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

Either when preparing for disaster or the week’s dinner menu, safe food storage can cut down on frustration and waste.

| March 11, 2014

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 comes from the first chapter, "Now Is the Time to Prepare!"

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

Preparing for Disaster

In ancient times, a universal calamity caused the destruction of all mankind except one man and his family of eight. They had tried for years to get their friends, neighbors, and everyone else to heed God’s warnings, but to no avail. Noah and his family boarded the ark with their food and supplies, and they were spared. In our day, no one knows exactly what disasters we may have to face, but if we are wise, we will follow counsel and prepare now with the food and supplies we would need to survive any calamity that may arise.

Being prepared for the unexpected doesn’t mean preparing for just one major disaster. It means being prepared for any challenge life may offer. Many of these are taking place today, such as major inflation, wildfires, floods, power outages, erratic weather patterns, food shortages, a sagging economy, political upheaval, injury, unemployment, and so on.

In today’s uncertain world, being prepared for an unexpected emergency is just good common sense. For many years, we have been advised to supply ourselves with extra food, clothing, and, if possible, fuel. Those who have followed these guidelines have been able to weather difficult circumstances and have peace of mind knowing they can take care of their own needs in case of misfortune or other unforeseen events. Prepare for the unexpected, and now is the time to do it!

4/14/2014 3:03:37 PM

I was very disappointed in what's advised here. Sugar,flour and most oils are foodstuffs that lead to disease. They are not foods to keep us healthy anytime, but especially during emergencies and hard times. Reliance on frozen foods is not a good strategy, as power is likely to be out in many situations that call for depending on our stored foods. In that situation, the Bosch mixer, blender and electric grain mill recommended will not be useful, either. No mention at all was given to storing seeds that can be sprouted, producing fresh, nutritious food. No mention, either, of storing living foods such as winter squash, carrots, beets, onions, potatoes, etc. The foods our great grandparents stored to live on through the winter. And no mention of dehydrating local foods yourself or lactofermenting them. And, for true, long-term food security, one must grow a new supply of the foods that will see the family through till the next harvest. If there is a situation that requires the 3-month food supply the article recommends, will grocery stores suddenly be stocked with food again when the fourth month begins? I was very surprised that Mother Earth News would present this article. Shivani Arjuna (Wisconsin homesteader)

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