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15 Foods to Store for Shortages

Following is a list of fifteen foods to store for shortages in preparation for empty grocery shelves. None of these foods require refrigeration and they have the longest shelf-life.

I’ve seen a lot of lists for food shortages that include perishable foods. I would avoid storing perishables unless they are freeze-dried or canned because they won’t store if the electric grid is compromised. Following is a short list of the 15 best foods to store for food shortages.

15 Foods to store for food shortages

  1. White Rice
  2. Dry beans and legumes
  3. Wheat berries
  4. Dry pasta
  5. Rolled oats
  6. Canned meat
  7. Canned fruit
  8. Canned vegetables
  9. Salt
  10. Sugar
  11. Powdered Milk
  12. Grain
  13. One year supply of staple food
  14. Cooking oil
  15. Vitamin Supplements

Below is a list of my favorite foods for long-term storage. These foods will get you through any emergency caused by food shortages, job loss, or a significant survival event like an economic collapse or long-term power outage.

#1 White Rice

Along with dry beans white rice is possibly the best food to store for food shortage because it is flexible in a meal plan, provides a tremendous amount of carbohydrates, is inexpensive, and provides a long shelf-life. Also, when beans and rice are combined in a meal, they provide a whole protein, so I suggest stockpiling both foods for food shortages.

Best Rice for food shortages

The best white rice for food shortages is any polished white rice, including Long-grain, short-grain, minute, and instant rice. Also, these types of rice will store for 30+ years if adequately packaged with oxygen absorbers in Mylar bags.

Don’t store brown rice for food shortages

Avoid storing brown rice for food shortages because it still has the husk intact and contains natural oils that will go rancid within 8 months regardless of how it is stored.

To avoid hefty shipping fees, you are better off buying rice locally. If you can’t shop locally, check out the Amazon links below to do a price check.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

This article includes Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase from these link(s), Ready Squirrel gets a cut of Amazon’s profit for beans and bullets at no additional cost. We appreciate it.

Amazon| Member’s Mark

#2 Dry Beans & Legumes

Dry beans are one of the best foods to store for food shortages because they are a powerhouse of protein and nutrition that will last up to 30 years if packaged properly. Not to mention, when you eat cooked dry beans and white rice together, they provide a complete protein.

If I could only store two foods for the food shortages, they would be long-grain white rice and pinto beans. These dry foods, eaten together, are an excellent hedge against hunger and they are especially flexible. If you are doing a survival garden too, you are way ahead of preparing for independence from food shortages.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

Next up, another great food to store for food shortage.

#3 Wheat Berries

Wheat berries are in the top three foods to store for food shortage because wheat is a powerhouse of nutrition, providing vitamins, minerals, and complex carbohydrates. Wheat is milled for flour to make bread, and pasta or boil it whole and eat like porridge.

What are wheat berries?

Wheat Berries are wheat with the husk removed, when the husk is removed so are the oils, increasing storage life up to thirty years.

White Rice, Wheat, and Dry Beans are the best foods to store for food shortages because they are proven and have pulled more civilizations through starvation events than any other foods. If I could only stockpile three survival foods, it would be beans, rice, and wheat berries.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

To learn more about foods that will store for thirty years, read the Ready Squirrel article, Foods That Will Last 30 Years.

I purchased most of my wheat a couple of years ago, so the prices have gone up, so depending on where you live the only option might be to order wheat on the internet.

Amazon| Wheatland Store

#4 Dry Pasta

Dry pasta is in the top foods for shortages because it is relatively inexpensive, filling, and easy to find at the grocery store.

If I had to choose between dry pasta (made from wheat) and wheat berries, I would go with them because they are more flexible, and you can make more with them. The problem is what can be hard to find depending on where you live, so store what you can obtain.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

Dry pasta will last up to 30 years when repackaged and stored in Mylar with Oxygen absorbers.

Amazon| Barilla Store

Next up, another food to store for food shortage, rolled oats.

#5 Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are one of the best foods to store for food shortage because they are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Also, oats are flexible and super simple to cook, one of the few soft grains with a 30-year shelf life.

The Scotch Highlanders depended on a diet of oats and dairy, so they are proven survival food.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

Amazon| Augason Farms Store

Up next, canned meat.

#6 Canned Meat

Canned meats are excellent for food shortages because they provide fat and meat protein which are hard to come buy during food shortages. The downside to canned meat or any meat for that matter is the price. From Spam to premium Keystone meats, you are going to pay a hefty price.

When I wrote this article, there was a meat shortage, and prices were way up. I store spam and canned hams in my emergency pantry.

Amazon| Spam

Let’s examine canned fruit.

