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Store only what you eat regularly-discussed.

6480 Views 43 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  goodoleboy8205
This is a discussion that I hope will kick start thinking. I'm a bit enthused and I'm hoping for some spirited response that will give me some great ideas and options.

Some folks believe it's wise to 'store only what you eat regularly'.

this actually was put out by some agencies in the past, but they also defined this for the 72 hour plans ONLY...not for long term survivalism.

I'm countering that when this is suggested in long-term food storage plans 'store only what you regularly eat' is not only foolish, and impractical, it's dangerous advice, normally forwarded by people who haven't thought it out fully, or have unique situations where it's good advice only for a few (or are nuts enough they are already living on what the rest of us would consider to be contingency rations.)

An exception would be those who do live in a semi sustainable, self sufficient manner right now who buy little and don't need much and can store the items they don't have...but very few here or anywhere in the US are like that.

Some folks might have farms and sizeable gardens, but for the vast majority of us, you ain't going to be able to stockpile salads and fresh fruit salads. You might be able to freeze some Big Mac's, but it's unlikely anyone has that as a major component of their survival rations.

I frequently eat a varied diet with a lot of fresh fruit, veggies, meat, and dairy. These items compose a good part of my regular diet. These are also items which are likely to become unavailable or sporadically available given many scenarios. When I'm not enjoying sashimi, sushi, and salads, I might be indulging in fast food and regular resturants. McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Panda Express and Applebees aren't likely to be open post mega disaster or total collapse, and neither are Safeway, Albertsons, or Food Giant.

The standard items of shorter term (30 days or less) survivalism larders include much canned food, ramen, some freeze dried camper packages, packaged boxed food, frozen food, and such for most. Right off the bat, while those items might be major components of a person's regular diet, it's not exactly what most of us eat exclusively but some might live on that to a great extent.

The standard items of long-term survivalism larders include bulk wheat and other grains, rice, dried beans, pasta, TVP, freeze dried and dehydrated items in #10 cans or larger pails, supplemented with cans and packaged food. Personally, I don't like TVP, but I know it's food value and I store it. I certainly don't have hot cereal as a major part of my diet now and I'm not overly fond of beans and rice, but I'll stockpile that stuff in depth. I only periodically eat freeze dried foods as well but I've got cases of individual and multi meal packs, and even #10 cans of the stuff.

For exceptionally long term survivalism, from 90 days and further, it narrows for many to the usual long term storage foods, plus sprouting kits, stored seeds, etc. For many and most, it's a combination of practical concerns like long term storage, availability and costs that drive what we buy for very long term storage items.

My point thus far is, it's unlikely that anyone (except for those few who achieved self sufficiency or those already on a peculiar diet) can reasonably say 'store only what you regularly eat' since most of us don't live on those long term items regularly.

The notion is store only what you eat regularly because some find it hard to adapt to a new diet because it's unfamiliar, but that's a 'solution' to what essentially is a non problem or a short term annoyance that is easily overcome naturally as hunger builds.

Well, if they can't adapt and it's an option not to eat the long-storage food and they don't starve to death for refusing available food, you're hardly in a crisis. From what we've seen of famines and shortages people will readily eat unfamiliar and even forbidden foods given enough hunger. Iraqi PW's post Desert Storm greedily devoured the ham and pork patty MRE's. Humanitarian Daily Rations are strange, designed not to offend anyone's diet restrictions and hardly representative of any culture but starving people world wide devour them. When the people shun them, they really don't need them. Watch the survival shows and you'll see how quickly hungry people decide to try something very unfamiliar to destroy those pangs. In fact, with the regular survival staples, a person is much more apt to develop culinary boredom than a resistance to eating them.

Those who don't adapt aren't hungry or are simply too stupid to live. A survivalist is someone who will adapt and overcome if need be.

Excluding the fortunate few who live on their farms right now and have developed some self sufficiency, or those who claim to live in the woods eating off of nature exclusively, and those living in some suburban bunker living on TVP, beans and rice already, if you're one of those who say 'store only what you eat regularly', and you've thought it through, and developed long-term ration planning, please share what you've got for your 90 to 180 day stockpile because I'm not saying that's impossible, I want even more options and you might have come up with some clever and innovative unconventional food storage practices and items.

Again, if you strongly believe in 'store only what you eat regularly' please explain what exactly you store for your 90 to 180 day planning and why you believe that when hungry, you can't adapt to what is available.
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I've never met any prepper who only stores what they eat/eats what they store in modern grocery foods only. My food storage is multi layered as are most people I know who store more than 90 days of food.
For people that are starting out, storing what you eat is great. I can tell you from my own experience that when I started out, I did not even know HOW to cook a bean or make my own bread. I never did any scratch cooking, it ALL came out of a box, can or was pre-made and frozen.

