Appetite Fatigue

Appetite Fatigue From Inadequate Survival Food Storage

See that picture above? A plain bowl of white rice. What if that’s all you had to eat, day after day. Talk about appetite fatigue! Imagine that the worst has happened, and it has finally hit the fan. You’re now eating off your food preps. The supply chains of distribution have been all but non-existent and all of the stores have long since been looted and emptied of their goods.

You’re lying low and you’re staying alive off your own food storage of rice and beans. The thing is, what if the bulk of your food preparedness are mostly the dry staple products such as rice and beans. Day after day. Week after week. You only had a few weeks’ worth of other food varieties and they’re long gone now. All you have left are the buckets of rice and beans that you stored for a long-term disaster.

Imagine the appetite / food fatigue from eating just that, in order to survive…

Yes, it’s very important to first acquire a food storage of staple products such as rice, beans, wheat, etc. to provide adequate food calories for an amount of time that you’re comfortable with. Then afterwards begin to build up a food storage of other items – especially following the principle of “buy what you eat, and eat what you store”.

[ Read: Food Storage List For 1 Year ]

Having said that, for those of you who have food storage for long-term emergency preparedness, how many of you have actually thought about literally having to source your daily food needs from ONLY your storage for longer than just a few weeks?

If your long-term food storage consists mostly and only of the basics such as rice, beans, and wheat, and if you ever had to rely solely on your food storage supply, it won’t be long until appetite fatigue sets in making it difficult to eat the same foods for a long duration.

Appetite fatigue can even become bad enough that some people will begin to resist and may even simply refuse to eat…

Diversify Your Food Groups

The answer is to diversify your food storage. When planning your food storage inventory, not only is it important to plan for bulk ‘staples’ for food calories and nutritional health, but it is very important to plan a diversified storage of food groups that will raise the spirits of those who are forced to eat only from this supply day after day, week after week, month after month.

Plan on a variety of foods, and those foods that will store well.

Also, almost equally important, be sure that you have acquired plenty of spices, condiments, and all that sort of stuff that compliments your food!

Here are a few ideas and suggestions to offset appetite fatigue:


While vegetables are not calorie dense, they should be an important addition to your food storage for their nutritional value and variety. Home-canned, store-canned, dehydrated or freeze-dried are alternative ways to store them. Speaking of vegetables – you better plan on successfully being able to grow your own. Think about vegetable calories (e.g. potatoes, corn…).

[ Read: Gardening Calories List of Vegetables From A Survival Context ]


Fruits. Again, canned, dehydrated, freeze-dried, and grow your own. Whatever foods you can grow yourself (anything at all) is what you should ultimately strive for… Self-sustaining sources. For example, trees or other plants that bear fruit every year.

Spice, Herbs, Condiments, Seasonings

Spices, herbs, and condiments will be a tremendous asset to offset the bland humdrum of repeatedly eating the same foods. This may be the most important ‘non-staple’ food category because it can be used to compliment any and all other foods to significantly enhance and alter flavor for your pallet. Many spices do not go ‘bad’ (except for ground oily spices after a while). But spices and herbs will lose their potency over time. This is why whenever possible I purchase the seeds of various spices and then grind them when I’m ready to use them while using an ordinary hand spice grinder.

Comfort Foods

Comfort foods like chocolate, candy, and sweets will bring significant pleasure to a dull and repetitive food routine. For example a #10 can of chocolate powder will essentially store forever. Honey will last forever. Hard candy won’t go bad. Use your imagination.

Think about your favorite ‘treat’ foods and either store them back or get the ingredients to make them yourself.

The thought process of food balance and variety is more important than you may think. In today’s modern world, we are accustomed to the immense variety of food choices, flavors, and variety at our fingertips in grocery stores.

A few more ideas of food supplies to offset appetite fatigue, other than the basic food storage ‘staples’.

