What to Store for Long-Term Food Storage

Posted on the 26 June 2014 by Bklotzman @OrganizePrepper

Wheat in Sack

Food stores are often one of the most important parts to any prepping plan. We need food, we love food and food makes us feel normal. We have already talked about what our “active” food stores should include (foods our family eats regularly) but, it is time to plan ahead just in case the stores do not reopen or get restocked within a few days or even a week.

Your active food stores will carry you for probably up to a week, but what about beyond that? If you want to be truly prepared for a disaster or some other traumatic event, it is a good idea to have a minimum of a month’s food on hand, but an even better idea would be a year’s worth of food. You are probably panicking a bit and thinking how can you possibly store food for a year? Food is perishable, right? Technically, yes, but you can store ingredients that will hold for years to come.

It is a fact that if there is some kind of devastating natural disaster, an act of war or civil unrest, our lives are going to change dramatically. We are going to lose a lot of the little conveniences we have come to appreciate like instant rice, microwave dinners and sliced bread. It is back to the basics and that is what you will want to stock for your long-term food stores.

You will want to have a variety of foods from each of the main food groups. This is possible with the dehydrated foods that are on the market today. You can have yummy strawberries and plump peas even in an apocalyptic world. Dehydrated foods can be stored for years. In fact, in prime storage conditions some foods will hold up for a couple of decades.

Canned foods are an option and are less expensive off the shelf, but when you do the math, the bulk buckets of dehydrated foods are cheaper by the meal. It would be a good idea to have a variety of canned and dehydrated foods in your preps. Freeze-dried foods are also an option, but do tend to cost a bit more.

Grains-You will need carbohydrates for energy and grains are the best way to get the necessary calories. Grains are also very filling and are eaten as comfort foods. You can make hundreds of different hearty meals with grains like soups, casseroles and stews.

  • Rice
  • Flour
  • Whole grains i.e. wheat, barley (don’t forget a grain mill!)
  • Oats

Dairy-Dairy is essential to our overall health. While there are only a few dairy products that can be stored long term, each of these are equally important and can add a little comfort in uncertain times.

  • Powdered milk--good for cooking with
  • Instant milk—good for drinking
  • Powdered cheese
  • Powdered butter

Fruits and Vegetables-You can opt to dehydrate your own fruits and vegetables by using a dehydrator. Stored properly, your home-dried foods can last years and are a fraction of the cost of the store-bought foods. Dehydrated fruits can be eaten as they are and make a good snack if you have to go out scouting or hunting.

  • Blueberries
  • Corn
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes (shredded, instant and sliced)
  • Apples
  • Peas

Spices/Flavoring-Yes, these are important! A little salt can turn a bland dish into something much more palatable. Just because you are in survival mode, it doesn’t mean your taste buds are going to be okay with eating foods with little to no flavor. Why make it more difficult than it has to be? Take the time to store your favorite spices.

  • Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder/salt
  • Italian seasoning mix
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar

Protein-Protein will be one of the food groups in short supply. Hunting game is an option, but it is good to have some foods high in protein on hand. Dehydrated meats are expensive, so in this case, you may want to go with canned meats.

  • Variety of nuts
  • Protein bars
  • Powdered eggs
  • Canned meats

This is an idea of some of the basics you will want to have on hand. You can certainly add more items to your own list depending on what your family eats. The luxury of quick and easy meals will no longer be an option if a disaster extends beyond a couple of weeks. It is a good idea to do a little experimenting today to learn how to make meals with basic ingredients like those listed above.

Image from wikicommons, uploaded by Jurema Oliveira

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