"Eat what you store, store what you eat"--it seems like such a simple concept, but when planning your food storage, it‚Äôs difficult to remember this, and even more difficult to apply it on a day-to-day basis.
Eat What You Store
Having food storage is one thing, but using it is a completely different aspect. It‚Äôs easy to put food away in your cupboards and storage rooms, but the question is, can you use it? Do you know how to grind wheat into flour? Do you know how much Textured Vegetable Protein to use as a substitute for meat? Do you know how to incorporate dehydrated carrots into your favorite recipes? Do you know when to use whole egg mix or scrambled egg mix in your cooking? These are all questions we must learn the answers to by reading, asking people who have experience, and practice, practice, practice! You don‚Äôt want to wait until an emergency arises to learn how to use your food storage.
Rotation is the key to a successful food storage program. There are several reasons you want to rotate your food storage:
- To prevent food spoiling.
- To minimize the deterioration of nutritive value and quality.
- To make the most of your money.
- To learn how to use your stored food so the lack of knowledge does not add to a stressful situation during an emergency.
- To adapt your body to your food storage.
A common misconception about food storage is that it will last forever. Just like any other food, food storage will lose nutritional value over time. It is a waste of money and food if you never use it. When you make a conscious effort to use your food storage, it will eventually become a habit to incorporate your food storage into your daily meals and you will not be wasting your food or money.
All foods are subject to deterioration as time passes especially if they are subjected to heat. Chemical changes occur and cause foods to alter in texture, color, taste, and have a loss of vitamins and minerals. This is why it is so important to rotate regularly. All food is best used in five years. Minerals and carbohydrates can last indefinitely and can have crucial value in an emergency. Therefore, never throw old food storage out unless you have something to replace it.
If you buy food storage and do not intend to use it except during an emergency, you may not be using your money wisely. When you use your food storage it becomes an economical and practical way to grocery shop. Buying in bulk is less expensive than buying smaller quantities. For example, buying a 25 pound bag of sugar versus a 5 pound bag is cheaper per pound. Another way food storage is more economical is by buying wheat. Wheat is substantially less expensive than flour, and will store much longer.
Using your food storage takes knowledge and practice. You will want to learn what recipes work, which ones taste better, and work on making them before an emergency occurs. Challenge yourself to use your food storage weekly or daily. The more you use it, the more skilled you will become.
Store What You Eat
It is important to store the types of foods your family eats on a regular basis and the types of foods they enjoy. But maybe your family really enjoys lasagna or spaghetti so you may want to buy a lot of tomato powder. If your family likes to eat treats regularly you will want to be sure to store things such as baking chocolate, pudding, cake or brownie mixes, jello, and dried fruit so their diet will be normal when you have to exclusively use your food storage. On the other hand, if your family does not eat a lot of treats, you do not have to worry about storing as many of these things.
Food storage "technology" has come a long way. Now we enjoy scrambled eggs with bacon, that taste just like the real thing, and food storage can become enjoyable to eat and even easy to prepare. Just remember to always keep in mind the age-old philosophy "eat what you store, store what you eat" and your food storage will not only taste good in a crisis, but everyday too.
Make a list of the meals your family enjoys and purchase the freeze dried products that you will use to make those meals. For example, if your family eats potatoes regularly then you may want to prepare them as a potato casserole that is made with your food storage. Another, say your family likes cheese and broccoli, again periodically try a recipe (cheesy broccoli soup) using your food storage.