Societal Collapse: 36 Top Foods For Storage


This is a warrior-sized list of the thirty-six top foods for societal collapse.

Staples for hardcore long-term SHTF food storage.

True bunker foods that give you leverage by stretching your dollar through DIY bulk food storage.

Dry staples are the cheapest, most effective way of storing thousands of emergency calories quickly.

I did not include any foods on this list that require refrigeration or freezing.

The foods are good for normal pantry storage: a cool, dry location stored up off the ground and protected from light and rodents.

Warning: Foods packaged in Oxygen-free storage must be less than 10% moisture. High moisture foods stored Oxygen-free may lead to Botulism.

1.White Rice

Dry white rice is a grain with the husk, bran, and germ removed. Its cultivation dates back to 3000 BC. Today, it’s a proven staple for 3.5 billion people. Rice is one of the top three dry emergency foods for long-term storage, including dry beans and wheat.

Dry white rice is the cheapest emergency calorie you can buy. When combined with dry beans, it provides a whole protein.

10 Uses For White Rice

  1. Use as a staple with foraged vegetables and meats
  2. Cook in broth or use bullion cubes in the cooking water
  3. Add soy sauce (Soy sauce will last indefinitely in the pantry)
  4. Eat with an egg
  5. Mix in butter and honey and eat for breakfast
  6. Add just about any edible spice or herb
  7. Add just about any edible garden produce
  8. Add milk and fruit and eat like oatmeal for breakfast
  9. Add a dollop of peanut butter
  10. Ferment to make Saki

Check out Ready Squirrel’s comprehensive article, “How to Preserve White Rice For Long-term Storage,” if you are ready to start stockpiling.

Dry White Rice stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a shelf-life of 30 years.

Chart #1 Best Rice For Long-term Storage

Common Varieties of White RiceShelf Life
Hermetically Sealed/Oxygen Free
Shelf Life
Store Packaging
Shelf Life In The Freezer
Long-grain (preferred)30+ years5 years30+Years
Jasmine 30+ years5 Years30+ Years
Basmati 30+ years5 Years30+ Years
Arborio 30+ years5 Years30+ Years
Converted/ Minute Rice30+years5 years30+ years
Rice Not Suitable For Long Term Storage
Brown 18 months3-6 months12-18 months
Black/Purple 18 months3-6 months12-18 months

Brown rice has natural oils that cause it to oxidize and spoil quicker than white rice.

2.Dried Beans

Dry beans come from the plant family Legume. They’ve been cultivated as food since 7000 BC, a proven staple and a super-star of long-term food storage. When combined with white rice, beans provide a whole protein.

Dried beans are among the top three foods for long-term food storage, including white rice and white wheat.

Survival Food: What You Can Make

  1. Soup
  2. Stew
  3. Ground to flour as a thickener
    1. Baked bread
    2. Ground to flour or mashed to create a dip for homemade bread or garden produce
    3. Used as a filling for pastries
  4. Beans and Rice (No pantry should be without beans and rice)
  5. Boiled with salt
  6. Refried Beans
  7. Add to garden produce
  8. Warm or hot salad(s)
  9. Falafel

If you want to learn more about the different types of beans you can store, check out the Ready Squirrel Article, “Best Dried Beans for Long term storage. “

Dried Beans stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging have a shelf-life of 30 years.

If you are interested in learning more about Societal Collapse read the Ready Squirrel article, “26 Ways to Prepare for Societal Collapse.”

3.Hard White Wheat Berries

Wheat has been used as a staple food going back to before the Roman legions. Hard White Wheat berries are wheat kernels with the husk removed.

White wheat is one of the top three long-term survival foods. It has a mild flavor, fairly high gluten, and high enough protein levels to make leavened bread.

Emergency and Survival Food Uses

Mill wheat into flour to make leavened and unleavened bread, pancakes, waffles, quick bread, cookies, brownies, sticky buns, flatbread, couscous, and any number of no-yeast survival bread. It can also be boiled and eaten whole as a porridge.

