Letter Re: Eating The Food That You Store

I currently store many foods which I routinely eat, none of which has the long shelf life of many of the ‘survival staples’. I’m ready and willing to buy several thousand dollars’ worth of hard wheat and other canned supplies, but I have one problem: I don’t know if I will actually eat them!

Is there anyone out there that has a sampler pack, that allows one to try various offerings to make sure that we and our families will eat those staples?

Thanks for all your hard work in helping us prepare! Warm Regards, – Rich S.

JWR Replies: You’ve raised an important point. One of my mottos is: “Eat what you store and store what you eat.” I don’t suggest going on a Spartan diet, just for the sake of living entirely on foods that store well. But regularly using a good portion of your storage foods has multiple benefits, such as:

1.) Efficient rotation.

2.) Minimal waste due to food passing their expiry dates.

3.) A digestive system that is accustomed to storage foods. (This represents one less stress to go through, WTSHTF.)

4,.) Cooking expertise with storage foods. Cooking skills do not develop overnight. Two recommended books are Cooking with Home Storage and Making the Best of Basics

5.) Economy. If you eat foods that you buy in bulk, you will be eating cheap, in some cases amazingly cheap. For example, consider that rice in small bags sometimes sells for $4 a pound, but if bought in 50 pound sacks and repackaged it costs just a fraction of that.

One of the few drawbacks to storage foods I’ve heard of is for people that live alone. They may find that the container sizes for storage foods–often one gallon (#10 size) cans–last so long that some might spoil before all of the contents of a can are used. (The smaller (#2-1/2 size) cans are also available, but the per-unit cost of foods is higher.) To minimize spoilage, be sure to get a supply of plastic can lids and get in the habit of putting them on immediately after removing portions from a can. This is particularly important in damp climates.

Long term storage foods available from a number of our advertisers including:
Freeze Dry Guy

JRH Enterprises
Ready Made Resources
Best Prices Storable Foods
EM Gear

Many vendors do make sample packs. One of the best is offered by Mountain House. (Available from Safecastle, Ready Made Resources, and EM Gear.)

OBTW, when assembling your food storage larder, don’t neglect to stock up on vitamin and mineral supplements. One good mail order vendor is eVitamins.