From the novice prepper to the most hardcore ones, everyone knows that 2 things have the highest priority when setting up your supplies: foods and water. But one is a more complex issue than the other. I’m talking of course about: food.
Food is very general. You read in almost every survival guide : “You should store food and water” or ” “Canned foods are the best” or ” Always have grains in your supplies”. Now we have food companies that entered the “survival food” niche and offer a wide variety of ready-to-eat meals. Those are great, if you have a couple of thousand dollars laying around. If you’re a regular Joe, this is not an option and you’re back to square one: What food to store ?
I bet this question bugs you as much as it did me. After years of reading, researching and experimenting with different “survival foods”, I’ve came up with a short list of 10 essential products that you need to have … and since you are such devoted readers, I’ve thrown in something extra at the end.
If you don’t want to break out the piggy bank, I suggest you buy your survival food, gradually. Whenever you go shopping, add these items to the shopping list. Also keep an eye out for sales or other promotions on the items you are interested in. If you prefer to shop online, follow the links.
Now, let’s see what you should always have in your survival stash:
Hands down the best survival food you can ever have. They’re high in protein, and if sealed in food-grade buckets with a small amount of dried ice, they’ll stay for up to 10 years. Store them in a cool, dry, dark location. The type depends on your preference, but I would recommend that you get some lentils and chickpeas for their high protein and high fiber values. When you go shopping, add an extra 4-5 lb. bag of beans to the list.
I’ve written several articles about other uses of salt, you can find them here and here. As a survival food, it’s one of the most useful ones. You can use it for food, curing beef, and flavoring most meals. You may also use it as a bartering item. Salt doesn’t expire so store as much as you like.
Most people overlook one key factor: some food need cooking and some cooking needs some form of grease. Hydrogenated animal lard offers much-needed calories during times of crisis and acts as cooking oil for multiple uses. It will keep longer than cooking oils because of the hydrogenation. You can buy a 6 lb can for $12 and store it in a cold, dry and dark place. It will stay good for up to 3 years or even longer.
Ever heard stories about Chinese living on one bowl a rice a day? While those stories are slightly over exaggerated, they do hold some truth. Rice is a very versatile food. It will keep you full for longer periods of time, you can make alcohol out of it and it will provide you with high carbohydrates which are especially important if you are exerting a lot of physical energy during a crisis. Rice will stay in good condition for 10 years or more if stored properly. Buy a 10 lb bag every time you go shopping. The type of rice depends on your preference and budge. I would recommend brown rice over white, because it’s healthier.
You’ll need proteins in order to survive and what tastier way to get them than meat? Ham, tuna and chicken are all excellent canned meats to have on hand. They will keep for 6-10 years, but take into account the fact that you’ll need a freezer or refrigerator to keep them for the longest time possible. Knowing this you’ll have to make sure that you have a generator to power it up.
You’ll need something to sweeten your day, so pick up some extra sugar next time you go to the store. I would recommend brown, because it’s healthier. Sugar will keep for up to 10 years or more if you store it properly.
Honey is also excellent to have and I would strongly advise you to keep a sturdy stock of it. It can be stored forever and besides the culinary properties, it also has medicinal ones. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and holistic practitioners consider it one of nature’s best all-around remedies.
Any flour is good to have on hand in times of crisis, but cornmeal is the best overall. Cornmeal is packed with dense carbohydrates and contains oils that helps extend its shelf life. You can make corn breads and tortillas much easier with cornmeal in a skillet or solar oven, than with regular flour. Buy a 5 lb. bag every time you’re at the store and you’ll have a pretty good stock of this survival food. If you seal and store it in the same way as the beans, it will last you up to 2 years.
8. Canned fruits &vegetables
Fruits and veggies provide many of the vitamins and minerals we need in order to stay healthy, so, having some around when all hell breaks loose is a very good idea. Keep in mind though that acidic fruits and tomatoes don’t last as long as many of us think. Despite that, all canned fruits and vegetables last at least 5 years. Buy green vegetables and fruits like peaches and pears for long-term storage.
Another good source of carbs is pasta, which can be stored for at least 5 years. It is one of the most inexpensive items, so buy it as frequent as you can. Just keep in mind that it will take more room than rice or beans so be mindful about your storage capabilities.
An American favorite, the peanut butter can come in very handy in case of a crisis. It’s a great source of protein, fat and calories. It will keep for up to 5 years in root cellar conditions. Keep an eye out for sales at your local stores and get as much as you can.
These are the top 10 best survival foods you could ever have in your stock. But I feel there’s still something missing … oh yes … I promised you something extra didn’t I?!
While these foods will keep you fed up for up to 10 years, I found 3 other … super survival foods that will boost your survival odds significantly. While their shelf life is much shorter than the list mentioned above, they will help you a lot when disaster hits. I’m going to share these with you today:
Ask any health conscious individual about avocados and they’ll tell you it’s one of the best food in the world. Avocados are loaded with vitamins and minerals. One avocado can provide 42% of our recommended daily fiber intake. Adequate fiber reduces cholesterol and helps prevent constipation. This can be stored for about 2 years.
Many believe that protein powders are only for folks that go to the gym. Wrong! Protein powder is an easy and convenient source for high quality protein. I personally recommend whey protein powder as it’s the best and purest source of protein you can find. It’s easy to store and will keep up for about 2 years.
Nutritionists consider quinoa a “nutritional powerhouse”, containing 14 grams of protein in a 3.5 ounce serving, that on top of its wide range of vitamins and minerals and heart-healthy fats. It is a great option for people that need to eat gluten-free. Stored properly it can keep for up to 3 years.
With these variety of food in your stash, you won’t have to worry about what to eat when disaster hits. If you plan ahead and store wisely, you can survive for 5-10 years only on these.
What other long lasting foods do you know? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.