Soy sauce
Tamari sauce
BBQ sauce
Hot sauce
Spices (all types)
Chocolate (hard, powdered, and syrup)
Hard candy
Jams and Jellies
Sugary drink mixes (powdered)
Peanut butter
Meats (canned or jarred)
Spaghetti sauce
VEGETABLES (all types)
FRUITS (all types)
Soup mixes
Broth cubes or powder
Powdered Milk, Butter, Eggs
Pancake – Bisquick mix
Maple syrup
Tomato paste and sauce
Powdered Potato Flakes
Pudding mixes
Jello mixes
TVP – meat flavors

Hopefully this short list may inspire a few ideas for your food storage beyond the basics and beyond what you may already have.


  1. Amen to that! I even “polled” the grandkids to see what specialty items they might want…SO we have freeze dried ice cream, popping corn (lots that I bought from boy scouts) and tons of freeze dried fruits for the oatmeal and cream of wheat at breakfast as well as desserts or late day snacks.
    Stocked up ALL spices (european flavors, Asian, Indian…you name it so we could create an abundance of variety (no plain white rice here!) Lots of mustards, mayo, salad dressings, ketchup and aoli/pestos/chutneys too. Amazing what just a little dab of that will do to dress up rice or noodles.
    Was cleaning and rotating the deep pantry last weekend…still 8 sets of shelves to go, but looks pretty healthy. DH was amazed at all the freeze or air dried vegetables and fruits in mylar bags…I thought for sure he was paying attention when I bought…but apparently he forgot. He was pretty excited because he is predominantly vegan these days, although he does enjoy the home grown poultry immensely.
    I also cleaned and rotated the “alcohol shelves” and reviewed what is available for medicinals as well as pleasure. Will NOT use for barter. Decided the TP supply might be better used for barter (NRP hold that thought).
    This weekend is finishing the deep pantry, then on to the kitchen pantry and perhaps the closets if I have that much energy. DH is finishing off the trenching and burial of the underground propane station, having finished planting the new 20 pines and 5 apple trees. Honey Crisps and Winesaps )pollinators). That completes the mini-orchard (s). now 8 apples, 2 peaches, 2 pears, 3 cherries both sweet and sour, 2 plums. High Desert oasis of one acre now in trees and raised garden beds…this is our third summer here and we are hoping to see real progress. I DO HAVE one of my Lilacs in bloom! what a treat to see.

    1. pioneer woman:
      TP for Barter??? Well I actually think that would not be such a bad idea, remember 2020? AND what’s coming…….
      It will literally store forever and not “spoil”, It don’t care if it’s stored in that Shed outside in the Summer Heat or Winter Freezing as long as ya keep the mice and rodents out of it.
      As long as ya have your own needs covered than you bet put up a few ‘bricks’ of TP for Barter and Trade for If/When.

      1. Do I recall you saying vacuum process the TP? Had forgot about that.

  2. Wanted to wish all our MSB families a happy and healthy 4th of July….with as much family/friends as you can muster. said my posting was too long. so here is the wish. Peace.

  3. @Ken – great list of condiments and non staple type items! We have added some condiments to our pantry to enable us to make asian stir fry foods which use a small / moderate amount of proteins combined with vegetables. The condiments we added include soy sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine, oyster sauce, mushroom sauce, sesame oil (toasted and regular) and sesame seeds. We found online some great recipes for copycat recipes for some of the entrees offered by large chain restaurants (pfchang and panda) and have practiced making them as well as making our own recipes.

  4. Another way to look at it could be gratitude that you have that bowl of rice!
    A little nori and some pickled vegetables and you have sushi, a few slices of fried SPAM and you have a feast!

    PioneerWoman, wishing you the same, with extra emphasis on healthy and happy

      1. Realist
        Diced or sliced fried both sides SPAM goes with anything and makes a change from corned beef lol!

        1. Breaded spam deep fried I thought this was a joke tried it…….its a delight, be willing to think outside the box. I tried horse steaks and to my amazement it was better then any beef …

    1. Kula…..fried spam with a little soy sauce and some brown sugar…….and as far as food fatigue……it would be from trying to find food not from eating it. I was about 19 and had moved across the country to Santa Fe, found a job and lived out of a pickup for about two months until I could afford to rent an apartment, ate beans, rice, spam, Vienna sausages and hot dogs ……and look back at the ‘hard times’ with fondness and a smile…..they were the best of times and the worst of times.

