As we began to think about building our LONG TERM food storage we started to come across some ideas that kept holding us back from really becoming serious about it. As we’ve been researching for our blog, and actually building our own storage, we discovered that a lot of things were not true for US. We’ve summarized them here into seven food storage myths that we have gone ahead and debunked for you.
MYTH: You have to buy the exact foods listed in food storage calculators
FACT: You don’t have to be afraid to replace certain foods with foods you use more often. For example, the typical calculator may tell you to store way more, or less, of a certain ingredient then you would ever use. For example, Jodi likes to use her grain mill to grind corn for cornbread, so she’s not taking the cornmeal recommendation literally and is storing corn kernels instead.
MYTH: You have to plan on making meals with only shelf-stable ingredients
FACT: While these recipes can be useful and are good to know about in case of a severe emergency situation, they are NOT the be all/end all of food storage. We often hear people think they must cook meals with only shelf-stable ingredients but that’s not the case when it’s not a true emergency. The idea is that you will be learning to cook with your food storage and constantly rotating it. It’s okay to mix and match “food storage” items with “non-food storage” items.
MYTH: Food storage is only for people with large homes or storage areas
FACT: There are tons of places you can stash food to help your family be prepared, no matter the size of your home. See our small spaces storage solutions post for ideas on how to start no matter how tiny you think your house might be.
MYTH: You should buy all your food storage up front … just in case
FACT: It makes more sense to start small, gathering small amounts of a variety of long term food storage items. Then once you discover which items your family likes and uses most often, re-adjust and keep on buying when you can. Let’s be honest, unless you have tons of cash lying around, this isn’t possible for most people anyway. Just commit yourself to buying food, a little bit at a time. Follow the Babystep Checklists to make this even easier.
MYTH: Food storage is only for health freaks who cook weird meals
FACT: While people typically think of whole grains and legumes as the core food storage ingredients, you can actually eat almost ANY diet that is normal for your family. With the advances in freeze-drying technology and the ability to put a lot of dairy products into powder form, you can actually substitute MOST ingredients from your every day recipes. We teach a lot of how to do that over at YourThriveLife.com using Thrive Life’s freeze-dried ingredients.
MYTH: You have to have expensive appliances in order to cook with your food storage
FACT: It is definitely nice to have some good gear on hand, but you can cook a TON of food simply using a $20 butane stove. I love creating meals-in-a-jar because you can just boil some water on your butane stove and have dinner in 10 minutes. You can also make some fairly inexpensive stoves and grills using #10 cans or even make a pizza box solar oven. These homemade items won’t be as effective or as sturdy as something more expensive, but they can definitely work in a pinch while you are saving up for a Sun Oven or other major powerless cooking tool.
MYTH: Food storage will only be useful for a major natural disaster or zombie apocalypse
FACT: While this is the reason a lot of people think you should get into food storage, it is one of the very last reasons why we LOVE having food storage. We have found that we use food storage for health reasons, self-reliance reasons, to weather against economic storms, and so much more. While it’s good to eventually make plans for how to survive without things like gas and electricity, there is no need to let that get in the way of you starting to use and rotate through your food storage TODAY!
We hope you enjoyed taking a look at these food storage myths and realizing that some of the things that might be holding you back from starting on your food storage may indeed just be MYTHS!
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-Jodi Weiss Schroeder