Prepping 101 What Belongs in your Prepper Pantry

 

Before we were so rudely interrupted by a virus from China, we were talking about Prepping 101 basics. We left off with my eating some words on Solar and food.

What Belongs In Your Prepper Pantry

Image courtesy of Pixabay

I get asked a lot on what we should include in what needs to included in the Prepper Pantry. And my answer is:

  • What do you eat?
  • Why will you use it?
  • What do you require?

Food storage can be a book. In fact that are HUNDREDS of books on this subject. My dear friend Daisy Luther has one called The Preppers Pantry  It is full of good tips for putting together your own well-stocked pantry. Lets break it down a bit now.

Cost

A years supply of food for one person is EXPENSIVE. We hear on the radio and TV shows about Prep With Whomever for 45% discount on foods. Okay, those foods meet the requirements to keep you alive. And yes I have some of them in stock But they are NOT the go to for SHTF.

I look at them for short-term, temporary use, to get us though a bad time and back on our feet. The trick there is to SUPPLEMENT them with more wholesome foods..

Rule 1

Do not go by the recommended serving size on the container. That is a ruse by the manufacture to fool the consumer that they are getting a good deal. Here, the sizes we will talk about will be in ounces, pounds, kilos, and most importantly, calories. The prepper pantry needs not only keep you alive, but keep you healthy.

Lists

Now please. Adjust the lists to suit what you eat. I’m a firm believer in storing what you like to eat. Storing pure survival foods will keep the body alive but the soul will be lacking. I understand that SHTF we cannot be having steak and baked potatoes 3 times a week. But we can have good foods that are close to what we ate when things were normal.

Designer Diets and SHTF

Currently there are a few HUNDRED designer diets. Any where from Green tea enemas to Zucchini-only diets. I have friends that are losing a ton of weight using highly specialized diets.

When SHTF, those need to be dropped like a beaker full of the new corona virus. When push comes to shove all that matters is calories in and calories out. Your prepper pantry has no place for fads. Stick to the basics.

Food Allergies and Sensitivities

There are some with food allergies and sensitivities, such as gluten, grains in general, eggs, and dairy. Glyphosate (Round Up) is suspected by many to be the root cause of many food intolerance’s. We have a poll on our Facebook page, but Keto, Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean, et al will go away in the name of just getting enough food.

There are a few emergency bucket type food producers out there. Some even cater to gluten-free preppers. Be sure to look for the ingredient list on the nutrition panel. If you have less common food sensitivities, you may wish to make all your own emergency food through dehydration or pressure canning.

How much food to store?

One of my go to book marks is The Food Guys. Their calculator is a great tool to get you on your way. It is based on the LDS Preparedness Manual Get a copy. It is worth every penny. Every prepper pantry needs a copy.

 

Here is a screen shot of a recommended supplies needed for a family of 4 for 1 year. This is a pretty spartan diet. No meats are in it. BUT it will keep you alive. Time to add in more protein and fats.

I am NOT going to get in the argument of vegan, vegetarian or carnivorous. Not going to happen.

A couple of weeks ago we posted a blog on the power grid. The Power Grid. Is it as bad as we thought? In it are some links to pressure canners and reusable lids. You must use a pressure canner for meat. Take a peak and go order some. Or, go to your local store and get them. Just do it.

Canning

Canning is one of the safest ways to preserve food. When directions are followed, it is pretty much fool proof. One thing on the Tattler Lids is that I would practice canning water a few times. They work WAY different than your standard tin lids.

Ball and Kerr Canning jars are the best. The Pint and the Quart are our go to for 85% of our canning. But the Half Pint jelly sized jars are great for, well they are great for jelly! I would use the tin lids that come with the jars. They work. The next go around for the jars then break out the Tattler lids.

Eggs

To our list, I would add eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein and they make a breakfast complete. I like Augason Farms Dried Eggs 72 servings per can. They are a cheap protein with a lot of uses. An ideal amount for 1 year would 3 -4 can per person. This would allow a hearty egg breakfast 3 days a week and allow for recipes that call for eggs.

