Food Storage
    Most Americans take food  for granted. The majority of people today are no longer attached to the land and are totally out of touch with the rhythms of  Mother Nature. Ever since the 1940s, the bulk of the American population started moving away from involvement with the land, and away from personal participation in the annual cycle of putting up food for the coming winter months. It used to be that most of the population had gardens and canned food every year. This change represents a very brief exception in the longer span of human history. Since the public has not experienced a food shortage in recent history, they tend to take the welfare of the nation’s farmers for granted. A combination of bad weather and economic conditions has caused thousands of farmers to go under in the last several years. Farms are being sold to foreign countries and foreign individuals. Most food is no longer grown locally. This is a potentially vulnerable situation. What makes things even worse is that a lot of the food Americans eat today comes from outside of the U.S. We do not know how much insecticides or poisons are used in the planting and growing of these food plants.
    Prepared people will not only be able to take care of themselves, but also to help others. The next ten years may be a period of planetary resolution which will outsource our jobs,  food will become scarce, picture as a syndrome of natural disasters, disrupted weather patterns with attendant crop failures and political and social upheaval. The orderly mechanisms of our civilization are going to be put to the severest tests in recorded history. And though this will bring out the best qualities of self-sacrifice in many persons who rise to the challenge of the times, in general, it could be a period of increasing chaos and disintegration. One must remember that there are people that are willing to take your food supply by any means possible.
    Under normal circumstances, the warehousing system provides the consumer with a variety of foods at bargain prices, but as a result, at any given time, the average supermarket only has about 3 to 4 days worth of food in stock. Research and history have shown that most people do not prepare ahead of time. They usually wait until the last minute to prepare, even if they have received advanced warning. Instead, they start shopping when the snow starts falling, or when the hurricane is less than half a day away, or when the river is starting to overflow its banks. A survey concluded that the GDP never purchases food more than a few hours ahead of an expected emergency.
    A few hours before the storm hits, the GDP (General Dumb Public) rushes in and buys what they think they need—primarily bread and water. This is panic buying and is quite different from making preparations.   In the case of a nationwide food shortage, local communities would be placed in a desperate struggle to feed themselves. A government study undertaken back in the 1970s reinforced the potential for prolonged food shortages as a result of infrastructure disruption. This particular study focused on the effects of a nuclear war, and determined that far more Americans would die from starvation in the year following a nuclear attack than would die from the direct effects of the initial attack. It stands to reason that in a major man-made, technological or natural disaster, the government would implement food rationing whenever and wherever they could.
    Prepared people are not dependent people. In the event of a disaster they aren’t a burden on strained and inadequate government relief efforts. They take care of themselves and they also help others. People stocking up when there is abundance helps the farmers and the economy. More importantly, in the event that a real shortage occurs in the future, the fact that some people have stocked up will mean that fewer people will have to compete for the limited available supplies. Then why would the establishment be trying to put preparedness in a bad light? The reason is that dependence is conducive to control.
    The average American will gladly agree to a suspension of the U.S. Constitution if it means they are getting fed.  In this case, those who planned ahead and stocked up could retain their right to bear arms. You would not be reading this book if you did not already have an inner conviction that action must be taken to secure the physical well being of our families and community. We should stockpile food while time and availability remains. Also you should think of a good long gun or pistol for game and protection of your family from Terrorists. I personally don’t like eating my brothers on Mother Earth but The Great Spirit put them here for us to survive. They honor us by giving their lives so that we might survive. All should give thanks when you receive them or plants from Mother Earth.
    It is my recommendation that every family should stock up with a minimum of a six-month food reserve, and ideally, as much as a one-year food supply for each person in preparation for an extended disaster recovery. Don’t forget that buckets and cans eventually get empty. Don’t neglect to consider renewable food options if at all possible. Put away a quantity of non-hybrid garden seeds. Experiment with sprouting. If you live in a rural area, raising animals like chickens and goats will put you way ahead of the rest of the crowd. Not only will you have your own meat, eggs and milk; you will have extra food to barter with.
