What to Look For When Purchasing One Year Food Storage
Have you decided it’s time to beef up your food storage? It can be a daunting task. While building up a full year’s supply of food may seem to be a little extreme, it’s a worthy goal in these times of uncertainty. What should you look for when selecting a whole year’s worth of food? Here are some important things to consider.
Is the food canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried? Or a combination of all three? Each of these methods has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Freeze-dried foods, for example, a light-weight and have excellent color and taste retention, but they’re expensive. If you want meat, it’s the only way to go. Dehydrated foods will substitute textured vegetable protein (TVP) for meat. It doesn’t taste bad, but it’s not meat. Dehydrated foods will also be heavier.
Shelf life for typical food storage items can vary from 10 to 30 years, depending upon the type of food, the manufacturing process, and the packaging. Your storage method will also be a factor.
If you expect your family to actually eat your food storage, you’ll want to pay close attention to what food your getting. Okay, I’m being a little funny here, but seriously, you need to have food that you like to eat and doesn’t require you to completely change your diet. Having barrels of whole winter wheat on hand used to seem like a good idea at one time, but if don’t have a grinder or just aren’t into making everything from scratch, you’ll want to consider not only the taste and nutritional value, but also the preparation time, skill level, and required tools or appliances.
Cost Per Serving
This is obviously an important factor, but not that easy to do since there are so many variable in servings, including weight, calorie content, nutritional value, and obviously taste.
Manufactures will typically tell you the total number of calories contained in their package deals, but you should also look at the number of calories per serving and the number of servings per day. The average person supposedly needs 2000 calories per day. Not all package deals will contain that many. And of course you also should try to calculate what your family actually needs.
This can vary a lot depending on what types of foods you’re getting. Single-ingredient packaging require more time and skill because you are measuring and combining items to come up with the final meal. Pre-packaged foods require a lot less time and effort, but also severely limit the types of meals you can create.
The days of 100 lb barrels of food are pretty much gone. Today you’ll likely receive the food in much more convenient #10 cans or in even more convenient mylar pouches. The cans are still too large for a typical family to consume in one meal, but after opened, and with plastic lids on, they’ll keep for several month, typically. The mylar pouches only contain a few servings so you’ll typically prepare it all at once. One drawback to the pouches is that they don’t stack up like cans. One company, Wise Foods, puts their pouches in square plastic buckets, which do stack easily.
Some companies will allow you to purchase on a monthly payment plan over an extended period. This helps a lot since most of us can’t afford to purchase a whole year’s worth of food all at once.
It can take up to 6 weeks to receive your food so it’s worth asking your supplier how long you’ll have to wait.