#7 Canned Fruit

Canned fruit is one of the best foods to store for food shortages because it’s shelf-stable and allows you to eat a healthy dose of fruit when the fresh stuff isn’t available. Following is a list of canned fruits to stockpile that will store in the pantry from 2 to 5 years.

  1. pineapple
  2. peaches
  3. pears
  4. fruit medley
  5. mandarin oranges

Next, let’s take a look at canned vegetables>

#8 Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables will give you some extra nutrition, and as with canned fruit, it will make your food shortage diet a little more interesting. Following is a list of canned vegetables to consider storing for emergencies.

  • Green Beans
  • Corn
  • Vegetable Medley
  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Legumes

Up next, a super star among the best foods to store for food shortages, salt.

#9 Salt

Salt is outstanding for baking and preserving food and it has an indefinite shelf-life. In addition, salt will be worth its weight in gold for post SHTF bartering to trade for other items you need.

Salt will store indefinitely, that’s forever, in 5-gallon food-grade pale and you don’t need to use Mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers because salt will not spoil from oxidation.

Up next, one the best foods to store for food shortage, sugar.

#10 Sugar

White granulate sugar is good for baking, preserving fruit, and for a high energy boost.

Sugar is also excellent as a barter item, during a societal collapse or food shortage because it has an indefinite shelf-life and people will want it.

Sugar stored in a 5-gallon food-grade pale with last indefinitely, forever and you do not need to use Mylar bags or oxygen absorbers because white granulated sugar will not spoil from oxidation.

Next up, powdered milk.

#11 Powdered Milk & Milk Substitute

Powdered milk is an excellent food to store in food shortages because it is used heavily in baking, so powdered milk is a must have item if you are stockpiling wheat berries.

During Venezuelan food shortages, powdered milk and baby formula were among the most sought-after foods.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

Augason Farms sells a milk substitute called Moo that gets high reviews and has a 20-year shelf-life.

Amazon| Augason Farms Store

Next, let’s examine storing grains for food shortages.

#12 Grain

Store grains like wheat, white rice, and field corn or soft grains like oats because, historically, grains are the best shield to combat starvation. Following are the best grains to store for food shortages.

Best grains to store for food shortages

  1. wheat berries
  2. white rice
  3. rolled oats
  4. corn
  5. buckwheat
  6. millet
  7. rye
  8. spelt
  9. triticale

Hard grains like wheat have the longest shelf-life.

Up next, let’s examine the wisdom of storing a one-year supply of staple food for food shortages.

#13 Staples for a One Year Food Shortage

Following is a list for a one-year supply of staple foods to prepare for food shortages. The list of foods is compiled by the LDS church, hands down the best resource for long-term food storage.

One Year Supply of Staple Foods (Per Person)

  1. Grains 400 pounds (includes wheat, flour, rice, corn, oatmeal, and pasta)
  2. Beans and Legumes 60 lbs. (includes dry beans, split peas, lentils, etc.)
  3. Powdered Milk 16 lbs.
  4. Cooking Oil 10 quarts
  5. White Table Sugar 60 lbs.
  6. Salt 8 lbs.

Once these dry goods are stored, start rounding it out with canned food, condiments, freeze-dried foods, and professionally packaged survival food.

To learn more about storing a long-term food supply, read the Ready Squirrel article, One Year Food Supply (DIY, Cheap, Effective)

Up next, cooking oil.

#14 Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is an essential food for shortages but is also one of the most challenging to store, and it doesn’t matter what kind of cooking oil you store; the maximum shelf life you will get is around two years. We need fat in our diet, and we need it to stir-fry so the best you can do is to stockpile and rotate fats and oils or start raising chickens. Following is a list of oils and fats you can store for food shortages.

Cooking oil for food shortages

  1. vegetable oil
  2. olive oil
  3. Crisco
  4. corn oil
  5. coconut oil
  6. sunflower oil
  7. sesame oil
  8. palm oil
  9. safflower oil
  10. sunflower oil
  11. canola oil

To learn more about emergency foods to stockpile, check out the Ready Squirrel article, Food For the End.

Next, let’s examine stockpiling vitamins for food shortages.

#15 Vitamin Supplements

Vitamins are excellent to store for food shortages because they fill in any nutritional gaps your emergency food doesn’t supply. For shortages, stockpile multivitamins and vitamin C for everyone in the family.

Read the Ready Squirrel article, Supplies to Store for Food Shortages, to stockpile for food shortages and other survival events to learn about non-food supplies to stockpile for food shortages and other survival events.

Thanks for visiting Ready Squirrel. I hope you enjoyed the article. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Keep on prepping!

Best Regards, Scott

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