Is There Such A Thing As Having Enough Food Storage?
When it comes to prepping and preparedness, the first steps that most people take are to acquire extra food (a variety thereof) to store or to deepen their pantry for a time of emergency (or worse).
A household that may have normally only kept enough food on hand to last about a week (probably the typical scenario for most Americans) may have decided to boost their food storage to several or three weeks of food to feed everyone there. This amount of food storage will certainly be plenty enough for nearly all ‘typical’ emergency scenarios that may tend to occur in our lives.
So, is that enough food storage?
Sure, if you believe that the probability of something worse than a 3-week disaster is so low – that’s it’s irrelevant…
However, consider this, even if the likelihood of a long-term food shortage scenario is very low, ‘what if’ it actually happened? Sometimes that ‘outlier’ event does happen. If it does, how will your household survive it?
It’s interesting (and dangerous) how the vast, vast majority of people will completely ignore the value of having ‘food insurance’. They (we) are so accustomed to a never ending supply of food at the grocery store that it is very difficult to adjust one’s normalcy bias to accept that ‘it could’ be disrupted (or worse).
Our modern systems of infrastructure (including modern agriculture, distribution channels, and retail grocery stores) have been working for so long, that it seems impossible that it could break down.
It is absolutely remarkable to really think about it and consider how today’s urban areas where nearly 90% of people live – would cease to exist without this working infrastructure! And add to that thought process the fact that all of it is functioning on a ‘just in time’ system of delivery – finely tuned for optimal profits.
Millions upon millions upon millions of people NEVER think about the ‘what if’ scenarios whereby their food may no longer be available at their grocery store, their restaurants, or their local deli or corner store. The hard cold fact is that they, along with millions of their neighbors, will simply die if and when a terrible break down occurs. It may be an ‘outlier’ event, but ‘if’ it happens, is it worth your life? Don’t you want insurance for this? Food insurance?
Okay, lets get back to the question at hand… “Is there such a thing as having enough food storage?”
How far does one take the outlier SHTF scenario?
Here are my own current recommendations for ‘food insurance’ goals along the way:
Three weeks of food storage is ridiculously easy to acquire. Even the so called ‘poor’ should be able to manage this acquisition is relatively short order. This will cover nearly every ‘typical’ emergency / disruption that may occur.
Three months of food storage is still not that difficult to acquire when you put your mind to it. This amount of food will ensure that you can feed your household for a greater disruption – albeit less likely to occur.
One year of food storage is a tremendous insurance value. A very small percentage of people will reach this level of ‘deep pantry’ – mostly because they don’t think they’ll ever need it. The thing is though, if you truly rotate your food (which means actually consuming it – oldest first), it essentially becomes your own grocery store – your own food bank. The price of food rarely goes down, so it also has saved you money over the long run.
A three year supply of food storage is an amount of food that will ‘buy’ you time from a self-sufficiency point of view. This is an amount of food that presumes a major collapse to the extent that only the self-sufficient will survive (mostly) and three years provides time for your garden (gardens) to establish and produce. A garden can be wiped out by a number of natural factors, and if during your first year you lose it – then you will run out of food. Again, this amount of food storage is tremendous and very few of even the most avid preppers will have acquired this much. But it truly is the ultimate insurance package if you are considering an ‘end of the world’ collapse…
Note: We did a prepper poll about a year ago which asked how much food storage that you have to feed your household. 8% of you had two years or more (that’s just shy of about 1 out of 10 preppers). I’m certainly not ‘picking on anyone’ if you don’t have that much! That is a big accomplishment – and takes determination, time, and money (and space to store it). Most of the rest were evenly split between 1-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-12 months.
Related: This book may help: The Encyclopedia of Country Living
So there you have it… Is it ever enough? ;)
How much food storage is at times hard to figure. Rice, beans, pasta, oats, wheat, I have well over a year. #10 cans of veggies, meats, spices, canned, home canned etc. is harder to figure as mostly I store that to add to other dish’s but probably have enough of that to live 3-4 months if I just ate it straight. I just figure if I keep stacking I will have a big edge up on the people that don’t.
I have about the same amount of food several months worth. Many folks have problem of enough space. Good idea is to box like items with like in boxes (canned meats and fish, then veg., soups, beans, protein powder (large jars) from health stores, oils and condiments. I don’t buy from long term food storage co.’s, but watch the sales in local stores. Again, space is a big problem for many and foods need to be in climate controlled place not a storage shed in back yard or garage.
I think it is good to strive for.
As one gets better educated on dates/family willingness to eat certain stores/variety/methods, etc, it is not just a food store, but a money saver.
Because we have a “deep pantry”, we basically do not “have” to buy anything on any given day/weekly sale flyer. However, if we spot a very, very good sale, we stock up. We buy regular price only occasionally.
Have to admit, a few cans of this or that have been donated, as I have discovered no one in the house (including me) is keen on them. At first I left them for a serious emergency, but then decided to “move them on” and replace with something we would eat.
At the very least, as you say, food prices go up, and it is a hedge against rising prices.
You are exactly right, Anon.
You said it much better than I did, but by the time I hit “Submit” your post was already up.
Another thing I like about our food stores, is if one or all of us gets sick, nasty flu/nasty colds/etc which they often warn of, there is no need for any of us to leave the house until we are truly up to it. Now we may (if sick) crave something, but…not needed.
It is very reassuring (besides money saved/future meals assured) to have food in stores.
And if you’re sick and can stay home, then you aren’t exposing anyone else.
Also, there have been a couple of times over the yrs, when local media had gone on and on about the huge number of flu cases, locally, so it has been easy for us to avoid the stores/crowds, and stay clear of sick folks out shopping.
Perhaps off-topic, but…
Another reason we might not be able to get out and about is an alien invasion (the E.T. kind). Stay with me here-
The head of the E.U., Mr. Junker, recently announced that he has conferred with intelligence from other planets, and that among other things they are not pleased with the Brexit.
I kid you not. (Please Google “Junker Aliens”)
Pardon me- it’s “Juncker”. I didn’t mean to imply that the E.U. council is trashing Europe…
Did google, and yes, lots of hits..
What has the wee man been imbibing? smoking? snorting?
But hey- what with Putin replacing 50 or so Navy Commanders because they are not being aggressive enough towards the West, and China telling the Peoples Republic Army to prepare for battle in the South China Sea… Mr. J’s comments made me giggle a bit. A little comic relief.
I say to everybody- smell a flower, hug a puppy, smile at strangers-
’cause its looking pretty sketchy out there.
Don’t forget to stock up on cold and allergy medicines too. And things like pink bismuth and other occasionally-needed items. That way, you don’t have to run to the store when a minor emergency pops up. We try to limit our trips to town, and having these items on hand works well for us.
