Author Topic: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food  (Read 5414 times)

trashmanz

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Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« on: May 20, 2017, 07:59:16 AM »
I'm lazy, I like to set it and forget it.  I'm looking for some cheap food storage options to keep my family of 6 alive for a few months.  I have a lot of canned foods that I rotate in and out of, but they won't last 20+ years like freeze dried or some staples.  So to supplement the canned goods I'm looking at the longer term 15+ year food options.  There are a lot of options.

Cheapest should be just getting rice and beans.  I could get reg. beans but they take forever to cook, so may not be the best in an emergency where energy may be limited.
Costco has some pre-cooked bean buckets at about .00267 cents a calorie, seems like a fair bang for the buck, then I'll get some rice (e.g., Augason farms 28lbs white rice is $26 in a 30 year bucket) and hope I have enough energy to cook it.  Also, I'll have some salt and spices to make the beans and rice taste ok. 

Also, I'm trying to find some good cheap water storage options. 

Once I get the basic, eat this and we won't die menu done then I will get more fancy and start looking at other menu items and actually healthy food, maybe some veggies, fruit etc., but thats later.

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 10:58:44 AM by trashmanz »

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2017, 08:00:20 AM »
Also I have thought about getting a de-hydrator and doing some manual work, but not sure I can get it stored effectively so that I'm not having to re-do the work every year... 

Moonwaves

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 12:43:11 PM »
Learning to store stuff properly is what you should probably focus on first. I'm not sure why you think it'd be difficult to store stuff effectively if you get a dehydrator though. Putting stuff in a jar and closing the lid isn't hard. If you want to store for longer periods of time then you're going to need to learn how to do it properly, regardless of whether you dry the stuff yourself or not.

Not sure how long the pre-cooked beans last but it's not likely to be as long as dried. If you want to actually get into prepping then you need to look at more than just food. If you're worried about how much energy it might take to cook some beans, make sure you have alternative supplies of energy or know where to get it and how to use it. Make sure you have a range of different options so that if one thing doesn't work, you have food that can be prepared a different way. And most of all, make sure that any food you store is food that you all actually eat and that you're regularly rotating (eating stuff from storage and adding newer stock back to your storage).

Here's one website (and there are lots more out there) with a kind of beginner's guide to building up food storage. http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/babysteps/ (as with many of these types of websites, don't get sucked in to spending lots of money, just take the advice and educate yourself).

redbird

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 12:58:05 PM »
Just to let you know, you can buy any big bag of rice and put it in any container that seals up tightly. You just need a tight seal to keep out bugs and moisture. So if there's a kind of rice you normally eat and like, you can use that instead. Also, remember to store enough water for cooking the rice in your emergency supplies, so you won't have to use up your water that you're saving specifically to drink.

As someone who regularly buys large bags of rice, that's a reasonable price for rice + bucket though.

meadow lark

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 04:59:13 PM »
You can buy those little desiccant packages (or re-use them when you get them in pill bottles.). You can add them for extra insurance to your tightly sealed containers.  Also - when buying grains in quantity, stick them in a freezer for 3 or 4 days to kill any weevil eggs that come along with the grain.

meadow lark

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 05:07:53 PM »
One more thought - if you are buying in large quantities, consider feed stores.  Millet, wheat, oats, sunflower seeds, corn all can be bought very cheaply in 50lb bags.   (Some places have organic grains, too). I have bought 20 lb bags of flax seed, too.   It is marketed as animal feed, of course, so that may weird you out, but I grew up eating bread my dad made from feed store wheat, oats, etc so it seems normal to me. 

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 06:41:34 PM »
Learning to store stuff properly is what you should probably focus on first. I'm not sure why you think it'd be difficult to store stuff effectively if you get a dehydrator though. Putting stuff in a jar and closing the lid isn't hard. If you want to store for longer periods of time then you're going to need to learn how to do it properly, regardless of whether you dry the stuff yourself or not.

Not sure how long the pre-cooked beans last but it's not likely to be as long as dried. If you want to actually get into prepping then you need to look at more than just food. If you're worried about how much energy it might take to cook some beans, make sure you have alternative supplies of energy or know where to get it and how to use it. Make sure you have a range of different options so that if one thing doesn't work, you have food that can be prepared a different way. And most of all, make sure that any food you store is food that you all actually eat and that you're regularly rotating (eating stuff from storage and adding newer stock back to your storage).

Here's one website (and there are lots more out there) with a kind of beginner's guide to building up food storage. http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net/babysteps/ (as with many of these types of websites, don't get sucked in to spending lots of money, just take the advice and educate yourself).

Well, the problem is how long the homemade stuff will last, I've heard stories of things going wrong and then finding out the food is rancid, sure it can happen with commercial stuff too, but with a 30 year shelf life, its tempting to buy a commercial bucket and then be good for half of my remaining lifetime.  Home made prep would seem to require a lot of time figuring out how long things should ideally last and labeling and hoping all went well etc. 

cacaoheart

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 07:06:10 PM »
I could get reg. beans but they take forever to cook, so may not be the best in an emergency where energy may be limited.

