Food storage layers

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Food storage layers)

A. The One-Year Pantry, Layer by Layer
13 Mar 2013, SHTFplan.com, by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/the-one-year-pantry-layer-by-layer_03132013

This article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response.

She is the author of the soon to be released Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. You can begin your preparedness journey or extend your existing plans by visiting the FREE 52 Weeks to Preparedness guide.

When planning for emergencies, layering is an ever-constant theme. I often emphasize when one begins to prepare that you start simply by preparing for small-scale emergencies, and then slowly begin adding onto those existing preps to create a longer term preparedness supply. These emergency layers help you create a reliable foundation, and the same layering approach can be used when creating a food storage pantry.

There are some emergency food considerations to keep in mind:

  • The amount of people in the household.
  • Have a good amount of food varieties to reduce food fatigue.
  • The serving size of the food.
  • Vitamin content in the food.
  • The expiration date or “best if used by” labels on the food.
  • Special health conditions for family members.

Additionally, these essential food pantry rules can come in handy when you decide on which food to purchase.

Your Food Storage Layers
Layer 1 (0- 72-hours)
– In the onset of an emergency and the days following a disaster, the first food to go should be from the refrigerator. Keep in mind that refrigerated food will stay cold for four to six hours, assuming the door is left closed as much as possible. In a fully stocked freezer, foods remain safely frozen for approximately two days if the door stays closed. You want to use up your perishable foods first and then begin preparing your foods that are frozen. Plan meals to meet a 1500-2000 calorie diet that are high in nutrients. Once the perishable food has been consumed, it’s time to move onto your secondary layer of your emergency preps. A word of advice – have an ample supply of water on hand!

Layer 2 (4-30 days) – These emergency foods should consist of “just add water” meals or meals that do not require substantial amounts of water, fuel or preparation time. Having some canned, pre-packaged dinners, or meals that are “ready to eat” during emergency scenarios will help you begin acclimating yourself to cooking in a grid-down scenario as well as to help provide some comfort at the same time.

Keep your family’s preferences, any existing health conditions and food allergies in mind when preparing this food storage layer. Another thought to keep in mind, is that a large amount of water will be needed to rehydrate some of these meals. Have a large amount of water stored or a means to filter water during an emergency.

Layer 3 (31-99 days) – I have often said that our preps are our life line. The items we choose should be able to carry us, not only through difficult times, but perhaps through impossible times as well. This layer of pantry foods should consist of multipurpose, everyday pantry items. These foods are relatively inexpensive and easy to acquire. Keep food storage shelf lives in mind and regularly rotate these items in order to maintain a fresh food source. Further, having a fresh source of vitamins will help your body thrive during an emergency. Consider storing a supply of seeds for sprouting – they are cheap, easy to store and require minimal amounts of time for growth.

For those who are preparing for longer term or extended emergencies, at a minimum you should have a 3 month supply of food and build it up to a 6 month supply. This will be the beginning of your longer term food source, and re-packaging these food sources into more durable containers or packages will keep your food’s enemies away. Further it is a good idea to begin storing large quantities of foods that have extremely long shelf lives.

web link
For a list of the 11 emergency foods items than can last a lifetime, click here:
http://readynutrition.com/resources/11-emergency-food-items-that-can-last-a-lifetime_09032011/
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Another method of bulking up on foods with long shelf lives is to invest in freeze-dried foods. These preserved foods have a shelf life of 20+ years! All you need to do is add hot water and voila!

Some foods to consider for longer term storage are:

  • Carbohydrates: white rice, pasta, wheat, oats, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, sugars, honey, fruits, roots and tubers (cook these well) and cereals. For those with wheat allergies, click here.
  • Proteins: legumes, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, canned meats and fish, oatmeal, grains, wheat, quinoa, seeds, MREs, popcorn
  • Fats: whole milk, ensure, peanut butter, oil (preferably plant based oils), nuts and seeds
  • Vitamins and Nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, vitamin powders, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, seeds to grow vegetables and for sprouting, survival bars

Layer 4 (100-365 days+)If you find yourself in an emergency for over 100 days, it’s time to get real about the situation you have found yourself in. You must assume this could be your new reality. That said it is time to take steps toward long term survival. Having an understanding of essential skills, homesteading and gardening/farming concepts and learning ways to sustain yourself for the long term is of the utmost importance.

Micro livestock is a group of hearty animals that will help you make the most of smaller pieces of land. To read the pros and cons of this livestock choice, click here: http://readynutrition.com/resources/how-micro-livestock-can-be-used-for-suburban-and-rural-sustainability_08042011/ . For those in suburban dwellings, consider chickens, rabbits and fish stored in aquaponic for a long-term food source.

As a prepper preparing for long term emergencies, you want to continue storing up foods mentioned in the last layer and add freeze-dried or dehydrated foods to your stockpile. Given that you are preparing for an extended or long term emergency means that you will also need to begin looking at ways to prepare or preserve food sources off the grid. Learning how to can, dehydrate and ferment foods will help you maintain your food supply. Moreover, to prevent malnutrition, you will want to concentrate on accruing essential food sources such as carbohydrates, protein sources, fats and essential vitamins and nutrients (see above list of food considerations). Having a vitamin source such as sprouting seeds or stockpiling multi-vitamins during this period will also ensure that you are providing your body with regular doses of needed vitamins.

