Rice and Beans, A Survival Combination

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.

WHITE RICE

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 might begin to go rancid from it’s oil content after awhile (~ 1+ years) .

TIP: If you’re concerned about possible long term effects from arsenic in rice, here’s how to mitigate that, and which rice has the least amount of it:

[ Read: Best Way To Remove Up To 80% of Arsenic in Rice ]

BEANS

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.

TIP! For old beans. We use a pressure cooker for old dry beans (works great!). We have this one.

Presto 4-Quart Pressure Cooker
(view on amzn)

How Many Pounds Of 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 how many pounds of rice and beans survival for one year…

Some might like it half and half (rice with beans). 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 of rice (about 300 lbs)
(5) 5-gallon buckets of dry beans (about 150 lbs)

How Much Rice and Beans Per Person Per Day

Another way to look at it… Figure out the quantity per person per day. That will also give you an idea regarding general storage.

To simply provide 2,000 calories from these two ingredients from a 2:1 ratio of rice and beans:

Coincidently, two cups of uncooked rice and one cup of uncooked dried beans is almost exactly 2,000 calories.

Bear in mind that the rice will expand a good bit after its cooked. Lots of carbs too. Whereas the beans have a good amount of protein. Anyway, lots of this is dependent on your preferences too.

You might choose 1.5 cups uncooked rice with 1.5 cups of beans instead. This will also get you to about 2,000 calories.

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.

[ Read: 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?

[ Read: Decade Old Beans — Okay to Eat? ]

[ Read: Enough Food For A Year — Level 3 Preparedness ]

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138 Comments

  1. I have some 13 year-old dry black beans in storage and recently thought it would be fun to plant some. They sprouted and have little pods forming, after only 2 months. I am pleasantly surprised. So they have some use, even if they are old.

    1. Canning butter is simple, and it’ll last at least 7 years. Melt a some pounds of butter in a pot on the stove until simmering hot. Pour into canning jars, cover semi tightly and let cool. As it cools, it will separate, so give it a good shake every now and then to keep it mixed. When it hardens up, put it in a cool dark place. I’ve never had any for more than 7 years, but I bet it’ll go 10 before it goes bad.

      1. I started canning butter last year–thanks for the use-by information! I’ve been stretching it out, trying to see how long it would last. Based on what you said I’ll assume a 2 to 3 years supply (half of the 7 years) should be sufficient and keep rotating through it.

      2. Hello,
        Interesting, I didn’t know butter could be home canned. Does it matter what kind? I need to eat dairy and soy free, any suggestions? We currently eat EarthBound Dairy and Soy free. Otherwise, I’d be in a world of hurt. ;p

        1. Ellie B;
          Personally I have not “canned” butter, BUT with that said I would buy a good/great quality butter.
          I like some of the Amish Brands we can get around here. Normally I purchase several pounds at a time, repackage it into smaller chunks, super wrap it with plastic (yes plastic I know I know) and freeze it.

        2. EllieB
          You would have to find a site that is still on the net but she no longer posts on her blog. Look for PrepardnessPro, she has articles on how to can butter along with other items, such as bacon.

          If you try your hand at pressure canning bacon be sure to use a commercial restaurant grade parchment paper. She does not say that but I have both commercial and the store brand and can feel a difference in the thickness and weight of the paper.

          Bacon that you will require it must be the thicker slices. If you use the thin it will crumble from what a certain TP king has informed this group.

          If you have any other questions this group is a wealth of combined knowledge, just ask on the “open form section”.

        3. I think you will find that Ghee, though derived from butter, is an option for some who need to be dairy free – at least medically motivated dairy free people. Read up on it at least and determine for yourself. Ghee is the pure fat layer so while the recommendation in this thread was to “shake the butter”, the idea here would be to slowly heat it in large quantities and then you will get three melted layers. A foamy top layer that you skim off and discard or repurpose. A golden clear middle layer (the Ghee or clarified butter) and a third bottom layer of yucky solids that just looks bad for your bod (I could be wrong). I throw the bottom layer out.

          That beautiful middle layer doesn’t even require refrigeration (though I do) but if you canned it, I wonder if it would keep longer than the 10 years mentioned. Has anyone tried?

    2. I heard years ago that “Anasazi beans”, similar to pinto beans that are less gassy, were brought back from oblivion when an archeologist discovered a 1,500-year-old tightly sealed jar of them at a dig in New Mexico and decided to plant some; some of the beans germinated. I don’t know if the story is true, but if it is, it suggests that with proper storage, beans may still sprout after many centuries. However, most botanists say that beans are unable to germinate after approximately 50 years, which is still a long time,

      1. @ Gunnar W.

        You are completely correct about Anasazi Beans, Best dang beans you could ever ask for. I buy them directly from the growers at $0.30 a pound, they store for years and years with no problem, I’m finishing off a bucket from 09 that was stored in a bucket with no additions preps. Still good as the day they were brought home.

        Once you eat Anasazi Beans you’ll never go back to Pinto Beans.
        NRP

        1. Would you be willing to share your source for the Anasazi beans. Don’t know if they will ship, but would like to try.
          Thnx so much

          1. Rick Thorne:
            Sorry, I just saw your request.
            I by mine from a Mill in Dove Creek CO.
            Place called Adobe Milling Co.
            They have a website, search for them
            Yes they do ship.
            Anasazi Beans. Best fart food you’ll ever eat….. 😁😁

      2. If you don’t want “gassy” beans use the rinse, soak, rinse method. Soak overnight or at least 8 hours then simmer for at least an hour. Has nothing to do with the type of bean. Same if you want to make hummus. Soak those garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas)!

