Jan182010

21 Comments

Food Storage Advice from Walton Feed

Sooner or later, the food storage path leads to Walton Feed.  This Idaho company is the granddaddy of long-term food storage products and has been in business for 54 years.  Their vast array of products are packaged in no-frills cans, bags and buckets and are reliably high in quality.  Their huge selection of products and sizes is the only drawback.  To new Preppers or anyone new to food storage, there are too many, confusing choices. 

To simplify this for you, my terrific readers, I talked with Rick Lamb, the Assistant General Manager in Walton’s food division.  We talked about setting priorities when buying food for storage.  First, he highly recommends beginning with the basics: wheat, milk, salt, oil, yeast and beans.  Stocking up on familiar foods is also important.  He stated, “Some people think they’ll worry later about learning to like what they’ve stored.  But if you don’t like peas now, you’re not going to like them later just because that’s what you have in your storage.  You might as well buy what you like and are eating now.”

Here at SurvivalMom, we’ve talked about wheat before here, but for calculating how much you might want to have stored, consider how many adults you’ll be feeding.  Generally, based on a 2000 calorie a day diet, 200 lbs. of wheat is recommended for one adult man for a year, 150 lbs. for an adult female.  Hard red and hard white wheat will be the foundation of wheat storage for bread making. 

Milk is used in most baking recipes and the calcium content is vital for children and pregnant women, especially.  Dehydrated milk can be purchased in an, “instant”, form and, “non-instant.”  Rick says that the only difference is, “instant”, milk mixes up quickly in cold water.  If a richer taste is preferred, use less water and let the milk stand overnight for a better flavor.

For the most basic survival diet, beans will probably be the main source of protein.  Rick suggests taking a look at lentils, since they cook up quickly, and pintos, as the most versatile of all beans.  Beans will provide vitamins and proteins that wheat doesn’t have, helping to round out a survival diet.  Figure on stocking up on 75 pounds of legumes for an adult man and 50 pounds for an adult woman.  I’ve found it’s very easy to reach these figures as dried beans are usually cheap and plentiful.  Walton carries bean varieties you may have never heard of: anasazi, adzuki, turtle, and mung.  Chrystalyn likes to combine  pinto and anasazi beans in her homemade refried beans.  Buy what you’re familiar with, and then add a can of something different to try. 

Once these basic ingredients are in place, expand your storage by adding rice, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and ingredients to add flavor and variety, such as bouillon and seasonings.

One of the most confusing parts about ordering from Walton is the various sizes of packaging.  Most products come in #10 cans, #2.5 cans, and in bags and buckets of varying weights.  Basically, a #10 can is about a gallon in size, and a #2.5 can is about a quart.  Rick suggests buying sizes according to how quickly you think you’ll use it.  A couple with no children at home, for example, might prefer stocking up on smaller containers.

Dehydrated, bulk foods, such as Walton Feed sells, are an important layer of your food storage because of their long shelf life and versatility.  If you download Walton’s catalog, expect to spend some time deciphering the products and packaging sizes.  To save money on shipping charges, see if others in your area are interested in placing an order, and combine them into one shipment.  Chrystalyn is our resident Walton Feed expert, so feel free to send questions to me, lisa@thesurvivalmom.com, and I’ll forward them to her for answering.

Thanks, Rick, for this advice and for helping make food storage an easier reality for me and my readers.

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

(21) Readers Comments

  1. I have ordered from Walton Feed off and on for several years. Their products are of excellent quality. We have no local source to buy most of these long term storage products so take a hit on the shipping because in the end it is worth it. Over the last year I have begun to use these products on a regular basis. I bought a wheat grinder which I use regularly as well (Pleasant Hill Grains). Also you can buy from the LDS wheat, pintos, rice, and oatmeal in #10 cans very reasonably at the LDS distribution website.

    • I'm glad you have also had good experiences with Walton.

  2. Thanks for posting this! I've seen Walton Feed recommended at many blogs. I'm preparing to do a big purchase soon (got wishlist made; just waiting for a time when budget allows) and am planning to order from them. Word of mouth and satisfied customers really are the best advertisement for a business!

  3. Ok. I was curious in regards to how much the shipping would cost on the 5 large pails I wanted to buy soon (4 being hard white wheat and the other being white rice). I think the pails came out $70-80… but once you add in the shipping, my total would be around $190. YIKES! I don't blame them in any way for the shipping costs, but this has made me look into other sources a little more closely. I'm considering placing my order with Emergency Essentials (http://beprepared.com). I've ordered smaller things from them in the past, was pleased with the service, and the price (including shipping) is less than Walton Feed.

    Anybody have any other suggestions? I want quality, of course, but hard to swallow such a high freight charge. I'm trying to look for local resources but can't seem to find any here in LA.

    • Julie, contact an LDS church in your area and ask them where you can buy inexpensive wheat and other bulk foods. They will most likely have access to multiple sources.

    • Shipping can be an issue, I would try to get some of the heavy items locally. However, there is another company that I've used from Southren California, that has great Dehyfrated Foods at whole sale pricing. Check it out at http://www.readyreservefoods.com. They have been in business for over 30 years and it is now a family owned company! This is a great blog, Thanks.

      • That's a great tip, Vanessa, to look for local vendors of heavy items. I know that I would hate to pay shipping on a 45 lb. bucket of wheat! I have visited the Ready Reserve website but haven't placed an order. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Try honeyville grains. Shipping is under $5 no matter what it weighs. I have ordered 50 pound bags of wheat and #10 cans of freeze dried foods from them. For longer term storage of rice, beans and wheat in cans, order online from the LDS website. They were cheaper than anywhere else I have found online and the shipping was free.