This section will address practical matters of food storage that have come to our attention in recent years by actual experience in this field. The information will cover both family and shelter long-term food storage programs.
    Ideally, a long-term food storage program should be designed to meet the specific needs of you and your family. The sooner you start the more prepared you will be. Use the guidelines in this article to determine what kind of program you need. If you simply want to purchase a food program, turn to  Get started now and don’t forget the can opener! P-38's can openers are great for each of the family.
    1. Start stocking up on foods that your family likes to eat and is used to eating regularly. Put a sheet of paper up on the refrigerator door and keep track of everything you use for a two-week period. This will give you a basic idea how much of what items you use in a month’s time.
    2. With each shopping trip, slowly start building up your reserve food stock. Buy one or two extra of non-perishable items that are canned or packed in airtight packages. Carefully examine the listed shelf life of each item. Don’t heavily stock up on an item that has a limited shelf life, and remember that these items need to be rotated on a yearly basis. When you get home, label your cans and packages with the purchase date. Rotate your stock so you are always using the oldest and keeping the newest. Set up some sort of inventory system so that items are replaced as they are used up. Ready-to-eat items are important such as canned meats or fish, dried fruit, nut butters and dry cereals.
    3. Stock up on paper goods: paper plates, trash bags, paper towels, moist towelettes, toilet paper, diapers and feminine supplies.
    4. Try to buy at the best prices possible. Get together with friends and neighbors to order case lots and bulk items.
    5. Store items carefully and in sealed containers if they are not already packaged. You will need sealed plastic buckets, tote containers or smaller new galvanized garbage cans with tight fitting lids to ensure that your bulk items are not subject to moisture, insects or mice. If containers are not food-grade, store food inside the container in a food-grade plastic bag. See “How to Store Your Food” for more information on containers.
    6. You can also supplement your pantry with freeze-dried or air-dried foods, MREs, and powdered milk and eggs.
    7. The best long-term storage option, if you can afford it, is to purchase a pre-made low-moisture food program that will get you through any scenario. These programs come in various configurations, volumes and price ranges. Their major advantage is that they are low-moisture, come packed in larger #10 cans, and the oxygen is removed from the can. These factors facilitate the longest possible shelf life. See “Basic Food Programs.”
    The importance of food becomes more apparent when you start totaling the quantity used over a year’s time. The average American eats over 1,400 pounds of food a year! This breakdowns to about:
• 370 pounds of fruits and vegetables
• 140 pounds of cereals
• 240 pounds of meat and fish
• 350 pounds of dairy products
• 350 pounds of other items
Nutritional Guidelines
    A balance of beans and grains can add both flavor and variety. Both are inexpensive and can provide complete proteins. Numerous grains are good substitutes for wheat including quinoa (pronounced keenwah), amaranth, spelt (a cousin of wheat) and kamut (an ancestor of wheat). Quinoa and amaranth have virtually no gluten and may be tolerated by those who cannot eat wheat. Although both spelt and kamut have gluten contents, they are apparently more easily tolerated by people with wheat allergies.
Kamut:   Kamut is an early ancestor of wheat that was used in ancient Egypt. Kamut has 20 to 40% more protein than modern wheat, and is noted for making excellent pastry, noodles, cereals and baked goods.
Spelt:  Spelt was the staff-of-life in early Europe. Its dehusked kernels were consumed as a whole grain staple food, gaining spelt the reputation as “the rice of Europe.” After nourishing Europe’s Golden Ages, spelt almost completely vanished. It has been re-discovered recently growing high up on the mountainsides of the Alps. Spelt is parent and ancestor to today’s modern wheat. It has a highly water-soluble fiber that dissolves easily for efficient nutrient assimilation. Spelt is richly supplied with nutrients, has a hearty nut-like flavor and is delicious used for baked goods, cereals, pastas, breads and flour.
Quinoa:  Quinoa is indigenous to South America and this grain like food has been cultivated in the Andes since at least 3000 BC. It was the mainstay of the Inca culture. Quinoa is high in protein, calcium and iron and is now grown in Colorado. Quinoa has a 15 to 20 year storage life when properly packaged in an oxygen-free environment. It can be cooked and served like rice or added to baked goods.
