Food Storage is definitely one of the first things that pops into my head when I think of things I need to do to prepare for an emergency. I guess that is why I chose to tackle the food storage project as my first project for 2013. Are you planning a way to store food also?
As with most things, planning, organizing, and carrying out food storage for your family can be a daunting task. So the first step is planning for what types of food I need, and how much.
What Type of Food?
The idea is to store what you eat. The tricky part is being able to store that type of food for long periods of time. Food is perishable, and you never know when disaster or emergencies will arise. So proper planning is needed to know not only what to store, but how much to store, and how to store it. Your long term food storage list may be completely different than your neighbors.
The first step in planning what food to store is to make a list of the most common meals that your family eats. For example, you might choose 5 breakfast, 5 lunch, and 10 dinners that your family prepares on a regular basis. Write down the ingredients needed for each of these meals. It may help if you organize this in a spreadsheet that looks something like this:
Meals are written across the top row, and ingredients are written down the first column. The amount of each ingredient (ex. 2 cups honey) can then be written in for each meal. This of course can be modified to include more meals that just 5 or 10 for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Perhaps your pallet is more refined and you can list off 20 different meals you commonly eat. Don’t forget vegetables, breads, and desserts.
How much food to Store?
I’ve modeled my plan after a Utah State University Cooperative Extension document named “A Management Plan for Home Food Storage” written by Rebecca Low and Georgia Lauritzen (you can find this here). They suggest that about 80% of the food you eat comes from the same meals. The other 20% of the food come from other meals and food eaten less frequently. This includes short term seasonal food, and special meals. You can account for this in your food storage by keeping additional long term basic storage such beans, rice, and wheat that will sustain life.
Once all of the ingredients for each meal are written out, you can extrapolate the amount of food you need for a years supply. Sum all the ingredients for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner separately. So now, for example, for butter you may have 2 cups for breakfast, 1 cup for Lunch, and 4 cups for Dinner. To extrapolate this to a years supply use the following equation:
X = Amount of ingredient (ex. butter, flour, sugar, etc…)
Y = Number of meals (ex. there were 5 meals for breakfast in the image above.)
Once you’ve carried out this equation for all the ingredients for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, now you can sum together the total for each ingredient. This will give you the total amount of storage food you need for 80% of your meals.
Rounding it off
You may want to convert from measurements in volumes to measurements in weights. Buying in bulk for some items may be easier if you know how many lbs or kilograms you need (instead of Cups or Tablespoons). To take care of the other 20% of meals, look for the missing ingredients that you use in less common meals. For example, have you included any cream of tartar, or cinnamon? Storing spices and other less common ingredients will provide more opportunity for improvising and changing of meals for what you have listed.
I recommend comparing you list to other published list to see if you are in the ballpark. Remember, your family may require more or less than these other published lists. The following is a recommendation that was put on http://www.thefoodguys.com/foodcalc.html and was based on the “Home Production and Storage Manual” by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.Food Storage Recommendations Per Person Per Year
|Per Child||Per Adult||Adult (ages 7+) Child (ages below 7 y.o.)|
|75||150||lbs of Wheat|
|12||25||lbs of Flour|
|12||25||lbs of Corn Meal|
|12||25||lbs of Oats|
|25||50||lbs of Rice|
|12||25||lbs of Pasta|
|148||300||lbs Total Grains|
|15||30||lbs of Dry Beans|
|1||5||lbs of Lima Beans|
|5||10||lbs of Soy Beans|
|1||5||lbs of Split Peas|
|1||5||lbs of Lentils|
|1||5||lbs of Dry Soup Mix|
|24||60||lbs Total Legumes|
|Fats and Oils|
|2||4||lbs of Shortening|
|1||2||gal of Vegtable Oil|
|1||2||qts of Mayonaise|
|1||1||qts of Salad Dressing|
|2||4||lbs of Peanut Butter|
|13||25||lbs Total Fats and Oils|
|Milk and Dairy|
|30||60||lbs of Dry Milk|
|6||12||cans of Evaporated Milk|
|6||13||lbs of Other Dairy|
|37||75||lbs of Total Milk and Dairy|
|1||3||lbs of Honey|
|20||40||lbs of Sugar|
|1||3||lbs of Brown Sugar|
|1||1||lbs of Molasses|
|1||3||lbs of Corn Syrup|
|1||3||lbs of Jams|
|3||6||lbs of Powdered Fruit Drink|
|1||1||lbs of Flavored Gelatin|
|29||60||lbs Total Sugars|
|1||1||lbs of Baking Powder|
|1||1||lbs of Baking Soda|
|0.5||0.5||lbs of Yeast|
|3||5||lbs of Salt|
|0.5||0.5||gal of Vinegar|
|20||40||lbs of Flavored Apples|
|20||40||lbs of Applesauce|
|15||30||lbs of Banana Chips|
|17.5||35||lbs of Fruit Mixture|
|20||40||lbs of Fruit Juices|
|92.5||185||lbs Total Fruits|
|15||30||lbs of Corn|
|15||30||lbs of Peas|
|15||30||lbs of Green Beans|
|15||30||lbs of Carrots|
|20||40||lbs of Potatoes|
|2.5||5||lbs of Onions|
|10||20||lbs of Tomatoes|
|92.5||185||lbs Total Vegetables|
Another great site is foodstoragemadeeasy.net, the site has an excel spreadsheet that you can download and it calculated a recommended amount of food for your family. The spreadsheet can be downloaded here.
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