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How we need to prepare

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Identify what you need to put aside – pt 3 – Food

The next article in our series ‘Identify what you need to put aside‘ is Food.

Nothing here constitutes medical advice. I’m simply saying how I see things. You should take advice from your medical practitioner before trying an diet or following any advice read on this or any other web site.

The human body is a machine. Like all machines it requires fuel to function and like all complicated machines the fuel it requires has to contain a sophisticated mix of ingredients; in this case proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals or problems occur. The human digestive system is very sophisticated and can process a multitude of different ingredients which it converts into the vitamins and minerals it wants. Like everything too much or too little of an ingredient can lead to problems.

What is the recommended daily intake?
Well there actually isn’t one I can give you. People get fixated on calories, fat and salt content and try to fit us all into a narrow band where they define how many calories, how much of certain foods and how much salt. The problem with that is that you need more fat in colder climates; more salt in hotter climates and the calories you use depends on you, the temperature and the work you perform. There is no one size fits all despite what is said. We have an obesity epidemic because nobody plays outside any more because of the media and paedophiles and the kids would rather play games on the computer but their fuel intake, what they eat, is as if they were out working. They simply eat too much and the human body stores the extra fuel in the fat cells for later use. That is how our bodies have evolved. It was an evolutionary step that enabled us to live through the lean times. Unfortunately, we cannot change this and as we have no fuel gauge we eat until we think we are finished, some foods we just keep on eating because they are simply so nice.

To put it simply; If your calorie intake is more than you use you will put on weight and gain fat, if your intake is less than you use then you will lose weight and consume fat and your calorific requirements change daily depending on the weather, your sex, your height, your weight, your age, your health and what work you are doing. Younger people consume more calories which are used to make their body grow and they can eat a lot during growth spurts. Older people gain weight remaining on the same intake as their metabolism slows with age.

An average person, not a child, consumes around 15 calories per body pound just to keep the body going and for general moving around. It uses this to keep the body as its optimum temperature, the heart beating, and the juices flowing. If you are performing heavy work, running, lifting or your job requires manual labour then you will require more. If you are bedridden you will require less. In addition your body will require a minimum of 2 litres of water a day and may require more depending on your metabolism, the work you are doing and the weather. See this article on water. The more water the merrier as excess water is excreted via urine and in the process it helps the digestive process. Of course like everything else you can overdo the drinking. Just drink until you don’t feel thirsty and then drink an extra cup. Your body will betray you by not feeling thirsty when you are still slightly dehydrated.

If you consume 15 calories per pound and keep an eye on your weight every week then you can adjust the meals as necessary to keep your weight stable. When stable it is as simple as when you gain a pound do some exercise or have smaller portions and lose a pound then increase your portions a little. No drastic changes and keep your liquid levels up.

If your workload changes then although you should adjust your intake most of us wait until we start to feel it before we cut back. We get used to seeing a certain amount on the plate and don’t want to feel hungry whilst if we feel hungry we will eat more immediately. Again this is genetic from when we ate what we could because we didn’t know if there was going to be any more. We like to blame this on our weight by saying that it is our metabolism but generally it is not. We are not addicted to food we just like the taste and most of us have been brought up to see a plate with food left on it as wasteful. It is habit.

Children are slightly different as their bodies will go through growth spurts. Obviously if they are out running around then they are burning lots of calories. In the house watching TV uses much less but still more than you would expect. It is a difficult one but if your child has a healthy lifestyle with lots of running and playing then don’t worry how much, or little, they are eating. If they start to put on weight around the tummy and start being lethargic then consider cutting back on the sweets and chocolate and if it goes on consider taking them to the doctor just to check them out.

Meal times
Our bodies are actually better off having several meals during the day rather than two main meals. Our stomachs like not carrying around a load of food while it is digesting and small portions are digested more efficiently. However, we are in the habit of breakfast with lunch and dinner as main, read big, meals while the snacks we have between them are blamed for our extra weight. In fact it is better for us to have breakfast, a mid morning snack, another snack for lunch followed by a snooze, and a mid afternoon snack and a meal at dinner time, followed again by a small supper. These snacks not being in addition to the main meals but are actually the main meals spread around during the day. The snacks can be as simple as an apple or a carrot and a drink.

