Once you have a good short term food storage started, it is time to start thinking about the long term food storage. I suggest you start with few good staple foods and branch out to other items when you have a good supply of the few items. There are some food items that store well for several years and provide the things your body needs to survive. We would like to introduce you to a few of those things in this post.
(We mention some of the shelf lives of these items which we found from several different sources on the internet, some people say the shelf life may be indefinably on most of these items which I could believe after reading this Shelf Life article.)
The one item your body will not last long without. There are several ways to store water, and we may cover that in another post, but find one that works for you and your available storage space. Storing water can be done with water jugs, 300 gallon water tanks, or everything in-between. You may also want to invest in a way to purify water for drinking, if money is an issue you can always boil water when the time comes to use it.
Water is important for many reasons. First, you need it to drink. Second, many foods (especially food storage foods) require water in the cooking or preparation process. Third, you will need water for cleaning purposes. There are more reasons to store water but these are the most essential reasons.
Hard red wheat can out last you if stored properly and it gives you many of the nutrients you need to sustain life. It is my opinion that wheat will give you the best bang for you buck when it comes to longterm food storage. The best way to buy wheat is in commercially packaged 5 gallon buckets (about 45 lbs. of wheat). Packaging your own wheat leaves room for error and doesn’t really save you any money. I buy my buckets of wheat from a local kitchen store or from Costco, there are some sources online to buy it also but the shipping may be high due to the weight.
Wheats can be prepared in many different ways. Some of these ways might include: soups, cereals, breads, and more. It’s not just for bread flour. If you plan on using it for bread, you will want to invest in a good grain mill at some point. Another item you may consider buying is a pressure cooker, we hope to post an article on pressure cooking grains in the future. If you just had wheat and water and a way to cook, you cold survive for a long time but probably not comfortably.
When packaged properly, most dry beans will stay good for 10 years to 30 years. Beans you buy from the grocery store, in the plastic bags, will have a shelf life of about a year or more. As with wheat, beans have a high protein content and are a good source of other important nutrients. Beans can be uses by themselves or as an ingredient to a meal, you can even make bean flour with a grain mill and use it to thicken soups. Most dry beans require you to soak them for 12 hours before cooking. If you have a pressure cooker you can cook beans in it after a 1 hour pre-soak, got to love a pressure cooker.
When packaged properly, dry white rice will stay good for 25 years or much longer. Brown rice, on the other hand, does not store well. You may get 1-2 years on well packaged brown rice (not a good long term storage item but not bad for short term storage). White rice does not have a lot of nutritional value but will give you a good item to mix up your meals. You may also add cracked wheat to your rice to give it more nutritional substance, that is assuming you have a hand grain mill to grind it to cracked wheat. A pressure cooker can also come in handy when making cooking rice, cooking time would be lowered to about 5 to 7 minutes. If you haven’t got the hint yet, a pressure cooker and a grain mill can be very great tools in your longterm food storage and I suggest you consider them both at some point of you prepping. I would suggest that you also buy you white rice food storage in commercially packaged 5 gallon buckets.
When packaged properly, it can last 20-30 years, or longer. I prefer to buy commercially packaged # 10 cans of pasta, the packages at the grocery store usually only last 2-3 years. Pasta comes in many different forms and, as rice does, add more variety to your meals. Pasta is also easy to prepare, which can be a plus in stressful times.
When packaged properly, powdered mill can last up-to 20 years or more. Again, I prefer to buy commercially packaged #10 cans of powdered milk, the boxed at the grocery store don’t last near as long. Many recipes call for milk and I for one don’t have a cow or plan on ever having one, unless it is butchered in my freezer. Powdered milk can also provide much needed nutrients at times of need.