As you are building up a supply of survival foods for your pantry, it’s important you select the right items to get the maximum benefit. While you might be tempted to store extra canned goods, the best survivalist will think beyond the expected to find foods that will offer a long list of potential benefits. As you are shopping for your survival food pantry, here are 7 characteristics of the best survival foods that you can use to guide you in making the best selections.
1. Long Shelf Life
While you always want to be prepared for immediate emergencies, we all hope that these foods will remain unused for as long as possible. With that being said, your survival foods need to have a long shelf life. Obviously, you aren’t going to store fresh produce or meats for months or years unless you are dehydrating or flash freezing each item. To get the best yield from your supplies, choose items with a long shelf life. Try to stock up on rice, dried beans, sugar, cornmeal, wheat, potato flakes, and other items that have a long shelf life. If you store these dried items in plastic buckets with airtight lids and oxygen absorbers inside, they should last you for more than ten years without spoiling.
2. Budget Friendly
Unless you have thousands of dollars to invest in your prepper pantry, it’s important that the foods you choose have a reasonable price. The good news is that most of the long-term food storage items are also fairly inexpensive. You can often find a 10-pound bag of rice at the supermarket for around $5. If you make it habit to grab a bag of rice, a bag of dried beans, and a big sack of sugar every time you buy groceries, you will quickly accrue a large stock of survival foods without spending a ton of money.
3. Easy Preparation
In a worst-case scenario, you won’t have electricity and the modern conveniences of your kitchen. Keep this in mind when choosing survival foods. Can the item be prepared over a campfire or on a camp stove? If not, it’s probably best to skip it and choose something different. Canned meats or dried fruits are great options because they are instantly ready to eat and you don’t have to cook them at all.
4. Versatile Use in Recipes
Try to choose ingredients that can be used in many different recipes. For instance, you can use those dried beans in dozens of ways if you get creative. Think of all of the different soups, stews, and one-dish meals you can prepare with just the basics like rice, beans, and potato flakes.
5. Packs a Nutritious Punch
Make sure you choose survival foods that give you the most nutritious benefit. Rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates, which is crucial if you are expending large amounts of energy in a survival situation. Rolled oats offer a healthy dose of fiber to fend off hunger pains and keep your family feeling full for a long time. Beans offer tons of protein, which is important for maintaining muscle mass and helping you remain strong and ready to take on the many tasks required in an emergency situation.
6. Doubles For Medicinal Use
If possible, add foods to your pantry that will double as a natural alternative to medication. For instance, honey can be used as a salve for burns or wounds and research shows that it has antibacterial properties that can even be beneficial for treating staph infections.
7. Barter Potential
Try to select items that could be a great potential barter item in the future. If you don’t have the option to run out to the supermarket, you will need to trade with neighbors to get items you need. Great barter items include sugar, salt, oil, vinegar, and even alcohol.
By using these seven simple guidelines, you can be sure your survival foods serve many purposes if you ever find yourself in a survival scenario. Start building up your supplies today! What are your favorite staple items to add to your food stores?