Most of us know that food storage is a vital part of emergency prep. But sometimes we are unsure of what foods they should have! This can be difficult since everyone is different. There aren’t any food storage systems that work for everybody.
We all have different food preferences, and these should be thought about when planning your family’s food storage. For example, my family doesn’t like pickles, so we don’t have them in our food storage. Ideally, you will want at least 3 months of food storage on hand. You shouldn’t store it all in one place
though, in case part of your home gets flooded or destroyed.
Variety is important in food storage for many reasons. First of all, different foods have different nutrients. If you only eat potatoes, you will miss out on nutrients like protein and Vitamin B12.
The same foods also get old over time. You do not want to be eating the same foods at every single meal!
I am a poor college student, so I can only afford to have a month’s worth of food at a time. When I got the flu this last winter though, I wasn’t able to work as much. This left me with almost no money for groceries. Thankfully I had my food storage though! But I found out the hard way that all I really had
were noodles (lots of ‘em!), canned green beans and corn, and powdered milk. Needless to say, it got old really fast. Now that I’m back on my feet again, I’ve been putting a greater variety of foods in my food storage.
The moral of the story is that you need a variety of food in your food storage. However, you should include a few basic things in your food storage. First off, you want a variety of long-term storage meats. This can include canned or bottled meats, as well as jerky. These will be essential for providing your
You’ll also want some noodles. Yes, I still have Ramen in my food storage, but not nearly as much! These are inexpensive and are able to be stored for long periods of time though, so they’re worth having. They also fill you up quickly with a small amount, so in an emergency situation your family won’t
Canned vegetables are important too. These can provide side dishes for your meals and they are full of nutrients also. Make sure that you have a few types of vegetables so that you can get enough of each nutrient.
One important type of vegetables you should have is orange vegetables like carrots. Orange vegetables are rich in carotene and other essential nutrients. I was missing out on these!
You should also include dark green leafy vegetables. These are rich in many nutrients, and they will help keep your family in good health. My green beans were helpful, but I needed more things like broccoli and spinach.
Canned and dried fruits are another important thing to consider. These will keep your family’s immune systems strong, as well as keeping their bodies working properly. When I was living off my food storage, I used my $10 of grocery money (for 2 weeks!) on fresh milk, eggs, and mandarin orange fruit cups. You don’t want to miss out on your fruits and vegetables!
Dairy products contain some important nutrients, so they should be considered as well. However, they expire quickly, so it’s important to find them in forms that can be stored for a long time, like powdered milk. On that note, powdered milk is great for cooking. But for things like cereal, it’s kind of gross.
If a family member is skilled at baking, then things like flour and baking powder should be included in your food storage. This allows your family to have food like bread and gravy all the time, even if you have to live off your food storage.
Water is also important for food storage. Many foods are freeze dried and require water to reconstitute them before eating.
You should plan at least 1 gallon of water per person per day. For one person, you should have between ninety and one hundred gallons of water for 3 months. This should be stored in a plastic container. Milk jugs aren’t good plastic containers though, because they are porous and may absorb contaminants over time.
There are many sizes of water barrels that are great for food storage. If you don’t have space for that much water, consider storing what you can and supplement the remaining amount with the right amount of water filters.
This way you can be sure that your family’s water supply will be available and uncontaminated. Drinking enough water each day is important, especially in emergency situations!
There are a number of other items that your family should include, but these are the basics. Your family needs to be eating from each of the food groups every day, and you should plan your food storage accordingly. Don’t be like me and only have 3 food groups in your food storage! I’m learned my lesson,
and you should too. Food storage is a great choice to make for your family, so make sure that you have everything you will need.
Alyssa Staheli is a safety and emergency preparedness expert. She loves to write and share her knowledge with others. This is because she believes that “knowledge is power” and that with the right information, you can do anything. Alyssa also believes that having food storage on hand is vital to most
emergency situations, and recommends Daily Bread food storage. You can find Alyssa on Google+.