Emergency Food Supplies & Food Storage: An Overview
Emergency food is the food you put away during a crisis, hence the name.
Disasters can happen every so often without a prelude or a warning. As such, you and your family might be cut off from your food source.
Given this, food must be stored in the storage room or pantry that may or may not require cooking or refrigeration (for emergencies that might cut off the power supply).
Your everyday food, such as oats, meat, or canned beans, can be considered emergency food.
However, you should note that these food sources should be consumed at various periods during a crisis, contingent upon their period of eatability or shelf life.
Moreover, emergency food can likewise be grown from your backyard for easy access in case of a lockdown.
Additionally, crops cultivated at your house can keep you and your family full in the light of monetary emergencies.
Who knows? It also provides a good source of income.
Importance of Emergency Food and Stockpiling
Emergency food is crucial because of multiple factors.
First of all, it is essential because, in case of natural calamities like floods, storms, etc., these can guarantee your family's survival until help shows up or until the ways to the family's food source are clear.
Moreover, as soon as the disaster strikes, having emergency food prepared can reassure your family that their needs can be sustained regardless of whether they have access to the grocery, department store, or farm where they get their food source.
In essence, this will allow the family to function well under pressure, keeping the feelings of anxiety low and having the option to remain mentally sound and calm during a crisis, thereby allowing them to make wise judgments.
Furthermore, emergency food is additionally essential to keep up with monetary stability during emergencies or disasters.
Keeping your food storage room or food pantry full of goods is another exciting money-saving tip amid a crisis.
This is because, in times of disaster, there is an evident effect of increased prices and decreased supply of essential commodities due to people's initial response to panic-buying mode.
As such, having something set aside for circumstances such as these, you are not just guaranteed your health but also your funds at hand to buy different necessities.
Indeed, even in monetary emergencies, emergency food close by can permit your family to direct your money to other necessities.
This article will discuss the key points to consider for long-term food storage and the list of shelf-stable food with a considerably longer shelf life, which you can add as your survival food.
Key Points to Consider for Long Term Food Storage
In buying food for long-term food storage, it is essential to take note of the following criteria:
Long shelf life
Even though you're making an effort not to match a similar sort of long-term period of freeze-dried food (20-30 year shelf life) or the long-term period of eatability of MREs (5-8 year shelf life), you need to be brilliant about picking food items and goods that will last you long in times of an emergency. On that note, avoid goods and products that can't last for at least a year.
Easy to store
You should choose items and goods with durable packaging (i.e., can, box, etc.) instead of buying food in plastic wrappers. This is also why limiting frozen or chill-preserving food is a smart move. But that is not all. Doing so may also be advantageous in case of a power cut-off.
Easy to prepare
You won't be guaranteed access to basic cooking utilities and essentials during emergencies. As such, storing food items and goods that are very easy to prepare and cook is vital. With this, you may store food that can be eaten as-is, food requiring only reheating or rehydrating, or food that is easy to mix and match with other ingredients.
Of course, in an emergency, not everything needs to be "healthy." This is because emergency food is stored not for its nutritional value but to have something to eat for as long as the disaster lasts. Still, storing healthy food (if you can) should be one of the priorities. Mental or emotional comforts are valuable in a crisis; you don't want to make things worse by trying to live off junk food.
Some food, or how they are packaged, allows you to consume more caloric bang-per-square-foot than others. In addition to that, limited space is often a huge problem as you build up your pantry.
An emergency is a better opportunity to be picky, but avoiding food sources your family generally hates (or doesn't eat) is also a good idea. Moreover, you may also want to avoid food that is not allowed in your religion or concerning a family member with a dietary problem such as lactose or gluten.
25 Best Survival Food With Long Shelf Life
If you are wondering what food is best to store in your emergency pantry, refer to the list below:
1. Dried Beans
Dried beans, especially when packed and stored well, can last up to thirty (30) years.
To get the most extended shelf life out of dried beans, they must be put away in impermeable compartments or air-tight containers with moisture prevention to forestall the spoilage that occurs every so often in kept food sources.
Sure, having dried beans every day is a bit boring.
However, if you mix it with rice and a few different spices, you can make a lot of exciting flavors. This will give you the contrast to your food stockpiles and the types of recipes you could use out of your emergency reserve.
To store dried beans effectively, it is suggested to depend largely on airtight sealable food storage containers and mylar bags, which stop oxygen absorption for long-term foods.
This type of packaging will greatly help extend the shelf-life of dried beans and almost all of the foods you are looking to store.
