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This Thursday, May 26th at 7 pm central, I will be LIVE on The 21st Century Homekeeper Radio Show on the Be Prepared Radio Network discussing the whys and hows of real food storage. Stay tuned for details.
Also on Thursday, our eBook on food storage will debut. This book will contain a general overview of Food Storage and over 200 recipes. Check the blog on Thursday for more information.
Our Real Food Storage series continues today with part three. Today we discuss the main pitfall people encounter when they being setting up a food storage program, sources for bulk buys and more on what to store.
Variety is Paramount
Why don’t I recommend you rush out and buy 100 pounds of rice and 100 pounds of pinto beans at one time? I often hear people new to food storage say, “Well, if anything happens, at least we’ll have beans and rice for a few months.” If you have a job loss in the household or the death of the family’s main income earner, going from your normal diet to nothing but beans and rice will be a very difficult and demoralizing problem. It will also likely cause digestive complaints and lack of appetite.
Hungry People Can Have No Appetite
That lack of appetite can be devastating on a child’s growth and an adult’s ability to work and think clearly. Appetite fatigue often leads to weight loss, physical exhaustion, foggy thinking and low morale. It strikes children and the elderly before adults. It is better to have a little of everything your family considers normal, with plenty of spices for interest. This will allow you to make varied meals instead of having the same meal repeatedly or with little variety for a long period of time.
How to Find a Variety in Bulk
If you have the extra funds available to buy in bulk without sacrificing having a variety of foods on hand, by all means buying in cases or 25 to 100-pound bags is a good way to save money.
Tropical Traditions, Wilderness Family Naturals, Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs, Frontier, Bobs Red Mill and other online stores are a good way to obtain needed items. Buying clubs, co-ops such as Azure Standard and UNFI, salvage houses, warehouses such as Sam’s Club and Costco and ethnic food stores also offer buying opportunities that will save significantly over the prices of buying small amounts at one time.
Ask around to your local friends who bake their own bread and find out where they buy their grains. There are many small co-ops for grain companies or suppliers like Dutch Valley Foods that women run out of their own homes.
Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box in obtaining needed items, such as ethnic markets, salvage houses and places you do not normally shop for food. Our local Asian market sells tapioca flour for less than $1 a pound while the local health food store carries it for $2.49 a pound. Their rice is also significantly cheaper than any other local source. The wholesale area at the local Farmer’s Market can provide bulk buying opportunities for root cellar vegetables, apples and produce of all types to freeze or can. The local salvage sometimes has 50-pound bags of sucanat for 79 cents a pound. Our local farmer’s market has 50-pound bags of potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, cabbage and more for a price that you can’t beat even with the best sales at the grocery stores when you buy the needed items while in season.
Real Food Storage Guidelines
A sample list of what a traditional foods family would consider storing includes:
- 1 gallon of water per person per day, plus extra for washing dishes, bathing and cleaning for 3-14 days.
- Fats: nut butters, ghee, butter, coconut oil, palm oil, tallow, lard, olive and sesame oil.
- Grains: rice, amaranth, quinoa, oats, rice, corn and masa, sorghum, wheat/spelt, teff and a way to grind them.
- Flours: potato flour, coconut flour, nut meals.
- Starches: cornstarch, arrowroot, tapioca starch, potato starch. Even if you are not gluten-free, you will still want to keep some of these on hand for making gravies and thickening soups, making puddings and thickening other liquids.
- Baking supplies: guar or xanthan gum if gluten-free, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla or other extracts, salt, and coconut milk.
- Spices: garlic granules, onion powder, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, paprika, cayenne, basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, bottled lemon juice, nutritional yeast and other often used spices. Don’t forget to check for spices at ethnic markets.
- Sweeteners: honey, sucanat, rapadura, molasses, maple syrup, white sugar for making kombucha, stevia.
- Beans: pinto, kidney, black, garbanzo, lentils, navy, split peas, northern, lima, black-eyed peas, etc…
- Drinks: tea in bags or loose and SCOBYS for making kombucha. Any herbs you like to make into tea for medicinal use.
- Dairy: milk for short-term storage, cheese for long-term storage; calcium equivalent for 3-4 servings per day.
- Freezing milk is possible but takes up a lot of space. Having livestock is the best solution to long-term calcium needs.
- If that is not possible, have some quality calcium supplements on hand for each member of the family to fill in the gaps if no other calcium source is available.
- Things like coconut milk is counted in baking supplies instead of dairy, because it provides no calcium.
- Powdered milk, while available, is not preferable to the other options. It not clearly not a nourishing food.
- Eggs: farm fresh eggs that have not been refrigerated can be stored for up to 6-months if you do not wash or refrigerate them. Once eggs are placed in the refrigerator, they must remain there to stay fresh.
- For winter storage, consider sodium silicate immersion or other storage methods of non-washed eggs.
- Eggs can also be cracked, beaten and frozen with a little sugar or salt for long-term storage.
- Having chickens and using the waterglass method to get through the winter’s lull in production is the best solution to long-term egg storage needs.
- Vegetables: root-cellared winter vegetables, home-canned and frozen vegetables from the summer garden, canned tomato products &/or frozen vegetables plus sprouting seeds for fresh greens through winter.
- Meats: Home or commercial canned or frozen salmon, chicken, turkey, pork and beef. Don’t forget things like pemmican and jerky, too.
- Stock: Home or commercial canned or frozen bone broths from chicken, beef, fish and others. Also, have the bones on hand to make more as needed.
- Gardening needs: seeds, potting soil, seed starter trays and other supplies if you have the availability of gardening space.
- Comfort foods such as quality chocolate, baking supplies like dried fruit and chocolate chips and snack items.
- Needed food, supplements and supplies for any of your pets and livestock.
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