Copyright ©2010 Noel Napolitan
Planning Your Long Term Food Storage Usage
When you are planning out your food storage there are several things you should consider. Are the foods you store delicious? Are they nutritious enough to supply your family with the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy? Can they be prepared easily during an emergency? In addition to these questions you should, once again, consider what your family eats on a regular basis and what they like (and this will be repeated again, be sure of it).
Are they Delicious? - Quite a few people are fairly picky about what they’ll eat or not eat, so when planning your food storage you should think of whether you will be able to make delicious meals that your family will like. The ability to make meals that are delicious in an emergency will help ease the stress and raise the moral in an emergency. Yet once again, the way for you to learn how to prepare those meals deliciously in an emergency is use your food storage type products in your every day menus.
Are they Nutritious? - When living off your long term storage, will it provide the necessary nutrition for your family? In order to maintain a balanced diet you need all kinds of food, not just wheat, beans and milk. Fruits, other vegetables and protein are very important for maintaining your energy and health. Energy and health will be much more important in an emergency than they are for you now. This is why you need to plan nutritional value into your food storage, selecting each item for its nutrition, in addition to how good it tastes. Your every day diet will end up being more nutritious because the first rule of food storage is rotate and use!
How Easy Are They? - Convenience and ease are nice to have in our lives. They help us get more done as make our lives go a little smoother. During emergencies, they are even more important. In times when everything else goes crazy around you, you will be grateful that you stored food that is convenient and easy to use. There are many ways for you to make food storage more convenient. First, something we’ve already talked about, use it on a regular basis, that way when the time comes to use it, you will be much more familiar with how to make things just right. Additionally, you can store foods that are even more convenient like just-add-water mixes, or ‘kits’ that require little preparation time. Mixes like these are available, but you must check how nutritious they are and store them in tightly sealed containers.
Store what you eat and eat what you store may seem like a simple concept, but when planning your food storage, it can sometimes be a hard thing to remember this and even more difficult to use on a daily basis.
It’s very important to store the foods your family regularly eats and the foods they like and enjoy. Maybe your family really enjoys Italian foods, in which case you’ll want to store a little extra tomato powder. If your family likes regularly like sweets, you will want to store ‘comfort foods’ like baking chocolate, pudding, cake or brownie mixes, jello, and dried fruit so their diet will be normal when you have to exclusively use your food storage. On the other hand, if there are things your family does not eat a lot of, you don’t have to worry about storing as much of those things.
Food storage technology has made incredible advances. You can now have scrambled eggs with bacon, that taste just like the real thing (because they actually are the real thing) and food storage has become enjoyable to eat and easy to make. Just remember that when store what you eat and eat what you store and your food storage will not only taste good in emergency situations, but everyday as well.
Make a list of the meals and comfort foods your family prefers and buy the freeze dried products that you use to make those things. In other words, if your family eats potatoes regularly then you may want to purchase several of the many ways potatoes come in the freeze dried world. Also, let’s say your family likes cheese and broccoli; try a few different recipes, like cheesy broccoli soup or a pasta, cheese and broccoli casserole using your food storage.
Storing food is one thing, but using it is a whole different animal. It’s easy to put food away, but, can you actually use it? Do you know how to grind wheat into flour or even have the necessary grinder for that matter? Do you know how to use TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) as a meat substitute? Do you know how to incorporate dehydrated vegetables into your favorite recipes? Do you know when to use egg mixes in your cooking? You need to learn the answers to these questions by researching, asking others who have more experience and by practicing, in addition to keeping this book handy. You don’t want to wait until an emergency comes knocking to find out that you don’t know how to use your food storage.
Rotation, using “Store What You Eat and Eat What You Store”, is the key to a quality food storage program. Here are a few reasons you need to rotate your food storage:
· To prevent spoilage.
· To keep the nutritional value and quality high.
· To not waste your money.
· To learn how to use your food storage in advance so that you don’t add to the stress of an emergency situation.
· To adapt yourself to your food storage.
Most people seem to think that their food storage will last forever. But, like any other food, it can and will lose its nutritional value over time. It is a waste of money and food buy it, put it away and never use it. When you use your food storage on a regular basis, it will become an easy habit to incorporate it into your regular meals and you will not end up wasting your food or money.
All food, including freeze dried and dehydrated food, will deteriorate as time goes by especially if they are stored in any area with a lot of heat. Chemical changes will occur and make foods change in texture, color and taste, as well as losing vitamins and minerals. This is the main reason why it is important to rotate regularly by using it in your every day routine. All foods are best used within five years, even if they say they can last up to thirty years. However, minerals and carbohydrates can last a very long time and still have value in any emergency. Therefore, never throw away old food storage unless you have more to replace it with.
Buying food storage and not intending to use it except during emergency situations, means that you are not using your money wisely. When you use your food storage it becomes an economical and practical way to grocery shop. Buying in bulk is less expensive than buying smaller quantities. For example, buying a 25 pound bag of sugar is usually cheaper per pound than buying a 5 pound bag. Another way food storage is more economical is by buying wheat and a wheat grinder. It will store much longer than flour and it is cheaper as well.
Using your food storage takes knowledge and practice. You need to learn which recipes work and which ones taste better and practice making them before an emergency occurs. Use your food storage at least weekly but preferably daily. The more you use it, the more skill you will wield in an emergency.
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