Use milled white wheat and water to make Levain or bread starter to take the place of store-bought yeast.

Learn how to make your own yeast by checking out the article “Emergency Bread Yeast: How to Make Bread Yeast From Flour and Water,” Also included in this article is an emergency bread recipe that shows you how to use the starter.

Wheatberries stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging have a shelf-life of 30 years.

4.Couscous

What is it?

Couscous is micro pasta made with Durham wheat milled into semolina flour that is crushed and formed into tiny beads. This pasta dish makes a good staple and a welcome palate relief from the 100 pounds of rice you’ve been eating from your survival food cache.

Couscous cooks quickly and can be cold-soaked—approximately 11% protein and lightweight, a good option for a bug-out bag.

Emergency and Survival Food Uses

  • Add to salads
  • Use as a base for roasted vegetables, meat and fish
  • Cook with broth or bouillon
  • Add herbs and vegetables from your survival garden
  • Add dried or fresh fruits
  • Eat Plain with a condiment
  • Light-weight bug-out and backpacking food

Repackaged shelf-life of couscous:

This is controversial, other dried pasta like macaroni and spaghetti will store for 30 years in sealed oxygen-free storage, but I can’t find reliable information on the long-term storage of couscous. A conservative shelf-life for couscous stored in Oxygen-free containers is 5 years, but I think it will store much longer. I just can’t prove it.

5.Popcorn (flint corn)

Popcorn is a variety of flint corn and whole grain. It was a staple in the diets of Native Americans and American Colonists. It is more like a grain than modern sweet corn.

Today, Native and South Americans use flint corn to make hominy grits and mill flour and cornmeal. Preppers who use flint corn either pop it for a tasty treat or mill it for cornmeal. I don’t know from experience, but preppers in survival forums rave about the flavor of cornmeal made with popcorn and flint corn.

If you decide to mill popcorn, you need a heavy-duty mill. It’s tough to grind and has been known to burn up cheap electric mills.

What Can You Make With Flint Corn

  • Hominy
  • Grits
  • Cornmeal
  • Cornflour
  • Popcorn Flour (you can also make flour after the corn is popped, during WWII this type of flour was added to wheat flour.)
  • Hushpuppies
  • Cornbread
  • Batter Fried Vegetables, Meat and Fish
  • Corn Muffins
  • Baked Goods
  • Masa Harina

Flint Corn stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a shelf-life of 30 years to indefinite.

If you going to be living off-grid you might want to check out this article to plan for the tools you will need, “44 Off-grid Tools For Emergency Survival.”

6.Quinoa

What is it?

Quinoa is a seed from the Amaranth plant, and it’s considered a superfood. It is primarily used as a gluten-free substitute for rice and other staple grains. It is a nutritional powerhouse, but it’s expensive.

Quinoa is a good source of protein.

This is a good time to bring up, “trying food before you purchase a large amount of it.” I bought a 50lb bag of Quinoa and nobody in my house will eat it. In my experience, it has a bitter, unpalatable flavor. If you haven’t tried a food before, don’t buy it in bulk.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

9 Ways to Cook Quinoa From Your Emergency Pantry

  1. Cooked and eaten plain or with stock or bouillon
  2. Breakfast Porridge (sweeten with honey, sugar or real maple syrup)
  3. Addition to soups, stews and chilis
  4. Addition to cold or warm salads
  5. As a base for cooked meat, vegetables or fish
  6. Add vegetables or herbs from your survival garden
  7. Stir-fry before boiling and add onion, garlic or other herbs
  8. Add cheese or fruit
  9. Combine with wheat berries for a healthier bread

Quinoa stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has an estimated 8 to 10 years storage life. This is speculative. However, quinoa has a high-fat content which would normally lead to fat oxidation and a short shelf-life. It is believed that the high levels of vitamin E present may counteract this tendency of early spoilage. A fancy way of saying Quinoa hasn’t been tested in long-term storage yet.

7.Buckwheat

What is it?

