While browsing the forum this morning, I came across a thread about stockpiling food. After looking through the thread, and after installing some new can rotation systems, I started thinking about some off the issues with keeping our food stocks rotated.
My opinion, one of the biggest issues facing preppers and survivalist are keeping our food stocks rotated. When my wife and I went through our canned goods and started sorting them, we realized that we had over bought certain foods, and did not buy enough of other foods.
There are 3 things we do not need to buy anymore of – corn, tomato soup, tomatoes for chili and spaghetti, pickles,,,.
Related article – teotwawki survival gear storage
Take honey for example, we have 4 or 5 jars of honey, but 12 – 13 jars of peanut butter.
There are lots of can good rotation systems on the market, such as the Cansolidator storage unit, or use something like a can rotation system designed for 12 ounce soda cans.
My wife and I had been storing a lot of our can goods in the pantry with no real rotation system. Well, a couple of months ago I decided it was time to get with the program and get our can foods organized.
While walking through the local china-mart, my wife and I found some wire racks that are designed for keeping 12 ounce soda cans in the fridge. the racks are designed to hold a 12 pack of 12 ounce cans. Besides soda cans, the wire racks hold all types of soups, pasta, and peanut butter just fine.
The following system may not work for everyone – this is being presented only as an example, maybe it can give people some ideas to get the ball rolling.
To have an answer, you need to have a question, and then it helps to have an example. The question is, how do we keep our food preps organized? The answer is to have a system. The following is my example.
Shelf one is dedicated to canned fruits and vegetables:
The plans are to expand shelf one with various other types of fruits, vegetables and other nutrient rich foods.
When my wife and I went through our pantry, we found that we had overbought on corn. This means that two of the racks are being used for storing corn. We are going to use some our corn so that only one rack is dedicated to corn.
Shelf two is dedicated to protein based products and pasta:
Pasta products – ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna,,,.
Ranch style beans
Chili and tamales
Shelf three is dedicated to soup based products:
Assorted 18 ounce cans of low sodium soup
Canned pumpkin, evaporated milk and canned cherries – for baking
Assorted 10.5 ounce soups
Assorted cans of tomato soup
During the holidays certain types of pie filling are difficult to find, such as canned cherries, so my wife and I are stocking up a month and two months in advance.
The 10.5 ounce cans of soup may not be large enough to make a meal, but you can cook up some rice, pour the can over the rice, and then you have a full meal. My wife and I caught the cans on sale 10 for $10, so we stocked up.
In the pantry my wife and I installed 3 wire racks for rotating the can goods. While we were going through the cans, we found where my wife had overbought tomatoes for making spaghetti, pasta and chili peppers for chili.
Rack one – assorted soups
Rack two – assorted beans
Rack three – assorted tomato products and chili peppers
The closet is where a lot of the glass containers and the #10 cans are stored.
The glass containers are stored out of sight of the grandkids. I worry that is glass containers were stored on the main shelves, the grandkids would see a jar of pickles and say something like “oh cool, pickles” – the kids would pick up the jar, drop it and “crash”, broken glass everywhere.
The problem with glass containers, they are not as durable as metal cans. I worry about putting the jars in a rotation system, because I do not want the jars bumping into each other.
I am still working on some kind of shelves, or an organizer for the glass jars, so I will have to post something about this topic later.
Mylar bags are ideal for long term storage of certain foods, but the problem is storing mylar bags.
Awhile back I did a homemade superpail project, where oats, beans and rice where sealed in mylar bags, and the bags were in 5 gallon buckets. So now I have some buckets filled for food for SHTF, now what?
Food in mylar bags have to be stored in climate controlled to reach maximum life expectancy.
Because the mylar bags are heavy, they are stored on the bottom shelf of the units. The individual bags are stored in tubs, while the superpails are stored as they are.
I thought about combining all of the individual bags into a large tub, and then put the tub on the bottom shelf, but that is a work in progress.
Something that is overlooked by a lot of survivalist and preppers is nutrition. We stockpile food, but how much thought is given to niacin, vitamin A, vitamin C, protein, sodium content,,,,.
Related forum thread – The danger of stockpiling white rice for SHTF
Studies show the more white rice people eat, the higher the persons risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This poses a health issue for survivalist who are stockpiling as much white rice as they can.
The white rice is just an example, an example of how little things you think are not important can come back and bite you in the butt.
My wife takes high blood pressure, and because of her low sodium diet we read the labels. When I walk through the isles the local grocery store, I wonder how many people read the labels and pay attention to sodium, calories, and other nutrition content.
Nutrition is the reason why my fruits and veggies are directly above the protein in the shelving units. I want to be able to walk up to the racks, pull out a can of peaches, a can of ravioli, and have a “somewhat” balanced meal.
I don’t think its enough to just “stockpile food”, with little regard given to nutrition. There should be some kind of balance between stockpiling food – cost – and nutrition.
No long term plan is compete without a garden. One day the food is going to run out, and then what?
Some of the types of seeds I stock for my SHTF survival garden:
Peas and Beans:
Roma II – snap bean
Texas purple hull pink eye
Mississippi purple hull pink eye
Purple hull pink eye BVR – the BVR stands for virus resistant. If you see some BVR peas, pick them up.
Contender bush bean
Blue lake bush bean
Pinto beans – One thing to take into consideration is pinto beans, which are high in protein. So if there is no meat, pinto beans can be eaten.
Straight neck Squash
Crook neck Squash
Couple of hybrids
Various types of winter Squash
One thing to keep in mind with Squash and Zucchini – they can cross pollinate. The harvested seeds will be a hybrid, and may or may not not be viable. Even if the harvested seeds are viable, the harvested seeds of the second generation may or may not be viable.
Giant noble spinach
7 top turnips
Be careful with radishes, there are several types out there that are hot, and some that are not hot. Radishes are an excellent seed to stockpile, as you can eat the whole plant, and it grows fast. At 15 days after planting, you should be able to pull up the sprouts and add them to a salad. Under ideal conditions, the plant should take 30 days to mature.
The two types of cucumbers that I stockpile are pickling and straight 8.
Pickling cucumbers grow to about 4 inches long when they are ready to pick, and are an open pollinated / heirloom cucumber.
Straight 8 grow to about 8 inches long when they are ready to be harvest. Straight 8s are also an open pollinated / heirloom cucumber.
Some of the problems with cucumbers – their roots are close to the surface so they require a lot of water, and the plants require a lot of nitrogen for the cucumber to form right. If the plants do not get enough water, their growth will be stunted. Since the roots are close to the surface of the soil cucumbers are not very drought tolerant.
Various other seeds:
Work on a way to keep your food preps rotated
Pay attention to nutrition and sodium content
Stockpile what you normally eat
Stockpile a variety of foods so you do not experience food fatigue
And good luck.
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