Pre-soaking beans makes them take about a quarter as long to cook. Combine that with using a pressure cooker and it can be very energy efficient.

https://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers/cooking_times_pressure_cooker.php#pulses

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2017, 09:16:31 PM »
I could get reg. beans but they take forever to cook, so may not be the best in an emergency where energy may be limited.

Pre-soaking beans makes them take about a quarter as long to cook. Combine that with using a pressure cooker and it can be very energy efficient.

https://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers/cooking_times_pressure_cooker.php#pulses

Yeah, thats how I usually make them, but I like to have my emergency food to be able to be prepared with minimal energy, its possible I might not even have any way to make fire, for even in those cases many freeze dried foods can still be eaten just with normal temp water soaking.

WhiteTrashCash

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2017, 09:41:03 PM »
Best value long term emergency food? Human babies. It's just like veal.

Syonyk

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 10:49:28 PM »
Food storage complexities is why the Mormons just rotate their emergency stores through the pantry.

Storing a year of food and rotating it every year (with things sitting a year before being used) is much easier than storing for 30 years.

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 08:13:36 AM »
Food storage complexities is why the Mormons just rotate their emergency stores through the pantry.

Storing a year of food and rotating it every year (with things sitting a year before being used) is much easier than storing for 30 years.

Seems more work tracking stock and dates than just putting aside some 30 year food.  Plus I much prefer eating fresh food most of the time and could not rotate through storage food in enough time before it expires because I rarely eat that type. 

maizeman

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 08:36:40 AM »
I could get reg. beans but they take forever to cook, so may not be the best in an emergency where energy may be limited.

Pre-soaking beans makes them take about a quarter as long to cook. Combine that with using a pressure cooker and it can be very energy efficient.

https://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers/cooking_times_pressure_cooker.php#pulses

Yeah, thats how I usually make them, but I like to have my emergency food to be able to be prepared with minimal energy, its possible I might not even have any way to make fire, for even in those cases many freeze dried foods can still be eaten just with normal temp water soaking.

I came here to say the same thing that cacaoheart said. Maybe it makes sense to also store some method of producing fire (or at least heat) with your food? This could be anything from a camping stove + fuel to a parabolic solar cooker. Or both. Two is one and one is none and all that.

Right now your emergency diet is going to be extremely light on fat. Things like shortening can last for many years if stored in a proper oxygen proof container. After a couple of weeks of rice and beans ANY source of fat you can add to the mix is going to taste delicious.

Also vitamins. Scurvy would be no fun. At least as long as you're eating beans with your rice, beriberi shouldn't be an issue.

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2017, 02:58:59 PM »
http://www.lapolicegear.com/wise-01-152-prepper.html

I picked up one of these buckets a few months ago.  It says it has a 25 year shelf life and should be perfect for any emergency.  You just need to add hot water. 

Also check out MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat).  They come in boxes of 12 meals and some have their own heaters where you just add a little water and others do not.  I think these have shelf lives of about 10 years. 

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2017, 07:01:06 PM »
I could get reg. beans but they take forever to cook, so may not be the best in an emergency where energy may be limited.

Pre-soaking beans makes them take about a quarter as long to cook. Combine that with using a pressure cooker and it can be very energy efficient.

https://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cookers/cooking_times_pressure_cooker.php#pulses

Yeah, thats how I usually make them, but I like to have my emergency food to be able to be prepared with minimal energy, its possible I might not even have any way to make fire, for even in those cases many freeze dried foods can still be eaten just with normal temp water soaking.

I came here to say the same thing that cacaoheart said. Maybe it makes sense to also store some method of producing fire (or at least heat) with your food? This could be anything from a camping stove + fuel to a parabolic solar cooker. Or both. Two is one and one is none and all that.

Right now your emergency diet is going to be extremely light on fat. Things like shortening can last for many years if stored in a proper oxygen proof container. After a couple of weeks of rice and beans ANY source of fat you can add to the mix is going to taste delicious.

Also vitamins. Scurvy would be no fun. At least as long as you're eating beans with your rice, beriberi shouldn't be an issue.

Yes we have planned for ways to cook but I prefer not to have to rely on hunting down fuel or at least be less reliant on it for basic sustenance.

rdaneel0

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2017, 07:32:02 PM »
Why not just rotate your pantry items? It's a lot easier to find food items that keep for a year than for a decade. I probably clear out my entire pantry about once every year and a half.

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2017, 09:15:25 PM »
See above. I eat mostly fresh foods and would end up having to always itemize and get rid of expired items. It would not be efficient and would be wasteful.

Daisy

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2017, 10:04:20 PM »
I once saw a documentary about people preparing for an apocalypse.  Some expected a great flood so they were bulding a bunker up high on the mountains. Some were expecting a nuclear apocalypse so were bulding an underground bunker.

I figured if you got the reason for the apocalypse wrong, you'd be in deep doo doo anyways. If you were planning for a nuclear apocalypse and a great flood occurred youd be pretty unhappy in your underground bunker.

I came to the conclusion that if such a great disaster happened, I'd rather die in the apocalypse than be stuck in a bunker or walking around in the nuclear wasteland with the weirdos in that film.

