One of the questions I’m asked frequently is what foods to store for a crisis, or more specifically, which foods are best to hoard leading up to a food crisis.
First, you need to determine how large of a supply you want to have. Are you building a 1-month supply, a 1-year supply, or are you looking to prep for an even longer haul?
One of the critical mistakes new preppers make is buying a whole bunch of canned and dried products that they don’t ordinarily eat. When these products approach their expiration dates, you’ll scramble to eat them and you’ll hate it. Opt for foods that you already eat, so that you can easily rotate them into your everyday meals. In other words, don’t buy canned peaches if nobody in your family likes peaches.
With that said, here’s a list of food items that will sell out quickly when disaster strikes, so you’d be wise to stock up on them now while they’re in supply:
Tuna. Offering around 10 grams of protein, B vitamins and Selenium, tuna is the prepper’s pantry staple. Buy the kind in oil, as it is packed with more calories and you can use oil for some other dish. Sardines are also a good option.
Canned meat. Canned chicken, ham, pot roast and spam are good sources of protein and calories and store for a long time.
Canned fruit and vegetables. These will fly off the shelves quickly, so unless you have your own garden, horde the canned produce, too. It will provide vitamins and minerals during the time of crisis.
Rice. Rice has been used for years as an emergency food in impoverished countries, war-ravaged regions, and U.S. states that have experienced a natural disaster. Rice is a high-carbohydrate, high-calorie food — just what your body needs when it’s in “survival mode”.
Beans. You knew it was coming. Beans are like the goldmine of protein, fiber, nutrients and calories. They are the perfect food during a crisis.
Salt. Salt provides critical electrolytes and flavors meals. On top of that, salt can be used to preserve meat (if you can catch some).
Cornmeal. Cornmeal is ground corn and can be used to make hot cereal or bake. It tends to store better than flower and is easier to use when you don’t have baking powder or yeast.
Nuts, seeds and dry fruit. These are your “high-energy” items. They are loaded with calories, protein and nutrients and will provide a quick and easy energy-boosting snack.
Oil and vinegar. This is more than just a salad dressing. Oil and vinegar are both useful for an array of things. No doubt, you’ve read about various ways to use vinegar. From a medical item to a cleaning agent, it is irreplaceable. Oil is great for high calorie cooking, lighting fire, moisturizing dry skin and more.
Honey. Honey lasts forever, has important healthful nutrients, provides calories, soothes throats, and enhances tastes.
Sugar. On top of providing valuable carbohydrates and making things taste good, sugar can be used in emergency medicine and is a good bartering tool in a survival situation.
Lards, fats, oils. Fats, such as shortening and coconut oil are awesome additions to a survival pantry for many reasons. For example, they serve as high calorie meal supplements and tinder enhancers.
Grains/hot cereals. They provide tons of protein, fiber and B-vitamins and last for a while.
Things to keep in mind:
- All of the foods you store (even canned) should be stored in a cool dry, dark place.
- You will need to determine how much water you need to prepare the dry foods.
- Make decisions based on your personal situation. If you can easily get your hands on fish or game, hoard canned produce, fat, and snacks.
- Store rice, beans, grains, and pastas in 5 gallon food-grade plastic buckets, with food-grade oxygen absorbers (or an open baggie full of salt on the bottom and 2 blocks of dry ice on top) to remove oxygen after sealing.
Remember, when the store shelves go bare, your ability to trade these items for other live-saving resources will also increase. So if you think you have enough honey in your pantry to last you a lifetime, think again!
To your survival,