I think I mentioned this before, but a year and a half ago when I broke my leg, I was out of commission for 6 weeks. Even after I had surgery and was given a boot to walk around in the house, I couldn’t get to my car. There was a lake of ice between my house and car that I was afraid to navigate in the awkward smooth-bottomed boot.
No problem, I had a year’s worth of food and other supplies stored so I had no problem dispensing with trips to the grocery store for that month and a half.
You would be in a similar situation if you became unemployed. You would still have plenty to eat during the emergency, even if it lasted for several months.
There is another reason to store food. That is the opportunity to take advantage of sales. If you are constantly living from hand to mouth, you have to eat whatever you buy that week. Often hamburger is on sale one week and buns the next week, so part of your meal is always full price. But if you have a few weeks or months of food (or other items) stored, you can use this week’s budget to buy whatever is on sale, then use a little of that and a bunch of stuff you had stored from previous sales. You can cut your grocery budget in half, once you set up a system and get a few weeks ahead.
Yes, your injury sure illustrates a good reason to be well stocked. I am sure it was much less stressful for you to know you had food on hand. To know you did not have to pay to have someone pick up something. To know you did not have to rely on a crabby/dodgy neighbor to help bring you food.
Interesting and timely article.
Wife and I have been discussing this very topic for several weeks. We are at the end of a very abundant spring harvest and have been canning like crazy since the end of the winter garden in January.
We used up all of the canning jars that are normally recycled throughout the year (about 15+ cases) and wound up using the entire emergency supply (10 cases of regular quart canning jars and 5 cases of pints) we had set aside to use in case of a long term power outage in order to save most or all the meat we have in the freezers. Our larder is so full we couldn’t possibly eat all this stuff. And, this doesn’t include all the dry stuff stored like wheat, rice, flour, salt etc… as well as all the stuff already canned from previous years.
The conundrum here is the overlap between trying to eat our home canned goods at the same time we have an almost endless supply of fresh vegetables coming month in and month out. It is hard to plow under a hundred foot row of carrots, beets, beans or peas when you already have a bunch of quarts each of those items from previous years and you just added another 14 quarts of one of the same. We already give away a lot of fresh vegetables but there comes a point where I am not willing to put in a big garden just to give it all away to other people under the pretext of having enough to eat for myself.
We wind up growing food for everyone else or throwing away a lot of good food and we haven’t been able to reach the happy medium. It has gotten to the point where we had to decide that there will be no more gardens in the pasture until we consume the stuff we have already canned and we are drastically cutting back on the inside gardens as well.
Believe it or not, there is a point where enough is enough.
The good news Crabbe is that you are able to grow your own and be self sufficient! That means a lot in this day and age.
We too, grow our own and raise our own, so not too much point is going crazy on storing. That said, we have a very deep pantry and can feed ALL the kids and grand-kids for a very long time. Feels good doesn’t it?
It does feel good… especially right after a successful harvest!! This spring, from the middle of May to the end of June we harvested over 1,000 pounds of tomatoes, several bushels each of snap beans, butter beans and purple hull peas along with over 200 pounds of Butternut and Hubbard squash.
We will not be putting in a big garden this fall or next spring until we see how our current storage pans out.
When I was young, my grandfather had a dairy and we grew our own meat (beef, hogs, chickens, rabbits etc.), and even had a couple horses. But, today I only have about 12 acres, and don’t have the necessary infrastructure (fencing, pens, barns etc…) in place to support livestock although we do have a flock of chickens. The chickens are DW’s pets so eating them is out of the question.
We have to buy all of our meat in bulk and freeze and can it. Even so, our lifestyle almost feels like we’ve gone back in time since almost everything we eat is home grown or home made.
Even with no large garden planned for the next year, just knowing that we have both the expertise as well as the equipment to quickly start up in case things go south also feels good. We could have a sustainable food supply, from ground breaking to first harvest in less than six weeks. Knowing that, also feels good.
I have been at this point of abundance, also. I want to keep my soil fertile and weeds under control so I’m ready to grow more if needed. I put some of my garden space in cover crop, to improve the soil. I also grew some sunflower seeds (feed chickens with them, and a valuable protein/oil source to complement all the vegetables). I also am growing as much open pollinated food as I can – if there’s an abundance then I let most of it go to seed: seed stores very compactly and I love having 3 years of seed on hand without paying an arm and a leg for it. I am still trying to find a good open pollinated sweet corn seed … :)
You will be looking for “BANTAM” sweet corn. It is non GMO this corn has been around for generations, it can be used as a seed corn for your next crop. I can tell you it is sweet corn my dad use to raise it at the ranch. It can be canned, frozen for us or dried for stock animals
We are in the same situation, yesterday DW emptied 78 jars of stuff we thought would be good but we never seemed to eat it, we just had too much and most was 3 to 4 yrs old.
It sounds like you need a freeze dryer for the excess gardening produce. If what I read you can store more of your homegrown produce in a less space than what you & Mrs CN are doing in canning, that way you are not tossing it away, plowing it under etc.
Does your area have a market fest, so you could sell your excess veggies to the town/city folk? That way you could put money back into your pockets or canning equipment or pay for a freeze dryer.
@ antique collector
Thanks for the tip about dehydrating. We thought about that several times but decided against it for several reasons I can’t go in to with this short comment.
Actually, space is not the issue. The issue is that we have canned and stored more food than we will ever eat while we are also producing an enormous surplus of food. This situation has evolved over the last several years and has more or less come to a turning point.
I tried the farmers market a number of years ago but the rulers of all the markets I went to demanded that I fill out multiple page questionnaires. They wanted to know how much of everything I grew, how much acreage I had under cultivation and also wanted my social security number. They obviously were feeding that information to both the state and federal taxing agencies. Also, I thought their space fees were absurd. I don’t know what they are today but back in 1997 they were asking $30.00 for the privilege to set up and sell a few vegetables. I absolutely will not tolerate that much intrusion into my life so I walked away.
I’m certainly not rich by any stretch but I really don’t need the money.
I’m debt free and have remained debt free for the better part of my life.
We feel that the best course of action today is simply to stop growing so much food and start consuming the stuff we already have.
I can’t say that I will never run out of food but I can say that I have more than I will ever consume. Those are fundamentally two different concepts. Just saying…
@CN; The thought may not belong here, but here goes: Have you considered approaching the, or one of, leadership of your place of worship or something like that? Letting them distribute their choice to needy or members, with the understanding that you retain your OPSEC, but being able to take a “donation” tax deductions? Don’t know how it might work, or if it would. Again maybe the feds would get involved with info on your donations. I have never done it; I’m just day-dreaming here. How about getting a couple of pigs in a pen on the back forty to feed excess produce to? Off to the slaughter house come late fall to fill out the freezer. I think I would want to keep the fields active in producing, if at all possible and not just stop and let it return to pasture, etc. Either way, it is still a lot of work, but you may discover that there are possible allies that just dont have your current capabilities, who would love to have access to your resources/knowledge/products who could grow into a more accomplished prepper with encouragement from the right source! And if saving $ on food, can see their way more clearly into the not inexpensive world of being prepared. Building your community.
