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Basic Long-Term Food Storage

Baking necessities and other ingredients are best when stored properly and safely.

March 11, 2014

By Jane P. Merrill and Karen M. Sunderland

Keeping your food fresh helps rotate your food supply, and keep your diet healthy and varied. Feasting on Food Storage (Front Table Books, 2013), from mother-daughter team Jane P. Merrill and Karen M. Sunderland, is full of tips and tricks on meal planning, safe food storage, and preparing for the unexpected. This excerpt from the first chapter concerns the minimum amount of food that one adult, over the course of a year, stores and consumes.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Feasting on Food Storage.

Feasting on Food Storage 

Long-Term Food Storage for 1 Adult

Food Supply Per Day  Per Year 
Wheat/grains 2 1/4 cups 400 lbs.
Wheat, oats, rice, popcorn, barley, flour, spaghetti, macaroni, etc.
Vegetable oils/fats 3 Tbsp. 4 gallons
Oil, shortening, peanut butter, mayonnaise, salad dressing, etc.
Beans/legumes 1/3 cup 60 lbs.
Dry beans, split peas, lentils, dry soup mix, etc.
Powdered Milk 1 1/2 tablespoons 16 lbs.
Nonfat dry milk, evaporated milk (6 cans = 1 lb.), etc.
Sugars or honey 1/3 cup 60 lbs.
White sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, jam, jelly, corn syrup, powdered fruit drink, flavored gelatin, etc.
Salt 3 tsp. 10 lbs.
Store in original containers.
Water 1 gallon minimum 365 gallons
Store a minimum 2-week supply of water.

• Baking necessities: baking powder, baking soda, dry yeast, cornstarch
• Garden seeds, non-hybrid recommended
• Sprouting seeds, untreated
• Heavy-duty nonelectric can openers
• Nonstick cooking sprays
• Cider and white vinegars
• Medications as needed
• Multivitamins, vitamin C, etc.
• Baby foods and formula, if needed
• Fruits
• Vegetables
• Meats; frozen, canned, and dried
• Soups; frozen, canned, and dried
• Condiments and seasonings (choose family favorites), like basil, beef and chicken bouillon, catsup, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa, cream of tartar, cumin, dillseed, dill weed, garlic (minced, powder, and salt), ginger, Italian seasoning, maple flavoring, marjoram, mustard (regular and dry), nutmeg, dry onion, onion salt, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, poultry seasoning, ranch dressing mix, sage, salsa, seasoned salt, soy sauce, taco seasoning, thyme, vanilla, Worcestershire sauce, etc.

Read more from Feasting on Food Storage

The Basics of Safe Food Storage and the Benefits of Planning Ahead

Reprinted with permission from Feasting on Food Storage: Delicious and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking by Jane P. Merrill and Karen M. Sunderland and published by Front Table Books, 2013. Buy this book from our store: Feasting on Food Storage.

Post a comment below.


3/31/2016 4:34:00 PM
I have a question that 7 companies that sell it and 3 blog experts in food storage have been unable to answer. If popcorn is optimal at 13.5-14% moisture content, and you are not supposed to use oxygen absorbers with anything over 8-10% moisture content due to botulism, how is it safe to use oxygen absorbers with popcorn whether in Mylar bags or canned? I understand that popcorn can be made moist with the addition of water and allowing it to absorb. I doubt many have the equipment to measure moisture content. Indeed, none of the companies I spoke to 'dry' their popcorn before canning. I am concerned that many folks could be setting themselves up for disaster in future based on lack of info. Can you shed any light?

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