[8/22/17] When it comes to storing enough food to survive, unassisted and on your own for three six-months or a full year or even longer is the point where most new preppers get overwhelmed and some even give up altogether. And while I agree that storing and rotating such a large amount of food on a continuing basis can be a lot of work and takes dedication, it is by no means impossible, and if done right can even be enjoyable – just follow this food storage list.
But where do you start? You should start with the basics first wheat (or other grains, for those who have trouble digesting gluten), rice, beans, oats, corn, salt, honey, cooking oil and powdered milk.
This is the backbone of your survival diet. Wheat is nature’s longest storing seed, with an indefinite shelf life given proper storage conditions. The wheat (and other grains) can also be sprouted, adding fresh greens to the diet even in winter.
Rice is my favorite storage foods and I actually prefer rice over wheat for storage, but that’s a personal decision, and well I like rice and rice dishes. White rice stores better and has a longer shelf-life than brown rice; however brown rice has more nutritional value. Despite the tradeoff in storage duration, I still prefer brown rice for storage because of the added nutritional value.
Beans, corn, and rice combined make a complete food, providing just about everything you need to survive. Add some fresh green sprouts or garden produce and extra vitamin C just to be sure you’re getting enough to avoid scurvy, and you’ll be well fed and healthy.
I like to store a combination of pinto beans, black beans, and mung beans. How much you store of each will depend on your personal preferences to taste.
Don’t go overboard when storing oats, about 20 pounds per adult per year is plenty. Oats have a storage life of approximately four to six years, depending on storage conditions and whether or not they have been opened after being packaged for long term storage.
Corn equals cornmeal, cornbread, cornmeal mush, corn cakes, and a huge list of other foods that you can prepare using the seed. I store whole corn because it stores much better and with at least double the shelf-like of cracked corn.
While not a food but a mineral, salt, is none the less essential to the diet and individual health. Salt is also used in the preservation of food and animal products. Salt, like wheat, has an indefinite shelf life. Store at least 10 pounds of iodized salt per person, per year.
It’s also a good idea to stock up on salt blocks to attract game animals for future harvesting. You can find these in the sporting goods stores and other outlets that sell to hunters. You can also get these through your local farmer’s co-op, where they sell them for domestic livestock supplementation.
Honey or Sugar
As a sweetener honey makes an unequaled contribution to the diet. Honey, like wheat and salt, has an indefinite shelf-life. Store at least 10 pounds per person. If the honey hardens and crystallizes, heat it slowly in a double boiler to reconstitute.
There is some controversy as to which is best for storage in the preppers pantry, vegetable oil or olive oil, while both will work fine and you should stock up on the one that you like best. I recommend putting away, 10 quarts, per person, per year.
Most people turn their nose at the thought of powdered milk, preferring whole milk from the supermarket shelf. Granted it does have a slightly different taste, but it’s not unpleasant to drink, and after a week or two it seems to “grow” on you. Studies have shown that nonfat powdered milk, when packaged (nitrogen-packed) and stored properly has a storage life of 20 years or more.
Stockpiling Hard To Store Foods
I prefer to buy those hard-to-store long-term items like powdered milk, dry margarine, butter powder, buttermilk powder, cheese powder, shortening, and powdered eggs pre packaged for long-term storage in #10 metal cans, from Augason Farms or other reputable survival food vendors.