Common mistakes when prepping — Stockpiling unfamiliar foods

“Eat what you store and store what you eat” is the mantra for a proper food storage plan. Many preppers become enamored with dehydrated foods or bulk grain storage. But, if your body isn’t used to these types of foods, you may likely encounter some, um, issues when it comes time to start relying upon your pantry storage.

Spending hundreds, even thousands, of dollars on bulk grains doesn’t do you much good if you don’t know how to prepare them for consumption.

You’re throwing money away if you just buy a bunch of food, then toss it into a closet and forget about it.

A proper food storage plan revolves around foods you normally eat and has those foods rotated through your pantry, consumed before they reach their expiration dates. While having some easy-to-prepare dehydrated foods is not inherently a bad idea, you should first make sure you like the particular brand(s) you’re buying.

Obviously, home canned foods are usually best. You know what is in that jar, because you put it there. But, those jars aren’t light and they are fragile.

The best storage plans take advantage of all the options–home canned, commercial canned goods, dehydrated foods, bulk grains. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.

Relying on unfamiliar foods during a crisis is just one more thing that can stress you out. Further, if kids are in the mix, well, getting a child to try a new food can be a challenge on a good day, right? Your best bet is to just stock up on those foods you already eat on a regular basis. Add to your storage a little at a time and you’ll be surprised how quickly it will all add up.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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