Food Storage 101: Why, What, Where, & How [Prepping Today #2]

Well, hello world! This must be Thursday, August 6th of 2020 Welcome back to Prepping Today. Thanks for being here! I’m your host, Prepper Jay. Let’s get this show underway! Today, I want to help you with your food storage. We’ll go over some basic principles if you’re new to the idea, and also share a few tips and resources you can use even if you’ve got a good supply built up already. As always, we can also talk about anything else prepping-related if you want to bring it up in the live chat or on Twitter, @prepping_today — but of course, food is a basic need for everyone. We all need to eat Of course, as we talked about last week, the everyday ways that many of us usually feed ourselves and our families, with regular trips to the grocery store, or grabbing something handy at the gas station, or driving through for fast food, or sitting down at a restaurant, any and all of these could be suddenly disrupted at any time, for any number of possible causes, such as, I don’t know, a global pandemic just for one example Sudden food shortages can occur when any point of the supply chain is disrupted Staple crops can fail due to flooding or drought or pests or disease, or mature crops might not get harvested due to a lack of workers, or they may not get transported where they need to go for manufacturers to process them, or those manufacturers may need to shut down production,

or the final products may not make it to market if the distribution system is interrupted Each stage of this process is vulnerable and it can lead to empty shelves at the grocery store and in your cupboard. The Department of Homeland Security, the DHS, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, the American Red Cross, and many other organizations universally recommend at least a bare minimum three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare foods to have on hand specifically for emergencies The Red Cross even goes a little further and suggests the three-day supply should be in case of evacuation, and your home should have a supply for at least two weeks. All these organizations also recommend storing a matching supply of water, generally one gallon per person per day for drinking as well as cooking and sanitation, along with basic tools like a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, and so on Today, we’re focusing on just the food component of our preparations Of course, we’ll go over the rest in detail in future episodes let’s check out the live chat here food storage is the what you’re in the middle of figuring out well this is perfect for you then that’s great let’s see here now the three-day benchmark is a good goal to begin with and really everyone prepper or not so long as their day-to-day needs are met has a responsibility to meet at least this basic guideline especially if they have children this minimum supply should be sufficient for most temporary disruptions though occasionally a situation can be more severe and a larger supply will be necessary for example the aftermath of hurricane katrina in 2005 was a complicated mess of miscommunication between agencies at the local state and federal levels resulting in a delay of four days before president bush formally initiated the federal response dozens of non-governmental charitable and disaster relief organizations were blocked and turned away from new orleans for several days by the national guard citing safety concerns the u.s coast guard spent two weeks rescuing tens of thousands of people trapped in their homes by hazardous contaminated flood waters but hundreds died before help could arrive one of my personal goals with this channel is to encourage more people to have at least these basic preparations and to have them encourage other people they know to do so as well i believe it should be a cultural norm an assumption that everyone who has the means to make such preparations does so if you truly do not have the means to establish a three-day supply of food for your household if there are no temporary sacrifices you can make to scrape together enough money to make it happen if you have absolutely no means to bring in a little extra money to cover this expense even a little at a time you are already in the midst of a personal disaster you probably didn’t need me to tell you that i strongly encourage you to reach out for help you’re welcome to contact me you can send a private email to prepping today at and i’ll do what i can to get you the help you need let’s see let’s check chat we got here that’s looking good let me check twitter quick you can tweet at prepping underscore today good good now for a basic three-day supply of food many people just usually have enough in their cupboard and pantry that they could get by for three days if they really needed to they might be forced to crack open that dusty can of sardines from the back corner or eat some dry breakfast cereal or plain popcorn or approximate a pizza with ketchup and cheese slices on a tortilla or whatever else they can whip up from the random assortment of ingredients they happen to have on hand even the pet food is edible and you know pets but that’s probably more than three days out technically most people can go several days without eating anything though it doesn’t take long before your body and mind to begin to react to increasing hunger fatigue irritability headache dizziness and abdominal pains are all common early symptoms especially when combined with the stress of a situation itself

