People in this great country of ours are storing and even hoarding food in case a disaster strikes, and going to the grocery store is no longer an option. Many folks who stockpile food just load a pantry with rice, beans, and canned items and call it a day. However, that’s not the smartest way, and there’s more to prepping your pantry than just storing rice and beans.
Although that is the most common option, and it will keep people fed for a while, it is probably not the ideal one for prepping your pantry.
The healthy pantry
I’ve been studying the food storage subject and methods for a long time now, and I’ve always been concerned about food and its availability in the aftermath of a disaster. Studying nutrition and learning about foods that keep you healthy and strong is a must when prepping your pantry.
The human body needs a range of nutrients to function properly; thus, rice and beans will not suffice in the long run. Everyone requires a large amount of carbohydrates and protein.
Rice, honey, and sugar are ideal foods to keep on hand since they have a long shelf life, but even so, the body requires much more than that
Protein is required because our bodies need the protein’s building blocks, known as essential amino acids. We also require vitamins, minerals, and important fatty acids, such as Omega 3, which is usually found in salmon.
Obviously, storing red meat and salmon can be challenging when prepping your pantry, but storing a variety of meats should not be avoided. It’s a good idea to keep meats like canned venison, salmon, or jerky on hand.
People simply need to understand that this type of food will need to be rotated on a regular basis, with old canned goods being consumed and new items being put in their place.
There is no doubt that canned products may be stored for years in some situations, but people need to understand that the longer food is stored, the fewer nutrients it will have. Canned items that have been stored for a short period of time will have more nutrients than those that have been kept for years.
Naturally, when storing food, you want it to be high in protein and other nutrients to keep you healthy and strong. However, making certain that food does not sit for years in your pantry is a good idea.
The length of time something will last is determined by a number of factors, including how cool and dry the space where it is stored is and how clean and safe from insects or other pests you can maintain it.
When keeping food for an extended period of time, it is critical to keep it cool and dry, which is why many people build cellars or pantries in their basements.
Chasing that protein
A lot has been published and debated about food storage, but very little is written on how much protein the body requires to function. Knowing how much fuel your body needs to keep yourself healthy is critical, especially if a true tragedy occurs and going to a doctor is not an option.
Staying healthy and strong is very important when SHTF and a lot of preppers and survivalists have understood that going to a doctor might not always be an option.
Having the necessary food on hand makes it easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle. When your body goes into survival mode, it needs 50 to 60 grams of protein each day to function properly.
Over time, we often require at least 2,000 calories per day to stay healthy and maintain our current weight. Some people require fewer calories than others and a lot of this depends on your level of physical activity and the number of calories you burn each day.
Keep these things in mind when prepping your pantry and while you stock it with various foods.
Animal proteins are the best available, and these should always be considered when stockpiling food. Animal proteins are easier for humans to digest and have a higher profile of key amino acids than other types of protein, so they actually keep us healthier than some of their vegan counterparts.
There are various ways to obtain animal protein other than canned meat and jerky. For example, one method is to consume powdered protein shakes. Many of these store-bought shakes contain whey protein, which comes from animals.
The benefit of powdered protein products is that they may be stored for years and do not require any processing or specific cooking. Anything that comes in powder form has the advantage of being able to be stored for an extended period of time without worrying about loss of nutrients. It is also important to mention that it can be easily digested by your body in most cases.
Covering your carbohydrates needs
Carbohydrate-rich foods include brown rice, beans, whole wheat, whole-grain pasta, whole oats, buckwheat, millet, whole rye, whole-grain barley, and whole-grain maize. These foods are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, all of which promote health.
These ingredients should be available in your food storage whenever possible so make sure you don’t ignore them when prepping your pantry.
Most people consider canning or freezing vegetables when they plan to keep these in their food storage. Although both of these choices are excellent, having vegetable powder on hand as a backup is a fantastic idea.
A powdered vegetable product is incredibly stable, unlike liquids, and will last for years while providing you with the phytonutrients you need to stay healthy.
The good fats
Healthy fats can be obtained from a variety of sources. Fish is a good source of fat and may be available as needed, depending on where you’re hunkered down or bugged out. Salmon, tuna, trout, striped bass, mackerel, herring, and sardines are all excellent choices.
Flax or hemp seeds, as well as avocados, are good sources of fat.
Other items to store that most people overlook, perhaps just like you when prepping your pantry include nuts and seeds. There are different nuts and seeds that are both healthy and easy to preserve.
They are an excellent alternative because there is a wide variety of nuts and seeds available to choose from. Diversity is important when attempting to live off of what is in the pantry. It can be tedious to eat the same thing every day, and food fatigue will quickly set in.
It is critical to note that these foods must be stored in the absence of oxygen. Exposure to oxygen will cause the oils in nuts and seeds to go rancid. Always store nuts and seeds with desiccants.
Think of canning alternatives when prepping your pantry
Because preserving food through canning is perceived as complicated and hard, many individuals avoid long-term food storage altogether.
Drying or dehydrating food is one food preservation method that everyone can try, and it’s the preferred food preservation technique of those new to prepping. It’s a straightforward process that leaves little to no room for error, and it can provide you with a variety of nutritious foods.
Powdered or freeze-dried items are excellent choices if you don’t want to can foods or if you want to bring diversity to your pantry. Freeze-dried food is fantastic since it can be preserved for a long time and contains the protein that individuals require. The disadvantage is that freeze-dried food, especially in large quantities, can be expensive.
I’ve written on various occasions regarding freeze-dried food and why it’s gaining a lot of popularity, but also how it’s becoming the number one choice for many preppers. If you want to freeze-dry food at home, I encourage you to read this article:
Don’t forget to keep a few comfort items on hand when storing powdered items. Hot chocolate and Tang are two sweet delicacies that might help you get over a crisis.
Surviving adversity over time requires a lot of mental strength, and when you consume the same things every day, you might soon get pessimistic. Having a few fun items in the pantry for days when you need a pick-me-up can actually be a lifesaver.
Another alternative would be to get some MREs (meals ready to eat) for your pantry, but these are not cheap, and not everyone can afford them. In the last ten years or so, MRE meals gained a lot of popularity amongst preppers and survivalists.
Even more, the average Joe has realized the usefulness of having a decent quantity of MRE meals in his pantry as these foods offer peace of mind when the brown stuff hits the fan. There are so many types available that it almost seems impossible to find the best MRE meals for your family. Before diving into the world of MREs, I recommend checking this out:
Nutritional supplements or meal alternatives
Don’t forget to keep vitamins and supplements on hand. Taking vitamins is one approach to ensure your body gets the vitamins it requires. For example, it is a good idea to take Omega 3 fish oil capsules.
Most pills and capsules have a long shelf life and can be easily stored, so keeping them on hand makes a lot of sense.
If you’re searching for a nice meal replacement shake, check out Wilderness Athlete’s Meal Replacement Shake.
This company manufactures a variety of nutritional items for persons on the go as well as those who just wish to have healthy food on hand.
The Wilderness Athlete Meal Replacement contains 230 calories and 24 grams of carbs per serving and is manufactured with high-quality whey protein.
Green Infusion, a vegetable drink made by Wilderness Athlete, contains the phytonutrient equivalent of six servings of fruits and vegetables.
Regarding food storage and prepping your pantry, after years of doing it, I can tell you that one thing is certain: most folks out there will not stockpile food if the procedure appears difficult. So, in addition to canned items, store seeds, nuts, vitamins, and powdered proteins that have extended shelf life.
These items can be easily found at the grocery store or online shops and are easy to purchase and store in your pantry.
Recommended resources for preppers and homesteaders: