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Category: Preparing for Emergencies

Food Storage Guidelines

 

By Nikki Willhite

www.allthingsfrugal.com

Store what you eat

This is the first rule of any food storage plan. Store what you eat! What good is it to store 30 pounds of split peas if you hate them? You will never eat them (unless you are truly starving), and they will go to waste.

You must have a good rotation system in order not to waste any food. Store what you eat; eat it; and buy more.

Wheat

Wheat is not a food product that you normally pick up in the store in a 10 pound bag. However, it is the key ingredient in all the breads, pastas, etc. that we eat. It may take a little effort, but you can find stores that sell it. You can buy it in sealed, airtight cans, or in big sacks.

Wheat can be ground up into flour and made into bread; it can be boiled and eaten like rice, and it can be cracked and eaten like cereal. It is a the backbone of any long term storage plan for an extended emergency.

You will need a way to grind the wheat. There are many different types of wheat grinders available. Some use stones, and have a manual way to grind the wheat if the power is out. Others use only electricity, but are very fast.

I talk on one of my other pages about bread machines. Once you grind your wheat, you just put it in the refrigerator. Then, if you have a bread machine, it takes a total of 5 minutes to put together the ingredients for a loaf of bread. We use half white flour to make it lighter. Nothing could be more delicious and nutritious at the same time. Bread machines have really come down in price, and they are worth it. When you smell that loaf of wheat bread baking (with such little effort on your part) it will all be worth it.

Cooking Oils

During World War II, when food and supplies were scarce in many countries in Europe, one of the most prized food products was cooking oil. If you had just a little bit of oil, you could dig roots out of the ground and fry them- or if you were lucky --- the more traditional vegetables.

Oil is easy to store and to use and rotate. Keep a good supply on hand.

Water

What could be more necessary to life than water? Not only do you need to drink it, but you use it in cooking, washing,- even to flush the toilets. Some people consider the water in their water heaters as emergency storage- or even their water beds or hot tubs.

At one time I stored our water in big plastic monster containers. This was space effective, but too difficult to handle and move. Now I just empty my plastic milk containers and store water in them. Either you will have to change your water periodically, or you should add a dab of bleach to the water when you store it, or have water purification tablets or other methods to purify it should you need to use it.

One thing to remember is that you store dehydrated foods, you need to store the water to re-hydrate them.

Keeping Your Food Fresh

Be sure and store your foods in as cool and dry a place as you can. When I lived in Arizona, heat was the big problem. Many people built special rooms in their garages and put in small air conditioners. Now that I am in the Pacific Northwest, the main concern is moisture. We have an extra closet on the north side of our house that we put shelves in. I've heard of people storing food in outbuildings and it was ruined.. If your wheat is not properly stored, it will get weevil. The weevil comes from within the wheat itself.

Medications

During WWII my husband's grandfather died because he couldn't get his insulin. If for any reason our supplies couldn't be delivered to our area, certain people could be in a lot of trouble if they ran out of their medicine. It's not easy getting ahead in your medicine, but if you can do it- Do it! I have one medication that I would be "lost" without. It took a little bit of "maneuvering" (going to a couple of doctors), but I don't have to worry for several months if my medicine is unavailable. It's worth the peace of mind if you can get ahead on your necessary medications.

 

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