I had a Really hard time imagining what a year of food would be. Here is an excerpt from the LDS Preparedness Manual. ” Dividing 400 lbs (of grain) by 365, equals out to 1.09589 lbs.,or just over 1 lb. of grain, per day. That is approximately 2 cups of unground grain to cover your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dividing 60 lbs (of beans) by 365 works out to 0.16 of beans per day, or 2.6 oz.-approx 3/4 cup. Their guideline for a one year starts with 400lbs grains, 60lbs beans, 10 quarts cooking oil, 60lbs honey/sugar, 8lbs salt, and 16 lbs powdered milk, PER PERSON! Whoa!
Freaked me out! I am not a skinny Minnie that wants to try to live on 2 cups of rice and a few beans. So I’m working on it. Basics plus tons of fill ins. I also can not turn away starving family, which makes my rotation tricky.
Group Special at Emergency Essentials this month is #10 can of stew veggies for $11 per can. Might be a good stir in to a lot of other things.
If my memory is right the 400 lb of grain included the rice. 2 cups of grain when ground will make a loaf of bread. The 2 cups of rice would be uncooked which means 4 cups cooked and that works with the beans also. A loaf of bread,4 cups of rice and 2 cups of beans ( cooked ) seems like a fair amount of food when you add in spices ect to fill it out. Of course it all depends on what you are doing. If you are hunkered down and not working much 2000 calories a day is probably plenty. If you are out digging in a field all day you are going to need 3-4000, all we can do is stock up as much as we can afford and store and hope it helps.
We go through a lot of rice in our family. Thai Jasmine is, in the opinion of most, the best there is for everyday eating. I just picked up a 50 pound sack on loss-leader sale at 99 Ranch market for $25.
50 cents a pound is outrageously cheap. Typically 3-4 times that cost in smaller packages.
Early on in our marriage I thought I was doing good with food storage as we had about 3 months worth of food stored. Then my better half got laid off. I soon found out that 3 months of food storage was woefully inadequate. After getting back on our feet I worked hard to get our storage up to a year. It fluctuates up and down depending on lots of variables. I would like to get that amount up to 2 years, but until I find a job that is not likely to happen. Ideally I would like 3 years.
My wife and I have a little over a years supply (with little space left to store more). We have been stocking up the pantries of our kids/families but the unknown is will we have to help feed a couple nieces and nephews in a SHTF situation???
We are glad to see so much storage. Add your stored food to what we have in the supply depot and it will be possible to feed all the less fortunate people for a much longer time. When all the stored PMs are redistributed then this will provide a measure of uniform price controls. As preppers store food, etc. then redistribution is more easily accomplished to towns/cities without having to over extend government/military trucking.
Please keep posting so we can more easily learn how to plan, deal with any disruption in the just-in-time delivery system.
Dear NSA Spy, I hope you have an army of less fortunate to act as tasters for you. As well as potentially getting lead poisoning at the pick up point you may also encounter some nasty surprises when you consume my “food”.
Sooner or later every site has one of you show up. Most of those who write post like yours must have been from families where you were the only child and are still craving for attention and will say anything to get attention!!! LOL!!
@ NSA Spy
Please be vigilant of the lead poising that may accompany some of these preppers stored food/supplies.
Believe you can have the veggies my great grandmother canned, it was a special recipe just for those like you….nothing says ‘loving like a good case of botulism’. Bottoms UP.
NSA Spy —
As a faux-daring smart-ass, I assume that you have done your research and are aware that posing as a Federal agent is a felony crime.
Ken has your IP address, as does the host for the MSB website.
Have a nice day.
Sorry but creating a public username such as NSA Spy does not in any way break any laws, federal or otherwise. This is the internet, I can claim to be a unicorn from the planet Zarchon however that does not make it so. Now if someone were to walk around flashing a fake badge and claim to operate under the authority of the Federal Govt would be breaking the law, internet blogs no so much.
–IT security professional of 17 years working in the DoD and civilian federal agencies
The NSA has a very specific mission. When an NSA poser makes such a statement, it can very easily be construed that the ‘agent’ is receiving a “thing of value.”
18 U.S. Code § 912 – Officer or employee of the United States
Whoever falsely assumes or pretends to be an officer or employee acting under the authority of the United States or any department, agency or officer thereof, and acts as such, or in such pretended character demands or obtains any money, paper, document, or thing of value, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
I’m ex-DHS. My father is a retired attorney. This scenario is quite plausable, especially given the unusual antics of our legal system now. The Federal government would LOVE a precedent-setting case. Wanna keep playing the game?
-snicker- Yeah I’m sure James Comey and Loretta Lynch will throw the book at this guy, make a real example of him.
What about the 1.7 million uber-geeks who think they are original by broadcasting their WiFi SSID as “FBI Surveillance Van”?
US attorney’s office is going to have their hands full.
I’m so relieved to know our FedGov is clamping down on this menace to civil society.
McGyver — if you are really paying close attention to the government antics, you would clearly see that they do WHAT they want WHEN they want. They choose whatever means necessary, legal or not.
You know we’re in a two-tier system. You can’t compare the unjust, illegal maneuvers by Comey, Lynch, Clinton(s) to illegal maneuvers by any anonymous little-person. The elites are never held responsible for illegal actions. The common-folk are hung out to dry. Legal statues, legal wordings are twisted constantly now. If TPTB want you, they will have you. Only an idiot (or a careless national ‘leader’) would intentionally taunt our government now. And as we all know (and see), the idiots are among us. You can’t fix stupid.
This is no joke, IMHO. We might argue a bit about the specifics of any pituataive confiscation/redistribution plan that the so-called authorities might have, but I think it is safe to assume that people who stockpile arms, ammunition, fuel, foodstuffs, medical supplies, etc. are on a map with a little red star to mark their location. It is not so much that the volume of “prepper” goods available to confiscation-minded authorities would make or break efforts to preserve order in a SHTF scenario, rather that they would be easy pickings to marauding bands of military/police gangs. I do not wish to seem overly critical of military personnel in general, but I have seen what mischief functional heroin addicts are capable of in the current climate of zero police accountability, and the military (and the intel community) seems to be deeply involved in the heroin trade. IMHO, any known “prepper” is at serious risk of strong-arm tactics in a crunch, and a few small arms deployed on a farm or country home will do precious little against a determined attacker, even if said attacker is composed largely of the dregs of society.
