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.
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!