A topic you would think I would discuss far more often on my blog but it ends up I rarely discuss it. Why? Because starting to write about it in any way, shape or form is like pouring warm water into a pile of fresh, healthy yeast. It starts to grow, and grow and grow; and soon it's spilling over the edge of the cup and onto the counter and down the counters. It's a topic that just grows into huge, long posts because there is just much to say and so many topics umbrella'ed under. (I think I may have made that word up, actually.)
I end up getting overwhelmed and deleting the whole post. But... I'm going to try this again this morning. Chatting over coffee with the topic of "just what does 1 year worth of long term emergency food storage look like?" "What do I need for one year of food storage?" (And trying to stay on this one and only one topic....)
And guess what?
NO ONE can tell you that.
NO ONE can know that.
Because 'that' 1 year list is going to be different for everyone.
If you are just getting started in long term emergency food storage, that's probably not what you want to hear. I know I didn't. I wanted someone to give me a list of exactly what I needed and how much.
So, that's what I went looking for (back in the day... before the internet was the huge monster it is today).
Here is a list (on a fairly old, now yellowed, lined piece of paper) I found online in numerous places at the time, and hand-wrote back in the 'early' days of me wanting to do long term emergency storage for our family.
MINIMUM PER YEAR PER PERSON
300 lb. grain, pasta, flour
75 lb. beans; pinto, refried, black, navy
75 lb. milk - powder and evaporated
65 lb. sweetener; sugar, molasses, honey
4 lb. shortening
2 gallons oil
2.5 lb. leavening agents; yeast, baking soda, baking powder
5 lb. salt
45 gallons water for cooking plus 2 quarts a day for drinking, plus more for sanitary
Apparently I was supposed to store hard wheat, dried beans, powdered milk and water.
Where was I supposed to get this 'hard wheat'?
What was I going to do with hard wheat?
What do I make with it?
How do I use it?
Why do I want something like that in my food storage?
Honey? I HATE the taste of honey!
Molasses? The kids hate the taste of molasses! And what do I do with molasses anyway?
Beans? The only beans our family regularly ate was refried beans in burritos.
Milk? I don't drink milk. I don't like milk and haven't drank it since I was about 2 years old.
What do I do with 2 gallons of oil? You can't fry hard wheat or beans, that's for sure.
This list made no sense to me.
Canned goods, extra packaged foods store bought cans of food items made more sense to me.
So in the beginning that's what I did. Extra peanut butter, granola bars, canned goods like green beans and ready to serve soups. I also filled up empty milk jugs that my husband and kids finished off, and stored them with water under our son's Captain style bed.
A year later I realized the expiration dates on the food in the box in the basement meant we had to bring all that food up and start to use it up, and the water I stored in the milk jugs? Had evaporated! Some were empty and others had barely an inch or two of water left.
Clearly I was doing it wrong.
More research was needed.
"STORE WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU STORE"
Seems simple to those that 'get it' and confusing to those who have read it for the first time.
What and how you store up your pantry for emergencies depends on what you and your family eat. What allergies do you have? Do you know how to can foods? Do you live in an area of the world prone to certain disasters but less likely to experience others? Do you want to plan to leave your home in case of emergencies or will you batten down the hatches and stay put? Do you live in the country or the city? Do you have a well or other water source? Do you have a pregnant woman or baby in the household? Do you have pets to plan to feed as well? Do you have to follow a certain diet for any health reasons? Do you have serious health or medical issues to also plan around? Do you have skills? Do you know how to cook and bake by instinct and by scratch or do you typically buy your food through a drive through on the way home from work? Do you have a garden or space for one? Do you prefer to store foods you can just add hot water to and it's done? Would you rather just buy up a years worth of MRE (meals-ready-to-eat like the military provides to soldiers)?
See where I'm going with this?
THIS is why no one can tell you what you need or how much you need.
300 pounds of hard red wheat in storage is just going to waste if you have no idea how to use it.
This where I have to fight with myself to stay on topic... let's get to the example list of 1 year worth of food the title mentioned.
I'm going to skip all I want to say about using a mixture of canned goods, home canned goods, freezer foods, dehydrated foods, freeze dried foods, fresh foods from a planned garden, raising chickens and having a water source or a good water store. I'm going to have to post about that later because this post is getting too long.
