Food Storage For The Long Term

By George Nikolakopoulos


As the winter months are coming closer, individual preparations are getting higher. The most necessary items that any prepper stores first are food and water. Food can be stored as canned, dehydrated, or smoked.
The most common type of food to store is canned food. In any marketplace can be found a plethora of canned meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and even poultry. You can go to the grocery store and buy cans of beans, corn, beef, tuna, sardines, and many others. Canned food has a life expectancy of two to three years. Most canned foods use some sort of preservation ingredients to expand their life expectancy. Cans are cheap to buy and sometimes you can find offers in wholesale stores.
Another readily available food source is dehydrated meals. They come in many different menus, some include vegetables only, even sweets as dessert. To prepare them, boil water and add to their package. Just wait for a bit and then you can eat it. They are lightweight, so they are more easily carried in a backpack than cans. Their life expectancy is over five years. Because the food is dehydrated, and contains a lot of sodium chloride, it is not good for a long-term diet. It might cause hypertension or cardiovascular and kidney diseases. Also, they cost more than canned food, although you can buy them in bulk packages too. Also, they cost more than canned food, although you can buy them in bulk packages too.
These two sources are great for starting and building up an emergency pantry. Always remember that you should buy rations that you like to eat and rotate them while storage(first-in/first-out). Since our goal is self-reliance, to achieve maximum results for our food pantry, we must learn canning, smoking, and food preservation for the long term. Sooner or later, must invest in a good smoker and a dehydrator. With these, someone can smoke his meat or fish, and dehydrate his vegetables and fruits.

At this point, I would like to share a low-cost storage tip, that is perfect for long-term food storage. It is also something that I do and has helped me a lot to build a good food ration storage and save some money too.

You can buy mylar bags and oxygen absorbers either 100cc or 300cc. You can find different sizes of bags but I tend to buy only two sizes: 20cm x 25cm, which holds one kilo. and 25cm x 35cm which holds three kilos of food. The first size is perfect for storing rice, lentils, beans, flour, and similar types of food while the latter is perfect for storing pasta, linguini size, and similar. The smaller size can be bought for less than $1 and the other for less than $5. The oxygen absorbers cost $15 for a packet of 50 pieces. You have to use one to three absorbers, depending on the quantity of food that the bag holds. After placing the rations and the absorbers in the bag, use an iron to seal it airtight.

In this way, you can store food, especially fresh, for up to 20 years and save some money that can be used for other projects towards self-sufficiency. 


George Spent nine years in the Greek Army Raiders where he learned survival skills. Since being honorably discharged, he has been working in the tourism industry. After every season ends, you will find him at his olive field harvesting olives to make oil. In his free time, George loves spending time outdoors hunting, camping, and practicing traditional archery. He enjoys writing articles, sharing his experiences of his trips to the woods, gear reviews, recipes and survival tips. George was a a contributing writer to Self-Reliance Illustrated magazine and has a YouTube and Blog under the name Mountain Raider. 



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