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 Post subject: Canned mutiny
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:47 pm 
I'm 90% positive that the culrpit was canned corned beef. Rice normally doesn't provoke any uprising.

For 2 weeks for supper I used to open a can of corned beef (my main source of protein in long trips), emptied it in the pot with cooked rice, stirred, and consumed about the half, leaving the rest until the morning at room temperature. In the morning I added some water (so it wouldn't stick to the bottom), re-heated, drained the water, and ate as a breakfast. Sometimes with spices added. Fast, simple, and it never caused me any problems on weekend trips. After 2 or 3 days, though, my bowels went on strike, regularly, every morning, right after the breakfast. Even such a powerful thing as walnuts and raisins never caused that much disturbance. It didn't look like a poisoning - just a single act of revolt, but with a regularity of a courrier train - every morning. Going to meditate under the nearest cacti became a part of my pre-launch ritual, like some pre-flight check. I've been already thinking of replacing cans with beef with some dried meat - less weight and no problems with garbage disposal in wilderness, but still I'm wondering about such a behaviour of the canned corned beef.


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 Post subject: Re: Canned mutiny
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:45 pm 
Alm wrote:
For 2 weeks for supper I used to open a can of corned beef (my main source of protein in long trips), emptied it in the pot with cooked rice, stirred, and consumed about the half, leaving the rest until the morning at room temperature.


Beef, every day? Twice a day? :shock:

Here goes the classic line:

You are going to DIE! :cry:

Seriously, your reaction may be entirely due to quantity, not quality of the product. Although there are some dangers to eating meat that sat at room temperature overnight, it is the amount you describe that amuze me.

I had opportunities to taste some odd dishes, including a 3-day firepit-fermened goat, but it was keeping quantity in moderation that kept me safe. This was especially true for red meat dishes.

I understand the occasional need for high-protein diet, but so much processed red meat can easily cause major stomach issues. If you've been keeping this type of a diet for a while, you might want to consider a thorough medical check-up.

Dried meat is not much better -- too much additives. Freeze-dried pre-cooked meals might be a better alternative -- lighter than canned, usually do not take much room, and there is a decent variety to choose from.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:47 am 
I don't have any cans left, but the quantity wasn't really high - less than 1 lb. This is a processed meat, less meat and more water, fat, salt etc, - more a cooked ground beef than a real meat. At home I can easily consume more than 1 lb of a real meat daily (fried, stewed etc), without any consequences... My guess, - it wasn't really high quantity of protein, but rather a quantity of a wrong product - fat, additives etc. What can I do, they don't sell it in smaller cans...

>Freeze-dried pre-cooked meals might be a better alternative -- lighter than canned, usually do not take much room, and there is a decent variety to choose from.

I can't recall anything in MEC (my main source of general-purpose camping supplies); except for some mixes with freeze-dried meats, like soups, noodles etc. Will have to check again. I hate accumulating gizmos in my kitchen for use once in a blue moon, but looks like I need to buy a food dehydrator.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:33 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
Alex, let me introduce you to a fishing pole.

Kidding aside, there's got to be a more palatable menu. Dehydrator is probably the way to go for your adventures that involve air travel. There are quite a few freeze dried food options available south of the border (Canadian border, that is). I'd also try to pick up some local goods--the kind that can last several days-- before setting out.

I'm definately on the side of bringing more and better food and having more weight vs. sacrificing good vittles. I guess that's the Italian in me!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:01 am 
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Alex, like the other respondents to this thread, I am not an MD ... and, this medical advice is worth what you paid for it! :lol: :wink: :wink:

My guess is that you harbored some sort of intestinal bug that got off on the protein variety in the corned beef (that stuff is pretty poor nutrition -- this advice from a non-nutritionist is also worth zero!), and that it remained in hiding (so to speak) until its preferred fare came along, and responded explosively. :?

Another approach might be to encourage more healthy fauna in the gut by taking a hit of one of the lactobacilli inoculators ... yogurt in cool climates, and pills (from the health food store) in hot climes, every day.

A third guess (also worthless) is that you might have some other intolerance going, perhaps a latent lactose intolerance. I discovered mine about 3 years ago, because of symptoms similar to yours.

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Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:46 am 
For backpacking etc, I used to pack a lot of Lipton dried noodle packages. They're very similar to Hamburger Helper, only without the hamburger. They're alright by themselves, but a semi gourmet meal can be made by following a recipe on the back that sometimes includes chicken and green beans or something else. The chicken and green beans can be brought along canned. The real problem is the sodium and preservatives that are in these Lipton noodles :? .

Oatmeal/Porridge is an excellent camping food, though it becomes tiresome very soon.

In Stammtisch I wrote:
I seem to recall corned beef was a major staple of the RN. I wonder if a year+ of this menu followed by the fresh fruit, pork, etc of Tahiti led to some of Lieutenant Bligh's troubles with Mr. Christian and Co?


-Andreas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:34 pm 
>Another approach might be to encourage more healthy fauna in the gut by taking a hit of one of the lactobacilli inoculators ... yogurt in cool climates, and pills (from the health food store) in hot climes, every day.

My learned friend, cold you speak English :-) ? Local pharmacist might not understand what "inoculators" I'm talking about. Is there any name of the pill?

>A third guess (also worthless) is that you might have some other intolerance going, perhaps a latent lactose intolerance.