Meats

Now, I’m going to deviate from the freeze dried foods for meats. Freeze dried is expensive, and pretty bland. Here, a person can save by canning their own meats. Every grocery store has sales weekly on meats. Pork. Fish. Poultry. Beef. Buy in bulk, freeze, then spend a weekend canning your own meats that are seasoned to your family’s tastes. If I could afford it I would buy my own freeze dryer machine. That way, the foods I preserve are mine suited to my family

The biggest question here is, How much? I look at prepping for life like I do prepping for camping. No, not for the enjoyable relaxing time camping is. The calories needed when camping. We all know we eat more when camping. Why? We are exerting ourselves much more than we normally do at home. YMMV. For most folks, Monday through Friday doesn’t offer a lot of exercise while working.

Now, some folks busts their asses physically at work. Some sit at a desk. I am sort of in the middle leaning towards sitting at the desk. But, a good rule of thumb is to double the amount of proteins needed to maintain health. We’ll do a post on the why, but I bet y’all can guess that in SHTF you won’t be sitting at a desk. Keep in mind Rule 1 above.

Fats and Oils

We need to have fats and oils in our diets. Cooking oils are a staple and we need to find a way to store them. The sad part is most cooking oils have very limited shelf life. 1-2 years. You need to have a good mix of long term and medium term items in your prepper pantry.

A lot of folks resort to freeze dried shorting. We have a few cans ourselves. The best is Augason Farms Shortening powder. Once reconstituted, it cooks like and tastes like Crisco which only has a shelf life of 2 years unopened. Freeze dried shortening is shelf stable for 10 years unopened, 1 year opened.

I’m going to do some experiments on breaking down a can and portioning out to smaller amount, adding a new O2 absorber and using our sealer to vac seal in mylar bags. I’ll post results on it. Using the guide above, 3-4 cans per person. Seems like a lot. But trust me, you will need it.

Butter

Margarine is not a good survival food. It is low calories low nutrition and not shelf stable. Butter isn’t shelf stable in its normal form. But the freeze dried butter is very shelf stable and is actually pretty tasty. Augason Farms Butter Powder is good stuff.

A dear friend of mine and about the best authority I ever knew on canning, she went by the handle, “Mother Earth”. If you met her you would know! Jean would can EVERYTHING. She would can butter. She sent me a jar once and it was pretty good. Different than fresh butter. But good.

Please be aware…

There is no USDA approved method for home-canning butter. So, if you decide to try this, then you’re on your own. Neither the authors nor owners of Pagan Preparedness take any responsibility

Here’s how I (Mother Earth) cans butter:

Note: 11 pounds of butter will fill 12 1/2 pint jars (just over 3/4 pound for each jar). Either Wide Mouth or Regular canning jars can be used.

1. Place the butter in a large stainless steel or good enamel pot. Over low heat, slowly melt the butter, stirring occasionally. I leave the lid off.

2. While the butter is melting, sterilize clean pint canning jars in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes. You can use a water bath to sterilize the jars. Just make sure to dry them completely Sterilize bands and lids according to the package instructions and keep in hot water until ready to use. Be sure that the lids are completely dry before placing on the jars.

3. Continue heating and stirring the butter until it begins to simmer, but don’t quite let it come to a boil. Simmer the butter for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Make sure it doesn’t scorch. The butter separates as it heats, but then blends again as it is simmered and stirred.

4. Remove the hot jars from oven. Ladle the melted butter into the jars using a canning funnel if you have one. Leave 1/2″ to 3/4″ headspace. I stir the butter in the pot a little to keep it mixed and to keep it from cooling and sticking to the sides of the pot.

5. When all the jars are filled, clean the rims, place the hot lids and bands on the jars, and hand tighten.

6. After a few minutes, some of the jars will begin to seal (you will hear the pop). You will need to shake the jars every few minutes as the butter solidifies in order to keep it blended. I wait until the jars are cool enough to easily handle and have been sealed at least a few minutes before I begin shaking them. Shake each jar a little every few minutes. When the butter remains more consistent in the jars, you can refrigerate and check every 5 minutes. I don’t have a way to refrigerate them, so this step takes a while for me. Continue shaking the jars every 5 minutes until the butter solidifies. There is a difference between freeze dried and canned butter. Have both in your prepper pantry. 

We’ll end here for today. Next time we’ll continue with then oils and fats and proteins.

Bjarni

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