After taking a look at what we were eating, I made changes. I learned (slowly) how to make some of the same foods. But, by making them from scratch they were healthier and more economical. And by buying the ingredients there were many more options of different things to make and eat.
I'm well prepped for about 6 people for maybe 2-3 yrs and have very little that we eat everyday, like white rice,lentils,dry beans,groats,instant potatoes,maruchan instant lunches,peanut butter,jelly,hundreds of canned foods,spam,solid white tuna ect, We seldom ever touch them and hopfully never will, We're mostly brown rice,chicken breast,oat meal,fresh fruit and vegs eaters. I've always hoped that things will get better and we could just toss everything in a dumpster someday.(just dreaming) We keep our garden and could double or tripple it at any given yr, also have all the things needed to survive and know how to use them if the trucks stopped rolling right now. We went thru the days of bland diets and scraping the pots yrs ago and won't do it again til neccessary.
I’ve always taken the ‘store only what you regularly eat’ thing to mean just that. If I never eat and hate the thought of eating say, lima beans why the heck would I go and store #100 of them. If I like lima’s then I go for it! I would not buy something I hate just to have it. For the record, I love butter beans and have several rows in the garden every year!

Now, I did buy some things that I normally do not eat, just to have them for variety and nutrients. I do not normally eat rolled cereals or cracked cereal type things. I have a few cases of #10’s of them because I know I will not be able to get things like crunchy bread from the bakery and cereals/grains are a must for keeping regular and healthy. They are also pretty inexpensive compared to most of the other FD stuff available so a good nutrition deal. There are also #10’s of biscuit and pancake mixes in my storage. Sure I do have wheat, oat and rye seeds but they will take a season to grow and then process. I need to have something in the meantime to hold me until that first harvest. Would I have to force them down? Probably not. Would I look forward to eating them? Maybe maybe not. Will I eat them? You betcha and with gusto!

I also bought cans of FD beef stroganoff, chicken al la king and such for fast, easy cook meals. These I also do not normally prepare at home but know (or hope anyway!) they would be very palatable to me. I stocked cans of FD apple drink, lemonade, orange drink and the like that I would normally not drink just to have something for variety. For me the bottom line is if it is something I am going to have to force down, then why have it around.

On that thought I do have things in my short term storage (regular store bought canned goods – shelf life a 1 - 3 years) that I normally do not buy but bought for versatility. I looked at my storage in terms of multi-tasking. If I take one item, how many uses might it possibly have? Canned baked beans for example. I prefer to crock pot a batch but what if time is short or cooking is limited for some reason? I can open them and it is an instant, filling room temperature meal. I can also cook up some rice or noodles and use the sauce in them on them. Or if my supply of brown sugar or molasses is gone I can mix my raw beans with them to stretch available sauces. I bought canned soups for the same reason. Instant meal out of the can or I can throw some home grown veggies in them and save a ton of time on cooking while doubling the ‘size’ of the canned good. I usually enjoy making from scratch but what if there is not enough time for that?

I know when the time comes to start using this stuff that I am not going to be relaxing on the couch all day picking banjo and my nose. I’m going to have twice as many chores as I currently do and the limiting factor is going to be available daylight. Anything I can do to give me more chore time is going to be a huge benefit.
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If you know your family would not eat something, unless they were starving, why would you waste $$$ stocking up on that item? We love vegies, fruit, pasta so needless to say our larder is well stocked in these items. We also are stocked in the basics, flour, sugar, cornmeal, oatmeal, grits and rice. I do have some items stocked I know will apeal more to children or will be good barter items. I do not store wheat (no way to process) nor lentils (never cared for them). We also have lots of powdered drink mixes, coffee, tea, milk etc. As long as your daily nutritional needs are met, stock what you like.
I haven't really gotten started on the food storage yet, but my intention is to build up stock by buying lots of canned goods over time and rotating out older for newer until I have a year's supply in reserve. So it will be "the food we eat" for the foreseeable. Considering I will be storing for 6-8 people, it will take some time to get where we are comfortable that we have a year's supply. But once we have that, we will turn our attention to more long term storable (dry/freeze dried/etc.) food.
If you know your family would not eat something, unless they were starving, why would you waste $$$ stocking up on that item?
This is my main reason for stocking what we normally eat. My husband hates tuna. No point in wasting money buying the stuff.

We are very much in the 'store what you eat' camp. In fact, I think it is more a matter of learning to eat what you store, rather than storing only what you currently eat. Occasionally, this has meant adjusting our diet, and / or learning a new way to cook. If you actually eat what you store, you know everyone in your family will have comforting food they like and will eat without a fight. You will probably end up eating healthier if you start incorporating storage food into your diet now, as it is usually low-fat and full of nutrients and fiber. Also, it is a cheap way to eat. And a cheap way to store extra food. Bulk legumes and grains don't cost much, and ingredients are always cheaper to buy than end-products.

