If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you may be feeling on edge. You may feel as though time is running out for you to get your preparedness supplies in order. You may be new to prepping, and feeling like there’s too much to accomplish. The stress in our country is at peak level. We’ve listened to the war drums beat louder. We’ve witnessed riots breaking out in cities across America. We’ve watched the bumbling efforts of officials to respond to natural disasters and potential pandemics. The economy is in a freefall, and terrorist groups declare Jihad on anyone who doesn’t share their religious beliefs.
This feeling of urgency can make you feel hopeless and panicked, and that’s not productive. There’s no time for a lack of productivity. It’s time to focus and create your food supply…fast. If an event occurs during which you are unable to leave your home, you want to make certain that you can keep food on the table without waiting for a handout to be doled out at the whim of some government agency. Such an event could be a mandatory quarantine, self-imposed isolation due to a pandemic, civil unrest in your town, martial law, or even a terrible storm that leaves you stranded, with no access to the store.
Generally I write about healthy food. I write about focusing on whole foods without additives, and I firmly believe that is the very best way to build your food supply. I believe strongly in the value of a pantry that you will use day to day to nourish your family. You can learn how to build a pantry like that in this article that recounts building our own food stockpile from the beginning, and the book The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half Price Budget.
However, if you do not have a food supply waiting in your pantry, now is the time to focus on creating an emergency stockpile quickly. You can then add healthier options at your leisure. The quantities in this article are per person, so you’ll need to multiply this by the number of people in your home. You can order these items online and get them to your door within a couple of days.
Alternatively, you can shop around and try to find duplicates locally. You can also create a food plan, make a list, and go shopping, purchasing the highest quality items available, and repackaging them for longer shelf life.
However you opt to build your food supply, please don’t hesitate. If a worst case scenario occurred, the goal is to be able to feed your family for at least a month.
How much do you need?
There are a few different ways to calculate food storage, but I find breaking it down by serving size to be the most practical. Don’t rely on what a package calls a serving size – consider the appetites of your family. You might have a couple of big eaters and a couple of people with birdlike appetites. The lists below are based on serving sizes for an average adult.
Be sure to get a variety of different foods:
- 3 protein servings
- 5-8 fruits and vegetables
- 5 starchy carbohydrates
On a 2000 calorie per day diet, strictly based on long-term storage food, the LDS (Church of the Latter Day Saints) says the average adult would need:
- 5 pounds of beans
- 25 pounds of grains
- 5 pounds of sugars
- 2 pounds of fats
- 8 pounds of dairy
These are purely subjective numbers, however. For example, if your family is gluten-free, you might eat more protein and produce than starchy carbs. You must take into account your family’s health concerns, special needs, allergies, intolerances, likes, and dislikes. These are simply guidelines. Try to stick as close to your normal eating habits as possible, to lessen the stress of an already highly-wrought situation.
It’s also important to consider cooking times. If you never ever cook from scratch, will you suddenly want to make pots of beans and homemade bread? If the power goes out, will you have a way that you’ll be able to cook these foods?
Create a stockpile with emergency food buckets
If you’re trying to build a food supply quickly, consider ordering a bucket with a month’s supply of meals in it.
Here’s why every prepper should have some emergency food buckets stashed away:
- A lot of calories can be condensed into a very small amount of space.
- If you have the capacity to boil water during an emergency, a filling meal can be yours.
- They add variety and speed to an emergency food supply.
- Calorie for calorie, they’re lightweight and easily portable in the event of a bug-out scenario.
- They’re professionally packaged to have a 25-year shelf life, so you can get it, stick it in the back of your closet, and forget about it until you need it.
Now, the downside.
If you’re looking for ready-made meals, none of them are going to be completely without additives. This is impossible, because they’re made to last for 25 years, to take up minimal space, to cook up quickly and efficiently, and to taste reasonably good.
Some compromises must be made. Yes, emergency food buckets contain processed food, but you don’t have to let go of all of your focus on healthful choices.
You may look at the prices of these items and say, “Oh, I can’t afford this.” But you have to remember, this is enough food for an ENTIRE MONTH. At $150, that means you’re spending only $3 per day on food. It honestly doesn’t get much cheaper than that. There’s a variety of price points below, with the pros and cons of each. These were the prices at the time of publication.
You’ll notice on the list of extras that I recommended a gentle laxative. Some people, when dependent solely upon MREs or dehydrated foods, become constipated. I also recommended a high-quality multivitamin to help ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need.
Remember: these buckets are a one month supply PER PERSON. You will need one bucket for each member of your household for a complete one month supply.
My Favorite Choice:
The One Month Grab-and-Go by NuManna is my #1 choice for emergency food. While I’ve purchased other brands, NuManna is now the only product line we purchase. Why? Here’s the company’s vision statement:
NuManna believes that emergency food should be as healthy if not healthier than the food we eat on a daily basis. The effects of food on our overall health have never been a bigger concern. Chemical preservatives, food allergies, gluten intolerance, MSG, and certainly Genetically Modified (GMO) foods are all challenging our well-being.
