Newbie Food Storage Tip #5: Move Beyond Grains and Beans
When I was first married, I thought that food storage consisted of wheat, maybe a few other grains, dehydrated apples, beans and a bit of powdered milk. No wonder I wasn’t excited to get started!
I have nothing against those items. There is nothing wrong with any of them individually. The only thing wrong with the above list is the fact that it is very limited. What if you really had to live on just your food storage? How quickly do you think you would get sick of those items? How do you think your body would handle digesting them? How many nutrients would you be missing out on eating just those items?
I know I would not want to live on just those items for very long as all. I can’t think of many acutal meals I could make out of those items. Maybe a few….
I’m pretty sure my kids wouldn’t each much….
Which brings me to my own personal motivation for adding additional products to my food storage:
My kids are young. They don’t really like much on the above list, yet they would have no idea what kind of danger they’d put themselves in by not eating.
I know that when I fast, I’m hungry for a while, but then it fades. This is because the stomach shrinks and the perception of hunger weakens b/c it is controlled by the percentage of the stomach that is empty. So, my fear is that my kids would refuse to eat this food after a day or two and then stop feeling hungry. I want to be sure I have food to feed them that they will want to eat and that is healthy and well rounded.
It is for this reason that I try to store everything my family eats: produce, cheese, yogurt, condiments, spices, sauces (like soy sauce etc), cereal, crackers, meat, eggs, butter, desserts etc.
Many of these items have a decent shelf life and I naturally use and rotate through them regularly. For example, I keep a large stock of cereal in our home: enough to last us for about 4-6 months. But we rotate through it regularly, so shelf life isn’t an issue.
However there are a few items that are a bit different: meat, dairy and produce. I can’t store these items in their fresh form for more than a week or so. Instead, I store them in freeze dried
form and use them regularly. This has made food storage so much more fun for me! I enjoy
finding ways to use it regularly b/c I can use it to create meals my family is familiar with. I try to find a ways to use it each day in at least one meal. I also try to prepare at least one meal each week that is from 100% shelf stable items: food I would have if I didn’t have electricity or access to a grocery store.
This way, if I was every forced to live on the items in my “own home store” for a significant period of time, I’m certain I would be able to create delicious, healthy, well-rounded meals that my family (kids) would enjoy eating.
This is actually the #1 reason I got involved with THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance)
. The foods provided in the Thrive food
line come in every food group and have an average 20 year shelf life! Most retain all their nutritional value, have no preservatives and can easily be used in everyday cooking. They allow me to stock up many
items beyond wheat, beans, milk and apples! They really do make food storage fun!