What foods do you need to make sure your family survives?
As a man you are the head of the family and in times of need you must be the one to provide shelter and food for your wife and kids. You consider yourself prepared if tomorrow a catastrophe happens and you remain without electricity, supermarket access or heat?
Many people out there take survival courses where they learn how to hunt and fish without any high-tech gadgets, just with what nature gives us. This happens because people want to be prepared in case of a disaster. Survivalism is a growing trend amongst American families because they all saw and know what sort of mistakes people can make during dark times. If you are not trained to resist in a world where you don’t have a roof over your head and you can’t find your food unless it sits on a shelf nicely packed and ready to be cooked then you won’t resist in a world without technology.
The world is OK and everything looks good. Why do I need to know how to get my own food?
If there is something to learn from action movies is that the world can change in a matter of days. There are many threats that can bring our shiny era to an end. There are wars that can start in just a few months or Mother Nature can sweep our nice and safe neighborhoods in just a few hours. There are earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, and all sorts of calamities that could hit our country at any time given.
If these don’t seem plausible to you how about if you find out that a meteorite is coming at high speed towards our planet and there is no way to avoid contact? This would put our world in a new ice age and people would be forced to search for their own food and shelter. If you are strong you may take your family to shelter and resist for a while but if you don’t have the necessary knowledge you will not make it to the end.
How to gather the foods I need to survive?
It is better to be prepared with supplies than to look for them when the catastrophe happens. That’s why it is best to have a safer place where you can gather supplies for dark times. You know the word, it’s better to prevent than treat. Just like this, it’s better to have something put aside than to start looking in the time of need. It is best if you build an emergency pantry where you can gather everything you need.
Let’s see, what foods you should be gathering in your pantry:
- Canned fruits and vegetable that are likely to resist for a few years without any problems
- Canned meat that is also very likely to hold on longer than any fresh variety
- Soups that you can either make instant or those that are in a can
- Nuts that are rich in oils and very nutritious. They can be stored for a long period of time without becoming altered
- Crackers are best to be stored in places where there is no humidity. In humid places you need to wrap them real tight to make sure that they don’t get spoiled
- Pasta is another food you need to have in your pantry. Can you imagine your life without them? They are extremely useful, nutritious and easy to make
- Peanut Butter is another choice you shouldn’t ignore. You can keep those jars in a safe place for quite a long time
- Tea, coffee, juices, and anything that is capable to withhold a few years if you don’t open them
- Seasonings are also very important for food and you shouldn’t forget to store them. What would be food without salt and pepper?
- Whole grains like rice, quinoa, oats, cuscus, and so on will come in handy when you need something healthy and nutritious to eat.
- Seeds that you can store for both eating and planting. In case of a disaster you will need to grow your own food and these little seeds can help you a lot.
- Meals that come in a package and are able to resist for a long time
These are just a few examples of what your pantry should contain. You must be extra hard-working and gather other foods that may be vital for your family’s survival. You can even involve them and they can come with great ideas of foods to store.
How to resist a catastrophe only with what I have in my pantry?
Just because we like to use products that are highly processed and nicely packed this doesn’t mean that you can’t take everything you need from the nature. Our ancestors did not need toothpaste to clean their teeth (here is a reference to our ancestors after they discovered agriculture and the need to clean their teeth).
- Let’s talk about salt. These little white grains are not just useful to make your food taste good. They have other uses that you may not know about. For example:
- You can use salt to clean your teeth. Salt is a cleanser and can be used as mouthwash. It will help you get rid of bad breath, plaque and tartar.
- It’s very good to preserve food like meet and other fresh foods that will spoil if not put in brine.
- Also you can use salt for tanning animal skins (if the catastrophe left you with no clothes or heating devices)
- It has some medicinal effects as it is very useful to kill bacteria and heal infected areas.
As you can see salt is very useful in times of trouble and it may even become a trading good. So you should stuck up on salt and keep it in a safe place.
- Baking yeast is another multipurpose food that you must have around. You can use it to:
- Make alcohol (there will be times when you will need alcohol for medicinal purposes or simply for drinking)
- Bake bread and delicious pastries
- Is useful for diabetics in order to control their blood sugar levels
- It’s also a natural flea controller for pets.