Amaranth:  Amaranth comes originally from the Aztecs and from China. It is a member of the pigweed family and is grown at lower altitudes than quinoa. Amaranth is rather tricky to cultivate but the tiny grains produce a flour used in making breads, cereal and pasta. Amaranth can also be cooked like rice and the grain has a strong, slightly bitter flavor.
Vitamins and Minerals:  One thing which long-term food storage tends to be deficient in is vitamins. Vitamin C, D and multi-vitamins are important supplements to a long-term storage diet. I personally take a Multi Vitamin. I purchase my from Purity. It is called Purity’s Perfect Multi. I has all the vitamins and herbs in it that you need. These vitamins are expensive but they are worth it. This is an especially important consideration for children since children’s bodies don’t store reserves of nutrients like adults’ do. Also, the situation or environment which would cause you to have to rely on your long-term food storage, in all likelihood, would bring with it considerable stress. Stress depletes vitamins and minerals in the body and is a major contributor to sickness and disease. Vitamins are another item which lose their potency, but they can be stored and rotated into daily use. Also, digestive supplements are a must! Most dehydrated food is difficult to digest and can create a lot of gas. This can make you fairly unpopular in a crowded shelter environment (it might even get you thrown outside).  Depending on your personal dietary preferences, you may want to vary the food quantities listed in the program, as well as supplement the program with additional vegetables, freeze-dried meat, sweeteners, oil and condiments.
Even the Office of Civil Defense recommends that you select familiar foods saying they are more heartening and acceptable during times of stress. Try Jell-O, puddings, tapioca and the makings of a pie. It may seem frivolous but you can help normalize an otherwise drab diet and take the attention off the grains and beans. It is hard to make radical dietary changes in what you eat overnight, and this is especially true for children. In some cases children have been known to starve rather than to eat unfamiliar food. So have a case of jam and some peanut butter to keep the kids from starving and combine your program with condiments, herbs, spices and seasonings that will brighten up your reserves. If your children are used to drinking milk, they might find the taste of nonfat powdered milk disagreeable. One alternative is a whey-based milk drink. This drink tastes very good, is loaded with vitamin and minerals and children like it. It can be substituted for milk in recipes.
Plan Ahead:  Plan the work and Work the Plan:  When a family or shelter group has their food storage program fully organized and rehearsed they can reap the tremendous advantage of not having to work out so many things during the actual crisis, when they are under stress. Pre-arranging and practicing your survival procedures, including food preparation, will allow for continuity of normal life and your ability to direct your attention to the most critical tasks at hand.  Collect the recipes you like the best into one place. A crisis situation does not lend to the cook trying out new recipes and more importantly, does not lend to the family trying to eat them. If you know what your family likes best, just make sure you have the recipes and ingredients needed to come as close to what they know and like as possible.  Have all the ingredients for your first week of emergency cooking laid out ahead of time. Try out some of the meals in advance. Plan a weekend cookout for family and friends. Last of all (or first of all) don’t forget a good can opener and a bucket opener for 5-gallon pails. At this time you can teach your children to identify editable plants or teach them to fish for food.
MREs (Meals Ready to Eat):   MREs or meals ready to eat were originally developed for the military. They are fully hydrated and precooked meals with the individual portion vacuum sealed in a foil laminate. You just drop the foil laminate packages in boiling water to heat or open the packaging and eat cold. MREs are especially applicable for grab and run emergency packs and situations where cooking and meal preparation is not feasible. They only last for about three years. MREs are loaded with sodium. So plan on drinking lots of water with them. Autopsies of soldiers in Viet Nam who subsisted on MREs for extended periods of time indicated that the high sodium content could contribute to serious health problems. They should not be relied on for extended periods of time, but they do have their place. Although they are expensive, you may want to consider supplementing your food program with freeze-dried meals. Rumor has it that the Navy Seals prefer freeze-dried meals to MREs. They don’t have an exceptional shelf life, but they are very tasty and easy to rotate into your daily diet. (Some may last up to eight years). They are easy to prepare, by adding hot or cold water, and in many cases, can be eaten as-is. They feature vegetable, chicken, turkey and beef entrées, side dishes, desserts and soups. There are numerous energy bars and emergency food ration bars on the market as well. They cannot be viewed as a long-term nutritional food source, but could be stocked in the trunk of your car or for emergency situations where you have no other source of a quick energy boost. In spite of all the innovations in food preserving and long-term storage, we unfortunately still have not seen the development of the freeze-dried pizza.