During an emergency, we are often left to fend for ourselves. Having an ample supply of emergency foods can help your family thrive during the most difficult of times. Take the time now to learn how to make the most of your food supply, learn pertinent skills and the importance of balanced diets and the lasting effects nutritious food has on our body because when emergencies occur, we will need this knowledge the most.
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foodlayer list

 Visual Pasted from: http://visual.ly/1-year-food-storage

To me, the above chart is a good start and core provision, but I’d add a lot of fruit, vegetables, other dairy and taste accessories to the menu.
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B.  Preppernomics: Investing in Your Food Supply
June 2013, The Organic Prepper, by Daisy Luther
Pasted from: http://readynutrition.com/resources/preppernomics-investing-in-your-food-supply_19062013/

The first step is to take inventory of what you have – you may be surprised to realize that you already have a week or a month of supplies in your pantry.  Read “If You Don’t Know What You Have, You Don’t Know What You Need!” at
http://readynutrition.com/resources/if-you-dont-know-what-you-have-you-dont-know-what-you-need_02102012/
for more detailed information on inventorying the items that you already have.
foodlayer prepared foods
Note: the 52 Weeks to Preparedness section found at:
http://readynutrition.com/resources/52-weeks-to-preparedness-an-introduction_19072011/
of the website Ready Nutrition contains a wealth of information for the beginning prepper. It’s a budget-friendly approach to getting prepared!)

Once you’ve figured out where you are as far as supplies are concerned, you must figure out a way to finance your prepping endeavors.  Your budget may be so tight that you can barely keep the lights on but there is still hope.  When you change the way you shop, you’ll soon find that some of the budgetary stress is relieved.  But first things first, you have to free up enough money to get started.

If your house is anything like mine, you probably have a whole refrigerator full of leftovers – resist the urge to do your normal weekly shopping trip and feed your family leftovers combined with the goods you have in your pantry.  Take that money that you would normally spend for groceries and let’s get started!  No matter how small your budget is, you can begin building security for your family.  I am basing these prices on my teeny tiny small-town grocery store, this week. You may be able to get more, based on what’s on sale in your area.$

20 List

  • 2 pound bag of rice
  • 2 pound bag of beans
  • 4 cans of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cans of peaches in water
  • 1 jar of peanut butter
  • 1 jug of white vinegar
  • 5 gallon jug of water

$50 List
everything in the $20 list and

  • 4 boxes of saltine crackers
  • 4 jars of unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 pounds of sugar
  • 5 pounds of flour
  • 1 liter of olive oil
  • 3 cans of green beans
  • 2 boxes of baking soda

$100 List
everything on the $20 list and the $50 list and

  • 1 canister of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 canister of baking powder
  • 10 pound bag of potatoes
  • 5 pound bag of onions
  • 5 pound bag of carrots
  • 2 pounds of powdered milk
  • 6 pounds of pasta
  • 5 bags of dried spices of choice
  • small assortment of treats (candy, chocolate chips, etc – you have $5 to spend on things that make life more pleasant!)

If you’ve ever checked out my website, The Organic Prepper, you may think these lists are in conflict with the “organic” theme.  While I’d certainly love to see everyone give Monsanto the cold shoulder by buying local and organic, it’s just not always feasible, especially when you are just getting started. I’d rather see people begin to take control by having a supply like the one listed here – something that when combined with the foods in the cupboards might see you through a month of hard times.

What’s more, when you have this little bit of security – this one-month food investment –  you can begin to build on this with healthier and more nutritious options.  You can start learning how to be more self-sufficient by growing what you can, by learning to preserve food and by buying in bulk.

See the Organic Prepper website at: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/

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C.  No Matter How Much Food You’ve Got Stored, It Will Eventually Run Out in a Full-Blown Collapse
1 Mar 2012, SHTFplan.com, by Joe Alton, MD, aka Dr. Bones
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/no-matter-how-much-food-youve-got-stored-it-will-eventually-run-out-in-a-full-blown-collapse_03012012

The following article has been generously contributed by Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, of Doom and Bloom Nation where you can find strategies to stay healthy that include traditional medicine, alternative remedies, and medicinal/survival gardening. For the best in emergency and long-term disaster medical preparedness we encourage you to check out The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook and follow Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy on their weekly podcast.

To Survive, How Much Land?
Have you ever wondered how likely it is that you’ll be able to produce all the calories you’ll need on that piece of land you have? How much land for livestock? How about those solar panels you were thinking about? How many square feet of panels will provide you with the electricity you’ll need? There are ways to figure this out, and the answers may surprise you.

