Food StorageFeb 28th, 2011 | By admin | Category: Getting Ready
Why store food? In biblical times food was stored during years of abundant harvest for those years when food was scarce. This wise practice has continued through the ages even to present day. Storing food makes good economic sense too! In the 1930’s America was faced with the Great Depression, soup lines and massive unemployment. In those days, many city dwellers returned to the family farm and produced their own food. Instead of storing food they moved to the food.
Weather: Alaskans and the snow-belt residents know how weather can affect their daily lives. Growing seasons, snow, blizzards and frost affects how their food gets to market. We are also starting to see extreme summer heat and drought affecting crops. That Little extra food supply, set aside, could keep you off that icy highway and safe at home.
Delivery disruption: a fuel shortage, trucker or long shore man strike would affect food that’s delivered “Just in Time”. This type of warehousing rotates food so that nothing too old is sold (as long as everything works, it’s great!) However on little glitch and the whole system could grind to a halt. The “Just in Time” method has reduced the warehousing of products at the actual store. 2 to 3 days of stock is all the store has at any given time. The trucks arrive with new products “Just in Time” to restock the shelves.
Power shortages: some experts believe that the U.S. will not be able to meet its future electrical power needs; we do not know how that would affect the harvesting, processing and distribution of food. But we all agree it will be a disaster.
Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, tsunami, firestorms and floods, even infrastructure failure: Landslides, sink holes, a bridge collapse can all disrupt food delivery. Given the option of competing with any of these events, or using your food storage until the situation is resolved, which is the most rational decision?
During the L.A. Riots, martial law was imposed. It was hard to get to the market and the lines at the register reached to the back of the store for what remained on the shelves. During any type of an epidemic or pandemic, or even another riot, shopping could be exasperating if not life threatening.
War: Hard to even imagine a country attacking the U.S. If they did, it would disrupt food production, delivery and increase consumption. If war breaks out in an oil producing country, fuel cost and production would be greatly affected. We are experiencing this now with the instability in Lybia.
Nuclear attack: A nuclear explosion anywhere in the world would contaminate food or fuel resulting in large shortages. The mass of displaced people fleeing the fallout would certainly disrupt society on many levels; transportation, food production, distribution and consumption to name a few.
Long term food storage options include:
Freeze-dried food. By far the lightest and the one of the easiest to prepare. This food is available in convenient pouches that you add to boiling water to rehydrate. Stores for 3 to 4 years and is outstanding for backpacking or a “grab and go bag”, sometimes called a “bug outTo leave for a more secure position. i.e. Survival Retreat, Neighbors, etc. bag” or “pack”. Factor in extra water and some way to heat it.
Meals-Ready-To-Eat or MREMeal Ready to Eat’s are next. They have replaced the old “C” rations eliminating the weight of cans and adding a longer storage life. Storage of up to 7 years, depending on temperature. No water or can opener needed.
Commercial Canned Goods: Easy to buy and reasonable priced. Large variety of Fruits, vegetables, meats and fish are available. Storage is approximately 2 years. You will need a can opener, pot to cook in and a heat source.
Dehydrated or Air Dried Food: Stores very well and is reasonably priced in bulk. Common food items are beans, rice and wheat which store the longest. Mylar storage bags, plastic pails, gamma seal lids and oxygen absorbers extend the insect free storage time. Dehydrated food requires significant amounts of water to clean, soak and prepare and a stable heat source. Dehydrated food is a good choice for home based storage, but is not recommended for a “bug outTo leave for a more secure position. i.e. Survival Retreat, Neighbors, etc.” kit.
Home Grown: Your garden can provide much needed vegetables and fruits. Use these to supplement your food storage program. Growing herbs can also help break the monotony of flavors you will experience if you have to use your food storage for an extended period of time.
All of these for mentioned options are readily available at the present. I personally purchase extra canned goods for my storage every time I shop. As my budget permits I go to “Smart and Final” a smaller warehouse type store in southern CA, and purchase #10 cans of beans and the like. I like to keep a fair amount of MREMeal Ready to Eat’s on hand. These are great in a pinch, especially if the situation dictates that I keep moving. I purchase MREMeal Ready to Eat’s at a somewhat local Surplus store called Major Surplus & Survival in Gardena, CA. You can also shop on-line at http://www.majorsurplus.com. They also sell Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, plastic pails and other necessary products for storage. I will also be making my first trip to the Mormon Cannery very soon. This is a public service they provide. You do the work, and they sell you the items at cost. They have staff on hand to train you on using the equipment efficiently and safely. You can find the nearest cannery here. Call ahead and confirm if that cannery has an appointment available for a non-member. They will introduce you to a member
One of the biggest benefits to storing food is, You purchase a #10 can of beans for $5.00. Three years later when you open that can to rotate into your everyday cooking; the replacement is now $7.00 due to inflation. So you save $2.00 by not buying it and consuming it.
Come up with a good labeling and dating system for your food. This way you will not run past expiration dates, and you can use this food before it expires.