Tag Archives: Disaster Food Supply

Proper Food Rotation & Storage Procedures

The following article is a guest post submission from Lee Flynn, a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Proper Food Rotation And Storage Procedures

Rotating food supplies is important. During emergency situations, families must have plenty of food and if the proper food storage and rotation procedures are used, everyone will have enough food for several days or weeks.

Why Food Must Be Rotated

When food is rotated, the food will better maintain its nutritional content. Food must also be rotated often so that it maintains its flavor. When homeowners rotate their food items, there is always a suitable store because the stored food is not expired.

Rotation also helps families because everyone gets to try dehydrated or freeze-dried foods if that is what is stored. Learning how to eat these long-term storage foods is important because it may be the only option in an emergency situation. Eating long-term food storage items also offers health benefits because the items have less fat and plenty of nutrients.

Using Food Storage Items Efficiently

Many families store their food items in basements and in food pantries. These locations are great because they are cool and dry; these conditions make food last longer. This poses one unique challenge however…because basements and pantries are out-of-the-way places, homeowners usually do not use their food on a regular basis after it is stored. There is a way to solve this problem though. Many preppers use solutions that were designed by food storage specialists like the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System.

Kitchen Storage Procedures

Food items in the kitchen should be stored in small containers. These small containers can be used to remind others that there are more items in the basement. Because the containers are small, they will not take up a lot of space and will need to be replenished more often, resulting in stored food being rotated. Canned items should be stored on the kitchen shelves.

Designing A One-Week Menu

Many preppers test their food storage skills by making a menu. After they design a menu, they usually notice that certain items are not as efficient as others. A menu also helps preppers understand if they have enough food for certain meals, such as breakfast. In most cases,  an initial trial of the menu will demonstrate that you do not have enough items for certain meals; this is why a menu is important. An efficient menu also prepares families for disaster situations because they can test emergency meals and know what they need to have stored.

Advanced Storage Procedures

It is also an important practice to rotate your food storage items in to your current recipes. For example, many food storage professionals use cheese powder in macaroni and cheese. They also make pancakes using wheat. Beginning to incorporate food storage products such as these into your current recipes will allow you to become familiar with the qualities of the food products you store and how they can be included in recipes you are familiar with and know how to make.

How To Increase The Life Span Of Stored Emergency Food

Food usually lasts longer when it is stored in an area that is 40-60 degrees. Each food item should be rotated and dated properly. All new foods should be placed towards the back. Placing the food on the floor is not recommended because the air will cause problems. Instead, place all food on a shelf. Depending on the weather, the food could get very cold. However, the food should never be placed in an area that has a freezing temperature to best preserve it.

Date And Rotate

Individuals and families should practice their food rotation procedures. Rotation keeps food in great condition, as long as the food is also properly maintained. Most long-term items should be used regularly, such as bulk foods. This procedure is what best helps preppers rotate and replenish their inventory.

It is wise to remember that there are food items that do not last as long as others. For example, canned foods do not last as long as a bucket of grain. However, most items have a date that lets you know how long the food will last.

It is also helpful to remember to use organizing techniques when storing preparedness items. One way to organize food is to place the newest food to the left, leaving the older food on the right. Then as food is used, take food from the right because the items on the right are the oldest. The oldest food should be eaten first because fresh food is needed during emergencies situations and it will avoid losing valuable food resources to spoilage.

Photo Credit: Tim Patterson via photopin cc

Top 5 Summer Food Storage Tips – Guest Post

Top 5 Most Important Summer Food Storage Tips

By Lee Flynn

Whatever time of year it is, and whatever your situation in life, it is always important to keep a good supply of food for emergencies. What this entails, is creating a store of nonperishable food, enough for you and your family in case of any kind of emergency that might make you unable to leave your house or purchase food for whatever reason. Natural disasters are the most cited reason for needing food storage, but anything from a blackout to the loss of a job could make a person unable to buy food. And when it comes to the summer, there are certain factors that you should take into consideration. Here are five important food storage tips for the summer.