  4. I had the same thoughts about Walton Feed: great prices on the products but the high shipping cost negated the savings. I found Honeyvillegrain.com has a great selection, reasonable prices and will ship your entire order for $4.49. I haven't tried thier products yet but plan to order in the near future. For those in the Midwest, I was pleasantly surprised to find 25# bags of Bronze Chief (Wheat Montana) at my local Walmarat for under $14. Not all the local Walmarts carry it but since one of them does, it might be possible to ask them to order,

    • Why don't you give an LDS church in your area a call, and see if they know of any local resources. They are in the food storage business big time, and probably know of local growers and wholesalers.

  5. I wasn't aware that the LDS Church was in the food storage business.. Any particular reason? Are they stocking up too? Interesting that they would be the church you recommend. Hmm.
    Sylvia

    • Sylvia, I am not LDS, but I believe having one year's worth of food has always been one of their church's teachings. When it comes to storing food long-term, they have a lot of knowledge and resources.

      • The LDS church isn't so much in the "Food Storage Business" as they are into being a hand's-on part of their own people's needs. It is a church imperative that each family be prepared, just like the boy scouts, and just like the Biblical Joseph in Egypt. It is not really "The Church", but the people (all volunteers supported by "The Church) who run these warehouses. Some, because they are short-handed, do not do business with non-members, but the majority do. They sell their goods at cost, though prefer an hour or two of donated Time. It is best, and easiest to ask to join a "mormon" aquaintance in the volunteer time. They won't pressure you to join the church (though they will offer to have missionaries talk to you, and not be offended if you refuse). They generally have a good and friendly time during these volunteer work sessions. Look them up in the phone book if you don't know someone. It certainly can't hurt you any, and they do know pretty much what you need to know.
        P.S. Look for their related web-sites. They are in the net as much as anyone else.

        • Thanks for the additional information about the LDS warehouses. They definitely have a wealth of information and are more than willing to share what they know.

        • Yeah right, because they are short handed?? Not really, its because thei church is clique'ish and generally will not do business unless you are Mormon. That is the real truth so please do not try and disguise it.
          thanks

          • The LDS Church is rather cliqueish, I will admit. Maybe that’s because so many people tried to shoot us in the beginning? LOL You can call any LDS cannery and they will be more than happy to help you all they can, whether you are a member or not. Sounds like maybe you have a thing against “Mormons”. Don’t be scared, they won’t bite.

  6. Some of my buddies brought up Walton at our weekly "Guy talk meetings" and the subject of shipping came up . Since they are in Idaho and one of the guys has a big ol' enclosed trailer we kinda figured ROAD TRIP! Well , today at the supermarket we ran into an LDS couple was have known for some time . He mentioned a monthly deal at a big LDS facility in Vegas . We live in Kingman AZ so it's a BUNCH closer than Idaho . I will have to wait a couple of weeks since some of the guys are driving back east for family visits BUT I will get more info from our friends about the Church deal . They live in a straw bale house , off the grid and have a well and a MONSTER garden . I'll come back with more info as I get it .

    • If you guys live Kingman, AZ there is an LDS facility in Mesa, A
      z with wheat at $5.80 per 25 pounds of white wheat, Potato flakes $22.20 per 25 pounds and quick oates $8.15 per 25 pounds. This is a big facility with alot more including milk, carrots, rice, apple slices, ect. You just need to get an LDS friend to go with you. I don't know if Mesa or Vegas is closer for you. It is called the Latter-day Saint Cannery on El Dorado Street in Mesa, AZ. If you don't know anyone who is LDS in Mesa, let me know. Our family is making a real push to get our food storage right now and one of us is down there all the time.

  7. Personal experience with the LDS Cannery in our area; We’re seniors with some health issues and their kindness toward my husband was like dealing with your very best friend, that you trust to the max. Volunteers are from the church which determines the days and hours the Cannery is open. As for the products; one of the instant potatoes (there’s two) do contain additional ingredients which was a “problem” for me however the taste was great. (I have allergies to anything artificial ie food enhancers etc,) The dried apples are awesome, in taste, versatility and ease! Soak and use :) The Mylar bags were much larger than I’d expected… and the only drawback is a shorter shelf life (7 years if unopened, I think) however we will be buying more things in them for currant needs:) I would absolutely encourage anyone needing the basics to check to see where your closest Cannery is located. Two couple had driven 4 hours one way the day my husband was there and they helped each other can the products; Assembly line style. We simply could not be more pleased with both products and service :)
    We are not members nor affiliated with the LDS community however, if I understand it correctly, the church expects it’s members to be prepared for what ever challenge life may throw at them and to help “their neighbors”….. and that’s the rest of us :) New experiences of this type can be kinda intimidating in our minds but all those thoughts were removed from the first phone call!

  8. I was quite upset on the 27th, was trying to get quite a few items from Walton’s, I’ve bought storage from you for years, even up in Idao Falls. The postage was lots more than I felt that I could pay! Doesn’t the truck come through anymore?? I tried to talk to whomever answered the phone, and it sounded that you don’t really care if I order from you anymore or not!! I was trying to see if there was some way that the truck that goes to Idaho Falls could possibly stop out on Hiway 30, maybe by the gas station, and we could meet it there, just like we did in IF. I would be happy to pay some, I just can’t afford a huge amount for postage. Thanks

    • LaRene, I don’t work for Walton Feed and you didn’t place your order through me. Try to contact the company again for help, and good luck!

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