What Is Protein Depravation and Food Fatigue In Emergency Communications



Taught As Part Of Our “JUMP TEAM BOOT CAMP” program
Bob Hejl – W2IK 
(This is just a very small part of one section under ” Nutrition and Food Preparation”
which follows our 200 page Jump Team Boot Camp training manual)

………….You must also provide nutritional food with plenty of protein.

Protein Depravation

The result of an unbalanced diet may cause “Protein Depravation” which may impair judgment, cause lack of energy, poor sleep, slurred speech and other symptoms. “Cults” use protein depravation to control their members as it becomes difficult to think or reason when your brain is deprived of protein. Sending the wrong “traffic” in a message may cause disaster or heart ache.

Junk food and “sweets” should be kept to a minimum, although some salty snacks should be allowed in moderation as they can help in matters of dehydration if you are deployed in the aftermath of a hurricane where it becomes hot and humid.

Some of the best sources of protein, beyond your food cache of canned meats, canned tuna and canned poultry (all of which you should bring), are servings of beans, such as lima beans, pinto beans and red beans. Beans and rice combination is inexpensive yet can be part of a well balanced meal. Beans are easy to store and prepare and their purchase price is very reasonable.

If you wish, you could store this type of food in the same way “long term food” peppers do. Take a supply of dry beans, pour them into a heavy Mylar bag, add an oxygen absorber and seal the bag by ironing it closed being sure to squeeze any excess air out of it. LABEL the Mylar bag with what’s inside and date it. If properly done, and if the sealed Mylar bag is also protected from punctures and rodents by storing them in plastic buckets, it should remain a viable food product for about 20 years.

You can tell if Mylar bags are properly sealed when you notice, in about a day, the Mylar bag appears to be “shrinking” around the beans. This is the oxygen being reduced within the bag.


To the right, is a picture of a package of properly stored Pinto Beans which I did at home – notice how the Mylar seems to hug the beans inside. This shows that there is no excess air in the bag. Store them in a cool, dry environment.

Participants attending the Jump Team Boot Camp will get actual experience in properly storing food by doing their own long-term food storage.

When using oxygen absorbers make sure they are not exposed to the air for longer periods of time then necessary.  I store my unused oxygen absorbers in mason jars as they provide an air-tight environment. The oxygen absorbers prevent bugs from developing in your stored foods by depriving any of them from the atmosphere conducive to their growth. You can also use mason jars for food storage as long as they have their seal and you place in an oxygen absorber. For just a few bucks, you can do what I’ve done for mason jar sealing and purchase a special adapter that fits over the mason jar lid and hooks up to a standard vacuum sealer which sucks the air out of the jar.

You know if you’ve done it properly when you see the lid decompressed on the jar. If you do this, you don’t need an oxygen absorber in the jar. Jump Team Boot Camp attendees will learn how to do this jar sealing at the class. You can find companies which supply both Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers online through distributors and “eBay”. You can use this same process for storing rice and pasta as well as “pancake-type or biscuit mixes”, etc. As a long-term food prepper, I can tell you that it is quite cost effective and storage by this technique keeps the food usable for many years. I have over 2 years of emergency food stocked in this manner, some of it almost 10 years old, and it costs less than one third the price of buying long-term emergency food pre-made from companies.

Each deployed member also should keep a few protein bars, NOT candy bars, with them in case they get hungry between scheduled meals.

The menus I have laid out in an earlier section should be adhered to as closely as possible because they are balanced in nature and will prevent protein depravation. DO NOT store standard protein bars in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers as any oils used in the preparation of the bars will turn them rancid. A listing of foods that can easily be used for long-term food storage is listed elsewhere in this manual.


“Food Fatigue” is caused when you eat the same food over and over for an extended period of time. This can become more evident when your deployment lasts over 5 days. As an example: While I love eating steak, I don’t want to eat it or be expecting yet another serving again and again. While it doesn’t have the same effect as a poor protein diet, it can have psychological consequences such as tiredness and short tempers. (I am surprised that the folks on “Gilligan’s Island” weren’t at each other’s throats after weeks of fish and coconuts…)

Whomever is charged with nutrition and food preparation should be educated in techniques of serving the same basic ingredients in ways which vary their offerings and tastes. Keeping recipes simple doesn’t necessarily mean serving the same bland concoctions. Spices can “spice up” a meal as can sauces.

Keep sugar usage to a bare minimum as too much of it can cause excitability which can lead to mistakes and short-term bursts of energy followed by tiredness or even depression. Natural spices (such as the various blends of “Mrs Dash”) and not salt should also be considered as salt will increase blood pressures in many people and this, along with the increased stress of the situation may cause both physical and psychological problems to erupt. By serving interesting yet balanced meals it helps make your emergency communications job that much easier and keeps mistakes down to a minimum.

Planning your food menus require thought and co-operation between whomever is charged with nutrition and all the other emergency communications personnel. As stated earlier in this training, always consider any food allergies your team members may have. Make sure they all know their allergies: During one deployment to the Virgin Islands, I discovered I was allergic to mango mixed in a cold fruity drink and suffered dearly for it.

In my next posting, I will be discussing:


Bob W2IK

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