What to eat
Remember that it doesn’t really matter what you consume. It is the total number of calories and the types and totals of the proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals that matter. However, the food consumed can also have effects on your body and you can, and will, get fed up of eating the same things time after time. You may become constipated or feel lethargic. Usually we have so many different foods which keep us in balance as certain foods have more protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins or minerals than others and our bodies will trigger cravings to ensure it gets what it needs.

What type of foods do I need?
You should always put away what you eat. For one thing you know your body processes its requirements of vitamins and minerals from those sources already and that it gives you no ill effect. Some people have allergies or intolerances to certain foods and that is besides those that have certain diseases or illnesses such a diabetes or genetic disorders, such as PKU (Phenylketonuria), that inhibit bodies producing certain enzymes. You now how those foods will react with your body, you know you like them already and you will not have too much of a culture shock, especially the kids.

Common Sense
Remember that tins will last years, many beyond the dates on the tin which are put there because of lawyers and legislation. Obviously you need to be careful with what tins you put away, their condition and storage conditions. Everything should be kept in a cool dark place. Tins should be stored only if undamaged, no dints, leaks or rust. When opened they should be checked to ensure they are not off. The usual method of smell first is just common sense with any doubt meaning the tin is discarded. It’s the method we used for hundreds of years but has been replaced over the last few decades by little dates printed on tins that are there because some of us are too stupid to use common sense and juries pay them vast sums of money for being stupid. The good news is the average IQ will rise 20 points when the government stops nannying these people and they die in droves on their settees waiting for the TV to come back on.

Things to consider

  • Most foods come with a certain amount of vitamins and minerals in. Cooking and processing destroys those vitamins and minerals and so some foods should be eaten fresh.
  • Some foods that are cooked leach the vitamins and minerals into the water they are cooked in. Consider using this water in some way to retrieve the vitamins and minerals.
  • Convention is such that we sometimes remove the best bit from our food, from a vitamin and mineral viewpoint, and discard it. Consider eating all of the food. Bearing in mind some bits in/on food is actually poisonous. (Tomato leaves for example are poisonous while potato skins contain most of the vitamins and minerals in a potato)
  • Our bodies need Protein, Carbohydrates, Fat, Salt and a million other vitamins and minerals to live. Don’t cut out any foods from your diet for the latest fad. The only people that die from food really are those that die from a lack of something. Keep your weight under control and eat what you want.

What should I put aside?
There are many different versions of what you should put in your stores. Remember I am looking at having 15 months supply so lets get started.

Note this list is for one person only but is in no way a minimum. Many of the items here would be considered luxuries in the years to come but readily available today, some items will last decades although some will not and this list will aid the transition into your future lifestyle by reducing your options as you go along and make it less of a culture shock. Multiply by the number of people in your group and take advantage to swap some items around depending on preferences. For example; I prefer salmon over tuna. If you feel different about that swap the numbers around. Same with the canned fruits etc. Just don’t say I like peaches so you get nothing but peaches. Mix and match and make sure you have a variety.

The following lists are for an average person with no allegies or no special dietary requirements. If you are diabetic, PKU, nut allergy or anything similar then you must make up your own list that meets your dietary requirements.

The best way to have meat is fresh. We need to process it, cook it, because our bodies can no longer handle raw meat and the associate pathogens. This removes some of the vitamins and minerals but this still leaves meat on a pound for pound basis as the most efficient food for our needs. We have already discussed livestock and this ideally should be the primary source for your fresh meat requirements. However, meat does not keep long fresh so we have to make due with preserved meat, either in cans or processed. Put the following on your shopping list;

No Unit Item
10 lb Beef Stew
50 Tin Chicken – Canned
100 Tins Corned Beef
10 lb Ham
10 lb Pemmican
40 Tin Salmon – Canned
10 lb Spam
20 Tin Tuna – Canned

In the UK we don’t really do as much with grain as we could and we see it as cattle food but there is a change in our thinking and grain is being looked at more and more. I suspect it is the immigrants coming in from places like Poland and Russia who are raising the profile of grains and introducing their cuisine to us. I myself found out about Buckwheat from a friend who had lived in Russia for a while. Grains are a bit part of the US survival scene and should be part of ours also. One point though. It is all well and good buying grains but you should also eat them as part of your diet now. First of all you find out if you can actually eat them, many can’t and their body may be gluten intolerant.