  2. Several months ago I came across a bucket of rice that somehow got lost in our rotation. Being that it was quite old I decided to use it everyday until it was gone. There are so many different recipes that we never really got tired of rice as I don’t believe we repeated any of the recipes with one exception. So as long as your have various spices and recipes its almost like your are eating a different food everyday. Fried rice is our favorite as you can vary the ingrediants, making it a complete meal by itself.

    1. For fried rice, you need some type of fat or oil. You should definitely store (and rotate) fats and oils as well as beans and rice, since you won’t survive long without them. Rice and beans have almost no fat. They also lack vitamins C, A, and B-12. Those can be supplied with supplemental vitamin pills, but you must have fat.

      1. I wish there was a way to store oils so that they last for years. Oils will go rancid after a year or maybe two at the most. Oils are essential for survival but I don’t know any way to keep them other than to rotate what I have. I can’t buy too much because I won’t use it all in a year, so I can’t store all that much. Any ideas out there?

        1. I have seen powdered lard and powdered butter available. I have never used either product, but it could be an option.

        2. Coconut Oil is an extremely stable molecule and will remain non-rancid for years. I kept a jar once and checked it something like 5-6 years later and it still did not smell rancid. I have a very sensitive nose for that smell so I feel confident it had not gone bad. That said all food and most particularly oils, should be kept very very cool, dark and dry. I store olive oil in my root cellar and it lasts about twice as long that way as usual. During the winter the oil clouds up but doesn’t harm it, in warmer weather it clarifies again. And as one respondent says, Ghee can be kept canned for years.

          1. I totally agree with the Coconut Oil, it’s got a great taste and will last a heck of a lot longer that “regular” oils. Trick is to just keep it cool, or cold. Like you said in a root cellar is best, or under the house in the craw space or basement. Anywhere below 60° is good.
            NRP

        3. Oil only goes rancid due to the presence of oxygen. If you can displace or eliminate oxygen in the container before it is sealed, oils and fats should last almost indefinitely when stored at moderately cool temperature — longer than you’ll be around, anyway. This could be accomplished with a dry nitrogen or carbon dioxide purge.

          Since whole grains contain some plant oils, they’ll go rancid as well, even though they contain vitamin E as a natural inhibitor. To store grains for more than a year or two, the container needs to be purged of oxygen. An easy way to do this is to put the grain into a drum or bucket, throw a chunk of dry ice onto the grain and put the lid on loosely in an area protected from drafts. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and it will displace the oxygen all the way to the bottom of the container. After the dry ice has sublimated, the lid should be sealed air-tight. Another benefit of the carbon dioxide treatment is that will halt insect infestation of the grain at all stages of development.

        4. Corn Oil
          Canola Oil
          Peanut Oil
          Olive Oil
          Sunflower Oil

          Get a press and learn how to make your own oil.

      2. Olive oil easily stored for a long time if frozen.

        However, I am still using olive oil bought 3 years ago and it is fine; kept in a cool dark room and the best by date is Feb. 2014, so it has a long shelf life when bought.

        1. I buy a lot of butter when it’s on sale and freeze it. It keeps almost forever when frozen. I think you could also freeze shortening in those baking sticks by Crisco.

          Clarified butter lasts a few years. I have a half dozen small cans.

          You can buy freeze dried cheese; it will last 20 years and has lots of fat, but it is expensive. I have tried it for mac and cheese, etc. and it tastes ok.

          I have one can of freeze dried butter and one can of freeze dried shortening, but haven’t tried them so I don’t know whether to recommend them.

          1. I also freeze nuts and they last just about forever frozen in unopened packages.

            Some of my preps are “just add water” meals and they have a lot of fat (and usually too much salt.)

            Variety is important. I have lots of rice, beans and pasta, but lots of other stuff too.

          2. Freeze dried butter? You’ve got to be kidding right?! Freeze dried butter is just the solids, (the stuff you REMOVE when making ghee. This is basically just for flavoring, not nutritional value.

            There is no fat in it either, that would be in the ghee. Ghee lasts for a very long time. No need to can butter either. It won’t last as long as ghee.

            And freeze dried shortening? What is that? Shortening requires no refrigeration, but you’d be better off eating bark or roadkill.

            Shortening like Crisco is about as deadly bad for your heart as you can get. Not good to have a heart attack in a grid-down scenario. It’s definitely not a survival food. If I had a can of Cisco in a survival situation, I might use it for a lubricant or to burn, but definitely not to eat. Yuck.
            Who still uses that stuff?

          3. You gonna tell me to try to hold out for non GMO shit, too? Who ever heard of a hippie prepping…Food that gets you through the day enough to hunt game or find more resources is fine by any prepper’s standards….Lemmie guess: You like rick and michonne, right?

          4. Crisco might be “bad” for you in modern society, but in a survival situation, your calorie intake drops dramatically at the very time your caloric expenditure goes 5-10 x because you will be walking or riding a bike everywhere (post EMP) Don’t worry about modern concerns about your cholesterol after the grid goes down. Maximize your calories. Remember. Our great grandparents worked on farms, were skinny, and ate 4000 calories per day. And lived to be 90. You burn off “bad” foods..,

  3. I also have my food storage setup with lots of rice and beans. I would highly recommend storing your rice and beans in a mylar bag with oxygen absorbers, and then putting them in 5-gallon buckets. I have quite a bit of rice and beans (over 200 lbs) sealed this way, and I KNOW they will last longer than me!

