How Much Food to Store From an Article by the Utah State University

How much food


The following is an article published by Utah State University Cooperative Extension on How Much Food to store.  This was published in 1995, but I believe it is still valid today.  Notice the strong emphasis on growing and preserving foods and how your storage will vary with the seasons.

How Much Food to Store

“Many families or individuals desire to maintain a 12-month supply of food.  Most food storage systems in Utah involve growing and preserving food at home from gardens and orchards.  Generally, these sources provide a major portion of foods to the storage systems between June and October.  Home meat supplies are most commonly obtained in the fall of the year when wild game seasons occur, and following pioneer traditions of slaughtering domestic animals during the cooler months to take advantage of natural refrigeration.

If you were to sample most Utah family food storage programs in November, about 45 percent would have adequate stores of food for one year. If the same families were resampled in May only 20 percent would still have a years supply on hand. Families which did not have a years supply in May had used food from storage and had no garden or orchard to replenish the supply during the winter months. For this reason, it is suggested that an 18 month supply be stored in order to maintain a 1 year supply of food. The extra 6 months supply of food would be available between December and June when most systems are at their lowest level.

Families that were resampled and still had a years supply in May did so because they never used food from their storage system.  We have analyzed over 10,000 food storage systems in Utah and found that many people are under the illusion that food lasts forever.  Their food storage systems are designed so that a years supply is purchased and stored until needed.  Consequently, they have some stored food that is 10, 20, and 25 years old. In view of what is known about shelf-life, these systems are quite wasteful and inefficient.

One pound of dry matter provides about 1600 calories of energy.  Because energy is the most critical item in a food storage program (it will prevent the baby from being hungry) it should be considered first.  Thus, dried beans, flour, wheat, rice, sugar, dried fruits or vegetables, pastas or dried skim milk all provide about 1600 calories per pound.  While 1600 calories will not adequately meet the energy needs of a hard-working large man, it will quiet hunger pangs for individual members of a family.  One pound of dry matter per person per day serves as a basis for a food storage program.  Generally, in Utah with our home gardens a family will supplement the dried products with fresh fruits and vegetables in a storage pit or cellar as well as canned or frozen fruits and vegetables”.

I hope the above article helps you to decide how much food to store.  If you have ever been to an LDS Food Storage Center, you will notice how the products they have for sale match up with the above article.


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