Buckwheat is a gluten-free seed related to Rhubarb of all things. It is primarily consumed in Russia. The buckwheat seed is used like wheat in a survival pantry, but it isn’t wheat or a grain; it’s a seed.

Buckwheat is usually added to other types of flour to make a more nutritious baked good. It tends to be mildly bitter, but it provides a lot of amino acids.

What can I make with Buckwheat?

  • Buckwheat flour
  • Add to wheat flour to make healthy baked goods
  • Cookies
  • Bread
  • Rice Replacement
  • Cooked like porridge

Buckwheat stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a shelf-life of 8 to 30 years.

8.Barley

Barley is filling grain and comfort food with a mild flavor. Russians consume more Barley than any other country. If you’ve ever had Campbell’s vegetable soup, you’ve eaten it.

What is it?

Emergency and Survival Food Uses

  • Rice substitute
  • Cooked as porridge or hot cereal
  • Soups, stews and chilis (outstanding in broth bases soups)
  • Malted for alcoholic beverage brewing
  • Milled for flour and incorporated into wheat flour for baked goods
  • Added to Salads

Barley stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a shelf-life of 8 to 20 years.

9.Rye

What is it?

Rye is a grain with a sour-to-sweet flavor. It is the primary grain in European countries with cool, wet conditions where wheat doesn’t grow well. Rye is lower in protein than oats, wheat, and barley.

What to make with Rye In Your Survival Pantry

  • Distillation of Rye Whiskey
  • Beer Making
  • Flour for baked goods
  • Bread- Rye flour has enough gluten to stand alone in bread making, it produces a heavy dark bread.
  • Boiled and eaten as a porridge
  • Semi-sweet baked goods like scones and unleavened flat breads

Rye stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has 8 to 20 years of shelf life.

10.Teff

What is it?

Teff is an expensive but tiny gluten-free seed harvested from an annual grass called William’s lovegrass. It has a mildly sweet flavor and is processed and used as a grain. At one point, the only place you could find teff was in Ethiopia, but now it’s a crop grown in Idaho.

Teff provides more calcium than most other grains.

What to make from Teff in your emergency pantry

  • Milled into flour for flatbreads (It has no gluten so won’t create a rising bread)
  • Combined with wheat flour
  • Cooked and eaten as a porridge
  • Added to soups, stews and chilis
  • Cook as a breakfast cereal and add honey and fruit
  • Pancakes
  • Crapes
  • Bread
  • Mixed with cold or warm salads

Teff stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has 12 to 30 years of shelf life.

11.Triticale

What is it?

Triticale is a grain cross between wheat and rye that produces a low gluten flour. If you use it to make bread is has the flavor of light rye bread.

What can I do with Triticale In my survival pantry?

  • Boiled for hot porridge
  • Rice Substitute
  • Milled Flour
  • Biscuits
  • Bread
  • Cakes and Muffins

Triticale stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a shelf-life of 12 to 30 years.

Want to learn more about societal collapse? Check out the Ready Squirrel article, “What Happens When Society Collapses?”

12. Sprouting Seeds

What is it?

Viable seeds can be spouted in just about any condition to provide excellent nutrition. You won’t get much in the way of calories. Seed sprouting is a survival superweapon, in my opinion.

Imagine being stuck in your bug-out location in the middle of winter with no fresh vegetables. Take some seeds, put them in a jar, and sprout a mini garden of greens for fresh produce.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

If you are interested in learning more about sprouting seeds as an awesome survival skill, check out the Ready Squirrel article, “Sprouting Wheat and Other Grains For Survival: A Secret Weapon,”

