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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  William Gilbert 3 months, 1 week ago.

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    Just trying to share some notes, so ‘new arrivals” do not need to “re-invent the wheel”.


    To plan how much food to store for a potential crisis, you need to select the timeframe you believe applicable. The per-person numbers below are presented to provide initial insight into potential food and water needs.


    Short term – One month

    Medium term – Six months

    Long term – One year to indeterminate.


    Short term – One month


    Water – 30 gallons (255 lbs).


    Food – Around 58 lbs. depending on your selections. For a 30 day bug out supply it may be worthwhile to get freeze-dried to save weight. Weight is based on Latter Day Saints (LDS) book online at Grocery store canned items would probably weigh significantly more.


    Comment: 313 pounds per person. To allow for a practical short term bug out supply it may be worthwhile to get freeze-dried foods to save weight. It would seem that wherever you intend to bug out to, you need a reliable water source at that location. Attempting to take water for two people would probably overload a typical modest car.


    Medium term – Six months


    Water – 1,552 lbs.


    Food – Around 348 lbs.


    Comment: Around 1,900 lbs. per person. A reliable water source at a bug out destination is required. The weight of just food for two is potentially “pushing the limits” of a typical modest car.


    Long term – One year to indeterminate.


    Water – Assume a mere gallon per day per person, and that each gallon with its container weighs 8.5 lbs. To store it, or move it, realize it’s a little over 1 ½ tons (3,102.5 lbs)


    Food – To present an example starting position, LDS has already crunched the numbers regarding how much staple/stable food items need to be stored to provide approximately 2,300 calories per person per day. Their suggested supply weighs 695lbs.


    Comment: 3,797.5 lbs. per person. A reliable water source at the destination is required. While it is not that much food to keep a person happy, it is a significant weight per person to contemplate carrying from storage to a vehicle and traveling any significant distance. The food for two people would probably overload the typical automobile that a couple might own.


    If planning for a bug-out, it would seem that food storage needs to be pre-positioned if possible.

    Storage of basics- To present a starting position, LDS has already crunched the numbers for how much staple/stable food items need to be stored per person for a year’s supply. If planning food production, even if a new site is planted immediately, it could be well over a year before garden plots are producing well, therefore I would opine that we need more than a year storage.


    Posting excerpts from their book, LDS Church Food storage information for 1 adult male for 1 year provides approximately 2,300 calories per day, as follows.


    LDS TOTAL FOOD PER DAY = 24.65 Ounces


    Grains (400lbs) Unless your family already eats 100% whole wheat homemade bread, white

    flour should be used in the transition process to whole wheat. Adding rye flour (10%) helps make wheat bread a more complete protein. Dent corn is used to make tortillas.


    Beans & Legumes (90lbs) Black beans cook quickly, make a good salad complement with a vinaigrette dressing over them. Soybeans can be used to make soy milk and tofu, a protein food you should be prepared to make. Familiarize yourself with sprouting techniques. Learn how to make wheat grass juice – the best vitamin supplement you can use.


    Milk-Dairy products (75lbs) Milk powder can be used to make cottage cheese, cream cheese and hard cheeses. Ideally your milk should be fortified with Vitamins A & D. When reconstituting aerate to improve flavor (special mixing pitchers can accomplish this). Whole eggs are the best all-purpose egg product. Powdered sour cream has a limited shelf life unless frozen.


    Meats / Meat substitute (20lbs) Use meat in soups, stews and beans for flavor. Freeze dried is the best option for real meat. Textured Vegetable protein is the main alternative to freeze dried meats.


    Fats / Oils (20lbs) This group can boost the calories one is getting from food storage products, and supply essential fatty acids.


    Sugars (60lbs) Store your honey in 5 gallon pails. Candy and other sweets can help with appetite fatigue.


    Fruits / Vegetables (90lbs) Some fruits and vegetables are best dehydrated, others freeze dried (strawberries & blueberries).


    Auxiliary foods (weight varies) Vanilla extract improves the flavor of powdered milk. The production of tofu requires a precipitator such as nigari, epsom salt, calcium chloride or calcium sulfide (good calcium source). Learn how to make and use wheat gluten (liquid smoke adds good

    flavor). Chocolate syrup and powdered drink mixes help with appetite fatigue. Vitamins and protein powders will boost the nutrition levels of foods that may have suffered losses during processing.


