Food storage may seem a pretty far-fetched idea for many, but economic forces are converging in such a way to create that perfect storm that can be a game-changer. You’ve no doubt noticed skyrocketing food prices and shrinking package sizes when visiting the supermarket.
Having a storable food supply is becoming no longer an option, but appears to becoming a survival necessity.
Even if the forecasts are wrong about inflation, there’s no harm in being prepared. You don’t want to be the person holding up a sign looking for help or standing in a government food line. Rather, be the person with a life raft.
Following is some information on food storage to help you decide what’s best for you and your family.
THINGS TO CONSIDER IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
- Plan for an emergency assuming no electricity, thus no refrigeration.
- You’ll want nutritious food as there may be some more physical activity required (ie. Blizzard requires more shoveling)
- Food supplies may be disrupted by high gasoline costs keeping trucks from delivering supplies.
- Water supply may be disrupted or contaminated, requiring you to have life saving drinkable water available.
You should start with 2 week supply of food
- Good no-cook food items
- Energy bars / breakfast bars
- Peanut butter
- Tuna packages
- Canned pasta
- Dried fruit / canned fruit
- Dry milk
- Instant coffee
- V-8 juice
Plan around the way you already eat.
- Build around 3 categories of food
- Grocery store goods: often inexpensive, and it’s all familiar stuff. (i.e. mac & cheese)
- Freeze dried foods: lightweight and don’t take up much room. more expensive up front, but priced out per serving, it’s budget friendly.
- Bulk dry food: rice, beans, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, cornmeal, wheat, dried milk, etc. It will be the backbone of your food storage and last up to 20-30 years.
Don’t stock up on it unless you know you like it. Store the foods you eat, eat the foods you store. If you eat 1 meal from your storage once a week you will rotate your 1 year supply every 7 years.
Look at ingredients. You don’t want something high in sodium or preservatives
Pay attention to shelf life. Take a look at package or can. Canned soup doesn’t need water and can store for a few years. Things in plastic bags and cardboard boxes have a 1 yr max shelf life.
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- Easiest way to store is by using cleaned out 2 liter soda bottles. You can easily clean out with hot water, drop of soap. Rinse thoroughly. That type of plastic is safe for storage.
- Recommend 2 liter soda bottle / per person / per day. For consumption and washing.
- If a situation where water is an issue, be sure to have stash of paper plates & freeze dried meals.
- If you can heat water, then at least you can enjoy a hot meal (i.e. mac & cheese, pasta, soup)
- Water purification
- 5 main enemies to storing food
- Temperature: ideal is 40 degrees – 72 degrees. For every 18 degrees above 72, food will lose its’ nutritional value by half
- Humidity: Store food off the floor and away from outside walls
- Pests: Keep food in air-tight containers clean up food particles on the shelves or floor
- Oxygen: Use oxygen absorbers, rotate food, vacuum packing food to reduce oxidation
- Light: Keep your pantry area dark. If food is in clear containers, keep them in labeled boxes with lids.
Look for places where can you declutter (perhaps store water bottles under beds). You can store food in bin under a bed, clear out space in closet and designate a shelf. Use pieces of furniture that can double as storage. (i.e. Bench that opens up with a storage component – especially good for small homes)
Think through your entire day and jot down every non-food item used. Soap, shampoo, contact solution, etc. buy extras of those.
- Items like toilet paper, can be bulky but it can be stored in garage, attic, shed, etc. moisture will affect it but temperature won’t.
- You should keep fuel on hand to power generators or food cookers.
- First Aid Kit
Lastly, give serious consideration to how your family will cope when power is down. Communication, entertainment, what would you do to take care of pets? Keep things cool in the home, etc?