When I started working on my one-year food supply, I gravitated to dry staples like white rice, dry beans, and wheat. They are the least expensive calorie per pound, highly nutritious, offer decades of shelf-life, and have been tried and tested down through the centuries; if you are interested in storing food for a year or more supply, seriously consider storing dry staple foods.
Let’s dive right in!
What is a one year food supply?
A one-year food supply provides a minimum of 2000 calories per day or 730,000 calories per year per person. Depending on a person’s age, sex, and activity level, daily FDA calorie requirements increase up to 3200 calories or 1,168,000 calories for 365 days.
*See the charts below for specific FDA calorie counts required based on age and sex.
If you are ready to take the first step to building a long term emergency food supply for your family, read on.
Food To Store For One Year
If you start with long-term food storage, you will get the most bang for your buck by storing hard grains, dried beans, white rice, and other dry staples. Once these items are stored in oxygen-free storage, they will keep for 30 years. Now that’s a safety net.
Once your grains and dry goods are in place, move on and start storing foods for special circumstances and round out the palatability of your stored dry foods.
Foods that fit specific emergency scenarios, such as freeze-dried backpacker meals, or Meals Ready to Eat, are perfect for short-term emergencies like bugging out. Still, their expense limits their usefulness for large stockpiles of food.
Canned meats, vegetables, soups, and stews don’t require refrigeration are pre-cooked, and can be eaten cold if necessary. Canned food is excellent for short-term emergencies and as a supplement for your dry goods stockpile. All canned foods need to be used and rotated to ensure a supply when you need it.
Ok, let’s get started so you can start building a food safety net for your family.
Infographic 1: Year Food Supply (one person)
The information in the chart below comes from Brigham Young University (BYU.) BYU excels at studying and disseminating information on all things long-term food storage. Most seasoned preppers on the DIY route for long-term food storage are familiar with the list. I’m using it to build the backbone of my long-term food storage.
If you are interested in this article, check out Ready Squirrel’s comprehensive article on long-term food storage, How Much To Stockpile Per Person.
Two Best Ways To Package A Year’s Food Supply
One: Purchase #10 cans For a Year Supply
Professional survival food companies and LDS canneries provide dry staples pre-packaged in #10 cans with Oxygen absorbers.
I’m not LDS, but I’ve purchased many dry goods from the cannery, so don’t be intimidated. Canning your own food in #10 cans requires equipment that most preppers don’t have, so buying them packaged is the most convenient method for most.
Two: Repackage Bulk Dry Foods
The bulk of my dry goods like white rice, dried beans, and hard white wheat are purchased in big 50lb bags and stored by lining 5-gallon food-grade buckets with 5 to 7 mil Mylar Bags and Oxygen Absorbers. This is the best DIY method for creating a long-term food supply.
You can store 100’s of pounds of dry food with buckets, Mylar, and Oxygen absorbers. It’s quick, has decades of shelf-life and it is the least expensive way to store long-term calories quickly and efficiently.
Avoid storing foods directly in a food pale without the Mylar. Plastic in the buckets is not a true oxygen barrier and, over time, will allow oxygen to enter the container which oxidizes food and reduces shelf-life.
Below is a video of me storing wheat with a Mylar bag, food-grade bucket, and 2000cc oxygen absorber. The method is the same for all dry goods stored oxygen-free. (dry low-fat foods with less than 10% moisture)
Infographic 2: 48 Staple Foods For A One Year Food Supply
Below is a list of the most common foods used in Long-term survival food storage. When storing food for my year supply, I err on the side of caution and store more calories than needed. Doing this will build a safety net of extra calories and account for miscalculations or extra mouths you didn’t count on feeding.
Infographic 3: Yearly Calorie Requirements For Males
Here is a snapshot of the Food and Drug administrations annual calorie count requirements for males and females. If you want to see a more in-depth discussion of calorie count, check out the ready squirrel article, How much food to stockpile per person.
Infographic 4: Yearly Calorie Requirements For Females:
The annual calorie requirement for females is a little less than for males. A good hack for determining how many calories to store is to consider everyone male in your group. That will pad in some extra calories.
