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.
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…
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.
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).
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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