We all know our diets should be full of fresh, whole foods. But how many of us think about long term survival when we're at the grocery?
It may sound bleak, but it's actually quite practical to build up your survival food supply. And you don't need to spend a lot of money or use a lot of storage to do it.
Your Basic Survival Foods
It's hard to plan for every emergency situation, which poses a challenge. A contributor at Skilled Survival summarized the issue in a recent blog post:
The key here is non-perishable food items. If you inventoried your food right now you’d realize pickles and frozen, uncooked, burgers won’t work in this type of emergency. You might intend to rush to the store after work, but by then it’s too late.
The milk, peanut butter, and bread are gone, as well as the candles and camping stoves.
That’s the problem with trying to get your hands on the best survival foods once an emergency has arrived. Not to mention all the emergencies that occur without advanced warnings.
What happens after a nuclear strike or an EMP blast? You get to live off of what you stockpiled ahead of time and by the looks from the statistics, there’s going to be a whole lot of hungry people after just a few short days.
A large part of the survival puzzle is the type of foods you want to store. The rest of the solution resides in getting the food now (before it’s too late) and finally how you will prepare the food with limited resources.
You need to prepare long before the actual emergency is broadcast to the public. By then, even with money in hand, the best foods will be gone.
If you wait until an emergency is here, you're probably too late. And you won't realistically be able to plan for every type of emergency.
But some foods will go a long way in a lot of different survival situations.
First priority will be keeping you and your family nourished and energized during an emergency. At a bare minimum you'll need to stock up on the staples. A contributor at Off The Grid News published his list of 25 staples for an emergency (worth a read!). Here's a snippet:
Rice – Rice is a great source of carbohydrates, which will store well. Buy the whole grain rice, not the quick rice. Quick rice has a very limited shelf life. Like pasta, there are a lot of things you can do with rice.
Breakfast cereal – This falls into the category of comfort food, especially for kids. Don’t buy the sugary children’s cereals, but the more basic ones, like Cheerios. Properly packaged, this will keep well for a long time.
Beans – Dried beans of all types store incredibly well for long periods of time, are easy to cook, nutritious and one of the few non-meat sources of protein around.
Canned meat – You can buy chicken, tuna, salmon and other meat products which are canned. Spam, while being something that many people make fun of, is a nutritious meat product. Meat will be the hardest type of food to find during a crisis, so stock up well.
Robert Richardson at OffGrid Survival notes that comfort foods are important for your morale over the long term. Here's what they have to say:
Comfort foods can be a huge morale booster during a stressful survival situation, something that needs to be kept in mind when starting to stockpile food. These four things can be stored for over 10 years, and are a great way to add a little bit of flavor to your cooking. If stored properly they will probably last indefinitely.
- Sugar – Brown or White
- Raw Honey
- Alcohol – Whiskey, Vodka, etc…
The nice part is that these foods are also excellent multipurpose ingredients, and salt is good to stockpile as it historically becomes scarce in emergencies.
In the same article he also recommends many other staple survival foods, and it is worth reading the full thing.
Plan For Different Types of Emergencies
Again, you won't be able to plan for everything. But it still helps to think of several different survival scenarios. Here's what Survivalist Prep has to say on the matter:
If you’re bugging out on foot, weight is (almost) everything and the chances are that you’re likely to only be planning a bag to see you through 72 hours on the road – getting you from A to B, safe and sound In this instance, the size limitations, and purpose of the kit will determine how much food you bring along with you.
On the other hand, if you’re preparing an emergency food supply for your home, thinking much bigger is definitely not a bad thing. If storage space isn’t an issue, plan your food preparedness stockpile for the long haul and get into the habit of food rotation.
Also, as the price of food continues to climb upwards, storing enough today to see you through an emergency or a disaster situation tomorrow is quite literally one of the best investments you can make. Get into the habit of rotating your stockpile, moving items with shorter expiry dates to the front and using when required and you’ll be able to ensure that your stores will keep for when you need them as well as hedging against food inflation in the interim.
Another point made in the article is that you should stockpile foods you actually eat. A lot of survival storage foods aren't all that tasty, but guides like The Lost Ways have a lot of recipes that are actually quite tasty. It also covers storage when you no longer have the luxury of freezers and refrigerators.
If you're reading this, it's unlikely that your world will turn upside down tomorrow. But you never know. Unexpected disasters have affected humans for all of history, and our times are not immune.
The best thing you can do for you and your family is to begin stocking up bit by bit. Before long you'll sleep better knowing you're prepared for anything.