Prepper Food Storage: A Starter's Guide on What & Why
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Prepper food storage is one of those things where once you discover the idea, it's because it's too late. I'm glad you're here now, and I want to walk you through the basics so you can start getting prepared now.
Whenever a situation of emergency strikes, the availability of food is the foremost priority in our minds, somehow, all of us are familiar with the concept of food storage. Mostly, people visit the grocery store only once in a month and consume it till the month ends, and they'll regret that lifestyle later if disaster strikes.
If you plan to make a prepper food storage ration in your home and are searching for ideas, here are some points that you should note down, as well as the best and easiest long-term storage food options to start with.
Ideal Conditions for Your Prepper Food Storage
There are four common conditions that you should take care of to prevent your food from spoiling. This is important so that your money and all your effort don't get wasted if your food gets spoiled. Even worse if you discover this during a crisis.
Factors like humidity, oxygen, light, and temperature can cause food spoilage. Read on to decipher how these conditions are not suitable for your prepper food storage. You'll also want to make sure you're keeping insects away from your storage.
In simple words, humidity is the moisture content in our atmosphere. It's considered to have adverse effects on grains like wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, etc. Humidity changes the quality of these grains.
In addition to that, it promotes deterioration in such foods. It accelerates the growth of microorganisms, but it also forms rust on the surface of cans. You also want to choose foods that are less than 10% moisture themselves or when dehydrated.
Air is horrible for your prepper food storage because many harmful disease causing organisms can travel through the air. Some of these microorganisms live on oxygen and the food that we eat. This is why airtight jars were invented and can be found in every household today.
Plus, due to oxygen, molds, and fungal growth can appear on your food supplies. Luckily, some industries have created a solution to this problem. Mylar bags are made with a material that absorbs oxygen. Additionally, we have plastic zip-lock bags that seal our food.
We often see a warning label at the back of jars that tells us to keep the jars away from direct sunlight. Light can cause harm to our food. Moreover, light can cause nutrient losses from our food. As a result, our food can spoil in no time.
You might have noticed that glass containers are made with different colors that deflect the light. In this way, light isn't able to penetrate the packaging or jars. To avoid spoilage in your prepper food storage, you should pay close attention to preventing this condition.
In most cases, the temperature is the main culprit that causes spoilage in our food. Extreme temperature conditions can harm our food, generally meaning too hot. If you want to save your prepper food storage, you must watch out for temperature.
Generally, heat causes degradation in our food and decreases the nutrient value over time. It's best to keep your prepper food storage at a stable and steady temperature. Remember to opt for a place that is insulated or has controlled temperature.
6 Foods To Keep In Your Prepper Food Storage
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it's the easiest go-to to start out. These foods can be stored for the longest time, come at the lowest cost per calorie, and take up the least amount of space per calorie.
Dried beans can last for several years due to which they are perfect for your prepper food storage. Dried beans are bean with reduced water content. You can soak and cook these in something like one of these dutch oven substitutes.
As we have mentioned above, it is advantageous to keep moisture away from your food. Due to this, the weight of food is also decreased. However, we advise you to keep them in packaging that prevents decay. This is the ultimate bulk food for preppers.
Oats are widely used and famous all over the world. It's a very healthy food option. Besides that, oats are used in several different products.
Just like beans, they can also last for many years in your prepper food storage. Almost everybody likes oats as they are very affordable and can be eaten anytime.
Similar to beans, there are many ways to include oats in your meals. Oats have an antioxidant effect and can prevent many diseases. Rolled oats can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Especially in some Asian countries, a meal is not complete without rice. Rice is rich in carbohydrates, so it gives you a tremendous amount of energy to do your tasks efficiently.
Rice can be stored without spoilage for over 30 years. But, we recommend you to use food-grade containers to ensure safety from the four "conditions" mentioned above.
Like rice, pasta products are also rich in carbohydrates. Foods that contain starch are an excellent choice to keep in your food storage for preppers. They don't last as long as beans, rice, and oats, but they don't spoil for a noticeable time, either.
As we know that fruits and vegetables are a great source of micronutrients, we should add them to our diet to keep us healthy. Fruits can be cut into slices and dried in a dehydrator or purchased that way in bulk.
