Many people make common mistakes when storing food for emergency purposes. You can easily avoid these missteps and prepare a well-stocked, durable, and versatile pantry. This starts with an assessment of every family member’s food needs, including sensitivities, allergies, and any health issues that affect diet. Three key elements should be taken into consideration—variety, balance, and moderation. Don’t forget your pets—they are valued members of your family, too.
Handy Tips for Your Food Pantry
- They say variety is the spice of life, and a well-stocked food pantry is no exception. However, many people make the mistake of storing too much of just a few foods. Depending on the dietary needs, personal tastes, and size of your family, the selection of food will differ, but there should always be some variety. Include comfort foods like powdered gelatin and pudding mixes, candy, granola bars, and peanut butter,
- Staples are essential, but they need to have a reasonably long shelf life. Stocking baking powder, yeast, soda, cooking oil, and powdered eggs will enable you to bake later. Your pantry should also include dehydrated, and freeze dried foods. When correctly packaged, these can be stored for as long as 25 years, while retaining taste and nutrition.
- Don’t forget vitamins, but keep in mind that many vitamins do not have a long shelf life. Think about storing foods that contain vitamins naturally, e.g., goji berries are an excellent source of vitamin C.
- Your food pantry should be set up in a cool, dark location, because the foods will retain nutrients and last longer in this environment. The temperature of the storage area should be kept above 32 degrees and below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Make certain the area is dry and adequately ventilated to prevent moisture condensation from ruining the packaging. Do not store food on the floor.
Storing food for survival situations may seem a little daunting, but breaking the process down into simple steps is a surefire recipe for success.