It’s amazing to me that with the number of people who got exercised over Y2K and accumulated buckets full of rice and beans that we don’t have more emphasis on emergency food supplies in face of Peak Everything. If we had a gasoline crisis like the one in ‘73 the supermarket shelves would be empty in about three days. It’s prudent to store some extra food. There is, in fact, lots of information available on the web through articles and Youtube videos on how to store food. I have watched a ton of them. The LDS Church has long advocated that their members store food for long-term emergencies and they are experts at it. They are also in the business. The big emergency food outlets are in Utah.
There are lots of ways to store food and water. This blog post will be about food.
A cheap starter set for food storage is Costco’s “Food for Health Emergency Food Kit” available on their website for $89.99.
This includes 275 of such items as potato soup, barley soup, whey milk and blueberry pancake. The reviews point out that the items are vegetarian and tasty, but high in sodium and low in calories. This kit is such a good buy ($.32 per serving) that it’s a no brainer.
Canned foods also keep for a long, long time and provide lots of variety. Buy your favorites by the case. The Islander occasionally puts in bulk orders through Mountain People and you can pick up your cases right at the store.
Bulk storage of grains, beans, pasta, etc. is very popular and the method of storing them is a bit tedious. However, if you do it right the food should keep for a long time.
Five gallon food grade storage buckets with a sealable lid are the recommended container. You can buy these from outfits like Emergency Essentials. If you visit Emergency Essentials you will notice that you can buy five gallon containers of just about anything you want in the category of bulk food. However, it’s hard for a family of two or four to crack open five gallons of pinto beans and figure out what to do with them.
We bought a bunch of five gallon containers and sacks of various grains and beans and packed them then realized that unless we were going to open a summer camp we couldn’t use them this way.
We had to repack our buckets using portions that were equivalent in size to what we would purchase on a normal trip to the grocery store. As an example, our food storage buckets have a couple pounds each of the following: beans, flour, pasta, oatmeal, polenta, brown rice, quinoa, couscous, etc. When we crack open a bucket it’s sort of like bringing home a bag of groceries from the store.
Here’s what you need to pack a five gallon container of food for long-term storage:
Food Saver and bags. The cheapest model works just fine. People can share them. You don’t use one very often.
Plastic buckets like these.
Put mylar bag in the bucket. Vacuum seal your foodstuff in approximately two pound portions (or in proportion to how you normally use them). Drop a couple oxygen absorbers in the bucket. Fill the mylar bag lined bucket with vacuum sealed foods. Drop in a couple more oxygen absorbers. Attempt to seal the mylar bag with the vacuum sealer (tricky). Seal the lid. Store in a cool place.
Islanders need to have food put by. With dried food, canned food, bulk food, garden food and wild food to supplement the chickens and the eggs we could survive for awhile.