Rice is rich in starch, and an excellent source of energy. Beans are rich in protein, and contain other minerals.

The consumption of the two together provides ALL the essential amino acids, and it is no wonder that this combination is a staple of many diets throughout the world.

Here’s why they are a good combination for long-term survival food storage, their calories per pound, survival days, and nutrition.



5 gallon bucket of White Rice (~ 30 lbs of rice)
50,000 calories
25 survival days

1648 calories per pound (uncooked / dry)
660 calories per cup (uncooked / dry)

TIP: For very long term food storage, I would not use brown rice because it will begin to go rancid from it’s oil content after awhile (~ 1+ years) .


5 gallon bucket of Beans (~ 30 lbs of beans)
47,000 calories
24 survival days

1568 calories per pound (uncooked / dry)
630 calories per cup (uncooked / dry)

Note: There is a slight variation of calories per pound for different bean varieties. Numbers listed above are an average. They are mostly similar…

Note: After many years, beans loose their ability to soften up while re-hydrating in water. It’s always a good idea to use and rotate your storage, thus minimizing issues like this. We use a pressure cooker for old dry beans (works great!). We have this one (a Presto, from amzn).

How Much Rice and Beans for One Year

First, logically, a long term food storage should be diversified among many food groups and preservation methods. With that said, this is just to give you an idea of what it take for rice and beans survival for one year…

Typically, a combination of rice-and-beans might be a ratio of 2:1. So, if all you ate were rice and beans for survival, here are the numbers…

2,000 calories per day for 365 days = 730,000 calories

486,180 calories rice
243,090 calories beans

(10) 5-gallon buckets rice (292 lbs)
(5) 5-gallon buckets beans (155 lbs)

While you will not want to eat rice and beans every day and every meal (!!), the combination is an inexpensive food storage ‘staple’ as part of your overall food storage diversity. The quantities I’ve indicated will give you an idea with regards to relativity.

Nutrition, variety, food-fatigue — lots of factors for survival food.

Some food storage outlets will sell you rice and/or beans already packed and sealed for long term food storage in buckets. However you can also do it yourself by purchasing in bulk and then use Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and your own 5 gallon buckets.

How To Seal A Mylar Bag In A 5 Gallon Bucket

Rice, White, Long Grain – Nutrition Per Cup, Cooked

Fat (0.44 grams)
Carbohydrates (44 grams)
Fiber (0.6 grams)
Protein (4.25 grams)

Very low in saturated fat, sodium, and no cholesterol

Beans, Pinto – Nutrition Per Cup, Cooked

Fat (1.1 grams)
Carbohydrates (44.8 grams)
Fiber (15.4 grams)
Protein (15.4 grams)

Very low in saturated fat, sodium, and no cholesterol
Very high in dietary fiber and protein

By themselves, rice and beans are bland. No doubt there are countless spices and other ingredients you can add to increase nutrition and make them more palatable.

What are your suggestions?

Continue reading: Decade Old Beans — Okay to Eat?

Enough Food For A Year — Level 3 Preparedness

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