Letter Re: Corn for Food Storage Programs?

Hello Mr. Rawles :
I must say I love your blog and writings as they provide an invaluable service for like minded folks on preparedness!This email is in regards to the absence of dry corn or any corn other than popping corn in your excellent “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, I am wondering if corn is a viable storage food and if not, why? would it be because of short storage life or unsuitable packing methods to retain nutritive value? Or any other reason that I can’t imagine? While looking at the Provident Living site of the LDS they mention dry corn as a storage item but it is not mentioned even in passing in your “Rawles Gets You Ready” course is there some pertinent reason for this omission? Also when I received your course I “thought” I was disappointed with it after my initial viewing until I kept reading and rereading it and realized how great and enlightening it actually is, you certainly covered the most important issues and opened my eye’s to storage preparations with real food and a real life working man’s wages!! Trying to save for the year long pre-packaged storage item’s being sold by vendor’s can be disheartening, you made it viable, reachable and virtually painless. Thank you! – CL.

JWR Replies: Thanks for the positive feedback on the course. The omission of corn wasn’t an oversight. I didn’t mention corn because the “Rawles Gets You Ready” course was geared toward stocking up on items that you could find at your local Costco and/or grocery store. We wanted just about every food item mentioned in the course to be things that could be bought at a “Big Box” store, even at the 11th hour.

Corn is a valuable food to store, although it is not as versatile as wheat, nor does it store for nearly as long. Corn does store fairly well if its moisture content is low. Like wheat, once it is cracked or ground, its nutritive value starts to drop rapidly. Therefore you should buy your storage corn whole, and then grind it into corn meal in small batches, as needed.

I’ve found that the least expensive place to buy whole kernel corn is Walton Feed, in Montpelier, Idaho. Even lower prices are often available at your local feed store, but they don’t always have whole corn. (They generally order cracked corn, and cracked Corn Oat Barley (“COB”) blends–such as “sweet feed”, which has molasses added.) But if you ask, they can likely special order it for you, typically in 50 pound sacks. You would then have to re-pack it in food grade buckets, using the dry ice method described in the course. Note, however, that if you buy corn from any source except Walton’s or another major storage food vendor, be careful about the moisture content, which varies widely. Also, speaking of moisture, beware that mold is the greatest bugaboo with bulk corn. Never, ever, eat moldy corn! It can induce micotoxin poisoning that is potentially deadly!