Food Storage 101
When I think of survival, I don’t think of going into the mountains and foraging for something to eat. I think more of making sure that there is enough in my food storage in case I can’t get to the grocery store. But what if there is an earthquake, or a pandemic? What happens if everyone is sick and you don’t want to go out to the store for fear of catching a deadly virus? If so, what are the alternatives to shopping in a grocery store for food? I can think of three: 1.) Getting some food from your neighbor, 2.) Hunting it down or growing it yourself, and 3.) Finding it in the wild. Hopefully, in this post you will walk away understanding a little more about the various foods available for food storage and how to use them.
If you think about it, surviving off the land was a skill our forefathers had down pat. All the commercial brands and types of foods readily available at the local grocery store have spoiled our generation. I know that my parents and grandparents never taught me those skills, but I can’t blame them… I am sure that as a curious teenager I asked, but it’s not like I remember how my grandmother canned green beans or peaches. There are websites out there that teach these skills, but in a power outage or natural disaster turning to the Internet won’t be of much use to us. Also, it is never a good idea to try to learn something new in a stressful situation, especially when your life depends on it.
Living in the suburbs doesn’t lend itself to many options when it comes to food, unless you wander into your neighbor’s garden. Which is probably not the best idea, if you value your life. Your neighbor may likely shoot you for trespassing. However, after reading this post, you may take comfort from the fact that you will have planned ahead and that there is plenty of food sitting in your food storage.
Preparation. There is a lot to think about when planning your food storage needs for a disaster. Remember that you also need to consider the area that you live in, your needs will be different if you’re living on a farm in the Midwest vs. living in an apartment in Manhattan. For example, if you think that you will be in an apartment for a month or so, dehydrated food may not be the best answer for you. You might consider stocking up on canned foods and bottled water. Whereas, if you are on a farm with a water source storing dehydrated food would be best. With a little research you should be fine. You should have the right quantity and the right types of food. As it is with your financial investments it is also not a bad idea to diversify your “food” portfolio also.
Quantity. How many people are in your household and how much food do you need? Start off with a 3 day supply, then build up to a 3-month supply, and eventually work your way up to a years supply of food storage for everyone in your family.
Quality. Be sure to get food that everyone wants to eat. If it is food that you don’t like or if it is something that you are allergic to then don’t store it. If you are gluten intolerant, then by no means should you have all wheat or wheat products! Also, think about your individual family needs. Small children or teens can be very picky at times. Let them try the foods and they will let you know what you should stock up on. One brand that comes to mind is the Wise Foods Black Label freeze dried foods. I tried some the other day and they are the best I have had.
Cooking. It would be wish to have a couple of food storage cookbooks on hand. Cooking with food storage can be tricky, especially when we are so accustomed to finding fresh ingredients at the grocery store. You should practice some recipes while there is no pressure to do so. Also, by incorporating food storage into your daily diet it gives your body time to adapt to dehydrated foods. If you haven’t lived on dehydrated foods before then you are in for a surprise. The next thing that you need to remember is that dehydrated foods require large amounts of water. Not only will you be using water to wash your clothes, bathe, brush your teeth, etc. you will need it to reconstitute your food storage.
A few years ago I was talking to a friend of mine. We were both in our undergrad program at the University of Alabama and he was living at home while I was living with some friends in an apartment. I asked him what he did for food storage. His reply has stuck with me to this day. He said that he did most of the shopping for his family and that when he went to the grocery store he would just pick up a few extra cans of food. He would store them in his room just in case. No more had to be said… the point was made. No matter what situation you are in and no matter where you are, you can store food and be prepared!