I got an email the other day from a loving and well meaning friend who was sharing how to buy storage food cheaply over time. It was a wonderful gesture and right in line with the need to prepare. Honestly, though, it got me thinking and wondering what’s wrong with the typical food storage list.
The principle was actually perfect…to buy a little each week and store it. Within a year you would have enough for two people to survive on for another year. This is a great way of not breaking the bank all at once and crushing the objection to not being able to afford food storage.
The problem with this was the type of foods on the list. The list was the Standard American Diet (S.A.D., yes it is) poster child of being very typical.
Food, especially in a stressful situation, is not just to be junk to fill your gut (and in the S.A.D. clog your intestines & arteries) but it is meant to nourish your BODY and empower your BRAIN and enhance your FLIGHT or FIGHT capabilities. Not just satiate the belly or taste-buds.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a great deal to be said about enjoying the food you eat. But why does it have to come from a box, mixed with water and some powdered pack of chemical ingredients to be considered storage food? Well, it doesn’t!!
This is one reason we admonish people with whom we share to gain SKILLS to fix enjoyable food from whole, real, healthy foods prior to the emergency need arising. Your body will thank you when you feel healthy rather than drained during a heightened sense of tension.
Here is an example of the typical storage food list (at least the one I just received) and my options for healthy replacements are in italics:
* X Pounds of Wheat
This one is the best one….but be SURE it is chemical free and non-GMO, that way you can also sprout it to provide greens (which if you look are completely missing on this list).
* X Pounds of Sugar
While I do not think sugar is totally bad, the amount suggested to store is usually way higher than the body needs. It may be useful for trading so rationing is vital. But first and foremost there are other sweeteners that have more healthy qualities such as honey. It does double duty also as an antibacterial treatment both on the skin and in the body. If you must get sugar to use, get the least processed kind as possible. Evaporated Cane Juice or Sucanant.
* X Pounds of Powdered Milk
Okay. Um. Just plain scary to count on this as the sole source of calcium. Fine, have a little (ORGANIC) on hand if you can find it, but calcium comes from most leafy greens. I sure hope you’re growing something!
* X Pounds of Salt
Salt is actually great for curing and for preserving. They type of salt SHOULD BE a mineral salt (Himalayan) and a sea salt. Iodized is fine, but not a processed white table salt.
* X Pounds of Honey
There you go Honey. Double up on whatever they say to get of this and cut back by at least 1/4 of what they say of the sugar.
* X Pounds of Peanut Butter
Whoa! Yikes! This stuff will kill you faster than the looting neighbors! Instead get whole roasted peanuts. Not only does this give you another food alternative, it can be milled or food-processed INTO peanut butter that has NONE of the scary additives of the typical jar from the store.
* X Cans of Tomato Soup
The wide array of chemicals in canned soups is amazing. Specifically what is wrong with storing tomato based ANYTHING in a can is that they have not found that the acid in the tomatoes leach out the BPA toxins from the can lining. So, it’s in the tomato based foods.
* X Cans of Cream of Mushroom Soup
Cream based soups are usually loaded with fat and sodium. Frankly, soup does NOT fill me up, no matter what. Why not store some good dry navy beans or pinto beans that can be used for multiple things AND be filling due to fiber.
* X Cans of Tuna
Well, not being vegetarian, this one I actually ‘get’ and agree. Some meat products that are simply THAT MEAT and no additives, fillers, etc are best stored in a can. Please no ‘potted meat’, ‘Vienna sausages’ or ‘spam’…even ‘turkey spam’ (yep, that’s out now as ‘healthier’ *shudders*). Although store-able those processed meat products will kill you and drain your energy over just a short period of time!
* X Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
Again with the creamed soup! What is wrong with these people?
* X Boxes of Macaroni and Cheese
Oh please NO don’t DO this! Okay, at least not in excess. Come on, I mean, powdered cheese? How REAL is THAT ‘food’? Does your body, in its greatest need of all while under stress – does it recognize powdered cheese as a ‘food’….no….it NEVER does.
* X Aspirin
Sure. Why not?
* X Multi-Vitamins
Not being a big fan of synthetic, isolate vitamins, the only ones I would suggest are the ones that are clear and REAL food based. A fish oil, a garlic tablet, and perhaps a natural D3 to help deal with stress. Most multi-vitamins have so many chemicals and binders in them to hold the man-made synthesized vitamins together. Does your body recognize a piece of press-board as food? No. So the same goes for a multi-vitamin.
* X Pounds of Yeast
Yep. Got it. Good.
* X Pounds of Shortening
No. No. Never. Why not coconut oil? It acts like a shortening and is a healthy oil. Also some of the other oils that are heart healthy are omitted from this list, such as: Olive oil, safflower oil, organic canola oil, g rapeseed oil…and so on.
* X Pounds of Macaroni
If you have macaroni in its whole wheat form, fine. See you can add a bit of that olive oil or coconut oil and some of your sea salt to the whole grain macaroni and be way more full and healthy than the box of mac & cheese. Plus the variety of the plainer foods is wider.
Please note how much of that list is missing. Fruits (dried), vegetables (dehydrated to reconstitute) more grain options such as Organic oatmeal or Popping corn (which can be made into a MYRIAD of items and popped corn fills the belly and cures headaches too!) I’m sure there is a wide variety of missing food elements that I’ve not touched on either.
The fact is that the process was perfect, buy small amounts or a portion each week and it won’t be overwhelming…but get REAL FOOD for your REAL BODY…you’ll REALLY need it.
As always, we are humbly at your service for assistance! Please feel free to call or email with any questions.
Best Blessings and enJOY the journey!
Joseph & Donna Miller
The Grain Storehouse – Your Preparation Station!
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