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Long Term Survival Food Storage

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posted on May, 18 2010 @ 05:27 PM
As a follow up thread to Food for Long Term Survival which did about as well as I thought, this is a list of ways to store your food should we need to produce all of our own foodstuffs in the future. Whats the sense in doing all the work mentioned in the previous thread if we cant keep it? This will be broken down by storage type, with some tips, ideas and foods this works well for.

Root Cellars.

The mother of all food storage. A root cellar is an underground "cave" where foods of all sorts can be stored a great deal of time. The absence of light, and cool, but not freezing temperatures is a long established way of making your harvest last until the next harvest. Each type of vegtable has its own temps and humidities, but over all, simply putting items in a root cellar, is one of the best ways to keep your food. A google search gives you everything you need to build one, how much soil you need on top for your area, and how to store your food properly so it doesnt rot. If you would like a thread just about root cellars, let me know. There is alot of information out there, and it isnt something you want to do wrong. For those in the dessert however, find a different option.


Another simple, yet effective way to preserve food. I'm sure most of us have eaten a piece of beef jerky before. Thats all this is. In the modern world, electic stoves or electric dehydraters work well. Going off the grid isnt all that difficult. Cut up your vegtables, or thin slices of meat, lay on a surface that collects solar radiation, and let er rip. A solar oven works well for this, but be sure to put something porus over the food instead of a solid (screen instead of pie plate) so you actually dry the food instead of cook it. This works on every vegtable I have tried except root veggies, and meats. Fish can be done this way, but I strongly discourage it, unless you really know what you are doing, a whole lot of bad is coming your way. Dry your foods, protect them from light and keep cool. Will last a long time. A great example of dried foods is pemmican. Dried meat, berries mixed with lard. Tastes good, is very good for you, and will last months. Drying is obviously the best way to keep your herbs and teas.


Likely the most popular way to preserve foods (aside from tossing in the freezer) in the world today. Two types of canning exist. Canning in jars, and canning in cans (like tuna fish or Spam). Canning in jars, you need jars, lids, a vessal to boil water, and for some foods you will need a pressure canner. Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is a must have if you will be doing any canning. Trouble with canning long term is the lids. One use, and they are done. I have tried recreating the gasket glue, but havent gotten it right yet. So either plan on buying a pile of jars and lids ahead of time, or try using wax. There is a different art to canning with parafin wax, but if done properly, food will last nearly as long as traditional lids. Practice this ahead of time. You still need the jars, but wax is cheap now, can be made with help of bees, and can be reused. Canning in cans is a different, and difficult way to can. I dont care for it. Again, once a can is used, its done, unless you can melt it and reform. Look it up if interested, but if there are no stores to buy cans, this is a waste of time. Also, dont get hung up on the idea you can only can fruits and vegtables. Canned meat is one of my favorite ways to keep meat. It cooks in its own juice inside the can, when you need a meal, empty the contents and you have meat and gravy waiting to be warmed. Meat must be done in a pressure canner.

Pickling. I love pickled foods, so I do this alot. Pickled foods will need vinegar, which you can make, and salt, which you may be able to. Most if not all pickled foods should also be canned.

Freezing. Will work with that deer you shoot in the winter, but as a long term item, unless you live somewhere that there is permafrost in the ground, freezing is pretty much out.

Freeze Dried. Almost, if not impossible to do yourself. Not a viable option.

Salt Curing. Obviously, you need salt, and lots of it. Salt pork has been around forever. Most meats can be salt cured. Never tried preserving veggies is straight salt, dont plan on starting either.

Smoking. Everyone has seen or heard of smoked meats Im sure. Pick up a copy of Guide to Canning, Freezing, Curing, Smoking Meat, Fish and Game. I prefer Ball for canning guides, but this is the best I have found for cold and hot smoking. Cheeses, nuts, etc... can all be smoked as well. Likely the best way to preserve fish long term is to smoke and then can. Smoking of meats and fish can be a long conversation, when it comes to hot or cold, type of smoker, woods used, etc... if you want more information, please let me know.

