The following is a fairly complete list of foods that you should have in your storage. The quantities will depend on the size of your family and the length of time you want to live on your food storage. Personally, I feel you need a absolute minimum of a one year supply and preferably more. While some of these foods need regular rotation, the majority are long storage items. With these 34 foods in your food storage pantry, you can cook a wide variety of foods to keep your family or group happy. Good food equals good morale.
34 Items for your food storage pantry
- Wheat, if stored correctly, good for at least 30 years. If you store even a little wheat, you’ll need a reliable grain mill. I highly recommend the Wondermill Junior. If you’re a beginning prepper, you probably have no idea why people store wheat! Here’s some basic information on that subject.
- Oats, can be stored up to 30 years and are very versatile.
- Spelt, similar to wheat but with more protein and some people with mild wheat allergies can tolerate it. Buy a small package of it and try it in a few recipes. If family members are gluten free, this is the time to see if they have a negative reaction.
- Quinoa, an excellent source of protein can be used like rice, eaten warm with milk, or added to any dish as a meal stretcher.
- Beans, white, good source of protein.
- Pinto beans pinto, good source of protein
- Beans, black, good source of protein
- Beans, mung are very good for sprouting. If you’re planning on sprouting seeds, you’ll need a simple sprouting kit like this one.
- Lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut after soybeans and hemp. Sprouted lentils contain sufficient levels of all essential amino acids. They are a complete protein.
- Rice, white rice not brown. Brown rice is better for you but turns rancid in 6 months or so. If it’s stored in a very cold environment, it will last longer. By the way, we store our rice in clean 2-liter soda bottles with 1 50 cc oxygen absorber.
- Salt can be used to preserve food. Most people fail to store enough. I store at least a 100 pounds or more.
- Millet, can be used in breads and cereals. People with celiac disease can replace gluten-containing cereals in their diets with millet.
- Powdered milk, good source of protein. This chart will help you know how much powdered milk and water you need to mix up different amounts.
- Dehydrated and dried vegetables, either home dehydrated or in #10 cans from a dealer. Thrive Life foods are packaged well and after comparing numerous brands, it’s our family’s first choice.
- Meats, home canned and freeze dried. Many people do not realize you can home-can meat, ham, fish, and poultry. We buy Zaycon beef and chicken in bulk, which gives us plenty to eat now and home-can for later.
- Meat, commercially canned like Spam, canned hams etc.
- Dehydrated and dried fruits. either home dehydrated or in number ten cans from dealer, but these are easy to dry at home. You’ll need a good dehydrator that evenly disperses the hot air for even drying. Don’t fall for the “Made in China” dehydrators that look similar to the made in the USA Excalibur brand. We’ve tested the Chinese version vs. Excalibur, and it’s inferior.
- Seasonings and spices — store what you use. I like to store various hot peppers, great in beans and almost anything. Most spices need to be rotated
- Baking powder, or make your own by combining baking soda and cream of tartar (1 T. baking soda, 2 T. cream of tartar)
- Baking soda can be used to help soften hard beans. See Making Bean Flour and Cooking with Old Beans. We use baking soda for multiple purposes and buy the very large bags at Costco.
- Sugar. Store in an airtight container, especially if you live in a humid area.
- Honey will store indefinitely if not stored in metal cans.
- A source of oils. I have built an olive press and have learned how to cure olives. Oils need regular rotation since they become rancid.
- Powdered eggs. I prefer dry whole eggs.
- Dehydrated onions for any number of recipes, including beans.
- Miscellaneous wet packed canned goods. Get foods that you normally eat, so that you can rotate them.
- Jams and jellies
- Peanut butter, good source of protein. It has a very long shelf life.
- Split peas can be used to make mushy peas or soups.
- Potato flakes, they store well in #10 cans and are very inexpensive. You can use them to make potato soup (use extra milk) and fried potato patties.
- Dent corn or pop corn dried can be ground into corn meal. You need a good quality grinder.
- Dehydrated shortening, comes in a powder, just add water.
- Junk or comfort foods for treats. Be sure and watch the shelf life, these normally need to be rotated regularly.
- Vitamin pills as needed. It’s important to store these in a cool location to prolong the shelf life.
Stock up on what you are short of and you will be confident that you have most everything you need in your food storage pantry. Because of difference in cooking styles, you may find a couple of items you need to add. This list is by no means all-inclusive. There are other options. If you have questions about any of these foods look them up through the search function on my blog, I think you will find articles on each and every one.
Updated by Noah, 10-23-16.