Once disaster has struck, one of the problems that many people will notice immediately will be that there is a massive shortage of food.
In fact, it is hardly a fantasy scenario to imagine that once things get rough, lone wolves, mobs, and gangs will go from street to street, supermarket to supermarket, and neighborhood to neighborhood searching for precious resources like food and water.
Your local stores will be robbed and anything worth having will be removed. Trucks will stop running and there will be no more restocking.
For this reason, we highly recommend that you store food in your home just in case things go south. If you never have to use this food, that’s great. If you do have to use it, then it’s a good thing that you have it.
Stored up food is kind of like a parachute. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. And if you don’t have it, you will probably never need it again.
So the question arises of what kind of food is best to store for those “uh oh” times in life. Let’s establish some criteria for this survival food.
#1: Long Lasting: When building up your food stores, you want to make sure that anything you have can stay edible for a long time. Spam gets a lot of flak, but anything that can last 500 years is definitely going in my survival food storage!
As a rule of thumb, cans, dried noodles, cereal or granola, peanut butter, etc. are all great because they take a long, long time to spoil.
#2: Easily Stored: Having incredible food won’t matter if you can only store a few meals worth of it. When picking out food for your storage, make sure that it can be stored pretty easily on a shelf, on the floor, or however you’ve decided to do it.
This rule does mean that your stored food should not need to be refrigerated or frozen. It should be able to be stored at room temperature, since electricity may or may not be present if disaster strikes.
Cans work great for this, as they can be stacked.
#3: Good Tasting: Your stored up food won’t do you much good if you and your family refuse to eat it because it tastes like junk. Now I’m not saying you need a five course gourmet meal, but do stock some things that taste pretty good.
Good tasting food keeps your family moral up and, obviously, are a lot more enjoyable than protein bars for 30 days in a row.
#4: Easily Prepared: If your food needs a microwave or an oven, don’t even bother storing it for disaster. If you can make a fire, then you may be able to cook some food, but assume that fire will be an impossibility. Make sure your food can be opened and eaten.
#5: High Calorie: Yep, I said it. Your stored up food needs to be packing in the calories to have maximum effectiveness. Even though high calorie foods are hailed as evil in our current culture, calories are the lifeblood of energy and without energy, you don’t survive.
Simple as that.
Now don’t go out and buy a whole bunch of Krispy Kremes and consider yourself ready for the apocalypse.
Sweets make for poor survival food because calories are not created equal. Here’s a little breakdown for you.
All calories come from one of three things: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
We will discuss each of these separately.
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates (carbs) are four calories per gram. Most carbs reside in fruits, vegetables, grains, and sugars. Even though carbs are usually associated with the devil in modern culture, every living human requires carbs to survive.
Even though they are necessary for survival, they are not ideal for survival food. Carbs pack fewer calories per gram than fats (discussed below) and are not as useful for rebuilding muscle as protein. Carbs are also burned more quickly than fats or proteins, meaning that you will be left feeling hungry not long after eating.
Proteins: Proteins contain four calories per gram and are the food of choice for competition weightlifters and world class performers. Proteins are useful for rebuilding muscles bigger and stronger.
Proteins burn slowly in the stomach and after eating them, you’ll feel full for a long time. Most proteins are meats, nuts, or legumes. These make for excellent stored food.
Fats: Fats contain nine calories per gram and are our go to foods for our food storage. Since fats contain a lot of calories per gram, you can eat less and survive longer than others (and it’s easier on your budget!)
Fats are usually found in meats, oils, dairy products, eggs, and nuts. If you’ll notice, foods that have fat and foods that have proteins are very similar. These are the kinds of foods we want to store.
By storing foods that are high in protein and fat, we ensure that our bodies have what it takes to rebuild themselves after labor, we don’t feel hungry after eating, and can consume enough calories to give us a boost of energy during the day.
The best kinds of foods to store are not high calorie sugary treats, but foods that combine proteins and fats into one easy package.
Foods like nuts, dried dairy products, canned meats, dried beans and lentils, and canned chili make for excellent survival foods.
While preparing your survival foods, don’t feel obligated to only get these types of foods though! I have plenty of space to store my food and over time I’ve accumulated some cereals, granola, soups, and dried noodles that I could consider a treat in a survival situation.
Finally, the best types of stored food for you are the ones that you can comfortably fit into your budget. You shouldn’t feel obligated to spend your entire paycheck on food storage. Instead, buy food in small bits and pieces if you need to.
Over time, you’ll collect plenty of life-giving food.
To close us out, here are a list of foods that I myself store:
- Canned chiliVarious types of
- canned meatsDried beans (I keep these in empty liters of Coke)
- Dried lentils (same)
- Dried peas (mostly black-eyed, ditto for the empty liters)
- Canned vegetables
- Canned meats
- Different types of noodles such as spaghetti, ramen, etc.
- Powdered foods
- Long lasting proteins such as certain protein bars, protein mix, etc.
Founder and editor of PrepSurvivalGuide.com. I'm a proud husband and father of two boys. My journey to preparedness began in the aftermath of the housing crash when I saw just how easily the scales could be tipped against us. Since then, I've wanted to share high quality information at no cost. Enjoy.
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