long term food storage

All posts tagged long term food storage

Image: Survival expert warns Americans to ‘double down’ on survival supplies in preparation for a 2017 engineered crisis

By  – Natural News

(NaturalNews) According to survival expert James Wesley Rawles, a former Army intelligence officer who operates Survivalblog.com, Hillary Clinton’s loss is a win for common sense in America. But he also cautions that Trump’s victory has opened a door for globalist provocateur George Soros to continue to fund opposition groups and protests. Some anti-Trump activists have plans to force shut downs of transportation networks on Inauguration Day.

The entire year of 2017, according to Rawles, could be one of upheaval as globalist forces fight against Trump and his vision for a renewed America. As reported by Allnewspipeline.com, even though America just “dodged a serious bullet,” deep concerns remain about social unrest, banking, economic collapse, inflation and the potential for a Venezuelan-like starvation scenario. Rawles urges those listening to “double down” all preparations in 2017.

Continue reading at Natural News: Survival Expert Warns Americans to ‘Double Down’ on Survival Supplies in Preparation for a 2017 Engineered Crisis

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Working in garden

Our last article; the first in this series of 5 things you need to go off grid now, began with the concept of preppers looking for an ideal life of untethering ourselves from “the grid” in an effort to enjoy a more self-sufficient life. To that end, many of us only consider moving to rural land and building homes that depend less on some of the interconnected systems we rely on today. But even if that isn’t possible for most of us currently, we might be wise to plan on going off grid anyway. In a disaster scenario, we might not have any other choice. If the grid goes down due to any one of dozens of possibilities and you aren’t at your perfect survival retreat in the woods, what do you need to consider now that could impact your family’s survival?

The last article covered water primarily because more than almost anything else, water is needed for survival. The average human person can only go for three days without water so in a grid down situation, this will need to be one of the top if not your first priority. If you have water taken care of, the next thing you will need if the grid goes down is food.

Food

After water, our bodies need food for energy and nourishment. When I started prepping; food and water were the first two items I began to consider for the obvious health related requirements, but unlike a survival bunker, stocking up on extra food is an easy thing to do. On top of that, not too many people look at you with a weird expression when you simply purchase a little extra food each trip. I just blamed my children for being pigs… “Man! You just won’t believe how much spaghetti my 6-year-old puts away.”

Each and every one of us eats food every day so it isn’t like we need to plan clandestine trips to the Army Navy store to avoid letting our neighbors know we are prepping. The concept you need to remember is planning for the Grid down scenario where you won’t be able to load up the car and drive over to the local supermarket. If the grid really does go down in a major way, you will need to already have a plan in place for taking care of your food needs both short and long-term. You will not be able to begin your food storage after a disaster.

Stocking up on groceries

Easy food storage start is to simply buy a little more each week of what you already eat.

There are many ways you can begin to think about food after a collapse and the simplest short-term solution is to simply stock up on the foods your family already eats. When you go to the grocery store; if you buy 3 jars of spaghetti sauce normally for example, just buy one more. I won’t lie and say that purchasing extra groceries will not cost you more money, but it is the easiest way to build your supplies. For a lot of us, we have more money than time right now. In our imaginary grid-down scenario there will be no power so I would recommend against stocking the freezer only or buying dozens of microwave burritos. In addition to planning your food storage, you have to consider how you will cook this food if the power is no longer working, but I will deal with that in another article.

Long term food storage

When we think about planning for long term food storage, we routinely consider canned foods or foods that have been sealed to prevent spoilage for a long time. You can purchase bulk items like rice and beans and seal them with oxygen absorbers in 5 gallon buckets. This will allow you to store a lot of food for a really long time. Optionally, there are dozens of companies that sell freeze-dried food where they have done the job of protecting the food for you. Of course, this food will cost you more than what you can spend if you do the work yourself, but there are some advantages. You can assume that most of these companies know what they are doing more so than you starting out which may give you comfort in knowing that when you need to use the food you are storing it will have been properly stored and you won’t open up a 5 gallon bucket of rotten rice.

