When stockpiling for the unknown, it’s easy to focus only on the basics and not consider what your actual day-to-day existence will be like. If you’re only out of action for a day or two or three, the bare minimum will suffice, but any longer than 72 hours, even non-perishable food becomes questionable, storage becomes much more important, and psychological food burnout becomes a real risk.
Follow this guide to making sure you’ve planned well for an event none of us had planned on.
Canned goods are the backbone of food storage. They keep for a long time, they’re easy to store, they’re already cooked and are ready to eat, and they provide variety to prevent food burnout. They can also kill you.
Dented cans are likely to contain tiny punctures that are invisible to the naked eye. Those punctures let in air that can breed harmful – even deadly – bacteria such as botulism. Never consume food from a dented can.
Forgetting Necessary Basics
Don’t forget shortening, salt, cooking oil, yeast, powdered eggs, baking powder, and baking soda. Even the most basic recipes require one or more of these ingredients to cook. It is tasty food cooked from good recipes that will prevent food burnout.
Pack plenty of multivitamins. Although there is no substitute for quality food, multivitamins can supplement a mediocre diet and keep you healthy, especially if you are prone to illness or are around people who are sick.
Some vitamins, like vitamin D, aren’t found in food, and only come from sunlight, which you might be unable to reach if you’re holed up for a long time.
If your containers are inferior, it doesn’t matter what you have inside. Transfer all food out of sacks or cloth bags. Any plastic wrap must be food-grade quality. Glass jars are good, but they are heavy and, of course, prone to breakage. High-quality Tupperware-style containers with tight-fitting lids are the best bet.
Always make sure cans are free of dents and bumps.
Condiments and Luxury Goods
Survival has a lot to do with wanting to live. If everything you’re eating is conceived solely on calorie count and nutrition, you’re going to get bored very quickly, and when you do, food burnout is right around the corner.
Packets of ketchup, mustard, honey, hot sauce, salt, and other spices and non-essential condiments actually are essential – to you keeping your sanity. Every ten meals or so should be peppered with something you want to eat, not something you merely need to eat to stay alive.
Never pack food in breathable cloth bags or containers.
Sustenance is the key to survival in the event of a natural disaster or something worse. The food you pack determines what kind of lifestyle you’ll live while trying to stay alive. Obsess over storage, put safety first, and don’t forget how important comfort food will be when there is little comfort to be had.