A catastrophic disaster or major terrorist attack can cause an immediate run on banks, market crash, social unrest and food shortages leading to a Second Great Depression; either be prepared beforehand or be broke with nothing, begging for food in the aftermath.
What are the top foods to stockpile for an emergency of this level? What to grab now before it’s gone and before chaos erupts — and while you still have access to money…
Any number of catastrophic disasters could occur. A hurricane that wipes out the shoreline and devastates communities several miles inland. Or a super-typhoon that strikes an island nation, turning life upside down for cities and neighborhoods.
It could even be a terrorist attack with a WMD or the much feared EMP that shuts down power across a nation, interrupting transportation and shipping for several weeks, resulting in widespread food shortages.
Some say these are acts of God and others say climate change; whatever is happening, it’s clear in recent years that a massive disaster can strike any time and just about anywhere.
In the heat of the moment, or several weeks in advance, you’re going to want foods that help you meet nutritional needs, that have a high calorie count, and of course foods likely to disappear first off store shelves.
What happens if we lose power indefinitely — foods that require freezing or refrigeration for long term storage are going to go bad? Emergency food storage in advance will be the only way to feed yourself and your family.
Which foods can you grab the most of, and get the most out of? It’s important to consider calorie count, ease of use / preparation, shelf-life, and even “weight” factored in. Why is weight a factor? What if you and your family have to evacuate an area on foot, and with nothing but backpacks and or suitcases? You’ll regret having stocked up on so much canned food when you realize just how much those cans weigh. Canned food can be a part of your survival food plan though — it can be the food that helps you get by the first few weeks, as long as you don’t have to evacuate. With that said, the first recommended survival food is…
Rich in protein and healthy fats like omega 3s. Look for Alaskan Wild Salmon and you’re likely to get salmon with minimal or no environmental contaminants that can sometimes show up in other canned fish from other parts of the world. Salmon may not be your thing today but realize the Inuit people (native people of Alaska and northern Canada) on a traditional diet are known for low rates of heart attack and stroke, which is attributed to their long term, continuous diet of fish. Like tuna fish, you can eat canned Alaskan wild salmon right out of the can, without cooking — though, if you have leftovers, it will have to be refrigerated where it will then keep for the next 3 – 4 days. If refrigeration isn’t an option, plan to share one can of salmon with 2-3 other people at a time, so nothing goes to waste.
High in calories and protein, as well as essential vitamins and minerals like iron. As a dry, non-perishable food, brown rice also has a long shelf life making it a great survival food. Brown rice has one problem though: Typically, it must be boiled for several minutes (30 minutes or longer — even up to 1 hour with some brands). During a long term emergency where no electricity is available, the last thing you want to do is use precious fuel to cook food for this length of time; whether that’s on a propane, butane, or wood burning stove. So, for an extended survival emergency, where you are stocking up your pantry, “brown rice hot cereal” is a far better choice because it cooks in just 5 – 8 minutes and is still packed with nutrients and high in calories (one cup of brown rice hot cereal provides 600 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 16% daily value for iron and is easily rationed out in to smaller portions).
Things to know about storage: Storing brown rice, and other grains, in a cool, dry place in an airtight container is important to maintain freshness. Store bought brands of brown rice and brown rice cereal may only have a shelf life of 3 – 6 months however. So, you will want a plan in place to cycle your brown rice cereal every 3 months so that it’s eaten in your home (makes an easy, healthy breakfast and is an alternative to sugar packed cereals).
Long term storage: Because of it’s 3 month shelf life, if you would prefer not to cycle your brown rice cereal, a better investment when it comes to brown rice for long term storage is to go with a freeze dried version (when you do go with freeze dried versions for your bulk food supplies you’re not limited to just brown rice; modern techniques at bulk food preservation provides a lot more varieties for people preparing today than just several years ago).
With that said, you can use the same techniques to store specific non perishable foods that big name food storage companies use like Wise Company and Mountain House use; many times you can do it cheaper (saving yourself quite a bit of money on long term survival food), which means you can afford to purchase a lot more food in bulk, specific food storage supplies (foil pouches and oxygen absorption packets) and the 5 gallon airtight buckets you will use as an outer container, storing several foil pouches of food at a time.
Dried beans like Kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans, pinto beans, and others are all high in calories, contain a fair amount of protein per serving, and also several essential vitamins and minerals. Dried beans come in packages larger than canned beans but for the amount you get weigh quite a bit less. The key difference is that you have to add water and let most beans soak for several hours before eating. Split peas, for example, have a much shorter soak time. Split peas are part of the dried bean family with many of the same vitamins and minerals. Finally, dried beans have a long shelf life. Dried beans will stay good in the back of your car, your office survival kit, and of course your pantry of survival foods at your home or cabin.