can lead to irrational thinking and poor decision making however planning to rely on whatever you happen to have is both risky and unnecessary and is truly no plan at all a disaster won’t know that you were thinking of going to the grocery go grocery shopping tomorrow and decided to hold off until you make your trip now it’s just as likely to catch you and everyone else off guard perhaps on the worst possible day of the week or at the most dangerous time of year there should be no need to venture out into the blizzard now you don’t need a grand plan with checklists and spreadsheets to get started with food storage the very easiest way to begin storing extra food is simply to buy extra of what you already put in your cupboard on your regular grocery shopping trip if you normally get two cans of peas get three use the two as you normally would and on your next trip instead of buying two more buy three now you have four cans two of which are extra you can do this with pretty much anything non-perishable that is anything that you could keep in your cupboard for a fairly long time without it going bad pretty much anything in a can or a jar or a box if it doesn’t need to be refrigerated or frozen you can probably store some extra and sure if you have room in your fridge or freezer you can and should stock those up as well they are more power efficient the more full they are but power outages are a common feature in many different disaster scenarios so i would hesitate to rely very heavily on them if the power does go out try not to open them unless you really need to so the cold air stays trapped inside before the power goes out if you keep the gaps filled with bottles of water this will help keep it colder inside for longer if you have a generator it might be a good idea to fire it up to keep your fridge or freezer going if the power stays out for more than a few hours you’ll need to consider how you might rescue the contents of your fridge your freezer if you keep it closed and it’s fairly full should last a day or even two but at some point you might end up making an impromptu feast with everything that would otherwise go to waste of course if you’ve been at this for a while you probably have a solar panel a battery bank and a 12 volt freezer all set and ready to go if you do i’m jealous keep that thing full but you didn’t need me to tell you that now fresh produce is perishable it’ll go bad after a few days so it generally doesn’t work well for storage if you eat a few bananas in a week it won’t do you any good to buy an extra bunch each time you go grocery shopping that would quickly add up to a shelf full of brown bananas and while banana bread is a delicious way to use those up you’d probably get sick of it after a while and end up throwing a lot of those old bananas in the garbage or better yet in your compost but that’s for the gardening episode let’s see anyone buying more than you usually do and we know we’ll eat it yes exactly that’s the thing if you keep it in your cupboard and it’s what you normally eat you know it’s not going to go to waste you’ll just cycle through it that’s right that actually brings us to the next easy technique called rotation you want to use up your oldest food first so when you buy those new cans of peas you put them at the back behind the cans that you had before this way you ensure your extra food never goes bad if you really want to go the extra mile with your rotation and you don’t mind putting in just a little extra effort you can check the use by markings on your food containers and put the soonest expiration dates at the front to be used up first sometimes your more recent purchases are actually stamped to expire before the ones you already had in your covered so catching those makes this a slightly better method but it does take extra time and may not make much of a difference on the subject of expiration dates you should know that they are not hard rules there are differences between sell by use by best before and other types of date stamping sell buy is an instruction from the manufacturer to the store that the product should not be sold after that date however this does not mean the product is no longer good after that date similarly best before and used by really just mean that’s as long as the manufacturer is willing to stand behind the nutrition information on the label for that product after that time they’d rather sell you a new one but as long as it’s still sealed and kept in good storage conditions most products can last well beyond that date sometimes many years some of the nutrients may degrade over time but they can still be safe to eat that said if you ever open a food

package whether it’s expired or not if it smells like it’s gone bad or it looks like something is growing in it or something just doesn’t seem right about it don’t chance it better safe than sorry just go ahead toss it in the garbage remember when in doubt throw it out personally so far i’ve only encountered this once i had a can of fruit cocktail that was expired for about a year and when i opened it it just smelled a little too sour and the colors were a little too far on the brown side honestly it probably would have been just fine but it wasn’t worth taking the chance i tossed that can and opened another instead and that one was just fine now there can be a distinction or a distinct difference between a very old product and a new one i’ve used cans of tomato paste that were a year or two past their dates they were distinctly darker and had a slightly more robust flavor but they worked out just fine i’ve used brown rice and oatmeal and lentil beans that were five or six years past their expiration dates still in their original packaging with no special storage conditions and they’ve always been good throwing something out just because of a date stamped on the package is a waste of food and a waste of money speaking of money if you have the means you can make leaps in your food storage and often save money in the process by buying in bulk for example rather than buying a few cans of peas on each trip you could buy a case of 12 cans all at once this costs more up front but dividing that cost across the 12 cans often means each can cost you less than it would have if you bought each one on its own if you have a membership at a wholesale club where they offer cases and large bulk packages you can really take advantage of this difference just make sure the total amount you end up saving is more than what you pay for the membership let’s check twitter here quick good good and youtube and twitch looking good all right now so far these building up your cupboards with your everyday sorts of foods and depending how much room you have you could build up several days or even a few weeks supply this way the next step up though is a designated emergency food supply rather than just vaguely having more food