9. I agree on the nut butter, and have also talked to someone who says the biscuits (which are in either foil or mylar she wasn’t sure) are not that hard. Breaking teeth is an issue they don’t want to deal with during a disaster. Any chance we could contact the manufacturer of these things for a group buy?

  10. the condensed milk will also go bad sooner than later.

    I have recipes for things similar to a clif bar that I cold post. However, they wouldn’t have an “unlimited” shelf life like these WHO bars do.

  11. Jack,
    Expanding foam mixed with steel wool for blocking holes in attic. Also, if ppl are unsure whether or not a hole is in use, stuff it with newspaper. If its in use they will pull out the paper.

  12. Never made this but should be good,
    Translated from Dutch.

    “Survival” cake (recipe)

    Total: energy 31600 kJ, fat 38%, carbohydrates 55%, proteins 6.3%

    – 100 gr sugar
    – 200 ml oil (sunflower)
    – 100 gr honey
    – 200 ml milk
    – 1 teaspoon salt
    – 50 gr dried figs
    – 100 gr dried apricots
    – 100 gr buckwheat flour
    – 500 gr plain flour
    – 300 gr rye flour
    – 100 gr cocos flour
    – 100 gr almonds

    • Heat up the sugar, honey, oil, salt and milk in a large pan.
    • Chop up the apricots and figs.
    • Mix the dried fruits with all the other ingredients, and give it a good knead
    • The “dough” texture you get should be very dry.
    • Put everything in a greased baking tin.
    • Bake the cake in a oven on 180 degrees celsius, in about 1 hour.

    • 1/10th of this cake equals a main meal.
    • Drink plenty of water with it!
    • If you pack it well (in plastic) it’ll be good for weeks.

  13. For a tall fruit tree that does not spread much take a look at persimmon trees. They get about 25 feet tall and about 15 feet in diameter.

  14. Challenge coin – should be related to the challenge being made. Anyone might have a silver eagle. Agreed some precious metal is good for crunch situations – probably bribes. But the one you give it to has to recognize it as value. Few people will even recognize a silver eagle but those will know what it’s worth. It’s unlikely any given person will recognize a privately minted coin with a proprietary design. It could be a subway token to them. Both are good; just not the same thing.

    BOB packing – I carried some table salt in a pocket in my survival vest. It was triple packed in 3 ziplock bags. When I went to check and rotate a year later, some metal in the next pocket was corroded. No sign of physical leakage and in Arizona’s dry climate humidity transfer has to be low. Be careful with potential corrosives.

    Homemade antibiotics – check out:
    ‘Expedient Antibiotic Production’, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1988

    A study made in 1988 about emergency production after a nuclear attack.

    Drugs used in Biological Infections, WHO, 2001

    Don’t forget things like onion, garlic, honey, etc.

  15. @Anozira

    No worries thanks for the resources and cleaned em up and hot linked them for you.