With a few different approaches to food storage out there you need to figure out which one is right for you. Ask yourself if you are the type of person that can rotate your emergency food supply into your daily meals. If the answer is yes, than you may want to try a short term rotation system. This method involves using canned goods and other products that don’t necessarily have the longest shelf life. These items have a expiration date that generally fall within 6 months to a couple years. The expiration dates are set by the manufacturer, and generally reflect when they feel their product will start to diminish and lose customer appeal. Many people believe that the food will store for far longer than the printed expiration date. This method is easier on the pocketbook, but requires a system of rotation into your daily meal routine to avoid spoilage. russian grocery If you feel that you are able to implement this type of maintenance into your food stores than you have found a low cost way to prepare yourself that offers a vast selection of products.
If you are looking for foods with a longer shelf life and are willing to work a bit for it you may want to give canning your own food a shot. This system puts you in control from start to finish. You select the fresh ingredients and you process, sterilize, and can your own food. Some people believe that home canned goods will last as long as the vacuum seal is intact. I have read stories about folks accidentally unearthing an old forgotten cache of home canned goods from a half century ago, and after eating the contents they say the food was great. I am not an expert in home canning but if I were to use this system I would complete a full rotation about every 6-8 years.
FREEZE DRIED FOODS
While continuing to climb up the shelf life ladder you will soon reach freeze dried foods. These foods, if stored correctly, will offer the longest shelf life available. Foods that are freeze dried and nitrogen flushed can last in excess of 25 years. You may find that this type of product is the easiest to maintain, but that ease comes with a price. You can expect to pay a bit more than normal due to the processes the food is subjected to. Within the freeze dried food categories you will find two methods. The first is whole foods. You can buy #10 cans and buckets of single fruits, vegetables, meats, sauces, drink mixes, and textured vegetable proteins. Once opened the shelf life on these items will reduce dramatically to the tune of a couple weeks to a couple months depending on the product. If you Like to cook, and plan on cooking as part of your emergency preparation than this system may be what you are looking for. By storing whole foods, spices, and other baking ingredients you can have an endless amount of combinations of foods limited only by your imagination and taste buds. The last freeze dried alternative I will mention is premade entrees and meals. Since these have gone through the freeze dried process they have the longest shelf life and are a bit more expensive than canned goods. The draw to these products is ease of use. If you know how to boil water then you have mastered the craft of meal making. All the work has been done for you. There is no need for rotation due to the long food life and the only downside is having to choose from someone else’s list of meals. You can get these entrees in smaller four serving sizes packed in Mylar bags. By using these smaller bags you lessen the chance of wasting food by not eating it in time. If I opened a #10 can of banana chips I would feel obligated to eat banana chips with every meal to avoid waste. These bags allow you to eat your single meal while keeping the integrity of your food stores in tact.