on hand than you used to this involves having a specific stash of food in some locations separate from your everyday foods i recommend keeping it in a sturdy plastic tote or two so it’s easy to grab and load up in the car if you need to evacuate it might be on a shelf in your basement or in a closet or under your bed but wherever you store it it’s a distinct collection of foods that you have set aside specifically for emergencies you should go through this collection at least once a year maybe twice if you’re really on the ball and make note of items that will be expiring before the next time you plan to check then the next time you’re going grocery shopping you buy newer items to replace the older ones and move the older ones into your regular cupboard to get used up the items in this collection should be selected to meet certain criteria first there should be a variety of foods not just a bulk container of one thing they should be shelf stable and easy to prepare ideally ready to open and eat without any cooking and without needing to add any water or other ingredients for example this would not be the place to store a big bag of pancake mix but you can open up a can of soup and eat it straight out of the can without actually needing to heat it up you can buy tuna in cans or flat mylar pouches maybe throw in a box of crackers and those extra little packets of mayonnaise you brought home from the sandwich shop and you can construct little bite-sized tuna sandwiches you might have granola or protein bars as a sort of breakfast item even little bags of cookies or candy for good morale which can mean a lot in a bad situation get creative with things you and your family will enjoy of course if you can get mres i think this is a good place to keep a few of them we’ll talk more about those in a bit if you have canned items in your kit be sure to also include at least one can opener preferably two military style p38 and p51 can openers are great they’re cheap and small they fold flat you can get them in sets of 5 or 10 and stash them in your kitchen or your bug out bag your car kit and in this food stash there is a certain technique to using them so be sure to practice with them before you really need them many swiss army knives and other multi-tools have a slightly different

style of can opener and the extra tools could come in handy as well but they are more expensive if you have an extra to spare though your emergency food kit would be a good place to keep it now some cans have a pull tab so you don’t need an opener but be careful with these because their seal isn’t quite as secure they’re more prone to rupture especially if the things in the kit are being jostled around and the corner of something hits that seal hard enough it can pop right open and now you’ve got beef jerky to clean up and that stuff ain’t cheap anyway let’s check the chat that’s looking good all right so we’ve gone from vaguely having some extra food around to keeping it fairly organized in the cupboard to making a designated stash of emergency food honestly that’s more than a lot of people ever even bother to do if you’ve made it this far you should feel proud you’re already in a better position to cope with a disaster than most of your neighbors you might also start to enjoy the sense of comfort and peace of mind that can come with knowing you have that food set aside ready and waiting for you just in case you’ll hopefully never really need it but it’s there and you made it happen now at least as far as food goes you’re pretty well covered for a few days to a few weeks depending how much you’ve built up that can get you through most of the more common disasters but you and i both know that not all disasters are common there are many more drastic but realistic scenarios that might leave you to endure months without resupply to fortify yourself against these you’ll need to up your game a bit here we’re looking at a target of 90 days or three months worth of food storage you could hypothetically just do something like your two-week tote six or seven times but then when you’re doing your review for expiring items you’re either doing it six or seven times as much all at once or six or seven times as often also for a three-month supply you should really make sure you’re paying at least some basic attention to the mix of nutrition in the variety of foods you’re storing that’s really not as important for just a two week tote but if you’re looking at food for three months you want to make sure you’ve got a decent balance of carbohydrates proteins and fats you want to make sure you’re getting enough fiber and vitamins and minerals now it’s not a perfect option for a few reasons but you might consider storing three months worth of daily multivitamins just to try to make up for any deficits your regular food storage might have for whatever happens that’s severe enough to make you rely on this supply you’re going to want to make sure your body and mind stay up to the task of dealing with it so good good now at this three month level you should think about bulk quantities of staple ingredients you could get a sack of flour some white sugar some salt some baking soda practice making your own bread you could even consider investing in a bread machine check your local thrift stores for a good deal on a used one of course this is only useful if you still have power but you can also use it regularly in the meantime anyway and have fresh bread without the additives you get in the store-bought kind think about stacking boxes of pasta spaghetti style noodles like vermicelli and linguine are the most space efficient and lasagna lasagna noodles are pretty decent as well but shapes like rotini and bow ties and shells as such have a lot of empty air in the box if you have limited space to work with this is something to keep in mind don’t forget to also stock jars or cans of sauce or better yet get some small cans of tomato paste or some tomato powder and learn how to make your own spaghetti sauce again this can help save space and it’s also more versatile as you can use that same paste or powder to make ketchup or pizza sauce or chili just by changing what you add to it you might also consider getting a case of ramen i know ramen gets a bad wrap in general and the food storage community is no different there’s almost no useful nutrition in ramen but tons of sodium however hear me out ramen is cheap easy and filling as long as you have some better food options as well ramen is a good way to make those other supplies last longer if you’re concerned about too much sodium you can simply not use the seasoning packet and substitute your own seasoning personally sometimes i just like cumin other times i make an approximation of indonesian meat gouring