    1. I do the same. There are many ways to cook both of them. I store quite a bit of spices to add to them also. Ad a little caned chicken,so dried vegetables and some chicken bullion and you have a great meal that can be stretched for days.

    2. Rice stored in 5 gallon buckets lasts years without any absorber.
      I have 16 (5) gallon buckets stored 2010, and check it every year; has been just fine and will last a very long time.
      I’m not worried about it not lasting at least 10 years.

  4. We also eat alot of rice. I have mine (about 200 lbs) stored in soda bottles. An o2 absorber goes into the bottle as well. Cacheres creole seasoning and bay leaves goes into my beans along with onions. But you can change it up and make baked beans or any other bean recipe. Also the rice is as versatile as your imagination. Something else I store in the soda bottles besides beans and rice is popcorn. You can buy a 50# sack at Sams cheap enough and then you have munchy snack food for survival also. I figure it will break up the monotony. Our small farm provides milk, eggs, and meat and I can much of the meat. Nothing wrong with canned rabbit or chicken to add to your rice. I recently made rabbit marinara and it was quite good over rice. Imagination is also an important survival prep!

    1. You can run that popcorn through a grinder to make cornmeal also. Just mix it 50/50 with flour and you can do corn bread

  5. Rice & beans are great for most folks, but not ok for those with diabetes. We have to watch our carb intake.

    1. For people which have to watch out for high carbs, buckwheat groats,(Kasha), is a good substitute for rice. It is also MUCH healthier than white rice. Another good trick is substituting lentles for beans as the cooking time is about the same as for rice or kasha, about 20 -30 minutes, and will save a lot of fuel over cooking beans separately. Lentles are also more nutritious and can be cooked without presoaking.

  6. I think oats would be better than rice, because rice doesn’t
    incl. the germ part of the grain (except brown rice which
    doesn’t keep as well) and oats being a grain you still have
    the grains + legumes (beans, peas) = protein combination.

    barley is another overlooked thing, and better for you than
    wheat.

    I think refried beans gives more food in the same space than
    usual canned beans, and can be mixed with quick oats and cold
    water and hot sauce in absence of cooking ability.

  7. Great post, has anyone tried to store beans that were fresh picked, im adding them into my garden next year, also could you store black eye peas, is there a drying process. Some of the beans I got this year seemed moister than others?

  8. The good thing about rice and beans is your diversity. There are many kinds of rice and beans so you could in all actuality eat a different bean or rice everyday. The bad thing about cooking beans and rice is the amount of water used to cook them. I have never “reused” the water from rice but I tend to use my “broth” from my beans and put bread in it and eat it like a soup. Another very cheap “meal” is Ramen noodles. You can get a case of them for a few bucks and they may not be delicious it IS something to fill a stomach and when your hungry that is all the really matters. Granted their isn’t much nutritional value either but for the price and the ease of eating I have several boxes put back.

    1. I agree with the bread and broth from the beans ( that’s my favorite part ) If you had rice water left over I guess it could be reused for more rice though I generally have a lot of seasoning in mine. As for the Ramen I have quite a bit of that also. I get them in packs of 6 at the dollar store.You can thicken the liquid with flour or corn starch and have noodles and gravy or cook them up and then fry the noodles. You can also add some dehydrated veggies to bring up that nutritional value.

    2. And then drop an egg into the ramen noodles and stir s minute before ready. It will cook and give you protein. I eat this occasionally.

  9. Wondering what folks think of Quinoa as a long term storage survival prep food?

    I do know it is more expensive, and on that basis, it would be a case of “when extra money is available”, but due to its nutritive properties might be “worth it”
    this is what I’ve read about Quinoa, wondering if others know if this is true/have opinions?

    -a perfect protein

    -stores indefinitely (although I do not know if the references quinoa with the “coating” on, or the bag of quinoa I can buy at Costco (which states it is removed”

    -cooks up much like rice

    -is good cold or hot

    any thoughts?

    1. We buy red or white quinoa in the bulk at Winco. Currently, it’s going for $3.83/lb. in SW WA. Also, it has a very low glycemic index.

    2. Quinoa is a wonderful food stuff! We use it quite a lot. High in protein and not so very expensive. You can rinse the coating off if you like but I never have.. it depends on your taste.

    3. Quinoa, Chia and even Cous cous (Semolina).
      Chia doesn’t deteriorate, doesn’t rot,
      Lots of uses and full of fibre.

      My wife being Asian uses a lot of tumeric powder, ginger powder, dried chillies, dried garlic, dried mushrooms etc etc for taste.

      Rice. Try and buy Asian varieties from an Asian store. Basmati, Java, Thai
      All natural or organic rices.
      Western rices have too many GMO’s and chemicals added.
      That fluffy white rice you see in Chinese restaurants – steer clear

  10. I have the Quinoa right now from Costco, about 4-5 bags total. It was on sale so the price was fine and it will last a long time so the investment is alright. It takes quite a bit to cook it, about 25-30 minutes on a low simmer to soften it up for eating. Soaking it overnight had almost 0 effect on it, went from rock hard to about how a warmed up popcorn kernel gets.

    Taste wise is it smells and tastes closer to broccoli than your standard grains. You have to rinse it pretty good too since there are small rocks and silt on it (I know cause I ate the first batch without a thorough rinse and crunched some good gravel).

    So overall, it takes a good amount of fuel/time and water to make the stuff AND flavor wise it requires other things to be added to make it taste better (to me at least).

