Thursday, April 11, 2024
Food and Drinks

How to Choose the Best Emergency Food for Long-Term Storage

Emergency Food

Building an emergency food supply can be both lifesaving in a disaster and deeply comforting during an unexpected crisis. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all emergency foods are created equal.

The key is to choose foods that can be stored for long periods, which will ensure you have enough food for an extended period in case a disaster strikes and your access to fresh groceries is disrupted.

Canned Meats

Canned meats are an important part of any emergency food supply, as they can provide a significant number of calories and protein. When choosing canned meats for your survival supplies, look for those that have minimal ingredients and high-quality meat. Avoid products that contain a lot of salt or other additives, as these can hurt your health. Canned chicken is also a good choice, as it provides a versatile source of protein that can be used in a variety of meals.

When buying canned foods, be sure to read the labels. Many products that are labeled as beef or pork may be made from a combination of meats and other ingredients, such as broth or gravy. These extra ingredients add up in weight and reduce the amount of actual meat contained in each can. Likewise, many brands of canned chicken contain a small amount of modified cornstarch as an added ingredient. These products have a less desirable flavor and may not be as healthy as those that only list beef or pork as the main ingredient.

A variety of foods are available in cans that are suitable for long-term storage, including beans, vegetables, fruits, and grains. These foods should be stored in a cool, dark place like a basement or closet to ensure that they are not exposed to excessive heat or light. The ideal place to store these foods is in five-gallon food-safe buckets, which are easy to transport and keep bugs, dirt, and other contaminants out.

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Another popular option for storing emergency food is dehydrated or freeze-dried meals. These foods are great for camping trips or when cooking equipment may not be available, and they can provide a nutritious meal in a compact package that will not take up a lot of space in your backpack.

In addition to canned and dried foods, it is also a good idea to stockpile a variety of non-perishable snacks that can be eaten in an emergency. These snacks can help provide a boost of energy and nutrition, as well as make the survival experience more enjoyable. Some of these snacks include energy bars, dry fruit, nuts and seeds, and beef jerky. Beef jerky is especially recommended because it offers high levels of protein in a nutrient-dense package.

Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables can add valuable vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet during a disaster. Look for low-acid canned vegetables like corn, peas, carrots, and lima beans. Also consider buying a case of canned mixed vegetables, such as Libby’s, to ensure you have a good variety of foods in your emergency food storage.

Another option is freeze-dried food, which can have an even longer shelf life than most canned foods. You can find freeze-dried vegetables, fruits, and meats in bulk at many online survival stores. Some of these foods need to be rehydrated with water, while others can simply be eaten as is. Some freeze-dried food brands also sell pre-made meals, such as Valley Food Storage, that you can add to your survival pantry.

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Although you should focus on storing foods that meet your basic survival needs, don’t forget to include some enjoyable foods. These can help you stay calm and energized during stressful times. For example, you can store a few jars of peanut butter, which is high in protein and energy. You can also store some dried fruits and nuts, which are high in fiber and healthy fats.

You should also include some canned soups and chili in your survival pantry. These can provide a hot meal quickly and are easy to digest. They can also keep you hydrated during long periods without access to fresh food. If you’re planning to store food for an extended period, choose broths and soups with lower sodium content.

Make sure you have a can opener on hand for your canned foods, and that you store them in a cool, dry location. It’s also a good idea to write out preparation instructions or mixing ratios for your emergency foods on index cards and place them in the containers. This will make it easier to create a tasty meal in the event of an unexpected disaster or catastrophe. Ideally, you should rotate your emergency foods every six to 12 months. This way, you can eat the oldest foods first and get newer ones as needed.

Canned Fruits

When it comes to storing food, many preppers focus on seeds and plants they can grow indoors, but canned foods are also a good option. Canned foods have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration until opened, which means they are one of the best options for emergency survival supplies. You should always choose high-quality brands of canned foods to ensure the safety of your family in an emergency.

When selecting canned foods to stockpile, think about the diet of your family and their preferences. For example, a can of anchovies may have a long shelf life but it is no use to your family if they despise the taste of anchovies. It is also important to include a variety of foods in your selection so that you can avoid appetite fatigue during a disaster or other emergency.

Another staple of a prepper’s pantry is canned vegetables and beans. These foods are high in protein and other essential nutrients that are needed for survival during a crisis. They can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, and other meals to provide a nutritional balance in your meal plan.

Canned fish and other canned meats are a good choice for those that want to add extra sources of protein to their meals. They are easy to store and can help you meet your recommended dietary intake of protein during an emergency.

It is also a good idea to stockpile canned grains, such as white and brown rice. These are a great source of carbohydrates and can be eaten alone or cooked in a variety of ways. They can be stored in sealed containers or jars and are usually safe to store for up to two years.

It is a good idea to store your canned foods in a cool, dark place to help extend their shelf life. You should also make sure to rotate your canned foods so that they are used before they expire. If you don’t rotate your canned food supply, you could end up with foods that are no longer safe to eat. It is important to recognize the indicators of expired canned foods, such as a foul smell, off-color or taste, rust on the rim of the can, or bulging sides.

Canned Rice

Canned rice is an essential component of any emergency food storage stash. It is a versatile and affordable ingredient that can be used to make several different types of meals. It also contains a lot of protein. Try to stockpile a variety of canned rice varieties, including brown rice and white rice, to ensure you have plenty of options in a crisis.

Another important ingredient to keep on hand is peanut butter. It provides a lot of calories for a relatively small amount of food, and it can help to make other ingredients more appealing to children during a disaster scenario. If you can’t afford to store fresh peanut butter, look for a brand that lasts up to 5 years.

Potatoes are a hardy staple that can be eaten cold or cooked. They are rich in dietary fiber and many essential vitamins. They can be eaten alone or combined with other vegetables and meats to make a full meal. Canned potatoes can last for up to a month without refrigeration, and they are a good option for people who do not have access to fresh produce or live in an area with poor weather conditions.

It is also a good idea to stockpile canned fish, such as tuna and sardines. They provide a good source of omega-3 and healthy fats. Canned sardines can be eaten straight from the can, and tuna can be mixed with rice for a nutritious meal.

Protein is an important part of any meal, and it’s essential in an emergency. It can provide the energy you need to perform daily activities and maintain a strong immune system. Make sure you include canned proteins in your emergency food storage, such as canned spam, chicken breasts, ham, and potted meat.

Another popular option for long-term emergency storage is dehydrated and freeze-dried foods. These foods have a longer shelf life than canned foods and require little to no preparation. They can be stored in a variety of containers, including five-gallon buckets. Some companies, such as Legacy Food, offer emergency kits with high-quality freeze-dried food that can last up to a year.


Choosing the best emergency food for long-term storage requires careful consideration of factors such as shelf life, nutritional value, and dietary restrictions. It is important to select foods that are easy to prepare and store, while also providing a balanced and varied diet. By following these guidelines, individuals can ensure they are prepared for any emergency.

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