You never know when an emergency can strike or how long you’ll need to live off your food supply. In this article, we’ll show you how to build the perfect 25-year emergency food supply. This way you can rest easy knowing you’ve prepared for the worst.
There are a wide variety of instances that cause people to prepare for emergencies. Whether your motivation for preparation is environmental, political, or personal, you want to keep your family fed. Getting started today is the best step you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Putting away an emergency food supply is among the most crucial tasks for survival. This way, hunger will be the least of your worries when disaster strikes.
This article details how you can build a 25-year supply of food that won’t perish when things hit the fan. Below, you’ll find multiple ways to achieve this quarter of a century’s worth of goods.
What to Know About Building a 25-Year Emergency Food Supply
You’ve probably seen a few survival shelters in Hollywood movies that show shelf upon shelf of canned goods. There’s nothing wrong with stocking up on canned items for an emergency. However, these foods don’t last quite as long as you might think.
High-acid canned goods like tomatoes and fruits only stay fresh for around one and a half years. Low-acid options, which include the majority of vegetables and meats, can last for up to five years. Even when storing these cans in cool, dark place, their shelf life only extends for a maximum of six years. After that, the contents will spoil.
Instead of buying your local grocery store’s entire inventory of canned goods, look for items in pre-sealed mylar packages. Or prepare them yourself. Mylar is a form of polyester used to make helium balloons, solar filters, and emergency space blankets. Its durability and ability to create a barrier makes it the perfect choice for long-term food storage.
Before preparing or buying anything, make sure the packaging you’ll be using for your emergency food supply is mylar. Anything else will leave you with spoiled goods in the long run.
Making Things Simple: Simply Buy Your Food for Survival
The easiest way to acquire a 25-year food supply is to purchase one. There are dozens of companies that create various sized kits of dehydrated, powdered, or freeze-dried foods pre-sealed in mylar bags. Top companies include:
- Valley Food Storage
- Food 4 Patriots
- Augason Farms
- Prepare Wise
- Wise Food Storage
- Emergency Essentials
All of these companies offer different length supplies, such as three months or one year. They also guarantee freshness for at least 25 years. This option isn’t cheap, but it does save you countless hours of manual preparation. This way, you know you’ll have plenty of long-lasting, tasty meals with portions that can feed a family.
What to Look for in a Company
Make sure to browse through each company’s website before buying anything. Double-check that the products you want last for at least 25 years. And make sure they come sealed in mylar bags. Most kits will offer a variety of meals from soups to full entrees. Hence, you should also look into which meals you might want to eat should you have to do so.
Nearly every one of these companies also caters to food allergies. If you need dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free or anything else, look into the options available on their website. You might feel tempted to buy their more fancy meals. However, you should stick with the essentials to start if you want to cut down cost where you can.
You can also stay on budget by signing up for a monthly plan. Most companies can deliver a set amount of pre-packaged goods each month for a reasonable price. This is an excellent way to stock up over time.
Here’s a video from Guildbrook Farm with more on storing food with mylar bags.
There’s no need to buy the products other companies sell. You can create your own 25-year food supply in the comfort of your home by following these steps. The process requires an initial investment, but also allows you to customize the foods you’ll be eating should an emergency occur. Here’s everything you’ll need, and what you need to do.
For starters, you’ll need to pick up a hefty supply of mylar bags. You can buy them by the carton and easily seal them to keep your food fresh for 25 years.
In addition, you will need to purchase at least one oxygen absorber per bag.You’ll need to add them to your mylar bags before you seal them to pull oxygen out, This ensures your food stays as fresh as possible. Skipping this step will lessen the shelf life of your supply in a heartbeat, so don’t forget it!
Also, you should place any products stored in mylar bags into thick plastic buckets. This ensures that rodents and other pests will stay away from your investment. Make sure the bins or buckets are made from food-grade plastics. Otherwise, chemicals and dyes may contaminate your supply.
You can seal your bags with a vacuum sealer, clothes iron, or even a hair straightener. The vacuum sealer works best, of course, but any of these options will create an airtight seal by melting the mylar together.
For meats, veggies, and fruits, you’re also going to need a freeze dryer. While dehydrators are an excellent option, dehydrated fruits and vegetables only last for around three years. When adequately freeze-dried, your food can easily last 20 or more years depending on how you store it.
A freeze dryer is expensive, but the technology it employs is well worth the price. These machines chill your food down to negative 30 degrees, then activate a high-powered vacuum pump that begins to eliminate water vapor from inside the food. The process of warming and re-freezing removes all the air.
What You Need to Do
After bringing your items home from the grocery store, the first step is to prepare them for the freeze dryer. You’ll need to cut larger food items into smaller pieces for the process to work as it should. You can prepare anything from meat to vegetables and even pasta with cheese. Use your imagination and combine foods that you would typically use to make a meal.
Place your food items on trays, making sure to separate them by item or meal. Then set them inside of the freeze dryer. Once the process is complete, place your food into the mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Using different bags for different meals is an excellent way to prolong the shelf life of your goods. For instance, one bag could be a potato soup. Meanwhile, another can contain everything you need for a lasagna or meatloaf.
After placing everything into the bag, seal it up tight using one of the heating methods mentioned above. These will ensure that your meals have a 25-year shelf life. From there, put your bags into the food-safe, thick rubber tubs mentioned above. This will keep pests away from your food supply.
Here’s a video on how to vacuum seal a mylar bag.
The way you store your food can drastically reduce or prolong its shelf life. Items kept in a pantry or kitchen easily get exposed to heat and sunlight. Both of these shorten the lifespan of sealed goods. Mylar bags are well known for keeping light out. But this isn’t enough to keep your food in tip-top shape for a quarter of a century.
You need to keep your food supply in a cool, dark location to stay fresh as long as possible. Basements are the ideal spot for homeowners, but bunkers and any other underground location work even better. You don’t need to invest in any sort of system to keep the space cool or dry. Just let the room do the job for you.
With all the excitement as you begin to create your food supply, it’s easy to forget about safety. So here are a few simple safety tips. Follow this checklist to keep you and your loved ones in good health during times of emergency.
- Label each bag and box with the contents inside. This includes any food allergies or special instructions on how to prepare the meal.
- Date each bag and box with the month, day, and year you sealed it to prevent eating spoiled goods.
- Check your supply once a month to ensure no pests have made their way into the food. You’ll also want to make sure no bags are damaged or opened.
- Store your containers off of the floor to help keep disease-carrying pests away.
- Once opened, you can reseal a mylar bag, but the expected shelf life should be cut in half.
- Never eat any food that looks discolored, or different from its appearance when you placed it into the bag.
Preparing for the Future
Starting an emergency food supply is an excellent way to prepare for disasters in the future. But making and storing food the right way is an essential part of the process. By following the instructions in this post, you and your family will never have to worry about going hungry… Not even in a worst-case scenario.
Make sure to review the safety tips and necessary items needed above. Each measure is taken to ensure your food stays edible and healthy for a minimum of 25 years. Who says you can’t eat like a king when the grid goes down? Get out there and start preparing your favorite meals today!
Featured image: CC0 Public Domain AKuptsova via Pixabay.
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