What do you have in your food storage? In the last few years, I have encountered people that have all kinds of different food storage plans. These include some of the following.
Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods
I have met people who have a long-term food storage consisting almost entirely of #10 cans of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods. Many of them have purchased these foods as a unit. The first thing to check is the calories per day. Many of these units are low in calories. If you have to work hard, you will require a higher number of calories than you do today. Check to make sure they contain real meat and not TVP. Some have purchased off brand products. Stay with a brand with a good reputation like Mountain House.
While some of the freeze dried and dehydrated foods are good products, there are some downsides to depending on them entirely. These include a limited number of menus. You have no control over the amounts of sugar and salt added. You have to have water to rehydrate every meal.
I encountered a man who stored a year’s supply of MREs. This is a recipe to disaster. The shelf life is short according to the latest information, about 3 years if stored at 70 degrees. The menus is limited, meals would rapidly become repetitious. The military advises against feeding them to troops for over 30 days. They cause you to be constipated. They are good to eat for short periods of time.
Bulk grains (wheat)
Storing large amounts of grain can be a problem. Depending too heavily on corn without knowing how to treat it can cause pellagra. It is estimated that up to 40% of the US suffers from mild to severe gluten allergies. A switch to an all grain diet would raise havoc with most people’s system. The advantages are that properly stored they have a great shelf life. They can be sprouted and if you eat a balance of the right grains they will provide you with adequate protein.
A long-term storage of all canned foods has some serious disadvantages. You have no control over salt and sugar intake. Shelf life may become a problem. Cans are heavy and bulky to store.
The solution is pretty simple, store a balance of all of the above. Grains, freeze dried, dehydrated foods and canned foods (including home canned). This gives you many options. You have control of your salt and sugar intake. There should be variety in your menus. Try not to change your diet any more than you have too. The big thing is not to buy into a one size fits all solution. Look at your food and see what type of menus you can plan.
I recently went to a potluck where everyone brought dishes made from their food storage. Afterwards I heard a lot of comments about how it made people stop and think. Some had a lot of food, but lacked the ingredients to make simple dishes. After a few days, some would have ended up living on mush. Try it at home with your own food storage and see how you do.
My recommendation is you store at least a good year’s supply, have as much variety as possible and grow a garden to supplement your food storage with fresh food..