Someone stopped by the “office” a while ago with this question:
I have collected ingredients to make a year’s supply of bread (wheat berries, sugar, salt, yeast, etc), beans, rice, pasta, oatmeal, canned tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, etc. These are all products that follow the rule “store what you eat and eat what you store.”
After this point, I come to an abrupt halt. I have a freezer full of meats and vegetables that just don’t seem to fit the emergency food storage definition, but it is food that we use. How do I make these two opposite food positions meld into a good food storage plan? My common sense just can’t see the logic in this.
Thanks for any help pointing me in the right direction.
Doctor Prepper responds:
The exact quote is: “Store what you eat; Eat what you store. Use it, or lose it!” It has been on the back of my books for more than 15 years!
Given that information, what makes you feel you are doing anything wrong? If you’re working through (OK, eating through) your frozen food, you’re in step with the rule. I surely wouldn’t despair if I had such a supply. Don’t confuse what you have with what you’re intimating you don’t have!
On the other hand, freezing is the most expensive form of food storage, requiring lots of expense over time to maintain. The shelf life is also shorter than most other forms of storage. And when the power goes out, frozen foods can spoil and become unusable in a fairly short period of time––from a few hours to a few days. Frozen foods can easily be counted as emergency food. They’re just not long-term storage food.
Here’s a simple solution to your “problem”: as you deplete your frozen foods (…eat what you store…), replace them with food products packaged for longer-term storage. Get a supply of canned foods, dehydrated foods, and freeze-dried foods, or pickled, brined, wet-packed, home-preserved, or jerked fruits, vegetables, or meats––always what you eat! Start you transition as soon as you can, so your body accommodates to your change of diet.
Determine what long-term foods you need to put in your pantry (not freezer!) and what you can afford to invest on a regular basis. Then look at your budgeted dollars to determine whether vacuum-packed, dried, dehydrated, or freeze-dried foods are the appropriate for your long-term food storage program.
Food storage is not brain surgery––or I would never have been successful at acquiring a supply of food. The most difficult part of food storage is the discipline to follow up on your plan.