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re: Powdered everything

  I read the same backpackers article you did and had the same 
  question.  The recipe i remember was based on couscous and couscous
  are usually prepared with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  The 
  powdered shortening i believe was intended to be a substitute for 
  the olive oil.  carrying powdered shortening is easier to pack than 
  olive oil.  Also I could not find any source locally for powdered 
  shortening and was also wondering were it could purchased or if you 
  have to dehydrate your own.  For short trips carry oil isn't hard.
  my 2 cents