Chart #2 Seeds to Sprout For Survival

SeedDays to GerminationTaste ProfileNutrition
1. Adzuki3 -5Mild FlavorA,B,C & E, All amino accept Tryptophan, 25% Protein
2. Alfalfa5 -7 Mild FlavorA,B,C,E&K, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, Carotene,Chlorophyll, Amino Acids,35% Protein
3. Almonds3-5 Almond FlavorVitamin A, B, C,&E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin,  Phosphorus, Potassium, All essential Amino Acids, 20 to 25% Protein
4. Broccoli7-10 Spicy/Radish-likeVitamin A, B, C, E & calcium, Iron,  Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Carotene, Chlorophyll, Amino Acids, Antioxidants, 35% Protein
5. Buckwheat1-2 Mild FlavorVitamin A, B, C & calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Amino Acids, 15% Protein
6. Cabbage3-5 Cabbage flavoredVitamins A, B, C, E & K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Carotene, Chlorophyll, Amino Acids, 20 to 25% Protein
7. Fenugreek6-8 Bitter FlavorVitamins A, B, C, E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Amino Acids 30% protein
8. Garbanzo2-4 Substantial EatingVitamins A&C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Amino Acids, Protein
9. Kale2-5 Strong FlavorVitamins A, B, C, E and K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Amino Acids, 30 to 35% Protein
10. Lentils3 -5 Substantial EatingVitamin A, B, C,& E, Calcium, Iron, Niacin, Phosphorus, Amino Acids, 25% Protein
11. Millet2-3 Sweet and NuttyVitamins B, C, and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, PhosphorusAmino Acids15% Protein
12. Mung Beans3-5 Mild FlavorVitamins A, B, C and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, PotassiumAmino Acids, 20 % Protein
13. Peanut5-10 Fresh Pea or chickpeaVitamins A, B, C and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, PotassiumAmino Acids20-25% Protein
14. Peas5-7 Mild FlavorVitamins A, B, C and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, PotassiumAmino Acids20 to 25% Protein
15. Radish3-5 Peppery FlavorVitamins A, B, C, E and K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, ZincAmino Acids, Trace Elements, Carotene, ChlorophyllAntioxidants30-35% Protein
16. Crimson Clover4-6 Mild-EarthyVitamins A, B, C, E and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Carotene, Chlorophyll, Amino Acids, Trace Elements35% Protein
17. Rye2-3 Nutty FlavorVitamins B, C, and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, PhosphorusAmino Acids15% Protein
18. Sesame2-3 Nutty FlavorVitamins B, C, and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, PhosphorusAmino AcidsProtein: 15%
19. Sunflower3-5 Mild FlavorVitamins A, B, C and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, 25% Protein
20. Wheat2-3 Days Corn FlavorVitamins B, C, and calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, PhosphorusAmino Acids15% Protein
Sprout Information Compliments of Sproutpeople.org

What can I do with survival sprouts from my emergency pantry

  • Sprout and eat like a salad. (wine vinegar, black pepper and salt)
  • Incorporate into your baked goods
  • Salad topping for produce from your survival garden
  • Eat them raw (warning sprout)
  • Carry a small pouch of seeds in your bug-out bag and sprout on the move

Repackaged shelf-life Seeds that have been completely dried will remain viable from 1 to 5 years, depending on the seed type. Freezing seeds can increase this shelf-life by decades. Seeds used to plant shouldn’t be stored oxygen-free.

13.Lentils

What is it?

Lentils are a legume called a pulse. I like them because they cook quickly compared to the typical bean (10 to 30 minutes of cook time. Lentils are nutritional comfort food and a staple in my food storage.

What Can I do With Lentils In My Survival Food Storage?

  • Soups, stews, and chilis
  • Stewed alone with garden vegetables and spices
  • Eaten on rice
  • Cooked in broth and vegetables and spooned over rice with Tabasco (this is my preferred method of consumption)
  • Cooked and eaten on salads

Lentils stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging have a shelf-life of 30 years.

14.Split Peas

What is it?

Split peas are a nutrition-packed pulse grown from the legume family. The cultivation of split peas reaches back to 2000 BC. Split peas come in two varieties, yellow and green. The green peas have a richer flavor than the mild yellow peas.

What can I make with the split peas in my emergency pantry?

  • Soups, stews and chilis (Split pea soup is delicious)
  • Ground into pea flour and used as a thickener for gravy or soup
  • Egg protein substitute
  • Cooked in broth
  • Stewed with garden vegetables and herbs
  • Hummus
  • Added to cold or hot salads
  • Mixed with cooked pasta
  • Stewed and eaten with salt and pepper

Split Peas stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging have 20 to 30 years of shelf life.

