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The First 15 Foods You Should Stockpile For Disaster

The First 15 Foods You Should Stockpile For Disaster

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A good stockpile of food will go a long way toward helping you survive the aftermath of any disaster or life crisis, especially when grocery stores are emptied.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there are people who are not preppers who nevertheless instinctively know to stockpile food. This really isn’t surprising when you consider that through most of mankind’s history, stockpiling food was essential to survival — specifically surviving the winter months. During those months, wildlife is bedded down trying to stay warm and plants are dormant. If one didn’t have a good stockpile of food, their chances of survival were pretty darn slim.

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But knowing to stockpile food and knowing what to stockpile are two different things. The vast majority of what the average American family eats is unsuitable for stockpiling, because it falls into one of three categories:

  • Junk food – Lots of carbs, lots of sugar, lots of salt and lots of chemicals, but not much nutrition.
  • Fresh food – Foods that won’t keep without refrigeration.
  • Frozen food – It will begin to spoil within two days of losing electrical power.

So we need to come up with other foods — foods that will give us a lot of nutrition and also have the ability to be stored for a prolonged period of time. Here are what we consider the 15 most important ones:

1. Beans – This is one of the more common survival foods. Not only are beans plentiful and cheap, but they provide a lot of protein — something that’s hard to find without meat.

2. White rice – The perfect companion to beans. An excellent source of carbohydrates, and it stores well. [Note: Don’t store brown rice, which contains oils and will spoil.]

3. Canned vegetables – A good way of adding micro-nutrients to your survival diet. Canned goods keep well, long past the expiration date on the label.

4. Canned fruit – For something sweet, adding canned fruit allows you a nice change of diet. Being canned, they keep as well as the vegetables do.

5. Canned meats – Of all the ways of preserving meat, canning is the most secure in protecting the meat from decomposition. While it doesn’t typically have as good a flavor as fresh meat, it still provides animal protein at the most reasonable price you’ll find.

6. Honey – As long as you can keep the ants out of it, honey keeps forever. Plus, it is beneficial during cold season.

7. Salt – Nature’s preservative. Most means of preserving foods require the use of salt. In addition, our bodies need to consume salt for survival.

The First 15 Foods You Should Stockpile For Disaster

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8. Pasta products – Pasta is a great source of carbohydrates, allowing you a lot of variety in your cooing. Besides that, it’s a great comfort food for kids. Who doesn’t like spaghetti?

9. Spaghetti sauce – Obviously, you need this to go with the pasta. But it is also great for hiding the flavor of things your family doesn’t like to eat. Pretty much anything, with spaghetti sauce on it, tastes like Italian food — whether you’re talking about some sort of unusual vegetable or a raccoon that you caught pilfering from your garden.

10. Jerky – While expensive to buy, jerky is pure meat, with only the addition of spices. Its high salt content allows it to store well, making it a great survival food. It can be reconstituted by adding it to soups and allowing it to cook.

11. Peanut butter – Another great source of protein and another great comfort food, especially for the kiddies. It might be a good idea to stockpile some jelly to go with it.

12. Wheat flour – For baking, especially baking bread. Bread is an important source of carbohydrates for most Americans. Flour also allows you to shake up the diet with the occasional batch of cookies or a cake.

13. Baking powder & baking soda – Also for making the bread, cookies or cakes.

14. Bouillon – Otherwise known as “soup starter,” this allows you to make the broth without having to boil bones on the stove for hours. Soups will probably be an important part of anyone’s diet in a survival situation, as they allow you to eat almost anything. Just throw it together in a pot and you’ve got soup.

15. Water – We don’t want to forget to stockpile a good supply of water. You’ll go through much more than you expect. Experts recommend a minimum of one gallon per person per day, but remember: That’s just for drinking.

While this doesn’t constitute a complete list of every type of food that you should stockpile, it’s a good starting point. You’ll want more variety than this, but in reality, your family can survive for quite a while with just the 15 things on this list.