  5. Heres a thought i just had,
    Is it food fatigue? Or just spoiled and entitled?
    I suppose its just perspective.

    1. Kulafarmer:
      To answer your question.
      Yes we as Americans are spoiled rotten to the core.
      There are literally millions of people that wold love to have that bowl of Rice.
      How easily we forget how many people in this world that are starving to death as we sit on our fat azzes bitching about how bad we have it all awhile eating that Steak Dinner with all the fixings.
      Rice???? 4 BILLION Asians cant be wrong.

    2. Find out.
      Limit your self to water and plain rice for a solid week.
      It sucks.
      I’ll go with the entitled, that doesn’t make it any better.

      Recently added to my rice and will be adding to my bean collection soon.
      Lotta flavorings and near 2 gallons of soy sauce on multiple small bottles.

    3. Kulafarmer,
      everyone should try leaving home with just a sleeping bag and 20 dollars in their pocket for a month and live on the street. it will give you a whole new perspective on what taste’s good. i have eaten a lot of bread sandwiches.
      honestly, if anyone wants to get a real education of living in a SHTF world, try living for just one month on the street will do it.
      there are people who charge a lot of money for courses in survival, Brush Beater is one. and they are just camping trips. this will cost you nothing and will expose you to the real world, the hard world. it’s not fun, and it’s not safe, but its educational, a learn by doing thing. hard lessons learned are lessons well learned.
      P/S the small bathrooms in abandoned buildings are the best places to sleep, they have locks on the doors.

      1. scout, back in the bad old days, you could find edibles (mostly fruit, veggies and bread) in the dumpsters at the grocery stores, did that for a while, then things got better and the stores started locking the dumpsters.

  6. I also use liquid smoke flavoring it’s add a little depth to the flavor.

    1. yes indeed another thing i only discovered a couple of years ago and added to my very large selection of herbs and spices . Here in the UK we like our curries and I keep the ingredients to make many different types , the good thing is the basics of a curry are rice meat veg all of which can be chosen from my long term storage , But the flavor’s can be altered on a daily basis .

  7. all of the above listed ‘staples’ have shelf lives of years. any comfort food will go a long way to break up the monotony. i like puddin’. some you just add water to and heat. i have never tried it over a fire, BBQ pudding? we buy our spices in bulk in 5- 6lb containers from amazon, waaay cheaper by the pound. i need to get some hard candy, it lasts almost forever ( the stuff they have on the shelves at the jiffy-marts is proof of that ) and can be carried in your pocket for a quick treat.

    1. Plainsmedic:
      You got that right, Also try different Peppers like Thai Dragon, Scorpion, and Ghost Peppers.
      Ya really want to go crazy, hit the Carolina Reapers for something that will knock your socks off….

      1. Blue and friend,
        In February we planted a seed packet labeled, Mixed hot peppers. Nearly all of the plants are maturing well in the garden, transplanted seedlings. Not really sure what we’ve got. The plants look different from each other. I’m well stocked with magic dust from last year. Ought to be interesting.

  8. Ok, my 2¢ worth on Food Fatigue.
    If you haven’t tried it, try eating only from your Deep Pantry for a month, really find out what you have stored. NO McDonald’s or Boggier King, Also while your at it, make it a full month of Light’s Out. let me tell ya, it sure will open your eyes. Let me tell ya, after hauling Water for the first week you’ll know.
    Think it can’t/won’t happen, cool, I have some Ocean Front property in AZ for sale just for you.

