I think we should make a comprehensive list with the foods we prefer to store (price, quantity, shelf-life, flavor). We’ll all get a lot of good ideas to add to our stockpile/pantry.
I think diversification practices well in food storage, security, weaponry and income. It’s something I have been encouraging for years. You will have a more holistic approach to prepping if you take the route of diversification.
That said I will profile two of my favorite foods for storage. These may not be the best dry storage items, they may not have the longest shelf life but, in my opinion, they bring quality, storage capabilities and flavor to your stockpile.
Rice is probably the most consumed food in the whole world. If you think about it whole continents eat rice in mass. One of the big reasons it has become a defacto food through the ages is based on its ability to store so well.
I never buy rice in 1lb packs. It’s a 5lb ($4.48 – at Walmart) or higher purchase. We eat it a lot in my house and do so at least once a week. You can buy brown rice and it is healthier but I prefer regular old white rice because it has a much, much longer shelf life.
This brand of rice can be found in most stores but to be honest it is not particularly special. I make this purchase based on package size and price. Once I open a bag I store most of it in a drink container to easily pour out the amount I need.
Double Q Wild Caught Salmon
The nutritional punch that salmon packs is unparalleled. In a disaster scenario one of the toughest things to get into your system will be healthy fats.
This Double Q wild caught Alaskan salmon come in a 14 oz ($2.48 at Walmart). can which is nearly 1lb of meat! You will have the full nutrient profile of salmon in a canned and easy to store vehicle. The omega 3 fatty acids and high quality protein found in this fish will keep you full and nourished.
Canned salmon also has an incredible shelf life. At the time of purchase you will have at least 3 years on the best buy of the product. The other secret with canned meats is that you can keep and eat those food items 5 years after the best buy date.
Please share your thoughts in the comment area so we can all get as many good ideas as possible.
You may also like:
What the Pioneers Stockpiled To Survive Winter
This Secret Will Put You On Top Of The “Food Chain” (video)
33 Essential Foods to Stock Pile
My favorite thing to stockpile is jerky. I make it myself and it’s good for a long time.
My choice as well. I make my own, but it’s tough to keep it around. Where do you get your flavorings??
Yes, I have about 1/4 ton of pasta. Keeps forever! tfz
TFZ> How do you keep your pasta, rice, beans, etc. Original pkg,? Juice btl, Milk jugs, cof. mate cans, with/ without dessicant/ oxy, etc. Seems you’ve been at this awhile; I have come to respect your opinion,and enjoy your posts along with LCC’s. Thanx in advance.
Progresso soup when on sale. Most canned southgate products from DG.
My only problem with rice is the arsenic that’s in it. Brown rice is even worse. The stuff from Texas and La. are the worst and I don’t know how to tell if it’s from down south or California (which is marginally better) It’s also a grain which my wife can’t have so we are looking. So far it’s meat and veggies and fruit – expensive.
Try pearled barley, quinoa, even cous cous, (a pasta), as subs. We use Basmati rice firm the Himalayas. Sams club, not expensive.
CalRose rice is California grown. It is short grain rice grown for the asian market. After you have had short grain rice you will never want to go back to U.S. long grain rice again. I would have to be really hungry to eat Mahatma brand rice. It would be a Hobson’s choice between Mahatma brand rice and C-rations sausage patties in gravy. The brand of rice we like best is Tamaki Brand California Koshihikari rice. It comes in a nitrogen filled bag to keep it fresh. You can find it at Amazon, but only in small 5 pound bags.
love calrose it is my brand of my choice
Hi Jim! Try buckwheat. It’s actually not a grain. I have grain intolerances but I’m ok with buckwheat.
you need to by rice from indo-china regions (not china per say but indoneshia tiawain japan you get the idea and stay away from any rice grown in high concentration of past cotton growing the arsinic comes from the treating of the cotton plants from everything i have read about it—and black rice (forbidden) has the most value to your bodies needs (very expensive at wallmart) but go to your asian grocery stores i got 4lb backs for under $5
Can you tell me more about “black rice”, for example it’s cooking time or method, taste? I’m always looking for something new to add to the pantry!
Hi, Chris! I treat it the same as brown rice. I like it for the flavor and color on the plate. It is called Forbidden Rice because at one time, only the Emperor and immediate family could eat it. Best place I have found to purchase is at my local Asian store. Also, when I get to the end of a bag, I will mix it with other rice. The color transfers to the other rides. I keep my rices in the fridge so they last longer.