Turning into a different product.

We know that milk can be made into cheese to preserve it, with a waxed rind and cool dark areas, cheeses can last forever. Cheese isnt all that hard to make after you have done it a few times. A lot of good resources out there on different types, presses, saving rennant, etc.... Key is sanitation. One bad germ can destroy your cheese.

Juicing for jams/jellies, etc... I used to boil down berries, fruits, etc... to make my jams and jellies and preserves, then strain it. Purchased a food steamer/juicer, and my processing time was cut in half. Almost any veggie can be juiced and either the juice canned as it is, or a jam made from it. Nothing like homemade tomato juice. Jellies can be dehydrated as well to form a fruit leather.

Special items. Root Vegtables. Potatoes. Leave the dirt on them, put them in clean sand someplace cool and dark, will last a long time. Same works with carrots

Rutabagas, turnips, parsnips. Boil wax, allow the wax to cool, before it sets, dip each veggie in it and allow to dry. Will stay good for a long long time.

Eggs. Im not a big fan of pickled eggs, but better than nothing. Another way to keep eggs fresh longer is to dip them in glycerine. This prevents the air from getting into the porous shell. Of course, a cool dark place is the best for them to go afterwards.

So thats all the work you need to do once you have grown your massive gardens, and tended your flocks, and taken your game and fish. There are some other things, such as drying and pounding corn, preserving in lye (lutefisk) which is one of the nastiest things I have ever eaten, but overall, the above are the best ways, tried and true to preserve your own food should the lights go out and not come back on.

If you have any questions, anything to add, please feel free.

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 06:24 PM
Would love a thread on root cellars. I live in the Mississippi River Delta, right on top of the New Madrid fault. Needless to say, no one in my neck of the woods had a root cellar, or basement, because of water seepage. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 06:32 PM
reply to post by salchanra

A method my grandfather used for storing turnips was to lay the turnips he wanted to store in a large circle, none touching the other. The would cover this layer with plenty of soil(at least six inches on the outer edges,) then he would lay another ring on top of the layer of soil that he had just put down. He would continue this until he had a good sized mound that would protect the turnips from freezing. We had turnips all winter long if we wanted them, along with the turnip greens my mom and grandmother put up in the spring and summer. Turnips are the only thing I can recall him using this method with.
For pork, he smoked hams and used a salt box for the rest. (Sausage was canned.)

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 06:39 PM

There are a few reasons to dehydrate eggs, and one of them is emergency preparedness. Dehydrated food, including eggs, will store for a long time without refrigeration, so if you're worried about doomsday, you can start getting ready by stocking up on dried food.

How to Dehydrate Eggs

Dried eggs are a great food source and are easy to travel with or trade.

Born of both necessity and practicality, lactic acid fermentation proved to be not only an efficient method of preserving food for our ancestors, but also a critical one. Indeed, fermented food like sauerkraut, cheese, wine, kvass, soured grain porridge and breads often sustained tribes and villages during harsh winters when fresh food simply wasn’t available let alone plentiful.

Lactic Acic Fermentation

That is a process that will need to be relearned by those who want to survive. At the end of the 2nd article, there is a link to the Benefits of Bone Stock that is also quite interesting.

Also, a good way to preserve your fresh herbs is to store them in oil.

Great article and thanks for the info.

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 06:48 PM
reply to post by kettlebellysmith

Good idea on root veggies.

I can get a thead going on root cellars in a few days, shot abear on my way home, yes it's legal, so I need to practice what I am preaching on this thread.

posted on May, 18 2010 @ 11:46 PM
reply to post by sporkmonster

Thank you for the post and information.

Proof we all have things we still need to learn.

Keep 'em coming!

posted on May, 20 2010 @ 02:20 AM

Great thread.