Who knows... Lactose is a milk sugar; I didn't carry any milk products (the source of calcium being dried cranberries - makes an excellent drink in hot weather, btw). I agree that this canned beef is a terrible product, this alone will be enough reason for me to take less of it and more dried shrimps. Shrims aren't bad, when added to soup, oatmeal or mashpotatoes powder. Just put them in water at the very beginning, before boiling the pot, to give them time to soften. They are not to high in protein, though, I suspect. If bought too wet, they should be dried out at home before the trip, otherwise they develop ammonia stench in ziplock bags, but this doesn't appear to be dangerous.

Yes, Paul - fishing. Only it takes time, no guarantees of success, and many Baja fishes are giant monsters. I've been old that hunting them under water with a spear gun is a more reliable way there. Few times I saw big sea turtles. Very cautious, didn't come closer to me than a dozen meters - and they are probably endangered species. Must be tasty.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:39 pm 
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First Dave wrote: "Another approach might be to encourage more healthy fauna in the gut by taking a hit of one of the lactobacilli inoculators ... yogurt in cool climates, and pills (from the health food store) in hot climes, every day."

Alex responded: My learned friend, could you speak English ? Local pharmacist might not understand what "inoculators" I'm talking about. Is there any name of the pill?

The pills would be at the health food store. Tell them you want a source of lactobaccilus (= bacteria which break down the lactose into simpler sugars and then digest the one which "lactose intolerant" folks can't digest). Or, tell them you are lactose-intolerant, and that should do it.

But, if you are not affected by milk products, then this is not the problem. I bet it is something else.

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Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
--
Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:43 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Posts: 1713
Location: Southeast Michigan
My favorite dinner is a package of seasoned couscous of the "Near East" brand, or another that I can't quite recall. Cooks much faster than rice, and not so heavily seasoned as things like Ricearoni. Easier to clean the pot than with some noodle dish, too. To this I'll add a small can of some sort of meat or fish.

Sometimes I carry instant rice- good with a can of teriyaki eeel, or oysters, or some other treat form the Chinese market.

Breakfast is always instant oatmeal. Lunch is usually hard crackers and peanut or almond butter, and dried fruit and nuts.

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Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:23 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Posts: 359
Location: Spruce Head, Maine
Do you think leaving the beef at room temp may have caused it to grow bacteria? Could you have picked up a bug when you got down there? Were any of the cans dented?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:51 pm 
Paul wrote:
Do you think leaving the beef at room temp may have caused it to grow bacteria? Could you have picked up a bug when you got down there? Were any of the cans dented?


1) Unlikely. It's a cooked meat.

2) I don't know where. The trip was self-supported since the moment I've landed in San Diego. Even in the hostel I was using the same camp food. Ops... The was a free breakfast in the hostel, so I couldn't resist. Pancakes. They always cause me mild problems, and always short-lasting - doesn't look like a bug.

3) No.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:54 pm 
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Alm wrote:
Paul wrote:
Do you think leaving the beef at room temp may have caused it to grow bacteria? Could you have picked up a bug when you got down there? Were any of the cans dented?


1) Unlikely. It's a cooked meat.
Not at all unlikely. All it takes is a little contamination the night before, from your surroundings, or your utensils, or your cook pot, and because the stuff is not refrigerated, bacteria will grow.

In the case of really good media for bacteria growth (e.g., mayonaise), a dose large enough to cause food poisoning of the type you describe can be achieved in a couple hours. Overnight is plenty long enough.

Doubling time for some strains of bacteria is about 20 minutes, under favorbale conditions. Overnight would give about 30 doublings. 2 raised to the 30th is a billion, so there will be a billion times more bacteria than the original dose.

I would not eat food stored under those conditions for that long.

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Dave Kruger
Astoria, OR
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Folbot Kodiak, Cooper, and Edisto; three hardshells; Mothership: Surf Scoter the Bartender; dinghy Little Blue Duck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:08 am 
krudave wrote:
All it takes is a little contamination the night before, from your surroundings, or your utensils, or your cook pot, and because the stuff is not refrigerated, bacteria will grow.



You're probably right - bacterial growth overnight. The same can didn't cause any problems after the supper, even when the breakfast was delayed for some reasons (repairs, weather etc) for a long time. No problems until after the breakfast. OK, but they don't make it in smaller cans...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:09 am 
krudave wrote:
Not at all unlikely. All it takes is a little contamination the night before, from your surroundings, or your utensils, or your cook pot, and because the stuff is not refrigerated, bacteria will grow.


Anyone remember doing bacteria cultures in petri dishes in school? Because of the colour of the gelatin (which was cooked) the bacteria shows up all too well. We took swabs of ordinary and often clean looking items. The dishes were stored at slightly higher than room temp but the results were very revealing. It takes no time at all for a milky white to begin to appear.

-Andreas


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:41 am 
One detail still puzzles me. I think I mentioned this - I added little amount of water to the pot in the morning (so that meal wouldn't stick to the bottom and burn), usually brought it to the boiling point on slow heat, stirring, so that most of the content would have a chance to boil, and then sometimes drained the water, and sometimes - not. Very few bacterias can survive boiling. May be I should've boiled it a bit longer (but then, water was precious in desert and there wouldn't be any time savings either).


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