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Discussion Starter #1
This is my first post so forgive me if this is something I could have found on the forums some how(just point me in the right direction). I'm brand new to this food storage stuff but have felt in my gut for a while now that I need to do it especially now that I have 2 little ones. Could someone here recommend a book or another resource that would give details to the exact food that I would need to store? I want to get started....like yesterday.
 

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Inglourious Basterd
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IMO,the "right" foods to store ,are things that you and your family like to eat. Standard canned products :soups ,tuna ,chicken ,beans(canned or dry),vegetables ,dried pasta, dry rice ,powdered milk. You can either find a store in your area that sells products in bulk (Sam's club)to save money,or you buy a few items each week at your local grocer that are on sale that week. Set aside a closet , corner shelves in a basement or any controlled climate environment ,to set up your preps. Stay organized ,rotate canned goods, keeping the nearest expiration dates up front.Use a marker to write expiration dates on top of cans for easy maintenance. Obtaining enough food on hand to provide 1500 calories per person ,per day and 1 gallon of water per person per day for 1 month is a great goal to reach for. Once you have reached that milestone ,it is totally subjective as to how much food and fresh water you should have on hand, some strive for a 1 year supply ,but that is quite a lofty goal for most people.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the quick reply. I had considered buying from the pre-packed storable food companies (IE efoodsdirect) but thought maybe I could do some research myself, same some money and do a better job. Any thoughts?
 

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Inglourious Basterd
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Pre-packaged food companies are generally quite expensive,(example $60-$70 for a case of MRE's ,12 meals to a case.) if money is not an option ,go for it. But if you are on a tight budget you can buy alot more canned goods for less money.For that same $60 you could buy roughly 80-100 cans of red beans ,or 30-40 cans of soup ,20+ cans of chicken etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Maybe my thinking needs adjusted a bit...my understanding is that canned food is only good for 1 year? I really don't want to think about having to keep track of the storage food by rotating. My goal is for a long term storage plan so that I don't have to worry about it. I have found a few videos on YouTube that show do-it-yourself steps to storing food and thought this may be the direction I would want to go. I feel a bit overwhelmed as far as where to even begin this process though.
 

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Actually, canned food, if store properly can store for many years. For instance, wheat stored in #10 cans retains most of nutritive value after 30+ years. It all depends on what kind of food it is (dry lasts much longer than wet) , and how it is stored (best is probably metal cans, under 60 degrees temperature, and as low humidity as possible. I think that the manual linked earlier in the thread has a lot of detailed information.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Are you talking about cans that I would purchase from a grocery store or food that I can myself?
 

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Lots of good info on this thread. I know you aren't interested in eating your preps and rotating stock as you consume, but... Like Apocalypse Now said you should stock foods that your family will eat. I don't know about you but I eat Oatmeal everyday. My grocery store had a 10 cans for $10 deal (the big round canisters), so I bought them. This is just an example of food that I store because even if TS does not HTF, I know I will eat the food anyway.

My favorites are oats, rice, beans, canned tuna, chicken, chili, vegetables, pasta, sauce, etc. Basically, foods that I consume.

Get some food grade buckets from your local bakery, sometimes they give them away for free. Research this forum, there are many opinion on the best way to store your food in the buckets.
 

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I have opened and used cranberry sauce, clam chowder and tomato sauce that were all about 3 years old without any adverse effects. On the other hand, we bought a rack of chopped tomatoes that didn't last six months; we figure that was just a bad batch.

I prefer ingredients rather than soups or the like because I have more flexibility; can't spend much at the moment, but every time I see something on sale that would be a good addition, I grab it.

One place to look is drug stores; Bartell's in Washington state usually has something we need at a very good price, like 100 Red Rose teabags for $2 less than grocery stores charge, and small cans of ham for 1.19/can, which is about half of what the Safeway in town charges.
 

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Less than a dollar a day. Good basic supply you can supplement and add on to as money permits-

Food storage basics Part II copyright 2008 Robert Henry


Last time we laid some of the fundamental ground works. We considered why it was necessary to store food, we debunked some of the excuses that survivalist use to justify not storing food. We began our journey by discussing the need to start with a two week ready to eat supply of food to get us through the initial chaos of a bad situation.

