How to Make Penicillin at Home (Just in Case SHTF)

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What’s rotting in your kitchen right now? How about we grab it, and make life-saving antibiotics with it? We’ll take you through the steps, and you’ll be prepared if the world ends by Sunday.

Penicillin, the most famous antibiotic of all time, has saved millions of lives. And it’s quietly lurking in your kitchen right now. If you have that moldy piece of bread in a bag at the back of the fridge, or a rotting cantaloupe or orange in the crisper, you’re most likely growing penicillin by accident. In fact, penicillin’s whole discovery hinged on the fact that it was easy to grow accidentally.

The Accidental History of Penicillin

Infection has always been a killer, and while soap and water could prevent it externally, when it went internal humans were often helpless. Any anti-bacterial agent injected into the body would kill a person more quickly than the infection would. Then Alexander Fleming had the nasal drip felt round the world. He was working with a plate of bacteria when his nose dripped into them. The bacteria around the dripping died off, and he was encouraged by the idea that the body could tolerate internally a substance that could fight off bacteria.

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WATCH THIS VIDEO and you will find many interesting things!

Fleming’s next stroke of luck came when he lost his assistant. When dishes of bacteria were no longer useful, they were put in a sort of tub of bleach. Without his assistant, Fleming’s dirty dishes formed towers in the tub. The highest dishes sat well above bleach, and remained filthy. They grew even filthier when mold which had floated up from the lab downstairs started growing on them. And then they stopped being as filthy, when the mold, one of the many types of penicillium fungi, killed off the bacteria.

That was all the luck Fleming got. It took years to find a way to cultivate the right strain of penicillium, and to extract the right parts of it to make penicillin.

How to Make Your Own Penicillin

The strains that we have are from the mold grown on a cantaloupe in the 1940s, so you can grab some cantaloupe if you’re feeling like a traditionalist. Otherwise, a leftover crust of bread or the peel of some citrus fruit will do fine. The mold will start out gray, but as it develops will turn a bright blue-green. Once it gets started, cut the bread up into pieces and put it in a sterilized flask. (You can sterilize a flask by putting it in an oven at 315 degrees for an hour.) Incubate it in the flask for about a week at around seventy degrees.

Some people just stop there. Folk recipes for “penicillin tea” or “penicillin soup” abound, with people just boiling up the molded bread or adding the citrus to tea with honey, and serving it to sick people. (Note: Do not do this.)

If you want to get more involved, you can extract the penicillin by sterilizing yet another jar and, according to the experts, adding the following:

Into 500ml of cold tap water put 44.0 grams Lactose Monohydrate, 25.0 grams cornstarch, 3.0 grams sodium nitrate, 0.25 grams magnesium sulfate, 0.50 grams potassium phosphate mono, 2.75 grams glucose monohydrate, 0.044 grams zinc sulfate, 0.044 grams manganese sulfate. Then add enough cold tap water to make one liter. Use hydrochloric acid to adjust the pH to between 5.0 and 5.5.

Then you add the spores from the moldy bread. Another seven days incubation will leave the penicillin floating in the liquid portion of the results. A quick filter and you have penicillin.

Urgent Medical Disclaimer!

In theory, at least, you have penicillin. I must stress at this point that you should not use this homemade penicillin on any limb that you want to keep. Although you did probably get a lot of penicillium mold growing on the bread, you also got other molds. Even with the right kind of fungi growing, filtering out everything but the penicillin is difficult, and best left to the professionals. Molds make a lot of different things to kill bacteria, and many of them are harmful to humans. While there are plenty of survivalist websites that recommend clapping whatever grows on bread or citrus to your wound, and while that might even be an option sometimes after the world ends, there are better options right now, and you should take advantage of them. If you want to see how well you’ve done making penicillin, try growing a tray of bacteria and using the penicillin on that.

If you’re interested in learning more old remedies, you should read The Lost Book Of Remedies.

