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When survivalist start stockpiling food, we buy #10 cans and usually store food in mylar bags. Lets say we had to focus on certain foods, what would those foods be?

How do we decide which foods we should focus on?



Lets narrow our selections to how easy the food is to grow, how well it stores, and the nutrition content.

During a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation, we will being growing and storing our own food. One thing we do not want to do is dedicate a lot of time and effort into food that contains little nutrition. We need to look at food that packs a nutritional punch, renewable, easy to grow, easy to harvest and can be stored without modern technology.

In this article I hope to focus on renewable foods. Foods that we can grow in a home garden or at a Bug Out Location. During a long term survival situation, people that hope to make it through will need a renewable food source. It is not enough to stockpile foo din mylar bags, or stockpile freeze dried food in #10 cans. Sooner or later those mylar bags and those cans will be empty.

Honey

Humans have been eating honey for well over 1,000 years. Some estimates put humans eating honey up to 8,000 years ago.

  • The bees do the work for you, all you have to do is harvest the honey
  • Honey is loaded with trace minerals
  • Honey does not spoil or go rancid
  • Honey inhibits the growth of bacteria, so it can be used in the treatment of wounds and injuries
One of the drawbacks to honey, the bees will sting the crap out of you if you bother the hive. You think your big and bad until a swarm of bees are done with your ass. When its said, done and over with, you will be in a fetal position crying for your mommy.

If you plan on adding honey to your to your preps, either stockpile the crap out of it, or learn how to safely harvest honey.

Eggs

When I was getting ready to put this article together, I was unsure whether to list eggs or honey first.

Eggs are safer to collect, but honey stores better in the long term. Honey can be used to treat wounds, while eggs can spread diseases like salmonella. Because of honey can be stored forever, and can be used to treat wounds, honey won first place, and eggs won second place. To store honey you need some kind of jar, or container that can hold a liquid. Eggs can be stored in just about anything.

Unlike honey, the chickens do not sting the crap out of you when the eggs are collected.

  • Eggs are a good source of protein and other trace nutrients
  • Chickens are good foragers so they can find their own food
  • #10 cans of freeze dried eggs are available


A few nutrients the typical chicken egg contains:

  • Protein – 12.6 g
  • Vitamin A – 18% USDA
  • Riboflavin – 42% USDA
  • Vitamin B12 – 46% USDA
  • Zinc – 11% USDA

*USDA – U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance

Chickens and eggs just go together. Its a little difficult to talk about one, without talking about the other.

If you want to buy freeze dried eggs, fine; if you want to raise chickens, fine. But either way, do not overlook eggs or chickens as part of your long term survival preps.

Beans and Peas

If you want something that is easy to grow, and can be easily stored, look no further then a bean stalk.

Have you ever wondered where the term “sting beans” comes from? Take a needle and thread. run the thread through the end of the bean, then hang the bean up to dry. When you are ready to eat the beans, pull what you want off the string, boil and eat.


If you want to get a head start on growing your own beans after SHTF, you can store them in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. That way you can have beans in mylar bags while growing fresh food in your garden.

What makes the bean and pea an excellent choice during a long term SHTF situation? While other plants require nitrogen fertilizer, beans and peas add nitrogen to the soil. This makes peas and beans ideal for crop sculpting.

Crop sculpting is when you plant crops in a order that benefit each other.

Lets say that you have a small plot of land that you plan on planting a garden on. Here is how I would plant the crops,

Season one – potatoes
Season two – peas or beans
Season three – corn, spinach, greens,,,, or some other crop that requires nitrogen
Season four – plant nothing, let chickens and livestock roam the land

Planting various crops from season to season also helps prevent diseases and prevents the soil from becoming depleted of certain nutrients.

Peas and beans are a well rounded food stock. They are easy to grow, easy to cook, and are easy to store. Keep in mind, Europeans in the middle ages lived off basic food groups like beans for hundreds of years.

Grains

Instead of listing all of the grains separately (rice, oats, wheat,,,), lets just talk about the group as a whole.

Rice is a staple food for a large part of the human population. When stored in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber, white rice can be stored for years. Some estimates put rice being viable in mylar bags (with oxygen absorber) upwards to 20 years. This makes rive an excellent choice for long term storage.

Oats have been a food source for thousands of years. Oats are suitable for human and livestock consumption. For long term storage, oats sealed in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers can last upwards to 20 – 30 years when stored properly. This makes oats an ideal food prep for long term storage.

Wheat has been used by mankind for thousands of years. When stored in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, and stored in ideal temperatures, some estimates up wheat with a 20 – 30 year shelf life range.

Related forum thread – Storing rice, beans and oats in mylar bags

Without grains, the human diet would not be what it is.

Fruit trees

Why would fruits be listed as a fundamental food? Mankind has been eating fruits for longer then known history. We have been eating fruit from the time we were able to pluck the fruit from a tree limb. Fruit is replenishing. Unlike a garden that you have to replant every year, and fruit tree produces year-to-year. People that are picky eaters seem to tolerate fruit easier then veggies. Maybe its because of the sweet taste and sugar content that appeals to some many people?

If you have room on your property, or if you have a Bug Out Location, why not plant some fruit trees?

Fruits have been part of the human diet since the dawn of mankind. Why change now? There are paintings from the middle ages that depict people harvesting fruit from trees. Figs are mentioned in the Bible several times.