If you don't know how to cook with whole wheat and dried beans, you probably aren't going to learn very easily after things go stupid, unless the crisis happens to be one of unemployment. You will waste food and fuel trying to figure out what to do with the hundreds of pounds of whatever you stocked. In addition, lots of long-term storage food has different textures and / or cooking requirements from their canned or store-bought comparison, and you might find your husband / wife / kids will absolutely refuse to touch crunchy beans or dense bread or mushy rehydrated blueberries.

In answer to the original post, for long-term storage, we keep whole wheat, brown and white rice, several varieties of beans (navy, black, kidney, romano, etc), chickpeas, barley, split peas, lentils, oatmeal, a variety of dehydrated and freeze-dried fruit and vegetables, instant mashed potatoes, canned fruit and vegetables (home-made and store-bought), canned meat (going to get into canning our own shortly), olive and vegetable oils, lard, powdered milk, sugar, honey, pasta and pasta sauce, and a lot of 'seasoning' type stuff, like soy sauce, chili paste, cocoa, soup mixes, herbs and spices, salt, and canned sauces. While it does not really count as long-term storage, except in periods of unemployment, we go to you-pick farms and farmer's markets, and freeze our year's worth of local, organic corn, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, wax beans, peas, etc. We also freeze butter and some yogurt (for a starter). In addition, we have a cold room where we keep a lot of root veggies, like onions, carrots, beets, turnips, and so on. The root veggies will keep for months like that - we threw out the last of last year's beets (stored from September) in June of this year.

While we do not eat all of the stuff from our storage every day, or even every month, we have sampled and taste-tested and learned to cook with the things we keep in bulk. We make our own bread from the wheat, and use the beans and lentils and barley in our day-to-day cooking, though I do often forget to soak beans, and keep canned ones on hand. We put freeze-dried spinach in our lasagna, and use dehydrated celery in a lot of our soups. We also taste-test all of the packaged camping food we keep on hand - occasionally we'll cook one up instead of heading out to a restaurant when we're feeling lazy. If we ever really need to use any or all of this stuff, we will know that you need to add extra water to the camping packages, and leave them sit five minutes longer than is called for. We know what dense WW bread tastes like, and have developed a taste for it. We know how to soak and cook the beans so they are not crunchy. We have figured out how the dehydrated and freeze-dried and canned veggies will work in our regular recipes.

One major point about dietary change - if you suddenly switch from fast food and Kraft Dinner to a diet of whole wheat, rice, and beans, your guts will not be happy, and you can expect an adjustment period of gas, bloating, and running to the toilet. Again, not something you really want to be dealing with when a crisis hits. Personally, I'd rather get used to it slowly, and not have to change my eating habits much in an emergency.

Having said all that, we love our fresh fruit and veg around here, and we do buy out-of-season stuff from the store all the time. We are learning to root cellar and can, and to cook seasonal food. Even with the focus on seasonal cooking, I'd imagine we will continue to buy occasional out of season treats, while we can. However, if, for whatever reason, we could no longer get spinach and red peppers in January (we live in Canada), we'd be able to cope with what we keep on hand.

I would expect that a lot of the resistance to the idea of eating what you store would come from folks who eat a lot of packaged food or take-out...maybe no-one has ever showed them how to cook. Maybe they think is is really complicated, or takes tons of time. My advice to them is that cooking does not have to be difficult or fancy like the gourmets on TV - go get yourself a good, basic, comprehensive cookbook like the Joy of Cooking, or get your Mom or Aunt or Grandma to share some old-time recipes. Cook extra, and freeze the leftovers for lunches, or for meals on nights when you don't feel like cooking. I work full time and still cook most of our meals from scratch. Start trying this stuff out. It's cheap, and not all that complicated...
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I can see the point in NOT stocking something you simply dislike or can't eat. But there is some merit to stocking things we don't regularly eat but would if we had to. I have a variety of grains and beans that we rarely use in everyday cooking, but we could. Eventually I do, so they can be rotated, but they're not in our top favorites foods.

For us it's been a learning process. First we got a grain grinder and learned how to grind and use whole grain flour. Then, 3 years ago, we started learning how to grow the grains ourself. It takes a while to figure out your favorite ways to use whole grains. I'd rather experiment with it now, when my life doesn't depend on it, than to start when it does. Even if these things don't become a regular part of our diet at this point, we'll know what to do and what we like, if the SHTF

In our BOB's we have snacks that we don't particularly like, such as hard granola bars and hard candies, because we know we won't have a "weak" moment and eat them! They'll be there when/if we need them.
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I will eat "just about anything" within limits to what I am allergic to. I eat just about anything canned, dried, frozen, fresh or growin' fuzzies. So, for me to stock what I eat, it is quite simple ... if someone thinks it is edible, I probably have also eaten it ...

