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
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
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
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
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.