The physical book has 300 pages, with 3 colored pictures for every plant and for every medicine.

Lost Book of Remedies pages

It was written by Claude Davis, whose grandfather was one of the greatest healers in America. Claude took his grandfather’s lifelong plant journal, which he used to treat thousands of people, and adapted it into this book.

Learn More…

Lost Book of Remedies cover

Could you Really Turn Family Away During a Disaster? THIS IS A QUESTION IN EVERY PREPPERS MIND WITH IDYLLIC ANSWERS, UNTIL THE SHTF!

IMPORTANT: I wrote this post to get people to think about this very likely situation. Today we have the luxury of thinking in black and white, but each SHTF scenario will require different actions, and all those actions will have different consequences and repercussions. Whether you agree or disagree is not important…thinking about it is.

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One part of prepping that is sometimes overlooked or not given the consideration it deserves is what you will do when someone comes knocking on your door. I’m not talking about the wondering stranger, I’m talking about close family members that may or may not know you are prepping.

The question we need to ask ourselves and think about very seriously is who you would turn away, and what extended family members would you help out in a disaster or SHTF event.

Unfortunately this is just the first step, now you need to think about how you are going to handle the situation of having extra mouths to feed. This is all dependent on whether you decide to help them or turn them away, and as I said in the last article, (and I am talking about close family, not the entire family) I just couldn’t turn close family members away. If you could, my bet is there are other circumstances that weigh into your decision other than survival.

Missed it by That Much…

How would you decide who could stay and who needed to go away? This is a tough question, but it’s one we really need to put a lot of thought into. Deciding on who would make the cut could be the difference between surviving and thriving, or throwing everything you have down the tubes.

To me there are a few factors that I would have to think about…

1. How Close Are They?

It’s just not feasible to think that you can bring everyone and everyone they bring with them in during an SHTF event, most of us can barely afford to get ourselves prepared. Like it or not, we are going to have to figure out how to say “I just can’t do it”

In the podcast we used my son and his fiancée as an example, I absolutely want him here, and I know he won’t come without her. She has her twin sister that she is very close to and who knows who else she would want to bring along, so how do I handle that situation?

As much as it would pain me I would have to have a conversation with my son and tell him that he has a choice to make. If he chooses to stay it will only be him and her, if he chooses to stay with her I would help as much as I could and send them on their way.

2. What is my Family’s Opinion?

In any marriage we are bound to have different opinions about people than our spouse, and this should weigh heavily into your decision. Your husband or wife’s opinion about your favorite cousin might be completely different than yours.

Have a conversation now with your family about who would stay and why, try to put personal feelings aside and come to a rational conclusion about whether they would be an asset or a hindrance to your survival plan. Also, try not to get into an argument when you’re talking about this, a divorce is the last thing you want.

3. How Helpful Have They Been?

During your conversation with your family your past experiences with this person are bound to come up. What is their personality like? And how has our past relationship been?

Some people are helpful, some are all about themselves and some people are know it all’s. We can tolerate these personality traits now, but in an SHTF situation these traits will be magnified.

4. How Helpful Would They Be?

I dig a little deeper into this later, but think about how they would benefit your situation, what skills do they have that would help you in a disaster situation. Even if someone is a “one upper” and it drives you crazy, they might have skills that would be useful to you.

Do they have carpentry, electrical, gardening or welding skills? In situations like these we will need to weigh the good with the bad to figure out if we give them a thumbs up, or a thumbs down.

5. What Challenges Do They Bring?

Just as important as thinking about what they bring to the table is what they will be taking from the table. The truth is that any time you add someone to the equation the situation becomes more complicated, and sometimes the negatives so outweigh the positives you need to make that tough decision.

The Double Edged Sward

As much as it drives me nuts knowing that I shouldn’t have to prepare for someone who doesn’t see why it’s important, I do understand that this is a catch 22 that I might have to deal with.