Gluten Intolerance
This is where the body cannot digest the glutens in the food and symptoms can be nausea, bloated stomach, stomach cramps, sweating, aches and stiffness, asthma, fatigue, sneezing, runny eyes, runny nose, sore/itchy throat and/or skin rashes as well as well being issues such as depression and mood swings and anxiety. Diagnosis is performed by removing grains from the diet for two or three weeks to see if the symptoms remain. Glutens are found in wheat, oats, barley and rye, while rice, corn, buckwheat, millet and quinoa are gluten free. Wheat contains the most and many find they have a mild form and are intolerant to wheat only.

Add the following to your shopping list;

No Unit Item
15 lb Buckwheat
10 lb Cereals – Cornflakes
10 lb Cereals – Frosties
15 lb Cereals – Muesli
10 lb Cereals – Whatever the kids have
15 lb Chickpea
70 lb Corn (Dried)
15 lb Cous Cous
100 lb Flour (Self raising)
25 lb Lentils – Green
25 lb Lentils – Red
75 lb Noodles – Rice
100 lb Oatmeal
100 lb Pasta
25 lb Peanut (Salted)
15 lb Polenta
25 lb Rice (Brown)
100 lb Rice (White)
25 lb Soybeans
125 lb Wheat

Fresh dairy items are a common item today that we could easily lose access to. It requires some animal to give up its mother’s milk and, despite the latest ice cream fad; we are not going to be able to replace it with human milk. For one thing any child in this situation must have first call on that food supply and the other is we just see it as icky. Regardless though there just won’t be enough. The options available are limited; We either keep dairy animals such as cows or goats or we make do with our stores until we can trade for some. Dairy products, milk, cheese and butter are a key component of our food and contain many valuable vitamins and minerals. If only we didn’t pump so many chemicals in today.

Dairy Intolerance
Dairy is another area where we have developed intolerances. This is an intolerance to lactose and symptoms are bloated stomach, stomach cramps, swollen lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat, allergic black eyes, itchy red rash, hives, eczema, diarrhoea, vomiting, gas/wind, cramps, abdominal pain, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Cow’s milk contains more lactose than goat’s milk. Again, diagnosis is performed by removing dairy products from the diet for two or three weeks to see if the symptoms remain.

Add the following to your shopping list;

No Unit Item
50 lb Either : Cheese (Canned) (Source)
50 lb or : Cheese (Small Wax wrapped)
50 lb Eggs (Dried)
60 lb Ghee
30 Tin Milk (Evaporated)
100 lb Milk Non Fat (Powdered)


No Unit Item
100 Tin Beans in Tomato sauce with sausages
30 Tin Carrots
30 Tin Mixed Vegetables
30 Tin Mushrooms
30 lb Onions (Dried)
30 Tin Peas (Marrowfat)
30 Tin Potatoes
20 lb Sprouting Seeds
30 Tin Sweetcorn
100 Tin Tomatoes


No Unit Item
30 lb Apricots (Dried)
30 Tin Fruit Cocktail
10 Tin Lychees
30 Tin Mandarins
30 Tin Mango
30 lb Mango (Dried)
30 Tin Peaches
30 lb Peaches (Dried)
30 Tin Pears
30 Tin Pineapple
30 lb Raisons (Dried)
30 Tin Raspberry

