25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now


Several ingredients food in cloth bags

One of my favorite phrases that I tell new preppers is that “your preps are your lifeline.” We must put measures in place before a disaster is upon us in order to have these lifelines available to us when we need it the most.

Building an emergency pantry is one of those lifelines that takes both time and planning to make it fully functional. Ideally, you want to store shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that are multi-dynamic and serve many purposes.

A few other points to consider when starting an emergency food pantry are:

  • To store emergency foods that will not require refrigeration, and should require little electricity or fuel to prepare.
  •  The food should have a long shelf life.
  • It should provide ample nutrition and contain little salt.

In my book, The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals,  I use the following essential food staples as the basis for the recipes. The following foods are all popular food staples that should be considered as “must haves” for your emergency pantries. The advantages to storing these items, is they encompass all of the key consideration points listed above. Best of all, these items are very affordable and versatile, thus making them worthy of being on your storage shelves for extended emergencies.

Keep in mind, that water is your most important prep. You need water for consumption, food preparation, and for sanitary needs. Ensure that you have a large quantity of water stored away for emergency use.

Stock up on the following items today to get your prepper pantry ready for the next extended emergency:

1. Canned fruits, vegetables, meats, and soups
2. Dried legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
3. Crackers
4. Nuts
5. Pasta sauce
6. Peanut butter
7. Pasta
8. Flour (white, whole wheat)
9. Seasonings (vanilla, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, pepper, taco seasoning, etc.)
10. Sugar
11. Bouillon cubes or granules (chicken, vegetable, beef)
12. Kitchen staples (baking soda, baking powder, yeast, vinegar)
13. Honey
14. Unsweetened cocoa powder
15. Jell-O or pudding mixes
16. Whole grains (barley, bulgur, cornmeal, couscous, oats, quinoa, rice, wheat berries)
17. Nonfat dried milk
18. Plant-based oil (corn oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, olive oil)
19. Cereals
20. Seeds for eating and sprouting
21. Popcorn (not the microwavable kind)
22. Instant potato flakes
23. Packaged meals (macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, Ramen noodles, etc.)
24. Purified drinking water
25. Fruit juices, teas, coffee, drink mixes

Use this list as a starting point on beginning or extending your preparedness pantry- and don’t feel handcuffed to only stocking up on these items. Always keep your family’s food preferences and dietary needs in mind when investing in your food supply. It would be extremely advantageous to have a two week supply (at a minimum) of these shelf stable food items on hand to care for your family. To see how much your family would need, click here.

We never know when disasters or emergencies may strike, so why not be prudent and be ready for them before they affect our livelihood and well being.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 3rd, 2013
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96 Responses to 25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now

  1. Margaret Booth says:

    I don’t agree with your suggestion of corn and soybean oils. Most corn and soybeans are Genetically Modified. Not safe to eat. Coconut and Olive and possibly Peanut oil are good.

    • KK says:

      ”Most corn and soybeans are Genetically Modified.”
      Oh, right. Like everything we eat isn’t????

      • the truth 100% organic says:

        yeah everything organic or from almost any other country on earth

      • Guest says:

        You may want to read your ingredients and have google handy. Lots of countries have the same ingredients we do. They just
        won’t import for political/economic reasons.

      • Bag the liars' says:

        Shop at Aldi, a huge amount for stuff comes from Germany and other
        countries that have banned GMOs. Aldi also sells a lot of NON GMO foods
        that are clearly labeled.Best to you and yours!

    • Tim Brown says:

      Aztec indian’s corn in Zacatlamanca, Mexico, state of Veracruz ain’t gots not GMO’s

    • David says:

      “Organic” is just a label stating you belong to a club, does not mean anything, I know, My Father ran a Garden market and for a fee could belong to the club. .

    • vivian greer says:

      safe enough when you’re starving.

  2. Eugene says:

    Why are Jell-O or pudding mixes must have survival foods? Why would I need popcorn or instant potato flakes? Stuff like hamburger helper and Ramen noodles are not fit for a dog.
    While I avoid sugar products, it is good to have for trading purposes and never goes bad.

    • KK says:

      I have more than 6 years of stored food.
      However, I also have pudding, jello, popcorn, instant potato flakes, hamburger helper, tuna helper, ramen noodles, etc. and I don’t have a dog!!!
      When water and energy to prepare meals is in short supply, and it will be, boiling ramen noodles may be essential in providing a meal.