Growing a survival garden

Even if you spend $10,000 on food and you have it locked in your basement, eventually that food will run out. What if the grid is still down when all your food supplies are depleted? To really be in the best shape you can be in when the grid goes down you need to have your own source of renewable foods. The most obvious and understood option is to have a garden. Gardens are not a cure-all though and require a significant amount of up front work, planning and there is a learning curve.

A garden is simply a prepping must-have to live off-grid.

Many preppers I know plan to start their garden when the grid goes down and that is not a good strategy in my opinion for a few reasons. First, simply making a garden plot takes a lot more than a shovel and a rake unless you already have tilled soil that is ready. Most of us have a spot in our backyard where we imagine that beautiful little garden with nice neat, weed-free rows of fresh vegetables. That doesn’t happen overnight and it certainly doesn’t happen without some hard work.

Assuming you have a nice plot of land without any grass or weeds, you may need to amend your soil to give it the right nutrients. Composting and adding natural fertilizers help with this but again, that isn’t something you will have on day one. And, probably the best reason against this plan is that those beautiful vegetables take time to grow. You can’t wait until you are hungry and expect to go dig a hole and plant your survival seeds. You could be waiting months for the first fruits of your labor. I recommend starting a garden now. The Farmer’s Almanac says that a 16 x 10 foot garden will feed a family of four with a little left over for canning and freezing. What if your crops fail? I would plan on a much larger garden even though that is more work and the reality of it is you may be looking to convert every single square inch of dirt you have into food production. You will also need to plan on canning supplies and all that goes with that. Gardens do not provide food all winter so you will need to grow enough to eat and put away to last you during the winter months

Something else to consider is your garden will be visible to anyone walking past your property. A really brilliant alternative would be to use the food forest concept to grow a camouflaged food forest so that your food supplies are less likely targets of wandering hungry people. Rick Austin has a book we reviewed a while back that introduces these concepts called “Secret Garden of Survival” and I think that is a great place to start.

Raising Livestock

OK, so you have a full pantry and even have a stash of freeze-dried foods under the beds and in the closets. Your garden is underway and you are already seeing the first fruits from your plot of dirt. What about protein?

Rabbits are a low footprint option for raising a lot of meat.


Assuming you aren’t a vegetarian, meat is on the menu or it would ideally be in a grid down scenario. Sure you could plan on hunting but you will be in competition with everyone else in this grid-down world that is hungry too. I believe in a massive collapse, any wildlife would be quickly depleted and the chances of getting wild game would be slim. Sure, legumes and some grains have protein, but for those of us who like to eat meat there are a couple of relatively simple options to consider in a grid-down world that you can even use now.

Chickens are incredibly easy to raise and take care of. They just need some basic protection from the elements, good quality food and water. In return you will get delicious fresh eggs. At our house I have fresh eggs every morning for breakfast. Raising rabbits is another great option for protein but they will need to be slaughtered and butchered. Rabbits are prolific breeders – a single female has on average 8 kits per litter and their gestational period is about a month. Assuming you start with three rabbits (2 females and one male) you could have well over a hundred rabbits in the first year.

Aquaponics is another option that I think lends itself to an off-grid lifestyle, but it does require power. Raising chickens and rabbits does not.

Tomorrow we will get into the third thing you need to go off grid. Water and food are checked off our list. Can you guess what is next?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: 5 Things You Need to Go Off Grid Now – Pt. 2

food-storage-inventory

By Ken Jorgustin

One problem that quickly developed when (and after) I first began storing extra food for preparedness – was inventory control.

Be it the variety of canned food, dry food, long term food storage, freezer food, dehydrated food, purpose-bought food storage kits — the problem was knowing what I had, and how much I had on hand. It became difficult to know where I stood, and what I might still need.

Here’s what I did:

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Make A Food Storage Inventory To Know What You Have On Hand

Appetite Fatigue

By Ken Jorgustin

Imagine that the worst has happened and the $hit has hit the fan. The supply chains of distribution have been all but non-existent and all of the stores have long since been looted and emptied of their goods.

