Prepping your survival or emergency food is an important task to help safeguard you and your family’s safety and future.
Unfortunately, allergies and health issues do not disappear in an emergency, so you will have to factor they things in when you are building out your food list or store.
Basically, it is what it sounds like it would be, it is food you keep for an emergency. And I don’t mean the stash of biscuits you keep hidden for your midnight snacks, I mean actual emergencies ha-ha.
Emergencies where you are cut off from the normal mainstream food supply, things like natural disasters, war, epidemics, and pandemics.
In case of these events, you stockpile food that has a long shelf life so that if something disrupts your food supply then you can feed you and your family for a set amount of time.
This gives you time to wait out whatever has happened or is happening, without the threat of starving.
Emergency food may never be needed, but it gives you the peace of mind that in the unfortunate event it is needed then you have prepared adequately. It is always better to be overprepared than underprepared, in my opinion.
And whether you are just stuck in the house for a couple of days because of deep snow, or there is a full-on global disaster, or maybe you purposely choose to go off grid for a period of time, then it is a good idea to have emergency food at hand.
Food is a base human need but having a stockpile of emergency food is also a sensible financial buffer in times of need.
When a situation arises which means you need to dip into your food stock, then you can sit back and watch how the less prepared start panic buying and how the cost of food widely fluctuates.
Panic-buying is a sight to behold, and because you have done your due-diligence and prepared for these situations you can either save your money or spend it on other important basic needs.
Everyone’s food supply will be slightly different depending on what foods they like, and what type of emergency they are anticipating.
For example, if you live in an area that is prone to Tornados, then your food should be stored in a Tornado bunker or in the basement at least.
If the area you live in is prone to floods, then keeping your emergency food in the basement is a bad idea. Instead, you would keep it in the attic for instance.
Then you need to consider what types of food you need, so you will need to store a range of nutritious foods that will ensure you and your family stay healthy during the emergency or survival period.
So, if someone in your family is vegetarian then don’t just buy hundreds of tins of corned beef, or if someone in your family is allergic to peanuts then don’t buy a huge supply of peanuts.
In fact, you would be best avoiding buying any type of nut containing product because remember you are in an emergency situation and you will not be able to rush someone to hospital if something goes wrong.
So, if you don’t already know it then you would be best going through the health history of all your family, and maybe even close neighbours who you might be willing to help.
Gluten intolerance is something that is on the rise, and if one of your family members is gluten intolerant then it is going to affect your food storage itinerary.
Gluten is a plant-based protein which is not found in animal products. It is found in the seed of all types of wheat, and therefore is in a huge range of items in the standard western food supply.
For example, when you look on the label of the loaf of bread, and it tells you how much protein is in each slice of bread… well about 75 to 85% of that is gluten protein.
The main reason gluten is used in the food chain, is to increase the elasticity of food products.
How many people had great-grandparents that had gluten intolerance? Probably close to none. Yet they would eat bread. Why is it such an issue nowadays?
Well, it’s probably because they made their own bread or bought it from a traditional baker who used traditional recipes. So, they were only exposed to the normal amount of gluten that was in the flour from the wheat seed.
Nowadays it is a different story, as refined gluten is now added on top of the gluten that would already be in the flour.
This enables them to use less flour per loaf, never mind the fact a loaf of bread from a supermarket can have over 20 ingredients when a homemade one might have 4 or 5.
It is no surprise to me that the further we get away from homemade natural food, the more our health suffers and how issues with things like gluten intolerance are on the rise.
Gluten intolerance is an umbrella term for any health issue caused by the consumption of gluten found in foods such as wheat-based flour, barley, oats, and rye.
Probably the most famous gluten intolerance is Celiac Disease, with an estimated 1-2% of the western world suffering from it. Which is a huge number.
However, what is even more crazy is that upwards of 10% of the population is thought to have some form of sensitivity to gluten.
It is hard to pinpoint as there are so many ailments it can cause, like fatigue, IBS, bloating, and dermatitis.
If you are intolerant to gluten, there is no magic pill to get around it. You basically have one choice; you need to avoid gluten.
There are 2 ways in which to do this, and must people probably use a combination of the two:
This is where you avoid all items that contain gluten. So, anything that contains things made form wheat, barley, rye, and oats. So, this means you need to avoid things like breakfast cereal and flour.
Unfortunately, flour is used in a whole host of things, like bread, pasta, pies, pastry, and it is used as a thickener and bulking agent in things you might not even expect it to be in.