I can understand having a small amount of food saved up for hurricane or earthquake types of emergencies, but 30 year food storage? That is overkill, in my humble opinion.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2017, 10:15:31 PM »
Daisy: foods capable of thirty years storage, not 30 years supply.

I believe LDS "Mormon" idea is to store 1year supply of stuff, semi-indefinitely.

Syonyk

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2017, 11:17:03 PM »
Right. LDS looks at a 3 month supply as a bare minimum and a year for the family as a good start.

They have more collective experience with food storage than any other group I know of. Ignore them at your own risk.

Daisy

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2017, 11:25:21 PM »
Right. LDS looks at a 3 month supply as a bare minimum and a year for the family as a good start.

They have more collective experience with food storage than any other group I know of. Ignore them at your own risk.

What is it that you are prepping for?

I worry that all of the prepping in the world may not work out if conditions are different than you expected. You may even have to abandon your home in such a case, so what's the point?

I speak from experience as my parents had to flee their country due to a communist revolution. Your best prepping is a good education and life skills to get you through adversity.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 11:28:48 PM by Daisy »

markbike528CBX

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2017, 07:47:24 AM »
Daisy:
It makes sense in an isolated agricultural community in the desert (Great Salt Lake basin), to be able to tough out a crop failure.

Gondolin

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2017, 09:00:56 AM »
Don't forget the honey!

Needs airtight storage long term but, requires no prep to get those sweet, sweet calories in a pinch.

Syonyk

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2017, 10:38:20 AM »
What is it that you are prepping for?

I worry that all of the prepping in the world may not work out if conditions are different than you expected. You may even have to abandon your home in such a case, so what's the point?

I speak from experience as my parents had to flee their country due to a communist revolution. Your best prepping is a good education and life skills to get you through adversity.

If I knew exactly what I was preparing for (I really hate the term "prepping"), I'd go far more specific.  That's the point, though - you don't know what will happen.

There are plenty of events where having a few months of food is helpful - not always so much for actually eating independently for a year, but to have the surplus to help out other people in your neighborhood/area.

I live in Mormon country.  I'm happy to know that, in general, this area could survive quite a while with limited outside inputs.

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2017, 10:55:00 AM »
I once saw a documentary about people preparing for an apocalypse.  Some expected a great flood so they were bulding a bunker up high on the mountains. Some were expecting a nuclear apocalypse so were bulding an underground bunker.

I figured if you got the reason for the apocalypse wrong, you'd be in deep doo doo anyways. If you were planning for a nuclear apocalypse and a great flood occurred youd be pretty unhappy in your underground bunker.

I came to the conclusion that if such a great disaster happened, I'd rather die in the apocalypse than be stuck in a bunker or walking around in the nuclear wasteland with the weirdos in that film.

I can understand having a small amount of food saved up for hurricane or earthquake types of emergencies, but 30 year food storage? That is overkill, in my humble opinion.

Interesting life view that seems to be summarized as "If you can't be 100% sure in the cause of what might happen, don't bother preparing for any disaster."  Do you not have a first aid kit in your house?  Because there may be a time when you need something other than what you have in your first aid kit, so, since there is a possibility the kit might be useless, perhaps its best not to keep it, its just taking up valuable space in your house after all.  Also, no sense in having a fire extinguisher in your kitchen when the roof might cave in from torrential rain, then having an extinguisher would be useless, and you would be in deep doo doo anyway. 

I don't agree with this mentality on many levels, but mostly I will say that having some food around in case of an emergency seems prudent even when I'm not certain what could cause me to need it there have been numerous cases in history where it has made a difference for people.  Again, its 30 year shelf life that I'm referring, not 30 years of food.

Missy B

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2017, 11:42:40 AM »
Personally I'm going to buy freeze-dried Mountain House for my emergency prep. But if you are looking to prepare large quantities of food for long-term storage (multiple year) you must get mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and a vacuum sealer to pack *everything* you want to keep. Rice, beans, freeze-dried foods you bought online that aren't already packed this way.
If you only pack dried foods in an air-tight container, the oxygen that is present will make them go stale. You will still have to rotate.
Do it properly once, and you might not ever need to do it again. Mountain House guarantees their tins for 30 years.

https://www.amazon.com/Dry-Packs-10-2000cc-Oxy-Sorb-Absorbers-Dehydrated/dp/B001Y0Y8C6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1495474288&sr=8-4&keywords=mylar+bags

GhostSaver

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2017, 12:24:07 PM »
What is it that you are prepping for?

I worry that all of the prepping in the world may not work out if conditions are different than you expected. You may even have to abandon your home in such a case, so what's the point?

I speak from experience as my parents had to flee their country due to a communist revolution. Your best prepping is a good education and life skills to get you through adversity.

If I knew exactly what I was preparing for (I really hate the term "prepping"), I'd go far more specific.  That's the point, though - you don't know what will happen.

There are plenty of events where having a few months of food is helpful - not always so much for actually eating independently for a year, but to have the surplus to help out other people in your neighborhood/area.

I live in Mormon country.  I'm happy to know that, in general, this area could survive quite a while with limited outside inputs.

