Emergency Food Storage - 5 Options For Your Survival Food StorageEmergency Food Storage - 5 Options For Your Survival Food Storage

Thinking about storing some emergency food? It's a smart idea. Everyone should be prepared with at least some stored food and water in case of emergencies.

Having some stored food can protect you and your family in case of natural disasters, man made disasters, civil unrest, riots, blackouts, unemployment, foot shortages and food inflation. Unfortunately, these things are becoming far too real in our world today so many people are starting to store food.

But where do you start?

This article will lay out some of your options when it comes to emergency survival food:

#1 Freeze Dried Foods

This is one of your best options for long term food storage. Freeze dried food is food that has the water gently removed from it.

The process ensures that most of the vitamins and nutrients are retained in the food so you'll know that even in an emergency situation, you're getting good nutrition.

Freeze dried foods are easy to prepare - in most cases you just add water and stir - then wait for about 10 minutes and you have your meal. It's very easy - even a small child could do it.

Freeze dried foods also have one of the longest shelf lives of any type of emergency foods (25+ years in many cases). So you won't have to worry about rotating your food out and replacing it every few years (which can also be expensive).

You can get delicious meals with freeze dried foods too like lasagna, hearty beef stew, chili macaroni, beef stroganoff and even desserts like blueberry cheesecake and raspberry crumble.

#2 Dehydrated Foods

These are another good option for emergency food storage. Dehydrated foods are foods that are dehydrated at high temperatures and have most of the water removed. They are also easy to make like freeze dried foods but do come with a few drawbacks.

The shelf life with most dehydrated foods is not as long as with freeze dried foods. And they don't have as good of a taste or texture as freeze dried foods when they are reconstituted. Plus they don't keep as much of their nutrition once dehydrated.

On the plus side, they tend to be less expensive than freeze dried foods. Some stores put together long term food storage packages with a mix of dehydrated and freeze dried foods which tend to be less expensive than packages with all freeze dried foods.

#3 Canned Foods

This is a simple method of emergency food storage. You just buy canned foods and store them in your cellar. These can get you by in a pinch. However don't expect to survive on them long term (or even for a month).

First of all, they don't have much in the way of nutrition - which you're going to need in an emergency situation to get you through. Second of all you need to keep rotating them out every couple of years which can get expensive in the long term.

Last of all, they're heavy. Which means if you have to leave your home quickly, you won't be able to take much food with you (i.e. many emergency backpack survival kits have 2 weeks of freeze dried foods easily packed away in them - now try doing that with cans.)

#4 MREs

MRE's stand for Meals Ready To Eat. They came about from the military in the 1970s. Basically these are prepackaged high-calorie meals.

Because of the military nature of the MRE, the average meal provides about 1200 - 2000 calories. It's meant to be eaten for only 21 days, and has an expected shelf life of 3 - 5 years.

There are some advantages to these meals over freeze dried or dehydrated foods.

First you don't need to add water. There's no preparation involved really. They can be eaten hot or cold, straight from the pouch. And they can be easy to transport (although much heavier than freeze dried meals so you can't carry as much).

Also, they provide some very high calorie options - which if you're involved in emergency relief or another high-intensity job - is exactly what your body is going to need in order to keep going.

MREs are a great option for backpacking, in the car, RV or motorboat. Basically think of MREs as a cousin of frozen dinners but for long term food storage and without the need to store them in the freezer.

#5 Bulk Pails of Essentials

If you're planning on a really long emergency and are good at making your own food, you'll want to store things like buckets of wheat, flour, sugar, beans, salt, baking powder etc.

Many self-reliance specialists recommend having the basic essentials on hand. However be aware that you should have some basic knowledge on how to prepare your food from scratch like this.

If you're an urbanite or someone who is used to prepared food like frozen dinners or grab-and-go restaurant meals, you might want to stick with freeze dried meals or MREs.

Final Note:

Those are some of your options for emergency food storage. Remember to consider your lifestyle, tastes and of course budget when building your emergency food supply. Whatever you choose, take your time and research the options you feel comfortable with.
by Lauren Tate
References and Bibliography
Lauren Tate writes for Survival Food - a website helping you choose the best survival food storage options for you. For a list of where to buy long term emergency food storage packages, visit Long Term Food Storage
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