The answer to the question “what is the best prepper food” all depends on who you ask. This is because everyone has different needs and challenges. The perfect emergency food storage plan will be different for everyone.
Most people in the United States have never gone more than 24 hours without food and have no idea how it will affect them, and although we can survive without food for a few weeks, if will be our main priority long before that. So lets talk about some long term food storage ideas.
If the average person were to walk into your home and see a Legacy food bucket they would probably make some wild assumptions right off the bat. When you think about it, other than the shelf life and quantity, how different is long term food storage food than a box of hamburger helper?
Long term food storage, water storage and preparedness in general is nothing more than insurance for the future. What concerns me the most is not a nuclear bomb landing in my back yard, it’s our electrical grids vulnerability’s, economic instability and basic supply and demand.
Having a large supply of long term food storage food during the great depression would have been more valuable than gold.
Imagine you or someone in your family had lost their job for an extended period of time, with money being tight it would be a daily juggling act to pay the bills and buy food for the family.
If you had a six month supply of food stored that wouldn’t be such a huge hurdle, and would alleviate some of the stress you might be facing.
Imaging there was a natural disaster like an earthquake, or a hurricane like Katrina, if you had a few weeks of food stored that’s one less thing you have to worry about, and could literally be the difference between life and death.
My point is that long term food storage for preppers is not all about doomsday and does not make you a “doomsdayer.” Everyone is different and storing food for emergencies is just the smart thing to do. Some people store as little as a months’ worth of food, and some people store year’s worth, it’s really up to you what you decide to do.
Different Kinds of Food Storage
When it comes to food storage for preppers there isn’t a “one size fits all” method. How you build your food storage plan all depends on your wants and needs.
Some people like the convenience of the prepackaged long term food storage products, and some people get sticker shock when the see the price of some of these products.
Preppers & Pantry Foods
Food storage for preppers doesn’t just mean having long term food storage buckets and freeze dried foods. Emergency food storage starts with the foods in your pantry. You have no doubt heard the saying “eat what you store, and store what you eat” and this all starts with pantry foods.
This can be more cost effective than making a large purchase of prepackaged long term food. You can go to the store and buy a little extra food each time and slowly build your food storage.
The downside of this is that this food will only last so long, and some of these foods require refrigeration. Most boxed meals and canned food last between 6 months to 3 years.
On the surface this sounds great, but is you buy a year’s worth of food from the grocery store you need to make sure it gets used and rotated properly. Regardless of how well organized you are and how good your rotation system is, you are bound to lose some of it to expiration.
DIY Food Storage Buckets
There is another option that you have, and that’s storing all the ingredients yourself. Putting together your own food storage 5 gallon buckets can save you quite a bit of money, and allows you to store ingredients for home cooked meals.
If you are going to store emergency foods like rice, flour and grains, make sure you know how to use them. Storing items like these require a couple of things. They require the knowledge to use them, and the ability to cook with them.
Long term food storage products like Legacy foods require a heat source and water, whereas making biscuits or bread require much more preparation.
That being said, knowing how to put together your own emergency food storage is good skill to learn because nothing beats a home cooked meal. In a situation where food is not that plentiful a simple loaf of bread will taste like heaven.
Lisa and I do some canning (nowhere near what some other people do) and this can be a good option as well. The All American Pressure Canner is fantastic, and the go to choice for most preppers.
Because you can’t (or shouldn’t) use an All american canner on a glass top stove, Lisa and I use the electric Carey pressure canner. While this canner doesn’t have the capacity the All American does, it still gets the job done.
When it comes to long term food storage whether its Legacy foods, canning or pantry foods it’s important to remember that everyone’s tastes are different. Children can be pretty picky, and it can be almost impossible to get them to eat something if they don’t want to.
Gardening and Preserving
While this takes more time, skill and commitment, gardening can be a great way to supplement your preparedness food storage plans. This does take some practice, so don’t think you can bury a few seeds and grow the perfect garden.
Along with being able to actually grow your own food, you need to be able to preserve that food. In the beginning you may not have a big enough harvest to make preserving it useful, but eventually you will.
Prepackaged Long Term Food Storage
This is where long tern food like Legacy food comes in, I call this my second layer, this is food that can be stored and organized much easier and longer than grocery store food. It’s good to have a good short term food supply, but at some point storing and rotating all that food will become nearly impossible.
Legacy food storage products are prepared and packaged in a way that makes them shelf stable for up to 25 years, so even if nothing happens in the next 10 years, you still have your food storage and you haven’t had to throw anything away.
To me, storing this “prepper food” as my kids call it is no different than paying insurance once a month. We may go decades without getting into an accident, but we are glad we have insurance when we do.
As I said earlier, eat what you store, and store what you eat. Before you spend your hard earned money on long term food make sure you try it and see if the family likes it.
Most freeze dried food companies have sample packs you can buy, and there are a ton of videos on YouTube that will show you what to expect. Here are a couple of videos I did when I sampled some of these products.
Calories VS Serving Size
To get the best value when you are shopping for long term food storage products make sure you shop like you would at a grocery store by comparing cost by weight and calories. It can be pretty confusing to pick the right food storage product because anyone can use whatever serving size they choose.
In a survival situation we need to know how many calories we are taking in, not how many servings we are eating. At the bare minimum a person will need around 1500 to 2000 calories a day just to survive, the more active you are the more calories you will need.
One of the reasons we chose to sell Legacy food products is that they stand head and shoulders above everyone else in almost every category. Legacy Food Storage products are GMO free, have no MSG, yeast extract, hydrogenated oils, caramel color, or any artificial flavors.
Sodium in Long Term Food
I hear quite a bit about how high in sodium is in dehydrated food products so I just want to add my 2 cents, take it for what it’s worth to you.
A healthy amount of sodium is about 1500Mg to 2300Mg per day, the average sodium intake today is around 3500Mg to 4000Mg per day. This is because of all the processed foods we eat and all the additives and preservatives added to them to make them taste better and last longer.
Salt has been used to preserve foods for centuries, and it is no different today. Sodium is a mineral that is required for maintaining blood pressure and a normal fluid balance in the body, in a long term emergency situation it is better to have too much sodium than none at all.
All dehydrated food from Mountain House to Wise Food to Legacy Food has a high sodium content. If you eat Legacy foods, or any long term food storage product daily for a year with nothing else you are bound to have problems. This is why canning, gardening and having alternatives is so important, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket.
What is the Best Prepper Food?
Lisa and I always suggest that you diversify your food storage, and don’t have all prepackaged foods, or all pantry foods. Having a years worth of food from the grocery store will be hard to keep track of, and a years worth of prepacked food will not have the nutrition you need.
In the end it’s really up to you how you go about your long term food storage, but the important part is that you do it, and not just talk about doing it.
Some of these long term food storage ideas might work for you, and some might not, but having something stored away for an emergency is always better than crossing your fingers.