In times of distress, natural disaster or even pandemics, survival foods are one of the most crucial things to have ready to go.
Having adequate food to eat will help you and your family survive through the majority of emergency experiences. Survival foods can also be valuable in case of a long term unemployment or in the case of an illness or pandemic where you can't leave your house.
Many people today are taking steps to make sure they have a supply of survival foods on hand. What are your options? Here are 3 different types of survival food to consider with the benefits of each:
#1 Can Your Own Emergency Food
If you are the Suzy Homemaker type, have hours of free time, or just want something to do over the weekend, then canning or preserving your own food might be the way to go.
The advantage to this option is that you can select what kinds of foods to have on hand and preferably choose something you'd actually enjoy eating. This may also save you some money.
The disadvantage is that it can take a lot of time and be very labor-intensive. If you're like most people, you don't have much free time after work and the thought of preserving food all weekend doesn't excite you.
Another thing to be aware of is that the shelf life of this food is only around 1 - 2 years. So you'll have to be sure and eat your canned food and switch it out with newer foods as time goes by.
#2 Dehydrated Foods
You can dehydrate your own foods with a food dehydrator. This option gives you a little more variety and again, you get to choose foods that you like to eat
On the downside, dehydrating foods can take a very long time - think 12 hours or more just for beef jerky. Many of the high quality food dehydrators have timers so you can "set and forget", which make things a little easier.
Dehydrated foods are really more of a short term food storage option. Like the canned foods above you should probably consume them within 1 year of preparation.
Experts also recommend that any dehydrated meats be placed in a freezer to help them from spoiling.
You may also need to store your newly dehydrated meals in the freezer right after dehydration for a few days to help reduce the possibility of insect contamination.
So to summarize the two issues you may have with dehydrating food is time to prepare - which can be long, and shelf life - which can be quite short.
#3 Freeze Dried Foods
You can also find prepackaged freeze dried food that can easily be stored away for long periods of time.
Freeze dried meals that are simple to make are one of your best options for survival foods. Most meals only need to add water - which in a disaster situation might be all you have.
Plus in a true emergency if you have young children, the simpler the food is to make, the better. They can help you make the meals (this will also keep them from thinking about the problems going on around them).
And contrary to how the name sounds, freeze dried foods can taste remarkably good. This food has come a long way in the past few years. Some manufacturers have made their freeze dried foods almost to gourmet levels.
For example you can get Chicken a la King, Italian wedding soup with meatballs, vegetable stew with beef, and even blueberry pancakes.
Plus unlike the two options above, some freeze dried survival foods have a shelf life of 25+ years (depending on storage temperature). So as a long term food storage option they're a pretty good option.
Basically all you have to do is store them in a cool dry spot, and inspect them on a regular basis.
So those are 3 options for having survival foods on hand in case of emergency. No matter how you choose to prepare yourself, it's important that you do take some steps to have food on hand should you be stranded in your home and/or unable to find food.
Being properly prepared can mean the difference between barely surviving and thriving should the worst happen.