  9. My choices for storage foods are pretty basic, with the intent of being versatile and simple, white rice can be Mexican rice if you add the right stuff, wheat berries can be ground really fine and made into tortillas without much other than water if need be, a can o crisco and you can make better tortillas, stick that rice in the tortilla and you are eating, wheat berries can also make biscuits or flat bread or even regular artisan breads, learn your sour doughs, rice can be ground into flour too, you can make mochi with rice, you can use ground rice flour for all sorts of stuff from tempura to crackers and cookies. Cooked white rice will keep without refrigeration for a couple days, adding rice vinegar with sugar dissolved in it when the rice is hot yields sushi rice, it incidentally keeps for a couple more days than just the rice alone. Rice balls are easy to make and easy to eat, alsoeasy to cary. A few big bottles of Ume will last forever and a ume added to the center of a riceball is a nice surprise, tasty and salty. Nori can last forever too, wrap the riceball in nori, add fried spam and you have a spam musubi, gravy, you know those big bottles of brown gravy from costco, gravy on rice, mmmmmm,
    Simple stuff, unless you are a total high maintenance princess having food will far outweigh having to eat the same thing day in day out, its not really an issue when you realize how fortunate you are to HAVE food. If you are a dope i suppose you can get bored with it, personally, i look at the weeds and see a stir fry to go with my rice

  10. Might be the Texas upbringing, but ain’t nothin’ better than chili powder/seasoning and melted butter to change plain ‘ol rice into a tasty treat.

  11. My trouble with storing a lot of condiments, and I’ve mentioned this before, is that most of them are packaged in plastic containers. They seem impervious, but they allow water vapor and other gasses to pass through. Over time as water vapor passes out, the plastic container will have a “sucked in” appearance. O2 passes into and out of the plastic increasing oxidation. I’ve noticed a huge difference in quality between mayo in plastic vs mayo in glass jars. We had a large plastic tote filled with spices. When we opened it, I was surprised by the pungent, spicy smell in the tote. How are the aromas getting through the plastic? We transferred all the spices to glass jars and have had no escaping smells after that. Vinegar stored for a few years in plastic bottles picks up a chemical flavor. In glass bottles it stays fresh tasting. We’ve even had dish detergent liquid leak from their plastic containers. Unfortunately, now almost everything is packaged in plastic. I seek out and will gladly pay a higher price for things packaged in glass.

    I get that we have to rotate our supplies and we do, but for the number of people that are planning to join us if the SHTF, I store a lot of extra beyond what my family can ever consume and that means I have to throw away things that could have lasted much longer had they been packaged in glass.

    1. AZ, many years ago, I switched over my working spice cabinet to all glass bottles with metal lids. These are the ones I use daily. My long term storage is in canning jars with O2 absorbers. This has worked well for our household for over ten years. We use many basic spices regularly (many that I grew myself) but also have recipes to make the mixes such as taco and chili seasoning. I also enjoy a few Tone varieties…some which I can no longer find like 6 pepper blend. Yes, I love buying spices already in glass but will not pay a mint for them.

      You can buy the glass jars online. Also, small spray bottles 2, 4, or 6 oz to use for colloidal silver, magnesium, etc.

      Put your products in glass and give them longer life in better condition.

    2. A possible solution is to take the plastic container and put it in a Mylar bag with O2 absorber.

  12. Rice, butter, garlic powder, salt, and parmesan cheese. Throw in some veggies, yummy.

  13. Red wine vinegar, soy sauce, Worcester sauce, liquid smoke and others mentioned above all help to change the taste of dishes ever so slightly. Sometimes not so slightly! I am going to have to make some of Plainsmedic’s magic dust, though after the rain ends, not inside. ; ) Might fire roast first on the grill then dry and grind.

    1. Deep South,
      Tried several ways, but the best/easiest is: cut off the top, slice each pepper length wise and dehydrate. I leave all the seeds and the web. The seeds will fall away when dried. I use an old blender from the wife’s discards. It only works on high, which is perfect. I vigorously shake the blender while in operation. Only takes maybe 60 seconds. Definitely do this outside. I always put the “magic dust” in a glass jar. Well worth the effort. I keep a salt shaker filled with half dust and half black pepper and use it on most foods. The pure magic dust is a fabulous spice for jerky. A little bit goes a long way. Have fun!

  14. If cooking for large group, don’t forget extra large stainless pots. Cooking soup for groups and other uses, washing cookware, making soap and boiling towels when TP runs out. Please don’t use cooking pots for sanitation use. Pots can be used over propane burner…when gas runs out go to wood. Large wooden and stainless stirrers and tongs also needed. Also good sets of heat poof gloves.

