Monday, October 1, 2012

Food Storage Article from Guest Author

The following article is from a guest author Lee Flynn

Getting Food Storage Off Your Shelves and Onto Your Dinner Table

A depressed economy and turbulent environment are just two factors that have recently led to a heightened interest in food storage. It seems that now, more than ever before, people are conscious of the possibility that catastrophe (in any one of its ugly forms) could strike at any moment. While it probably isn’t good for your mental or emotional health to live in fear from day to day, it is certainly a good idea to prepare the best you can in case things do take a turn for the worst. And food storage is certainly one of the fundamental ways that you can be prepared.
Building a good supply of food storage requires a lot more than just buying excess food. Acquiring and maintaining your food storage can be simple but it does require effort and persistence in order to ensure that you prepared for tomorrow, next month, or two years from now.
The most obvious and essential item to begin with when building your food storage is water. Experts suggest that adults should drink around 2.5 liters of fluid per day (while any fluid will do, water is the cheapest and safest to store for extended periods of time without refrigeration) so you will want to ensure you have plenty stored away. Grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats and beans should be the staples of your food storage. Flour, rice, and macaroni are easy to find in large quantities and will last for a long time. Dried fruits and vegetables, powdered milk, yogurt bites, and freeze-dried cheeses, as well as dried beans and freeze dried meats will ensure you have the basic food groups covered.
Once you have a well-balanced and well-stocked food supply you are not going to want to just forget about it until disaster strikes. The immediate value of food storage is more than just peace of mind – there are plenty of ways to utilize your food storage every day so make the most of your investment by putting it to use often. Plus, constantly using items from your food storage and then replacing them will provide a nice rotation that helps to keep your supply fresh.
Using food storage daily can be easy, will save you money and should never mean that you have to compensate for taste. There are dozens and dozens of recipes out there that can help you get food storage off your shelves and onto your dinner table without your family even knowing that the ingredients came from your food store. You can probably even find a number of full and varied recipe books that are centered entirely on using food storage as ingredients for meals. There really is an impressive variety so you’ll have to do a little research of your own if you are looking to make a specific dish. That being said, there are some simple ways that you can use standard food storage items as fillers for common ingredients that are called for in a lot of recipes—using beans instead of butter or oil is one example.
If you’ve built up your supply of food storage correctly then you will most likely have a good supply of beans, whether they are pinto, black or white. Many people aren’t aware that you can use beans as a replacement for oil or butter in many of your desserts. In addition to being much cheaper, beans provide additional fiber and protein so they are actually healthier too. And no, they won’t make whatever you are preparing taste like beans (they may influence texture, however, so if you want a chewy texture for cookies etc. you may want to do half beans and half butter/oil). Here are the basic things you’ll want to keep in mind when substituting beans in these recipes:
-If the recipe calls for butter you will use cooked, dried beans. If the recipe calls for oil you will use bean purée (beans blended to a liquid).
-Match measurements and match colors. If a recipe calls for ½ cup of butter, use ½ cup of beans. If you are making chocolate cake, use black beans. If you are making a white cake, use white beans.
-Follow the recipe just as if you were using oil or butter. If it asks that you add the oil in the first step, add the bean purée in the first step.
This is just one simple way that you can use the food storage items you already have to supplement your meals on a day-to-day basis. Utilizing food storage consistently is more affordable and, in many cases, more healthy. And if you do it right, your family won’t even know the difference. Take some time to look into recipes that specifically call for food storage items, you may even come across your new favorite dish.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lee Flynn is a freelance writer and expert in long-term food storage and emergency preparedness.


  1. How long would you survive in an emegency situation, Becky, with the food you have set aside? We can't count frozen foods because they rely on the presence of electricity, which would be the first to disapear in the catastrophe. Should people plan to have enough food for a week? A month? A year? More importantly I think they should know how to make food from anything that is available - for instance I don't envisage baking cakes in a "Survival" situation, and I think I would end up eating some stuff that I would normally dismiss as inedible or at least unpalatable. More people should be aware of the potential of foraging for wild food.

    1. This is why I am a "self sufficientist" and not a "prepper". I do have some food stored though not nearly as much as in the author's picture but enough so that we could survive 6-8 months if we were careful (it is debatable that we would be careful though since no one thinks a power outage will last forever). However, if you count the food out in the yard, I have quite a bit more. I, too believe we would not care how wonderful our meals were as long as we were eating (people who think storing "comfort" foods are important I think are crazy-use that space more rice!). I am not as good with foraging here but could probably live off the chickweed in the yard for some time, lol. The problem with foraging here is that there really aren't a lot of edibles at one time. Georgia is dry- a LOT. Berries don't grow well here and neither do a lot of other wild edibles most people think of. Oh there are some but I think you would be hard pressed to live off them. I do still want to learn more though.

  2. My friends used to joke if we had an emergency they would come to my house because I could feed them. I didn't do it for survival though. I had hungry kids and it was cheaper and less work to buy in bulk. Now that the kids are gone my pantry is much smaller and mostly filled with thing preserved from the garden. The one thing I'd have to have to survive though would be my meds (I have very bad allergies and asthma). So in a long emergency I won't need food. I'll already be gone. Though I could probably teach my friends how to build a rocket stove so I'd be useful before I died.

    My past is another story. I grew up in the mountains of Colorado and my father was a survivalist. He had enough stored for the family for a year and knew how to protect it. He was a hunter and assumed any meat we would need, he could get. My job was to find any edibles in the wild (our backyard was a national forest). Most of what my father stored was grains, dried milk, honey, and salt. He didn't store flour because he didn't consider white flour food and whole grain flour doesn't keep. But grains keep. We had two grinders. One that was powered so we could rotate through the grain stock from year to year. The other was a whole heck of a lot of work for a little bit of flour. But useful if we ever had an emergency. I so hated milk growing up. Powdered milk tastes just horrible. And if you buy it you have to rotate through it. It might be fine for cooking but for drinking I just couldn't.

  3. Timely post.... Mark asks good questions, and Daphne's father showed good strategey. I guess in the end it comes down to how much risk are we willing to bear, for ourselves and our families. Being able to do for ourselves, and having some food put up, reduces the amount of resources we would use up or engage in a time of need, freeing those for others who are not as self sufficient and / or prepared. I thinks it makes us good neighbors.

  4. like you becky, i also consider myself more of a "self sufficentist" rather than a prepper...i always stay well stocked with foods that we will eat...and other things that we may need in the case of no fuel, electricity etc...i can grow food, i can butcher, i can sew quite well, i can use all of my husbands tools, so on and so forth...i am quite self sufficient and self reliant.

  5. Sorry all, the links on the bottom are now working so check out the author and that great emergency preparedness site!

  6. Great information here and in the comments! Thanks for the perspective and for a new blog to check out :-)

  7. Hi Becky! Thanks for sharing this informative article. I really enjoy reading your blog because your are so down to earth and real! I've learned a lot about self sufficiency from you. Thanks for all you do and sharing it with your readers! Blessings from Bama!