No one can survive without food for a long time. How many times have you heard of horrific stories wherein survivors have to eat anything just to satisfy their hunger? It is instinctual of every human life to crave for food. This is why many preppers and survivalist strongly recommend setting aside survival foods with long shelf life for emergency situations. With all the problems hounding every corner of the globe today, storing enough food for at least three days will help ready a household for worst-case scenarios. But this is no longer just about canned goods or dehydrated foods. To give you an idea, we have compiled the top survival foods known for not just their nutrients but also for their ability to withstand long-time storage. Here they are:
Rice. White and brown rice as top survival foods with long shelf life have long been debated. While brown rice is a hands-down winner in terms of nutrition, it’s the white rice which comes as a sure winner in terms of shelf-life stability. It so happens that the oil of the brown rice’s bran easily go rancid in a matter of few months. Rice can also be eaten as a standalone food like say porridge. It can be paired with beans, meat, and everything else. Some may survive by eating white rice topped with sugar or salt, too. Make sure to have it sealed tightly and stored in a cool, dry place. This Texmati White Rice from Rice Select makes an excellent choice with its stackable airtight containers.
Oats. For diabetics, white rice is an ultimate no-no. This makes whole grain oats a classic favorite. Like white rice, oats can also last up to 30+ years when properly stored. Highly nutritious and great for digestion and in reducing cholesterol, it is pretty easy to prepare. Quick rolled oats like the one below from Augason Farms, for instance, can be used for baking or as a piping hot breakfast cereal. It’s great for storage, too.
Pasta. Another carb-friendly survival food that boasts of long shelf life is pasta. Pasta dishes are quite easy to prepare. One can create soup with just a handful of shell pasta with a can of evaporated milk. When buying pasta for long-term storage, choose durum wheat semolina brand like this Barilla Penne/Spaghetti Pasta Variety Pack of 8.
Now, moving to proteins and other food types..
Dried Beans. One cannot live with rice alone, though. An all-carbs diet will ultimately take its toll. Adding protein via dried beans is the way to do it. Beans can also be ground and used as flour to bake biscuits and bread or as pasta. Dried beans like aduki, black eyed peas, mung beans, soy beans, Fava, butter beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, red, green and white beans, and so on. A bucketful of Navy beans like the one below from Saratoga Farms valuebucket series may even last up to 30 years.
Freeze-Dried Meats. Another good source of protein with veritable long shelf-life are freeze-dried meats. Canned meaty goodness abound in the supermarket but most of them have shorter shelf-life. Spanish Jamon and beef jerky are often staple in off-grid homes but for urbanites, freeze-dried meats from Legacy Foods or Future Essentials like the ground beef goodness below can last up to 25+ years in proper storage.
Lentils and Peas (Legumes). Another great source of protein-rich vegan-friendly food are lentils and peas. Collectively called legumes, this food group is also a great source of fiber needed in proper digestion. When choosing legumes, go for whole ones and must be dried. When stored in mylar packs with oxygen absorbers, just like this USDA-certifiied Organic Tattva Whole Brown Lentils Masoor Dal.
Freeze-Dried Fruits. A prepper/survivalist will need fruits to enjoy complete nutrition benefits. From bananas to raisins, apples, apricots, berries, and the likes, stockpiling on freeze-dried fruits allow one to enjoy fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants essential in beefing-up one’s immune system. The Lindon Farms 150 Tropical Freeze-Dried Fruits Variety Bucket, for instance, come in easy-open zip-seal individualized mylar foil pouches, which can be used as toppings to rice porridge and oatmeals, or as standalone snacks.
Honey. Instead of stocking up on sugar, health experts suggest going the nutritious route–honey! Considered an “immortal” in the realm of condiments, it can be sealed shut in a glass jar. Aside from adding more flavor to common foods, it can also be used to treat burns and wounds– or to make fire.
Powdered Milk. Fresh milk may be scarce or unavailable during disasters making powdered milk a great substitute. Well, that’s beside the fact that powdered milk can last pretty much longer. It can be consumed by adding hot water or as ingredients to cooking or baking, making it a versatile addition to your survival pantry. This Augason Farms Country Fresh Nonfat Dry Milk, for instance, will make an excellent addition to your bugout food supply.
Proper Storage Matters– A Lot!
Knowing the types of survival foods with long shelf life is but the first step to fortify your bugout supply. Keep in mind that these foods will depend largely on how you properly store them. As much as possible, choose cool, dry and dark areas like basements, garages or large closets to keep your food supply. Keep each of them in tightly sealed containers or vacuum-packed in Mylar or metal packaging as protection from humidity, insects and vermin infestation. Cans, buckets and jars must be lined up with labels forward for easy identification. Overall, ensuring self-sustenance is what matters in the long run. So, choose your food selections well and don’t forget to stack on water and sterilizing tablets, too, to complete your pantry in times of disaster.