You’re lying low and you’re staying alive off your own food storage of rice and beans while using a camp-stove and fuel you’ve stored ahead. The thing is, you’re only eating rice and beans. Day after day. Week after week. You only had a few weeks worth of other food varieties and they’re long gone now. All you have left are the several buckets of rice and beans you stored for a long-term disaster.

Don’t be that person who is suffering from appetite fatigue.
Ask yourself, “Am I going to eat this sh*t day in and day out?”

 

It is very important to first acquire a food storage of staples like rice, beans, wheat, etc. to provide adequate food calories for an amount of time that you’re comfortable with. Then afterwards begin to build up a food storage of other items – especially following the principle of “buy what you eat, and eat what you store”.

Having said that, for those of you who have food storage for long-term emergency preparedness, how many of you have actually thought about literally having to source your daily food needs from ONLY your storage for longer than just a few weeks?

If your long-term food storage consists mostly and only of the basics such as rice, beans, and wheat, and if you ever had to rely solely on your food storage supply, it won’t be long until appetite fatigue sets in making it difficult to eat the same foods for a long duration.

Appetite fatigue can even become bad enough that some people will begin to resist and may even simply refuse to eat…

 

Diversify Your Food Groups

The answer is to diversify your food storage. When planning your food storage inventory, not only is it important to plan for bulk ‘staples’ for food calories and nutritional health, but it is very important to plan a diversified storage of food groups that will raise the spirits of those who are forced to eat only from this supply day after day, week after week, month after month.

Plan on a variety of foods, and those foods that will store well.

Here are a few ideas and suggestions:
While vegetables are not calorie dense, they should be an important addition to your food storage for their nutritional value and variety. Home-canned, store-canned, dehydrated or free-dried are alternative ways to store them. Speaking of vegetables – you better plan on successfully being able to grow your own. You could theoretically survive from eating only vegetables if you had to. Think ‘vegetable calories’ (e.g. beans, corn, potatoes, squash).

Fruits. Again, canned, dehydrated, freeze-dried, and grow your own. Whatever foods you can grow yourself (anything at all) is what you should ultimately strive for – self sustaining sources.

Spices, herbs, and condiments will be a tremendous asset to offset the bland humdrum of repeatedly eating the same foods. This may be the most important ‘non-staple’ food category because it can be used to compliment any and all other foods to significantly enhance and alter flavor for your pallet. Many spices do not go ‘bad’ (except for ground oily spices after awhile), but spices and herbs will lose their potency over time. This is why whenever possible I purchase the seeds of various spices and then grind them when I’m ready to use them while using an ordinary hand spice grinder.

Comfort foods like chocolate, candy, and sweets will bring significant pleasure to a dull and repetitive food routine. For example a #10 can of chocolate powder will essentially store forever. Honey will last forever. Hard candy won’t go bad. Use your imagination.

Think about your favorite ‘treat’ foods and either store them back or get the ingredients to make them yourself.

The thought process of food balance and variety is more important than you may think. In today’s modern world, we are accustomed to the immense variety of food choices, flavors, and variety at our fingertips in grocery stores. We truly are spoiled in that sense. Grocery stores are filled with nearly any food we can imagine, even during off-season. Now imagine none of that being available?

Note: A thought concerning your water needs: If it ever comes to a point where you are actually having to rely on your long-term food storage, then it may also mean that your water supply has been disrupted. If you do not have a well (with alternative energy to run the pump) then you need to give some serious thought to where your nearest water source is. Make plans to acquire what you’ll need to transport it and purify it.
A few ideas of food supplies other than the basic food storage ‘staples’.

Mustard
Ketchup
Soy sauce
Tamari sauce
BBQ sauce
Hot sauce
Worcestershire
Spices (all types)
Chocolate (hard, powdered, and syrup)
Hard candy
Jams and Jellies
Coffee
Tea
Cocoa
Sugary drink mixes (powdered)
Peanut butter
Stew
Chili
Meats (canned or jarred)
Spaghetti sauce
VEGETABLES (all types)
FRUITS (all types)
Soup mixes
Broth cubes or powder
Powdered Milk
Powdered Butter
Powdered Eggs
Honey
Pancake – Bisquick mix
Maple syrup
Vinegars

Continue Reading the list at Modern Survival Blog: Appetite Fatigue

things-that-effect-food-storage

By Ken Jorgustin

The shelf life of your food storage is affected by many things, perhaps most important are temperature, moisture, atmosphere, and containment.

