A Little Food Help ... Pleeeeeze

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Hi all. I've been a GI for sometime now and rank myself about a 7 on the ol' 10 point scale. While I'm pretty well along on most other preparations, the whole food thing is kinda throwin' me for a loop. My ultimate plan is to eventually store enough grub for 3 to 6 months for two 50-ish adults but frankly I haven't a clue how much stuff that might be. If TV dinners is any indication, I personally consume about two pounds of 'wet' food per day -- excluding drinks. Anyway, my hope is that some of you may have already fought through this quandry and can offer me a solution or two. Thanks.

Slim Jim

-- Slim Jim (jimmyt@trs.com), March 20, 1999


Slim Jim,

Some studies suggest that many are hauling one ton per person every year. That includes beverages, dry goods, detergents,hygeine stuff etc.

Basic sites suggest up to 800 pounds of dry foodstuffs per adult per annum. Forget not lots of toilet paper.

Best wishes,

-- Watchful (seethesea@msn.com), March 20, 1999.

My idea was to keep it simple. Think about what you absolutely cannot survive without, rather than what you want or like to eat.

Cans last damn near forever & are easy to store. I stocked up on canned veggies & beans first, then canned meat & fish, then canned fruit. Lots & lots of cans. This stuff doesn't even need to be cooked, really, when you get right down to it. Just open & eat.

Later, got sacks of rice, beans & lots of pasta, & put them in buckets. That's most of it right there. The rest is details: sugar, salt, spices, honey, candy, several tons of water, etc.

Oh, & can openers....

-- just (keep@it.simple), March 20, 1999.

dry grains and potatos (cheap; high-cal; keeps well)
dry beans and lentils (cheap; high-cal; high-protein; keeps well)
pasta, spaghetti, noodles, etc. (cheap; high-cal; keeps well)
canned foods, low acid: meat, poultry, fish, gravy, stew, soups, beans
carrots, corn, pasta, peas, potatoes, spinach (2-5 years shelf life)
canned foods, high acid: juices, fruit, pickles, saurkraut, tomato,
soup, and foods packed in vinegar (12-18 months shelf life)
peanut butter (very high-cal; high protein; keeps poorly; use first)
canola oil, olive oil (very high-cal; keeps poorly; use first)
lard (very high-cal; keeps fairly well)
honey, molasses and sugar (high-cal; keeps forever)
dry fruit (high-cal; keeps fairly well)
dry potatos & veggies (moderate-cal; high-vitamin; keeps fairly well)
dry milk (moderate-cal; high protein/vitamin; must be sealed)
dry yeast (very high protein/vitamin; must be sealed)
dry drink mixes, kool-aid (keeps well)
coffee, tea bags, hot cocoa mix, chocolate wine (moderate-cal; antioxidant; psychotonic; REDS keep 2+ yrs)
distilled spirits (high-cal; keeps forever; psychotonic)
salt, pepper, bullion cubes, etc. herbal seasonings, cinnamon, ginger, basil, hot sauce, curry, etc.
Selecting Food With Minimal Cooking Requirement: This is important, as abundant power/fuel for cooking (as we now take for granted) may not be available, or may be available only at much higher cost. Toasted buckwheat (kasha), oatmeal, oat bran, (tiny) red lentils, and millet cook faster than other grains and beans. For example, oat bran or dry powdered potato require no more than addition of boiling water (no real cooking), and kasha cooks up in 5 minutes. In contrast, large dry beans take hours of simmering. For the same reason, consider canned foods, which require neither cooking nor added water (big advantages!), and sometimes are nearly as cheap as the dry stuff. I've seen 1 lb cans of kidney beans as low as .25 on sale (450 calories, equivalent to over 1/4 lb dry beans).