This forum is dedicated to living frugally, or else I wouldn't argue with you. 2 weeks worth of beans and rice is probably plenty. It is hard to imagine a disaster scenario where you would go without access to reasonable groceries and utilities for longer than that. A Really big earthquake, storm, or whatever might put the roads or power out of commission for a week or two - like Katrina or Sandy, if you were in the wrong spot: and you'll have whatever you have in the fridge in addition to whatever you have stored. If you're talking about the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupting or getting nuked or the brown shirts staging a government coup, you are talking about either dying or fleeing. In that case, you're better off always keeping gas in the car, a full gas can in the garage, med supplies to fight radiation poisoning, and a wad of maybe $500.00 cash in an easy to reach place along with your current passport. Keeping some batteries in a radio isn't a bad idea either. Stashing a year of food is a waste of money. There is practically 0 use case for it, and it's costly to acquire and maintain. At that point, you're not being prudent, you're paying real money to indulge in Hollywood apocalyptic fantasies. You have to draw the line between prudent disaster preparedness and engaging in wasteful silliness.

Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2017, 12:56:27 PM »
Get yourself a good flour grinder. I recommend a country living model. It has to be a high end one though because the bad ones won't make flour, they will just crack the wheat berries.

That's the expensive part.

Now, go to your local big organic food place or even Walmart in some areas and find hard red winter wheat berry. Do the math on how many pounds of wheat berry you need for your family. Buy, and it can be had very cheaply. (also the Mormons sell vast quantities of this stuff, even to "gentiles")

Get yourself a dutch oven, and learn how to make sourdough bread and biscuits.

If the idea of buying a mill is too much, you can always soak wheat berry over night to heat into a type of oatmeal stuff. Not super tasty but will do in a pinch.

Great, now you have your staple take care of for any emergency. Now start supplementing with canned food, especially stuff with a little bit of grease, vitamins and sugar.

Avoid large quanitities of MREs  and Moutain house. Too expensive.

Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2017, 12:58:46 PM »
What is it that you are prepping for?

I worry that all of the prepping in the world may not work out if conditions are different than you expected. You may even have to abandon your home in such a case, so what's the point?

I speak from experience as my parents had to flee their country due to a communist revolution. Your best prepping is a good education and life skills to get you through adversity.

If I knew exactly what I was preparing for (I really hate the term "prepping"), I'd go far more specific.  That's the point, though - you don't know what will happen.

There are plenty of events where having a few months of food is helpful - not always so much for actually eating independently for a year, but to have the surplus to help out other people in your neighborhood/area.

I live in Mormon country.  I'm happy to know that, in general, this area could survive quite a while with limited outside inputs.

This forum is dedicated to living frugally, or else I wouldn't argue with you. 2 weeks worth of beans and rice is probably plenty. It is hard to imagine a disaster scenario where you would go without access to reasonable groceries and utilities for longer than that. A Really big earthquake, storm, or whatever might put the roads or power out of commission for a week or two - like Katrina or Sandy, if you were in the wrong spot: and you'll have whatever you have in the fridge in addition to whatever you have stored. If you're talking about the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupting or getting nuked or the brown shirts staging a government coup, you are talking about either dying or fleeing. In that case, you're better off always keeping gas in the car, a full gas can in the garage, med supplies to fight radiation poisoning, and a wad of maybe $500.00 cash in an easy to reach place along with your current passport. Keeping some batteries in a radio isn't a bad idea either. Stashing a year of food is a waste of money. There is practically 0 use case for it, and it's costly to acquire and maintain. At that point, you're not being prudent, you're paying real money to indulge in Hollywood apocalyptic fantasies. You have to draw the line between prudent disaster preparedness and engaging in wasteful silliness.

I'm glad you don't see the need for having a deep larder of food. Feel free not to store beyond 2 weeks.

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2017, 01:27:57 PM »
Get yourself a good flour grinder. I recommend a country living model. It has to be a high end one though because the bad ones won't make flour, they will just crack the wheat berries.

That's the expensive part.

Now, go to your local big organic food place or even Walmart in some areas and find hard red winter wheat berry. Do the math on how many pounds of wheat berry you need for your family. Buy, and it can be had very cheaply. (also the Mormons sell vast quantities of this stuff, even to "gentiles")

Get yourself a dutch oven, and learn how to make sourdough bread and biscuits.

If the idea of buying a mill is too much, you can always soak wheat berry over night to heat into a type of oatmeal stuff. Not super tasty but will do in a pinch.

Great, now you have your staple take care of for any emergency. Now start supplementing with canned food, especially stuff with a little bit of grease, vitamins and sugar.

Avoid large quanitities of MREs  and Moutain house. Too expensive.

I assume you mean solar oven, not a dutch oven? I've never been much of a baker, more of a rice and pasta person, but is the advantage of baking that you can go with a solar oven without boiling water, or is there a nutritional advantage over rice?   

Hard Red Wheat like this?  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Emergency-Food-Hard-Red-Wheat-26-lb/22985145
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 01:30:40 PM by trashmanz »

FLBiker

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2017, 01:43:39 PM »
There are plenty of events where having a few months of food is helpful - not always so much for actually eating independently for a year, but to have the surplus to help out other people in your neighborhood/area.