It is said that Chicken Tikka Masala, an Indian dish, is the most popular single dish in the UK today. A long way from fish, chips and peas, our old favourite. However, Rice, Pasta and Potatoes are the core component of almost every main meal in the UK all that happens is you change the flavour with sauces and spices and put in different meats and vegetables. Put the following on your shopping list;

No Unit Item
10 lb Baking Powder
5 lb Baking Soda
10 lb Blackcurrant Jam
5 lb Bouillon – Beef
5 lb Bouillon – Vegetable
30 lb Cocoa
10 Lt Coconut Milk
10 Lt Coconut Oil
50 lb Coffee (Instant)
30 Pack Crackers
30 lt Fruit Juices – Long Life; Various flavours to suit
10 Tin Golden Syrup
5 lb Gravy Powder (Beef)
5 lb Gravy Powder (Chicken)
25 Lt Honey (Pourable)
25 Lt Honey (Set)
1 Lt Lemon Juice
1 Lt Lime Juice
5 Lt Maple Syrup
10 lb Marmalade
10 Lt Mayonnaise
3 Jar Mint Sauce
1 lt Mustard
25 Tin Peanut Butter
10 lb Pepper
15 lb Raspberry Jam
3 lt Ribena – Blackcurrant
100 lb Salt
25 Jar Sauce – Bolognaise – Tomato
10 Jar Sauce – Chilli
50 Jar Sauce – Curry – Balti, Biryani, Korma (whatever you like mix and match)
20 Jar Sauce – Pasta Bake – Various flavours
10 Jar Sauce – Sweet and Sour
5 lt Scotch
150 Sachets Soups – Various flavours
50 Tin Soups – Various flavours
20 Box Stock Cubes – Beef
20 Box Stock Cubes – Vegetable
10 lb Strawberry Jam
40 lb Sugar (Brown)
40 lb Sugar (White)
30 Lt Sunflower or Vegetable Oil
3000 Each Tea Bags – Black
1000 Each Tea Bags – Green
25 Tube Tomato (Paste)
1 Lt Vanilla Extract
10 Lt Vinegar
10 Lt Vinegar (White)
10 lt Vodka
5 lb Yeast

Herbs and spices to season up your food.

No Unit Item
1 lb Basil
1 lb Chilli Powder
1 lb Cinnamon
3 lb Coriander
1 lb Cumin
5 lb Garlic
1 lb Garlic Pepper
1 lb Garlic Salt
1 lb Ginger
1 lb Mint
1 lb Mixed Spice
1 lb Nutmeg
3 lb Paprika
3 lb Rosemary
1 lb Saffron
3 lb Thyme
3 lb Turmeric

Stuff you shouldn’t be buying under the food catagory but will do for treats every now and again.

No Unit Item
30 lb Biscuits – Assorted
20 Pack Cigarettes
25 Each Cigars
20 lb Sweets; Assorted Hard Boiled
10 lb Tobacco

Things may not work out as well as you think and you may have to supplement your vitamin and mineral intake. Luckily today you can buy many vitamins and minerals from your local shops. Put the following on your shopping list;

No Unit Item
20 Box Calcium
20 Box Cod Liver Oil
20 Box Folic Acid
20 Box Iron
20 Box Magnesium
50 Box Multi Vitamins
50 Box Multi Vitamins – Kids
20 Box St Johns Wort
20 Box Vitamin C
20 Box Vitamin D
20 Box Zinc

Mix and Match
Remember that one of the important rules is that you store what you eat. Many will not be eating everything listed above. So mix and match. This list has been put together to give you a variety of different foods and different tastes. Just try and keep at least a little of everything even if you adjust the amounts. Remember that these are based on my likes and dislikes so feel free to swap the amounts around among the groups and remove any you don’t like adding those not on the list that you do.

As the intention should be to keep this stock available at all times you must introduce a stock rotation system to ensure that the items that will go off are rotated out and consumed rather than just thrown away. There are several methods available to you for this. The simplest, which is simply to put new stock at the back, requires a very big cupboard. I keep the foods in a cool dark place and have a couple of each item in the pantry replacing the consumed items as necessary. The problem I have is that several times I have come across fresh food that is out of date, I’ve eaten it but it makes me aware it is not a perfect system. However, it works for me as far as survival goes but is wasteful for prepping and cost cutting as it occasionally means I throw out fresh vegetables, fruit or meat that has been forgotten about.

