to eat or not to eat

Foods that are part of your three-month supply should be foods that you regularly eat. As I have collected foods, I've acknowledged that there are some foods that I need for my three-month supply that just don't store well (especially if there is no electricity or refrigeration). In an effort to have easily-storable foods on hand, I often purchase items for my three-month supply in a form that I don't necessarily use regularly. For example, I use frozen or fresh onions in my cooking, but I've stored freeze-dried and dehydrated onions for my three-month food supply.

Because foods packaged for optimum storage sometimes carry a price premium, I am usually hesitant to open and use some of these storage items. I debate about whether to eat or not to eat those storage foods. "Sure," I think to myself, "I'll use it eventually -- before it goes bad." And then these products sit on my shelves unused and untried. I'd really rather use my cheaper, familiar onions than open a huge #10 can that I'm not really sure I'll like or know how to use. "Plus, it's supposed to be for storage," I rationalize. "If I use it, I'll have to buy more."

I have decided that it is important to try and use ALL of the items that I've stored for my three-month supply. I already use most of my storage items in my regular cooking. But there are a handful of products that I've ignored. I still haven't tried my canned cheese, freeze-dried onions, freeze-dried fruits, fruit drink mix, dried refried beans, or my butter powder (just to name a few). My canned butter also fell into this category until just a few weeks ago (see previous post on canned butter). But I've tried the butter and now I can be confident about the canned butter's use as a substitution if needed.

I'm going to do better! I'm resolved to try more of these ignored products, even if it is just one at a time, over the next year. There will probably be a small extra expense for doing so, but I'll chalk it up to the importance of becoming familiar with my stored foods. I keep reminding myself that this is actually an essential step in storing foods. If I hadn't tried the LDS home-storage dry milk, I wouldn't know how much I hate it. Can you imagine getting into a situation where you need to use your three-month supply, and only then discovering that you hate (or can't use) what you stored?

Are you with me? Will you resolve to try some of your ignored storage foods in the next year? I would love to have you share what you learn. In fact, I'll include your information and experiences if you're willing to share. Look for some future posts discussing my own experiences eating and cooking with my "ignored" storage foods.


tuxgirl said...

From my perspective, I've found that dried food is *much* more economical for us. First, if you look at how much onion is in the #10 can of chopped onion, it's a lot of onion. Also, I've been known to have problems with getting through perishable foods (fruits and veggies) before they go bad.

Wendy said...

Good comment. I think you're right that in most cases it is more economical to use storage food. My canned butter was an exception -- and so are my fresh/frozen onions (which both come from my garden).

preparednesspro said...

I'm with tuxgirl. I prefer using my freeze dried onion and peppers rather than purchase them fresh from the grocery store and risk them going bad before I get around to using them. Have you tried waxing cheese as an alternative to canned cheese? You just need cheese wax and a boar brush, slather some on your favorite cheese and you can store it for up to 25 years without refrigeration. Cheeselovers' dilemma solved :) http://tinyurl.com/cb3d6y

Nikki said...

Great info. My family loves the refried beans from the cannery (no fat).

What kind of powdered milk have you found that tastes the best?


Wendy said...

Thanks Nikki -

I personally like the Country Cream milk. It's more expensive than most of the other brands. I can get a 3.2 lb. can for about $10 on sale.

I recommend trying several of the brands to find the one that you and your family like the most. The one that you'll like has a lot to do with what kind of milk you regularly buy. It's a very personal thing.