    To get an idea what the volume of the above food would look like stored, a further quote from their book:

    Two 5 gallon buckets will hold about 75lbs of wheat, rice or other grains. This means you need:


    11 buckets of grain for each person in your family. If you store all your grains in #10 cans…

    Wheat, Rice, Corn, etc. then you would need 64 cans or 10.5 cases per person.


    Pasta. You would need 32 cans or 5.25 cases per person.


    Rolled oats. These are lighter but bulkier, so they require more storage containers and space.

    You would need 124 cans or 21 cases person.


    Beans. A 25 lb bag of beans will about fit in a single 5 gallon bucket, with a little space over, so 2 buckets would hold a one person supply, or 12 -13 # 10 cans or about 2 cases.


    Despite the weight and volume, this is really not much food. Daily it provides for each adult:


    Grains (17.5oz / day)

    Beans (2.6oz / day)

    Cooking oil (0.87oz / day)

    Honey (2.63oz / day)

    Salt (0.35oz / day)

    Powdered milk (0.70oz / day)


    If the core calorie food stored is wheat, then in addition to typical home food cookware a grinder will be needed.


    Examine the LDS food book at the link. Logically your food storage should be used prior to “expiration”, which leads to a further aspect to consider, whether you and your family will eat the foods listed. Our family did not find the LDS list to be a good fit to our preferences. Expect to need to develop your own storage plan based upon what you will actually use.


    There are many food storage options available. Before I would purchase any pre-made commercial collection of food, I would carefully inspect the types of food included and the actual calories per meal / day. I’ve seen programs which for example claimed to be a 30 day supply, but each day’s allocation of food provided significantly under 2,000 calories.


    If you are considering the MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) option, they come in boxes of 12 meals, the box dimensions being 9 1/4″ x 11 x 16 1/2. For a year for each person you’re looking at 92 boxes, a stack 16″ deep, 5 foot high, 16 foot wide. They are generally considered to expire after five years.


    According to the USDA, high-acid canned goods, like tomatoes and citrus fruits, will keep for up to 1½ years. Low-acid canned goods—that’s pretty much everything else, including vegetables, meat, and fish—will last for up to 5 years.


    For our family, I entered onto a spreadsheet details such as cost, calorie, carb, protein, & fat info for the items we use. For each item we’ve got a “high & low” count, when an item on the shelf gets down to the low, it goes on the shopping list to buy enough to restore to the high count. Typically we just leave the quantity entry in the spreadsheet at the low number. Original set up took time of course, but now it’s just a matter of putting in whatever new item we add.


    Notes from the book, “Store This Not That”, by Crystal Godfrey and Debbie Kent.

    “… 95% of Americans are not prepared for an interruption of the food delivery system, and many who are prepared “have nightmares about actually needing to eat their food storage”…


    Regarding commercial food programs they comment, “In 2006 Costco was sued because they claimed the food [program] was a 3-month supply of food for one person, yet the calorie intake was just 455 calories per day”.


    Freeze dried foods can cost up to 10 times other means.


    Bugout – If you have been forced to evacuate, you probably do not have time or preparation resources to prepare a full meal. While can goods can be eaten cold they are significant weight and bulk to add to a backpack. The authors suggest “lifeboat” rations for your bug out bag, specifically mentioning the following products.


    Millennium survival bar, Mainstay survival bar, Datrex survival bar, Mayday survival bar, ER survival bar, SOS survival bar. They include their opinion of the taste and overall quality. Before stuffing our bags, we bought one of each and taste-tested them among our family so each can have something they “like” in their bag.


    They point out the obvious that you are probably not going to carry with you a gallon of water for every day you expect to be gone. Their suggestion for a take along filter is a Berkey water filter bottle.


    Two weeks – Their next level is a storage program for two weeks of canned or dry foods that require little to no preparation. If your family was forced to remain home, select the foods they would prefer and stash them away. For determining, and using your long term stored food, they present sample two week meals and recipes for three meals per day. Their plans include desserts.


    Overall for a cooking fuel they appear to rate charcoal as the easiest to store. They suggest a solar oven, rocket stove, and “applebox oven”.


    More info on the “applebox”.…ven-use-a-box/


    Long term – Their initial presentation for the long term is similar to the LDS plan.


