LIES about LONG TERM Food Storage Debunked!!!

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 lies that we have debunked.

Don’t 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.

We often hear people think they must cook meals with only shelf-stable ingredients. 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. 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.

TOTAL LIE! See our small spaces storage solutions post for ideas on how to start no matter how tiny you think your house might be.

NOT! Let’s be honest, unless you have tons of cash lying around, this isn’t going to happen. Start small. Commit yourself to buying food, little by little. Decide you will gather small amounts of a variety of long term food storage items. Once you discover which items you use most often, re-adjust and keep on buying when you can.

FALSE. Crystal at Everydayfoodstorage.NET shows you how you can use your food storage in EVERYDAY ways. She is great at teaching you to take the meals your family typically eats and incorporating food storage into them.

This is a lie that Julie thought was true until she really got into using food storage. She has always tried to cook with really “healthy” types of ingredients, and didn’t know how to incorporate long term food storage items into her typical meals. She learned that everyday food storage, means using your food storage in meals YOU would typically make. It’s surprising how you can adapt and start using your food storage even if you don’t cook the standard meals “everyone” else seems to be making. Stay tuned for some of Julie’s “health-conscious” discoveries that have had her dreaming about legumes.

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!

  • JJM123

    If no disasters, no rainy days, no lay offs; it still makes good sense to buy food today to avoid higher cost in 3 months. May become obvious this year as CA growers supposedly are facing water shortages d/t 500 year record drought. Just need to remember to rotate, use oldest first, to avoid waste and failure in your investment.

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  • Astra

    I have always bought in bulk when I am in need of items I use a lot; But your page has me buying a bit extra of the other stuff too. It actually saves money over each month and I am getting prepared for any needs that may come upon me. Great and inspiring work ladies

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      Thank you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/William-Overthere/100003499975723 William Overthere

    Big reason for food storage learned sort of after the fact.  Almost all food store sales are on a 9-12 week cycle; some being more often.  When/if you have a three month supply of food you will begin to see you only need to replenish your supply when the food and non-food items are on sale.  I estimate savings of 1/3 of my entire grocery store purchases.  More than enough to offset any inconvenience of storing food in a pantry.

  • Crystal

    I have been working so hard on my food storage for our family of four.  However, now I am wondering if I have goofed in some areas.  I have some dehydrated #10 cans that I purchased but I have also been buying bulk bags of rice, beans, sugar, etc. and putting them them in 6 gallon gamma buckets with a 2000 cc oxygen absorber.  I did not put a insert mylar bag inside the bucket.  Is this a problem?  The only thing I could find online is that the bucket will collapse.  Well, so far my buckets are fine but are there other areas of concerns but not using the mylar bag and just the bucket.  Question 2: another site said white flour will only last about a year, but yet you can buy a #10 can of flour online with a shelf life of 10 years.  Is my 6 gallon buckets of flour going to expire in about a year or are they good for about 10 years?  Please help so  I can be prepared but also not waste my money. 

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      The mylar bags just add another layer of protection and could possibly extend the shelf life a little longer. The oxygen absorbers are what is preserving it the most. Your shelf life will definitely be more than one year, but not as long as storing regular wheat would be. Just try to rotate it within a few years and you should be just fine.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

      The mylar bags just add another layer of protection and could possibly extend the shelf life a little longer. The oxygen absorbers are what is preserving it the most. Your shelf life will definitely be more than one year, but not as long as storing regular wheat would be. Just try to rotate it within a few years and you should be just fine.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/I4LS5FAAZECIXZIMXCS6NQBLXY Greg Schroeder

      The bucket is okay for short term but think of that bucket as a snow globe that has all water in it, well about a year later you see an air bubble in it and think someone pulled the plug and some of the water spilled out and made an air bubble.  Well you would think glass can’t pass or evaporate water, it can so mylar helps in blocking molecules especially when using plastic containers in your food storage. Another example is ketchup bottles which use copolymers when made so our ketchup remains fresh because on the old ketchup plastic bottles the water would evaporate and degraded the product, hope this made sense…  on a side note water is the most important item, you might also get some really good water filters and put the away for when they are needed… 

    • JJM123

      Flour = 1 year is what I’ve heard also. I don’t bake any ‘homemade’ breads, cookies, etc and only use flour for fried food breading, thickener and whatever else recipes might call for a small qty. But after 12 years sitting in my Tupperware container, perhaps its time to buy a new bag.?

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  • Godzonekid

    @Rita – I think non food storage items means stuff like toilet paper, cleaners etc. Mind you, you wouldn’t want to put them right next to food. For example you should NEVER put soap, detergents and washing powder next to food. EVER! But there is no reason why they can’t be stored in the same room.

  • Rita

    This may be a crazy question, but you comment about “food storage” items and “non-food storage” items. What is the difference? Could you give examples?