Hi, Jim, there were a couple of little paperback cookbooks written with what they called “protein complementarity” in mind. Except for quinoa, which has all of the essential amino acids we need to live, other grains like wheat, rice, corn, etc. are lacking in one or more essentials. By combining the grains with beans, or seeds, or nuts, which have the essential acids that are missing in the grains, our bodies get what is needed for whole protein. In the Caribbean, they eat beans and rice. MesoAmerica eats corn and beans (like frijoles and tacos). The eastern end of the Mediterranean eats beans and wheat (like hummus with pita bread).
The cookbooks that I have are “Diet for a Small Planet” and “Recipes for a Small Planet.”
Well, I have to go eat now.
Bunapetite! I have no idea howda F ta spell dat! tfz
Made ‘old chicken soup’ yesterday with 8 year old cans of G******l chicken and 4 year old S*****n box broth, 15 year old Basmati rice and dehydrated veg from Y2K. It was great. Dates are guidelines. They would have easily gone longer in storage. Obviously check products for condition before consuming. Cook throughly. Your results may vary.
SPAM,,all flavors, so many applications.
Yes, got some, but not a big meat eater; mostly wild greens but great choice. tfz
Hey, tony, what does “tfz” stand for? When I googled it, it just listed a bunch of audio ear buds. (Don’t tell me if it’s not decent!)
Cancel that! DUH! It’s your initials!
If you don’t have a means to cook the salmon can be eaten straight out of the can. Canned beans is another good item to keep on hand. Both can be eaten without anything else being done to them. Just make sure you have a can opener.
Peanut butter. Not too expensive, good shelf life and good nutrition. I keep a few jars in my stock rotation.
Me too; problem is my rotation with it goes so damn fast it couldn’t possibly go bad! tfz
If you can get your hands on the canned peanut butter the government used to pass out,it last almost forever if it is kept sealed.
PEANUT BUTTER IS ALWAYS A WINNER
Damn right! tfz
Thank you for mentioning the shelf life of tinned meat is 5 years after the best used by date. I once got food poisoning from eating a few black olives that had been stored too long. Since then, I’ve been careful to use up things by the Use By date and feel quite daring if I go a couple months out.
I like to have dried beans on hand as well as rice.
In the no-it’s-not-entirely-necessary-but-it’s-good-for-morale department, I like having mustard and pickles on hand.
Perfect! Don’t forget the Peanut Butter! tfz
Diet Coke!!!!!!!!!!!!! Caffeine addicted!
Supper Bad! Had it a long time ago on coffee & Coke a Cola. Get off it using regular Tea.
To gradually back off. You’re also addicted to the artificial sweeteners! Takes about 2 weeks. tfz
Did you know that diet anything is worse for you than regular? More chemicals than regular. Aspartame is a serious cancer causer in diet sodas.
You are soooooo right. People think diet is better however on the contrary diet it worse. I NEVER ever buy anything diet…I drink decaf black tea mixed with decaf green tea and it’s healthier and taste great, try it. 3 regular tea bags mixed with 3 green tea bags in a coffee pot or in a pan with water on the stove top (either one). Get it cold and I sweeten it with STEVIA sweetener. I ONLY eat wheat bread as white bread is soooooo fattening. Honey is good for you as well as coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. NEVER us regular cooking oil or even canola oil. Canola oil isn’t healthy even though people think it is…Bran is extremely good for our bowels as well as lots of fiber. ALL of the B vitamins are super good as well as magnesium. I take 1 baby aspirin per day and that keeps me good. It thins the blood preventing a stroke…Increase your Nitric Oxide b/c that is super beneficial to your overall health. GOOD eating, GOOD drinking and GOOD luck too…
IF you know of a good prepper community let me know thanks.
I like to stockpile my own canned chicken. It doesn’t contain preservatives and can be used for many things.
Good! But the rice, beans, pasta & tuna will last longer. What people don’t think about is the rice, beans or pasta Grow to 2 or more sizes when cooked; the meats shrink! Quantity is important when your prepping. tfz
Progresso Soup which then has other ingredients added to it to extend it. For beef based soup we add a can of beef from Costco which has the best price on canned beef. For chicken based soup we add a can of chicken breast also from Costco. Bush’s baked beans augmented with Spam is another favorite. We then add whatever appropriate frozen vegetables to extend the soup. If our canned veggies are reaching use by date, we will add them to the soup instead of frozen. In place of making hardtack, I cut the crusts of bread into a size that will fit into a Mason jar. I then dry the bread in the oven at 125 degrees for several hours until it is completely dry. I then put it into the Mason jars and close them tightly. The bread will keep for as long as hard tack. It isn’t as dense as hard tack and so doesn’t have quite the carb content as hard tack but it dissolves into soup easier to extend the soup and it is light to carry.