with a teaspoon of brown sugar or coconut sugar a teaspoon of soy sauce or liquid aminos some fried onions or green onions straight from the garden and a fried egg on top squeeze on some sriracha hot sauce and it’s amazing still lots of sodium in that version but it’s much more delicious than regular ramen and with the egg it’s got some actual nutrition you should experiment to find out how you like to do your own now look at getting 25 pound bags of rice and quick cooking oats bags of dried beans are often quite a bit cheaper than the same amount of beans in a can but of course all these sorts of items are going to require water as well as some way to cook them i’ll be covering water and cooking in their own upcoming episodes but for now i’ll just point out the need for flavoring you’re going to want different seasonings spices and sauces to help your meals stay varied and interesting or you’re going to get real sick of plain beans and rice a box of bullion cubes keeps for a long time and can go a long way packets of onion soup mix can be used for much more than just soup hot sauce can pretty much last forever you can make your own taco seasoning or just buy a big container of it for convenience get a pepper grinder mill and a big container of peppercorns it’ll last much longer and be much more flavorful than pre-ground black pepper maybe start using all those ramen seasoning packets you’ve been saving you get the idea also at this level you should seriously consider not just food storage but food production again i’ll be doing a whole episode on gardening but for now i’d just like to mention sprouts you can sprout seeds on your kitchen counter at any time of year with just a little bit of water and a container to keep them in they’re ready in about five days you can store pouches of sprouting seeds like alfalfa or broccoli or mung beans but you can also sprout almost any dry beans that you get in bags like lentils or garbanzos you can even sprout wheat berries for wheat grass sprouts are a great way to boost your nutrition and give you something fresh at a time when produce might not be available otherwise sprouts can be a decent substitute for greens like lettuce and sandwiches or tacos or whatnot especially if you let them go a few extra days and they start to get leaves and become microgreens yes you can do a lot with ramen it’s good to have cases around yes now if you have the means to do so this three-month three-month stage is also the point where you might consider some of the more expensive options for food storage a bit ago i mentioned mres which stands for meals ready to eat they’re what soldiers have out in the field an mre is a self-contained package with a complete meal as well as a side and some kind of treat plus a packet of flavored drink mix powder some instant coffee salt and pepper chewing gum a wet wipe a little toilet paper and a plastic spoon there’s also a special pouch that uses a chemical reaction with water to heat up the food without a stove or oven or anything you wouldn’t want to live on nothing but mres and some are definitely more delicious than others but they are a solid option for a proper hot meal with good nutrition they are a bit expensive and continue to become even more so but if you can find a good deal on a case or two they can be cheaper per unit let’s see here now for the u.s military mres come in 12 per case with two case variations called menu a and menu b each of which has a different set of meals a special variation on the traditional mre is the fsr which stands for first strike ration these are an entire day’s worth of calories and nutrition in a single pouch fsrs are even more expensive and there are only nine per case but they are very space efficient and very convenient there are also cold weather mres that are pretty much like regular mres but with extra calories sort of in between a regular mre and an fsr there are also mres meant for training camps that don’t include all the items inside a regular mre there are also civilian versions of mres often made by the same companies that supply the military there are also mres from foreign countries each military has its own approach and the variety can be interesting if you’re both curious and lucky your local army surplus store might have some mres in stock from time to time

they’re probably a bit overpriced and probably well past expired but i’ve had some that were over a decade old and they’ve always been just fine of course your mileage may vary now another relatively expensive option but worth considering if you’re able to make the investment is stocking up on pre-packaged dehydrated and freeze-dried foods dehydrated foods have been heated gently with dry circulating air so they don’t really cook but they do dry out and they usually reduce in size when they do they kind of shrivel up freeze dried foods go through a fancier process in a device that drops the temperature and the air pressure in such a way that the water is removed without really affecting the size of the food itself if you’ve ever had what’s sold as astronaut ice cream that’s freeze dried ice cream dehydrating or freeze drying and then sealing foods can make them last for years even decades without adding any salt or other preservatives when you’re ready to use them you just add water and they bounce back to almost their original form freeze dried foods usually come out better than dehydrated but because it’s a more complicated process it’s also more expensive you can buy pouches of freeze-dried food marketed for camping or you can buy large cans meant specifically for emergency storage you can get single ingredients or you can get