Category Archives: Survival Food

Proper Food Rotation & Storage Procedures

The following article is a guest post submission from Lee Flynn, a freelance writer and expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

Proper Food Rotation And Storage Procedures

Rotating food supplies is important. During emergency situations, families must have plenty of food and if the proper food storage and rotation procedures are used, everyone will have enough food for several days or weeks.

Why Food Must Be Rotated

When food is rotated, the food will better maintain its nutritional content. Food must also be rotated often so that it maintains its flavor. When homeowners rotate their food items, there is always a suitable store because the stored food is not expired.

Rotation also helps families because everyone gets to try dehydrated or freeze-dried foods if that is what is stored. Learning how to eat these long-term storage foods is important because it may be the only option in an emergency situation. Eating long-term food storage items also offers health benefits because the items have less fat and plenty of nutrients.

Using Food Storage Items Efficiently

Many families store their food items in basements and in food pantries. These locations are great because they are cool and dry; these conditions make food last longer. This poses one unique challenge however…because basements and pantries are out-of-the-way places, homeowners usually do not use their food on a regular basis after it is stored. There is a way to solve this problem though. Many preppers use solutions that were designed by food storage specialists like the Shelf Reliance Food Rotation System.

Kitchen Storage Procedures

Food items in the kitchen should be stored in small containers. These small containers can be used to remind others that there are more items in the basement. Because the containers are small, they will not take up a lot of space and will need to be replenished more often, resulting in stored food being rotated. Canned items should be stored on the kitchen shelves.

Designing A One-Week Menu

Many preppers test their food storage skills by making a menu. After they design a menu, they usually notice that certain items are not as efficient as others. A menu also helps preppers understand if they have enough food for certain meals, such as breakfast. In most cases,  an initial trial of the menu will demonstrate that you do not have enough items for certain meals; this is why a menu is important. An efficient menu also prepares families for disaster situations because they can test emergency meals and know what they need to have stored.

Advanced Storage Procedures

It is also an important practice to rotate your food storage items in to your current recipes. For example, many food storage professionals use cheese powder in macaroni and cheese. They also make pancakes using wheat. Beginning to incorporate food storage products such as these into your current recipes will allow you to become familiar with the qualities of the food products you store and how they can be included in recipes you are familiar with and know how to make.

How To Increase The Life Span Of Stored Emergency Food

Food usually lasts longer when it is stored in an area that is 40-60 degrees. Each food item should be rotated and dated properly. All new foods should be placed towards the back. Placing the food on the floor is not recommended because the air will cause problems. Instead, place all food on a shelf. Depending on the weather, the food could get very cold. However, the food should never be placed in an area that has a freezing temperature to best preserve it.

Date And Rotate

Individuals and families should practice their food rotation procedures. Rotation keeps food in great condition, as long as the food is also properly maintained. Most long-term items should be used regularly, such as bulk foods. This procedure is what best helps preppers rotate and replenish their inventory.

It is wise to remember that there are food items that do not last as long as others. For example, canned foods do not last as long as a bucket of grain. However, most items have a date that lets you know how long the food will last.

It is also helpful to remember to use organizing techniques when storing preparedness items. One way to organize food is to place the newest food to the left, leaving the older food on the right. Then as food is used, take food from the right because the items on the right are the oldest. The oldest food should be eaten first because fresh food is needed during emergencies situations and it will avoid losing valuable food resources to spoilage.

Photo Credit: Tim Patterson via photopin cc

Emergency Food Storage: 7 Tips for Getting Started

No matter where you live, there is potential for a disaster. If something were to happen, would you be prepared? Taking the time to store emergency food, water and first-aid supplies is essential in fully preparing your home or business for the unexpected. Starting with a basic food and water storage is a great way to make some headway. For this, you can start with a-la-carte food storage items and pick up more as you go, or purchase quick and easy kits for a solid base. Emergency kits are available in pails, backpacks and duffle bags, each designed for a specific use. These kits are great if you don’t have the time or desire to start building a food storage base on your own. They’re also inexpensive and designed to accommodate almost every emergency need.

Whether you choose to pick up food storage items as you go, or start with emergency food kits, it’s important that you store your items properly for optimal shelf-life and quality. To give you a better idea of how you can do this, we’ve provided the list of food storage tips below.