    What I found is that a tablespoon of salt, pinch of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon added while it is cooking and then milk+honey after it is done makes for an slightly odd but quite nice breakfast cereal. Trying to cook it with chicken broth make a god awful abortion of a Rice A Roni nightmare that I could not get through 2-3 bites.

    So if you plan on getting the Quinoa (which has a ton of benefits) get ready to go through your first bag trying to find recipes that you will like enough to want to spend the time and energy to make it.

    1. My spouse seemed to enjoy the presented quinoa much better when I added beans to it, along with spices. By itself, served like s rice dish, he did not care for it.

  11. Jida
    if you’re stuck for Quinoa ideas, throw cupful in large soup pot or stew pot. cooks up well, and you never notice it. in soup, I have been asked if it was pearl barley.

    1. Putting it in soup is the best idea I have heard yet. I have not found any other way I can stand it. I put brown rice in soup, so I could try quinoa next time.

    2. I make banana nut quinoa for breakfast often. I take a cup and a half of quinoa, rinsed and throw in Instant Pot with 2 bananas, a cup of ground nuts, a can of coconut milk, a cup and a half of water and some vanilla. Set IP for 12 minutes and do a 10 minute natural release. I add a bit of honey and use an immersion blender to mix everything up. When I have bananas that are fixing to go back, I peel them and put them in the freezer so I always have ripe bananas. I also have several cases of freeze dried bananas in my long term food storage.

    1. Yes if you want small amounts at a time. I just open, scoop out a container full and reseal the lid.

  12. Since both raw rice and beans take a lot of time and energy to cook, one of my field expedient provisions is a vacuum packed bag containing 1/4 cup each of instant rice and dehydrated refried beans, and one teaspoon of Santa Fe seasoning (a dry spice blend that is chipotle based, approximating chili powder). Emptying that into a bowl and adding 1 cup boiled water yields a filling and tasty meal in about 4 minutes (waiting for the constituents to propery hydrate). The dish contains about 300 calories, and I usually add a couple packets of parmesan cheese as a topper(the packets you can get at some pizza joints and Sam’s Club or Costco), which adds more flavor and a little fat to the mix. I introduced my daughters to the dish, and they eat it quite often now.

  13. Dean: About saving beans to dry. In our northern short season I still plant beans to dry. We have the brown Swedish beans & I never pick them when fresh & leave them out as long as possible. Since this year was slow due to wet cold spring I covered them through the first 2 frosts. A week ago I pulled the plants & then took the pods off & have them in 2 boxes drying in the house. Each day I turned them twice to keep them from molding. Yesterday I added stomping on them to open the pods & then I fluffed them up again. I take out the beans that fall to the bottom of the box & sort out junk. I put these in a separate box or tray to finish drying. In another day or 2 I will do a better sort & take all the empty pods. I have also dried yellow & green beans to save for seed in similar fashion so I suppose they could be dried for eating but I have never tried that. Good luck next year but make sure they are dry before storing or they will mold.

  14. Some suggestions: Include lentils in your storage plan as a pleasant change of pace from beans. Wheat or corn would accomplish the same thing for the rice component. Oil or fat should be stored and included in this meal to provide for that essential dietary requirement. Sugar can be used to make the meal more palatable AND it can be used to turn the cooked version of this into a “dough” that can be baked into a “bread” that will carry and store better then the cooked beans and rice and will have a better taste. Consider grinding the beans into flour/meal before cooking and this will overcome that problem of beans becoming “hard” with time/age. Spices! Savory for meals like simple rice and beans. Something that can be made into a broth is also good with the grain and legume mix. Think “sweet” if you are going to grind the food and mix with oil and water to a dough consistency to be baked. Also consider over cooking beans and rice with ample water to get a paste and mash the beans as needed to make the dough for baking.

    Spiciness is an acquired taste “and or but” an important adjunct to basic foods. Some of the best dishes and almost all ethnic dishes depend upon a spice or two and typically they will be on the hot side. If you are going to survive on beans and rice you are going to want something to keep it interesting and that something will be spices/peppers etc. So, where I’m going with this is if you have children and they reject anything “hot” you should introduce them to this early on and not wait until after TSHTF. My suggestion is Taco Bell. Kids love fast food and Taco Bell is some pretty good stuff. Get them to try the sauce on their entree. One last point about spice or hot sauce; I am under the impression that the various hot sauces in bottles will keep “forever”. They don’t seem to go bad. Include some tobasco sauce and cholula in your preps. Some dried chipotles too.

    1. I’m with you on the longevity of bottled hot sauces. I’ve got a mystery bottle of tobasco that lost its lable many years ago. I think it was some early “chipotle” flavor. It’s been thru 3 moves, never been refrigerated, and still tastes like tobasco. I’m keeping it around as almost an experiment, putting it on scrambled eggs or what not every couple months just to see how long it will go. Not sure how old now, but it’s at the very least 6 years based on our moves.

  15. When I slaughter one of my chickens to cook, they are full of the richest little pouches of bright yellow fat I have ever seen. My chickens free range and this fat can easily be used to cook with…this will also make you realize how sick looking the “bought” chickens are…their fat is really pale, almost white!

