Let’s say that disaster hits tomorrow, do you have the basics like food and water covered? Stockpiling food and water shouldn’t be a prepping trend and every sane person should do it. We live in a world where natural and man-made disasters are no longer far-fetched scenarios. People should have no excuse for being unprepared. The following survival foods are available to anyone and they have an indefinite shelf life, so make sure you have them in your pantry.
I keep looking at what Venezuela is going through. Although the media seems to have forgotten about it, the situation is still critical out there. People are stealing pets to eat them as a last resort. There are families protecting their gardens 24/7 as they no longer trust their neighbors.
People should realize that there are no more safety nets and even though we live a plentiful life, everything could change overnight. Stockpiling a few survival foods that can last for generations is necessary if you don’t want to depend on others to survive when it hits the fan. The following survival foods should be found in every pantry and here is why.
13 Survival foods to stockpile:
These tightly packed dehydrated cubes of vegetables, meat stock fat and seasonings can last for ages if properly stored. As survival foods, they have many advantages because one could quickly turn them into a soup or broth. You could take them with you on the road and they add flavor to your other survival foods such as rice, beans or pasta. To make sure bouillon cubes last for decades, make sure you vacuum seal them. This will prevent moisture from reaching the package. It is important to mention that one should avoid using bouillon cubes for longer periods of time. They can cause headaches and chest pains due to their high content of monosodium glutamate. So the smart way would be to diversify your diet as much as possible.
Beans have many health benefits. They have a cheap price and you can grow them in your garden without much hassle. When it comes to survival foods, some preppers know about the benefits of beans. They are already stockpiling these legumes like there is no tomorrow. You might not feel comfortable about eating them for a long period of time, but keep in mind that beans are a good source of amino acids. Like most stored foods, beans should be stored in the absence of oxygen and light. If you pack them properly you shouldn’t worry about beans going bad. They have many health benefits and a while back, I wrote an article about why beans are an important staple for every survival pantry.
Related article: Back to basics: Beans for your survival pantry
On every survival foods list we will find salt, although it is not actually a food. This mineral will never spoil and it can be used both as a seasoning and food preservative. When storing certain items, one knows that stockpiling is not only about the main use of the item. It is also about its alternative uses. Here is where salt really stands out and besides enhancing the taste of your food, you can also use it to:
- Clean cast iron skillets and pots
- As toothpaste replacement
- Soothe sore throats
- Prevent mold
- Scaling fish
- Relieving bee stings
These are just a few of the alternative uses of salt. There are many more that could go on the list.
Taking into account its obvious use as comfort liquor, Vodka is necessary to have in case of an emergency. If a bad case scenario happened eventually you would start to run out of supplies. You would have to start trading and bartering with others. Grain alcohol will never go bad as long as you keep the cap on and you store it in a cool, dark place. The best part of having it amongst your survival foods, besides using it to calm your anxiety is that you can also uses it as an antiseptic. Put some on a cloth and clean your wounds and cuts with it. It can also be sued to disinfect items you will use on your body for various healing procedures. You can soak the instrument in vodka for about 10 minutes and that’s all that it takes to have a sterile tool.
Another item that may seem unusual to find on your survival foods list. However, if you do a little research you will understand why it is recommended to have it in your pantry. Besides using it as a leavening agent in baking, it can also be used as a house cleaner, antacid, deodorant, household cleaner and even a fire extinguisher. To make it last forever, you would need to vacuum seal it to prevent moisture from reaching it. If you have doubts about using baking soda that has been stored for years you could test it. Just add one teaspoon of baking soda to three tablespoons of vinegar and if the mixture bubbles, you can still use it for baking.
Rice is one of the survival foods that become inedible only if bugs or other pets get into it. Store it in an airtight container or in its original bag and you won’t have to worry about eating it 20 years from now. Few survival foods are as good as rice and there is no wonder that it is the world’s most widely consumed food on a daily bases. It provides one-fifth of human’s calorie intake and it should be on your survival foods list. Considering that is cheap to hoard in large quantities and that it is naturally gluten free, every pantry should contain a large quantity of rice.
Spices and herbs
A good friend of mine that is an experienced survivalist says that with the right spices and herbs you could eat even tree bark. Although I’m not fond of that idea, I have to admit that a well-stocked pantry is nothing without a good supply of herbs and spices. You could store all the survival foods you want, but after a while you will need to get creative in mixing your recipes. You won’t be able to do it without the proper herbs and spices. The best part about these survival foods is that not only you can add flavor to your foods, but you can also use them as healing aids. You can even carry some in your bug out bag and use them when nothing else is available.
Related reading: Alternative healing aids for your bug out bag
Apple Cider Vinegar
When it comes to survival foods, few items can beat the self-preserving nature of vinegar. Distilled vinegar will remain virtually unchanged over an extended period of time. It doesn’t need refrigeration to keep its properties. Although it may present some aesthetic change over time, like color changes or sediment development, you could still enjoy the product with confidence. Just like the rest of the survival foods listed here, vinegar has many other uses and one of my favorite is to make vinegar candy.
Although sugar is not considered a healthy food it can still provide you with a kick of energy and improve the taste of your other survival foods. Known also as fructose, glucose or dextrose, sugar is short-chain, soluble carbohydrate composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The trick with making sugar last for decades is to store it outside of its original package. Use airtight bags, without sealing all of the oxygen out of the package. If you do that, the sugar will turn into one big lump. Even though it’s still edible, you will have to crush it to use it in various proportions for your recipes.
This is one of my favorite survival foods and I honestly don’t know what I would do without it in my life. I love honey and in time, I’ve learned about its many uses. I consider it as one of the most powerful survival foods. It is no wonder humans have been using it for thousands of years. It has so many survival uses that you can find entire books dedicated to it. You can cure wounds with honey and sugar, and you can even use it to preserve food.
Also known as dry milk, this is another item that you should consider for your survival foods stockpiling plans. This is milk that has been heated so the liquids evaporate so that its shelf life no longer becomes a problem. Just like all the other survival foods listed in this article, storing it properly is the key to success. Use airtight containers and place them in a cool, dry place. I’ve replied to a few emails asking about what type of dry milk people should store. To begin with, one should acknowledge that there are two types of powdered milk: dry milk and instant dry milk. Now if we follow the same logic of using the items we stockpile for various tasks, we should avoid stockpiling instant dry milk as it cannot be used to make yogurt, sour cream and cream cheese.
Just like rice, pasta is a great way to get carbohydrates. I love pasta and I’ve learned to improvise all sorts of meals using it. This is one of the cheapest survival foods you can find. There are many possibilities to stretch a meal using pasta. There are “meal in a jar” recipe books that use pasta as the main ingredient.
Drinking tea is a healthy habit that has been around for more than 6,000 years and for good reason. Besides having to boil water to make it, hence getting rid of bacteria, tea is also one of the quickest way to help one hydrate in an emergency situation. Coffee and caffeinated tea provide an additional boost of energy. It helps keeping you alert, while other types of tea have a calming and smoothing effect. Not to mention that there are many other teas that have healing effects and their proprieties will prove useful during a time of need.
The survival foods listed in this article are a must for every pantry, but one should keep in mind that the list is not exclusive. You can add as many survival foods as you can afford to purchase and store. However, few others will last as long as the ones listed here. When picking your survival foods, keep in mind that the longer the food is stored, the more careful you have to be to the storage factors that may spoil your food. Keep an eye on the temperature, light, oxygen and moisture levels for a safe pantry.
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