In this way, fruits can have an extended shelf life. Raisins, apricots, apples, and dates are common dried fruits that are readily available. These are a must for your preppers food supply even if you stored back some multivitamins.
Also, you can use the drying technique on any fruit or vegetable that you like. You can keep dried fruits in your food storage for preppers for more than five years.
If you are thinking of storing legumes, you should know that they are among the most amazing items for prepper food storage. Usually, people purchase whole lentils and not the ones that are split.
This is because entire lentils last much longer than the split ones. Also, they contain a lot of fiber, and you can cook them in different styles.
Here's a really good post called 37 Foods to Hoard Before a Crisis that has many more ideas than we can share here. We also have talked about how to store honey, which is a great source of energy that can last a long time.
One thing to note that we didn't mention are canned foods of all types as well as tons of water and dehydrated meats. There are also food supply buckets that last an incredible amount of time that can offer you realistic and well-balanced meals.
Storage Options for Food Storage for Preppers
A great and easily stackable food prepper storage container are #10 cans due to their size. They work great as a light, air, and moisture barrier. If you pre-order food in mylar bags or foil pouches, leave it in them until you're ready to use them.
PETE plastic bottles are great for loose grains like corn, beans, and wheat. PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is needed to properly keep out oxygen and moisture. You can tell if your 2-liter bottle or juice bottle will work if the bottles have the "PETE" or "PET" mark under the "recycle symbol" on the bottom.
Your typical cans of food are just fine as well and can be organized and stacked to be efficient in terms of the space they take up. Stacking them on the side like pictured above may use up a bit more space but you'll be okay with that when you can actually make choices without unpacking an entire pantry.
Big 5-gallon buckets with air tight lids work for grains and legumes too. Glass jars are another option as long as they aren't completely clear, due to letting in light. The problem is they can break, though.
Prepper Food Storage Motivation
The foods that we have discussed are readily available and cheap. You can get them from any supermarket or grocery store near you. Moreover, these supplies are enough to keep you and your relatives healthy and alive. Prepper food storage is the ultimate strategy to survive a crisis.
Food is the second most crucial element, after water that keeps us alive. We can't survive for more than a few days if we do not consume the specific nutrients required by our body. Moreover, it won’t be an overstatement to say that we cannot imagine a single day without food.
In conditions like pandemic or disasters, we often find the need to store food for ourselves and our families. Also, there are some basic ideas that you can use to preserve and store food.
This is all because food is the fuel of our body, and we cannot perform our day to day activities if we don’t get the appropriate amount of energy needed by our body.
Someone who hoards the vital things that are compulsory for us to survive in a certain life or death situation is called a prepper. Some people are always prepared for the worst. So they always make sure that their fridge and kitchen are filled with food and water.
For the food to last for a couple of months, a prepper must take all the necessary precautions. Sometimes, even the preppers make a few mistakes in food storage. However, food storage can be a tough task for those who are new to it. In some cases, it seems like a challenge in the beginning.
For hundreds of years, people have recognized the importance of prepper food storage. Previously, people used to dedicate a small place at their homes for stockpiling of food. We all have heard of names pantries and larders.
Even now, some people use their basements for this purpose. This is the reason that, with a simple guideline, prepper food storage can be practiced by anyone.
Fortunately, today we have many smart choices that are conveniently in our reach. We can purchase these food items for prepper food storage. In recent times, there are a variety of products with an extended shelf-life. These products are made to last for months or even years.
Furthermore, these products claim to have all the nutritional value that is needed by us. That being said, these canned foods have a few particular requirements.
For instance, you need to store them in ideal conditions. Therefore, when it comes to prepper food storage, these requirements vary from one type of product to another product.
Prepper Food Storage is Easy!
Although these foods are very easy to hoard in your prepper food storage, we recommend using proper containers and bags that inhibit deterioration. You must remember that we have just given you the tips mentioned above as ideas to consider.
Your prepper food storage can be used for various purposes. It can merely serve as a space to keep that extra food that you bought at a discounted price. We advise you to store the food that you prefer to eat.