Although the virus may not show its ugly head in your neighborhood, it still makes good sense to exercise caution, especially when it comes to having enough nutritious food on hand.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” No matter what emergency you are preparing for, be it a dangerous virus or a natural disaster, it is essential to consider first and foremost what you might eat if you are stuck at home for an extended duration.
Although it is common to think of canned goods as being the best option for your survival food bank, there are other more nutritious and undoubtedly more delicious options to consider.
Honey will not go bad. It has been found in a tomb in Egypt, was estimated to have been there for 3,000 years, and was still edible. Color and consistency may change with temperature changes, but the value of the honey remains the same. Honey is not just for eating. It has been used for centuries to treat countless ailments. Hippocrates himself wrote of the “liquid gold” and its medicinal effects.
Liquid honey is best stored in a cool and dry area out of sunlight. Lids should be tight-fitting. Over time, the honey will crystallize, but that is ok: you can restore it to a liquid state by simmering the container in warm water. Be sure never to boil honey as this will deplete the nutrients.
Dehydrated or dried honey is also a good idea for any survival kit—store granules at temperatures less than 80 degrees F in a low humidity area. To create liquid honey, all you need to do is add warm water.
Raw nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds can last indefinitely when well packaged. Find your favorites and keep an ample supply of each on hand. Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, as well as a valuable source of energy.
Nuts are high in protein, and high in heart-healthy fats and fiber. In addition, raw nuts have essential nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc, sterols, and antioxidants.
There are many kinds of nuts and each one has its own health-promoting properties. For instance, Brazil nuts provide high quantities of selenium, and almonds are an excellent source of calcium.
Walnuts are a super-rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that just one small handful of walnuts provides protection against heart disease that is similar to cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Buying in bulk will save a lot of money, so stock up when you can. It’s best to keep nuts in the freezer for as long as you can because they will store for up to a year in cool temperatures.
Hemp seeds are also an excellent survival food. A valuable source of plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, hemp provides the nutrients that our body needs to function correctly.
Pumpkin seeds are high in carotenoids, antioxidants that boost immune activity, and they increase the body’s ability to fight disease. They’re also high in omega-3s and contain zinc, which helps to battle inflammation. Pumpkin seeds even contain a high level of phytosterols, which serve to stabilize cholesterol levels and offer an enhanced immune response.
Whole food or raw protein bars
While I don’t recommend packaged food, for the most part, high quality raw or whole food protein bars are easy to store and provide a good source of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fat.
Most are packed with whole, organic foods, including nuts, sprouts, fruits, and vegetables, and may contain live probiotics and fiber. Look for bars that are non-GMO and contain no fillers, colorings or artificial ingredients
Dry beans, lentils
Beans are really one of the best survival foods to have on hand at any time. They offer a wide array of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and protein. When packaged and stored properly, beans will last eight to 10 years.
Lentils and black beans offer the best bang for your survival buck with high protein, fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals. One cup of black beans contains a daily value (DV) of 30 percent protein, 64 percent folate, 60 percent fiber, and the list goes on.
Rice is another exceptional survival food that lasts a decade when packaged and stored correctly. Almost every culture and country, large or small, has rice incorporated into their diet in some fashion. Rice is one of the world’s oldest food staples, and its nutritional value has long been essential to the survival of civilizations.
White rice lasts longer than brown rice due to its lack of fatty acids. Brown rice is nutritionally better but will perish within six months to a year. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Food Science found,
“White rice held in accelerated and long-term storage appears not to increase in mutagenic compounds as measured by the Ames assay, supporting its use for long-term storage purposes such as emergency preparedness and humanitarian food aid.”
White rice is perfect for survival sustenance and when coupled with beans, you have a nutritional meal to keep you mentally and physically happy during any survival situation.
Packaged organic jerky such as bison, salmon, or grass-fed beef or turkey will keep for a very long time. Buy from a reputable dealer or make your own. Jerky is dried, removing most of the moisture where bacteria likes to grow, and also includes some salt, which adds more preservation.
The high protein content and longevity of jerky make it a popular choice amongst survivalists. The best way to store jerky is in its original vacuum-sealed packaging in a cool and dark place. You can also freeze it for longer shelf life.
Cheese may not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of beefing up your survival pantry, but it holds real value as long as it is real cheese and not some hyper-processed imposter. Not only is real cheese delicious, but it is also an excellent source of protein and healthy fat. To keep real cheese without refrigeration, it must be triple dipped in wax. This creates an airtight seal, and if done correctly, the cheese will keep for years. Even if the it molds a little, it will be only on the surface. You can scrape this part off and the rest of the cheese will still be good.
Quinoa is an ancient pseudo-grain that is actually a seed harvested from a tall and leafy plant that is in the spinach, beets, and chard family. Considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet, quinoa boasts high daily value percentages of fiber, thiamin, folate, magnesium, manganese, and more vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of protein.
The superfood qualities of quinoa have been a topic of discussion at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That’s right, NASA is even taking notice, testing it for use in long-term space missions.
A 1993 official, now declassified, NASA report states,
“Chenopodium quinoa is being considered as a new crop for the Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) because of its high protein values (12-18%) and unique amino acid composition.”
When quinoa is stored properly and may last up to five years tucked away in your pantry.
Other emergency foods to consider
Here are a few more food ideas to add to your emergency stash.
- Organic dry soup mix
- Sea salt
- Almond flour
- Oat flour
- Organic tea
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dried oats
- Powdered super greens
- Dried fruit
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Coconut crystals
- Coconut oil
- Coconut water
- Filtered water
Preparing is not panicking
Be careful not to confuse being prepared with panicking; they are quite different. Being prepared provides peace of mind that in the event of an emergency, you won’t panic because you are prepared! Chances are, you won’t need your emergency stash, but it is better to be forward-thinking than having to scramble in uncertain times.
-The Alternative Daily