Let’s start by talking power. In a collapse situation, you’ll probably be able to rely on the sun and wind and not much else, unless you’ve built a watermill. The best answer might be installing some solar panels on your roof. This is a commonly available option that many people are considering nowadays. Let’s say part of your roof is facing south (the best place for a solar panel) and you get 7 hours or so of sunlight, on average. To get the amount of power that an average home uses in a year, you’ll need 375 square feet of panels. These things aren’t cheap, and that much hardware is going to be beyond the average family’s financial reach. This means that you’ll have to make decisions regarding how to ration the power you ARE able to produce. Look around the house, and you’ll probably see lots of things that are plugged in that you can eliminate if the stuff ever hits the fan. This is part of the planning you’ll need to do now, so that you’ll be better prepared for times of trouble.

How about food? If you have a family of four, you’ll want to provide at least 2,000 or so calories per adult, more if you’re a big guy, maybe a little less for kids. The formula is simple: At least 30 calories per kilogram of body weight. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so an 80 kilogram adult would weigh 176 pounds. 30 x 80 = 2400 calories/day. Less for kids, of course. All in all, you’ll need to provide 8,000-9,000 calories a day to maintain your family of four’s weight.

[In order to work directly with pounds, ((your weight in lbs/2.2) x 30 calories) = so that from the example above, ((176 lbs/2.2) x 30) = 2400 calories. Mr. Larry]

So, let’s talk about some hard realities. No matter how much food you’ve got stored, it will eventually run out in a full-blown collapse. For your future success, better get that garden growing. Anyone who’s done it will tell you that there’s a learning curve, and you sure don’t want to plant that first seed in the midst of the “Zombie Apocalypse”.

Now, let’s separate your garden out into three categories: 1)  fruits, berries, and vegetables, 2) then wheat, 3) then corn. If you went totally vegetarian, you would need a little less than half an acre per person to provide all of those calories. That means a family of 4 needs almost 2 acres of farmable land! [in production]

The majority of this land will go to fruits, berries, and veggies. You’ll get the most nutrients in terms of vitamins and minerals from these. To decrease the amount of land you’ll need, consider companion planting. Some organic farmers will plant sunflowers, and then plant peas that will grow up the long stalks. The same goes with corn, squash, and pole beans. Squash will grow low to the ground, pole beans will take the intermediate area, and corn up high. Make sure you don’t put plants in the same family together, such as dill and carrots. They will share the same pests and diseases, which could possibly spread from one crop to the other.

If you stock up on wheatberries and use your handy dandy Wondermill, you can cut the land requirement down a bit. A mix of prepared food storage and gardening will keep you healthy and fed for a longer time. Corn isn’t a very land-efficient crop, but you might need it for your livestock. An alternative if you need to trim that acreage down a bit more is to stock up on bushels of corn feed; that’s about 55 pounds of feed for about $9-10. This is a good idea, but you’ll use a lot of it. It takes 10 bushels of corn to get a hog from weaning to slaughter. Btw, corn prices are going higher; they were less than 5 dollars a couple of years ago.

Don’t forget, you’ll need some land for hog wallows, goats, rabbits and chickens. All of these animals can be raised in relatively small amounts of space, and provide important protein. You’ll need a good 200 square feet for 3 hogs, more if they have piglets. You can get away with less for each of the other animals.

You might have to forget about cows; they aren’t land-efficient. If you want milk, think about goats, especially Nubian Goats. This variety can produce 1800 lbs. of milk a year, according to various sources. That’s a lot of milk! How about eggs? The average family of four will eat 1000 eggs or so a year. To reliably get this quantity, you’ll need about 10-15 birds in your henhouse, depends a lot on the breed and the ingenuity of the local foxes and raccoons.

You could probably squeeze this all in with an acre and a half of land. If you don’t have that much property, now you know you’ll need that much more food storage to make up the difference. This is information I thought was important for me to know, and now you know it too.

[Note: I lived on a large rural property and ran a “hobby farm” for thirty years. At various times I raised sheep, geese, ducks and bees, all the while maintaining an annual garden, a fruit orchard and reducing the electric bill by burning wood chain sawed from my wooded acreage.
From this dedicated hobbyist experience, I learned not to count on the crops nor the livestock. They were really no more than a supplement. Yes, there was food from those sources, but it was not in the quantity you’d expect from SHTF literature.
There are way too many problems, which ranged from:  planting, germination, plant spacing, weeding, plant insect disease, root crop rotation, animal disease and medications, predators, vagaries of the seasonal and annual weather, canning-drying-long term storage, saving viable seed for the next year’s crops.
Professional, lifelong, “real farmers” aren’t any better at small scale survival farming that you, they work from a tractor the same as many of us work from a desk. Real survival farming technology has been pretty much lost and one broken link in the annual cycle of food production would be a FAIL for you and your family if you absolutely depended on the process.

My recommendation is to buy freeze dried and dehydrated foods in nitrogen packed #10 cans and 5 gallon pails, have several means of water purification and bulk storage, put together a small PV system with several panels, deep cycle batteries and inverter, stock up on “Fish” antibiotics, and hope, no, pray that “if things go south”, that you have enough reserves to get you across the gap into the recovery.

In a national or global EMP, full grid down situation, you’d might be best served by “leading your entire neighborhood” to the city’s edge to take control of a food & merchandise “warehouse”. Just a thought. Mr. Larry]

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