Grid Failure: Without Electricity, Venezuelans Are Eating Spoiled Meat

by | Aug 27, 2018 | Headline News | 49 comments

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    Butcher Johel Prieto places spoiled meat on a tray to sell at the central market in Maracaibo. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)


    Residents of a Venezuelan town called Maracaibo are now forming “bread lines” to buy spoiled meat as refrigerators fail on the heels of an electrical grid failure.  The area is experiencing about nine months of rolling power outages and the power grid failures have recently gotten much worse.

    For the last nine months, Maracaibo’s residents have endured rolling blackouts. Things turned dire August 10 when a fire destroyed the main power line supplying the city of 1.5 million people with electricity.  Meat started to spoil, but the residents seemed eager to buy it anyway.

    Refrigeration units fell idle and meat began turning. At least four butcher shops have been selling spoiled meat in Las Pulgas, Maracaibo’s central market.

    Butcher Johel Prieto said the outage turned an entire side of beef rotten. He ground up much of it and mixed it with a fresh, red meat in an attempt to mask the spoilage. -AP

    Even though some people continue to get sick from eating rotten beef there isn’t much else as far as a protein source available in the “socialist utopia” of Venezuela. And at bargain prices, it’s the only way people in the economically devastated nation can afford protein as the country’s socialist crisis hits rock bottom. “It smells a little foul, but you rinse it with a little vinegar and lemon,” said Yeudis Luna, a father of three young boys buying darkened cuts at a butcher shop in Venezuela’s second largest city, according to a report by AP.

    “Of course they eat the meat — thanks to Maduro,” Prieto said. “The food of the poor is rotten food.”

    Things continue to spiral out of control for those poor folks left in Venezuela. As women turn to prostitution, and other seek exile to avoid starvation, Nicolas Maduro actually admitted socialism has failed and the once oil-rich nation is now impoverished. But the engineered collapse of Venezuela was just the beginning…


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        • Very interesting videos.
          I have year round eggs (14 chickens and a warm climate),
          I’m not inclined to work on that preservation, I fact I give away a lot of eggs.
          I know historically people of European decent have eaten rotten
          meat and have a genetic disposition to be able to tolerate rotten meat(survival of the fittest I suppose).
          I’m going to harvest one of my cattle soon, in the modern way. But if that weren’t available, how do you deal with #1000 of meat in a tropical environment? I’ve found some UN stuff they did for Africans, but that was for deserts. I live in a rain forest, I’m at 95 inches of rain since 1FEB18, a little over normal but not much. I know SE Asia is way more wet than me and they handle it somehow.
          Any SE Asian meat preservation people out there?

          • “…historically people of European decent have eaten rotten
            meat …”

            I think it’s usually called well aged meat.

            • I’ve always been a meat-eater and always will be.

            • explains English cooking…

          • I’ve always been astounded, when looking at revolutionary buildings, in any restored village. The smoke houses were always the most substantial structures made from the biggest timbers. They always had the deepest foundations and thickest walls. They always had a very small fireplace that reminds me more of a rocket stove design than a fireplace. The fireplace wasn’t so much intended to make a lot of heat, but just produce smoke, and low humidity. They mixed a lot of slow burning green wood into the fire to keep it very slow burning, and smokey.

            The alternative is a pressure canner (pressure cooker).

            The next alternative is enough solar and batteries to keep just a freezer/ refrigerator running. These days I always freeze leftovers, so I can eat them over weeks instead of days. If I had to give up one or the other, I’d keep the freezer running. It’s more efficient than my refrigerator anyway.

          • I don’t think that there’s any formal strategy, among very, very simple people.

            But, Asiatics (etc) are calling the meat fermented, as when vegetables are lactofermented. When meat is ‘correctly’ soured, the acidity is supposed to prevent bad bacteria. Supposed to.

            In real life, the people suffer from botulism.

            Cheese-like notes and whiffs of ammonia.

            They are basically regarding rotten meat as a valid food source. It is not being prepared. There is no sincere, scientific reasoning, unless they are copying Western manners.

        • That would require work.

          People don’t work in a socialist country. They wait for someone else to do the work then take the fruits of their labor.

          • more to the point, why take the time and expense as a butcher smoke a side of beef when people will buy it spoiled for just as much?