1. Store Food Properly

With the summer, there comes a swarm of unwanted visitors in the form of pests, insects, and rodents. Bacteria also grows faster when it is warmer. If you don’t store your food properly, you could quickly run into trouble with contaminated food and infestations of certain creatures. Make sure that your food is stored in tightly sealed containers. As it is the summer, it is also likely to be much warmer. This makes it equally important to choose a good location for you food storage somewhere that is cool and out of the sunlight, preferably insulated.

2. Check the Type of Food You Store

Sometimes the only space that you have is in a basement or attic, or somewhere else with little to no insulation. If this is the case, you will have to be incredibly careful with the type of food that you store. Don’t store anything that can easily melt or suffer other alteration because of extreme temperatures. In fact, even if you do have an insulated storage space, you will still need to only include non perishable items in your food storage, as they are the items that will last until you need them.

3. Store Other Necessities

In any emergency food supply, there needs to be a stock of other important items to prepare for any eventuality. Such items include a first aid kit, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and medication. But in the summer, there are also other circumstances to take into consideration. Sunblock and insect repellant are both things for which you will be grateful, should you be forced to leave your house at a moment’s notice. Hay-fever medicine should also come in handy.

4. Plenty of Water

Any emergency that could occur would, more likely than not, affect the availability of good, clean water. For this reason, it is recommended that we store a gallon of water for each person who lives in the household. In the summer, you may need more; let’s not forget that we need water for washing, cleaning, and cooking as well as drinking.

5. Store Food that You Like!

You don’t know how long you may be stuck eating the food that you store, so it only makes sense to store food that you like and that is sure to be different in the summer from how it is in the winter. So if you are going to create food storage, why not make the most of it, and have some fun!

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer interested in helping others develop self reliance through food storage.

Long-Term Food Storage Resources

Photo Credit: self-sufficient-blog.com

There are some great tools out there on the internet and some of those tools include food storage calculators. I think the most important thing to mention up front is the fact that these calculators are a guideline and are only a starting point of what a family might plan on obtaining if they were going to purchase an entire year’s worth of food. Each family is different and some of these foods will not be eaten by everyone. I can tell you for one that I do not, nor will I ever, have lentils in my food storage. Ain’t gonna happen! With that being said, a food storage calculator can give you an idea of how many pounds of legumes that you should have for your family of four and this will let you know what you should shoot for. You can just get something else instead of lentils. I know I will!

The following websites all have food storage calculators or other information that I found interesting and extremely educational:

Ready NutritionSurvive & Thrive Food Storage Calculator

  • The Survive & Thrive Food Storage Calculator allows the user to calculate custom food storage for individuals and families for adults and children ages eight and older and children ages seven and younger. The time period of food storage can be calculated starting at one month all the way up to five years. Categories of food storage include legumes, grains, sugars, fats/oils, kitchen essentials, and dairy.

There is also a great list on the Ready Nutrition website that I absolutely love. It is by the site owner, Tess Pennington and is as follows,

“First Time Shopping List for an Emergency Food Supply:

1.  10 lbs. of white or wheat flour (both would be better.  Remember the Prepper Golden Rule: 1 is none and 2 is 1).  Those of you who have wheat allergies, click here for alternatives.

2. 10 lbs. of corn meal

3. 5 lbs. of oats

4. 20 lbs of rice (white rice stores better than brown rice)

5. 12 lbs of pasta

6.  20 lbs of beans (pinto beans are usually packed in heavier quantities)

7. 5 lbs of mixed beans (lentils, mixed bean soup, black beans, etc)

8. 5 lbs of sugar

9. 2 lbs of salt

10. 1 gallon of cooking oil

11. 2 large containers of peanut butter

12. 5 lbs of powdered milk

13. 1 lb of baking soda

14. 1 lb of baking powder

15. .5 lbs of yeast

16. 1 gallon of vinegar

17. 1 gallon of drinking water per day  (*I would round-up here.  You can never have too much water.)

