One thing that I do quite often is counsel people on what they need in their food storage and how to use it. A common prepping mistake that I see is storing foods that you do not use. Many people today live their life on packaged foods and are not use to cooking from scratch. They are of the opinion that when the time comes to use their storage they will magically be able to cook with everything in it.
There are several fallacies to this theory, one of which has recently touched me. All of my life I have been able to eat coarse grains without any problem and have included them in my storage. Recently as I get older, I have found that my body does not tolerate them as well as it used to. If I had not been using them as part of my normal diet, this could have come as a nasty surprise come TEOTWAWKI. But now I am able to make adjustments in my storage.
Many people are borderline intolerant to different types of whole grains and other foods, but are still storing them, being unaware of the problems they may face later. Not using your stored foods now can have an adverse effect on your health, when you discover that unexpected allergy.
A second prepping mistake is not learning to cook with these foods. Making meals from scratch requires more skill than just opening a package and heating your food. Things like learning to bake bread take practice. Even using prepackaged freeze-dried and dehydrated foods have a learning curve.
As you learn to cook with your stored foods, you also develop a feel for the amount of fuel you will need to cook. Many of the items we store require longer cooking times and you can develop alternative methods of cooking like solar stove and thermal retention cookers.
As anyone who has spent much time in the military will tell you Napoleon quoted that “an army marches on its stomach” is true. Good cooking improves morale, keeps you healthier and happier.
Using these foods in your regular diet also helps you to be aware of the need for rotation. You will spot items that are starting to deteriorate and need to be used or replaced. By using these food you will develop new skills and avoid many prepping mistakes.