      • sixpack says:

        Better to cook ramen noodles on your last few minutes of fuel, than to try to cook dried beans or rice with it. You CAN eat ramen noodles uncooked, but I’d hate to try that with dried pinto beans.

      • the truth 100% organic says:

        “ramen” r u fucking kidding me that shit is literally toxic waste

      • genann59 says:

        The seasoning packets, yes. The noodles themselves, no.

    • RomeoOscOscSierraTangoEchoRome says:

      Jell-O, pudding and popcorn are comfort foods…..I totally agree on the other garbage. We use raw sugar.

  3. conscious Brother says:


    • Allison says:

      What is wrong with you people?

      Popcorn is an excellent choice!  It can be ground into cornmeal, which as you know has multiple uses, and popped over a fire or camp stove for a snack.  Also, fruit juices store for a YEAR or more, so again, a good choice, and good for the immune system.  Just drink it before it expires.

    • JayJay says:

      Bouillon cubes on rice…a life saver maybe??

      Or even on ramen noodles…or pasta.  

    • Anne says:

      Are you unaware that whole wheat flour goes rancid very quickly as compared to the refined ‘white flour?’ The whole point of refined flour was the shelf life. Most people these days do not have a sharp enough sense of smell to know they’re in trouble with rancid flour till they get a whopping case of IBS. By the time you find that ‘whole wheat flour’ in the stores, most of it is already rancid and riddled with mold – you just can’t see it. Want to be more sure, the economical way? Buy your grains at your favorite feed store, in seed form and grind them yourself as needed. It’s no big deal. I did it easily enough for three decades living out in the sticks with no ‘mod-cons’ on the old-fashioned metate – just google that. I had bought a non-electric grain mill but for me, the metate was faster. Archaeologists found wheat even in the pyramids that was still viable so your chances are good too if you keep the stuff in the dark and dry.

      Why not bouillon cubes? The MSG is the least of your problems when you’re not getting enough salt in your diet and those cubes are a ready source of that. If you think you’re getting enough sodium in your food, what with modern agriculture, think again. Dehydration is nothing to mess with; there’s a reason people living and working in the desert have to carry salt tablets – and if you’re doing unaccustomed hard labor, you may as well be in the desert. As to the juices, if you have the space, why not? Wouldn’t you try to can some of your homemade juice for use in winter when there was no fruit to be had?.

      Always have all the variety you can manage; otherwise you’re going to fail to get the nutrients you need to run on just because you’re bored of the same old thing. If you think humans can be trained to stoic boredom because of an emergency, you’re wrong. Even wars have been started for no more reason than a craving for something ‘strange.’

      • theBuckWheat says:

        Buy wheat berries instead. Store in clean buckets you can buy in the paint department at Walmart. Buy a Nutrimill grinder. The bread made from the flour that you make is better quality than you could buy in any store.

    • Herman Nelson says:

      I guess you’ve not eaten the same meal of beans and rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, day in and day out for a long time; have you? To keep the meals from being monotonous, I stashed away items you felt were frivolous. Buying that 5 pounds of chili powder or 5 pounds of cinnamon you thought was stupid, was a great idea because it will spice up the meals and make them into something I’d like to eat. But lets not stop there, have you considered when “JITS” (just in time shipping) comes to a screeching halt, where will you get those things that make life a wee bit nicer..? Probably not. If it requires a boat to get it here, you should have it in stock. That would be:

      Cinnamon (powdered and sticks)
      Nutmeg (powdered and whole)
      Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
      vanilla beans
      allspice (powdered and whole)

      Other spices-

      Dill weed
      Dill seed
      Pickling spice
      cayenne pepper
      red pepper flakes
      black pepper
      bay leaves
      celery seed
      caraway seed
      mustard seed (yellow and brown)
      salt (iodized, pickling, kosher)

      Stock up on it all now because once it’s gone, there will be no more. (unless you live in a climate that allows you to grow it)

      • Arcanek says:

        I would say the chili and cinnamon are more than just flavors. They are not just for taste, and neither is salt. Same for the rest of your list. Especially needed if you have large supply of rice.

      • Rowwdy Colt says:

        Another very important spice are is turmeric. Adds flavor, but also has medicinal qualities as well. Vanilla flavoring is good for dental pain and infections and lasts a long stored in dark, cool place.

      • Herman Nelson says:

        Turmeric is listed. Here’s a link to growing it.

        The price of vanilla beans has almost doubled in the last 3 years. Best way to store vanilla beans- quarter pound of beans per 1 gallon jug of vodka. Either use it as extract or add some sugar and turn it into a cordial.

      • FrancesA says:

        Did you buy the five pounds in. bulk? Ic so where did you buy? Sam’s Club has pepper in bulk. Did you repackage?

      • Herman Nelson says:

        I normally buy off of Amazon or watch the stores for sales. It shows up in a mylar bag. I’ll cut them open, pour the contents into a 7mil mylar bag, throw some O2 eaters in, vacuum, and seal with a hot iron. Label what it is, date it was sealed. If any directions or recipes that are on the side, I’ll cut those out and toss them into the bag before sealing.

        I pack the bags into 5 gallon buckets for further protection and easy storage.

      • FrancesA says:

        Thanks! Never thought about buying spices from Amazon. Usually buy the smaller jars at Aldi’s but will check Amazon’s prices – bet they will be better.

  4. Stan Brown says:

    This is the most stupid advice that I can imagine in this current situation.

  5. Ivy Dean says:

    Even though I agree with the oils comment totally and may or may not totally
    agree with the list, this is such a good start for those who are wondering how and with what to get started at 0 cost, for conscious brother saying this is the
    “most stupid advice” he can imagine, I just wonder how much time and money you have spent compiling information for those who are overwhelmed? I may
    imagine you run around telling all how smart you are and how much you know? Maybe you need to be reminded that “the more you know, the more you don’t know?
    Thank you Ready Nutrition for all of your hard work and dedication.

    Ivy Dean

  6. Holly says:

    The thing of it is, if you have kids, you’ve GOT to have some goodies for them. They are NOT interested in eating foods that build your immune system. Popcorn will seem like a treat to them. Ramen noodles you can do a bunch of things with, and let’s face it, you add water. My grand kids LOVE ramen noodles. I allow them sometimes for lunch. Jello pudding would be a treat for the kids too. So while you are correct about eating foods that build the immune system, the kids have got to have something to satisfy their Junk food Jones. It satisfies the mental health of the children. Kids will starve themselves before they will eat things they DO NOT like. So, keep that in mind when storing foods and you have kids, or grand kids.

    • Briana says:

      This is for the food snobs that are concerned with the oils, as well as those overly concerned with having candy for your kids.  Remember this, when you are HUNGRY, you’ll eat what is offered! A SHTF situation is NOT the time to be picky!

  7. Jackie C says:

    I have never seen such hateful ppl in my life! You can disagree without being asses! Stan, if you are so smart give us some of your suggestions… Uh huh that’s what I thought! Actually this is a great list to start with. It’s OIL ppl, choose What kind YOU want to use! Geez. It appears you ppl are clueless. Oh and one more thing… NO NEED TO SCREAM CONCIOUS BROTHER, your stupidity is obvious regardless. 

  8. Keyly says:

    Repent of your sins and turn to the Lord Jesus (Yeshua). Avoid FEMA camps. Do NOT carry cell phone and debit/credit cards because they can track you. Keep garintheg food, water, and supplies because this is not going to be a short term, this is where America falls and will rise no more. Google: FEMA camps, NWO, Illumanati.

    • Briana says:

      They can track your internet activity too.

    • Fred Hughes says:

      What a PILE of Horse Excrement @Keyly – You apparently have problems tying your shoes. Credit cards having a tracking? not if you don’t use them fool.

      I feel sorry for your family, with your help they will not survive.

      • Marie says:

        Depends on what country you’re in, genius. In Europe, e.g., credit cards have chips in them which can be tracked. Ditto ATM cards from European banks (I know because I have one). If you’ve got them sitting in a drawer in your house, they can be tracked to your house. Do you know how to tie YOUR shoes?

      • Arcanek says:

        They’ve got them in the US, too. But, if they want to track you down, there are other things that have to trigger it, anyway. And, in any major emergency, they won’t be looking. They’ll be looting, themselves.

      • boweja says:

        They still can’t track you with those chips. They’re passive — they’re read-only. I work in technology and I’ve spent a lot of time intimate with some of the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing researchers and telecom software developers.

        The technology for something like that just isn’t there — transmitting data takes a lot of power. More power than you can fit into a credit card. That’s why your cell phone is so damn big. However, even if that weren’t an issue, the second biggest component required for something like that — the IC radio — can’t be made small enough to fit into that form factor (currently).

        That said, holy shit, yeah, they track a lot of other shit. Once it goes online…realize that you live in the post-privacy age.

      • Rowwdy Colt says:

        Credit cards do have tracking devices now. They are called RFID chips.

      • Skade says:

        Those cards don’t let anyone track you, the RFID chip needs a power source for that.

  9. Rita Renee says:

    These are normal foods for normal people. Popcorn and Jello make us happy. When the workd is ending, a little comfort food goes a long way, especially for kids. If you want to hide in your bunker with your water and MREs, nothing’s stopping you. Have a happy life. (Juice comes in cans too)

  10. Linda says:

    there is a saying, “Take what you need and leave the rest”. Feel free to generate you own list, but don’t put down somebody who already has done the work. shame on you

  11. Tina says:

    I’m about to download this list and see what I have that is on it, and what I need to get.  Thank you!

  12. Lucy says:

    Fear really can get people going.  We really need to stay like minded and instead of tearing each other down, figure a real plan with friends and family for the long haul.  We need protection, I say put a gun and plenty of ammo on the list too so the bad guys are less likely to try to  steal our supplies.  It could be a “mad max”  scenario.  Beer and cigs. too for trading.  You can cook with beer too.  Meds too, water purifying tablets to make sure that water is pure…thank you for this great list to start and we can tweak it the way we want!  🙂

    • Jamie says:

      Beer is great, but it doesn’t stay fresh forever. That is why I’ve stocked up on some of the harder liquor. And you are completely right about sticking together. Think of it this way: The more people that are prepared, then the less desperate people will be.

      • sixpack says:

        You can get drunk on warm, flat beer just as easily as cold, fresh beer.

      • genann59 says:

        I have bought a couple Mr Beer kits to produce my own beer. And quite a few cans of the ingredients to do so. Not all that expensive and will be worth their weight in gold should the time come where you can no longer buy it. Gave some close friends their own wine making kits, and they have already made and bottled, and I presume, drunk some of their own wine they made from grapes grown in their own yard.
        And, although I don’t drink most hard liquor, I have gone to the liquor store and bought a lot of those little individual serving bottles of various whiskey, bourbon, vodka, gin, and rum, to use for trading items. The little bottles cost around a dollar each and that way you don’t have to pull out an entire large bottle to make a deal. And does not take the same type storage area.

  13. Kathy says:

    Exactly….Take from IT what YOU need ..and move along.

  14. LeAnn says:

    This is a great list, I know GMOs are horrific, but non gmo foods are harder to find and more expensive. If the shtf your belly and your kids bellies would just want any kind of food, they wouldnt care if it was from Dollar General or Whole Foods. Get this stuff in your pantry now, and replace it with higher quality as you can afford to. I use homemade toothpaste without fluoride, but if I were to run out, yeah Id use Crest in a pinch until I could get my hands on the good stuff. You do what you will to survive. Get prepared as fast and as cheaply as you can do it. Its gonna get real bad, real soon.

  15. The list is a great place to start.  Everyone will modify it to their own needs of course.  Instead of just writing “this list is terrible”, how about you share what you would replace something with.<br><br>
    For example I would not store spam (canned meat).  I absolutely hate the stuff.  I would replace it with another canned meat that I like.<br><br>
    Just my take.

  16. Leonard says:

    I read these to learn things… things I dont know..

    Popcorn into corn meal.. awesome. I didnt think of that one!

    Ramen Noodles may not be fit for a dog.. But look how many things we eat today that say’s Do Not feed to your pets!
    ***** # 1 Chips, #2 Beef Jerky, #3 canned tomatoes sauces***

    I on the other hand..
    can make 2 meals out of Ramen noodles…
    Meal 1.. noodles with dehydrated veggies,
    Meal 2.. seasoning pack and hot water with more veggies.
    *** No it may not be healthy.. but it can keep the moral up**

    I for one..
    Like Cattail starch as flour… I dont have to buy it!
    I like to harvest my own foods.. and dehydrate them..
    I love wild mushrooms… but you better know what you’re doing..

