Update on Milk Storage

Following are questions often asked about long-term storage of powdered milk for a family’s supply of food:

  • What kind of milk is best to store? Non-fat milk, either regular or instant, stores well when packaged properly and kept at room temperature or cooler. In the past, many felt that non-instant milk would store better. There is actually no difference in shelf life between instant and non-instant powdered milk.

  • What are the best containers? Milk stored in airtight, low-oxygen cans has been found to last longer and stay fresher tasting than milk stored in boxes or plastic bags.

  • How long can powdered milk be stored? Optimal storage life of non-fat dry milk stored in cans at room temperature is two years before noticeable stale flavors begin to develop. However, when stored at cooler temperatures, it can be kept much longer. Rotation of powdered milk can be accomplished through personal use or by giving it to others who will use it promptly.

  • How much powdered milk should be stored? Guidelines for quantities of dry milk to store are found in the 1979 booklet published by the Church called Essentials of Home Production and Storage. The booklet recommends that members store an equivalent of 300 quarts of dry milk, or approximately 75 pounds of dry milk per person per year.

    However, since that time, as a result of a U.S. government study on maintaining nutritional adequacy during periods of food shortage, a second option has been recommended that suggests 64 quarts, or 16 pounds, per family member per year. Equivalent to approximately one glass of milk a day, that amount will maintain minimum health standards. Keep in mind, however, that the needs of children and pregnant or nursing mothers will require more than the minimum amount of stored milk. It is recommended that families who opt to store only the minimum 16 pounds of milk per person should also increase storage of grains from the recommended 300 pounds per person to 400 pounds per person to compensate nutritionally for this change.

  • How can it be determined if milk is past its prime shelf life? Milk develops off-flavors as it ages. However, it still retains some nutritional value, and unless spoilage has occurred from moisture, insects, rodents, or contamination, it is still safe to use.

  • What can be done with milk that is too old to drink? It is important to think of milk in terms of optimal shelf life rather than waiting until it is too old to use. Older nonfat dry milk can be used in cooking as long as it has been protected from spoilage. If powdered milk has spoiled, however, it can be used as fertilizer in the garden.

For information about low-oxygen, dry-pack canning of powdered milk and other food storage items, contact your area’s welfare agent, local bishops’ storehouse or cannery, or ward and stake canning specialists.—Welfare Services

Six Tips for Teachers

I have the wonderful opportunity of teaching the gospel to youth. Each Sunday I strive to use my best teaching skills in order to communicate in an uplifting, memorable way what the Spirit would have me teach. I have found it helpful to keep in mind the following six concepts as I prepare to teach:

  • Show enthusiasm. If I’m not excited about a subject, my teaching will lack personal conviction. So I prepare well to renew my own conviction and to make each lesson interesting.

  • Build personal testimony. During the week I study the gospel and try to apply its teachings. The experiences I have as I do this strengthen my testimony and become examples in my lessons. This helps my students grasp the importance of gospel teachings in their lives.

  • Seek the Lord’s guidance. After teaching my lesson on Sunday, I try to read and ponder the next week’s lesson. I include the lesson concepts in my prayers and seek inspiration and guidance. Prayerful preparation consistently brings better results than if I neglect to include the Lord in my teaching efforts.

  • Present interesting lessons. To keep students’ interest, I use stories or ideas from Church magazines to illustrate lesson points. I assign scriptures, stories, and thoughts to various students and invite participation and discussion. It is important to adapt each lesson to the needs of class members and to have them share their own stories or examples that illustrate the subject under discussion.

  • Get to know my students. By taking time to become better acquainted with my students, I can find ways to customize my lessons to help certain individuals.

  • Bear my testimony. I have learned that the Spirit bears witness of the truth and that bearing testimony invites the Spirit to touch those being taught. I remind myself that it is altogether appropriate to bear testimony not only at the end of a lesson but during the lesson as well.Kary Jane Hutto, Salt Lake City, Utah

Moving Day

Because our family has moved 12 times in 16 years of marriage, I have greatly appreciated service rendered by Church members during our various moves. Here are some suggestions for helping make someone’s moving day go smoothly.

  • Help pack. Find packing materials, such as boxes and newspapers, and offer to help pack belongings. Sturdy boxes are expensive to buy, and large families will need many of them.

  • Provide food. It’s difficult to cook when you’re trying to pack up the kitchen, and eating out is expensive. Invite the family to dinner at your home or take meals to them. One sister packed us a large container of food that provided snacks and light meals for two days.

  • Offer child care. Making arrangements so that the family’s children can play with other children can be of great relief to the family. The children will be safer during the loading and unloading of trucks, the parents will be less distracted, and the children will be less preoccupied and uneasy about this big change in their lives.

  • Help load trucks. As an elders quorum president who has helped many people move, my husband has come to greatly value the help of someone with good truck-loading skills. Care in loading boxes and furniture can prevent damage resulting from the shifting of contents during travel.

  • Clean Up. One of the most stressful aspects of moving is leaving the residence clean afterward. Often a clean house or apartment is a condition of claiming a rental deposit or selling a home. Usually cleaning must be done quickly, and if there are several people to help who bring their own supplies, including mops and vacuums, it doesn’t take long. Have one or two people start cleaning even as the truck is being loaded. Start at the back of the house and move everything from a room, even if it’s only to the front door; then clean the room and shut the door. By the time the trucks are loaded, the house will be clean.

  • Address sleeping needs. Offer a place to sleep or the use of sleeping bags for a night or two when people are without furniture. Often people have long drives or heavy work awaiting them the next day, so a good night’s sleep can make a big difference in their ability to meet the stresses ahead.

  • Welcome move-ins. Provide assistance and any information that will be of help to new arrivals. For example, let them know where they can find essential services (grocery store, gas station, hospital, post office, schools, police, fire, etc.), and give them a list of emergency telephone numbers. Leave your phone number along with your offer of friendship and further help. If they are Church members, give them a copy of the ward directory and a list of current Sunday meeting times; extend an invitation to come to church with your family.Lydie Strasburg, Warner Robins, Georgia

[photos] Photography by Jed Call and Craig Dimond

[illustrations] Illustrated by Scott Greer