Spam. Great stuff. You either love it or hate it. I love it. Wife hates it. Keeps for years, very versatile. It’s not junk meat. Made from pork sholder, no scrap meats. Grilled Spam, broiled Spam, fried Spam, stir fried Spam, Spamburger, Spam and cheese, Spam kabobs, Spam and beans, Spam mac & cheese…….
We used it to befriend a wary stray dog, who we appropriately named, of course, Spam. She was also great.
In addition to rice and beans I keep large jars of mixed nuts (from Costco) that I keep in rotation consuming the oldest (I mark the lids) and I keep a large amount of honey which never goes bad. These are my two ready to eat staples.
Great choices; I store walnuts as well. tfz
Down here in FL my biggest concern is getting through the aftermath of a hurricane, not prepping per se. Anything in cans that doesn’t need diluting or cooking to be eaten. Also Cup of Noodles or Ramen bowls. Just add water and leave it in the sun for a while. And water — LOTS OF WATER!
Since we don’t eat very much processed foods, we store components (salt, sugar, wheat berries for flour, oats and old-fashioned oatmeal, etc). We also have a large variety of dried beans. Our preferred rice is a par-boiled rice from Sam’s. Don’t remember the name since we take it out of the box and store it in a 5-gallon bucket.
The rice and salmon are on my list too. I am cautious of the Pacific fish because of the problems with Fukushima.
I still have pre-Fuk stuff! They may be of real value soon.
Dried Meat / Jerky and Wild Rice in Bulk.
If you look online you can buy canned tuna and salmon directly from the fishermen, who catch, process, can an iqf product..I hate buying canned salmon at Walmart ad it has skin and bones in it, yuck…I feel that the fish I buy from the west coast is still safe. I buy and can my own.
Wonderful to be near where you can buy fresh fish and preserve your own! Not so easy in the midsection of the country. Gotta catch our own in lakes and rivers when we can.
Some of us would rather eat the skin than the flesh of the fish, for the record! Yum. Healthy fats, too. And the bones (if they’re small enough and well cooked so they’re edible) supply a digestible calcium. I used to crave the slightly crunchy bones of sardines as a kid.
Me too, on some fish. I used to grind the bones of any fish or animal I killed for health & to Use every bit of the creature I killed for respect to it. tfz
CB, the skin has good oils in it and the bones are a good source of calcium. Just letting you know.
I guess you’re talking about fish’ but you didn’t elaborate! I know, but I grind and use the bones of all fish and game Game animals, since I am the one who killed them. We can learn a lot from watching predators like grizzlies, who Eat the skin first for essential fats. I taught wilderness survival in the service and since. One of the first things is, in the wild, it’s the opposite from civilization; the fats are more important than the meat. Eskimos eat blubber & feed the meat to their dogs. (I’d eat’um both)! tfz
This is a great article. Learned a lot from the comments. My favorites are pasta, dried beans and rice. I didn’t know about all the different rice.
Been stockpiling since the mid 80’s. ex-mercenary & U.S. military. Any *oatmeal goes rancid after couple years! white rice, tuna (in veg.oil only), ALL dried beans (w/rice a complete protein), home made jerky nuggets (more compact), dehydrated, vacuum packed veggies, olive oil & apple cider vinegar (4 wild food salads), dried oregano, garlic powder,iodized salt, blk.pepper. My new website has true stories, soon combat martial arts instruction. Taught it & wilderness survival for 40 yrs..
Does rancidity affect its food value or just the taste? Are you talking about prepared oatmeal (Quaker Oats quick oatmeal and the like) or plain oats that haven’t been pre-prepped for faster cooking?
I am currently eatin 4 year old quik oats from quaker oats. Not rancid. Stored in it’s plastic wrapper in a plastic bucket.
I don’t get it! Where are you from? I had 100 lbs. in plastic & poly garbage can, sealed. Plus 1 dozen Quaker, multi flavored boxes in envelopes; all went bad in 2 years??? Ate ‘um anyway, cause I can’t throw food away (saw too many starving kids In C.A.) but I had to use a lotta honey! Which is something else I store in quantity. tfz
Tony, it’s been my experience that the more processed a food item is the quicker it is likely to go rancid. Your best bet is to store plain, old-fashioned oatmeal. It only takes 3 to 5 minutes to cook in a microwave and you can then add fruit, honey, spices, etc to dress it up. I would suggest storing in either vacuum-sealed bags or vacuum-sealed canning jars with O2 absorbers. If you want to store in buckets, line it with a mylar bag and add O2 absorbers. I just opened a vacuum bag of oatmeal that was six years old. Tastes just like it did the day it was sealed.
