Dear Preppers and Survivalists,
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
The Last, ... For Now
This is the last blurb about food storage for a little while.
So, ... Here are some 'wrapping up' thoughts.
A great way (O.K. a heck of a lot of work, some upfront costs, and ... satisfaction seeing the finished jars) is home canning your family's food. There are many good manuals for your family to use.
Needless to say, don't use older canning manuals because their information may be outdated, poisoning your family.
USDA: National Center for Home food Preservation - USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2009 revision
Purdue University: Extension Service - Complete Home Guide to Canning
Of course, some family's are going to want a 'hard' copy of the canning manual for use and to store for future use. Plus, this link has links to some free publications.
Last week, I received a comment:
"A great article! Thanks for sharing. I started Prepping prior to Y2K (1999) and agree with everything that you say, except for length of storage time. In my experience, you can keep ordinary grocery store canned food and dried beans, rice, etc. much longer than "one year". For instance, this year (2015) we regularly eat canned baked beans, brown rice stored in sealed glass jars, canned green vegetables and canned meat (spam, corned beef, roast beef w/gravy, fish, turkey,chicken) dated "2007" and later, with never any stomach upset. It is all just as tasty as fresh canned food. I store this in a below-ground basement, on shelves behind heavy curtains."
As you can read, this family is eating eight year old commercially canned food and home canned food, with no ill affects. Needless to say, your mileage will vary.
But, ... Anonymous makes a point.
Canned food from the grocery store will last a lot longer than the expiration date printed on the can, box, bag, or bottle.
Usually empty glass canning jars take up precious storage space.
So, ... One of my brothers, Spartan, came up with the idea of storing dried beans and long grain white rice in clean canning jars. The jars are sealed using a vacuum sealer with the canning jar attachment.
His thinking, ... As you and your family eat the beans and rice, you end up with empty canning jars that can be filled with produce from your garden, farmer's market, or local grocery store. Plus, the jars are full, so the space they do take up is put to good use.
I know I mentioned this, but it's important.
Make sure your family is rotating your food.
Never and ...
So, ... When do you eat your food storage during an event?
Never because your family always makes sure to deplete any local supplies of food before eating your food storage.
Let me explain.
During an economic crisis, folks are losing their jobs, including you. Local charities or the government starts handing out food, soup lines form, or food stamps are issued. You and your family get in line.
First, ... Because this extends your family's food supply.
Second, ... OPSEC because no one is going to ask 'Why isn't your family in line?'
Of course, some folks are going to comment how callous that is to take food from other peoples' mouths.
I don't care! This is about your family surviving one more day.
... And Always
You and your family need to always eat your food storage.
Yes, I know; I just told you to never eat your food storage, but ...
You and your family need to practice using your food storage because most families don't cook with whole foods. Plus, your family has to get use to the tastes of these foods.
You can do this by making, at first, one meal a month out of long-term food storage. A few months later, you make two meals a month out of food storage. PA few months later, three meal a month and so on. Plus, this help your family to rotate the stored food.
You and your partner get to discover all the things that you have forgotten to store for your family's eating needs ; - )
Where to Start
People ask my brothers all the time where to start on their food storage because my brothers' OPSEC sucks.
So, ... My brothers tell folks the short answer
If you're worried about ordinary events such as hurricanes, winter storms, and earthquakes, your family can start by storing ordinary grocery store food. You know, the stuff your family normally eats.
You just go out to the store and buy a bunch of food.
If you're worried about bigger events like super volcanoes, economic collapses, and nuclear war, your family starts by storing wheat, at least 365 pounds per family member. Next, your family purchases 190 pounds of dried beans per person. Next, you add 365 multivitamins per person. Next you family adds 365 pounds of long grain white rice. Next, you add another 190 pounds of dried beans. Next, you take a breath and purchase 365 multi-vitamins per person.
When to Stop
Being a prepper, really a survivalist, you never stop with your family's food storage because your family's tastes are going to change. Your children are going to stop liking Mac and Cheese all the time, so you will need to use it up and start stocking what they currently enjoy eating.
Next, your children will leave home; maybe going to college, joining the military, or starting a career; they will still need a place to emergency evacuate.
So, ... You will still need to store food for them.
Next, they will meet a partner, get married, and have children. They will need help starting their family's food storage program, short, medium, or long-term. Hopefully, they will seek your advice.
Of course, the extended family will probably designate you and your partner's home as the rally point for any larger and longer event. (You did take my advice to build a family 'retreat,' didn't you?). So, ... You will need to store even more food for the many mouths that will descend on your home.
Don't let the your children mooch off you. Make sure they send you one or two cases of long-term food storage, each month, until they have the basics such as 365 pounds of white rice, 190 pounds of dried beans, and 365 multivitamins for their cache.
Lastly, you and your partner are going to die, so your long-term food storage should be considered part of the childrens' inheritance.
So, ... Make sure you're rotating your food by using it, as food ; - )