So, you need to be mindful of what you are eating, and you are best cooking things yourself to ensure you know exactly what is in what you are eating.
If you cannot bare the thought of never having a slice toast for breakfast ever again, then there is another option.
This is where you want your cake and eat it, literally! You can still have your bread and pasta, but you substitute it for gluten free versions.
You will tend to find that gluten free flour for example is made from things like buckwheat, quinoa, coconut flour, almond flour, potato flour, and rice flour.
Technically rice does have gluten in it, but the gluten in it has been shown to be highly digestible and does not trigger a Celiac flare.
The most obvious options are the ones that would make up most people’s food stores like:
Of these types of food, you are obviously looking for foodstuffs that contain zero harmful gluten. Good options are:
You will need to consider allergies when buying these, as a peanut is actually a legume. Beans and legumes are excellent emergency foods.
They are highly nutritious, and contain sources of carbohydrate, fiber, protein, and numerous vitamins and minerals including essential B vitamins. Although not B12 which can only be found in animal products in sufficient quantities.
Dried beans stored in the correct conditions can easily be stored upwards of 30 years, depending on the type of beans. Canned beans are also great for short to medium term storage.
The most commonly dehydrated fruit and veg are bananas, beets, corn, carrots, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Fruit and veg obviously have a short shelf life, but dehydrating is a relatively cheap way to extend their life from very short to sort and medium.
Another good thing about dehydrating is it decreases the volume, so you have more storage space.
Honey is a great survival/emergency option. It has a nice long shelf life, and it is nutrient dense, antibacterial, and is high in calories. It is great to consume on its own, but it is also versatile so it will give you a much larger recipe range.
Milk powder gives you a huge range of options, even if it does take up a lot of space.
From allowing you to have a humble cup of coffee, it can also be used to make dairy products like buttermilk, cream cheese, and yogurt, as well as allowing you to make a range of breads, dips, drinks, sauces, and soups.
In a long-term survival situation, you need your nutrition, but you will also need the mental happiness food brings and potatoes fit both categories.
Potatoes are a regular source of food for most people and in most of their meals.
So, potato flakes can help you make meals you were used to before the emergency situation, helping you gain a bit of normality. Plus, they can be stored long-term if done correctly.
Rice is a classic survival or emergency food. It is probably the cheapest food per calorie that you can store for the medium to long-term.
And because it is neutral tasting you can basically add it to any meal you want to bulk it out and increase the calorie load.
If you store it correctly, it will outlive you. It is a pure source of energy. Whilst it has no real nutrition it will help keep your energy levels up.
It is also very versatile and can be added to meals or used to make bread and cakes for example.
Tapioca can be used in similar ways to rice, whilst it isn’t as nutrient dense it is arguable a better source of energy. And it can be added to pancakes, pies, sauces, soups and to make desserts.
Food prepping for survival and emergencies is quite hard, firstly you have to understand what food items items are suitable for different lengths of storage, you need to know how to store them, and how to prepare them for eating.
On top of this you need to have an understanding of the types of meals you are going to eat and what ingredients you need for these meals.
Which is especially complicated if you need all of it or a portion of it to be gluten free. For example, there is no point having a 30 year supply of rice and sugar, but then only a years supply or beans and meat.
This is where food prep companies can help you out, as you can buy a range of bulk, canned, dehydrated, and freeze-dried foods.
They also can provide you with kits and buckets of complete meals, like rice and bean kits. This takes a lot of the hassle out of planning your emergency food store.
Luckily, companies have started to recognise that there is a market for gluten free survival food, so it is much easier nowadays to source the best gluten free emergency food.
One such company is My Patriot Supply, and they have a great Gluten Free Section.
For example, they do a Rice and Bean kit as previously mentioned, as well as a range of starches, meats, beans, fruits, vegetables, and drinks that are all gluten free.
Here is a 3-course meal you could craft from their gluten free range:
Cheesy Broccoli Soup
Sounds nice doesn’t it!
If someone in your family has a gluten intolerance then it does make prepping harder, but not impossible.
You just must make sure you buy foods that do not contain gluten naturally or that has it added, and even if you want something that normally has gluten in there are a large range of gluten free alternatives you will be able to get your hands on.
It is especially more convenient now that companies like My Patriot Supply are recognising there is a demand for the best gluten free emergency foods.