Here’s more detail…

Temperature

Temperature greatly affects food storage life.

USDA guidelines say each 10°F drop in temperature doubles the storage life (relatively). Similarly each 10°F rise will halve the food storage shelf life.

Having said that, read this regarding use-by and sell-by dates.

An example of the general relationship of food storage shelf life with temperature:

Generally, food shelf life is referenced to room temperature – which we’ll say is 70°F.

80°F (0.5 the stated shelf life) 90°F (0.25 the stated shelf life) 100°F (0.125 the stated shelf life)

OR

60°F (2.0 the stated shelf life) 50°F (4.0 the stated shelf life)

We learn from this how important it is to store your long-term food supplies in the coolest place possible; as in a basement, etc..

Moisture Content

For long term storage, drier is better. The drier the food and the drier the environment, the longer the shelf life – to a point…

For example, grains should maintain a moisture content of 10% or less. Commercially dried foods easily achieve these levels.

Be aware of the likelihood that typical home dehydrated foods might not result in the same moisture levels as from commercially dried foods, and therefore may not last as long. As a rule of thumb, dried foods with 10% or less moisture will snap easily and are very brittle.

Unless the food is packaged in air-tight containment, then the moisture from the environment will work it’s way in over time and reduce it’s shelf life.

Atmosphere

Earth’s atmosphere contains about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. Oxygen oxidizes many of the compounds in food and reduces it’s shelf life over time.

Bacteria, one of several agents which make food go rancid also needs oxygen to grow.

For maximum shelf life, foods should be stored in an oxygen free environment.

Oxygen absorbers dropped into a sealed container or a Mylar bag is common practice for long-term food storage. When the oxygen within the sealed container is absorbed, what remains is 99% pure nitrogen in a partial vacuum – a good atmospheric condition for food storage.

Note that it is important that the container you are using must be able to hold an air-tight seal over time.

Container

To get the best storage life for most food products, the product container must have a hermetic (air tight) seal, and ideally be opaque or stored away from sunlight. Common methods used include vacuum sealed bags, sealed cans or jars, sealed food storage buckets, and sealed Mylar bags.

If using 5-gallon plastic buckets, be sure that they are rated ‘food grade’. Remember that just because a bucket is HDPE #2 does not necessarily mean that it is food grade. Safe Plastics for Food and Drink

This article first appeared at Modern Survival Blog: Things That Affect Food Storage

spices-for-long-term-storage

By Ken Jorgustin

Spices and seasonings added to a long-term food storage program will enhance what otherwise might be dull and mundane, adding flavoring and edibility of food storage staples.

Spices are dried seeds, fruit, roots, or bark of plants. Herbs are considered leafy parts of plants used for the same purpose. Most spices and herbs contain essential oils that are responsible for the flavors and aromas they provide.

While spices are not considered a priority to an emergency food supply, they can add needed flavors to foods during a long-term emergency when you may be eating the same or similar foods day in and day out…
 
Spices and herbs come in several forms — fresh, whole dried, or dried and ground.
Only dried spices should be used in emergency food storage.

Most of the active ingredients of spices and herbs are plant oils. The thing to remember is that oils can and will oxidize, resulting in a loss of flavor or even spoilage. Because of this, spices and herbs should be stored in air tight containers for best results long term.

You might consider storing the entire spice container in sealed food bags or jars using a vacuum sealer (there are also canning-jar attachments for this), or sealed mylar foil bags with oxygen absorbers to prevent oxidation.

Consider storing your spices or herbs in the freezer where they will last considerably longer provided they are packaged to prevent moisture. Storing spices or herbs in a hot place will significantly shorten their quality shelf life, perhaps by as much as half…

Whole spices store the best. Ground spices (and herbs) have a much shorter shelf life because they are exposed to air and will lose their quality much faster than the whole variety.