LDS Food Storage Calculator: One Year Supply
Below is a link to a useful food calculator based on the LDS Church’s Home Production and Storage Manual, which will help you calculate the minimum food storage you need for your group or family.
The one downside to this calculator is you can’t get super specific on age, but it’s still a useful tool. Food Storage Calculator; The Food Guys
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Calculator For Daily Calorie Requirements
This calculator covers daily calorie requirements based on age, sex, height, and weight. The calculator gets into the nitty-gritty, showing calorie requirements for a sedentary lifestyle all the way up to Intense daily exercise.
You can click through to get an idea of the calorie count you want for each person in your group. If you use these numbers, you will have to multiply the daily county by 365 to develop a year’s supply for each person and then add the yearly calorie counts for each per together for a total annual calorie count.
Click the link below to see the BMR calculator.
10 Foods to Store Oxygen-free For A One Year Supply
Stockpile these 10 foods to simplify the early stages of food storage. You might get what preppers call palate fatigue, but one thing is for sure, you won’t starve, and most of these foods with keep for decades.
Focusing on staples like this makes it much less complicated to build a solid emergency food framework. Any extras you store, such as pre-packaged and canned foods, will be icing on the cake.
- Dried White Rice
- Dried Pasta and Macaroni
- Dehydrated fruit/veggies (They must snap. If they are still flexible, the moisture is too high.)
- Powdered Milk
- Dried Corn
- Dried hard and soft grains
- Wheat (to kill bugs and avoid adding water by freezing)
- Beans and Legumes
- Potato Flakes
14 Foods “Not” To Store Oxygen-free For A One Year Supply
Avoid storing foods “oxygen-free” that should “NOT” be stored this way. High-fat and High Moisture foods stored oxygen-free (more than 10% moisture) can lead to anaerobic (without oxygen) food poisoning called Botulism. Ok, so don’t store these foods oxygen-free.
- Food High In Moisture (10% or higher)
- High-fat content foods
- Pre-milled grains
- Pearled Barley
- Granola or trail mix
- Dried Eggs (commercially freeze-dried are different)
- Brown Sugar
- Dried Fruits (if not dried enough to snap when bent)
- Dried Vegetables (if not dried enough to snap when bent)
- Powdered foods like sugar, salt, & drink mixes will turn into a rock and don’t need oxygen-free storage
- Baking Soda (may explode)
- Baking Powder (may explode)
Food Storage Shelf Life: with & without oxygen absorbers
|Food Type||Shelf-life Without Oxygen absorbers||Shelf-life with Oxygen Absorbers|
|Wheat||6 Months||30 years|
|White Rice||5 Years||30 years|
|Rolled Oats||6 to 9 months||30 years|
|Bleached Flour||6 months||10 to 15 years|
|Dried Pasta/Macaroni||2 years||30 Years|
|Dried Bean & Legumes||1 to 2 years||30 years|
|Potato Flakes||12 to 18 months||30 years|
|Non-fat Powdered Milk||18 months||20 to 30 Years|
|Dried Dent/Field Corn||6 months||30 years|
5 Types of Containers To Use With Oxygen Absorbers
The most popular containers used are Mylar bags and #10 cans because they provide an excellent oxygen barrier. Plastic buckets are commonly used, but they are not a true oxygen barrier. It’s better to use plastic food-grade pails and buckets lined with Mylar.
You kill two birds with one stone, the Mylar keeps oxygen out, and the bucket protects the Mylar.
#10 Cans-True Oxygen Barrier
Mylar Bags-True Oxygen Barrier
PET Plastic Bottles (sterilized, reused soda bottles)-slow oxidation but overtime will transfer oxygen into the container
Glass Jars (Canning or Ball Jars)- True oxygen barrier but don’t protect food from light oxidation
Food Buckets or Pails-Slows Oxidation but over time will transfer oxygen into the container. Excellent when lined with sealed Mylar bags and an Oxygen Absorber.