Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Top Ten List

There are a lot of important things to keep in your food storage. What is the most important is a bit subjective for each person and each family. So here is a top 10 list, compiled by Cynthia Grayson. Decide which of these are important and make your own top 10 list so that you will always have those items on hand. Evaluate what you already have on hand and add to it.

1. Water- Having enough water in your long term food storage is very important. Water is not only for drinking but cooking and personal hygiene as well. Make sure you have plenty of water for everyone in your family and your animals as well. Bleach bottles are a great place to store water, just a little bit of bleach will keep your water safe for use much longer than storing water alone. The best, most leak proof bottles for storing water, are those specifically intended for that purpose. The square, heavy duty water storage jugs (5 gallon) are great. Do not store water in empty milk jugs – they will disintegrate over time.

2. Grains- Items such as wheat, flour, rice, and pasta are great items to store. Some of these items, if stored properly, can last up to 30 years! These are staples in most daily diets so it only makes sense to have them in your food storage as well. Make sure you store the same types of food you eat on a regular basis; this will assist you in not getting sick from eating things you aren’t used to eating.

3. Fats- Don’t let the name fool you; these are an important part of your diet and are necessary for your long term food storage. What you choose to store from this list may vary but here are some ideas, peanut butter, salad dressing (great for adding flavor to anything you are cooking not just salads), shortening, vegetable oil, and mayonnaise. All these items on the list are great for cooking and changing up your everyday recipes. Try using them in some of your meals now so you will know how to use them in your food storage.

4. Drink mixes- I am not the biggest fan of water so having drink mixes is a must for me. Get a variety of mixes so that you can have a variety of drinks. Mixing up what you have to drink will allow you to not get bored of plain old water. If you are a cocoa drinker store some instant cocoa that you can mix with some hot water.

5. Spices and seasonings- Don’t forget your spices! Adding different spices to your meals will give you the ability to change things up. No one wants to eat plain oatmeal for breakfast EVERY day, add brown sugar one day and cinnamon the next. Having a variety of items to “spice” up the mundane will keep everyone happy, even the kids!

6. Candy- Just because you are storing food in case of emergency doesn’t mean you should forget the comfort foods. Children will love you if you keep some sweets around and you know that it’s a must for you too. Hard candy is a great item to store but look into canning some of your extra Halloween candy. My sister did it and it lasted 8 months and tasted great! Remember that most hard candy will soften and melt – as in become gooey- if any moisture gets into it. Make sure it is packed air tight.

7. Legumes- That’s right, you may not love beans and peas but having them in your food storage will allow you to have a well balanced diet. These can give you protein when you don’t have enough meat and also provide fiber for your diet.

8. Cooking essentials- Don’t forget some of the items you may take for granted like sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and yeast and canned milk. These are all items you will need to have on hand for turning that flour you are storing into something your family will eat. While you are at it don’t forget powdered milk! It’s a must for food storage! Think about that oatmeal with just water on it! Even in emergencies you don’t have to live without your comforts, just plan ahead!

9. Multi-Vitamins- Even if you make sure to store the best foods and you make sure you are eating a balanced diet having multi- vitamins around will allow you to make sure your body is getting the nutrients you need. One excellent way to store nutrients is with a “green drink” or nutrition supplement. There are so many to choose from but some really great ones offer tons of nutrition that would help maintain optimal health despite undesirable conditions

10. Cooking supplies- Let’s say you are in an emergency and you lose power, how are you going to cook all this amazing food you have in storage? Make sure you have cooking supplies like a camp stove with extra fuel and some matches. Also think about pots and pans, even if you grab them from your kitchen make sure you have some available to you for cooking. Think about silverware and the other utensils you use every day when you are cooking and keep some of those with your food storage.

These 10 items are only an over view of the things I keep in my long term food storage. Do some research and see what else you should store but make sure that whatever you store is items you and your family will eat and enjoy. As far as how much of everything to store you can read my last food storage post about how much food to have in your long term food storage.

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