For best results, whole seasoning should be purchased and only crushed just prior to using. This is easily done with a mortar and pestle or everyday coffee grinder.

Once a year, it’s a good idea to check ground spices and herbs for freshness. If there is no apparent aroma then the seasoning should be replaced.

If stored for long periods, some of the potency will diminish – so just add more of that spice to compensate. Once opened and exposed to air, use the spice within 1 to 4 months.

 
Staple spices include the obvious salt-and-pepper.

Instead of listing some of my own, let’s hear from you…Modern Survival Blog
What are your favorite spices-seasonings or methods for storing them that you are considering with your long-term food storage?

incredible-egg

“This article was first published at reThinkSurvival.com.”

Even before I challenged myself to store eggs without refrigeration I’ve been a huge fan of eggs as a part of my preparedness plan. In fact, eggs are nothing short of INCREDIBLE and quite possibly the most important single food storage item you can include in your preps… seriously.

Sure, we should store a wide array of food, from long term storage foods such as beans and rice to canned meats and vegetables, but if there’s ONE food that is a must, in my opinion, it’s the lowly egg.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

Eggs are so VERY nutritious. Chicken eggs, in particular, provide a huge source of protein and are a complete source of essential amino acids, as well as several vitamins and minerals. Consider the following nutrition label (click to enlarge):

source:incredibleegg.org

source:incredibleegg.org

… or this nutritional chart if you prefer. I can’t think of any single food that is as nutritious as an egg, can you? If so, I would love to hear about it. I should mention that the above stats depend a lot on the size of the egg as well as the diet of the hen (or whatever bird laid the egg).

As I mentioned above, you’ll notice quite an assortment of vitamins, minerals, protein, and even fats that you must have to function properly and be healthy over the long term. In fact, eggs are one of the only foods that contain vitamin D naturally. Even more so, when I did an assessment of the recommended long term food storage foods (as recommended by the LDS church) there is nothing that could compare to these stats.

PRESERVATION

Unfortunately, eggs won’t store for years or decades. My own testing showed that they can easily store for a handful of months (I ran out of eggs to test) using mineral oil, while others have shown they can be stored for up to a year without refrigeration using the same method. You can choose to purchase and store powdered eggs that should store for quite a bit longer (let’s say a handful of years) but even that isn’t a long time and, sadly, powdered eggs are a tad expensive.

There are other ways to store eggs, including salt, pickling, lard, and sodium silicate (liquid glass). I’ve even heard you can do things like using clay and wood ash (along with other ingredients) to make them store even longer, but I’m not so sure about those ideas as I’ve never tried them.

So, what’s the “best” way to store eggs? Well, just like any fresh food… in this case still in the hen. I am ashamed to say that I’ve yet tried to raise my own chickens but the day of reckoning is coming, I just need to pull the trigger, so-to-speak and get some! Of course, chickens aren’t the only source of fresh eggs, ducks are also a common source of homesteading eggs.

As for how to tell if the egg is still good to eat, the easiest way is to float the egg in water and if it sinks then it’s still good… if it floats then it’s best to toss out the egg but in some cases may be used for baking.

DRAWBACKS

About the only major drawbacks to eggs are that (1) they only contain roughly 70 calories per egg–in a survival situation more calories are better–and (2) they’re quite high in cholesterol, though, I have heart that cholesterol from eggs isn’t that bad for you. Other than these concerns, eggs are all good.

CONCLUSION

Ultimately, eggs are very nutritious for you, providing a wide assortment of vitamins, minerals, and protein. They can store quite well as both powdered eggs and in the shell for a long time. Raising chickens or ducks is (I hear) not too difficult and even beneficial for a variety of reason beyond eggs.

If you don’t currently include eggs in your preparations then I strongly encourage you to do so. Work towards storing several months of eggs (properly preserved) and rotate using the FIFO method. Include some powdered eggs for longer term scenarios and even consider raising your own hens for an “indefinite” shelf life.

Hope that encourages you to store more eggs!