Concerned about having to feed a few other mouths during a time of disaster? A large supply of dried beans is relatively inexpensive for how many people you can feed and can go a long way and a great food to carry in a backpack, compared to canned food that you are better off leaving behind.
Look for the bulk seed/nut area of your grocery store (and compare to the prices you can find online), and look specifically for unshelled and unsalted (you want to choose survival foods not high in salt, as too much salt will make you thirsty and isn’t good for overall health). Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and a number of other nuts / seeds typically sold in supermarket bulk foods section are high in essential vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, and have a fair amount of protein. They’re also conveniently light-weight and a serving size may be as small as a 1/4 cup, so you’ll get many servings out of a large bag.
At the same time, invest in air-tight food storage containers, such as glass jars. You can extend storage life by then storing these in the refrigerator, those most bulk foods will store a good while, if kept in a cool, dark, place away from sunlight.
It’s packed with protein and essential fatty acids, as well as contains many essential vitamins and minerals (such as copper and iron). For the best health, choose “natural” brands with no additives or sugar. Just a couple tablespoons a day of peanut butter can help a person survive a period of limited food intake (during a disaster, one of your strategies to survive needs to include an understanding that it’s time to cut calories — most people eat a lot more calories each day than they actually need to survive. Cutting calories means your food will last longer, at the same time helping you lose excess weight, making potential evacuation on foot at some point easier than if you’re carrying around extra pounds).
A favorite of hikers, trail mix has a variety of ingredients. The best trail mix is the trail mix you create yourself, going beyond dried raisins, peanuts, and milk chocolate, and instead looking for dried cherries, mangoes, pineapples, apples (or even those raisins) and other types of dried fruit or berries along with healthier nuts and seeds; all of these combine to create a healthier and energy packed food combination for the day or an entire week.
Seeds like Chia Seeds, Sesame Seeds, and sunflower seeds; nuts like Macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, and walnuts (just to name a few); finally, replace the milk chocolate with a healthier dark chocolate. Note that the simple sugars in the dried fruits and chocolate can be a quick morale booster by boosting glucose in the brain which depletes as calories are spent, making us feel sluggish, producing a sudden source of short term energy. The healthy fats and protein in the nuts top off the nutrition factor of a good trail mix.
Finally, trail mix is an easy way to include dried fruits in your survival diet plan.
If you’ve noticed in the past, each of these items can be purchased separately and in bulk, which ultimately can save a lot of money compared to purchasing packaged trail mix in individual bags (which might have preservatives, added sugar, etc).
There’s an energy bar nowadays for every taste. Look for brands with a high calorie count as well as plenty of protein and a wide range of nutrients. Chocolate bars – Chocolate can be a quick source of energy and a great morale booster, while also being generous in calories. (Chocolate is also likely to become a commodity in demand in the weeks and months following a disaster.)
“Natural” brands of beef, turkey, etc. jerky do not contain any or as much of the harmful added ingredients seen in many commercial jerky brands. What is jerky? Jerky is a tasty form of dried meat. Dried meat, if you remember, is a long time proven survival food used by Native Americans and American pioneers alike, and also used by primitive tribes around the world. While these primitive tribes use smoking and sun drying methods to create “jerky”, today commercial methods of drying meat do this on a much larger scale. You have two choices: One is to buy the smaller serving packages, or to purchase your dried meat in bulk and have it shipped to you directly.
Have you ever tried to quit drinking coffee after years of counting on it to get you up in the morning and through the day? If not you, someone in your party is likely to consider coffee an essential, and may be tired, lethargic, and have headaches without it. Coffee doesn’t have to be a top priority, but being able to grab it will be something more than one person in your party is likely to be thankful for. It’s a quick mood booster in the morning and even afternoon for some and good for morale. And it’s also something that could be traded like a commodity during a crises situation.
If you like the idea of having a commodity to trade and barter with, you’ll get the most for your dollar by purchasing coffee in bulk, and then breaking it down into large freezer bags, and then keeping it frozen in a chest freezer.
In the freezer, coffee will store and keep it’s quality for up to 2 years. Instant coffee, though not the first choice for coffee drinkers, can store indefinitely when frozen; think 10 years or more.
When money is no longer worth anything, commodities might be worth more than gold to some. In a land with no more coffee shops, instant coffee will be received as though it came from a specialty coffee shop.
A popular item selling in health foods stores today are the sea vegetables that come in powdered form or pill. In a time of catastrophic disaster, most communities are going to be hurting for fresh produce. Sea vegetables are a superfood, packed with vitamins and nutrients and health benefits that help boost immunity, provide tissue repair and wound healing, and can even have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
What this means is that sea vegetables like kelp and chlorella and others are superfoods. Though I list sea vegetables as number ten, they should probably be the number one survival food on this top ten list. The reason again is that fresh produce is likely to be in short supply or disappear completely in several areas, in a widespread emergency.
