Sunday, August 26, 2012

Financial Advice

It's always worth at least what you pay for it, so keep that in mind but;
Here's a reader comment on the price of meat over at Insty. It goes along with some cooking wisdom which of itself is probably worth thinking about. This fellow makes large quantities of food for the family on Sunday which they eat all week. The diet varies weekly rather than daily, but cooking and cost is reduced.

He notes that hamburger on sale is running $5/lb which seems rather high to me. Glen Reynolds observes that between the drought and federal ethanol mandates, ranchers are selling off livestock they can no longer afford to feed, driving down the price of meat. Next year we can expect very high meat prices and short supply.

All this suggests that a modest freezer might be one of the better investments out there right now. Fill it with meat now, and avoid paying $10/lb or more for burger next year. Of course this may not work if the rolling blackouts caused by the shutdown of coal-fired power plants hit your particular area.

This brings up the next logical step; a generator. Of course you'll want a supply of ethanol-free gas to keep it running, so scroll down to the previous ethanol post and read it and the comments on how to avoid having federally mandated alcohol-added gas ruin your generator so that the federally mandated power outages don't cause your federally price-enhanced meat to spoil.

Good Luck all!


Brad K. said...

Not on the shelf, maybe, but the ammonia cycle refrigeration approach may be viable. The Amish use it, and some RVs, too. This is the one Einstein invented, that uses ammonia and butane, and a small heat source to cause cold to happen.

Back before DuPont patented freon, this was the way to keep stuff cold. Short of a 9 meter deep bank of mid-winter snow and ice buried in a hole 10 meters across. I imagine you would want to chip in with the neighbors to share the burden, and the ability to freeze stuff.

Most, I think, use propane for a heat source to power the cycle. I imagine with enough insulation to hold overnight and over cloudy days, even solar might suffice, though temperature control might be a bit less predictable.

I recall when the local butcher rented out drawers for freezing lots of meat -- like a 1/4th of a beef or 1/2 a hog. I think those might have been ammonia cycle, and independently powered, at a time when electricity was nice but maybe not as dependable as it has been. Outside California. Or where FEMA moves in to maintain services.

Oakenheart said...

Diesel generator. Sealed barrels of diesel with PRI-D should last 10-20 years and still be useable. Not to mention you can filter veggie oil and run that if needed.