Yesterday I was making another regular small purchase order for our pantry storage and although I normally skip the large, "one stop shopping" kits, I decided to use it as the basis for this post.
This is ONE current list of of what ONE company says is a good list to store for 4 people for 1 year.
It's a generalized list obviously, and not personalized with all the considerations I typed out above. This particular list is released by a company that specializes in dehydrated and freeze dried foods (keep that in mind).
But it's a good starting to point to see what one company thinks will feed you and 3 others for a year in hard times.
Grains, Oats, and Rice
- 30 Hard White Wheat (51 servings per can)
- 6 Creamy Wheat Cereal (36 servings per can)
- 64 Long Grain White Rice (47 servings per can)
- 4 Elbow Macaroni (26 servings per can)
- 60 Quick Rolled Oats (22 servings per can)
- 2 Creamy Potato Soup Mix (33 servings per can)
- 2 Vegetable Stew Blend (40 servings per can)
- 1 Beef Gravy (38 servings per can)
- 1 Chicken Gravy (38 servings per can)
- 2 Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup Mix (21 servings per can)
- 2 Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup Mix (21 servings per can)
- 1 Chicken Bouillon (921 servings per can)
- 6 Dehydrated Potato Flakes (30 servings per can)
- 2 Dehydrated Potato Shreds (21 servings per can)
- 2 Dehydrated Potato Slices (28 servings per can)
- 4 Dehydrated Potato Dices (20 servings per can)
- 3 Freeze Dried Sweet Corn (23 servings per can)
- 1 Dehydrated Chopped Onions (217 servings per can)
- 2 Freeze Dried Broccoli Florets & Stems (28 servings per can)
- 3 Dehydrated Diced Carrots (29 servings per can)
- 3 Dehydrated Cross Cut Celery (36 servings per can)
- 1 Dehydrated Diced Red and Green Bell Peppers (113 servings per can)
- Dehydrated Spinach Flakes (45 servings per can)
- 1 Honey Powder (340 servings per can)
- 2 Honey Wheat Bread & Roll Mix (49 servings per can)
- 2 Honey White Bread & Roll Mix (49 servings per can)
- 1 Buttermilk Biscuit Mix (no leavening) (31 servings per can)
- 1 Iodized Salt (1474 servings per can)
- 1 Shortening Powder (178 servings per can)
- 2 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (45 servings per can)
- 2 Blueberry Muffin Mix (40 servings per can)
- 1 Brown Sugar (529 servings per can)
- 2 White Granulated Sugar (595 servings per can)
- 3 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (45 servings per can)
- 7 Blueberry Pancake Mix (19 servings per can)
- 22 Honey Coated Banana Slices (21 servings per can)
- 3 Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries (18 servings per can)
- 3 Freeze Dried Whole Raspberries (22 servings per can)
- 8 Country Fresh 100% Real Instant Nonfat Dry Milk (39 servings per can)
- 18 Morning Moo's® Low Fat Milk Alternative (93 servings per can)
- 4 Chocolate Morning Moo's® Low Fat Milk Alternative (57 servings per can)
- 1 Cheese Blend Powder (43 servings per can)
- 1 Butter Powder (204 servings per can)
- 8 Dried Whole Eggs (71 servings per can)
- 8 Beef Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute (40 servings per can)
- 8 Bacon Flavored Bits Vegetarian Meat Substitute (192 servings per can)
- 8 Chicken Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute (41 servings per can)
- 3 Taco Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute (30 servings per can)
- 2 Pinto Beans (52 servings per can)
- 2 Lentils (48 servings per can)
- 6 Black Turtle Beans (49 servings per can)
- 3 Apple Delight Drink Mix (103 servings per can)
- 3 Orange Delight Drink Mix (99 servings per can)
- 4 Enriched Bleached All Purpose Flour (92 servings per can)
- 6 Spaghetti Marinara with Freeze Dried Beef Entrée (20 servings per can)*
- 6 Freeze-Dried Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Entrée (14 servings per can)*
- 6 Asian Style Teriyaki with Freeze Dried Beef Entrée (20 servings per can)*
- 6 Freeze Dried Beef Stroganoff Entrée (14 servings per can)*
- 6 Chili Macaroni with Freeze-Dried Beef Entrée (24 servings per can)*
- 1 Emergency Food Supply, Grab ‘n’ Go, 72-hour Kit (below)
- Food for 1 Person for 12 days, 4 people for 3 days
- 12 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 12 Dinners
- 203 servings of product combine to make 36 delicious meals
- Average of 2063 calories per day
- Shelf life of up to 25 years* unopened
- No hydrogenated oils, trans fats, or added MSG
- Reusable 4 gallon-sized pail with handle — weighs less than 14 lbs.
