Skip to comments.Lessons Learned the Hard Way About Food Storage, by The Northern Prep
Posted on 03/14/2014 3:43:31 PM PDT by Kartographer
In late 2010 when we started our food pantry, we took what I would call a hodge-podge approach. We read different articles and made lists of what we used and did not use but was recommended by the various publications. There is a tremendous amount of information, and this was a new endeavor for us. So our list would take the following into consideration: rotation of meals; caloric intake/nutritional value; pleasure value (is it something we enjoy i.e. pancakes vs. oatmeal); and last but not least, cost. Before we bought, we went to an Amish bulk store and Costco to look and compare prices versus what was available on the Internet. We have children, and when we started this endeavor we were a fairly typical suburban family. We tended to lean toward home cooked whole food meals. (My wife and I argued this point a bit as "home cooked meals" has come to mean something very different now.) We also favored organic, but we did not turn completely away from fast food and processed boxed meals. We had a small garden to grow vegetables and a small raspberry patch. Still, we also would eat out at restaurants, buy bleached flour, and buy convenience meals, such as frozen pizzas, boxed pasta, and canned sauce. Considering this background, we urgently started on our pantry as priority number one. We just discovered prepping and felt that we were completely unprepared.
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To start things off MRE Depot has $30.00 of Yoders a case of Yoders Canned Bacon.
Honeyville Grains has 10% off your order Use Coupon Code: SAVE10 and as always your order ships for $4.49.
I got 100 cans of peanut butter I am set...
You're set because I don't live in your house hold. I loves me some peanut butter (smooth and creamy of course), I don't care for that crunchy stuff.
Peanut butter is one of those where the “use by” date has a ring of truth to it. My goal was to accumulate 18-24 months supply of 90-95% of my non-perishable (canned, bottled, and jarred) foods. I achieved that pretty easily.
A couple of weeks ago I opened a (plastic) jar of Skippy Peanut Butter that had a use-by date from late 2011 (a little over two years old). It was edible but like eating play-doh (even more than peanut butter is normally like eating play-doh ;’). I was able to eat it but knew that I needed to look at limiting the life-cycle to about 18 months.
“Man does not live by Peanut Butter Alone!”
That happened at my house also. It was like something happened to the oil in it.
I am still trying to find a local place to buy fifty pound bags of dried beans. The local whole foods wanted an arm and a leg for their beans.
something happened alright, the oil turned rancid.
My biggest lesson on food storage is that a full pantry doesn’t last long.
You can usually get a GOOD price on pinto beans at a mexican market.
Looks like you can get a 50 pound bag from Honeyville right now for about $60.00 plus $4.49 shipping.
“Most of you may not realize that Subway (a place I think of as somewhat healthy) just removed a plastic stabilizer from their bread recipe.”
....Did he sign the petition to ban hydrogen dioxide as well?
I ignore that type stuff you would believe the grief I’ve been give over the fact that I store white sugar!!! But a southren boy has to have his sweet tea!!!
JoeProBono Official Grapgic Artist of the FR Prepper’s Threads
They removed azodicarbonamide from their bread.
Was your peanut butter in a plastic jar or in a glass jar? Mine was the larger size in plastic.
I’ve had both turn rancid. Doesn’t pay to buy the twin packs in bulk at Sams.
Checked that site and didn’t see the case of canned bacon for $30?
I need to plan for an edible bean crop on the farm.Soybeans are easy to grow,so why not pintos or black beans?
White sugar, properly sealed from insects/critters, will last forever.
You will get no grief from me. I recently opened a package I’d stored in ‘08 and mislaid behind something in my pantry and it was good as new.
I’ve been think about trying this:
I just opened a jar of Creamy Planters that said use by July 5th, 2012. It's fine, very creamy, and spreadable. No rancidity. It has the same ingredients as Skippy. Peanuts, Sugar, and Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils.
You could re-hydrate it by mixing it with honey and YUM YUM!!!
What is the storage life of distilled honey? I would imagine quite a LOT.
Another thing I recently bought for food storage is Corn Syrup, the muchly maligned corn syrup, a bottle of that in a backpack would give you enough energy to hike a very long ways. Use the dark corn syrup as it has extra nutrients in it.
Get this to go in a backpack.
and this for home storage
Energy density is vital if you need to travel any distance on foot after SHTF...
Plus you can barter a cup of syrup for other goods and it can always be distilled later for alcohol. (still not included)
What is the Storage life on corn syrup and molasses?
I grew up on Dark Karo!! I don’t like the maple favored water stuff most people eat near as well.
Indefinite but not really. They’ll grow stuff after a while. I keep my corn syrup frozen as it’s seldom used. It lasts for years in my freezer. I buy the smallest container I can (I only use it for divinity and the snowdrift frosting that’s boiled) and put it in a ziploc freezer bag.
Well I ordered a can. So I will report on the results after I give it a try.
Looking forward to hearing how it is.