Is this really true?  I mean, have there been recent events where, in cities / suburbs in developed countries people have benefited from having a few months supply of food?  I understand that there are hypothetical events where it might be useful, but I'm wondering about the historical precedent.  Of course, if you don't live in a city / suburb in a developed country, that's a different story.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm legitimately curious.  I used to be a bit of a prepper, and I still have a well-stocked pantry.

acroy

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2017, 01:47:57 PM »
Military figured this out a long time ago - MREs
But if you live in a 1st (or even 2nd) world country - no need for more than a few days of supplies. In case of disaster, relief happens fast.
In case of Armageddon/complete social breakdown: guns, lots of guns.

Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #32 on: May 22, 2017, 01:57:33 PM »
Get yourself a good flour grinder. I recommend a country living model. It has to be a high end one though because the bad ones won't make flour, they will just crack the wheat berries.

That's the expensive part.

Now, go to your local big organic food place or even Walmart in some areas and find hard red winter wheat berry. Do the math on how many pounds of wheat berry you need for your family. Buy, and it can be had very cheaply. (also the Mormons sell vast quantities of this stuff, even to "gentiles")

Get yourself a dutch oven, and learn how to make sourdough bread and biscuits.

If the idea of buying a mill is too much, you can always soak wheat berry over night to heat into a type of oatmeal stuff. Not super tasty but will do in a pinch.

Great, now you have your staple take care of for any emergency. Now start supplementing with canned food, especially stuff with a little bit of grease, vitamins and sugar.

Avoid large quanitities of MREs  and Moutain house. Too expensive.

I assume you mean solar oven, not a dutch oven? I've never been much of a baker, more of a rice and pasta person, but is the advantage of baking that you can go with a solar oven without boiling water, or is there a nutritional advantage over rice?   

Hard Red Wheat like this?  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Emergency-Food-Hard-Red-Wheat-26-lb/22985145

That is the hard red wheat i am speaking of. Often WalMart has buckets of rice and oatmeal as well.

I'm not sure about solar ovens, but yes, wheat offers a lot of nutritional advantages over rice. Also, properly stored wheat berry has an infinite shelf life, where rice can go bad after a decade or so.

 Dutch oven is my suggestion only because you can use one to bake bread using just a few coals.

There's a formula for it, number of coals per weight of the oven. You'll want an oven with the rim on the lid and the little legs. I have have a big cast iron dutch with legs but it still fits on the gas burner.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 01:59:28 PM by thesvenster »

Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #33 on: May 22, 2017, 02:03:47 PM »
There are plenty of events where having a few months of food is helpful - not always so much for actually eating independently for a year, but to have the surplus to help out other people in your neighborhood/area.

Is this really true?  I mean, have there been recent events where, in cities / suburbs in developed countries people have benefited from having a few months supply of food?  I understand that there are hypothetical events where it might be useful, but I'm wondering about the historical precedent.  Of course, if you don't live in a city / suburb in a developed country, that's a different story.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm legitimately curious.  I used to be a bit of a prepper, and I still have a well-stocked pantry.

For me it's like the condom, having it and not needing it is better than the other way around. Preppers get a bad name because of the absurd reality shows (of course they'll pick the most absurd people for those shows).

I know we're all mustachians so no one wants to waste money, but much prepping (like wheat berry storage) needn't be very expensive.

I actually eat from my food stores by making sourdough bread. And we also have a big store of rotating canned food that we eat on a LIFO schedule.

Another good reason to store food is for extended periods of unemployment. Total Mad Max scenarios are unlikely, but how about another great depression?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 02:05:29 PM by thesvenster »

trashmanz

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2017, 02:47:39 PM »
Get yourself a good flour grinder. I recommend a country living model. It has to be a high end one though because the bad ones won't make flour, they will just crack the wheat berries.

That's the expensive part.

Now, go to your local big organic food place or even Walmart in some areas and find hard red winter wheat berry. Do the math on how many pounds of wheat berry you need for your family. Buy, and it can be had very cheaply. (also the Mormons sell vast quantities of this stuff, even to "gentiles")

Get yourself a dutch oven, and learn how to make sourdough bread and biscuits.

If the idea of buying a mill is too much, you can always soak wheat berry over night to heat into a type of oatmeal stuff. Not super tasty but will do in a pinch.

Great, now you have your staple take care of for any emergency. Now start supplementing with canned food, especially stuff with a little bit of grease, vitamins and sugar.

Avoid large quanitities of MREs  and Moutain house. Too expensive.

I assume you mean solar oven, not a dutch oven? I've never been much of a baker, more of a rice and pasta person, but is the advantage of baking that you can go with a solar oven without boiling water, or is there a nutritional advantage over rice?   

Hard Red Wheat like this?  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Emergency-Food-Hard-Red-Wheat-26-lb/22985145

That is the hard red wheat i am speaking of. Often WalMart has buckets of rice and oatmeal as well.

