For the inexperienced prepper, food storage can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to gathering their emergency food supply. Many think of food storage as something you only work should disaster strike, never rotating it and never really knowing how it tastes (unless something happens). They might buy large buckets full of wheat, rice or cereal and that’s it. This is not a mistake you want to make, whether you are a seasoned or rookie food storage prepper. There are many reasons to mix it up and make sure you have variety in your food storage outside the obvious, and here are a couple of those reasons:
If you eat the same thing for an extended period of time, you are going to get bored. If you haven’t noticed, eating mac and cheese all day every day gets old fast. Why would it be any different under emergency circumstances? It wouldn’t. Especially if you have kids, you don’t want to face petty arguments about food if you don’t really have to. Something as simple as a drink mix can make all the difference, adding taste to your water and variety to your food storage prep.
Yes, oatmeal has plenty of fiber. Rice can fill you up, and if you really look, especially on our site, fruits and vegetables have plenty of vitamins and minerals. You also need protein, which can be found in beans, meats, and certain other food storage items, and these are all parts of a complete emergency food supply. If you haven’t noticed, buying just one or two of these foods doesn’t quite measure up. If you focus on fruits and vegetables, you might miss vitamins and minerals found in the fruits and vegetables you didn’t buy. In addition, you won’t get the right amount of protein or possibly iron in your diet.
On the other hand, focusing on beans will leave you without many essential vitamins and minerals and without a certain amount of fiber. If you don’t have a variety of foods, you won’t get all of the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
So what do you want in your food storage?
- Fruits and Vegetables – Whether canned, freeze-dried, or dehydrated, fruits and vegetables are stocked full of vitamins and minerals. These foods provide your body with low calorie foods that prevent common vitamins deficiencies while maintaining digestive health with plenty of fiber and in many cases, water. You want a variety of these to ensure that you get different vitamins.
- Rice/Noodles/Staples – Rice, noodles, and other staples can fill you up faster, which means that food storage will take up less room in your home and still last longer. Many basic staples are inexpensive, and some are made up of whole wheat and other fiber filled ingredients.
- Meats – You can buy something as simple as jerky. However, I find that there are many MREs and packets made specifically for survival kits that are ready and waiting with meat mixed with food staples like rice and beans to start. Meat provides more protein and iron among other nutrients, and for many people, it also makes food storage seem a little more normal.
- Milk and other drink mixes – Water is essential to life, and yet there are people, especially kids, who don’t like drinking it. It is plain and bland, and kids would rather have a grape or orange flavored drink! This doesn’t mean that you have to rely on sugary formulas full of empty calories. You can be picky, and there are many different drink mixes found in your best food storage stores that mix it up without all of the extra sugar.
- Water purifiers – Some sites recommend that you store barrels of water for any emergency. I don’t. First of all, a full barrel of water is going to be extremely difficult to carry if you have to run out of your house. Second, water goes stale. I know, water doesn’t rot, but you can taste the difference between old water and fresh water. Instead, I would recommend getting a good water purifier. Instead of being limited by barrels, you can get your water virtually anywhere at any time. If you can, I would definitely recommend also having a camping stove or another heating source along with a pot to heat water to kill bacteria and germs that may be harmful to your health.
- Silent Generators – We are obsessed with modern conveniences, and yet we completely forget about power and power sources when it comes to emergency food supply. It’s amazing to me that so many of us could forget or ignore something so obvious, and yet we do. A good generator doesn’t necessarily require you to buy a big, heavy propane tank. These days, solar generators are actually better than ever before. You don’t need extra gas tanks, you can use them anywhere, any time, they are extremely portable, and you get the benefit of hot food, heating for rooms in your house, and more luxuries you may have taken for granted before.
Food storage isn’t always as simple as we would like to think, and variety from food to water to extra tools is absolutely essential. You want to cover your bases, and it doesn’t have to be that expensive. Especially if you add to your emergency food supply over time, it can be extremely affordable.