I'd like to take the time to defunk one more idea because it has come up recently on some of the message boards. That idea is that ANY food stored is good.

I can agree with this to the point that it gets people motivated and actually doing something. As I mentioned last time, forward momentum leads itself to more forward momentum.

The problem lies in attempting to use poor quality foods with short shelf lives in your food storage plan. This is an issue even if you are only concerned about "short term" survival.

It's interesting to make a study of children. Children brought up on junk food, soda and candy tend to be the ones with the highest amount of discipline problems, problems in school, lack of concentration, highly aggressive behavior and most importantly- HEALTH PROBLEMS. This is most easily seen in the pre-schooler pitching a fit in the line at Walmart.

To think that just because you "grew up" that your body is not affected in a similiar way by poor nutrition is absurd.

There seems to be this common misconception that emergencies will require no effort. Nope, you'll just be sitting around playing Yahtzee and "passing" time. The reality of the situation is much much different.

Proper health, fitness and nutrition is going to be a key factor in your survival.

This is manifested in people trying to use items of poor nutrition in there food storage simply because they are convenient.

Some would argue "I'm not used to eating whole foods and I've heard that transitioning over to them is tough." I would reply that life is tough also. Is someone that is used to eating "frozen pizzas and poptarts" every day going to have some issues when they transition over to whole grains and legumes? Of course they are. Yet another reason to transition over to it NOW. You won't be putting unfamiliar food in your system when you are already stressed.

Experience is the other major reason why you must began using these foods ahead of time. The question always comes up on the forums "What do you do with wheat?" After some experience with wheat, the question will be "What CAN'T you do with wheat?" You wouldn't buy a firearm, put it away and never check it's zero or practice with it. Why do people do the same thing with there food storage?

After you have put up a 2 week supply of ready to eat PORTABLE food as we talked about last time, my next step would be to acquire and store a bulk supply of the "basics."

The basics include Hard Red winter wheat, long grain white rice, pinto beans, lentils, black beans, oatmeal, dehydrated milk, salt and sugar. These items form the basic components for a bulk food supply.

On average, the amounts recommended for these items per person per year vary greatly. Having close to a decade of experience living off these types of food- and living off our food storage exclusively for about a year- I can give you some formulas I use to determine our family's needs.

Hard Red winter wheat- This product has multiple uses, considerably more than just "bread" as most would think. Cereal, pastas, meat substitutes, sprouts (a great way to get Vitamin C into your storage program) and milk are just a few of the things you can do with wheat. Usually people see an amount listed like 300 lbs. per person per year and they think "there's no way I'll ever use that much."

Well let's consider bread alone- roughly 4 lbs. of wheat is needed to make 2 medium size loaves of bread. These two loaves are not much bigger than the standard "loaf" of bread most of us are used to in the grocery store. So if your family goes through 2 loaves of bread a week, multiply that times 52 weeks then times 4 lbs. to come up to 416 lbs. And remember, that's JUST wheat to make bread, that's not considering cereals, sprouts, meat substitutes, etc. And let's not forget that "man does not live off bread alone."

This is why I consider 300 lbs. per person per year of hard red wheat a minimum number.

Sources- there are plenty of online sources if you prefer prepackaged wheat. JRH Enterprises one of the sponsor s of this blog is a good source and a web search will find numerous other sources.

You may also choose to buy your wheat at a feedstore. "Feedstore, GASP! But isn't that for animals?" Do you really think that farmers have one field that's growing "people" wheat and another field growing "animal" wheat? That would be ridiculous huh? The difference is in the amount of cleaning done to the wheat. Most wheat sold for "feed" will likely just be double cleaned. That means there will be some light chaff in amongst the wheat kernals and the normal amount of grain dust. Nothing that's gonna kill you or cause you to go sterile. It's will also be anywhere from 1/2 to 1/10 the price of the wheat you will buy at a "health" food store or whole food store, the difference being that the retail stores will be selling "triple cleaned" wheat.