I'm not sure about solar ovens, but yes, wheat offers a lot of nutritional advantages over rice. Also, properly stored wheat berry has an infinite shelf life, where rice can go bad after a decade or so.

 Dutch oven is my suggestion only because you can use one to bake bread using just a few coals.

There's a formula for it, number of coals per weight of the oven. You'll want an oven with the rim on the lid and the little legs. I have have a big cast iron dutch with legs but it still fits on the gas burner.

Maybe just marketing, but the augason farms white rice is supposed to be good for 30 years: https://www.amazon.com/Augason-Farms-Grain-Emergency-Storage/dp/B00LBGNHE8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495485990&sr=8-1&keywords=augason+farms+rice

Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2017, 03:30:02 PM »
Get yourself a good flour grinder. I recommend a country living model. It has to be a high end one though because the bad ones won't make flour, they will just crack the wheat berries.

That's the expensive part.

Now, go to your local big organic food place or even Walmart in some areas and find hard red winter wheat berry. Do the math on how many pounds of wheat berry you need for your family. Buy, and it can be had very cheaply. (also the Mormons sell vast quantities of this stuff, even to "gentiles")

Get yourself a dutch oven, and learn how to make sourdough bread and biscuits.

If the idea of buying a mill is too much, you can always soak wheat berry over night to heat into a type of oatmeal stuff. Not super tasty but will do in a pinch.

Great, now you have your staple take care of for any emergency. Now start supplementing with canned food, especially stuff with a little bit of grease, vitamins and sugar.

Avoid large quanitities of MREs  and Moutain house. Too expensive.

I assume you mean solar oven, not a dutch oven? I've never been much of a baker, more of a rice and pasta person, but is the advantage of baking that you can go with a solar oven without boiling water, or is there a nutritional advantage over rice?   

Hard Red Wheat like this?  https://www.walmart.com/ip/Augason-Farms-Emergency-Food-Hard-Red-Wheat-26-lb/22985145

That is the hard red wheat i am speaking of. Often WalMart has buckets of rice and oatmeal as well.

I'm not sure about solar ovens, but yes, wheat offers a lot of nutritional advantages over rice. Also, properly stored wheat berry has an infinite shelf life, where rice can go bad after a decade or so.

 Dutch oven is my suggestion only because you can use one to bake bread using just a few coals.

There's a formula for it, number of coals per weight of the oven. You'll want an oven with the rim on the lid and the little legs. I have have a big cast iron dutch with legs but it still fits on the gas burner.

Maybe just marketing, but the augason farms white rice is supposed to be good for 30 years: https://www.amazon.com/Augason-Farms-Grain-Emergency-Storage/dp/B00LBGNHE8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495485990&sr=8-1&keywords=augason+farms+rice

By all means store some rice. Rice+beans makes a complete protein.

White rice lasts longer than brown rice, I do know that.

Beans don't go bad but they basically turn to rocks after 7 years.

Syonyk

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2017, 03:46:57 PM »
This forum is dedicated to living frugally, or else I wouldn't argue with you. 2 weeks worth of beans and rice is probably plenty. It is hard to imagine a disaster scenario where you would go without access to reasonable groceries and utilities for longer than that. A Really big earthquake, storm, or whatever might put the roads or power out of commission for a week or two - like Katrina or Sandy, if you were in the wrong spot: and you'll have whatever you have in the fridge in addition to whatever you have stored. If you're talking about the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupting or getting nuked or the brown shirts staging a government coup, you are talking about either dying or fleeing. In that case, you're better off always keeping gas in the car, a full gas can in the garage, med supplies to fight radiation poisoning, and a wad of maybe $500.00 cash in an easy to reach place along with your current passport. Keeping some batteries in a radio isn't a bad idea either. Stashing a year of food is a waste of money. There is practically 0 use case for it, and it's costly to acquire and maintain. At that point, you're not being prudent, you're paying real money to indulge in Hollywood apocalyptic fantasies. You have to draw the line between prudent disaster preparedness and engaging in wasteful silliness.

And you'll note that I'm talking about rotating food through your pantry.  This can actually work out cheaper if you have the capabilities to buy in bulk and store things - I can buy 50lb of flour cheaper than 10x 5lb bags.

I live in a rural area.  A good disaster hits, I'm probably on my own for at least month, more or less.  We were depressingly close to that this winter, simply because we had abnormally heavy snow for the area and the only reason we could get out of our driveway was borrowing my pastor's tractor from up the hill (my tractor decided that it was done starting during a heavy snowfall until I was able to bash my way out to get new spark plugs for it - I'm working on the maintenance on that thing this summer...).  It wasn't a big deal in that we had a good bit of food and as long as we had power, we still had water.  I didn't like not having a 240V backup generator, but I could have hiked to go grab one from a neighbor's place with a sled.

Beyond the initial purchase costs, I don't see how having a year's buffer of food is more expensive than buying stuff regularly.  If you wait for sales, you should be able to do it even cheaper than buying weekly.

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2017, 04:01:48 PM »
Add me to the list of people questioning the need to store a years' worth of food if you live in an even slightly urbanized area in a developed nation. At any given time I probably have a couple months' worth of food in my basement because I often shop at Costco so we often have a relatively large quantity of non-perishables waiting to be eaten. Partial 50-pound bags of rice, flour, and sugar, plus various canned beans and tomato sauce and pasta and other stuff could probably keep us alive for some time if it came down to it.