pre-mixed meals it’s a big market and it’s gotten bigger and a lot of companies have gotten in on it i’d recommend doing some comparison shopping to make sure you’re getting a good deal before you buy i’ll say this though there are big buckets and kits of emergency food that say they have a month or three months or a hundred days or however much food in them these are generally not a good deal sometimes the actual contents are very heavy on sugar to inflate the number of calories and even if the food is decent quality if you actually calculate how much you’re meant to eat in a day it might only be 600 or 800 calories and you’re really going to be eating at least twice that maybe more so that bucketer kit isn’t going to last even half as long as they claim now these kinds of buckets or kits can be a decent deal if it’s a way for you to get the contents for cheaper than if you bought them all individually and you would have wanted to buy them anyway just make sure this is all only one part of a bigger food storage plan good good let’s check twitter click here excellent all right now rather than buying pre-packaged foods you can save a lot of money preserving your own you can get a dehydrator a vacuum sealer some mason jars a water bath canner or a pressure canner this is there’s more upfront investment this way but these things will pay for themselves with what you save over buying commercial food if you use them enough there are a range of dehydrators on the market but if you’re just getting started you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars you can just get a simple unit if you’re lucky you might even be able to find one used at a local thrift store or a garage sale you can dehydrate fruits and vegetables and make them last much much longer than they would otherwise slice up some strawberries and dehydrate them then just throw them in a reused container in your snack cupboard they’ll easily keep for weeks or even months but really you’re going to use them up long before they go bad they’re a great treat just on their own or you can mix them into pancakes or oatmeal or whatever same deal with apples or bananas or pears or peaches you can also chop up and dehydrate peppers carrots celery onions potatoes and other vegetables it’s very handy while cooking to be able to just grab these off the shelf rather than need to chop them up each time you can get some specialized tools to make consistently sized pieces for drying evenly an apple peeler corer slicer is really handy if you’re doing a bunch of apples all at once and you can get something similar designed just for pineapple let me tell you dehydrated pineapple is like candy other devices for slicing and dicing are also great for all kinds of vegetables now you can make these foods last even longer if you vacuum seal them in bags or jars depriving them of oxygen keeps them good for longer there are a wide variety of vacuum sealers on the market but like a dehydrator you could spend

hundreds of dollars but you don’t really need to and you should check for used ones locally first i’d recommend looking for one with a port to attach a tube so you can use it not just for bags but also mason jars you can get accessories to seal both regular and wide mouth jars so you have a mason jar like this without the ring you have the lid you put the lid on you put the accessory on this little porch you hook up the hose for the dehydrator it sucks all the air out and that reduction in air pressure seals the lid to the jar now here’s a pretty good semi-secret tip if you’ve got the accessories for vacuum sealing mason jars you don’t actually need the vacuum sealer to use them you can use a brake bleeder hand pump one of these to seal the jars manually you just put this end in the hole at the top and then you pump like so now it’s definitely more work but you can do this even without electricity so it’s a decent off-grid option i should also mention that you can buy freeze dryers to make your own freeze-dried food these cost thousands of dollars so you’d really need to use them regularly to make the investment worthwhile but if you have the means to do so by all means please do if more people buy them maybe they’ll get cheaper and i can finally get one someday let’s see what we’ve got here good good all right now we talked about using mason jars to store your dehydrated food but of course their more common use is for canning you’ve grown a whole bunch of tomatoes in your garden you’ve turned them into sauce and now you’re canning it to last through the winter that sort of thing there are two major types of canning water bath canning and pressure canning water bath canning is much cheaper and easier so it’s a good place to start and again you might be able to find a used water bath canner but be sure it has the rack inside or it’s really just a stock pot the process is fairly simple you just boil your jars to make sure they’re sterile then you fill them with what you want to preserve put the lid and the ring on the jar set the jar on the rack inside the water bath you let it boil for a while it kills any germs and seals the lid to the jar pressure canning is more expensive and the process is pretty similar but it lets you preserve meat and more acidic foods that aren’t safe to do with just a water bath you might get very lucky and find a used pressure canner but if you don’t really know what you’re looking for it could potentially be dangerous if there’s a crack or anything if you want to play it safe buy new for long term consider a canner with a metal to metal seal not a gasket the gasket will wear out over time if you do get one with a gasket be sure to have at least one replacement gasket on hand good good so you filled up your cupboards with rotating everyday foods you’ve got a tote full of food you can load up in the car if you need to evacuate and it would get you by for at least a few days maybe a couple weeks you’ve got a pantry stocked with bulk staple ingredients and seasonings maybe some mres and cans of freeze-dried foods you’ve calculated calories and you figure you could ride out a pretty major disruption that went on for a whole season really that’s pretty amazing that’s well above and beyond what most people will ever do and you also have enough at this point to help out your family friends and neighbors in a shorter term situation as well but we know we’re always in the middle of history and history has shown us time and time again that major disruptions do happen and they can last for much longer than a season disaster can strike at any time of year which could affect how we use up our stored supplies and whether we’re even able to grow new crops to replace them for such a cataclysmic disturbance we will need much more than food storage but the food storage component of our preparations will be absolutely critical it will buy us time and give us options and it should be enough to get us through at least an entire year the foundation of a year of food storage is bulk staple ingredients preserved for

