There are three ways to get food when the power’s out or when there’s a crisis: what you can find naturally, what you cultivate, and what you store. Having a means to get food from all three sources will make you quite well-rounded when it comes to food, but for right now, we’re just going to focus on food that you can store.
Here’s the truth: A lot of so-called “long-term storage” food can really only be stored for about six months before it goes bad. While you will need to rotate out all food eventually, why rotate food every six months when you could rotate it out once every one to two years? The types of long-term food that we’re going to look at are the types you can keep in your pantry for at least one to two years.
As always, food keeps longest when it doesn’t come in contact with air, light or moisture.
1. Canned Meat. No one’s saying that canned meat tastes great, but you can store it in a pantry a long time and it won’t go bad. Examples of canned meat include fish, chicken and turkey. It’s an excellent source of protein in the long-term even if it lacks the delightfulness of roast or grilled meat.
2. Canned Vegetables. Nearly all vegetables come packed with essential nutrients, and to eat them after a crisis, your best bet may be those in a can. Canned beans and carrots alike will provide you with enough nutrients to balance out your meal.
3. Beans. This is a staple of many pantries — useful in soups, casseroles and as a side dish.
4. Dried Fruit. Raisins, apricots, you name it. Dried fruit not only lasts long in storage, but it also is very nutritious when it comes to potassium and fiber.
5. Rice. Rice is a great storage food. White, wild, jasmine, Arborio and basmati rice all have a long shelf life. Store it in an airtight container to keep out any bugs.
6. Powdered milk. Don’t have a cow or goat? You can still have milk during a crisis if you stock up.
7. Honey. Honey stays good nearly forever, and while it’s not a primary source of food at all, it is something you can add as an ingredient to nearly anything for delicious flavor.
8. Peanut Butter. If you’re not allergic to peanuts, you’ll be comforted in knowing you can store one of the best sources of energy out there. What’s better, peanut butter can be stored for up to two years and not lose its freshness. It’s full of protein and fat.
9. Pasta. Traditional or wheat, this pantry item is one that we always love.
What would you add to this list? Share your long-term food storage tips in the section below: