Was the social response to Covid-19 ready-made from home-based freeze drying?

Author: fauxlaw ,

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  • fauxlaw
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    Three-plus years ago, I purchased a freeze dryer, expecting mostly to freeze dry my own produce of fruits and vegetables from my garden. Quick lesson on freeze drying: Food is cut/sliced to thickness not to exceed 0.5", put on steel trays and into a vacuum-sealable cylindrical chamber, which pulls a vacuum while also reduced in temperature to -40 degrees for a duration of 24 to 36 hours. The process is call subduction, in which, under the conditions of vacuum and temp noted, virtually all water is extracted from the food in a direct-phase transfer from liquid to vapor, leaving the food size intact. There result is a pleasantly crunchy texture that melts in your mouth. When the food is subsequently sealed in a mylar bag with a desiccant pouch, it remains edible for 25 years. I've found that vacuum-sealed bags are also a good packing technique if you have one of those devices.

    However, virtallyany food can be freeze dried with little excption: a butter stick, for example, even sliced, may explode. A block of cheese, the same. However, with either frozen, then shredded, it's freeze-driable. Ice cream, when sliced into small bars, is fabulous. Casseroles, entrees, mashed potatoes, canned soups and vegetables... you name it, as long as cut t size [or liquids just poured into the trays, are all freeze dryed easily. One benefit: all flavors are wildly enhanced because water dilutes flavor.

    I may be preaching to a choir among a few of you. If you've ever eaten freeze died, you're missing a treat. Casseroles and such merely have to be reconstituted with oiling water and stirred to restore to your familiar casserole condition, but just eating it in the freeze dry condition is also very tasty. 

    The point is, I've found that a freeze dried storage is made to order for this current shopping crisis. I highly recommend the purchase, anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000. It paid for itself inside of two years of use. That's a valid return on investment.
  • oromagi
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     sounds tasty.  What makes the cheese explode?  How does shredding solve it?

    Did u see this on the AP?


    Not exactly gloating, stockpiling 'preppers' have a moment

    • TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Curt La Haise has put up with plenty of razzing from friends over the years who have called him paranoid for stockpiling an eight-month supply of food in his basement and having enough fuel to power his generator for almost an entire winter.
    • They're not laughing anymore amid panic buying that has cleared store shelves across the U.S. and growing fears that the new coronavirus will force many Americans to self-quarantine for weeks in their homes.
    • “Now my friends are like, ‘What should I do, what should I get?’” said La Haise, who operates a firearms and safety training business near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. “Prepping doesn’t look so bad now.”
    • For those in the often-mocked "prepper” community, this is quickly becoming their “I told you so” moment. But many are resisting saying that, even if it's in the back of their minds. What they hope is that they'll finally be taken seriously and that more people will follow their lead.
    • “We're not laughing. We're not saying, ‘I told you so,' when people are out there fighting over toilet paper and hand sanitizers,” said Paul Buescher, of Northfield Center Township, Ohio.
    • Buescher is one of 32 members of a group in northeastern Ohio that shares a farm packed with enough canned and dehydrated food and water to last for years. He said he is now getting calls all day long asking for advice.
    • Survival supply stores can't keep up with the demand for food kits and medical supplies.
    • “Every single business that has to do with emergency preparedness is overloaded,” said John Ramey, founder of a Colorado-based prepper website called "The Prepared."
    • Most preppers say they are about self-reliance and common sense and are quick to distance themselves from the “doomsday preppers” who are depicted on television shows awaiting the day most of the world's population is wiped off the map.
    • “The vast majority of this is ‘beans and Band-Aids,’ not ‘bullets and bunkers,’” Ramey said.
    • Jim Cobb, a disaster readiness consultant and editor-in-chief of Prepper Survival Guide magazine, said he has seen a few fellow preppers gloating on social media about people who are crowding stores in search of disinfectants.
    • “I hate the thought of alienating any of them because they think were a bunch of elitist goofballs.” he said. “We're trying to take advantage of the opportunity that for once they're not laughing and pointing fingers at us.”
    • While most people who have tested positive for the virus experience only mild or moderate symptoms, there's a greater danger and longer recovery period for older adults and people with existing health problems.
    • Experts say it's most important to practice safe hygiene: Wash hands frequently, cover sneezes and coughs, and stay home if fever or other symptoms arise.
    • As for the preppers, they have their own recommendations for anyone who is unsure of what to do next
      • Be ready to stay at home for at least two weeks. Have plenty of food and water. Don't forget about your pets and medicines. That includes over-the-counter products for fevers and coughs.
      •  Yes, toilet paper is important, but so are hand sanitizers, disinfectants, sanitation wipes, eye protection and gloves.
      • Get your finances in order. Make sure you can pay your bills and have cash on hand.
      • Maybe most important, relax and don’t panic. And pay attention to the news and what's happening around you.
    ___



  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @fauxlaw
    how much can you do at one time?

    who does it compare to a vacuum sealer or dehydrator?
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @TheDredPriateRoberts
    Volume is about 102 cu. in. in each tray x 4 trays; about 400 cu in.. in a batch. For example, I can process about 160 apricots, halved and de-pitted in one batch. Or, about 12 servings of spaghetti [noodles and sauce]. 4 10-in bags of frozen peas. 8 cans of 10-oz soup concentrate.

    A dehydrator [I have one, too, but almost never use it anymore] does not have the advantage of sublimation, i.e., the removal of water in a vacuum state, which allows the water transition direct from frozen to vapor without passing through a liquid phase. The result is virtually complete water removal [a dehydrator cannot do that], and, a more concentrated flavor.

    I've found the cost of use is barely measurable relative to energy cost.

    The con argument? There is a vacuum pump involved, and that needs bi-annual partial tear-down maintenance [about an hour's time] and it consumes a quart of pump oil every dozen or so cycles [batches] [~$8 ea.], but I have devised an oil filtering system that extends that usage to about 30 batches before I must change the oil. There is an innovation of an oilless, embedded vacuum pump that is now in use to eliminate all of that, but I've chosen to keep what I have for now. Being retired, I have time for the maintenance.
  • fauxlaw
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    I have a real treat of a freeze-dry recipe that can be duplicated in a dehydrator. I call them herb-crusted tomato chips. I slice  tomatoes about 1/4" thick, lay the slices in my trays, and top with a few drops of olive oil, then a mix of grated parmesan cheese, a dash of onion and garlic powder, chopped parsley, basil, thyme, and sprinkle the mix on the oil, press it into the oil with a finger [or the vacuum will pull it off during processing]. The result is 100x better than potato chips.

  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    I remember I had freeze dried ice cream once as a very young kid. I also remember that I loved it, though I do not  remember whether I loved it because it tasted good or because I was a young kid and it was marketed as "astronaut food" 
  • fauxlaw
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    I'll wager it was both. But then, I start by making the ice cream myself, and I have a personally developed dark chocolate recipe that is so rich you can eat about a cup of it, and your sweet tooth is positivity orgasmic. Though my wife disagrees, if you can do it, it ain't bragging [the ice cream, not necessary the orgasm]