Renewable Food Sources: Self-Sufficiency Gardening, Livestock and Hunting:    I am personally not too optimistic about the idea of living out of #10 cans and 5-gallon buckets. Above and beyond appetite considerations, they are not renewable food sources. Gardens and small livestock should not be overlooked in terms of their additional importance. It’s a great idea to grow your own garden and/or a community garden every year and get in the habit of canning fruits and vegetables. Stockpile a five-year supply of canning lids and rings, jars and vinegar, and at least several years worth of non-hybrid garden seeds. A vegetable grown from a non-hybrid seed will produce seeds that can be planted and will yield vegetables the next year, enabling you to grow and save your own seeds.  Goats can pretty much live off the land. They can stay alive eating the bark off trees. I am not saying you will get the highest production and flavor of milk under these conditions, but they will survive when the cow has died for a lack of hay. Other renewable food sources such as sheep, chickens, rabbits, turkeys and bees might be considered as part of your long-term food program. Read more about self-sufficiency in The Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery. It is a wonderfully complete resource guide for everything you might want to know on these subjects. During the great depression of the 1930’s many people managed to stay alive and feed their families with wild game. Most Americans don’t know how to gut an animal let alone track one down and shoot it. Hunting is a skill and it takes time and experience to become proficient. If you have time and access, start hunting and develop some skill and familiarity. What may be recreation now could be a matter of survival in the future.
Sprouting:  Storing seeds and beans for sprouting is also highly recommended. Most of the food in your storage program is effectively dead. It will supply you with carbohydrates, some protein and sugar, but it is devoid of enzymes and vitamins. Sprouting is easy. Sprouts can be grown almost anywhere. They are packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins, live enzymes and fiber. Sprouts are also a source of antioxidants. In general, one-third cup of seeds will yield over a pound of fresh sprouted greens at a cost of 25 to 30 cents.  The following list gives an idea of what seeds and beans you might want to store for sprouting: alfalfa, broccoli, cauliflower, red clover, kale, mung beans, mustard, onion, radish, radish daikon, wheat.  Seeds store best in non-permeable plastic and each different kind should be stored separately, in a cool, dry, dark place. If you plan to sprout, store extra water for this purpose. If you haven’t tried sprouting before, now is a good time to start.
Live Food Supplements:  There are also numerous products on the health food market featuring dry powdered greens that will mix into water or juice to provide a highly nutritious drink. These include green kamut and green barley. These greens can also be combined with other powdered grains and vegetables to produce a dry “superfood” drink mix. These highly concentrated powders provide an excellent addition to your storage program.
Dehydrating:  You may want to consider dehydrating some of your own foods. Dehydrators can also be used to dry meats or make jerky. Home-dehydrated foods can be stored in ziplock bags or vacuum-seal jars. Be aware that home-dehydrated food is not as low moisture as commercially dehydrated food and will not have as long a shelf life.
Cookbooks for Food Storage:  Cooking with Home Storage, by Vicki Tate
How to Store Your Food: The cooler the storage environment, the longer will be the storage life of the food. Food stored in areas exposed to summer heat and temperature extremes will degenerate rapidly. Food stored in living areas of your home or shelter will be warmer than food stored in a cool, dark part of the house or in less-used areas of a shelter.  Identification of food containers is important. Contents and the date of packaging should be clearly marked. The owner’s name should also be on each box, can or bucket, if more than one party is sharing storage space.  Be organized! Place food into storage according to a workable plan. If the cook can’t find the food, what good is it? Whatever the scenario  that would require use of food stores or cause people to take shelter, food can be one of the most comforting and normalizing elements for everyone. The cook is one of the most important people you have and must be given all assistance possible to prepare satisfying meals.  This means a kitchen and storage area intelligently planned out, food that is accessible, an accurate inventory, a pre-planned menu and reasonable privacy for the cook to work in. Post a map in the kitchen of where all the food is stored, so that if more than one person is cooking, everything is findable.
