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LDS Food Storage Well Known Secrets pt 1

LDS - Well Known Secrets

Today’s topic of discussion is Food Storage. Food storage is one of those things that has a far reaching and I can probably spend weeks talking about it, but today we just want to cover the basics. There are a couple of things that I want to share with you that I’ve learned and a couple of tricks – and you have my wife here to share some things that we’ve incorporated in our food storage.

The church has recently come out with a little pamphlet that talks about food storage. For years and years we were always told as members of the church that we should have a year’s supply of food. And some people went up and dutifully did that and most people dutifully didn’t. And in the last year or so, the church has come out with a pamphlet that says they kind of revamped what food storage is and for a more international group.

That pamphlet is called “Safely gathered in” – it’s available at LDF.org, if you just type in there “food storage” and there’s a little link there that takes you to a little .pdf file: little 2-3 page little pamphlet that talks about food storage. Most of you have those, but if you don’t, you should have one of those. And the change to having 1 year’s supply of food was the first mandate for us to do, was to get a week’s supply of what we normally eat. That’s where we’re gonna start on our food storage.

We talked a week before about 72 hour kits – what do 72 hour kits mean, how to take care of yourself for at least 72 hours. In fact, we talked a bit and shared some of these food bars that we put in it. I actually have some of the food bars that you can have a piece of a little later. You’re welcome to have a bite of how those food bars taste like. It certainly will keep you alive, but they’re not gonna make you very happy. And so, beyond 72 hours or beyond that initial emergency situation, we’re going to need more food than that. So where do you start?

Well, the church suggests and I suggest as well that you start with what you eat. In fact, I heard this really one great scenario: if you wanna have a year’s supply a food, just figure out what your 8-10 favorite meals are and buy 24 of them. Think about it – if you have your favorite meal that you like to have once a week. Let’s say your favorite meal is spaghetti and you like to eat spaghetti once a week – not a problem. You go out and buy 52 jars of spaghetti sauce and 52 bags of spaghetti – there’s your year’s supply of spaghetti. That’s easily figured out and accounted. I don’t know if you want to eat spaghetti once a week for an entire year, so you have to pair that down a little. But you can see that just by doing that you can come up with what you want to have. Just by figuring out what your favorite meals are and how many times are you gonna eat those in an average month and store it.

We want you to start up with a week’s supply of food. And what food? Whatever it is that you want – whatever you think it would be easiest to cook. Especially if we go about the emergency supply, you probably want to have foods that don’t require a great deal of water or a big deal of cooking in case of those kinds of things. So maybe cans of beef stew, if you like beef stew or something like that where you can put it into a little pot, warm it up somehow and you can even take the pot, put it out in the sun and put a black cloth over it and it’ll warm it up enough to eat it. Beef stew is already cooked – you can eat it right out of the can, it doesn’t need to be warm.

So, to get a week’s supply of food is not that difficult. How do you go by purchasing that? That’s also not that difficult. Let’s say you go to the store and you’re gonna buy spaghetti – so when you buy the spaghetti for tonight’s meal, buy an extra one and keep that, keep rotating in that way. So next time when you go buy spaghetti, you buy two more. Especially if you find them on sale. If you prepare in advance a list of foods that you like to eat, that you predetermined that you want to have on your list of meals, you carry that list with you at least in your mind or something else and you know that the tuna surprise casserole is one of the meals that we’re gonna eat. And so, when you go to the store and the supplies for your tuna casserole are on sale, you buy more of them. So when the tuna is on sale for ¢50 a can or whatever it is, then you stock up on the tuna for the year’s supplies. And so, you cut off on the cost of your supplies for the meals.

That’s okay to do for a short term supply, a week’s worth of food. But if you’re trying to store that kind of food much beyond that, it really gets cost-prohibitive. We’re talking a large amount of space to store all that food, we’re also talking about a fair amount of money spent to buy that food and that food is all relatively quickly perishable. Which means that if you put it on the shelf, it has a life of 18 months to 2 years and otherwise it goes bad. So that food is no longer good to you. So you have to have not only the space, the shelving but the system of rotating in and out which is not difficult to do, but it’s not incredibly easy.

I want to talk to you about, once you go that food, where are you gonna put it? That’s almost always the question I get from people – where are you gonna store the food? Well, I live in an apartment and I’ve been really creative about where you can store your food. We have cats. We used to have a cat that my wife brought home, now we have cats – plural. And that’s why we have cat food. I tend to buy the cat food in bulk because it’s cheaper that way, but where do you store bulk cat food? Well, it’s stored next to my bed. But you wouldn’t know it’s stored next to my bed because it looks like an end table.

We have a 5 gallon bucket that is filled with the cat food that has a half-round piece of plastic on it with a black cloth draped over it. That is my end table next to my bed and so, when you want to get the cat food, you take the lid off, take the cat food and put it back on. You can do this often times. There’s some friends of ours – they’ve taken and they’ve moved their couch away from the wall a few inches. With a lot of couches, you have those what you call a couch table that runs behind your couch to put stuff on. Well, if you move your couch away from the wall a little bit, you can stack up things behind the couch and then put a board on top of it, drape it with a cloth of your choosing, put candles on there and it looks like a couch table but actually, what it is it’s some of your food supply.

All 3, all 4 of our children’s beds have food storage underneath the beds. I’m sure you’ve seen these little table end, bed end bench where you can change your shoes and socks on. Well, our padded bench hides underneath it 4-5 gallon panels full of food. And so, you can find creative ways of stacking your food storage. I know of one family that actually went and took the cloth off the bottom of their couches, the couches that were standing up on pencils and they moved it up just a bit and stored their stuff underneath their couch. So, there’s all kinds of dead space. My personal favorite one, the one that I store the water in, is the very back of our closet, back where the old shoes that you used to mow the lawn in and you throw them away and you don’t know where they are – they are back there in the back of your closet. The back of your closet is a great place to store food. It’s cool, it’s dark, it’s usually pretty well regulated temperature-wise.

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