20 or 30 years or more and the tools to make use of them most of the numbers i’m about to give you come from my book recommendation for this week stick around at the end of the live stream for that each person should have a minimum of 400 pounds of grains like wheat rice oats and corn at 25 pounds per 5 gallon bucket that’s 16 buckets you will also need 60 pounds of beans these will give you the protein you need and they are also high in fiber and antioxidants you will also need 60 pounds of sugar per person honey and real maple syrup can count toward this stored properly these can last essentially forever and they are very calorie dense all other nutrition aside in a long-term disaster calories are king you should also plan for 12 pounds of non-instant powdered milk there are other similar options like instant powdered milk or whey milk alternative but non-instant is most likely your best overall choice if you’re worried about flavor you can drop in a bit of vanilla extract or stir in a little sugar on top of all this you will need fats like cooking oil shortening and peanut butter plan for at least 23 quarts per person most liquid cooking oils will go rancid after a few years but coconut oil can keep for decades you can also get cans of shortening powder as well as butter powder and cheese powder and these can last 10 years or more and don’t require refrigeration similarly you can get ghee which is clarified butter and that is shelf stable for over a decade also there are certain brands of canned butter and cheese that don’t require refrigeration and are popular for food storage to round things out for each person you’re going to want five pounds of salt two pounds of yeast a pound of baking soda and a pound of baking powder i’d just like to mention that another option besides storing baking powder itself is to store extra baking soda along with cream of tartar you can mix the two to make your own baking powder but you can also keep your options open if you end up wanting to use the baking soda for other things baking soda is incredibly versatile it will come up a lot when we talk about sanitation once you have all these things in place you should look at adding cans of vegetables fruit meats and dairy as well as things like powdered eggs and gelatin how we look in here good good let me check twitter quick thanks for bearing with me when i do this looking good all right now when you’re storing things like wheat you’re also going to need a grain mill to grind it into flour you can also grind rice and oats into flour and even larger things like corn and beans and even coffee if your mill supports it of course i’d recommend a hand powered mill so it will work even without electricity there are a lot of options on the market and you can spend from dozens to hundreds of dollars depending on options and versatility some mid-range hand powered units for example also have optional motors so you can use electricity when it’s available you might also want to get a good mortar and pestle the mill does have moving parts and can wear down but a mortar and pestle are essentially just two special rocks that you scrape and smash together if you have the means i’d recommend getting a set made of unpolished granite with a four cup capacity this will give you the most versatility for not just grinding grains but also regular cooking you should also consider making your own recipe book with the ingredients you’ve chosen to store ideally you should type and print these recipes with detailed notes so someone else could understand them especially if a family member might be using them when you’re not around for one reason or another think about including a cheat sheet of substitutions like using the juice from a can of beans to replace an egg or adding vinegar to milk when you don’t have proper buttermilk this could come in handy if you run out of one thing but have extra of another also include a cheat sheet of measurement conversions even if you know off the top of your head that there are three teaspoons and a tablespoon and 16 tablespoons in a cup it can be a handy reference if you forget or again if someone else you care for needs the information it’s also a good idea to include both

imperial and metric conversions for both weights and volumes speaking of weights consider also having a kitchen scale it’s much more accurate to measure by weight than volume especially for ingredients like flour and it can also mean you having fewer dishes to clean which is important if you’re rationing water can i recommend a good powdered egg well yes but i’m not actually a huge fan of the company it comes from so the powdered egg that i like comes from wise food storage but i have had some bad experiences with how they have shipped products and their customer service in response to that i’m not a huge fan of them as a company but man their powdered eggs are perfect so something to look into there are we here good good now i’d like to make something clear that there are a lot of different approaches to food storage there are also a lot of different personality types some people are very neat and organized they like spreadsheets and checklists while others maybe not so much i just want to stress that you should do what works for you it’s important to get something put back for a rainy day more important to do that than to get caught up in the details of doing it just get