Obviously it would be much better if there is no S hitting the F, but systemic and widespread incompetence in society today leaves little room for confidence on this point. I mean really. We are all but at the point where actual facts and real ontology are irrelevant to contemporary decision-making by the citizenry, and I include government workers in that category even if they tend to view themselves as infallible mandarins who are qualitiatively superior to mere mortals.
So what to do? 3 years of food stored away somewhere may provide some peace of mind, but I doubt that most who have that security would live to enjoy that third year if it was every truly needed.
Time for this bag of wind to blow away. :-)))) lol
My reference is what you stated to NSA spy or Lord Snow, and it did not post under your statement.
Many factors determine this when enough food has been stored. Storage space, number of people in your group or family, length of the growing season where you live or bug out to, whether you are planning for the unexpected events.
Personally, I’m planning for the unexpected events, natural catastrophes that could wipe out a garden just before peak harvesting. Or having to abandon a garden and retreat due to circumstances beyond my control. I hope that I never experience the latter, but must be flexible enough to prepare for it, by having extra seeds, doing my best to prepare my vehicle to be EMP Proof and always maintaining 200 gal fuel reserve.
Also if earth must endure a nuclear winter caused by massive meteor impact and/or volcano eruptions, which would make growing a garden impossible outdoors and also cause wildlife to be reduced. Having shelter and extra feed for your domestic animals in the event any of the above happens will be very important to be able to rebuild your supplies when things start to become more normal. Mankind has survived bad events in the past by the Grace of God! I believe all must do our part to prepare/determine our own destiny and God will do his part to keep us safe.
Well said, Being Watched….
Think immediate term, medium term, and long term supplies and barter or charity supplies.
Not only would it be wise to have easy to prep/eat foods but also life renewing foods to produce MORE food after said “event”. I.E. seeds (a wide variety for gardening by various methods), including seeds to eat as sprouts for living food and sustainable chickens/livestock (thinking what could be a feasible # to support care & for in a given situation)
Peace and Wisdom to all~
I keep a supply of seeds in a thermos in my BOB, and a bottle in each refrigerator that I can grab on the fly. I have also “weeded” my yard with edible plants so if for some reason I run out of seeds I’ll have an early spring harvest.
I look at each type of food as the garden comes in. Now over 16 sealer jars of freeze dried raspberries and they are just at around 15% of production. This will cover several years of flavor and vitamin C when this crop is put up. If I try to look at all the food groups at once, I get dizzy.
My only shortfall to date is protein. I get stew meat whenever there is a sale, cook it with flavorings, and then freeze dry it as well – no need to worry about rotation which can be a chore as well. I have a tough enough time just rotating the fuels in all my motorized equipment – generator, quad, tractor, trucks, chain saws,….last year I had to dismantle the fuel line of my generator to remove bad fuel buildup.
It seems that rotation of food, if canned etc is important but with a two year supply it becomes impossible for me to rotate without giving some away – thus freeze drying works here.
How many raspberry bushes do you have?
I planted 3 bushes in 2013, and they have expanded quite a bit, but in 2014 I got only a dozen or so berries, which the squirrels ate. Last year I got no berries, and this year only about a pint.
I have 150′ of raspberries on V-trellises (cross bars with wire at 3′ and 5′) I contain my plants within a 2′ width between cedar 4×4 boarders and weed whip up to the cedar to discipline the aggressors. I prune mid winter or later depending on weather. Each plant (every 6-8′) gets reduced to six of the strongest shoots and they get cut back a third of the way down. I had two types but I had to eliminate one as they were not good producers in this area. You know, trial and error in gardening.
Just a note on getting my berries – I have bird netting if I see the robins attacking my produce and tree rats do not last long here. Myself and several neighbors discovered that if squirrels are allowed to multiple unchecked, they will even kill young birds in the nest (chew off heads and dump bodies on ground) also eggs are taken. Sort of like what I have seen weasels do in chicken houses. So my belief is that less squirrels equal, more birds, less bugs, and more garden produce – heartless me.
I guess you have more raspberries than I have yard. A friend helped me put bird netting over my raspberries, but my dog got his collar tangled in the netting, pulled it around the yard, further tangling it in his paws and my new fence. I had a horrible time getting everything untangled. This is surely a learning experience!
Unfortunately I have neighbors who feed the things. I’ve ended up with a few volunteer peanuts, but I’d rather have fewer squirrels.
A hidden live trap and some peanut bait will allow you to move the invaders to another county. When the hungry times come, tell your neighbors to eat squirrel.
Why wait for the later, if they are being fed, now is the time for fried squirrel.
I don’t feed the squirrels, but they do help themselves to the birdseed. I look on it as future protein for when the SHTF. The best part about it, they take care of themselves until we need them. We don’t have to house them or clean up after them. They just come around for the food.
If they did not have a furry tail they would be called a rat. I have never tasted anything like that but if you know someone who survived the war in Holland or Stalingrad, they could give you an opinion. I hope never to be that hungry. Store, prep, save, ….. be safe.
Same here with raspberries–last year a good crop for raspberries only 2 years planted so in the spring, I staked, wound twine for the limbs/foliage to grow on for the bumper crop and nothing.
One actually looks dead, no fruit hardly, and the other is just barely green and growing.
Plan to chop down soon–too much weed-eating for no produce.
Me too. This year I planted 7 blueberry plants. (5 survived.)
Find a good type for your area with help of local growers, plant in loose well drained soil, and give much water as fruiting begins. I am in zone 5/6 at 2000′ and have no problems with raspberry production. They do like some fertilizer in the form of composted manure every couple of years.
I am in Zone 4a, 4,300 ft, a little colder and shorter growing season than you. I originally bought the plants at a local dealer (Zone 4a, 5,000 ft.)
I know a LDS family who lived on their 1 year food storage to save money while building their house on their land. They had every thing listed for a 1 year food supply. What they learned is this:
After they got past the halfway mark of their supplies it seemed the second half was used up way quicker than the first half. Only lasted them 10 months if I remember. In order to work hard on the land and house took more calories than what is provided daily on a normal year’s food supply. The wife told me they should have put their garden in first before starting the house.
Just something to think about. We need to be conservative on our food supply time table. We don’t have as much as we think we do if calories burned are a lot higher than we planned for.
I upped my storage by 25% for each item…
@Bill Jenkins Horse
You and your wife are spot on…
The first thing we did when we started building our house back in 1993 was to put in a large garden. We started in July and moved in the first week of December after the plumbing, electrical, A/C were all installed and the sheet-rock floated but before we had painted or finished the interior; the house was livable and we finished the interior over the next year. It was like living in a house that was being re-modeled.
