TLBauer wrote:Anyone have any good ideas on storing food for emergencies: what kind of foods should you store;
Store what you eat and eat what you store. In other words, if you need to eat your stored foods for whatever emergency comes up, you don't want to try to figure out how to prepare foods you've never cooked, nor try to feed your family foods they have rarely eaten. Hence, store what you eat. Eat what you store means to eat out of your storage/pantry regularly, so as to rotate foods .... and you won't eat out of it regularly if you store foods that you don't normally eat.
A food calculator can give you a general idea, but really only you can determine what exactly you need. I have no idea if you love lentils, are gluten-intolerant, or don't eat pork for religious reasons. For my family, for example, we detest lentils (so none of those), both dh and dd are gluten-intolerant so no pasta nor wheat, but we do use sorghum, rice, amaranth, and millet regularly. I grind these all at home for both optimal nutrition and longer storage -- it's a whole lot cheaper to buy 25 or 50 lbs of whole sorghum from the co-op than it is to buy them a lb at a time from the grocery (if they even have it), and the flours go rancid pretty fast.
how much should you store (per person)
depends on how long you want to store for. If you want a week's pantry so that you don't have to go the grocery every day, that'll be different than if you want a year or two to prepare for possible job loss/ hospitalization of a family member/ economic or government collapse/ Second Coming.
Biggest thing is for balance. It's better to have a week's or a month's worth of everything you need to eat your normal meals, than have a year's worth of beans and honey and nothing else.
where should it be stored (it gets really hot here in the summer, so the garage would be out).
In your home. Having a large pantry or basement is ideal, but you can put canned goods under the bed/couch, wherever you can find room. I don't have as much food stored as I'd like because we don't have the space in this house, and as you said it's too hot here for the garage (Arizona desert)
Nope. I personally don't have freeze dried food at this time. I am starting to buy bits of dried food here and there, both for food-storage purposes and for daily use -- running out of peas for the dish when the store is 35 miles away stinks.I looked at the foodinsurance.com website this afternoon. They deal a lot in freeze-dried foods. But, they seem to be on the expensive side. Any ideas?
Here is a site I really like -- http://www.foodstoragemadeeasy.net
It's not alarmist, and it's practical. There are many reasons to have a food storage. Sometimes all people think about is a government collapse or nuclear war and then say they wouldn't want to live through that .... but that's easy to say when you're on this side of things. There are also other reasons a food storage program would be beneficial -- you lose your job and don't want to rely on the government or your family for help feeding yourself and kids; natural disaster (Katrina, tornadoes, floods, ice storms, whatever) knocks the food supply chain out for a little while; you want to save money by buying in bulk and when things are on sale; maybe there will be a war/drought/whatever and the government starts rationing butter, sugar, and meat the way they did in WWII. The last hasn't happened in my lifetime (yet) but it did during my mom's.
I'll tell you a little story --
In late May, I had a baby. When the baby was a week old, my oldest son and daughter in law came over to see their new sister, and to announce that they were pregnant, too. At that point we re-iterated to them the importance of having some money saved and some food put aside, because you never know what could happen. They both had good jobs, and they had a roommate who was helping them pay the mortgage. Things looked rather rosy to them and like most early 20s kids didn't see that anything could possibly go wrong.
The next week their roommate lost his job and moved back home with his parents. Their part of the mortgage was now the full mortgage. Not a huge deal in and of itself, they could roll with that punch. Two weeks after that my daughter in law had been so sick with her pregnancy that she'd now missed 3 weeks of work. Now things were getting tight. Then, a week later, my son got laid off with 2 days notice.
My daughter in law was at the ER 6 times before they finally hospitalized her and set up home health and gave her a zofran pump. By that time she'd lost over 30 lbs in 8 weeks. My son immediately applied for unemployment, but that barely pays their mortgage and fuel, and doesn't cover utilities and insurance, let alone food. She isn't eligible for unemployment because she is unable to work at this time. They could do food stamps (relying on the government to feed them) and would get about $50, *maybe* $100/month. Daughter in law moved in with her mom for the time being, my son is staying at the house alone eating a lot of ramen noodles. I can tell you without a doubt that he wishes they'd had a month's worth or more of food stored. It would be one less thing to worry about right now.