One of the most important factors in any survival situation is having enough survival food to eat. I say survival food because the stuff in the refrigerator and freezer is going to spoil very quickly without power.
Even owning all of the best survival gear in the world wouldn’t do you any good if you don’t have enough food and water to keep you alive.
Disasters use up your food reserves quickly and unless you have prepared in advance by stockpiling some emergency food you will have to resort to searching for and or hunting for food. Survival food that doesn’t spoil easily and is highly nutritious will be worth its weight in gold to the unprepared! Thankfully there are many food products that you can purchase in advance to help you prepare your family for a crisis.
Being prepared in advance with a small stockpile of emergency food (for a 72 hour bug-out kit) or a larger stockpile
will go a long way in helping your family gets through an emergency not only alive but healthy. How much you stockpile will of course be determined by the level of preparedness you want, your available storage space, and your available funds.
You probably have some items in your pantry right now that would work in a pinch for a short-term emergency. Canned meats, peanut butter, rice, and beans are all convenient and are recommended by many government agencies, but they have downsides. They are bulky, heavy, and have a short shelf life. Here is a decent video done by just a common sense guy named Paul trying to reach out and talk about survival food. And no Paul, you are not crazy.
Paul is on the right track but there is a lot more that he can do to make sure his family has eneough emergency food. Let’s look at some survival food alternatives…stuff that will last longer on the shelf than the average groceries.
Survival Food Choice #1: Dehydrated Food
Dehydrated food is fresh food that has had the water removed without cooking or adding seasoning. Dehydrated food is an excellent survival food because it is lightweight, has a long shelf life (up to 30 years), and is compact. Because it is processed at a low temperature it retains much of its nutritional value. It is a particularly good choice for your bug-out bag bag because of weight and space considerations. The best commercial companies dehydrate their food to a moister content of 2%-3% which is much better than previous methods. This lower moister content extends the shelf life and lowers the weight of the product significantly. It is usually sold as a single ingredient and is sold in cans, buckets, and bags. Most dehydrated food needs to be cooked. All you need to do is add the dehydrated food to boiling water, let stand for about 10 minutes, and season.
Survival Food Choice #2: Freeze Dried Food
Much like dehydrated food, freeze dried food is lightweight, compact, and has a long shelf life. This survival food is different because it is usually a pre-seasoned, pre-cooked, pre-mixed meal and is therefore faster and more convenient to prepare. There are exceptions. You can buy freeze dried meat and eggs that will need to be cooked before serving. A freeze dried beef patty or pork chop usually only needs to be cooked for 1 minute per side after rehydrating. All of these freeze dried foods are simple to rehydrate, simply add boiling water and let stand for about 10 minutes. Because ot the convenience, many poeople choose freeze dried meals as their survival food of choice.
Survival Food Choice #3: Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)
MRE’s are individual meal rations designed for and bought by the United States military for use by its members in combat and field operations. Each meal is designed to provide 1,200 calories, and must have a shelf life of three and a half years at 81 oF. They aren’t as light weight or compact as dehydrated/freeze-dried food, but are much better than regular canned food and should be considered seriously by anyone purchasing survival food. Most of the MRE’s available commercially are not military issue, but perform and taste good nevertheless.
Emergency Food Bars
Emergency food bars are meals made into a bar much like a candy bar. They come in many different ingredients, tastes, nutritional value, calories, and percentages of protein to fat and carbs. I recommended that you get a good mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates; for instance a high protein bar might not give you everything that you require in your emergency situation. Another factor to look at in food bars is fiber; it is always nice to be regular during a crisis. The one factor that all have in common they are easy to use; simply unwrap and eat. They are fairly compact and are good for an emergency pack. Mayday food bars and Millennium food bars both have a 5 year shelf life and are good choices for your consideration.
Home Made Survival Food
There is always the alternative of making survival food at home. Homemade jerky, pemmican (a concentrated mixture of fat and protein) and bannock (a kind of flatbread) will keep you alive during a crisis and are all fairly easy to prepare. There are videos on YouTube that show you how to make all three.
How Much Food?
At a minimum have seven days food stockpiled for every member of your family. This will meet the needs of most short term emergencies. More is better. A six month to a year supply of food will do wonders for your peace of mind.
There is no such thing as having too much survival food stored away for an emergency. Someone is going to need help because they did not prepare. If you can help a loved one or neighbor without jeopardizing your safety then you probably should. I suggest that you use caution however. You don’t want the hungry masses to know that you have a stockpile of food. Hungry people can and will do things to their fellow man that they would never do in a “normal” situation. Be especially secretive to children and teenagers. They will naturally want to tell everyone they know about your secret stash of survival food.