Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Sacred Cow

I am about to rattle the cage of the sacred cow of food storage. (Is that a mixed metaphor?)

First off, let me state that I am a firm believer in having food storage. I have studied it, practiced it, use it, and store it. I have a label on my blog for "food storage obsession."

But my question is:
Who came up with the amounts of food necessary to store per person?
400 pounds of grain per year per person?
We have faithfully and diligently followed that recommendation for years.
We have wheat and rice and oats stuffed into every corner of our houses.

But, case in point........
I was discussing this very question with Jessica while looking at her beautifully organized pantry shelves, complete with inventory sheets......(I'll let her blog about that-it's amazing!)

She told me that when she and her husband were first married, we had given them a 50 lb bag of rice for a Christmas gift (which they loved!)  So if the calculation holds true, that 50 pound bag should have lasted them about a month.......

She still has probably a little less than half of it left, almost six years later.

Of course they eat other things besides rice every day.

Another case in point.....

We bought a couple hundred pounds of white rice when one of my sons was a baby. We ate a LOT of rice, two or three times a week. We appreciated that rice when times were tough. I had a big family full of kids to feed.

That baby is going to turn 23 years old next week.  I still have over half of it left.

I know that we should have these things set aside in case of emergency. I believe in storing what you eat, and eating what you store. But the amount of space it takes to store this much food for a large family is a lot, and I'm wondering if the quantities are a true reflection of what we should be eating. Should the amounts be scaled down a bit so we don't have dusty basements full of decomposing food that has been wasted instead of eaten????  



Granny J said...

Oh, oh, oh, pick me! I have thoughts! (Surprising I know!) OK, have you looked at my blog lately or go to the circle of sisters blog....or check Ruidoso Relief Society fb page (Feb. 13 post by Carol...this shows how a woman cooks beans.) I've been using this technique to cook grains. Then I just screw a lid on them, put them in the fridge and as I cook or bake I throw in a handful or so. I am loving this! I plan on using some of my dehydrated foods (carrots and apples) the same way and then actually have them ready for use.

This morning I cooked in my steamer rather than a water worked great! Good luck...let me know what you think.

Regina said...

Oh, I thought these things are meant to "circulate"?

In Germany we mostly have 500 gr packages of wheat, rice, pasta etc.

So you buy -step by step- as much of them as you need to have a good amount as storage and begin to use the ones that expire next and buy a new pack to replace it.

I prefer buying them in greater amounts as my family is quite big and we need at least two packages of pasta etc for one meal.

I keep an expiry-date-list and only have to look twice a year through it.

Would that be an idea for you?

Dearest greeting from Cologne/Germany

Granny J said...

So in my excitement I was babbling like a (insert whatever here.) I do not have a clue as to the amount of grains, legumes, dairy or even meat we consume on a yearly have inspired me to pay closer attention. What I do know is this...if I have my above mentioned items (minus meat) cooked and in the refrigerator...I use and consume them more. At this time I'm cooking them in pint jars...approx. 1/3 cup dry food, with water added to ring line. Depending on which pot I use that is 6 to 9 jars of cooked grains/beans. I add to everything now. We eat less meat but the additions stretch our food so much. I'll keep better track and get back with you in one month.

Jessica said...

Need to blog about my FS stuff...but haven't taken the time to yet. I know that we have talked about this a lot. I am with you. Why on earth would we need 400lbs of grains PER person for a year. That's ton.

RhondaLue said...

I think the recommendations are based on if we were ONLY eating out of our long-term food storage. I know with wheat alone I use an entire #10 can each week when I make bread.

Having said that, I do NOT store the recommended amount of rice because I don't care for rice, don't have many creative or wonderful recipes that my family likes using rice (minus the standard hawaiin haystacks!) and there would be no point in storing that much. I DO however have a huge supply of the wheat because of it's high protein content. We can make wheat meat, wheat chili, wheat bread, wheat cereal, etc. Considering we would likely use wheat at every meal I felt like that is the one thing I would definitely want the recommended amount of.

And to avoid wishing I had the recommended amount of rice in a catastrophe, I have a KILLER 3 month (or more) supply of normal foods so I could incorporate or put off the usage of rice however I want. :)