Food Guidelines for storing:

  • Keep food in a dry, unused area
  • Keep food enclosed at all times
  • Open food boxes or cans care-fully so that you can close them tightly
  • Wrap cookies and crackers in plastic bags and keep them in tight containers
  • Empty open packages and put into screw-top jars to protect them from pests
  • Inspect all food for signs of spoilage on a regular basis
  • Place new items in the back of the storage area and older ones in front

Starting a Storage

Now that you know where and how you should store your emergency food supply, it’s time to get started! Canned foods are the best choice as the food can be well-maintained for a very long period of time. Dried fruits, nuts, sugar, tea, and coffee can also be stored in sealed containers.  Review the tips below for a complete description of what you should start storing and when.

1)     Create Kits

First, make an emergency evacuation kit, also known as a 72-hour kit. Each member of the family should have their own emergency kit with an assortment of emergency supplies and food in a backpack or small bucket. Each kit should have enough supplies for three days. If danger strikes and you need to evacuate instantly, all you have to do is grab your backpack or bucket and escape. Don’t forget the following items: food, water, clothes, first-aid kit, hygiene needs, necessary medicines, important papers, and basic tools and utensils.

2)     Build Your Storage of Favorite Meals

Make a food storage plan based on your current diet. This would include a two or three month supply of the food your family eats regularly. In an emergency, you will want to have foods that you’re accustomed to eating as they will ease your transition into long term food storage items. Do not forget water.

3)     Stock PLENTY of Water

A top priority for getting started is an ample supply of clean water. The average person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day, and hot climates can double that amount. Water will also be needed for food preparation and hygiene. One gallon per person, per day is usually recommended. According to FEMA, you should have at least a two week supply of water per person in your family. Never ration water. You can always minimize the amount of water your body needs by reducing activity and staying cool.

4)     Stock up on Food Staples

You will want to start storing long term food items. These are simple foods that store for extended periods of time and provide sufficient nutrition. These include grains, legumes, and other staples that will allow you to provide for your family in a reasonable manner for an extended period of time. You will need to incorporate these into your diet so your body can become familiar with them.

5)     Plan for Fire Needs

You also want to consider fire. It is very important to have the ability to light a fire for cooking and warmth. A fire starter is a vital item because it could be tough to locate burnable material and even tougher to ignite it.

6)     Make Sure Storage is Easily Accessible

Location is important. When an emergency is happening, you need to be able to locate your emergency kit and fast.

7)     Plan for Every Emergency

Your home isn’t the only place you should have an emergency kit. You will want to consider placing one in your boat, cabin, vehicle, etc. You never know when disaster could strike.

These are great suggestions and are compliments of the folks at Augason Farms.

Huge Mountain House Food Storage Savings

Now is a great chance to stock up on Mountain House Food Storage at Ready Made Resources. There are many entrees, sides, proteins, fruits and vegetables to choose from. All at 25-42% OFF!!!

 

Mix & Match is Available! This offer is eligible for Free Shipping!

Act fast! This sale only runs through December 13, 2013. 

Emergency Food Fails Infographic

When it comes to prepping, there are a number of shortcomings and failures that one may be forced to deal with. It seems like the greatest failure comes from a lack of prepping, but there are prepping failures that are equal to inaction. Check out the infographic below of the Top 10 Most Common Emergency Food Fails, compliments of Food Insurance:

Top 10 Most Common Emergency Food Fails Infographic

Vertical Gardening For Survival

Did you know that you can grow pretty much any amount of fresh produce that you could possibly want regardless of the amount of space that you have available?  

The simple answer is to look up! Traditional gardening dictates that a garden must be grown on large expanses of flat land, however this is simply not the case, there is infinitely more space when you literally turn that notion on its head. 

Vertical gardening is the only logical step in this ever-expanding urban environment that we live in. While our forefathers and mothers were able to purchase houses and live off the land, this unfortunately does not hold true today. Even if you don’t live in an urban area, you may simply live in a place where the soil and weather simply do not allow for a traditional garden, or you may not have the time it takes to get your existing soil to become a suitable habitat for your plants. 

As our croplands shrink more and more, vertical gardening may well become the only choice for someone who wishes to flex their green thumb. Simply speaking, vertical gardening is making the most of your usable gardening space by utilizing climbing plants and vegetables, or by training non-climbing varieties to grow in small pockets of soil that are lifted away from the ground. This type of gardening has many advantages over traditional gardening, and once you discover how easy it is to move away from a traditional horizontally planted garden to a vertical one, you’ll be rewarded with a cornucopia of benefits. 