What you DON'T usually want to buy is "seed" wheat. This may or may not be covered in pesticides to give the wheat a chance to grow in various climates that are heavily infested with bugs. Ask specifically if the wheat is treated. Most feed stores might be a little reluctant to sell you wheat if you go in and tell them specifically you will be eating it. Buy a bag, take it home and check it over. Pull a handful out, does it smell like chemicals? I've ALWAYS been able to smell pesticides in wheat. Chew some up, does it taste like chemicals? "But if I chew some up I'll grow a third arm and die!" Come on, grow up now. Most of us eat more chemicals than we can possibly imagine!

300 lbs. of "feedstore" wheat will set you back around $100.00 as of 1/28/08 Plan to pay more if you buy triple cleaned wheat pre-packaged.

Why not store flour? I've thrown out literally 500 lbs. or more of flour over the last 22 years of storing food, so for me, I will never buy any more specifically for storage. Also, white flour is STRIPPED of all it's nutrients. So much so that the FDA- an organization not exactly known for giving a darn about your health- makes them add back Vitamins A and D to the flour. Now a days, the flour will cost you more than the wheat anyways, so why mess with it?

Long grain white rice- Another item with multiple uses. Why not brown rice? The commonly held idea for decades has been that since brown rice still has the germ, the oil in the germ will cause it to go rancid in a short term period of time. Some have defined that to be six months while others claim two years to that point. I will admit to have we do not store brown rice long term. My experience with storing long grain white rice has been extraordinarly good. Rice packed by simply pouring into clean buckets and having the lids caulked on in 1987 and 1988 were found to be in good condition and edible upon rotation in 2005-2007. These were the days before mylar liners and oxygen absorbers. You should note that the 20 year old rice had yellowed considerably- showing oxidation of the food. My family rotated this "old rice" over approximately a 2 year period with no ill effects to health. Rest assured if you use the methods we show you on the videos to pack your whole foods, they will be ready for your use decades from now.

Our family eats rice daily, sometimes just for dinner, sometimes we make a little more than we need for dinner and it becomes lunch the next day also. For our family of three we usually use 2 cups of rice. This usually leaves us a little extra for lunch the next day also.

Leftover rice can be used in a number of ways including stir fry, rice pancakes, rice pudding, a sweet dessert made with cinnamon and sugar, etc.

I tend to err on the high side of rice storage- advocating 1 lb. per person per day. More than likely you could get by with 200 lbs. per person per year. Packed using the methods we show in the video linked below, this food will be ready for your kids to use in 20+ years.

200 lbs. of long grain white rice will only set you back $54.00 as of 1/28/08

The next item of the "basics" would be legumes. Most opt for a mix of several different types of beans. Our favorite bean by far is lentils. Lentils cook quicker than any other bean which is an important consideration. Less cooking time equals less fuel used. No soaking required with lentils. They also have one of the highest protein levels of any of the legumes. Unfortunately they are relatively hard to find in quantity. Buying 1 lb. bags ones'y twos'y at Walmart will not work out to be economical in the long run. Which leads me to a bean that's easier to find in bulk-

Pinto beans can be found at most Sam's clubs, Costco's, BJ's, etc. With the large influx of Mexicans into the U.S. even most Walmarts are carrying 8 lb. bags of Pinto's at prices per pound that is comparable to buying in 50 lb. bags. The downside of pintos is that they do require pre-soaking and longer cooking times. As of 1/28/08 50 lbs. of pinto beans will only set you back $26.00

Other choices in legumes include black beans, soybeans, red beans, navy beans, etc.

Sugar or Honey is needed both for necessary sweets but also for use in cooking, preserving food, etc. Both store very well so the choice comes down principally to cost for most folks. We err on the high side of sugar for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, white sugar isn't easy to make. Our attempts at growing sugarcane have as of yet proved unsuccessful. Sugar is very useful and necessary for food preservation also. Anything we cannot grow/raise/gather more of on our own I like to err on the high side of when storing. Therefore I consider 100 lbs. per person for sugar. If nothing else this should prove a valuable barter item. Sugar can also be packed in buckets with mylar liners and Oxygen absorbers as we show in the video. Some would argue that sugar and salt will react with the mylar,however I've never had a problem with that in 12 years of using mylar.

