50 Days of ‘Survival’ Calories with Rice and Beans

Ken Jorgustin
By Ken Jorgustin May 7, 2015 11:55

50 Days of ‘Survival’ Calories with Rice and Beans

Editor’s Note: The rice and beans combination is not random at all.

First, white rice has about 90 percent carbohydrates, which makes it one of the best survival foods. But it lacks the protein and fats (essentials on the long run) which you can get from beans (35% protein – the highest protein content of any seed crop – and 14% fats) – Related: Ingenious Foods People Made During Famines

Second, white rice and beans can last up to 30 years. White rice lasts for 4-5 years (oxygen free white rice lasts for 30 years) and beans almost indefinitely in the absence of oxygen and light. (Source: 20 Foods that Will Outlast You)

And third: they are cheap! The giant 20lb bag of white rice is about $8-10/bag. So, 30 lbs of rice (a 5 gallon bucket) is about $14. The dried beans can be found in 2 lbs bags at Walmart for $3.32. So, 30 lbs of beans (a 5 gallon bucket) is $49.8.

So, a 5 gallon bucket of rice and a 5 gallon bucket of beans would cost you about $64. Pretty cheap for a 50 days food reserve!

This was calculated for 2000 calories/day (would be exactly 48.5 days), but we can survive with far less calories/day.

Keep in mind that you will also need a lot of water to cook the rice and the beans.

Related: An Insanely Effective Way to Build a 5 Year Food Stockpile (Video)


by Ken Jorgustin

Rice is rich in starch, and an excellent source of energy. Beans are rich in protein, and contain other minerals. The consumption of the two together provides all the essential amino acids and it is no wonder that this combination is a staple of many diets throughout the world.

Here’s why they are a good combination for long-term survival food storage, and their calories per pound, survival days, etc…

WHITE RICE

5 gallon bucket of White Rice (30 lbs of rice)

50,000 calories – 25 survival days

1655 calories per pound (uncooked)

590 calories per pound (cooked)

675 calories per cup (uncooked)

205 calories per cup (cooked)

Note: For long term food storage, do not use brown rice (use only white rice) because it will go rancid within a year from its oils.

BEANS

5 gallon bucket of Beans (30 lbs of beans)

47,000 calories – 23.5 survival days

1574 calories per pound (uncooked)

650 calories per pound (cooked)

670 calories per cup (uncooked)

245 calories per cup (cooked)

Note 1: There is a slight variation of calories per pound for different bean varieties. Numbers listed above are an average. They are mostly similar…

Note 2: After many years, beans lose their ability to soften up while re-hydrating in water and the cooking process may result al dente. The beans will remain edible and will not have lost their food value – just saying. Maybe you rotate your beans every so many years…

Having one 5 gallon bucket each of rice and beans will provide nearly 50 days of ‘survival’ calories

While you will not want to eat rice and beans every day and every meal, the combination is an inexpensive food storage ‘staple’ as part of your overall food storage diversity.

Some food storage outlets will sell you rice and/or beans already packed and sealed for long term food storage in buckets. However you can also do it yourself by purchasing in bulk and then use Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and your own 5 gallon buckets. You might also choose to use an ordinary kitchen vacuum sealer and store smaller quantities (which could still be held in 5 gallon buckets for safe keeping).

How To Seal A Mylar Bag In A 5 Gallon Bucket

By themselves, rice and beans are bland. No doubt there are countless spices and other ingredients you can add to increase nutrition and make them more palatable. What are your suggestions?

This article was written by Ken Jorgustin. If you liked it, you can visit his website at Modern Survival Blog

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Ken Jorgustin
By Ken Jorgustin May 7, 2015 11:55
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18 Comments

  1. Burt February 6, 15:51

    You better get out your calculator and be honest about what you are posting!
    At 590 calories per COOKED pound of white rice
    At 650 calories per COOKED pound of beans
    Times 60 pounds total
    Equals 590 x 30 = 17700 plus 650 x 30 = 19500
    17700 + 19500 = 37200 calories
    37200/2000 calories/day=18.6 DAYS
    So, unless you are eating all of this UNCOOKED you are only getting about 19 DAYS of calories in 60 pounds of rice and beans!
    Your going to have to buy another total of 30 pounds
    15 lbs rice + 15 lbs beans
    to get to just 25 days
    Let’s just say 200 lbs of combined rice and beans to get you to 50 days!

    Reply to this comment
    • Jim February 8, 01:09

      You are confused. When you cook uncooked rice, 1 cup = 3 cups cooked. The above calculations by the editor was actually conservative as compared to most information online or on the bags of white rice. So what the editor stated will be right or slightly higher in calories. Sorry, I can see how you got confused Burt.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Joanne Mingia Burch February 6, 17:36

    I am finding that some dried beans will NOT cook up to be soft.. they stay hard no matter if you soak or cook longer

    Reply to this comment
    • BillH February 25, 20:35

      I soak overnight in warm water. Start with hot and insulate around the container to retain heat. Don’t know if it will work for really old beans.

      Could you try to crack/crush your beans and try again with a long warm soak? I would be interested to know if that works.

      Reply to this comment
    • Glo September 30, 17:35

      I always put a little baking soda to beans with warm water soaking overnight. About 1 tsp, just rinse well before cooking. Also don’t add salt until after beans are soft, same for corn. I learned that from my grandmother. She’d be about 120 years old if she’d be still alive. Old people knew plenty of prepped stuff also. I’m 70 and wish I had learned more from all them. Miss them all, glad in had wonderful grandparents. God Bless

      Reply to this comment
    • Brenda October 26, 14:32

      Old dried beans that have been left in the original bags from the store do not get soft when cooking. It is important for storage to seal these in Mylar bags or quart jars with oxygen absorbers or vacuum seal.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Bonn March 4, 17:59

    What I’m doing is I bought the hard red wheat berries from Amazon, 25 lbs for $35. I also got a manual grain mill (in case there’s a long term power outage) also from Amazon (check the warehouse deals, mine had a dinged up box but I saved $6.00) I found recipes online to grind up the pinto beans to add some protein to your whole wheat flour 1 part beans to 3 parts wheat. Also ground up pinto beans can be easier cooked like instant refried beans.

    Reply to this comment
  4. j August 8, 15:50

    Have been told cooking beans in distilled water makes the beans softer. Hard water is a cause for hardness. Also have read using some meat tenderizer makes them softer. I have not tried either.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Lucy December 2, 21:57

    When my husband’s business went belly up back in the mid-80s, I got to test out the rice and beans combo for 10 months. It filled our bellies, and kept us going, but we learned that, after a while, we lost our appetites. (Not an easy way to lose weight!) I remember how exciting it was to have a fresh raw onion to top the rice and beans. Some chili sauce would have been nice, too. Anything. A piece of bread to go with it. That experience colored my prepping, I’ll tell you. Spices, herbs, pickles, hot peppers, even a dash of vinegar would have helped a lot. I’m just glad I had the rice and beans stockpiled. My husband never made fun of my prepping after that.

    Reply to this comment
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