From the archives!
Sometimes I could throttle my friend Diana. She is also married to a Paranoid Dad, who is actually further off the paranoia scale than my husband. She talks about stocking up on food and taking preparedness seriously, but has such high expectations of which foods are acceptable that I just have to shake my head. Her favorite grocery stores are those bordering on gourmet, and she’d live at Whole Foods if she could. Who could blame her, really? When it comes to food storage, let’s face it, it ain’t gourmet.
So, I’ve been thinking of how I could help Diana and other moms like her who can’t help but turn up their noses at the idea of freeze dried turkey tetrazzini and cans of potted meat. Is there any hope for these Whole Foods moms?
I think there’s plenty of hope! A Whole Foods mom may not end up with the variety she’s used to, but our food storage isn’t meant to be 100% of our diets, either. We can grow at least some of our own produce, raise chickens (free range, of course!) for both eggs and meat, and even buy the fresh ingredients we enjoy from local farmers, co-ops, and other gardeners.
If you’ve had a hard time accepting a future of canned, processed foods and ingredients that you would rather not feed your family, here are some tips for developing a food storage pantry you’ll love.
Analyze your current diet and meals
Begin keeping track of what your family currently eats. If you enjoy gourmet granola, learn how to make your own and begin stocking up on those ingredients, making sure they are packaged for long-term storage. The ingredients in a favorite salad or main dish from Whole Foods just might be very easy to add to your pantry for your to duplicate in the future. Recipes containing grains and different legumes are usually very food storage-friendly.
Take a look at the Thrive line of foods from Shelf Reliance. You’ll find that all of their produce is GMO-free (non-genetically modified) and freeze-dried. Freeze-dried produce retains about 90% or more of the food’s original nutrients, giving you and your family a very healthy and nutrient-dense option to fresh. By the way, Thrive’s freeze-dried foods are acceptable on raw food diets and are fantastic for making homemade baby food.
Once you have a list of favorite snacks, side dishes, and main dishes, you can weed through them to find the ones that are compatible with food storage. A soup recipe that contains lentils and sun-dried tomatoes, for example, is probably one that would be compatible with food storage. Cornish game hens are not. Well, at least I’ve never seen freeze-dried Cornish game hens!
What about organics?
Organic wheat, grains, and produce are available but usually come at a higher price. Eight servings of Mountain House organic apples will cost around $28. Compare that with Thrive’s apple slices, 48 servings, for just $13. Fewer farmers and food suppliers grow organic food for the food storage market, so the prices are much higher.
Ready Made Resources, one of my sponsors, carries some organic foods, such as quinoa and pinto beans. If you want to stock up on mostly, or all, organic foods, you’ll have to shop around and spend a bit more.
Of course you can supplement your food storage foods with your own organic garden and by tracking down organic farmers and produce co-ops in your area.
Covering the basics is easy, if you’re willing to compromise
One compromise that might come easy is to stock up on non-organic basics. Wheat, rice, beans, and other grains can be purchased inexpensively in bulk, freeing up a good deal of money for the purchase of more expensive organic or ‘natural’ products. These basic foods will give you hundreds of meal options that you can transform into delicious meals with healthy additions, such as spices, herbs, and wholesome produce. A meal of couscous with organically grown veggies and free-range chicken (home-canned) could rival any Whole Foods entree, and it’s entirely possible within the realm of food storage.
A source of organic basics is Azure Standard, but even on their foods, be sure to read all the fine print.
It’s a matter of priorities
Each SurvivalMom has to determine what is most important when she buys food intended for storage. If price is the main consideration, she’ll have more cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup on her shelves than organic, free-range chicken broth. If there are special dietary considerations, those may have to come first regardless of cost, and if a Whole Foods mom must absolutely have the freshest foods with few additives, organic if possible, then she’ll have to decide how to best make that happen.
Food storage isn’t a one-size-fits-all venture. Every mom, every individual, has to customize their own purchases and decide what is most important. A Whole Foods mom is no different.
(Diana, if you read this, I hope it helps!)
Disclaimer: I love shopping at Whole Foods, although it’s terribly expensive and, oddly, the food never tastes as good as it looks.
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