Letter Re: A Years Supply of Food on a Budget

Mr. Hugh,

Regarding “A Years Supply of Food on a Budget”. This is the plan I am using. We buy our buckets and Mylar bags. We fill the buckets with grain, add an oxygen absorber, and seal the bag with an iron and ironing board. Other buckets are filled using dimataceous earth and rice. We have found creative ways to buy our grain. We buy rice from a local rice silo for $18 for a 50-pound bag. Two bags fill three buckets. We have 2,000 pounds in storage. We have done the same with corn and wheat. We watch the local farmers harvest their corn (non-GMO) and wheat. Then we go to the local feed store where they sell it and buy freshly harvested grain in 50-pound bags. We winnow it several times in front of a fan to remove all the trash and any bugs. Then, we package as above. These farmers don’t want to sell to individuals due to the time required. They sell their grain in 40 foot long grain trailers. – MER

HJL Responds: Early in my prepping, I attempted the same sort of concept. However, I lived in an area that did not have any grains grown natively, so all of the feed grains were trucked in. I purchased 50lbs of oats, 100lbs of wheat, and 100lbs of corn. I hadn’t yet learned that you had to ask for oat groats, so I ended up giving the oats to a friend who had horses. I set the wheat and corn in a corner of the dining room with the intent of repackaging them into 5-gallon buckets. I hadn’t had the grains more than two weeks before the entire house had been infested with bugs. It took a couple of days to trace the origins back to the still sealed feed bags. It was a nightmare that I’ll not soon forget. If you know where the product is coming from and how it has been stored, you probably don’t have to worry about that issue. In our case, the grains had probably sat in some holding silo until either the farmer had to sell or the price was right. Even if you are set up to clean grains, you still don’t know how contaminated or infested those grains are and at some point grains designated for human consumption are usually treated and stored better. The oxygen absorbers definitely work though, because even if the grains have insect eggs in them, the lack of oxygen will generally render them inert.

Of course, the bottom line is how hungry or desperate are you. If I’m hungry enough, those insect infested grains would simply have been cleaned and used.