My stocks are decent, good enough for two of us for probably 6-months or so (no-power) or a year (with power for the freezer) and it is all stuff that I enjoy eating, and, I do so regularly ...
Thank you!
I enjoyed reading what everyone shared. It's interesting to see some of us have transitioned into eating periodically what we store, and we've learned to do better on those irregular items.:)
Keep in mind, just because you don't eat it doesn't mean someone else won't. We haven't used any of our wheat stores yet but I gave about 5# to a friend who ground it up with a regular kitchen blender and made bread with it. They had never used raw wheat and were pleasantly surprised with the results.

I don't really care for cabbage but I love tuna. Maybe Saskbound,s hubby likes cabbage and they had some tuna stored. I could trade my fresh cabbage for some canned tuna.

So yes, I will store and grow things I don't eat because not everyone's tastes are the same.
I've always taken the approach of allowing our preps to expand our regular diets into directions it would not have gone had we not been prepping. When we started out, no one in my house would touch a bean. But we knew that beans would be a good building block for increasing our larder not to mention an economical one. So we started cooking with beans and learning how we liked them and how we didn't. We now eat them all the time and I buy them 20 pounds or more at a time. Same with wheat. Before prepping, my family was in the white wonder bread camp :gaah: but now we are learning how to grind our own and are expanding our taste buds accordingly. When we were first married many moons ago, dh didn't know how to hunt. But he learned. And now we're familiar with eating everything from deer to wild boar to spanish rams to rabbits.

For us, it's all about stretching the comfort zone of our taste buds and getting them used to new things which then become a normal part of our diet.
I've always taken the approach of allowing our preps to expand our regular diets into directions it would not have gone had we not been prepping. When we started out, no one in my house would touch a bean. But we knew that beans would be a good building block for increasing our larder not to mention an economical one. So we started cooking with beans and learning how we liked them and how we didn't. We now eat them all the time and I buy them 20 pounds or more at a time. Same with wheat. Before prepping, my family was in the white wonder bread camp :gaah: but now we are learning how to grind our own and are expanding our taste buds accordingly. When we were first married many moons ago, dh didn't know how to hunt. But he learned. And now we're familiar with eating everything from deer to wild boar to spanish rams to rabbits.

For us, it's all about stretching the comfort zone of our taste buds and getting them used to new things which then become a normal part of our diet.
Absolutely! :congrat: This is one of the most sensible posts I've ever read! :2thumb:
Store what you eat?

I started out storing what we ate, I took a 2 week menu and figured out how much it would take to feed all 12 of my family members.(1 grandchild has a severe allergy to peanuts, tree nuts and peas) So everything I buy has to be monitored for those items and if processed in a facility with those items. I got about 6 months worth of food stored back.

Then I started on long term storage. I have buckets of rice, beans, sugar, gallons of oil and vinegar and syrups among other things. I haven't started on wheat yet.
I do know how to make my own breads and cakes and pies from scratch. Right now everyone thinks its a treat. We have always had beans and cornbread as a staple so no problem there either. Most of the meals I make are from scratch because I don't work now, I learned from my grandparents how to cook from scratch. I grew up with my grandparents, who were dirt poor and I learned to eat anything. My son and daughter also learned to eat anything that was put on the table. When my grandchildren come over they get to eat whatever "Nana" eats. So far no one has turned their nose up to anything I have put on the table.
I try real hard to make a variety of things and incorporate new items every once in a while. While they may not be enthusiastic about something, they have never turned a meal down.
I dehydrate veggies and make my own jerky. I can even shoot, field dress and cut up a wild animal be it deer or turkey or fish.

Well somehow I think I got off the subject, but I will be a survivor no matter what. Wheat and other long term items like dehydrated foods and such will be on my list soon.
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Wow, ditzyjan, you're doing a GREAT job! If the SHTF, it'll be nice to know that there are people like you and the others on this forum that will be courageously moving forward, doing what you have to, to survive!

Like naekid said one time, we'll have to let go of the world as we knew it and embrace the world we're left to live in. Not his exact words, but the jist is the same.
Wow, ditzyjan, you're doing a GREAT job! If the SHTF, it'll be nice to know that ther

Gypsysue Thanks. I wish I could thank my grandfolks for all they taught me when i was little. They were in their 70-80's while I was growing up and taught me so much. To them self reliance was a way of life.
I store any food I can get my hands on even if I don’t like it
(for instance I have 3 cans of steel reserve malt liqure and a can coconut jelly drink)
My home made wheat bread turns out edible but not really good. I've tried a couple different recipes with nearly the same results. I can, however cook the heck out of some pancakes. I could use them as bread or burger rolls of needed. They are faster and take less energy to cook than bread too.
Yep, pancake bread is a good solution and it's fuel efficient.
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