Packaging and Containers:  Every family and group should consider how their food is packaged and stored. Since no one knows exactly when they will have to utilize their food storage program, it needs to be protected from oxidation, moisture, rodents and insects—possibly for years. This can only be accomplished if the food is properly packaged for long-term storage. No packaging is a formula for disaster. People who have stored food in their shelters in burlap, plastic or paper bags or in cardboard boxes have always regretted their decision. I have seen numerous instances of mice infesting food storage tanks. In one case, mice destroyed thousands of pounds of bagged grains. This has happened even though there was not a perceptible source of water for the mice. In this particular instance, attempts were made to kill the mice by fumigating the tanks with carbon dioxide. Once the mice were killed, the next job was disposing of the dead mice, collecting the spilled grain, perhaps also separating out the droppings from the kernels, and maybe eventually doing something about the smell.  The other problem is the presence of ground water seeping into some underground storage areas. Direct contact with water causes paper bags to rupture and spill, then the grains will mold, rot or ferment. Do not underestimate the amount of moisture in the ground! That moisture, if it finds its way into the storage area, will raise the humidity, soften the paper bags, and begin to spoil the unprotected food. Ripped bags and spilled grain are a certainty when damp or weakened bags get moved around.
Shape and Size of Containers:  Containers need to be manageable in weight. Most people can handle a 5-gallon plastic bucket full of grain, or a case of six metal #10 cans, but find a 6-gallon bucket a bit too heavy. Shape is particularly important, especially in shelters, because it relates to the efficient use of that precious underground space.  By far the most efficient container available is the 5-gallon rectangular metal tin. Because it has no taper and no rounded edges, it allows nearly 100 percent of available storage space to be utilized. A 5-gallon rounded plastic bucket wastes almost 40 percent of that available space. The tins are, however, a lot more difficult to handle than buckets because they don’t have handles. Cases of #10 cans are nearly as space- efficient as the rectangular tins.  There is no perfect food storage container on the market. The perfect container would be airtight, easy to open and close, hard as steel, rustproof, stack nicely in use, and nest within itself when not in use. It would also be inexpensive, have a comfortable carrying handle, have several sizes and finally, be rectangular and without a taper for space efficiency. Short of perfection, one should choose the most practical container based on the circumstances at hand. Following is a brief comparison of plastic buckets, metal tins and metal #10 (3/4 gallon) cans.
Plastic 5-gallon Buckets:  The plastic round buckets are the least expensive, they don’t rust and they come in two standard sizes, 5 and 6 gallon. They are easy to carry, commonly available and they will nest when not in use. Plastic buckets stack fairly well but they can only be stacked 3 to 4 buckets high depending on the weight of their ingredients. They are 95% rodent proof. In some instances, rats and ground squirrels have gnawed through the sides of buckets. Plastic buckets tend to be hard to open and the lids may be damaged when the bucket is opened without a bucket opener tool. Due to their shape, round buckets tend to waste storage space.  Plastic buckets cost more to ship via UPS. United Parcel Service charges an extra $3 per bucket, above and beyond the relevant weight and zone charge, as a special handling charge. Some suppliers have reverted to shipping round plastic buckets in specially made boxes to get around this extra UPS charge. I usually purchase my white plastic buckets at a bakery or at a restaurant that usually cooks for a large amount of people. You can usually get for $1.00 per pail.
Metal 5-gallon Rectangular Tins:  Metal 5-gallon rectangular tins are by their shape space efficient. They are also airtight, rodent proof, stack well in block, and easy to open. But these containers are more expensive, harder to carry, less available, dent easily, only come in one size, are subject to rusting and they won’t nest when empty.
