The Food Storage Law of 3’s
A few weeks ago a Master Food Preserver taught me a valuable lesson about rethinking food storage. Instead of focusing on what you store, plan for how you store! A safe tactic to employ is to keep your food storage in 3 different ways. Also known as, The Law of 3. For years we heard this law in Grandma’s old adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!”
We all have our food storage comfort zone, and mine is to buy in bulk and use the freezer. There is a big hole in this system; one mishap or power outage and all that preparation was for naught! It’s because of this that I have decided to live The Law of 3 and really diversify.
Since rule #1 of food storage is “use it or lose it”, it’s important to use all varieties of stored food as part of your diet. Your food storage should be an extension of your pantry. You should be rotating storage regularly and cooking with many kinds of preserved foods.
Canning Storage: Water Bath and Pressure
I recently went to a class and learned how to pressure can. For years I’ve used the water bath method, but not utilizing pressure canning has left my food storage system weak. Developing the skills to can your own fruits, meats, and vegetables will bring variety to the way you store food.
Here’s Tyra’s post from last year: Water Bath Canning 101 and my first “solo” try at pressure canning.
Another method that I need to utilize more is dehydrating. I used to have a dehydrator processing continuously during the summer, but I fell out of the habit. After deciding to live the Law of 3, I pulled my dehydrator out of storage and I couldn’t be happier! Not only have I spiced up my food storage variety, but now I have a bunch of delicious Asparagus!
Although I am making conscious efforts to incorporate The Law of 3, I haven’t given up my freezer storage! The freezer is really good for all kinds of food, but especially meats! Meat can be hard to preserve, so make sure it is part of your storage plan too. Learn to freeze berries and about when you can skip blanching vegetables before freezing.
Rethinking food storage doesn’t mean quitting what works, its about adding to what good things you have and replacing what is no good!
Buy it at the Grocery
Does your local grocery have a semi-annual canned food sale? This is a great time to stock up on some of the regular items that your family might use. We always purchase a year’s worth of tomato sauce and tomato paste in pre-packaged cans.
Even purchasing at discount stores, like Grocery Outlet, is a quick way to get your three month supply finished. Be careful with the expiration dates and take a look at this post to see when you should pay attention to them.
Freeze Dried Foods
One of the newer methods of food storage is buying freeze dried foods. Most companies boast a 25-year shelf life and the convenience of “just add water” for a fabulous source of nutrition. MyFoodStorage.com, for example, offers food with 100% of the RDA of vitamins and minerals in the foods they freeze dry.
Freeze dried foods also require less square footage to store than their wet counterparts. This makes the storing of freeze dried milk, eggs, cheese, and butter, which would normally be perishable, more readily available in case of emergency. Freeze drying is then especially useful to me as these four items are in practically every meal at my house.
In following The Law of 3, I choose to buy freeze dried foods because of their nutritional value, their ease in storing, and their convenient cook times. These ingredients are my choice of food storage in my 72-hour kits, giving me comfort during an emergency.
Take some time rethinking your food storage and diversify. In living the Law of 3, you can guarantee your preparedness in almost any emergency. Are there other methods you use in your food storage you wish you had employed earlier? Try the Law of 3 and see what changes improve your system. Figure out what works for you!
I FINALLY found a long term storage food supplier that is organic, so NO GMO’s. I know that it is not as important to many others as it is for me, (especially since it is a bit more expensive) but I truly believe in organics, and am so convinced that GMO’s, all soy products, textured soy protein or TSP, high fructose corn syrup or HFCS, and all forms of corn that is NOT GMO free, are so bad for you that even for short periods of time should not be consumed if we want to stay healthy. If you are interested, here is the direct link to MaryJanesFarm “grocery” store.
I am not affiliated in any way, but have purchased several of her meals, and they are GOOD! I plan to purchase more but would also like to get my own meals canned, frozen and dried, too.
I also have become aware that a power outage is my most frequent disaster, so having items that are not frozen are going to be first on my list. The freezer will be for foods not storable any other way.
As I’m sure we all know, if you have a freezer that is not completely full, filling it with jugs of water will help, not only for keeping the foods frozen longer ( what an ice chest does), but will also provide much needed water when thawed out for consumption or use as bathing or for flushing toilets.
The same goes for your refrigerator: filled jugs of water to help keep it running well, and for use later if needed.
Just remember, as with food, ROTATE regularly!
Thank you for sharing your valuable tips and the link to Mary Jane’s Farm. I can’t wait to check it out!
A bit off this particular topic, but this idea of “not putting all your eggs in one basket” ( great picture to denote this, BTW!), this can be said about all aspects of being prepared. You should always have more than one way to be prepared for everything. ( AND stored in more than one place! Won’t do any good to have several options to purify water if they all wash away in a flood) More than one way to store/purify water; food ( as mentioned here); shelter; heat/cooking; and to protect yourself from ‘invaders’: (the main reason for this particular comment) I just thought it might be a good idea to have more than one way to protect yourself in a SHTF scenario. I have pepper spray, am looking into getting a hunting bow and also an air rifle/BB type gun.
We should also have several options for shelter, car/tent/emergency blanket/tarp, etc.,
The four most important factors in any disaster/emergency are Shelter/Water/Food/Heat. I have added Protection as a fifth.
I have several individual water purifiers, from a couple of different manufacturers plus a large Berkley filter for a more permanent option. I have on my “want” list a water distiller as well.
I have several sources for heat/cooking: an emergency stove with fuel cubes, 2 propane grills, an oil lantern with ‘cooktop’, lighters, waterproof matches, one piece starters, etc.
I really appreciate this article and all others that you have done so much research on with so many ideas that I haven’t yet thought of.
Keep up the great work!
You are so right, the law of three’s is a part of all aspects of being prepared. You’ve read my mind! I have a whole series scheduled on the topic. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you comments.
Wonderful! I can’t wait to read your series!