Tag Archives: longterm

Popcorn Kernels for Long Term Food Storage

When I used to think of popcorn kernels, I just thought of watching movies with freshly popped popcorn but now I also think of cornbread and uses of cornmeal. Did you know you could grind popcorn kernels into cornmeal in a quality grain mill? It makes the best cornbread that I have ever tried too.

I always grind popcorn kernels on the finest setting in my friends WonderMill grain mill, which I get one soon, for the best results. It grinds good in my Wonder Junior hand grain mill but it grinds supper fast in his electric grain mill, I am so glad I have both. Electric grain mills are much better for every day use and hand grain mills are great for power out emergencies.

Popcorn kernels are great for long term food storage because they keep for a very long time, plus they are cheap to buy. I bought a 50 pound bag of popcorn kernels from Kitchen Kneads in Ogden, Utah for about $40. Popcorn kernels and cornmeal have multiple uses and gives you more variety of things to eat long term. You can pop it for a snack or grind it into corn flour for cornbread or combine it with other flours to put in breads and other baked goods. I would suggest storing your popcorn kernels in a air tight can or bucket with oxygen absorbers if possible for longest storing freshness.

Here is a recipe that I found for a basic cornbread that tastes great and uses whole grain flour that you can make from stored grains of your choice. I use spelt flour made from spelt wheat but hard white wheat flour works great too. I have heard that amaranth flour works good too but i am not sure how long amaranth grains store for, I will have to look into that.

I hope you give freshly ground corn meal a try, you may never buy store bought corn meal again. Freshly ground corn meal also has all the nutrition that gets lost in corn meal processed commercially and while sitting on a store shelf. So get some popcorn kernels soon and give it a try.

Which Cooking Oil Lasts the Longest

When cooking I usually use vegetable oil or canola oil but as I have decided to put cooking oil in my food storage I wondered if buying bulk vegetable oil or canola oil would be wise. From what I have found on the internet these 2 cooking oils last up to a year if sealed, once opened they last less than 6 months. With this short of a shelf life they might not be the best for my long term food storage, though I will probably always keep an extra bottle on hand just because it is cheap.

I then moved on to Crisco shortening which I found out stores longer because it stores in a solid state instead of a liquid state like most cooking oils. According to Crisco.com, Crisco shortening in a can lasts 2 years when unopened and 1 year if opened. This is a little bit better for storing but not quite as long as I would like for my long term food storage.

Recently my friend introduced me to coconut oil, which also stores in a solid state. Coconut Oil has a melting point of 76 degrees, so as long as it is stored in a room that is cooler than that it will stay in a solid state. The labels on coconut oil says it will last 18 months plus but as I have searched the internet everyone says it is good for several years past the expiration date. Quality First International Inc says they have had coconut oil stored for 7 years and it is just now showing small signs of going rancid, now that is more like it. They also said that refined coconut oil goes rancid much faster so buy Cold Pressed Coconut Oil for the best unrefined coconut oil that will last the longest.

I have now started to use coconut oil in my everyday cooking to see if I like it. The results have been good. It actually ads a little more taste to the foods I use it in. The draw backs of using coconut oil are that it is hard to measure (you just can’t pour it into a measuring cup) and I it is not good for frying because it has a lower temperature burning point. For most uses coconut oil works great and I am going to start using it on a more regular basis.

Another benefit of coconut oil in your food storage is that its good for your body, sometimes called the “healthiest cooking oil”. If you ever end up having to use your long term food storage you may be using freeze dried foods and white rice that lack nutrition so it is nice to have ingredients that add healthy nutrients to your body. To read about the several health benefits of coconut oil see thenourishinggourmet.com for a descriptive list.

Coconut oil is a bit more expensive than other oils but its storage life is well worth the extra price when it comes to building up my long term food storage.

Why all the Wheat? and how do I use it?


Once you get past the short term food storage, long storage life becomes a big factor. There are very few food items that will last for 5 or more years. Wheat is probably the best storage food in history, and it still is. When properly stored, wheat can store indefinitely. Wheat was designed, by God of course, with an outer shell that protects the inner part of the grain and all of it’s nutrients.

Wheat is full of life sustaining nutrition that makes you fill full. Wheat is full of proteins, fiber, and other important nutrients. Wheat is an ancient staple and many in ancient history may not have survived without it.

There are so many ways to use wheat. Wheat can be as whole cooked kernels in many uses as cereal, in soups, in salads, as a side dish, mixed with rice, and much more. To be honest, I currently only use wheat to make flour for breads. Because flour does not store well, it is best to store grain and grind it into flour. I will address grinding flour in a future article but I use a Wonder Junior hand grain mill to do it. Wheat flour can also be used for deserts, soups, meat extender, thickener, and the list goes on and on.

My favorite way to get wheat is in pre-packaged 5 gallon buckets. It is best to find a bulk foods seller locally since it is expensive to ship 45 pounds of wheat. I have bought wheat from local places like: specialty kitchen stores, Bulk food stores, Costco, LDS cannery, and even Walmart.

I highly suggest that first item you buy for your long term food storage, after you have a short term food storage established, is hard red or hard white wheat. I also suggest that you begin experimenting to learn how to use it instead of waiting till you need it.

Anitra Kerr on the radio talking about Grains for food storage:

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No-Salt, No-Flavor. Got Salt Stored?

Bags of Salt

I was on a prepper forum the other day and saw some discussion on storing salt. Salt, in all its forms, will last indefinitely if kept dry in a sealed container. Over a long period of time, salt may turn a little yellow but it is still just as good. Another benefit of salt is that it is really cheap (see Shelf Reliance for #10 cans of salt). I just picked up 25 lbs of salt, which might be enough salt for our family for a year, at Costco for about $3.50. At this price I will probably pick up another 25 lbs bag and start rotating it in our everyday use (I actually have three 25 pound bags now).

Too much salt may be bad for you but no salt can be worse for your health. You will not need much salt in your storage so this will be an easy item to store, plan on storing 5+ pounds of salt per person for a year supply. Salt also has many other uses that you might want to store extra for, like these 46 Smart Uses for Salt.

I accidentally left out the salt in some bread I made a few months back and learned that 2 teaspoons of salt is a really important part of the recipe. I just threw the bread away because it didn’t taste any good at all. Also when cooking dry beans or making homemade soups, a little salt makes a huge difference in the taste. Many foods meant for long term food storage are commonly bland in taste and salt can help enhance their flavor.

You may not use salt much in your cooking but it is definitely an item you should store a little of for the long term food storage for that little bit here and there that you do need it. Besides that, it is a cheap item to buy.

Starting Your Long Term Food Storage

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.

Powdered Milk

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.