- Baking Soda is something you should never let out of your pantry. It has so many purposes, like:
- It’s a natural antacid which you can take whenever you have acidity problems
- You can use it to brush your teeth, instead of toothpaste
- It’s also an emergency antiseptic
- It’s a natural cleaner that even cleans off rust
- Bugs and other insects don’t like it so they will run from you house (or cave)
- Can be applied in case of skin irritation
How to make sure my food is stored correctly?
Now that you decided to make your own emergency pantry and your family is on board with this idea, it’s time to gather everything around. Still there are a few storing methods you need to know. Every type of food requires a special environment and storing area so you need to separate them.
Foods that can be stored for many years and you use them to add flavor to your regular food. These are:
- Bottled alcohol like whiskey, vodka, and so on
- Brown or/and white sugar
Foods you use to make other foods and you know resist for a longer period of time. These are:
- Dry Corn
- Hard Red Wheat
- Soft White Wheat
- Durum wheat
Beans are another category of food that you can’t live without. If you store them correctly, away from humidity and in a void place away from oxygen you can have them for at least 8 years. Store in your pantry beans like:
- Blackeye Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Kidney Beans
- Adzuki Beans
- Lima Beans
- Black Turtle Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- Mung Beans
Flours are a special kind of ingredients and you need to keep them in textile bags away from humidity and heat. Unlike beans, flours need oxygen to remain fresh a long period of time (about 8 years). What should you store:
- All Purpose Flour
- White Flour
- Whole Wheat Flour
Oils are also vital to your family survival and you can keep them in their containers until you need them. You should have:
- Coconut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Palm oil
Don’t forget to put on your list other very useful items like:
- Powdered milk
- Corn starch
- Popcorn (not the kind you will need a microwave oven for)
- Bullion and other packed flavors that you can use to spice up the food
- Cocoa powder
- Potato flakes (if you can’t store the potatoes because they don’t resist long you can store the flakes)
- Pasta sauce that is pre-cooked and packed
- Pudding mixes (it never hurts to have a pudding in dark times)
- Purified drinking water (you will definitely need this as the water is harder to find)
- Dried chunks of breadcrumbs are a very good idea to replace the bread for a while
- Canned fish (until you can go out fishing or hunting this is going to be a very valuable resource)
- Dried herbs that can be used in medicinal purposes
- Hard candy for when you or your kids need something sweet
Remember the first rule of storing
Now that you have a list and you started preparing your pantry you need to remember the first rule of storage: always check out on your items! You won’t be able to just throw away the key and wait for the apocalypse to come; you need to take care of your pantry.
Check regularly if there are spoiled foods and ingredients. Always check those with higher risk first but never forget about those that theoretically should resist many years. Also if you see that there are products about to expire remove them and put other products on place.
Other items that should be in your pantry
You pantry is some sort of a storage unit now and there is the first place you will go if something bad happens. That’s why you should have other items in there that can help you and your family to survive. For example you should have:
- Charcoal so you can make a fire without having to chop down a tree
- Matches and other devices you can use to make fire
- Lighter fluid
- Bandages and medicines for medical emergencies
- Toilet paper (so you don’t have to use newspapers or worse leaves to finish the job)
- Vitamins will also be helpful in dark times. Your body will be deprived of some foods all of the sudden and it might fight back. That’s why is always better to have vitamins in your storage unit.
Attention: With Vitamins and other medical supply you must make sure that they are not passed their expiration date.
Every family has its own needs, which means that this is just a starting list. You can always add items to the list or remove them from the list if you don’t consider them useful. Also is very important that your family members know the location of the pantry and how to get there. In case of a disaster you might get separated and if they know where to go you can re-unite there.
All these and even more you will be able to learn during a survival course. Of course that if you consider you can learn all these from other resources you don’t need a survival course. The main idea is to be trained and to train your family so they know how to react in case of calamity. Keep in mind that a person who knows what to expect and where to find a safe place is the one that is most likely to get out of the disaster alive. Your wife and kids need to know everything about survival!