If you have the knowledge, perhaps I could make a request for another thread of similar topic.

Something along the lines: How to make common products

You mentioned about Vinegar. I was always curious how to make sugar from sugar beets. I'm sure there are a ton of other common products one might need if civilization broke down.

posted on May, 20 2010 @ 03:24 PM
reply to post by Wolf321

Thats the next one in this series, if you will. It will cover items such as soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc... Then one on root cellars, then I'm doing one on Game, from the field to long term storage. It will be a thread about the bear I just shot, how it was killed, handled, and stored away.

On a different note. Sugar from sugar beets. Its actually alot easier than one might think.

Take your beets and slice as thin as you can. A mandolin works well for this.

Boil the crap out of them, until the beet slices are soft and start to change color.

Reserve the juice you created by boiling, and wring out the beets well, preferably over a sieve to extract as much juice as possible. Do whatever you want with the leftover beet carcass, I add to my compost bin.

Put your juice on the stove and simmer until it gels up, kind of the consistancy of honey. Stir constantly.

When it stirs like honey, remove from heatsourse, cover with cloth, and allow to cool 8-10 hours.

After cooling, sugar crystals will have formed, break them off, allow to dry if still damp and them smash them until it looks like the sugar you are used to. Use as the stuff you buy from the store.

Note: If you live in an area where you can grow sugar cane, do that instead. You will need far more sugar beets to equal the output of cane. I dont have that luxury.

If you want to try this, but dont have or feel like growing sugar beets, they are available in some stores, and I think you can find them online.

Thank you for your interest in this series of threads, if you have any more requests, questions, or something to add, please do so.

posted on May, 22 2010 @ 01:20 AM
Not trying to bump this, but learned something else for those following these threads.

Pepper. If you are truly stockpiling in completely insane quantities, or live in a part of the world where growing peppercorns is relatively easy, food, especially meats, can be cured with pepper.

Similar to a salt cure. Take meat, while damp, and with ground pepper, grind it into the meat as hard as you can. Do not miss any areas, or meat will spoil. Allow meat to hang in a dark, cool area. Check often for missed areas, weak areas and cracks. When meat is cured, you will notice a thick hard skin has formed. If kept cool and dry, will last a long time. If considering this, figure five lbs pepper per single ham, maybe more. Like I said, insane quantities.

Monday, I will post the thread about making common household goods should the lights stay off. If there is a particular item you would like covered, please U2U me.

posted on May, 23 2010 @ 05:55 AM
rice noodles, vermicelli noodles would last a long time hey?

posted on May, 24 2010 @ 02:46 AM
reply to post by rajaten

Might, but can produce more?

Growing rice can't be done everywhere, and rice noodles? Sure, you could stockpile enough for you and yours for what, ten years? Then what?

Don't stockpile, don't "buy up", learn now to make your own grow your own, become self sufficient.

posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 06:46 PM
Cornelius Kegs aka corny kegs, aka soda kegs

5 gallons of hermetically sealed stainless steel storage space for under $40 in used condition available from many online resellers.

I own 15, which I use for dry goods. Each holds about a 25lb sack of rice, beans, etc.

If shtf, I'll be good on rice an beans for quite a while; that gives me options.

Sri Oracle

posted on Apr, 21 2011 @ 03:43 AM
"Don't stockpile, don't buy up! learn how to be self sufficient."
Its the best thing to do, anyone knows that, but it takes time.

I'm am at the moment searching for documentation about gardening to be self sustainable and i must say there's good tips and tricks you guys have pointed out.

But recently i've realised how expensive food is and its not going down anytime soon, anyone knows that too. So i'd feel a litle bit more comfortable having a stockpile lol, just thinking like a small head start, if the worst is to happen.

So i was wondering about how long normal (durum sem.)pasta can be store in a dark low humidity place?

btw. i was wondering about beef jerky.. but allrdy answered. thx.

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