We can barely prepare for ourselves, let alone for the family members that might end up on our doorstep, but unless you are willing to turn everyone away it is a problem you are bound to face.

One other option that could be another article all by itself is bugging out altogether. We always think about security from marauders and criminals, but what if so many people end up at your door that you have no option other than leave, you might have to.

How Much Extra do you Prepare?

Because we can only do what we can do, and sometimes storage space and money are limited I think more along the lines of “how can they make my situation better?” Maybe saying that you should turn this into a positive is a little optimistic, but at least try to make it a little less negative.

Storing extra beans, rice, flour and dry goods will go a long way and give you the basics you will need, but at some point it will run out. Have plans in place to use them like you would an employee, start thinking like a post collapse CEO.

Set the guidelines and expectations from day one. You need to let them know that if you are going to let them stay there for however long that might be you expect them to help. What is impossible for 2 or 3 people to do in a day might be possible with more people, expanding the garden, foraging, hunting, raising more animals for food and building/repairing will become more possible with more people.

The Come to Jesus Talk

At first we might need to lower our expectations because most unprepared people will try to hold on to their Pollyanna reality as long as possible, they will be like a junkies going through withdraws. This is why it’s important to set your expectations from day one.

You might hear things like “why are you rationing the water? This will be over in a day or two?” or “Look at all this food, were going to eat like kings!” These people might have no idea what we could be in for, and need to be set straight before it becomes a problem.

At some point it might become necessary to have what I call the “come to Jesus talk” people will tell you whatever you want to hear to get your help, but if they are not holding up their end of the bargain you might have to have the tough conversation neither one of you want to have.

You might have to say…

“This is what you told me you would do when you came here, and this is what you are actually doing (or not doing), how are we going to fix this? Does this mean you need to go? Or are you going to get onboard and pull your weight?”

Problems like these are bound to happen, and these are situations we need to be able to face, otherwise disappearing and not letting people know where you are might be the better option.

What Would you Do?

This is a question a friend in our Facebook group posed and we dig into it because it is a situation we might need to think about. Would you turn people away and why? Let us know in the comments below.

The Main Component To Survival That Everyone Needs To Consider: Stockpiling Food Might Be Your Best Investment When The SHTF

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Today I wanted to share tips for how to stockpile food for emergencies that anyone can use. I will focus on preppers who are just starting out, but I think some ideas in the topics below could be useful to anyone looking to ensure their family has food and does not go hungry.

I believe there are 5 main components to survival that everyone needs to consider. They are simply Water, Food, Shelter, Security and Hygiene.  The need for water and how you can easily store water for emergencies that render your traditional methods of obtaining water impossible. Water is more important to life than food or at least you can live longer without food than you can water, but they are both important.

Why do you need to stockpile food for emergencies?

If you are new to prepping, you may have something that triggered your awareness of the subject. Preppers have many reasons for doing what they do and no two preppers are alike. Some are preparing for the end of the world, but most see situations in our daily lives that give a perfect reason to stock up supplies. You have only to look at the recent winter storm that affected large swaths of the Eastern Seaboard to have a perfect example of why you don’t want to be left without a means to feed your family.

It seems almost cliché at this point, but invariably it always happens when a winter storm is forecast. Everyone rushes out to the store and certain food supplies are wiped out. Images of empty shelves are shown on practically every newscast and eventually prepper websites. Food shortages during simple storms are common if not expected. We don’t really even blink anymore because we are so used to this practice of waiting until the last-minute and then hitting the local grocery store on the way home from work to grab some basic necessities or comfort food.

If you can’t live for more than 3 days without going to the store, it’s time to reevaluate your family’s readiness. The statistic we hear most of the time is that the average home has only 3 days’ worth of food in it. If this is true, where would you be on day three if you had not been able to make it to the grocery store before the storm? What if instead of a snow storm, a virus outbreak had occurred and everyone was told to stay indoors to prevent infection? Each of us should have more food on hand that our families and friends will eat than is absolutely necessary to prevent surprises from leaving you hungry.