    1. Render down all that lovely fat and save it in a cool/cold place (fridge if available). It is called schmaltz, and is a common ingredient in traditional jewish cooking. It can be used in baking, noodle and dumpling making and many other ways; gives great flavor to beans and soups! Do a net search for recipes using it. If you are slaughtering your own chickens, this is free cooking fat that is actually fairly healthy so don’t pass it up! Also, the “cracklings” that are left after rendering the fat are called “gribbenes” (sp?). They can be added to bread dough, dumplings, salads, chopped liver and sundry other items; they are like little jewels of savory, crunchy flavor bombs. They also have nutrition and are calorie dense, so if seeking a concentrated source of calories when in a tough situation these are exceedingly useful. European jews used to spread schmaltz on rye bread like it was butter and that would be a meal for them when they were hard up. This is truly a case of waste not, want not!

      1. Yes, add fat from chickens or pigs to food. Our godmother used to say whenever cooking beans or lentils to add a tablespoon of olive oil for the flavor.

  16. Here is a little tip for old rice you may not want to eat. I have some that was put up in cans at the local LDS cannery in the late 90’s and had a little metal taste to it so I use it to clean my brass for reloading in a RCBS vibrating brass cleaner. Cheaper than walnut shells.

  17. I’m very new to long term food storage, so any info, tips or hint, big or small are welcome! Thanks. If I vacuum seal beans, rice, or cereal grains, do still need to use O2 absorbers in the 5 gal bucket with gamma seal lid? And can vac sealed food stuffs be stored in plastic totes with the snap down lids? I know the totes are not air tight, but do keep all light and bugs out. Could I foam weather seal the tote lids and add O2 absorber? Same questions for dry pasta, and should it be vac sealed also? Ramen noodles?

    PS. I did deep freeze all my grains for five days to hopefully kill any bug eggs/larvae.

    1. wwhammer–all 16 buckets of my rice have nothing added but Diatomaceous Earth. No gamma seal lid, just the ‘hammered on’ lid. No absorber either. Research DE. No ziploks; but I do have 21 (2) liters full too.
      No absorbers or anything.
      Totes are great for storing vac sealed dry goods–but not in a hot garage, etc!!!
      Deep freezing is a waste of space and what if your freezer is full?? Use DE in your sealed ziploks, buckets, 2 liters.

      1. thanks JJ, I do have fg DE, I use it in my chicken feed, so I know it works. And everything goes in my 56* basement, and I’ll just keep on sealing.

  18. Try adding the quinoa to boiling water in a wide mouth thermos and close it up over nite. It may be worth a try.

  19. For a change of pace, I also store a lot of instant mash potato’s…. I also use chicken bullion cubes when cooking the rice or potato’s for added flavoring.

    In order to save energy, let the rice soak for a while in the pot you are going to cook it in…..

  20. In East Texas, feral pigs are a problem. Feral pig goes VERY WELL with pinto beans & spices. Add an onion, a couple of peppers and some garlic. I’ve never tried other meat, but I think that adding rabbit or squirrel or venison would do well with beans. I know chicken goes well with beans. The rice does pretty good underneath beans… Beans & rice was a staple growing up in East Texas. I still eat R&B regularly. It stretches the budget & its good to eat it to remind you of how good we actually have it now. Its better now than its gonna be.

    1. I have read in the news, about feral pigs being a huge problem in many areas of the united states/Canada.

      I cannot understand why hunters are not hunting them for the usual “eats”.

      ???

      1. I do, on a regular basis. But what you have to remember is they reach sexual maturity at around 6 months. You also have to remember they breed a few times a year and have anywhere from 12 to 20 to a litter.

        assuming you can eat the 20 or so pounds of meat that you pull off of one single hog, and also assuming you killed and ate one of those a month. You were only possibly taking out one of the three litters of one pair of pigs.

        you have to ask yourself how many of these things you can possibly eat.

      2. Many people do not eat feral swine because their taste is stronger than domestic swine and is disliked for this reason.

  21. 10 minute rice meal with prepared rice:

    In a medium sauce pan heat 1 can of zucchini tomato sauce, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can kidney beans, and 1 can water.

    Add 3 cups rice(cooked) and garnish with parmesan cheese.

    Beef and Rice Dish
    Sautee 1/2 cup each: onions, celery, green pepper in your favorite oil in large skillet.

    Stir in 1 can black beans, 1 can tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper, chopped jalapeno(amt. your choice), and last add cooked, crumbled 1 lb. ground beef.

    Simmer for 20 minutes on low.

    Pour mixture over cooked rice.

    THIS IS DELICIOUS!!!

  22. My suggestion: Ro-Tel Tomatoes with Green Chiles… in cans. You can get these at Sam’s Club.

    After soaking your beans in water with baking soda overnight… softens and de-gasses them… you rinse the beans and add water and either chicken stock or bouillon cubes. Also add a can of Ro-Tel and preferably some cilantro (easily grown and is good parasite preventative). I like onions and garlic as well… these can be the freeze-dried variety.

    This works extremely well with both pinto beans and blackeyed peas.

    Also consider the McCormick taco seasoning, also available at Sam’s Club.

    You have to spice beans and rice up.

    Consider having freeze-died ham or Spam to add to your beans to make them more of a meal.

  23. Soak pinto and white beans in a couple TB of baking soda the night before and they cook so much faster.

    1. I have heard that baking soda destroys the B Vitamins in whatever you cook. Vitamins are acid and baking soda is alkaline.

  24. Buy lentils and substitute these on occasion instead of dried beans. Lentil rehydrate quickly and should you be on the move, or if time is a factor, then you’ll be glad you did that in your preps.

    Remember that if you live East of the Mississippi, that during the Spring and Summer, when grasses go to seed, that grass seed unless it has black rust on it, will provide you with nutrition. Sure, it doesn’t taste great, but it’s a free wild edible that few will think to consume. Likewise, the common white clover blossoms that appear on lawns is packed with protein and can be added to other foods to boost nutrition.