Good question, west coast chuck. It drove me to check it out. The website I found clearest and most accessible is listed as nutrition nuts and bolts dot com.[Have to write it out that way so the firewall doesn’t think it’s spam.] It looks like the short answer is, yes, rancidity in fats does diminish the availability of vitamins, minerals, etc. but it doesn’t look like it will kill us fast, although it hasn’t been studied much. We can try to limit how much rancid food we eat (it doesn’t taste that good, but real hunger can overcome that!), and try to be sure to get antioxidants to neutralize the negative long-term effects. Given that fresh fruits and veggies will be in short supply for most of us when the distribution system breaks down, it’s good insurance to have a few bottles of vitamin C, E, zinc, etc. in the root cellar.
Ur right Lucy & smart; I keep sealed bottles of V-C & Multi’s packed away but make sure they’re Organic V-C’s The cheap ones that most people buy are made with “coal tar”. Useless; never been alive, can’t do you any good!
A vit. Has to be alive for your body to use it. Look dat up. I went to school for foods a million years ago, while the
Mammoths were still here. I teach brutal combat martial arts & I include it to my students. tfz
We found that old-fashioned oatmeal keeps longer. It only takes 3 to 5 minutes to cook a bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal in the microwave, about the same amount of time to boil water for instant, and is cheaper and better for you than instant because it doesn’t have all the preservatives. We also have oat groats stored for future use to make oatmeal or oat flour, as needed.
Homesteader, I never store large amounts of processed foods. The oatmeal I stored was plain, rolled, organic oatmeal.
I still find that assorted beans, rice & spaghetti are the best & most compact, for bulk long term. Price wise too. TFZ
I have stored oat groats in sealed 5 & 6 gallon buckets with O2 aborbers for years and they have remained in good conditioned. I have a small oat flaker that rolls the oat groats into flakes (oatmeal). The nutrition remains much better in the oat groat vs. oatmeal.
Another good fish to buy is sardines/herring. Almost as many omega fats as salmon and half the price. I prefer the taste.
Recently read that sardines are the lowest in mercury of any seafood available!
According to the folks who claim to know, the smaller the fish the less time it has to accumulate mercury so, yes, sardines have less mercury than a 300 pound blue fin tuna. Also fish that feed on plant life are reputed to contain less mercury than fish that feed on other fish.
evidently JG doesn’t know what’ spam” stands for! A variety is what is best for me.
Spam will keep for 20 years and is good for you.
Corned/roast beef hash. Dried crowder and blackeyed peas. Peanuts. If you don’t eat all the peas and peanuts they can be used for seed to grow more. These don’t require much care or fertilizer.
What is “dried crowder”?
Crowder is a type of pea! Absolutely love them but cannot find them where I live. I have to get them when I go to the South.
Went to Wikipedia. Crowder is dried cowpea. Grown mainly in West Africa. Grows well in poor soil with few nutrients. According to Wiki, the leaves of the plant contain more nutrients than the pea which can also be eaten fresh rather than dried. Besides West Africa where it is a main food crop it is also eaten in the Middle East and in Korea. Learn something every day if you’re not careful.
Pemmican, recipe on Lost-ways.com lasts indefinitely.
Oatmeal and coconut water.
I like soups because it has liquid which provides fluids in case water is scarce. But does anyone know… Due to sodium content, is it counter-effect?
Leesaa: In an End of the World situation, excess salt will not be the problem that it is in the diet of the average U.S. resident now. First of all, life as you know it will suddenly take a turn into the hardest labor you have ever known. You will sweat profusely even in cold weather. Ever hauled water by the bucketful? Ever chopped wood with an axe? Ever had to wash clohes by hand? Hang them on a line outdoors to dry? Ever wash dishes in a bucket over an open fire? Ever cook over an open fire? If you have tent camped or back packed, perhaps you will have done some of these things, but not on a day in and day out basis. Even folks who hike the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail come down to civilization every once in a while to hot showers, a sit down meal. So, yes, prepared soup has a high salt content for present day U.S. residents. But that high salt content will replace the salts your body needs while you are hiking down to the lake or river from your home for buckets of water. That’s not one trip, that’s multiple trips a day. Then it’s chopping enough firewood to boil the water, otherwise you will die from the brown drizzlies. By this time you will have sweated buckets and will need the extra salt in the soup to replace the electrolytes that your body has excreted. A lot of people who have “food allergies” now or who have very restrictive diets will suddenly find that the “food allergy” is gone or that only eating vegetables doesn’t do anything for you because eating dandelions and plantain doesn’t provide nearly enough of what you need to sustain life. So folks will either rapidly adjust their diet or die and become food for buzzards, coyotes, feral dogs and cats, rats and other animals that feed on carrion. Bodies won’t be buried because it will take too much energy to dig a hole deep enough to prevent excavation by scavengers. Why waste the energy when it is needed to survive. I didn’t mention cannibalism which is seldom talked about but which I believe will become common in an End of the World situation. Hope that puts to rest your concerns about “too much salt.” By the way, have you stored iodized salt in your supplies? You need the iodine in your diet to avoid goiter. Have you also stored plain salt so that you can salt cure meat to keep from going bad? Do you know how to salt cure meat? If you haven’t put alway those to essentials, you need to start to give it serious consideration.