    1. I have wanted a cast iron cauldron for quite a while.
      I’ve seen many in my local travels but everyone uses them for planters and won’t sell.

      1. Horse,
        Agri Supply out of Georgia sells a variety of cast iron cauldrons. A nice 10 gallon one is on my wish list too.

        1. Just looked.. far too expensive.
          $434.99 for the cheap one.

          Passed a place today that had three with plants in them near the road.
          Eventually someone will sell me one.

        2. Horse,
          If you live in/near a rural location that has farm auctions, that can also be a good place to find them. I’ve picked up two that way. Re-seasoning something that big can be a challenge, but it’s doable.
          The problem with ones used as planters is often they’ve had holes drilled in the bottom for drainage (drove 50 miles once to check out one in an auction listing that looked great, but there was a huge hole drilled out in the bottom!)
          Good luck!

  15. After living in the Philippines for nearly 3 years I didn’t eat rice or any type of Asian dishes (especially anything with Soy Sauce) for several years after I returned to CONUS. I enjoy it now but I had eaten so much it had lost all appeal.

    1. @RC – Interesting that you went off Asian food for a while. We do a mix / variety of types of suppers each week: traditional western, italian, mexican, mediterranean, vegan and asian so we don’t get bored with anything. Plus we do enough to freeze / store for meals ahead for when we are too tired from the day’s efforts to cook (from scratch, as we always do).

      1. Always Learning,
        After eating rice, pancit, lumpia and fish nearly every day I wanted real beef (not a butcher water buffalo that was tough as an old boot), potatoes (Filipinos refused to eat potatoes as they looked like the yams that grew in the jungle they fed to pigs) and a real pizza. We had a commissary but I lived off base and shopped at the local public and wet markets and if you want to get an idea search youtube for Philippine wet markets. They have improved greatly in 40 years.😀

        1. @RC – I hear you. Did look on youtube – very different perspective on food. Thanks!

        2. @RC – my husband was a naval officer during Vietnam and his amphibious assault ship was in and out of Subic bay when not in Vietnam area. He has commented on Subic and the surrounding areas and is very particular about what he eats. I get it!!

    2. RC – Lechon baboy and a pot of dinuguan will do that; ain’t enough San Mig in the world to wash that nasty out of your gullet. After 3 years you should be getting fat PTSD payouts from uncle. — Hong Kong and Taiwan, Italian, Syrian, Moroccan, Spanish Tapas, Ethiopian, Belgian, South Indian, Japanese, and umm, Californian. Dang that must be the one thing I like about this place.

      1. Tmac,
        I was there long enough to understand Tagalog, eat balut and drink Red Horse along with those glorious San Miguels. I lived up in a compound near Subic City on the NW side of the bay and things were good until the Marcos revolution started and they shot Noynoy Aquino on the tarmac in Manila. Then things went right down the crapper and for those that have never been in a third world country during a revolution it is a true SHTF situation every friggin day.

        Never heard of PTSD until I after I got discharged but when I transferred it back to CONUS it was harder to readjust to the US than when I went over there. As my old Senior Chief would say ”suck it up buttercup and quit yer bitch’n..I was in the Navy when the ships were made old wood and the men were made of steel”. Learned a lot from that tough old salt.

        1. BTW
          Bongbong, Ferdinand Marcus Jr, is now President of the PI! Live long enough and it all comes back around like wiping your ass on a bicycle tire.