General Nutrition: For winter or long-term economic survival the low-fat ideal is worthless. High-fat and high-calorie (energy density) are the desirable values. You need plenty of calories to maintain warmth and energy; fat is the most efficient and economical source of calories. A useful winter survival technique is to simply eat more high-cal food; calories create inner warmth. Note that calories can be a useful shorthand in food storage planning: assuming a variety of natural foods (including grains, beans, and some animal products), your basic nutritional requirements will likely be met simply by allowing adequate calories. A pound of dry grains and beans (about 1600-1800 cals) supplies a fair amount of protein and a lot of micronutrients, plus fiber and other good stuff. Toss in an ounce or two of oil (250-500 cals) and a few other odds and ends, and you have a one-day ration for most people -- plain but adequate for weeks or months.

Over the longer term, certain nutrients (vitamins A and C, calcium) would become a problem, absent fresh food and dairy. Supplemental vitamin C and a multiple vitamin/mineral (see section on Nutrients) should certainly be part of your stash, in any case.

------------------------------- The above information is in its entirety on Stockpiling in Preparation for Y2K

Hope this helps.

Mr. K
***could live off his own fat for a month***

-- Mr. Kennedy (eat@joes.com), March 20, 1999.

for those who can't figure out which end of a mill you put the grain in I suggest:


It has a lot of BASIC food resipes that are good enough for a Big Bump in the road, but will not hold for 10-12 years as many food storage systems are designed for. Lets face it, we are less than a year from ground ZERO, and not more than 16 months to even the most rosy prediction for summer power outages. You do not need the MORMAN years supply of food that you may need SOMEDAY.... You will need it before the expiration date on even canned milk.....Buy Now, save your self later.......

-- helium (heliumavid@yahoo.com), March 21, 1999.

You know the OBVIOUS thing to do is to calculate calories. According to some sources, 2,000 calories a day is considered about right. A little more for men, a little less for women.

Anyway, using that as a basis, look on the little labels that come with all food and use your calculator.

Look at what you eat now, and try to model your storage as much as is reasonable. Obviously, TV dinners may be a problem - but you might consider Heater Meals - a kind of Trucker's MRE that looks more like a TV dinner.

Jolly likes math.

-- Jollyprez (jolly@prez.com), March 21, 1999.

If it all becomes too much, you might like to look at the Lumen Foods site. They now have a Y2K section, where you can buy buckets of stroganoff, goulash, chicken noodle dinner, chili, country breakfast, and several other recipes of a soybean meat replacer. You can also buy sample packs before you decide to go for broke. There are nutritional breakdowns for each type of food, and number and cost of portions is given. The portions may be a little on the small size--count calories! We've been buying from Lumen for about 10 years and they're very reliable. Current delivery time is about 3-4 weeks. Their regular jerky is very good and I particularly like their "chicken" and "beef filet" chunks. Great bargains can be had by buying "fines," those pieces kicked out by the sorting process as being too small or misshapen. Lumen also carries a powdered soy milk replacer, highly nutritioous, but I don't know the shelf life. Site is at


-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), March 21, 1999.

Well, Jim, I'd suggest that you do some research.

A good starting place is Walton Feeds. They have a lot of good food storage material, including -- if you search a bit -- food storage calculators.

Another good research facility is Gary North's archives. Start at www.garynorth.com and click through until you find the archives and the food storage forum. Most really good food storage information can be found in the 1998 archives, including lists that are exactly what you are looking for.

Good luck.

(Oh, by the way, the truck delivery from Walton Feeds is now 8 months --- which puts the order at about Christmas of this year. Cutting it a bit close, eh?)

-- De (delewis@inetone.net), March 21, 1999.

The standard calorie count only applies if one is engaged in light work or sedentary behavior. When one engages in heavy labor the calorie count can easily double, and if it is cold will even go higher. Plan accordingly.

http://www.greatdreams.com/basic.htm - another Food List.

-- Mitchell Barnes (spanda@inreach.com), March 21, 1999.

I downloaded the free software from Stan & Holly Deyo's website. It's a simple MS Excel file. There's loads of other prep info on this site.

Food Planner Software

Congratulations on your taking ACTION!

-- Bingo1 (
howe9@pop.shentel.net), March 21, 1999.

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