As your stockpile grows, add variety to it. One way of doing that is to create a three-week menu, with the idea of repeating that menu over and over. If you have everything you need to cook everything on that menu, you’ll have a fair assortment of food, and enough so that your family shouldn’t grow tired of it.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

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21 comments

  1. Add in Cornmeal and Oats……whole rolled oats…..then you’re good to go!

  2. A most often overlooked essential is something FRESH. Without it, scurvy can set in. So in the “beans” category you can get mung beans, which you can sprout, these can be eaten raw or fried (like in chinese food) Other sprouting things are also very valuable — chia seeds, alfalfa seed and so on. and many of them last a very long time, or can be used to plant to grow yet more food with which to survive

    • I have read that the Indians boiled pine needles to get vitamin C. Good to know if you have pine trees around.

      • You would want to use new pine needles for vitamin C tea, as older needles don’t have much of it. You can use sumac too (not poison sumac, regular sumac) to make a tea rich in vitamin C and other nutrients. Just don’t drink too much, as it’s a diuretic.

  3. I keep most of the things on this list and I have a large cache of spices.

    The one other thing I like to have plenty of on hand is packets of gravy mix and dried cheese powder.

    I also try to stash a few simple things including creamed soups, corned beef hash, tamales, etc. so I have some fast and easy meals in a pinch and a case or two of ramen noodles because they make a good base for bits of veggies and meat for a fast meal.

    I’ve found the most important thing about stockpiling food is to only keep stuff we’re going to eat so I can rotate my stores and I have familiar recipes in mind for everything in my stockpile.

  4. Wow. All the comments are great. But don’t forget your pets.
    I also don’t know where to keep all this food. My family already thinks I’m nuts but will have me committed if I start stacking cases of food in the hall. I already have two containers of “prepper” dried food in the garage.

    • Just show them this page, and they will know you are not nuts… or at least, that you are not dangerous. And if they still think you are nuts, that you are not the only one and there are many out there.

  5. Three other items I would add would be fats and sugars, and vinegar. You can’t go from convenient foods to emergency foods without shocking your system and making your brain angry, directly.

    Something like ghee (shelf stable, no expiration, safe in heat) or vegetable oil (replacing when the date to use by gets closer) or strained bacon grease is good to stock up on.

    For sugars, either plain white sugar with a recipe for what to do with it, or a rotating supply of candy, will do. No matter how many sweets you have stockpiled, you need more there, until you’ve figured out your situation, you’ll be stress-eating them to give your brain panic-calming energy.

    I’d also strongly recommend adding vinegar. You can add it to all sorts of stuff, it’s good for cleaning, pickling, for sanitizing a lot of different things, and for cleaning rust off of impossible-to-unscrew bolts, plus it’s cheap to buy. I like cheap store brand apple cider vinegar for cooking, pickled sushi ginger, and for sushi/rice balls, and white vinegar for everything else.

    • I agree, except for the sugar and candy. It causes too many health problems.
      lol, I don’t think my brain is angry.
      After a week or so of being “sugar free” my body no longer craves it.
      Sweetness also occurs in nature – honey, agave, cinnamon, mesquite beans, fruit.

      • If you’re already accustomed to healthy eating, that’s one thing. But if you’re a person who’s accustomed to convenience foods, just like anyone addicted to junk, during a high stress time is not the best time to go cold turkey. Anyone who has suffered from a caffiene addiction or any other addiction can attest to the fact that abrupt changes, even for the better, are going to upset your body immensely.

        If you eat sugars, store it, so you don’t get that literal, “I will kill you for that piece of chocolate” thing that goes on sometimes, is what I’m saying lol. Those statements and feels we laugh about are not actually jokes :_D

      • I think this is good advice. The less refined sugar, the better. Replace it with honey or unrefined cane sugar if you can’t go without it.

        But we have to be aware of short term and long term measures. Cutting down on your white sugar consumption is not a priority in a TSHTF scenario but is important in the long run.

    • I doubt there will be many opportunities of eating sushi after TSHTF, but certainly having to eat a severely limited diet for weeks or months will probably become unbearable after a short time, and it is good to diversify it as much as possible. I’d hate having to survive on nothing else but rice and beans for even only one week.

      One other item which I didn’t see on the list and which however is essential is vegetable oil (olive, sunflower etc.). You can’t cook without it and your body needs it.

