The Provident Prepper: Long Term Food Storage

This article from The Provident Prepper talks about calories and nutrition in your long term form storage and what sort of effects deprivation can cause. Long Term Food Storage: Creative Solutions to Build a Critical Asset

Long term food storage is a vital tool to help you conquer challenges that come your way in everyday life, as well as for emergency preparedness. This stockpile of life-sustaining long term storage foods should be built once you have a 3 month supply of foods that you eat everyday stashed in your pantry.

How do I build the perfect long term food storage plan for my family?

  1. Develop a plan that includes the number of people, unique dietary preferences, and takes into consideration minimum caloric needs.
  2. Prepare a cool, dry location to store your food supply.
  3. Search for reputable suppliers where you can purchase foods specifically packaged for long term storage at reasonable prices.
  4. Begin to implement your plan and consistently stock up on long term food supplies until you reach your goal.

We are going to begin by investigating important basic principles, looking at what the experts are recommending, and then taking a peek at how real people are using a bit of creativity to develop a long term food storage program that works for them.

Basic Caloric Requirements

USDA average caloric recommendations are 2000-2500 calories per day which is between 15-26 servings of food each day. We have been programmed to think that calories are bad. Calories are critical for energy and to maintain health. Let’s use the example of a 150 pound man. We have calculated to include physical activity and dietary thermogenesis. Generally the caloric requirements for a man to maintain a 150 pound weight is:

  • Inactive Male Adult – 2,360 calories
  • Average Male Adult – 2,722 calories
  • Active Male Adult – 3,176 calories

Depending on the scenario, a disaster may result in a normally inactive man having to significantly increase activity level resulting in a higher caloric requirement. When planning your basic longer term food storage, be sure to include enough supplies to meet the caloric requirements of each member of your family.

Minnesota Semi-Starvation Experiment

During World War II thousands of people died daily of starvation. The University of Minnesota conducted a clinical study to determine the physiological and psychological effects of severe and prolonged dietary restriction. They wanted to simulate a severe famine in a controlled laboratory environment and be able to assist famine victims.

36 Civilian Public Service male volunteers were selected to enable a detailed study of the physical and psychological effects of prolonged, famine-like semi-starvation on healthy men and their ability to recover from the experience. During the 24 week semi-starvation period, the caloric intake was cut to 1,560 calories a day consisting of a diet including; potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, bread and macaroni. The diet was rich in carbohydrates and poor in proteins. Subjects were required to walk 22 miles per week.

The results of the study clearly demonstrate that a male adult that consumes only 1,560 calories a day will have significant physical and psychological difficulties. They consistently found the following symptoms in test subjects;

  • Increased depression, hysteria and hypochondriasis
  • Severe emotional distress
  • Preoccupation with food
  • Social withdrawal
  • Decline in concentration, comprehension and judgement capabilities
  • Reduction in body temperature, respiration and heart rate
  • Edema in extremities
  • No energy
  • Always cold

One interesting thing noted is that all food was reported to be delicious with no evidence of diet fatigue. Many of the subjects would add water to the food to make it more like a soup to help make them feel full.

Calorie Calculations

One of the take home messages from this study is to make sure you factor basic caloric requirements into your basic food storage plan. Not all grains are equal when it comes to calculating calories. Wheat at 1520 calories per pound has less calories than white rice at 1650 calories per pound. It doesn’t look like a big deal until you multiply it out and see the difference

  • 300 lbs wheat = 456,000 calories = 1,249 calories a day for 1 year
  • 300 lbs white rice = 495,000 calories = 2,007 calories a day for 1 year
  • 300 lbs black beans = 461,400 calories = 1,264 calories a day for 1 year

Boxes of #10 cans can easily fit under a twin bed. We have found that 12 cases of 6 cans will fit nicely. That 72 cans of dry goods will come close but will probably not have quite enough calories to feed one person for an entire year without supplementation.  However, if it is used to supplement a 3 month supply of everyday foods stored in a pantry, or garden fresh fruits and vegetables, it would be perfect and bring the total caloric intake in line with basic requirements.

Continue reading “The Provident Prepper: Long Term Food Storage”

Prepping for Brexit

Will Brexit (the British exit from the European Union) prove to be a learning event for preppers? Only time will tell if those stocking up for shortages post-Brexit will appear foolish when nothing happens, or if they will be sitting pretty while those around them scramble for the last can of sardines in the grocery. British food author Jack Monroe has written a piece on her blog about how she is preparing for Brexit by stockpiling food, and what and why she is storing. Here’s an excerpt from What (And Why) I’m Stockpiling For Brexit. She helpfully includes a limited amount of nutritional information for many of the items, though I am not familiar with the “grim” nutrient ascribed to dried cheese.

…I have just finished writing my next cookbook, Tin Can Cook, which I pitched to my publisher as ‘the post-Brexit apocalyptic cookbook’. I wasn’t joking. On news of its announcement a few weeks ago, it went straight into the Top Ten on Amazon. People emailed me asking what they should be stockpiling for Brexit. I filed their emails in a folder and put my head back in the sand.

And then yesterday, I cleared the shelves of my 20 foot outhouse in the garden. Today I went online to my Asda account, and ordered tins of food. Many, many tins of food. Because if you want to stockpile for Brexit, if you share my concerns about potential food shortages, lorries backed up on motorways, hold-ups at the borders, delays, rotting fruit and vegetables, and lesser availability of fresh food, you may have started stockpiling yourself. I have heard from many people who have been putting a tin or two to one side ‘just in case’.

I am writing this not to alarm anyone, and not to cause any kind of food crisis. To address some of the common criticisms of stockpiling; suddenly buying a lot of tinned tomatoes probably won’t make the price go up any more. Supermarkets are ridiculously competitive with one another about the prices on their basic items, and if you aren’t greedy, you should leave enough for everyone else. Supermarket ordering systems are reactive and reflective – I worked in a supermarket many years ago – and the stock adjusts according to buying patterns and popularity. Overstock is stored in a massive warehouse usually the size of the store itself. Stocking up now gives supermarkets time to replenish and recover their stock, so that come March, we won’t all be fighting over the same tin of tomatoes in the aisle. Hopefully.

In the event that all is fine and dandy and we were all just being cautious, well, hoorah for that. I’ll take the punch on the nose from the trolls who will crow that I was a paranoid leftwing remoaner – I’d rather be prepared than starving, after all. And if the stockpile isn’t needed, I’ll donate it to the Trussell Trust, and you can do the same. Or gradually munch your way through it and enjoy not having to spend any money on your food shop for a while! I mean, they’re tins, they’re hardly likely to go off…

Click here to read the entire piece at Cooking on a Bootstrap.