#10 Metal Cans:  The #10 metal can is the easiest container size to handle (3/4 gallon). This container is fairly space-efficient and due to its small size, is the best container for dehydrated fruits and vegetables. The #10 metal can is the most airtight long-term food storage container. Cases (cardboard boxes holding six cans) stack beautifully. It is the best size for kitchen use, and allows vacuum-packaging. This container is the most expensive option. It also requires a mechanical can closer to crimp the lid on the can. This makes it a little harder to use them for do-it-yourself canning.
55 Gallon Steel Drums:  Beekeepers use a variation of a 55 gallon steel drum that has a removable top lid and a food grade interior coating for storing honey. These drums can be purchased for a price ranging from $12.50 to $20 each. They are particularly handy for storing large volumes of wheat and beans. The down side of these containers is they are hard to move and transport when full, although it might make it harder for the authorities to cart it off. Anyhow, locate the nearest commercial beekeeper and if he doesn’t have any spare ones to sell, he can put you onto a source for these barrels. Also remember if you have to leave in a hurry then you will have to leave some of your food storage behind.
Protection and Preservation of Contents:  Most long-term storage foods have a moisture content of 10 percent or less. This is sufficient to prevent the growth of mold. These dry foods will tend to pick up additional moisture from the air, which will decrease their stability (shelf life). A major goal of packaging for storage then is to keep the dry foods dry. Suitable moisture-resistant containers accomplish this.
A second challenge is to prevent rodent damage and insect invasion. Since a determined rodent can gnaw through plastic, metal containers are best for extended storage. To control insects, first procure grains and seeds that have been cleaned to USDA standards for No. 1 grain.  This will greatly reduce but may not eliminate infestation already present.  To completely control insects in food requires fumigation by the inert gases of nitrogen or carbon dioxide. Whenever the oxygen in the container is flushed out by one of these gases, the living insects inside will smother from lack of oxygen. Carbon dioxide, unlike nitrogen, is also toxic to insects if present in high enough concentration.  A simple solution has just come to light. Five dry bay leaves in a 6 gallon bucket of grains or beans will prevent insect infestation—apparently the bugs just don’t like them.
Diatomaceous Earth:   I personally use this in my food storage. I have used it for many years and it always works and you don’t have to worry about eating it.  Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a marine deposit that is mined from the earth, ground up into a fine, talc-like consistency, and used by many farmers to prevent insect infestations in silo-stored grain. Microscopic marine creatures called diatoms formed these deposits millions of years ago. The silica shells of diatoms are extremely abrasive to insects, scratching off the protective waxy coating on their shells, thereby killing the insects from dehydration of body fluids. DE works as well in buckets as it does in grain silos and is completely non-toxic to humans and animals. Favored by natural farmers over chemical fumigation of silos, it is an inexpensive method for those packaging their own food. Few commercial suppliers of storage foods are aware of DE and none are selling products treated with it.
Freeze-Drying vs. Air-Drying :  Freeze drying is a process in which a raw or cooked food item is flash-frozen, then placed in a vacuum chamber in which the moisture in the food is drawn off. This is a sophisticated method that relatively few processors have the equipment to accomplish. It is a super way to preserve food, but the products are more expensive than air-dried foods. Some dried foods are only available in freeze-dried form, including meats.  Freeze-dried foods cook much faster than air-dried. Freeze-dried green peas, for example, need only boiling water poured over them and they are ready to eat in about 5 minutes. Air-dried peas must be cooked in boiling water for about 20 minutes. That’s a lot more cooking fuel! Air-dried dehydrated foods are less expensive than freeze-dried. Air-drying causes the foods to shrink, making it possible to put more food in a can. Hence, air-dried foods take less storage space—as much as 75 percent for some items. Air-drying is something that a homemaker can do oneself. It is fun but time consuming.
Commonly Asked Questions:  How long will dehydrated food store if I do not open the can?
