Food storage can be a tricky and confusing thing. What should you store? What does your family eat? What do you like to eat? What is non-perishable but still good for you?
A lot of food storage areas I see have a lot of junk food in them. I don't mean just the Little Debbie snacks. I see a lot of rice mixes, sugary cereals, processed foods, high carbohydrate foods, and empty calorie drinks. That is just a few examples. Those foods can come in handy if you are hungry. But they will do nothing to help fuel your body.
If you were to lose power for an extended amount of time, your body will use more energy to get tasks done because you will be doing more physically and mentally demanding things. Your body will need the nourishment of good, healthy foods for added energy and the additional calories you will need to power your body. If you were to lose your job or be laid off for extended amount of time, you need good foods to keep your mental energy and mood upbeat. Your body needs to be kept at an even keel for those times when you need to keep your hope up.
Processed foods with preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, food dyes, and other added chemicals will do nothing to aid in nourishing your body. In fact, they will do more damage to your body when you need your body to be at its peak. They cause mood swings, emotional instability, fatigue, immunity problems, among other things.
Honestly, I understand that food is food. If you are truly hungry, any food will work to keep you alive and going. Smart food storage decisions now will aid in better situations later. I want to share what I have done and what ideas I have to help you create a healthier food storage.
What should you store in your healthy food pantry now? Think of:
- foods that you can make and do make from scratch
- foods your family will enjoy
- foods that have a shorter and longer storage life
- simple seasonings
- garden produce you can or have canned
- meat you can or have canned
What can you do now to have in storage:
- make your own granola/breakfast cereal/oatmeal packets
- make your own canned soups and stews
- make your own pasta sauces, salsas, and other tomato products
- stock up on seasonings to make your food delicious and break the boredom
- buy and eat foods that nourish and fuel your body
What things can you buy (This is what I have in mine):
- rolled, quick-cooking, and steel oats
- salt, pepper, herbs, spices
- whole wheat flour or wheat berries if you have a grinder
- raw sugar or organic cane sugar
- lemon juice
- vinegar (white, apple cider, etc.)
- baking supplies such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, vanilla extract
- dried fruits (just be careful, some contain food dyes and preservatives)
- freeze-dried fruits and vegetables
- canned fruit that does not have sugar or artificial sweeteners added
- canned vegetables that are low sodium
- tomato products without the artificial ingredients
- dried beans of all types
- dried lentils, split beans, and other legumes
- olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil
- olive oil cooking spray
- pasta (not always the healthiest, but a good vehicle for other foods)
- rice (brown, white, jasmine, basmati, wild)
- tea (green and black)
- ketchup, mustard, taco sauce
That should give you a start of getting a food pantry that is nourishing for yourself and your family. You might have other things to add to these list and please comment below to share with others!
Thanks for reading!