Best Survival Foods To Stockpile With A Long Shelf Life

Best Survival Foods To Stockpile With A Long Shelf Life

Nothing in life is certain. As events such as earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, and terrorist attacks become more commonplace across the globe, many average people are preparing for a worst-case scenario by creating a food stockpile at home. In planning for events like these, storing survival foods that are nutrient rich, that have a long shelf life can ease some of the stress of day-to-day survival until a more permanent solution can be found.

We’re all limited by space and money so it’s important to choose the foods that give the most “nutritional bang for your buck”, are affordable and have a long shelf life. So in this article we’ll go over different survival foods with long shelf lives. We also organize each item of food into food types that are important staples that should be considered when creating a food stockpile. Additionally, we cover storage tips and possible uses for each item of food. While by no means exhaustive, this list will cover many critical aspects of preparing a food stockpile that has a long shelf life so you’re ready if a situation or crises comes up.

Proteins

Without protein, even if you consume multiple meals a day, your body will starve over time. In a survival situation, proteins will be more difficult to come by, so it is important to stock up now on sources that will last.

Beans

When paired with rice, beans can be used to fulfill just about every nutritional need your body has. Beans can be used to provide protein, and they can be stored dried or canned – though dried is recommended, as beans can last indefinitely in this form, whereas canned beans have a shelf life of one to two years.

Storage Tips – Longest lasting in an oxygen-free environment. When purchased, seal in air-tight containers before storing in a cool, dark place

Uses – Protein/food uses

Canned Meat

With a shelf life of up to five years, canned meats can be a source of stored protein. Anything from canned fish to Spam falls under this category. Remember to check your stock periodically and remove any cans that bulge, are dented, or are rusting.

Storage Tips – Store in original container in a cool, dark place

Uses – Protein/food uses

Dried Meat

Jerky or Pemmican can be used as a protein source, with the added benefits of being easy to travel with. Unopened, a supply of jerky can last up to two years.

Storage Tips – Store unopened in original container in a cool, dark place. Electricity permitting, can be frozen for longer storage

Uses – Protein/food uses

Cheese

Cheese provides both protein and calcium. Not often considered as a stockpile staple, cheese can last for years when properly treated. Also, when cheese begins to mold, the affected portion can simply be cut off and discarded, leaving the rest safe to eat.

Storage Tips – Store triple-dipped in wax (or purchased and stored within the wheel) in a cool, dark place

Uses – Food uses

Pasta and Grains

Useful in cooking and full of quick energy in the form of carbohydrates, these food staples can last for years.

Rice

When stored properly, rice can last over 25 years. Rice is incredibly nutritious, a staple in the diet of most of the world’s population. The longest lasting option is white rice, and the most nutrient-filled is brown rice. “Quick” rice (par-boiled or pre-cooked) should be avoided due to a limited shelf life. When ground, rice can also be used as a substitute for flour in baking. As it is incredibly easy to prepare, rice is an important addition to any long-term survival stockpile.

Storage Tips – Longest lasting in an oxygen-free environment. When purchased, seal in air-tight containers before storing in a cool, dark place

Uses – Easy carbohydrate-filled meals; replacement for wheat flour; food uses

Dried Pasta

Pasta has a great many uses in cooking, but perhaps is best known for providing fast, filling meals. With a shelf life of 1-2 years, uncooked, dry pasta is an item to add to your stockpile. Just be sure to keep a detailed list of your available items and the expiration dates of each. Check all stored items periodically and replace as needed.

Storage Tips – Can be stored in original, unopened package in a cool, dry place or frozen as long as electricity is available

Uses – Easy carbohydrate-filled meals; food uses

Hard Grains

These are grains that include millet, buckwheat, and whole wheat. While they cannot compete with rice when it comes to shelf life, they can (when stored properly) last up to ten years.

Storage Tips – Longest lasting in an oxygen-free environment. When purchased, seal in air-tight containers before storing in a cool, dark place

Uses – Food uses

Dried Corn

Corn, when dried, can be used as a substitute for fresh corn, or can be ground into corn meal and used in the place of flour. Stored properly, dried corn can last several years.

Storage Tips – Longest lasting in an oxygen-free environment. When purchased, seal in air-tight containers before storing in a cool, dark place

Uses – Food uses

Fruits and Vegetables

In some survival situations, risks that no longer commonly afflict people in first world countries – such as scurvy – will reappear. Nutrient deficiencies will cause many of these afflictions because sources of vitamin C, fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals will be harder to obtain during a food shortage. But these nutrients are not just critical to maintaining good health, many nutrients are essential to survival long-term. This is why nutrient rich foods are so important.

