It’s no secret that the Mormons, or Latter Day Saints (LDS), are preppers. One of their beliefs is that everyone needs to stockpile at least a one year supply of food for their own family. As such, they have lots of helpful resources and are happy to share with non-Mormons.
One of their food storage resources is a Bishop’s Storehouse. Here you can find bulk quantities of food, such as wheat and dehydrated milk, along with supplies like oxygen absorbers and mylar bags. There are a few locations where local ordinances prohibit selling to non-Mormons, so it’s best to call ahead of time. You may be required to have a church member accompany you.
Prior to heading out, you can find out what they have for sale, specifically, and actually, fill out a blank order form. It can be filled out on your computer, and it calculates everything for you before you even leave home. I really like this feature.
A couple of notes: the “dry pack pouch” is a mylar bag, and the oxygen (O2) absorbers are 300 cc each. I used one absorber per mylar bag. The mylar bags hold a 5 lb. grocery store bag of flour or sugar quite nicely. I bought enough mylar bags for all the food I bought, plus a whole lot more to use at home.
The labels they can provide are actually pre-printed and specific to the food items you buy from the Bishop’s Storehouse. I expected blank forms, so these were a nice surprise.
The day I went to the Bishop’s Storehouse, they were doing, “wet packing,” and so weren’t legally allowed to do any dry packing on the same day, which is another reason to phone ahead. I bought wheat (red and white), flour, milk, oats, mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers and have been packaging them myself at home.
My vacuum sealer is unhappy with me at the moment (and I’m not too pleased with it either), so I’m using an iron to seal the bags closed. When I packaged instant mashed potatoes from the grocery store (the kind with no butter since the butter could go rancid), I wrote the instructions for making them on the outside of the mylar bag with Sharpie. I no longer have to worry about losing the instructions for them, which is one less worry, admittedly a small one, in my life.
The LDS mylar bags are smaller than I want for 25 lb. bags of rice, but for most other things they really are a nice size. They hold enough food to last for a while but not so long that the food will be likely to go stale before you open a new bag.
Incidentally, one of the workers there mentioned that the only time they personally knew of rodents getting into mylar bags was when something spilled on them. The rodents were eating what was on the outside, chewed holes into it and then went to town. Moral of the story: keep those bags clean!
One more helpful tool is the LDS Food Calculator. This tool will help you get a rough idea of what you need. Honestly, even if we had 20 people at our house instead of four, I have no idea how I would go about using 7 quarts of mayonnaise in one year, so the list definitely does need tweaking based on your own preferences, but it’s still a good start. The recommended quantities of baking soda, vinegar and salt are small compared to SHTF / TEOTWAWKI lists because the LDS list is specifically for dietary needs, so things like salting meat for long-term storage are not included.
The food calculator is fun to play with. You can watch the numbers go up and down as you look at how much you’ll need if you’re generous and include your parents and in-laws, your siblings and their kids, the kids’ God-parents, your best friend – or not a darn soul beyond your nuclear family.
The Mormons have promoted food storage for many decades, and since they are so willing to share their expertise and resources, take advantage of it!