How much food should you store?

How much food should you store?

How much food should you store is always a very personal call.  You first have to decide. why you are storing food and for how long do you think you will be required to live on it.  Second what sources do you have to replenish your food, for instance do you have a large garden or raise your own meat?  Third what is your skill level, can you supplement your food with edible plants and wildlife.

Another factor that affects your decisions in where do you live, will you bug in?   Will you have neighbors or friends you wish to help?  What natural or manmade hazards exist in your area, for example earthquake, floods, or a nuclear power plant?  Are you in the desert or in a northern area that has hard winters with short growing seasons?

Now I cannot answer the above questions for you, but I can make some suggestions that may help you.  Personally, I believe that you need at least enough food to carry you through the next growing season and then some.  I believe that anything less than a years food is inadequate.  If you do not have the ability to start producing food in that period of time you need more.  The basic idea is that you need enough food for you to develop a source or the ability to replenish your food supply.

So now you have decided on a goal, how much food should you store?  The LDS Church gives the following guidelines for food for one person for a month. You multiply this by the number of months you intend to store.

QUANTITY FOR ONE MONTH RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS LONG-TERM STORAGE LIFE
11.5 kg./ 25 lbs Wheat, white rice, corn, and other grains 30+ years
2.5 kg. / 5 lbs Dry beans 30+ years

You may also want to add other items to your longer-term storage such as sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil. To meet nutritional needs, also store foods containing vitamin C and other essential nutrients.

Now this is a very basic supply to keep you alive for one month, but it would not be fun to live on.  Now it is not commonly understood that the LDS church also encourages you to store a 3-month supply of the foods that you would normally eat, plus have the ability to grow a garden and produce some fresh food.

These are good basic guidelines to follow as you get started, but personally, I go well beyond them.  One problem that I encounter when I talk with people is that they do not have any idea how much food their family consumes in a week or a month.

A simple suggestion is a food diary, for two weeks keep a diary of what your family consumes, then multiply by the number of weeks of you intend to store.

Now I am sure you will have to make some modification, but this will give you a basic idea of how much food you family consumes.  I hope this helps you answer the question of how much food should you store.

Howard

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2 Responses to How much food should you store?

  1. LindaG says:

    Thank you for explaining this in easy-to-understand terms.

  2. Veteran Who Is Preparing says:

    Here is a food storage calculator. It gives an idea of how much you might need.

    http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm

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