Finding the right food to buy and store isn’t easy as I’m sure many of you would agree. It requires quite a bit of effort, time, and expense. Why else would there be hundreds of websites dedicated to helping people figure out their food storage? No one who puts in all that effort wants it to be wasted.
Yet, as I have helped various families with their food storage over the last five years, I have found that is exactly what happens in a lot of cases.
A LOT of food goes to waste…especially food storage.
Safe and Secure?
People buy food storage to feel safe and secure and yet when stored improperly, that food is anything but safe. When food is stored improperly, nutrients can deplete quite quickly. It will also lose flavor and texture, and could even go rancid.
Lisa has written a great article on the Six Enemies of Food Storage that details proper ways to store your food. She even links to multiple other detailed articles. I highly recommend you read it and apply her advice.
But today I want to focus on just one thing you can do to keep your food storage safe. It is very simple and something that all of us should be doing anyway for so many reasons. Ready?
Do NOT throw away your food!
Eat what you store and store what you eat.
You’ve heard that before, right? I hope you have. It is common and wise advice. Most of the families I’ve worked with have done alright with how they’ve stored their food. The #1 problem I’ve seen is that they have not used it. They bought the food 25+ years ago, set it on a shelf, and ignored it. Now it has reached the end of its shelf life.
It is so sad to watch them throw away cans and cans of food that they don’t feel comfortable with anymore. Their expired food no longer makes them feel safe and secure. They dump thousands and thousands of dollars’ worth of food into the trash for one reason: because they never used it. And while they (and I) are grateful that they were never forced to use it during a time of crisis, it is sickening nonetheless to have wasted all that money.
So, I ask, how would things have been different if they had used their food and rotated through it on a regular basis?
1. They would have known how to use it if a crisis had occurred. This confidence in your own skills brings a whole new level of peace and security.
2. They would not have wasted money, but would have instead used everything they spent their money on which is wise and prudent and responsible. The most expensive food we buy is the food we throw away.
3. The food on their shelves TODAY would be full of nutrition. Nutrition is just as important as calories, especially if you are eating your food during a crisis situation. You want your food to give you all the health and strength it possibly can, and regardless of the storage conditions, food loses nutrients over time even if it is still full of calories and technically safe to eat. The food they bought 25 years ago would have been eaten 23-24 years ago and they would have replaced that with NEW food THEN. Many of the enemies that Lisa talks about, such as light and heat would not have had much time to affect their food before they ate it. They would have eaten it when it had a high number of nutrients.
4. They would not be facing the situation of trying to replace ALL their food storage at once. Since they bought it all around the same time and it is now expiring all around the same time, they are facing trying to invest thousands to keep the same amount of food in the storage room that they have had there for years. They don’t want to lose the peace and security it bought, but starting from scratch is overwhelming. Replacing just a little at a time as you use it is smarter and less stressful.
5. Their day to day life would have been less stressful. I’m serious! I use my “food storage” every single day and it is fantastic! There are so many benefits!
- I’m never running to the store last minute because I’m out of eggs or milk or butter. I simply use what I have stored.
- I have healthy, freeze dried fruits and vegetables on hand to give my kids for a quick snack with no chopping, cutting or peeling required.
- I don’t have to worry about if I forgot to thaw out the meat because I can simply add in some freeze dried meat to a meal if I do forget.
My food storage saves me from the mini everyday “emergencies,” not just the big crises. That alone makes it worth the money! No more mixed feelings when you throw away thousands of dollars of food you never used. Yes, you are grateful you never HAD to, but darn, what a waste!
The best way to keep your food safe from all of the enemies that Lisa talks about it to use it and replace it regularly. Store food that you enjoy eating and can incorporate into your everyday lifestyle. Try foods before buying a large supply of them. Make sure you like how your food tastes. Make sure you can cook with it and that the quality is high enough for your family.
Personally, I find this is much easier to do when I buy foods in single ingredient cans instead of the just add water meals. The just add water meals are typically full of an awful amount of additives and preservatives. Plus, they don’t taste like a regular meal. But home canned foods, freeze dried foods and some dehydrated foods can be used in everyday meals that your family is already eating without anyone knowing the difference.
What has worked for you in rotating your food regularly?
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