- Self-filtering 22 oz. Water Bottle with Microbiological Filter
- FireOn fire starting disk
- Cheesy Broccoli with Rice (18 servings)
- Vegetable Stew Blend (24 servings)
- Creamy Potato Soup (18 servings)
- Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (20 servings)
- Instant White Rice (27 servings)
- Vegetarian Meat Substitute Beef (flavored) (18 servings)
- Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup (18 servings)
- Morning Moo’s ® Low Fat Milk Alternative (60 servings)
On a similar note, I went looking (on Amazon because I'm an affiliate of theirs) and found a similar kit listed but this time they turned it around and called it a 1 person kit for 4 years. (I don't know anything about the sellers on Amazon; I'm just linking and putting the product description here for discussion purposes but yes, you can buy these kits through these links).
Augason Farms 4-Year One Person Emergency Food Storage Kit (336 Can)
$3,123.75 and FREE Shipping
- 19,681 total servings
- 1,833,420 total calories
- 52 food varieties
- 336 #10 cans
- Up to a 30 year shelf life
The Auguson Farms 4-year 1-person emergency food storage can kit is packed with over 52 different food varieties in (336) #10 cans. You'll stay completely nourished with 19,681 servings and 1,833,420 total calories. Includes breakfast items, entree items, desserts, bakery items, and snacks. No matter the case, this kit is an absolute essential in an emergency: it's easy to transport and includes all your food storage needs. Make the wise decision and let Auguson Farms give you a peace of mind that's as indispensable as it is delicious. Family owned and operated since 1972, Auguson Farms believes that great taste is a tradition worth preserving. They'll provide you with delicious peace of mind with their food essentials. Augason farms recognizes that today's consumers are more concerned than ever before about what kind of foods they eat, and want to provide their families with food that is safe and the best quality. Please discard oxygen absorber after opening. Best when stored in a cool dry place at temperatures between 55 degree and 70 degree F (ideal humidity 15%). with your health in mind, all food pails are FDA compliant and BPA-free. Perfect for food storage, emergencies, survival, camping, and everyday use.30 Hard White Wheat
8 Creamy Wheat Cereal
60 Long Grain White Rice
4 Elbow Macaroni
60 Quick Rolled Oats
4 Creamy Potato Soup Mix
4 Vegetable Stew Blend
1 Beef Gravy
6 Dehydrated Potato Flakes
4 Dehydrated Potato Shreds
2 Dehydrated Potato Slices
1 Honey Powder
2 Honey Wheat Bread and Roll Mix
4 Honey White Bread and Roll Mix
1 Buttermilk Biscuit Mix (no leavening)
2 Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup Mix
2 Hearty Vegetable Chicken Soup Mix
1 Iodized Salt
1 Shortening Powder
2 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
2 Blueberry Muffin Mix
7 Six Grain Pancake Mix
1 Brown Sugar
2 White Granulated Sugar
4 Dehydrated Potato Dices
1 Dehydrated Chopped Onions
2 Freeze Dried Broccoli Florets and Stems
4 Dehydrated Diced Carrots
3 Dehydrated Cross Cut Celery
1 Dehydrated Sliced Mushrooms
1 Dehydrated Diced Red and Green Bell Peppers
18 Honey Coated Banana Slices
5 Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries
3 Freeze Dried Whole Raspberries
4 Dehydrated Apple Slices
8 Country Fresh 100% Real Instant Nonfat Dry Milk
18 Morning Moo's® Low Fat Milk Alternative
4 Chocolate Morning Moo's® Low Fat Milk Alternative
1 Cheese Blend Powder
1 Butter Powder
8 Dried Whole Eggs
10 Beef Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute
10 Bacon Flavored Bits Vegetarian Meat Substitute
8 Chicken Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute
3 Taco Flavored Vegetarian Meat Substitute
2 Pinto Beans
2 Baby Lima Beans
2 Black Turtle Beans
2 Dark Red Kidney Beans
1 Chicken Bouillon
3 Apple Delight Drink Mix
3 Orange Delight Drink Mix
4 Enriched Bleached All Purpose Flour
2 Potato Gems
2 Buttermilk Pancake Mix
2 Dried Scrambled Egg Mix
BACK TO MY COMMENTARY
Looking over the first kit, to feed 4 people for a whole year you would have to be very careful with it, ration it well, bake bread products daily and know how to cook and bake well enough to be creative with meal making. You also would need a way to grind the wheat, and you don't know whether or not you would have power at the time, so a manual grinding (mill) might be in order.