2. Rolled Oats
If you are looking for a very filling food source, then oats are the one you should buy —you can easily use a wide range of Rolled Oats.
Compared to other food types, rolled oats are comparably difficult to prepare. Be that as it may, rolled oats can last up to thirty (30) years if kept in airtight sealable food storage containers and mylar bags.
Moreover, rolled oats are versatile; you can prepare them as boiling oats, toasting oats, grinding them into flour, baking them into your favorite muffin, or even sprouting them or making them into oat milk.
Not to mention, rolled oats are known for the myriad of health benefits they can offer. They are rich in antioxidants, contain a powerful soluble fiber called Beta-Glucan, and can lower cholesterol levels and protect LDL cholesterol from damage.
3. Pasta Products
Pasta, or any pasta product, is a great shelf food because it is rich in carbohydrates, which you can mix with anything more to make cold or hot pasta, depending on how you like it.
Generally, commercially-packaged freeze-dried pasta that you commonly buy in grocery stores can last for as long as eight (8) to thirty (30) years.
Just make sure to take note of their expiry dates before making your purchase.
4. Dehydrated Food (Fruit Slices)
Dehydrated foods, specifically dried fruits, have dried out, such as raisins, Gourmet Food Dehydratorapricots, apples, dates, etc.
You will be surprised to know that there are a lot of kinds of dehydrated fruits and vegetables.
As such, most dehydrated fruits in bulk are quite expensive so you may stick to Gourmia Food Dehydrator for a more affordable yet delicious choice.
However, you should also consider that slicing and drying fruits and veggies can be time-consuming, so you may want to factor that in.
In retrospect, dehydrated fruits can be preserved for five (5) years; however, dates and raisins may keep longer if stored the same way as beans but at a cooler temperature.
You can also freeze-dried food to make them more shelf-stable foods.
There are different ways of putting away cheese, like cheese in wax, canned cheese from Bega, Kraft, and freeze-dried cheese, and it can keep going for seemingly a long time for a dairy product.
6. White Rice
Rice is one of the priority food varieties for reserves since it is cheap, simple to get, and easy to store for an extraordinarily long shelf life.
Besides, rice can easily last up to thirty (30) years and should be put away in food-grade containers and storage bags.
7. Dehydrated Carrots
Another dehydrated food on this list is dehydrated carrots because they last for up to twenty-five (25) years.
8. Dried Corn
Canned corn and dried corn are relatively cheap, delicious, and have a simple 10-year shelf life.
9. Legumes: Lentils and Peas
Most preppers, beginner or not, stock on lentils.
And so, if you do, purchasing whole lentils —and not the split ones —may be a good move as they last much longer.
They are good shelf-stable food to store as they are a great source of fiber and are very easy to cook on their own or to mix with other dishes.
By standard, lentils' shelf life typically lasts four (4) to five (5) years. They can last more if you store them in mylar oxygen absorber bags, potentially lasting up to twenty (20) years.
10. Canned Baked Beans and Canned Spaghetti
Canned beans are convenient because they can easily be stored in small tins and bug-out bags.
Likewise, you can also take them outdoors while remaining super delicious and easy to eat, hot or cold.
11. Canned Powdered Eggs
Canned powdered eggs can be another source of chicken or proteins, even if they are just food additives.
As such, canned powdered eggs are a great shelf item as they can last for as long as seven (7) years.
Pemmican is a Native American-invented emergency food produced using local wild animals' lean meat.
As such, the meat is dried over a fire, blended in with fat and seasoning berries, and squeezed into bread roll estimated snacks.
13. MREs (Meals Ready To Eat)
In the beginning. MREs were made for soldiers to have high-energy sources of food that last a long time.
With that, MREs are the basics of long-lasting foods that are made to be compact but carry 24 or 72 hours' worth of nutrients.
This makes it a great item to add to the bug-out sack or any 72-hour survival kit, as they generally accompany many meals in a single pack that can be blended or eaten all alone.
MREs are likewise perfect to use in transient situations, for example, when you cannot depend on an emergency food source for a short time.
For this reason, most 72-hour survival packs will have an MRE or freeze-dried meal to go.
At first glance, you may wonder why this sugar and fat-packed good is a must-have emergency food.
Having some sweetness in your meal is a good idea in an emergency. If any, Twinkies are the one dessert that has been proven to outlast a nuclear fallout.
15. Jams and Jellies
Popular pantry staples, jams, and jellies have existed for generations.
Thanks to their sweet flavor and spreadable texture, they are perfect for various sweet and savory foods, from toast to ice cream to a pork roast.