    • Nanaknows

      I think they mean cleaners, T.P. and medicines etc. Go to ASAMOM.com and check out the blogs. They have all sorts of great info that people post on 72 hour lists and 3 months and so on. Also look at catalogs of 72 hour kits you can buy for more ideas. Things you might forget like matches, batteries and so on.

    • Sarah

      @ Rita – Since she is speaking of cooking and meals instead of storage in that section, I believe the “non food storage” items would be the perishable ingredients such as fresh eggs, fresh milk, fresh veggies, or other items that have a very limited shelf life, as opposed to “shelf-stable” items (such as canned goods) that could potentially last a few years.

  • Rita

    This may be a crazy question, but you comment about “food storage” items and “non-food storage” items. What is the difference? Could you give examples?

  • max191

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  • AngieA

    I agree that any action is better than no action at all. I thought food storage was all shelf stable foods, then realized my freezer can be part of my food storage, too. If the emergency is my own finances, I can use precious cash for something other than groceries! I decided a good barbecue grill is an excellent emergency cooking device is the gas/electricity is out, and we can have fun in the summer, too! Just be sure to have spare fuel (whether propane or briquets)available. There are lots of ways to be prepared for emergencies whether they are personal or affect the entire community. You ladies are providing a wonderful service! Keep up the good work.

  • AngieA

    I agree that any action is better than no action at all. I thought food storage was all shelf stable foods, then realized my freezer can be part of my food storage, too. If the emergency is my own finances, I can use precious cash for something other than groceries! I decided a good barbecue grill is an excellent emergency cooking device is the gas/electricity is out, and we can have fun in the summer, too! Just be sure to have spare fuel (whether propane or briquets)available. There are lots of ways to be prepared for emergencies whether they are personal or affect the entire community. You ladies are providing a wonderful service! Keep up the good work.

  • Jodi

    Dun,

    Your point is completely valid. We tried to make it clear that it is indeed something to consider down the road how you would store and cook these foods in case of a severe emergency situation. But we found that sort of thinking to be the exact reason why we didn’t even START our food storage. To think that you have to have a generator, wheat grinder, solar oven, etc. before you should even start storing food is silly in our opinion.

    We want to encourage our readers (most of whom are beginners at food storage) to think of food storage in every day terms, think of the short term benefits, and think of the economic benefits. There is a much higher chance of you losing your job than sustaining a long 6 months without electricity or access to fresh foods. So if people get started, start storing some food, start learning to use them, start saving some money … then they will have the confidence to tackle the larger issues like what to do if you had to rely purely on your food storage with no access to power, gas, etc.

    As we make it clear throughout our site, we are still learning the basics and as we learn more we will share it with our readers. We never profess to be experts, we just want to share what we are learning along the way as it seems to help others who are just getting started. We will be getting to more advanced topics as we learn them, but we also want our readers to know that they CAN and SHOULD get started even if they haven’t thought through all that difficult stuff yet.

  • Jodi

    Dun,

    Your point is completely valid. We tried to make it clear that it is indeed something to consider down the road how you would store and cook these foods in case of a severe emergency situation. But we found that sort of thinking to be the exact reason why we didn’t even START our food storage. To think that you have to have a generator, wheat grinder, solar oven, etc. before you should even start storing food is silly in our opinion.

    We want to encourage our readers (most of whom are beginners at food storage) to think of food storage in every day terms, think of the short term benefits, and think of the economic benefits. There is a much higher chance of you losing your job than sustaining a long 6 months without electricity or access to fresh foods. So if people get started, start storing some food, start learning to use them, start saving some money … then they will have the confidence to tackle the larger issues like what to do if you had to rely purely on your food storage with no access to power, gas, etc.

    As we make it clear throughout our site, we are still learning the basics and as we learn more we will share it with our readers. We never profess to be experts, we just want to share what we are learning along the way as it seems to help others who are just getting started. We will be getting to more advanced topics as we learn them, but we also want our readers to know that they CAN and SHOULD get started even if they haven’t thought through all that difficult stuff yet.

  • dun

    So I guess there’s 3 reasons to store food:
    1. limit # of trips to grocery store
    2. prepare for a personal financial emergency
    3. prepare for a natural disaster or other calamity

    This method works well enough for #1 and 2, but doesn’t really help you in #3.

    The point of having food storage, for me, is to reduce your reliance of the smooth and effective functioning of global and national foodstuffs supply chains. You can’t do that unless you are prepared with shelf stable food storage.

    Every time there is a major emergency (a good example is the big earthquake in Japan in the 90s) there are millions of tons of “emergency food storage” that goes bad when the power stays off for a week.

    If you have extra food, but aren’t prepared for a disaster, you’re just plain foolish. More of your money is tied up in food (some percent of which will spoil), and in a real emergency you have less cash to barter with for usable goods.