Our garden provided us with sustenance starting around the end of October and one week after we moved in, I took a picture of the back porch covered with fresh picked vegetables. Our Christmas dinner that year was mostly home grown.
BJH..this is on my mind a lot.
I think of oats, rice, and macaroni/pasta dishes when reading your post. Maybe why I invested heavily on canned butter, sugar, and tomatoes.
I recommend much stored honey – keeps forever and is a great additive to many dishes. I love sweet and sour dishes (vinegar/honey) meats, cabbage, …..
When buying honey for long term, just remember to get glass jars instead of plastic. The honey may last hundreds of years but the plastic it comes in will break down over time.
That is a very good reminder.
Honey I can buy, comes in plastic.
Should I just transfer it to clean jars/put lids on, and will that be okay?
Yes, put your honey in jars. Make sure no moisture is in the jar and it will last for years and years.
I have never had to transfer honey to glass, as the brand I buy already comes in glass. You should be able to transfer the honey to glass jars. I would sterilize any jars that you use just to be sure that you are not contaminating the honey. Although honey does have anti-bacterial properties, I would still want to start with very clean jars.
Will have to pull it out of the closet to transfer it over into the glass containers. Ours is produced by a local company, and it has a wonderful flavor.
I agree about the Honey. I bartered for 10 gallons of honey a couple weeks ago. I will put some in quart jars and the rest in pints. I put the jars back in the box they came in for storage and plastic wrap it. I also write the date on the box. We use honey all the time especially in our fresh fruit smoothies.
Lots of good thought provoking information on this post today.
We can food, freeze and dehydrate and we look at a 2 year window of tough times. We all have different situations that we live in so it is important to prepare for the scenario that you think you may experience.
We never know about a crop failure in our garden, even during normal times. We try and make food rotation a monthly chore. We routinely use home canned food that is 2-4 years old with no problems. If we get snowed in with a winter storm, we can get along comfortably without going to the grocery store for quite a while. We also store #10 cans of dried milk and eggs, and butter powder.
Since we raise no livestock we can meat and have purchased canned ham, tuna, sardines and salmon. We figure in a tough times scenario we will use meats more as condiments in casseroles and salads instead of a main course.
It is important to be flexible and adaptable.
We also try to set aside foods for the less fortunate and elderly. The problem with giving to the needy is them telling folks that you have ” food to spare”. That is a whole other issue to deal with, no one likes hungry, armed, uninvited company.
Blessings to all
Another thought on charity that I read on another site recently is to give thru a local church, by taking the food directly to the church. This way no one shows up at your door step every couple of days. Many churches currently have pantries for the needy already.
Thanks for your comment about donating food through your local church. We would prefer to do that. We attend a small church and I think it would be extremely difficult to give food without our I.D. being compromised. In a SHTF world I believe that the people you know today will have a totally different personality and may be extremely difficult to deal with. The church workers that would receive & distribute the food would be the weak link in the system if someone put a gun to their head and wanted to know the food source. We try and think “worst case” scenario, remember these may be ugly times.
Food for thought .
Yes — One option is to “rotate out” canned goods from a household pantry a few months before the expire dates and take them to the church pantry- like “food tithing”. I must admit tho, I’ve just been keeping expired cans- I figure that the time may come when I don’t care about the inked date, I’m seriously hungry, I’ll have the option to open them/smell/taste a little/ wait/eat some more/etc. or whatever.
My bigger concern is storing enough water- I feel I need 2 or 3+ times more water (by bulk space) than food.
I think the more important question is can you have TOO MUCH food storage. And the answer to that would be “no.” I see comments above about throwing away the old food storage, plowing under the unused crops, and from my perspective that’s OK–anything plowed under is compost for the next thing to be planted there. Old wheat, oats, rice, can go to feed animals if you have them, and if not it goes in compost.
If you have more than you can use, it can be either stored or recycled into your garden/food animals. If you store more than you can use, it’s available in an emergency and still gets recycled if it gets too old.
I find it nearly imponderable as to how much food we have when applied to time frames. I’ve read several tables that give minimums per person, and feel certain we meet those requirements for a year or better for 4, when we add in our sheep, rabbits, chickens and garden we probably could support 6.
But, then we have neighbors who aren’t preppers who we would depend on for mutual security, can’t have them starving. Plus, anonymous giving to charity has always been important.
I guess the answer to Ken’s question for us is “never enough”.
I feel sometimes my stored food may lack the nutrients to keep me healthy so I added vitamin supplements’ to my storage. I think of seeds as future food, so I keep them around….
Of course it is never enough, especially when family shows up who didn’t heed my warnings, if gov’t or thieves take my home food and leaves me only my caches buried, or a natural disaster takes it all. Then what ever takes my food and seed storage early, I’ll have to depend on what I get from the forest and the thousands of lakes in my area which is a big part of my prep.
Yesterday I went to the fish gut dump while working to gather all my seeded lambs quarters I planted in the woods last fall fed by the fish mulch. I should get 3 harvests from them. My liberal coworker asked what was I doing? I told him I’m gathering lambs quarters. He said he wouldn’t touch anything in the fish mulch mixed with peat. Good! I said. I supplement it with a few maggots(kidding). That was enough for him to not even be curious to see what it looks like.
I keep noticing in the pics above, it is a bunch of boxes with what appears to be a variety of goods in each.
It has just gotten me to thinking, that although it is important to keep things in some kind of order, so you know what is what, a few boxes of mixed goods as above would be good, in case one had to leave, but had time to grab several boxes. Then would have a variety, instead of say, all sardines.
This particular image I grabbed from the web… No need to overthink it ;) althouh having some ‘ready to go’ is always a good idea.
wasn’t that I was even thinking about it,
but it suddenly hit me, that it is a good idea to
have a few containers mixed stuff, ready to go…
You are missing out on good eats.
Squirrels are excellent table fare when properly prepared.
Google is your friend.
Maybe I shouldn’t say but I have dispatched hundreds and not one appealed to me unless you tell me they taste like chicken lol.
Just a note of interest on canned Expiration Dates.
Vietnam, 1960, U.S. military issue can of Canned Bread, with a Stamped Date of June 1944. (16 yrs.)
Opened it, smelled OK, looked OK, ate it, tasted OK. No aftereffects.
Food, yes prepare as much as you can.
I’m afraid Govt’s around the globe are preparing for much worse than civil unrest. Having built a seed vault miles deep thru solid granite in record time. Having dug a tunnel system hundreds, if not thousands of miles that are inter-connected here in the US. They have also been spending money like they will never have to repay it!! Why??
My advice is to stay away from all coasts, if possible get to an attitude of 800′ or higher in a rural setting with like minded people as quickly as possible. Make sure everyone that you care about has a number of good books to read including the Bible.