    3. Thats the thing, i grew up on that stuff and for us its the exact opposite

      1. KF,
        I rekindled my enjoyment of Filipino and Asian dishes many years ago and I made a pretty good Sweet and Sour Chicken the night before last however I served it over Basmati rice…sacrilege I know. I always enjoyed real Thai but my stomach isn’t as receptive to heat as it once was so I chose my dishes carefully

  16. Well Ken, I believe I was one of those people talking of food fatigue long ago and the burnout took place with…white rice. Picture a family of 2 parents and 4 teenagers that go through 6 – 80 lb sacks of Kokuho Rose short grain sticky rice each year. I experienced food fatigue before I left home. When I did leave home, I ate in college cafeteria and cooked on my own. Right away, I developed a liking for pasta in its many forms. (spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, seafood linguini – I like it all). I was also a distance runner on scholarship so I ate a lot of food in general but I loaded up an carbs and burned it off each day.
    To the list of carbs that store well and are relatively inexpensive, I would also add pasta in at least equal measure to rice, instant potatoes and beans.
    In my travels and in working with and meeting folks from India, China, Africa and Malaysia, I have observed that many of the first generation folks like to make and eat very hot or spicy foods with big portions of white rice. Most of these hot or spicy dishes are some type of stew like the curry mentioned by Bill Posters. Other examples include dishes from Northern China (szechuan style). It seems that the colder the climate, the more hot peppers make their way into the dishes.
    Lastly, in learning to cook new things, expand your list of sauces and condiments. I would like to add the following sauces and oils to be used in stir frying for your consideration: Oyster sauce (savory) Hoisen sauce (plum sauce – sweet) Sesame oil (to be added to vegetable oil during the stir-fry process to add flavor – not to fry in). Decades ago, I discovered that Kikkoman stir-fry sauce works well with lean venison.
    Stir frying a dish or making a spicy stew is a good way to feed 4 hungry people with 1-2 pounds of lean meat. Rice will cool down the heat of the dish, mellow the stronger flavors and fill the stomach.

    1. Pasta is another item that will store forever, one of the things i like about it, tomatoes can grow pretty easy if you are only using them for sauce, pesto can be made from almost anything, dehydrated garlic will keep well too,
      Can add pasta to that chicken soup, thats a easy one.

  17. Hunger makes the best sauce, as they say. My dad’s family nearly starved during the Great Depression. I grew up eating some of his favorite foods from that time. My mom made them because he liked them. Hot rice with milk and sugar as a breakfast. Stale bread torn up in a bowl of hot canned tomatoes. Corn bread crumbled into milk – something I eat to this day. Very watery pinto beans. Do I stock a variety of foods, spices and sauces? Oh, you bet!

    1. RC is correct. Yummy stuff. And especially satisfying when you grew/ground your own corn and made your own butter and syrup.

      I grew up in Iowa but came to love the southern cornbread as well as my southern breed hubby.

      1. I grew up in Iowa. too. Still live here. I love cornbread with syrup. They served it in schools.

  18. Been thinking a lot about this lately, with the cost of food soaring and everything really, starvation will be more of an issue than food fatigue IMHO. I think a bit of good will toward my neighbors will go a long way. I dont like their political views, (not all mind you) but they are old fashioned and dont know any better, theystill view things as they did 40 years ago even though the parties are very different.
    But food, food may well be the uniter, it will be painfully obvious the results of poor decisions.

  19. My reason for the different types of Rice a Roni in the FD. So many variations. I add black beans, corn and other spices to the Mexican flavor. Spanish flavor is made with canned tomatoes. Chicken add some real chicken and some green peas. Beef add some onions and carrots along with real beef. Corn taste good in all flavors. Sometimes add ham or spam to Pilaf. Cheese flavor taste awesome with bacon bits. Roni can be eaten out of the bag, crunchy good. Drink water!!!

  20. By the way I received a bag of rice/millet ramen type noodles by mistake in my vitamin order. I am now a fan of those. Cook quick too.
    Don’t forget about quinoa. This grain/seed has all of the amino acids in it. Aminos will be good for health.

  21. Mrs U

    Would you please tell me the brand are those rice/millet noodles? I’ve been looking for some without gluten. Lots of celiac’s in the family. Much appreciated.

    1. They are Lotus Foods certified GF gluten free, USDA organic (supposedly) product of China. I like them. Sit well in the tummy.

    2. Look for rice noodles ( like for pad Thai) they have thick and thin ones
      Also mung bean noodles as gluten free options
      Usually found in Asian grocery section

  22. The US rice growers website usarice dot com has an excellent library of recipes for using rice in cooking.

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