Looking to stock your cupboards with plenty of food that won’t go bad, but not sure what to get? Non-perishable foods are the ones that you’re looking for, but you’ll need to know what type of food those actually are so you can pick them up at the store.
What Are Non-Perishable Foods?
Non-perishable foods are ones that do not need to be refrigerated and can instead be stored at room temperature. In general, non-perishable foods are longer lasting than refrigerated foods and many can last indefinitely in a cool, dry place.
Why Do You Need Non-Perishable Food?
There are plenty of reasons to have non-perishable food around but one of the most important is that you’ll be prepared in case of an emergency situation where you need to survive entirely on your own without access to a supermarket. And even more so if you are also forced to live without electricity and other forms of heating your food (aside from a fire, of course).
You may also want to have non-perishable food available just to make sure you have what you need for every day. After all, there may come a time when you need to cook something but don’t want to or can’t go to the store for whatever reason. You’ll want to make sure that you have food on hand that you can use to take care of your family.
Foods that are considered non-perishable are also great for a variety of cooking needs. That’s because ingredients like oats and dried pasta are quick and easy to make for your family when you need something to eat that will give you enough nutrients for another day. But there are other foods you’ll want to include as well.
Canned fruits and vegetables are great to provide you with even more vitamins and minerals, which is great and easy when you’re not going to have fresh versions available. That means even in the winter and fall you’ll be able to get those nutrients and it’s going to be better for you. Plus, those fruits and vegetables last a whole lot longer than the fresh ones so you’ll have them for so much longer.
Overall, these types of foods are going to help you stay healthy and they’re going to make sure you’re prepared for anything that might happen in the future.
What Kind of Non-Perishable Food Should You Have?
There are many different kinds of non-perishable food that you should have in your home at any given time. That way, you can make sure that you can make different types of meals whenever you need them. But you can also save the foods to make sure that you have everything you need for the future, whenever that may be.
Bottled water is crucial in your stock of non-perishable food. With enough water you can survive for a long time even if you don’t have food. Of course, you want to have plenty of food as well, but having as much water as possible is even more important.
Next, make sure you have plenty of dried fruits, as well as canned fruits, vegetables, beans, and even meats. These will give you plenty to eat, no matter what else might happen in the world. As long as you have a can opener you will be able to get yourself through a long time without going to the grocery store or even having to go hunting.
Dried beans and pasta, as well as ingredients like honey and powdered milk, are extremely important for being able to make varied meals that people are going to enjoy.
What Non-Perishable Foods Last the Longest?
While most non-perishable foods will last at least a few years, you still want to think about the ones that are best for you to store. After all, you want to have something that’s going to last for a very long time if you’re planning for an emergency. Or if not, you want to know how long items will last so you can use them up before they go bad.
If you’re looking for something to drink, you’ll want powdered milk and bottled water, which last for a very long time and will actually help you stay alive. Bottled water is going to keep you alive longer than any food because your body needs it more. Powdered milk, when turned into actual milk, will act as a solid rather than a liquid, helping to fill you up.
Jerky is another food that you’ll want to have in your storage because it lasts a long time and gives you protein. Plus, it’s easy to store unlike beans that can take a lot of space. Still, canned beans are a great option because they last and you can stack them out of the way.
Throw in some rice and dried pasta and you should be able to make plenty of meals for the family and make sure that they’re as healthy as possible. Less pasta is generally better, and brown rice instead of white, but if you need something to keep your family full either will be fine.
How Much Nonperishable Food Should You Have?
The amount of food you need to have on hand depends on just how long you want to be prepared for. If you’re just planning to prepare for meals for your family under normal circumstances you can just store a few extras in the house or enough for a week or so at the most. On the other hand, if you’re looking to prepare for an emergency situation you may want to consider storing a lot more.
In fact, if you’re looking to start prepping storage, you’ll want to have at least a few months’ worth of food available. Keep in mind that you need food for each member of your family and some extra as well. You will likely need to ration food if you find yourself in an emergency situation, but you don’t want to be forced to ration it too closely.
Now, if you’re planning on leaving your home to find a place that has more supplies or to gather with others then a three day supply of food for each member of the family may be enough. It should get you to the other location. On the other hand, if you’re planning to hunker down at home, by yourselves, you’ll need more.
Typically, two to three weeks of food will suffice unless you want to plan for a true apocalyptic event, in which case you may want to store as many canned goods and dried foods as you can. And definitely plenty of bottled water.
What is Proper Storage for Non-Perishable Foods?
If you need to store non-perishable foods and make them last as long as possible you need to find a place that is cool, dark, and dry. Many people think of their basement first as the place to store all of their non-perishable goods, however this is generally not the best option because it can be contrary to two of the important considerations.
Basements are often damp, which can be problematic for non-perishable items, especially things like pasta, rice, and flour. These items need to be kept completely dry and properly sealed to ensure this happens. However, large quantities generally come in bags that are difficult to keep dry in most basements.
Also, basements tend to be cold and while non-perishable items do best in cool places, anything that is too cold could be detrimental to the foods as well. Likewise, anything that is too warm could cause the food to spoil. That’s why a cool place is going to be so important but nothing that is too extreme in either direction. Darkness is also important as too much sun can start to spoil your foods.
What all of this means is that a space on the main floor of your home is usually best. A pantry is a good place to store everything as this can also help keep pests out of everything. You can make sure that the food is rotated well, so in case it does get old and start to get close to the expiation date you are using it up and swapping in some different items instead.
Keep in mind that it’s important to check your foods periodically not just for the dates but also for damage or signs of spoiling. Even if the date is still good this doesn’t mean the product is. Watch for mold or foul smells. Also, watch for cans that are dented or broken open. Or any that are bulging in any way.
All of these things mean the product has gone bad and you should immediately throw them away before anything can get to other products you have stored.
What are the Top Ten Things (Besides Food and Water) To Have in Case of Emergency?
If you’re looking to prepare yourself for anything that might come your way the first place to start is with the food and water, but once you have that out of the way you’ll want to include things like a portable, battery-powered radio with plenty of extra batteries so you can always stay connected to what’s happening around you.
You’ll also want a flashlight (and more batteries) to be able to get around easily, and of course a first aid kit with basic medications and easy access to your family’s prescription medications. Plus, make sure you have plenty of cash and/or something you can barter with as ATM’s and credit card readers are likely not going to be able to work so well.
Have all of your personal identification such as driver’s license or ID cards, and copies of them as well, and then make sure you have extra keys for everything you own. This will make sure that you can access everything easily.
You’ll want to have matches, a map of your local area, and everything you or your family need that’s separate from the ‘norm’ like medications, items for infants, contacts, glasses, hearing aid batteries, and so on. So, that list was:
- Portable, battery-powered radio w/ batteries
- Flashlight w/batteries
- First aid kit
- Personal identification w/copies
- Extra keys
- Specialty items
When it comes down to it, being prepared for anything is always important. You want to be sure that, whether it’s something major or minor, your family will have the food and other supplies that they need to prepare and protect themselves. So, take a look at the lists above and make sure that you have everything you need to keep your family safe.
Also, make sure that you’re storing your non-perishable items in a place that will be safe for them. They need a cool and dry place, so be sure that you are ready to go every time that you or your family needs something. Whether you need foods stored only for normal consumption or a few more stored to take care of emergency situations.