Stockpiling the right type of food is vital to preparing for a survivalist situation. Whether you get stuck at home due to a natural disaster, global pandemic, government shutdown, or civil unrest, you will still need good quality nutrition to survive. It is always best to prepare for the worst as the future is unpredictable. You should store enough food for you and your family to survive for few weeks to months without needing to starve or venture out for food.
For storing food, one of the most popular items is canned food items, which are convenient to store and relatively cheap to buy. Most canned foods are designed to last longer than most perishable food items. However, there are a few important factors to consider when stockpiling canned food.
Types of Canned Foods
There are two main categories of canned foods: Acidified Canned Food (ACF) and Low Acid Canned Food (LACF). These are safety standards set by the FDA to ensure there is no microbial contamination. The difference between these two types of canned foods is that low acid canned foods have a pH level of 4.6 or higher.
Common examples of such canned foods include canned vegetables or meat. These types of canned food items are often sterilized. ACF food has a low pH value and most of such food items do not require sterilization from microbial contamination.
Does the canned food need a refrigerator?
Most types of canned food items don’t need a refrigerator, but certain canned foods might need one or might be able to last longer if they are stored in a refrigerator. You can buy a mini-fridge and freezer on Amazon for an affordable price. When storing canned food in a refrigerator make sure you also have the means to defrost to warm the food, otherwise, you might be stuck with frozen food that is not edible.
Make sure you check the expiry date of any canned food items you store. The ideal temperature to store canned food is between 50 F to 75 F. Anything above 85 F, and you risk spoiling the canned food.
The ideal storage environment for canned food is a cool and dry place. Keep periodically checking on the stockpiled food items to make sure they are in good condition. You don’t want to be in a situation where when you need to survive on the canned food you discover that the food has got rotten.
How many canned food items to store?
It is difficult to predict how long you will need to rely on stockpiled food but you should at least give yourself 3 months of food supply at home. To calculate how much food you need, you can do a basic calorie requirement calculation for you and your family for three months to determine the amount of total food you will need to store. You can get the daily calorie requirement based on age, height, weight, and sex of your family members.
Stockpiling canned foods will be of no use if you are not able to open the cans, so make sure you keep a couple of good-quality tools to open the cans. You can buy an electric canned food opener or a more traditional version of a canned food opener on Amazon.
If you are restocking your food, make sure you rotate your supplies. That means placing the old stock in the front and new stock with longer remaining shelf life at the back. This way you can optimize the shelf life of the stockpiled canned foods.
Stockpiling Canned Food – Which has the best shelf life?
Canned foods that have preservatives such as salt are going to last longer. The preservatives might not be the healthy ingredient but they are necessary for longer shelf life. Canned meats and vegetables tend to be one of the longest-lasting types of canned food. You can also buy canned fish, beans, rice, soup, and fruit. All these types of canned food should have a long shelf life.
Keep in mind to keep a variety of canned food to avoid nutritional deficiency and appetite fatigue. Appetite fatigue can be worse with children so make sure you consult with your family to make sure you keep canned food items that everyone will be willing to eat.
Canned food with sauce or sugar will reduce its shelf life. The sauces or sugar might improve the taste but in a survivalist situation, the priority should be shelf life. You should also buy canned food items from reputed brands that contain food ingredients from healthy sources. If you planning on buying canned meat items, consider buying the Stainless Steel Luncheon Meat Cutter.
Signs that canned foods are not safe to eat
Before you consume any canned food, inspect the can to make sure it is not rusting or bulging. Such signs are an indicator of rotten food. Also, pay attention to strange textures or flavors.
If the canned food has gone beyond the expiry date or has spoiled, it is likely to change in flavor or texture. The last thing you want in a survivalist situation is to have an upset stomach by consuming rotten or bad food.
Are there are any disadvantages to stockpiling canned foods?
Canned food items are full of preservatives such as salt and sugar, which doesn’t make them the most healthy food items, however, when other foods are not available, canned foods are an easily acceptable option.
Just make sure you buy suitable items, and store them at the right place.
Alternatives to Canned Food
You can plant and grow an organic food lawn at home. You can plant fruits, vegetables, and other food items. If you have the space, tools, and skills to plant your food at home, it would not only be a healthy option but you can survive on home-grown food for a long time.
Certain food items such as fruits, tomatoes, soups, and vegetables are great alternatives to canned food items as they are able to last long without needing preservatives.