One of the big drawbacks to fruit, it spoils pretty quick after being harvested. With pressure cookers / pressure canners and jars with a seal on the lid, fruit can be stored somewhat easily. Instead of jarring, fruit can be dehydrated to extend its shelf life.

Milk

What would life be without milk and cheese? For people that do not have land to have livestock on, you can buy #10 cans of powered milk, or even buy powered milk at the local grocery store and then seal it in a mylar bags with oxygen absorber.

A glass of cold milk and a slice of pecan pie sure does sound good right about now.
 

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fried chicken and watermelon???really kev? are you trying to tell us something?

all kidding aside. we have completely adapted to this idea. we spent much time and money in the past few years stock piling dried goods in #10 cans, and 5 gallon buckets and mylar. this year has been all about getting our farm going. goats, pigs, chicken, turkeys. the garden is growing and i plan for an ever BIGGER one next year. just this weekend i planted 18 blue berry bushs, and i laid out an area for my fruit trees. i'm planning on a pair or trio of multi citus trees. these trees will have grape fruit, some form of orange(navel, tangeine, etc), and something like a lemon or another citrus. i want each one to have a different varitey on it. next a type or 2 of apple trees(one green, one red), ive given some thought to some more tropical fruit. perhaps figs, papayas, pineapples? all available at lowes or home deput. ---side note---look at the containers or labels and make sure they were grown by a local nursery because they specialize in what will work well in your area----

the next step is to really really work on identifying what is wild edibles here in my area. there is plenty available, i just need to learn more about it.

next year i have plans for rasberries, black berries, and bean poles or bushs. ( so far my beans and peas have been a bust. i recently replanted starting over from seeds. wish me luck)
 
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your comment about storing beans in mylar... Are you storing dry beans or the green beans (pod and all) like you have in the picture? Just curious, I'm gonna have a heck of a crop of bush beans. I have had green beans mold in cardboard, vented boxes before. Just wondering if it would really be kosher to put them in the bags.
 

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your comment about storing beans in mylar... Are you storing dry beans or the green beans (pod and all) like you have in the picture? Just curious, I'm gonna have a heck of a crop of bush beans. I have had green beans mold in cardboard, vented boxes before. Just wondering if it would really be kosher to put them in the bags.
buy a dehydrator, or learn to do it by hanging them. thats how i do my peppers
 

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I totally agree.

We are actually making plans and collecting stuff to try two new things here:

We are getting some cheese wax to try storing cheese in its already block form.

We are also planning to try the whole storing whole eggs thing. I know they don't last forever, but I want to try it.

Powdered Milk, Cheese, and Butter are the next purchase on my list.
 

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i've heard of ways to dip and seal eggs so laft a long time without refridgeration. i have yet to try it
 

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Discussion Starter #8
your comment about storing beans in mylar... Are you storing dry beans or the green beans (pod and all) like you have in the picture? .
You would have to dry the beans before you seal them in mylar bags.

During a long term situation, I do not think mylar is going to be a viable option. Where are you going to get the bags from, where are you going to get the oxygen absorbers from?
 

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Buy a Global Sun oven. It cooks and dehydrates, I am dehydrating my garden zucchini right now :)
I wonder if it would be possible to build a small green house out of PVC pipe and clear plastic?

Not for growing sprouts, but for dehydrating food from the garden.
 

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your comment about storing beans in mylar... Are you storing dry beans or the green beans (pod and all) like you have in the picture? Just curious, I'm gonna have a heck of a crop of bush beans. I have had green beans mold in cardboard, vented boxes before. Just wondering if it would really be kosher to put them in the bags.
Anything stored in mylar has to be properly dried. Green beans can be air dried, or dried in a dehydrator. The dehydrator produces a better product, but I've air dried my share of them over the years too.
 

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No meats?

I guess the chickens get to pull double duty on that.

Feral hogs here in TX may be our salvation.
 

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MP is right. They're called "string beans" because of the "string" of fiber that runs down them, that you have to pull off before you cook or can them. It's called "stringing" beans.
 

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You speak of oats. I don't know what it would take to get the glumes off normal livestock feed oats but it wouldn't be easy. Eating them without removing them would choke us humans down.

There is a strain of oats called naked or hulless oats. On these the glumes are loose so it is possible to knock them off with low tech tools. This leaves a seed that looks like a wheat berry.
 

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In the thread nobody mentioned naked oats. The seed is available at the more complete seed sources on line. I tried to grow some last year but had a complete crop failure. I think I planted them too late. Planted much earlier this season.

I think this is the same thing they sell in health food stores as "oat groats"
 

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I am new to gardening. I live in a development with about 1/4 acre of land..which my house sits on...leaving the rest for growing a garden. I have had good luck with potatoes which seem to grow well and can be grown in trash cans. I am not sure of nutritional value...but they kept the Irish alive for along time.
 

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On my land, I have been focusing most on planting trees [fruits, nuts, herbs]. They produce a lot and for many years.

My wife gardens mostly beans. Which she dries, grinds and uses as flour in her baking. [breads, pizza, pie crusts, cookies, snack crackers, etc]

For buying stuff, we focus more on whole grains. I pay from $4 to $8 for 50-pound sacks of grains [depending on which grain]. I buy in the fall. I get them from farmers as they are harvesting. Since I use most of it as livestock feed, I buy multiple tonnes of each grain. I store most of it in 55-gallon drums with desiccant.
 
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