How To Store Food Long Term – Without Spoilage
For a survivalist, food is the most important thing after water. A healthy human being can go up to 3 weeks without food. However, this is easier said than done.
Try skipping breakfast and lunch for just one day – you will be warn out and famished by dinner time! Even if you don’t eat for 2 or 3 days, you will begin to feel light headed, weak and cranky.
Your metabolism will slow down and your body will start breaking down muscle tissue for fuel.
Chances are that in a SHTF scenario, you will have to do a lot of work and hence, you will probably need even more food than you do now!
In this article, you will learn about the top 10 tried and tested ways to store food long term – without spoilage:
1) Understand that ALL foods have a shelf life – irrespective of how you store them. Even if preserved foods do not become completely inedible, they will lose much of their flavor and nutritional value over time. So the key here is to keep rotating your food stash. Eat what you have already stored and then replace it with a fresh batch. This way, you will minimise chances of spoilage and maximize the nutritional value of your stored foodstuffs.
2) Foods deteriorate because of the action of microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and fungi. Just like all other living things, these microbes need water and oxygen for growth and reproduction. Thus, if you the cut off the supply of water and oxygen, you can prevent foods from getting spoiled.
3) Some microorganisms are incredible survivalists! They can thrive even without oxygen. An anaerobic microbe known as botulinum has the ability to survive in the complete absence of oxygen. Moreover, this microorganism causes a very dangerous type of food poisoning.
4) Sunlight causes destruction of vitamins and increases the rate of chemical and biological reactions in foods. Hence, it is better to store foods away from direct sunlight and in a cool and dry place.
5) Drying or dehydration is an excellent way to preserve food. As you read above, moisture enables microorganisms to thrive and also allows enzymes to remain active. Dehydrating removes the water from foods and hence they can be stored for up to 12 months or even longer.
The drier the food, the longer it remains edible. As expected, some nutritional value is lost in the process of dehydration. Still, foods retain a substantial chunk of their nutrients even when dried.
Dried fruits provide a burst of energy and are tasty too! Dried vegetables can be rehydrated before use – they are great for preparing soups and stews.
A few things to remember:
- Always store foods in airtight plastic jars.
- Never use glass jars as these are easily breakable.
- Water is a major component of most foods and when you remove it, foods become very light and compact – without losing any calories or protein!
Several types of dehydrators are available in the market. Pick one that fits your needs and budget or buy pre-dried foods.
6) Canned foods are a fantastic survival option for several reasons. For starters, these foods require no special preparation – you do not have to cook them; they can be eaten straight out of the can (meat, fish, beans, tomatoes etc.) Also, these foods are inexpensive and can last almost indefinitely (if canned properly).
You can either choose to can foods at home or buy them from the grocery store. Home canned foods are usually stored in glass jars – so put them in a place where they are least susceptible to breakage. It is advisable to use smaller cans as these are easier to rotate and also prevent wastage – you cannot eat a 5 pound can of food at once. Hence, the leftovers will spoil if they are not refrigerated.
Canned fish, meats and veggies have a shelf life between 2 to 5 years. Canned foods should form the bulk of your survival food supplies since they are cheap and easy to store and carry. Do include a can opener in your survival kit though!
7) Freezing: This is an excellent way to preserve food. It also minimizes loss of nutritional value. Foods can be stored in a freezer for many months. However, there is a huge problem with freezing – you require a constant supply of electricity.
You may choose to invest in a gas or propane powered generator but eventually, you will run out of gas too! So do not relying solely on freezing if you are preparing for a survival scenario. If you do run out of power, the food in your freezer might last for a day or two – provided you not open the lip too often. After that, the food will begin to deteriorate.
Meat, fish and poultry spoil the quickest. It is advisable that you stick to canning.
8) Root cellaring was immensely popular in the past. Today, it is not so practical – especially if you live in a place that has a warm climate. Still, people who live in cold regions can use this technique to store fruits and vegetable during the winter months.
Basements are no longer ideal for root cellaring since they are kept warm through central heating (most houses have this). You can either insulate a part of your basement or dig outdoor pits. The latter is probably the better option because you can implement it without having to make expensive modifications to your house.
9) Freeze drying foods is another great way to preserve them. This method involves freezing the food and then heating it by placing it in a vacuum container. Heating melts the ice and the vacuuming process draws the moisture out of the food. You will need to buy special equipment to freeze-dry food at home. However, you can easily purchase freeze-dried food at the supermarket.
10) Smoking beef and making beef jerky are also good preservation techniques.
Here is a list of foods with very long shelf lives:
- White rice: can last up to 30 years if stored properly in an air tight container
- Sugar and Honey
- Alcoholic beverages such as vodka, whisky, rum etc.
- Coffee, dried milk and cocoa powder – these help to lift morale.
- Buckwheat, corn, spelt, millet, wheat. Excellent sources of carbohydrates – All of these can be stored for 10-12 years.
- Barley, quinoa and oats can be consumed for up to 8 years provided they are sealed without oxygen.
- Beans and lentils – 8 years if sealed properly
- Spices and herbs (dried)
- Wheat and all purpose flour, pasta, cornmeal – from 5 to 8 years.
- Coconut oil and ghee (clarified butter)
- Ready to eat meals – highly reliable, used in the military. Expensive but worth it.
Hopefully, you have a clearer idea about how to store food for a survival scenario. Just buy one or two extra items every time you shop for groceries. Store these extra items securely – soon you will have a food supply for at least a couple of weeks.
Rotate your supplies – push the newer cans and boxes to back and use the older ones first.
Some of the techniques mentioned above are cumbersome and require special equipment and knowledge – we live in a world where everything is available to us instantly. Hence, canning, drying and smoking may seem irrelevant to you now – however, learn at least the basics of these techniques if you are serious about prepping for survival.
Important: It’s CRUCIAL that you stock up BEFORE the Shit Hits The Fan. Watch this Free Video to learn which food items will be the FIRST to sell out at your local market in a crisis and what you should stock up on NOW – before that happens.