    When the SHTF, then you’ll be pulling out every trick in the book to save your family.

    With the Ebola scare, all it takes is a panic to shut down trucking and barge transportation due to concern about contagion. Please get at least three months of supplies as a buffer. All it would take is several hundred Americans with Ebola to cause trucking strikes due to fear of interstate travel causing more infections. Ebola need not harm many to bring the country to a standstill.

    Pray about it with your spouse and apply critical thinking and make an informed decision based upon wisdom. What would your great-grandparents have done when faced with a contagion? No doubt, they would ensure that they a little bit more in the pantry, right?

  25. I love rice and beans for nutritional & economic value… I change up my recipies often using Bob’s Red Mill bean soup mixtures and grain cereal blends… Stuff stores a very long time in 5 gallon buckets with gamma seal lids… great variety, all sorts of various beans, various lentils, various rices, seeds, oats, groats etc. Really good stuff and hopefully non cancer promoting with the antioxidants and fiber… I eat mixtures of it all every meal, I eat very cheap overall and healthier than ever… never hungry anymore, healthy hair and skin, lost a bunch of fat and now well toned again… maybe slightly pricey, still way cheaper than how I used to eat and likely will save me $ in longer term health benefits. Just have to work on making alot at once to save energy costs, and finding something to increase the iron naturally a little bit more, without buying red meat if I can,

    Bobs Red Mill mixes + Wholesale Rice = Long Term Relatively Inexpensive Healthful Survival

    Total Lifesaver stuff for me anyhow. Best Wishes

  26. I’m experimenting here …. I can jellies and fruits and Tom’s, but do not own a pressure cooker, so I freeze a lot. Peppers do amazingly well… was so pleased as I love them in just about everything! I don’t own a food sealer thing. so I double bag some stuff…
    …. Those very old beans?? . They’ll grow in your garden!! I dumped a gallon jar of them all over my garden, for compost over last winter, and I feel like every one of those dratted things came up!! …… And yes, I harvested them!!

  27. Hi I’m wondering if anyone has any ideas about lentils I was given 5 lbs and don’t know much about them could use any suggestions thanks

    1. They do not need to be soaked. They cook in about 45 min. Don’t add salt until you are done cooking. You can add carrot garlic pepper celery onion,beef broth etc.

  28. I need cooking ideas to save water and fuel. My emergency cook stove is the cheap coghlan fuel tablet stove. I have buckets of lentils and split green peas because they cook faster and don’t need to soak.

    Btw you Do need to clean and sort the beans ie look for little rocks.

    I have just read that raw or undercooked some legumes are toxic. I wanted to put lentils into a thermos and add boiling water and let it set over nite. I tried this and both lentils and split peas were crunchy but chewable. I ate a tsp and no effects. What do you think? Any ideas are welcome. Thanks

    1. Pressure cooker.
      Soak 1 cup beans in 3 cups water 24 hours.
      Discard water.
      Add the beans,1 cup of rice and 3 1/2 cups water to a pressure cooker.
      Heat until steam comes out. Then let it cook for 1 1/2 minutes.
      Turn OFF the heat and let it sit for an hour or two before opening.
      This will make an edible gruel that you can add seasonings to.

      Pressure cookers are dangerous. Don’t let them stay on the heat too long.

    2. Boil on stove for ten or 15 minutes first, then put in thermos overnight. Also, thee are different types of lentils.

    3. Kidney beans are the only ones that I’ve heard of that are toxic if uncooked or undercooked. Even the sprouts need to be cooked to avoid the toxin.

  29. Question: I am Getting ready to Store beans and rice for long term, I see alot of talk of spices and chicken bullion. Can you Vacuum pack Chicken bullion? How long would they last? And then once Vacuum sealed could you lay it on top of your Already Mylar sealed bag in a 5 gallon bucket then sealed it? Once you open a mylar sealed bag, how long does the rice or beans last once exposed to air? Thank you.. I am new to prepping and have lots of questions.

    1. Personally I store all types of beans/ lintels, and peas. I really don’t see much difference in them at all. I like the Anasazi Beans the most, Have several hundred pounds stored in Mylar bags. I have in the past just stored them in 5 gallon buckets with a stick of Juicy Fruit gum in them. I’m currently on a bucket that was original stored in 2003.
      NRP

      1. I have read, and wondered if true, of folks who (for the heck of it), planted some of their dried stored beans, and had them sprout.

        Anyone tried this? it would be interesting to know. Especially if the SHTF, that one could plant one’s stores.

        1. I would think it depends on the beans, how old they are, are they hybrid or heirloom, will your climate support beans as a crop, and so on. You might try some, toss em in a glass of warm water overnight than lay them on a moist paper towel for a few days, see if they sprout. I know there a lot of people that “sprout” beans to eat so I would think it’s a good possibility. I personally would not think on growing beans for the first year or two of a SHTF. Way to many other things going on. Thing I’ll give it a try myself, just cause.
          NRP

  30. I have rice and beans that I packed in 5 gallon buckets in 2012. At the time I did not know about Mylar bags and oxygen obsorbers. Is it still good

  31. It/they should be, I’m eating beans that I put in a bucket in 09, they are as good as the day is long, Rice is also one of those long term storage things. As long as no bugs I would cook em up (boil them) and give em a try. Also check for mold and the like……
    Sometime best judgment prevails, sometimes if in doubt, than toss em as a lesson learned.
    NRP

