A Peek into an Organic Prepper’s Pantry

Much has been written about building a preparedness pantry, but not quite as much information is available about a whole-foods version of that pantry.

We build food stockpiles for many reasons:

  • To combat the weekly increase in the price of food
  • To be ready for unforeseen disasters that preclude us being able to “run to the store” (That disaster could be anything from a paralyzing storm to a power outage to martial law ala Boston)
  • To be prepared for possible food shortages
  • To make life easier because you never have to run to the store for “just one thing”
  • To return to our roots and prepare for the winter in a way similar to our ancestors

Whatever the reason that caused you to make the move towards the stockpile method of food shopping, it is vital that the food you store have nutritional value.  Although many stockpilers have a closet full of Ramen noodles and Vienna sausages, this is not a method that is conducive to long-term health, energy, and vitality.    The human body can’t digest and use what few nutrients remain in these foods because of all of the chemicals and preservatives.  What’s more, there are many toxic ingredients in these foods, including substances that have been BANNED in other countries.(To learn more about why whole foods are of vital importance in your long-term food supply, click HERE.)

Your long term food storage should consist mostly of ingredients, not “meals in a box”.  These ingredients should be non-GMO (GMOs are toxic and have been proven to cause cancer, organ failure, and a host of other serious health problems), organic (pesticide-free) and nutritious.  Avoid chemicals and preservatives.  There are many ways to preserve food without the use of such toxins.

I’ve been overhauling my food storage for a couple of years now in order to have the best possible options available in the event of a crisis.  As well, I use the foods from my pantry every single day – I don’t have things put back to last for 10 years because it is my intention that we should consume these foods within 12-24 months of purchase.  I realize that many people do put things away for longer term storage than this.

My pantry isn’t perfect, but I strive each time I add something to make it the best possible version of that item.  Please, don’t go and throw out the foods in your pantry, striving to replace them all at once – very few of us can afford that.  Simply use the foods that aren’t ideal very sparingly and when you replace them, go with foods that are better choices.

Thank you to Suzie for the great article idea!  :)

I’ve added brand names where applicable.  A star * denotes something that has been preserved at home.

 photo IMG_0319_zps2bd6d426.jpg

Grains

(I purchase most of my organic grains from Oak Manor Farms, in Ontario.  I highly recommend them.  They respond quickly to questions, delivery is fast, and the quality is excellent.)

All of the grains in my pantry are organic.

  • Hard Red Wheatberries (we grind our own flour from this)
  • Cornmeal
  • Steel Cut Oats
  • Brown Rice
  • Pearl Barley
  • Quinoa
  • Couscous
  • Popcorn

Oils

  • Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (I highly recommend Tropical Traditions Gold Label  – it is sweet, delicious, and light-tasting.  The customer service is top of the line, too)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • *Butter (canned)
  • Hemp oil

Sweeteners

Sweeteners are a huge source of GMOs in North America.  Lots of sugar is made from either GMO corn or GMO sugar beets.  Please take a look this article on why you should source non-GMO sugar for your pantry (and how to find it.)  We avoid all artificial sweeteners because they are poison, plain and simple.

  • Sucanat
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Muscovado Sugar
  • Icing Sugar (this is something I have yet to find in an organic version)
  • Raw Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • *Jams and Jellies  (home canned)

Kitchen Basics

  • Baking soda (aluminum-free)
  • Baking powder
  • Yeast
  • Chocolate chips
  • Dark chocolate
  • Baking cocoa
  • Coffee
  • Vinegars (white vinegar, Braggs apple cider vinegar, light and dark balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar)

Fruits and Veggies

  • Raisins
  • *Dried blueberries
  • Dried cranberries (unsweetened)
  • *Dried orange slices
  • *Dried lemon slices
  • Applesauce (home canned)
  • Peaches (home canned)
  • *Dried apple slices
  • Apple pie filling (home canned)
  • Pumpkin puree (storebought)
  • *Corn  (home canned)
  • * Green beans  (home canned)
  • *Carrots  (home canned)
  • *Dried mushrooms
  • *Dried bell peppers
  • *Jalapenos  (home canned)
  • *Salsa  (home canned)
  • * Pickled cauliflower  (home canned)
  • Green peas (storebought – organic)

Conventional Pantry Items

  • Saltine crackers
  • Dry pasta (we look for brands with the fewest ingredients possible)
  • Organic canned crushed tomatoes
  • Gingerale (for upset stomachs)
  • Organic puffed rice cereal
  • Organic wheat square cereal
  • Graham crackers
  • Ketchup (organic)
  • Barbecue sauce

