The most often told myth of survival food is that it is unappetizing, if not downright inedible. It is my hope that this article will dispel that myth.
While it is true that not all food supplies are suitable for the disaster storage closet (nuts, for example, or vegetable oils), it takes only a little imagination, or pre-disaster recipe planning, to come up with a remarkable menu.
In general, any dried or canned food will last many years if kept cool, dry and dark. Light, temperature variances or extremes, and moisture are the enemies of long-term food storage.
Survival Food Pantry
A well-stocked emergency pantry might contain the following:
|baking powder||baking soda||black beans||brown sugar|
|canned carrots||canned chicken||canned corn||canned green beans|
|canned ground beef||canned tuna||chili powder||coconut oil|
|potato flakes||powdered butter||powdered eggs||powdered milk|
|tomato sauce||white rice||yeast|
If you are anything like me, you are not a culinary master, nor anything quite resembling a ‘chef’. You can, perhaps, follow a few directions and manage not to cut your finger off in the kitchen. Meaning… you have all of the above ingredients in your disaster pantry (don’t you?!) but you have no idea how to put them together.
Luckily for cooking sods such as myself, there are a number of websites where you can go (before TEOTWAWKI, right then…), type in the ingredients you have on hand, and discover the magic of something called a ‘recipe’.
Entering in the list of 35 ingredients above into ‘my kitchen’ over at supercook.com yields a list of over 1,200 recipes gathered from all over the internet that include the ingredients in my list. Recipes such as:
Dozens of breads including homemade bagels, country French bread, no knead whole wheat bread, tortillas, chewy Italian, Baguettes, pizza crusts and many more.
The list just goes on and on and on, growing with each added ingredient. One of the nice features of supercook, is the little round (i) button that shows you what ingredients you might be missing to make a specific meal. Adding cream of mushroom soup, or canned fruits can add dozens of additional recipes. Also, you’ll notice that superfood isn’t quite smart enough to know that you can make some of the otherwise missing ingredients with the items you already have in your pantry, so be sure to click on that information button, often it will be something like ‘bread crumbs’, which you can obviously make yourself, or ‘vegetable oil’, which the website wasn’t able to replace with coconut oil.
You may need to do a little massaging of the ingredients; replace fresh eggs with powdered, make your own ‘mac & cheese’ with cheese powder, you get the idea, but the point is that all you need is some creative thinking, and a little preparation.
One of the great things about including all of the baking ingredients above is the wonderful assortment of desserts that become available to you. You see, it is important to do more than just ‘survive’ on the foods you eat.
The U.S. military has long understood this, and has included some form of treat in military rations since WWII. Survival requires a healthy mind as well as a fueled body, and treating yourself to a desert now and then is a great way of lifting spirits, just as it is today.
Rice & Beans
What it really comes down to is stocking more than just rice and beans. I mean, if all you have is rice and beans, then you are going to get tired of rice and beans really fast. The more ingredients you have at your disposal, the greater the diversity of food that you can create with them. It is really just that simple.
One point that I want to make here, is that it is important to the long term physical as well as psychological health of you and your family to have a variety of food at your disposal. If you eat just a few food products every day, even if you find a dozen ways to cook them, eventually your body will stop processing the food and you will probably go crazy too!