You should note that nothing here requires refridgeration or freezing. If it did it would have bacon on there. I love bacon. Simply store all these items in a cool, dark place for later use.

This is quite a big list so I have made it available as a separate download as well. Download it from here (right click).

Next up is part 4 in the series, Seeds.

20 comments to Identify what you need to put aside – pt 3 – Food

  • tinkertytonk

    Go to Aldi for bulk long term storage of Spaghetti!!!!

    1KG @ 40p with two year expiry date. One KG = 3650 K/cal which provide half of what you need each day to keep you alive. Buy as much as you can and it will provide the backbone of your survival needs.

    So you don’t go mad eating the same stuff every day should the SHTF buy lots of OXO type stock (they do wide variety)and add this to the spaghetti (the stock blocks also have long expiry date).

    In the pat month I have bought 60KG that’s only £24 and thus I have half a three month emergency food supply sorted that will last for at least the next two years.

    As the food gets near its best before date I will move it to Maylar bags add an O2 tab and the food will be good for another 20 years. Over the next month I’m buying another 60 KG.

    Cheap, efficient & piece of mind.


  • hammered

    Hi Tinkertytonk
    can you please explain to a newby to this, whats a maylar bag, o2 tab and how does this work?
    yours hammered

  • hammered

    Hi, can anyone tell me how long tinned goods last I know that they extend beyond the expirey date as I regularly eat stuff thats out of date, but I remember as a teen when my gran died we cleared out her house, it was like stepping back into the victorian era, her pantry shelves were stacked with tinned goods and home made preserves, I remember we used some of the tins that were well out of date, but I do remember that some of the preserves in jars were dated and were ten years old and tasted realy good.
    Ive heard of test done that show certain tinned goods edible after years.

  • Skean Dhude


    Welcome to the site.

    A mylar bag is a plastic bag made of food grade material. When sealed, by heat sealing, zip or folding, it will not leak and take air in from the atmosphere. This helps keep food fresh.

    The O2 tab is an oxygen absorber which sucks the oxygen and moisture from the bag after it is sealed as oxygen is corrosive and will reduce storage times of your food.

    So you put your food in a mylar bag, pop in an O2 pad, squeeze as much air as you can out and seal it up. Will store for a long time.

    There are other ways to do this. Many use food grade pails, fill them up and then fill them with Nitrogen before sealing. The nitrogen replaces the air and is inert it won’t effect the food.

    There are other ways as well as you will find out on the site.

  • Skean Dhude

    Our parents didn’t have expiry dates on their food. They opened it, looked at it, smelt it and then tasted it before they dished it out. Expiry dates are there for legal reasons and I also have a pantry which undoubtably contains out of date food.

    I just open what I need and test and so far nothing has been off on the tinned side. I have had the occasional items off on the fresh side such as milk, veg and meat. I hate wasting meat as something died for you to eat and you didn’t.

    Some preserves contain.. TaDa.. preservatives, which keep them safe for years. Honey is such a food, manufactured mayonnaise (not homemade) is another.

    Look at it, smell it and if in doubt compost it. If it passed those tests then taste it. If it tastes funny then compost it. If not then bon appetit. Remember if in doubt discard. Your nose is usually the best detector.

  • tinkertytonk

    Dear Hammered,

    I think SK dealt with your question to me perfectly. I failed to respond as I was undertaking a ‘home survival test’ this last weekend and so was not allowed to use the computer so could not get back to you.


  • Kenneth Eames

    As the O2 sachets have a limited life I would recommend the following. Buy some Steel Wool OOOO grade and place on a piece of cardboard in the top of your Wheat or whatever you are storing in your bucket add a tablespoon of salt and then close and seal your bucket (air tight of course). The salt will convert your steel wool to rust, and the rust will absorb the oxygen. Much cheaper than O2 sachets

  • Skean Dhude


    An excellent tip. I think for many items this is going to be better than O2 sachets. O2 sachets can be reserved for where they are best used such as when products are openned and resealed.

