WHY BASIC STORAGE?
Basic food storage should include 300 pounds of grains, 60 pounds of dry beans, 20 pounds of fats and oils, 60 pounds of honey and sugars, 75 pounds of dry milk, and 5 pounds of salt for each adult for one year. Alternate amounts are 400 pounds of grains, 60 pounds of dry beans, 10 quarts of fats and oils, 60 pounds of honey and sugars, 16 pounds of milk, and 8 pounds of salt for each adult for one year. These should be the foundation foods for the following reasons:
1. LONG SHELF LIFE - except for powdered milk and fats, unrefined basic storage foods will store indefinitely when kept dry, dark, airtight, and at 70 degrees or below. Higher temperatures shorten shelf life, but foods will still last longer than canned goods stored the same way. Even powdered milk has acceptable nutrition after 20 years when stored properly. Freeze dried foods have a long shelf life also, but not usually as long as the basics.
2. THEY ARE THE LEAST EXPENSIVE FOODS - a year's supply of basic foods for an adult can cost as little as $250. A year's supply of any other kind or combination of foods costs $700 to $4000 for each adult.
3. THEY ARE VERSATILE FOODS – basic foods are the ingredients for common recipes. When basic foods are stored in their whole form, they offer even more options for use. Beans and grains can be sprouted, cooked whole or ground into flours. Milk can be used in its liquid form or turned in to yogurt or cheese. Fats can be used for flavor, as an ingredient or for frying. Sugars can be used as a topping or as an ingredient in cooking and canning. Relying on pre-made food combinations limits menu options.
4. THEY PROVIDE THE MOST NUTRITION FOR THE VOLUME - basic foods are dry foods except for the fats and oils. Water is necessary for many of them to be cooked and/or eaten. Therefore, the space necessary for storage is much less than canned goods which have liquid in addition to the food. Freeze dried foods retain most of their original volume so they would also require more storage space.
5. THEY PROVIDE ALL BUT VITAMINS A & C - even these vitamins can be provided by grains such as amaranth. Sprouting can also provide small amounts. It is best, though, to store vitamins and/or garden seeds for fresh vegetables until a supply of canned fruits and vegetables can be maintained. Freeze dried foods can also be stored to provide these vitamins.
6. THEY ARE THE BASIS OF A HEALTHY DISEASE PREVENTION DIET - nutrition and health research indicates that the healthiest diets are low fat, low sodium, high fiber, high complex carbohydrate diets. Whole grains, legumes, and low-fat milk are all a part of this diet.