Preparing to survive some kind of catastrophe, whether it is a natural disaster, an act of war or financial collapse has become very mainstream as of late. People have seen what happens to those who are not prepared to survive in their homes for days or weeks without running to the grocery store or are forced to rely on the government for help. Basically, it is every man or family for himself. You need to keep a pantry stocked with food, water and other essentials in case of an emergency.
What do you stock?
If you are new to the prepping world, you probably have a few questions about what you should stock in your food pantry. Non-perishable foods are your best bet or foods that have long shelf lives. Your goal is to build up a food storage that will feed your family for a minimum of 30 days. Some ambitious preppers will shoot for a 6-month or even 1-year food store. It is up to you.
Canned foods are typically the first thing you think of when it comes to food you can store in a pantry for a long time. You would be thinking right. However, there are some things you need to know about canned food.
• Canned food can spoil over time. When it does spoil, it can become lethal to consume.
• High temperatures can cause cans to swell and botulism is a strong possibility.
• Canned foods are heavy and difficult to transport
• Canned foods take up a great deal of room and require a very sturdy shelving system
With that said, one of the major bonuses to canned food is price. It is extremely cheap and you can stock a great deal of food for very little money.
You have seen these packs of food that are often used on backpacking trips. Any outdoor store will have a variety of these meals that are easily stowed away in a backpack or bug out bag. They have long shelf lives, with some extending up to 10 to 15 years. All that is required is a little water and a short wait and a meal complete with meat, vegetables and noodles are ready to eat. Military have been using meals like this for decades. They are often referred to as MREs or Meals Ready to Eat.
Lately, these freeze-dried and dehydrated foods have made the transition from single-serve packages to bulk cans and 5-gallon buckets. If you have seen the price tag on these items, you may initially cringe and quickly head back to the canned food aisle. Before you do, check out the benefits to storing dehydrated or freeze-dried foods.
• Lightweight and easy to store on shelves
• Long shelf lives when stored correctly
• Bulk cans can be resealed after use for up to 30 days
• No risk of food becoming spoiled or potentially deadly if consumed
• Large variety of meals including dairy, fruits, vegetables, meats and pasta
When it comes down to it, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are the best choice for your food storage needs. The cans and buckets do cost more up front, but when you consider the price per meal, these foods are much less expensive than canned foods. The dehydrated foods are more nutritional and you will be amazed at the variety of food available. When you are preparing to survive a situation, living off of canned veggies and beans is certainly an option, but if you could eat scalloped potatoes covered in cheese with a delicious chili, what would you choose? You can supplement your food stores with canned foods, but ideally, you will want to spend your money on the freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.