Store What You Eat and Eat What You
An emergency is not the
time to experiment with different foods and recipes you've
never tried. If you are going to store wheat or any other
unprocessed food grains (I recommend that you do..), make
it a part of your normal diet. This will make it easy to
rotate your food supply to eliminate waste and of course
minimize stress if food storage suddenly becomes critical.
Most grains that are unprocessed have a very long shelf life
when properly stored. Once they've been ground or otherwise
processed, storage life decreases considerably.
The temperature of your storage area also has
a big impact on the preservation of food and nutrition. Try
to find a locatrion that does not freeze, but where the temperature
is cool. A basement is usually a good choice. Root cellars
are also excellent, you get the idea..
Food packaging is important because it has an
important influence on the shelf life of food. Plastics are
biodegradable these days. You may want to repackage foods
so that they are safe and healthy longer or so that the portions
fit more easily into your meal planning.
Recipes, Home Canning and Bottling
There are great recipe books that can help you
take advantage of these unprocessed healthy food storage
items and you can save a small fortune in food costs in the
Home canning (or bottling) can also help reduce
food costs and allow you to build a healthy and tasty reserve
of fruit and vegetables. It's alarming to watch the cans
grow smaller and the prices get higher when it come to canned
vegetables and fruits. Too many fruit trees have the fruit
go to waste because people don't know how or are not motivated
to can the fruit. You may have a neighbor that would be happy
to give you the fruit so it doesn't go to waste and create
a mess in their yard!
Here you'll find
the best ideas we can find for food storage or at least it's
a good information starter that we hope will help you as
you start out building your food storage. This is not a set
of rules, but a set of guidelines that you should tailor
for your family and economic circumstances.
Food drying is a great way to store fruits and
are very tasty as either snacks or menu items. Take advantage
of fruits and other foods that grow locally. Look for sources
that offer you the potential of saving money and increasing
the health of your family. Freeze dried foods not only taste
great, but retain nutrients that are vital to personal health.
Some home dehydrated (or freeze dried) foods
like pears, taste much better than canned. They are sweeter,
more tasty, and lighter to store, pack, and save space.
An effective food storage system should be organized
to make it easy to see what food you have, check stock and
rotate the food so it remains fresh. A great way to store
grains and other food is in #10 cans. These are a standard
size that makes a storage system easier to implement. Food
storage items are readily available in this size can. #10
can storage racks are readily available.
If a can or container is too large, it becomes
difficult to move and hard to use up. Keep the size of your
containers small enough to easily manage yet large enough
to be useful. Oatmeal is bulky and light weight for it's
volume so a larger container works out nicely.
Another important thing to consider is the oxidation
of processed food like flour, oatmeal, pasta, etc. If you
use oxygen absorbing packets when you can the flour, the
food can remain good for a longer time. If you don't eliminate
the oxygen, the flour gets to tasting bad after a couple
of years. This problem may not an issue if you are doing
a good job of food rotation and your storage time is limited
to a year or so.
Another storage consideration is insects and
animals. Depending on your climate, cans can provide a real
benefit in keeping little creatures out of your food.
We had a problem last year with squirrels. They
would dig a tunnel into our storage building, get what they
wanted and refill their tunnel so there was no sign of their
entry! I was shocked at how clever they were. They're cute
and I like having them around, but we're a lot more conscientious
now about the need to make sure containers are properly sealed
and that the building is as 'critter proof' as we can make
Sometimes you can run into issues storing wheat.
Make it a point to be sure that the wheat is thoroughly cleaned.
If you don't, you could end up with limited shelf life if
you are going to keep the wheat in bags. Most commercial
suppliers do a good job, but I have heard horror stories
regarding really cheap buys on wheat.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements
When you do research for your home storage, pay
attention to considerations of health. Not only do you want
to be well fed, but you want to enjoy good health. There
are some really good ideas like sprouting that can provide
a great boost to your nutrition and health. Sprouts can add
a significant amount of vitamins and minerals to your diet.
I like Dr. Christopher's herbal vitamins
(vital herbs) that we buy in bulk. We then put the powder
in 00 capsules ourselves. This saves us money and the dry
powder has a good shelf life. I think this is a great way
to go. If you have other ideas on supplementation then try
to get ahead on the supplements you prefer so that you won't
run out right away. Buy on a promotion and save the rest
of the year!
Store More Than Just Food
A years supply of toilet paper and other living
essentials like soap, cleaners, oil, cooking supplies, wax
paper, aluminum foil, plastic wrap and all the other little
things that make life easier should also be stored. The savings
We've saved a lot of money by buying 3,000 sq
ft rolls of plastic wrap. The container is easier to use
than the little ones you normally buy and it seems to be
a higher grade of wrap. We also like the big heavy duty rolls
of aluminum foil which has numerous uses and which lasts
a long time. The savings are real. We buy these from Sam's
Club, but you might have a better local choice. Bulk is really
the way to buy these items.
We like to buy big boxes of toilet tissue for
the same reasons.
Sites With More Information
The following is a list of links which can provide
great information on food storage:
A typical list of storage items recommended,
STORAGE ITEM YOUR AMOUNT
- Wheat 321 lbs
- Enriched white flour 29 lbs
- Corn meal 71 lbs
- Oats, Rolled 71 lbs
- Rice 143 lbs
- Pearled barley 7 lbs
- Spaghetti & macaroni 71 lbs
TOTAL FOR GRAINS GROUP 714 lbs
- Beans (dry) 50 lbs
- Beans, Lima (dry) 2 lbs
- Beans, Soy (dry) 2 lbs
- Peas, Split (dry) 2 lbs
- Lentils (dry) 2 lbs
- Dry Soup Mix 10 lbs
TOTAL FOR LEGUMES GROUP 68 lbs
- Vegetable Oil 4 gal
- Shortening 10 lbs
- Mayonnaise 2 quarts
- Salad Dressing (mayonnaise type) 2 quarts
- Peanut Butter 8 lbs
TOTAL FOR FATS & OILS 51 lbs
- milk, Nonfat dry 28 lbs
- Evaporated milk 24 cans (12oz net, equiv. to 6lbs dry milk)
TOTAL FOR MILK GROUP 32 lbs
- Sugar, Granulated 80 lbs
- Sugar, Brown 6 lbs
- Molasses 2 lbs
- Honey 6 lbs
- Corn syrup 6 lbs
- Jams and preserves 6 lbs
- Fruit drink, Powdered 12 lbs
- Flavored gelatin 2 lbs
TOTAL FOR SUGARS GROUP 120 lbs
- Dry yeast 1 lbs (You will want more yeast than this..)
- Soda 2 lbs
- Baking Powder 2 lbs
- Vinegar 2 lbs
- Chlorine bleach 1 gal
- Salt (iodized) 16 lbs (8lb/person/year)
- Water 28 gal (14gal/person/2 weeks)
When you look at a list like this, use it as
a starting point. I don't like rice, but my wife does, so
we store less rice and more beans (there's a wide variety
of beans and flavor choices here), which I do like. Guidelines
can help you be sure you're on the right track, but you should
tweak your storage to meet your family needs.
sure to store fun foods as well. Some candy, popcorn and
other things that the family enjoys eating. You might like
to store cinnamon, tvp bacon bits and other spices and treats
to make your food taste great. Freeze dried ice cream tastes
great! The idea is to have what you need on hand to not only
survive, but to thrive.
A few items not found on this list that might
be a great choice include: