There is a reason why our ancestors relied so heavily upon essential kitchen items for their day-to-day survival, and it wasn’t because they wanted to make the best baked goods in the county. The “make do or do without” philosophy transferred into their food sources as well. The answer as to why our ancestors stocked these items is versatility.
The following are a list of essential items that are very deserving of a space on your emergency food shelves:
1. Baking Soda – This is my favorite item to stock up on because it has so many darn uses!
- Because the active ingredient (sodium bicarbonate) is an alkaline, it is a natural antacid.
- Dental care
- Electrolyte powder
- Emergency antiseptic
- Natural cleaner
- Cleans off rust
- Can be used in treating scalding, to prevent blistering and scarring. Cover the scalded area with a liberal layer of sodium bicarbonate and water paste and seek medical assistance.
- Can be applied to skin irritations that occur from poison oak, poison ivy, and sumac.
Please note: Due to the salt content, anyone on a sodium-restricted diet or those with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease or kidney disease should not take sodium bicarbonate in large quantities as it can elevate blood pressure, aggravate heart disease and lead to edema, or swelling of the legs and feet due to fluid retention.
2. Baking Powder – Baking soda is actually the primary component in baking powder, so it’s no surprise that pretty much anything you can do with baking soda, you can do with baking powder. Some additional uses include, but are not limited to:
- Eliminates odors
- Natural cleaning agent
- Draws out insect stings and jellyfish venom.
- Keeps ants away from the house.
3. Salt – Salt is another of my favorite kitchen essentials to stock up on. It is a multipurpose, low-cost prep that will be highly desirable if a long term disaster were to come around. Salt will be a big bartering item! Stock up on different types of salt: sea salt, table salt, pickling salt, curing salt – they will all have their uses in a long term disaster. Sea salt is not only healthy for your body, but it also provides antiseptic and bactericidal qualities. Read more here.
- Dental care
- Food preservation
- Tanning hides
- Supplemental feeding for livestock (Salt licks)
Where would we be without the discovery of yeast? Yeasts are naturally present and live symbiotically on food sources such as grains, vegetables, and fruits. Click here to learn 3 ways to grow your own baking yeast.
- Leavening agent
- Currently being studied for a natural cure for cancer.
- Making alcohol
- Nutritional supplement
- Assists diabetics in controlling their blood sugar level.
- Helps control high cholesterol levels.
- Is a natural flea control for pets.
Vinegar has been around for thousands of years and is so diverse that it would be worthwhile to have a good supply stocked up. The good news is the shelf life is long-term! To learn how to make your own apple cider vinegar, click here.
- Soothes sunburns
- Eliminated bad breath
- Natural facial toner
- Can be used as a fabric softener
- Is a natural hair cleaner/conditioner
- Cleaning product for the home
- Possess medicinal properties
6. Corn Starch
Did you know that corn starch offers some health benefits? Crazy, I know. Corn starch has 488 calories per cup and 117 grams of carbohydrates. I realize this is not an ideal main entree, but if added to dishes it could be a great way of providing additional calories and carbohydrates for added energy. There are also some additional uses to consider with this product:
- Great for use as a dry shampoo
- Burn treatment
- Treatment for insect bites
- Gets grease out of fabric
- Cleans windows
- Thickener for soups, sauces, and gravies
7. Powdered Milk
Have you ever wondered how powdered milk is made? Basically, it is made by evaporating milk to dryness. One of the reasons that powdered milk is so popular amongst the preppers and survivalists is it can be stored for long term use. Further, due to it’s low moisture level, it does not need to be refrigerated, thus making it a perfect emergency pantry item!
- Sour cream
- Whipped topping
- Substitute for milk
- Facial wash