started don’t let the idea that it needs to perfectly match this way of doing things keep you from actually doing anything if the techniques i’ve laid out so far don’t really work for you i would like to offer another alternative approach for you to consider credit goes to wendy dewitt for this one essentially the idea behind her system is that you can you come up with 14 recipes seven for breakfast and seven for dinner and that’s a week’s worth of food you figure out all the ingredients for each recipe and multiply by 52 because there are 52 weeks in a year that tells you exactly how much of everything you need to store up a year’s worth of food for meals you know you like and you know how to make it’s a pretty elegant system and you might want to give it a try okay so you’ve made it this far you’ve heard all about these foods you should store but it turns out hey that isn’t going to work because you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance or a peanut allergy if you have a special diet restriction you’re generally going to already have some idea of how you need to deal with it what substitutions you can make and so on and you can adapt your particular long-term storage plan to take that into account for example you might not store wheat or pasta but store extra rice and oats and corn so you can grind those into flour instead you might store sunflower butter or almond butter instead of peanut butter you might have boxes of shelf staple almond milk instead of powdered dairy milk you’ll need to watch ingredients on any pre-packaged meals you store to make sure they don’t include the allergens that affect you some people with a family or personal medical history of high blood pressure or stroke for example need to take special care to avoid having too much sodium in their diet a good substitute for regular sodium table salt is potassium chloride most people eating a standard western diet these days get too much sodium but not enough potassium so this is a way to kill two birds with one stone you might also consider buying low sodium versions of food for your storage that said in a long-term survival scenario odds are pretty good there will be a lot of physical labor involved your body will need electrolytes like sodium and that extra exercise is likely to offset the risk of an increase in your sodium intake that said not your doctor your decisions are your own how we looking here good good so speaking of diet restrictions some are more voluntary anyone on a low carb south beach paleo whole foods plant-based diet is probably going to need to expand their food options in a survival situation every vegan or vegetarian i’ve seen or spoken with about this recognizes this fact and would of course eat meat if it became necessary there are some who may not most likely for deep held ethical beliefs and that’s absolutely their right i would of course encourage anyone in such a position to account for this in their food storage particularly with respect to supplementing vitamin b12 but again if this is you i’m sure you know all about that already

on the other hand there are also anti-vegans this is a voluntary diet restriction of its own i’m not a vegan nor a vegetarian i was raised into a meat-eating culture and i think it’s delicious however if you’re the type to reject vegetarian options simply for the fact that they’re vegetarian you’re going to miss out on a lot of amazing food options in both regular times and for your long-term food storage again i’m not a vegan and i have a bunch different kinds of meat in my food storage but i have reduced how much meat i eat on a regular basis and not just because i tried to but because i have found other delicious options that have become part of our usual meals and often they’re cheaper than meat more convenient than meat or both i strongly encourage you to at least try some vegetarian options and if you don’t like one that’s fine try something else another time don’t let one experience that didn’t live up to your expectations hold you back from finding something new you might come to appreciate as preppers we like to have multiple options right now some advice i can give to die hard meat eaters try to think of a vegetarian meal as its own thing not as a substitute for a meat-based version and try not to think of it as a vegetarian meal but just as a meal if you’re expecting one thing and it ends up being another even if that other thing is quite good on its own you’re probably going to be disappointed just from that difference i’ll give you an example i make something i call veggie bake it’s great hot out of the oven the leftovers keep well in the fridge you can slice it cold and put it on some bread for an awesome sandwich i adapted the recipe from one i found online called lentil meatloaf now as you can imagine if you’re expecting meatloaf and it looks a lot like meatloaf i’ve had co-workers in the break room think it was and you bite down and start chewing on this lentil thing you’re going to think it’s not good just because it isn’t what you thought it should be but if it isn’t meatloaf it’s veggie bake and you take it as its own thing it’s delicious my wife actually likes to call it wheat loaf even though i usually make it with oats instead of breadcrumbs so there isn’t actually any wheat in it but it’s still a cute name now i’d be happy to share the recipe if anyone wants it in fact at some point i’m planning on doing a cooking episode but the basic idea is just boiling and mashing some lentils and using them like you would ground beef in a meatloaf now compare the price for a pound of ground beef with a pound of lentils and really a pound of cooked lentils is about as much substance as two to two and a half pounds of cooked ground beef lentils have great protein they’re very shelf stable they’re much healthier for you they’re much much better for the environment and they’re much cheaper it’s way more accessible to buy a 25 pound sack of lentil beans than to buy 50 pounds of ground beef and i tell you if times ever get lean enough even if you didn’t really like lentils before on that day they’ll be the best thing you’ve ever eaten now along the same lines as lentils there’s something called