The chart on the accompanying page outlines basic guidelines for life expectancy of basic food ingredients, but the question is not an easy one to answer. It depends on how the food was packaged and the conditions under which it is being stored. Very little scientific testing has been done to determine shelf life. It appears nevertheless that a storage life of 5 years can be expected for 95 percent of the storage foods, with minimal care.  Ideal storage is in a dry area that can be maintained in the 40 degree range. Since this is impossible for most of us, 50 to 70 degrees is acceptable but will shorten shelf life. Any higher temperatures are sure to eat rapidly into the shelf life of your food stores. It is good to store your food on north walls, close to the floor, in root cellars, in basements without heaters, or even under the house if it is always dry.  Some foods are more sensitive than others. Active dry yeast, butter powder, powdered cheese may need to be replaced after a few years, and some oils even before that. If liquid vegetable oils are stored, they should be checked for rancidity after one year. Monounsaturated oils with high oleic acid content, like olive oil and canola oil, have a naturally higher resistance to rancidity than other oils. Dehydrated oily products also have a relatively shorter shelf life. These include butter and margarine powders, and to a degree, powdered milk.  How long will the food keep after I have opened the can?  Freeze-dried foods (meats, fruits or vegetables) can be stored for up to two or three months, if care is taken to always keep a plastic lid on, and if the can is stored in a cool, dry place. Other low moisture foods should have a minimum storage after opening of four months or more.
     One thing to consider when looking for a food program is the whole issue of calories and protein. According to the American Red Cross, the average male adult uses up to 3,000 calories and 70 grams of protein a day. Packages that only supply 900 to 1,200 calories per day are most likely a starvation diet. Also look at the quality of the calories and protein. Does the food package get the bulk of its calories from white sugar and does it contain inexpensive soy based protein. The better programs will contain honey and real freeze dried meat.   Most food storage programs leave it to you to put together the condiments and seasonings that you need. However, here’s an actual adjunct package offered to supplement a 12-month food storage program:  Lemon extract, vanilla extract, mustard, apple cider vinegar, tapioca, allspice, basil, bay leaf, caraway seed, cardamom, cayenne, celery seed, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, curry, dill weed, garlic powder, ginger powder, Italian seasoning, mint, mustard powder, nutmeg, onion powder, oregano, paprika, parsley, black pepper, white pepper, poppy seeds, poultry seasoning, rosemary, sage. I have a lot of these herbs on my website.
What equipment do I need?
1. The can opener and bucket opener Always get some P-38 to use.
You’ve already heard this quite a few times, but your food storage program will be quite ineffective if you are not able to open your cans and buckets!
2. Grain mills
Most one-year food programs come with an inexpensive hand mill. Try grinding wheat in one of these Corona handmills. You won’t have to pump iron anymore. If you can afford it, invest in a good hand mill. Since the bulk of most long-term food programs is made up predominately of grain, it is very important to have some sort of non-electric means of turning grain into flour and meal.
3. Pressure cooker/Cookware
A pressure cooker is a must! Pressure cooking cooks food with the least expenditure of energy. It also cooks things faster, by as much as 30%, and it is one of the best ways to rehydrate dehydrated foods. In addition, a pressure cooker helps retain nutrients in your food. Pay a little more and get a pressure cooker made of stainless steel. The established medical and scientific community is just starting to acknowledge the long-term health dangers of cooking in aluminum pots. Do not use Teflon cookware.
5. The microwave
Even if electricity is available, forget the microwave. It destroys the value of the food. The U.S. Navy did a study on a ship where half the crew was having noted increase in sickness. What the study revealed was that the half of the crew that was prone to sickness ate in the second meal shift which had all of their food reheated in microwave ovens.