The protein and carbohydrate sources we already mentioned contain many essential vitamins and minerals; however, fruits and vegetables are some of the most nutrient dense foods you can stockpile. Each calorie from fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients and not just “empty calories” (like some calories in white bread are, for example) – which is why your doctor tells you to eat them! Fresh fruits and vegetables are optimal, but certain scenarios could prevent foraging for sources. Thus, it is best to include some fruit and vegetable resources within your stockpile.

Canned Fruits and Vegetables

With a shelf life of up to two years, canned fruits or vegetables can provide sources of vitamins until successful foraging can be established. Remember to check your stock periodically, however, and remove any cans that bulge, are dented, or are rusting.

Storage Tips – Store in original container in a cool, dark place

Uses – Food uses

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit can provide a quick energy-creating meal containing important nutrients. In a pantry, the shelf life is up to a year; frozen, dried fruit can last indefinitely.

Storage Tips – Best if frozen, but can be stored in a cool, dry place in original, unopened packaging

Uses – Food uses

Condiments, Spices, and Baking Ingredients

Most spices have a surprisingly long shelf life. More importantly for survival situations, most spices also have nutritional benefits and uses beyond simply cooking. Here are a few of the most important to include in your stockpile list.

Honey

Honey literally lasts forever; archaeologists have unearthed 3000-year-old honey that is still edible. Temperature fluctuations can cause it to crystallize, but this is easily fixed by slowly re-heating. Honey can be used as a natural sweetener in the place of sugar, but also has natural antibiotic properties, and raw honey is an amazing open wound treatment. If you don’t have a beehive nearby, purchasing raw honey can become pricey, but it’s quite possibly one of the most important things you can add to your stockpile.

Storage Tips – Keep in original packaging. It’s important to note that honey stored in a dark place will begin to look cloudy

Uses – Food uses; medicinal uses

Cornstarch

Cornstarch, as long as it remains dry, will last indefinitely. While it does have use in baking, it has even greater medicinal properties. Cornstarch can be used to help prevent blisters from ill-fitting shoes or made into a paste with water and used to treat insect bites, diaper rash, or sunburn.

Storage Tips – Store in a dry location in original packaging

Uses – Baking uses; medicinal uses

Salt

Salt is incredibly important. First and foremost, if salt is completely absent from the diet, it can be deadly. While this isn’t a fear currently, and while salt is a component of several of the items within this stockpile, in several survival scenarios the lack of salt can rapidly become a major issue. Beyond cooking, however, salt can be used as a preservative in meat curing. Medicinally salt can be used to help a sore throat by gargling, to treat sores with warm water, and to help congestion when steam is inhaled by boiling in water. Finally, especially in the case of economic collapse associated with most survival situation, salt can be used in trade for other needed items.

Storage Tips – Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place

Uses – Food preparation; preservation; medicinal uses; trade/barter

Other Items

Instant Coffee

While not required for life, coffee can be a morale booster, it can provide doses of caffeine to those unused to going without it, and – most importantly for this stockpile – it can be used in trade in the event of economic collapse. If unopened and dry, instant coffee can last many years.

Storage Tips – Store unopened in original packaging in a cool, dark place

Uses – Trade/barter; food uses

Hard Liquor

Including hard liquor – such as vodka, whiskey, or rum – may seem counter-intuitive in a survival stockpile, but it has two uses that cannot be ignored. First, in a survival situation where medical care is unavailable, hard liquor can be used both as a disinfectant and a temporary painkiller. Secondly, liquor can be used in trade in the case of economic collapse.

Storage Tips – Store unopened in original packaging in a cool, dark place

Uses – Trade/barter; medicinal disinfectant

Powdered Milk

Powdered milk can be used in baking, and provides a source of calcium, with the added benefit of lasting indefinitely in an airtight container.

Storage Tips – Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place

Uses – Food uses

 

What do you think?…

As always, determine your personal survival needs when preparing any stockpile, and good record-keeping is a must so you know what you have and when food items expire.

So what do you think? What is the best survival food with a long shelf life in your opinion? If you can think of something that you believe should have a spot on this list let us know in the comments below!

 

1 Comment

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    Reply Reply July 1, 2017

    Second Great Depression; either be prepared beforehand or be broke with nothing, begging for food in the aftermath. What to grab now before it’s gone and before chaos erupts — and while you still have access to money.

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