Archive for the ‘what food to store’ Tag

Essential to Survival Food Storage: Eat and Rotate

Even when stored correctly, foods do not last forever. If they did, that would certainly make our lives easier. But they don’t. Therefore, there is a concept you must follow in order to make sure that your survival food stores don’t go bad before you get to them. It is referred to as “eat and rotate.”

Put simply, this means that you should always be eating your survival food stores, then replacing your inventory. It can be hard, at first, to get past the idea that you shouldn’t be eating your survival food storage, and the idea that you should just be hoarding it. But slowly and steadily, make sure you talk yourself through this notion, because it is important to regularly not only eat and rotate your foods, but also make sure you know how to cook and prepare your survivalist foods before the time comes that you must rely on them. The key is to rotate so that you are replenishing your food stores constantly.

The “eat and rotate” rule also addresses another issue that is very important to survivalist food storage. This is the fact that what we store for survival should be things that we are eating as part of our normal diets. If we must suddenly transition to our “normal” diet to a whole bunch of foods we never, ever eat, then our bodies will not acclimate well. So our survival diets should closely resemble our “normal” diets, (as much as possible).

The very first key to the “eat and rotate” rule is that you must make sure that all of your survival food stores are clearly organized and labeled. You should never have to spend time hunting for items. Some people prefer to store like items together. Others prefer to store one full day’s worth of food together. Each day’s food can then be boxed and stored together. It is a good idea to store items together that have like expiration dates. I find that this is actually more helpful than grouping items by food type in terms of insuring that nothing expires before I get to it. Realistically, canned foods will last a lot longer than the expiration date that is listed on them. However, if you want to get the optimum level of nutrients, you should not exceed this date by far.

A reliable labeling method will be your best friend when it comes to rotating your food storage. You should always, always label food items with the date when you freeze or can them. You should know exactly what is in your food storage at all times.

If you open a large container of food, such as a 5-gallon bucket of rice, it is time to then break the rice down into smaller receptacles, such as quart mason jars. This will help food items to stay fresh once you have broken their storage seal. The same thing goes for dehydrated foods, such as peanut butter. If you break a large container of it down into smaller jars, it will help each “batch” to stay fresh, rather than tasting old and stale by the time to get to the bottom.

Keep a running list at all times of what you are eating out of your survival food storage. This way, when you go to the store or it’s time to do your own canning, you know exactly what you need to replace.

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What Foods To Store, Food Storage Part II

You already know that I am a huge advocate of growing my own food and living a self-sufficient lifestyle. But there are some things that I simply cannot grow myself, and have purchased in chain stores to add to my survival food supply. Here are 4 staples that I have stored, and that you should store too.

What Food to Store

*Honey- Honey has an indefinite shelf life, meaning that although it may harden a bit, it will never spoil. Honey is an invaluable survival resource because even though we may just use it as a sweetener, it is extremely beneficial to our health. Local honey can be used to fight seasonal allergies. It is filled with beneficial microbes and possesses antibacterial properties, which make it good for a variety of topical uses such as treating burns, cuts, abrasions, and bacterial infections such as pink eye. Overall, it is a superfood that is delicious and dense with beneficial properties. Generally speaking, I use food grade plastic buckets to store food, as I discussed in Food Storage Part I. Because of honey’s consistency, it also does well in glass jars. Aim to store about 10 pounds of honey per person in your family. One important note to remember is that honey should not be given to children under the age of 1 year.

*Salt-  Yes, salt is a popular seasoning. But more importantly to your survival food supply, it may also be used to dry and preserve a variety of meats and other animal products. Lest we forget, salt is also a mineral that is essential to human health. With a lack of salt in the diet, you may experience iodine deficiency, which leads to symptoms of muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Some salt may be naturally found in beets, carrots, seafood, and poultry. But with a lack of these elements in your diet, as well as a lack of processed foods, you may need to supplement your diet with salt for survival. Aim to store about 20 pounds of salt per person in your family.

*Wheat- Wheat is essential to the survival diet. If you store it properly (as described in my previous post- in plastic buckets with oxygen packs) it will have a practically indefinite shelf life. It is the grain with the longest shelf life. Wheat may also be easily sprouted in order to provide you with extremely nutritious fresh greens, even in the winter or with a lack of natural sunlight. Some survivalists advocate storing multi-vitamins. I instead advocate sprouting, and eating a small amount of sprouts each day in a survival situation. The sprouts have all the nutrients your body needs, as well as beneficial gastrointestinal healing properties, all in a form that is easy for your body to access and use. Comparatively, most multi vitamins are made from synthetic ingredients you will pretty much just pee out, especially in a situation where you are eating minimal amounts of fat. For wheat, aim to store approximately 400 pounds per person.

*Powdered Milk- Fat free powdered milk has a particularly long shelf life, lasting up to 15 years with little change in its nutritional value. Yes, it does taste a little different from pasteurized grocery store milk, but the taste definitely grows on you. Powdered milk is a valuable resource in that it is a source of many vitamins and nutrients. In fact, if you needed to, you could sustain life for quite some time just by drinking one glass of powdered milk per day. Additionally, powdered milk may be used for cooking and baking. You can find nonfat dry milk, or dry whole milk, either one of which I think is fine. Just make sure you look for dry milk that has been fortified with vitamins A and D, as these are beneficial nutrients. Also make sure that the milk does not contain any artificial colors or flavors. Aim to store 60-75 pounds of powdered milk per person in your family.

Once you have these 4 basics, you can rest easy knowing that you have the essentials. It is a good idea to add other dry good as you are able to, and as you can afford them. Two other basics that I would highly recommend adding are white rice (brown is more nutritious, but white stores better) and dry beans. There are many different varieties of dry beans from which to choose, and a major bonus is that they are quite cheap. For information on the multiple health benefits of beans, check out my blog Beans, Beans, The Magical Fruit.