15.Hard Red Wheat Berries (Wheat with the husk removed)

What is it?

Hard Red Wheat (HRW) is a cereal-grass seed high in protein with a gamier taste than hard white wheat varieties. Roman legions ate wheat on the march. It is definitely a proven survival food.

Red wheat has one of the highest gluten/protein levels of all wheat types, which is good for survival because you are getting more protein. The gluten in HRW causes bread to rise when combined with yeast or Levain (bread starter.), so it’s ideal for leavened bread but it can also be used for unleavened bread.

Soft wheat by itself doesn’t have enough gluten to make a rise in leavened bread, so if you want loaves of risen bread post SHTF, the bulk of your wheat stores should be hard red or white wheat.

Storage Tip: Wheat used for long-term storage has the husk removed and is called wheat berries. The husk contains oils that cause wheat to go rancid.

What can I make with wheat in my emergency pantry?

  • Boil and eat like breakfast porridge (honey and fruit)
  • Boil and eat whole with garden produce, meat and spices
  • Add to soups, stew and chilis
  • Mill into flour and mix with other wheat or grain flour types
  • Leavened bread
  • Unleavened breads
  • Pasta
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Muffins
  • Flour Slurry for gravy thickening

Storage Suggestion: You can use an electric mill when you have electricity, but I suggest having a manual grain mill for when the grid is down. I have a Harvest Right Grain Mill. It is pioneer-level work milling grain by hand.

Hard Red Wheat Berries stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging have a shelf-life of 30 years.

16.Specialty Wheat

There are thousands of varieties of wheat. Listed below are the most common types of wheat, their uses, and shelf-life.

Specialty wheat is more expensive than standard hard white and hard red wheat. I store hard white wheat in my survival stockpile because it is mild tasting and has a reasonable amount of gluten/protein for leavened bread.

Take a look at the chart below to understand what specific wheat types are used for and how long they last.

Chart #3 Wheat Types: Shelf-life and Common Usage

Types of WheatShelf-lifePrimary Use When Cooking
Spelt30 +Yeast Bread, Pasta, Biscuits, and Crackers (said to make excellent tasting bread)
Durum 30 +Pasta and Unleavened Bread, ground for semolina flour, thick sticky gluten, high protein
Hard Red Spring 30 +Classic Whole Wheat Bread, best in yeast or sourdough bread, highest protein
Hard Red Winter30+Yeast Bread, excellent for sprouting, highest protein
Hard White 30 +Leavened Bread, excellent tasting white bread, Beer making, Medium protein
Emmer30 +Pasta, Unleavened Flat Bread
Einkorn30+Leavened and Unleavened bread
Kamut30+Leavened Bread, Pasta (organic Khorasan wheat)
Khorasan30+Leavened Bread
Soft Red30+Bread and Beer Making, Medium Protein
Soft White30+Primarily used to make batters: cakes, cookies, waffles, pancakes, and as a soup thickener, low protein.
To learn more about wheat, check out the Ready Squirrel Article, “Best Wheat Berries For Long-term Storage.”

17.Oats

Oats are one of the best foods you can store in long-term storage, providing a healthy dose of fat and protein. Highland warriors survived on a diet that consisted mostly of oatmeal and barley at one point in time.

Highlanders were legendary for their strength and stamina.

Chart #4 Types Of Oats

Type Of OatCharacteristics
Oat GroatsWhole Oat Grain, with only the hard unpalatable outer hull, removed. Optimum for breakfast cereal and stuffing.
Steel-cut oats
(Scotch or Irish Oats)
Featuring a dense, chewy texture, produced by running groats through steel blades
(My favorite type of oat)
Rolled Oats
(Old Fashioned Oats)
Oat groats are steamed and run through a roller to flatten them
Quick Cooking OatsSteel-cut oats that are processed like old-fashioned or rolled oats
Instant OatmealPartially cooked and then rolled thin. Flavorings are often added.
Oat flourCombined with wheat or other gluten-containing flours like wheat to make leaved bread.
A Guide to Food Storage For Emergencies, Utah State University, Brian Nummer, Food Safety Specialist

What can I make with Oats In my survival Pantry?