But beyond that? If local services degraded to the point where grocery stores were out of commission for more than a few days, we'd see looting on the streets and the food in my basement would be only as good as the munitions and fortifications I had available to repel the starving hordes. And when it comes to that...well I think there's a lot to be said for the idea that having a gun in the house is more likely to get my son killed than to save his life, so I've made my peace with the idea that holing up in my basement will probably not lead me safely through the end of the world as we know it. And furthermore I'm not sure a world where such measures were required to survive is a world in which I really want to survive, to be perfectly honest.

Reynolds531

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #38 on: May 22, 2017, 04:13:19 PM »
There was a previous prepping thread that gave what I thought was excellent survival advice.

"I have the recipe for mustard gas and the location of the vent holes for your stocked underground bunker."

Daisy

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #39 on: May 22, 2017, 04:27:32 PM »
Add me to the list of people questioning the need to store a years' worth of food if you live in an even slightly urbanized area in a developed nation. At any given time I probably have a couple months' worth of food in my basement because I often shop at Costco so we often have a relatively large quantity of non-perishables waiting to be eaten. Partial 50-pound bags of rice, flour, and sugar, plus various canned beans and tomato sauce and pasta and other stuff could probably keep us alive for some time if it came down to it.

But beyond that? If local services degraded to the point where grocery stores were out of commission for more than a few days, we'd see looting on the streets and the food in my basement would be only as good as the munitions and fortifications I had available to repel the starving hordes. And when it comes to that...well I think there's a lot to be said for the idea that having a gun in the house is more likely to get my son killed than to save his life, so I've made my peace with the idea that holing up in my basement will probably not lead me safely through the end of the world as we know it. And furthermore I'm not sure a world where such measures were required to survive is a world in which I really want to survive, to be perfectly honest.

+1

I do have some food stores as I live in burricane country. But it's really more having stores because I am lazy and frugal and buy non perishables in larger quantities. I think it's best to rotate those out as others have said.

I still don't get the need to buy something now that will last 30 years. Just always have a rotating store of these items.

What if you buy it now, and 30 years later the nuclear holocaust occurs and you open these containers to find it is spoiled or disgusting tasting. Seems pretty risky.

Oh well I won't derail your thread any further. Good luck in your plans and I wish you well.

Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2017, 05:04:53 PM »
There was a previous prepping thread that gave what I thought was excellent survival advice.

"I have the recipe for mustard gas and the location of the vent holes for your stocked underground bunker."

Instead of productive discussion about the various types of inexpensive food storage, some folks would rather roll out cliched snark and rationalize why they don't need to do anything.

Come to think of it, your attitude isn't so different from the people who live at and above their means, the people we are so fond of making fun of for their poor future orientation.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 05:09:15 PM by thesvenster »

maizeman

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Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #41 on: May 22, 2017, 06:08:48 PM »
There are plenty of events where having a few months of food is helpful - not always so much for actually eating independently for a year, but to have the surplus to help out other people in your neighborhood/area.

Is this really true?  I mean, have there been recent events where, in cities / suburbs in developed countries people have benefited from having a few months supply of food?  I understand that there are hypothetical events where it might be useful, but I'm wondering about the historical precedent.  Of course, if you don't live in a city / suburb in a developed country, that's a different story.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm legitimately curious.  I used to be a bit of a prepper, and I still have a well-stocked pantry.

I guess it depends on the cut off of what counts as a developed country and how far back you go for historical precedents before it starts feeling not applicable to the present. If we go back 75 years or more there are lots of historical precedents (for example the siege of stalingrad) in developed countries where having a significant amount of food stored up would have been advantageous. In the pax americana era after world war 2, most of the precedents come from places where we can argue back and forth about what counts as developed like the argentine collapse about twenty years ago that left some formerly affluent people unable to afford food. Or look at what's happening right now in venezuala.*

I went to grad school with a woman who had lived through the siege of sarajevo as a kid when shelling made it dangerous to go outside the house for weeks or months at a time.  She always kept large bags of rice in her apartment. Note that I'm not trying to argue that anything like what happened in bosnia is likely to happen in the USA.

Anyway, long winded way of saying "it can be argued either way"

* http://www.businessinsider.com/venezuela-grocery-stores-food-crisis-photos-2016-7/

Another good reason to store food is for extended periods of unemployment. Total Mad Max scenarios are unlikely, but how about another great depression?

The problem with the logic here is that, assuming a fixed amount of disposable income, you can either spend that money on food, which you could then eat if you lost your job and couldn't afford to buy groceries, or you could save the money you would have spent on food, and then, if you lost your job, you could spend the money you saved before to buy food as you need it. You might actually be able to get more food for the same amount of money if you were buying food as you needed it.* You really need either hyperinflation or a shortage of food in absolute terms to make the logic of food storage pay off.

