Monday, August 4, 2014


     About four years ago I was getting into prepping and I bought several cases of oatmeal from the LDS Online Store.  It seemed like it was a good price so I ordered it.  When it was delivered, I dutifully stacked the cases in my storage room.  After almost a year had passed, I decided that I wanted some rice in my storage as well.  So I ordered one case of rice from the LDS Store.  It was delivered and my excitement for being prepared grew even more.  Some days I would look at my supplies and be quite content that I had done the right thing by going to a source that received such high praises from so many people on You Tube (YT). 

     I had learned about the potential for infestation by various insect pests while I was a Contract Administrator for a large pest control contract.  I decided that I didn’t want all those cardboard boxes in my food storage room as they serve as food for the bugs in addition to being excellent breeding grounds for American and German Cockroaches.  I built new wooden shelving and unpacked my #10 cans of oatmeal that I had purchased from the LDS Store.  All were fine and I had no complaints about them.  However, when I opened the case of rice, it was a different story.  The condition of the cardboard case was perfect.  Not a dent, bump or snag was to be found, so I saw no need for concern and I let the cans stay inside the unopened box for several months.

     Here are pictures of the box showing its condition:


     When the day came when I removed the cans, I found something totally surprising!  Half of the cans were damaged!  They didn’t just have damage like small indentations on the sides, some were crushed on the seams by some type of compressive action coming from the direction of the bottom. 

     Here are pictures of the damaged cans:


     When you’re ordering something that’s advertised as being something that your family’s lives might depend on, you simply don’t expect to receive it in this condition.  That might seem trivial to some folks, but it isn’t trivial to me.

     At this writing, I suspect it was from the machine that put the tops on the cans while spinning them at high speed.  Watch the video in the link provided in a paragraph below and at 6:44 into the video, you will see the can almost fly off the lid machine because it is still spinning when the inexperienced man releases the lever that holds it.  Also, if the machine wasn’t adjusted properly, the lever action by the operator could easily provide the crushing pressure to damage the cans in the way they have been.  The sad thing about that is that multiple people handled those damaged cans on their way to the shipping carton.  It wasn’t just the lid installer operator that did all this work.  Someone else was helping them.  Combine that fact with the excellent condition of the case and that leaves only one fact:

     The crushed cans were knowingly placed in the shipping box while in that severely damaged condition to be sent out to a customer.

     That extent of damage could not have occurred in transit or else the box would have been crushed and ripped open.

     I have come a long way with my preps.  I have a year’s supply of food for seven people, and I broke it down into the five nutritional groups.  They are:  Fruits, Vegetables, Protein, Grains, and Calcium Sources (not Dairy).  I have taken serious looks at what people are promoting on YT for a few years now.  I feel that most of it is incorrect or just plain deceptive.

     I used to think that all these people really knew so much about being prepared.  I was mistaken.  Some do, some don't.  I have come to realize that most of them know enough about prepping to prey on people’s fears and try to sell them all kinds of foodstuffs and storage gimmicks.  Then you have others that when you look at what they’re doing, it clearly doesn’t make any logical sense.  I know now that I have a much better understanding of being prepared than they do.  On top of that, I don’t try to sell people anything, I don’t do product reviews in order to get free samples, and I don’t have a book I’m trying to sell.  Further, I don’t need people to “like” me on Facebook, because I’m not even on it or any of the other “social media” sites.  If they are indeed social media, why are so many corporations on there pimping their products?  Think about it.

     The thing that concerns me most about the LDS cans that were obviously severely damaged prior to shipment is the high number of YT videos available for viewing that show exactly what I had. Boxes upon boxes that have not been opened since they were received, because the boxes are in perfect condition.  What will those people find when they open their boxes from LDS?  I hope they’re not disappointed with what they find.

     Now there is cause for additional concern.  If they or their volunteers will knowingly ship out crushed cans that people expect to use for survival food, what proof do we have that an oxygen absorber was even put into the can when it was being prepared?  We have no proof.

     It’s a known fact that people go to LDS Canneries and volunteer in the packaging of foods allegedly for long term storage.  Look at some of the videos on YT about volunteering at the canneries.  Look at people wearing gloves and then scratching their faces or sliding their glasses up on their nose without replacing the gloves before touching the food products.  How about face masks in a food packaging facility?  Where are they?  Where is the Quality Control?  Where is the Supervision?  Is there a possibility that an oxygen absorber was not placed into every can?  Are we even positive of what’s actually in our cans?

     Here is a link showing where children as young as 10 are normally allowed to help in the canning process:

     As all kids will do, I believe that they are just there having fun doing something different and as such they are not really paying attention to food packing.  That potentially allows many packaging errors to take place without corrections being made.  If it sounds like I’m aiming this discussion at innocent children, I’m not.  But then you must consider the alternative.  That would be an adult knowingly placing those severely damaged cans in the box for shipment.  In any event, I will not be ordering anything else from the LDS Store.  I will either order from a regulated commercial vendor or package the food myself.  I have no hard feelings against the LDS Store, but it was a good lesson learned.  I should have opened the cases as soon as I received them.  Open your cases of food as soon as you receive them and inspect every can, regardless of what the outside of the shipping container looks like, OR who you order it from.

     I know now that I trust myself better than anyone when it comes to being prepared.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my experience.  I hope it promotes you to exercise reasonable caution when you're working on your family's food storage pantry.  Feel free to share your comments if you would like to.

Have a great food storing day!
Bob Hotaling

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