Short-Term Storage

What should you include in your food storage?

I like to place food storage in two categories: short-term storage and long-term storage. I am not alone in this thinking. It is common to call short-term food storage a 3-month food supply and long-term food storage a year-supply.

These terms are probably derived from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are commonly called Mormons, due to their belief in The Book of Mormon as additional scripture that testifies of Jesus Christ). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a long history of advising its members to acquire food storage.

Most recently, the Church recommends storing a 3-month supply of foods that are a part of your normal diet. These foods can be rotated (used and replaced) regularly to prevent spoilage.

When you develop longer-term storage, on the other hand, the Church recommends that you focus on food staples like wheat, rice, pasta, oats, beans and dehydrated potatoes. They recommend these foods because they can last 30 years or more in storage. Here is a link to learn more about Longer-Term Food Storage.

Tortoise and Hare image by RackhamI’ve seen people use several different approaches when building their food storage. I will try to simplify it here, but first I feel I should mention that no matter your approach, you should use prudence. Don’t go to extremes. I would suggest that you do not go into debt to buy your food storage. Think of the Aesop’s Fable The Tortoise and the Hare. Slowly but surely wins the race. Do it consistently. Don’t put it off, just do a little bit each week and you’ll get there.

One easy way to do this is to pull out one or two weeks of recipes that your family eats right now and list the items from those recipes. You can then purchase a few extra items each week until you’ve built a one-week food supply. Repeat this process to gradually increase it to a three-month supply.

As mentioned above, rotate these items regularly to avoid spoilage. You can use non-perishable foods in your 3-month supply, like rice, pasta, oats, beans and dehydrated potatoes. Buy canned versions of food items, such as beans, corn, chicken, etc.

The peace of mind you will have when you know you can feed your family in times of need cannot be replaced with anything else. You cannot eat money, or cars, boats, or motorcycles. These things are nice, but they cannot compare with food when you have nothing to eat.

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