When preppers discuss the supplies you need to be ready for anything, food is naturally at the top of the list. Everyone knows that you need food to live so we move on to bigger questions like how much food should you store, what is the best food to purchase, where do you store all that food and how to keep it from going bad. Each of these questions could be worth of its own post and lucky for you there are no shortage of opinions on all these topics and more in the world of preparedness blogging. Naturally, the Prepper Journal has devoted more than one page to these topics.
The planning that goes into your food preparedness should take all the questions above into account while also considering your own resources, space limitations, climate and realities that make absolutes in the world of survival just about impossible. One thing I do recommend is buying long-term storage foods. The benefits of these types of disaster prep are numerous.
Long term storage foods usually fall into the big 5 gallon buckets of grains like Rice and Wheat or Beans and Freeze Dried foods. These five gallon buckets, ideally sealed and protected with oxygen absorbers can last tucked away in a closet for years. Freeze Dried foods typically have a much longer shelf life of up to 25 years. Rice, Beans and Wheat are cheap when purchased in bulk. Freeze dried foods cost a little more, but they aren’t without their advantages.
Freeze dried foods are a prep you can purchase and forget about. I recommend that people starting out just purchase more of the foods they already eat at the grocery store and this is a great strategy, but being able to put away several boxes of food in your basement you never (within reason) have to worry about again is good from the standpoint of space, visibility and variety. Unlike storing Rice, Wheat and Oatmeal, Freeze dried foods are typically entire meals and are sealed in smaller units. This means if you want to break out some freeze-dried apples, you don’t have to worry about the whole bucket spoiling if you don’t get to in again for a while.
I have a mix of regular food we eat from the grocery store, some MRE’s, Hard Red Winter Wheat stored in buckets and Freeze Dried Foods. I think a mix gives me a little more variety and as long as I monitor the foods we have with a good rotation plan, we should avoid some problems if anything would happen to prevent me and my family from getting to the store for a pretty long time.
I was given the opportunity to try one of the suppliers of Long Term Food Storage, Valley Food Storage’s 1 month supply. The premise of these easy to purchase kits is that you can select a package of selected food that will meet the needs of a person for a specified time period. In this case, the 1 month supply would feed the average person with enough calories to survive for one month.
The contents of a regular kit include the following:
You can see how purchasing something like the kit above could make the threat of food fatigue a thing of the past. Would my kids rather eat Oatmeal, Rice and Beans 3 times a day or Pancakes, Mac and Cheese or Pasta Primavera? Also, long term storage foods like this make meal preparation easier, they already include spices and seasoning. Just add water.
I tried the multi-grain cereal from Valley Food Storage and it was great. Of course I doctored it up with some of the freeze dried apples and strawberries occasionally to give it more pizzazz, but I could easily eat that for breakfast every morning. The larger meal portions work great for an entire family meal. For instance, something like Sweet & Sour Rice with Veggies feeds 5 out of one bag. All you have to do is boil 5 ½ cups of water over your rocket stove, stir in the contents of one bag, let it site for 15 minutes and dinner is done.
Everything I tried was flavorful and the packaging gave clear instructions but you would really have to try hard to mess up a meal with this approach. For me, Freeze dried foods are a great option if you have the space and money to stock up in larger quantities.
As a special treat for Prepper Journal Readers, Valley Food Storage has a coupon code that will get you a little over 10% off anything you purchase. Just type PJ15 when you checkout for the savings.