This country has had the largest renouncing of citizenship in our history in the last 8 years according to the Census Bureau. Something is about to happen and only a limited number of people know about it. Those that were threatening to go public, I think were murdered. Astro Physicist, Bankers, and scientists are some of the occupations of people who have paid the ultimate price. Before they go public with an announcement, they want to have us under control. Creating an atmosphere of chaos and fear will allow them to use Martial Law for the safety of everyone. I think we all know the real reason is to disarm us!!
Yes, prepare with food, but try to look at the broader picture of why all Govt’s have been preparing. I feel we are running out of time.
Just a little more info. The Chinese built 20 mega cities capable of housing 1.5 million people each all away from coasts at least 500 miles. Also Japan has built a giant underground structure that is water tight and earthquake proof under Tokyo and deeper than the subway system and is connected to the subway system. Its large enough to house most of those who live in Tokyo.
Prepare and Pray, stay aware of what is happening around you always.
Like my silver, I just keep stacking the food. I rotate it too but I’m always buying more than I put in. My estimate is 9 to 12 months… But this is a hard calculation to come up with as buying food in single server packages isn’t cost effective.
I also have put in many efforts to produce my own food this year by expanding my garden and raising chickens. I’m toying with the idea of keeping bees so if anybody has some input on that it would be great. But how much is enough food to store? There is never enough as long you can keep it from going to waste.
I am running out of storage space for food. I live in a hot, humid climate, so I need to keep it mostly inside the house. Does anyone have suggestions for creative storage ideas?
5 gal buckets with screw on Gama lids. Use two small packets of oxygen absorbent on the inside. I use them for rice, beans, sugar, etc mostly dry goods. I also save the boxes that my canning jars come in for storing the full jars and just label the outside what’s on the inside. Makes it easy to pack if I ever need to be mobile in a hurry.
Thanks for taking time for suggestions. I found some Gamma lids at Lowe’s yesterday.
I am still working on a 1 year food storage for 10 people (all family). The hardest to stockpile is the meat (meat that I have pressure-canned). Meat that we have to buy is expensive and it takes time to process/can. Sure, we have the freezer for meats but during grid-down, that meat will need to be pressure-canned ASAP. (I have enough quarts and pint jars to accommodate that scenario) My current focus is adding more meats to our food shelves by pressure-canning.
We have plenty of stored grains, legumes, sugars, and baking essentials for a year. I need more fats/oils, some more powdered milk, and more canned meats to feel comfortable for the 1 year goal for 10. Am I certain that all 10 people would show up at our place? Probably not — but we are planning, just in case. Our food storage is a work-in-progress that needs to be ramped-up ASAP due to all of the potential risks we currently face.
“10 people (all family). The hardest to stockpile is the meat (meat that I have pressure-canned). Meat that we have to buy is expensive and it takes time to process/can.”.
I brought up the idea once before about the benefits of switching to a vegetarian diet when in SHTF mode. I’ve got my own personal beliefs that don’t belong here, but from a pragmatic standpoint, you could get to that 10 person load-out quicker, easier and cheaper if you did it vegetarian based. Then if time and resources permit, add meat stores after your 10 person minimum is met.
I stopped eating meat 28 years ago, ain’t killed me yet. Plus when you look on the LTS food sites real meat is always 4-5 times more expensive than the TVP analog.
Just something to consider I suppose.
You’re right about the beans (and I happen to love them!). I went ‘vegetarian’ for several years and had no issues whatsoever. My husband isn’t keen on living without meat, though. We often compromise to this day.
For our long term planning, we do store quite the load of legumes and grains. I personally like the recipes from Diet From A Small Planet and the Vegetarian Epicure. We also raise most of our own meats (not beef, though). That will carry us through for the long term, no doubt.
I always learn a lot from the comments.
You might consider adding extra virgin coconut oil to storage. It lasts much longer than olive oil and other oils/ shortening. Great health benefits, as well as it can take higher cooking temps. And coconut oil can be used in soaps, lotions, shampoos, ointments, as well as used in food.
We hope to make/acquire a sun powered food dehydrator this year for drying excess fruits & veggies. These can be stored in canning jars & should keep 5 years at a minimum.
We also invested in a vacuum sealer, which allows us to buy grains, sugar, flours, pastas, etc in bulk on sale & then vacuum seal them into smaller portion sizes for storage.
Love the Gamma lids & 5 gallon buckets!
You made two very excellent points that I fear might not get noticed as much towards the end of this thread. Virgin organic coconut oil is a miracle product! Yes it keeps for much longer than the printed date. We use it for everything from a skin treatment, to cooking almost anything, to a key ingredient in homemade toothpaste. Side note on that… I was in for some oral surgery yesterday for several hours. I mentioned my homemade toothpaste to my dentist, half expecting some kind of rebuke. Instead, his eyes kind of lit up. He said he has read very impressive studies on the ‘drawing’ ability of coconut oil to clean teeth. He said he was glad to finally hear from someone who has tried it, and he seemed to thoroughly support the idea.
Next, on the vacuum sealer. YES! 10,000 times! What a work saver and money saver too. I did processed 50 pounds of Jasmine rice two nights ago into 1kg and 500g packages, which are just the right size for our use. I should further note that we are currently using up rice stored in this manner in 2012/2013. There is no sign of degradation or infestation. Taste is perfect, it cooks up well too. WE have never done the deep freeze treatment either. Just vacuum sealing it.
It is quite satisfying to be able to portion and prepare a pot of rice that costs $2-$4 dollars at a restaurant, for about 10 cents, plus a little heat and water.
Thanks for sharing, especially about the extra virgin coconut oil as it relates to dental care… I had not read anything about that and will do some research. Hope your oral surgery went okay yesterday, and that you are not hurting too badly today!
@ angelcrest, McGyer & So Cal Gal
I will do a double ditto on the Coconut Oil. All I use anymore, stores a very VERY long time in just a cool dry spot. Taste great in all the foods, and ya don’t have that slimy yuck in your mouth after eating.
McGyver, Thinking on giving the CO toothpaste a try, thanks for the recommendation.
Have you read about swishing coconut oil in your mouth to help prevent or stop cavities on the enamel of the teeth?
Read it recently on the internet came as a preparedness hint. You do not swallow it, is simple a swish the spit out of the mouth.
Yes I have studied that. I mix mine with bentonite and Celtic salt and peppermint oil. The CO seems to loosen up’stuff’ and the bentonite has an affinity for it, clings to it and goes down the drain.
Results after two months:
– Whiter, cleaner teeth.
– Notable absence of “morning mouth”.
– Now more ’tissue sloughing’ like Crest has become known for.
No abrasives, charred animal bones, or fluoride.