Dear left coast chuck. How nice that you are so tolerant of high levels of salt in your food! Something to appreciate. Some of us aren’t so lucky. I compensate for the high salt levels I am getting in my “dry run” of living just on what I have stockpiled by taking potassium tablets. If I forget, my eyelids and fingers swell, my blood pressure shoots up, and I have a hard time breathing. I get huge bags under my eyes — only cosmetic, but symptomatic. My normal diet is heavy on the fresh vegetables, which have a lot of potassium, so the tablets are in compensation. If I don’t add the potassium tablets, I won’t have to be concerned about the End of the World. Potassium is cheap. I don’t consider this any more of a defect than having to wear glasses. We are all snowflakes, and we do what we can.
Any oats will go rancid! That doesn’t mean you can’t eat them in a spot. I’ve eaten grubs, ants, snakes, scorpions, field mice, and a hell of a lot more when it was needed.
To release & complete the protein in the beans, you need to eat them together w/rice. Most of nutrition in brown rice SKIN is gone in a few months. Been making jerky for 50 yrs.
Yes I store organic red lentils too. Also, organic soy beans; both in bulk. Yes I have lrg. Amounts of both salts. You can dry meats that will last for a couple of weeks without it I’ve done it with venison, rabbit, squrls. and moose. I did it many times in the bush. Lived in Alaskan, Vermont and NY Adirondack bush. I still have venison jerky nuggets I made
10 years ago to see How long it will keep when stored right. Take a piece out about once a year to check; still good! I’ve been eating dandies my whole life, saw a vit. Chart once, more
vits. & minerals than ANY other veggy, wild or not. On the soup sodium, YES! You’ll notice, you always get thirsty shortly after. Yes I remember Buckwheat from Our Gang! I also dry & smoke fish (otherwise they make a mess of the rolling papers). Yes, I make & use pemmican too & have a decent store of sardines. As for Skippy Super Crunch Peanut butter (Sam’s), I not only store it, gimme a spoon an I could live on the damn stuff!!!
My pantry is never without Peter Pan peanut butter or pinto beans.
Rice is great but legumes…dried beans, peas, lentils etc have twice as many calories and more protein than grains. Like rice, beans can taste stale but will be safe to eat for decades as long as it stays dry and vermin doesn’t get into it. But they all do need water to cook and fuel to cook, so that’s a consideration. Lentils usually cook quicker than beans. Soak all legumes for 24 hours and you’ll cut the cooking time by more than 2/3. Also bring them and the water to a boil, remove from heat and wrap in towels or a blanket and they will continue to cook for hours with no additional need for fuel–sort of a cheap slow cooker.
That’s a good point. A pressure cooker is really handy for reducing both the amount of water needed and the amount of fuel needed for cooking. Then there’s the time you save! Which is always a good thing, but, as left coast chuck pointed out, will be even more valuable if we are having to wash our clothes by hand in a bucket and hang them on a line to dry! (even in winter!)
try the local asian store (usually filipino) and get thai jasmine rice. you will have to buy it in 25lb sacks but it is better than any white american rice. we go thru it in a month or so, but then i’m married to an filipina and its not unusual to have it 3x per day!
Mark, can you tell me your price point on the Thai jasmine rice, please? Is it like the bleached, “white” rice, or what? It sounds interesting.
Many of these are things we have stock piled along with powdered foods like milk, honey, eggs.butter, etc. Having aquired these i am now stocking up on more canned meats and fruit. Walmart has two packs of chicken breast 12.5 oz cans for about three and half bucks and in four packs its even cheaper. The chicken is delicious has great flavor large chunks of white meat and great broth. Dried goods grains and meat like jerky are great but if potable water is in short supply canned goods can be a great source of hydration and provide foods when unable to reconstitute dried goods.
We pantry (store to use) boxed: Potato, Pasta, and rice sides. My favorite is rice, however, the families favorite, by far, is the potato boxes. We also try to keep a couple years worth of canned Fish:salmon, tuna, sardines, Foul: mostly chicken or duck, and beef/pork products. To supplement a bad garden/animal raising year. Mostly, ’cause you never know. It’s fun to have folks with similar interestes, now. We also keep a medical, dry goods , and spice cabinet. How ’bout you?
