15 Items to Start Your Food Prep Off Right

So, you want to start building your emergency food storage to prepare for whatever disaster may come, but the task seems insurmountable. You’ve probably seen posts that tell you the proper caloric intake and base foods to build a good diet, but those don’t tell you exactly what you should be saving, do they?

Sometimes it’s just better to have specifics so you can make a simple shopping list and go to the store with a mission, or better yet, keep a list in your wallet for when you see sales, so you can buy your emergency food on the cheap.

Whatever the case, it’s time you had a real list to start your emergency food prep, and we’ve got one for you. Check out this list of the 15 items to start your food prep off right, and get out there and start getting ready for whatever the world has to throw at you.

1. 10 Pounds White Rice

White rice is an excellent source of calories and packed correctly can last for around 4 years. Brown rice has more nutrition but a shorter shelf life, so judge accordingly here.

Use the rice as a base to many of the meals you eat so you get the extra calories while still having a little variety.

2. 10 pounds of pinto beans

Speaking of things to add rice to, beans are packed with nutrition and fiber, making them excellent to mix with other items, like rice.

The Pinto beans should be dried so they store easier, and rehydrated with water 24 hours before you plan to eat them. Pinto beans specifically are loaded with fiber and protein, two things that you need when surviving. You also get a healthy dose of carbohydrates with pinto beans, which means you’ll have the energy you need.

3. 5 pounds mixed beans

To keep the nutrition train rolling, but still give yourself some variety, pick up some mixed beans so you still get nutrition, but don’t get too sick of pinto beans. Mix these with the rice and pintos to make a decent meal.

Get these beans dried as well to aid in storage and shelf life.

4. 5 pounds white sugar

Sugar gets a pretty bad rap today, mainly due to its inclusion in everything and the ease of ingestion with candy bars, cookies, and other sweets that line supermarket shelves.

When the SHTF however, those easy sources will be gone. Sugar in its white, granulated form is great for a lot of reasons. First, if helps with diabetic and hypoglycemic individuals, as well as people that are used to high sugar diets.

Next, you can use sugar as a preservative as well as a fermentable base. It helps the taste of meals and is a base ingredient in a variety of dishes. Overall, it’s something you need and it’s easy to store and find.

5. 5 Pounds of Iodized Salt

Iodized salt has more uses than we can list here, but here are a few of the most important. First, salt is important for a variety of medical uses, including a brine rinse for a sore throat, to replace electrolytes sweated out, cure muscle cramps, and even ease cold and cough symptoms.

Salt is used to preserve everything from meats to vegetables, and is used in making items like sauerkraut and salted ham.

Salt will last on the shelf for years, so having a large amount of it is fine, as long as you store it in a watertight container.

6. 2 XL Jars of Peanut Butter

Believe it or not, peanut butter is an amazing source of calories, especially in survival situations. Unopened peanut butter has a long shelf life, and is fairly easy to store.

Grab yourself two 40oz. jars of the delicious spread and store them away. Each jar has roughly 6,000 calories, making it one of the most calorie-dense foods in your pantry. When talking survival calories = energy.

7. 2 Gallons of Olive Oil

Olive oil is some amazing stuff. You can do just anything from cleaning and maintaining leather to making an oil lamp. Don’t forget that just about every recipe calls for some type of fat in it, which olive oil was made to do.

Pick up 2 gallons of the wonder oil and you’ll cover a lot of bases and best of all, you can even use it to soften dry skin and keep hands from cracking, which can easily become infected!

You can freeze olive oil to extend its shelf life, so don’t worry about getting too much.

8. 10 Pounds Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is some pretty great stuff. While bread gets a bad wrap today in our anti-carb world, good, homemade bread has protein and carbohydrates, both things you need for hard work and survival.

Flour will last around 6 months, so make sure to cycle it out into your daily baking and cooking. You can also use it to make hard tack, a hard, storable bread that can last for a year in sealed containers. If you want to have a longer shelf life, guy whole wheat un-cracked and a flour mill. Unopened whole wheat can store for up to 30 years!

9. 10 Pounds Corn Meal

Corn meal, like flour, can be used for a lot of different food items. From cornmeal mush for breakfast and dinner to cornbread to making casseroles with other ingredients like beans, corn meal is pretty useful stuff.

With cornmeal you get a pretty good dose of vitamins and minerals, as well as carbohydrates that are good for energy. Making breads out of corn meal requires less ingredients and can be done in a skillet, making it a better choice than flour in an emergency.

10. 5 pounds oats

The first thing everyone thinks of when you mention oats is oatmeal, and with good cause. Oatmeal is easy to make and comes with a big dose of protein, calories, and carbohydrates.

Oats can be used in making flour if you have a flourmill as well as in a variety of other baking and cooking to kick up the calorie and carb count.

11. 20 Cans Each of Canned Fruits and Vegetables

One of the easiest items on the list to buy and store, canned fruits and vegetables can be picked up little by little as you find sales.

Get a good mix of things you currently eat so there’s no shock when an emergency strikes, and so you can rotate these into your daily meals now to avoid expiration.

12. 20 cans canned meat

Pick a variety of canned meats including ham, tuna, and chicken. These are easy to store and are a great source of protein.

Once again, choose items based off your current diet and if you eat it all, aim for canned meats that have the highest protein and sodium levels, as both are important when surviving.

13. 2 of the biggest Tang powder containers

Tang is a great way to break up the monotony of drinking water, and can hide the taste of water that’s been iodized or overly filtered.

A single serving of Tang provides 100% of the daily-recommended dose of vitamin C along with a few other vitamins, so it’s good for you, too.

14. 2 200-count bottles of multivitamins

Even though you’re trying to stock up on a decently well-balanced diet, you’re still going to come up short in a few areas. This is why it’s recommended to have a multivitamin on hand in case food gets a little light.

Keep track of the expiration dates on the vitamins, and cycle them out as needed. Taking a multivitamin can help keep you healthy and processing nutrients in your food the best way possible so you get the most out of every bite.

15. 2 cases of bottled water

Water doesn’t last forever, so keeping an enormous amount of it on hand in bottles isn’t a great idea. There are other ways to store water that will last longer, but even with these, a few cases of water are great in case you have to quickly get out of Dodge.

Always have at least 2 full cases of water on hand and make sure to check the expiration date. Cycle a third case in with this so you always have 2 full cases as you use it.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published July 22nd, 2014
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  • Brittany Mareno

    This is a great starting point. I have collected most of these things, but am having some problems with meal moths getting into my food supply. How do I store them properly to prevent this? The paper and plastic bags most things come in are not adequate at all.

  • Doug

    Wow, I’m glad you can keep you lofty anti-GMO altruistic dietary regime in tack in a crisis. THIS IS A CRISIS LIST YOU FOOL.
    GHM’s may be an issue, but here,… now… great if you can incorporate it, but to go off on a dietary diatribe says more about your agenda than offering any useful advice.

  • Sonja

    I agree w/ Doug, this guide is a temporary crisis list. I don’t want to sound ugly to you, but in your reply I felt you were talking down to people (me). The tone was very condescending towards the writer (and me) and a bit offensive to all of us that really do have the brains and know what foods are healthier than others.
    Your concept was intelligent and makes a valid case for everyday healthy living. Your list promotes a lifestyle change. The crisis list promotes staying alive.
    You probably didn’t mean to sound that way. I’ve done that too, we all have. Like they say…..
    It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
    I say this in kindness! Sonja

  • Somebody’s going to end up poorly pretty quickly.
    Vitamin pills, potions, lotions & supplements are not a long term solution..and have to be taken with similar food…or they’ll kill you.

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