Food Storage Mistakes Most Preppers Make
When it comes to listing the basics of survival, food rises to the top. It’s almost become cliché but as the saying goes, “You can live 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water and 30 days without food.”
But do you really want to live 30 days without a meal?
Of course not!
That’s why food storage is a real priority even for prepping newbies…and that’s also why I want to show you the top 7 food storage mistakes you MUST avoid if you’re going to “make it”.
See, throughout my lifetime of experience in emergency readiness, survival, and prepping – at one point many years ago, I decided to take notes as I went along…to document my successful strategies and even my mistakes – so I knew what to repeat and what not to.
From a small part of that documentation came this list of food storage mistakes that you need to identify so you can keep yourself and your family healthy and safe from food-born illness…in order to endure the toughest of disasters of any length.
You’re going to find this extremely helpful – if not lifesaving – as you embark upon your journey to ultimate peace of mind in any crisis.
For even more great tips on food storage and more make sure to check out the Expert Prepper’s Ultimate Survival Library.
The 7 Food Storage Mistakes
Mistake #1 – Forgetting Vitamins
Vitamins are crucial. Especially if you’re protecting little ones. You see, kids aren’t able to internally store great reserves of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients like most mature adults. A high quality multi-vitamin as well as vitamin C and Omega-3 (Fish Oils) are the most vital. Research other supplements to add once you have these basics covered. For example vitamin D and 5-HTP may keep a frown upside down during times of fatigue and situational depression.
Mistake #2 – No Balanced Meals
Too often I see newbie preppers rush out and buy a pallet of rice from their local Food Warehouse thinking they’re making a wise choice. Problem is – they’re not. It’s extremely important to diversify as you build your food storage cache.
Buy a variety of storable food items, instead of hoarding a large quantity of one or 2 things. When the inevitable comes and you’re forced to live on your present food supply, you’ll fare much better by stocking a variety of items. You’d be surprised how quickly you’ll get sick of beans and rice.
More on variety in just a moment…
Mistake #3 – Blowing Off the Importance of Quick and Easy Comfort Foods
Quick and easy foods help you through times when you’re psychologically or physically unable to prepare your basic storage items. Foods such as freeze-dried snacks that require no cooking are perfect for your cache because they require so little preparation.
MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat), like canned goods, dehydrated meats, fruits, and vegetables are also excellent to have as part of your food storage plan. “Comfort Foods” include goodies and treats – Fruit Roll-ups, pudding snack-packs, chocolate bars, hard candies, etc.
That might sound frivolous, but through the years I’ve spoken with numerous preppers and survivalists who have lived solely on these foods for extended periods of time. Almost every one of them said these were the most helpful items in their storage cache.
They bring a little familiarity in times of emergency. And can even lower stress when the going gets tough. If you have kids, those fruit snacks and lollypops may be the thing that helps keep the peace when your kids are rattled by chaos.
Mistake #4 – Ignoring Variety
I’d say this is the item most people are guilty of overlooking beyond all the others. In my years of prepping, I’m guessing over 90% of the people I’ve worked with only stored the most basic items. (Rice, beans, wheat, sugar, etc.) Variety is an important part of prepping yet HUGELY lacking in most food storage systems. This may seem pompous at first blush, but it’s actually a real cause for alarm because studies have show – most of us can’t survive on such a limited diet.
For starters, a large portion of people are allergic to wheat, rice and gluten and may not even be aware of this allergy until they’re eating larger portions on a regular basis.
Second, heavy beans and unprocessed wheat can be too harsh for young children. These little ones can tolerate those items in small amounts but not as their main food staple.
And let’s face it – we hate monotony. We easily tire from eating the same foods over and again. Some even foolishly choose not to eat rather than partake in a monotonous meal selection. Experts in the field have named this phenomenon “appetite fatigue” (kids and seniors are particularly susceptible).
My suggestion – put away 40% less wheat than you think you should and put the difference into a variety of other grains. Also be sure to store different types of beans. This will add a more interesting assortment to your diet without completely giving up this cheap source of valuable protein.
Variety is truly the key to a successful food storage program.
It’s the spice of life…
Speaking of which, spices are the fast track to what I like to call False Variety. It doesn’t change the foods – just the flavor. Consider storing spices, herbs and flavorings such as tomato, chicken and beef bouillon, garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder and cheese.
These flavorings and spices allow you to do many creative things with your rice, grains and beans. Without them, you are severely limited to a truly bland and lifeless meal.
Practice cooking with your stored food items – before disaster strikes and get to know the flavors you create so you can share them confidently with your family.
Mistake #5 – Forgetting “The Basics”
As we discussed earlier, very few people get beyond storing the most basic items. Instead, store dehydrated and/or freeze-dried foods as well as store bought canned goods and even home canned goods left over from your garden. Make sure to keep items like cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, powdered eggs and canned or powdered milk as well as yeast.
You’ll be extremely limited in producing even the most basic of recipes without foods like these. I don’t have the space to list every item you should include, but there are tons of books and resources online that can help you create your storage list. Make sure to check out the Expert Prepper’s Ultimate Survival Library for more great information.
Mistake #6 – Improper Containers
Always – and I mean ALWAYS store your bulk foods in food grade storage containers. I have literally seen hundreds of pounds of previously good food rotted and thrown away because it was left in sacks. Sacks do nothing to protect your food from moisture, insects, and rodents.
If you’re using the classic 5 gallon plastic buckets method, make sure they are lined with a food grade plastic liner available online or from your local packaging supply company. NEVER use trashcan liners since most of these are treated with pesticides. Deterring insects from attacking garbage.
Also, don’t stack them too high. In an explosion, earthquake, or high winds these stacks may come crashing down causing the lids to pop open, the bags to rip or explode, or possibly causing the containers themselves to crack and compromise the integrity of your foods.
If your finances allow, the #10 tin can which most preparedness companies use when they package their foods is a much safer, durable choice.
Mistake # 7 – Not Learning How to Use Your Food Cache
I’ve been seriously prepping for over a decade now and one of the biggest problems I’ve seen is people storing food…and having NO idea what they have and what they can do with it. You and your family need to become familiar with the items you store. Starting today, learn how to prepare these foods.
This is not something you want to try to figure out in the middle of a disaster on the fly. Plus, your family needs to get used to eating these foods. A period of fear, worry and stress is not a good time for such a drastic change to your diet. So learn to use these foods appropriately before you need to!
Arming yourself with the above food cache details is the first and most important step toward being able to keep your sanity during a crisis situation.
Once you identify these techniques and begin to put them to practice, it becomes so easy to develop the confidence you’ll need to get through the unthinkable.
And trust me if you’re going to make mistakes in storing and preparing these foods (and you will), it’s FAR better to make them beforehand and learn so you don’t repeat them when you can’t afford to drop the ball.
Check out the Expert Prepper’s Ultimate Survival Library today to learn more about how to avoid the 7 Food Storage Mistakes and much more.
Until next time – I’m Skip Tanner and I’m prepared…are you?