In the event of an emergency, what foods should you have stockpiled in your home, to aid survival until things returned to normal? There could be a situation where you had to last on only the food you stored in your home, and unable to purchase replenishments for many different situations that could include extreme weather conditions or food supply chain issues.
Here we are going to look at the best survival food choices, known as prepper food in the case of such incidents- they are easier to obtain and stockpile then you may think!
You see, there are some foodstuffs which due to their nutritional value, storability and convenience are absolutely essential to have stocked up in your home. These items that we are going to take a look at are all excellent food items anyway and would be well worth buying for your home any day of the year, however, they can also serve the purpose of being emergency survival food, so worth keeping an ongoing supply in long-term food storage.
The first thing to note when thinking about survival food is survival drink, and there is one key liquid that you’ll be needing water. Water is a priority; keep in mind that humans can survive three weeks with no food, but only three days with no water. Now hopefully in your home you will have a supply of drink-safe water from your taps, if not it could be a reason for stocking up on plastic bottled water (which is very cheap) or if you would rather avoid the use of plastic bottles to contain water, glass bottles can be filled with drink-safe water and once sealed with their lid will keep water drinkable for a good length of time. If you have chosen the option to store up bottled water you have purchased, check the expiration dates often, and replace any that are past them or seem like they have gone off in any way. Water that is spoiled can make one ill, so check carefully.
Now, looking at food, and there are a few key elements to remember when considering what should be in your food stockpile if you are to be relying on emergency food rations. Firstly, you need long shelf-life survival foods-they need to be non-perishable foods. You’ll also want items that contain a good range of nutrients that the body needs to help you feel full enough with what you are eating and provide goodness for your body and of course offer a source of energy, without any negative side effects. Food choices can contain all of the above and also still be tasty.
For example, there is a range of companies that specialize in selling biscuit based products that will have a very good shelf life (at least a few months, often more), in the view, they could be purchased as a survival food. The excellent thing about these biscuits is that they still offer balanced nutrition for kids or adults with each bite. These are ready to eat too, so even if you have no means of power for cooking you could still consume them. Also, and this is another key consideration for selecting foodstuffs as the best survival food options, they require no preparation. When you’ll need something quick and instant, and could do without any prepping time-especially if you were unable to use the usual prepping methods, these are great box-tickers. Biscuits such as the kind mentioned above eliminate any prepping needs and represent one of the most efficient ways we can store food for emergencies, as each biscuit can pack in a good amount of calories with balanced nutrition, and not take up much storage space due to their specially compressed nature.
For perspective, you can pack over 250,000kcal in the same space occupied by an average suitcase, providing enough food rations for 125 days when calculated at 2000 calories per person per day. To ensure the biscuits are protected from damage and perishment, each 500g pack is packed carefully and tightly in waterproof, airtight aluminum foil under vacuum and can have a shelf life of between five to ten years depending on the brand you choose. Manufacturers that produce these survival food biscuits include Datrex and The Seven Oceans. Furthermore, these biscuit based survival foods are one of the more low-cost solutions to covering yourself against any food-based emergencies.
Now, regarding the more traditional meal set up in the form of survival food, and you may be surprised to know these are indeed possible as a non-perishable food option, thanks to a process used called flash freezing. You can purchase freeze-dried meals which are pre-cooked meals that have been flash frozen. Most of the moisture of the meal has been evaporated before the packing process, so they can be stored at temperature without going off for a very long amount of time. Amazingly, through this method, the meals still keep their taste, shape and texture for years! Sometimes these meal varieties are packed in foil pouches and sometimes they come in metal tins. Both options do guarantee a very long shelf life, but tins especially have a proven shelf life of 25 years!
And preparation is again almost wiped out with this food option, all you are required to do is add boiling water to the meal which will cause the contained food to rehydrate to its original form before it was flash frozen (it takes just a few minutes). These meals are usually compact in structure and packaging before they are unpacked, and are also pretty lightweight due to the removal of moisture, so once again a very good option for saving on storage space so you can compact your house with as many essential food survival options as possible. Also very savvy about these freeze dried meals is that they contain many portions per pack. For example, there are usually between 5 to 9 portions per tin, depending on the type of meal contained within. Then you also have the foil packed option for single meal portions. These will still store without perishment for up to five years, but as you can see the tins have a massive edge on shelf life. Cost wise you would be looking at around $25 to $39 per tin, which may sound expensive but bear in mind how many meals you’ll get from them, plus how long the tins will last and you can see what a good investment they represent.
Another option to put your way are Army ration packs which can all be stored in the event of an emergency and once again have an excellent long-term shelf life, and a low amount of preparation. Your easiest form of obtaining these is to use one of the online specialists, and they can be delivered to your home for various costs depending on the package you choose. Research what each website offers and see if any options suit your food storage goals.