*If you're buying rice and beans the cost is going to be about the same buying for food storage or buying as groceries, but if you're buying MREs or fancy freeze dried meals you're paying a lot more than you'd need to pay to get equivalent quantity and quality food that only had to last a week rather than lasting years.

Re: Best Value Long Term Emergency Food
« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2017, 06:25:29 PM »


Another good reason to store food is for extended periods of unemployment. Total Mad Max scenarios are unlikely, but how about another great depression?

The problem with the logic here is that, assuming a fixed amount of disposable income, you can either spend that money on food, which you could then eat if you lost your job and couldn't afford to buy groceries, or you could save the money you would have spent on food, and then, if you lost your job, you could spend the money you saved before to buy food as you need it. You might actually be able to get more food for the same amount of money if you were buying food as you needed it.* You really need either hyperinflation or a shortage of food in absolute terms to make the logic of food storage pay off.

*If you're buying rice and beans the cost is going to be about the same buying for food storage or buying as groceries, but if you're buying MREs or fancy freeze dried meals you're paying a lot more than you'd need to pay to get equivalent quantity and quality food that only had to last a week rather than lasting years.
[/quote]

That's a fair point, but also why I don't recommend large quantities of MREs or freeze dried to anyone. They are very expensive.

As for the bulk dried and canned food I have around, it is insurance and a type of savings account at the same time. One of the concepts of long term food storage is to store what you eat.

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #43 on: May 22, 2017, 10:15:06 PM »
At any given time I probably have a couple months' worth of food in my basement because I often shop at Costco so we often have a relatively large quantity of non-perishables waiting to be eaten. Partial 50-pound bags of rice, flour, and sugar, plus various canned beans and tomato sauce and pasta and other stuff could probably keep us alive for some time if it came down to it.

Sure, but how much extra time/money would it take to actually plan it so you had enough to make what you like to eat instead of what you have laying around?  It's not much extra work.

Consider that a year's worth for a typical family is a month's worth for you and a few houses around you.  I don't think the expectation is that people will be eating that for a year, but having the excess allows you to be generous.

Quote
And furthermore I'm not sure a world where such measures were required to survive is a world in which I really want to survive, to be perfectly honest.

Cool.  Just, you know, actually go if it comes to it instead of suddenly deciding that you have an attachment to life and the government needs to come RIGHT VERY MUCH NOW to save your ass.

"I have the recipe for mustard gas and the location of the vent holes for your stocked underground bunker."

;)  No.  You have a recipe for something that you haven't tested to be mustard gas, and you think those are vent holes.

In the pax americana era after world war 2, most of the precedents come from places where we can argue back and forth about what counts as developed like the argentine collapse about twenty years ago that left some formerly affluent people unable to afford food. Or look at what's happening right now in venezuala.*

Right.  Plenty of examples of "developed nations" where having food on hand is useful, because money doesn't buy food efficiently.

Quote
The problem with the logic here is that, assuming a fixed amount of disposable income, you can either spend that money on food, which you could then eat if you lost your job and couldn't afford to buy groceries, or you could save the money you would have spent on food, and then, if you lost your job, you could spend the money you saved before to buy food as you need it. You might actually be able to get more food for the same amount of money if you were buying food as you needed it.* You really need either hyperinflation or a shortage of food in absolute terms to make the logic of food storage pay off.

Or a failure of a delivery system, which is entirely possible.  There are plenty of events in which money does not permit one to buy food for a period of time, and we see them throughout the world on a regular basis.

Your assertion that "you can save money and buy food with it" is tolerably frequently demonstrated to be quite wrong.

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #44 on: May 22, 2017, 10:36:27 PM »
Syonyk, I'm not clear what you're arguing with me about. In the exact comment I pointed out cases where having good on hand could have been helpful. You actually quoted me talking about some of those situations. What those situations have in common is that they're situations where money can't buy food (either because there isn't food to buy, or because the money has lost its value).

But then you're arguing with my quoting my response to thesvenster's comment about saving food as a way to prepare against prolonged job loss. Being unemployed isn't one of the situations where you wouldn't be able to buy food with money if you had money. In that case, the specific problem isn't that money cannot buy food, it's that, that you don't have any money to buy food.

What am I missing here?

seattlecyclone

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2017, 03:17:38 PM »
At any given time I probably have a couple months' worth of food in my basement because I often shop at Costco so we often have a relatively large quantity of non-perishables waiting to be eaten. Partial 50-pound bags of rice, flour, and sugar, plus various canned beans and tomato sauce and pasta and other stuff could probably keep us alive for some time if it came down to it.

Sure, but how much extra time/money would it take to actually plan it so you had enough to make what you like to eat instead of what you have laying around?  It's not much extra work.

Any extra work has to be balanced against the likelihood that the work will pay off. In the exceedingly unlikely scenario where grocery stores are offline for more than a week, rice and beans will taste perfectly fine to me. I'm not interested in increasing our food storage space just to make sure that we have two months' worth of everything we might like to eat, rather than just two months' worth of edible food.

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Re: Best Value Long Term (Shelf Life) Emergency Food
« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2017, 05:07:24 PM »
What am I missing here?

Me misreading things or misquoting things when posting before bed. :/  You're right on that front.