The Worst Case Scenario
Rationing, Hiding and Hoarding:  The whole concept of hoarding assumes public ownership or communism. If you personally purchased food, it is, in fact, private property. Also, in order to have hoarding you have to have a shortage. People who stock up ahead of time when there is no shortage are not hoarders. People who wait till the last minute and then try and strip the store shelves of food are hoarders. Procrastination and denial are the root causes of hoarding. Nonetheless, don’t have all your eggs in one basket. In the event of a national emergency, Executive Order 10998 would empower the president to take over all food resources and farms. This means the National Guard could come and confiscate your food reserves with the exception of whatever they considered to be a two-week food supply. Reports from some U.S. military participants in Fort Polk 1995 Partnership for Peace exercises indicated that one of the training scenarios involved an operation against a group of people who had committed the crime of hoarding food. Hide a substantial portion of your food in a secret, secured location. If they can’t find it, they can’t take it!  Anti-Hoarding Laws are on the books and do not specify what constitutes a national emergency. This means that specifics on hoarding are left up to the states. There are anti-hoarding references under Title 50 War and National Defense, Section 2072. After the legalese is eliminated, it says that no one shall accumulate goods in excess of “reasonable amounts” for business, personal or home consumption, which could become scarce, “goods” to be designated by the President. Penalties for doing so may result in fines of not more than $10,000 and/or one year imprisonment.  The government previously maintained food reserves to feed the population in the event of a national emergency, but these reserves for the most part have been liquidated. Much of our wheat reserves were sold to the Soviets, paid for with loans from New York banks. In 1977 the Soviet government completed a five-year food storage project which provides their entire population with 2 pounds of grain per person per day for 300 days. Most of that wheat came from the U.S. All things considered, I would not in any way feel guilty or unpatriotic about not wanting to give up my food reserves. Most people make great sacrifices and do without certain luxuries in order to obtain food reserves. At the same time, the rest of the population was spending their money on trips to Las Vegas, vacations and new cars.
Access:  Most of your food storage should be kept in a well hidden, temperature-stable location. Two to four weeks worth of food needs to be immediately accessible. Unless your food is accessible when needed, it is of no value. Organization and inventory are part of accessibility. When locating an adequate storage site, the actual amount of cubic storage space required needs to be pre-determined. In general a basic one-year, one person, low-moisture long-term food supply requires roughly 15 cubic feet of storage space. If the food is for a fallout or underground shelter, remember that space inside a shelter is valuable and expensive. Less expensive structures and/or tanks can be constructed outside or adjacent to the actual shelter space that will adequately store food.  When storing large amounts of food inside a confined storage area, space utilization realities may necessitate brick stacking in a block. Containers in the back of the pile end up being virtually inaccessible. But in this type of storage circumstance, with a little more planning and effort, you can carefully organize the stacking so that you will “eat your way” progressively into the pile.  Defending food from theft may become an issue in the future. Food stored in or adjacent to your home or shelter in most cases will be easier to defend. Food left in unlocked outbuildings may become a tempting object of theft in the event of food shortages. Food properly buried outside in a non-obvious manner is not likely to be noticed or stolen. But the more hidden the food, the more difficult it may end up being to retrieve. If excavation is needed to uncover a food storage cache, that activity might attract attention at a bad time. It also might not be feasible if the ground is frozen or heavy equipment is not available.  When burying food, it is wise not to put it directly into the ground (in buckets or cans for example), but rather to put it inside a larger tank, concrete cistern old wells or other containers. The reasons for this are that round plastic buckets are not absolutely waterproof or airtight, despite conventional theories to the contrary. Ground moisture will infiltrate the container eventually, thus spoiling the food. Also, small containers lack the strength to withstand the weight of vehicles on top. Heavy downward pressure causes containers to crush, split and rupture. Digging up a storage cache will be a lot harder than burying it and you will probably have to dig up the entire cache in order to find the particular container you want.  I personally have enough food to last me for about 6 months, mine consists of MRE’s Canned Food, Water, Water Purifier, Ammo, Wpns Navigation Equipment,  Trade Goods and many other things. Survival is not Mandatory. You can always turn tail and run to the enemy whether it be foreign or domestic terrorists. Who knows what colors their uniform will be but rest assured if they are hungry they will want to take your provisions. Take Care and try to take care of your family.
Wa Do Do na da go hvi  (Thank You Good Bye) Walks with Hawks

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