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Calamities now occur with even greater frequency and intensity.

With floods, earthquakes, financial meltdowns, and other disasters, comes the danger of losing access to food. To survive, your best bet is to be prepared with your own stockpile. When stockpiling food, the main thing to consider is shelf life, especially without refrigeration. Stock up on food that provides significant nutritional value (no “junk food” if you can help it), and requires little to no fuel or electricity to cook. More experienced preppers might add to this list, but here are some foods to stockpile:

1. Honey

The top choice for seasoned preppers, be sure to get the most natural you can find.

Real, natural honey literally never spoils. Archaeologists will vouch for this, as they’ve found jars of honey in Egyptian tombs that were still edible. Stock as much of it as you can in airtight jars. Commercially-made honey may not keep forever, as some brands are “diluted” with corn syrup. Honey is also valued by preppers, as it has the added bonus of anti-bacterial properties, so it can help heal wounds and prevent infection. Apply honey on wounds, then cover with a bandage.

2. Sugar

Brown or white, refined or natural, sugar doesn’t spoil either. It may clump up and harden, but it won’t be any less palatable. As always, store in an airtight container to keep moisture, insects, and varmints from getting to your stash.

 

3. White Rice

The staple food of most Asian countries, white rice can last up to 5 years in its raw form. Brown and darker-colored varieties are also favorable, but don’t last as long due to their higher oil content.

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A few billion Asians can’t be wrong.

A few billion Asians can’t be wrong.

4. Legumes

Kidney Beans, Black Beans, Garbanzos, Blackeye Beans, Lima Beans and the like will keep for 8-10 years, as long as they’re stored in airtight containers. Beans are an excellent source of protein if meat is hard to come by, and great for making thick soup or stew.

5. Salt

Like sugar, any kind of salt won’t spoil, but it will also harden. Though not technically a food, salt is still worth stockpiling; it’s useful in preserving meats, making soap, and healing wounds.

6. Powdered Milk

Keeps for up to 20 years if stored properly. Great for when you don’t have a cow.

Bessie, you're fired.

Bessie, you’re fired.

7. Instant Coffee

Inferior as it may be compared to fresh-brewed, instant coffee is a godsend. Can also last for up to 20 years.

Spare a few cuppa Joes for the other Joes!

8. Kitchen Staples

Cooking and baking essentials like white vinegar, baking soda, and yeast can also keep for extended periods if likewise stored in airtight containers. Some of these essentials also have dual purposes; baking soda is a great toothpaste substitute, while vinegar is a superior cleanser.

9. Canned or bottled food

Meat or fish in cans or bottles are also obvious choices, but keep track of the expiration dates. Make sure to store these items in a place that’s dry and where the temperature doesn’t change frequently and abruptly to avoid spoiling.

Apocalyptic canned food dinner. Yum.

10. Other essentials

It goes without saying that if access to clean drinking water may be compromised during a calamity, stock up on a lot of water, or have a good water purification system ready, such as a Lifestraw. Ideally, you and the members of your household should have a ration of at least 2 liters of water each per day.  Other stuff to stockpile can include instant noodles, trail mix, beef jerky, bouillon cubes, soy sauce, and other condiments and seasonings. Just be sure to consume the high-salt items moderately, to avoid developing chronic ailments.

As a final note, the items listed here are due to their long shelf life. It’s not recommended to depend mainly on these items for extended periods. Think of these food items as a means to “tide you over” until you can have access to better food and normal living conditions are restored, or you are able to move to a more “civilized” location. Stay safe and stock up, preppers!