Nuts

  • “Just peanuts” Peanut butter
  • Organic peanuts
  • Roasted sunflower seeds
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds

nuts photo IMG_0015_zps19eab909.jpg

Herbs and Spices

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Allspice
  • Ginger
  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Spice blends that do NOT contain MSG
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper
  • White pepper
  • Salt
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Turmeric
  • Curry powder
  • Chinese 5-spice
  • Bay leaves
  • Mint leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Cayenne
  • Mustard powder

Meats

We store a small amount of meat in the freezer, however, for long-term food storage, you may find that canning is a better method because the meat is not subject to the whims of the electrical grid.

  • *Roast beef (home-canned)
  • *Chicken (home-canned)
  • *Ground beef (dehydrated)
  • *Taco filling (home-canned)
  • *Turkey jerky (dehydrated)
  • *Ham (home canned)
  • *Broth: chicken, turkey, beef, and ham

Dairy Products

I have not yet found a source of organic powdered milk.  If anyone has one, please share and I’ll add a list of reader contributions at the end of this article.  Powdered milk is the one pantry item that we have that we wouldn’t actually use unless there was an emergency that gave us no other option. I am very concerned about the hormones in milk.

  • *Butter (home-canned)
  • Powdered milk
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • *Cheese sauce (home canned)

Beans

Some of our dried beans are conventional because of availability. As I replace them we are going with organic.  When you compare the price of conventional canned beans with organic dried beans, the dried beans are still far cheaper.  It’s very easy to can beans yourself!

  • Navy Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Black-eyed Peas
  • Chick Peas
  • Red Kidney Beans
  • White Kidney Beans
  • Yellow Split Peas
  • Green Split Peas
  • Brown Lentils
  • Organic Bean Mix (from Costco)

 photo IMG_0317_zps9329cfcf.jpg

Reader Resources

Oak Manor Farms (grains)

Tropical Traditions (coconut oil)

Organic Valley Dry Milk – available via Amazon

Organic products:  azurestandard.com

Request to readers:

Do you have some good sources of organic foods for long-term storage?  If so, please share them in the comments section and I will add them to the article!

 

 

About the author:

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

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23 Comments  to  A Peek into an Organic Prepper’s Pantry

  1. canadagal says:

    Daisy, how do you make your home canned cheese sauce?. It sounds interesting & I’d like to make some.

    • Daisy Luther says:

      Canadagal – I just make a basic cheese sauce and pressure can it…let me make a batch so I can do measurements, times, etc., and give you the information accurately. :)

      Daisy

  2. Rebecca says:

    I thought canned butter was something that a domestic kitchen shouldn’t do. I was told there were botulism risks.

    • Daisy Luther says:

      Rebecca ~

      I have also heard that there are risks to canning butter, and because of this, I have not published the instructions on my site. I have been doing so for years, but due to the warnings, I’m not comfortable specifically recommending this. So, I will provide you with the following information and you can make your own decision. :)

      Here is what the USDA has to say about it:

      http://nchfp.uga.edu/questions/FAQ_canning.html#33 (Scroll to the very bottom for what they have to say about butter)

      In my own kitchen, I pressure can butter only in small, pint jars and use them within a year.

      I hope this information helps!

      Daisy

      • IndividualAudienceMember says:

        I wonder what the difference is between canned butter and ghee?

        I’ve read that ghee lasts many many years, perhaps decades?

        As I recall, it’s used for medicinal reasons in India once it’s old enough.

        • Daisy Luther says:

          IAM ~ From EHow http://www.ehow.com/facts_6851079_difference-between-ghee-canned-butter.html#ixzz2T4pwoUjh
          Ghee
          Ghee is made by heating butter to a boiling state so that the milk solids fall to the bottom of the pan and the water evaporates. The solids are strained out of the golden liquid and discarded. Use ghee as you would any oil-like or semi-solid fat in cooking or frying.
          Canned Butter
          Canned butter is made by bringing butter to a boil and sealing it in glass jars, if canned at home.

          (The article goes on to say that home canning is not recommended, which has already been discussed here.)

          ~ Daisy

  3. Carolyn Wostenberg says:

    If you have a wheat grinder then you could probably grind your own corn meal which would be much fresher. If I grow too much sweet corn in my garden I just ignore what I can’t use and let the ears dry on the stalk. Then I shell the dried corn off the cobs and as I need it. I grind it for corn meal. This works even here in Wyoming.

