You haven’t done the survival food “prep thing” like you know you should have. And you can see that soon, very soon, the S is about THTF. You can’t order from a supply house … no time.
So what do you do? You head to your local Super Market before the rest of the populace catches on, and you stock up. On what? Well that’s what this post is about.
The prepper community is always discussing food storage. What to purchase, what prep foods to store.
Over the years there’s been evolution in prepper thought on this topic. From:
The nutritious items on your prep food shopping list should be well thought out. Remember, that in survival situations, medical resources will probably be scarce, if available at all. The nutritious food you store may be your best survival “medical plan”.
And, as always, rotate your stores. First in, first out.
… I’ve seen a lot of attitudes change over the years … Lately I’m seeing a refreshing combination of thoughtfulness, science, and practicality in discussions around food storage …
Part 1, The Early Years … I hit the internet and started reading up … A lot of people suggesting large stockpiles of “foods you don’t really like”. Why? The feeling at the time seemed to be that if you stocked up on foods you commonly ate the temptation to dig into your emergency stash every time you were out … would deplete your stockpile. Lots of people were talking about storing Spam, sardines, MREs … that while high in calories and protein were not that appealing …
Part 2, The High Tech Approach. Suddenly several companies popped up offering freeze dried meals that lasted forever and were pretty tasty. This made a little more sense to me but at the time was a pretty expensive approach … Actually not a bad way to go if you’re in that position and have the money …
Part 3, A Prudent Approach To Food Storage. … [Recently] I’ve seen many articles and blog posts that lean more towards storing foods that you like, that your family eats on a regular basis … combined with a more scientific approach to calculating not only calories needed but also a balance of protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals.
… I like to stock up on dry goods that will last a long time along with canned goods that my family likes. I throw in protein bars that we like and snacks of different types along with vitamin and mineral supplements as well …
… You simply start buying a little extra of the things you normally buy (that store well) whenever you’re shopping and have a few extra dollars to spend … For me somewhere between three and six months is the right amount given where I live and the other preps and plans I have built up over the years.
Source: Butch C. is a prolific contributing author on the always original Prep-Blog. There’s no better prepping source than Butch.
The End Of The World As We Know It.
It doesn’t matter how we got here. Things are bad all about us and hopefully we prepared well. The Eater website interviewed several dedicated preppers including Pat Henry of the Prepper Journal and Lisa Bedford, the Survival Mom.
There are essentially three basic prepper food rules that that will substantially increase your survival odds. This not new territory, but a good reminder of how you should be organizing and executing your food storage prep.
Bedford also offers additional insights on her 3-layer pantry storage strategy: from the grocery store, bulk items, and ready-to-eat.
Rule One: Keep Your Groceries Hidden
Though preppers are very active behind screen names on the Internet — on groups like the American Preppers Network or websites like the Survival Blog — they stay under the radar in real life. It’s not because they think their hobby is strange, but because when the end of the world comes, they don’t want the entire starving neighborhood to know that their house is the one full of potable water, heat, and enough food to last a full calendar year. ”
The first rule of prep club is you don’t talk about prep club,” says Lisa Bedford, a mother of two teenagers and a prepper also known as the Survival Mom. As a result, there’s not much in the way of hands-on education. “The community is online because people want to be very careful and cautious about who they talk to,” Bedford explains. Bedford says that she has cultivated a small group of neighboring preppers who she could rely on if SHTF (“shit hits the fan,” naturally). “But I have no idea how much they actually have.”
Rule Two: Don’t Store What You Can’t Eat
The main issue is that stored food is only as useful as your willingness to eat it. “Food fatigue is a real thing,” Bedford explains. If all that’s in the pantry is rice and beans, the monotony of the diet would eventually make anyone lose their desire to eat.
To get a varied diet, Bedford advocates a three-layer approach to stocking the pantry.
The first layer takes place at the grocery store — specifically in the canned food aisles. “The reason canned food is so important is that it’s shelf stable,” Bedford says. That said, don’t just purchase whatever is on sale. “Focus on things you’ll eat and your family members will eat,” she adds. And don’t forget the spices: Adding new flavors to the same base ingredients is an easy way to combat food fatigue while sticking to a few pantry staples.
Next are the bulk foods which Bedford believes are where most of a prepper’s time and money should be spent. Opening a can of ravioli might get you a meal, but there’s not much in the way of choice. With freeze-dried meat, shrimp, yogurt, and cheese (almost every food seems to have been freeze-dried) and a healthy stockpile of various pastas, dried beans, and grain, “you can make hundreds of recipes,” according to Bedford.
For people who don’t feel up to DIY recipe development, there are a number of resources to turn to. Many preppers blog and post individual recipes and tips on their websites. Prepping is also a (small) cookbook genre with titles like The Survivalist Cookbook or The Prepper’s Cookbook that speak directly to their intended audience. Plenty of other cookbooks focus on things like canned soup, jerky, or campfire recipes.
Finally, a good prepper wants to invest in some ready-to-eat meals. They’re not all that different from the field rations given to soldiers and, as a result, are not something the average person wants to survive on entirely. “You’ll get tired of them pretty quickly,” Bedford says. She recommends that the RTE meals comprise no more than 20 percent of total food supplies.
Rule Three: Get Out of the Pantry
Unfortunately even the best-stocked food supply doesn’t last forever. Bedford points out that food storage doesn’t exist in a vacuum. “You’ll open that can of beans and then what?” she says. “The purpose of stored food is to buy you time.”
In her family’s case, the year or so their supply could carry them for would be enough time to connect with other families, work together, barter, and so on. “Right now if there was a massive power grid failure, millions of households would only have a couple weeks of food,” she explains. “They have no margin.”
Henry supports the idea of keeping chickens both for meat and eggs as well as investing in the time to learn about technology like aquaponics or even hydroponics, which can both create comparatively large amounts of food in small spaces.
Surprisingly, he doesn’t advocate relying too much on hunting. “If you’re out there looking for food and things are that bad, chances are hundreds and thousands of other people are doing the same thing.” There are only so many deer and pheasants to go around.
Source: Another great and insightful article by Tove Danovich, a freelance journalist based in NYC.