  • Boil and eat with heavy cream, butter, preserves or peanut butter
  • Boil and eat with meat, vegetables or fish
  • Mill into flour
  • Add to meat as a filler (meatloaf)
  • Use flour to make unleavened flatbread
  • Mix oat flour with gluten-strong flour like wheat to make leavened breads
  • Muffins
  • cookies
  • Use oat flour as a thickener for soups, stews and chilis

Oats properly stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging have a 30-year shelf life.

18.Dent Corn

Dent is a field of corn, often used as animal fodder. The indentations identify the corn in each kernel. It’s often used to feed cattle, but it’s also treated like grain and milled for flour. Dent corn is the opposite of Iowa sweet corn you boil and put butter on.

There are two main ways dent corn is eaten, it is ground into flour or is treated with lye (a process called nixtamalization) to make hominy.

What can you make with dent corn in your emergency pantry?

  • Cornmeal flour
  • Cornbread
  • Corn Chips
  • Tortillas
  • Taco Shells
  • Floured deep fried foods

Dent or field corn properly stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a 30-year shelf life.

If you want to learn more about dent corn, check out the Ready Squirrel article, “How Long Can You Store Dried Field Corn (O2-free storage).”

19.Corn Meal

Corn Meal is coarsely ground dent corn (field corn) or flint corn (popcorn). It doesn’t have to be coarsely ground. It can also be finely ground.

What can I make with cornmeal from my emergency pantry?

  • Corn bread
  • Breading for fried foods
  • Hush Puppies
  • Grits
  • Corn Muffins
  • Dusting pans for baked bread

Corn Meal stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a 30-year shelf life, but the taste and nutritional value may decline.

20. Cornstarch

Another name for cornstarch is cornflour; it’s is primarily used as a thickening agent for soups and stews.

Cornstarch properly stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has an indefinite shelf life.

21. Powdered Eggs

Powdered eggs are fully dehydrated eggs that can be used the same way fresh eggs are used, but the consistency and flavor are not as good as a fresh egg. Some preppers prefer to use powdered eggs for baked goods and eat fresh eggs when scrambling or making omelets.

What do you make with powdered eggs in your pantry?

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Baked goods
  • Cake
  • Cookies
  • Bread
  • Wet dip for deep-fried food

Powdered Eggs properly stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a 25 to 30-year shelf life.

22. Salt

Salt is so simple, cheap, and available it’s often overlooked. Many salt uses don’t involve eating cooking or food. At one point in history, salt was used as currency. A good indication it will be valuable if SHTF.

What can I do with salt in my survival pantry?

  • Preservative
  • Canning
  • Pickling
  • Meat Curing
  • Seasoning
  • Cleaning Agent
  • Flavor Enhancer

Salt has an indefinite shelf life. Do not use oxygen-free storage; salt with turn to stone.

To learn more about salt, check out Ready Squirrel’s comprehensive article on everything survival salt, “How Much Salt Do You Store For Lont-term Survival?”

23. Sugar (White Granulated)

Granulated sugar isn’t the healthiest, but it relieves palet fatigue and provides calories for energy.

What can I make with sugar in my emergency pantry?

  • Sweetener for baked goods and other foods
  • Preservative
  • Fermentation
  • Canning
  • Fruit Preserves

White granulated sugar has an indefinite shelf life. Do not use oxygen-free storage. Sugar with turn to stone.

24. Raw 100% Honey

Raw Honey is taken directly from the comb. It may be filtered to remove particulate, but nothing is added. I shifted to using honey instead of sugar in my coffee and most of my food sweetening because I feel like it’s a healthier choice. That said, honey is expensive.

What can I make with honey in my survival pantry?

