In the sur­vival­ist and prep­per com­mu­ni­ty, this is a mantra often repeat­ed. Like any mantra or sim­pli­fied rule of thumb, it serves its pur­pose up to the point. While hav­ing sim­ple rules to fol­low is often a good thing, the dev­il is in the details. For me, this sim­ple rule is not so sim­ple to fol­low, main­ly because my reg­u­lar, non-sur­vival­ist diet can­not be exact­ly like a post-emer­gency diet. That is, my pre-SHTF diet con­sists of a lot of fresh eggs, turkey bacon, fresh veg­eta­bles, fruits and lean meats and very lit­tle heavy car­bo­hy­drates like pota­toes, white rice, beans and pas­ta. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, that diet does not store well in mylar bags with oxy­gen absorbers. My wife’s diet does include heavy carbs so we do cook beans and wheat rice on occa­sion. Thus, there are some instances where I can store what we eat and eat what we store. But, I do store large quan­ti­ties of items I don’t eat on a reg­u­lar basis, in recog­ni­tion that my post-SHTF diet will be laden with the stan­dard rice and bean sta­ples. As a result I have mod­i­fied the sim­ple “store what you eat, eat what you store” to this:

1) If what you eat is stor­able either in can goods last­ing greater than one year, by all means store it and rotate it through your kitchen.

2) Pur­chase items you don’t nor­mal­ly eat that last longer than two years and have 30–60 days of sup­ply in cans or oth­er pack­ages. Include good-tast­ing soups and grain-based break­fast food.

3) For items you would nev­er eat unless the SHTF, pur­chase or pack­age to store in excess of 20 years.

For exam­ple, since I eat lean meats on a reg­u­lar basis, I pur­chased canned tuna, salmon and chick­en. My wife will eat canned soup, grits and oat­meal so all of those can be rotat­ed through the stor­age totes. We both eat beans in lim­it­ed quan­ti­ties, most­ly in soup which uses diced toma­toes.

In the cat­e­go­ry that I would nor­mal­ly not eat but want to store, I pur­chased canned veg­eta­bles, fruit, peanut but­ter and hon­ey. For those, we can either eat when they get close to their expi­ra­tion or donate to char­i­ty and replace.

For the last cat­e­go­ry, I pur­chased rice, black-eyed peas, split peas, two types of pas­ta and three dif­fer­ent types of  beans to store in mylar bags with oxy­gen absorbers. They store well and are calo­rie dense. Those will be thrown into plas­tic stor­age bins and for­got­ten about.  What I have not got­ten into my stores are things like pow­dered milk, pow­dered eggs, oils, and bak­ing neces­si­ties. All of those are def­i­nite­ly cat­e­go­ry 3 items.

Last­ly, I rec­om­mend using a spread­sheet or some oth­er track­ing mech­a­nism so that you can main­tain the prop­er rota­tion and not allow things to go past their “best used-by dates”. Track­ing things by their BUB as well as loca­tion, quan­ti­ty, and calo­ries gives you the abil­i­ty to find things when you want to eat them as well as get a good overview of what you have and what you are lack­ing.

That is my take on mod­i­fy­ing con­ven­tion­al wis­dom to fit the real­i­ty of every­day life.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email