As a bottled supplement, these can go a long way to provide essential vitamins and minerals, and an assortment of beneficial health properties in a time of emergency.
Note, it is the powdered supplement that I recommend as a key survival food. You can also invest in powdered forms of “supergreen” supplements, where just a small amount per day mixed with water or anything else you have to mix it with can provide immediate nutrition and provide you with needed vitamins and minerals for optimal health.
Following a catastrophic disaster, a possible (many say probable) collapse of the nation’s power grid, the clinics and hospitals in our community may go offline and close their doors for good. With no more paychecks, and no more electricity, and no more medicine, our current medical establishment will literally disappear and any doctors that choose to continue medicine will likely resort to many of the same kind of methods used in third world countries.
To start being prepared for that scenario, it’s a good idea to take a close look at your health and improve it as much as possible so you’re ready for that day where the modern medical establishment goes offline for good.
If you change the way you eat, with a goal for obtaining balanced nutrition from every meal, you can soon start reversing the effects of aging (and even many types of disease) by enabling your body to repair and restore its self to better health.
Note that many non-perishable foods listed here do not have a long shelf life, usually just several months. That includes those powdered supergreen supplements. You’ll want to have a system in place in order to “cycle” your non-perishable foods and supergreen supplements before each one expires.
When non-perishable food nears it’s expiration date, either eat it or even donate it to a local food bank (food banks usually give food away within a short time of receiving a donation). Then once more purchase fresh non-perishable food and add it to your emergency food stores.
With a system like this in place, you’ll have a continual supply of fresh non-perishable foods. That way, if a catastrophic disaster strikes, you’ll have a variety of non-perishable foods for at least the first few months following the disaster and you or your family won’t have to rely solely on freeze dried food, as so many people are stocking up on today.
When preparing for an emergency, your should also strongly consider bulk freeze-dried emergency foods that have a shelf life of several years. Please note that it is not wise to only purchase freeze-dried food though. The reason is food fatigue. Can you imagine what it would be like to eat freeze dried food, day after day, month after month, in a time of extended disaster? Not only can packaged, processed foods be harder on a person’s health (due to food additives and preservatives, high cholesterol, sodium, etc., in some freeze dried products), but it may also get very, very boring in time.
In a time of extended disaster, trust me — having a bag of M&Ms, smoked beef jerky, or even a soda from time to time can be a big boost to morale, especially if you have children.
With that said, do not overlook the value in having bulk freeze dried food stocked up in your pantry, especially if you would like to help neighbors and other family members who have failed to prepare. Bulk food suppliers like Wise Company with its broad varieties of survival food are factoring in food fatigue and nowadays have several choices for you and your family.
People are born with the innate desire to survive, but sadly, many in our increasingly dependent society look to others for relief and assistance following a disaster. The fact is that help from government, family, or neighbors is often unavailable when needed most, and in the end you may have only yourself to count on. Do you know what to do and how to do it if disaster strikes? If you have ever wanted to produce your own cheaper than dirt survival food…this is going to be the most important message you will ever read.
One final thing to comment on here: People stocking up on survival foods might skip the meat aisle altogether, believing that cuts of meat will go bad quickly in an emergency.
But what if you know how to salt and smoke meat, to preserve it for long term storage minus refrigeration or freezing? You can make these cuts of meat last several months, and possibly several years.
What do you have in your freezer at home right now?
If the electricity fails to your community, a blackout lasting several weeks or more, as these cuts of meat thaw, have a system in place (right in your own backyard), where you can salt and smoke each cut of meat. This is how early Native Americans commonly prepared meat for long term storage. So, consider this a “Plan B” for your frozen meat in the event of a power outage, where the power is down for good
How we treat others in times of conflict can show what kind of character we have deep down. Do we become animals or do we rise up and become men and women of honor, willing to share our supplies with others in times of need, especially the children, the elderly, the sick and disabled and poor among us?
You’re on a Christian website that publishes warnings regarding the “last days” and of course we’re going to mention here that a food shortage in a community can be a great opportunity for God to increase your faith, as you trust in him to provide for you, even as you share your food stores with others.
The man or woman of God living a Christian life is put in a hard situation, when he or she has to choose between sharing food with others, during a time of crises, or storing it away. The Bible says that God is a rewarder of the faithful, and that God also provides for his people in times of need. The idea is to live without fear, knowing that God will provide what you and your family need for each day. He fed the Israelites with manna and quail. He brought streams of water up from the rocks. So our personal survival tip is to share your food as God would lead you (once you’ve put your faith in Christ and have made the decision to live according to God’s Word), and trust that even if you’ve given your last bite to eat that He already has the next day written and plans to bring provision perhaps greater than the stores you just gave away.
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