There's more to food storage than just dehydrating So, you're not into dehydrating. That's okay. Not everyone's into dehydrating. I know that, and I understand. But don't despair. You can build your long term food storage without owning or using a dehydrator! I know I've been focused on dehydrating a lot lately. That's because that's what works really good for me and my family. But, that's not the case for everyone. Some simply don't have the time or energy that it takes to dehydrate food. Others don't have the resources to do so. One of the reasons I started up the Christian Prepper Gal YouTube channel is so that I can focus on other types of articles here. Besides, it really is a lot easier to film the dehydrating process than it is to write about it.
So today I want to talk about what kinds of foods we should be stocking up our long term food storage shelves with. Below are just some examples. I'm sure you will come up with some of your own to suit your and your family's needs. But, if you haven't started yet or need to update your stock, this will give you a good place to start.
Foods not to stock
I'm gonna start right off with the types of foods you should not stock up on. The funny thing is, that almost everyone who talks about prepping includes these first two items in their long term food storage. But I was taught to think outside the box, and to think logically.
That's right. Rice. Why would you not want to stock up on rice? After all, it's cheap and it lasts forever. Well, first of all, it's not very nutritional when eaten alone. It's okay to have some rice stored, but don't make it your main staple. It's not enough to sustain you for a period of months.
Secondly, in order to cook rice properly, you're going to need a lot of water. Rice should be rinsed in water, then soaked in water, then cooked in water. A suggestion, if you really want rice, is to buy instant rice. It will still need water to cook, but a lot less water overall.
Have you ever cooked dried beans? Aside from the fact that they need to be rinsed in water and soaked in water they take at least an hour or more to cook. If you don't have a lot of fuel or tons of extra water to cook the beans you are going to be in trouble. A suggestion if you still want to stock up on beans is to buy canned beans.
Those are the two main staples most preppers believe they need to stock up on...and most stock a lot of them!
Other foods that you should not stock up on would be potato chips, pretzels, or anything salty like that. Extra salt/sodium will cause a person to become more thirsty than normal. If water is not readily available, you will want to avoid foods that will make you thirsty.
Now, on to the important items that you should stock up on.
Canned goods (the obvious)
I've talked before about canned goods and the fact that they should be rotated to ensure that you have the freshest food possible available. See Prepping 101 | Long term food storage . I want to caution you not to get too far ahead of yourself and have too much food in storage. If you won't be able to rotate it and eat it, you could have spoilage; which would not do you any good in the long run.
Here are some suggestions of the types of canned food you should consider:
Spam (but only if you like it)
Vegetables (including potatoes)
Foods that come in boxes or packages are also a good idea for your long term food storage.
Macaroni and Cheese
Nonfat dry milk
Packaged rice sides (like Knorr brand)
Instant rice (no need to rinse or soak, less cooking time than regular)
Oatmeal (instant would work best; less cooking time)
Crackers (reduced sodium/no salt is recommended)
Sugar and/or sugar substitute
Instant coffee sticks and various other drink sticks that you add to water are also good for storage. When I say sticks, I'm referring to the individual serving sized packets that come in the shape of a stick (sort of).
Mini candy bars (good morale boosters)
Pre-packaged survival food
Food you buy that is already freeze dried or dehydrated. These can be expensive, but it might be a good idea to at least have some on hand. There may be days when you don't feel like putting together an entire meal and these would certainly come in handy for those days.
One recommendation is to perhaps at minimum get some freeze dried eggs or other breakfast foods.
Home canned foods
Of course, there's always the process of canning your foods yourself. This work really well for long term food storage as well. The shelf life isn't as good as dehydrating your own food, but there's really so much more you can can than dehydrate. And, if you rotate it just like you would canned food you wouldn't have to worry so much about it expiring.
The plus side of canning and dehydrating your own food is that you won't have all the additives that are in store bought foods.
So, as you can see there are many different foods you can stock up on other than dehydrating your own food.
One of the main things to consider when planning our long term food storage is variety. Variety in the actual food and variety in the types of food we store. We are so used to having a variety of foods available to us today. Why would we want to limit ourselves in the event of an emergency/catastrophe? Variety will keep us from becoming bored with our food choices. Some children and teens (even some adults) may refuse to eat if they have to eat the same things day in and day out, or if there isn't any food available that they like.
Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!