Struggling to know how to provide sustenance for your family in an emergency? You're not alone. This article will provide an essential guide on effectively storing food for extreme circumstances.
Importance of Long-Term Food Storage
Having a reliable, long-term food storage is essential for emergency preparedness to sustain life in the event of a disaster. It is crucial to stock up on non-perishable foods that offer a long shelf life, such as grains, beans, rice, oats, sugar, salt, dry pasta, baking powder/soda, dried fruits, and potato flakes. Proper packaging, including mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, helps to maintain freshness and prevent moisture, pest levels, and vitamin deficiencies. Water purification is equally crucial. To ensure one's basic caloric requirements are met, dietary preferences and caloric needs should be considered. According to the USDA, average caloric recommendations are based on physical activity and dietary thermogenesis. Severe and prolonged dietary restriction can lead to physiological and psychological effects, including depression, hysteria, preoccupation with food, decline in concentration, and comprehension and judgment capabilities. It can also lead to reduction in body temperature, respiration, heart rate, edema in extremities, and energy. Therefore, it is crucial always to store one's food in cool and dry locations from reputable suppliers for optimal shelf life and nutritional value.
Image credits: emergencypreparedness.page by Harry Duncun
Factors to Consider for Long-Term Food Storage
For optimal long-term food storage, certain factors need to be considered. Shelf life is a crucial factor, as is the nutritional value of the food. It is important to store food in appropriate containers that will keep out moisture and pests. The storage location should also be cool and dark to prevent spoilage.
- Shelf Life: Choose foods with a long shelf life, such as dried apples and baking soda, which can last indefinitely if stored properly.
- Nutritional Value: Consider maintaining average caloric recommendations to avoid semi-starvation, which can impact comprehension and judgement capabilities, emotional distress, and hypochondriasis. Ensure the food contains all the essential nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, that are a crucial part of our diet. Freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, and meats also offer excellent nutritional value.
- Storage Containers: Choose containers that are moisture-proof and pest-resistant, like those made from caltex.
- Storage Location: Store food in a location that is dark and cool, ideally around 60-70°F.
It is also important to consider unique characteristics such as personal preferences, potential allergies, and food sensitivities. Moreover, storing bulky bags of staples is an excellent idea as it ensures long-lasting nutrition supply. One can also create a disaster supply kit, including emergency canned, dried, and packaged mixes. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Brigham Young University have designed food assets that support long-term storage. Chunky soups, canned and dried foods, non-fat dry milk, and iodized salt offer excellent nutrition tips. Additionally, commercially packed air-dried or freeze-dried foods are recommended as they have a longer shelf life than supermarket goods. Infant formula and vitamin and mineral supplements are also essential.
Image credits: emergencypreparedness.page by David Duncun
Types of Foods Ideal for Long-Term Storage
Long-term food storage is essential for life-sustaining purposes during a personal crisis or emergency. It's crucial to have durable and nutritious food on hand to keep you and your loved ones healthy and strong. Here are some ideal types of food for long-term storage:
- Bulk staples like wheat, white rice, and dried beans are excellent sources of calories and nutrients. They're also affordable and versatile ingredients that can be used in many different recipes.
- Peas, lentils, and other legumes are also essential parts of our diet that can easily be stored for extended periods. They're rich in protein and fiber and can be used in soups, stews, and salads.
- Dried fruits are another great option for long-term storage. They provide essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and can be used as snacks or ingredients in baked goods.
- Dairy products like powdered milk can be stored for many years and are an excellent source of calcium and other essential nutrients.
In addition to these items, it's crucial to have emergency items like water, canned goods, and freeze-dried meals. These items can provide nourishment in situations where cooking is not possible.
When it comes to long-term food storage, it's also essential to consider the storage conditions. Food should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat. Additionally, it's crucial to rotate your food supply regularly to ensure that it remains fresh and nutritious.
One family found themselves stranded in their home for weeks during a winter storm, with power and water outages. They had stored bulk staples like rice and beans and were able to make various meals. They were grateful for their foresight in storing long-term food supplies and were able to stay nourished and healthy during their ordeal.
Image credits: emergencypreparedness.page by Joel Duncun
Steps and Tips for Effective Long-Term Food Storage
Long-term food storage is crucial for extreme circumstances. Here's a guide to effectively store food for extended periods:
- Inspection – Check for food quality, and expiry dates before storing.
- Preparation – Use air-tight containers, vacuum-seal, label, and store in a cool, dry place.
- Rotation – Organize food based on expiry and consumption dates, and regularly consume and replace.
It is essential to store and consume nutritiously balanced food during extreme circumstances like social withdrawal or always feeling cold.
A study by the American Red Cross showed that only 50% of Americans have a three-day supply of non-perishable food stored at home.
Image credits: emergencypreparedness.page by Joel Duncun
FAQs about Long Term Food Storage For Extreme Circumstances
What is long term food storage and why is it important for extreme circumstances?
Long term food storage refers to the process of storing food for an extended period of time, typically for emergency situations. This is important for extreme circumstances where access to fresh food is limited or unavailable. It is essential to have a supply of non-perishable food items to ensure that you have enough food to survive in tough times.
Can I store perishable items for long term food storage if I always keep them cold?
No, perishable items can only be stored for a short period even if they are kept cold. This is because bacteria and other microorganisms can still grow at low temperatures and cause the food to spoil. It is important to store non-perishable items such as canned foods, dried fruits, and dried meats for long term food storage.
What are some non-perishable items that are an essential part of our diet that can be stored for long term food storage?
Non-perishable items that are an essential part of our diet and can be stored for long term food storage include beans, rice, pasta, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, powdered milk, and canned meat and fish such as tuna and salmon.
How can I ensure that the food stored for long term stays fresh and edible?
To ensure that the food stored for long term stays fresh and edible, it is essential to store the food in a cool, dry, and dark place. The temperature of the storage area should be below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the food should be kept away from moisture, light, and pests. It is also important to rotate the stored food items regularly to prevent spoilage and ensure that the food remains fresh.
What is the shelf life of food stored for long term food storage?
The shelf life of food stored for long term food storage varies depending on the type of food, storage conditions, and packaging. Generally, canned foods can last for up to two years, while dried foods like beans and rice can last for up to five years. It is important to regularly check the expiration dates of stored food items and replace them as required.
How do I calculate the amount of food to store for long term food storage?
The amount of food to store for long term food storage depends on several factors such as the number of people in your household, their nutritional needs, and the storage space available. A general rule of thumb is to store at least a three-month supply of non-perishable food items that meets the daily nutritional requirements of your household. It is also important to consider storing additional food items for special dietary needs and infants.