When life as we know it teeters on the edge, and familiar systems break down, securing a stable food source becomes paramount. In times of crisis, a pantry stocked with preserved foods can be the difference between survival and catastrophe. For National Preparedness month let’s look into the best foods to store and their preservation techniques, ensuring you’re prepared for the long haul. Remember, If SHTF and all grocery stores close, what will you do?
Grains and Beans
Importance: These items are rich in calories, fiber, and protein, providing the energy and sustenance required for survival situations.
Preservation Techniques: Store grains and beans in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers. Kept in a cool, dry place, they can last up to 10 years. Popular choices include wheat, rice, quinoa, lentils, and black beans.
Importance: Meat is a vital protein source, and curing with salt extends its shelf life significantly.
Preservation Techniques: Use salt to extract moisture from the meat, which inhibits bacterial growth. Once cured, store in a cool, dry place. Properly cured meats can last up to six months without refrigeration. Check out Coalcracker Bushcraft’s video on How to Preserve Meat in Wilderness: Survival Food Rations. This video could potentially save your life.
Canned Fruits and Vegetables
Importance: Vital for vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables maintain morale with their familiar tastes in challenging times.
Preservation Techniques: Canning involves sealing foods in containers and heating them to kill or weaken spoilage agents. Stored in a cool, dark place, canned goods can last years.
Importance: Removing moisture extends the shelf life of foods significantly, retaining most of their nutritive value.
Preservation Techniques: Dehydrate fruits, vegetables, and meats using an oven or a food dehydrator. Stored in airtight containers, dried foods can remain edible for years.
Honey and Syrups
Importance: Not just sweeteners, honey and natural syrups like maple provide quick energy and have medicinal properties. Honey, notably, never spoils.
Preservation Techniques: Store in airtight containers. Over time, honey may crystallize, but a gentle warming returns it to its liquid state.
Importance: Pickling preserves foods and adds flavor, ensuring a variety of tastes in your long-term storage.
Preservation Techniques: Use a brine of salt or vinegar, which creates an acidic environment unsuitable for harmful bacteria. Foods like cucumbers, carrots, and even meats can be pickled.
Importance: Hard cheeses are calorie-dense and provide essential fats and proteins.
Preservation Techniques: Wax-coated hard cheeses can be stored at room temperature for years. Waxing prevents mold growth and retains the cheese’s moisture. Here’s a great video to save from Alaska Prepper on Prepping Cheese with WAX to last 30 Years Or More!
Nuts and Seeds
Importance: These are rich in essential fats, proteins, and other nutrients.
Preservation Techniques: Store in airtight containers with oxygen absorbers. If kept in a cool, dark place, they can remain fresh for up to a year.
Food preservation isn’t just an old-world skill; it’s an essential knowledge set for any serious prepper. Securing a diverse, long-lasting food supply ensures not just survival, but the comfort and morale that come with varied meals. As you look ahead, remember that food, in its essence, is life. Mastering its preservation might very well mean mastering survival itself.
What long food storage techniques have you mastered if SHTF? Let us know below!
*This article contains 3rd party affiliate offers*