    Another source of organic products in the western USA is azurestandard.com. They are based in Oregon and send delivery trucks out that make monthly deliveries. The company has a review board that decides on whether the products comply with their standards. They also offer grains that are grown on their farm as well as fresh organic produce. In many areas there are groups that send one person to pick up a delivery off the truck and bring the orders back to a small community. I think that Azure could put people in touch with such a group.

  4. Kristi says:

    Organic Valley makes powdered dry milk. I’ve used it and I store a small amount. You can find it at Vitacost. If you don’t have an account with Vitacost already, when you sign up with me, you’ll get a coupon for $10 off and so will I. They have free shipping on any order of $49 or more. You can sign up through my link below. Thanks for the list and a look into your pantry! I just redid mine and I’m no where near where I’d like to be.
    https://www.vitacostrewards.com/SNi1pt

  5. If you live in Eastern Ohio, Western PA or northern West Virginia, I recommend a visit to they have a nice selection of organic foods including their own milled products. You can download their catalog with pricing online and their warehouse is open on Saturdays for browsing.

    • Daisy Luther says:

      SHTF-TEOWTWAWKI – For some reason, the location you were recommended did not show up – and we really want to know! :) Could you try again?

  6. mary says:

    dont forget dried potato flakes. to make at home, boil potatoes and mash them without any milk or butter or seasonings. lay out mashed potatoes in a thin layer on parchment and dry in a very low oven until all moisture is removed. run the dry potatoes through the blender or crush by hand. the finer the flake, the stickier the potatoes will be when you reconstitute them.

    • Carolyn Wostenberg says:

      When my potatoes in the root cellar begin to sprout and the weather warms up I know that I need to find a way to preserve the rest of the potatoes. Since we like hash browned potatoes I make my own. To do this wash the potatoes and if you want to peal them OK or not. I even use up some of the little potatoes this way without pealing. Cut the large potatoes into big pieces. Put the potatoes in a pot with water and boil for only about 5 minutes, just enough to blanch them. Pour off the water, let the potatoes cool then shred them using a grater with large holes or a food processer. Put a handful of shredded potatoes on a cookie sheet in the size patty that you want and freeze them. When the patties are frozen flex the cookie sheet to pop the potatoes off and bag them up for storage in the freezer. This way you know exactly what is in the food you are eating.

  7. mary says:

    i dont use very many store bought canned items, but i do buy tomato products in the can. i usually buy them twice a year. we eat a lot of tomato based meals, so i figure out how many cans per week i will use and buy the appropriate amount. i buy a variety of styles, sauce, crushed, whole, diced, pureed and paste. the trick to making the best homemade marinara sauce is to mix as many brands as possible. all brands use a different type of tomato and believe it or not, the taste is very different. by mixing the brands, you get a delicious sauce every time.

  8. maggi says:

    thanks for this article. im a vegetarian – most of the time, but i do like my chicken once in awhile. haha. anyway, ive printed this out to use as a checklist for my pantry. a few small changes but overall its great.

    • Daisy Luther says:

      Maggi ~

      As a vegetarian, what changes do you make to the basic supplies listed here? I would like to put together some alternative lists, and that is one of them! :)

      Daisy

  9. Peter says:

    Another technique is to buy Mung and Adzuki beans, mix them equally, and use as a powerful sprouting mix (they sprout at same rate). This is a fresh living food with protein, and no cooking involved. Add sea salt for trace minerals and taste.
    (It’s easy to find sprouting instructions online)

  10. Emilee says:

    Icing sugar I am sure you mean confectioners or powdered sugar? If so all you do is take organic granulated sugar and put it in your blender or food processor and soon away and it will turn into powdered sugar.

    Also Frontier sells organic powdered milk which last I checked was sourced from Organic Valley.

    I have also read that there is an oil and I don’t think it’s natural but maybe there is a more natural option, that you can coat eggs with and they will store up to one year in the cellar/pantry.

    • Daisy Luther says:

      Emily – yes – confectioner’s sugar is what I meant by icing sugar. That is a great tip – I had no idea that was how you made it! Thank you – I’ll never have to buy that stuff again!

      Daisy

  11. Jackie says:

    Wholesome Sweeteners sells an organic powdered sugar: http://wholesomesweeteners.com/en-us/products.aspx

  12. Wonderful article. I have learned a lot from it. The thing is, organic food and ingredients are said to have a shorter shelf life because it is free of preservatives unless perhaps if there is a natural preservative that keeps the food staying organic.

  13. Smithd2 says:

    Awesome article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged. cafgkfacdd

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