Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
When you first start prepping, the tendency is to do things: 1) Buy foods that supposedly have a long shelf life, and 2) Buy your favorite foods which may or may not half a long shelf life. I know that when I first started, I found out some foods didn’t last nearly as long as I thought they would.
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And it’s not all about shelf life. If your food stockpile is made up of mostly sugar and carbohydrates, then you’re not going to enjoy living off of it. You need to store foods that will last a long time AND keep you healthy through whatever disaster strikes.
Save yourself some time and money by NOT storing the following foods for too long:
It should go without saying that anything in your refrigerator won’t last long in a survival situation. Milk, eggs, and cheese all have a short life span compared to other emergency foods. Although some dairy items can be frozen, it is best to choose shelf-stable dairy.
When wanting to keep dairy in your diet in a survival situation, it is best to select items like powdered milk, powdered eggs, or hard cheese that can last several months. Many preppers also choose to pickle eggs to keep them preserved and ready to use from the shelf.
It is one of the staples of our society, but ready-made bread won’t last long in a stockpile. Heck, it barely lasts long on our counter or fridges normally. You can stockpile bread in a freezer, but it’s a waste of precious space and money.
Instead of purchasing already made carbohydrates, consider stockpiling the ingredients to make these carbohydrates from scratch. Items like wheat berries and yeast will go a long way in creating bread during a survival situation.
3. Frozen Foods
Many preppers have freezers that are either full to the brim with meat, fruit, bread, and dairy. However, frozen foods will only do you good if you have a generator to run 24/7 during a power outage.
For the most part, frozen foods are seen as an in-between storage solution for many foods. Relying on the electric company, solar panels, or your generator aren’t long-term solutions for food. Instead, try canning meats to make them shelf-stable for the long term.
4. Cheap Comfort Foods
If you ever find yourself in a dire situation, cheap comfort foods will taste pretty good. However, they don’t provide any kind of nutritional value that will help in the long-term. These boxes of manufactured sweets are pretty low in cost and easy to store, but they won’t satisfy hunger like other foods.
Having a few of these items on hand is fine, but stockpiling a large number of these cheap sugars will take up space that you could use for other food higher in nutritional content.
5. Dry Goods with Expiration Dates
There are many things that you may think of stockpiling from the grocery store. Dry cereals, granola bars, and crackers all seem like good carbohydrates. However, many preppers know that these items have relatively short shelf lives compared to other items that you can prepare at home.
Just check the expiration date on the box. At best, you’ll have things that expire in about a year. While these items may be good for your pantry, they aren’t the best choice for long term storage.
6. Processed Flour
While you may think that flours are great options for your long term storage area, there are some better alternatives. Flour that is ready to use has a shorter shelf life than using wheat berries.
Flour can also attract flour mites, which can ruin your flour as well as other foods stored nearby. Storing wheat berries allows you to grind the flour that you will immediately use while knowing that you’ll have plenty of flour for the future.
7. Processed Oats
While minute or prepackaged oatmeals may seem tempting, there are better ways to spend your money (and your storage space) when it comes to oats. Processed oats have less nutritional value than steel-cut or even old fashioned oats. If done correctly, a tub of oats could last well over a decade or two!
8. Fresh Produce
Everyone knows that the clock is ticking, even on the most prolific garden harvests. Cold storage and root cellars play a significant role in keeping all of the potatoes, onions, and root vegetables in good condition.
However, they aren’t going to last years upon years in a stockpile. If you want to store your produce for a long time, consider canning all of your fruits and vegetables to create long-term storage that you can enjoy years down the road.
9. Food You Don’t Already Eat
Another common issue of newbie stockpilers is that they buy and save food that their family has never even heard of. While you may become desperate in a survival situation, there is no reason to purchase food that your family doesn’t normally eat.
There are enough options out there to keep some kind of normal food in the stockpile for the family. Choosing foods that the family already knows and enjoys can also help with the family’s mental and emotional health in a survival situation.
10. Flavored Drinks
The most essential item to have in your food storage is clean water. However, many preppers fall into the trap of purchasing all kinds of flavored drinks for the stockpile. Items like kool-aid or electrolyte drinks will taste good, but they don’t replace the importance of having water in a survival situation. Flavored carbonated drinks like pop will not only be useless in terms of nutrition, but they also go flat and have an expiration date.
It is important to know what kind of food will serve you well if you ever need to hunker down for a while. While comfort foods and a freezer full of meat may sound like a good idea, there are better options to choose from for those preppers who want to make sure that their food storage lasts.
Not only will the right food not spoil in your storage area, but it also will provide your body with good nutrition and energy to get you through the crisis. Hopefully, now you understand which foods you shouldn’t stockpile long-term.
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