      I would certainly also include spices and herbs, enough to last a few months. Without even going into how they will enhance your food, a few well-chosen spices and herbs used as teas will help safeguarding your health and might be very useful for their curative abilities. Of course there are rules having to be followed, and you should know how to use them such as to avoid bad effects. A few of the more common ones are probably thyme, oregano, cumin, black and chili pepper, turmeric and cinnamon….

      Dried fruits such as raisins are essential too. They provide energy and essential minerals and other natural beneficial substances.

      As for sugar, I don’t care for the refined, white variety. White sugar will in the long run deplete your body of minerals. Replace it with natural, unrefined sugar (of course, in a TSHTF scenario having unrefined sugar is a luxury).

  6. Big oversight. Cooking oil!!!

    • Absolutely! In a list limited to 15 items, the question arises however of what item should be replaced with cooking oil? Personally I would replace baking power as I never use it anyway. Cooking oil in my view is more basic.

  7. Patti Rinne-Johnson

    I like to add canned and powdered milk to my closet along with dried fruit great for sauces gravy and salad dressings. oats and molasses. I keep agood stock of vegetable seeds also.

  8. My husband and I eat organic and I am really into health and nutrition. We have stored foods and these are the most important and healthy items to store. Salt, lots of it and make sure it is not refined salt but pink Himalayan or Real Salt brand, Celtic sea salt too although now that the ocean is so contaminated I would go with salt from salt mines. Salt is used for food preservation/fermenting or curing meats, it is essential. Next, wheat and lots of it with a manual wheat grinder. When using, ferment the wheat in good water for three days, rinse and dry the wheat back out, then grind. The fermented wheat is now going to give you all of its minerals instead of many of them being blocked from absorption from the phytates in wheat, which are now broken down by fermentation. Next dry beans, use the fermentation process for beans also. Next tomato paste and lots of cases of it, you can make any sauce or soup base with tomato paste. Next, canned meat, next canned pumpkin and canned sweet potatoes, out of all the canned goods these two have the MOST nutrition, the next two most nutritious canned goods are green beans and peas. Canned fruit is also good but only buy those packed in water, not a sugary syrup. Rice is good but not very nutritious, it is filling though. Wild Rice is better, which technically is a grass. Store other varieties of grains also, rye, oats, buckwheat, etc, for a mix of different types of minerals, amino acids, etc. This list is the base or most important of my total list which obviously includes heirloom seeds so you can grow food too.

  9. The only thing I dont see here that I would strongly consider stockpiling is vegetable seeds. You simply cant have enough of them. And Alcohol. Both as a disinfectant and to relieve stress should the worst happen.

    Everyone covered just about everything else I store as far as the basics go. Once you have the basics covered you can start adding things you cant live without. Ketchup, mustard, BBQ souce. Salad dressings. The list is endless.

    Try to get a pressure canner as soon as you can. Practice preserving your own food. Both meat and veggies. And stockpile canning jars and lids. Another thing you simply cannot have too much of.

    Good luck to all. And keep on prepping!

  10. Canned and dry dog and cat food if you have animals.

  11. You mention JERKY.

    In South Africa we get BILTONG.
    When the Voortrekkers where exploring our land they had a problem as they could not store meat from the fame they shot.
    So they spiced and preserved meat.
    You can make it in the field relatively easily.

    Take any red meat, place in a bowl, add enough vinegar to coat the meat. Then add salt and spiced to the meat and leave in a bowl over night.
    Hang meat in a cool dry environment, must have a breeze that flows through.
    Best time for us in South Africa to make biltong is in the hunting season/winter. Its cool and dry. When I lived on the farm I hung it from my rafters of the garage to dry.
    Store it in a cool dry place.
    If it gets moisture on it a white mould grows on it. Just wipe it off.

    There are 100’s of fancier recipes, but this is the basic idea of it.
    If you are prepping at home GOOGLE biltong box for ideas on how to make biltong all year round.
    Happy Prepping!

  12. Big bottle of vitamins and vitamin C powder. And lots of water as well as ways to purify water. 3+3+3 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food. Water is of the utmost importance.

  13. If the electricity goes out and you don’t have a generator many of the foods on these lists would be almost impossible to make (or maybe you could cook over a fire) but I would have pre-packaged survival food for sure.

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