Canned pasta is like that, people pay attention to the dates on canned ravioli, chicken noodle soup and so on, after a few years it gets less appealing, your teen son will still eat it OK, but it does suffer in texture.
I think well stored sugar is hard to beat as a stored food and trade good, and for all round usefulness, it is one of the golden goods for preppers.
Jis biggest lesson learned after “the next four years”...
Should have planted more fruit and nut trees!
Glad to see someone mention blackberries, raspberries are just as easy. Heck the only work is stopping them. Love my Mulberries though the birds love them more.
The hazelnut I planted 3 years ago is a joy, this will be their first ‘full=production’ year. The persimmon should yield this year , Chinkapins won’t start yielding for a couple more years (all free from the local ‘extension’). Plant them near but not next to the house. They draw game and varmints.
They require practically no care.
It’s easy to grow and pack your own dry beans. Just let the vines die back and everything, including the pods, dry out. When the pods reach the state of “leather britches”, up root them. Use a big barrel to shake the beans loose by smacking the dried plants upside down in the barrel.
Just make sure the individual beans are completely dry before you package them or they’ll go moldy.
Use the tooth dent test. Bite a bean, and if it makes a dent, it’s still not dry enough.
How do you keep the dang birds and squirrels from eating your blackberries and raspberries?
Don’t forget a large can of pudding and some crazy cheese =)
They’re 20 feet from the house- a hundered from the woods- and I think the activity keeps the birds away. Maybe the mulberries-farther from the house and nearer the woods- draw them away, I get near zero of the mulberries dang it.
Birds got all of some red raspbrries off a ways from the house. I’m gonna try laying plastic screening on them this year when they ripen.
In a SHTF situation some pitch lines in berry bushes would get a good harvest of birds.
Learn to do pressure canning.
“If it is stored in a tightly sealed container, honey can literally last a lifetime, and probably even your children’s lifetimes, too. There are even accounts of 2000+ year old honey found in tombs that is still edible.”
Mix together a little butter or oil...some brown sugar and then a drizzle pattern of corn syrup....nuts if you choose, then a tube of biscuits for the very best upside down sticky buns you ever ate!
Bake in a reflector oven too,just turn often.
One can never have too much sugar.LOL
I buy a bunch of sugar everytime it goes on sale. Libs like that guy in New York may decide to ban it or tax the devil out of it. So I say stock up it lasts almost forever.
I also plant sugar beets. I have the directions for processing sugar beets to make syrup or sugar granules, just in case I haven’t stored enough.LOL
Hubby puts netting over our wild blackberry bushes. We also hung wren’s houses all around the fruit areas.
Wrens like to eat bugs, not berries, and they are territorial, so they chase of the birds that would like to feast on the berries.
Also old computer disks and aluminum pie pans strung up so that they move in the wind will help scare them away.
In or around 2008, when the oil prices jumped, I knew that inflation would shortly hit the groceries, and we had some extra money so I invested it in food.
The first item I stocked was peanut butter, because that is the one reliable protein that our grand daughter likes. The use by date was 18 months, so I stocked up on what I thought we would normally use in a year @ 99cents per 16 oz. jar.
The prices went up to $2.25 per jar and is now available on sale sometimes. I can get an 18 oz jar for 1.79 on sales.
We sure haven’t had to waste any - it goes pretty fast.LOL
Oil will not last very long. It’s a problem for long term storage. Lard will last considerably longer if it’s in cans with sealed lids (not that pull off aluminum crap), but it’s not “heart healthy”.
I have been doing some research on getting oil from nuts, since we have several nut trees that produce well on our property. I am also experimenting with sunflowers to see if I can learn to grow and produce oil from them.
I think it would be neat to be able to do it, and it could be useful in a long term hard times scenario.
Now I have floor to ceiling storage along 2 walls in the basement. That's 30 feet of shelves. I buy stuff on sale by the case or cases depending on how much I know we will use.
New purchases and long term 10-20 year stuff goes on the bottom shelves(also under beds and anywhere else I can stash them out of sight). The shelf at eye level and the ones directly above and below it are current usage stuff.
The top shelf has boxes that are labeled with content for stuff like water filters etc. The first shelf next to the door is where stuff that needs to be used within a month are stacked to make sure that they don't get lost. The veggies etc. are all stacked together just like in a grocery store.
I can see at a glance what we have used and need to replace, but I have a list hanging on the Refrigerator and every time we open a can or bottle I just put it on the list. When stuff goes on sale I check the list to see how many replacement cans we need.
When a case of veggies is used up, I just take a case from the next use by date and move it up to the eye level shelves.
Now, it is very rare that I ever have expired dates on the food we have stored. The little 2 foot pantry now holds a lot of the gardening stuff, charcoal lighter, cleaning supplies etc.
I vote for pintos. They are Hubby’s favorites, and our grocery sells them in 10 lb. bags. A person can also take them out of the grocery bag, and plant them to grow more.
Karo syrup is a must have for pecan pie!
If you get the urge for some "meat-like" calories, I'll trade a couple cans of Spam for some peanut butter...