18. 1 gallon of bleach for sanitation and treating water”

The Food Guys – Food Storage Calculator

  • From thefoodguys.com, “The following calculator will help you figure the minimum food storage amounts needed for your family. These amounts are based on the recommendations listed in the LDS Church’s Home Production and Storage manual. These figures are recommendations, and are basic year supply minimums only. You will need to choose the best options and foods you should store for your family.” This calculator will allow you to calculate your families basic food storage needs for a year based on adults and children aged seven and older and children aged zero to six in the categories of Grains, Legumes, Fats/Oils, Military/Dairy, Sugars, Cooking Essentials, Fruits, Vegetables, and Water.

Provident Living – Food Storage Calculator

  • Calculate food storage needs in the groups of Grains, Legumes, Dairy Products, Sugars, Leavening Agents, Salt, Fats, and Water for the number of weeks that you want for the number of adults and children over 12 and the number of children under 12.

Food Storage Made Easy – This resource is not a food storage calculator but does have a plethora of information on food storage and how to make it easy. I think that is where the name comes from? There is also an email list that you can sign up for that will get you periodic emails that include baby steps checklists that break down the process of long-term food storage into easy to swallow pieces. [Insert snare drum and cymbal sound bite here for comedic effect.] There is a food storage calculator on this website that is a little more inclusive than some of the others but it is in an Excel spreadsheet format which I find to be less user-friendly than some of the others at the same time.

I hope that some of these tools are useful and provide you and your families and loved ones the resources needed to survive the tough times that may be ahead.

If you know of any additional resources that can assist the preparedness community in storing food in being ready for difficult times please share them in the comments section below.

Do You Own Forever Foods?

Photo Credit: SueBee Honey

I recently came across an interesting tidbit on the Mother Nature Network about forever foods which I found to be quite intriguing. The premise of forever foods is that certain foods as long as they are properly stored, can literally last for decades. Even after they have been opened! While they might not literally be foods that last forever, they are likely to last far longer than the average person would ever feel comfortable using them. Like all foods, normal storage practices such as placing items in a cool dark place and in air tight containers should be utilized. Here is the list of 10 forever foods from Mother Nature Network:

1. Sugar – It doesn’t matter what kind of sugar it is, sugar does not support the growth of bacteria.

2. Pure Vanilla Extract – Just like it says, it must be PURE vanilla extract.

3. Rice – Types of forever rice include white, wild, jasmine, arborio, and basmati. Brown rice is not a forever food because of its higher oil content.

4. Corn Starch – You’ll never have thin gravy because corn starch is a forever food!

5. Honey – Like the vanilla, to last for years on end, the honey must be pure. I hate when honey gets crystalized though, so check out the link below to the original list at Mother Nature Network for some great tips on how to deal with grainy honey.

6. Hard Liquor – This makes a lot of sense from many perspectives. Liquor can be used for drinking, cooking, medical purposes, and even for bartering. Make sure that you keep plenty of booze in the cupboard, it could be part of your investment strategy for 2012!

7. Salt – Great product to have around and cheap to buy, plus it never goes bad. Seems like you can’t go wrong with salt!

8. Corn Syrup – Even though Mayor Bloomberg would make all corn syrup illegal, there is good news…corn syrup will last forever so you can start storing it now in case there ever is corn syrup prohibition.

9. Maple Syrup – In order for this to be a true forever food, maple syrup has to be refrigerated or frozen.

10. Distilled White Vinegar – Vinegar is awesome! I must say that. It has a myriad of uses, including some that I have covered before. With applications from cooking to cleaning and almost everything in between, I am not sure that you can have too much vinegar in the pantry.

The list of forever foods and some additional information about them including best storage practices, why they last so long, and what some of their uses are can be seen in the Mother Nature Network article.

If you have any comments or additional information on these or other forever foods please leave your remarks in the comments section below.