One of the most used phrases for food storage is eat what you store and store what you eat. Although that is a great guide, there’s a little bit more to it than that. You can’t just have a pantry full of Cheerios for your children.
Calories – If there were to be a wide spread disaster, you can guarantee there will be a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done. As you work hard to clean up the debris, rebuild, and recover, you will be burning a lot of calories. As you work on your food storage, it’s important to not just have three meals a day, but instead have the calories that you need to keep going. Look for foods that will give you the calories needed to recover from a disaster.
Nutrition – Not all calories are created equal. You can eat a candy bar which has roughly 150 calories or you can eat a banana. For around the same calories, you can choose something that is healthy and nutritious. Why is nutrition so important in an emergency? In stressful situations your body is in need of extra vitamins to stay healthy. The last thing you want during a disaster is to end up sick. Store healthy and nutritious calories to help keep you going.
Taste – Choose foods that you and your family will eat. How awful would it be to store dozens of cans of green beans, only to find out during an emergency that you despise them? Now you are faced with eating them every single day. Make sure to store items that taste good. Whether they are pre-made meals or individual ingredients, test them with your family to make sure it is something they will eat and like.
Variety – Make sure to store a variety of foods. Not only do different foods contain different amounts and types of vitamins and minerals, but by only store a couple different kinds you severely limit what you can make with them. Take for instance what most people consider the basic items for storage; wheat, milk, honey, beans, and rice. Individually these are all great items! And together you can make a dozen or so different things, so if you are able to make 12 different meals, that means every 4 days, you are repeating the menu. This will get tiring very quickly. You will get sick of it and not look forward to eating at meal time. Some people, especially the very young and the older generations may choose to not eat at all and may even starve themselves. This is called food fatigue. Luckily, with a little bit of forethought, you can prevent this by storing a wider variety of foods.
Rotate – By using and rotating your long term food storage, you not only ensure that your supply stays fresh, but also helps you to eat what you store, and store what you eat. You will be able to learn how to cook your dried foods, make sure your family likes it, and get your body used to this style of eating. If you switch to a diet high in fiber during a disaster, you will have digestive problems that are less than ideal during an already tough time. Rotate to avoid several different problems.
Use these guidelines to help you decide which items will be the best for your family to store. Ask questions and try different foods to guarantee your family will love what you’ve stocked up on.