Start stockpiling food for the end of the world, the next zombie apocalypse, or save money on your monthly grocery bill. I suggest you start storing food so you will have enough to eat if we have hyperinflation or a devaluation of the dollar. In the future, food could be exponentially more expensive than it is today or unavailable, so start stockpiling as much non-perishable food as possible so you have it when things go sideways. That’s what I’m doing.
Best food for the end of the world
The best food to store for the end of the world is dry staple foods such as dried grains, rolled oats, pasta, white rice, beans, sugar, and salt. Supplement dry food with canned fruit, vegetables, and meat because they are ready to eat, require no additional resources, round out nutrition, and reduce palate fatigue. Finally, start storing water for hydration and hygiene and prepare dry staple foods.
Read on if you are ready to start building an inexpensive stockpile of food to protect you and your loved ones.
Dry Staple Food: The Least Expensive Survival Calorie
If you want to stockpile massive amounts of emergency food, there is no substitute for dry staples like grain and dried beans because they are proven to help people survive famine. Let’s look at the pros and cons of storing dry staples for the end of the world as we know it.
4 Pros: Dry food for the end of the world
Dry food doesn’t have to be refrigerated, which is essential if things head south. Many third-world countries have an electric grid that is undependable. With shortages of fuel and other things that go with societal collapse, you don’t want to depend on food
Man has survived on dry staples for thousands of years; even today, they are the foods that keep famine at arm’s length.
Popular survival grains for long-term storage, such as wheat, polished white rice, dry beans, and rolled oats, will keep for 30+ years in oxygen-free packaging.
Beans and hard grains are seeds that sprout under any condition. As long as you have seeds that will germinate, you will have greens to eat which is crucial if you live in a cold environment and cannot preserve homegrown produce.
Next, examine the five cons of dry staple food for emergencies.
5 Cons: Dry food for the end of the world
To cook dry food, you need fuel and water, so you will need to stockpile these items for emergencies.
Preppers must mill wheat and other dry foods into flour to make baked goods. However, grain can be eaten whole by boiling it to make porridge. You may ask yourself, why don’t I store flour instead of wheat berries? You can, but flour has a max shelf life of 10 years in oxygen-free storage, and wheat berries keep for 30 years—a big difference.
#3 Cooking Skills
You’ll need to know how to boil water, at the very least. More advanced cooking skills are necessary for baking with home-ground flour or brewing beer.
#4 Repackaging Required
For maximum shelf-life, dry staples must be repackaged into oxygen-free storage containers like Mylar bags unless you buy them professionally packaged in #10 cans. Oxygen-free packaging prevents oxidation from spoiling food and kills bugs within two weeks.
You can store specific types of food oxygen-free. Namely foods less than 10% in moisture and low in fat. Foods with a high moisture content should not be stored oxygen-free because there is a risk of botulism.
Also, don’t store food high in fats or lipids (brown rice) oxygen-free because fats will still go rancid, and shelf-life doesn’t increase.
Next up, a look at canned foods
Canned Foods-Ready-to-Eat In Any Situation
Canned food doesn’t require you to open the can and eat. These foods are excellent for short-term emergencies and have a shelf-life of 1 to 5 years.
These foods shine during natural disasters and catastrophes when you don’t have resources like running water or electricity.
5 Pros: Canned food for the end of the world
Canned food is inexpensive compared to freeze-dried backpacker meals or professionally packaged emergency food, and it is readily available at local grocery stores so that you can shop the sales.
#2 Meal In A Can
Foods like Dinty Moore Stew and pasta dishes are the main entree eaten without additional food items, which is good because making these foods from scratch takes much more preparation than just opening a can and heating it.
#3 Ready to Eat
Canned food is ready to eat. All you have to do is open the can. To heat canned food, you can use a backpacker’s rocket stove, Nesbit tablets, or an alcohol stove.
#5 Shelf Stable
Canned foods are shelf stable and don’t require refrigeration, excellent for short-term emergencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agencies 72-hour kit.
During a natural disaster or societal collapse, it is likely that you will not have electricity for refrigeration, so any perishable foods in the fridge or freezer will go rancid quickly, and canned foods won’t unless opened.
4 Cons: Canned food for the end of the world
#1 Stock Rotation
You should rotate canned food into your regular diet to ensure you always have a fresh supply. Most Preppers use the “Best Buy Date” on the can to turn canned foods. Canned foods have a shelf-life of 1 to 5 years if you want to eat them at peak nutrition and quality.
#2 Shelf life is indefinite
According to the United States Food and Drug Department, canned food will begin to decline in flavor, texture, and nutritional value over time. The only way to deal with this is to use the best buy date and rotate the cans.
If you are stuck in a bunker and have a can of Spam, you might be able to eat it for 10+ years, but there is no way the average person can predetermine just how long a can of food will last.
Once opened, canned food has to be refrigerated and stored in a cool, dry location. Also, try to avoid denting cans and keep them away from fluctuations in temperature and moisture.
Canned foods are heavy because of the metal packaging and the water weight. They are not ideal for a bug-out situation.
You can carry cans in a vehicle but even then, limit the amount you take,
Interesting to Know: One hundred cans weigh close to 100 lbs.
High acid [canned] foods such as tomatoes and other fruit will keep their best quality up to 18 months; low acid foods such as meat and vegetables, 2 to 5 years. If cans are in good condition (no dents, swelling, or rust) and have been stored in a cool, clean, dry place they are safe indefinitely.United States Department of Agriculture
Next, let’s examine storing water for emergencies.
Water for the end of the world
I can’t talk about the best food for “the end” without mentioning emergency water. You can live for a maximum of four days without clean water, but you can survive for three weeks without food.
Hydrating the body is crucial because it controls body temperature, breathing, digestion, brain, and cardiovascular function.
How much water to store
Store a minimum of 1 gallon of water per day for each person in your survival group that will last two weeks or 14 gallons per person. Keep in mind this water supply is the bare minimum.
If you want to read more about water storage, check out the Ready Squirrel article “How Long Can You Store Water: Beginner’s Guide To Survival Water Storage.”
Thanks for visiting Ready Squirrel! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.
Keep on prepping!
Best Regards, Scott