Sunday, September 5, 2010

What is the best way to store food?

I know you all think I dropped off the face of the earth. SORRY!! School started, plus soccer practice for 3 kids, plus my husband had surgery, and on and on. I haven't even had time to blog.

Well hubby goes back to work tomorrow and we survived the first couple of weeks of school so I'm hoping things will get back to normal ~ at least my crazy version of normal :)

Two weeks ago I taught my first class on Living off Food Storage. I thought it went pretty well and hopefully I left the impression of being a relatively sane person despite some of the crazy things I do. Some of my blog followers were there which actually made the whole thing SO much more fun! I have 2 more classes scheduled so far so hopefully there will be a lot of people inspired to do something with their food storage. :)

I had a couple of things I could blog about but I felt like I should talk about this one first. There are, in the world, basically 2 ideas about storing food for a year. One, the "old fashioned" way with #10 cans of whole foods like wheat, beans, rice, etc. The other is commonly called "storing what you eat" meaning storing regular grocery foods that you use everyday.

Both methods have their pros and cons and I don't think we can say either one is the "right" way because any way you store up food is going to bless your family, but I think we should consider carefully before we choose what is right for our own families. I am no expert but I have, obviously, chosen to store whole foods and I will tell you why.

1. If you ever had to actually live off your food storage alone, have you thought of what it would do to your health to eat only store bought food out of a can for an entire year? Of course with all those preservatives, you might live longer ;)

2. If you had to leave your home with your food storage, it would be much harder to move thousands of little cans, than fewer larger ones.

3. Store bought cans and foods have a much shorter shelf life and must be vigorously rotated.

4. If you are truly living off food storage alone, remember that you can not supplement canned goods with fresh produce, or cheese, or dairy. Everything you make has to come from a can. Most people going with the "store what you eat" method forget about that.

4. And finally, have you ever thought about why we might all have to live off our food storage in mass? I can think of a lot of scenarios (plague, famine, widespread destructions, total economic collapse, etc) and none of them make me think that on day 366 we will get to go back to the grocery store. It seems much more likely we will be growing our own food like wheat, beans, rice, etc. I would just rather already know how to use these foods because I had stored them, and my body is used to eating them.

That being said, there is one caveat. If you are going to store whole foods in bulk then please, please, please, learn how to use it. If you aren't going to learn how to cook with it, then it is better to store the store bought cans. They will at least preserve our family's lives for a year. After that, come over and I will teach you how to use the other foods :)

Now in fairness, I do actually use somewhat of a hybrid method of storage. I have a 3 month supply that is separate from my year supply. MOST of my 3 month supply is store bought canned items that I eat regularly with just a few bulk items mixed in. It is easier to rotate these cans when there is only 3 months worth, and in an emergency scenario, they provide quick meals and comfort foods. When we set out to live off food storage, my 3 month supply was the first to get used up because it was food I was familiar with and it was convenient. However, I couldn't imagine living off it for a year.

I have a list of books that I love that help with using your food storage. Some I have shared before but I will list them all here anyway:

For cooking whole foods from scratch:
1. "A Bite of Independence Through Self Sufficiency" by Marlynn Phipps, Jan Woolley, and Venecia & Jenny Phipps - Used copies only or purchase e-book
2. "Dinner is in the Jar" by Kathy Clark
3. "Country Beans" by Rita Bingham
4. "The Essential food Storage Cookbook" by Tami Girsberger and Carol Peterson
5. "Mix a Meal Cookbook" by Deanna Bean & Lorna Shute

For cooking with pantry items only:

1. 100-day Pantry: 100 Quick and Easy Gourmet Meals Jan Jackson
2. It's in the Bag a New Approach to Food Storage Michelle and Trent Snow

Anyway, that is my 2 cents, although it might not be worth even that much! LOL However you decide to store food, it will bless your life to have it. When people feel safe and secure they are better able to function in their everyday lives and they are happier.

Next week I am going to blog about easy ways you can begin using your food storage now and teaching yourself, and your family, how to use what you have stored.


  1. Good post and I agree with everything ! A couple of years ago, I saw a lot of food storage go to waste when one of my friends moved. She had not taken the time to learn how to use what she stored and a lot of it had to be thrown out since it was very old, expired or opened and never used again !

  2. Since finding this blog I picked up Dinner is in the Jar and Country Beans, both are great!. I'm also having good luck with Natural Meals in Minutes, Cookin' with Home Storage, and the Dehydrator Bible.

  3. Wonderful! Two others you will really enjoy are: 100-day Pantry: 100 Quick and Easy Gourmet Meals, and: It's in the Bag a New Approach to Food Storage.

    I just checked out your blog and I love it :) Keep up the great work ~ I will be trying out some of your recipes :)

  4. I just finished reading your whole blog from start to finish. You are inspiring!! I love it all and can't wait to share it with my Relief Society president. Surly we can incorporate some of your hard work into our yearly "get on the band wagon food storage". hehe.. Love it just love this blog!! Off to ck your recipes!!!

  5. Thanks! I just uploaded some new ones and I'm in the process of figuring out a better way to post those. Blogs are so limited. I wish I had a website :)

  6. Can you tell me where to find the Bite of Independence book as an ebook? thanks

  7. Great blog. I believe in store what you eat. Even when I do the beans and wheat whole foods thing, I store what I eat. I will do rice, beans and even some corn. You will however never get me to eat samp(South African product)or grain. I won't even if I am starving.

    Thank you for all of the good advice

  8. I have 2 more classes scheduled so far so survival warehouse products hopefully there will be a lot of people inspired to do something with their food storage. :)