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Whether you’re fighting invaders, natural disasters or zombies, you’ll need to be prepared. The first order of business in this case is to prep yourself up with the kind of food and nutriments that will and can last you for as long as possible.
So start stacking your shelves with the right sort of food; the sort that provide enough energy and nutriments to keep you safe and healthy, but at the same time is easy to store and will last next to forever (without special refrigeration methods). Let’s have a look at what your best options are for long term survival.
Ready to eat meals (over 5 years of shelf-life)
This food product is also known as MRE, and it’s the exact same product that US troops have been using on the battlefield ever since mid 1981. The simplicity of the package might through you off course and you might think the food container consists of nothing more than basic proteins and carbs (something in the terms of meat and potatoes). But you’d be wrong. There is a wide variety or MRE packs to chose from: lemon pepper tuna, beef brisket and even vegetable-based meals (like lasagna). The foil pouches are very practical (easy to handle, carry and eat), containing approximately 1,200 calories each. Read more here about MRE infos and recipes.
Dried or canned beans (over 30 years of shelf-life)
These type of beans can last over 30 years if stored under the right conditions. If the can is vacuumed and they’re kept away from a light source, there’s no telling how long dried or canned beans can go, but they can easily outlast a human generation. This claim is supported by a recent study conducted by the B.Y.U., which claims that pinto beans stocked in #10 cans (devoid of oxygen) and kept away from light sources last well over 30 years. The really old beans may be a bit harder to cook, as they will take longer to soak (re-hydrate) and cook. And if you want to avoid the toughening up the skin, you can add salt or other acidic ingredients.
Honey (indefinite shelf-life)
If it’s stored in proper conditions, in an air-tight container (tightly sealed) and away from humid environments, honey can last forever, thanks to its low content of water. It doesn’t hold an outstanding nutritional value, but it can provide you with basic sugars, it can add flavor to meals and it can also be used as a treatment for burns or wounds. It crystallizes over time, resulting in thick, sugary deposits on the bottom of the container. But the process can be easily reversed by gently heating up the honey. As a testament to its immortality stand recent archaeological discoveries of Egyptian tombs, in which containers filled of honey were found. The color and consistency of honey may change over time, but nothing to compromise its edibility. Uses of honey – Gold in your Pantry.
Pemmican (indefinite shelf-life)
The tiny pemmican cakes are a Native-American recipe that is very easy to make and will last outstanding periods of time. They’re made out of lean meat, animal fat and berries (for flavor more then anything). The might was dried over fire and crushed into a thin powder, which was mixed with animal fat and berries to add flavor (but it’s not necessary). The meat that was used for pemmican was wild game, like deer, elk or buffalo. But more traditional lean meat (like beef) will do just fine. It’s tasty, easy to make, it’s a great source of protein and it doesn’t require cooking, heating or refrigeration. Related >>> How to make Pemmican – The Ultimate Survival Super-food!
Rice (over 30 years of shelf-life)
We can easily consider rice a super food, and we would not be wrong. It’s varied, practical and cheap. It cooks easily and it currently serves as the main food source for half of Earth’s population. And to top it all, if stored under the right conditions it can last forever. Polished rice can do just as well as raw rice, if it’s stored in an oxygen-free and cold enough environment; it will last 30 years easy. Brown rice however, will not last longer than 12 months tops, because of its high oil content, which makes it spoil and go rancid way faster than regular rice.
Ramen noodles (over 10 years of shelf-life)
This wonder-pasta coming from Japan it’s a blessing in disguise for those days when you’re forced to live based on what you were able to gather and store. Living on ramen solely is a thing of the present as well, as urban legends have it that college kids can sustain themselves on a budget-tight ramen noodles diet for years. All joking aside, this is a more-than-affordable dish (16 cents a pack), comes in various seasonings and it’s easy to prepare.
Powdered milk (over 30 years of shelf-life)
Powdered milk or non-fat dried mild (aka. NFDM) is excellent for long emergency food storage. It’s a derivate of non-fat milk, which is dried (by spraying or heating on a drum) in order to remove all water (this makes it impossible for microorganism to strive). Dried whole milk contains fats, and does not store well. Powdered milk is a regular “household” item in times of crisis, when fresh milk just isn’t available. It may not be appealing to the eyes, but it lasts forever if stored correctly (in dry and light-less conditions), it’s great for cooking and baking and it’s really easy to tell when it goes bad: if it turns yellow, simply throw it away.
On the “honorable mentions” I’d like to include some items that are not a necessity for survival, but will add some taste and color to your everyday meals: the Twinkie snack cake (known to last for up to 30 years), peanut butter (can last up to 5 years if stored air-tight), salt (it’s a mineral therefore it won’t spoil), sugar (it will out-last you), vanilla extract (it will age like fine wine if stored in a cool, dark place), vinegar (it’s everlasting), soy sauce (if unopened and stored correctly it can last for many years) and hard liquor (which will never get old).
There you have it, a complete list of what will feed you and also of what will brighten your days during dark times. Get your provisions up as soon as possible and you’ll be fine under any circumstances.
You will also find some great info’s in this video: Backyard Innovator
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