  32. Over a pound each of rice and beans per day per person? And after cooking it over doubles in volume?

  33. I would like to humbly submit that using beans is a fool’s errand for a survival food and here is my argument. While beans can be stored for very long term storage and do provide quite a modest amount of nutrition the cooking process in a SHTF scenario is extremely burdensome. Nearly all dried beans take 12-24 hours to soak in a 1:4 water ratio. Then it takes a minimum of 6-8 hours of cooking the beans to avoid most toxicity issues associated with raw dried beans. My question is: Do you have the water and fuel resources to cook a few cups of beans 8 hours a day, every day? I suggest heading to your local campground, pitching a tent, and soak and cook a pot of beans. You will soon learn it’s a huge mistake when there are other options more readily available. Grains and seeds like quinoa, amaranth, millet offer the same if not superior nutritional value to beans and take only 20 minutes to cook. The same for lentils. All constructive feedback is appreciated.

    1. @NWMONK, When considering the cooking scenarios during a long-term SHTF one needs to think about their fuels and methods of cooking.

      Since beans take awhile to cook, one might consider a solar oven (although dependent upon weather). Another alternative is a thermal cooker.

      Related article: Thermal Slow Cooker

      Also, if one doesn’t have a purpose-made insulated slow cooker, it is conceivable to bring the beans to a boil in an ordinary covered pan and then remove the heat while wrapping up the pan in blankets or insulating it in some other way to enable a slow cook.

      Also, beans can be cooked in minutes in a pressure cooker.

      A well diversified food storage (beyond just rice & beans) is the way to do it… not all foods require lots of cooking (or any).

  34. White rice is recommended over brown rice. Okay. No problem as I much prefer white over brown for taste.
    Is there a “perfect” bean or a “best” bean?
    Can I / Should I perhaps mix types of beans, e.g. Black, pinto & red beans?
    OR should I store different types is separate bag/containers?

  35. I have to ask this…I am probably missing the simple answer
    ..but if you sterilize your masons and put the dry goods on a cookie sheet and bake at 225 does that not do the same thing as killing the bugs? Then pour the contents into your mason with oxy absorber and seal with a food saver…trying to avoid glass blowing up…just wondered…

    1. I also realize this is not a practical option for flour but was thinking for popcorn, beans, pasta, rice

    2. D, The process you describe is called Dry canning. The beans processed this way will be dead and will not sprout.

    3. Seems it would be easier to just stick em in the freezer for a few days, then let them acclimate and pack in mylar bag with oxy absorber and desiccant pack,

      1. Kula, that is how i do mine. dry canning seems like a lot of work when is easier to freeze for sufficient time. and protect with moisture and oxygen absorbers.

  36. ‘Where’s the beef?’
    A nice can of added tuna?
    Sardines?

    Even,
    I might consider Spam?
    Bologna?
    Just pickin’

    1. JC
      Sardines are good for you too,,,
      Plus packed in olive oil, the olive oil is also good for you

      1. Kula
        Ohh, yea!
        Mustard, olive oil, hot,….
        I kinda gross everybody out at home and at work, but
        Omega-3
        Kinda leary of tins that say ‘Product of China’

          1. – Joe c, Kula,
            I like the Portuguese sardines, too! Mustard, Hot sauce, Olive oil, all good. Unfortunate if they give you gas, though!
            – Papa S.

          2. Papa Smurf, JC
            I like mine with soy sauce and japanese ground chilis, on hot white rice or even with crackers

  37. We use white rice and beans often in our meals. We prefer brown rice but as was mentioned it does not work for very long term storage .
    We can stew beef , pork chunks,chicken,turkey and hamburger , they go well with a rice/bean meal and a little gravy or sauce.
    We have the Presto pressure cooker that is highlighted in the article, for older beans and also for any tough cuts of meat. We have used one for over 45 years and find it enables us to use cheaper -tougher cuts of meat , a handy kitchen tool.

  38. This is a conundrum for someone who has to eat Keto – low carb. My DH has an auto-immune disease that does well with the Keto, low inflammatory diet. So rice and beans are not on the menu as of now. I guess if SHTF we will eat what we have, which is long term rice and beans! Luckily we have a lot of meats in the freezer which will be good for him and I will get the carbs – as long as we can keep the freezers going.

    1. Pegasus,
      I too am required to eat high protein , low carb. I do eat some rice,It is one carb I tolerate well. Beans not so much.. have finally got so i can use black beans.
      When i eat for breakfast i prefer rice with a creamed meat… make a gravy and add chicken, beef or pork to the gravy…diced small. and put over rice..
      Rice is one of our staple foods.we cook several pounds each month…The fats in the gravy and protein support digestion for longer periods than the quick carbs…of rice. You did not say which auto immune, and i have not done much digging in those disease processes. There are some herbal products that MODULATE many normal processes. The group is called ADAPTOGENS. You might wish to do some research along those lines to TRY TO find a natural solution – to ease any transition to a survival diet. other diet additions can be…Sprouts?greens? radish? can all be produced in small space window garden…or under a counter.

  39. Can anyone recommend a good wine to got with Beans/Rice? Nothing too expensive please.
    (sarcasm)

    1. Because the usual spicing and flavoring of Rice & Beans, I would recommend a nice Red Wine, non-varietal, a older Italian label, tagged to be 91 or better at the local Aldi’s…for around $8 dollars.

