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When I was first starting a food storage program, I was a little more than overwhelmed at what/how much to store. Then I ran across this pdf file on the internet (don't remember where now) and it really helped me to get not only the items I needed, but also included recipes and how to cook everything if there was no electricity.
 

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cute is not always enough
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I glanced through it and it looks like a lot of good information. It does seem a little rigid. You food requirements camping in your bunker will be very different from the requirements of working the fields or hauling wood. Your size will make a big difference, too. I am still trying to get a good handle on nutrition and diet.
 

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Think of what you will need for one year and then doubled the ammount.......I for one have for 7 years plus.
You got me beat brother, I have a bit over a year's worth right now. We calculated it at 3,000 calories a day per person. 2,000 is the norm for daily intake but we went higher due to the amount of physical work that you'd be enduring.
 

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I've stopped worrying about how much is a years supply. I figure what you’ve got is what you’ve got once it goes down, and it just doesn’t matter what your calculation was. It will last as long as it lasts. I’d rather have too much than too little, and nobody ever told me how it is that a years worth is the magic number. Maybe I need 12 years worth.

That said, it is good to have some idea what you’ve got and how to get there. I have read all kinds of opinions and lists and everything else and decided that they hurt as much as they help. In my opinion, the enemy of good enough is better. I spent way too much time making lists and calculating and all that, when I should have been shopping. 1000 pounds of rice ain’t much of a diet and you probably would die of a nutritional deficiency before you ate it all, but it is a lot better nutrition than even the most comprehensive shopping list on a spreadsheet.

The approach I finally settled on was to start somewhere and improve it from there. I know all the experts say don’t go out and buy a whole lot of one thing and neglect something else, they say to keep it balanced. I understand where they are coming from, but some items are so cheap and so easy to get that it is crazy not to just get them and then fill in the gaps.

Go to the store. I mean tonight. Get 100 pounds of rice and pack it for storage. Forget the CO2 and all that. Just put them in some buckets. If they get weevils in them, well it doesn't matter. I've eaten them before and so have you whether you know it or not. There are bugs in everything. Once you have done that, you are no longer just thinking about preparing, you are doing it. It gets easier from there.

Grains are about 1600 calories/ dry pound. Rice, wheat, pasta (don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t store, I’ve eaten it after it sat 7 years in an ammo can, it was fine) are all about the same. Don’t get worried if it is 1580 or 1620, it is close enough and it will all average out in the end.

Based on 1600 calories in a pound of grain, I call 1 pound of grain a person-day of grain. 1600 calories probably isn’t enough calories for a day, but it is 1600 more than nothing. It also isn’t nutritionally complete, but next we will fill in the gaps. That will improve the nutrition and add calories.

If I have 350 pounds of grain, I call it 350 person-days of grain and move forward from there. What do I need to add to make that 350 person-days of food a better diet? Well, I like a bit of meat, so I figure how much meat to add. Lets make it easy and say 4 ounces of meat a person-day. That means about 80 pounds of meat to get close to in balance with the grains. It would be nice to add some beans because I like beans. Make it 4 ounces a person-day and get 80 pounds. It is going to be pretty bland without some salt. I don’t know how much you need, but it is about a buck for 4 pounds, so get $20 worth and call it a day. Figure out how much coffee you drink in a day, how much toothpaste, etc and put it all back to person-days. Get a multivitamin a day for insurance. Get some vegetables- whatever you like. And don't worry too much about it. People get all concerned about how long a can of corn from the store lasts. It lasts a lot longer than most people think. Some will argue that sure it is safe to eat, but it loses nutrition. Fine- I say a 10 year old can of corn has a lot more nutrition if I eat it than if I throw if away. If it hits the fan, we'll see who's right. The can of chili that I ate tonight was a year past date and it tasted new.

The bottom line is do a quick and dirty job and do it now. Then you can buff out the rough edges. No matter how much planning you do, you will probably miss something anyway. Don’t let that stop you. If you have twice as much rice as you need but you forgot the dried parsley, you might be able to make a trade. Get a base, look for gaps, fill them in, reevaluate. Once you think you have everything you need, for as long as you plan to need it, look at some lists and see if they have anything to offer.

Think about it this way, if it goes down tomorrow, will you be better of had read a few more books and made a better list, or will you be glad you got started?
 

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Thanks for the compliment, NW.