Cost is about 75 cents per 4 ounce tube. Soft silicone fill-able tubes from Amazon work perfectly.
How about a recipe?
DISCLAIMER – This was my first batch, and there is room for improvement. So I’ll offer my plans for the second batch coming up.
WARNING – If you live with a woman, DO NOT under any circumstances blend this mixture in her new Vita Mix machine! As cool as the idea sounds, it does NOT work well. The bentonite gets under the blade and into the drive assembly. I recently learned that this is grounds for justifiable homicide.
1/2 cup bentonite. (wyoming-sourced is supposed to be the best)
1/3 cup Coconut Oil (unrefined, organic and above 76F so it is liquid form)
1 TB Celtic Sea Salt (the semi-moist kind from northern France)
1/4 cup Stevia (1/4 cup for fluffy kind only, reduced 75% if powdered)
2 t Organic peppermint oil. (clove oil in small amounts might be good too)
Mix it up in a BOWL with a spoon (not the wife’s Vita mix) and add water a few drops at a time until it is… well…. toothpaste consistency.
I load it into the 4 oz tubes with a butter knife. You can squeeze the round opening into an oval and fill those tubes in under 30 seconds each.
It’s really neat. Leaves your teeth feeling slick, like a properly waxed car.
Thank you Sir
Thanks for this recipe — I’ll have to give this a try, too. I’ll go miles for anything coconut.
Are you purchasing the supplies @ Amazon or somewhere else to make up your tooth paste?
I understand the Vita Mix thing…..I would use my cast iron skillet on dh if he were to mess with my machine since it is the most important part of creating his food every day. Does the word “mine—,mine” sound familiar? lol
Yes, Amazon for the Bentonite, essential oils and the Celtic Salt. The coconut oil and stevia I bought locally.
For the vacuum sealed in mason jars, be sure to have a brake bleeder for resealing if a grid down occurs.
I have managed to seal jars with the brake bleeder
the vacuum sealer wouldn’t seal.
when you vacuum sealed the rice packs, did you put anything in it? (O2 absorbers etc)?
Never used o2 absorbers. I figure if I can pull a strong vacuum >27 mm/hg, then there isn’t much oxygen anyway. So far it has worked brilliantly. Even brown rice which supposedly goes rancid very fast has been likewise quite good at 3 years+.
I used to nitro-flush the bags first, but I don’t even do that anymore.
Good to know. I keep thinking this option over.
My big reluctance is the price of the bags. I have searched sales and they seem pricey, still. I am on the lookout for some manager’s special, or going out of business special, and plan to pounce.
This and a Freeze Dry machine are on my list for when I win the lottery. (Yup, even if I win big, I plan to prep. Even more so. )
Oh no… You don’t buy the obscenely overpriced bags! Just get the machine with a starter roll. THEN go visit our ChiCom friends on eBay for excellent vac-seal bags 75-80% less than the brand name.
You can save even more by not getting premade bags. Simply buy open rolls, cut to the size you need, seal one end, fill it up, then vac/seal = done.
Also, you get what you pay for in terms of cyclic rate. The cheaper home machines will overheat and “thermal-out” after just a few bags, requiring a cool-down period. OK for the occasional user. But the duty cycle increases proportionately to the purchase price. Something to keep in mind if you decide to portion out a 50 pound sack of beans in one shot.
is ChiCom –a brand name found on ebay? (sorry, if this is common knowledge, I have never purchased on ebay)
First, great post.
Two issues. I have, on my own, stocked the pantry to near bursting with at least 4 to 6 weeks worth of food. I have also created “emergency buckets” with rice, beans, oatmeal, dehydrated fruit, etc. That I store in a closet with oxygen absorbers and exp dates on exterior.
First, wife is not supportive of my preparedness measures, despite logically discussing with her. Second, really running out of space that she will allow me to use. Any suggestions on how to get her more into the program? And any suggestions on out of the way storage locations? Thanks!
Here are a few related articles to your questions… the article’s comments provide good insight too…
How And Where Do You Store All Of Your Preps?
How To Get Your Wife On-board With Prepping
How To Get Your Wife and Kids to Prep
From yours: “Second, really running out of space that she will allow me to use.”
‘Allow’ you to use?? (!) <<>> (note to self – go home and give wife extra-long hug tonight). I cannot wrap my head around this concept.
Anyway, do you have the room to put up an out building or large shed? You can do it like I did, model it and paint it to match the house, so it looks like it was purpose built with the house. It’s quite simple and not very expensive if you build it yourself. Then you can run to Ikea for a few basic furnishings and move your wife into it…
Alternately, you could use it to store food items. Depending on your climate, you might need to run electric for a small air conditioner (or heater).
Falling out of the chair with laughter and my dh thinks my brains have left the building…..rol lmao
Brilliant idea! luv ya’ll, Beach’n
build yourself new bedroom furniture(modify what you have). Make all beds a bit higher, and able to lift up. (pistons?). You can store a fair bit under beds, and it is otherwise lost/dusty space). Make generous bases on your night tables, these bottoms can work as good storage. (slide out/lift up)…etc…
If you have a mattress box there is probably a good deal of space inside it. Put boards across the supports and use it to store FD foods (since they’re lighter and will last forever) then staple the cloth back into place. Many cupboards and dressers have space behind the drawers. Put food in empty, seldom used suitcases. If you have an unused basement, stack your supplies on the 2×4 supports. Put it up inside a drop ceiling, or on top of a dividing wall between two living areas (as long as the wall is wide enough).
If she’ll let you remodel, put a false wall inside closets (on the end, so it can’t be easily seen) particularly in guest rooms.
Oh, and for a while keep a list of the things she usually runs to the store for. “I’m out of____, could you go to the store for me?” and keep those things in your storage. Then when she asks you can say “It’s in the food storage.” Get her used to going to the storage first. Also plant surprises, like her favorite candy or something, so when she goes to get those items she finds a treat. Training works on people, too! :)
Lauren, great ideas! Train ’em with “treats”. :) luv ya’ll, Beach’n
@ Brent Mac
You may have a very VERY serious problem ya know, on both fronts.
Without sounding like the a$$hole that I am, I would really suggest you have an overwhelmingly serious discussion with the wife. And here is where the AH part of NRP comes out, personally I would not stay with someone that is unwilling to spend a few extra bucks and a little time to assure you, her, and family could survive a problem, ALSO if she cannot see that the “extra” food will be used at some time…… well you can guess the rest of my comment on that.
You may toss out there “what would happen if we (both) lost our jobs?” or many other convincing quotes.
Next; “really running out of space that she will allow me to use” Excuses me????? REALLY!!?? “allow you to use” for something that may save your friggen lives????? REALLY!!! Dude, you have LOT more of a problem than just “space” to store stuff…..
