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!
I love my Wonder Mill Electric Whisper Mill . I’ve been using it for nearly 10 years now, and grinding beautiful fine flours for all of my baking. Nothing beats using freshly ground warm wheat flour for a batch of homemade whole wheat bread. The results are mouthwatering!
Lately, I’ve been considering which manual grain mill to purchase. Clearly, my many buckets of wheat will not yield the breads my family loves if we were without power. I need a grinder that will work without electricity. One common complaint with manual grain mills is that they don’t easily grind grains into fine flour. The new Victorio Deluxe Grain Mill seems to be a great solution for grinding grains into fine flours before and after an apocalypse. 😉 This grain mill provides home cooks with the ability to use an attached hand crank, or to add an electric drive motor (sold separately) to grind grains with or without electricity. It features a large hopper for the grains, and grinds better than previous models. The Victorio Deluxe Grain Mill with electric motor also makes it possible to store only one, more compact mill, versus a hand mill and an electric mill. It’s a nice option, especially those who don’t grind wheat frequently, but want to have all of the necessary tools to use their food storage.
I will likely still use my WhisperMill for most grinding, because of its speed and ease, since I grind wheat on a regular basis. However, I like that the Victorio model has evolved into this nice compact mill that works great for manual use. The best price on this item is through Alison’s Pantry (at just $86.99 this month) , if you have a Representative in your area. If you don’t, I’ve linked to this product on Amazon.com from this post so you can purchase one for yourself no matter where you live.
Now bake a batch of heavenly homemade bread and you’ll easily convince your husband that the purchase of a new grain mill is a much better investment than a new iPad 3!
I love cookbooks almost as much as sappy romance novels, and I’ve found a new one to recommend. I’ve been baking bread for over a decade, but attended a class by author Lori Viets and learned that each of us can improve on this great homemaking skill. Lori’s book, No More Bricks! Successful Whole Grain Bread Made Quick & Easy, is the perfect introductory guide for first-time breadmakers, but it also includes tips and recipes that experienced bakers will appreciate.
It includes four master recipes for Whole Wheat Oatmeal, Honey Whole Wheat, Whole Wheat Rye, and Soft Wheat Egg Dough with over 30 variations to swirl in mix-ins, top with cracked grains, shape into dinner rolls and bread bowls, and create homemade pizzas and stromboli. The techniques and photos are easy to follow, and I enjoyed the nutritional information on whole grains as well. Lori’s Whole Wheat Oatmeal recipe has become a new family staple at my house!
This is a perfect gift for a new bride, or just for yourself. I’ll be using some of these recipes and techniques to teach my own daughters the art of breadmaking. If you’d like to order one for yourself, just click the photo below. I’ve linked it to Amazon, where you’ll find the cookbook at the best price.