I just noticed the "powdered milk lasts 3 years" on the linked site. Don't worry about that. My son is drinking powdered milk we got at Kroger 2 months before he was born. He turns 7 tomorrow. The milk came in a plastic pouch, regular grocery store stuff. I put the pouches in a bucket and it sat in my basement until a few weeks ago when I realized I had forgotten it.

Would it be better if it were newer? I don't know. Even when it is brand new, it tastes like crap compared to the fresh milk we usually use, I can't tell it is any worse now than it was then. Mix it with chocolate syrup and it is fine. I'll get some more to replace it soon, and we should be good to go for another 7 years. If it hits the fan, it will be the best tasting milk on the block.
 

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This document is great. I was putting together some recipes that I got off the internet that are similar to these in the pdf file. I'm not finished with them, but I'll post what I do have. Since I have so much rice, I figured that I would get bored with eating it all the time, but using different recipes should change spice it up a bit. Plus, I know which seasonings to store.

CHICKEN BREASTS AND SEASONED RICE
4 chicken breasts
1/2 bag frozen peas
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 pt. sour cream
Brown chicken breasts in oil. Place in baking pan. Season with garlic salt. Sprinkle peas over breasts. Spread mixture of can of mushroom soup and 1/2 pint sour cream over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, uncovered. Serve with seasoned rice.
SEASONED RICE:
1 can beef bouillon soup
2 c. liquid
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 c. rice
Add water to beef bouillon soup to make 2 cups liquid. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Add 1 cup rice and steam for 1/2 hour on low heat.

RICE SEASONING MIX
6 tbsp. onion flakes
6 tbsp. parsley flakes
3 tbsp. celery flakes
4 1/2 tsp. garlic flakes
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric, coriander or cumin
3/4 tsp. black pepper
Place onion flakes, parsley flakes, celery flakes, garlic flakes, coriander and pepper in a 1 pint preserving jar. Store mixture in a cool, dark, dry place, keeps up to 3 months. Shake well.
For each cup long grain white or brown rice, use 1/3 cup rice, seasoning mix and 1 teaspoon salt, then cook according to package directions.

HERB RICE SEASONING
1/2 c. instant chicken bouillon
1/2 c. dried parsley
1 tbsp. dried whole basil
1 tbsp. minced dried onion
1 tbsp. dried dill weed
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. lemon peel
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Place ingredients in a jar and shake.
To use: Combine 1 cup uncooked rice, 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons seasoning mix and 1 tablespoon butter in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, cover and reduce hot low heat. Cook until liquid is absorbed


SEASONED RICE "CAJUN"
2 c. raw rice
Water or stock
1 c. chopped fresh parsley
1 c. chopped green onions
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Place rice in a medium size saucepan with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Stir in all the seasonings, bring water to boil. Stir occasionally. Continue boiling until no water can be seen on top of rice. Reduce heat to low, cover, let simmer until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Do not lift the lid until rice is done. Goes good with Cornish hens.

SEASONED RICE
8 c. water
4 c. rice
2 dabs butter
3 to 4 dashes seasoning salt to taste
2 tsp. parsley
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. curry powder
Combine all ingredients into rice pot and cook slowly for 1/2 hour. Serves 4 to 6. Enjoy!

SEASONED ONION RICE
Vegetable cooking spray
1 med. onion, chopped
1 c. uncooked regular rice
1 can chicken broth, undiluted
3/4 c. water
1 tbsp. Worcestershire
1 beef flavor bouillon cube
1/4 tsp. pepper
Spray medium saucepan with cooking spray, add onion and saute 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Spray casserole dish - add rice mixture. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

SEASONED RICE

2 c. cooked rice
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. instant onion
1 tbsp. instant parsley or fresh dill weed if available
2 pkgs. instant chicken broth
Melt butter in skillet. Add onion and brown lightly. Add cooked rice and 1 tbsp. parsley or fresh dill weed. Mix well. Add 2 packages instant chicken broth and 1/4 cup water. Add a little garlic salt and serve. Serves 8.

HOMEMADE SEASONED RICE MIX
This economical, convenient mix allows you the flexibility to make it for poultry or beef-flavored dishes.
3 c. uncooked regular rice
1/4 c. dried parsley flakes
6 tsp. instant chicken or beef-flavored bouillon
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
In storage container with tight-fitting lid, combine all ingredients; mix well. Seal tightly. Store in cool, dry place for up to 6 months. Stir well before each use. Makes 3 cups.

