I thoroughly enjoyed “Patriots,” as it opened my eyes to the importance of Preparedness. My wife and I are educated Christians in our early twenties, and we are starting to amass supplies as money allows. Being in Law enforcement, I have a good understanding or firearms, but little experience in storing food. Is it a mistake to store large amounts of rice and pasta in food-grade buckets (or other containers)? Both are rather compact for the calories provided, and would be very simple to prepare. When packed vertically, you can feet quite a bit of spaghetti in a five gallon bucket. Any thoughts (however brief) would be appreciated. Thanks, -“Bossaboss”
JWR Replies: Dried pasta stores fairly well, at least compared to things like wet-packed canned foods. Keep in mind however, that it is typically not made from whole grains, so it is marginally nutritious, even when bought “fresh” at your local grocery store.
Intact whole grains retain most of their nutritive value for much longer periods of time than cracked grains, flour, or flour-based food products (such as pasta). Whole hard red winter wheat, for example, stores for 20+ years with most of its nutritive value still intact. In contrast, grain-based pasta is still palatable for many years, but it loses most of its nutritive value after just two to three years. Once processed in any way–that is, whenever the grain’s outer shell is compromised–then the storage life of grains drop considerably. For really long term nutritious storage, you need to buy wheat in food grade buckets, and a wheat grinder. (See the SurvivalBlog Archives for further details, and our Links page for trustworthy vendors.)