This is one installment of a ten-part series.
#9 Hair-Pulling, Eye Rolling Prepper Mistake: Purchasing giant sized cans of foods you do not normally eat to feed a small number of family members. When disaster strikes you pop the top only to discover no one wants to eat it because it tastes like an old tire.
Food storage is a relatively simple principle that many preparedness types tend to over-think and completely muddy up in the process. There is one simple, yet tried and true equation for stocking your kitchen cabinets as well as your emergency shelves: store what you eat and eat what you store.
When people go to the grocery with their weekly shopping lists, typically the individual has a plan for what type of foods they plan to consume during that week. A similar plan should hold true for your self-reliance shopping list, with a few minor exceptions, such as fresh vegetables, dairy and meat items.
On your preparedness list, milk products can be replaced with shelf stable milk such as evaporated (canned) milk or powdered milk. Stock nutrient rich canned vegetables to replace fresh such as carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus, beets, corn, and peas. Canned meats are readily available on store shelves, (at the moment,) but take note that meats commercially packaged tend to be very high in salt content, which will require additional water intake to aid digestion.
A simple suggestion to become familiar with using your food storage goes back to that oh-so-important formula of eat what you store, store what you eat. Begin simply by incorporating some items from your emergency supplies into daily menus. I’m sure you are thinking: ”Yes, but, but …yes, but it’s there for storage…for an emergency…” Trust me when I say I have seen several YouTube videos demonstrating twenty year old food storage that had not stood the test of time. Partially, this is because the technology of storage twenty years ago was not what it is today. This is also because the items in question had not been rotated into consumption properly. Keep in mind that the best way to become familiar with your food storage is just to get your taste buds dirty, er, I mean your pots and pans dirty.
Here at Radical Survivalism, we like to recommend that you avoid the impulse buy on those big cans at the store that sometimes tug at your preparedness heartstrings. You do not need to take those home and make them your new pet, or put a big bow on top to reward yourself for the great find. Those gigantic cans of food are typically meant for big picnics, softball team moms that run concessions stands, or for your local restaurant that ran out of ketchup or the daily special of baked lima beans on biscuits with white gravy made from mystery meat drippings. Ya know what? If you adore lima beans, knock yourself out. Can you drink a gallon of unrefrigerated ketchup before it grows hair? Fantastic! You’ll have a better chance of surviving the apocalypse than the RS family, that’s for sure. One other suggestion for that gargantuan can of “catsup” would be to make ketchup soup reminiscent of the depression era. Just remember when you invite the band of marauders on the near horizon to join you for your breakfast feast of ketchup yumminess, that their numbers top 50 or so. Because that’s how much ketchup soup that can will make!
Assume the position of acquiring the concept, to remember the most important aspect of eat what you store, store what you eat. Acquire size appropriate food items to match that of your group. Can you and your family eat an entire #10 can of hominy before it goes bad? If nothing else is left on the shelf, then… maybe. That could be a great barter item for a gallon container of mayonnaise…wait, does that need to be refrigerated after opening???