SEASONED RICE
1/3 c. butter
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. uncooked long grain rice
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 1/2 c. boiling water
1/4 tsp. celery flakes
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. pepper
Lightly brown onion and rice in butter. Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water and add to rice mixture. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 15-25 minutes or until rice is tender. (Very good.)

SEASONED RICE
1 tbsp. beef or chicken flavor instant bouillon or 3 beef or chicken flavor cubes
2 to 2 1/2 c. water
1 c. uncooked long grain rice
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
In medium saucepan, combine bouillon and water; bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

SEASONED RICE MIX (RICE A RONI)
3 c. uncooked rice
1/4 c. dried parsley flakes
6 tbsp. instant chicken or beef bouillon
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Mix and store in airtight container. To use put 1 cup mix, 2 tablespoons butter and 2 cups water in saucepan. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender.
To more closely resemble rice a roni, substitute 1 cup broken pieces spaghetti for 1 cup of rice.

SEASONED RICE MIX
3 c. regular rice
1/4 c. dried parsley flakes
6 tsp. instant chicken or beef flavored bouillon
2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. thyme leaves
Combine mix. Store in airtight container. Cook in amounts as needed for your family.

SHORT-CUT SPANISH RICE

3 cups cooked rice
1 teaspoon Taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups Tostitos Medium Salsa
garlic powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
Quick Version (Side Dish):
Steam or boil rice according to package directions to measure about 3 cups. Cook rice slightly on the dry side (steaming is best). Minute Rice may be used for an emergency side dish.
Combine ingredients and cook 5 minutes (no more), just until heated through. Season to taste and serve.
Main Dish Variation:
For a quick, hearty main dish, sauté 1/2 inch cubes of pork in a tablespoon of olive oil with 1-2 large onions, chopped, one green or red sweet pepper, cut into chunks, and a few cloves of fresh, minced/crushed garlic.
Add ground cumin, paprika, and cayenne, (or just use Taco seasoning) to taste and stir in salsa and cooked rice. Any combination of seasonings or quantity of onion and pepper may be used.

HERBED RICE
UNCLE BEN'S® Converted Rice or Minute Rice
Tone's Minced Onion
Tone's Italian Seasoning
Swanson Chicken Broth
Kikkoman Soy Sauce or Teriyaki Sauce
Butter
Saute 2 cups of rice and a 1/4 cup of chopped onion in 1/4 cup of butter until the rice is lightly browned.
Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1 tsp. soy sauce and 2 tsp. Italian seasoning. Bring all to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is fluffy.
 

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Malaz, that all sounds really good.

My favorite one is simple.
Chicken+rice+BBQ sauce all mixed together. You can do the same thing with a little bit of beef cut up into small cubes.
 
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Sorry if this has already been suggested but one of the ways that i always knew how much to store was a food diary. IE write down what you eat every day for a week, then fortnight and then a month. Its a very good indication of what you need in order to work out what to buy. Also it can help in working out if you need to change your diet :)
 

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Now, what's the best way to store all this food?

At our cottage, since we started keeping all our food in tupperware, we've never had a rodent or insect infestation problem.

Would large plastic storage bins, commonly found at hardware stores like Home Depot, be secure and airtight enough for the long-term storage of grain or rice?
 

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I do. 18 cans of prehopped malt and rice and sugar to stretch it out. One can yeilds a little over three cases, so for us it is about a 4 year supply.:thumb:
Now here's info you can use. Beer is the nectar of heavan, and packs lots of calories and nutrition, as well as a relaxing dose of alcohol. Would life really be worth living if TEOTWAWKI came and all the beer was gone?
 

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Would large plastic storage bins, commonly found at hardware stores like Home Depot, be secure and airtight enough for the long-term storage of grain or rice?
No.
Those bins are not food grade plastic and the release agents in them are toxic.
Even if your food is in plastic bags those bags are not impermeable and the benzine and other toxins from the bins that release over time could contaminate your supply.
Get food grade buckets and Mylar bags with O2 absorbers.
 

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One of my favorites is rice with meat and gravy. I store the mccormick brand brown gravy mix and brown one cut up squirell (or whatever you have). Put in some gravy mix and water. Pour over rice and top with hot sauce.
 
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