      1. Unlike vegetables, spoiled meat really isn’t dangerous. If it gets too smelly it can (and does) get saved with strong spices. There’s a good reason why most hot (spicy hot) foods are invented in tropical countries or those with no access to refrigeration.
        In a survival situation it might be good to remember that maggots eat “spoiled” food and if they can eat it so can we.

        • Not sure if this is FAKE or REAL, but this may be the pre-empt to a Global EMP that will shut down civilization as we know it. Or use this as excuse to crash the US Dollar.

          Just out.
          NOAA Issues Geomagnetic Storm Warning: “A Crack Opened In Earth’s Magnetic Field & Plasma Started Pouring In”

          ht tps://

          According to NOAA Space Weather forecasters, a powerful G3-class geomagnetic storm is in progress on August 26th as Earth passes through the wake of a coronal mass ejection (CME) that arrived with little notice approximately 24 hours ago. Strong magnetic fields in the CME’s wake have cracked into Earth’s magnetosphere, allowing solar wind to enter. So far auroras have been sighted in Scandinavia, Canada, and northern-tier US states such as Michigan and New York.

          Steven Herman, the White House bureau chief of Voice of America (VOA News), reported the strong geomagnetic storm on earlier Sunday morning. He shared a note listing the potential impacts of the storm, which included power systems, spacecraft, satellite communication networks, and even radio disruptions.

          • NOAA lost their credibility when they got caught faking the global warming temperatures.

            Fake news.

            • Yes, fake news. “A crack opened up in the earth’s magnetic field”. Haha, tabloid quality fake news that is!

        • If it gets too smelly it can (and does) get saved with strong spices

          mmmmmm…… Kinda like spraying perfume on a skanky whore….

          • Old saying “Smells like cologne leave it alone,but if it smells like fish do as you wish “..

          • I always thought that was the reason we have perfume.
            Most women don’t need perfume.

            • Hoppes 9 is the best perfume there is.

              • No, diesel is the best perfume, it will cover up perfume after a late night at the bar.

              • . . .makes it easy to shoot yer rocks. . .

            • People needed perfume when they bathed once a year in the dark ages.

              Get a solar camping shower. It’s a big black plastic bag, you fill it with clean water, hang it in the sun, and take a warm shower at the end of a day. In the SHTF, a warm shower will be heavenly.

          • Bingo….yeeccchh…ugh (shiver).

      2. This article highlights a very serious issue in economic collapses; “For the last nine months, Maracaibo’s residents have endured rolling blackouts.”

        I cannot afford to met all my energy requirements independently, but I have prepared for rolling blackouts. Have you?

        • I can run everything in the house except the main air conditioners. (two 3 ton units)

          I have a whole house generator, but they use a lot of gas. Plan on 8 to 10 gallons per 24 hours.

          • When the big storm here took out my power for ten days I ran on a generator. Upon connecting my panel, I found the electrician who used shared neutrals extensively, had put virtually all primary circuits on just one leg of my 240 service. Must have made the power company crazy handling the imbalance.

            I have two primary furnaces, plus both my refrigerator and freezer and sump pump and kitchen appliance circuits all on the same 120 leg of my service. I wasn’t exceeding my generator specs but it was running hard, you could hear it.

            I rebalanced circuits matching big furnace with small freezer and vs. vs. I did this across all common appliance loads. Fuel consumption of my generator dropped from ten gallons a day to four. By day two I had it running like a clock, it ran much quieter too. I can’t stress enough that people test their emergency plans in advance of a disaster.

            I had the knowledge to fix my issues and the wherewithal to go back afterword and insure all shared neutral circuits were still properly balanced and installed.

            It’s a shame I wasted ten gallons of gas, during those first two days.

            I also changed the fuel tank on my generator so it holds 12 gallons, that with my 45 gallon storage gives me 11 days of power without rationing. More If I empty the cars and tractors I’m sure if I needed to, I could get a month easy. Maybe twice that, If I got draconian. It’s all about what the threat is.

            Draconian implies shutting down a floor of the house, so one furnace runs, packing all into the small freezer and shutting down all else. Then running a couple hours on, a couple hours off, just so food doesn’t spoil and we don’t freeze at night.

        • but have you prepared for your neighbors?
          -Blackout curtains
          -mufflers on generators
          -strict cooking (scent) and light protocols?
          -security on when/how/where to refill gas
          -usual OPSEC when talking to ANYONE outside your immediate family

          Just a public service announcement 🙂

        • HOW did you prepare for the rolling blackouts?