We need a cabinet just for our spices. My husband likes to cook all kinds of ethnic foods so we go through a lot of and a large variety of spices. I prefer to buy the Indian spices in large quantities from Indian grocery stores. Most other spices can be purchased anywhere but I find it difficult to find most in large quantities. I found some on Amazon but not a very large selection. Does anyone have any ideas where to find larger selections of bulk spices? I have allergies so we do not, as a rule, use “seasoning mixes.”
Do you have a natural or health food store in your area? Some will carry bulk spices and herbs or will order them for you. Have you thought about growing your own? There are a lot of the more common ones like rosemary, parsley and sage that are easy to grow and dry.
Yes, been doing that for years. tfz
live on a small place with old apple trees and chickens and garden… dried apple slices vacuum packed, and excess eggs, dried and vacuum packed, sweet potato and pumpkin dried flakes, all vacuum sealed in Kerr jars, canned old hens… won’t be 5 star dining, but will make a turd!!!!
Yes, turd making is IMPORTANT! Otherwise you’ll be full of xxxx like me!
You live in good spot but I’d still get some rice & beans. Good luck man! tfz
Flour,sugar,spices any dry prepackaged food,grains,beans,canned meats and snare materials for them tasty animals.
Get largest rat traps at The Home Despot! I keep a dozen that I camoed w/ OD spray paint & lubed springs w/ veg. oil.
I’ve caught squirrels, chip monks, birds etc. They work great. Drill holes in 4 corners; put wire in all to tie down. For fish, set sideways
Baited In covey holes. tfz
You mentioned a website tfz. Can you give that out?
Yeah! It’s no big deal. Just true short stories from my past adventures, with some funny lines thrown in.
Each month I add 1 long or 2 short ones. Some from crazy stuff I did; some from when I was a mercenary In Central America in the early 70’s. Everyone who read them said I needed to publish them. I’m in Process of writing more now. Patreon.com/tonyfuckinz (tfz, now you know why I didn’t spell it out, Don!)
This is a GREAT article! Although it is making me hungry…
I have recently been testing how living off my food storage works, with the addition of fresh raw carrots, onions, garlic, celery, parsley, and cilantro, which would add flavor and freshness to a wholly canned and dried diet, and either store well in a root cellar or are easily grown in a pot, in the case of the herbs.
Last week I made a casserole with a canned ham [both the DAK from Denmark, where their standards are really high, and Royal [Canadian] brands work well, keep forever, and are really cheap($0.54 – $0.59 per serving], noodles, canned mushroom soup, and a drained can of mushrooms, with a side of canned green beans. Everybody loved it! Simple, comfort food.
I forgot to take 4 potassium tablets afterward, though, and the next day looked like I had been out on a bender: Swollen eyelids and fingers, puffy face, and big bags under my eyes! Not everyone is as salt sensitive, though, too much can be a problem.
So: Two important additions to any diet dependent on our canned goods are POTASSIUM tablets and MAGNESIUM. Most canned foods are extremely high in salt (as in ordinary table salt, aka sodium chloride). Even the lower sodium canned stuff has a fair amount. Check out the amount of sodium even in a Progresso soup: from 25% of our daily requirement in one serving (which the label says is half a 19 ounce can) to 41% in half a can of their Vegetable Italiano, which I love.
Here is one helpful descriptive link that explains some of the many ways potassium and sodium are used by our bodies to maintain not just health, but life!
This brief explanation also touches on magnesium’s importance.
All kinds of noodles, pasta, rice, wheat kernels, quinoa work GREAT to fill out a soup or stew, and they store well just in jars in the root cellar.
Question. If you have ever watched any of the Prepper programs on TV you see folks that have stored rooms and basements full of canned goods. How in the heck do they rotate that much food? Most can food that I buy has a use by date of one or two years.
I have had items go bad faster than that. Luckily you can tell by looks and smell.
The date on the can is “: best by”. the food is good, safe, for years past that date. We set ours up by best by and use the oldest when ever we need a can of xxx. We replace to the rear and push the oldest to the front. We usually buy by the case, so the new case goes on the bottom of the stash. If a can is not leaking or is puffed up , and smells normal it is safe to eat.
Thanks Graywolf12. That was always my thinking as well and I started going with a lady that absolutely will not anything past that date. I guess she just got me spooked.
I’m old enough to remember when cans where not marked. Or if they were you didn’t understand the code
To add to what Graywolf12 said, it is also a good idea to store your food in as cool a place as possible. Dating the cans help you to know which to use first. We use the date we brought the cans/bags/boxes of food. We’re using some cans of vegetables that we bought in 2011 and 2012. They are still just a good as when we bought them, no change in flavor, color or smell.