    400 pounds of grains

    60 pounds of beans

    60 pounds of sugar/honey

    12 pounds of non-instant powdered milk

    22 quarts of oil (oils, shortening, peanut butter)

    5 pounds of salt

    2 pounds of yeast

    1 pound baking soda

    1 pound baking powder

    8 #10 cans of vegetables (3 potatoes, ½ each onion, celery, carrots, tomato powder)

    8 #10 cans fruits

    8 #10 cans freeze dried, 90 cans, 45 pints

    Dairy: cheese, eggs, etc. as needed


    They comment that 25 quarts bottled = 50 15 oz cans = 8 #10 cans.


    For meats they indicate:


    One #10 can = 22 servings of ½ cup = 5.5 pounds fresh meat

    2 12-oz cans = 4 servings of ½ cup = 1 pound fresh meat

    1 pint home bottled = 4 servings of ½ cup = 1 pound fresh meat


    Shelf life


    Canned meats, fruits, & vegetables 2 – 5 years

    Commercially freeze-dried 10 – 15 years

    Commercially dehydrated fruits & vegetables 10 years

    Home canned products 2 – 5 years

    Home dehydrated fruits & vegetables 2 years


    Their recommendation for a manual grain mill is Wondermill Jr. / Deluxe


    They indicate that beans can substitute in some recipes for butter, oil, or shortening by cooking the beans then running them in a blender until they are a puree.


    Powdered cheddar cheese is probably the healthiest option.


    Powdered whole egg or egg white will work in recipes, but not for making “scrambled eggs”. They suggest the product OvaEasy for imitating fresh eggs scrambled.


    They present a “warning” to not use store brand can goods for long term storage.


    There are charts for fruits and vegetables showing their opinion of what storage approach can be applied to the item, and which they feel is the “best” option.


    Overall the book is a valuable tool in your food storage planning. If your local library does not have it on their shelf, ask about borrowing it on an Inter-Library Loan, which is how we got it to review.



    If you plan on developing your food storage program based on typical grocery store purchases, an excellent resource is the site by Robert Atkins (Grandpappy) at:



    I would recommend a thorough review of his site, and printing hard-copy of the information you might rely on as a reference. In that the focus of this post is food storage, start with his articles:


    A 30-Day Emergency Food Supply (2,000 Calories per Day)


    An Affordable One-Year Emergency Food Supply


    A Really Cheap One-Year Emergency Food Supply



    How can we determine how much, and what, you need to store?


    For planning purposes the generic calorie chart at the link below sets out suggested calorie intake by age, gender, and level of activity. We have printed it out for home planning reference notebook.…erDayTable.pdf




    In a sustained post disaster scenario, stress, disease, injury, hard work, will all take a toll on the health of survivors. Access to the best available quality of foods, and the right distribution of carb, fat, protein will be critical. As stores of present processed foods diminish, hopefully the “issue” of saturated, unsaturated, and trans-fats will disappear.


    Multiple sites suggest that for now as a general rule between 10 percent and 15 percent of the total calories for an average person should come from protein. Each gram of protein has 4 calories, so if you consume 2,000 calories per day, at least 200 should come from protein, or about 50 grams. For rough “rules of thumb”, to determine recommended grams of protein to compensate for activity level, take your weight in pounds, select the “lifestyle” and multiply:


    Sedentary Lifestyle x .364

    Moderate Activity / Pregnant x .592

    Extremely Active x .819


    For consideration, numbers re myself. For now while I’m relatively sedentary, I should be aiming to not exceed 2,000 calories per day, to be distributed as:

    60g protein (240 calories)

    56 to 78g fat (504 to 702 calories)

    264 to 314g carbs (1,058 to 1,256 calories).


    As an example, when “SHTF” I may need up to 2,800 calories per day. If I maintain my 165 lb. weight and need to be extremely active, I should be hoping to have daily access to 135 g of protein, with my calories distributed as:

    135g protein (540 calories)

    109g fat (981)

    319g carbs (1279 calories)


    The amount of protein per serving listed on a nutrition fact chart does not mean that entire amount is available for use by your body. The “Coefficient of Digestibility” is the percentage of the available protein that the body can absorb. Some examples are:


    Fruits 85%

    Brown rice 75%

    Soy beans 78%

    Wheat flour 79%

    Potato/Roots 74%

    Vegetables 65%


    Protein consist of 22 amino acids, which are the building blocks of life essential for brain function, eyes, hair, muscles, energy, etc. Of these 22 amino acids, 9 of them are essential and crucial to the human body, which the human body cannot make. Not only must they be in the diet, but they must be in the diet in a set quantity relationship to each other. If the ratio of one of the essential amino acids is low relative to the others, the extra of the others cannot be appropriately used by the body. Amino acids are the “building blocks” of protein. Adults need to eat foods that contain the following eight amino acids in the ratio of milligrams if the amino acid per gram of protein consumed.


