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Why rotate my food storage?

Many families keep food storage in the basement or in the back of their food pantries. These are ideal places to keep food storage because they are usually dry, cool, and dark, which increases the life span of food. These out-of-the-way places, however, don't usually prompt us to use food storage on a regular basis. To help overcome this problem, try the following solutions that have been volunteered by food storage professionals:

  • Keep small amounts of your food storage in the kitchen.

    Stock your kitchen shelves with small containers filled with egg mix, powdered milk, etc. This will serve as a subtle reminder that you have these items without taking up your whole kitchen. Stock your shelves with canned items, too. The more you see these items the more often you will use them.

  • Make a one-week menu consisting only of items in your food storage and then live on it.

    This exercise will really put your food storage to the test! You will probably notice that your food storage isn't as rounded out as you'd like it to be. Perhaps you don't have enough items for breakfast, or your food supply lacks essentials like proteins or vegetables. After completing this exercise, you will have a better idea of what you need to purchase to make your year's supply complete. And your family will be better prepared to eat meals made from stored food, especially in disaster situations. You'll also find yourself looking for and creating recipes using your food storage items.

    If you don't know where to start in creating a menu that uses food storage products, Marlene's Magic with Food Storage, Magic Mixes, Country Beans and Cookin' with Home Storage are very helpful books. They contain some great recipes and meal ideas.

  • Mix food storage items with everyday foods.

    One of the best ways to form rotation habits is by incorporating food storage supplies into your favorite recipes. Some habits formed by the pros are:

    • Use cheese powder to make homemade macaroni and cheese.
    • Grind wheat to make pancakes.
    • Substitute powdered milk and eggs when your fresh supply runs out.
    • Make homemade cold cereal with oats, honey, dehydrated fruits, etc.
    • Include dehydrated fruit in lunches.

How do you make your stored food last longer?

  • Store all your foods in a cool (40-60 degrees F), dry, dark place.
  • Physically rotate all foods, dating and placing all new purchases towards the back.
  • Store off the ground, away from the condensation near the floor.
  • Don't ever let your food storage be exposed to freezing temperatures.

By learning to rotate, you take advantage of the best nutritional value and flavor of your food storage. Plus, you can save money by not wasting food. Enjoy peace of mind by knowing you can provide for your family's nutritional needs. Be wise in preparing so that an emergency won't turn into a crisis.

Sources: Marlene's Magic with Food Storage by Marlene Petersen and The Sense of Survival by J. Allan South