The future has become increasingly unstable for many of us in recent times. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to work on building up an emergency food pantry that will allow you to survive for a very long time using your own food resources and preparing food that will last.
There are a number of food storage solutions that are designed to last for many years.
You can approach the task of building up a store of emergency foods in a number of different ways. The simplest way would be to accumulate an extra amount of non-perishable foods that you would eat on a regular basis. A more professional approach that is often favored by preppers would be to buy a range of special food that has been specifically designed to last considerably longer than anything you will find on the supermarket shelves.
Let’s take a look at both of these methods in greater detail. There are also some pros and cons to consider that you need to be aware of when you are planning how to prepare food reserves that will last you through an emergency scenario.
Work on surviving for a minimum of two weeks
There are no hard and fast prepping rules when it comes to how much food you store. However, the accepted minimum is to have enough supplies to last you for at least two weeks.
You should have a two-week stock of non-perishable food that is easy to prepare. That should be your base point when preparing an emergency supply stock list. It might be that you think you have a fair amount of non-perishable supplies in your cupboard a lot of the time anyway. But the average home tends to have a level of stock that would last them hours rather than weeks.
DIY or prepared food kits?
You can build up your prepper pantry over a period of time by adding some extra items to your weekly shop. This helps you to budget more easily. You can also take advantage of the FIFO concept by keeping a close eye on your stock expiration dates.
In principle, prepping becomes easier when your food lasts as long as possible. That is why you need to focus your attention on so-called shelf-stable and non-perishable items.
What is the definition of a food item that is classed as shelf-stable?
If a food can be safely stored at an ambient temperature (room temperature) or on a shelf without any need to be refrigerated these are classed as being shelf-stable. Canned goods and foods stored in jars or bottles would meet these criteria.
Not all canned goods can be stored in this way and might require refrigeration. The storage instructions will be on the label and you should read these as well as looking for expiration dates so that you can select products that are non-perishable and shelf-stable for the longest possible time.
It takes a little bit of extra work to search through cans on a supermarket shelf for the longest expiration date but the effort is worth it, all things considered.
It should also be noted that the exact storage life of a product is quite difficult to predict with any degree of accuracy. Use the dates as a guide rather than a definitive use by date.
Providing the best food storage environment
As well as being diligent when it comes to selecting appropriate prepping products you also need to focus your attention on creating the best possible storage environment.
There are a number of key factors that can prove highly detrimental to your efforts to create a usable supply of food that is ready at a moment’s notice.
You need to minimize the threats that can degrade your items. The principal threats that you need to eliminate or control are heat and light, moisture, poor oxygen levels, and pests.
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The bottom line is that the effectiveness of your ability to reduce these main threats to the longevity and condition of your food storage will often prove critical to how ready you are when the time comes to use your food items.
One solution that a number of preppers use to store dry goods efficiently and safely is mylar bags. When paired with oxygen absorbers and using sealed buckets to store your dry goods these bags will often prove to be the best way to keep everything as fresh and safe as possible.
Even if you can’t run to this sort of standard it is wise to focus on creating the best storage environment you can. Also, remember that “best before” dates conform to manufacturing guidelines. In reality, there is a good chance these products will last a lot longer, provided the packaging is secure and hasn’t been compromised.
A good number of shelf-stable foods can last for years beyond the expiry date printed on canned goods but you need to be vigilant as the can needs to be in perfect condition for those rules to apply safely.
Grains should be a priority purchase for your prepper store
Grains are almost the perfect prepper food solution. They store easily and as well as being nutritious they are versatile too.
The sort of grains that need to be on your list are classic staples such as rice (all types from long grain to Basmati are suitable), rolled oats, dried pasta, dried corn, and instant grits.
Beans and legumes should also be high on your list
When it comes to getting the protein and fiber you need for your diet you can’t go wrong with a supply of beans and legumes from your store.
Again, these are perfect prepper food solutions as beans and legumes store well and they offer a fair degree of versatility so you can choose items you really like.
Typical items for your list would be black and pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, and black-eyed peas.
In addition to these staples, you should also look to accumulate some meats and other proteins, in cans.
Canned meat is not to everyone’s liking, but a country ham out of the tin can last almost indefinitely and will be a welcome addition to your menu when you are actually using your supplies in an emergency situation.
If you are savvy with your food selections you should be able to create a store of items that meet all of your daily needs and will be ready to go as and when you need it.
Do your research so that you can learn from other like-minded people about what works and what doesn’t when starting your prepping journey. You might also want to consider getting a helping hand with some food storage solutions that have been specifically created to meet all of your dietary needs in an emergency situation.