Types of Food to Stock Up On
I sometimes have people in my survival courses who confide that their emergency food storage consists of 6 months of MREs or a 30-day supply of Ramen Noodles.
There’s nothing wrong with having the above chow on hand in limited quantity. I carry a few MREs in my truck for a roadside emergency but I sure don’t want to live off such synthetic stuff for a couple of months. I also know that the color will drain out of my kids’ faces if they are ever confronted with an MRE again. Save this “food” for the Bug-out Bag and invest in items that you normally eat at home until you have at least a 7-30 day supply.
There are 3 areas to plan for:
Dried Goods- rice, oats, lentils, millet, beans, green peas, brown sugar, coffee, tea, pasta, flour, dried soup mixes, wheat and barley to name some of what we have in storage. Personally, I have lived on rice and lentils for dinner and oats for breakfast for up to 21 days straight on long-term wilderness treks and my body did extremely well. Rice and lentils provides a complete protein and plenty of carbs. Tabasco was a good friend with such an unchanging menu.
Canned Goods- Stock up on your favorites by purchasing 3 cans more of what you normally eat on each trip to the grocery store. In our household, we have the following on hand: corn, pinto and black beans, green beans, pumpkin (great for mixing into pancakes and muffins), pineapple, tuna, diced tomatos, ham, chicken, tuna, pears, and squash.
Dehydrated and Freeze-Dried Food- My advice is to go to an outdoor gear shop and purchase a few of the different brands of dehydrated meals first before investing in a few hundred bucks of SHTF supplies that may have a considerable gag factor. These meals are also intended for people who exert themselves (backpacking, canoeing, etc… ) and need to replace lost salts so some of the meals contain up to 56% sodium.
Mountain House and AlpineAire can both be found at outdoor gear shops. Walton Feed and Wise Foods also sell high-quality items such as dehydrated veges and even canned butter. Most these brands have a shelf-life of 5 years and require a cup or two of boiling water to rehydrate. Again, sample things and see what tastes good, especially if you’re planning on living on these for a few months. Strive for a minimum supply of food for 7 days and then work up to more if your budget and storage abilities allow for it.