100 lbs. of white sugar will set you back about $40.00 as of 1/28/08

Honey we do produce via our beehives. As we get further along with our beekeeping experience we will build up to a total of 30 hives. Ten is the goal for this year which would be adding 5 to the current total. We took very little honey last year from 2 hives. We estimate if we can produce 150-200 lbs. of honey per year this will more than cover the sweet needs for our family of three. The additional help in pollination of the garden areas and the fruit trees alone are worth keeping bees for, the honey is just an added bonus.

Honey will keep for incredibly long periods of time. After some time it will crystalize and solidify. We recently re-liquified about 20 lbs. of honey that was from 1991. We placed a small plate upside down in a saucepan, put the honey container on top of this and boiled water in the pan. Every so often we would pour off the honey that had re-liquified.

Did you know that God designed bees to know exactly when the right amount of moisture was in the honey in order that it would store? Bees will actually fan the honey to help reduce the moisture content and will not cap honey that is not at the correct stage for storage! That's just one of the amazing things the Lord has done!

Honey is most often found in 1-2 lb. containers. You'll likely find that the container will not last as long in storage as the honey will! You won't have to worry about packing in mylar and using o2 absorbers with your honey. Neither are designed for wet products anyways.

Iodized salt should be stored in bulk also. Again, this is not an item you'll likely be able to gather on your own. Unless you live in Jericho, your not likely to have a renewable source of salt :) Salt is extremely useful in preserving food, working hides, canning, making oral rehydration solutions, etc. A minimum to be considered would be 100lbs. per person per year.

100 lbs. of salt will set you back about $16.00 as of 1/28/08 At this point with our "basic" supply we are only at $236.00- very affordable!

If you package all of these items listed above as we show in the Long Term storage packing videos you would not have to worry about rotating them for at least 10 years under favorable storage conditions.

The last items you need to consider for your "basic" starter supply do have to be rotated.

These items are 2 gallons of oil like vegetable oil and multivitamins. Price will vary with the oil depending on the quality of the oil you purchase. Honestly I have not seen any difference in storage life between olive oil and plain old vegetable oil. All must be rotated by no more than the 2 year mark. Planning a fish fry, to cook french fries, etc. are good ways to rotate a large amount of oil. Also, if you have dogs and feed them dry dog food, pour a little oil over the food in the wintertime. It gives them extra calories and the oil is good for their coat. If you go with the standard el-cheapo vegetable oil like we use, figure about $12.00 for 2 gallons.

Vitamins vary in quality and again, the type you purchase will depend on your personal choices more than anything else. We have used the standard Walmart brand for 12 years with no problems. They tend to get spots on them after they are about 2 years out of date. As a test I took a week's worth of these after they were a few years out of date and spotted, and saw no ill affects from it.

As a general rule, people are much more concerned about "shelf life" than they need to be. That's been my EXPERIENCE with food storage.

A 330 count bottle of the Walmart generic multivitamins will set you back less than $10.00 So we are up to a total of $258.00 This price has roughly been the same for the last year and a half. Will it remain the same in the future, most likely not. Grain prices have increased 30% in the last year. So as always, the time is now....

So for $.70 a day, less than the cost of a can of soda, you can have a basic year supply of food that will keep you alive if something happens.

From this basic starting point you can add fruits, vegetables, more protein sources, dairy, etc. We will discuss that in more detail in coming blogs.

These videos which were a project of P.A.W. Productions and The Survival Report can be viewed freely online. You'll find them extremely helpful in packing your food for long term storage. As always, I welcome your questions and comments- contact me at [email protected] (NOTE NEW EMAIL ADDY)


This is a THREE PART video covering bucket packing and long term food storage. Look for more videos coming soon from P.A.W. Productions and The Survival Report!

Mylar liners and o2 Absorbers are available from:

http://www.shopsimplerliving.com/

Hope this helps.

RH


Permission to repost is given as long as proper credit is given and a link is included. www.survivalreport.net
 
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