The second list is very similar to the first. Again, lots of hard wheat so making your own bread would be a staple although you can also cook wheat berries into a pilaf or sprout them and eat them as sprouts, etc.
WHY I DON'T BUY A KIT LIKE THIS:
I'm going to go back to the personalization topic and the 'store what you eat and eat what you store' topic.
- I know how to cook and bake very well and can throw meals together without recipes
- I have a solar oven to bake in which expands my cooking choices
- Our family has no 'young' children and we don't drink dairy milk. One of our daughters has eczema and dairy products cause it to flare up and break out terribly. We would only use the milk products for cooking and baking.
- I don't like imitation meats and one child has a severe allergy to products with a lot of soy in them
- We don't like nor eat Cream of Wheat products
I did buy two smaller kits to get a jump start. These included various freeze dried fruits and vegetables, a couple imitation meat products that I can use in small amounts with other dishes and some basic mixes for biscuits. I then regularly purchased more products as our budget allowed; freeze dried meats, more fruits and vegetables, baking ingredients and canned meats like Yoder's Bacon.
I buy the foods I know I can use in cooking and baking, my family likes and eats. I do not buy foods I know we don't like or would be a waste of money for us.
- I hate dehydrated banana chips, but we love the freeze dried bananas so I invest in those instead even though they cost more.
- We don't like flavored water drinks like the apple or orange drinks so I don't bother.
- I don't buy heavy into complete entree's you just add water to, because I find cooking easy and would rather buy cans of freeze dried meats, tomato powder, seasonings and pasta, rice separate and make my own.
- I don't think thin soups are filling so I avoid buying large cans of soup mixes and instead prefer hearty stews
- Pancakes are easy, just add water and taste good, and can be made in a variety of flavors by adding dried blueberries, chocolate chips, etc.
- Granola and quick oats are hot, filling, taste great and can be made in all sorts of flavors by adding cinnamon, dehydrated apples, blueberries, powdered milk, creamer, freeze dried strawberries, maple syrup or any creative flavors you can dream up!
YOU might do well with more home canned goods because you are a whiz at that!
YOU might do well with a mixture of dried goods like beans and wheat and store bought canned goods.
YOU might love breakfast foods more than anything else and want to eat things like pancakes, oatmeal, scrambled eggs and biscuits for every meal.
YOU might have a baby and toddler in the house and need extra rations of dried milk and formula on hand.
YOU might love vegetables and eat a vegetarian lifestyle and not want any meat products in your store but instead, bulk up on peanut butter or other protein foods.
YOU might be a single person who is content to buy a years worth of MRE's and not bother with ANY of this canned 'stuff'
YOU might ONLY want 'easy quick' add water prepared entrees; teriyaki chicken, beef stroganoff, chicken and rice; pouches you just add hot water to, let set for 10 minutes and eat! NO preparation or skills necessary.
YOU might be happiest with a large supply of dehydrated, canned and freeze dried meats but use your own home canned fruits and vegetables and grow as much as you can in a garden assuming the emergency or disaster allows you to (depends on the issue at hand).
Only you can sit and look at the listing of options, decide what is best for your family and start to purchase accordingly. Perhaps the listings above will be a good starting point to help you with your own personal plan. How much meat? How many cans of vegetables and fruit? How much dried milk? Canned ready to use flour or hard wheat you grind yourself?
Many, many more options are available, at all different prices.
Augason Farms Emergency Food Storage All-in-One Pails Kit - 1 Year - 4 Person
$3,616.96 and FREE Shipping
Augason Farms Emergency Food Storage Kit (1 year/4 people)
$4499 and free shipping