OK so we have taken a look at foodstuffs that are specially formulated to act as a survival food package, but there are also plenty of regular items sold in the average supermarket that are worth keeping a stockpile of in your cupboards. These items should be easy to find in most shops and won’t be particularly expensive. Let us take a look at some of the options.
Peanut Butter is an excellent place to start. In fairness, it will not be for everyone as some will be allergic to nuts, and it is quite an acquired taste. But if it is something you can go with, then it is a very smart choice. It has a good shelf life and does not need to be refrigerated even if already opened. Peanut butter is said to be an excellent energy booster, is packed with vitamins, fiber and protein, plus potassium. And if you are a fan, completely tasty! And it is definitely not expensive either. Some peanut kinds of butter are much better than others, so look at their nutritional value as well as the taste. Again, as long as you do not have allergic reactions to nuts, these are a top choice. There are plenty of nuts to choose from and they are full of the good type of fat that your body needs.
Canned meat is perhaps an obvious, but equally good choice. It could be fish, chicken or turkey; they will all provide some good nutrients, safe until use inside a tin that’ll keep them good for ages. Keeping with the cans, these days there are a huge range of different vegetables in tin form, and that includes vegetable meal staples such as potatoes, mushrooms and peas. Baked beans are a great choice; they are filling, tasty and are bursting with goodness.
Beans, in general, are great, both from the goodness they would provide and the fact you can purchase plenty of different types in cans. This protein choice is a great bet, along with lentils, seeds, tofu (you can find this boxed usually) and even items such as cheese or eggs are not written off as they can be brought in a powdered version.
Keeping with tins, tinned soups would come into their own in an emergency environment. They can provide a rich selection of nutrients including from that of vegetables and meat and would be a tasty and substantial meal to have. Stock up on your best flavors such as Chicken and Noodle, Tomato or ideally a wide selection to keep the variety going. Select the brands you know you especially like. Soups are not usually too expensive and are often sold as part of special offers in the average supermarket. The other option instead or as well as tinned soups is the boxed dried soup mixes. These would be very convenient because all you need to do is add boiling hot water to the soup mix for preparation.
Powdered milk will be an excellent edition assuming that you are unable to use fresh milk. Remember milk actually contains a full scale of different nutrients including protein and calcium. Many might not love the taste as much as fresh milk, but in the event when regular milk is not an option this is your next best thing and it will last for ages. You can drink it as a drink or maybe it’ll be able to form part of another meal. UHT milk will also last for a long time, but only until it is opened, once opened it then has to go back into refrigeration, so if that was not an option you’d have to drink it up at once or it’ll spoil.
Dried fruits are great, due to their drying process, they; of course, keep so much better than their fresh counterparts. And it is a way you can get a healthy sweet treat into your emergency stash! As well as lots of different single dried fruit types to select from, items such as trail mixes are a good idea, giving you a range of fruits and nuts in handy pack sizes which can be larger or small and are never very expensive.
Think starches! Rice will not perish for a long time and neither will pasta, both of which only need some hot water to prepare. Flour, sugar, cornmeal and even dried potatoes are all readily available and could help make up a meal.
One starch, oatmeal you have likely heard of, is suggested to be some kind of super food! And there may well be a lot of truth in the claims that it is one of the best things you could actually eat. It slowly releases its energy contained within and is versatile enough to be used in many different ways. It can be eaten raw or cooked. And, if you combine oats with the above two foods, milk and dried fruit, you have yourself a great muesli style breakfast! Or you could, of course, make up a lovely hearty and warming porridge. It is one of the best survival foods there is.
As a final thought for that extra treat, some sweets will keep for a long time if in the right packaging (after all they are mostly just sugar!) But this will vary so research each sweet type and look for ones with the correct packing. Of course, this cannot be your main source of food in a survival situation, but there as a treat and give you a sugar kick in moderation would be fine.
If you suddenly get into your head the idea of purchasing every prepper food you need in one shop it might seem daunting and very expensive. A good way to approach the situation in hand is to add just a couple of extra items for your food stockpile whilst you complete your normal shop, that way the cost will be spread, and it does not become some massive mission, but in next to no time you’ll see your emergency survival food collection collecting up nicely. Having said that, sometimes you can save money by buying in bulk, so shop around and see what works best for you. With the items made especially for emergency situations, unless you happen to have a physical shop that you can get to for purchasing the stock, online will be the best option and if you do a good search you’ll find plenty of stores offering what you need.
A quick note about storage, please remember that while the foods listed have been selected for their long-lasting nature either due to the type of food it is or because of its packaging method, you can further enhance their likelihood of long-term survival by storing them away carefully, keeping them away from any damp areas of the house, and keeping them in a cool, dark area away from direct sunlight.