How much food do you need to store?

In the example above I used a virus outbreak as the condition that would prevent you from getting to the store. There are others though and weather could certainly be one of them. Some storms where I live have left roads impassable for upwards of a week. Could we walk to the store? Sure, but what if the stores having already been cleared of just about all of the food were closed? What if power outages prevented them from conducting any transactions? These are things you should consider.

Prepping is not something I ever consider you can accomplish. By that I mean, you are never going to be fully prepared. You may be much better prepared than some or all of the people around you, but you will never be 100% self-sufficient. Prepping should be done incrementally even if you have more money than you know what to do with because as you start to stock up food you learn lessons.

A good rule of thumb for me is to start small when you are beginning to stockpile food for emergencies. You don’t need a year of freeze-dried foods to start with. Try just having a week or two of extra groceries that your family already eats. This is accomplished without any exotic storage needs usually or 5 gallon buckets of grains you have to figure out how to prepare.

What are the best types of food to stockpile?

My wife purchases the groceries and I started out by giving her extra money to simply buy more food. I did this in the beginning because she is a much better shopper than I am and will always save more money than me. This worked great because she was easily able to fill our pantry and had plenty of meals planned to last us well over 30 days. Sure, at the end of that 30 days of food we would be getting into more exotic cans of mushrooms and soups that are better left as part of a recipe as opposed to your entire meal, but we wouldn’t starve.

Once we had a month worth of food and water stored up, I started looking at other options. I think each person should have a layered approach to food storage. This gives you flexibility and more importantly variety that as you go out to 6 months or 1 year or 2 will be important. My own personal goal is 2 years’ worth of food stockpiled for my family but that isn’t made up of only food from our grocery store. That can certainly be done though with a very good rotation plan.

Food storage should ideally cover the following:

Short Term Food Storage – The best and simplest foods are like I said above, what your family eats every day. One thing to consider is that the bulk of this food should be non-perishable in case you lose power. Canned foods are great as well as pastas, drink mixes and staples. These usually last at least a year.

Medium Term Food Storage – For the 5 – 10 year range MRE’s are a great option although they are heavier and their convenience comes at a higher price. I have several boxes of these and I like MRE’s because they are self-contained and don’t really need any water. Freeze dried camping foods like Mountain House are another great option to just add hot water to. Rice and beans make great additions to this category because you don’t really have to do anything crazy to store them as long as they are kept cool and dry.

Long Term Food Storage – When you start to look at foods that will keep for many years you get into stored grains like Hard Red Winter Wheat that you store in sealed 5 gallon buckets. Freeze dried food from any one of many suppliers out there keep for 20 years usually and are individually wrapped Mylar packets. They require water to re-hydrate but the taste can be surprisingly good. Make sure you have seasonings though….

Renewable Food Storage – This is when you have to get your inner farmer working. Renewable foods are an intensive garden, small livestock like chickens or rabbits and the occasional wild game caught either through hunting or snares. In the worst disasters, your food will run out so having a plan for that ahead of time will help you prepare.

How do you plan for your food eventually running out?

I have a mix of the food storage options above. We eat on our grocery store items every day, but I also have MRE’s and a pretty large amount of freeze-dried foods stored. We also have the grains I mentioned and the all-important grain mill to grind them into flour. Several hundred pounds of rice and beans round out the equation.

Stockpiling food is only the start. We have a garden and small flock of chickens. The stored food is just to get us through the worst of the disaster. Hopefully before our food runs out whatever disaster has happened will be mitigated and life will have returned to some sense of normality. If not, we have a huge leg up that will allow us to further harvest our garden to put away food like the pioneers had to do. It is an approach that gives us some sense of security and prepares us to come out on the other side still alive.

What is your plan to stockpile food for emergencies?