Your new vertical garden involves less work and places less strain on your mind as well as your back. Even avid gardeners with plenty of space for a traditional garden are slowly moving towards vertical gardening. 

A traditional garden can lead to tragically disappointing results, as the more growing space you have, the more likely you are to get discouraged by near constant weeding, pest infestations and diseases, not to mention that many find watering such a large area is a never-ending obligation. All of these combined create a daunting task for even the most expert gardener. With vertical gardening, you can GROW UP regardless of how much land you have to work with.

But the supermarket is just around the corner…right?

So why on earth would you want to go to the trouble of planting your own garden? Ask yourself: Why would you walk to the supermarket and pay for a bruised and chemical covered tomato, when you could simply pluck a ripe, delicious one from a vine directly outside your window? 

Most grocery stores pride themselves on having “only the freshest ingredients,” and while this is all fine and dandy in times of abundance, grocery stores only keep about two to three days’ worth of items on their shelves. 

During an emergency, when everyone is clamoring for the same items at the same time, there is a good chance that you won’t get what you need. 

The items that will sell out first are the ones that people know will help them get through a time of crisis. It is during these times when learning to grow your own produce can be a major boom in your survival and overall well-being. You will have enough fresh produce to sustain yourself and, if all goes well, enough to barter for other items or creature comforts (think toiletries, medical supplies, entertainment items, etc.)

Gardening your own fresh and self-sustainable produce should never be out of anyone’s reach… Make sure that it isn’t out of yours. 

Recommended Today!

Vertical Gardening- Feed a Family of 4 in Just 4 Feet of Space!

>>>Click Here For Discount Offer<<<

Free Download: Food Storage Buyer’s Guide

The folks over at Legacy Food Storage were kind enough to share their Food Storage Buyer’s Guide with us here at The Prepared Ninja. It is rich with information about the different types of food storage options and some of their pros and cons as well as addressing some of the other concerns about food storage. Download this great resource for free today!

[wpdm_file id=1]

Top 5 Summer Food Storage Tips – Guest Post

Top 5 Most Important Summer Food Storage Tips

By Lee Flynn

Whatever time of year it is, and whatever your situation in life, it is always important to keep a good supply of food for emergencies. What this entails, is creating a store of nonperishable food, enough for you and your family in case of any kind of emergency that might make you unable to leave your house or purchase food for whatever reason. Natural disasters are the most cited reason for needing food storage, but anything from a blackout to the loss of a job could make a person unable to buy food. And when it comes to the summer, there are certain factors that you should take into consideration. Here are five important food storage tips for the summer.

1. Store Food Properly

With the summer, there comes a swarm of unwanted visitors in the form of pests, insects, and rodents. Bacteria also grows faster when it is warmer. If you don’t store your food properly, you could quickly run into trouble with contaminated food and infestations of certain creatures. Make sure that your food is stored in tightly sealed containers. As it is the summer, it is also likely to be much warmer. This makes it equally important to choose a good location for you food storage somewhere that is cool and out of the sunlight, preferably insulated.

2. Check the Type of Food You Store

Sometimes the only space that you have is in a basement or attic, or somewhere else with little to no insulation. If this is the case, you will have to be incredibly careful with the type of food that you store. Don’t store anything that can easily melt or suffer other alteration because of extreme temperatures. In fact, even if you do have an insulated storage space, you will still need to only include non perishable items in your food storage, as they are the items that will last until you need them.

3. Store Other Necessities

In any emergency food supply, there needs to be a stock of other important items to prepare for any eventuality. Such items include a first aid kit, a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and medication. But in the summer, there are also other circumstances to take into consideration. Sunblock and insect repellant are both things for which you will be grateful, should you be forced to leave your house at a moment’s notice. Hay-fever medicine should also come in handy.

4. Plenty of Water

Any emergency that could occur would, more likely than not, affect the availability of good, clean water. For this reason, it is recommended that we store a gallon of water for each person who lives in the household. In the summer, you may need more; let’s not forget that we need water for washing, cleaning, and cooking as well as drinking.

5. Store Food that You Like!

You don’t know how long you may be stuck eating the food that you store, so it only makes sense to store food that you like and that is sure to be different in the summer from how it is in the winter. So if you are going to create food storage, why not make the most of it, and have some fun!

