Food is an obvious need for a WAS scenario. Meeting your food needs can be broken down into different categories: 1) Food Storage, 2) Agriculture (growing and harvesting your own food), and 3) Hunting, trapping and fishing. This blog is about how to store food. There are other blogs on this site that discuss agriculture and hunting in more detail.
What you include in your food storage is entirely up to you. Store things that you will actually eat and try to include a variety so you don’t get sick of what you have. You should think of food that has a long shelf life and is non-perishable. Here are some of my best sugestions:
1) Grains – Think rice, wheat, flour, pasta, oatmeal, etc….this stuff will last a long long time if stored properly. Also, because these items are fungible, they can easily be divided into small quantities and bartered for other items you may need.
2) Fats – Think peanut butter, shortening, mayonnaise, and oils. This will help with cooking and flavoring. Also, your body needs some of these essential fats to be healthy.
3) Legumes – Think beans, lentils, peas, etc…these are good sources of protein if meat is scarce.
4) Spices and Cooking Essentials – Spices and seasonings have a long shelf life and can help you make things taste better. Don’t forget about things like sugar, honey, and salt as well.
5) Comfort foods – candy, drink mixes, etc…these last a long time and can also help you be relatively comfortable. This is good for the kids as well.
6) Dried Milk – You will want non-fat dried milk because other kinds that have milk fat will not keep long. Non-fat dried milk can last for years.
7) Dried Fruit – Any type of fruit will work. You can start drying your own fruit with an electric dehydration device and air-tight storage devices as well.
8) Canned Foods – Vegetables, fruit, meat (tuna, salmon, etc…), and pretty much anything that is canned will have a long shelf life. Just make sure you have a can opener (and when I say “a can opener” I mean 3 or 4 can openers. Remember, things break and you need at least two backups of EVERYTHING).
Knowing what kind of food to store is the first step. Knowing how to store food is the next. Dry pack canning and food safe barrels are ideal for storing the items listed above. Consider building or buying some food storage shelves in your garage or shed to make room for your supply and to make rotation and access easier. Make sure that you date and rotate everything. You should be adding to your food storage but also consuming the older stuff on a regular basis. This will get you used to managing your food inventory, rotating and dating the supply. It will also help you make decisions on what kinds of foods you will and will not eat. If there are items in your food storage you are not consuming, stop buying and storing them (unless you think they will be good for bartering).
This should give you a good beginners guide to every day food storage so that you can build a survivalist food stockpile.