Best of luck when TSHTF of any magnitude.
Just my 2¢ worth
PS; really don’t mean to sound like this, but you need to talk with her, seriously.
Brent Mac needs to call a date-night, movie at home with the little missus. Pop some corn, open a Coke, maybe some jujubees. Then load ‘Alive’ into the disc player. You know.. the one about the soccer team that crashed in the Andes back in ’72. They ran out of food pretty quick.
Sorry NRP… I’ll see your ‘AH’ and raise you a ‘BMF’.
DANG IT Mc. Would you please put a warning message before you post something like that???
I just blew orange juice out my nose from laughing….. and MAN-o-MAN does that hurt…. LOLOL and NOW I have a hell of a mess to clean up HAHAHA
PS; Mc. I see your “BMF” and raise you a “63-years-old”.
Yeah, what NRP said and I’m a woman. I’d be thinking some bad thoughts if my dementia-brained husband even suggested ‘he wouldn’t let me’ whatever!!! Yes, he really has memory problems, but getting better with Turmeric therapy.
He is and has been supportive all the way from day one in 2008.
Thank you LOrd for him.
Another testimony to Turmeric, Thank you
I was talking with my doctor last week about Turmeric. She cautioned me to remember that turmeric is also a potent anti-coagulant. Which COULD be beneficial too… unless you happen to be on a blood thinner already. Be careful of that.
I have heard that and read that, and seen that on here.
Personally, for myself, I have to say it is not so.
Yet, again personally for myself, if I take Vitamin D supplement for a day or two, and have a small cut (very tiny), I will bleed profusely. It is the same if I eat foods with Vit D added.
I could find nothing much on this effect of Vit D (as you may know most Doctors will advise HUGE doses of it daily, supposed to improve everything from soup to nuts)
I then came across info which said it is added to rat poison to kill rats, and works by making them bleed to death. Either I am part Rat (some have said so), or Vit D may not be the wonder hormone some promote.
I do not take turmeric every day, but more days than not.
Anyway, just my two cents, and how it works for me. Interesting if others have personal info on this.
Interesting. My doctor also is a strong advocate for 5,000iu D3 per day. I’ve been struggling to lower my blood pressure naturally.
Rat poison has its place. Warfarin was one of the most popular blood thinners in the world, going back 50 years. It’s also sold as rat poison. It works therapeutically well on people and lethally well on rodents.
Give her the book “One Second After” as a gift. My husband just tolerated my prepping, until our kids became adults and preppers, now he’s 100 percent on board. Only took about 35 years.. He never tried too hard to stop me before, not that he would have been successful. It’s still nice that he’s on board now.
Re cooking oils mentioned above, Peanut oil and Crisco can be stored without temperature control. We’ve used 4 year old Peanut oil successfully that was stored in a pantry in our barn. The manufacturer of Crisco tells me their product is freeze/thaw stable, with the only change being it becomes more clumpy, rather than smooth.
good to know
Since we don’t do much baking, when we open a can of crisco we put most of it in the freezer. I’ve never noticed a texture or taste difference when it’s thawed.
HAHAHA, Now that has the be the all-time shortest response to an article….
And guess what, I have been thinking on this article since Ken posted it yesterday.
You basically took my answer.
@NRP and Beach’n: Thanks and best wishes.
perfect answer! luv ya’ll, Beach’n
A problem most preppers have in regard to food – they don’t see their storage as a reserve while their self sufficiency plan is implemented ….
With many of the SHTFs, outside the natural disaster types, there’s absolutely NO way to ascertain a specific date to expect a SHTF termination – most likely that initial SHTF will grow with the compounding of other tangent SHTFs …. that first glance minor SHTF of a month is suddenly 6 months with that even being uncertain …
Your well planned self sufficiency plan kicks in immediately when a major SHTF looms – and not after your food supply is running on empty ….
Last saw news video of ALL NIGHT line ups in Venezuela, to purchase small amounts of food. Not all were successful.
and, no doubt the prices were high.
my “new” answer to Title question…
“No, there is not such a thing as enough”……
best to put up/store extra and not need it…
Very sad situation over there.
Regarding store bought canned goods – does anyone have real life experience for using the cans well after the expiration dates? I have stocked up on a lot of cans and would like to add more but the expiration dates cause me concern.
I have used green beans and peaches, bought in cans, that were well over a year passed expiration date. They tasted great. Hope this helps.
One more thing, be careful using very much passed dated tomato products. I find it is better to recan them in glass jars.
Great tip!! Thank you that helps.
@ EM, we routinely use expired canned items. Mostly canned soups and some vegetables. The only cans we ever had problems with were the canned sauerkraut and canned tomato products. The cans would always start to rust at the seams, usually shortly after the expiration dates. At that point we would discard those cans. A few months ago, I found a can of evaporated milk with an expiration date of 1992, I used it in cooking and it was fine. As long as the can is not bulging or show signs of rust at the seams it should still be good.
(Type the article title in the Search Box. :>)
@EM, Here are a few articles that I wrote about the subject awhile ago…
Use-by, Best-by, and Sell-by Food Expiration Dates
Sell-by, Use-by, Dates
Well this one you can probably file under “No Sh*t Sherlock”. But here is my experience with canned food:
If it was packed in the USA or Canada, and kept reasonably cool, I think you can safely go well beyond the expiration date.
Our family also enjoys a wide variety of foods from around the world. We no longer buy shelf-stable goods from Japan or Korea since Fukushima.
Goods that are produced in the Middle East or Eastern Europe tend to be the worst offenders. Right around the expiration date they start to swell or corrode. We are rotating those items out quickly, replaced by dry goods that can be prepared at home.
Thank you all – good information and the first hand experience is so important.
No is the answer to the question.
The guest room is getting a major over haul, all guest related items are going to storage. All necessary sewing & food preparation are being moved in, thought about this for some time…win win for us. Company would rather stay in town anyway since we are to far out for their liking, which is ok with me.
Problem is – we don’t know how many mouths we’ll have to feed and how much they will be able to bring with them. We are expecting to have 14 housed here for TEOTWAWKI. They have various amounts of food stores, but some might not be able to bring it all. We will definitely have to expand our gardens and chickens. None of our core 14 will be turned away if they make it here. I wish I had a basement/cellar/bunker…
It is tough to determine just how much food you need of what kind for how many people so I use the method I learned from Grandpappy of “Grandpappy’s Hard Time Survival”. He taught me to keep a good inventory of what I have and to count total calories for what I have. You can then play “what if” games by selecting how many calories your family will eat per day and dividing it into the total amount to determine how many day’s worth of food you have. You do need to have some sense though about what items you have and a good selection. I do keep inventory of all non-calorie items as well such as soap, TP, candles, etc.