Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why I HATE "Basic Food Storage Plans"

Okay, I do not have many posts like this, but I just have to step onto my soap box really quick...

I am not a fan of these 'basic storage plans'.
If you don't know what I am talking about here is a good example:
go to this website.
Fill in how many family members you have and push "calculate".

Food Storage for a whole year!
Everything planned out for you - so easy... so fast...

Will you look at that list?
I've been staring at it for the past 10 minutes thinking of how many discusting meals I could put together...
- cracked wheat with mayonnaise casserole
- lima beans with salad dressing

Do people eat that stuff?
I sure don't.

And did I somewhere miss the fact that everyone is a vegetarian?
Where is the meat?

And don't vegetarians eat vegetables?
Because there surely aren't any of those.

And I'm pretty sure that fruit is supposed to be incorporated into your diet somewhere...
yet I can't seem to find that on the list.
Oh wait, there it is... Jam!

Are you catching my drift?

Just like everything in life there is a "fine print" that comes along with these basic food storage plans.
Did you read it?  It says:
"Use the following calculator to figure the minimum food storage amounts for your family for one year.
The amounts are based on the recommendations listed in the LDS Church's Essentials of Home Production and Storage Booklet.
These are only recommendations.
You will need to determine what you should store for your family.

(Let me emphasize at this point in time that I am LDS, and I do have a firm testimony, and I say Kudos to the church for even trying to inform the world of the need for food storage).
Now, I'm not about to go against what the church says, but I am saying that I hope you are smart enough to realize that this is food recommended for emergencies only.

Can you imagine eating off of that list for a year?
I for one choose death
(not really, but you know what I mean).

And just in case you are wondering if there are people out there who look at these lists and actually go and buy everything on it I would say:
Yes, there are.
I have met them.
And I can assure you that they've got at least 800 lbs. of it stored in the basement.
Never really taking into consideration that they've never eaten it, nor do they know how to prepare it.

Studies show that in disaster situations, having at least one meal per day that has been eaten regularly greatly reduces stress, especially in children.

Please be smart with your food storage shopping!
Remember to follow basic rules of food storage when planning on what to buy.

And don't get me wrong, having a long term storage plan is smart, but not before you have a short-term one.

And for all of you out there that have purchased the "basic storage plan", think realistically about how you can incorporate those items into your meal plan so that you can actually use it.
And of course continually add to your storage items that you eat regularly.

And if you choose to take the stance of "I'll store it to use as a bargaining tool"; be serious.

What are you going to trade it for?

Everyone who has stored food is going to have at least what you have to offer.
Meaning the only people you are going to be trading with are those with no food; which is great if you can trade them for something like money (if it will be useful), or manual labor, but that still doesn't get you anything else to eat.

Store food with the intent to eat it.
Store food to trade as an additional means to becoming self-reliant.
They should not be put together in the same category.

Alright, that's it... I'm stepping down from my box now.
Sorry for the negativity!

For a real life food storage option, check out my last food storage post:
Step-by-Step Food Storage Plan.


  1. Amen Michelle. I personally hate, with a passion, cracked wheat cereal!!!

  2. I started our food storage plan over 40 years ago. So decided to learn how to use basic food storage items in daily meals. The bonus was that we ended up going to the doctor a lot less because of the fiber intake. Dry milk was added to dry ingredients of many a recipe, and then water amount where it asked for milk was used. We were blessed to be able to save for a grain grinder on sale, but we didn't have that for the first 3 years.

    By basics I mean:
    quick oatmeal
    rice (also bought brown rice and kept it in the freezer)
    popcorn for popping, plus grinding into cornmeal
    unbleached flour
    dry beans and lentils
    nonfat dry milk
    salt (sea salt for our choice), pepper, herbs/spices/flavorings

    We also had a garden; as well as hunted for good prices on seasonal foods to bottle at home. Saved up for a pressure canner so we could process meats. And eventually also bought a dehydrator.

    During this process over many years, I'd hunt for recipes, made up my own recipes, and experimented often to see what we would like and what didn't work for us.

    Wheat is certainly a staple. One of our first trials was blender pancakes. Of course, great whole wheat bread is also on the list.
    Our favorite oatmeal recipe is a pancake made with all oatmeal except 1/4 cup unbleached flour.
    We love lentil tacos, a big hit in our family. Have tried soooo many bean recipes over the years!! A few of our staples besides red bean beans over rice, heavenly bean soup, rajma, black bean burgers, mexi lentils n' brown rice, crock pot refried beans, italian stew (cracked wheat/lentil/sausage/bottled tomatoes/onions/garlic/seasonings), red lentil tomato soup.

    daily menu goal eventually became:

    one meal with wheat or grains
    one meal with dry beans or lentils
    one meal with vegetables
    fruit in season for snacks
    and meat in one meal only per day to "use sparingly'
    cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables at least 2 times per week....great cancer fighter, many good studies on that

    a few menu examples:

    oatmeal pancakes topped with bottled applesauce
    lentil tacos with toppings: cheese, salsa, sour cream, cilantro/lettuce; squeeze of lime
    beef stew, whole wheat rolls
    banana or other fresh fruit for snack

    creamy wheat (made from whole wheat flour) with butter n' honey / bottled peaches
    red bean chili with ground beef, corn muffins, celery sticks or celery cheese ranch salad
    noodle stir fry with a variety of vegetables
    apple for snack

    blender wheat pancakes, syrup, fresh fruit
    creamy chicken enchiladas, rice, steamed carrots or mexican coleslaw
    red lentil tomato soup, whole wheat bread
    canned mandarin oranges for snack

    brown rice n' raisins with cinnamon sugar and milk / 4 oz. orange juice
    beef roast with potatoes and carrots, oatmeal rolls, leafy green salad with homemade raspberry jam vinaigrette dressing
    crock pot refried beans to make burritos
    apple for snack

    over easy eggs, whole wheat toast, fruit cocktail with added banana slices
    spaghetti with meat sauce, bottled green beans or steamed broccoli
    mexi lentils n' brown rice topped with grated cheese (one bowl meal)
    fresh fruit for snack

    We had dessert often when kids were young, so based them on fruit or vegetable (such as apple pie, peach cobbler, pumpkin bars, carrot cake, lentil chocolate cake, strawberry rhubarb crisp, spicey gem raisin cookies).

    Popcorn was and still is a snack we all love. My kids liked popcorn for lunch with sides of fruits and/or veggies. Now it's sometimes popcorn and smoothies.