  • Stine

    What sort of places sell Maylar bags and O2 tabs, are these available in hardware shops or do I need to look online?

    How does this method compare to using vacuum sealing machine to enclose some food? Is it just a cheaper version?

    I have been watching a guy on You Tube (UK), RickVanMan, where he makes his own “MRE’s” (except he mentions that they are not exactly MREs because some of the products require water to be added). In his video “Home Made MREs” he just vaccum packs cereal bars and packs of dried noodles (with some other items) together without taking them out of the packs. I don’t understand how this extends the life of the food? IE surely the packs already have nitrate or something in them to keep them from going off?

  • Skean Dhude


    They are available in shops but they tend to be few and far between and usually out of the way places. Buying online seems a good bet. Try eBay. When I get around to it I intend to point people towards good places to get the items but that is one big job so not going to be any time soon.

  • Kenneth Eames

    When packing food in food buckets, such as, wheat,oats,barley etc., fill the bucket half way, add diatomaceous earth (quarter of a cup) place lid on, turn bucket on its side roll around to mix, Remove lid fill to the top add another quarter cup of DE. Put lid on and roll again to mix thoroughly. Open lid put in cardboard, 0000 wire wool on top, add one tablesoonful of salt. Place lid on and seal thoroughly. Should retain viability from 20 to 25 years. This is suitable for a bucket of 6 kilo capacity. Wheat found in Pyramids viable after two thousand years.
    Kenneth Eames.

  • Skean Dhude


    Thanks for that.

    Why the filling half way and then some DE followed by more later?

  • Kenneth Eames

    The reason for the filling half-way is to ensure that the diatemaceus earth is well mixed in. The diatomaceous earth is to ensure killing off any insects that might be born from eggs within grains. Often grain will have insect eggs within it. Any eggs that hatch will be killed by the diatemaceous earth. Kenneth Eames.

  • Skean Dhude


    I understand that part. If you had filled to the top, added the DE and mixed then I would have been fine.

    It was the half way,and mix followed by all the way and another mix. Does that extra step of mixing at half way make a difference.

  • Kenneth Eames

    The reason for the half way mix is to ensure that the bottom half is well mixed before adding the top layer. If you add the grain right to the top before rolling the bucket, the DE might not reach right down to the bottom.If this happened, any insects that hatched might survive until they had eaten their way to the top. Kenneth Eames.

  • Skean Dhude

    OK. So a good mixing technique is required.

    Does the DE simply get washed off then when you want it or is it not worth bothering with?

  • Kenneth Eames

    The DE is a parasite destroyer and is used in humans for worms flukes, etc.. It is used for that purpose. It does no harm to people or animals Used a great deal by persons that keep chickens. It is a naturally occuring earth composed of diatoms. A natural earth formed from millions of single celled algae. It is effective because the sharp edges of the particles pierce the protective coating on parasitical organisms. Used by a great many preppers in the USA. I do consider it the best product to counteract parasites in our food as well of ourselves when we ingest it. Ken Eames.

  • Skean Dhude

    I know some people ingest it for health reasons. I didn’t know if we would want to keep it on our stored food.

  • Kenneth Eames

    Personally, I would certainly ingest it with the grain, because in a survival situation there will be a great deal of stress, which means, that all of our systems will have a high followed by a very low LOW. We will then be open to all kinds of diseases. Nervous diseases, physical diseases, parasites, etc., through lowering of the body’s resistance. The collapse of the bodily systems will follow on from the uncertainties of what future life will bring. Time to think of what will be necessary to combat these problems.
    Kenneth Eames.

  • mugin

    just a point re K cal requirements. For an adult male average requirement, for an active person, is 2500. In my youth in miltary cadets covering 10-20 miles on foot each day with full pack, it was quite hard to consume 2500 without resorting to kendal mint cake and mars bars!

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