      3. Get off the GRID ASAP and build your own Renewable Solar Power Supply. No utility bills here at my BOL now for over 3.5 years. Do the math.

        • Living Off Grid, Electricity and Refrigeration are Huge assets, right next to shelter and water.

      4. Every bit of it could have been canned.

        What is the danger? Bacteria. When meat is butchered in bulk, if any of it was tainted, cross contamination occurs. The expiration date is based upon bacterial count and as it rises, the meat has to be thoroughly cooked.

        Butchers will often put short dated meat in the bargain bin. Frugal shoppers look for it but must thoroughly cook it.

        • Note to self:

          No medium rare in SHTF.

        • If the date is “short” but still inside the SELL BY date, there is no special cooking caution required if you just immediately freeze it. <bb

      5. Maybe I’m missing something here, but if you don’t have a reliable means of storing food via refigeration, why aren’t they using pre-industrial methods of food preservation, such as salt, drying, jerking, etc? If salt is scarce, Maracaibo sits on the ocean. Dry salt from the water and use that to preserve. Backup generators and all are fine, but what do you do when the lights are never coming in, or you’re someplace far away from your nice, shiny preps? Modern tech is fine, but you should be able to thrive using old school tools and techniques as well.

      6. Salmonella needs very high counts to make people sick.Shigella can have very low counts and make people sick.

        Someone nicked an intestine and fecal matter tainted the meat. And then the bacteria count multiplies over days. That is when it goes bad. Spice just covers it up and this masking is a bad idea as many could get ill.

        Now consider a situation when sanitation is poor due to lack of soap, hot water, sewers working, lack of refrigeration, an inability to control cooking temperature, etc.

        Small mistakes can lead to food poisoning. These are very contagious like Norwalk or Noro virus and then suddenly an entire family has vomiting and diarrhea.

        It’s not necessarily the first bacterial infection from eating tainted meat, but subsequent secondary infections among those in close contact.

        Imagine being a disaster worker organizing relief efforts when sanitation issues affect refugees in close quarters. If any mistakes are made like improper hygiene, cooking issues, food prep, then everyone at the facility can get sick.

        In these situations, someone is often sick like a child or an elderly person as they are immunocompromised. And they expose their illness to others, say who are sleeping together in a gymnasium.

        One careless person using the restroom and there is no soap, and if they work in the kitchen, then lots of people get sick.

      7. So, if the grid goes down and Mad Max is the norm, how will you wash your clothes? How did they get them clean centuries ago?

        You wash your clothes in lye…water run through wood ashes makes lye. Mix it with lard and you get lye soap.

        What about those stubborn blood stains from cutting up your meat or that field grime and animal shit you may come into contact with? Well, that’s what chamber pots are for. lol. “Chamber lye”. Yes, it’s what you think it is.

        “Before that you suffer it to be washed, lay it all night in urine, the next day rub all the spots in the urine as if you were washing in water; then lay it in more urine another night and then rub it again, and so do till you find they be quite out.”

        ————–“The Compleat Servant-Maid” 1677———–

        I don’t know about this. Were there “washing wenches” in Mad Max?

        • The Greeks and Romans also knew about using urine to whiten clothes. They had “washing wenches” back then too.

          • I’ve had wenches in my life but they never washed anything, LOL.

            • I pwefew boxed end wenches

      8. Why not keep the animal alive then kill and butcher it when there is enough people to consume all of it. People are supposedly so hungry it shouldn’t be a problem to do it this way. Anyone make pemmican.

      9. In a power down you can pressure can your meat. I live at 4500 ft
        and use a 15lb weight and cook for 90 minutes. lots of information about canning and different ideas.
        Remove two year old meat from freezer and cut into stew size or grind it and pressure can for 90 minutes thats 272* should kill all bacteria in the meat and good for a couple of years stored in a cool dark place.

      10. I don’t like throwing anything out. Before I had dogs – and even occasionally since – if something got forgotten about in the fridge, I’d rinse it as thoroughly as possible and cook it up. Most times you can make the flavour disappear, but the odd time it’s kinda sorta still there. Never made me sick, though!

      11. You mean to tell me Venezuelans Are Eating Spoiled Meat? I wonder what LIBTARDS taste like? They shouldn’t be going hungry because they are all libtards there.

        Can someone tell me.