    I would only agree with the crackers for short term storage.
    Making your own  it a lot easier.. (yes there is a recipe for it)

    I can not store peanut oil, my daughter is allergic to peanuts.. so anything containing them has been traded out.. and upgraded..
    Bouillon cubes can turn any water into a soup.. just add to it..
    I absolutely agree with this one!!

    Last thing I would add to this storage list is books on foraging…. so many wild edibles out there that when you are hunting game… you can also be hunting fruits and veggies

    • Arcanek says:

      If you have any, try butter with the seasoning pack for the noodles. Real makes the beef and chicken flavors taste great. I’ll have to try it with coconut oil

  17. Andy says:

    Thanks for the information.  I appreciate someone doing the research to help. 

    As to the nay sayers, I’m smart enough to adjust it to my situation, they should be helpful too or STFU, IMHO.

  18. Gregory Baker says:

    I’m sorry, but this list is not good at all. What you need in a crisis, as well as in daily stressed out life, is the most nutrition dense food possible. Refined foods and foods that are corrupted with toxins or GMO will sooner or later take their toll on your mind and body. Foods to be avoided- corn, soybean and canola oil. I make my own peanut butter with a food processor to avoid the soy or canola oil in commercial butters. It’s dirt cheap, too. A little peek into nutrition secrets- canola oil was never developed for human consumption, but as a light industrial lubricant. Look it up. Also, do a search for ‘Concerns regarding soybeans’. Avoid refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, refined salt (use sea salt or pink Himalayan salt; do a search on sea salt hypertension and you will find that refined salt causes hypertension, sea salt doesn’t). Don’t store white flour, don’t eat white flour, as soon as the protective hull is removed, it starts to spoil and oxidize. White flour is seriously lacking in vital nutrients. Avoid honey from China, in fact anything from China, the Chinese business ethos is basically criminal; it’s a way of life for them, and their honey is not pure. Jello- let’s see, are they still boiling down the hooves, skin and bones of cows and pigs to make that? Yes, indeedy! Look it up! Popcorn is good, last I heard it’s not GMO, but you’ve got to use fuel to pop it; will you have enough fuel or electricity to do that? Will you have a grain mill to turn it into corn meal?

    Okay, I want to now make some recommendations. The number one food I want to recommend is chia seed; the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico are capable of running 100 miles or more at a time and chia is one of their main trail foods. Chia is a near perfect food, a superfood. Speaking of which, go to Amazon and search ‘superfoods’ in books. My favorite is The Power of Superfoods, by Graci and Diamond. To begin to get a handle on all of this, I think the place to start is a website, naturalnews.com. Mike Adams is a pit bull when it comes to government and corporate corruption, and is knowledgeable on virtually all health issues. Also, theorganicprepper.ca, organicsurvivalistsite.com, and two books- When Technology Fails, by Matthew Stein, and Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual, by Mykel Hawke. I could go on, but that’s enough for now. Pax.

    • Dano says:

      Handmade peanut butter is only good for up to a few months. In a serious disaster, you could be left with rancid food.

      Your post contains some great info but seriously? In a SHTF situation, vegans and organic snobs will crumble like hungry dogs and will be sucking down canned corn which is full of GMO and will also be chowing down on Ramen noodles like there’s no tomorrow. Think about it…. 

    • genann59 says:

      Gelatin, which Jello is made from is very good for strengthening bones, teeth and finger and toe nails. And while it might seem nasty, it really is good for people. Oh, and good for your hair as well.

  19. Gregory Baker says:

    One other thing, the legumes and grains are good if they’re non-hybrid, non-GMO, especially peas and lentils; if you get some hemp sprouting bags or containers from thesproutpeople.org you can sprout peas and lentils in as little as 3 days when the temperature is 70 to 80 degrees, and the nutrition content of that seed rises by 12-15%, and you are eating a raw superfood that’s bursting with vitality. Plus, having non-hybrid seeds on hand means that you can grow food. I recommend the book Sprouts- The Miracle Food, by Meyerowitz.

    One of the best-kept secrets of weight control is to not eat refined foods. There is a region of the hypothalamus called the appestat, which is where we get the word appetite. The appestat regulates the sense of hunger and satiety, and when the body needs fueling, the appetite kicks in. If you’re eating refined foods, the appestat says, ‘keep eating, you need more zinc (or chromium, or vitamin b)’. Well, you have to eat a LOT more refined foods to get adequate nutrition to get the appestate to stop poking you with a stick. What do you think happens to all those empty calories? That’s right, it goes into storage! Hips, belly, legs, maybe even a double or triple chin! I hope you’re picking up on all of this, please begin to educate yourself on just what constitutes health-giving nutrition.



