The controversy between heirloom and hybrid seeds came up recently and the preference for heirloom seeds has been stated on this forum as well. It comes up pretty much anytime prepper growers get together. It's almost a ubiquitous as "check out my BOB." I have a different take on it than some/many seem to, so I'll share. Take it with a grain of salt.
If you were to conduct a poll for the top 10 food staples people store, you will get varying answers. Why? There are many different ways that we can purchase, grow, and package our foods; dehydrated vs. freeze dried, purchased canned foods vs. home canned foods, packaged #10 cans vs. feed store purchased grains, and the list could continue. Additional considerations include the ability for someone to grow their own food, budget, the period of time and the type of event an individual is preparing, and an individual’s normal diet. Food storage is drastically different for someone that only stores food for a short-term emergency and the prepper that is preparing for the apocalypse. Regardless of which types of food products you decide to store, the key is to ensure to account for the calories and nutrients required for healthy survival.
Purchasing food, and other supplies, is a key part of staying prepared. It is important to experiment with food storage before purchasing in bulk, to ensure that your family (or group) will be able to use the items you stock in quantity without any issues. Buying 72 cans of beans and rice at a bargain price may not be such a great choice, if the product is so unappealing to your family that they will not eat it during normal times. It is better to purchase several different types of foods to sample, before laying in bulk quantities. The key to a good long term storage plan, whether food or other supplies, is to wherever possible use what you store, and store what you use. Body bags and sutures are a few exceptions that come to mind.
So, you have cases of #10 cans filled with dehydrated vegetables, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), dairy products, and 5 gallon buckets full of grains, beans, and sugar. But, have you ever prepared a meal with your food storage items? If you currently live the self-sufficiency lifestyle or already prepare foods using food storage ingredients, then you are way ahead of the game. But, for the majority of us that survive on food from fast food chains, restaurants, frozen dinners, and eating out of a box; we know little about cooking with food storage. If you are overwhelmed with the thought of preparing meals using food storage items, join us as we explore Kathy Clark’s Dinner is in the Jar and make one of her delicious recipes.
If you are an active Prepper, then you likely spend several hours a week, if not each day, preparing for some possible event that may take place. We are often mocked, ridiculed, and viewed as an outcast of the modern day, grid tied – society. Our friends, co-workers, and family members that are not prepared, are usually the culprits and are what I like to refer as Zombies. They are so tied into the Matrix, that they do not see the signs around them. If you communicate with your friends and family about preparedness, eventually you will hear comments like, “I will just come to your house if something happens.” So if something happens, where would you draw the line?
If you are planning to store foods for long term storage, your food storage items should be located in a cool-dry-dark area, and free of oxygen. Cool temperatures extend the life of your stored foods drastically. Dry, or moisture free areas, keep your food from spoiling. Lastly, dark and oxygen free areas keep bacteria from developing. Most living organisms need light and air, so by keeping your food in a dark-oxygen free place, unwanted growth is less likely to occur. Do not forget about insects and rodents who are also trying to survive off of your food storage. So if you are new to food storage, how is all of this accomplished?
I really enjoy the prepping lifestyle, more specifically the building of my food reserves. My preferred food storage method is dehydrating. I dehydrate between 20-50 lbs of fruits and vegetables a week. In fact, my Excalibur dehydrator is busy almost every day. I meticulously plan the dehydrating schedule, food packaging, and meal creation, and repeat the process every week as if it was a normal household chore. In contrast, my better half enjoys baking. Whenever we expect friends or family to drop by, my wife is busy making cookies and brownies. Even though our “likes”, or should I say obsessive hobbies, revolve around the kitchen, it is rare when one will help the other. She bakes. I dehydrate.
Building a food reserve should be near the top of your prepping list. Let’s face it, we will always need food, and if going to the grocery store is not an option, then it would be best if you had a large supply on hand. How large of a supply is up to you, but most hardcore preppers feel a minimum of six months per person is need. If ever faced with a long term survival situation, most of us do not have the land to grow a large garden that will support our needs, or we do not have the experience to garden year around. And, we have not even covered securing your garden from pests and people, chances of crop failure, and inexperience with animals. My recommendation is to store food, and the more the better.