I talked about short/mid-term food storage in this blog post and now I want to talk about long term food storage.
A recap of the different layers of food storage:
Long term food storage is what most people typically think of when it comes to food storage. The foods you’re only going to eat when there’s nothing else.
Here’s the problem with long term food storage. Most people will buy long term food storage, for the just in case/worst case scenario situation and hope they never have to use it. They sit in buckets collecting dust waiting for the worst case scenario to happen. To make it worse most people don’t even know how to cook with or prepare long term food storage especially foods like dried beans, rice, and wheat berries.
Example Long Term Food Storage Scenario
Let’s look at a pretend scenario. In this scenario your community is reeling after a major earthquake. Grocery stores are empty and roads are impassable. Your family is hungry so you decide you’re going to crack open the wheat berries you were told you needed for situations like this that you have had stored in the back of your closet for at least 15 years.
- Situation 1: You open the bucket to find bugs in your wheat berries because they weren’t properly stored. Making them unusable.
- Situation 2: You open the bucket and find perfectly good wheat berries but quickly find out in order to actually use them you need a wheat grinder. Now, these wheat berries that have been taking up space in your house for over a decade has no use and your family is still hungry.
- Situation 3: Let’s say you actually thought of the wheat grinder, but didn’t think about that wheat grinder being electric and you have no power. Again, your wheat berries are useless.
- Situation 4: You actually thought to store a hand powered wheat grinder, but you don’t fully know how to use it. You finally figure it out well enough, but quickly realize that fresh ground wheat doesn’t act the same as store bought flour. Meaning you wasted a lot of time, energy, money, and your family is still hungry.
- Situation 5: You have a hand powered wheat grinder, you know how to use it, and you know how to prepare and cook with fresh ground flour. Now, do you have the means to actually bake/cook with that flour if you don’t have electricity or the gas lines working in your house?
This same scenario could happen with any kind of long term food items, especially the dry goods that most people aren’t used to cooking and preparing.
So, this brings me to one major point. If you are going to store long term food items like dried goods. Make sure you are storing them properly, and know how to use/cook with them. Just because they can sit in a properly stored in a bucket or mylar bag for 25+ years doesn’t mean that they should. If you are storing them, make sure that you are rotating and using them. Make sure you can use/cook with them without a power source. The one exception to this rule is freeze dried foods. Which I will talk about in this post here.