Lee Flynn is a freelance writer interested in helping others develop self reliance through food storage.

10 Essential Foods To Include In Your Food Storage – Guest Post

Hey, Preppers! It’s almost Summer. That means increased chances of heat waves, wildfires, monsoons and hurricanes. So, what have you done to prepare for such disasters? Well, we’re here to help you be prepared by starting your food storage.

When starting your food storage, experts suggest keeping things simple. That means beginning with your most immediate needs. We’ve put together a prepper’s list which contains items required to meet those needs. Feel free to print it out and take it with you when you go shopping. You can even print out copies to pass out to your loved ones for their food storage.

10 Food Storage Essentials

The list below contains 10 essential foods you should include in your food storage. Our calculations are based on the needs of one person, for six months. These products can be purchased at your local supermarket. All of them can have a very long shelf life, as long as they’re stored properly.

  1. Wheat or White Flour – 10 lbs – It would be best to store both for variety.
  2. Rice – 20 lbs – White rice has a longer shelf life than brown rice. But, both is best.
  3. Beans – 20 lbs – For larger quantities, pinto beans are recommended.
  4. Sugar – 5 lbs – Granulated sugar stores quite well if sealed tightly.
  5. Salt – 2 lbs – This is a multipurpose product for emergency preppers.
  6. Cooking Oil – 1 gallon
  7. Powdered Milk – 5 lbs
  8. Baking Soda – 1 lb
  9. Baking Powder – 1 lb
  10. Yeast – 5 lbs

Be Prepared for Emergencies with Food Storage

The shopping list above contains very basic foods to help you survive an emergency or disaster for six whole months. Be sure to add other products to meet your daily nutritional needs. Some of these include vitamins, health shakes and various healthy snacks.

One of the best ways to add some variety to the list above is to include canned foods and freeze dried foods in your emergency supply. Canned fruits, vegetables, beans and meats will help your family maintain a healthy diet during these times.

However, canned foods are very bulky and heavy to carry. So, if you ever need to evacuate, you’ll need foods that are easier to travel with on the road. Freeze dried foods come in many varieties, just like canned foods. Yet, freeze dried food weighs much less, making it best for evacuations.

Check the labels of the foods you purchase. You want to be sure that they contain loads of proteins and vitamins. Also, when buying products for your stockpile, make sure to purchase foods you and your family normally eat. For example, if you like to cook with canned tomatoes a lot, make sure your food storage also contains lots of canned and freeze dried tomatoes.

This article was written by Dirk Puckett of Daily Bread. They provide the essentials needed for your stockpile needs. Get prepared by starting your Daily Bread Food Storage today.

Best of The Prepared Ninja 2012

Looking back at 2012 makes me realize that it was quite a great year. While there are always some things that I wish I would have accomplished, I don’t have any complaints (in my personal life). For the country, not everything was a success…the elections I would not consider the highlight of the American dream last year. The United States Olympic team did a great job in London, even though they were forced to wear uniforms that were manufactured in China. I guess the point is that you can’t win at everything. With many thanks to all of the great readers out there, The Prepared Ninja enjoyed quite a successful year as well. Here is the top five posts that TPN had to offer in 2012:

1. 21 Things A Burglar Won’t Tell You - The economic and employment situation in America these days is, well…less than ideal. This is making life increasingly difficult for a growing number of individuals and families as the months tick by every year. To combat their money problems, many have taken the approach of doing whatever it takes from working odd jobs to going on government social programs and some have even gone as far as becoming criminals to make ends meet. This new breed of criminals is in addition to your other run of the mill burglars and crackheads that are out there breaking into houses. The following things you should know in order to protect your home but you won’t ever hear them from them from a burglar.

2. Do You Own Forever Foods? - I recently came across an interesting tidbit on the Mother Nature Network about forever foods which I found to be quite intriguing. The premise of forever foods is that certain foods as long as they are properly stored, can literally last for decades. Even after they have been opened! While they might not literally be foods that last forever, they are likely to last far longer than the average person would ever feel comfortable using them. Like all foods, normal storage practices such as placing items in a cool dark place and in air tight containers should be utilized.

3. “Roughing It”…Overcoming Toilet Paper Shortages - A lesser focused on area of preparing for the end of the world/the apocalypse/zombie invasion often involve things that we as Americans take for granted such as having toilet paper to clean up after…ourselves. There are essentially two options, stock up on so much toilet paper that you never run out or come up with the best possible substitutes. This post will serve to highlight some of the best possible substitutes for T.P. that I was able to identify.