    Methionine 26

    Valine 48

    Tryptophan 11

    Isoleucine 42

    Leucine 70

    Lysine 51

    Threonine 35

    Phenylalanine 73


    Histidine, the ninth essential amino acid, is only necessary for babies.


    While the web remains, a resource to examine the amino acid protein makeup of foods is at


    There are combinations of foods which make proteins more useful to the human body, the book “Diet for a Small Planet” indicates combining 1 cup beans with 2 2/3 cup rice increases protein usefulness 43%. Combinations to create complete protein is a topic I have not found a lot of detail on. My view is that if the proteins in beans and rice need to complement each other to form complete proteins, that quanties of each should be consumed such that you are getting equal amounts of protein from each.


    Whether your garden or food storage program, consider food items that provide nutrition beyond merely counting calories. Wandering about in the grocery store, I started comparing the protein content of the available beans, in terms of amount per serving and cost per gram of protein. Most had 8 or less grams protein per serving. The “winner” turned out to be Fava beans with the “skin” still on, at 20 grams protein per serving. Using the nutrition labels from the store, you can start to “get to know” your food, but there is more.


    I just read the book “Super Immunity”, by Dr. Joel Furhman. He points out that there are many nutrients that our bodies may only need in small amounts, but without them the body cannot function at optimum levels. In his book he puts items such as kale and collards at the top of his nutrient dense list, followed closely by bok-choy & swiss chard.


    He terms the comparison “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index”, a measurement of overall non-calorie micronutrients vs the calories in a given food. A chart with examples is at:…ANDI-chart.pdf


    Perhaps a measurement to use to determine when something is referred to as a nutritional “Superfood”. Run a search for superfoods, and see which ones appeal to you, and what might grow in your area. Examples for consideration.


    Gogi berries. We bought a bag of dried berries, and liked them. We cut several and with tweezers pulled out seeds, and planted them. We now have multiple plants growing.


    Kale. We have found there are perennial, tree versions which could provide quality food for a long time.


    Sweet potatoes. Frequently listed as a superfood. In general the darker the skin and flesh, the greater the non-calorie nutritional value. I’ve read that the purple skin and flesh varieties are rated highest.


    Having touched on the present concept of Superfood, consider the other side, that a great deal of our foods are, in terms of nutrition, pale shadows of their former selves.…nt-dense-foods


    “… A 2004 article published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, compared nutritional differences in 43 garden crops between the years 1950 and 1999… Modern numbers slumped a shocking 6 to 38% behind historic averages. Of the 13 nutrients considered, six showed the most significant declines. These included: protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron, riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and vitamin C. The authors predicted that many other nutrients had likely been effected, but magnesium, zinc, vitamins B6, E and others were not sufficiently studied in 1950 to make official claims.


    One study conducted in England, uncovered a drop off of anywhere between 2 to 84% in the mineral content of foods between the years 1940-2002. This analysis went beyond crops to include animal foods with equally staggering results. Conventionally raised beef for example experienced a 38% drop in iron, an 84% decrease in copper and a 4% dip in magnesium content.


    A similar study published in the British Food Journal demonstrated significant differences in vegetables grown in the 1930s and 1980s. For the 20 vegetables studied, the average calcium content had plummeted 19%; iron 22 %; and potassium 14%.


    According to expert Jo Robinson, wild plants contain many times more phytonutrients than modern varieties. Wild dandelions for example have seven times more nutrients than spinach. Purple potatoes from Peru have 28 times more beneficial anthocyanins than Russet Potatoes. Select native apples, which are no bigger than the size of a cherry, have 100-fold more phytonutrients than the common Golden Delicious.


    In 2006 the United Nations admitted to a new type of malnutrition, suggesting the issue is not always food availability, but rather food quality. This new paradigm has been called “type B malnutrition” and looks at farming practices and issues with multiple micronutient depletion in communities around the globe.


    The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study warning that people can’t get enough vitamins from diet alone, and that supplementation in all adults is recommended, if not necessary… “


    My personal view is that the fall in food nutrition quality is two-fold. First, the crops have been bred for size, appearance, and ability to survive processing and the delays to getting on store shelves. Second, the soil in which most crops are grown has been depleted of nutrients and soil life. If there is not iron in the soil, it is not going to be in your spinach, and it will not be in you. The three primary macro nutrients for plants, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are regularly added to farm soil, but the micronutrients are not, and the pesticides and other chemicals have killed off soil life.





