Storing food for emergencies isn’t difficult as you might think. Most of your decisions will come down to price, availability and food preferences – there is a survival food plan of action for just about everyone.
Many survivalists buy MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat. These are a good option as they provide about 2,000 calories per meal plus essential vitamins. Sometimes referred to as ‘heater meals’ because they can come self-heating or with specially made heaters, the packaging on MREs is sturdy and they do not require water to cook. Frequent complaints about MREs, however, are that they do not have a very long shelf life and the taste of some of these meals leaves a bit to be desired. Family favorite meals are available with MREs, though. You can expect to find spaghetti, beef stew and even fruit!
Some companies offer dehydrated pre-packaged meals that do require hot water to cook. The quality of these meals is much better than MREs, but they come with a price tag to match. The packaging usually isn’t as durable, but these meals weigh significantly less than MREs, enabling you to carry more food with you. Many of these meals provide around 1500 calories and the varieties are virtually endless. Shoppers can even find vegetarian entrees!
You can also buy your own dehydrated fruits, vegetables and meats which can be prepared fairly quickly, but usually do need hot water to cook them. Look for hardy foods that pack lots of protein and necessary vitamins – spinach, broccoli, oranges, bananas and even peas and carrots will provide great nutrition.
Making your own provisions is relatively easy and less expensive than buying prepared foods. Buy fruits and vegetables in season and dehydrate them yourself, storing them in labeled and dated vacuum sealed bags. This allows you to choose what you store and eat. Look for granola bars with long shelf lives, as well as protein-rich nuts.
A great food that you can make yourself that will store for a very long time and transports well is pemmican. It is made with dried meats, berries and rendered fat. Making a batch of pemmican every couple of months or so and storing them can keep you in essential nutrients for quite a while.
Always be mindful of the expiration dates of your stored food, and rotate the old and new foods to make sure that your stores are as fresh as possible.
Probably the most important tip for survival food, though, is to store what you like to eat. Including your family’s favorite foods can make emergency situations easier to endure.