Emergency Food Storage
One of the first challenges will be figuring out where to keep those foods you have accumulated for any coming emergency.
Long-term emergency food storage is greatly impacted by the conditions in which food is stored. Ideal temperatures shouldn’t exceed 70 degrees farenheit. That is pretty tough for me. Summer temperatures where I live can reach 112 degrees. Ugh! So I have to conceed that the shelf-life of the foods I store will be reduced from their maximum.
I CAN, however, find storage space inside my house, rather than the garage, and will focus more heavily on food rotation. The rule to live by with rotation is FIFO (First In First Out).
There are several types of foods you can store: Canned food from the local grocery store, MREs, freeze-dried food, dehydrated food, and well preserved food stores in bulk.
I suggest in my Challenges that you build up a supply for 3 days or so, comprised of canned foods that your family members will actually eat- things they are familiar with that you can buy off your local grocer’s shelves. It has been noted that children will actually, unwittingly, starve before eating foods they do not like. With all of the choices available in our society, our children have been able to develop very particular preferences and also resistance to those things they have found “unsavory.”
Flavor IS important.
The next step might be to order samples of dehydrated and freeze-dried foods from the many companies offering long-term food storage to see what tastes good to you. Many companies will offer samples for shipping and handling that probably range from $5-$12 or so.
Freeze dried foods and dehydrated foods both have nearly 25 year shelf-life. Both retain their flavor well, and are said to be very nutritive, although there seems to be little more favor on the side of Freeze-dried. Dehydrated foods tend to take up less space, and are usually less expensive, because the process is less expensive.
MRE’s are “meals ready to eat”. They are widely used by the military, and are often distributed in emergencies to the displaced and refugees. They are full, several-course meals usually heated by adding a bit of water. They are famous for being compact, easily prepared, and sometimes tough on the digestive tract. Not your best long-term solution, but very good for short term needs that may be anticipated far in advance.
Bulk items like rice, un-ground wheats, and corn, even pasta can be stored in air-tight containers with oxygen absorbers to prolong their shelf-life. Honey, salt, sugar are excellent items to store nearly indefinitely in mass quantities. The key with these is keeping out moisture, vermin, and light.