      1. Actually a nice cold beer goes pretty good with a plate of Rice n Black Beans topped with some hot sauce. Maybe some fried pork chunks on the side? Cuban style

        1. Seminole Wind,
          I would think any homemade wine or brew would go good with beans and rice. Guess I am not that picky! LOL.

    2. Seminole wind
      Being a connoisseur of low priced and tried and true other halfs taste
      May I suggest a Franzia box type wine of Chillable Red?
      Or a Crisp White.of said brand?
      34 oz @ $15 a box.
      Mature date is unknown.

      Ahhh, barf

      Where’s my Budweiser, to go with them beans and no meat rice dinner?

  40. Ken,
    Thanks so much for reposting this. I’ve read through all of the old and new comments and got some amazing ideas for recipes of boring beans and rice. Gotta try some to spice it up!

  41. Lately, my dietary staple for fiber, flavor and nutrition has been black beans and rice at the end of my workday. The weather is cold now so this is a nice hot meal at the end of my shift. The black beans are easy to fix because they do not require soaking. To Joe C and Seminole W. out there: I like my rice and beans with a cold can of beer. My wife’s favorite wine is: “I wanna new car!”

    As I am not a vegetarian, my black beans contain about a pound of fried chorizo ( fried and crumbled before adding to the beans,), 1 chopped yellow onion, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and 2 washed, seeded and cored Anaheim chilis chopped to 1.5 cups of beans and 6 cups of water. Using a crock pot, this will heat up and cook down ready to eat in about 8 hrs without presoaking of the black beans.

    I am the asian dude that experienced food fatigue from eating rice as a kid for 365 days per year. I am not alone as every other asian person I meet says pretty much the same thing. This complaint sounds weird in a land filled with fast-food franchises as well as food from around the world.

    Growing up, our family with 4 kids and 2 parents went through about 6-80 lb sacks of Kokuho Rose Sushi rice each year. As I grew bigger, I was doing the lifting, loading and stacking so I got early training in logistics. The rice was kept in original sacks within an in-the-house pantry with at least 1 cat patrolling outside the pantry door. We never had mouse problems with our rice.

    These days, I like Jasmine rice from overseas. California’s Sacramento Valley has enough acreage to be able to produce more rice than Asia. I hear there is still a lot of acreage in East Texas, Louisiana which grows Basmati rice.

    Rice and beans not only stretches the belly but it saves on spending money as well. It allows one to feed 6 or more people with 3 lbs of meat-on-hand. I also enjoyed hunting feral pigs in California. Right away I learned to shoot the smaller, non-trophy pigs because they are better for eating. I now like to hunt feral pigs more than I like hunting deer.

    Thanks to the many posters out there sharing ideas about other grains like lentils, groats, Anasazi Beans out there. I can always use more cooking ideas and recipes.

  42. – On the subject of feral pigs, a poster above noted that a lot of feral pig meat goes uneaten because it is strong flavored. A recent visit to a distant family group included a meal at one of the family’s homes and an apologetic host brought out a big tray of barbecued ribs. “A lot of folks don’t like them , but we do. Usually we just don’t tell visitors, but if you don’t like them, just enjoy the catfish. I know you like them!”

    DW took one bite, gave me a dirty look and said just one thing. “You’ve been giving these away?” (I had just given a 60 lb. hog to the elderly Hispanic man with a ‘60’s model pickup who stopped to help me drag it out of the field where it was shot eating pumpkins the week before. I’m sure it was tamales before the day was out!)

    Personally, I think that the feral pig might well be what keeps our area healthy and well fed in a grid-down situation that lasts a long time. They are widespread, not difficult to hunt with whatever you’ve got (look up poor-man’s shotgun slug, or cut shotshells), and provide a good bit of tasty meat for relatively little effort.

    – Papa S.

    1. – Forgot to mention, this was served with red beans and rice! This was in east Texas, after all! LOL!
      – Papa

    2. Papa Smurf,

      I agree, feral hogs can, and should be, considered a prime source of protein. I never fully understood why all manner of wild animals are considered to be table fare, but wild hog is shunned.

      Historically, here in the Ozarks, hogs were semi-domesticated free range stock. The only fencing was to keep hogs and cattle out of crops, leaving them to forage the rugged, untillable, unfenced terrain.

      Yes, feral hogs can have parasites and disease, but the same applies to just about any wild game that folks readily accept as edible. You can bet that feral hogs will be on my list of survival foods. Common sense and thorough cooking temperatures applies to any meat source.

    3. Papa,
      Around here the hogs either get turned into sausage or smoked meat,,,
      Both are great, and hide any offputting tastes or scents,
      My favorite is island style Portugese sausage, is semi spicy and smoked,

  43. I grew up on rice and beans (kidney, gongo peas, cow peas). flavourings used when cooking are coconut (creamed or powdered),thyme, hot scotch bonnet pepper, green onion, salt and whatever else you like in spices I have the powdered coconut which would be good for long term storage, I dehydrate my hot peppers and blend them into a powder, green onion thyme can also be dehydrated. When cooked add your “meat and gravy”.

  44. Hello, just confirming I’m reading this correctly, the numbers above are (10) 5-gallon buckets rice (292 lbs), (5) 5-gallon buckets beans (155 lbs) per person for one year?.

    1. Jess,
      Those figures were just to give an idea of how much one would need for one year — if that’s all there was… just to put it in perspective.

      HOWEVER, that would be pretty awful just eating that for 365 days!!

      So, diversify!

      The good thing is rice and beans are cheap/inexpensive. However just have it as part of your overall long term food storage. There are lots of articles here, just start browsing or searching here for other suggestions.

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