Guest post from Jacob of survivalbased.com…
Disasters happen, but the most important thing you can do is prepare a supply of food storage, to be used in case of an emergency situation. When looking for food to store away, you want to choose items that are easy to prepare, to store, don’t require a lot of water, and last being in storage until use. Many ready to eat meal solutions can be found in packages, cans, buckets or boxes.
Next time you are at your local grocery store, peruse the aisles for food that you can purchase for your family in case of emergency. Consider placing your food in boxes or containers marked for emergency use only. Make sure the food is easy to find by family members in the storage area, designated for a disaster in your home.
Canned goods, such as ready to eat soups, vegetables and fruits in water, are great choices. People need water to survive, and in the event that there is little to no safe drinking water available, you can intake the water that is within the stored canned food. Canned meats like tuna and spam, as well as freeze dried foods like jerky provide essential energy in a tiny area.
Select food such as trail mix, energy bars, and dried fruits and nuts. This type of food choice is convenient because it preserves well, provides a good amount of energy, and has health benefits. You can purchase freeze dried ready to eat meals in cans or pouches. They tend to be more expensive but are easy to store and are easy to prepare.
Spices and grains are another thing to have on hand, such as wheat, sugar, salt, and pepper for their addition of flavor and preserving qualities for foods. Choose storage containers for your food in glass or plastic. Make sure the storage containers are air tight, so that moisture and bacteria don’t get in. Self-sealing Mylar bags make great containers for small amounts of any of these items. Make sure your supplies are placed in storage areas that are not easily accessed by pets, or small children. Consider hidden storage in a backpack or bags, in case you need to grab your supplies quickly.
Choose storage for your food that is inexpensive, and easy to pack or carry. Ideal storage will contain daily amounts of needed food per person in your household for at least a few days or months with economic hardship. Storage that is cool and dry is best. Consider utilizing a closet, basement and attic space, or even under your bed.
Food is a necessity for individuals to live. Food brings people together and provides comfort. Storing your food provisions for your family in case of a disaster situation is critical. We live in an age where there are threats of war, disease, famine, and other natural and man-made problems in our world. Preparedness is not about fear, it is about being ready to face oncoming challenges seen and unseen. Protection for your family is about survival, and having stores on hand is one less thing to worry about when looking for stability in an unstable situation. Choose food that lasts long, offers as many health benefits as possible, and fits into your allocated budget.
Whole wheat is considered by many, myself included, to be an ideal emergency food storage item because of its nutritional content and long shelf life (30+ years). But eating nothing but whole wheat for a whole year doesn’t sound appealing or healthy, for that matter. You need some variety – something to spice up the mundane.
Luckily, it’s actually quite easy to turn ordinary wheat into a feast. Just add a few additional ingredients that are easy to find and store. Here are a few examples:
• Baking powder (usually lasts for many years, but its effectiveness declines over time, so be sure to switch it out every two years or so)
• Powdered milk (as long as it is stored in a cool, dry environment, it can be stored for many years)
• Molasses (depending on how well it’s sealed in a container, it should be good for at least two years)
• Honey (can be stored indefinitely if it has some water and sugar in it, but pure honey crystalizes and loses some flavor over time)
• Peanut butter powder (can last up to five years and provides a great spread for wheat bread)
• Dried fruit (most fruits start to go bad after five years, so keep an eye on them)
• Salt and sugar (common items like these are easy to take for granted, but it’s important to have them on hand. They can last 30+ years)
With various combinations of these ingredients, you can make muffins, biscuits, cereal, bread (of course), pancakes and waffles (provided you have access to fresh eggs), and many other healthy foods.
When it comes to food storage, a little creativity goes a long way. Take a look at your regular diet and personal tastes, and find the ingredients that will best suit your needs. There are plenty of food options with long shelf lives. You don’t have to face the prospect of boring meals when you have access to the right ingredients.
–Guest post from Derek Smith of Acorn Supplies
When you combine today’s poor economy with the recent onslaught of natural disasters, it’s no wonder why more people are making the efforts to establish a personal, emergency supply of food and water. However, sometimes getting started can be a little daunting. Below are some answers to a few common questions related to food storage.
Where should I store my food?
Your food storage can be stored any place cool, dark and dry. Many people use either their basement or a large closet in their home. If your living space is limited, you may need to get creative and store food under your bed or in other nooks and crannies around your house or purchase enclosed shelving units.
Organize your food as you store it. Write the expiration date on each of your foods in large letters with a permanent marker. Regularly organize your supply with the oldest dates at the front and newest dates at the back. This will make it easier to rotate your food storage and avoid waste.
How much food do I need?
There are two things to take into consideration when deciding how much food you will need in your storage:
- How many people are in your household?
- How long would you like your food storage to last?
Once these questions have been answered, it comes down to simple math. For instance, 90 cups of dried rice will last a single person 3 months if it’s used at a rate of 1 cup per day.
It may be easiest to start small with your supply. Some suggest beginning with a 2-week supply of actual meals rather than buying a year’s worth of rice and beans. Once you have established your 2-week supply, grow it gradually to 3 months and eventually a full year.
What types of foods should I store?
Food storage has come a long way from the days of buckets of wheat, rice, dried beans, oats and powdered milk. While these items are great staples to have in your food storage, who would want to live on these boring rations for weeks on end? Your food storage should be a balanced diet of the foods you would normally eat. In order to stay strong and healthy, your body needs a diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and fats.
Some online companies have simplified food storage by offering pre-packaged meals, as well as individual freeze dried items like fruits, veggies and even meat. Freeze dried items are a great addition to your food storage because of the variety they can offer, and their shelf life is longer than that of canned foods or MREs.
In addition to the basic food groups, it’s a good idea to store a variety of your favorite spices, so that you can add the flavors you enjoy to your meals. Other items you should have on hand in your food storage include oil and possibly honey or sugar as sweeteners. These are referred to as the “psychological foods” that will keep your spirits up during disasters and hardships and help life to seem a little more normal. A few additional ideas include powdered chocolate milk, packaged cakes, fruit snacks and your favorite potato chips. Psychological foods are good to have in your storage, especially if you have children.
Do I need to store water too?
Just as our food may be cut off, the city water supply is subject to drought or contamination. There are several different types of containers available for purchase to meet your long-term water storage needs.
For most, it is impossible to supply a year’s worth of water. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a good water filtration system with the ability to clear contaminants and kill bacteria in your emergency supply. Many different models and sizes are available for purchase from online emergency preparedness stores, often at discount prices.
Take the necessary steps to start your food storage today, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing you and your family are prepared.
It may seem a little early to be thinking about canning your Summer harvest, but it’s the perfect time to save on all of the tools you’ll need. I’m often asked by readers which canner I recommend, to which I respond “an All-American.” No matter the size of canner you choose, the All-American Pressure Canners are built to last with heavy-duty-aluminum and metal-to-metal seals (no gaskets to replace). My All-American Pressure Canner has been a great investment, allowing me to can large amounts of tomatoes, green beans, pinto beans, pie fillings and more.
Right now, you can save over 40% at Amazon on the All-American 30-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner that I use. This 30-quart model holds 19 pint or 14 quart jars to speed your canning projects along. It’s the perfect Mother’s Day gift to yourself!
Today I needed to convert a recipe with ingredients that were listed in pounds to measurements in cups and tablespoons. Since different substances have different volumes, I was getting really frustrated trying to calculate each ingredient…until I found this handy online calculator. I’m posting a link to it here to save others the time, should you need to convert a similar recipe. Happy cooking!