When you’re prepping for an unexpected (expected?) major event, you need to be realistic. What will you need? How many family members do you need to prep for? Are there any dietary restrictions? What of the cost? Space? Convenience?
Now you can imagine how prepping can become a bit of a headache, but prepping is a lifesaver. To make the most out of prepping, you’ll need to have supplies that will not only last but remain nutritionally sound throughout that shelf life. Most importantly, your storage conditions must not disturb your food.
But if you’re new to prepping, you are more likely to make mistakes. So here are seven food storage tips to consider:
1. Rotate your food!
First, and one of the most important rules you should follow, is to rotate your out-of-date food. Different foods with different storage types have different shelf lives. For instance, high-acid canned foods, like tomatoes and citrus fruits, will keep for up to a year and a half. Low-acid canned foods – which is basically everything else – will last for up to five years.
So be sure to do your research and find the expiration dates on your foods!
2. Prep food you actually enjoy.
Another mistake is prepping foods you dislike. After all, the food could be cheap or nutritionally sound. But you should not store it for those reasons; after all, you may not touch it later either. So be sure to store foods that you actually enjoy.
3. Take care of your storage temperatures.
Temperature – especially warmer temperatures – are one of the greatest threats to food storage. You need to store your food in a cool place, such as the forcellar. Not only that, but temperatures that fluctuate can also damage your stored foods. Make sure your storage space remains consistently cool, no matter the outdoor temperature.
4. Store enough liquids.
Sure, you may have enough liquid stored for drinking and washing, but what about for cooking? You may forget that a number of foods require water for cooking. For instance, you may have plenty of freeze-dried pouches that require water. So be sure to have extra water when you are cooking.
5. Always have spices on hand.
No one likes bland food. Good news is that a little bit of salt and pepper go a long way in cooking. Of course, you can add other spices to the list: tumeric, chili powder, curry powder, sugar and more. The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking (and food prep!).
6. Store food inside proper containers.
Make sure that the containers you store food in do not contain toxic chemicals. Furthermore, make sure that the containers have been 100 percent cleaned and are sealable before you store any type of food in there.
7. Rely on food storage for all of your needs.
While your storage may contain a lot of food, you should also consider alternative sources of food as complements. For instance, vegetable gardens. Additionally, you can take advantage of the local area – brooks, rivers, woodlands, or whatever you are close to, so you can forage for berries and other plants, fish, and hunt. However, do not venture in blindly. Do your research before venturing off.