Food Storage

Iowa Peak Oil

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This is really basic - obviously, you'll need to decide what you like to eat (or at least what you're willing to eat) - and work with it a little.  At this point, we're just trying to provide the cheapest possible options for storing food. 

A month seems a reasonable minimum, at least to start with.  The just-on-time nature of food deliveries, the growing potential for disruptions, the possibility of avian flu evolving into something which could trigger a pandemic - all of these things suggest that the prudent thing to do is to have enough food on hand to get by for a at least a while.

This is very tentative - we intend to work with it and expand on it as we go along.

Per Person Per Month:

grains--25 lbs
powdered milk--8.33 lbs
sugar/honey--8.33 lbs
beans/legumes--12.5 lbs
flour--8.33 lbs
oil--21.33 oz
salt--6.66 oz
baking powder--1.33 oz

Depending on what you buy and where, we estimated this basic supply would cost around $32 with sugar or $43 with honey. 

 Per Person Per Year:

grains--300 lbs
powdered milk--100 lbs
sugar/honey--100 lbs
beans/legumes--150 lbs
flour--100 lbs
salt--5 lbs
baking powder--1 lb

We would personally add a can of tomatoes and a couple of cans of tomato paste for each pound of legumes (or at least for each pound of beans).  Remember, though, in a worst case scenario, no power for an extended period of time during the winter could leave you with frozen and ruptured cans.

Don't forget spices - this is a really bland diet without them.

We would also include dried fruit, vegetables, and meat. 

This can be stored in anything - we use old cat litter jugs (we bleach them, though that's probably not really necessary), plastic juice bottles, coffee cans - the litter jugs are actually quite nice because they hold a lot, and you don't have to worry about the lid popping off like you do with a coffee can.

Water is more problematic - 30 gallons per person is quite a bit, though you can buy 6 or 7 gallon water containers where camping supplies are sold.  Empty juice or wine jugs (I guess I just made an admission about my taste in wine) work well, too.  Add 1 tsp of bleach for each gallon of water, and change it regularly.  If you have the room for a 30 gallon supply, we really do recommend it - a power outage can stop the pumps, water supplies can be contaminated, a pandemic will certainly mean that the waterworks is going to be short handed, and there's no way to predict the impact of that on water quality or availability.