If you have styrofoam ice chests in your garage, store your food in the styrofoam ice chests. The technique is to limit temperature fluctuations and the garage in most areas is not insulated and experiences high heat on summer days and pretty cold depending on the area on winter days. The styrofoam ice chest will tend to even out the swings. Try to pack it as full as possible. If you have extra room, put in those gel pack to take up the extra room and serve as extra insulation for your chest. I’ve read that some food in a shack in northern Canada was still good after 40 years. It probably was frozen solid nine months of the year. A little extreme, but gives you an idea of how long canned food will last.
I’ve found that most canned soups last a very only Time. Most of mine are over 5 years old and still good. I have found that Tomato Soup and Milk based soups (Clam Chowder) Do not keep well. Some cans of Tomato are leaking at the seams and black. Now Garbage
Don: I always check the dates on the cans I buy and buy the cans with the latest dates I can find. Some stores don’t rotate their stock, so you might find the newest stuff in front, but if a store rotates its stock you will find the newest stuff in the back. I always check the cans very carefully for damage to the cans. It’s amazing how many cans are damaged on the shelf. I would emphasize checking very carefully. Different food has different shelf life. Canned fruit seems to have a longer shelf life than canned tomatoes. Before I open the can, no matter what the date, I check to see if it looks spoiled. I recently ran across two cans that had a use by date in the late 1990s. They looked good but I still tossed them. I felt 20 years was pushing my luck.
One our most favorite foods to store is Hormel Chili with Beans. It can be a meal in a can. We wait until it goes on sale for $1 a can and then buy at least one flat. I also, like to keep on hand, for my husband mostly, sardines, trout, anchovies and mackerel in the small flat cans because one, he likes them, two, they would go well in his bug out bag if necessary and three, if I am hungry enough, I might even eat some. And, they are healthy.
I like sardines if they are not the real big ones. Three or four to a can. They can be really strong tasting. I guess in a SHTF moment I would eat anything.
Where do you find the small ones? I just had a can for lunch 3 days ago. It had 3 big ones in it.
Many brands will say on the label how many are in the can. They are pricey but the ones that say “two layers” are always small. I like the King Oscar brand. If your store carries them look for the ones that say “one layer 8 to 12 fish” these are not as expensive as the two layers but just right for me.
As far as when you can eat old canned food. If the can top is still convex and doesn’t move when pressed the vacum is still good and it is safe to eat. It may have lost some of it’s caloric value but will still be good.
JUSTA LITTLE INFO ON WATER STORAGE INFO , I USE BLEACH REGULAR NOT ADDITIVES LIKE SMELLS,
5 DROPS FOR EVERY GALLON WATER FOR SANITIZING WATER, E USE 5 GALLON BARRELS BLUE IN COLOR SO NO SUN LIGHT GETS IN. IT WILL LAST FOR ONE YEAR FOR SURE. WHEN REOPENED IT HAS A STALE TASTE, ONLY NEED TO SHAKE IT SO THE AIR BUBBLES REFRESHES THE TASTE. WE STOCK PILE BLEACH FOR MANY USES
@Sherri: Liquid bleach also has a shelf life. If five drops/gallon is what is necessary for new liquid bleach, than the dosage should be increased as the bleach ages. “How much should it be increased?” you ask. Good question, Little Ant. If I knew the answer, I would be writing professionally and making money. The answer, like the answer to life is: It depends. It depends upon how old the stuff was when you hauled it home from the store. It depends upon the temperature in your garage for the last year. It depends upon the temperature of the water you are treating. It depends upon the clarity of the water you are treating. That’s why I like boiling. The water hits a roiling boil, you can remove it from the heat and let it start to cool. Everything in it is dead, dead, dead. No guess work; no wondering if the chemicals are still good; It is good to drink, wash your face brush your teeth; clean out that nasty cut.
Yes Sherri, so do I but I’ve also used drops of iodine, or iodine tablets from military surplus; carried by Troops to put in their canteens. I used it in the service. It has no taste (like me!) works perfect. tfz
Opinions differ, but most agree, 6 mth to a yr MAX on bottled bleach. Liquid bleach deteriates slowly from day 1. Do your own research.
Those big cans of vegetable beef stew..nasty if you like to cook REAL food, but excellent for a COMPLETE meal. I would mix mine in some rice and add garden fresh or home canned green beans or peas.
Okay, everyone, I have a question. I’ve got the rice, beans, pasta and canned meats and veggies and fruit. I’ve got spices, salt, pepper, etc. But what I’d like a little more information about is jarred items like pickles, mustard, Miracle Whip, ketchup, etc. What does their shelf life look like?