  • Mix it in tea or coffee as a sweetener
  • Substitute for sugar in baking
  • Drizzle on homemade bread or pastries
  • Drizzle on breakfast porridge
  • Mix with fresh berries and heavy cream (my favorite dessert)
  • Add it to dressings and glazes
  • Mix with butter to sweeten
  • Ferment Mead (honey wine)
  • Use in place of granulated sugar

Raw Honey properly stored has an indefinite shelf-life.

25. 100% Pure Maple Syrup

What is it?

Real Maple syrup is sap from maple trees. It is used as a sweetener for pancakes, waffles, and baked goods but it can also be used as a general sweetener. Personally, I prefer honey but I think it’s a good idea to have variety so we have it stored in the emergency pantry.

What can I make with Maple Syrup in my emergency food pantry?

  • Flavoring for grain porridges like oatmeal or wheat berries
  • Flavoring for pancakes, waffles and French toast
  • Marinade for meat
  • Popcorn topping
  • Drinks and Cocktails
  • Roasted vegetables meat and fruit
  • Topping for fresh fruit

Pure Maple Syrup, properly stored, has an indefinite shelf-life.

26. Powdered Cheese

Powdered cheese is pretty tough to make at home, but you can purchase it from survival and emergency food companies like Augason Farms.

What can I make with Powdered cheese in my emergency pantry?

  • Cheese sauce (macaroni and cheese)
  • Add to dry ingredients when baking bread
  • Cheese Popcorn
  • Cheese sauces
  • Cheese Dips
  • Sprinkle on roasted vegetables
  • Casseroles
  • Soups
  • Fondue

Powdered cheese professionally packaged in #10 cans has a 10-year shelf-life

27. Dried Juice Mix

Dried juice mix isn’t a necessity, but it’s good for morale. It would be nice to have a sweet drink once in a while. If you can get a juice mix fortified with vitamins that is a plus.

Powdered juice mixes are a special treat but I can’t think of anything to do with them other than drinking them in a beverage. If the majority of your preps for hydration are water a little juice mix would be nice to have.

Augason Farms sells an orange Delight drink mix in a #10 can that has a 30-year shelf-life.

28. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a liquid condiment made from the fermentation of wheat and soybeans. My family uses a lot of soy sauce on steamed white rice. I’d be beside myself if I didn’t have it.

What can I do with Soy Sauce in my emergency pantry?

  • Marinade meats and vegetables
  • Spice up roasted or steamed vegetables
  • Salad dressing
  • Stir frys
  • Noodle dishes
  • Dipping sauces
  • Fried Rice

Soy sauce has an indefinite shelf-life

29. Millet

Millet is an ancient gluten-free grass seed used as a grain. It provides protein and starch to your survival diet.

What can I make with millet from my survival pantry?

  • Rice Subsitute
  • Milled to flour for flatbread
  • Millet flour can be mixed with gluten flours like wheat to make leavend bread
  • Breakfast Porridge
  • Base for meat, vegetables and fish

Millet stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a shelf-life of 30 years.

30. Dry Pasta

Dry pasta is an excellent addition to long-term food storage. It is very flexible and can be used to keep your survival menu interesting because it can be eaten hot or cold and with just about any topping.

What can I make with Pasta in my emergency food pantry?

  • Base for sauces
  • Baked Casseroles
  • Soups and stews
  • Cold salads
  • Base for meat, vegetables and fish
  • Stir Frys
  • Pad Thai
  • Mac and cheese

Macaroni, Noodles, Spaghetti

Dry pasta stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging has a shelf-life of 30 years.

31. Vinegar

Vinegar isn’t just for salad. It is a valuable asset in a survival situation

What can I do with vinegar in my emergency food pantry?

  • Marinades and sauces
  • Meat tenderizer
  • Salad dressing
  • Vegetable pickling
  • Use with baking soda as a leavening agent
  • Spice soups or stews
  • Cold pasta salads
  • Rice vinegar is used in Asian style noodle dishes
  • Too many non-food related uses to list

Vinegar doesn’t require refrigeration and lasts indefinitely if stored properly.