NuManna Foods is well aware of these problems. The founders of NuManna have their own special dietary needs and were seeking storable foods with no Aspartame, or High Fructose Corn Syrup before NuManna began. GMO-free ingredients and gluten restricted options were also a high priority. They didn’t find storable food meals quite up to the standards set for their own family. So, they decided to create them and became one of the first storable food makers of its kind to offer such selective and chemically free products.
We understand customers with exacting standards. We understand how food intolerance can be overwhelming. We also realize the human body cannot eat preserved foods for an extended period of time without getting sick. Your food storage and emergency supplies should not be a health crisis. We work to meet and exceed your expectations and make it easy to find the high-quality storable foods you want and need without sacrificing flavor or value.
Allow our pursuit of quality preparedness food to overcome the frustration you may have felt in seeking out healthy food storage. Our standard packages are Certified 100% GMO-Free with no preservatives, no soy, or other controversial ingredients. We also offer complete Gluten Restricted buckets with the same chemical and preservative-free standard. Our foods are even free of Autolyzed Yeast Extract. NuManna is a true innovator in healthy and chemically free storable foods.
I haven’t found anything else in the storable industry with these standards, and I believe that this could raise the bar to the point that the industry is changed completely. At the time of publication, One Month Grab-and-Go bucket was $149.95. They don’t count things like drink mixes as “meals” which means each meal you pay for is actual food. Here’s what the bucket contains:
- Organic Quinoa
- Organic Black Chia Seeds
- Organic Sprouting Seeds
- Organic Brown Jasmine Rice
- Parboiled Rice
- Organic Spelt
And finally, Numanna offers a the gluten-free family pack for those with restricted diets. It contains:
The Augason Farms 30 Day Food Emergency Disaster Bucket contains 90 meals for one person. That’s 3 meals a day for a month. The daily caloric allotment is about 1850 calories, and the meals are “just add water”, so to prepare them, you only need the ability to boil water – this could come in very handy during a grid-down situation. This is about $90, including the shipping. The kit contains:
- Instant Potatoes (30 servings)
- Macaroni & Cheese (30 servings)
- Creamy Potato Soup (30 servings)
- Cheesy Broccoli Rice (30 servings)
- Creamy Chicken Rice (30 servings)
- Hearty Vegetable Blend (30 servings)
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (40 servings)
- Morning Moo’s Low Fat Milk Alternative (80 servings)
The Chef’s Banquet Food Storage Bucket also contains 3 meals per day for a month. It’s a little bit more expensive at $126, including shipping, but it doesn’t contain any High Fructose Corn Syrup or MSG, making it a higher quality choice than the Augason Farms. This is also a “just add water” menu, but there isn’t a lot of variety and there is a whole lot of mashed potatoes:
- Oatmeal – 60 Servings
- Hearty Potato Soup – 60 Servings
- Chicken Vegetable Stew – 30 Servings
- Mixed Vegetables – 30 Servings
- Instant Potatoes – 60 Servings
- Pasta – 30 Servings (includes 30 Servings of Cheddar Cheese Sauce)
- Beef Flavored Vegetable Stew –
- 30 Servings Cheddar Broccoli Rice – 30 Servings
Extra stuff to add some variety and nutrition
If you happen to have an LDS cannery or self-reliance store in your area, you’ve got a great resource. You can also order supplies online. These #10 cans are sealed and will last for 10 years or longer.
A 28 pound starter kit contains wheat berries, oats, rice, beans, and flour for only $33.50. The downside to this is that most of the foods require extensive cooking times and would make for quite bland eating if you relied solely on this.
If it’s in the budget, adding some fruits, vegetables, desserts, and dry milk can go a long way towards fighting food fatigue.
Freeze Dried Vegetable Variety : 160 servings for $65
Freeze Dried Meat: 60 servings for $136
Lindon Farms Mixed Freeze Dried Fruits: 150 servings for $133
Hormone Free Non-Fat Milk Powder: 240 Servings for $106
Hormone Free Non-Fat Milk Powder: 40 servings for $22
Organic Milk Powder: 120 servings for $189
Organic Milk Powder: 40 servings for $69
Steel Cut Oats: 4 pound can for $17
Instant Vanilla Pudding: 3.5 pounds for $14 (This always makes me think of Carl from the Walking Dead)
Alpine Aire Gourmet Reserves Apple Almond Crisp: 4 pound can for $23
Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix: Just add water, 45 servings for $16
Organic Multi Vitamin: 60 tablets for $25
Gaia Herbs Rapidrelief Natural Laxative: 180 count for $30
Don’t forget to add an assortment of spices and condiments to make your emergency meals tastier.
And for the love of all things cute and fluffy….get one of these and make your life easier!!!!
You don’t have to be a prepper to build a 30-day food supply.
Up until recently, preppers have had something of a bad name in the media. However, as disasters strike America over and over, people are beginning to see the value in the way we do things. It’s been proven time and time again that when issues occur, you’re completely on your own. To learn more about basic preparedness, go HERE to learn how to get started.
Finally, if you want to learn more, here are some books and websites that can help you on your journey.