Episode-1673- The Basics of Food Storage

For Us Canned Stew is a By Product of a Good Meal, Requiring Almost no Extra Effort.

For Us Canned Stew is a By Product of a Good Meal, Requiring Almost no Extra Effort.

When people come to the concept of preparedness, prepping, modern survivalism of what ever they choose to call it, food storage jumps right up to the top of their list.  And with good reason, we are basically biological machines and we run on food and water.  While many things can effect our health and moral it is food that keeps us going.

In fact it has been said that both Frederick the Great and Napoleon stated basically that, “an Army marches on its stomach”.  Did either really say that?  No one is sure but you can bet they both knew and understood this to be true.

Yet if you believe the media, preppers store food the following ways only…

  • 5 Gallon buckets stacked to the ceiling of rice, beans and corn
  • A basement filled up to the top of the stair well with military MREs
  • An entire bedroom filled with pallets of 20 year freeze dried canned foods

I will be honest, I do have some buckets of dried goods, I do have some MREs and I actually do have quite a bit of freeze dried canned foods, especially meats.  Why?  They are quick to prepare, damn near do last forever and in the case of bulk dry goods they are cheap and easy to store up quickly.

They are not however the core of our food security planning.  They are adjuncts and extenders, we by and large store what we eat daily and that is what today’s show is all about.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • Why store food in the first place
    • Convenience
    • Cost savings
    • Security
  • How to start out and do it on the cheap
    • Keep a notebook and record
      • Everything you eat or your family eats
      • Put a star next to anything that stores without refrigeration
      • Put a check next to an item every time you eat it
      • Do this for 2-4 weeks
    • Begin copy canning
      • Take items with stars and checks and buy extra
      • Stack them in your pantry, oldest items to the front
      • Continue until you have a 4-6 week supply
      • Keep doing this till you run out of items to do it with
      • Once you are fully stocked, buy replacements as needed
      • Now repeat this process until you have 8-12 weeks of use per item
    • In your note book also record items that are not shelf stable, note…
      • Can you acquire substitutes
      • Can you make them shelf stable
      • Form a plant to store replacements and create stable versions
      • What you can’t replace/alter, accept
    • Methods of replacement/conversion
      • By canned versions even if you don’t use them often
      • Can your own
      • Lactofermentation
      • Biltong/jerky/curing meats
      • Specialty storage items come in now (freeze dried meats)
      • Dehydrated Vegetables
    • The Freezer is a Valid Food Storage Item
      • Consider a second refrigerator or chest freezer
      • Get a good vacuum sealer
      • Learn to blanch and flash freeze
      • Cook in bulk, part out, freeze
    • Canning with an Electric Canner
      • PowerPressure Cooker XL (proven does 4 pints a run)
      • Chard Smart Pressure Canner (I haven’t used it yet, does 4 quarts)
      • My basic way to can all winter long
        • We make double batches of soups and stews, etc.
        • We eat some, can the rest
        • We use an electric canner, set the timer walk away
      • My Favorite stuff to can
        • Squash soup
        • Roasted Tomato Soup
        • Beef Stew
        • Chicken Soup
        • BBQ Beef (think sloppy joe that does not suck)
        • Bone Stocks
    • Dry Canning
      • The most basic way, put an O2 absorber in a ball jar and close it up
      • Jar attachments for vacuum sealers
      • Dedicated dry canners like the VaccuCanner (DIY is an option)
    • What this results in
      • Real meals ready to eat
      • Cost savings
      • Big time convience
      • No wasted time or money
      • A real feeling of security along with healthy food
    • In the end, it is what responsible adults do!

Resources for today’s show…

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18 Responses to Episode-1673- The Basics of Food Storage

  1. I’m a new listener and I think you for the valuable information you present us daily. Any chance you might share the recipes of the meals you mentioned in episode 1673?

  2. I you go to the Sears store….not the one in the mall,
    you can get a chest freezer for about $200

  3. ChickenWhisperer22

    Love these back to basics episodes! Your suggestion about cooking in quantity and preserving portions for future meals is a good one. Instead of canning, though, I put portions of chili, stews, and soups in Ziploc 2 cup containers with screw on lids. I then freeze these. They’re great for fast meals any time, and I especially like taking one to work for lunch along with a fresh salad. My lunch is tastier, healthier, and cheaper than most of my co-workers’ lunches.

    • Modern Survival

      Yep we freeze stuff when we don’t have time to can. Only thing I will add is if it goes in a container with lid, like a jar, I freeze it first then add the lid just to be safe. I have “over chilled” a few too many beers in the fridge not to learn that lesson.

  4. Ladies and gentlemen…I present to you the kitchenistas.

  5. Suburban Resilience

    “Shot up Johnny and eat your twinkie” – ROFLMAO!!!!

  6. Hey Jack. Im on the Power Pressure canners website and I noticed that they sell a 10qrt model…. See link. Its only a about $50 more.


    • Modern Survival

      Yea that is pretty new the only problem is they didn’t make it any deeper so while it will do more pint it still can’t do quarts.

  7. I will be anxiously awaiting your review of the chard pressure canner.

  8. There seems to be a lot of push back online from some of the canning “authorities” against these electric models for pressure canning low acid foods. Any other sources out there – besides the manufacturer – that back these up as safe for low acid foods?

  9. Hi Jack,
    GREAT episode.

    I was listening while pressure canning a bunch of stew beef.
    I really liked your idea of tracking what you eat, then getting what you can that’s already shelf-stable, then thinking about filling in the holes with shelf-stable versions. Great message.

    RE: Freezers
    Today, I walked into my garage and found my freezer thawing! Apparently, the cord had gotten knocked out of the outlet with a ladder or something. It’s running again now that I plugged it back in. But I’m going to spend the rest of the week canning everything I am able to out of it. I love having a chest freezer for buying a side of beef or a whole hog and saving money on *good* meat, but I don’t completely *trust* the freezer, and now you know why.

    Thanks for a great episode!

    • Modern Survival

      I just got a round about expert question for Steven Harris! How can we set up an alarm that tells us in the house if our freezer in an out building or garage has lost power? Which could be used for so many other needs on a homestead.

  10. Hey Jack,

    You willing to post your wife’s famous meatball recipe? I like the idea you mentioned about making a big batch and freezing them for a quick easy to make meal.

  11. Hi Jack, I am also interested in your wife’s meatball recipe. Would you mind to share? Thank you.

  12. Jack: I just got a round about expert question for Steven Harris! How can we set up an alarm that tells us in the house if our freezer in an out building or garage has lost power? Which could be used for so many other needs on a homestead.

    I have had the freezer issue leakage in the past. And Have used the Zircon Leak Detectors that work off of a 9v battery that can be found on Amazon. (didn’t link as I don’t want to take your syndicate $ away). They are awesome. I have one by each freezer so when it thaws the water coming on the floor will set it off. I also have it in our basement and crawlspace, water heater. They are very loud and for less then $10 each it is well worth it. On my honeymoon we were saved a Big $ damage bill the moment our hot water heater sprunk a major leak. We caught it in seconds vs minutes or hours.

  13. Since my freezers are in the garage and so is my laundry (so I’m able to hear it), I picked up the acurite freezer thermometer, which beeps if the freezer temp rises above a certain threshold for longer than 15 minutes. The one downside is that they don’t work for long distances and they’re not really *loud*. So, it’s fine for a garage, but I don’t think I would hear it from inside the house. They claim Wireless Range: 330′ (100m), but I don’t think it works that far.