      12. Under disaster conditions where water is limited as well as soap, you must take special care butchering meat. You most likely are doing this chore with someone else if the animal is large as you are trying to process something heavy that has to be hung up to drain fluid and then wanting to meat as well as fat and bone and hide. That is quite an undertaking so you are most likely outside for part of it with the other person heating up water and having soap available while you get an apron and are sharpening knives and a skinner.

        Now most game is very lean so there isn’t going to be a lot of fat, but that isn’t the case with large livestock. So if that is so, then one person is cutting out large chunks of fat, seperating kidney fat as that will be rendered for baking lard (pearl), and the other seperate fat. Both will end up chopping it as fine as possible to accelerate rendering.

        You need a very low constant fire to render which means it needs a lot of tending or you will just mess it up and scorch it. Then based upon your pressing need for either lard, soap, or candles, then you go one of these three ways. If you need several, you very carefully just render and then the next day seperate out the activities.

        Carefully study butchering because learning as you go is a terrible way to do it especially if it is hot outside. Most likely you trying to be very careful and cutting in sections, then transferring them to someone in the kitchen so they can safely butcher up chops, loin, roast, steaks, and stuff to be ground. But if the power is out, now you have a massive canning operation going on where literally everyone through division of labor is doing some aspect.

        In all honesty, it’s the smartest or cleverest person who is butchering as they understand anatomy and tend to be meticulous when doing it and using extreme care around the bowel, bladder, and then processing the offal that can be saved. The worst job at a hog killin’ is processessing intestines to get the casing for sausage. My guess is most will skip this and so you longing for brautwerst as you can’t bring yourself to the arduous task of making casings.

        You are going to save the heart and liver for sure. You most likely will save kidneys. I would skip the rest but if you have dogs, then you have to process the rest. It is very risky to process the brain due to prions.

        This is why butchering was largely an annual tribal activity because some are making soap, candles, lard, butchering, smoking, making jerky, pemmican, canning, etc. Meanwhile bone is being processed into broth, hide is being carefully scrapped and hung, and some bone reserved for things like handles and needles.

        How would say a family of four do this in the absence of power? This would be a terribly long chore and you pray to get it done quickly and away from flies. Now the smart thing to do is to go grab neighbors and everybody pitch in and share. And then when they process meat, do the same.

        There is a horrible scene in Into the Wild where he is lucky enough to shoot a moose but was clueless and totally unprepared to process it. And it all got contaminated with fliesand maggots and then he wasted a massive amount of food, fat, hide.

        I urge you to watch the scene. It is too gristly to post.

      13. Its been stated fod never spoils we jusy don’t have the ability to digest it? I raise and eat Potbelly pigs. You get about 35 to 50 pounds of meat per hog after processing. That not a lot but you could eat most of it before it spoiled and if you lost part of it its not the loss of any great amount. That’s where the cold is nice butcher and process in the cold and you have the time to get the meat preserved. When I kill deer. I don’t kill big old bucks or mature does. Nope I kill the smaller deer. little spike bucks are my preference. any deer I cant carry is too big.

      14. In the absence of soap and plenty of water, here are some tips.

        Most people don’t have a solar shower. But most people have a hose. You fill it and seal it and put it on the roof. It will rapidly heat up. Now transfer the hot water into basins and wash up in one, reserving some for rinsing.

        The old trapper way to take a bath was to put a tiny pinch of hardwood ash in the water. Now this is a very mild lye solution. It will feel slimy based upon the volume of water. It takes more water to rinse it off carefully. Obviously never get it around the eyes. Ideally you jump in a lake after to ensure you removed it all.

        Your feet will get terribly dirty under these conditions. The easiest way is to buff them with river sand and then soak them in this very mild lye water. And then rinse carefully. If you don’t, you are apt to introduce fungal infections. Using a clean washcloth, carefully and vigorously rub and if even the tiniest bit of green color transfers then you have a fungal infection that is not readily apparent.

        If you neglect bathing, you will get sick and have infections from proprionic bacteria or strep or staph bacteria. These commonly are on your skin every single day. That is why people get pimples. That is why people commonly get what they think is a “cold” as these will colonize your nasal passages especially in winter when these areas are very dry and chapped.

        To prevent this, boil some water and let it cool. Fill a netti pot and add salt. Stir. Now the least messy way is to do it in the shower and pour the water into a nostril. It will irrigate and come out the other nostril. Osteopathic doctors routinely suggest this as it prevents this chapping and washes away harmful bacteria, and you most likely NOT get a cold or flu that winter. On ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

        And realize that if you live in some place like Montana, they have a summer snow right now while it’s in the nineties where I live in Kentucky.

