Various Ways To Keep Food
When you decide to start storing food in case of emergency and disaster, you will have to decide what will be the easiest way for you to do so. A good emergency food supply will give you a sense of confidence that you might not otherwise have, as you know that you will be able to feed yourself and your family. How you decide to approach your emergency survival food will depend on how much you are prepared to spend at one time, how long you expect the food to remain usable, and where you live. People living in cities will generally have less storage space than those living in suburbs or the country.
There are two ways to look at canned food. There is canned food from the store that you can use to establish, or augment, your survival food supply. There will be a sell by date on the can and when this approaches, it is easy to use food that is approaching the end of its shelf life and replace it with new items.
It is also possible for you to can food yourself. Many people find preserving their food satisfying, and this is safe to do as long as you follow canning guidelines. You should be aware, however, that home canned food will not have as long a life as commercially canned supplies. Once again, rotating food will assure that you will have a fresh supply when you need it.
The emergency survival food kits sold today generally consist of freeze-dried foods. The commercial process will basically remove nearly every bit of moisture from the food, leaving a stable, long-term product. These dehydrated foods are packaged in plastic or mylar to keep them safe from water damage, and the mylar packages will also protect the food from damage from the light. These foods often have a shelf life of 25 years.
You can also dehydrate food yourself, using an electric dehydrator. These dehydrators are much more efficient at removing moisture from food than the old ones were, and the food you prepare will last much longer. Generally, food that you dehydrate at home will remain good for several years. As with the food you can at home, rotate food to keep it at maximum nutrition.
Although they were almost forgotten for decades, root cellars are now becoming more common. They are an excellent, energy efficient way to store food for months. While generally associated with root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, onions, and beets, root cellars are good at storing winter squash of all kinds, cabbage, apples, and even salted meats and fish. Many people store canned foods in their root cellars, as the even temperature and darkness will help to extend shelf life.
Root cellars are made by constructing a room that will be completely or partially underground. Some root cellars are extensions of a home’s existing cellar, while other are free standing. They all have in common an even, cool temperature (around 55 degrees F), and fairly high humidity. The high humidity is necessary to keep the vegetables stored there from dehydrating.