4. 11 More Things A Burglar Will Never Tell You - I was so inspired by the post, 21 Things A Burglar Will Never Tell You, that I decided to come up with 11 more things that a burglar would not like for you to know. There is not a source for these ten items other than my mind and the recollection of certain items from previous training and lessons learned. Hopefully they will prove useful, thought-provoking, and perhaps even a little entertaining.

5. North America’s Top Ten Wild Edibles - Whether it all hits the fan some day or not, food is an everyday necessity. Ideally, as preppers, most of us will be adequately prepared if there is a tough time. Factually speaking though, even if you are prepared with a decent amount of food stores, wild edibles can stretch the amount of time that your stored food will last while also adding fresh vitamins/supplements to your meals. If for some reason you, your loved ones or friends are not prepared with appropriate stores of food, wild edibles may be a primary source of food for you during a food shortage. This makes finding, properly identifying, knowing which parts are edible, and how to prepare wild edible plants a must for anyone who plans on surviving in good times and bad.

Thank you all for taking the time to read the best of 2012 and making last year an outstanding one for The Prepared Ninja!

Make Your Own Survival Food!

Photo Credit: howstuffworks.com

There are many websites that are dedicated to dehydrated and backpacking style foods. The design of these foods is have food items that will last for long periods of time and most of the time be able to be stored without refrigeration. As a result of these features, backpacking foods also double as ideal survival foods. Many of the previously mentioned websites will provide expertise and recipes that will allow you to make your own survival foods. But wait, there is more! If you read this article right now, I will provide a few links to valuable resources that will allow you to create your own survival foods should you choose to. OK, so it is obvious that you will not be required to read everything now to take advantage of the links provided but it did add a little infomercial excitement!

One of the primary needs to complete many of these creations is a dehydrator or means of dehydration. This can be achieved through purchasing a dehydrator at one of your local big box stores, buying a higher end dehydrator, or even through solar dehydration. The local chain retailer will likely offer you an affordable dehydrator that will work fairly well and can be acquired for around $50 in most cases. There are also many high end dehydrators that are designed to withstand heavy use for longer periods of time. Which option is better for you is really what it comes down to.

Solar dehydrating is a popular choice as a method for food preservation in underprivileged countries and as a result of this fact, there are several well researched articles that come from humanitarian and charitable organizations around the world. Many of these article go into great detail on the specifics of how to properly dehydrate foods using the sun. For those that are interested in dehydrating foods but might be interested in building their own, plans can be found online for this route as well. The advantage of making your own dehydrator is that you are able to make it almost any size that you want. When I was a kid, my family used to dehydrate fruit by what seemed to be the wheelbarrow full in the dehydrator that my dad built.

If a dehydrator is not part of your present equipment inventory and will not be a part of your life in the near future, do not be discouraged! There are still plenty of survival foods that can be made without the ability to dehydrate. The following are some great resources that I have found for creating your own survival foods at a fraction of the retail cost:

Quiet Journey – A website dedicated to camping and paddlesports, there is also a large collection of recipes that would make ideal foods for survival as well as your outdoor adventures. Some of the more interesting recipes that I saw were big boy burritos, cinnamon buns, and best camp spaghetti.

Dehydrate 2 Store – This is a literal wealth of dehydrating knowledge. Not only does this site include many recipes that can be used to create your survival rations, there are also many tips to help you. Make sure you check out their videos! Some of the recipes that intrigued me included the baked potato, pork fried rice, and instant oatmeal packets.

Backpacking Chef – Some of you may remember an earlier post about the ‘Practically Free Survival Stove‘ which came from the BackpackingChef. Well not only is this a great resource on how to make a survival stove, but also an invaluable place to find information on dehydrated foods, how to make backpacking meals, food packaging, and even how to plan your meals for your time on the trail. Make sure to use Chef Glenn’s recipes to create your own survival foods. Don’t leave without checking out how to make “bark” which can be used for stand alone foods as well as for soup, stew, and sauce bases. There are definitely some foods here that could be used to create some gourmet inspired survival foods.

These are some of my favorite sites for information on making your own survival foods and dehydrated food in general. Do you know of any websites that should be added to this list? Please leave a comment and let me know what I missed.