    • Dano says:

      Gregory Baker, we are talking about SURVIVAL FOODS – NOT fitness foods. You’ve wasted a whole lotta key strokes here my friend. 

      I hope you’re canning something at home. Good luck! 

    • James says:

      In a survival situation, you DON’T want to control your weight, those fats that a lot of people avoid were once incredibly important to the survival of our species, and will become so again once food becomes scarce, and more so if money becomes useless.

  20. David says:

    My brother and I have this conversation a lot, and while your list is good, it touches on one of the topics we are concerned with, nearly 80-90% of your list requires, water to prepare. We are surviving in a desert where water is limited now and when the SHTF there will likely be none. So a lot of what you suggest will be quite useless unless you have stored massive amounts of clean water. So we have had to rethink  a lot of our options as you may find you need to do.

    • David,

      You make excellent points. That said, any prepper who is planning for a short or long term emergency should have water stored. I believe, that water is the essence of a good food pantry. You must have water stored for drinking, food preparation and even for sanitation.

      I realize that dessert survival is a difficult topic, but I’m sure that since you live there, you know if you don’t have water, then your probability of survival will diminish. Personally speaking, I would have a two week supply of water stored up for an emergency regardless of what area of the country you live in. If you live out in the dessert, then you should plan accordingly. Further, many of the canned goods can be home canned and that could supply some hydration during an emergency scenario.

  21. Don’t forget unfiltered honey, it’s a energy food and a fair antibotic.
    It was used during WW1 as a wound dressing.

  22. deltaV says:

    I agree with some of this, almost everything on my personal list is represented. An idea would be to graduate the list in order of importance. Jello, popcorn, and bullion are less valuable in a survival situation than rice and peanut butter. Another idea is to graduate the values of the various spices. They can be bought in bulk, last quite a long time, and if properly mixed, provide a meal almost by themselves. I personally have a hefty store of various spices, although I have never put them in a valued order. It would also help reduce the flame content of these comments, although I suppose it would have been hard to anticipate such a reaction. This is all a process in develpoment. We must make allowances for that fact.

  23. Megan says:

    I guess I am an organic snob. There I said it. *grin*  When I look at the list above, I am glad to see that I am on track.  I think the list is a great starting point and I am storing all of these foods in mostly organic. I do have to make most of my own from scratch but it has been a great experience that I have enjoyed.
    After reading some of the rude and hateful comments, I had to post.  For the record, just because someone is knowledgeable about GMOs and works to avoid them doesn’t make them a snob.  I am a Marketing and Communications Director for an organic food co-op, which means I have to do a ton of research. And I would never look down on anyone for storing what they can afford.  Would I attempt to educate them and steer them toward better choices?  Yes, I would, because I care. Are all organics good? Nope.  Because big agricultural companies have friends (former and future employees) in the FDA and USDA.  And they can push through anything corrupted very easily. Are there wonderful non-organic choices?  Yes.  Why? Because not all organic farmers can afford the USDA Organic stamp. The USDA standard for organics is the lowest possible standard and many farmers/companies have surpassed this in quality. I have done the research.  I am very aware of the fake organic companies and the good non-organic companies. I too am not rich, but I stock my pantry with the best that I can afford. 
    Will organic snobs be eating foods that they wouldn’t normally eat in a SHTF scenario? Yes, i would and more so will the ones that aren’t prepared. And, I am guessing that people who eat GMOs wouldn’t turn down an organic meal either.
    Buy what you can afford.  Can and dehydrate your own foods (some of the extra liquids from canned foods can be used to rehydrate other parts of your meal). Learn to forage, cook from scratch, grow your own.  There are so many ways to prepare and we are all in this together and doing our best.  No need for the condescension. 

  24. Megan says:

    Delta V,  I have a ton of spices too. In addition to cooking with them, I use them for other things as well.  For example, I just made some turmeric pills yesterday.  I just can’t seem to find enough foods to add turmeric to in the quantity that I need and it is an excellent anti-inflammatory.  I bought a pill maker, gel caps and the best quality bulk Turmeric that I could afford. I feel better already.  In the past, I have made ginger pills with ginger powder.  Ginger is also an excellent anti-inflammatory. I have a lot of intolerances that make me inflamed and they help a lot.  Also, it has been found that GMO foods are the cause of chronic inflammation and these spices are inexpensive ways that can help off-set some of the effects of eating what you can afford.   