    Awesome post Ronald,

    I will use this in my local chapter meeting.

    Very informative!





    In a crisis, where you need to be active, you will NEED the calories, and especially the protein…  My research says if a male is active during a crisis, then up to 3,200 calories per day could be essential.  Yes, most americans could stand to lose weight, as could I…  but numbers are numbers….


    But even if you intend to lose weight, you need to keep the muscle mass up….  and overall health, to be able to fight illness…. Therefore protein.


    Protein from LDS Storage – Theory

    Seeking “complete” protein from long term storage, using LDS sealed can information.


    Black beans, 55 servings per can, 10 gram protein per serving, serving size 45 gram, 150 calories.


    White rice, 54 servings per can, 3 gram protein per serving, serving size 45 gram, 160 calories.


    While there are lots of sites that indicate eating beans and rice together create a “complete” protein mix, I’ve not found a definitive statement of the ratio.  My theory then is that for the proteins in beans/rice to complement each other, the protein content should be in balance.


    Therefore I theorize that a mixed serving of these two should be balanced at the ratio of 11.75 gram beans and 33.75 gram rice.  Pretty much ¾ rice and ¼ beans.  In my theory this should provide 10 grams of a “complete” protein.


    If working hard, suggested daily protein intake for a 200 pound male would be around 163 grams.  That would mean the male would need to consume 16 portions.


    Looking just at protein it would be 600 calories in beans and 640 calories in rice (1,240 calories) in a meal which would be around 25 ounces.  (180g beans & 540g rice)


    That same active male would need around 2,800 calories per day.  Two minimum such meals per day.  Per multiple charts a suggested upper calorie amount for planning would be around 3,200 per day.



    Just more numbers.


    Extrapolating further, if the active male was to obtain 3,200 calories per day ONLY from LDS canned beans and rice, to reach 3,200 calories per day would be 2.5 of the calculated portions, or daily 450g beans and 1,350g rice. (Around 63 ounces, or four pounds).


    The can of beans contains 2,475g, the rice can has 2,430g.


    Each can of beans would last around 5.5 days, each can of rice would last 1.8 days.


    To last 365 days, this would mean 67 cans of beans and 202 cans of rice.


    Beans:  $6.25 per can, or $418.75  (67 cans, call it 12 cases)

    Rice:  $4.00 per can, or $808 (202 cans, call it 34 cases)


    Total:  $1,226.75


    Let’s drop back to the 200 lb male getting just complete protein from the beans/rice mix.


    Re protein only, each can of beans would last 13.75 days, and each can of rice 4.5 days.  The cost now with just a protein focus is:


    Beans:  $165.90  (26.5 cans, call it 5 cases)

    Rice:  $324.44 (81 cans, call it 14 cases)

    Total:  $490.34 (Actually a little more if bought in case lots)


    Calories need to be supplemented from some source.


    3,200 – 1,240 = 1,960 calories per day “deficit”.


    For simplicity in calculations, pick an oil (fat).  Grapeseed oil, relatively healthy.  120 calories per 25 gram serving.  Spread over the daily meals, a total of 408 gram (14 oz or 27 tablespoons).


    9 tbs per “meal”.


    A $12.99 bottle contains 2,040g, or 5 days.  A year supply would be $948.27


    Total annual cost $1,438.61.  More expensive, but takes up less space, and requires less “bulk” in meals.


    Opinion:  There is no cheap approach to getting protein and useful calories.  Let’s look at the above calorie deficit after bean/rice in terms of junk sugar.  Per the web, a 4 lb bag of sugar can be bought at Fry’s for $1.59.  Each bag contains 6,810 calories.  The deficit would require 105 sacks, at a cost of $166.95.  Cheap, but not in the interest of your health.


    Re just calories ignoring all else, for empty calories it would take 172 such sacks, at a cost of $273.48.  But on such a diet you would probably not live a year.


    William Gilbert

    I have about 9 months worth of freeze-dried food for sale … some Provident Pantry #10 cans, but mainly Mountain House 3-month premium packs, #10 cans, pro-paks and pouches … available at about 60% of current retail price.  Contact me at for detailed inventory.  Thanks.

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