Long term food storage means more than just a few weeks. We believe it is advisable to think in terms of a one year food supply. While this may seem like alot, this was normal life several decades ago. One never knew what the harvest might bring, and so it was common for people to stock up with a year’s supply. Many people fail to recognize the first and most basic level of food storage – seeds. When we’re talking about a year’s supply, that opens the door to growing some food during that appropriate season. Right now is a good time to assess your seed supply and for starters, we need to think about what kind of seed to purchase. Here are several important points to keep in mind.
First, the issue of GMO vs. Non GMO. Although some are touting the benefits of GMO, there are several concerns, including the problem that GMO would generally not produce viable seed. In other words, you would need to purchase more seed for the next season. On the other hand, if you purchase non GMO and non hybridized seed, you will be able to save your own seed for future planting – a much better option in terms of long term food storage. Another concern relates to health hazards of GMO seeds, but we won’t get into that subject here.
So where would we turn to find non-hybridized and non-GMO seeds? Perhaps the best source book is the Garden Seed Inventory. Along with helping the gardener find the beset varieties suited for a specific climate, the Garden Seed Inventory also identifies varieties which are both non-GMO and non-hybridized, as well as sources for purchasing the seeds. This great resource is published by the Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit organization founded in 1975 by Kent and Diane Whealy. Seed Savers now has nearly 8,000 members around the world, committed to preserving high quality seed.
Seeds are compact, and relatively inexpensive in terms of the food they will produce. For these reasons, a good supply of seeds is the first place to start in establishing your long term food supply.
Food preservation has become a lost art. It used to be a way of life, but with the advance of modern technology, transportation, and supermarkets – most Americans don’t give any thought to food storage. Many run to the grocery store between meals. But what happens when technology fails. Natural disasters strike and the supermarket shelves are bare within hours. The result is that families find themselves in a crisis.
It’s ironic that in this technological age we could find ourselves so vulnerable in the most basic needs of life. One hundred years ago interruptions in the grocery business would have been of much less consequence than now. Food storage was normal practice, and a year’s supply was common.
Now, there is growing interest in food storage. This is partly due to a growing awareness of our vulnerabilities to disasters – both natural and man made. There is also an increasing desire among many to return to a more simple, self sufficient way of life. More and more people are turning to gardening and learning to grow their own food. Long Term Food storage makes it possible to provide for our needs outside of the growing season.
There various ways to store food, depending upon the type of food under consideration. Highly perishable foods like fruit can be canned or dehydrated. Vegetables can be dehydrated or canned as well. Grains can be stored for long periods of time if they are kept cool and dry, and in air tight containers. While freezing is also an option, we will not focus much on that approach as it is electricity dependent. Methods of preservation and storage which are independent of modern technology are the best.
One of the techniques used in the past, but long since forgotten is the use of a root cellar. While many might not consider this an option, it’s worth taking a second look at. In the book Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel, you can learn how to store fruits and vegetables safely and naturally in a cool dark space (even a closet) by following their step by step plan.
In future posts, we’ll look at various methods of long term food storage and more of the reasons to perfect this valuable skill.
More reading on this topic:
- INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Store What You Eat – Hard-core survivalists could probably get by long-term on a diet of rice and beans, but I know my family would revolt after a day! In an emergency situation, your family will be stressed out enough without, suddenly, being subjected to …