    • Anne says:

      I agree with you about the spices – with a warning: traditional use of these spices, for centuries, in ayurvedic medicine followed guidelines geared toward their use in food. The spices are first heated a little, which releases the volatile oils and makes them more accessible to your digestion. Then, they are ground and used in your meal, with the food. There is NO mention of anybody ever thinking it a good idea to take concentrated raw spices in capsules and swallowing the whole dose with water! It’s too hard on the liver! More is not always better and if for all those centuries no practitioner ever decided it applied in the case of spices, I wouldn’t want to be the first to bet on it.

  25. KK says:

    This list is really common sense.
    For those that can’t figure this out, how are you going to provide in the other areas–defense, medical, heating, etc.???

    • Anne says:

      Good question! Some of the foods that should be getting put back against want already *are* medicine which is adequate motivation for even the laziest of us to educate ourselves about their use. This week I’m availing myself of youtube and other video sites, whilst we still have them, for instruction on how to make quickie space heaters, using some of those candles and low-grade oils we found on sale with cans, flower pots and other items found in most households. As for defense, if I find myself wanting more than I have, I’d be willing to move in somebody who’s very good at that and feed him and cure him if he gets sick. I’d imagine, KK, that most preppers will be thinking along these lines. No one can be expected to be good (or especially sensible) at *everything.* The trick is to recognize when a thing is not our strong point and follow through with seeking help from someone more knowledgeable before a real emergency arises.

  26. Liadan says:

    I stored water in the plastic jugs in my car and they’ve all broken and caused mildew messes. What’s a safe way to store water in the car and home?

    • Wanda K Grubbs says:

      every time I empty a gallon bleach or vinegar jug here I refill them with water, they store well.You get the benefit of the vinegar and bleach from the jug to keep it clean. You can always add a capful of either to the jugs or like I do, I leave a tiny amount in the jug before filling with water. We have bought water filtration for when the time comes we find we have used all the water in my saved jugs, but of course, as we empty said plastic gallon containers I will refill with my water purifier right away, if clean water has become unattainable.Vinegar and bleach containers last for a very long time, and get the vinegar when you buy it with the better resealable cap, alot of them have a cap that simply pushes on, and not the screw on type.

  27. Tim Brown says:

    Chocolate Bars from Dollar Tree in my bug out / in / whatever bags

  28. Liadan says:

    Thank you.

  29. Thomas says:


  30. jhenjoh says:

    1) I think the oils go rancid after a few months.
    Not sure they are good for long term.

    2) “Pasta Sauce” My experience that for long term storage, anything with tomato will dangerously spoil in the can. I emptied my mother’s larder when she sold her home. EVERY can that had a tomato product was swollen. Granted, they were several years old, but I would not recommend keeping canned tomato products for very long.

  31. why bother says:

    I’d be better off with 5 acres of land in a mild climate with plenty of water than to stock up on processed foods. Sodium! Sugar! Ugh!

  32. common sense says:

    Jello is one of the foods that you want to keep around 4 when you’re sick and you can’t hold any other food down jello actually help settle the stomach

  33. blueyes48 says:

    Lard. Yes, lard. We purchase in 30 lb. buckets (stands), and render out our own. We use it for everything from frying (I use mostly my own rendered lard for this), to biscuits, pie crusts. The buckets keep practically forever, and if it does go bad, you can use it to oil tools, make soap, etc. You need to keep one opened bucket in the pantry. Then store one bucket in your deep pantry for each person you are planning for. Always store more than you think you will need, because you may need everything you store.

  34. Meg says:

    Rice will last forever if stored correctly. I recently opened a can of decaf coffee dated 2002. It was fine. Canned goods last a long time if kept in cool dark storage.

  35. sixpack says:

    I come across this all the time Scott. People who act like the only “real” food is from their garden or yard. There is always something wrong with nearly everything else, to those certain people…everything.

    I salute those who can survive on what they have on their farm, but I’ve always said that, when it comes down to REAL hunger, anyone who claims they’d rather eat bugs and worms, than a package of ramen noodles is either a liar or a fool…or both.

