19 Kinds of Survival Food You Should Be Prepping Now
The human body can survive for up to three days without water and up to three weeks without food. But who would want to? The key to survival is staying healthy and while many foods can be found in the wild, you will be smart to start collecting foods that have a long or indefinite shelf life immediately.
If you are lucky enough to have refrigeration/freezer or a root cellar you will have the ability to stock pile even more kinds of foods. Some foods can make great bartering items. Of course, in extreme emergencies all food is good for bartering. You will also want to learn about the many different ways to preserve food items. So, what are the best items to add to your stock pile?
Rice: Best Survival Food
Rice is a survival food staple. It is easy to cook and requires almost no labor, only water. Rice offers some protein and carbohydrates for energy, but don’t rely on it for much fiber or fat. I need to stress that you should only store white rice because brown rice will spoil much, much sooner due to some of the natural fats.
Beans are a fabulous source of both fiber and protein. They are also full of vitamins and other beneficial nutrients. Beans can be added to any meal to add substance and will fill you up. Of course, you know how some people react to beans, but that’s certainly the least of your worries in a survival situation.
3. Canned Fish (Tuna/Salmon)
Canned fish will last a long time. You can mostly ignore the “expiration date” stamped on the can, but it won’t last forever, so you might want to consume it first and/or rotate it out of your stock pile prior to an emergency event. Canned fish like Tuna or Salmon is full of protein, high in Omega3s, and doesn’t need to be cooked. It can be eaten out of the can.
Honey is a great natural, unprocessed sweetening agent. It tastes good mixed into food or just by itself. Since “sweets” are often considered a luxury, you can use this as a bartering agent. It doesn’t necessarily pack much nutrients, but it’s a good energy booster since it is packed with sugar. It will last indefinitely even though it may crystalize and the taste may become less potent over time.
5. Instant Coffee
Coffee is the ultimate bulk storage food item. Coffee packs the caffeine punch that most people benefit from on a daily basis, but coffee has also been said to pack some health benefits and I have no doubt you’ll have a leg up on bartering.
6. Meat Jerky
Jerkies, beef being the most common/popular, is a fabulous source of protein. Jerky can be made from beef, chicken, duck, venison, any wild game really. Meat jerky is simply dehydrated meat. Commercial brands last about a year or two while homemade jerky will only last you a few months.
7. Maple Syrup
Who doesn’t love maple syrup? In reality, this should actually say Tree Syrup, because you can make syrup from many different types of trees, not just Maple. Maple syrup can outlive you. Over time it may change consistency and taste, but it will never get rancid.
8. Dried Fruit
Dried fruits still have a little bit of moisture left in them so they will not last forever, but you can extend their life expectancy by storing them in the freezer. These fruits contain many vitamins and natural sugars that are great, healthy options.
9. Baking Soda
While not necessarily a food, it is used in baking for many recipes and has many practical uses in life. It makes a good toothpaste, it’s good for cleaning many things actually. Mix it with vinegar and you have a masterful drain cleaner. You can clean your grill by scrubbing it on with a damp cloth and rinsing it off. Clean everything with it from now on actually.
Cornstarch is usually used as a thickening agent in cooking, but it has many practical uses like baking soda. It will come in handy is survival situations as a soother of skin irritation. It is also a good natural deodorant in emergencies. It’s good for soothing blisters by keeping moisture away. In fact, it’s good for helping with anything you need to keep dry. It soaks up moisture well.
11. Corn Kernels
Corn kernels are an often under appreciated food preparedness item. They can be used to grind into corn meal which is essential in making cornbread. Who doesn’t love cornbread? And best of all, popcorn! Just toss the corn kernels into a pot with some cooking oil, put the lid on, and moments later you have a pot full of popcorn. It’s healthy (unless you add butter) and makes a great snack. Dried corn kernels will ultimately out live you, so their a good option for survival food.
12. Spices & Herbs
A few spices and herbs can turn otherwise bland foods into a meal that you won’t want to stop eating. Dried herbs and spices, when stored in a cool, dark, dry environment will last years and years. Many have natural medicinal properties which could come in handy in an emergency.
The benefits of having vinegar around are endless. It has countless uses, from cleaning and sanitizing to eating. It can be used as an animal repellent for gardens and pest repellent for ants and other bugs. It really is quite a universal product. Vinegar will last several years.
14. Wine & Liquor
Talk about the ultimate bartering device, alcohol can last a long time when stored in a cool, dry place. Certain alcohols can be used as a disinfectant in survival situations. After a long hard day keeping up with your homestead in a stressful SHTF time, a nice glass of wine might just be what the doctor ordered.
15. Nuts & Nut Butters
Nuts will last their longest when stored in the freezer. Due to the high content of oils in them they can soil quicker than you would like if kept too warm for too long. Peanut butter can last upwards of 5 years in a sealed jar, though you may need to stir it some after opening.
16. Powdered Milk
As unpleasant as powdered milk might sound, it could become your favorite survival food in the long run. Once you reconstitute it back into liquid form you can use it for all your ordinary milk uses. Drinking straight, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream substitute, etc. No one says you need to have a cow to have milk!
17. Powdered Eggs
Powdered eggs aren’t some foreign substance made of chemicals. They are just uncooked, scrambled eggs that have been dehydrated. Once you add water to them you can use them like you would in any ordinary way…except over easy.
I can’t stress the importance of an heirloom seed stockpile. With soil and water these seeds will give you a lifetime of fresh produce and vegetables if you do it right. Learn how to plant the seeds to grow the plant in the right climate and then learn how to harvest new seeds for next years crop. You can learn how to preserve excessive crops for an unlimited food source also.
Vegetable oils are a great item to store. They can last at least 2 years (thought it’s speculated that they will last longer) unopened and about 1 year after they’ve been opened. Coconut oil seems to be one of the best long-lasting oils thanks to its solid state when cool. These oils are good for cooking as well as human and animal health when used moderately.