32. Alcohol

Every food is good for barter during a societal collapse, but Alcohol is right up there with beans and bullets. Alcohol has many uses beyond drinking.

What can I do with spirits in my survival food pantry?

  • Preservative
  • Disinfectant (in the absence of other resources)
  • Ingredient in dishes (alcohol cooks out)
  • Barter and Trade
  • Adult Consumption

Spirits last indefinitely if stored properly.

33. 100% Vanilla Extract

What is it?

Vanilla is made by macerating vanilla beans with water and ethanol. In the U.S. it’s used primarily to give an extra kick to baked goods.

What can I do with real vanilla extract in my emergency food pantry?

  • Flavoring for baked goods
  • Waffles
  • Pancakes
  • Marinade meat, vegetables and fish
  • Dipping sauces
  • Coffee
  • Fresh fruit, honey and vanilla

Real vanilla extract lasts indefinitely if stored properly.

34. Dried Potatoes (Potatoe Flakes)

Dried potatoes are a good food to store in your survival stockpile. Garden potatoes are much better, but dried potatoes are good for filling in any food gaps like crop failure or an underperforming crop of taters.

What can I make with dried potatoes?

  • Thickening agent for soups, stews and chilis
  • Breading for deep-fried foods
  • Add to baked goods to increase fluffiness
  • Potatoe Soup

Dried potatoes or potatoes flakes stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging have a shelf-life of 30 years.

35. Freeze-dried foods

Freeze-dried foods are expensive, but they are good enough that they need to be mentioned.

Freeze-dried food is processed to remove 97% of its moisture, increasing shelf-life 25 to 30 years, retaining 97% of its nutritional value. This type of food is used primarily for outdoor activities like hiking and emergency preparedness.

Types of Foods you can get Freeze-dried

  • Backpacker Meals excellent for bug-out bags because they are lightweight.
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Meats
  • Freeze-dry foods at home with a Harvest Right Home freeze-dryer (On my bucket list)

Freeze-dried foods stored with less than 10% moisture in oxygen-free packaging have a shelf-life of 30 years.

Freeze-dried backpacker meals are not MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). MRE’s are basically canned food in a retort pouch. Freeze-dried meals are processed with sublimation (freezing in a vacuum) to remove moisture. They are two totally different types of food. MRE’s are good for certain emergencies because they are full meals, Freeze-dried meals require rehydration with hot water, but they are super lightweight which makes them one of the preferred foods for a bug-out bag. Also, freeze-dried backpacker meals will last 30+ years, MREs(combat rations) have a maximum shelf-life of 7 years.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

To learn more about Freeze-dried foods, check out the Ready Squirrel article, “What is Freeze-dried Survival Food?

36. Garden Seeds

Garden seeds are used to plant and grow a survival garden: an important aspect of surviving major events like societal collapse.

Eventually, you’ll run out of food if you don’t grow your own. Harvesting seeds from your garden is the best way to ensure you have a sustainable food source.

Garden Seed Tip: Only plant heirloom or non-hybrid seeds for seed collecting. There is no way of knowing what you are growing if you plant F-1 or hybrid seeds.

Seeds last 1 to 5 years, much longer if dried and frozen. In SHTF, you probably aren’t going to have electricity, so the best way to ensure a supply of seeds is to start planting heirloom or non-hybrid plants and collect seeds every year.

In hard times seeds are like gold when it comes to bartering.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

If you want to know more about Survival gardening, check out the comprehensive Ready Squirrel article, “Best Plants to Grow in an Emergency Garden.”

Resources

Ready Squirrel Article, “How to Preserve White Rice For Long-term Storage.”

Ready Squirrel Article, “Best Rice For Long Term Storage and How to Store It.”

Ready Squirrel Article, “The Best Way to Store Rice Long-term.”

A Guide to Food Storage For Emergencies, Utah State University, Brian Nummer, Food Safety Specialist (PDF Located on Ready Squirrel.)

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