tvp textured vegetable protein it’s a nice dystopian sounding name for a pretty excellent food it’s basically just little dried crumbles of soy protein that you stir into boiling water and they hydrate pretty much immediately and they’re ready to use they have hardly any flavor of their own so the idea is that you season them however you’d like and they take on that flavor you can use beef bouillon and have something similar to ground beef or you can do a mix of smoked paprika turmeric onion powder and black pepper to make something kind of like scrambled eggs it’s great in a breakfast burrito but what we do most often here is mix in a can of black beans and some taco seasoning and that’s the meat for taco night now maybe you’ve already had some tvp and didn’t like it but it’s pretty versatile and i’d encourage you to try it in other ways you can add a bit of it into other things to make them stretch more because it takes on the flavor of whatever it’s in and it hides pretty well and gives you gives you some extra protein we’ve bought tvp from a few places bob’s red mill is good quality but pretty expensive for the amount you get in a bag it was cheaper per ounce from the pull dispensers at our local co-op but i found it even cheaper in a 25 pound bulk box that i got online so now we just keep it in an old pickle jar in our cupboard with a masking tape label that says tvp and we refill that from the box in the basement all right let’s move on to the news for the day

the new york attorney general announced today a motion to dissolve the national rifle association the nra after an 18-month investigation that found fraud and abuse diverting quote millions of dollars away from the charitable mission of the organization for personal use by the senior leadership awarding contracts to the financial gain of close associates and family and appearing to dole out lucrative no-show contracts to former employees in order to buy their silence and continued loyalty unquote this financial misconduct contributed to a loss of more than 64 million dollars over a three-year period the investigation is ongoing so there may be more to come as well of course this story has already been politicized like crazy suffice it to say wherever you happen to land on this it’s at least very interesting to gun rights activists in other news in other news on tuesday a massive explosion in beirut the capital of lebanon has left at least 135 people dead and another 5 000 injured with 300 000 residents displaced from their damaged homes prime minister hassan diyab said that about 2750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate had been stored in a hangar in the city port after a ship transporting the material was abandoned by its crew in 2013 this material caught fire and exploded ammonium nitrate is commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer and in explosives for mining it was also the cause of a similar explosion in texas city in 1947 that killed nearly 400 people ammonium nitrate was one of several dangerous chemicals that contributed to the explosion in tianjin in 2015 it was also used in the 1995 oklahoma city bombing this is yet another reminder of the kind of event that can happen unexpectedly anywhere anytime to anyone if you and your family were suddenly displaced from your home where would you go alright so let’s get to the gear recommendation for the week my gear recommendation this week is a hand powered grain mill wheat is the foundation of civilization and unless you’re gluten intolerant it’s perhaps the single most ideal thing to store in bulk for the long term but you’re going to need to be able to grind it into flour and one of these can make it very easy this particular mill is from victorio it’s a mid-range option cheaper mills aren’t as versatile and more expensive mills are more expensive the stainless steel bur in this model can be swapped out depending on the size of the grain or bean you want to grind cheaper mills are generally limited to a smaller size range some of the more expensive mills use nice grinding stones and they’re designed to be mounted more permanently than this this mill does support an electric motor as an accessory i haven’t invested in one quite yet myself but it would be pretty nice to have the option now whether you go with a less expensive model or save up hundreds of dollars for one of the fancier designs if you’re storing wheat you should definitely have a hand powered grain mill all right and for the book recommendation for the week i’ve got store this not that by crystal godfrey and debbie kent this is the source i referenced for the quantities in the year’s supply but that was just one part of one page there is so much more in here it’s absolutely packed with great information for doing short term and long term storage it’s laid out in a really accessible way almost like a magazine with full color glossy pages there are tons of comparisons between different options for shelf life nutrition and price the last section is all recipes you can make from what you have stored there are some things i think they’re a little too harsh on for example they don’t really recommend mres or tvp but personally i think they’re both pretty great options that said overall this book is an excellent resource for starting and growing your food storage again this is not a sponsored review i’m not being paid to say this about this or the grain mill but i would recommend them both to anyone well you love that book that’s good it’s a great book of course it’s greater i wouldn’t recommend it right good good how we doing here all right i’m going to check twitter one

last time here sweet deal all right so that’s our show i hope you’ve all found it useful or at least entertaining if you did please consider joining our patreon to support the show that’s prepping today i’ve got some rewards posted there now but let me know if you have any ideas for others you can email me at prepping today at or find me on twitter that’s at prepping underscore today i’ll be back next week i have been your host prepper jay and now more than ever get prepping today thank you very much for watching stay safe and healthy out there keep the lights on so you