  • dun

    So I guess there’s 3 reasons to store food:
    1. limit # of trips to grocery store
    2. prepare for a personal financial emergency
    3. prepare for a natural disaster or other calamity

    This method works well enough for #1 and 2, but doesn’t really help you in #3.

    The point of having food storage, for me, is to reduce your reliance of the smooth and effective functioning of global and national foodstuffs supply chains. You can’t do that unless you are prepared with shelf stable food storage.

    Every time there is a major emergency (a good example is the big earthquake in Japan in the 90s) there are millions of tons of “emergency food storage” that goes bad when the power stays off for a week.

    If you have extra food, but aren’t prepared for a disaster, you’re just plain foolish. More of your money is tied up in food (some percent of which will spoil), and in a real emergency you have less cash to barter with for usable goods.

    • Godzonekid

      @ dun – It’s better to lose “some” food from food storage than to lose “no” food because you don’t have any food stored. In the case of long time frame disaster, which you really should know pretty soon after it starts, you should use refrigerated items first and then frozen second if lack of electricity is the issue.

  • http://sunflowerschocolateandlittleboys.blogspot.com Denise

    This is my new favorite website. I can wait to get started using the meal planning excel sheet.

  • http://sunflowerschocolateandlittleboys.blogspot.com Denise

    This is my new favorite website. I can wait to get started using the meal planning excel sheet.

  • Ellie

    I love this post! Food storage seems so much more manageable when I think of it in a little-at-a-time and mix-and-match way. I love it when I suddenly realize that one of our favorite family recipes can be adapted to use some of our stored items or could be made only with stored items if we suddenly needed to. I’m looking forward to Julie’s recipes as I always love having new ones. Thanks!

  • Ellie

    I love this post! Food storage seems so much more manageable when I think of it in a little-at-a-time and mix-and-match way. I love it when I suddenly realize that one of our favorite family recipes can be adapted to use some of our stored items or could be made only with stored items if we suddenly needed to. I’m looking forward to Julie’s recipes as I always love having new ones. Thanks!

  • http://theobsessiveshopper.net Shauntell

    I love this post! I always thought that food storage HAD to be the dehydrated kits and that I could never have food storage because I couldn’t afford to drop Thousands to get the kits! Thanks for your debunking! You two are awesome. :)

  • http://theobsessiveshopper.net Shauntell

    I love this post! I always thought that food storage HAD to be the dehydrated kits and that I could never have food storage because I couldn’t afford to drop Thousands to get the kits! Thanks for your debunking! You two are awesome. :)

  • http://silverdalefoodstorage.blogspot.com Linda in Bremerton, WA

    I can’t WAIT to get Julie’s health-conscious recipes. (By the way, I’m telling everyone who will listen about your funwithfoodstorage blog!!!)

  • http://silverdalefoodstorage.blogspot.com Linda in Bremerton, WA

    I can’t WAIT to get Julie’s health-conscious recipes. (By the way, I’m telling everyone who will listen about your funwithfoodstorage blog!!!)

  • Joyce

    Thanks girls! I too used to believe that tons of wheat and powdered milk were food storage. Now, we eat what we store and store mostly what we eat on a daily basis. No food is wasted this way and it’s more like having a little grocery store in the basement. Not necessarily for a huge emergency, but for everyday economy and convenience as well. I almost never need to run to the grocery store in order to make dinner.

    I’ll be watching on the 4th!
    Joyce

  • Joyce

    Thanks girls! I too used to believe that tons of wheat and powdered milk were food storage. Now, we eat what we store and store mostly what we eat on a daily basis. No food is wasted this way and it’s more like having a little grocery store in the basement. Not necessarily for a huge emergency, but for everyday economy and convenience as well. I almost never need to run to the grocery store in order to make dinner.

    I’ll be watching on the 4th!
    Joyce

  • Tiffany Brady

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have seriously thought about food storage as mainly big buckets of wheat and pretty much all dry goods that I wouldn’t know what to do with. I’m so glad I came across this site. I’ve been really wanting to start my food storage, but have been overwhelmed with where to start. Baby steps here I come!

  • Tiffany Brady

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have seriously thought about food storage as mainly big buckets of wheat and pretty much all dry goods that I wouldn’t know what to do with. I’m so glad I came across this site. I’ve been really wanting to start my food storage, but have been overwhelmed with where to start. Baby steps here I come!

  • lisa

    Don’t we all have excuses! mine was” I feel like I’ll never have it no matter how much i buy”, and” I feel so panicked by it all”. But slowly It’s coming together with the help of you ladies.
    Thanks

  • lisa

    Don’t we all have excuses! mine was” I feel like I’ll never have it no matter how much i buy”, and” I feel so panicked by it all”. But slowly It’s coming together with the help of you ladies.
    Thanks

    • T Moseley

      I agree with you Lisa. I feel like I will never have enough food storage. I’m just starting out and I don’t have a fortune to spend on it and I have that I’ve got to have it now attitude.

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