Foods For Barter


Many of us know that grocery stores operate on ‘just in time’ inventory management; meaning that there is basically no back room storage. Everything that they have is out on the shelves and is replaced with deliveries to restock ‘just in time’ — all of which enables cost savings from essentially having zero back-room inventory.

If there is ever a major disruption to this (JIT) system, some say that within 3 days most grocery store shelves would be empty. Others argue that it may take a bit longer, depending – maybe a week.

With that in mind, imagine if the system was disrupted for not just weeks or even a month or two… but years… What are some of the foods that may be particularly good for barter?

Here is an updated list from your comments/suggestions through 10/6/2013
Continue to add your own though…

Our absolute dependence upon food being on our grocery store shelves is an amazing thing… the assumption that it will always be there.

It is an assumption that quite literally is life dependent. We cannot survive without it. Period.

There are more and more people ‘waking up’ and mitigating that risk by growing more of their own food and storing/preserving it, and more people are building a food storage inventory of their own.

Rather than listing every food substance known to mankind, what foods do you believe would be particularly good for barter? To trade? Which foods might be of more value after TSHTF?


Canned meats
People will be craving for meat. I dare say 99% of meat that is consumed is sourced from ‘fresh’. Who is thinking about storing canned meat? This will be a very valuable barter item.

Canned vegetables
Although not packed with calories like other foods, it will provide a much needed source of fiber and nutritional balance.

Inexpensive. Easy to store. Simple to make a meal. If you can heat water, you can eat. Good barter.

Dog food
Lots of people won’t think to store much extra dog food. Your pet will thank you. Great barter value.

Peanut butter
Packed with calories and protein. Regarding calories per ounce, this one is high.

Powdered milk
Few ‘non preppers’ will be thinking about stocking up on this item. Most people don’t like the taste, but if milk disappeared, this would be a treat.

Dried beans
They are packed with protein. Taste can be altered with whatever creativity you can imagine with the spices and sauces on hand. They do require a fair amount of cook time though, but provided you can heat water, you’re good to go. A ‘staple’ barter item. They do begin to get hard after ~5 years (soak and cook longer).

White Rice
You need something to go with those beans. If packed properly, it will last for decades. Not as much cooking time required. Entire cultures survive on this stuff. Another ‘staple’ barter item.

Cooking oil
Oil will go rancid however, so limited shelf life.

No expiration. Many uses.

No expiration.

Best to buy coffee already vacuum sealed in cans which will stay fresh longer (or vacuum seal it yourself). Consider Instant coffee. Green coffee beans last for decades, however they will need to be roasted for coffee (and then ground).

Honey, Maple syrup
These will last ‘forever’

Sinful sweet-tooth treats…

This will be in high demand, as it always has been throughout human history.

Powdered milk and butter
Will last for decades in professionally packed vacuum sealed containers.

Various spices
This will become in high demand, as bland (and aging) foods will benefit greatly from spices.


What do you think?
What are some other FOOD items that may be particularly good for barter?

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