Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Survival Kitchen

"Keeping your pantry stocked is the first step to survival food" - About.com
Food storage should not be buckets of grain gathering dust in the basement. Begin food storage in your kitchen and with your normal grocery shopping. When items you normally eat go on sale, buy a few extra to keep in storage. Write the month and year of purchase on the cans and food you store with a waterproof maker. This will help you identify the oldest items and hopefully use them before they expire. When storing food, put the new items in the BACK. This will encourage you to use the older items before the new.

Here are some recommendations for a survival kitchen pantry from About.com:
  • canned Vegetables (not vacuum packed). Use the liquid in the can in place of fresh water in your recipes.
  • herbs and spices.
  • Olive oil and other cooking oils
  • Small jars of mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is shelf-stable when sealed but will separate after opening if not refrigerated or kept on ice.
  • Sugar, salt, flour, baking mix, and honey will last forever in sealed packages. [Note - white flour has a long shelf life, wheat flour does not]
  • Pastas, rice, and dried legumes have long shelf lives but you'll need water to cook them.
  • Dry breakfast cereals
  • Pasteurized milk in boxes can be stored for six months
  • Powdered and evaporated canned milk
  • Dehydrated onions and mushrooms
  • Dry soup bases and gravy mixes
  • Canned meats and seafood
  • Processed cheese food and dry grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses
  • Disposable aluminum baking trays, paper plates, plastic utensils and paper towels
Bottom Line
It's easy to build and maintain a food storage of 1 to 3 months for a family with the recommendations above using normal everyday food. My wife and I did this shortly after we were married by buying lots of pasta, sauces, canned fruit/ vegetables/meat, etc. This worked very well for many years until we unknowingly bought a bag of rice which was contaminated with insects. They spread and got into all our boxes of pasta.

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