From our experience, pickles like dills or olives tend to last about two or three years for best taste. They will probably last longer if kept in a cool place. Mustard with keep the longest – a couple of years or more – of all the condiments. I would not store Miracle Whip for longer than the expiration date on the jar. Mayonnaise-type products tend to break down fairly quickly. Real mayonnaise will keep longer than Miracle Whip. In this household, we don’t store more than 2 jars of mayonnaise at a time. I think the longest we have kept mayonnaise is about 18 months. Some people may keep theirs longer. We just don’t want to take any chances when it comes to mayonnaise. Also, we eat from our store of food all the time so we are continually replacing what was used, therefore, nothing sits on the shelf too long. We do have some foods stored for emergencies but we don’t try to keep an untouchable store of everything, just the basics like rice, beans, dehydrated or freeze-dried vegetables, etc, plus a few MREs.
Thanks, Homesteader. I was curious because though I like mustard, pickles, et al, we don’t eat those things very often. I’ll just keep one extra of each and hope I get to it in a couple of years. I, too, eat from my stores and rotate. First in, first out.
You’re welcome. I’ve got a feeling that when there really is an SHTF event, there’s going to be a lot of extremely sick people just from eating their stored food that has gone bad because they didn’t rotate it or simply didn’t use it. The best way to insure good food is to use it and keep it rotated.
Hi, efzapp, I had mustard which were several years old in the fridge. A former spouse thought to help me out and threw them all out! I always do the sight, sniff, teeny taste tests in that order. I have mustards in the cabinet which are several years old. Because of all the spices in them, they last well. Not talking French’s, but ones like Dijon and some that are a little nicer. Remember spices have been used for thousands of years to preserve foods. Ketchup also has a shorter life in my experience, maybe a couple years on the shelf. Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip are good just about as long as the date. They just are not for long-term storage. The color will change, which is a good indicator They are long in tooth and time to trash. Pickles I’ve had good luck with. They seem to last on the shelf several years just fine. Good luck, and use your good common sense.
I have stores of all these you mentioned for at least five years now. Everything is still tasty and good. The Miracle Whip yellowed a bit but no taste difference. I have pickles over 8 years old and no difference either. The only problem l have had is with sauerkraut and tomato sauce/paste.other foods have been in storage even longer and still good. Hope this will help someone. Great ideas everyone. Thanks
I will not eat any seafood out of the Pacific because of Fukishima poisoning.
Our favourites are definitely grains (all kinds) and beans, and of course salt, sugar, etc. Garden is good. Also dried veg from the garden. I note people say oatmeal goes rancid after a couple of years. I’ve had some for five years or more and it seems to be fine. Sealed bucket in a cool dry basement. Prefer whole grain, including oats – keeps better. However, I use bay leaves when first putting the grains etc in the buckets – keeps the bugs out. Have a bay tree on the property for the purpose – definitely recommend this. (Actually it’s a bay shrub, the deer never let it get to tree size, but it flourishes inside its cage of fencing.)
I like your bay leaf idea. Mom has a bay leaf tree. I’ll snatch some leaves today!
It’s an old trick, but it does seem to work well. I had a bag of rice at the back of the shelf – it was almost a year old, still in original packaging, and when I opened it, it was full of bug residue. But the rice I packed away with the bay leaves is still fine after at least 4 years and counting. Just be sure the leaves are clean, and you’re not introducing bay-resistant bugs to the mix!
Thanks, I’ll check the leaves carefully.
Invest in a good dehydrator and some Mylar bags. Do your own preserving from your yard or the produce section. Can also use them w/canned foods just before expiration to extend their life.
Changed old web name to slightly more civilized version for the faint of heart. Lived in the bushes too long. I liked it there; maybe I’ll go back! Good luck all you guys ….. and girls! We’ll all need it soon. This is still the best survival sight, with the best and most helpful information. Bar none! Thank You. tfz
Tried finding U on U Tube and Rumble. Nope! Appreciate an address. Always like your comments. PS: This system won’t allow me to use the same handle I’ve always used here. Ideas?
Why olives. That one surprises me. Don’t get me wrong because I love olives. Do they have a long shelf life?
I thought the same thing, so looked them up. Those things are little power houses. I will add to my sash.
Thanks for the feedback.
try corned beef hash canned good cold or heated up.
best by 2 years or longer
hormel mary kitchen 15oz $ 2.92 walmart
jello. can’t ignore the pets! can buy freeze dried foods.
Aw, and TOILET PAPER lots of coconut oil.
Wife – CHOCOLATE and Toilet paper!
Kid- Chicken nuggets and Mac & Cheese.
Me – umm no room left to stockpile for me lol
Beans and white rice.