The majority of jams and jellies have a long shelf life. Commercially produced kinds that haven't been opened should keep for up to two years if kept in a dry, cool environment.
Longest-lasting condiments to add as prepper foods:
16. Salt or SugarTwo condiments to add to your food storage are salt and sugar.
While you can use honey as a kind of sugar, which likewise endures for a long time, sugar and salts are perfect for adding to food sources and are basic ingredients in numerous recipes.
17. Baking SodaBaking soda and baking powder last for a long period, yet again you want to contemplate if you want to cook portions of bread or doughy items when the world ends.
Certain individuals try not to stock an excessive number of things that require a ton of cooking. Hence, consider this before putting baking powder in your survival food storage.
18. Corn Starch
Corn starch has one of the longest shelf lives of any food.
It is a corn-based product that is white, powdered, and used in cooking or as a thickener for stews, gravies, and sauces.
Corn starch has a long shelf life when kept in correct storage conditions and can remain active indefinitely.
Since ancient times, people have used vinegar for various purposes, including cleaning, cooking, and treating illnesses.
With an endless shelf life, the product is also surprisingly durable. It won't go bad, but the flavor and potency may alter over time.
In general, vinegar's flavor will strengthen the longer it is kept.
The application of vegetable oil is highly diverse, ranging from cleaning to cooking. Vegetable oil typically has a shelf life of up to two years, though this might vary depending on the type of oil and how it is packaged.
Because they lack preservatives and are more susceptible to oxidation, unrefined vegetable oils like extra-virgin olive oil and cold-pressed canola oil have a shorter shelf life.
These oils can last up to six months if properly stored. Due to processing and additives, refined vegetable oils including soybean, sunflower, and corn oil, are more stable and can last up to two years.
21. Worcestershire Sauce
For generations, people have used Worcestershire sauce as a popular condiment to enhance food flavor. It has a distinctive flavor that combines elements of sweetness, sourness, and spice.
Like soy sauce, most Worcestershire sauces have a two to three-year shelf life when stored properly. It must be refrigerated and consumed within six months after being opened.
Worcestershire sauce can also be kept longer by being placed in the freezer.
Thanks to this, the shelf life of the sauce will be increased by up to six months. Pour the sauce into an airtight container and freeze for later use.
When ready to use, let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
Honey is, without a doubt, a great natural sugar and lasts forever. They can be a great survival food to use in times of disaster.
23. Stock or Bouillon
This works for soups as well as potato or rice to add an additional seasoning to a dish.
24. Instant coffee, cocoa powder, or tea
Contingent upon your water reserves, you might only have a desire to drink a little espresso if you should depend on your prepper's reserve of food.
So, instant coffee, cocoa powder, or tea is a great option.
25. Powdered Milk
Powdered milk (or powdered protein supplements) is a must-have emergency food in your pantry, as the powdered milk can be cooked with or utilized in drinks quickly and conveniently.
Moreover, protein powder gives a lot of supplements you could generally not get in other frozen or easy-store foods.
Shelf Stable Foods: Food Storage & Food Supply
In storing any prepper foods, there should be a great consideration to extending the shelf life of the foods.
With this, following some basic practices of storing and wrapping foods will make a big difference as they can often determine the longevity of the foods.
One incredible method for guaranteeing that your food is sealed and will not foster molds after some time is to utilize mylar storage bags and oxygen absorbers.
As emphasized throughout the article, mylar bags are perfect as they are significant to long-term food storage by restricting the elements that influence food varieties like heat, light, moisture, oxygen, and those annoying mice and rats (in case you have those little creatures at home).
Ultimately, emergency food supplies are one of the key elements of emergency preparedness. Survival food, as the name implies, will help you "survive" one of the tough times you and your family could ever experience.
So, don't wait for a fire to break in, a storm to fall, or an earthquake to shatter.
Prepare your survival food, stock up your food supply, and invest in shelf-stable food such as canned veggies, canned meats, green beans, canned tuna, white rice (or even instant rice), and canned soups to help you get by.
Of course, it doesn't always have to be a portion of canned food; you can also invest in foods with essential nutrients for your survival diet.
A well-stocked pantry should include foods with a long shelf-life. In times of necessity, they offer security and convenience and can help stretch a food budget.
We talked about a wide range of foods, including canned fruit that can survive up to five years, pemmican that can last ten years, and honey that can last forever.
Even though they might not be the healthiest options, several foods can offer comfort and security in difficult situations. These foods can survive a very long period with proper rotation and storage.