    • Stardust says:

      I may try roll up bugs next summer. They are related to shrimp and heard fried in butter is tasty, but a recipe calls to put them on a potato diet for 48 hours first. Oh, southern fried bees were good, and if it wasn’t for the bee shortages, I would rather eat them than KFC potatoes. Honestly!

    • RomeoOscOscSierraTangoEchoRome says:

      The noodles are fine just put your own spices in instead of the pkg. of MSG!

      • genann59 says:

        I have heard the same advice. Just don’t use their flavoring packets and they are then just regular noodles in an easy to store and access package.

  36. sixpack says:

    Absolutely, Vivid Dawn. If I may add, getting as MAGNESIUM supplement will do wonders for your heart. It solved my former heart murmur in a few months. Research it and please consider getting your hands on some.

  37. rabbitman says:

    Its all about having a diverse selection of food and supplies. Everyone has their favorites. So stock up on what you like. For me one of the biggest things I can never have enough of is rice. White mostly, but brown as well. I probably have 3-4 months worth of rice. I am not a fan of beans, but I do stock them just in case. I always look at the calorie count when considering a food for my storage. One of the best is Masa – flour for tortillas. That stuff is gold when it comes to price/calorie. Obviously if you have canned food – you need to rotate it. I swap my out about once a year.

  38. David says:

    And a couple of guns with ammo / weapons to defend yourself from others who want to take it from you, and also as a means of hunting for food when your stores run out. . .life will not be a paradise when SHTF folks, the more ya got the more others will want to take it from you, and determined individuals will certainly try. . .by any means

  39. Debeerba says:

    Everyone already survives in their own way. These are things that will fill the belly and give energy while the long term challenges get figured out. There is something to be said for having something fresh every day. In that regard, perhaps adding digestive enzymes to your stores may be helpful for some who struggle with their digestion erstwhile you wait for seeds to sprout.

    Coconut and palm shortening store well and are not prone to becoming transfat or rancid. It is finally becoming clearer that saturated fats are good for us after all. So lard and beef tallow are acceptable and good long term keepers besides being loaded with flavor. Quick cash crop oils go rancid way too quickly for long term storage.

    The stress is hard for us to imagine this side of disaster. So long term storable foods that keep us calm and satisfied is what we should consider the most suitable.

    Seems that as much preventative healthy measures that we can do now will keep us in much better form when everything hit the skids. Because ever after our health will go down hill until we can recover local systems of survival. So eat right now, stay hydrated now, get fit now. Get rid of addictions/cravings now — caffeine, nicotine, sugar, alcohol, poppy juice. Save the power of those things for the time when they will give the best mileage.

  40. Helpyourself says:

    While you peepers are fighting over what food you thinks best, I will be helping myself to your pantry. And selecting a nice tasty meal . Then moving on to the next preper fighting over who’s got the best selection. I get my food for free. Do you.? Chears and good eating. Every man for himself.

  41. Buffet says:

    As a competitive bodybuilder, the thing on your list I would put into my body is number 24.
    The rest is rubbish.

  42. Fifi says:

    Table salt is bad. It’s overly processed and filled with anti-caking chemicals. Pure salt like himilayan and celtic are life giving salts, filled with minerals.

  43. Tom Schuckman says:

    I remember wondering into a Royal Thai Army [pronounced: “TIE”, from Thailand- good fighters, but kind of crazy] compound in Vietnam: 68-70, and offered a baby bird roasted in some sort of brine, so I ate it. The beaks were crunchy but I throw away the feet. You do NOT want to insult those who offer you their “best.” I also went to Thailand twice, on R and R, and Japan, once. Helicopter, ‘door gunner,’ Huey’s. My Blog: TOM’S JOURNAL. My email: tschuckman@aol.com — Just saying that other cultures eat strange things, and yet, survive !

  44. genann59 says:

    I love the taste of Hamburger Helper meals. BUT most contain MSG which I discovered I’m allergic or sensitive to and they make me very ill. They are also suspected of harming the developing brains of children, so people with children might want to read labels and pass by products, such as Hamburger Helper, which contain MSG. The companies use it as a flavor enhancer so they can cut corners and make food that would cost more to make if they used high quality ingredients taste better cheaper. It plays games with your brain while at the same time damaging your brain. Something to consider when buying food for long term use.

  45. Hwyone says:

    seaweed is good if not heavy metal contaminated. I think eggs are so rich, bee pollen too.

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