As the Coronavirus, formerly known as COVID-19, starts to reach pandemic levels, many authorities are doing what they can to stop the vicious spread in their communities. We have seen over the past few weeks some of the drastic measures in attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus. From shutting down schools, prohibiting restaurants in-door dining services and even closing businesses that are categorized as “non-essential”. All the events related to the COVID-19 have led to reaction to feds cutting rates and market rates dropping drastically.
In the US, we were given warnings to prepare ourselves based on how other countries have dealt with COVID-19. China, and Italy have been a reality check for many of us who choose to realize how bad things can become. Italy have been in lockdown mode for weeks and some local states in the US have already begin enforcing curfews. It appears to be evitable that more cities will start to take the same measures if things don’t improve.
Whether it’s a self-quarantine or imposed quarantine, two-weeks’ worth of supply would be a good start. The list of supplies include food that assumes there’s electricity (microwave, oven, fridge, freezer is available) still.
Three Main Food Choices for Storage
When stocking food, here are the three main choices:
There are short-term and long-term dry food. Things such as fruits, veggies, and bread can last up to 2 to 3 weeks as short-term dry food.
For longer storage options, food such as Instant Cup Ramen Noodle, Granola bars and Instant Oatmeal pouches can be preserved for longer periods.
2. Canned Food
The next choice would be canned foods. Canned Food is the most popular choice for food storage. Depending on the type of food, they can have a shelf life up to 3 years and possibly stretch to 4 years if properly stored.
While canned fruits can be stored up to 1 year; canned meats, vegetable and soups are typically stored up to 3 years.
All Canned Food should be stored in a clean, dry place with temperatures between 50-70 degrees.
3. Frozen Food
Lastly, frozen food would be another food source to consider for storage but is dependent on a freezer, oven or microwave. If electricity is not compromised, you should be able to enjoy your favorite meals within minutes with very little preparation. They typically can be kept for 3-6 months in the freezer.
Continue reading for the Four of the Best Food Storage Containers and Bags…
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Important Note: All food products should have expiration dates, the shelf-life listed in this article are from a general perspective and the recommendation is to follow the expiration label listed on the food.
- Dry Meat
- Canned Meat
- Frozen Meat
- Frozen meat can be stored for several months if bought fresh from your local market. Consider the expiration date and very good for short-term storage.
- Freeze-Dried Meat
- There are other options for storing meat. Freeze-Dried Meat are sealed in resilient packaging, allowing for many years of 2 to 25 years of storage life.
Useful tip: USDA guidelines recommends tossing uncooked meat out after a year, with uncooked ground meat after just 4 months. Any frozen cooked meat should go after 3 months. When stocking up, consider these facts to be safe.
White rice is a convenient food staple to store due to its longevity, it’s very filling and you’ll get most for your money. Any rice stored in 70 degrees with oxygen absorbers can last up to 10 years! And for longer periods, use cooler oxygen-free containers and rice can be kept up to 30 years!
Popular Rice Brands
Top Food Bars for Emergency Storage
* In no particular order
4. Dry Cereal and Oatmeal
Instant Oatmeal can also be enjoyed with just mixing with water or milk and sold in single box with several pouches.
Popular Instant Noodles
6. Fruits and Vegetables
A combination of long-lasting and dried frozen fruits and veggie would be a good idea. Long lasting fruits can last a week or two and are packed with vitamins to keep your immune system healthy during these times.
Bananas, apples, oranges, pears and grapefruits are good long-lasting fruits. Broccoli, cauliflower, pepper, carrots and potatoes are good choices for long-lasting veggies. Some can also be preserved in the fridge for much longer depending on the fruit or vegetable.
When thinking of the fruits and vegetable, consider what you enjoy most as well as healthy options that is crucial to your health.
7. Frozen meals
Frozen meals are very popular as your favorite dishes can be ready within minutes.
Consider having hot cooked meals such as wild Salmon with veggies, Braised beef or Chicken Masala, Lasagna, Meatloaf and Spaghetti meatballs that can be reasonably cooked within 3 minutes!
As you can see, there are plenty of choices to keep you sane while you avoid restaurants or delivery services. The only thing to note is their shelf life is anywhere between 3 to 6 months.
Traditional eggs aren’t a long-lasting option. Normally eggs left in the egg-carton can last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, and shorter if not kept in the egg-carton.
Powered eggs are a good choice allowing up to 1 year of storage if open, and if the packet is unopen, it can last up to 5 to 10 years. They taste very comparable to shelled eggs, and you’ll notice very little difference. It’s also simple to prepare requiring just water and mix.
Milk has become an essential food item for most people, and some can’t live without it. Unless you have a cow, there are two immediate options which are carton-based milk or powdered milk. Carton milk can be stored for 2-3 weeks, whereas powdered milk for a very long time.
Powdered milkcan be stored up to 10 years or longer. Some stores have powdered milk labeled with a 25-year expiration date. While according to some recent Googling search, USDA suggests it may be stored indefinitely.
11. Water and Juice
Plan to have at minimal one gallon of liquid per person for daily consumption. Juice would be a good alternative to water. Some come in boxes and bottles which allows for good storing options.
- Water bottles, typical shelf life is 1-2 years.
- Juice boxes at best quality can last about 12 to 18 months.
- Powdered drinks such as Kool-Aid and Gatorade can last 1-2 years when kept dry.
12. Baby Formula and food
For parents with young babies, you will need to remember to stock up on baby formula and the milk powdered forms are the easiest for storage.
Baby food are often kept in tiny jars and are already made for long-term storage. Be sure to review the expiration labels.
13. Pet Food
Just like babies, our pets will need food. Luckily, they usually come in large bags which allows for easy storage.
Quick Shopping Grocery Shopping List
- Food bars
- Fruits and vegetables
- Cereal and Instant Oatmeal
- Soup and Instant Noodles
- Frozen Meals (entrees, pizza etc.,)
- Water and/or Juice
- Baby Formula food
- Pet Food
Emergency Food Supply Kit
When you’re in a rush or simply want a food supply kit that will fit your needs, consider these options. This will save time and hassel for locating the things you want.
4 Best Options for Long-term Food Storage
- Mylar Bags – Mylar bags used with oxygen absorbers can provide you
with years of storage protection from oxidation,
mold, and bugs.
- Airtight containers such as PETE (Food safe plastic)
- Glass jars
- #10 cans lined with food-grade enamel lining
Amid any crisis, whether it be COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or whatever else that may come our way, it’s always good to be prepared to some extent. Knowing the basics for survival is just as important as staying healthy.
Feel free to share your comments below and tell us what else you think should be part of this list!
In closing, don’t forget to wash your hands, practice social distancing and be safe!