A church in southeast Ohio hosted a potluck dinner one Sunday evening.
About 60 people enjoyed the food provided by many of the attendees.
Unfortunately, after the event, around 20 people fell ill with botulism.
Dozens of people, ranging in age from 9 to 87 were hospitalized. Five people were in critical condition, and a 54-year-old woman passed away.
According to the CDC, botulism is not usually fatal.
But symptoms typically start within 36 hours and include paralysis, difficulty swallowing, and respiratory issues.
The CDC released vials of antitoxin from the Strategic National Stockpile to treat the patients. The antitoxin was intravenously administered to patients.
The local health department attempted to identify the contaminated food.
They also tracked down those who attended the gathering to make sure all leftovers were thrown away.
A doctor at the hospital where the patients were treated said, “In this day and age, botulism from food is fairly rare. Generally, it’s canned foods. The fatality rate is usually fairly low.”
The fact is, cooking food for large events such as this is a common thing for a lot of good-meaning people.
What I mean is, I’m sure those who made the food for this gathering feel terrible about what happened.
Of course, when most people cook food in their home, they have all the necessities to ensure the food is as safe as possible.
But when cooking during a disaster or bug-out situation, it can be more challenging to make a safe and healthy meal.
One thing that can make cooking during a disaster a bit easier is using cast iron.
Cast iron is a great cookware to use in everyday life, but during a disaster, it’s even better.
Now, while it’s true that cast iron is heavier and bulkier than normal cookware, a
cast iron pan gives you the ability to cook a lot of things with minimal effort.
Cast iron is easy to cook with, and simple to clean and reuse.
In addition, here are a few reasons why you might want to add cast iron cookware to your survival gear.
Cast iron is heavy-duty. It won’t chip or fall apart.
Another thing about cast iron is that it can withstand very hot temperatures.
So, whether you are cooking on coals, or an open flame cast iron will work.
A cast iron pan can withstand 500 degrees without being damaged. Some outdoor cookware can’t withstand these temps.
During a disaster, when survival is the primary goal, you might not make the taste of your food a priority.
But there’s no question that eating good-tasting food can boost morale during a disaster.
If you have ever cooked with cast iron, you know food simply tastes better when cooked this way.
The belief is that the food tastes better because cast iron does a better job of distributing the heat compared to other cookware.
During a disaster, the last thing you want to worry about is extensive clean-up after your meal.
You don’t want to waste precious water and soap on dishes. These can be saved for more important tasks.
The best way to clean cast iron is to wipe it down with a paper towel.
This will usually remove most of the leftover food. If there is anything stuck on the cast iron, you can usually scrape it off with a spatula.
One reason you want to avoid using soap and water is that it can remove the seasoning from the cast iron and cause it to rust.
Easy to cook:
Another benefit of cooking with cast iron is that you don’t need a lot of added ingredients to cook. For instance, with cast iron, you don’t need oil or butter for the pan.
This means you have fewer things to carry and worry about adding. Plus, cooking without these usually makes the food healthier.
As I previously said, cast iron pans are nearly indestructible. This means they can be used for a lot of purposes.
One thing to keep in mind is that cast iron can be used to hit a person or animal that is threatening you.
A cast iron pan to the head can do a lot of damage.
If you run out of ammo or have no way to defend yourself a cast iron pan is better than nothing.
So, even with the weight of cast iron it is worth considering for your survival gear. It’s a do-it-all cooking tool that can last a lifetime if cared for.
In addition, it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other cookware. For example, the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet sells for about $25 on Amazon.