HOW do I stockpile food?

OK, let’s say I have decided to stockpile food. (Really I cannot as I do not “really” live here.)

So, two questions:

  1. Which foods would be best to store? Which would have the most potential to rise?
  2. What would be the best (but cheapest) way to store them?
    I suppose:
    Meat, being very sensitive to grain prices would be very volatile. It would be best bought (in the US) from one of those meat locker companies that sell whole sides and store it for you
    Coffee, life-giving coffee, prices are always volatile too. Keep in the cans or seal vacuum bags. Does this have a shelf-life?
    How would one store pasta? Tupperware and a bit of dry ice (to drive out the oxygen)?
    How about flour?

I really need to buy a place in the mountains and a shotgun.

Pasta, assuming you buy it in plastic packets, it probably best stored just like that - pack them into a cardboard box, tape it up and put it somewhere relatively cool, dry and protected from vermin. It will last for years (beyond the sell-by date, but will still be just fine).

Flour will keep for quite a while if you keep it dry. You can also store it in a freezer (bagged to prevent ice getting in and wetting it when you take it out). Flour is a good thing to store (if you’re going to do that), because it has so many uses.

Small sidetrack re:flour or unmilled grain. It comes with its own bugs that eventually hatch out. SWAG says oxygen free atmosphere would prevent that.

'round here I get bugs if it sits on top of the fridge too long.

Er, is there something I should know?

Just askin’. :slight_smile:

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal of late saying it might be a wise thing to do.

Rice is pretty forgiving of mistreatment, as far as I know. That’d be a good thing to store up on.

I worked with a very lovely woman who lived through the bad times in Cambodia. When the famines set in across their agrarian “utopia”, the peasants were given a certain ration of rice (NOWHERE near enough), but in one of those idiosyncratic ways of totalitarian governments, hospital patients had an incredibly generous daily ration. This meant a lot of people would do whatever it took to get into hospital and to stay there as long as they could. The woman I worked with did just this, and she not only fed herself but also her family. How it worked was that she would get a huge evening meal, but only eat what she needed, then she would spread the remaining cooked rice out on top o the mosquito net over her bed, where it would dry out again overnight in the tropical heat. Then she would scoop it up and sew it into little bags which she would secretly pass to visitors. They’d stockpile the bags until they were really needed. This was old rice that had already been waterlogged once, and apparently it was still good to eat.

Re: coffee - great thing to stockpile, since it can be used as trade goods. You need to buy green (unroasted) beans and roast them yourself as needed though - roasted coffee has a much shorter shelf life than unroasted.

You can buy heat sealable mylar bags designed to fit a 5-galon pail, as well as oxygen abosorer and dessicant packets. Packed this way, most grain is edible for decades, though nutrients break down over time, and some of the oilier whole grains will go rancid.

Me, I just keep a well stocked pantry + freezer. I can easily go a month without re-supply. This will increase drastically this year, as I’ve started raising hogs + chichens, and ramped up gardening and canning to save cash.

Why did the article say it was a good idea?

To really answer the OP we need to know a few more things, like: location of storehouse, timeframe of anticipated emergency, access to local foods, and stuff like that.

Short-term stockpiles can be nothing more than a deep pantry. Buy double what you usually buy of canned goods and get a bbq. That gives you a way to cook if the power/gas is cut off.

Long-term stockpiles (in case of zombie attack or the Collapse of Civilization As We Know It) are a different problem altogether.

I’m gonna make a WAG and say because of the price of corn. If I remember the news correctly from last night, fully 1/3 of America’s corn crop is going into bio-fuels. Which is crazy beyond words considering the corn used for just one tank of bio-fuel would feed a person for a year. Again, this info is just from memory from the news last night, so be gentle, I cannot provide a cite right now, I am off to the barn to feed my goats and turkeys and chickens! I am getting my pigs this weekend, I do feel sorry for you folks that can’t raise your own food. According to the news last night, it’s going to get really ugly food price wise.

How about dry beans, peas, lentils? They have a long shelf life and all you need is water and maybe a carrot or an onion to get some flavor, and they’re a good source of protein.

  • HOW do I stockpile food?* Very carefully!
  1. Dry grains. Autoclave and seal in plastic ready to use quantities.
  2. Sugar and hard candy. Seal in plastic in ready to use quantities.

Egypt saved the bounty of 7 years of plenty to survive a 7 year drouth and they had only the grain, no sugar.

Grain insures survival but not in gourmet style.

Our emergency kit isn’t what it should be. But it does include canned veggies, meat and fish, spare jars of peanut butter, loaves of bread in the freezer, frozen waffles, flour, sugar, coffee, tea, water, and a camp stove for cooking if we have no power.

This is the food we eat every day, mind, we just keep enough on hand to be safe and eat old stock first.

I think people who buy MREs should skip that and just get crackers, peanut butter, M&Ms, tuna fish, canned meat of some kind (chicken is nice, or beef stew), canned soup, condiment packs (just keep the ones from takeout and use your own ketchup at home), and water. Instant MRE assembled at almost no cost, and when it approaches expiration, just eat it and build another.

I think we could go a week if we had to without restocking - and since I know how to build my own large scale water filter, I can boost this higher.

Well, the first thing you do is start to buy two or three of everything (imperishables) at the store, when it’s on sale. Once you’re good at rotating your pantry, you can start with the big time. It’s good to have a basement for this…

Say you want to store wheat–it lasts a long time, you can sprout it or cook it or mill it. Buy a 50-pound bag, a lot of #10 cans or something similar, and oxygen-absorbing packets. Distribute wheat, throw in the packets, seal up good and tight, and store in basement (or under your bed, or in your spare bathroom, whatever). You can do the same with beans, dry milk, sugar, and all those other staples, as long as they don’t have too much oil in them to go rancid. It will all keep for a few years, so you have to learn to cook it too, and rotate your stock.

It’s also good to learn to bake your own bread, make your own yogurt, and so on. Oh, and don’t forget the water–storing water is important too, and you gotta get the water tablets or something in case it doesn’t keep well.

There’s tons more–there are websites and books to teach you these skills. But that’s some of the basics. :wink:

Just an idle question. No need to really look into in my case. If things go bad here, food will be the least of my worries.

Thank you all.

By the way, here is a link to the article. He’s merely talking about an investment decision, not potential shortages. He says the price of food will rise faster than the interest you can earn on short-term savings, so your best investment is to buy food with some of that savings. I think it’s a rather silly notion.

If everyone starts stockpiling food, there will be more demand for the existing supply, driving up prices further. It’s you hoarders that are causing a global food crisis!


I’m not stockpiling, just doing what I’ve started to do 2 years ago. I am into canning my stuff and I also have a big garden. It helps if you are in the middle of nowhere, in the cities, it’s kind of tough to keep the farm animals quiet. :stuck_out_tongue:

Risky yes, not sure about silly. Actual investors won’t be buying the physical commodities themselves, but a market basket of ag stocks:

And . . . if you know you will be consuming X pounds of coffee or sugar or flour in the next year, buying it now (before prices increase and the buying power of your dollar falls further) is not crazy. The gains will be incremental but real if current trends continue.