How Much Food do You Need for a Year

A question that comes up regularly is how much food is a year’s supply.  One answer is a list put out by the LDS Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints).

  • Grains (wheat, rice, corn or other cereal grains) 300 lbs per person.
  • Nonfat dry milk 75 lbs per person
  • Sugar or honey 75 lbs person
  • Salt 5 lbs per person
  • Fats or oil 20 lbs per person
  • Dried legumes (beans, peas or lentils) 60 lbs per person
  • Garden seed

The above list will supply approximately 2300 calories per day.  This list is a bare bone survival list.  Appetite fatigue would be a problem if you had to depend only on these foods. Most people don’t know how to cook with such a limited variety. Other problems you would have to watch for are allergies to wheat. Some authorities believe that as much as 40% of the popular have wheat allergies.


If you depend heavily on corn, you need to treat it correctly or you can develop pellagra from a lack of vitamin B.  The American Indians treated corn with wood ash or lime to release the B vitamin niacin to prevent this.


I look at this list and consider it a framework to build upon.  The initial list is reasonably inexpensive and is good for long term storage, if correctly packed (except for the fats – oils, 20 – 30 years).  Get the items mentioned on the list or a good portion of them and then supplement it with spices, freeze dried, dehydrated foods, canned foods and your home production (foods you can produce at home, garden, chickens, eggs).

In the future we will show you recipes and methods that you can use to cook with the basic foods and produce good tasting meals that your family will enjoy.


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15 Responses to How Much Food do You Need for a Year

  1. Rod says:

    It looks like the LDS people have next to no nutritional understanding !
    Their list of foods is crazy !
    34kg of sugar or honey a year ? 2kg of salt ? 8.3kg of fats/oils ?
    Perhaps they don’t know there’s an obesity epedimic…
    I wouldn’t consume a 500g jar of honey in 2 years !
    One can do without pure carbs and ANY additional salt in the diet.
    Note too the total lack of protein.
    This is seriously lopsided nutrition.
    Now, let’s start at the beginning :

    Protein – grab some whey protein isolate (or concentrate ) – powdered form – so it will keep for years.
    Bulk buy pasta and rice – complext low GI carbs.
    Buy 3 bottles of vitamin pills – to ensure all the body’s needs are met especially on a narrow spectrum diet such as is the case in survival scenarios.
    Buy tinned fish and baked beans – they’ll last for at least 2 years – protein, vitamins and minerals, fibre, essential fatty acids like Omega-3.
    You can have absolute minimum of oil for cooking purposes plus some seasonings like pepper, curry powder etc over salt !
    Dried longlife foods are ok too but don’t let the balance get lopsided in favour of protein or carbs or fats for your nutrition !
    Incidentally (and this a great tip) I’ve actually had tins of carrots that were edible after 22 years ! Yes 22 years. All the water had gone but the carrots were just like new.
    Quite amazing really and it just goes to show how long food can last for.
    Tinned oysters on the other hand – FORGET IT ! LOL..

    • C.J. says:

      Those carrots were not as “just like new” as you think they were. If the liquid was gone, the container had a leak otherwise the liquid would still be there. The vitamins that the carrots USED to have were depleted also.

      As for salt, if you want to make pickles, brine your meat for storage, or salt cure, you are gonna have to have salt. I’d say that 2 kg of salt is not nearly enough. That’s only 4 1/2 pounds, for those on the American scale.

      Sugar and honey? Many people like to bake, make jams and jellies and such for high energy. Make your own wine? You need about 10-15 lbs of sugar per 5 gallon batch.

      Fats/oils? 8.3 kg = 18.3 lbs. A gallon of oil weighs about 8 lbs, so 8.3 kg is just 2 1/4 gallon, not much for a year. Gotta have that fried chicken!, not to mention those cakes and other fatty goodies!!

    • Carla says:

      I’m not LDS, but do have food storage.
      Hate to burst your bubble, but the large amounts of salts and sugars suggested are because you can not “CAN” foods without it. Much less cure meats and fish should the need arise. The same goes for vinegars.

    • yesterday while organizing my storage i found some forgotten 8 + year old sardine cans. they had been in a storage unit where the average max summer temp is well over 100 degrees F. for most of the summer and way above that in the storage unit. (neveda) none of the cans had any sign of bulging. when i opened one, it looked and smelled like a newly opened can. next step, i tasted a small portion, good! like new. sardines in mustard on whole wheat bread sandwich with potato chips and fresh beer – YUM. 18 hours later, i just opened the second can.

  2. Michelle says:

    I’d like to comment a little on this post. The first post is a very basic framework for long term food storage, as has been mentioned. LDS members are encouraged to start with a 3 month supply of foods that they normally eat. This would consist of of such things as canned meat, vegetables and fruits. I have just about everything we usually eat in mine. Also, if you have small children, it would be especially important to include their favorites, such as mac and cheese. 🙂 After we (LDS) have this 3 month supply, we expand into a long term year supply of the basics. Along with the framework basics, we would add more of the 3 month supply type of foods. We are encouraged to eat regularly from our food storage, so if someone isn’t able to digest wheat well, we would know and be able to adjust what we store. Also, that is a good way to keep rotating your food. Whole wheat is something we should have in our everyday diet and by adding it in now it will be easier later. Whole wheat can also be sprouted for a huge vitamin boost, it’s also easier on sensitive stomachs. As a church, we’ve also been strongly encouraged to keep a home garden. I’ve heard that advice since I was very young and I’m 50 now. It isn’t just so that we have these fruits and vegetables on hand, it’s so that we know how to grow them. Food storage is also something I plan to share with others, so having extras is good.

    • janel says:

      I am a beginner in food storage. Do you store only dry or canned food or also food you put in the freezer? It would spoil if the electricity went out. What other food do you recommend storing? Do you use the food and then re-stock?

      • admin says:

        Yours is a great question, but one that is hard to answer in a few words. I stock both canned goods and dry foods. I do keep food in the freeze, but I keep salt on hand to preserve it, if the power goes out. Yes it is best if you rotate your food stocks. If you continue to read this blog you will get your questions answered. I also suggest that you get a copy of my book Emergency Preparedness the Right Way.

        • Michelle says:

          Does your book cover how to preserve meat with salt? Out here in California we sometimes have rolling electrical outages to cut back on electricity. Generally it’s only a few hours, but I worry about what to do if goes longer. (Days) I thought I’d just have to call neighbors and have a large BBQ. 🙂

  3. Michelle says:

    Thanks for running this site. I have learned so much. I just ordered your book on Amazon.

  4. Prepardness Mom says:

    Your right Carla, we can’t can without sugar, vingar or salt. And they are just as important to store as other items. My bubble wasn’t brust, but I was enlighted but your responce to our growing need of information by our readers. Your comment makes the blog informative and your comments important. Thank you

  5. danny horn says:

    try using your food saver for dry canning, easy and will last 30 years, and for the cry baby, if you don’t eat sugar, you might think about Barter it for something you need?, when the truck stop running you will see, better stock up on totliet paper to. ha

  6. Eric Christensen says:

    Good info, as I continue to refine my food supply I always get some treats like fruits, nuts and other things my kids like

  7. Kelly Asher says:

    I don’t know much about raising animals as a food source but I had an idea. What about breeding rabbits for a supplement to your food supply? I hear they breed like, well… like rabbits. You would only need to keep a few; give away or sell the offspring, and/or eat the offspring they produce now; “retire” the older ones and replace them with the offspring and if a long-term crisis hits you will have a steady source of meat. Is this a workable idea?

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