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Determining how long your pantry would last in an emergency.

April 16, 2019 3 min read

Have you ever walked through the grocery store rows looking at all of the food and thought about what might happen if those shelves were empty? For some people this is a reality. Before event’s such as Hurricane Sandy or Katrina, or even before blizzards, and after earthquakes or other widespread disasters, people rush to the store to purchase everything within arm’s reach. Cleaning the shelves of every last water bottle, pickle jar, and snack cake available. During these times the grocery store can be picked clean within a couple of hours, leaving those without food storage at home with nothing. It’s not only during natural disasters that these events take place.

During trucker strikes or economic collapse, the stores may be unable to restock as well. It could take weeks or even longer to fully restock their shelves to keep up with demand. Those that depend on daily grocery store runs may have nothing but that opened jar of leftover spaghetti sauce in the fridge. Having food storage is crucial to your family’s survival during any of these times.

Do you know how long your food will last during uncertain times? How long will you be able to feed your family if the grocery stores can’t keep food on their shelves? You could have buckets of beans, rice, and wheat, but how long will you be able to make it stretch? To figure out how much food you have, you’ll need to add up how many calories you have stored. Calories is what your body needs to burn for energy. Many people confuse this with servings. Your emergency food storage should be measured in calories as opposed to servings. Serving sizes are not created equal. You could eat one Whopper which has over 600 calories, or you could eat a bag of fruit snacks which have 89 calories. Each are a serving. To equally compare, you need to judge them by their calories. You would need to eat at least 7 packages of fruit snacks to equal a whopper. An average adult needs 2000 calories per day. Those that are active will need more. As we age, we tend to need less. Children generally need between 1000 and 1800 calories per day. Teenagers should be counted as adults. Figuring out how many calories your family needs is as simple as adding up the calories for each member.

Now figuring out how much is in your storage is a little more difficult. Let’s go over a small sampling. Many people store wheat, beans, and rice in their supplies. You may have canned peas, corn, and peaches as well. You may also have some grocery items in the cupboard.

    • 1 cup of wheat: 630 calories
    • 1 cup of rice: 200
    • 1 cup of pinto beans: 670
    • 1 cup of peas: 120
    • 1 cup of corn: 130
    • 1 cup of peaches: 60
    • 4 Oreo cookies: 180
  • You may look at these and think, well I’ll just eat the wheat and beans! But it is important to have a variety of food including fruits and vegetables to be healthy. If you ate each of these items every day, you would only have 1990 calories. That is just shy of your goal, but very close. It does, however, give you a good idea of how much you have in your food storage.As you discover the true amount of food storage you have, remember to count your food storage by calories. Each person will need a slightly different amount, but 2000 calories is a great goal. Fruits and vegetables have lower calorie counts, but provide the variety of vitamins and flavors that you need to create meals instead of survival foods. Everybody’s food storage will look different and that is okay! Some people have dietary restrictions and it is important to store food that you’ll be able to eat. There is no such thing as a perfect food storage. The important thing is to have the food that you need BEFORE the grocery store shelves run out.
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