        Healthy people drinks lots of water. Unhealthy and depressed people don’t. Healthy people have very light straw colored urine. That color is from urobilinogen. This is what you reserve and dilute even more and then use stubborn laundry stains and for fertilizer in the garden. The darker kind causing staining and those folks might be I’ll and is inappropriate to use.

        If someone’s health declines, the patient gets progressively more dehydrated, and then the urine get very very dark and looks a rusty brown and that will smell of infection and contains blood. It progresses to bladder and kidney infection and then failure.

        The general health of family members are easily refected by skin, nails, hair, and urine condition. I heartily recommend reading a Bates Physical Examination book. It is extremely practical medicineand full of common sense. Physicians used to routinely use this to rapidly assess a patient’s overall health.

        If your family is getting inadequate protein, the hair of your chidren will start breaking easily. As most parents will starve themselves before it happens to their children, if it gets this bad, the whole family is terribly malnourished and kwashiokor can easily happen, and when that progressess marasmus is the result.

        Pulses taken in various places, posture, and overall demeanor are all clues of physical and mental condition. Someone in your family is intuitive will be your healthcare provider when the SHTF.

        You especially are inspecting the feet of your aging parents and diabetics, looking for neuropathy, and encouraging them to gently massage and for them to stay vigilant for wound detection. If it starts happening, they are sunk under disaster conditions. Their medical conditions are resulting in very poor circulation and this stagnation leads to these wounds that don’t heal.

        If anyone in your tribe wounds their feet, their work will decline and the whole tribe suffers. The same is true of hands. Wounds on the feet of malnourished people, who are working very hard, are very resistant to healing.

        The strongest person will often overwork themselves to pick up the slack, and even starve themselves. They are likely to get very short on sleep as they take the night watches. And then they crash and burn as their immune system is depressed. You really have to stay on top of that.

        All of these little things adversely affect morale. And if that breaks, you’re sunk.

      15. You ladies can easily make perfume yourselves. All it contains is ethanol, distilled water, and essential oil. What people often use is an inexpensive vodka. The essential oils are most often floral, citrus, woodsy, or musk.

        In history, the essential oils were orange, lemon, rose, ylang ylang, vanilla, bergomant, grapefruit, tuberose, gardenia, pine, bayberry, cedar, sage, mint, etc. Vani

        You could easily make these as Christmas presents for very little money. A good craft store will have a variety of tiny bottles.

        You use very little of the essential oil. Some people end up making castille soap(most often liquid) and others make bars of soap and incorporating these to scent them.

        You will save a LOT of money doing these kinds of projects versus wasting it buying them. The other ingredients in expensive cologne are to make the scents last longer.

        Having done youth ministry over decades, teenagers like doing this kind of craft, especially girls. It’s an ideal mother-daughter project. If money is tight and if you are a father raising a daughter, you can really make her happy by doing this together as well.

        Gardenia and tuberose essential oil makes a terrific perfume for ladies. It’s irresistable.

        Guys like woodsy scents so bergamont, cedar, pine, bayberry are the chief base scents.

        Grapefruit is an ideal scent for soap that has very clean refreshing scent. Mint has an invigorating scent.

        Under disaster conditions then little morale boosters like this greatly helps the ladies who are going to feel very deprived, scared, and insecure.

        Real estate agents know that two scents have a very powerful calming and pleasing smell: vanilla and the smell of cookies. From a medical standpoint what is occuring is the scent triggers very positive memories in the limbic part of the brain. Look it up.

      16. Well aged beef is EXPENSIVE and few butchers make it. If you’re like most preppers, you have a refrigerator out in the garage for beverages. But you can age beef in it or make bacon (though there are better ways).

        The meat is kept constantly chilled but salt is placed underneath and this affects the fat and dries it. Expensive beef is well marbled with fat.

        This is not at all the same as letting meat go rancid.

      17. “It smells a little foul, but you rinse it with a little vinegar and lemon…”

        This is basically the same quality, sold in America, when a magical quota case is given a butcher shop. You can easily smell it, a block away.

      18. I guess eating spoiled meat is preferable to fighting street kids armed with machetes for the choice bits of food scraps (from an earlier blog).

      19. cook turning meat well and only once. Do not try to eat left overs from the one time cooking of well aged meat. So say military survival guides. Salting and drying meat works also

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